Sunday, January 15, 2012

To Drive The Cold Winter Away

All hail to the days that merit more praise

Than all the rest of the year

And welcome the nights that double delights

As well for the poor as the peer.

Sweet blessings attend each merry man's friend,

Each does but the best that he may,

Forgetting all wrongs with poems and songs

To drive the cold winter away.


The poorest of all now do merrily call,

When at a fit place they can stay,

For a song or a tale or a cup of good ale

To drive the cold winter away.

From the traditional song, "To Drive the Cold Winter Away"

There are lots of things we do, this time of year, to "drive the cold winter away." For me, one of the best ways to achieve the goal, to put a song in the heart and a smile in the soul, perhaps even some warmth in the crinkling toes, is to read a book.

The idea of that song, "To Drive the Cold Winter Away" shares a spiritual kinship with the notion of taking a "kick at the darkness" (thanks, Bruck Cockburn). In Canada, and even in much of the Northern Hemisphere in general, the winter months are the cruellest of all, offering barely a hint of hope that spring will soon arrive, that the darkness will relinquish its bruising grip. So we make our own light, much as we do in many ways throughout the year. Anyway, as is my wont, my attempt at cheerfulness often winds up as a study of the darkness that binds us all. (And, yes, I almost succumbed to the Tolkien Effect there. Thank you for noticing.)

In honour of the fact that winter now has us in its relentless grasp, and because I have a very generous publisher, it feels like a good time to offer up some more free books, as a sacrifice to the Gods of Winter, in the hopes that they will see fit to set us free at some point in the not-too-distant future. It's not a sacrifice of virgins, but I think it's more humane and not at all misogynist in nature. I think it's better that way.

So, here's the deal:

If you'd like to win a signed copy of my short story collection, Moonlight Sketches, just drop me an email at or join me on Facebook and click "like" on the post that mentions this offer.

This time, because, I said, I have a VERY generous publisher, I'm giving away TWO copies and so there will be two winners. Also, I expect to have another drawing in the coming weeks and will retain your name for that drawing as well. So your chances of winning are quite good. I'll do the drawing next Friday evening (January 20) at 7 p.m. Newfoundland time (5:30 p.m. Eastern). I'll put all the names into my artsy hemp fedora and, with eyes closed, draw out two names and notify you via my blog and Facebook. So check there to see if you've won.

This drawing isn't just meant for people who haven't picked up the book yet. If you've bought it and simply want a signed copy (for yourself or as a gift to someone else who doesn't have it), you are quite welcome to enter, wherever you are.

I should add that all this has come about because I gave away a copy of Moonlight Sketches before Christmas and, with so many entries, I felt terrible not being able to give away more than just one. The amazing Donna Francis at Creative Publishers (who are also publishing my novel, Finton Moon, in the spring) immediately wrote me an email, asking if I would like to give away more copies, which she would gladly supply. So all of this, really, is because I'm a sook.

Anyway, I hope you enter. And if I don't have you on FB yet, consider coming on over. Maybe you'll "like" it.

Groan, eh?


1 comment:

  1. Can't pass up a chance at a free book, especially since JoAnne says I should read you--so sending off an email STAT.