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:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Multi-Tasking on a Summer Afternoon: Home-Grown Peppers, Baseball, Beer Summits, and a Hideous Crime

Summertime Terry with peppers she grew in her own back-yard garden.

As I blog this, it's high summer here on the quiet, Eastern Shore of Virginia and I'm watching the last game in a 3-game series between the Redsox and Oakland. Terrible. Oakland seems to have figured out the Boston pitchers. It's 4-1 and Francona is taking poor beat-up Lester out.

Looking forward to hearing how the famous beer summit on the White House lawn came out. One way to make a winning lemon aid out of lemons is to pour beer into the mix: a black, Ivy League professor who got his hackles up, a well-meaning neighborhood watcher who reported a what appeared to be break in, a cop who may have been a bit over zealous in carrying his duties, and a prez famous for his cool, and who lost it and said something stupid, stupidly. Add to the concoction politicians and pundits who very much to make political hay by spinning it their way. And, to top all this stuff off, some people are complaining that the prez is not serving a made-by-an-American-owned-company beer. Just how crazy can this all get? All good for summer entertainment for the languid summer masses, of which I am happily one.
Now 4-3. Boston is getting something going.

What would a summer be without a hideous crime? They just picked up a woman who might be the monster who cut a live fetus from the womb of an 8-month-pregnant woman in Worcester, MA. Incredibly, the baby is, apparently none the worse after its savage Cesarean entry into this amazing world, the poor mother dead, the tabloids exultant at the fodder for their cheap trade.
Now 5-3, Oakland. They have our number but who gave it to them?
It's a long, hot, sweaty summer for Congress as they struggle to come up with compromises to the health care plan that will please enough of them so they can make it work. Meanwhile, the Republicans are doing their best to make the whole thing impossible for the public to swallow--even if they have to lie a little bit to do it: Did you know, old timer, that government workers are going to come to your house and ask you how you want to die? Yep! It's part of that socialist health plan Obama is trying to foist on you. Meanwhile, old timers over age 65 won't be affected at all because they very happily get Medicare which is a government-run health plan. Every other developed nation on this fat, round Earth provide for the medical care for all their citizens.
As soon as this game is over, I'm going for a long walk in the summer heat. Is today the last day of July? The sweaty promise of a long and lovely hot August stretches out before me. I'm looking forward to the final episode of the sail-Seawind-home adventure. Our beautiful new sailboat sits on the hard at a marina in the upper Delaware Bay (see tomorrow's blog for a pic).
Big Poppy Ortiz just slammed a 3-run homer--now 6-5 Boston. I'm cheering from the comfort of my fat recliner. There is hope.
Now its 8-5. Our closer is coming in. Let's get this done--the road beckons my feet.

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