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:

Sunday, December 31, 2006

From the Tropics to the Cold: Another New Year's Eve in New England

We're celebrating tonight, celebrating my older sister's birthday, celebrating the New Year, celebrating being together as a family one more time even though the circumstances are not something normally celebrated. Mom is getting weaker physically, her mind less clear. We are gathered here in rural western Massachusetts, the Bershires, our family's home for so many years, to care for her.

The transition from the jungle to the winter Bershires was pleasant enough, considering the twenty-three hours of traveling and the vast difference in temperature. I'm staying at my younger sister's house, back up a dirt road in the forest, on the edge of a clear, cold, ice-covered pond. No neighbors in sight. I was sung to sleep by the music of a passing freight train which reminded me of the words of a Paul Simon song, "Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance, everyone believes it's true." This morning, I was up alone at 6:00, put on coffee, and built a fire in the fireplace, made a quick trip out to the woodpile for more firewood, and had my breakfast. Then, off to Greenfield to be with our parents for the day. Was a nice irony, scraping the frost/ice off the truck's windshield with my Guam driver's liscence.

All told, the cold feels good, being with family feels great, I miss Terry, who is back in Guam on the boat, and I've got three weeks left before I fly back to her. The woodsmoke, the ice, the dim winter sky, and driving an old truck filled with tools and sawdust makes me feel at home, makes me feel like a New Englander again.

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