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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Read An Ebook Week!

Read an eBook Week will run from March 1st-7th this year. That starts THIS SUNDAY!

Artwork © Brad Fraunfelter

The following titles will be offered as free giveaways via the Twilight Times Books web site during Read an eBook Week, March 1-7, 2015.

An Elfy on the Loose by Barb Caffrey
Behold the Eyes of Light by Geoff Geauterre
Book Reviewers Talk about their Craft by Mayra Calvani
Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amden
Death on Delivery by Anne K. Edwards
Deeds of a Colored Soldier During the Rebellion by F. W. Abel
Don't Let the Wind Catch You by Aaron Paul Lazar
How I Wrote My First Book: the story behind the story by Anne K. Edwards and Lida E. Quillen, Editors
Jerome and the Seraph by Robina Williams
Laughing All the Way by Darrell Bain
Literary Sampler by Mayra Calvani, Aaron Paul Lazar and Anne K. Edwards
Monkey Trap by Lee Denning
No Place for Gods by Gerald Mills
Rue the Day by Ralph Freedman
Schooled in Magic by Christopher Nuttall
The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival by Stephanie Osborn
The Storks of La Caridad by Florence Byham Weinberg
Touch of Fate by Christine Amsden
Tremolo: cry of the loon by Aaron Paul Lazar
Who is Margaret? What is She? and Other Stories by Celia A. Leaman


Different books, free, each day! Check it out!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

by Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com



And today marks the first day of 2015! Wow, how fast they go.

We'll do the traditional thing of singing Auld Lang Syne, but before we do, let's find out a bit about it, shall we?

Everybody knows the first verse and the chorus, but did you know there were five verses? Robert Burns, poet laureate of Scotland, wrote it in 1788 -- at least, he wrote the lyrics. The tune was an old folk tune, nobody knows just how old. According to Burns himself, he didn't write even the lyrics, but took dictation from an elder. So it may all be an ancient folk tune.

And the title, "auld lang syne," transliterates as, "old long since," or as we would say today, "a long time ago." In understanding the song, we need to realize that not only is the English archaic, but the lyrics veer back and forth between English, Scots Gaelic, and Scots English dialect! But in general one may take it as two old friends, having come to a milestone in their lives, reminiscing over a pint. Rather apropos to a New Year's Day, I think.

(If you want a good idea of what is really being said, check out Wikipedia, which actually has a very decent modern translation. I don't usually recommend it as a be-all end-all, but in this case, it's pretty good.)

And now let's have a look at the entire song.

~~~

Auld Lang Syne
by Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And never brought to mind? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And auld lang syne! 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne. 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp! 
And surely I'll be mine! 
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne. 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes, 
And pou'd the gowans fine; 
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit, 
Sin' auld lang syne. 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne. 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn, 
Frae morning sun till dine; 
But seas between us braid hae roar'd 
Sin' auld lang syne. 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne. 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere! 
And gie's a hand o' thine! 
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught, 
For auld lang syne. 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne. 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne.



~~~

May 2015 bring you blessings and happiness, now and the whole year through!

-Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"A Song for New Year's Eve"

by Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com

Today is the last day of 2014. It seems not so very long ago that it was the first day of 2014. I suppose that's a sign that I'm getting old. But I don't feel it, and so let us raise a glass in toast of what has been, and what shall be.

In that vein, here's one of my favorite poems for the day. I've used it before, and I've no doubt I'll use it again. I hope you like it as much as I do.



~~~

A Song for New Year’s Eve
by William Cullen Bryant

 Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay— 
     Stay till the good old year, 
So long companion of our way, 
     Shakes hands, and leaves us here. 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong, 
     Has now no hopes to wake; 
Yet one hour more of jest and song 
     For his familiar sake. 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One mirthful hour, and then away.  

The kindly year, his liberal hands 
     Have lavished all his store. 
And shall we turn from where he stands, 
     Because he gives no more? 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One grateful hour, and then away.  

Days brightly came and calmly went, 
     While yet he was our guest; 
How cheerfully the week was spent! 
     How sweet the seventh day’s rest! 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One golden hour, and then away.  

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep 
     Beneath the coffin-lid: 
What pleasant memories we keep 
     Of all they said and did! 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One tender hour, and then away.  

Even while we sing, he smiles his last, 
     And leaves our sphere behind. 
The good old year is with the past; 
     Oh be the new as kind! 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One parting strain, and then away.

~~~

And the hours count down...

-Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com

Monday, December 29, 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT: A Downturn for Social Media

by Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com

Guys, it looks like at the first of the year, I will have to close down all the Facebook fan pages for my books, as well as probably the fan clue group and possibly Lady Osborn's Pub. Reason: Facebook has decided to squeeze us small business peoples dry and will charge for, per my understanding...Every. Single. Post. I make that can **in any way** be considered promotional. This includes simply announcing a new book.

As it's also my understanding that Google is looking to follow, that excludes transferring to G+ as well as Blogspot, where I have my blog. It may be only a matter of time before other social media such as Twitter follow suit.

Here's what the Wall Street Journal has to say about it.

If you are interested at all in hearing about my new books, awards, sales, upcoming appearances, and the like, I'm going to ask you to please go to the link below and subscribe to my newsletter. I try to issue a newsletter no more than once a month, sometimes once every couple of months; now and again important news will urge me to send out a quick bulletin, but that's infrequent.

Subscribe to my email newsletter by emailing me at steph-osborn@sff.net please.

I'm really very sorry about the whole mess; I rather liked being able to put out quick, timely notifications of what was going on in my publishing world. But there it is, and now I must look to see what else can be done. I expect you will be seeing much less of me on social media after the first of the year, and this blog is likely to be moving soon, as well. Meanwhile, after the first of the year, this blog will go on a brief hiatus while I decide what to do about it.

-Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

by Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com


I've worn a lot of various hats in my time. Scientist (of different sorts), rocket scientist, polymath, police officer, personal trainer, storm spotter, author, among others. But one of the most important, at least to me, is licensed minister.

"What?" you ask. "How can that be? Didn't you just say you were a scientist?"

That's right, I did. 

But to me, science and theology are the obverse and reverse of the same coin. One attempts to explain how, and the other tries to say why.

And so Christmastide is one of my favorite times of year. I quite know that Jesus wasn't BORN this time of year. But did you know that, according to the various astronomical data we are given (and there's more than you might think), it is entirely possible that the Magi ARRIVED at this time of year?

And I think that's just...cool.





~~~


And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.~Luke 2:8-14, KJV



~~~
"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." ~"Linus," A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charles Shultz
"God bless us, every one!" ~"Tiny Tim," A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
And so be it -- this year, and every year.
-Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com