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:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sons and Other Strangers: A Photo Essay of a Cross-Country Journey

The author on the Kansas prairie at sunset: Sweet Breezes from a Far Horizon

Where does a son go when he grows up? It's a different place, beyond that sweet, far horizon. He packs up his junk, the stuff that's been lying around on the floor of his bedroom, and moves out and you will never seen him again. Sweet sadness, the end of a process.

Son, all grown up and visiting Dad from his far, far place. First night on the road: "Dad, you're snoring": Tone of voice in the dark motel room was threatening, despairing. All the way across with this?

On Loneliest Highway in the U.S. I leave my DNA in a dry lake bed. When I  was young, I left it elsewhere.

Feeling small in America

U.S. 70 in Nevada: Loneliest Highway in the U.S., it is said.

Over the Rockies by going through them.

I loved the old western, gold-rush-era towns, hoped to see Hoss and Little Joe.

We started the trip amongst the red woods near Sonoma: Moist and Ancient, like son and father.

We found, in an expansive and rocky graveyard in Sonoma, the place that holds the crumbling bones of the only known American Revolutionary War veteran buried in California. And he was a Virginian who sailed the Chesapeake. Must have been a good, thin-water sailor in the days of big, wooden, square-rigged boat without engines.

 In Missouri, on the banks of the Mississippi, we encountered King Cotton

The purely ornamental bike on the roof gave us street cred in my son's world. We obvioiusly knew the way it is.

In Salt Lake City: The Mormon Temple, fountain of moderate Republicans

We put our fates in the hands of the GPS Lady

Final approach to St. Louis: Was this St. Louis? One nation connected by really, really bad fast road food.

Yes, we made it to Florida after driving over 4,000 miles. From here, via William Faulkner's house in Oxford, Mississippi, the Suwanee River, Tallahassee, and Ft. Lauderdale. When it was all over, finished, we were both glad to get back to our own places in the world, me with my wife on the Chesapeake, him with his own lady on the yacht he captains. We had visited, seen, and experienced each others perspectives, each demonstrating an admirable tolerance for our differences. But had we connected? That will take another trip, I think. More time on the road.

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