jamesosbornenovels

Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome: About This Site

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James Osborne

Welcome! I hope you enjoy the short stories posted here, as well as the news about my books. I’d love to hear your comments. Recently we posted our 140th story and zoomed past 15,000 views.  Milestones!

Photos: The photo at the top of this page was taken in the Rocky Mountains near Banff National Park. And the background photo on this page is of a cherry tree in full bloom in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.  Ahhh, Nature!  Oh, that photo of me was taken in Palm Springs by friend Dave White.

While you’re here, please scroll down to a collection of quotes: some serious, some humorous, some profound.

Nice Things Happen

I’m delighted to tell you that one of my novels was chosen recently as a winner in an international competition. McG 2017 Winner

The Maidstone Conspiracy was selected by a panel of judges from among novels from around the world to be among five finalists in the Contemporary Fiction category. The sponsor, McGrath House,  invited the public to choose winners in each of nine categories and The Maidfstone Conspiracy was chosen as the Best Contemporary Fiction novel in their 2017 contest.

Cover Design-Maidstone Conspiracy

 

More good News:

Wow: Three books, Four Awards!  It’s still sinking in, and it’s pretty awesome. My debut novel, The Ultimate Threat, was published by Endeavour Press Ltd. of London, UK. The novel will be scary to some — hey it’s a thriller about those psychopaths called ISIS — but the sales and the wonderful reviews have been heartwarming. You can check it out here: The Ultimate Threat. I’m delighted that it placed second as Best Thriller of 2015 in an international readers poll.

The Maidstone Conspiracy is a story of passion and intrigue spanning the world, from the graceful beauty of the English countryside to the rugged grandure of the Colorado foothills. Writing this novel was great fun! Here’s the link, hope you’ll check it out: The Maidstone Conspiracy It also tied for third as Best Mystery of 2015 in the P&E poll.

shortstoryIn between the two novels, a collection of my short stories called, Encounters With Life–Tales of Living, Loving and Laughter, was named Best Short Story Collection of 2015 in the open category in P&E readers’ poll.

It contains 34 of my short stories that will inspire and amuse you, and warm your heart.

Here’s the link to Amazon: Encounters With Life com.

Even More Good News!

I’m delighted to also tell you about a great anthology to raise funds for a foundation helping families disrupted by war to get re-established. All proceeds from “Limitless” will go to the AMAR Foundation based in London, UK, under the patronage of Prince Charles.

LIMITLESS Cover

Two of my short stories were selected by the publisher and project sponsor, McGrth House, to be among 39 poems and stories from around the world included in “Limitless”. Here’s the link. The anthology was released in print and ebook formats in October. All poets and authors donated their stories.

One of my stories is a personal favorite, Dragonflies and The Great Blue Heron, which is making its third appearance in an anthology. The other story is called Rein of Error, a never before published story about a tyrannical school teacher’s intolerance of a left-handed second grader.

Dragonflies and The Great Blue Heron also made an appearance in a charitable anthology to raise funds for Canada’s branch of Doctors Without Borders.  Voices From The Valleys is a collection of 50 short stories, edited by Jodie Renner of Penticton, BC, an internationally acclaimed author and teacher.Voices_large

Here’s the link: Voices from the Valleys.

It’s encouraging to realize that my short stories now have been included in a total of nine print anthologies published in Canada, the Unites States and Britain, as well as numerous online anthologies and ezines.

Another delightful short story I enjoyed writing, Pantomine Hunter, was chosen for the anthology Tales2Inspire-The Crystal Collection, created by New York editor Lois Stern.  It has received a gratifying response from readers: Tales2Inspire-TheCrystal Collection

And just in case you need inspiration for next Halloween check out the scary anthology, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, from Solstice Publishing, which ironically accepted one of my  funny stories about a Halloween prank that backfired: http://amzn.com/1625262728.

It’s a pleasure also to let you know that two of my short stories have been published in another anthology called, Never Light a Match in the Outhouse: Funny Stories from Cottage Country. The book was published by Summit Studios and is available on Amazon: http://amzn.com/0986685666.

Another of my short stories, The Salt Lick, published on this blog, was the runner up for first prize in a contest observing the 10th anniversary of the Word on the Lake writers’ festival.  The Salt Lick was included in an anthology honoring the Festival sponsored by the Shuswap Association of Writers.

