Saturday’s Wandering Thought

He and his wife have stacks, piles, and cases of books. Some were bought at garage and yard sales because they look interesting, on deck, waiting to be read. Classics gather dust on shelves. Library books fill the TBR piles on nightstands and desks, along with books recommended by others, gifts, books written by friends, new releases by favorites, debuts which intrigue, and books waiting to be given to others, added to little libraries, or donated to charities. Finally are the books read and enjoyed, kept on hand for surviving the apocalypse.

The Writing Moment

The editing continues. He enjoys a pause to celebrate. It’s been almost three months of editing. He’s reached page 500. One hundred remain. Pure blurt, the youngest addition, he expects the final 100 to be the toughest.

Once that’s done, he’ll begin again. At least two more scrubs are needed. Probably more.

Monday’s Theme Music

They told us it would be snowing again on Monday morning, but wow. Sunshine is splashing the land like champagne at a championship celebration. I’m digging it. So are the purr beasts.

Temperature, we’re looking at 42 F, up from overnight stays at 26. 42, the weather theorists say, will be our high today. This glorious sun entered the scene at 6:38 and sunset will come at 6:07 on the PM end. Not bad for Monday, March 6, 2023.

I’ve been reading/writing, assisting spouse with house-cleaning needs. She’s hosting her book club this month. Originally known as ‘The Number One Ladies’ Book Club’, inspired by the set of novels they were reading at that time, they don’t go by that name any longer. They’re just the book club.

Everything presented to the public has been cleaned for the book gathering. I am not permitted to be present. Standard rule across all the households. Members only, and they’ve decided, for purposes of dynamics, to keep it female only. New members ask to join and that’s thoroughly debated as the candidate is vetted. They’ve been doing this for fifteen years, I think. They rotate roles. Each month, one serves as host, another is moderator, and a third selected the book. These roles are established by requests, volunteering, discussing, and voting in December. Several original members have dropped out or moved away. One member passed away. Cancer. Don’t know what their median age is, but the cast includes retired accountants, teachers, nurses, administrators, and fitness instructors. The book club cooking phase will commence tomorrow. The meeting is Wednesday. They meet once a month.

I do get to participate vicariously through discussions with my wife as she reads and thinks about the books and researches the authors. I’ll read many of the books as well as the discussions draw me in.

An off-the-cuff remark to my spouse excited The Neurons. They responded with thoughts and music about Pandora’s Box. With a little mental dithering, I addressed the two different pop songs I know by that name. They’re wholly different. The Aerosmith version was released in 1974, and it’s a raunchy rocker. Procol Harum’s piece followed a year later, and as expected, takes a little more cerebral approach. I’ll include both today, and you can decide works as your Monday theme music.

Coffee is being enjoyed as I type. Stay positive and use your day as best as you can. Don’t be one of those who sit back at the end and say, “Well, I wasted that day.” Never a good feeling. Sometimes happens, but I try to avoid it if I can.

Here are the tunes. Cheers

Once in a Lifetime

Day 2. He rode in silence. Forty miles an hour. The open car drove itself, allowing him to gape at the scenery.

So gorgeous. He knew now what breathtaking meant.

Although he’d eaten breakfast after an overnight stop, he snacked as he went. Nervousness.

Other people weren’t encountered. Only bots. They didn’t interact. Once this had been cities. New York. Pittsburgh. Philadelphia. As climate changed and space travel advanced, people departed the planet. Pockets of humanity remained. Some worked for the place he visited, the Great Earth Library. Built in the twenty-third century, trillions of books lined the high, massive shelves. Paperbacks and hardcover books were still being published on less advanced planets.

That’s where he came in.

The car slowed. He could have teleported to the location. Where’s the fun in that?

Turning right, the small vehicle approached a librarian station. The car hummed to a halt. A bot came out.

Stiffly he climbed from the car. Stretched. Picked up the packet from the other seat.

The bot said, “Merr Liu-Gardner?”


“We’ve been expecting you. Would you like to sign our guest book? It can be done digitally with your bios or cursive on paper. Many guests prefer the latter.”

“I’ll do cursive.” He picked up the pen. Bic. Blue ink.

A fresh page awaited. He flipped to the previous page. One entry, six years before. Ngato from Mars Station Five.

Smiling, he signed his name, dated it, and added his home, Cixin Outpost, Trisolaria. Despite that name, only one sun warmed his world. Three moons, though. One red. Two white. All beautiful.

His great-grandfather named the planet and led the colonizing expedition. He’d taught his grandson cursive writing, feeling it important to know. “Let’s not let the old knowledge die.”

Poul Liu-Gardner II handed the box to the robot. “My great-grandfather wrote and published these books. The Library was established after he died but Dad always thought the books deserved to be here. Two are non-fiction, a history of our world and another about our city. The other six are fiction.” He smiled. “Three murder mysteries and three thrillers.”

“I understand. Thank you for the gift. These are the first from your world. We will shelve and honor them.”

“I know. There are more books from my world in the car. I just wanted to personally deliver these.”

“Of course. We’ll unload them.”


“Feel free to walk the shelves and enjoy the books. You can remove them from the shelves and read them here, but they can’t be removed.”

“Thank you.”

Poul II watched the bot take the books away. Lost and empty-handed, he gazed up at books.

Deep breath. Sigh.

He’d smelled books before. Grandpa Poul had established a library. Of course. Today’s smell dizzied him. Maybe it was the sheer number of books. Perhaps it was the thoughts behind them, or the readers’ thoughts.

Probably all those things. Strolling among the shelves, he thought that he might write a book. He’d always thought about writing one. The desire now was an urgent weight.

