Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, September 4, 2016

I hope you’re having an enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

What’s the origin of Labor Day? Many states passed bills created a day to celebrate the social and economic successes of American workers. New York was the first state to make such a proposal, but in 1887, Oregon was the first to make it a law. The federal government finally became involved, and in 1894, Congress declared the first Monday in September as a national holiday. Enjoy the weekend!

If you’re birthday is this weekend, you’re in good company: Sarah Orne Jewett, author (Tales of New England, The Country of the Pointed Firs); Hugh Sidey, news correspondent and author (John F. Kennedy, President); Vicomte François René de Chateaubriand, French writer and chef (who gave his name to a style of steak); Mary Renault (Mary Challans), author who wrote about her wartime experiences (The Last of the Wine and The King Must Die); Richard Wright, novelist (Native Son); Craig Claiborne, food critic and cookbook author; Joan Delano Aiken, author of supernatural fiction and alternative history novels for children (The Whispering Mountain, Night Fall); Tommaso Campanella, Italian philosopher and poet (City of the Sun); and Arthur Koestler, Hungarian novelist and essayist( Darkness at Noon, The Ghost in the Machine).  Happy birthday everyone!

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

I don’t know if I’ll ever be truly successful with my writing, but I must say the journey thus far has been enlightening. A long-time friend and work colleague named Les suggested I try my hand at writing. I’m glad I listened to him!

Each week I learn something new to improve my stories, whether scene-related, characters, plot, and of course, applying the senses to everything. I’ve been fortunate to meet a number of writers and authors through the two subscription writing sites I use who have helped me further my meager abilities. Many thanks to all!

I think last week I said there would be another snippet from ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’:

Diego broke into a fit of laughter and grabbed the counter with both hands to stop himself from falling. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he asked, “Who did you hire to handle the attack?”

“My brother, Pedro. He either got carried away or paid me back for some previous slight. Olivia wants me to learn to shoot. I convinced here I was a rotten shot and might hurt someone.”

“What? You’re one of the best marksmen in Los Urabeños!”

“Sure, but I want to keep playing the bumbling husband to learn enough to take her down. In fact, I’m planning a little surprise.”

“What is the meaning of this? These are my people, and this is private—” A pistol slammed against the back of his head and silenced Alonzo’s protest. Someone tossed him into one of the trucks while soldiers set the buildings on fire. Red and orange flames reached for the sky as thick black smoke spiraled upward.

On a distant ridge, a man dressed in peasant clothes lowered expensive binoculars after Alonzo was led away. He chuckled as he picked up a backpack and disappeared into the brush.

Olivia, this is only the beginning. Soon you’ll beg for mercy.

Perhaps more next week.

My Work in Progress

Real-life requirements played an important part in my diminished writing time this week, yet I still made progress on the first draft of chapter seven of ‘A Cartel’s Revenge.’ All being well, I’ll post the chapter to my writing sites by the middle of the coming week so my reviewers can have a shot at it.

I spent most of my available time fine-tuning my short story, ‘Trek For Survival,’ so I can submit it for consideration for an anthology. Hope to have this completed during the coming week as well.

Of utmost importance is my continued progress on the various items my publisher will need for ‘The Kurdish Connection.’ I’ve completed a draft tagline and selected seven search terms. Doesn’t sound like much progress, but I had plenty of reading and research to complete as I worked on these areas. My bio will be coming up next.

Books I’m Reading

I also managed to read ‘Diablo Nights (Detective Emilia Cruz Book 3’ by Carmen Amato. Not sure how I ended up with book three since I haven’t read the first two, but it’s an oversight that will be corrected.

Carmen has created a great detective with Emilia, caught between demands of her personal and professional life. In this latest story, body parts and a potent drug descend on the tourist city of Acapulco, Mexico. Toss in corrupt politicians and authorities and it’s a perfect recipe for trouble. 

Emilia is a tough detective and uses her kick-ass approach to solve the latest crimes. Her normal partner is given other duties while she’s saddled with someone who used their influence to not only become a police officer but a detective without a single day on the force. But is there something more about the trainee than meets the eye? ‘Diablo Nights’ is an exciting read and if you’re into detective stories, grab yourself a copy and get involved.

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

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. This week, I only had time to read through one but it’s well worth a read. Hope you’ll check it out!

Opinionated Woman – an interesting blog by C L Terry, the editor for the Toledo Bend Review Literary Journal.

Writing Resources

With my ongoing homework form my publisher, I have plenty of resources to share. Today, I’ll point you towards several links that will help you create the all-important keyword search terms. Here are just a few of the links I’m now reading:





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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