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:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In the Florida Keys Baby Sitting Dolphins: Real Job? Re-Writing the Next Novel

The view from the my writer's hideaway in the Florida Keys

Though pleas'd to see the dolphins play, I mind my compass and my way. Matthew Green

I'm here for two weeks, at this strange and wonderful place between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. My job is to simply be here at night, to keep an eye on things lest something go awry after hours. The reality: I don't have to do anything--I have nothing to do. How often in life does that happen?

Writers sometimes spend a lot of money finding a place with no distractions. They hide away in hideaways, slip away to a beach house, hike to a cabin in the woods, climb to a mountain top all so they can think and produce with no distractions. Distractions, though, are really just excuses.

So, here I am in the Florida Keys with no excuses. I know no one. I have no lawns to mow or phones to answer. No boats to sail or work on, no old garage to scrape and paint.

So what then? Here is what I hope to get done now that I'm free of the frictions of daily life: re-write the new novel. The working title was The Spirit of the Voyage.  The new title is Brothers of the Fire Star. I need to develop the characters more and develop some scenes to get in more "bling" (there's a new word for your Funk & Wagnalls) and hope to add at least 15,000 words to the 65,000 already down.

That's the main endeavor. Sub endeavors include more daily practice on recording The Eye of the Stallion fantasy series and, of course, much guitar practice. And a long walk on the old Seven Mile Bridge every afternoon.

Word for Today: Bling-bling (or simply bling) is a slang term popularized in hip hop culture, referring to flashy or elaborate jewelry and ornamented accessories that are carried, worn or installed, such as cell phones or tooth caps. The concept is mostly associated with rappers.

On second thought, I don't want to add bling to my writing. Nothing flashy or elaborate. Let me get down to it. Here goes.

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