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:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1st: The Beginning of the End of 2009--A Prelapsarian Day

Simon, our 20-year-old boy cat. You can count
on him find the sun on a cold morning.

I'm starting this posting on the crystal-clear dawning of the new and very last month of 2009. The rain is gone for a day or two, the sky an unashamed cerulean blue, and the air is delicious and crispy cool. I'll need to take a long walk later and suck in as much as I can of it.

And that brings us to my new favorite word: prelapsarian. It refers, originally, to that perfect time just before Eve convinced Adam to take a bite from the apple--before the fall from grace, before original sin, before everything went to hell in a handbasket on the smooth and slippery back of that sweet-talking Garden snake. Nowadays, it means a period in one's life when everything was--or seemed to be--wonderful and pure and perfect. Like today, for me.

What does one do on such an admittedly prelapsarian morning? Sleep in, of course, then a long, hot shower, a good cuppa, a visit with Simon, the old man cat, who was is out lying in the sun on the deck (head scratches with purring), read an article in The New Yorker about the writer Paul Auster (the reviewer likes everything about Auster's writing except his prose), practice guitar, a quick look at the news (that police killer was himself killed in Seattle; the lovely couple who crashed the big White House bash says they were in vited, honest!), pull up all the shades so the sunlight has free entry into the house, get my assignment from Terry who is, of course, as always, working at her desk (the ink cartridge I bought for her printer yesterday is not working--I must get another. I must go to the town hall and pay our taxes, I must make a bank deposit).

After that, who knows. If the new propeller I ordered for the boat arrives, I'll go over to the boatyard and put it on and we'll be ready to get Seawind back in the water (I'll have to print out the December tide tables for Onancock Creek. It could happen this week). Then, a little late lunch, that long walk, a nap, a glass of good white wine with a small amount of smoked salmon on crackers with horseradish mustard, dinner, politics on TV, and, as always, end the day with more guitar.

All in all, a pretty good prelapsarian episode in a long string of them. I'm determined not to listen to any of the many talking snakes that slither around this town.

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