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, December 10, 2013

Alice Munro and Peter Higgs: Nobel Laureates and Damned Fine People

In these, the darkest days of December, I give a vigorous nod to two luminaries of our time. I'm a writer of short stories, novels, and essays and have always favored the work of the Canadian writer, Alice Munro, who just won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Such a thing. And, judging from the Nobel interview with her (she was too frail to travel to Sweden to accept the prize in person), she is filled to brimming with the finest karma.  Modest, smiling, genuinely thrilled at her winning, and still beautiful at eighty-two, she dishes out wisdom by the shovelful without even noticing. He message: She won the prize because she loves to write and did not give up despite early failure and discouragement, nor did raising a family interfere with her determination. She knew she was a writer from the beginning and and she wrote until the end. Her fiction is simple, profound, earthy, and accessible.

Peter Higgs, on the other hand, won the prize for work that is unimaginably complex and inaccessible. He, with help from brilliant colleagues, figured out why the Universe has mass. His theory was proven beyond much doubt by the workings of the large hadron collider, that produced the particle, and will allow further investigations that may launch an entirely new field of physics. 

In the end, though, I think both of these brilliant thinkers--geniuses in the real sense of the word--travel in their minds to places the rest of us can't imagine.

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