Read More >
Add a comment
Read More >
Add a comment
Read More >
Add a comment

Great Moments in Travel

I’m thankful for a lot of things; among them are Great Moments in Travel. I wrote a column about a few a couple years ago.

Read Away…

Great Moments in Travel

By Kelsey Timmerman

Khenpo Sange and Me

Baja, Mexico-

Moonlight Sonata is a creepy song, especially when it’s played by a vampire.

His white hands pick out the tune across the dusty keys. The notes drift out of the old baby grand and, weighted with misery, fall to the dirty concrete floor. Each one slowly crawls up the paint-chipped walls. Soon the room is filled with a multitude of lurking notes, which slowly fade, only to be replaced once more by the ghostly white hands on the ivory keys.

Senor Nicholas, owner/haunter of the piano museum in the…

Read More >

Uncle Kelsey

The other day my nephew Jared wanted to play with the mic I use to do interviews. So, I decided to interview him. Ahh…the things 3 year-olds will say. Actually, he’s this many now (holds up four fingers) because he just had a birthday.

I thought it would be fun to share my buddy Jared’s thoughts in a little reoccurring feature called “Uncle Kelsey.”

In this first episode, I teach him the basics.

(Note: You may not recognize Jared without his body cast)…

Read More >
Add a comment

Three reasons why I think cyclones suck

Masum and family

Masum and his family live in Jhalakati, which is specifically mentioned in this story about the devastating cyclone that hit Bangladesh.

I met Masum on a paddleboat from Dhaka to Khulna. He had been in Dhaka for an eye surgery. This is why he is wearing those glasses. He is not a Bangladeshi Elvis impersonator, just in case you were wondering.

Later, I tracked him down in Jhalakti. He let me stay in his hotel for free. I ate meals at his home and listened to his wife and daughter sing a duet.

I suppose my feeling helpless to do anything for them is a selfish way to feel. The only way I imagine I can help is to…

Read More >
1 comment

My Ohio State vs. Michigan memories – monks

Tibetan Monks love the Buckeyes

I’ve spent more than a few holidays away from home: Easter in Bangladesh, 4th of July in Guatemala, Halloween in Thailand, and Ohio State vs. Michigan in Nepal living with monks.

Ohio State vs. Michigan might not be a holiday to you, but then you must not be from Ohio or Michigan.

Yesterday’s game, which OSU won, reminded me of being in Kathmandu watching the evening news with my monk friends. The news is kind of boring when you don’t know what the heck they’re saying. So, when images of Columbus, Ohio, erupting in riots following a particularly heated OSU vs. Michigan game flashed across the screen, I perked up.

“Isn’t that where you are from?” Asked my buddy Dorjee Lama.


Then silence…

Read More >
Add a comment

A salute to all of my former, current, and future editors

It’s great having someone actually think about a story that you wrote and how it could be made more poignant, powerful, gooder, or more grammaticarularly written. I could always use a good editor or two.

When I first sent the piece on Fantasy Kingdom to Judy at the Christian Science Monitor, she liked it but thought it was missing something. Why would someone take 20 kids in Bangladesh to an amusement park? I didn’t have an answer. In my original piece, I wrote about the fun we had and about our imbalanced world, but I never answered the question that was the most obvious.

I added the bits about me being a roller coaster enthusiast (roller coasters rule in Ohio) and wrapped it up with an answer to Judy’s question. I sent it back to her that same day and she accepted it. This is one of the favorite things I’ve written in awhile and it wouldn’t be if it weren’t for Judy.

An interesting tidbit of editing: The CSM changed the tense of my story from present to past. I much prefer to write in the present tense and find it interesting that they changed it. I picture some editor’s assistant cussing me as he turns all my say’s into said’s. I don’t mind the changes. I just feel bad for the fella that had to make them. See if you think it makes a difference. Read the present tense version below the cut.

The first time I ever got paid for something I wrote, it was for this. I sent in my story unsolicited. They accepted it. Edited it and sent it back. And by editing here, they made it way worse. Trust me, it was no gem to begin with, but they were making things up that never happened and arranging them in a fashion that, if they had happened, still made no sense. My words aren’t precious, even less so now that I’ve written a lot more of them, and I don’t want anyone thinking I’m some kind of wordsmith lost in the glory of my craft, each stroke of the keyboard one of genius. I weighed my options and politely told them their edit was crap, putting in danger my first writing payday of…(wait for it)…$20. They were reasonable to work with and thankfully, we found some common ground.

I’m sure in publishing circles editors get credit and blame, but to the average reader they don’t. They are a name on a masthead or in the acknowledgments, toiling away behind the scenes, trying to make things not suck.

And really, is there anything more admirable than making things not suck?

Read More >
Add a comment
Read More >

What do you read on the John

Atop my tank is Zen: Images, texts, and teachings

For those moments when I’m truly full of crap.

Here’s a sample:

Mumon’s poem

In front of a fool
talk of no dream.
The foreigner has no beard:
it is adding stupidity to clarity.

Read More >
Add a comment