Inspiration on My Left – #SoCS

It’s Saturday. It has been a crazy quilt of a week, but we are at the bar, ready to relax and think about the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘to your left.’” When you sit down to write your post, look to your left. What is the thing closest to you? Write about the memories that thing induces. Enjoy!”

Linda, Linda, Linda, if only you knew.

If we were having a beer, you’d be wondering about how I’m spending my days.

“Hey guys, I’m sorry to rush, but we’re short staffed and I’m covering the patio so I have to run. The usual?”

“Yes, Cheryl, and put it on David’s tab.”

“David’s tab? Why am I buying?”

“Because it’s your turn, David.”

“Oh. I guess you’re right.”

“Well, I hope he’s right because I don’t have time to change the order. Here’s a cold Corona, a glass of John Howell’s bourbon, a snifter of seltzer and a glass of ice…phew. Oh, and here are two cherries – gotta run.”

“Cheers Dan.”

“Cheers David.”

“Are you working on your garage-to-workshop conversion yet?”

“Not yet, but I’m getting ready to start, soon. Maybe next week, if not, the week after.”

“So, are you enjoying some daytime TV while you wait for warm mornings?”

“No. I’m not going to start down that road. When I don’t have errands to run or stuff to do outside, I’m usually at my desk, writing.”

“Have you filled that bookcase you made last year?”

“Yes, it stands just to the left of my desk and it’s filled with inspiration.”

“Inspiration? How’s that? I thought you had reference books on those shelves.”

“Well, I do have a few, but mainly it full of books I’ve enjoyed reading.”

“Let me guess, John Howell, Teagan Geneviene, Brad Lewis, the people who have been here.”

“Those authors are on the shelves, but so are Rod Serling, Richard Brautigan, Damyanti and Linda G. Hill – not to mention Bill Watterson and Gary Larson.”

“Bill Watterson? I’m not familiar.”

“Calvin and Hobbes. The bookcase is weighted down by the collected works of that comic and The Far Side.”

“You find inspiration in strange places, my young friend. Do you have an iPad on the shelf, too?”

“No, my iPad is near my nightstand. Why do you ask?”

“You can’t view your Kindle library.”

“That’s one of the reasons I buy real books whenever I can. It feels good to look over at those shelves and see the authors I respect and admire, the authors I’ve learned from.”

“Is that why you won’t lend me the books in Teagan’s new series? You’d miss the inspiration?”

“No. The last time I loaned you a book, you lost it.”

“I didn’t lose it. My cousin was reading it and she took it home with her to finish it.”

“That was seven years ago. She’s either an awfully slow reader or she has stolen my book.”

“I’ll replace the book.”

“I already have. It was too important to me.”

“So, if I want to read ‘Dead of Winter’ I have to pony up…”

“…Ninety-nine cents! Three bucks if you want the paperback. Pry your virtual wallet out of your virtual pocket and buy those books. Buy John’s books, Linda’s books, Brad’s books, buy them all and shut the TV off.”

“While you’re buying stuff, would you care to buy some food? We have Shepherd’s Pie Egg Rolls today?”

“Shepherd’s Pie Egg Rolls? Cheryl, is there anything your chef won’t wrap in an egg roll?”

“He keeps pushing the envelope, David, but these are good.”

“What do you serve as a dipping sauce?”

“Brown gravy, of course.”

“Of course. Well, as good as they sound, I was in the mood for chowder. Dan, would you care for some chowder and then splitting an order of calamari?”

“Sounds good to me, you’re buying, you get to choose.”

“I’m buying? Oh, never mind. I forgot.”

“OK, two bowls of chowder, and order of calamari and another round?”

“That sounds good, Cheryl.”

“OK, I’ll put the order in, you can go back to Amazon now.”

“I’ll let that wait, Cheryl, perhaps when I get home. Maybe it’s time to fill a bookshelf or two.”

“There you go. And Dan, you can yank one of those books off the shelf and enjoy a sleepy Saturday night.”

“Maybe, I’ll do just that, Cheryl. Oh, and by the way.”

“Put an order of egg rolls in to go? I already did.”


