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, February 19, 2013

 The View from Finally There Farm: A Fine Piece of Elevated Paradise

It's is such a good thing to get away sometimes. Away from our own low-country paradise and up, up, up into a mountain version of another sort of small heaven. So we chucked our responsibilities for a long weekend with friends who have a farm--I could say a ranch--high up in the Blue Ridge of Virginia, a farm that rises above a sweeping valley and is etched into the side of a mountain deep in a broad swath of pristine forest. Lovely stuff, this place of elevated paradise. 

I didn't bring a computer and cell phone reception is very sketchy way up there. We drank wine, we ate oysters Terry and I brought up with us from the Eastern Shore. We laughed and took naps, read books and watched basketball games, golf tournaments, and blue grass music on the big television. And it was good to reconnect with great friends was have known for over three decades. 

The weather was a times snowy, at times clear and sunny, but always way too cold to try to take long walks. That explains the naps, the television, the case of wine. We did take a trip into Lynchburg, the small city where Terry and I met thirty-three years ago. We drove by the schools where we taught, wondered about the fates of the people with whom we worked, and had lunch at a restaurant on the historic James River.

Now we're back here at our home on the Chesapeake and getting ready for the next phase of things. In two weeks, I leave for Honolulu and Guam where I will be the keynote speaker at a meeting of the International Reading Association, teach writing in the Guam schools for a week, and then set off a 1,300-mile sail to the Philippines. When I get back home, it's off to Albuquerque for the Southwest Book Fiesta where I'll sign books and do a presentation on the oneness the ancient Pacific navigators felt with sea and sky--the Universe. It is a oneness lost to us, now, in our hermetic digital world.

In any event, thanks much Fran and Joe, for a wonderful respite from our busy, busy, busy selves.

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