What’s in a house?

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by Tim Burdick on 08 May, 2013

What's Upstairs? is my first e-book and it has many different characters.  A retired lighthouse keeper, an Irish surfer, an injured child, a crazy cousin, and a house. Well, yes, it is true. Okay, in true literary terms, it isn’t. A house develops the setting.  This one creates a mysterious atmosphere, but like my characters, it has secrets. Why is it broken down with an unrepaired roof?  Why is there no furniture in the downstairs?
As a writer, I left you clues to help you guess what comes next. But, I hope you don't. Surprises are nice because they make you re-read the story to find the details you missed the first time.

When I was younger, I thought houses were dull places full of doors and windows. I understood that some strange adults loved them. Big mansions with expensive drapes, beige wall paper, brass door knobs and lilac bath mats.
But for me, I wanted to live in a hollow tree or in a Hobbit hole. That would be exciting climbing the branches to enter your home or crawling underground in a comfortable soft corner of earth with tree roots around your head.
All that changed the day that I visited all three of Pablo Neruda's houses. Yes, that’s correct. Three.  He was a famous Chilean poet who had them in Isla Negra, Valparaiso and Santiago.  Each place reflects his passion for life and the sea. They were his treasure chests full of bits and bobs, driftwood, and seashells. Don't worry, I won't tell you everything I saw because I don't want to ruin your visit to his houses (or the ending to my book), but my favorite discovery was a quote that was carved on a wooden beam at his house in Isla Negra.
“From the joy of my journeys, I navigated building happiness.”
In real life, houses have many uses. Some are normal and others aren’t. They are places to store your stuff, to sleep in, to protect from the wind and the rain. They are full of objects and people. But, Pablo taught me that they should also be filled with emotion. All kinds.
In stories, houses also have similar functions which also include being metaphors for their characters’ and their emotions. My group interacts in/around a depressing run-down house, I hope it will hook you to find out – why?


  • David

    Hi Tim!

    Houses. Yeah, they are fascinating and yet something we let go in the back of our minds...

    Best wishes


    David 04 July, 2013
  • Ginny

    Sounds very mysterious...I'm hooked! :-) Really like the website--keep up the good work!

    Ginny 25 June, 2013

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