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, December 11, 2008

Back from Mexico, Healing Nicely, Back to Writing, and Some Observations

Here I am, like the words to an old country song, down and out on the floor of a bar in Mexico. My brother holds my legs up, treating me for shock, while Bailey, my son's significant other, stands by to translate my situation to the incoming ambulance squad. A life well lived provides its surprises, and that day in Puerto Vallarta I fell while walking across a swaying suspension foot bridge. At near full gallop, I fell headlong into a cement post (I was galloping to keep up with the rhythm of the bridge and found I couldn't slow down when I reached the end--alright, I was horsing around). The nice Mexican ambulance paramedics examined me and deemed me badly bruised on my hip and the small of my back, but nothing broken. Two weeks later, I'm nearly all better. By the way, I was completely sober throughout the entire incident.

Now I'm back in Virginia on the very fine Eastern Shore, off the pain killers, and back to writing, reading, and working out at the Y. I'm 71 pages into the next novel and it's going well. I can always tell. Scenes flow, one from another, and the book begins to assume a shape out of the nebula of some basic, unformed idea. Just keep at it every day so you don't lose that creative rhythm--2 or 3 or 4 pages a day and it doesn't take long to see a book lying there in front of you, still hot from the printer. It's what life is all about--that ultimate level of existence that Maslow called self actualization.

Some observations: The Rightwingers, after accusing Barack of being a leftist, are slack-jawed at his appointees while the leftists are getting suspicious that he is more Right than promised. He's keeping everyone off balance. Love it.

Winter on the Eastern Shore of VA is, so far, just as expected--some nice cold days to get the Christmas spirit flying around freely, and now in the 60's and spring like. I'm warned that there is a lot more winter to come.

Had a book signing last Saturday at a local bookstore. Was very nice. Sold a few books, but more importantly, met a very friendly group of local writers and will join there writer's group that meets in Salisbury once a month. Note: All book stores should offer fresh coffee. The smell of it just makes you want to sit down and read.

My parents are now in a nursing home. Lesson: if you can afford it, get long-term care insurance.

A final note: This is what the very end of Baja California looks like--Cabo San Lucas. I'd always wondered. Here we're approaching it in the early morning after a 24-hour run down from Magdelena bay. In fact, its a resort with lots of tourists and I guess that's good for the local economy.

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