It came, it cleared, we conquered. I can’t thank all of YOU enough because it was due to YOU that this came out as it did. Countless emails and phone calls from YOU. If not for you, I would have been flicked off like a flea. It was posted on forums and blogs and Facebooks and Twitters. Because of you, also, he was contacted by his local Better Business Bureau and also because of comments left by you at Folio Magazine, he was contacted by them. I don’t even know who else, where else, may have contacted him. Overall, it was a blitz that told a publisher you can’t do that.

The handwritten note says:

“I’m very sorry this happened. I will do everything in power (sic) to see that unauthorized work will never appear in one of our publications. Thank you for your understanding.


Sorry for the extra z in your name on the check!”

I thought that was sweet in a weird way…..

This bizarre situation now concludes.

And really, how bizarre WAS THAT????!!!!

Did last week actually happen? Or did I imagine that, because I have a calf and I’m tired….

And I know you’ll want to know if I’m doing something fabulously fun with this unexpected payment. I’m just going to pay bills. And pay back my cousin, who gave me money to go to my mom’s funeral. It’s a very, very weird blessing.



  1. Blessings says:

    Congrats Suzanne! Happy for you the check cleared and you will be able to spend as needed…Hopefully We Can VOTE you to VICTORY for you to win the $500.00!!!

  2. Bev in CA says:

    Dear Suzanne, I am smiling. An early Christmas present and well deserved. Enjoy!

  3. Darlene in North Ga says:

    And paying bills isn’t a bad thing. I’d rather have the bills paid than go buy something I don’t really need or even something I do need. I’d rather not be in debt, in fact, I’ve been known to pay my monthly bills in advance when I got a windfall (usually back child support) because I’d never know when I’d get more money.
    And it will be a nice present for your cousin to get paid back early. It was sweet of him/her to loan it to you!


  4. lizzie says:

    Good for you Suzanne!!!! I am so happy for you!! Having enough money to pay the bill’s is a WONDERFUL FEELING!! :snoopy:

  5. Michelle says:

    YAY-HURRAY! I wonder if NPR contacted them after I emailed them a “story idea.”

  6. bonita says:

    The hand-written note is telling,,.don’t you think.
    Glad we could help. Off now to vote in photo contest.

  7. Rose H says:

    Isn’t it great when things turn out RIGHT! :woof: :sheepjump:

  8. Glenda says:

    I was wondering about that check!

    The internet is a wonderful tool! I hope more than Dave saw this little whoop-de-do and took a lesson from it.

    Sound to me like you have some wonderful family in those hills.
    I believe you chose the right place to live.

  9. judydee says:

    Even if just for a moment, things are right in the world. That’s a good feeling.

  10. Sheila Z says:

    Congratulations! It’s a Happy New Year when you can start the year off with debts paid.

  11. enjay says:

    I’m not sure how to feel quite frankly lol. I’m happy that you got the money, that he learned a lesson (I hope) and that this will ease things a bit for you, but at the same time I wish it hadn’t happened at all.
    Paying bills with it is a good thing. I agree with Darlene and often do the same thing, pay my bills ahead when I can. And pay down on the principals on things like the car or the mortgage.
    I had a little unexpected windfall last week. It was a small amount, but it covered the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner, most of Christmas dinner, and two extra turkeys (they were on sale for $0.49/lb at Wally World) and that is a huge relief. Although finding room for 4 turkeys in my freezers created a different, much happier problem!

  12. Luann says:

    All the same, A BLessing! Yea for the underdog, stands on top on this weird situation. Congrats Suzanne!

  13. CindyP says:

    :woof: It’s not about the money we know, you’d only asked for attribution. :woof: If he’d only listened to you to begin with and not taken you has some little blog…. Hope you have that giddy feeling and say “Thank You, Dave” when you sign each check paying off those bills 😉

  14. Kelly says:

    Good things happen to good people. Thanks for waging the war for all of us artists.

