Randall’s Ramblings, October 2, 2016

Welcome to October! For some, the changing of summer greenery to fall’s mix of reds, yellows, and oranges is a welcome blessing after high temperatures and humidity. For others, it’s an unwelcome sign that the seasons are passing too quickly. Which way do you go when the wind blows?

Birthday greetings to everyone who has had a birthday during the past week.  You’re in good company: Tim O’Brien, novelist (The Things They Carried, In the Lake of the Woods); Wallace Stevens, poet; Roy Campbell, poet (The Flaming Terrapin); Graham Greene, novelist (The Power and The Glory, The Heart of the Matter); Truman Capote, author and playwright (Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood); W.S. Merwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning poetMiguel de Cervantes, Spanish novelist (The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha); Louis Auchincloss, novelist (Portrait in Brownstone, The Embezzler); and T.S. Eliot, poet, critic, and dramatist (The Waste Land and Murder in the Cathedral).

Happy birthday to all!

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

This week became one dedicated to reviewing my novels’ outlines and research. My outlines continue to expand as I move forward with a story, re-positioning chapters, editing content, and plotting my next moves.

As many of my reviewers have completed, either my real-life experiences are extremely varied or my research is very thorough. It’s a combination of the two. I remember reading something about writing what you know. That’s great, but will only take my stories so far. Research is the other big key to the comments I receive. Online resources make this easier as it can be done from the comfort of one’s creative space, whether that is sitting behind a desk or under a tree. No need to trek to a library or purchase a variety of books.

My goal in writing is to provide a reader with a good story, filled with a sense of realism. In my recent short story “Trek For Survival,” a Cessna aircraft runs into trouble and crashes. I’ve flown in plenty of planes, but never been a pilot. One of my reviewers is very familiar with this aircraft and declared my technical details and specs ‘spot on.’

In my novel The Kurdish Connection, one of the characters waited for his contact in a restaurant called Ali Baba and Sons’ Third Class Family Restaurant. A reviewer thought I should change this because it was the use of Ali Baba was a cliché. That might be so, but I didn’t change the name. Why? I ate there on a regular basis, it was owned and operated by Ali and his sons, and families were welcome. The Third Class part? Furnishings were minimal–people went to this restaurant for the outstanding food, not the trappings.

Needless to say, I’ll continue to use my personal experiences and my research efforts to create stories that readers will hopefully enjoy.

My Work in Progress

With research taking center stage this week, I didn’t complete any new chapters. However, I nearly have the first draft of one completed. After discussion with my publisher, I’ve changed the name of A Malicious Affiliation to Dangerous Alliance. This is still open to change, so I welcome anyone’s suggestion.

I still managed to send in the second set of deliverables to my publisher. This batch included blurbs from readers willing to have their comments included in the front of the book or on the back cover, as well as my dedication and acknowledgement pages. Still a couple of more items to prepare, but almost finished.

Books I’m Reading

Over the past week, I returned to one of my favorite authors, Brad Thor. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Code of Conduct – A Thriller (Scot Harvath Book 14). From the very beginning, readers are immersed in conflict, emotions, plots, intrigue, and plenty of danger. There’s even a bit of romance as Scot Harvath introduces readers to his girlfriend, Lara.  I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone currently reading this book, but hang on as you’re in for a tremendous ride.

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!

Food For Poetryy – Can food really be poetry? Check out Aishwarya’s site and find out.

Writing Resources

With continued work on my publisher’s requirements and full steam ahead on my novels, I didn’t have any time left for any research designed to aid the mechanics’ aspect of my progression. Perhaps next time I’ll have something to share.

That brings us to the end of another ramble.  Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions on topics you’d like me to cover, just drop me a comment and I’ll be happy to do so. Until the next time, thank you for reading!



2 thoughts on “Randall’s Ramblings, October 2, 2016”

  1. Hi Randall I always enjoy your ramblings I do have a blurb on Kurdish connection but I’m still stuck in the hospital after the surprise heart attack slow recovery from the triple by pass but should be out in a few days and send you my notes

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