Randall’s Ramblings, August 14, 2016

Our cats have been finding cool spots to hide during the past week. One of their favorite locations is our basement, where they find plenty of boxes to curl up in and sleep during the continued heat and humidity.  That’s fine during daylight hours, but when it becomes cooler in the evening they want to venture outside. We would like to oblige, but there are coyotes in the area so we keep them in during the evening as much as possible.

A couple of firsts happened this weekend in history. In 1892, the first issue of the Afro American newspaper was published in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1457, the German astrologer Faust published the first book printed.

If your birthday was this weekend, you’ve shared it with a few noted writers and authors: Lucy Stone, woman’s rights activist and founder of Woman’s Journal; Ernest L. Thayer, poet; Russell Baker, author and columnist; Danielle Steele, fourth-best selling author of all time; and Gary Larson, cartoonist (The Far Side).

Other notables include: Alfred Hitchcock, who directed over fifty films; Fidel Castro, Cuban revolutionary leader and president; Don Ho, Hawaii’s musician and singer; Dan Fogelberg, singer-songwriter; Steve Martin, comedian, actor, musician, and screenwriter; and Halle Berry, actress.

Happy birthday to all!

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

I never thought at my age I’d be given homework. While not specifically called that, my publisher sent me a list of things to work on so they’re taken care of when editing of ‘The Kurdish Connection’ begins. 

I’ve read through the list for a couple of days and yesterday I began research so I can provide the best possible responses. Over the next two months, I need to provide the following:

  • An attention grabbing headline, also called a hook or logline
  • A short, to-the-point description
  • A longer, more detailed description
  • An author bio
  • An edited version of the bio for the back of the book
  • A list of search terms or tags people might use to find my book online
  • The genre of my books using BISAC categories
  • Comments – blurbs from authors or other notables
  • Also by – listing of previous or upcoming publications
  • Dedication
  • Forward
  • Acknowledgments
  • First chapter of a forthcoming book

There are several other items, many optional, that I’ll have to consider after I tackle this group. I never realized how much had to go into putting a book together!

Here’s a bit more from ‘A Cartel’s Revenge:

An hour later, Pepe turned into a potholed parking lot at the rear of a seedy cantina called El Cerveza. “Go inside. Señor Días is waiting for you. I’ll be here when you finish your business.”

Alberto and Michael grabbed their packs from the rear of the vehicle and headed toward the bar’s entrance. A warped wooden door once painted red, rested against a brick, allowing patrons access without fighting through a barricade.

The three men hoisted their beer and drank a silent salute, not stopping until empty bottles landed on the table.

“One more cerveza and Pepe will drive us to my Bogota home so we might have our discussion in private. Too many ears are listening here.”

More next week.

My Work in Progress

It’s been another hectic week with plenty of life’s daily preoccupations to contend with. I spent more time returning critiques for those who’ve been reviewing my work than I did writing. 

However, I did manage to complete chapter five of ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’ and it’s now posted on the two subscription writing sites I use. One reviewer calls it the best chapter I’ve ever written, so that will be the bar for the remainder of the story.

During the coming week, I hope to begin chapter six and continue my research for chapter seven. In addition, I want to post chapter three of ‘A Malicious Affiliation’ but as least for now, ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’ is my priority.  Editing is also ongoing on my short stories ‘Trek for Survival’ and ‘Lakeside Retreat,’ which I want to complete by the end of the month.

Books I’m Reading

This week I finished reading an action-adventure story by Phillip Strang called ‘The Vane-Martin Conundrum.’ Non-stop action, intrigue, and plenty of backstabbing, set in Britain as Islamic State attempts to carve out areas of the country for themselves.

Two high-flying analysts, Vane and Martin, are called upon to anticipate upcoming targets after a series of explosions in easily accessible locations kill hundreds of people. This is only the first stage. A Royal Navy submarine is destroyed, but how? Vane and Martin work their magic as control of the political situation is in turmoil. An unlikely source, a killer in Belmarsh, becomes a pawn in the game as both sides try to overcome the over. Our analysts determine churches and police facilities will also be targeted, as the terrorists hone in on their ultimate target–the British prime minister. Get yourself a copy and have a roller-coaster ride through this exciting story.

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

Heartstring Eulogies – the writing of Sarah Doughty, who suffers from PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Unmotivated Enthusiast – a different way to look at the world through the eyes of a high school student.

Writing Resources

With the homework I have from my publisher, I now have plenty of resources to share. Today, I’ll point you towards several links that will help you write an attention grabbing headline or tagline. Here are just a few of the links I’m now reading:

Writing a Killer Logline

How to Easily Write a Great Logline – The Write Practice

Writing Loglines that Sell

Once again, we’ve reached 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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