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:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Winter Between Two Waters: A Writer Digs in for the Season

The entrance to Deep Creek boat yard from the Chesapeake:
It's a narrow and winding channel all set about with muddy
shallows. Lunar tides are de rigueur.

The boat yard at Deep Creek, just a 10-min. drive
from the house. $250 for an in-and-out, a pressure
wash, and jack stands. The owner is a pleasant
man, an expert on all boat systems, and lives with
his family on the premises.
We found a small crack in Seawind's stem, so
I'm back to grinding and glassing.

Ah, but she's worth it. Such a pretty lady and
a fine sailing boat, too. Back in the water next
week or should we leave her out for the winter?
Gotta decide.

It's November 1st as I write this, a cool and dreary day and a harbinger of more such days to come. I need to bury the summer that just died behind us, another road kill on the streets of time. Need to dig a big hole and push it in and cover it up lest memories of its hot, blue-sky glories weigh down mood of acceptance of the inevitable.
To that end, a post mortem, a eulogy, of sorts. To wit:
We started you out, oh dead summer past, by sailing the above pictured lovely boat down the east coast from Long Island to my home on the Chesapeake. It took a month, we had our frustrating moments and our frightened moments (longer and more numerous than appreciated). But Seawind, the pretty little 30-foot sloop, is home safely;

we traveled to San Diego and visited our mega-yacht-captain son and Amtracked up the California coast and drove up and down the Big Sur taking pictures like a fool and, like a fool, I lost the expensive camera containing all the pictures, leaving it on a plane on the flight back home. I shall have to remember the Big Sur the old fashioned way--in my mind's eye;
we traveled to New England to visit aging parents and siblings;

I drove to Georgia to celebrate 1st birthday of our grandson;

I followed the breathless pundits who followed the dogged politicians who spent the hot months listening to Americans screaming at each other as some sort of health care reform bill that will please corporate sponsors and/or constituents was hammered into shape;
taught the writing process to four classes of 6th graders in Georgia and 3 classes of 3rd graders on Guam. Great fun.
So now I need to quit whining about the winter and get down to addressing it. Goals? Get back in shape, improve my guitar playing, finish my novel-in-progress, The Spirit of the Voyage--all by March, when we shall welcome the Spring solstice with wide-open eyes and minds and with sails full of warming wind.

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