Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I know I promised an article on SPEARED by the end of the month -- which would make it today, as the last Wednesday of the month. But my SPEARED colleagues -- Dr. Arlan Andrews and Mr. Thomas Ligon -- and I have been very busy writing an article on the concept for Analog magazine; we just submitted it, and we're waiting to hear if it has been accepted. Since Analog only takes material that hasn't been published before, I can't excerpt the article for this blog (not yet, anyway), and I haven't  had time to write something different. I've been very busy since we turned it in, with friends visiting from out of town, Chattacon appearances, and an early-morning interview on one of the local CBS Radio Network affiliates.

It only just dawned on me about an hour ago that this was in fact Wednesday, blog day! For some reason, I had it in my head that I had another day to write the thing, and the time has gotten away from me.

So I will try to figure out how to write something about it for you, my readers, something that won't infringe on Analog's requirements, and I will post it sometime in the next few weeks. I'm quite excited about it, and I hope to save lives in future space endeavors. In the meantime, please forgive the lack of content today.

-Stephanie Osborn

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Guest Post: Amy Thomas of Girl Meets Sherlock

-Stephanie Osborn

Like me, Amy Thomas is a writer of Holmesian pastiche, and like me, she keeps up with the media portrayals of Sherlock Holmes. She recently wrote a powerful blog article in defense of the notion that the Great Detective is NOT the inhuman, unfeeling thinking machine that many -- Watson included -- would have us believe. With her permission, I reprint that article here. Note that I have delayed its release by a couple of weeks over her release; she watches BBC America and gets the BBC Sherlock episodes at the same time as the UK, but I wanted to wait a bit until after the referenced episode airs on PBS here in the States. My reason for cross-posting her blog article is because I too have been criticized for daring to "humanize" Holmes, let alone allow him to feel, and I think she makes an excellent case for the notion that Holmes is not the stereotype he has come to appear to be.

