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, August 9, 2010

Writing Through the Thunder: Day 8 at Camp Re-Write; Will Lightening Strike?

The view from where I sit all day. This was yesterday.

The view from where I sit. This is this morning.

Good morning! This is Day 8 at Camp Re-Write. I look out here (as I write this) and see not the clear skies and blue water of yesterday, but rather a heavens filled with great, gray thunder storms heading my way. The ozone alarm just sounded, meaning it is unsafe to be out and about the facility, sheets of rain slash at the surface of Florida Bay, booming huge sparks shoot across the near horizon. It's kinda nice. Good for a writer contemplating his navel (omphaloskepsis) and hoping a for a cognitive lightening strike.

Camp Re-Write schedule for August 9th? Up at 7:00, breakfast with politics (TV), time for blogging (here! now!), and, when the ozone alarm blasts out the ALL CLEAR signal, all campers must get back to the purpose of the camp: re-writing the novel, Brothers of the Fire Star. You're making good progress campers! We're proud of you (now that the homesick phase of summer camp has passed).

Later, campers will be encouraged to talk a long walk off a short pier (the old 7 Mile Bridge which is now 2 miles long so I walk it both ways) and on the way home, they will be given the opportunity to pick out their own supper menu at a popular local super market. Sounds like a grand day, everyone! Well, there goes the ALL CLEAR alarm! Let's get going, shall we?

To encourage campers' flagging determination, here are a few quotes about re-writing:

"Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with the first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing." Richard North Patterson

"This morning I took out a comma, and this afternoon I put it back again." Oscar Wilde

"The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. You can always do it better, find the exact word, the apt phrase, the leaping simile." Robert Cormier

"The great thing about revision is that it's your opportunity to fake being brilliant." Will Shetterly

"Books aren't written- they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it." Michael Crichton

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