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.

Get kids to read without bribery or begging

by Tim Burdick on 31 May, 2014

As a kid, none of these books made me fall in love with reading:

The Little Prince,
The Last Unicorn,
The Jungle Book,
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The magic story that I couldn’t stop reading was. . . .

While I am waiting

by Tim Burdick on 25 May, 2014

Today I mailed the latest draft of my book including revisions, additions, and changes to my story editor and seven readers. Yea! While I am waiting to get feedback from them, what am I going to do?

A Writer's Final Deadlines

by Tim Burdick on 19 May, 2014

Every morning for the last two months, my tired eyes have scanned the pages of my latest draft searching for mistakes before I flip to the next page. And the next. And the one after that.

When is the never-ending correction finished? There are always things I will want to tweak over the coming years. I feel that I can’t work on it much more. How can I make it the best story without repeating ideas, words and structures?
I went back through my notes and found this advice from a fellow writer.

How to Live Forever.(book review)

by Tim Burdick on 15 May, 2014

How to live forever ( by Colin Thompson) has a small boy, Peter, who is trying to find answers. He lives in a museum with his Grandfather and mother. Everyday after school, he explores alone the museum and all its magical wonder. But, questions plague him.

My own personal cheerleader

by Tim Burdick on 28 April, 2014

I love spending my mornings in chest deep water with my surfboard. Studying the glassy peak of the wave, and the diamond dust covered surface of the sea for the next good wave is pure joy.

As a rule of survival, when I visit a new beach, I have a lesson from a local surfer to get the inside scoop. Are there any unknown beach laws? Are locals protective of their turf? Are there good spots to try and bad ones to avoid? When are the best times for waves?

Be open minded!

by Tim Burdick on 24 April, 2014


which I am until my students told me about Czech Easter traditions.

The basic idea is that a man hits a woman with pomlaska. It is a stick with two reeds woven together. Yep, true story.

Ender’s Game is a sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card. In the distant future, our hero is a scared and bullied child who only wants to be left alone. Ender, the third child, is chosen to participate in a military school to fight off an invasion of buggers, a horrific alien race.

My Secret Volleyball moves

by Tim Burdick on 30 March, 2014

While living abroad, I’ve learned a number of sports. Chile-fotball (soccer), New Zealand-surfing, and the Czech Republic - volleyball. After playing with three different teams, I have become an okay player, which means I can handle a group of Hungarian teenagers in a 3-3 match, but professionals would make Swiss cheese out of me. It’s true.

When I think back over the last five years, I remember some of my great moves that have helped my team win games.

My worst birthday ever

by Tim Burdick on 23 March, 2014

On Saturday, I celebrated my birthday, dancing in Lucerna. True, it was technically in January, but I wanted to wait for all my friends to be back in town to go with me.

My fellow writer, Debi O'neille wrote this inspiring piece about reading to your children and I thought I would share it with all of you. Enjoy.

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