Book review: Toby Alone

by Tim Burdick on 03 February, 2014

Sometimes the biggest heroes come in the smallest sizes.

First Impressions of a Foreign Place

by Tim Burdick on 26 January, 2014

(Or-what I learned walking down the main street of Mae Nam, Koh Samui.)

Always make sure when you go to a country that you keep an open mind and celebrate their differences. You travel to see something new, not the same old thing.

To be a good artist...

by Tim Burdick on 18 January, 2014

Is create. Don’t just think about it or talk to friends. Practise, produce, and create. (Sorry, if it sounds like I am stating the obvious.)

Tip or Not to Tip

by Tim Burdick on 11 January, 2014

On Friday, we went for an elephant ride which cost 700 Th Bat (or 23 dollars). It was a short 30 minute trip around their jungle park. At first, the driver guided our elephant along a dirt track with Katka and sitting behind him. After awhile, the driver let each of us ride behind the elephant’s head as he walked alongside. He took several photos with our camera. Then, he got back on and tried selling us plastic charm bracelets and necklaces at a high price. When we tried to negotiate a deal, he said, “No, I must charge this price. Elephant has to eat.”

My Christmas message

by Tim Burdick on 25 December, 2013

For 364 days, we rush around, knock into each other, stress, worry, meet deadlines, attend meetings, work, but this holiday should be about stopping and slowing down.

The Bohemian life Part.2

by Tim Burdick on 19 December, 2013

I know what I said last month about writer’s life style, but visiting real places can give your imagination a boost.

Let’s go to the movies

by Tim Burdick on 12 December, 2013

Small independent cinemas are fun. As a kid, my favorite was the Roxy near my house. It started as a concert hall.  I once overheard a couple talking about Billy Joel and Heart had played there. The atmosphere was amazing with the old organ, the velvet curtains, and lights. The 70’s cartoon preview reminded people that they could still buy popcorn.

How I met devils

by Tim Burdick on 09 December, 2013

In 1998, I was visiting the Christmas market in Wenceslas square. I noticed that there were people in costumes. (men in white fluffy beards with staffs, or young girls in wings). One family with two little boys was walking down the street. Two men with horns on their heads and dirt smudged faces ran up screaming. They grabbed the boys, threw them over their shoulders and ran off.

Book review: Bridge to Terabithia

by Tim Burdick on 01 December, 2013

Bridge to Terabithia is a nostalgic tale of friendship and losing that special someone. Written by Katherine Paterson and published in 1977, it is one of my favorites for its intimate portrayal of a boy as he grows from the new person in his life and the changes that she brings.

Is a bohemian lifestyle the answer to great art?

by Tim Burdick on 24 November, 2013

A month ago, my writers’ group discussed how your geographic location might affect your art. They claimed that they would all write better if they could move to Europe (Paris or Prague). In this bohemian environment, inspiration would blossom.

Czech Jack O' Lanterns!

by Tim Burdick on 17 November, 2013

I know Halloween was two weeks ago, but a friend gave me these Jack O’ Lantern photographs and it reminded me of the first time I bought a pumpkin in Prague (back in 2004) and took it back to my flat. All these women were smiling at me. I thought, Wow, everybody is flirting with me today.

Don’t be afraid to make some noise

by Tim Burdick on 08 November, 2013

When I lived in Panama, I did my student teaching at a bilingual Catholic school. The teachers and students were all native Spanish speakers and practiced English in select subjects.

We remember all Souls.

by Tim Burdick on 02 November, 2013

Looking through my notebooks, I found this memory of my first Dušičky (Or All Soul's Day) in the Czech Republic. After all these years, I still consider it one of the most beautiful holidays.

This book review is dedicated to my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Miller, and her annual ghost story reading done by candle light every Halloween.

The girl who screamed

by Tim Burdick on 19 October, 2013

Once I was with friends on a getaway weekend out of Prague. We were walking through the woods. One girl, Petra, screamed and ran off the path. My heart leaped into my throat and I started sprinting after her. Did she see a bear, a boar, snake, spiders? What?????? Should I climb a tree?

