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:

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Stitch in Time Saves a Blow Out at Sea

A torn sail is a good excuse to sit down and do something I rather enjoy: stitching things up. I guess it goes back to my childhood when my mother showed me how to thread a needle and sew on a button. I've never minded taking care of my own sewing needs as long as they were simple.

Repairing a small rip in our old main sail last weekend was done with a piece of sail repair tape and a few big (too big, my wife said) stitches with a sailmaker's needle and thread. Pleasant enough work when your in the harbor or at sea on a nice day running down wind. Here we are tied up on our seawall and were spending the day getting ready for our first sail in a long time--too long. But, VATNA is in good shape, her decks scrubbed, and now her sails are on. We should be able to get out this Saturday between World Series games (Red Sox are in and that make this New England farm boy happy).

As far as writing goes, here I am on the boat doing my usual evening thing: writing/editing. I'm about half way through the process of reviewing the edit my editor did on the A Drop of Wizard's Blood, the last book in the Eye of the Stallion trilogy. This is the third time I've used my editor, Linda Morehouse of As usual, she very thorough and I'd recommend putting out the money for a professional reader/editor when you're preparing a manuscript for submission to publishers or agents. In any event, I'm now going though the manuscript line by line, comment by comment (I love the Microsoft Word editing feature), and mostly accepting her recommendations and learning, too, as I go along. It's slow going to be sure, but instructive to see the kind of grammatical mistakes I habitually make or words I over use and it takes an editor--another set of eyes--to find them.

In any event, I hope I'm a better writer than sail stitcher and I hope Josh Beckett, Big Poppy, and the rest of the boys get the job done this week.

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