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:

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010! Blue Moon, Blue Ridge, Black-Eyed Peas, Hog Jowls, and, Yes, Resolutions

"Blue moon, you saw me standing alone without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own"......Song by Rogers and Hart

Here it is, the real thing, a blue, blue moon, and over the Blue Ridge Mountains on New Year's Eve, 2009-2010. It is a relatively rare event, a full moon happening twice in one month--a "blue" moon--and I took this (admittedly lousy) picture through the branches of a tree just off the deck of our friends beautiful home high in the mountains of Virginia.

We had a great time and celebrated on New Year's day with football and a classic Southern meal of hog jowls and black-eye peas with collared greens and corn bread. It's supposed to bring good luck. Between that food and the moon, I ought to be set for a while. I was also anointed with oil by a real witch so I have every reason to be optimistic--or should that be opti-mystic?

Resolutions? Oh, yeah, sure, I made them. The human impulse to make annual declarations to get off to a fresh start is due solely to our insane behavior since Thanksgiving. Even if the road to Hell is paved with them, good intentions are just that--good. In my case, that road was littered with daily engorgements of turkey, stuffing, cake, ice cream, red meat, bread, fried clams, fried oysters, fried chicken, on and on ad nauseum, and all washed down with vats of scotch, sour mash, and wine. By yesterday morning, I was nearly done in.

And, so far, here on day two, I must say I feel better already, and why wouldn't I, after the bloating debauchery of the past few weeks? This old bod needs a respite from the reckless abandon of the past month's swilling and face stuffing.

(As I finish this blog, it's January 5. I've been on the wagon for two days and feel ever so much better. Yesterday I weighed in at 208, which means I put on 8 pounds in the past month. Lovely. Mark my word, it's coming off.)

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