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:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Rainy Sunday, Great Sail Yesterday, McCarthy's THE ROAD, Moving Back to VA?

Today in Guam its raining like a mug, as my son used to say. Rained all night, hard, on the cabin top of the boat, and it was very fine to wake up to the sound. Yesterday we sailed on a friend's lovely Tayana 43 and while out there, got caught in the shear line that's now over us. The leading edge of it caught us off guard as there didn't appear to be much wind in it as we watched it come over the island and descend on us. Nearly knocked us over before we could get the double-reefed main out and de-powered and the jib rolled up.
Never mind. It was all good fun and a nice small adventure. Back to reading/writing. Just finished Cormack McCarthy's The Road. Advice: Don't start it if you're depressed about the state of the world--or anything else, for that matter. More advice: Read it anyway. McCarthy is one of my favorite wordsmiths for a lot of reasons that don't include his use of humor to lighten things up a a bit once in a while. Hell, even Shakespeare did that.
No, the reason I admire McCarthy's writing is the haunting quality of the prose. He doesn't abide by the usual conventions of punctuation. No quotation marks, few commas, and lots of incomplete sentences (no subjects, just a verb and a prepositional phrase, maybe). The text is presented in short burst of paragraphs separated on the page by a few empty spaces.
It all works. You always know which character is speaking and the plot moves along, quivering and gripping, as the father and son move with painful slowness and uncertainty through a savage, ashen, cannibalistic, post-apocalyptic world.
I was into so deeply that when I left my first copy on the airplane when I flew back from the Mainland last month, that I bought another at an airport bookstore, price be damned.
I haven't written anything but blog entries since last summer after finishing A Drop of Wizard's Blood, the third book in my Eye of the Stallion fantasy trilogy. It is hard leaving a book after spending a year with the characters and their adventures. Most writers report a feeling of loss or loneliness and that goes for me, too. I wonder how McCarthy feels.
Today's rain will allow me to take the time to finish filling out my retirement paperwork. Once June rolls around (three months to go--an agony of waiting), I'll have all the time I need to write. I'm especially interested in the virtual book tours (VBT), now all the rage for writers to peddle their stuff on the Internet. Meanwhile, you can still order the first book, The Face in Amber on Amazon.
Last: We're getting ready in our minds for a possible move back to Virginia. We own a home in Onancock, a town that time forgot, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake. Perfect.