by Amy Thomas

This post will contain spoilers for the first two episodes of Sherlock Series 3.
Sherlock - Series 2
Let's get one thing out of the way at the outset, namely, what this post is not intended to do: This post is not intended to convince anyone to like "The Sign of Three," Sherlock the show, or anything else. Liking is a matter of taste, and no one should be bullied because their taste is different from someone else's.
That aside, what is the purpose of this? Well, it's pretty obvious by now that this series of Sherlock has been polarizing from the get-go, particularly "The Sign of Three," which aired January 5th and has been the source of debate ever since. Some people loved it; some people hated it--I've seen very few opinions in between. The specific criticism I'm addressing in this post is the idea that the level of emotion, sentiment, and overall warm-fuzzies in "The Sign of Three" was somehow anti-traditional, in opposition to, or different from the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
I've now written two posts outlining canonical references in "The Empty Hearse" and "The Sign of Three." What I'm doing now is mounting a more in-depth canonical defense of "Sign," using specific ideas and quotes originated by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
I'm going to do this three ways: Holmes’s character arc, story themes, and direct quotes. By no means is this intended to be an exhaustive survey of the whole canon; we could be here all day. I'm simply providing a jumping-off point to remind us all what Sir Arthur, surely the ultimate authority on the character of Sherlock Holmes, actually had his character do and say and how that relates to "The Sign of Three." After all, if we’re going to throw around comparisons to the canon, we want to know what it actually says, right? Let’s get into it.
Part I: Holmes’s Character Arc
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was in his 20s when A Study in Scarlet, the introductory Sherlock Holmes story, was first published. He was nearly seventy when The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes was published. In the intervening years between the two, he published over forty stories about Holmes, and those stories, contrary to cultural perceptions of Sherlock Holmes, do not paint a picture of a static character who remains entirely the same.
The protagonist of A Study in Scarlet is very young (only a few years out of university, Watson tells us) and certainly the seemingly cold, calculating, socially awkward Sherlock we meet in “A Study in Pink.” He continues that way for some time, leading Watson to say of him in one of the earliest stories, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” that, “All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind.”
Lots of entertaining adventures and comradeship ensues, and then something big happens, something huge, in fact. In “The Final Problem,” Sherlock Holmes decides that giving his life is worth saving his friends. He leaves a note. Let’s talk about it. In this short death-note to Watson, Sherlock Holmes calls him “dear” no less than three times, and states, “I fear that it is at a cost which will give pain to my friends, and especially, my dear Watson, to you.” This is a man who has friends and acknowledges them and regrets giving pain to the one he cares most about. It’s not a stretch to imagine the man who penned these words penning a speech that calls John Watson, “the bravest and kindest and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing,” as Sherlock did in “The Sign of Three.”
Moreover, in the canon of BBC Sherlock, all of series three is taking place post-hiatus, when Sherlock is back from the dead. Most scholars of Doyle would, I believe, agree that there are some general differences in the canonical Holmes stories pre- and post-hiatus. One of the most notable, in my opinion, is a believable softening of Holmes’s character as he ages. In his first return story, The Empty House, he says, “So it was, my dear Watson that at two o'clock to-day I found myself in my old armchair in my own old room, and only wishing that I could have seen my old friend Watson in the other chair which he has so often adorned.” This is hardly a man who shies away from stating his obvious affection for his best friend.
As the stories continue, so continues the increasing warmth. Famously, in “The Three Garridebs,” Holmes says to a criminal, “By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive. Now, sir, what have you to say for yourself?” The idea of Holmes making his first and last vow to protect his friend and family in “The Sign of Three” mirrors this quote closely.
In the interest of brevity, I’ll stop here, but an examination of Holmes’s character from the beginning to the end of the canon reveals subtle changes. A young man becomes an old one, and a mind that begins by valuing everything else above friendship is ultimately unafraid to acknowledge his warm attachment. For maximum evidence of the character’s progress, pick a story from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and a story from The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes and read them in immediate succession.
Now that we’ve discussed the changes in canonical character of Sherlock Holmes, let’s move on to the pride of place that sentiment has in many stories from the canon.
Part II: Story Themes
This is the section that threatens to get away from me with respect to length, because the idea that the level of sentiment inherent in the execution of the wedding theme in “The Sign of Three” is somehow in opposition to the canon of Sherlock Holmes is so erroneous that almost every story disproves it somehow. Nevertheless, I’ll try to hit some of the high points, while strongly encouraging those in doubt to go back to canon for themselves.
First, the mother of them all, A Study in Scarlet. For those who are unaware, the plot of Holmes’s first story is entirely based on romantic passion. It’s about a man named Jefferson Hope exacting revenge against those responsible for the death of the woman he loved. The section of this novel that concerns their love story (“The Country of the Saints”) has some of the purplest prose anyone could ever wish to find. For example, this description of Hope’s beloved,
