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:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Writing Down the Winter

Welcoming February 2014 with a glass of wine.

It was a long, cold January, one for the record books and one to be treasured, in that strange way writers cherish the excuse to stay in doors, curled up, tucked away, warm and writing.

The working title of my next novel is Red-winged Black Bird on a Joe Pye Weed. It's set in 1950's-60's rural New England with an important scene on Guam during WWII. It concerns a boy whose father and mother had abandoned him to the care of a nurse-midwife. As of Friday, I was 171 pages into it, or about 47,000 words. If you're lucky when you write a book, the plot, the characters, the setting all fall in together in a glorious and wonderful stew and this has happened now. I, for the first time, I am totally absorbed in and obsessed with writing: I want to do nothing else. I have to pull myself away for a weekend break. I tease myself; it's like foreplay.

Speaking of writing, I was about to send in my February piece to The Prague Revue (an essay on Kurt Vonnegut and the effect that his being in Dresden as a POW during the firebombing in WWII had on his writing). Just before finishing the piece, I happened to visit TPR's website, as I do several times each week. And so, of course, I find that the Universe has conspired against me with a cosmic coincidence. There was a very nice piece, written by the editors, about Kurt Vonnegut and his experiences in surviving the fire bombing of Dresden. Pure bad luck for me. So, I regrouped, dropped back and punted them another piece, this one on the mythologist Joseph Campbell and his impact on 20th century writers, film makers, and thinkers.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday and we are going to a neighbors for the game (Denver-Seattle). Terry flies to Atlanta early tomorrow, so we'll have to be careful tonight. She has six more months in this job. 

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