  1. I was with you right up to the Shepherd’s Pie Egg Rolls dipped in brown sauce. I’ll take the clam chowder, thank you. And then I’ll take your word for the egg rolls. As for reading, I have had a bedtime reading habit for decades now: I spend the last minutes of every day with either Pogo or Calvin and Hobbes. Then I can turn out the light.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kindle is a dirty word in this house. If it kills the publishing industry and my actual printed books? I’m blaming you. Great bunny shot! But I have to ask, do your cats ever get up? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of them actually standing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have hundreds of books lining bookshelves in my home, my little apartment. I can no longer physically read them but their presence is inspirational to me. A home without books is like an empty shell.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Shepherd’s Pie Egg Rolls? That’s a new one on me, Dan, but I’d definitely try some. As for books, I too prefer the look and feel of printed books. I just can’t picture myself curled up with an iPad (I have no Kindle). With reluctance I gave up on my daily Washington Post subscription after it became too expensive. I still get the Sunday edition delivered and part of my Sunday morning routine is to make my way though the paper with my morning coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Books are always a topic that brings out emotions. I love books and read 2-3 a week. That being said, my local Library keeps them on shelves for me, and I also read on my tablet when I walk on the treadmill or I’m outside. Years back, I found great satisfaction in bookshelves filled with books I’d read. Then we made a cross country move and paying by the pound and moving to a smaller home, those books and shelves had to be donated. I truly appreciate the Library ordering any book I’ve asked for. Win – Win for me. Great looking food, Dan, and I’m looking forward to hearing all about your DIY.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s nothing like paying by the pound to make you consider how many books you can keep. I did coast to coast twice, and I lost books both times. Our library isn’t as generous, but I’m sure I can satisfy my needs there for a while. Then again, I have a big pile to be read next to my bed.


  7. Like Judy, I downsized my book collection a little more when we moved. I’ve only classics, and reference books on the shelves now and order fiction on my tablet these days…with the exception of children’s books. I still buy those in hardback or paperback. I like those to be real books. Great conversation to plug Teagan’s latest work!

    That’s proper protocol with the flag on the tree. I love it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • If we had to downsize, I can’t imagine the books that would have to go. I got rid of some each time we moved, but we’ve stayed put for almost 30 years now. I feel a little bad for our daughter.

      I was impressed with the flag light. The solar collector is mounted on the south side of the tree while the light and flag are on the north side. The connecting wire wraps around the tree and it’s all barely noticeable.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m inspired to turn off the TV and read. I’ve done a bit more of that this year. Nice to have some ideas for my TBR queue. I also loved the gallery. Poor Maggie having to use her backup steps. Haha. Such a sweet doggie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t be too sad for her. She loves the idea that she has places to sit when the places we sit are off limits. PRetty soon, we’ll be needing her cot, as the steps themselves will be too hot. It’s not like she’s pampered, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Another great visit to the bar. Sweet Maddie not being able to relax on her favorite part of the deck, while MiMi and MuMu are hanging out as usual! Love flag pictures. Great idea with light. Parks look ready for company.

    The last photo is beautiful.

    Happy Mother’s Day to the editor and to all the moms following you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger! Maddie likes having a backup deck. We did make sure that bottom step was big enough for her cot and a chair.

      The last photo is my favorite.

      I don’t remember if you have kids. If so, Happy Mother’s Day. In any case, have a great weekend and give Murphy an extra scritch.


  10. Thanks for clarifying one of the reasons I have so many books. We can just look at them and remember….. I am also enjoying Dead of Winter on my kindle – great deal for 99 cents. Being a slow reader, I can finish each one before the end of the month and look forward to the next. I love the “Blossoms fade, leaves emerge….” photo. It’s like a poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons is just the Calvin fix I need sometimes. That strip was a riot–I so miss it. Your photo of the chains reflected in the rain is beautiful, Dan. First thing I thought of when I saw your title –was: ‘Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. Here I am–stuck in the middle with you. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I made a batch of clam chowder last week and it’s delicious, but I’m staying away from fried and egg roll things. You’ll have to eat my portions, Dan.

    There’s something special about holding a book in hand and that’s why I prefer it over my Kindle. I will use the Kindle for book specials, but otherwise I tend to buy paperback or hardcover, which means I need to find a bookshelf. After I find a reasonably-priced and comfy recliner for the reading corner I want to create.

