Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Burn, Baby, Burn: Hot Summer, Hot Peppers, Hot Stuff

Beware: Eat This Habanero At Your Own Risk!

We all know that eating can be dangerous to your health. Too many Big Macs with over sized fries = heart attack, diabetes, gout, morbid obesity, social ostracism, unemployment, depression, on and on. But this fiery little gem came out of my wife's innocent little herb/pepper garden. How harmful could it be?

How hot is a habanero pepper? Hold on, boys. Today I saw a "warning" on handling/eating them in my local Food Lion--wash your hands, wear gloves, etc. So, Terry, spice-loving girl that she is, cut one open. She had just harvested this attractive morsel and was exceedingly proud. She touched the raw pepper with her finger and then touched her finger to the tip of her tongue.

Katy, bar the door. Half an hour later her tongue and lips were still numb and she was still dancing around the kitchen. I was not laughing at her. I was all sympathy. Did I try it? Did I touch it to my tongue and dance around the kitchen in oral agony? I did not. The question remains, how in hell do you cook with these vegetables that obviously originated in some agricultural researchers nightmares.

A note about this blog: I love to write and this blog is part of my daily writing routine. I also write for, an on-line newspaper, and I'm working on another novel. That, and reading and running and working out at the "Y" and sailing and cleaning house, and yard work, and feeding insatiable cats, and lots of traveling, keep me busy in my "retirement."

And when I write for fun--and blogging is fun--I like to use the "stream-of-consciousness" method. You know, what ever comes mind is pecked out on the keyboard. What ever has been big in the media that day, what I saw on the street, what I read in the New Yorker or in the local paper, or what the cat dragged in (baby bunnies, most recently, left on the kitchen floor) is fair game for a stream-of-consciousness hacker like me.

So, if I just watched a news report about something that makes me want to rant a bit, I'll rant. Never too long, mind you. Just a short paragraph, usually. If there's a ball game while I'm hammering all this out (I write in my man cave in front of a 47' flats screen HD TV), I'll comment on that (again, just a line or two, here and there). It's just fun and keeps things from getting too serious for too long.

Now, what do we do will all those peppers?

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