What is paradise for a fourteen-year-old boy?

For Conrad it’s definitely not dusty Los Angeles, where he’s stuck living with his mother and his cheeky little sisters.

Paradise is the forest where his dad still lives,
by the water where everything is beautiful,
where he belongs.

IndieReader Discovery Awards 2019:
- Winner, Best First Book
"A timeless, beautifully written coming-of-age story about transformation and self-acceptance." - 5/5 stars (read full review)
Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2019:
- Finalist, General Fiction / Novel (over 80,000 words)
- Finalist, First Novel (over 90,000 words)

Eric Hoffer Awards 2019:
- Finalist, Fiction
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~ Journal 7 ~

Nine months of the story in "Year of the Amphibian" take place in Los Angeles, and while L.A. has changed considerably since the early 1980's, some of the specific things I reference in the book still exist.

Wattles Park (Chapter 4 - Mid-October)

Wattles Park is a real place but the vibe is qui...

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"Year of the Amphibian" features much that is art-related, and also the character Mr. Onter likes to show Conrad old maps.

Warning: spoilers.


German Expressionism

Conrad's history project is on German Expressionist painters. In chapter six he finds books about German Expressionism in the libr...

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A much longer book is distilled into Parallel Play, which of course I mean as high praise, and while it is written with a deft and almost musical touch, that only serves to intensify how it feels when the author touches a nerve directly - either his own or one of mine.

My sister sent me this b...

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This frustrating release is emblematic of everything that's wrong with the classical music scene today. First question: why record this again? Granted, it's great music, but there have been so many recordings of it already, some quite recently. What's more, this same Chandos label al...

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My planned "summer of constant camping" amounted in the end to one trip, taken with good friends to the second of three lakes called "Lake Ann" that I know of in Washington. This one is east, in the Snoqualmie region (the previous one we visited in 2015 is up north of Seattle near Mount Baker / Moun...

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