Sitting on a bench, he drew out his pad. Opened it.

A blank screen waited.

He could type. Or use voice. Grandpa Poul always printed his first rough draft.

He didn’t have paper.

His fingers tapped.

Once in a Lifetime

Chapter One

The stranger from Trisolaria was a formidable presence.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Saturday’s broken, like the first mornin’. We’re up to Feb. 11, 2023. Plenty of time for this year yet.

Sunshine cracked the day at 7:13 AM, fulfilling dawn’s potential in big way. Blue sky with striations of clouds like towels waiting for the laundry hover around Ashlandia. Sitting at 42 F., the cats are pleased with the sunshine, dry conditions, and temperatures. My spies tell me the weather prophets think we’ll see 52 F before sunshine is put behind Ashlandia’s horizon at 5:38 PM. Tomorrow, the spies whisper, it’ll be in the sixties before another front rolls in and drops us back into the land of rain and snow.

My wife continues her diet. She’s at 21 days and is enjoying its effects. Her RA pain and flares have subsided. Worst part is low energy in her opinion. I note that she’s not as mentally sharp. It’s not mentioned to her because it would depress her. She’s on a huge reading streak, going through two to four books a week, all fiction. She read Four Treasures of the Sky for her book club this week, along with Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter and Becky Chambers’s A Psalm for the Wild-built. She passed the last two on to me, recommending I read them. Dark Matter is on the pile behind Ancillary Sword. A Psalm was read and enjoyed. Fascinating and different concept and interesting story-telling style.

The Neurons have Three Dog Night singing “One” from 1969. I enjoy its drive and harmony. Harry Nilsson’s original version, meanwhile, is harmonically interesting, with a slower tempo, a more thoughtful but sadder experience. The Neurons went with the Dog but I included Nilsson’s version for comparison.

Coffee’s been drunk, breakfast consumed. Time to go write and roll. Stay pos. and have a solid Saturday.

Five Dreams, A Few Thoughts

Five dreams are remembered this morning. Takes a while to process them. I usually do this in bed, eyes closed, pulling out their sequences. What normally happens is that I have a dream and wake up with it in mind, process it, and return to sleep. Then I dream again and repeat the process. Later, I sit and freehand the dreams. Sometimes, when the dreams become larger, more involved and remembered, I type them up. And sometimes I post that result, usually without any insights I acquired, just presenting the raw dream. In this instance, because there were five sharply remembered dreams, I just wanted to share intriguing aspects of two.

I was with my father. It was Christmas. His third wife was there, too. I’d brought twelve gifts meant for my cousins. Several of those cousins are dead. I knew that in the dream. When I showed Dad what I’d bought for who, I actually said, “Even though he died,” when I introduced their gifts. Dad laughed at that and I responded, “They’re dead but they still deserve a gift.”

Gifts included beer, pastries, pasta, and books. I explained to Dad when describing the gifts, showing them to him, why I selected each present. Dad seemed particularly surprised by the beer, which was a German Pilsner with a flippy top, which were common in Germany when I lived there.

What happened next is that I went off for a bit, returning to find that Dad gave away several of the presents to the people because he forgot buy them. So instead of a gift for my cousin, Jeff, for example, Dad gave it to his nephew, Jeff. That left me speechless. In Dad’s usual style, he laughed off my protests and explained that he just said it was from both of us so what difference does it make? The people received the gift, which is the intent of the gift being bought.

I didn’t fully buy into Dad’s position but decided yes, the person getting the gift was most important, so why be an asshole about it?

He later asked me if I had other gifts to give people, because he didn’t buy gifts for others but he thought he should receive a gift. I laughed at him, mocking his lack of preparation and planning, but took him to a white chest freezer and began pulling things out. He asked me why I put them into the freezer. I answered, “Ask your wife. She gets it.”

The other dream had a segment involving a vase. I was in a dim warehouse sort of building, metal, with high, dull lights. Items were stacked on shelves, creating a labyrinth, and lots of shadowy places.

White and tall, with flowers and dragons painted on it, the vase had several cutouts. I noticed the vase and remarked on its beauty. When I did that, one of vase’s cutouts yawned wider and issued a black cloud. I jumped back, pushing the others with me back to avoid it. We discussed, “What is that?” Several, including me, believed it to be poison. We wanted to get out of there fast but there was only one narrow path out. The vase was up on a shelf at head level along the path.

We needed to pass the vase to leave, we found, because we found every other way blocked. Two attempts were made to race past the vase but it moved each time, growing larger and growling at us. Finding a hammer, I attempted to attack it. The vase counter attacked, growling more and growing larger again, issuing more scary black gas. The vase’s cutouts now had teeth.

Someone said, “You have to get rid of that vase.”

“I know,” I answered. Swinging the hammer, I knocked the vase onto the floor. It rolled toward us in a rush. I hurdled it, but it was trapping others. I rushed the vase. It spun around me. Jumping back, I dropped the hammer. Teeth bared and roaring, the vase charged me. Dodging it, I pulled a shelf partially over, stopping it from getting me. I spotted an old black, portable television on a shelf. Grabbing the television, I lifted it over my head and slammed it down on the vase. The television and vase both broke. Enough of the television remained for me to hit it again with the television.

The vase pieces were trying to come back together. Someone threw the hammer to me. It bounced on the cement floor. I seized it and hit the larger pieces of the vase. The vase hissed out wisps of the black cloud. I started kicking its pieces around, shouting at the others to run past it and escape. After the last of them had gotten past, I picked up the largest piece of vase, threw it across the warehouse, turned and ran.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: