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, May 3, 2010

Back From Sailing All Weedend; Very Happily Exausted

Our Alberg 30 sloop, Seawind

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.                                                                           (From Moby Dick by Herman Melville)

Yes, sailing about a little is a way I have, too, of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Take this weekend just passed for example. My lady--who is a brave and excellent sailor--and I, took our lovely sloop--pictured above anchored in the river off Onancock, VA--out for a bracing spleen-reducing and circulation-regulating sail. The wind was perfect, 15 knots from the WSW, and the day sunny and just warm enough. We had her healed over to 25 or 30 degrees as she clipped along at up to 7.1 knots. Pure and simple and wonderful.

Writing, too, can be all about driving away spleen and regulating circulation. For me, the emotions experienced after a fine day of sailing are pretty much the same as after a fine morning of writing. Like a sailboat reaching into the wind, everything full and by, when the words flow freely and graciously onto the page, when the workings of the imagination carry the mind's intentions effortlessly along the chosen course, writing becomes part of some natural element as perfect wind and water.

So now, back to it. I'm at my desk/bar and I'm warmed up and ready. I'm 190 pages into this adventure novel about traditional seafaring in the Pacific. I've got my characters arriving on their outrigger canoe on the island of Saipan just at the end of the horrific battle fought there during WWII. Let's see where the winds of my mind take us today.