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, March 25, 2010

This Writer is Home Again: Flowers in the Yard, Birds on the Feeder; Hare Brained Ideas?

So, yesterday I clicked the heels of my walking shoes together three times and, zoooom! I was out of the Imperial City and back in the Kansas of the East, the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

You know, I really think we found the last sane place on the east coast when we happened upon this small corner of America. Driving down Rt. 50 from D.C. the pressure of too many people in too small a place gradually eases until, when you cross the Bay Bridge and enter the Delmarva region, things really open up. Houses become fewer and fewer, fields begin to stretch out all around you toward a wooded horizon, and the press of traffic melts away. Then, after you get through Cambridge, Maryland, the real rural Eastern Shore starts. Its rural-ness expands to nothing but farms and forest, wilderness and water, shining bay and backwater villages whose streets are lined with Victorian homes murmuring of times past.

The farms, the homes, the slow, slow pace, and above all, the the water that surrounds hard upon both sides--ocean a few miles to the east, Bay a few miles to the west--suit this writer down to his most visceral instincts; I can work here, I can live here.

I guess you can tell it feels good to be back home after two weeks in Washington D.C. I love the city and I can add that to the above listed charms of the Eastern Shore; I can be where the sidewalks start in four hours, anytime I need an urban fix--international restaurants, plays, art galleries, museums, sirens, Whole Food Markets, rare book stores, demonstrators, wandering congresspeople.

Like this piece of sculpture pictured here. It's called "Thinking on a Rock" by the artist Barry Flanagan (1997) and its in the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Art. I like it maybe because of the irony of a hare brained thinker, which I feel like often enough while I'm trying to write. I like it maybe because this guy Flanagan visualized it, had the courage to go a head and make it, and then someone actually paid a lot of money for it. I like it maybe because the Gallery took it as a donation from an art collector and thought enough of it to put it on major public display in a beautiful garden in the capital of our nation. I like it because it's interesting to wonder what an Eastern Shore farm family or Chesapeake Bay waterman thinks of it the first time he lays eyes on it.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here are the jonquils that greeted us in our yard when we got home from the Big City. I love it all, big bronze rabbits and pretty yellow flowers.

No comments:

Post a Comment