Randall’s Ramblings, June 24, 2018

The occasional shower over the past few days brought welcome relief from the temperatures in the 90s. Yesterday, we had a high of 73, which was very pleasant and still meant we could run around with shorts and t-shirts. The forecast is supposed to be similar for the next few days, so we’re beginning summer with mild weather. Wonder how long it will last?

Are you celebrating a birthday today? If so, here are some folks from the writing world who were born on June 24th (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

St. John of the Cross, Spanish Carmelite mystic, saint, priest and poet; Samuel Ampzing, poet (Taelbericht der Neth Spellinge); Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d’Argens, French writer; Ambrose Bierce, American writer and satirist (Devil’s Dictionary, Nuggets & Dust); Aleksei M Remizov, Russian writer (Iveren); Bruce Marshall, writer; Kurt Kusenberg, German writer (Wein Auf Lebenszeit); Arseny Tarkovsky, Russian poet; Ernesto Sábato, Argentinian writer; Norman Cousins, editor (Saturday Review); John Ciardi, poet/critic (translated Dante); William B. Ziff, Jr., American publishing executive; Pete Hamill, journalist (NY Post); Lawrence Block, American writer; Julia Kristeva, Bulgarian-French philosopher, psychoanalyst, and novelist; Gerhart Roth, Austrian writer; Mercedes R Lackey, American sci-fi author (Arrow’s Fall, Magic’s Pawn); Anatoly Borisovich Jurkin, Russian writer; Louisa Leaman, English author; and Brian Fitzgerald, American writer.

Did you recognize anyone? Even if you didn’t, I hope you have a fantastic birthday!


My Work in Progress

FINALIST - 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards

In case you missed last week’s post, on June 15th, the winner of the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards was announced. Amy J. Markstahler’s Life Happens on the Stairs grabbed the top prize.

The other finalists were: Mari Clark for The Road to Dusty Death, Barbara Kline’s Inside the Enemy, yours truly for Dangerous Alliance, and Chio Ojukwu’s To Cross a Blade and a Dagger.

I sent out several Dangerous Alliance submissions over the past week. Now that things have settled down with this novel, I can concentrate on the follow-on, Carnage in Singapore. I completed chapter four and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Since I’m less familiar with the settings for this novel, I also spent a great deal of time doing online research. I’m finding plenty of useful material so I can create the appropriate scenes. 

Here’s another snippet from Carnage in Singapore:

Semi-conscious, she listened to two people examining her. Through half-closed eyelids, she watched the two white-coated medical personnel until the agony increased. She closed her eyes and continued to listen to the conversation.

“Must be in terrible pain.”

Did a male doctor say this? Yes, I’m in agony … but the nightmares are worse.

“Yes, doctor.”

A female nurse?

“Shall I increase the morphine? It might ease her situation until the swelling subsides. Poor thing—I wonder what attacked her?”

“Yes, increase her medication—one unit. We’re both aware of the rumors about strange occurrences taking place on one of the smaller islands. Perhaps, she came from there.” The doctor cleared his throat. “How many is this now? Four? Five? The authorities must investigate before we’re overrun.”


They tied her arms to rings chained to the wall. Someone shoved a wad of material in her mouth so she couldn’t scream.

A rough hand grabbed her shoulder. Heat seared her arm. She smelled something acrid—burning flesh!

She spat out the wad. “Ieeee!”

The woman struggled against her bonds. A hand grabbed her hair and yanked her head back. A face appeared—sallow complexion, long, stringy black hair, hazel eyes. A knife came into focus, aimed at her right eye.

She closed her eyes and tried to twist away. The hand gripped tighter—pain, so intense as if her hair had been ripped from her head by the roots.


Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading The Rising Sea, by one of my favorite authors, Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. Another fascinating read in The Numa Files series, I couldn’t put it down. With Kurt and Joe and the other members of their scientific team trying to find a cause of increasing sea levels, it was another plot with plenty of action and suspected reasons. I won’t do a spoiler alert, but suffice it to say, Clive and Graham have once again created a masterful thread of twists and turns, and plenty of intrigue. I’m looking forward to Kurt and Joe’s next adventure.

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. However, this week I had too much research related to real-world writing requirements and therefore didn’t spend any time browsing for new authors. Perhaps next time.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved


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