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, March 1, 2010

A Writer Needs Spring Just As He Once Needed Winter

~ The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself. ~ Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway, of course, was projecting a bit when he expressed the sentiment quoted above. He himself was one of the very people he was talking about, someone who was ever so good at limiting happiness, his own and that of others.  I, too, value the company of people who are as good as spring itself and, in fact, as I've gotten older, I've made it a policy to limit my relationships to people who put no limits on happiness, mine or theirs.
In this photo, I'm with my brother in Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, a place famous for having hosted the legendary and largely mythical Hemingway happiness for many years and I, too, was very happy to be there on a summer day enjoying a cold beer with someone who makes me happy.
On the other hand, people who limit happiness with a perpetual winter of their own discontent are as neccesary to a writer as they are unavoidable. Like most of us who are on the dark side of middle age, I've known my share of them. The trick is, you see, to use their cold and muddy personalities to increase your ability to engender pathos in your art--to arouse the readers ability to feel your imaginitive pain--as Hemingway did so well. So, a writer needs the winter just as he needs the spring. But now, after a few months of meteorolgical discontent, I'm ready to crawl up and out of the mud, shake off the dirty ice, and celebrate the happiness of blossoms and things warm and green and I have just three weeks to go.

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