Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stolen Story? What if I am a Poacher!

My coffee tastes particularly good this morning. We treated ourselves to a pound of Starbucks Anniversary blend beans yesterday. It’s 4:22 am. I am pondering lots of things.

Harper and the Conservatives were re-elected with a stronger mandate yesterday but still a minority government. I am preparing the spoken words for my aunt’s funeral this coming Saturday which I have been asked to officiate. A friend of mine lost his sister to cancer last week and he devotedly sat with her through her last days. I have to tend my 20 month old granddaughter for two hours this morning and it worries me. I would rather write a book.

Speaking of which… an acquaintance with some interest in the children’s novel that I wrote is willing to finance the self publishing of this book. I wrote it twelve years ago and ambitiously sent it sequentially to eighteen publishers over a two year period only to receive kindly expressed rejection letters. I was assured that my content and writing was acceptable but they were all oversubscribed with unsolicited submissions. I left it alone for ten years and cleaned it up recently. I might have one more bit to filter.

One vital chapter for developing the filial relationship between my hero and heroine characters, aged eleven and thirteen years, contains a story which now causes me to ponder. Did I actually originate that story twelve years ago or did I scrounge a yarn I read somewhere? My benefactor read the book and asked me this question. He had heard the substance of this anecdote before. It’s one of those classic object lessons describing the cost involved in love for someone that is so profound that it compels a self sacrifice. In this case a brother loves his sister so much that when she is stricken with a blood disorder that threatens her life, a blood transfusion from a blood matching donor is all that can save her. The brother has that compatible blood match. When asked to donate his blood, he misunderstands that to mean that he must give all his blood. He anguishes briefly over this life-giving choice, then chooses to give his blood to the sister he loves. Of course when his parents realize his confusion they reassure him that his gift will not be lethal.

My concern is that an internet search yields similar sounding tales. I don’t want my entire novel content to be compromised by a pilfered parable. I honestly cannot recall whether I was the originator. If the story concept can be found prior to 1998 then I am a poacher. Can you help me? Can you discover an online source that predates my story? If so, please notify me promptly. I will tell you tomorrow what I learn.

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