Obscure Music

One of my favorite past times is finding unheard of music. Music is a form of story telling that can take the listener on a journey just as much as a well written book. My taste in music covers a wide spectrum of styles and sounds.

I want to share with you on of my particularly strange and enchanting favorites, the band called “Oh Hellos.” They have a folk style, indie type sound that is what I would imagine traveling bards in medieval times dreamed of creating. Enjoy.

(The Oh Hellos – Dear Wormwood (Full Album) posted on YouTube by Salty Mittens)
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Obscure Music

Hard World Building vs. Soft World Building

There is a lot of factors in writing a fiction/fantasy novel that keeps the reader immersed in the world the writer creates. The two main ways that these are expressed in a story is through Hard World Building and Soft World Building.

Hard World Building: essentially, this method of story telling tries to fill the written world with as much logic as possible so that you as the reader is enveloped by the world. These books tend to have heavy handed descriptions of language, rules, and grounding facts.

Soft World Building: creating a world that is more up to the imagination of the reader where the themes/philosophy/visual depth that makes you imagine more than what is written. There is much more reader imagination involvement and a lack of defined lines to let the world envelop the reader in wonder.

Note: Neither of these is a “better” way of writing, they simply are two different methods with different priorities of story telling.

The video below is from the YouTuber Hello Future Me giving a great description and examples of Hard World Building and Soft Worldbuilding. Enjoy this and see how many books/movies you can find examples of these world building methods.

(“Hard Worldbuilding vs. Soft Worldbuilding | A Study of Studio Ghibli” by Hello Future Me)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hard World Building vs. Soft World Building

My Octopus Teacher

(Image of the title screen of “My Octopus Teacher” on Netflix)

A fascinating documentary of the nature photographer Craig Foster and his incredible journey in the shallow kelp forests in the Atlantic Ocean by South Africa. A stunning story of scientific and self discovery through the eyes of an unlikely teacher, an octopus. This documentary can be found on Netflix and DVD.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on My Octopus Teacher

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Snow Day

Due to the weather that is coming our way, the library will be closed Friday Dec. 23. We will also be closed Monday Dec. 26 in celebration of the winter holidays. Have a safe and joyful time. Blessings to you all.


Curtis Decker, Director of the Belmont Library

(Free clipart image from NicePNG.com)
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Snow Day

Allegany County Area Foundation

Thank you, STLS, for delivering the annual report of the Allegany County Area Foundation to the Allegany County libraries. May it be a reminder that the foundation has awarded numerous grants to our county’s libraries, and looks forward to doing so in 2023, the year of the foundation’s 40th anniversary. Check the website for the application process. Below is a link to their homepage.

(Allegany County Area Foundation webpage)

Also, please remind any high school seniors anticipating college, and any students currently attending college, that the deadline for scholarship application is February 5th, 2023. Over $290,000 was awarded to Allegany County college students this past year. The application process is online at their website.

Anyone who has questions may call the foundation director, Bruce Campbell, at (585)-296-5616.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Allegany County Area Foundation

“Children of Time” Book Review (with extras)

(Image of Tchaikovsky’s book, “Children of Time”)

When stories are told of alien life, we mean intelligent alien life usually. Some distant cosmic cousin that can talk to us and inspires technological inspiration or biological horror. But underneath the surface of many “intelligent alien” stories, the aliens are, for the most part, just as human as we are.

I think it would be more accurate to say that humans seek not “intelligent alien life,” but rather “compatible intelligent life.” That is to say, other humans. All life is intelligent. From a single cell ameba to a towering oak tree. Every life form has evolved an intelligence that fits its way of survival. Humans seek to find aliens, but rather than any kind of alien, I feel humans are looking for themselves among the stars.

All human language has evolved on Earth, no matter how distant or isolated, there is usually some means of translation. But how would we translate an alien language? What if the aliens we contact have no eyes? Or ears? What if they only speak through sent or through bioluminescence? In short, what if they are so fundamentally different from life on Earth, that we do not see them as life at all? Enter, the Compatibility Problem.

This thought experiment is all to lead up to the book review of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s work, “Children of Time.” A thrilling sci-fi adventure across thousands of years. The last humans in existence come across an ancient terraformed planet, a jewel of green in the endless void of space. Only to find that it already has inhabitants. Spiders. More than just that, but intelligent spiders. But will the two beings see each others intelligence? Or will they destroy themselves? Read this thrilling story that stretch’s the boundaries of the imagination as to what it is to be alive, intelligent, and human.

Note: the YouTube video below is how I discovered this book. The creator (Hello Future Me/Tim) presents the ideas in a compelling manner, of both science and story telling. Enjoy the thought experiment, the book, and the video. And be prepared to have your world turned upside down in the best way.

(Hello Future Me’s video on the compatibility problem and talking to aliens, from YouTube)
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “Children of Time” Book Review (with extras)

Fish in a Birdcage

Sometimes there are strange and wonderful things that go unseen in todays fast pace media driven world. If you listen to the radio or watch TV, they typically only play what is mainstream. But there is a fantastical world beyond that. Every river has eddies and off shoots, creeks and ponds. This music is a fantastical sound that I have never heard before. Enjoy this strange wonder.

(Fish in a Birdcage, music creator on YouTube)
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fish in a Birdcage

Cowboy Wisdom

My father is a cowboy, a true genuine cowboy. He trains horses, shows them all over New York and has been to the world show in Texas, he raises cattle. He is one of the hardest working people I know and a hero to me. There is a lot to be said for the cowboy way of life. It is a wholesome and unforgiving lifestyle, but it is one of the best in my opinion and I have been blessed to live it alongside my dad.

There is much wisdom to be found in cowboy culture, like the wizards of the modern era. This video is some wisdom from Dry Creek Wrangler School that I think everyone should hear. Take heart, life is a bumpy ride, but keep driving and you will get to the end.

(Note: Tobacco use/smoking)

(When You Just Ain’t Got it All Together by: Dwayne at Dry Creek Wrangler School)
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cowboy Wisdom

Animated Shorts

Animation is a splendid story telling format. There are more than just movies in the world of animation. Many creators make animated shorts, much like how authors will write short stores. The length is not so much what is important, but rather the depth meaning of the content. Like any story, these animated shorts are made around the world and are a great way to experience stories from other cultures.

Below are several YouTube videos of animated short stories that I found enjoyable and full of wonder. Enjoy the stories.

(“Let’s Eat” by: Anamon Studios, “Let’s Eat is a 8 minute animated short film that centers on the relationship between a mother and daughter in a Chinese-American immigrant family.”)

(“Rouff” by: Benjamin Brand from MAGNETFILM, an artist’s creations come to life and go on an adventure!)

(“Azdaja/The Dragon” by: Ivan Ramadan, “The film is based on the legend of the serpent-like dragon creature dwelling in remote Bosnian mountains.”)
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Animated Shorts


The library will be closed on Thursday November 24th, for Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a joyous time with friends and family. I am truly blessed to be working as the Director here at the Belmont Library and I am thankful for all that has come with this wonderful job. I wish you all blessings and wonder.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Thanksgiving