Monday, July 21, 2014

Hot Monday

"Too Hot..." (photo by C. Fries)

It's a hot Monday here. After an unseasonable cold spell last week, the temperature is building into the upper 80's and will go higher throughout the week.

I'm like my dog Max in the photo above.  When it gets too hot, I don't want to go out and play Frisbee -- I don't even want to be outside.

So today, I'll stay inside and offer you  some hot blog updates.

Hot Newsday

A while ago, I experimented with a blog idea I called "Tuesday Newsday Two-Hundred."  It was a feature I would post on a Tuesday, where I'd take a recent news story and create a short 200-word story about it.  Not 199 words, not 201 words -- 200 words exactly.

I enjoyed putting them together, but as anyone who visits here a short while realizes, my posting is far too erratic to have a regular weekly feature.

But it doesn't mean I can't still do them, right?  No!  (...and there was much rejoicing...)

I'll just take the "Tuesday" part out and post them as the mood strikes me.  Well, the mood has struck.  So, today, I offer you "Burning Fear" -- a 200-hundred-word story about a recent news item.  I invite you to read the story below, and then click the link to check out the original news piece:

Burning Fear

Tom had a burning fear of spiders.

He couldn't stand the sight of them. He would rather stick his hand into a roaring fire than touch one of the vile things, even to kill it.

An all-consuming hatred and loathing that constantly smoldered, Tom's phobia threatened to blaze into full-blown panic at the mere thought of a spider.

It was one reason why he put off doing laundry. He'd rather wear dirty clothes than have to spend time in the basement laundry room of the house he rented. It was dark and dingy, with plenty of shadowy corners for spiders to hide in.  Tom's landlord used the basement for storage, and shelves of paint cans, bins of stray hardware, and dust-covered tools provided ample cover for spider nests. 

But he could put it off no longer.  Taking his overflowing basket of clothes down, Tom scanned every corner for any spiders.  All seemed clear as he set his clothes on the rickety table.  Until he saw a huge, black spider on the wall above the washer.  

Tom knew he had to kill it.  But no way was he going to squash it.

Then he got the spark of a bright idea...

Original news story: Man Using 'Blowtorch' to Kill Spider Started Fire

Hot Blog Hop

Dianne Salerni, author of many wonderful books including "We Hear the Dead," "The Caged Graves," and "The Eighth Day" has today named me to take part in the "Not So Accidental Blog-Tourist Hop."

I have to admit that I'm normally not one for blog-hops, tagging, or blogging awards. Not that I'm some sort of elitist snob who feels I'm above all that frivolity -- I don't.  It's just that my sporadic blogging limits the amount of time I have to devote to those kinds of things, so I generally say, "no, thank you."

But I respect Dianne and her writing, know her as a really nice person, and I like the idea of the blog-hop being short and simple and open to any kind of "Creative" work, not just writing.  Plus, I admit it -- I was flattered when she asked me.  Really? You mean you want me to take part???  This still-unpublished writer who dabbles in basement-recording? Uh, wow... Okay, sure. 

You can read Dianne's answers to the blog-hop questions about her current creative project at her blog HERE.

And then -- next week (July 28), stop by here to read my answers to the same questions, and to also see the three talented people I nominate to take part.  I'm not even going to give them a heads-up.  Because I don't want to them to feel obligated that they have to keep the blog-hop going.  I just want to recognize three creative people and perhaps get you to visit their blogs. 

Hot Blog-Hop II

In another nod to some former blogging activities, I'm giving some advance notice that I'm again going to take part in the Battle of The Bands blog hop on August 1st. 

I did several of these before, but then stepped aside.  It's the same old story -- no time, limited blogging activity, rarely post, eratic schedule, yada-yada-yada...

I may not take part every time the semi-monthly blog event is held. Heck, I may never do another one after the one I post on the 1st.  Who knows? I've given up trying to figure me out.

But after seeing some of the songs featured on the 15th, I've been inspired to feature a song that I've always loved.  It's like cool water on the sensitive skin that's been out in the hot sun for too long.

Stop back on the first to take part and vote for your favorite version of the tune!


  1. I saw you'd been tagged on Dianne's blog.
    Great spider story. I bet that guy is up for a Darwin award.
    Glad you're jumping back into the Battle of the Bands. The next time one falls on a Monday, I'll join you. Or a Tuesday. I'll just post early...

    1. Thanks, Alex! And I'd love to see more BOTB posts from you -- you bring out some music that doesn't show up in the other bloggers' battles.

  2. I am completely with Tom when it comes to spiders!
    $60,000 worth of damage to the home?
    No big deal as long as the spider went up in smoke too!

    CHRIS, I'm glad to see you're going to join us again on August 1st for 'BOTB'!

    In a few hours I'll be recording the last couple of votes on my 24th 'BOTB' and determining the winner.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. You made me laugh. :) I'm no fan of spiders, but I'm not going to take it that far.

      And I'm looking forward to the next BOTB -- I think you're going to like the song I picked, and I'm curious to see which version you vote for. :)

  3. I think that was karma for killing the spider! (yeah, i'm one of those people who wouldn't kill a spider :P )

    1. Spiders do good things -- they eat tons of other bugs, like mosquitoes, which kill far more humans than spiders.

      I'd just strongly prefer that the spiders do their hunting OUTSIDE of my house. :)

  4. Thanks for the nice words,Chris! Actually, you were one of the first people I thought of, because I was looking for bloggers who dabbled in more than one art form.

    As for the blow torch guy, wow. Just wow. He is right up there with the guy who thought he could un-freeze his car engine if he heated up the gasoline on the stove first ... The result was pretty much the same.

    1. You're welcome, Dianne! And thank you again!

      And I've never heard that story -- it made me laugh! :)

  5. Hi Chris .. I think there might be a wee house fire - or perhaps a spider wash ... but great story ... and it is very hot here too .. and will be for a few more days at least ..

    It's great you've got the guitar talent too .. happy writing songs or words .. cheers Hilary

  6. Yo! CHRIS ~
    I'm looking forward to finding what it is you've got up your sleeve for August 1st.

    And by the way, I have put together a new blog which I will use exclusively for 'BOTBs' from now on. It's called: STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'.

    Below is the URL for it. So if you link to my contest on Aug. 1, would you please use this new URL? Thanks! And see ya on 8/1, Brother.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Looking forward to it too! In fact, it's already written and queued up. :)

      I've updated it to include your new blog.

    2. Thanks, CHRIS!
      See ya on the first.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  7. Wow, this post is... HOT! Lotsa smokin' good stuff here.

    I saw that article in the paper about the dufus trying to kill that poor little spider with his handy-dandy homemade version of a blow torch. (I dunno, but I think it's safe to say he killed that critter.) Now, if he were in that laundry room with his good ol' buddy, his actions might have been preceded with, "Watch this, Bubba! Hold my beer..."

    You've given up on trying to figure you out, huh? That cracked me up.

    Here's to a super weekend.

  8. Beautiful weather has been following me around for my vacation--one of the best Julys ever weather-wise.

    It will be good to have you back for the BOTB post on August 1st.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks, Arlee -- the post is already written and queued up. :)


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