    Have a great Saturday, Dan. I hope we find an end to rain and cool weather soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m pretty sure the plant with the purple flowers is Salvia. I inherited my book collection from my English Lit professor grandmother. My kids help me with downsizing my collection by taking books from it to build their collections.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Shepherd’s Pie egg rolls with brown gravy as a dipping sauce sounds delish! I really love the photo gallery this week, Dan. And, hard copy books are the best, always. Happy weekend to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Chowdah. Mmmm, although it’s hot enough today here that I’m not sure I’d enjoy it as I should or would want to. Books? Oh, yeah! Our libraries are finally open for browsing again which makes me very happy, but I’m still maxing out my e-book limit as well. I like real books best but if I can get an ebook sooner, I’ll do it. On the other hand, because so many people are getting e-books, real books are sometimes easier to reserve and certainly renewable if needed. As for books in my house–well, there are lots in all sorts of spots and plenty in boxes in the garage and that’s after serious paring before moving. :-) Love the cat shot in the first set and the bottom right in the last row of the second. Happy weekend!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. That’s MuMu in the top set, and that photo at the bottom is my favorite today. Books, every kind and everywhere. I know that moving takes a toll of books. I’m glad you managed to keep enough to anchor a few bookcases. Our library is getting ready to open again, I think in two weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There was a bit of browsing in a small section at the front of the library but not unfettered access to the stacks/shelves. Now I can roam and browse at will. :) As for enough books, I have more than enough and mean to keep it that way.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Dan, this is awesome. Thanks for including me in this post. I’m sorry to be late to the party. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of my work being on the same bookshelf as Rod Serling. I am truly honored. Just the thought of inspiring another person, let alone a trusted friend… that means the world to me. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You had me at The Far Side. You lost me at Shepherd’s Pie Eggrolls. To each his own. 🤷‍♀️I feel the same way about books, ya know. I have bought, given and re purchased The Four Agreements a dozen times. I look forward to having your name showing on my favorite shelves. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Excellent response to the prompt. You’ve got me thinking about when I made the transition from liking physical books the best to ebooks. I’m a minimalist at heart, so I don’t need a lot of stuff around me. Still, books are beautiful to behold. Two Christmases ago I received a waterproof Kindle. I can read in the bath with no fear of ruining a library book.:-) I think that was my transition point!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed our conversation. When I can, I’ll go for a book I can hold, but I see the value of ebooks. I think, as long as you’re reading, it’s a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Okay, so I don’t read as much as I’d like to. I’m busy drawing and sewing and cooking and other creative stuff that I love doing.
    Audio books don’t work for me. I can’t seem to concentrate on the story, and my work at the same time.
    Music… well, I listen to it all the time while I’m creating. Huh, go figure!
    However when I do read, 9 out of 10 times, I’m reading an author I met on WP.
    I’ve read the 1st instalment of Dead of Winter. FAB!
    I’ve been boycotting Amazon for years now!!!!
    I joined KOBO, because of Teagan. The reader is different from Kindle… so I need to take some time to wrap my head around their process. At 99 cents a book, I’ll get there!
    LOVE Shehanne Moore’s Smexy Romances a lot.
    I wrote a book. Put it on Amazon. Will spare you my annoyance with the whole experience. Yet, that is not why I boycott them.
    The closest thing to my left is a roll of toilet paper. Kleenex has become too, expensive.
    I like your bar experiences. Thank you! Lots of fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not a big fan of Amazon, but it may be the way I have to go if I ever get ready to put a book out there. I’m glad you like visiting the bar. I have been reading a lot of new authors I met on WP, including Teagan.

      Liked by 2 people

      • There has got to be another great selling, well used venue for authors, other than Amazon.
        EGADS how rich can we make one guy? One guy who doesn’t give a ship about his employees, OR US!
        I was hoping KOBO. Yet, now I see they have sold, or joined with Rakuten.
        Still, I’ll give it a whirl, and get back to you!
        Rack it up Rackuten! Rasputin?

        Thing is.. I’m older, with well honed ideals.
        Thing is … I don’t have the younger education that can build platforms.

        Perhaps an underground book store?

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Whenever I am in a bookstore, I go crazy wanting to buy books. My mother was always fussing at me for getting more books. My boyfriend loves the bookstore too. Every time he is here (he lives in NJ and I live in NC), he always wants to go to the bookstore, I beg him for us not to go. My mother kept saying that I would love a Kindle. Her friend gave her one. I finally broke down and accepted it. Now I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ah, Bill Watterson. Love Calvin and Hobbes! Almost as much as I do the work of one of the other authors you mentioned: Rod Serling. I know — big surprise, right? ;D

    Liked by 1 person

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