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 (http://bit.ly/1mMT6ZC). 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, Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/1j3axVk) and Crossquarter.com. Visit the author's website: douglasarvidson.com
Monday, July 6, 2015
This is reputed to be Shakespeare's death mask. It may be or it may not be the Bard, but at least in one respect, it gets the message across: This man is dead, drained of life, and so drained of his creativity. Shakespeare didn't have to deal with the roaring cacophony that is our outrageous world of the Internet and social media. He wrote with a quill pen on coarse paper and sent letters by horse carriage. There were not millions of voices out there warning him that if he didn't join this group or that one there, he'd never make it as a writer.
So my message to myself today is that if I am going to create, I need to guard my creative energies and there is precious little of that energy left after I've spent hours every day sitting at a computer hooked up to the Internet thinking up clever ways to get noticed--whoring for attention, as it were. It all makes my head ache, my stomach knot up, and my spirit long for the quiet and solitude necessary to daydream. And I must always remember that daydreaming, simple daydreaming, is the genesis of creativity.
So, as a writer, my first obligation is to my creative self, to my daydreaming. That requires time, long, uninterrupted expanses of time that is quiet, reflective and free of the bloodthirsty killers called distractions. Close the windows, lock the doors, read something wonderful to prime the mind, and have the courage to daydream. Then, for at least four or five hours a day, have to courage to not whore yourself out.