Yes, we’ve enjoyed lots of good luck, and are very grateful! For example, Dragonflies and The Great Blue Heron

finalistwas a finalist in a competition sponsored by Tales2Inspire. Another short story entered in the same competition, Barbara’s Story, an intimate true life love story, received an honorable mention from the Tales2Inspire judges.

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Links

Here’s how to reach:

Biography

My working career began in journalism and then teaching journalism, after which I took a detour through the corporate world before returning to writing. That detour included becoming vice-president of a Fortune 500 company — a mixed blessing — and then president of a management consulting firm for 10 years. Those experiences made clear that a varied life, filled with a diversity of good and occasional not-so-good experiences, provides a huge resource for creative writing.

Have a terrific day . . . You deserve it!

-o-

Quotable Quotes

Nelson Mandela (tweeted by Barack Obama after the Charlottesville, Va. riots, August 2017)

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Liu Xiaobo (Nobel Prize winner who died a political prisoner in China):

“Hatred can rot a person’s wisdom and conscience. An enemy mentality will poison the spirit of a nation and inflame brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and hinder a country’s advance toward freedom and democracy.”

Theodore Rosevelt (This is timely):

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

Voltaire:

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease.

John Heywood, 1546:

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

(His quote paraphrases a biblical proverb: Jeremiah 5-21)

John Wooden, American basketball player and coach:

Your reputation is what you’re perceived to be. Your character is what you really are.

Charles Darwin:

Survival of the fittest has less to do with being the strongest or the most intelligent, and almost everything to do with being able to adapt to change.

Ann Landers:

No one ever drowned in their own sweat

Mohammed Ali:

I feel no need to be what you think that I am.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

Thomas Jefferson:

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.

Harry Truman:

My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!

Plato:

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. 

Robert Burns:

O would some power the gift to give us, to see ourselves as others see us.

Bishop Desmond Tutu:

When the white missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.

Washington Post:

Bozone — A layer surrounding stupid people that prevents intelligent thoughts from coming through.  Source:  Washington Post annual Mensa create-a-word competition.

Albert Einstein:

Einstein once defined genius as the ability to recognize the obvious.

1. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all that we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

2. The significant problems that we have cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness with which we created them.

3.  The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch and do nothing.  

Regina Brett:

Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Lord Dunstan:

Only the closed mind is certain

Authors Unknown:

  • Trying to blow out someone else’s candle will not make yours shine any brighter.
  • Seeing clearly sometimes means opening more than our eyes.
  • Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
  • You have become a mature adult when you have learned to forgive your parents. But then you will have come to understand they did the best for you that they knew how.
  • A great sense of humor allows us to overlook the annoying, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, deal with the unexpected and outlast the unbearable.

Winston Churchill

Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling it to the public.

A Former Mentor:

The very best writing invites you in so completely that you become unaware you are reading it.

Mom’s Favorite:

It’s better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt.

George Washington:

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter

Attributed to an RC Bishop (Name Unknown)

 Religions that are mad or sad and not glad, are bad.

— 

To My Children and Grandchildren

Everyone is born with certain abilities, but it is with the ‘nourishment’ of parental guidance first, and then of other life experiences, that these inate endowments will flourish.  

— James Osborne

Some of Mine:

  • Racism: White supremists and neo-Nazis are bullies, recognizable by their stunted emotional development and pathetic inferiority complexes. This does not excuse their behavior, however these debilitating character flaws make them extremely dangerous, just like other uncivilized creatures that become vicious when threatened.

 

  • Donald Trump: This man appears incapable of resisting the temptation to humiliate himself, and to make himself and, sadly, his country the laughing stock of the world.

 

  • Sir John A. Macdonald–Deleting his name:  Then, as now, people’s attitudes were the creations of beliefs and myths that were prevalent at any given time in history. That does not excuse their mistakes. Kudos to those who caution against opportunists who would gain from to the latest politically correct fads, and more kudos to those who would encourage everyone to learn from past mistakes, right up to the present, and then to move on. Let us all remember that truth like beauty is often in the eye of the beholder.

