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 14, 2008

Reading: Picking at Insights from Dr. Johnson and Tom Wolf; Saturday Drive to Chincoteague, the Island Misty Made Famous

Today is the 18th of December 2008.

I can't put a photo in here because my Nikon has decided, apparently on it's own volition, to change formats to one this computer can't use. I'll figure it out eventually.

The latest political hooplas include an Iraqi journalist throwing his shoes at W. during a press conference. Rank insult in his country, getting big laughs in ours. That famous American sense of humor that drives the rest of the world crazy is another thing I love about this country. Reminds me of the joke that before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes because then you'll be a mile away--and you'll have their shoes. W should have kept the shoes and started running.

The other hoopla is that Barack has asked a right-wing evangelical preacher to do the invocation at the BIG CEREMONY coming up in January. He's "reaching across the aisle" as he said he would and some folks don't like it. Well, jeeze, people who reach across the aisle are not gonna be appreciated by people on either side, especially if they are intolerant, arrogant fanatics.

Next time I have a drink, I'm going to have one for old (dead) Dr. Samuel Johnson. Reading interesting article in The New Yorker about the great man. He says a sailor on a boat is a man in jail with a chance of being drown. I should listen to that wisdom.

Reading: Tom Wolf's The Painted Word. He wrote it back in the 70's in reaction to the incomprehensibility of abstract art. Don't ask me why it took me so long to find it. I've been spending significant amounts of my time when I'm in D.C. in the National Gallery of Art and this brief history is enlightening. Braque's little cubes, indeed. And Jackson Pollock? Killed himself drinking, mercifully before he could find out the whole art world changed its mind and decided his "genius" was pure schlock (hint: nobody is buying your stuff--come to think of it, its a hint I should take).

Life: Parents now in nursing home and doing okay; grandson appears to be thriving though Jenny is now back teaching and Konrad is in day care; Terry is stressed out by her job--just back from three days in Atlanta--contract negotiations; we drove up to Chincoteague on Saturday--a walk on the cold, windy beach, ponies in the distance, snow geese in the foreground, a bookstore bought 3 copies of THE BOOK. A nice day.

We are enjoying writing the next book--The Spirit of the Voyage. 80 pages so far.

On the lighter side, I just took an "after" picture of my head and compared it to the "before" picture from 16 months ago. The hairy evidence is that Rogaine works--sort of. Maybe I'll post them here. Watch this space.

Now multi-tasking. Writing this blog and watching the Science channel: Ligers? (tiger + lion) Never heard of such a thing, but there it was, a huge overgrown-looking cat. Humans + chimps? How about a humanzee? Turned out to be untrue and they could have told us that at the beginning of the program. But they had stuff to sell. This is America.

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