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 29, 2009

The Mad Dog of 2010 Approaches: FIRE IN THE HOLE! (My Last Blog of 2009)

Yowsa Bowsa!

Nice doggie! Welcome! We're sure glad the other doggie is leaving us this week--you know, the Mad Dog of 2009. What a savage mutt that one was! Now, come on in, precious new puppy, we'll find a nice, warm place for you by the fire with plenty of good red meat and high hopes that things will be better. Sit! Beg! Lie down! Roll over! Fetch me my slippers!

Yeah, sure. You betcha, master. First let me kill a few more thousand people and chew through a billion or two of your tax dollars, foreclose on some homes, and help Rush and Glenn and their micro-brained listeners tear up the left-wing, liberal, socialist elite, and get the underwear bomber some new drawers. Gives a new meaning to the old gold miners' warning, "FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!" Grrrrrr.

On a positive note for the New Year: Did you know that marijuana is the No. 1 cash crop in America? Hmmm. (I'm watching the news and multi-tasking as I write this) and that 8,000 Americans are arrested each year on marijuana-related charges and that three of our recent presidents have admitted to using it? Thirteen states now allow marijuana use for medical purposes and that in 2010 there will be a serious initiative to get marijuana use legalized in the U.S. for recreational use. It would be about time. We could become a nation of pot farmers and you gotta' admit that drinking booze does a lot more harm to our society than the gentle effects of a toke or two of Mary Jane. Talk about a FIRE IN THE HOLE! Let's FIRE ONE UP!

That's the only good news I could find this morning, so I'll leave the punditry to the pundits. They get paid to sum up the old year and speculate about the new while I very happily get paid to do nothing at all.

In any event, this is my last blog of 2009. We had a pretty good Christmas, just the two of us here in our little Town-That-Time-Forgot on the Chesapeake Bay, but I did miss my kids and my grandson, who were scattered about from Texas to California. Tomorrow we're driving up to spend New Year's Eve with our old friends way up in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia where there is lots of snow even fewer people than on the Eastern Shore.

(I took this picture of the mad dog in Tasmania, Australia two Christmases ago. As most of us know, Australia began as an English penal colony and in one place in Tasmania they staked vicious dogs in a line across a narrow peninsula to keep the convicts where they belonged. This bronze statue memorializes those fearless mongrels who did so much to keep the Empire and the Queen pure and noble.)

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