Randall’s Ramblings, July 16, 2023

It’s been a wet week, with rain almost every day. Sometimes there were light showers while at other times there were heavy downpours. Last night on the news during the weather segment, the announcer stated July was a wetter-than-normal month and it’s expected to continue for at least the next week.

“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” – Barbara Kingsolver. 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 16 July, the third Sunday of the month. (Compliments of https://www.onthisday.com/birthdays/):

Marc René, Marquis de Montalembert, French military engineer and writer; da B. Wells (-Barnett), American journalist, civil rights activist, and co-founder of the NAACP; George A. Birmingham, Irish clergyman and novelist; Lambert McKenna, Irish editor and lexicographer; Larry Semon, American silent film actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (The Wizard of Oz (1925)); Maurits Dekker, Dutch novelist and playwright (Merkteken; Boots In Jail); Edward Miller, British historian and Master (Fitzwilliam College Cambridge); Trevor Illtyd Williams, scientific writer; Shirley Hughes, English author and illustrator (Dogger); Anita Brookner, English novelist (Hotel du Lac) and art historian; Robert Sheckley, American sci-fi author (10th Victim, Mindswap); Lady Caroline Blackwood, British journalist and writer (The Last of the Duchess); Tom Rosenthal, British publisher and broadcaster; Marion Pitt, social worker/writer; Reinaldo Arenas, Cuban poet and novelist (Pentagonia); Esther Friesner, American sci-fi author (Witchwood Cradle); Tony Kushner, American playwright and screenwriter (Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes); Alexandra Marinina, Russian writer (Igra Na Chuzhom Pole); Johnny Vaughan, English writer and broadcaster (Capital Breakfast); and Will Ferrell, American Emmy and Raspberry Award-winning comic actor and writer (SNL, 1995-2002; Anchorman; Elf; Step Brothers); Larry Sanger, American co-founder of Wikipedia.

Any names familiar to you? There were three for me this week: Will Ferrell. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work – Promotions

The Kurdish Connection, Dangerous Alliance, Colombian Betrayal, Mission: Angola, and Frozen Conquest are participating in a Thrillers and Suspense promotion through the end of August. There are seventy-eight Mystery & Suspense, Mystery & Suspense / Thriller, and Romance / Suspense novels to choose from, so when you have a moment or two, please check it out.

My Work In Progress

Mission- YemenThis week, I completed chapters three and four of Mission: Yemen, Xavier Sear Thriller Book 2. Both chapters have been posted to the two online writing sites I use. A further thirty-one reviews, bringing the total to fifty-one. As always, plenty of recommendations for me to consider.

Here’s another snippet. Please keep in mind that since these are first-draft chapters, things will likely be changed once I get to the editing phase. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Shatara scurried forward as a chunk of bread and an apple dropped through a slot. Moments later, the door inched open, and a fresh bucket of water was shoved inside before the door slammed shut.

She studied the stale bread. Larger than normal. Makes up for the bruised apple. Oh well. She broke off several small pieces of the crust and put them in the corner. Here, Bushra, you may eat when you are ready.

Shatara scooped dead flies from the top of the new water bucket. Stomach rumbling, she broke off pieces of the bread and dunked them in the tepid water before shoving them into her mouth. After finishing the bread, she bit into the apple. She shook her head at the bitter flavors while she savored the juice trickling down her parched throat.

After finishing her meager meal, Shatara leaned against the wall opposite the window. She could make out a few stars appearing, as well as a sliver of a new moon. They were soon blotted out. The sounds of the wind picking up whistled through the bars as sand splattered the outside of the building, as noisy as if it were a tropical storm.

She crept back to the water bucket and dipped her hand into the tepid liquid, cupping her fingers as she brought a small handful towards her mouth. After wetting her lips, she spat it out and returned to her blanket.

With the cooler breezes because of the approaching storm, she spread the chador across the blanket to give greater warmth. Before long, she fell asleep.


Shatara tossed and turned for hours. At one point, she reflected on her family. Tears formed as she thought of her parents and her brother, Zahid. I miss them so much. Will I ever see them again?

At long last, she drifted into a troubled sleep, the blanket and chador tight around her body.


The morning call to prayer woke her from a restless night. Body aching, she stretched to work out some of the kinks. What will today bring? Will Baba find me and take me home? She began her preparations for the Fajr, or the first prayer of the day.


An ear-piecing screech filled the air, which was abruptly cut off.

What is happening? She dashed to the blanket and tugged on her chador.

Rather than the clip-clop sounds of the jailer, the measured footsteps of someone else echoed in the corridor.

Shatara hurried to don the chador.

The key turned in the lock, squealing as normal.

The door opened, and a man dressed in a white full-length loose-fitting garment with long sleeves known as a thobe and a red and white checkered kaffiyeh stepped inside. “Well? Are you ready? I demand your answer—now. Speak with great care, or it could be your undoing.”

More next time.

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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