“Many a wayfarer upon the high road which ran by Ferrier's farm felt long-forgotten thoughts revive in his mind as he watched her lithe, girlish figure tripping through the wheat fields, or met her mounted upon her father's mustang, and managing it with all the ease and grace of a true child of the West. So the bud blossomed into a flower, and the year which saw her father the richest of the farmers left her as fair a specimen of American girlhood as could be found in the whole Pacific slope."
Suddenly, Sherlock’s gentle assertion that Mary is worthy of John in “The Sign of Three” barely seems to register on the sentimentality scale, and this is but one quote from a novel filled with such passages.
Let’s continue. Several Holmes stories contain weddings and wedding themes. Off the top of my head, I can think of “The Noble Bachelor,” “A Case of Identity,” and “A Scandal in Bohemia,” in which Holmes ends up being part of the ceremony.
Other stories are sentimental in other ways. “The Yellow Face,” which is notable for Holmes making a mistake in it as well as its intense lack of modern political correctness, is centered around a family melodrama, the climax of which is as follows:
“’And now to-night you at last know all, and I ask you what is to become of us, my child and me?’ She clasped her hands and waited for an answer.
"It was a long ten minutes before Grant Munro broke the silence, and when his   answer came it was one of which I love to think. He lifted the little child, kissed her, and then, still carrying her, he held his other hand out to his wife and turned towards the door.”
Such emotional scenes are never far from Doyle’s pen, and several stories contain them. Additionally, “The Dying Detective” has a plot that almost entirely centers around Watson’s ever-increasing emotional desperation over the fact that he thinks Holmes is dying. It’s hardly a cracking caper; it consists of a middle-aged man trying to save his friend while experiencing utmost distress.
Yet another aspect of the canon, seen in The Sign of Four in particular, is the Baker Street Irregulars, the network of children Holmes employs to prowl the London streets looking for clues. Holmes fondly calls them, “the unofficial force,” and Doyle pens them with equal parts humor and sentiment. Those who found either the sentiment of “The Sign of Three” or the humor found in sections like Holmes’s encounter with the little boy named Archie anti-traditional would do well to re-read the chapter Doyle named for the Irregulars.
Now that we’ve looked at some (though far from all) of the sentimental themes in the canon, let’s look at specific Doyle quotes that echo the tone of “The Sign of Three.”
Part III: Direct Quotes
Again, we would be hear all day if I reproduced every single sentimental quote from the canon, so I’ll limit myself to a few meaningful ones:
“I think she is one of the most charming young ladies I ever met and might have been most useful in such work as we have been doing.” (Holmes on Mary Morstan in The Sign of Four)
[ it said ]:I write these few lines through the courtesy of Mr. Moriarty, who awaits my convenience for the final discussion of those questions which lie between us. He has been giving me a sketch of the methods by which he avoided the English police and kept himself informed of our movements. They certainly confirm the very high opinion which I had formed of his abilities. I am pleased to think that I shall be able to free society from any further effects of his presence, though I fear that it is at a cost which will give pain to my friends, and especially, my dear Watson, to you. I have already explained to you, however, that my career had in any case reached its crisis, and that no possible conclusion to it could be more congenial to me than this. Indeed, if I may make a full confession to you, I was quite convinced that the letter from Meiringen was a hoax, and I allowed you to depart on that errand under the persuasion that some development of this sort would follow. Tell Inspector Patterson that the papers which he needs to convict the gang are in pigeonhole M., done up in a blue envelope and inscribed "Moriarty." I made every disposition of my property before leaving England and handed it to my brother Mycroft. Pray give my greetings to Mrs. Watson, and believe me to be, my dear fellow
Very sincerely yours, SHERLOCK HOLMES.” (Holmes’s farewell note in “The Final Problem”)
"Then my friend's wiry arms were round me, and he was leading me to a chair.
"’You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt!’
"It was worth a wound -- it was worth many wounds -- to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.” (“The Three Garridebs”)
Many, many more such quotes pepper the canon, and I cannot recommend discovering them for yourself highly enough.
The Doyle canon spans years of a writer’s life and a character’s soul. It is filled with the entire range of human existence. Yes, there is murder and mayhem, but there is also a bevy of weddings and romances and embraces.
It is Doyle’s Watson himself who goes from telling us in “A Scandal in Bohemia” that love and emotion are abhorrent to the mind of Sherlock Holmes to telling us that the detective loves deeply is in possession of “a great heart as well as of a great brain.” Similarly, the creators of BBC Sherlock introduced us to a man who believed the only reason he needed a friend is because genius must have an audience and proceeded to develop that man, through trial and experience, into someone who understands the value of companionship and love, to the point of recommending it to his own brother.
Doyle was a writer who understood that reason and emotion are both necessary parts of human existence, and he peppered the canon with both, through his characters, his themes, and his plots. In its first two series, Sherlock showed us a great brain. In “The Sign of Three,” it gave us a great heart. I believe Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would approve.

