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, April 2, 2013

A Day Off In Paradise: Re-reading THE HOBBIT

Under the lanai: I sat here today and watched butterflies, the breeze in the palm trees, flowers, and I got into THE HOBBIT
I decided to take a day off today--from writing, from sailing, from teaching, from book promotion. It's pretty warm and humid on Guam, but in this spot under the lanai, there is shade and a breeze, and so for the early parts of the day and into the first hours of the afternoon, it's a sweet spot to sit.
Hadn't read THE HOBBIT since I was in the Army back in 1969. I was in the Signal Corps and stationed in The Republic of China--Taiwan. After reading it, I started in on the rest of the series but gave up after two books of constant sameness--war and war and war. But THE HOBBIT was fun and it is now. It was cutting edge back then and it shows how derivative most fantasy is now: Full of dark lords and magic swords and ugly monstrous creatures. Not much new. But Tolkien started it all.
It's March 30th today. I've been away from my wife and home since the 4th and have moments of sadness and longing. Interesting experience. Like when I went away to Boy Scout camp for a week when I was a kid. Homesick, lovesick, whatever. But I've been working steadily. Sent another piece into the Prague Revue yesterday, this one an existential contemplation of knots. And I sold all the books my publisher sent here and I'm negotiating with someone who wants to be my representative here to get and keep the books in local shops/stores/museums/bookstores.
I've got two more school gigs left next week and I'm very glad to say I am enjoying teaching kids about writing. My break-through discovery: Kids love a good oral story teller.
In the end, I think I'm also discovering we need to escape our comfort zone now and then or we get soft, lose our edge. In a couple of weeks, I'll set out on a 42' sailboat for the 1,300-mile voyage to Cebu, Philippines. I'm dreading it/excited about it. Ten or more days at sea should get rid of the remnants of that comfort zone and then I can go back to my old life refreshed and hardened.

                 I'm living in a Garden of Eden, complete with serpents (brown tree snakes).
Note: I am now a monthly contributor to  THE PRAGUE REVUE. You can read my short stories and essays at:

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