Read the The Ghosts' Messenger!

by Tim Burdick on 07 February, 2015


Chapter 1
All Souls Day in Milovec

“Every November second, on Dušicky, your Grandmother and I clean your Uncle’s grave,” Grandfather said as he brushed the dead leaves off the concrete headstone. “We had our first date this night. Replacing the melted candles with new ones, and putting fresh flowers on his headstone. After we had finished, we held hands in the cold.” Grandfather drifted off, staring into space and then said, “Petr, throw these out.” He handed me dead violets and pointed to a dumpster at the end of the row.

A Very Happy Birthday to Me

by Tim Burdick on 02 February, 2015

Depending on your age, birthdays have many meanings. When you are a kid, they are fun. Usually, most people see them as a day which represent scary change. But, for me, birthdays are a chance to celebrate life. I stop worrying about the diet, all my classes, writing reports, and the daily work, and I enjoy. This day is about doing my favorite things. In the past, I celebrated on only one day, but now the party lasts for several days. By the time, I get all the birthday cards, it’s almost Valentine’s Day or later.

Am I done yet?

by Tim Burdick on 25 January, 2015

Submitting a story is not a mad dash to pour every word out of your head onto the page. Typing like a crazed fool, scribbling like a maniac does not make you a literary genius that the world will one day celebrate. It could mean a lot of things, like-- why are you in such a hurry? 

National Vandalism Conspiracy

by Tim Burdick on 13 January, 2015

Or something more sinister?

Yes, its true. I am not proud, but this how I used to think. Bad 80's B-movies and lots of Stephen King influenced me.
But, when I first travelled in the Czech Republic, I noticed all these village doorways which had the initials K+M+B scribbled on them. Who were K, M, and B? How could someone write these initials and never get caught? Why doorways? Ok. I could understand bridges, metros, and toilet stalls. What was wrong with this country? Were they blind to this graffiti epidemic?

Sounds like Teen Spirit

by Tim Burdick on 04 January, 2015

First Book review of 2015

The Fault in Our Stars ( John Green 2012 ) and The Perks of Being a Wall Flower (Stephen Chbosky 1999) are modern teen classics which you will never forget. No matter how many times you read it, the books’ magic never diminishes. Each story has its own voice. These two teens experience dark but very different worlds. It is listening to these hurt characters as they go through their days that make the books such compelling reads.

The Hesitant Caroller

by Tim Burdick on 23 December, 2014

December 6th, 7 pm on Charles Bridge.

It didn’t feel very Christmas-y. Fog blurred the night landscape as the castle’s, restaurants’, hotels’, and pub lights were only soft glows along the Vltava river. Reena, Mark and I were getting ready to sing on the Old Town side of the Charles Bridge. My fellow carollers shuffled through song sheets as we waited for missing members to arrive. A light rain had been falling all day, but now suddenly had stopped at the last moment.

What’s next?

by Tim Burdick on 14 December, 2014


Last weekend, it finally happened. I did it. Screaming from the balcony or dancing on all the furniture in the house wouldn’t have expressed the relief at finishing my book.

Is it Better to be Clueless or Have a Plan?

by Tim Burdick on 04 December, 2014

On Sunday morning, we met Denni, our Balinese tour guide, who smiled and said, “So, what you want to do? Culture? You like nature? I want you to experience Bali. We don’t drive and stop, drive and stop. We go to the places and see local culture. We avoid the crowds.”

Bangkok Shock

by Tim Burdick on 25 November, 2014

Bangkok Shock

Before I got off the plane last Friday, I could think of only one sentence about the capital city of Thailand. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t form a second one.

I imagined that I was visiting a grim city full of half-starved people in paper shacks and their naked children playing in dirty puddles on the streets. Wild dog packs roamed and fought over food. Street gangs and prostitutes were on every street corner. But this picture shows my ignorance about Asian culture. Or I watched a lot of bad war movies.

How to find a publisher?

by Tim Burdick on 31 October, 2014

Unless you are rich or your family owns a printing press,
It will take a bit of planning to get a publisher.


A Great Witch Story: Brooms, Salt and Apple cider

by Tim Burdick on 31 October, 2014

A great witch story: brooms, salt and Apple cider

Stephen Cosgrove’s Bump in The Night
Book Four: A Pinch of Salt

The story’s opening chapter presents the Hickabee family history including their orchard and the different tragedies that befell the family, her great grandfather, and her father both died on Halloween. This impersonal style of writing relates simple fact and basic details without a hint of the impending danger.

The impossible job

by Tim Burdick on 19 October, 2014

So, you have finished your latest novel, had it edited and polished to perfection. Now how do you do to get it published? Alert the press? Send a copy to the New York Times?

