Linda Ellis, Author, Speaker, Poet, Copyright Troll - The Dash Very First Blog Post November 13, 2007

On November 13, 2007, Linda Ellis began blogging. One would think she decided to start a blog because she wanted to inspire others with her work. Nope. She began the blog because all the effort she put into sharing The Dash brought her little if any profits or notoriety, the same two issues she whines about today. Obviously had she been earning money from sales she would not be complaining so loudly about being an unknown/anonymous. Seems obvious that people were not buying her gradeschool poetry way back then either.

In an effort to help my readers understand The Dash Extortion Scheme, it is important to understand Linda Ellis. Read her very first blog post. Notice that at the end of her story she asks readers to "Share This Story with a Friend" without giving instructions as to HER RULES of sharing.  Click on that url. Although the post is gone, the default URL remains as evidence of her scheme - the Tell-a-Friend form that Linda uses to circulate The Dash.  She sent me and thousands of others The Dash poem using the Tell-a-Friend form and then waited until we posted it so she could accuse us of copyright infringement. At her request I shared The Dash on my blog with my friends. Out of courtesy, I also included the link she supplied back to her website. Linda Ellis still asks people to share her work and she still uses the Tell-a-Friend form.

This is that post that is no longer available on

NOVEMBER 13, 2007

The Dash Poem - AUTHOR

by Linda Ellis,

Well I'm finally blogging!  Many people have been after me for years to begin a blog!  Frankly, I didn't see the wondrous attributes of becoming a blogger, but I hate to be left out of an ever-increasing fad (or what could be referred to as an addiction for some).  So, although I may be a few years late, here I am, blog, blog, blogging!! 

Where do I begin?  Well,...The Dash of course!  You see, eleven years ago, I wrote a poem...a relatively simple rhythmic lesson on life.  Since that time, The Dash, as it was appropriately titled, has become a daily reminder for many, a life-altering experience for some and a way of life for others.  Being The Dash poem author has changed my life in more ways than I can mention, though I'm sure many will be revealed as I continue to "blog."  Fun word, isn't it?  Blog, blog, blog.  Anyway, I should probably mention that I have the writer's equivalent of ADD.  I have many scattered, random thoughts.  For years, I've tried to fight these haphazard (and often irrelevent) ideas that enter my brain as my fingers are trying to type my thoughts from three minutes ago, but recently I've given up fighting.  I am now just rolling with the flow, whether the end result is 100% coherent to the reader or not.  However, I will try to do my best to remain as focused as possible.  Hey, is that a squirrel!!???

As I mentioned, I am the author of The Dash poem.  I have however, considered changing my name to Ann Onemous or Arthur Unknown as those seem to be the two names most attributed for writing my poem.  I guess it has been easier for folks to slap one of those names underneath my work rather than asking for permission to use this COPYRIGHTED piece.  Yes, I may sound a tad bitter, but it is hard for one poet to fight the Internet.  It is the law that if you do not defend your work, it is in danger of becoming public domain!  Silly law to me because if you've written something and can prove authorship with a filed registration of copyright, then you should not be forced to continually battle for what is rightfully yours.  But again, I digress.

As the author of The Dash poem, people often have high expectations of me.  A couple of years ago, I began doing some public speaking around the country.  It became quickly apparent that many were seeking spiritual or emotional guidance from me!  I've always done my best to listen carefully to everyone's "dash" story.  I cry with some, embrace others.  I care, I really do, sometimes to my own detriment.  And, oh how I love listening and sharing stories with everyone as we travel to different cities!  I now travel with a friend/assistant who handles book sales so that I may have time to visit with all of those folks who wish to share their dash stories or those of their loved ones. 

However, I must say that I am who I am.  I am not a counselor.  I am not an advisor.  I am a poet who had a particular insight into life which somehow created a worldwide, for lack of a better word, "awareness."  I am very proud of that accomplishment and have received thousands of calls and emails about what my poem has meant to people.  I receive emails and calls every single day.  It has been almost inconceivable to me.  But, as I mentioned, I am who I am.  I let a curse word slip every now and then. ;-) I have a beer or two with friends at times and I don't go to church nearly as often as I should.  But the fact is, I ALWAYS try to treat others with kindness and respect.  That is one of the messages that I tried to convey in The Dash poem.  Living a dash that you can be proud of doesn't mean trying to be perfect and changing yourself to fit the mold of what people tend to think of as a "good" person.  To me, it means doing the best you can every day to live a life which may someday allow you to leave behind a legacy of kindness, love and laughter.  I try to think every day of what people will remember of me, should I not see tomorrow.  Someone once said, if you want to know how to live your life, think about what you want people to say about you when you're gone, and live backwards.  That is a great strategy. 

Another thought I tried to convey in The Dash poem is respecting others.  I once received an angry call from someone who told me they loved my poem, but that I had left God out of it.  I told him that I hadn't left God out of the poem.  If he didn't feel God within the words, then it was he who had left Him out, not me.  I wrote The Dash poem for devout Christians, as well as athiests;  for Catholics, Jews, Baptists and Muslims.  My goal was to reach anyone and everyone who might read this poem, and hope that he or she be inspired enough to live a better life and/or treat their fellow human beings with love and kindness.

I am posting The Dash poem below.  For those of you who haven't read it, and also for those of you who have, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please respect my copyright.

The Dash
copyright 1996 Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars....the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spend your dash?

The poem is available in a gift book, framed print and journal from:

Linda Ellis

Copyright 2007

UPDATE: IN 2017 Linda Ellis sold the copyright for The Dash to Mac Anderson, a wealthy publisher and author. If you paid off Linda Ellis, share your story of abuse and harassment and request a refund of extorted monies paid to Linda Ellis.  Contact Mac Anderson at Simple Truths.

"The Dash is a Very Popular Funeral Poem. Read it Now and See Why...

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