Tuesday, May 1, 2012

If You Give a Mom a Muffin Controversy

UPDATE: I have fought for several years for the rights of my original poem, If You Give a Mom a Muffin. As of 1/24/13, I have lost the fight.

I've had many asking for the original post of this poem to prove myself. I've looked for the original post and unfortunately, because I was publishing it in a magazine, I had deleted the original post. It wouldn't have been right to have a copy on my blog and publishing it in a magazine. Because I did this and didn't print it out directly from the blog (confirming the date of the original post), I have no proof other than my word that it was my original work.

It's a bonehead newbie mistake on my part, but the simple fact is, I don't have a legal leg to stand on, so I can't pursue the matter legally.

It's hard giving up on something like this, but I have to, since I have no proof of ownership.

Unfortunately, this also means that I lost the rights to this poem. The person in question had it published in a magazine the same year I wrote it, and by law (since I have no burden of proof), I can no longer claim it as my own. Therefore the book deal I had in progress was also canceled.

God has blessed me with the gift to write, so I'm going to continue using what God gave me.  I have washed my hands of this piece and have other projects to spend my time and energy on. 

May the poem bless you and your families.

God Bless.


Maggie said...

I saw a couple of my friends post your poem on Facebook without your name listed. I Googled it and found your name and commented that you were the author. Sorry that it's not a legal thing, but at least you can get some internet cred.

Moose said...

Ditto what Maggie said. I just saw it and having also found my words being passed around as "copier humour" (a pre-Web Internet phrase for things that used to get passed around offices after being photocopied), I had to find the proper attribution.

I'm sorry you lost the rights to this delightful piece. Plagiarism is just nasty and unethical.

Anonymous said...

A friend shared your poem on facebook and I thought it was brilliant! I have a blog for my Mom&Me group that I do at my church, I would love to put it up on it for them to read and enjoy.

Beth Brubaker said...


This original intent of the poem was to be shared. Please do so- I hope the ladies enjoy it! :)

CGod4it said...

It's a fantastic poem and God knows. Think of all he does not get credit for ... :( you are in good company.

Melanie said...

We are using your poem for a 3 year old Mother's Day Craft at the Preschool I work at. At the bottom it has your name on it, so close to 200 families will see that you made this possible. Thank you

Anonymous said...

I did the same as the first poster. I just sent it to my daughters and told them I was looking for the author. I have wondered about copyright and haven't posted poems for that reason.

Your poem is so clever and cute and true! I will add your name on Facebook and notify those I sent it to that you are the author.

Congratulations on your talents and best of luck with your writing!

Mary S. said...

@Beth Brubaker

Dear Beth,
Thanks so much for putting a smile on my face and many of the ladies that are part of our MOMS Club here in Michigan.

We shared your poem with the ladies and had a muffin potluck. It was so nice to know that someone could relate to the hardships of being a mother. And it was great to be able to laugh at it! Laughter is a great medicine. Thank you! Sincerely, Mary

NatCh said...

When I saw your poem, I showed it to my wife, and the phrase "I'm trying to eat a muffin" instantly entered our family discourse.

It's very useful because it allows us to let the other know when we're dealing with a frustrating, involved, lengthy series of tasks necessary to do something simple, just as your poem describes, without getting snippy with one another! A great treasure in family life.

I thank you for that. I'm sorry that events have unfolded the way they have for you. I've written some poetry myself over the years and just the thought of having any of it wrenched away from me is painful.

If you haven't already consulted it, as a last and final effort, you might look at the Internet Archive: http://archive.org/web/web.php -- it isn't comprehensive, but it *is* pretty close to permanent.

I already looked at the URL for your present blog, and it only goes back to July of 2012, so if this was where you originally posted it, then that's no help, but if it was somewhere else, then you might have a shot of recovering and documenting the deleted post that way.

Beth Brubaker said...


The original wasn't posted on a blog, it was posted in a public forum, which has since then been deleted (or it's archives were) since I have done a deep search for the poem.
Unfortunately I can't remember which forum I had originally posted it to, so I have given it up as a lost cause.
God gifted me with a talent for rhyme and the humor to tell a good funny story, so I have been spending my energies working on my writing career instead! Any future poems won't be posted unless I have had them published, or wish to share them as 'fair use'.
Thank you so much for your comment!

Unknown said...

I am so sorry to hear this! I was searching and searching for you to ask permission to include your poem as a small part of a mother's day celebration product I am creating to post on TPT. I didn't feel comfortable posting and selling something with your name and not asking you first! It makes me sad that people don't think before reproducing others' work.

Beth Brubaker said...

@Jessica Plemons

Thank you so much! Can you send me the link to the project when you're done? I'd like to see it! (you can also reach me via FB as Beth Brubaker)

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the magazine publication prove anything? Or had others picked it up and used it before it was published?

Beth Brubaker said...


The magazine I was publishing it in was in 2005, and the person that changed my poem sent it to another magazine a few months after I first posted it in a public forum in 2002/2003. Because I can't find the original post, I can't prove it on my side, but I wasn't made aware that it was published in another magazine under someone else's name until a few years ago- after I had deleted it from my blog and sent it in to a magazine myself.

Unfortunately by law, the other version was published first, since I have no physical proof. I really wish I'd kept my original notes on this one! :)

Melissa Reynolds said...

This breaks my heart. I love this poem, and now that I have found your name attached to the original, you will always get the credit from me. Thank you for understanding moms everywhere. God Bless.

Beth Brubaker said...

@Melissa Reynolds

Thank you- and God bless YOU! :)

Thena said...

I know how you feel. I've had poems copied down to but not including my name.
God bless you as you share the talent that He has given you.

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