 

  • The Omar Khadr Issue: It has been uncharacteristic and embarrassing to hear from normally rational Canadians such unbridled hatred toward him that is based above all else upon ignorance, raw prejudice and conjecture. The real culprits in this scenario are the Canadian government (Harper) and Canada’s too-often incompetent system (RCMP, DND and federal bureaucrats, not necessarily in that order) who did the deeds, and now must pay the piper, with taxpayer money. To the bigots: get over it.

 

  • On Canada and Being Canadian: Who we are as Canadians lies precisely in the delicious reality of not being defined or definable, especially by others who seek to define us with terms they use to define themselves. For much of my eight decades on this planet there has been a succession of those (who ought to know better) who prattle on about the need to define Canada and what it means to be Canadian. That discussion has become unnecessary, and manifestly tiresome. 
  • A peculiar feature of democracy is that once we’ve elected someone to office, from that point on many among us choose to vilify the person(s) we’ve chose to represent our interests, absent any genuine facts about their performance before or after taking office. The consequence is that many accomplished people who we might want to lead us, quite rightly choose to decline exposing themselves and their loved ones to the abuse and falsehoods heaped upon those in public office. Such behavior places democracy at risk, and it is unbecoming to us as responsible citizens.
  • Free speech should never be considered a license to utter criticism, or falsehoods or misinformation that is not substantiated by fact. Those who chose to do so reveal more about their own shortcomings than about those they would demean. It is so much easier to criticize what someone else has accomplished than to demonstrate how you could do it better.
  • Sometimes the answers to perplexing problems lie not in our capacity to invent solutions, but in our ability to recognize answers that lie within our reach.
  • Those who bear a grudge carry the heaviest burden. 
  • On Being Different: Those who would believe in a superior being, by whatever name they choose, must also believe that this same higher power made all things. On that basis, people of good character will recognize that some people are different from ourselves, in color, gender, speech, opinion, lifestyle, religious or spiritual beliefs, etc. Different is not an an evaluation. As I taught my children while they were growing up, “Different is only different.”
  • Celebrate differences, for therein lies the genesis for much of what we learn in life. 
  • With a book in hand, you are never alone.
  • The real measure of who you are, is not what you own but how you treat yourself and others.
  • About the Monarchy in Canada: Most Canadians seem to view HRH & Co. as something of an historic anachronism likened to a harmless old aunty we occasionally invite to family events. The fact is that precedent has relegated the  monarchy in Canada to a largely ceremonial role.  We can blame all sorts of ills on the monarchy should we feel compelled to do so (mostly sins of the past), or we can take a more constructive view by appreciating the value of the positive international attention the younger royals have brought to good works around the world today. Bottom line: those who feel oppressed by the monarchy — or by anything/anyone else for that matter — are indeed oppressed; those who do not feel so, aren’t. 

On Getting Published

Daunting Numbers:

Literary Agent Sara Megibow once worked for an agency that in one year received 36,000 queries from aspiring authors. From among those, the agency requested 839 partial manuscripts, considered 98 full manuscripts, and from all of that signed just 9 new clients.  Evidently, huge odds are not confined to lotteries.

Copyright 2012-2017 by James Osborne  All Rights Reserved

30 comments on “Welcome: About This Site

  1. Stimson Elizabeth
    March 13, 2012

    Looking good Jim! Will be looking forward to seeing updates as well.
    BA

    Like

  2. sandra tyler
    May 4, 2012

    boy, those are quite some daunting numbers. Nice blog. Visiting after your helpful comment to me on linkedin about publishing posts from blogs.

    Like

  3. I love your blog site, James. Well put together and I can appreciate the work that must have taken. Just subscribed and looking forward to your posts!!

    Like

  4. bee richards
    July 15, 2012

    Thank you for your comment about creating blogs/website et., they were very helpful. Tank you so much Bee

    Like

  5. David Murphy
    September 14, 2012

    The site looks good, James. keep up the good work!

    Like

  6. Julie Krantz
    October 1, 2012

    Nice blog, James–good luck with your books!

    Like

  7. darlenecraviotto
    October 21, 2012

    Looking forward to “following” your website here and checking out your books. Best of luck to you!

