Randall’s Ramblings – May 1, 2016

Happy May Day!  To celebrate turning another page on the calendar, yesterday seemed a good day to rake the beach and remove winter’s flotsam. By the time I finished, the pile of burnable material was waist high, about ten feet long, and six feet wide. Fortunately, Mother Nature cooperated with minimal breeze and a hot fire took care of the rest. Good thing, too, as it rained last night and more is forecast for today.

Why I want to Write–What’s Led Me to This Stage in My Life

Undeterred by my lack of success in obtaining a contract from a publishing house, writing and life continue.  I’m a member of forty different groups on one writing site. One group is about sharing completed works and getting reader feedback. I’m excited about this, as new eyes will provide their assessment of my writing.

It will be interesting to compare their observations with those I received from a publishing house, even if the focus could be different.  One area suggested by the editors was to improve the dialogue through the use of contractions, and that’s been taken care of. Now, what will these new readers think of the pace, tension, and plot? I’ll let you know when I find out.

A bit more from the Kurdish Connection:

Mufti Tanreverdi raised his hands. Everyone followed his lead as he quoted from the Qur’an.

After a moment of silence, the mufti walked over to Dersim. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you, Mufti Tanreverdi,” Dersim whispered. “He couldn’t live with the constant pain any longer. He took his own life.”

The police officer, eyes wide, froze in place for precious seconds as the vehicle veered toward him. Dersim tightened his hold on the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white. He pumped the brakes and downshifted. The truck’s tires gripped the asphalt and came to a stop inches from the petrified man.

“C’mon, ya big Canuck. Remember? The ticket place advertised in Turkish, German, French, and English, about private tours. They cover the main churches and caves, and some of the closed-off areas. We’ll sign up and check ’em out. Like a tourist but smarter.”

Later, when Willie and Aiden finished their beer and snacks provided by the manager and returned to their rooms, Beady Eyes folded the paper, shuffled to his feet, and went outside, his job done for the evening.

More next week.

My Work in Progress

I continued reviewing critiques of ‘The Kurdish Connection’, and once again found excellent recommendations to improve the story.  My review is now complete through chapter fourteen. This past week I finished editing chapters seven and eight, and they’re re-posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. Work on chapter nine is underway and I hope to have it completed and posted by next Sunday.

Last year I wrote a short story called ‘Postal Man’ about an average person we might know in real life.  Despite a job that doesn’t stimulate him situations arise where he becomes a hero, at least to those involved.  I brought ‘Postal Man’ out of the electronic filing cabinet and dusted it off.  I’ve submitted this story for potential inclusion in an anthology. 

Research continues for publishing houses accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Found two more but submissions must include an annotated outline, so I’ve been busy fulfilling this requirement.

With my concentration on ‘The Kurdish Connection’, work on ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’ continues its holding pattern.  Perhaps I’ll be able to do a bit more this coming week.

Books I’m Reading

This week I finished reading ‘Dark Watch (The Oregon Files Book 3)’ by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul, two of my favorite authors.  I thoroughly enjoyed Captain Juan Cabrillo’s Corporation taking their command post, disguised as a rusting, derelict freighter into harm’s way.  Contracted by a Japanese shipping magnate to find the pirates who are stealing ships, surprises abound. The Corporation finds itself a new mystery as a container dumped by the pirates contains dead bodies–Chinese.

What happened to this human cargo? How did they tie in with the theft of ships on the high seas? The Corporation learns the answer when a team member follows the route of Chinese workers seeking passage to America and ends up on the Russian coast mining gold at the base of an active volcano.

In this particular read, I wasn’t just looking to enjoy a story but also analyze how it was crafted and sealed together, so that I might improve my own work.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve now expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Hope you’ll check out the links!

The Fictional Cafe – writing, art, podcasts, and book reviews. Well worth a check.

Writing Resources

I don’t have any new writing resources to share this week as time ran out and I was unable to devote and research efforts.  I hope to have something new for next week.

Once again, we’ve come to the end of another ramble.  Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2016 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

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