  15. greensborodailyphoto says:

    Now, if these publishers will just set about paying for your pictures the OLD FASHIONED WAY (before using them), you could make money and they could have fabulous, legitimate photos to use! Too bad you can’t be compensated for all of the enjoyment of your readers. You deserve to be making more money, as hard as you work at this.

  16. northcountrygirl says:

    Way to go! Glad everything came to a happy ending. :happyflower:

  17. Lori Skoog says:

    The right thing to do and a great windfall.

  18. Granny Mountain says:

    I think this was a hidden blessing for you but a reminder that there is still power in the small voice of the masses! You earned every penny of this check Suzanne.

  19. debi says:

    :shimmy: :snoopy: :shimmy:

  20. Cousin Sheryl says:

    Fantastic! I know how much this means to you. I have watched you work on books, CITR and your farm and I know you put every ounce of your creative soul into everything you do! You should rightfully be compensated for your work! I hope this Dave-fellow learns the concept of “pay it forward,” both in business and in life!


  21. Deborah R says:

    I’m glad that “right” won out in the end!

    This is on topic if you think of it as a possible blessing: The Ritchie County Humane Society lists the animals they have for adoption in our local paper most weeks. This week, one of the listings is “The shelter also has a mule needing a good home. He hates shelter life.” If you want or need a mule for your farm, their number is 304-643-4721.

  22. melissashea68 says:

    Congrats! It is good to see that our voices can be heard. It is a blessing! Most stories you hear like this don’t end up favoring the ‘little person.’ What companies don’t realize is that WE pay their paycheck, if we don’t buy, they don’t get paid. I love it! I am so happy for you!

  23. patrice says:

    I’m glad it worked out okay. I hope other publishers hear of this and act appropriately. Things will still happen, but if they do we can all rest comfortably knowing WE CAN CALL YOU if something happens. You can shake it up, lady!

  24. rileighsmom1 says:

    Congratulations, Suzanne! I am so glad everything worked out in your favor! :0 :snoopy:

  25. Deb says:

    :dancingmonster: Yahhh!

    Husband was asking about this last night. I DOES feel like all is right.

    Now off to email Dave – its only right to say thanks there too.

  26. Larissa says:

    Weird blessings are sometimes the best ones. Congratulations, Suzanne!

  27. Jeanne says:

    Very happy for you! :snoopy:

  28. Anita says:

    This makes me want to subscribe to one of his publications. Glad to see he took the high road.

  29. Grammie Earth says:

    You do know Suzanne that if you didn’t share your life with us, we probably would never have known! You give us sooo much, that it only makes sense to go to bat for you. It’s the least we could do! I think I can speak for everyone when I say we would do it again in a nanosecond. Congrats :airkiss:

  30. Leanne says:

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all said thanks to him for ‘taking the high road’ like Anita and Deb suggest…. So happy for you Suzanne!

  31. Ramona says:

    Congratulations Suzanne.

    In these days, it’s a blessing that Dave did the right and honorable thing. If more companies would own up to their mistakes, things wouldn’t be so bad everywhere.

  32. Darlene in Ks says:

    Wonderful news, Suzanne! Thanks to the person who pointed this out to you! Voting every day, hope you win!

  33. DragonLady says:

    Wonderful! I’m happy for you! :yes:

  34. Mary Kellogg says:

    That man best not mess with country women.

    Now you go have a nice Christmas!

  35. texwisgirl says:

    I loved his P.S. in noticing the extra “Z” in your name. His eyes are open now…

    And the situation was bizZare enough, I’m sure, SuzZanne… 🙂

    And, yes, thank you Wisconsin Dave for doing the right thing – and the handwritten note was a nice thing to do. God bless you too.

  36. Tina says:

    It’s just gooood karma, comin’ back around to you for all the positive energy you put out, Suzanne!

  37. sasha says:

    Congrats on getting recognition (and a little bit of change) for your photos!

    What are you gonna do with the money? Maybe buy better fencing… so your animals quit escaping? I know, I know – how about getting Jack gelded?

