Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

I’m sure you’re familiar with the old expression “the best laid plans of mice and men ofttimes go astray.” The quotation comes from Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse”, written in 1786. Probably the first known apology by a farmer to a field rodent, it relates his regret at having upturned the mouse’s nest while ploughing a field:

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren’t alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.

About that “promised joy”… Last month, with eager anticipation, I announced the impending publication of my updated and expanded short story collection, Shards: The Omnibus Edition. The book had been written, edited, and laid out. At 740 pages, it encompassed the original award-winning Shards short story collection published in 2011 and nearly 200 pages of additional brand new material. It had been sent to the printer to be published on the release date as planned. And then…


The best laid plans of mice and men ofttimes go astray. The printer encountered a problem. The book was delayed. Robert Burns, looking down from the heavens about to dine on a haggis, chuckled. So did the mouse.

Shards: The Omnibus Edition: Available now (really!) at

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