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, July 9, 2007

Water, There Must Be Water

How can anyone live away from the water? I ask myself this. When I fly across America, when I rode the Trans-Siberian Railroad across Mother Russia, when I lived in the middle of Germany for twelve years--all these people living without the sea--or most without even a pond--where does the sustenance for their souls come from if not water?

So, here is the Eastern Shore of Virginia, that great undiscovered peninsula that is a essentially a huge farm--Iowa, say--surrounded by water. On one side, the western side, there is the great Chesapeake Bay, on the eastern side there is the inevitable Atlantic. In the middle is an utterly flat, rich land where thousands and thousands and thousands of acres of crops are tilled by Mexican workers (legal? who knows). They plant, grow, and harvest, by my observations so far, corn, tomatoes, soy beans, wheat, and cucumbers. There are smaller operations that produce green beans, melons, squash, and zucchini. And then you see the huge chicken corporations, Tyson and Purdue, their chicken farms eerily resembling small concentration camps, their processing plants attracting immense flocks of seagulls and reeking of raw meat and blood when the wind blows right.

But, again, there is the water. It saves it all from being just another prairie. In my other blogs on this site you've seen photos of the Bay side of the Eastern Shore. Here are some of the sea side. Here, just six miles from the Chesapeake, is a great ocean and the barrier islands that protect the farmlands. Hundred of miles of empty, windswept beach await the beachcomber and within those barrier islands are millions of acres of marshlands, flat, shallow water filled with crabs and oysters, and hundreds of species of fish.

Yesterday I took a break from writing and accepted an invitation to go out on the water. Here are a few pics.

No comments:

Post a Comment