What makes your kid smile?

by Tim Burdick on 27 January, 2016

You know, you’ve read a children’ book (Sandra Boynton’s Moo, Baa, LA LA LA!) a lot when you can recite it from memory.

Feedback Gifts

by Tim Burdick on 04 January, 2016


Christmas is over, but the presents keep arriving. When I asked friends for feedback on a new story about an elf, I wasn’t sure how many would respond. But for over the last few weeks, the constructive feedback has arrived from around the globe.

Why I like Bill Peet

by Tim Burdick on 11 December, 2015


Droofus the Dragon taught me – to find my purpose.
Cyrus the sea serpent taught me- to be myself.

What are you afraid of?

by Tim Burdick on 04 November, 2015

When I was younger, I was afraid of the monster living in my closet and the dark. Now, as an adult, I have replaced those old ones with new parental fears.

Can you read my 400 page children's book?

by Tim Burdick on 25 October, 2015

Hemingway: My opinion is that I hate it.

Gil: You haven’t even read it yet.

Hemingway: If it’s bad because I hate bad writing. If it’s good I’ll be envious and I’ll hate it all the more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.

A Tale of Two Graysons

by Tim Burdick on 06 October, 2015

Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Have you heard of them? No?

Well, how aboutPaper Town?

Yes? And how aboutThe Fault in Our Stars?

Of course, yes, that’s better.

The Madeleine Factor

by Tim Burdick on 22 September, 2015

I have something in common with Madeleine L'Engle, author of A wrinkle in time.

Yes, it’s true.

Do we share a birthday? No,
Favorite color? Nope.
Are we from the same hometown? Guess again.
Did we write the same number of books? Not even close.

Our common factor is why we write. . . . .

The Last Book to Budapest

by Tim Burdick on 29 August, 2015

Every summer, we need beach books to enjoy as we lie on the sand and soak up the sun. But, what is the perfect book to read on a plane, in a car (if you don’t get sick), on a boat or a train?

One more Seuss in the world

by Tim Burdick on 16 August, 2015

“Good news, Dr. Seuss’s widow found an old manuscript in a bank vault,” My mom told me on the phone, during our weekly talk, “They’re going to publish it!”

Stay cool in Summer

by Tim Burdick on 03 August, 2015

Book Review of The Snowstorm

This Swiss Classic (by Selina Chönz) is set in a mountain village. Sister and brother Ursli and Florina tend to local animals in their barn or under the weather tree out in the forest. The story follows their preparations for the sledding day party. An excited Ursli wants to have the best sled for the big parade. As a storm approaches, he sends his sister to gather decorations for their sled. Will she get them in time and return home safe? The winter snow brings danger to the characters’ lives, but you must read to find out the ending.

Neverending Search

by Tim Burdick on 17 July, 2015

It is good to have a goal with your writing. Sometimes, I feel like a dog chasing my tail in circles. Brainstorming, drafting, re-writing, and editing my work until perfection. It’s fine to write and create, but let’s not forget the importance of publishing. This month’s blog contains my random weekly searches: the good, the bad and the hopeful of finding a publisher for The Ghosts’ Messenger.

Last week I bought a Czech children’s book O Čertovi by Pavel Čech. The illustrations showed a devil cast out from the fiery pits of Hades and sent to the human world where he caused all kinds of mischief: bending TV antennas and cutting laundry lines. Despite his nighttime fun, he felt alone, discovered an orphan girl and fell in love. But wait! How does the story end?

Goodnight Moon

by Tim Burdick on 28 June, 2015

To be honest, I’d never heard of this book until my mother gave me a copy for my newborn son and now it is a must read before bedtime.

Stories for Oliver

by Tim Burdick on 02 June, 2015

The father/son evening ritual. It is time to read him his bed time story. I place him in his crib. He is wrapped in his monkey blanket with only his head poking out. He is looking at me with his brown eyes waiting as he sucks on his pacifier.

The Next Step

by Tim Burdick on 25 May, 2015

I love writing, but I hate submitting. Formatting documents confuses me. Writing the perfect query makes me slam my keyboard close and want to hide in a closet. The rules of submission are so long that I get confused and throw my hands in the air. It is too much. It’s not worth it.


How many books have I abandoned, but now I have a story that I believe in. The Ghosts’ Messenger.

Bunnicula (by James and Deborah Howe) is a tale for tweens, which will have readers chuckling about two household pets discovering the truth behind their newest member in the Monroe household.

Night and Day

by Tim Burdick on 13 April, 2015

Sometimes, life reminds us of good story telling: that perfect line, the bizarre plot twist, or unique character name. This week, I learned (again) how the time of day can influence mood and setting.

To my soon-to-be Son/Daughter,

by Tim Burdick on 29 March, 2015

In this final week, with every passing day, your mother and I are becoming more and more excited to meet you. There is a whole world that I want you to experience.

I can't put it down!

by Tim Burdick on 20 March, 2015

Reading a good book helps you to escape from the real world. You open the cover and turn the pages. There you are on another planet, in the middle of the dessert, or an English country lane at midnight, and your journey begins. It isn’t until sometime later, a little voice reminds you, “Shouldn’t you turn off the light and go to sleep?”

Begin at the Begin

by Tim Burdick on 11 March, 2015

When writing a first chapter, nothing is wrong. I want my readers to visit this new shadow world. I have many questions about my new characters. Who do I want my readers to meet first? Humans or shadows? Under which circumstances? What information is important to learn first and what is more important to learn later. I think of my main characters' appearance and how he or she might react to a situation. Before I write the next chapters, I have to discover these key details to let the story grow.

Where's Vango?

by Tim Burdick on 22 February, 2015

In the third book Vango by Timothée de Fombelle, everybody is looking for him. A young Scottish girl, a KGB agent, the Sparrow, and the head of the French Police. The hunted boy Vango darts across Europe by boat, train and dirigible. This enticing story is set in the pre-WWII time period. Once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down.

Happy Valentine's Day!

by Tim Burdick on 14 February, 2015

Enjoy this quote with someone who loves children's books.

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.

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