Hoist By My Own Petard

I screwed up big time today. I got hoist by my own petard. Huh? I got what? What exactly does that mean?

Well, a “petard” is a small bomb, a container full of gunpowder used to blow open locked gates or fortified doors or walls. If you are “hoist by your own petard,” you get blown up — lifted off your feet, or hoist — by your own bomb, and you have no one to blame but yourself.

So what did I do to get hoist by my own petard? My Fandango’s One-Word Challenge today was “essay.” All well and good, right? Well, not so much, actually. I checked my spam and trash folders a few minutes ago and much to my chagrin, all comments and pingbacks to my FOWC with Fandango post today went directly into my trash folder!

Why was that happening? Simple. Late last year I started receiving tons of spam from people offering to write essays that I could buy. I ended up adding the word “essay” in my blocked comments list. Thus, anytime the word “essay” appeared in a comment on one of my posts, it bypassed spam and went directly to trash. So when I used the word “essay” as my prompt word today, all of your comments containing that word went to trash.

And that’s the sad story of how I was hoist by my own petard today.

I have tried to go through my trash folder and restore and approve all of those wrongly trashed comments and pingbacks, but I may have missed some. Sorry about that.

By the way, a lot of spam has showed up today containing the word “kratom.” Does anybody know what that is?

5 Things — What I Like to Write

Dr. Tanya, over at Salted Caramel, has this prompt called “5 Things,” where she asks us to list five things about a particular topic. For this week’s topic, she’s asking about five types of posts we love to write. So, in no particular order…

Flash fiction — I enjoy writing flash fiction posts, many of which are stories I create in response to word or photo prompts from other bloggers.

Prompt posts — I enjoy writing and hosting prompt posts that other bloggers can use for inspiration.

Non-fiction posts — Most such posts these days are about the lunacy of American politics or other current events with commentary, personal perspectives, and opinions about what is going on in the world around us.

Q&A posts — There are a number of bloggers who regularly pose questions for us to answer. Sometimes the questions are serious ones, sometimes they are a mixture of serious and funny ones, and sometimes they are all fun and games. I enjoy trying to display common sense, wisdom, and wit in my responses to such Q&A prompts.

This, that, and the other posts — This is a catch-all since there are no other specific types of posts I “love” to write. I will occasionally try to write poetry, but I’m really bad at it. And I enjoy Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday prompt, but that’s about it when it comes to writing posts that focus on music.

Truthful Tuesday — Cutting the Cord

Frank, aka PCGuy, has published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts, and this week Frank wants to know…

How do you watch TV? Do you just watch whatever local channels your digital antenna can pick out of the air, or do you subscribe to cable or satellite, or have you jumped on the streaming bandwagon? Perhaps it’s some combination thereof, or perhaps you don’t even watch TV. Whatever the case, please enlighten us!

According to my WordPress stats, my blog has more than 4,600 followers, but it seems that there is only a small fraction of those “followers” who actually read my blog on a regular basis. Cable TV is like WordPress followers. There are hundreds of cable TV channels, but most of us regularly watch only a small fraction of the channels available. And because cable providers bundle so many channels into packages or tiers, you end up paying for channels you rarely, if ever, watch.

Earlier this year, I cut the cord. I dumped my cable provider, Xfinity/Comcast, in favor of steaming. I bought a Roku Streaming Stick and subscribed to a handful of streaming services plus local broadcast TV stations. And I essentially get everything that I had been watching on cable TV for less than half the cost.


Fandango’s Story Starter #1

It’s high time to get you guys inspired with yet another writing prompt from yours truly, Fandango.

I’m not sure how much interest there will be in a new writing prompt, as writing prompts these days abound. But let’s give it a few weeks and see if it gains any traction, okay?

Here’s how it’s going to work. Every Tuesday morning (my time), I’m going to give you an incomplete “teaser” sentence and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a story (poetry or prose) around that partial sentence. It doesn’t have to be the first sentence in your story, and you don’t even have to use it in your post at all if you don’t want to. The purpose of the teaser is simply to spark your imagination and to get your storytelling juices flowing

This week’s teaser is:

Don’t you dare come any closer…

If you care to write and post a story built on this teaser, be sure to link back to this post and to tag your post with #FSS. I would also encourage you to read and enjoy what other bloggers do with this teaser, assuming (hoping?) that some bloggers will give it a shot.

And most of all, have fun.

FOWC with Fandango — Essay

FOWCWelcome to July 6, 2021 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “essay.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.