Randall’s Ramblings, May 21, 2023

We had mixed weather this week, with the occasional outburst of sunshine but mainly overcast. At least projected periods of rain failed to materialize, with only a few light shows. Thursday was a warm day, so we went for another walk in the nearby Devilla Forest. Yesterday, we started painting the bedrooms, which other than an initial coat of off-white when we moved in, haven’t been touched. We’re using Dulux’s Celtic Forest, a pleasant green color.

“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 21 May, the third Sunday of the month. (Compliments of https://www.onthisday.com/birthdays/):

Alexander Pope, English poet (The Rape of the Lock, translation of Homer); Emile Verhaeren, Belgian poet and writer (Les Flammes Hautes); Emil Ermatinger, Swiss literature historian; Everard Verachtert, Flemish linguist (I Can Speak Dutch Nicely pamphlet); Tudor Arghezi, Romanian writer; Manuel Pérez y Curis, Uruguayan poet; John Peale Bishop, American poet (This Side of Paradise); Suzanne Lilar, Belgian writer (Le burlador); Manly Wade Wellman, Angolan born American sci-fi author (After Dark, Devil’s Planet); Harold Robbins, American author (Moneychangers, Carpetbaggers, Betsy); Robert Creeley, American, poet and novelist (Island); Stanley Wells, English scholar of Shakespeare (Shakespeare Institute U of Birmingham); Dan Wakefield, American novelist (Going All The Way; New York In The Fifties), journalist (The Atlantic, 1968-81), and screenwriter; Gabriele Wohmann, German writer; Urs Widmer, Swiss writer; Janet Dailey, American Romance author; Jiggs Kalra, Indian food writer “Czar of Indian cuisine”; Andrew Neil, Scottish newspaper editor, (Sunday Times; Richard Appel, American writer and TV showrunner (Family Guy); and James Clancy Phelan, Australian novelist.

Any names familiar to you? There were two for me: Harold Robbins and Andrew Neil. 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-nine and forty of Frozen Conquest. As always, I posted them to the two online subscription writing sites I use.

Another twenty-two reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 670.  Once again, there are plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s another snippet:

Ted Nicholson, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, studied the communique and shook his head. What the hell? Is this someone’s idea of a sick joke? He picked up the phone and punched a speed dial number. “Hey, Bruce. Did you receive a strange warning?”

“Yeah … but … Sorry, I had a mouth full of apple—just having my lunch.” Bruce McDermott, Governor of the Bank of England, sneezed. “Was going to call you. What nutcase dreamed this up?”

“I don’t know but telling the world’s central banks to do as they say, or we’ll be sorry doesn’t come across as a serious threat. What would attacking the LME do?”

Bruce laughed. “I haven’t the foggiest. The London Mercantile Exchange is better protected than your Fort Knox. I believe only a complete idiot would threaten the LME.”

“Whatever they want—” Warning alarms and shouting echoed through Ted’s handset. “What’s going on?”

“You won’t believe it—the LME just started shutting down their entire enterprise. I had a monitor tuned to activity on the floor.  When I spotted people running around more than normal, I turned up the sound. Let me turn it off.”

“Can you tell what’s happening?”

“Yes. It’s almost pitch black on the floor—mainly emergency lighting. None of the traders can do anything—their computer shut down.”

“Hmm.” Ted picked up the communique. “The warning did say darkness would descend. So what? As soon as the power’s restored, the computers will be rebooted, and it’ll be business as usual.”

“I think that’s the whole point, Ted. They, whoever they are, said it would be a warning of what’s to come if we don’t adhere to their demands. Wait a minute—looks like the LME’s coming back to life.”

“Excellent. So, Bruce. Should we pay attention to these crackpots? Obviously, they have a superb hacker to do this.”

“Well, Ted, we can always ignore the warning and see what happens. After all, they can’t take on all G7 countries, can they?”

Ted rubbed a finger across his pencil-like mustache. “I don’t know.”

* * *

At the close of the European bourses, everything flatlined on the floors of the CAC40, FTSE100, and the DAX. Traders shouted as they sensed the loss of millions and were powerless to do anything about it.

Less than two minutes later, everything returned to normal—almost.

A statement scrolled across every monitor:

You Have Been Warned.

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?


All of my novels are participating in May’s MAYHEM & MOTIVES: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads. There are 234 novels to choose from. Please stop in when you have a chance. You could find your next best 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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