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, May 24, 2011

The World Spins Awry as Summer Approaches: Tornados, Floods, and a Botched Rapture

Where did you go, you rank old profit of doom? Scurrilous preyer upon the emotionally deficient, rheumy eyed, withered fanatic, bully, viper....what was his name? Camping? Harold Camping. That ancient flim-flam man, who, twice now in that last twenty years, bamboozled the hopelessly gullible with black-hearted, right-up-to-heaven savior dreams?

I understand he is in hiding. Let's hope the old adage you can run but you cannot hide pulls the covers from his spider hole. Or, maybe, he was the only one to be raptured? Is that possible? OMG. Here's a blurb from his website: This web site serves as an introduction and portal to four faithful ministries which are teaching that WE CAN KNOW from the Bible alone that the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011 and that God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011. Please take your time and browse through the teachings of Harold Camping, President of Family Radio.

The Reverend Camping now says that May 21st was an "invisible judgement day" and that the world will still end--very quickly--on October 21st. The entertainment value of Mr. Camping's rantings is right up there with Jersey Shore.

But there is more in the news than old, crazy, cranky bad jokes. Real horror, in fact. The G in OMG saw fit to allow the destruction of 75% of Joplin, MO. Death estimates started out at 89, now up to 1,500. We can assume children, lots of them. And then there were those people who huddled against the wall at that Home Depot store thinking they were safe. The winds were 198 m.p.h. The suction from negative air pressure must have been horrific. The roof was pulled off, the wall caved in. Imagine dying at Home Depot when you just went there to pick up a gallon of paint and a light bulb and maybe a few planters and a ladder. And a weed wacker. And your kid was with you, your son, say, and he was carrying the light bulbs for you and then everything went to hell in that grand old handbasket and people were yelling and the retirees who work the isles started gathering you all up and telling you to get against that wall. And you did and your son was in your arms, huddled there, against your chest.....

Then there is the Great Flood rising, rising, rising down the middle of the nation's big river, inundating, displacing, making mucky-muck of millions of lives. Darling flood, your slow-going, over-the-top waters have been upstaged by dud raptures and high winds. Too bad. You need to be fast and violent to make it in today's media.

And other things, too, distress the average, clean-living, righteous, middle-aged American as he tries to make sense of his lazy, happy, ain't-it-a-glorious-spring, ice cream eating, scotch sipping, the bad-economy-hasn't-affected-me-even-a-little-bit life. To wit: The stock market plunged on  the financial mess in Greece and concerns over the economies of those Latin, Mediterranean, olive oil and wonderful-climate countries. They need to take a tip from us and get the Chinese to bail them out. And the price of gas, and the lousy (silly) Republican field of presidential hopefuls, and the housing market, and Glenn Beck is still around, and so is Qaddafi and that ham-faced fool named Trump.

But the Red Sox are pulling themselves up by their red sox and if Pedroia isn't too badly wounded they could get a grip on that waving Pennant early on. And it's nearly summer, that most glorious and patriotic of American seasons. It's only May but the heat is building, classic thunderstorms are splitting apart big tulip poplars on Market Street, and happy sailors are sliding up to the docks in our perfect harbor just four miles in from the Chesapeake. I'm looking forward to the sultry, sulky, insolent heat and the nasty, biting green head flies, and more ice cream, some fishing and beach time, and some fine sailing on the Bay.

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