Randall’s Ramblings, April 23, 2023

It’s been a pretty dry and sunny all week, until yesterday. The wind shifted and is now coming from the normal, bringing Arctic air to us and lowering the temperature. Right now it’s overcast and a light rain is starting to fall. Supposed to be cooler and wet over the next few days.

Tens of millions of phones will receive an emergency alert today as the government tests the system nationwide for the first time. At 3pm, a distinct sound and vibration will be accompanied by a message telling people a new service has launched that will “warn you if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby”. It will last about 10 seconds, and Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has assured people they can simply “swipe away” the notification. “Keep calm and carry on – that is the British way, and it is exactly what the country will do when they receive this test alert at 3pm today,” he said.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them. ” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, compliments of https://getfreewrite.com/blogs/writing-success/55-motivational-writing-quotes.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on 23 April, the fourth Sunday of the month. (Compliments of https://www.onthisday.com/birthdays/):

Julius Caesar Scaliger, Italian-French physician and scholar (On the Subtlety of Things); Georg Fabricius, German poet, historian and archaeologist; William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright (Romeo and Juliet; Macbeth: Hamlet); Friedrich von Hagedorn, German poet (Versuch einiger Poem); Thomas Wright, English antiquarian and writer; James Anthony Froude, English historian and novelist (The Nemesis of Faith); Edwin Markham, American poet (1st winner of American Acad of Poets Award 1937); Simon Abramsz, Dutch teacher and writer (For the Young Ones); Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, German historian (The Third Reich); Marcel L’Herbier, French director and screenwriter (El Dorado); Minus van Looi [Benjamin van der Voort], Flemish writer; Richard Huelsenbeck, German Dada writer; Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand detective writer and producer; Margaret Kennedy, English novelist (The Constant Nymph); Edwin Erich Dwinger, German writer (General Vlassov); Halldor Laxness, Icelandic writer (Nobel 1955); Maurice Druon, French writer and journalist (Prix Goncourt); Avram Davidson, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Peregrine: Primus, Rork!); James Kirkup, English travel writer, poet and novelist (African in Greenland); Colin Welch, British political journalist and critic of Enid Blyton’s Noddy series; J. P. Donleavy, American novelist (Ginger Man, Onion Eaters); Okke Jager, Dutch theologist, writer and poet; George Steiner, French-American literary critic and educator; Jim Fixx, American jogger and writer (Jim Fixx on Running); Victoria Glendinning, British author (Edith Sitwell A Unicorn Among Lions); Bill Hagerty, British editor (People); Richard Monaco, American sci-fi author (Grail War, Final Quest); Pascal Quignard, French author (Les Ombres); Pierre Labrie, Canadian poet; and Yana Gupta, Czech actress and author (How To Love Your Body And Get The Body You Love).

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: William Shakespeare. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week, I completed chapters thirty-one and thirty-two of Frozen Conquest and posted them to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Based on my outline, which was last updated on 7 April, there will be a total of forty-chapters when the initial manuscript is completed.

Twenty-eight reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 580.  As always, there are plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s another snippet:

Chris slouched in his chair, alternating between twiddling his thumbs and cracking his knuckles. Why can’t Matthew figure out Diablo from the beast and the devil? We used to play word games like this all the time. If I weren’t  afraid of Emmanuel catching me, even on the Dark Web, I’d come right out with it. Would he break the code? It’s not complicated.

He sighed as he leaned forward and grabbed his Dr. Pepper. Guess I’ll check Google for some other synonyms. Perhaps Matthew will pick up on these. His fingers flew over the keyboard as he ran a series of searches.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

At last, Chris smiled. Don’t have any idea if these will work, but these are the best I can find: Lucifer and Beelzebub. He scooted closer to the keyboard, logged onto his Dark Web email account, and began typing a coded message.

He reread the message a final time to check his conversion. Chris made a couple of corrections before reaching toward the send key.

Knock! Knock! Knock!

Chris swallowed as he hurried to send the email before rushing to the door and unlocking it.

Emmanuel stood in the corridor. “Can I come in?”

“Sure.” What’s he want? Is he on to me? Chris opened the door wide and gestured for Emmanuel to enter. After reclaiming his seat, he nodded. “Have a seat, Emmanuel. What can I do for you?” He dabbed a trickle of perspiration from his forehead.

“Can’t a fellow coworker drop by and say hi?” Emmanuel grinned. “After all, we both work for the same tough monster—I mean master.”

A low chuckle escaped from Chris. “I supposed you’re right. It can be difficult to keep on top of everything Brown wants—especially since he changes his mind all the time.”

“Got that right. I had my team hack into a small bank the other day and took most of their money. He complained because he wanted us to hit a big bank—even though we did as he said before he flew back to Miami. I wish he’d just stay there.”

Chris sighed. “I suppose we’re stuck with him—at least until our contracts expire.”

“I guess.” Emmanuel grimaced. “I have a touchy subject to discuss with you.”

Oh-oh. He’s definitely on to me. Chris nodded.

Emmanuel sighed. “It’s like this. In addition to my hacking duties, I’m supposed to keep an eye on what everyone else is doing with their computers.”

“Even Brown?”

“Except for him.” Emmanuel chortled. “As if he’d catch on I was perusing his activities. I think the original Pong game was too difficult for him.”

“What about the other hackers? Won’t they catch on?”

Emmanuel smiled. “Why do you think I picked people who aren’t as smart as me? Of course, Felix put one past me, but he’s been taken care of. Can’t have anyone trying to take over.”

“Of course.” Why’s he telling me this?

“Anyway … I’ve been checking  employees’ use of the Dark Web. Most of the staff aren’t using it—just me, Sawyer—and you.”

More next time.


The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, Colombian Betrayal, and Revenge are participating in Revenge promotion, running until the end of May for Action & Adventure, Romance, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy / Urban Fantasy. There are currently sixty-six novels participating. Why not check it out? You might find your next new author.


This brings us to an end for another week. I hope you found something of interest. 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 and hope you drop in again.

© Copyright 2023 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

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