Burnsnicht and Shakespeare’s Birthday

Today is January 25, 2016, which means it’s Burnsnicht: Robert Burns’ Birthday. Robert Burns was the poet laureate of Scotland, a poet, songsmith, and collector/editor of folk songs.  He was born January 25, 1759 in Alloway, Scotland.  He died July 21, 1796,  in Dumfries, only  37 years old.  In less than four decades, he did more living than most men managed in fourscore years and ten: farming, tax collecting, writing, collecting folk songs lest they be lost (and then editing and adapting them), seducing servantmaids and farmgirls, socializing with the intelligentsia, and offending the religious establishment. His birthday is celebrated around the world with haggis, whiskey, poetry readings, and dancing.

Today is also the birthday of singer Etta James, writer Virginia Woolf,  actor Dean Jones, Philippine president Corazon Aquino, actor Gregory Sierra, mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, scientist Robert Boyle, martyr St. Edmund Campion, and writer Deb Walsh, as well as many others.

The first Burns song I learned, and still one my favorites, is “My Luve is Like a Red, Red Rose.” Windbourne performed it at my wedding reception.


William Shakespeare’s Birthday is traditionally celebrated on St. George’s day, three days prior to his baptism.  Shakespeare’s Birthday is the goal I am setting for myself — publicly, so I can’t back out — of having my children’s book R is for RenFaire ready for publication.  It is an alphabet book, showing the things and people one might see at a Renaissance Faire.  I am investigating CreateSpace for self-publishing, among other options.  I would like to have it ready before the Second Annual Mid-South Renaissance Faire, so it can be sold at the MSRF.  I wrote the book, and selected the pictures, all but three of which were taken by the MSRF’s official photographer, R. B. Macdonald (my father-in-law).  Like C is for Cthulu, it’s intended for a slightly older audience than the usual ABC book.  I am also considering self-publishing it on Kindle as an e-book, although I really can’t imagine a child enjoying an e-book.  (My collection of western short stories, Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid) is available through Kindle for $2.99 in the USA, £2.02 in the UK, and CDN$4.14 in Canada.)

The Second Annual Mid-South Renaissance Faire will be the last two weekends of August, 8-20- 2016, 8-21-2016, 8-27-2016, and 8-28-2016, at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tennessee.



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