So do I, Amy, so do I! Do be sure to check out her blog, Girl Meets Sherlock: A Holmesian Blog, and check out her book, The Detective, The Woman, and the Winking Tree!

Also I'm proud to note that I appeared on national television this past Sunday morning. CBS Sunday Morning filmed numerous items at 221B Con last April in Atlanta. Some of it focuses on me for a short bit, and I'm in the background of several interviews at the convention (though never interviewed myself) because they liked the scenery, so they told me. If you want to watch the whole thing, it's here. Not a big deal where I'm concerned, and never was, but hey. It's still cool.

-Stephanie Osborn

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Buy, Read, Talk: How to Help a Writer's Career, by Katherine Addison

I know that last week I promised a blog on SPEARED today, but I encountered this blog recently and I just can't say how important it is that the readers of a particular writer know these things and do them whenever possible. So with her permission, I am reposting this blog of Katherine Addison/Sarah Monette, which she posted first in her Notes from the Labyrinth blog. I promise you an article on the emergency orbital atmospheric re-entry device later this month!

-Stephanie Osborn


Back in 2009, when my career as a novelist went into a nosedive, somebody asked me what my readers could do to help. I apologize wholeheartedly to that person, for I no longer remember who they are. At the time, I didn't have a good answer, both because I really didn't know and because there was, at that point, nothing readers could do.

But now, five years later, when The Goblin Emperor is finally coming out this April (under my penname Katherine Addison, since alert readers have pointed out that I should probably mention that), I do have an answer, and I'm offering it up--not merely on my own behalf, but so that you all, as readers, know how to help the career of any writer whose work you like. And, as it turns out, the answer is simple. There are three major things any reader can do to support a writer:


I cannot emphasize this strongly enough. Buying the book is absolutely the best thing you can do to help a writer. And that means buying the book when it comes out.

That's easy for my book in this particular instance: it's a standalone. But I know there are a lot of people--and I'm one of them--who much prefer to wait to buy the books of a series until the series is complete. The problem is that the message that strategy sends to publishers isn't, "I'm waiting to buy this book until I can buy all the books." The message it sends is, "I'm not going to buy the book." And you end up with a situation like I was in in 2009: by the time the fourth book came out, the second book was out of print (so that readers who were waiting for the series to be complete were now unable to buy all the books), and Ace had already decided not to offer me a new contract. By the time the series was complete, in other words, my publishing career with that publisher was already over; people buying the fourth book (and Corambis, like The Mirador, is still in print) had no effect on my career at all. It was too late.

Another grim--and frequently realized--possibility is that later books of a series never come out at all. Publishers don't necessarily buy all the books in a series when they buy Book One. (Again, to use me as an example, Ace bought Mélusine and The Virtu together, but they didn't buy The Mirador and Corambis until two years later when they'd had a chance to see the sales figures on Mélusine, which is the only one of the four that earned out its advance.) If they don't like the sales figures on Book One, they may choose not to buy the later books at all. Again, the people who were waiting to buy the series never register as potential sale; they register as No Sale.

So if you're one of those people who prefers to wait (and I promise you, I understand and I sympathize), buy the book anyway. Again, this isn't just about my career, because it isn't just in my case that publishing works this way. Any author you like, if they start a series, buy the books as they come out. Nobody will make you read them until the series is complete, and buying the books as they appear is the only direct way you can tell the publisher you want the series to continue.


(I know this is self-evident, but it just felt weird leaving it out.)


There is an indirect way you can tell the publisher you want the series to continue, or the author to be offered another contract, and that is to tell everyone you know that you like the book.


Nobody actually understands why readers choose to buy the books they do. Nobody understands why J. K. Rowling took the world by storm and Diana Wynne Jones never did. Nobody understands why The Name of the Rose was a best-seller. Or Fifty Shades of Gray. Or A Game of Thrones. Publishers are trying their damnedest to find the books that will replicate this phenomenon, but they do it by guess and gamble, and when they succeed, they don't know why, either. Nobody knows why people buy books.

The thing we do know is that word-of-mouth is the best and most persuasive way for a potential reader to find out about a book.

