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:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Distractions, Distractions, Distractions: The Writer's Bane

You can always find a distraction if you're looking for one.  Tom Kite

It's one damned thing after another. Getting sick, traveling to New England to visit my parents on their 67th wedding anniversary (they still sleep in the same bed and spend the day holding hands), getting a new boat (a 17 ft. skiff), registering the boat and trailer, having contractors around the house working on the roof and rewiring the garage, and the incredible spring weather that suddenly washed over the Eastern Shore, all have essentially stopped progress on The Spirit of the Voyage, my novel in progress. Not only that, but the hinge on the screen/lid on this laptop broke and it's flapping around on my knees. I have to support it with a pillow and pillow keeps sliding away and it's impossible to focus on writing.

What to do? I'm working on it. Gotta guy looking for a new screen, the contractors will be done in a few days, and I'll be able to get back to some sort of routine. And there's the answer: get a routine going. I usually like getting up early and down here to my "space" and getting going. Now, after a month of getting nothing accomplished, I'm going to have to spend a lot of time reviewing everything and figuring out where I am.

                 Here's some of the family at my parent's 67th wedding anniversary.
                Front row: Joann McGowan, Dad, Mom, Marble Arvidson.
                Back row: Christia Peralta Martel, Patty Arvidson Thayer, Will Thayer
                Me, John Arvidson, John Martel

But I did fine a couple of interesting books while I was in New England. One is an old college text of mine with the impressive title of Levels of Knowing and Existence by Harry L. Wineberg. As I recall, it concerns semantics and the meaning of meaning. Pretty dense stuff. Nonetheless, I'll be dipping into it soon. The other is the Dictionary of Misinformation and is full of corrections of all those urban rumors we accept as truth. For example, the term damned Yankees, did not originally refer to Northerners by Southerners. The term during the Revolutionary War and was used against northern "provincials" by "Yorkers" in General Schuyler's northern army. Now we in the Red Sox Nation use it, too.

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