Moomin Valley in November: A book review

by Tim Burdick on 09 October, 2013

Tove Jansson's Moominvalley in November isn't your typical narrative, but more of a glimpse into a natural wonderland. The story setting is the passing seasons from Summer, Fall, and then Winter. The beautiful description helps you see the isolated Moomin valley. It feels almost as if you, the reader, have fallen out of the sky and landed in a forest. You dust yourself off and meet Snufkin and the others one by one as you walk along.

What words can do . . .

by Tim Burdick on 27 September, 2013

When you write and share your work (articles, short stories, plays, poems), you will get all types of criticism. Not everyone will think your writing is pure golden wisdom and praise your ideas. Some will only look to find your grammatical mistakes, missed punctuation or typos. Others will point out your flaws in your stories and others won’t understand anything at all.

Travelling is an act of faith that everything will go alright.

In 1998, I left to live abroad in the Czech Republic. As I prepared, I kept my mind blank to all the possible problems. My co-workers asked, "Are you worried? Have you traveled before? What will you take? What WON't you take? How long will you be there? What if no one meets you at the airport?"

Horse Attack!

by Tim Burdick on 11 September, 2013

In the last week of August, my parents and I stayed in a hotel near Assatague Island, Maryland. This beach was recommended by a fellow surfer as a great surf spot, but I had never been there. It is home to 80-100 wild horses as a national park. The horses can wander wherever they want and are protected under environmental law.

A Review of Momo

by Tim Burdick on 04 September, 2013

Picking out a book by unknown author is quite scary. Will it be good? Will I like the story and the characters? Of course, I could have spent hours searching the shelves. There were so many new books out there besides the classics. However, in the end, when I visited children’s section of Luxor, I found one tucked in the corner hiding in the shadows, Momo by the German writer Michael Ende. His most famous book was The Neverending Story.

Where the best ice cream is. . .

by Tim Burdick on 29 August, 2013

not France or California, not even Italy, but Pokeno, a small town outside of Auckland, New Zealand.

Where scary stories come from Pt.2

by Tim Burdick on 20 August, 2013

In my imagination, I met a scared boy running full out in the dark.

Where I discovered a scary story

by Tim Burdick on 12 August, 2013

In honor of Tommy and the Manawar’s Eye, I will be writing about New Zealand this month. This story’s biggest influence was black water rafting. You wear a thick wet suit, gloves, boots, helmet and a life vest. You float along on this underground river, looking at rock formations and glow worms on the tunnel ceilings.

Written and Illustrated by Karel Capek, this classic children’s story is divided into two halves.  The story starts with Dasenka’s birth. A puppy who is nothing but a ball of fur, a nose and eyes.  In the following chapters, Nature, the narrator, and Dasenka’s mother Iris all teach her to walk one leg at a time, run, eat and other doggies lessons. Some of them (eating well and maintaining good health) can be underlying messages for young readers. In the second half, the author uses rich language as he tells funny, truthful doggie fairy tales such as  “The tale of the dog’s tale, Why fox terriers root around, About Fox”, and many others as they give a dog's eye view of the world. 

Living is the best inspiration.

by Tim Burdick on 24 July, 2013

I’m happy that you’re reading my blog, but if you want to write poetry, short stories, ballads, a novel, you probably won’t get your ideas while staring at your computer monitor, TV screen, or microwave oven. 

It's not how much you know, but what you know

by Tim Burdick on 18 July, 2013

On the way back to Prague, I was travelling by train (true story). I had little time to make the connection in České Budějovice.   I was sitting in my seat, repeating the sentence which I would ask the conductor. "Excuse me, Sir, could you tell which platform the train to Prague leaves from?" 

How to make your waitress laugh

by Tim Burdick on 10 July, 2013

Once when my parents visited me in the Czech Republic, I took them to Cesky Krumlov.  While we were there, we stopped for a coffee and cake at a cafe.  of course, I had been living in Prague, for a few months and I wanted to impress my parents with my Czech.

 So, I decided to order in Czech a hot chocolate and a honey cake (medovnik).

What’s in a house?

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.

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