So if you like the book, tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your co-workers. Tell anyone you know who you think might like it. Blog about it. Write an Amazon review of it. Ask your library to buy it. (And if you can't afford to buy the book yourself, getting the library to buy it and checking the book out is an excellent alternative.) Get your book club to read it. Spread the word.

Now, none of this is obligatory. I'm not issuing commands here. I'm saying that, if there is a writer whose books you like, these are the best things you can do to help their career continue. And it holds true for self-published authors, as well. The mechanics are different, but those fundamental needs are the same. Authors need readers first and foremost to read their books, because without that, none of this even matters. But to make their careers flourish, authors need readers to buy their books and to talk about them.

Buy, Read, Talk. (Like Eat, Pray, Love, only for books.) That's my answer. That's how readers can help the career of an author whose works they enjoy.

And my first resolution for 2014 was to make this post.


This is great advice. And it is all very true. For example, with my Displaced Detective series, the initial contract was for the first four books. All books after that are not guaranteed. If sales should dip, or if the publisher doesn't like a manuscript for whatever reason, she has the option to not buy it. But if sales are going great, she is apt to buy it even if she personally doesn't much like the manuscript -- because, obviously, others do, because they're buying 'em.

Moreover, it is better for the author in the long run if you purchase your books through a regular dealer -- Amazon, Barnes-Noble, an independent bookstore -- than from the author at an event (convention, book fair, et cetera). The reason for this is that the books purchased from the author were purchased directly from the publisher BY the author, and don't factor into things like royalty statements, let alone sales ranks. In other words, they're mostly invisible to the publisher, unless s/he sits down and actually reckons up how many books you've sold -- a situation which rarely happens. Yes, the author gets the benefit of instant cash, but that may be at the cost of future books.

I would like to respectfully request that my readers follow this procedure whenever possible. If you like my stuff, tell others. If you like someone else's stuff and think I would too, tell me! This is far and away the MOST EFFECTIVE MARKETING on the entire planet.

And most importantly, thanks for reading my stuff!

-Stephanie Osborn

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Taking a short break

by Stephanie Osborn

Hi guys! I'm sorry to disappoint you today, but I've just come off a very busy holiday season, I'm working on three different books, and I just haven't had a chance to devote time and grey matter to a blog article for today.

We have family scattered over three states, and everybody does stuff at different times, beginning at Thanksgiving. See, there's my in-laws, who do lunch. My family, who does dinner. Oh, and my sister's birthday is Thanksgiving weekend, so we have to celebrate her birthday while everyone's in one spot. And traditionally we all decorate my parents' Christmas tree too, because again, all in one spot. All that makes for one very long, very eventful, very fun day.

Plus my husband, graphic artist and award-winning magician Darrell Osborn, scheduled several really cool shows for us to attend -- such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the Opryhouse in Nashville TN. And the Mythbusters Behind the Myths Tour.

So we did a lot -- a LOT -- of traveling. Pretty much all day trips, but still. It was a good holiday season.

Meanwhile, I'm working on, like I said, three different books. Four really, if you count the one I'm editing. Okay, there's five I really need to work on. Six, if you count the one that's at the publisher's editor right now. (Yeah, I am a busy little -- LOOK! SQUIRREL!)

I'm working on the Cresperian Saga book #4, which will be titled Heritage. I've kind of decided that, well, I'm already the THIRD author to have worked on the series, maybe it should be one of those "shared universes" things, like the 1632 Series (into which I've been invited to venture, by the by, just as soon as I can dig out from under). So I've invited another author to come in and co-author with me, and he's agreed. More about that at a later date, but it'll be fun, and it'll help provide my co-author with some good experience and training, and most importantly we will get the current Cresperian War story arc tied up. I don't plan on closing off the book with a hard series ending, because I think this might be a fun series, like I said, to be a shared universe, and just maybe my co-author and others might want to kick up their heels in it.

