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:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Days 2 & 3 at Camp Re-Write: I Watch Dolphins Play, Sunsets Set, and Work, Work, Work

I volunteered to fly to the Florida Keys and be the after-hours caretaker at the Dolphin Research Center for a couple of weeks. I figured it would be a good place to work on the re-write of my next novel. I was ever so correct. I'm supposed to keep an eye on things around here after hours, like after 5:30. I like just strolling around the dolphin pens. Everyone is gone--except the dolphins--and it's quiet and the dolphins are relaxing after a long, hard day entertaining tourists. They play quietly and when they see me, come up to the edge of their pens and look at me and flap their flippers and whistle through their blow holes. It's the language they share with each other and with their human trainers. Triligual stuff that I don't understand, so I say hello and move on. I wonder what they are thinking--obviously something. Food maybe, but I like to think it's something Zen like. Whistling and flapping with the Universe. What is the sound of one flipper flapping?

But they are instructive.They can talk and paint pictures if you put a brush in their mouths and do huge back flips straight out of the water for a fish dinner. It begs the question though: what are they reincarnated as if they are already enlightened and one with the Universe?

And the sunsets are spectacular. Everyone loves a good sunset beacause their simply beautiful. No wants to admit they love taking pictures of sunsets because they are simply cliches. I took a few. Happy cliche-ing.

This one is from the porch outside my third-floor living quarters. It lingered and lingered, calling to me, pick me! pick me! you cliche mongerer! I finally relented. It is the Univserse, after all.

So, this morning I find myself with a Saturday to kill. I promised myself a day off. I've been working hard (?) and it would be fun to drive up the Keys and look at the water and have lunch somewhere. I think I'll do that. Still, I can't help working a little this morning before I leave. I'm making good progress on the re-write, reading the manuscript aloud into a digital recorder and fixing the hidden lumps and bumps in my prose. I'm excited about the results, and can't let it go while I'm in the swing of it. Writing is play, really. Just like the dolphins. Very Zen. Maybe I'll be reincarnated as a dolphin. Back flips, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. cliches are fun works of words
    nice sunsets
    keep it going it going Dougie