Today is a day off, in preparation for a superbusy week. It’s Easter Monday, a national holiday in the Czech Republic. The irony is not lost on me: the world’s most atheist (nearly 80%) nation celebrates Easter Monday! That’s a subject I need to explore at another time.
Sue and I spend the day at Prague castle (photo), the most sacred spot in the CR. From there, we make our way down through Mala Strana (Lesser Quarter) to Stare Mesto (Old Town). In our hotel room, I sign my first book. Appropriately, it is for my collaborator on the book, our friend and my translator, Irena Zikova. We meet Irena for dinner in the elegant dining room of the Imperial Hotel. At dinner, we catch up on family happenings and strategize about the upcoming book launch event, at which Irena will be my interpreter. In the middle of the meal, Irena surprises me.
“I saw on your website the claim that you’re a ‘full-time writer,'” she says. “Don’t make such a statement here. Czechs don’t like bragging.”
“That’s bragging?” I ask.
“Yes, it is. You are not a writer. You’re a successful businessman and educator. You may have written a book, but you’re not yet a writer. That takes many years and much success.”
I want to argue that I am now not only a writer, but I’m an author. Instead, I continue to chew my knedliky (those incredible Czech dumplings). I decide to follow Irena’s advice as my magical book tour begins.