  38. Miss Becky says:

    Wonderful news Suzanne! I’m happy this turned out as it did ~ it took a little arm twisting but Dave B. did the right thing, and that feels really good. :smilerabbit:

  39. BuckeyeGirl says:

    I think the handwritten note on simple lined paper made me consider even more that he’s not such a bad guy. I never quite thought he was an ogre, no matter how mad I was, and I did snark at his business practices in my emails to him, I always figured this was probably a shortcut by one of his editors, (-possibly- a sloppy mistake, but I really think, well….) which took him off guard and he reacted badly when you contacted him. Badly… very, very, VERY badly! He found out several lessons out of it and so this all turned out to be a valuable lesson for many people in different ways. US TOO! We learned again that standing together for something is SO worthwhile!

  40. JOJO says:

    Justice has prevailed, I am happy for you Suzanne.

  41. Amy says:

    So happy for you! Pay your bills, and your cousin, but take a small amount and do something fun for you and the kids. You deserve it!

  42. Sindy says:

    WOWSER!! Congrats girlfriend! Enjoy the well earned windfall! You might consider call Dave Duffy over at Backwoods Home, he’s always looking to pay for good work!!!

  43. Marge says:

    I’ve been waiting for this GOOD news, Suzanne! I’m so happy for you. As someone said…justice prevails.

  44. Melissa says:

    I’m very proud of Dave for doing the right thing.

  45. summerwindfarm says:

    I think that note is the most important thing of all (not that you dont deserve the check too!) but the promise NOT to do that again is very very important! What a great victory! Not just for you but for all of that put our hearts and souls out there on the web in blogs and on websites and other venues! Well done! And Daves redeemed himself somewhat in my eyes. I will continue to buy backyard chickens…now that i know none of the content is stolen!

  46. PJ says:

    Suzanne, you are truly a treasure. I just think you’re the best. It turned out as it should and I’m proud of you for doing the right thing and asking for this to be corrected.

  47. IowaCowgirl says:

    Mission Accomplished!

    And isn’t it a great feeling to pay those bills??!!

  48. Linda Segerson says:

    Good for you, I know you hope this never happens again, even though it was a weird blessing!

  49. Phyllis says:

    We care about you and were not going to let someone walk over you and use your wonderful art without payment.

  50. Mary says:

    Yes, I think it was a weird blessing too…somehow through your Mom. I think the “magazine” learned a lesson which was of value to them also. Thanks Dave.

  51. Linda says:

    Wonderful use for a financial windfall! Paying those bills will give you an unexpected sense of freedom. Congratulations….we were happy to help out!

  52. Whaledancer says:

    I love happy endings. :happyflower:
    And it’s good to hear that Dave is going to try to prevent something like this happening in the future. That was really the point, after all.

  53. ScreamingSardine says:

    That’s wonderful, Suzanne! Thanks for letting us know the whole situation.

  54. Mz E says:

    I’m so glad he stepped up to own his company’s mistake and apparently learn from the experience! Good work Suzanne!

  55. Sharon says:

    :sheepjump: :sheep: Doing the happy dance :duck: :snoopy: So glad that you got the money and hoping the hand written note was from his heart. Maybe they will check out the photos a little closer from now on. Lesson learned. I know that the money will help you pay those bills and your cousin back too..that does my heart good. Ok..a little more dancing :shimmy: :woof: :happyfeet:

  56. Judy McCormick says:

    You have a lot of supporters out here, now our job is to Vote Vote Vote!!!

  57. Patty Norton says:

    I am so glad that you were blessed in a mysterious way.
    I am glad Mr.Belanger did the correct thing.

  58. Connie W says:

    YAY!!! Congrats to you and all your readers/commenters for their hard work.

  59. The Retired One says:

    WOOOOOT!!! So happy for you and for all of us who cherish our own photography!

  60. Bev says:

    That is freekin amazing… Now you can buy enough hay to feed those animals during the winter!!!! :woof:

  61. Miss Mae says:

    Yaaayyy, Suzanne! So glad he kept his word and sent that check out. It appears he learned a very important lesson, and that is always good.

    I can respect a person more when they step up and owe to their mistakes, which Dave has done.

    So thrilled to see a happy, satisfying ending! 🙂

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