    Like

  8. Colleen Arrigoni
    October 24, 2012

    I look forward to having you sign your first best seller for me. Miss you & think of you often

    Like

  9. Jayne
    November 1, 2012

    Yep! Those numbers sure are daunting. But I’m living proof that if you hang in there, keep honing your craft and submitting your work to publishers, the golden ring is attainable. (Mind you, it took me twelve years!)

    Like

  10. val sharp
    November 8, 2012

    James:

    Like your blog and writing. Just signed up to follow. Wish you would check out my website, blog and book also @ http://www.thelavallecollection.com

    Val Sharp

    Like

  11. Nora Weston
    December 2, 2012

    Hi! Your blog is wonderful. 🙂 I really like the quotes you’ve posted too. The one By Albert Einstein is my favorite! I’m off to check out your stories.

    Like

  12. elainecougler
    December 13, 2012

    James, I’m so glad I wandered over to your blog from LinkedIn! You write with a happy, insightful tone, and I love it. Your famous quotes are telling, too. Pithy sayings are so spot on sometimes, aren’t they?

    Like

  13. Madison Woods
    December 24, 2012

    Thanks for the nomination James! I’m late to the party, but will see about catching up 🙂

    Like

  14. ianmooremorrans
    December 30, 2012

    Interesting blog, Jim. We will continue to follow it. Just so you know, we are currently blogging a children’s chapter book entitled “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie” and invite you to check it out. We’d love any feedback you could offer. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and we send best wishes for the New Year. Gayle and Ian

    Like

  15. Andy McKell
    April 8, 2013

    Hi – I have nominated you for a Liebster Award, see http://andymckell.com/2013/04/08/liebster-blog-awards/
    Keep up the good work!

    Like

  16. ianmooremorrans
    November 8, 2013

    I like the new look of your blog, Jim. (If it isn’t new, then I’ve not checked it out for awhile – just read your posts as they come into our email.) I don’t remember the blossom background. Keep up the good work. Here’s an invitation to visit our blog and vote for Ian in the current Authors Show contest “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading.” Hope to reconnect with you at our next Vernon writer’s group meeting..Best wishes. Gayle Moore-Morrans

    Like

  17. GP Cox
    December 11, 2015

    Thought I’d drop in and have a look-see. A pleasure to meet you.

    Like

  18. cmblackwood
    February 17, 2016

    Lovely blog, James! Always exciting to meet another author. 🙂

    Like

  19. amo
    March 22, 2016

    Hi Jim, nice to see your web presence! It was good to meet you tonight.
    amo, aka Angelika

    Like

    • amo
      March 22, 2016

      Thanks for the re-follow! 🙂

      Like

  20. Hugh's Views and News
    May 23, 2016

    Hi James,

    Thank you so much for contacting me via my blog, Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

    I’m currently snowed under with requests to do book reviews. I’m also about to start the process of self publishing a collection of my own short stories. Once the book is published I’ll hopefully have much more time to do book reviews, so please do keep me in mind.

    I’m meeting Olga at a Bloggers Bash in few weeks time and I’ll mention to her that you’ve been in contact.

    The very best of luck with your writing and books.

    Best wishes,
    Hugh

    Like

    • James Osborne
      May 23, 2016

      Best wishes with you short story collection. Best regards to Olga. Fabulous lady!

      Like

  21. Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    November 3, 2016

    I like the look of your blog James nice to find you today via Winnie the Pooh!

    Like

  22. ellenbest24
    November 3, 2016

    I follow now and found you via chris the reading ape’s blog. I look forward to connecting and perusing your site. Pleased to meet you. 😇

    Like

    • James Osborne
      November 3, 2016

      Hi Ellen
      Welcome aboard! Hope you enjoy the stories you’ll find on my blog. They’re mostly light-hearted/feel-good stories, like Winnie’s story. I’d value your further comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ellenbest24
        November 3, 2016

        As i would your follow… *wink wink*

        Like

  23. Andy McKell
    November 4, 2016

    13 thousand? Well done, that man. I wish you continuing success !

    Like

    • James Osborne
      November 4, 2016

      Hi Andy. It surprizes me, for sure. We’re closing in on 14K now. Keep you posted. BTW: If you scroll down, you might enjoy some of the quotes I’ve collected near the end.

      Like

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