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:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

There's Gold in Them Thar Blogs; It IS REALLY Spring; A New (Old, Old) Cat Joins the Family

Somebody is reading this blog. This morning I got an email from a person named "Tara" who was representing a web-based company that pays people to write articles for them. She said, "I've read your blog and like your writing. We'd like to invite you to write for us. If you are interested, go to our site and sign up."

So, I did. I figure if they're not asking for money upfront, what can I lose. I filled out the necessary blank fields and now I'm waiting for them to contact me again--I think that's what I'm supposed to do. The deal seems to be that I can write about anything and what I get paid depends on the amount of interest shown by blog readers and if they click on the advertisements that will ride along side my articles.

Swell stuff. In my previous blog I profiled Leo Babauta of Zen Habits/The Power of Less fame. That's how he started. Got an idea for an interesting blog and followed all the rules of good blogging. Advertisers started advertising on his blog and the deal is, every time the advertisers get a hit (a reader clicks on their logo), Leo gets paid. Things snowballed. Readers loved his blog on how to simplify their lives and advertisers loved the exposure they were getting. It now costs a bit more to get an ad on his blog than it did at the beginning, you betcha'. There seems to be a plethora of such deals out there now as business-minded people jump on the world-wide bandwagon. It's a brave new world and I love it.

Meanwhile, after weeks of trumpeting the arrival of the new season and the passing of the old, it did finally happen. No more temps in the 20's and 30's, no more frost on the pumpkin or the windshield, no more big electric bills, no more excuses for weather-based bad attitudes. And I love it this, too--this spring stuff. Love the warm sunshine and the perfumes carried on the cool air, love the blooming cherry and Bradford pear trees, and the daffodils and first dandelions, and people out mowing their lawns. Makes me want to do some sort of seasonal dance, to run out in the street and howl a little. Why not? Remember the song about the crazy lady on Caroline Stree? I think I'd enjoy having a reputation as that old nutter who lives on Riley Street. Certainly better than not having a reputation at all (see prior blog about fame).

And, as I write this, my niece's husband (nephew-in-law?) is on his way down here from still-frozen Massachusetts. In his car, presumably in a cage/carrier of some sort, is a cat named Simon. Simon is 18 years old, and, by God, that's old in cat time. For various reasons, Simon is in need of a new home...or else? His owner couldn't bear to think of "or else." So my cat-loving wife and I agreed to take Simon in. We already have two cats and one of them is old. Zeke is 17 and has literally been around the world, from Germany to Guam (where he lived on a sailboat with us for 10 years), and now here to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I think he's too old to care much about the new resident in what is fast becoming what our son calls a kitty nursing home. We will see. I'll put a photo of Simon up here tomorrow.

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