Sadly, now the real work begins.

That was Halloween!

by Tim Burdick on 10 October, 2014

Everyone has vague memories of this time year. Bad weather. Candle lit graves. Each culture has different traditions and rituals. But, when I was kid, October was a wonderful magical mystery of shadowy creatures and invisible scares.

Who says clocks aren't dangerous?

by Tim Burdick on 01 October, 2014

Philip Pullman crafts Clockwork in the style of Grimm’s fairy tale. A story is like a clock. The narrator states, “Once you’ve wound them up, nothing will stop them’ they move on forwards till they reach their destined end.” The clockmaker’s apprentice, Karl, the story teller, Fritz, Prince Florian, Dr. Kalmenius are all cogs ticking away. Who know how it will end? The story is set in a German village on the snowy night before the revealing of a new figure in the clock tower.

A poem from Linda

by Tim Burdick on 27 September, 2014

Last Saturday, I got married. And yes, for the record, it was epic.

Goodbye to Vroutek

by Tim Burdick on 10 September, 2014

You know you’re nervous about missing the 3:51 pm bus to Podborany when you arrive 40 minutes early at the bus stop. A thousand fears ran through my mind. Making connections in unfamiliar ghost towns (Czech villages are famous for being empty on Saturday afternoon), running with a back pack for a bus, getting off at the wrong stop, I just kept repeating one thought in my head. Get to Zatec and you’ll be fine. 

But, now what?

Believe in the Dream

by Tim Burdick on 26 August, 2014

You’re not a fake, a wanabee, or a pretender. You are the next Orson Welles, J.K Rowling, Ella Fitzgerald, Alphonse Mucha, or possibly, Frida Kaleho. To become an artist in the Fine Arts, Literature, Music, Film, even Architecture, you must treat yourself like the god-like artist- you want to become.

All the Stars laugh sweetly (a book review)

by Tim Burdick on 21 August, 2014

Written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the Little Prince is a classic for young and old, as one explores its pages and learns about the importance of friendship and love.

Lost Days of Summer

by Tim Burdick on 13 August, 2014

Last week, I found this memory stuck in the book pages, between the water color drawings of a starry night sky and a vast desert.


Kid Fears

by Tim Burdick on 07 August, 2014

I was baby sitting my nephew and nieces once. In the night, he woke up crying, with a runny nose and tear stained eyes. “Where’s Mommy and Daddy?”

I once thought writing was like building a wall. Each brick had to be perfect in just the right place. Unfortunately, this process is very slow. You don't set the next one until you are absolutely sure that it is in the right spot. With this method, I quickly realized that this writing style took forever and I would have to find a new way or I would never finish any of my writing.

Gears in Wonderland: a book review

by Tim Burdick on 21 July, 2014

Gears in Wonderland (by Jason Anderson) is a steam punk fantasy adventure. A timid milk toast, James, is pushed around by his boss, and harassed by his finance. But, after witnessing his friend’s murder, James is tackled by a man in a white suit and falls into Wonderland. There, he discovers the truth about himself as he tries to find a way home. 

How NOT to behave abroad

by Tim Burdick on 13 July, 2014


The American

On Sunday, I was walking past Bohemian Bagel. When an older gentleman, in his late 50’s, tan face, sunglasses on his head, walked up to me and said, “Supermarket?” twice and pointed in the direction of Obecni Dum.

I played with The Greatest

by Tim Burdick on 06 July, 2014

In honor of the World Cup, this week’s blog is about my amateur football career (soccer for Americans).

How to improve your writing

by Tim Burdick on 01 July, 2014

Once I thought my favorite authors wrote their books in their secret hideaways, and then months later, their masterpieces were published.

But, this is a myth. Writers don’t work alone. They get feedback as they work on their stories. When they are done and published, probably, even then, they fight the urge to go back and change parts of their books.

Watch out for the Wilberforces!

by Tim Burdick on 22 June, 2014


Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee is a sci-fi story about red headed twins Rachel and Theo Matheson who help Mr. Jones stop the shadowy Wilberforces.

Summer is here!

by Tim Burdick on 15 June, 2014

School is over. Vacation has begun. Yippee! It is a time to lie around and do nothing, except READ!

What are you watching?

by Tim Burdick on 08 June, 2014

Summer is a time for beach trips, barbecues, and hot lazy afternoons in the sun. But, it is also a time for movies. Sci-fi, comic book, rom-com, war, chick flick, fantasy, drama, thriller and the best and most controversial genre-- the children’s film (adapted from a book). For every great film (How to Train your Dragon), there is a Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief.

A good film will find you when you are least expecting it.

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