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:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Burning Heart: Wizardry, Witchcraft, Ablation, and Dealing With an Old House

This summer, my sixty-first, is charging along like an unloosed freight train. It started out with two weeks of medical appointments which climaxed with my lying on the operating table for three and a half hours while a doctor who specializes in cardiac electrophysiology went up into my heart with a catheter and mapped out what was going on in there. When he found the source of my atrial flutter, he burned it out. Amazing. Right into my heart with a rubberized branding iron, zapping away.
The cutting-edge knowledge and techniques my doctor has are connected in a real way with the ancient art of witchcraft, with witches, witch doctors, wizards, sorcerers, and shamans. They were, after all, the first physicians, the ones who sought to cure, through spells and herbal concoctions, the ills of their patients. Whether they were casting out evil spirits or using plants to make potions or balms, they had certain real skills and were held in high esteem--even awe--by the ancient layman.

While my heart heals, I'm getting ready to re-write the draft of the last book in the Eye of the Stallion trilogy and doing my research on casting spells and getting to be one with the spirit elements of the astral plane. Like burning out the inside of your heart, this is wonderful stuff and my characters in A Drop of Wizard's Blood--Scraps, Astral the Ancient Boy, and Mother Mar--are its practitioners. Meanwhile, the artist is working on the cover for Book II, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and that is due out soon, with luck next month.

We've been working hard getting settled into our new home in Onancock, Virginia. It's an old house with lots of old charm and old charm means she needs work--a wizard who is good with hammers and saws, paint brushes, weed whackers, and screw drivers . And we've been spending, spending, spending on furniture--antiques and new--to fill up the charming old empty spaces.

I took these photos of Onancock creek and harbor last week. The creek is an arm of the Chesapeake Bay that comes right into town. I would truly love to have our boat here and if the heart allows it, we're going to sail her back. If the heart says no--if major life plans need to be adjusted--we'll have to sell her on Guam and buy another one when we get back here. Either way, we will soon be leaving the tropical Pacific and making the Chesapeake our home.