Random Encounters

March – On Rejection

There are things they don’t tell you about being an agented fiction writer. Some of this stuff, I learned the hard way when I briefly picked up the interest of an agent’s assistant on my first novel, way back in 2012. The interest proved to be short-lived. When you’re in…

The Call to Adventure

Imagine this. The day has grown late. Outside the windows, the sun is setting, the sky is purpling, and the first stubborn stars have started peeking through the veil of night. It’s been a good, restful day, but before parting ways, you and your Player 2 decide to take a…

Into the Woods

This week, me and the Boy ventured into Surrey to explore Banstead Woods and their new The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe trail.

Mr. Bell

Mr. Bell wafts into the shop on a near-winter’s eve, hunched over his stick, little beetle eyes glittering. “You have some books for me,” he tells me at the counter, and so far, so good, though he’s approached my till from the wrong side of the queue. “Sure thing, what’s…

Village Life

Note To Readers: The Next few blog posts are from my Slovakia backlog. I am posting them quite a few months after the fact.  Stary Tekov is a proper village. There is no possible way it can be confused with a town–not with a population of less than fifteen hundred…

Further Adventures in Vegetarianism

Note To Readers: The Next few blog posts are from my Slovakia backlog. I am posting them quite a few months after the fact.  It’s the last week before my Easter Break, and having arrived just this afternoon in a village known as Stary Tekov, yet again, I find myself…

Adventures in Post

At this point, I’m not sure that I will ever quite understand the coldness that so many Czechs and Slovaks have toward…well, basically everyone.

Seriously, Boss?

It’s safe to say that I have just survived the most ridiculous two days in my ESL career so far. So, a couple things you need to know about SIDAS Language School: our boss is pretty straightforward about what he expects from us, and he’s pretty up front about the challenges…

Adventures in Vegetarianism Continued

Well. It’s dark. This week sees me venturing into the Czech Republic, through Prague and south, to a town called Tábor, where I’ll be teaching kids in the last year of primary school along with three other co-teachers: Jack, Clara, and a newcomer, Robin. Aside from the fact that we…

Drinking With Slovaks (Part II)

Click Here for Part I It turns out that “coffee” is pretty much the only English word Peter knows, though within a few minutes of him setting the water on boil, we’ve established that “sugar” means cukor (tsuu-kohr) and “milk” means mlieko (mm-lee-koh), and that instant coffee is the only…

Drinking With Slovaks (Part I)

Well, I managed to get to Holič, and I’m still in one piece, though the prize for Most Difficult Accommodation to Find definitely goes to the Turisticka Ubytovna Holič, Nam. Sv. Martina 9. Getting off the bus, I type the address into Google Maps and heft my backpack for what…

Breaking the Curse

Something you should know about me: I’m pretty unlucky. This has prompted several of my friends to come to the conclusion that I must’ve, at some point, been cursed by a gypsy–and my dad confirms that our family’s got a bit of … well, unglück, to put it mildly.

The Rare Perks of Vegetarianism

It turns out that having a dietary restriction in Central Europe is far more convincing if you claim to be part of a cult, at least as far as the Slovaks are concerned.

Your Party Checks Into an Inn

One good thing about running into a co-teacher as you get off the train in a town whose name you can neither spell nor pronounce is that he can always help when it comes to finding the hostel.

All Posts…

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