The book at the publisher's editor is the fifth Displaced Detective book, entitled A Case of Spontaneous Combustion. I swear to you that the story is contained in one volume this time! I'm currently waiting for edits to come back from the publisher, then I'll have to review them and incorporate them. The core of the mystery involves a tiny village in England, on the Salisbury Plain, which is wiped out in an apparent mass spontaneous combustion. Holmes is, naturally, brought in to investigate, and hijinks ensue.

I'm writing book 6 in the same series, and it's going to be called Fear in the French Quarter. I'd had an idea for a story in the series, but I was going to set it in a castle in Europe someplace, much later on in the series sequence. But back in October I was a special guest at a science fiction convention in greater New Orleans, called CONtraflow. It was HUGE fun, made more so by getting to play tourist while we were there. I got to try alligator (I love it!) and visit Cafe du Monde, and prowl the French Quarter with friends (one of which had been a Tulane student, so knew the area well), and generally enjoy myself. (I already knew I liked crawdads, gumbo, jumbalaya, and beignets.) So I'm walking through the French Quarter at night and suddenly in my head I start hearing Holmes and Skye talking, making comments about the place, and I realize they're having their own adventure -- someplace out there in the multiverse where they exist and are real!

I started writing that story the next day.

It's already completely plotted out; I just need to get it into the computer in readable form. It's basically a ghost story -- since NOLA is rumored to be the most haunted city in the world, it seemed an even more natural setting than an ancient castle, for that sort of thing.

Book 7 in that same series was originally going to be book 6, until the plot bunny of Fear in the French Quarter hit. So I just slid it on back -- it works even better that way, I think -- and so I've started A Little Matter of Earthquakes. Actually had started it early in 2013, but I'm still working on the science to make the central concept doable, aided by my friend and grad school mate, physicist Dr. James K. Woosley. (He makes a great partner to brainstorm scientific concepts, being a huge SF fan himself.) So sliding it back a bit, like I said, works well, not only in terms of my work load, but in terms of the flow from book to book of the series. What's it about? Eh, just what it sounds like: seismic activity is ramping up in the Pacific Northwest. The problem is that it's even occurring in places that, geologically speaking, it shouldn't. When an old friend of Skye's from their graduate school days is killed in a phreatic eruption, the Holmeses attend the funeral, and discover the unusual nature of the seismic activity.

And Book 8 is that book I told you I was editing on, but haven't submitted yet. The Adventure of Shining Mountain Lodge was written before I even finished Book 5, but it requires some building of history among the characters. It's finished, I just have to tweak it periodically to account for things that get included in 5, 6, and 7. A wetback is found in the middle of a snowdrift in January in Rocky Mountain National Park, half-starved, barely dressed, filthy and battered...and dies almost before they can get him to the hospital. Of radiation exposure.

The book that I need to be working on is the sequel to Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. It's in work...slowly. It's called Escape Velocity. And it picks up pretty much where Burnout left off.

But you're going to have to be very very patient with me for this one. It took me over a decade just to write Burnout, because it hit so close to home. I spent over two decades working console for space missions of one sort or another, much of it for Shuttle and Station, and my main focus was getting the science while protecting the astronauts. When I lost a friend aboard the Columbia disaster, it devastated me. It was all I could do to keep working on Burnout. It was written, but it needed polishing, see. And I find that Escape Velocity is just as hard to write, and for the same reasons. So it comes in fits and spurts. I plan to try to get it completed in 2014 though. Because I've also developed a concept that my partners and I believe will ensure that no one else has to die like KC did.

I'll tell you about SPEARED next week, if y'all are interested.

-Stephanie Osborn

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Old Year Ends; A New Begins

by Stephanie Osborn

(Reposted/edited from New Year's Eve 2012)

I wanted to do something kind of special for this New Year's. When I discovered the poem below by the celebrated William Cullen Bryant (who may or may not have been my kinsman), I knew I had found my "something special." Sit back, sip a cup of something hot and soothing, and reminisce over the year 2013, as you read this lovely, thoughtful goodbye.


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.