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, August 10, 2009

This Writer's Blog: A Day of Facing the Re-write.

Putting Up the Sail on a Traditional Canoe
(Photo by Sandra Okada)

I'm a lucky guy in many, many ways. I had a great career teaching and writing and sailing all over the world, I've got a great marriage, great kids, and a great retirement in a great house in a great little town between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. One other way I'm fortunate is that I like re-writing my stuff.

Re-writing--the bane of most writers, is for me usually a pleasant enough way to pass the day. And if it's not, its usually because what I'm re-writing isn't working and alarm bells go off in my fuzzy, happy little brain. While admitting to myself that words I've spent days weaving into prose are not worth reading is most difficult, I will, in the end, take a deep breath and hit the delete key and start over. So, re-writing is nice if the prose is good and the woven words make sweet music on the ear and I can congratulate myself, but also important as a smoke alarm to detect smoldering crap that, for some reason, sounded good the first time but now hits the ear like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Today is August 10 and here I go into The Spirit of the Voyage (working title). Set during the first days of WWII, my boys, Joseph, the white kid from Massachusetts and Napu, the island boy from Guam (Guahan), have escaped the Japanese invasion of Guam by sailing off in Napu's little boat. Problem is, the boat is not really seaworthy, Joseph doesn't know how to sail, and the boys are not getting along.

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