Randall’s Ramblings, August 27, 2023

It’s been a drier week–at last! While the temperatures have struggled to reach into the upper 60s F (20C), there’s been a good amount of sunshine.  We’ve had cooler temperatures during the evenings and some of the leaves are already falling. I did manage to get some of the grass cut, which really needed it as it was getting pretty long.

Over the past week, the price of gasoline (petrol) increased another two pence, bringing it up to 1.53 a liter. With the current exchange rate, this kept an equivalent U.S. gallon at $7.26. Meanwhile, the price of a liter of diesel rose to £1.54.

“Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” — William Faulkner. Compliments of https://selfpublishing.com/writing-quotes/.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on 27 August, the fourth and final Sunday of the month. (Compliments of https://www.onthisday.com/birthdays/):

Johann Georg Hamann, German counter-enlightenment philosopher (“Reason is language”); Herman Muntinghe, Dutch theologist (History of Mankind); Edward Beecher, American theologian; Albijn van de Abeele, Flemish author and painter; Gustave J Waffelaert, Flemish theologist and bishop of Bridge; Manuel Acuña, Mexican poet (Nocturno); Iwan Franko, Ukrainian writer and political activist; Amado Nervo [Juan Crisóstomo Ruiz de Nervo], Mexican writer and poet; Theodore Dreiser, merican novelist (Sister Carie, American Tragedy); Lloyd C. Douglas, American novelist (The Big Fisherman); C. S. Forester, English historical novelist (Horatio Hornblower); Xavier Villaurrutia, Mexican poet (Nocturno de los Angeles); Norah Lofts, British author (The Town House); Catherine Marshall, American editor and writer; Walter Heller, economist (Old Myths & New Realities); David Rowbotham, Australian poet and journalist; Ira Levin, American author (Rosemary Baby, Boys From Brazil, This Perfect Day); Antonia Fraser, British author and biographer (Mary Queen of Scots); Frank Yablans, American writer (North Dallas Forty); Michael Holroyd, author; Don Miguel Ruiz, Mexican spiritual teacher and author (The Four Agreements); and Tom Lanoye, Belgian author.

Any names familiar to you? there was one for me this week: C. S. Forester. 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

Mission- YemenThis week, I completed chapter ten  of Mission: Yemen, Xavier Sear Thriller Book 2. As always, it’s been posted to the two online writing sites I use. A further eighteen reviews came in this week, bringing the total to 177. As always, there are plenty of recommendations for me to consider, and I’m always appreciative of the time and effort people put into reviewing my work.

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 stumbled.

The brothers yanked her to her feet. Without a word, they kept marching her along.

What’s that noise? Shatara struggled to keep pace with the brothers as they climbed a flight of stairs.

A door banged open, and the sounds increased.

We’re outside. But where are we?

Wazir and Yusuf marched her to the rear of a dilapidated vehicle.

While Yusuf fumbled in a pocket for the keys, Wazir held on tight to Shatara’s arm.

She winced. “You’re hurting me.”

Yusuf opened the trunk of the vehicle.

They scooted her to the edge. Without warning, they lifted her and shoved her inside the trunk.


Shatara screamed as the lid was slammed shut. She pulled off the hood.


The men climbed in the front seats. With jerking movements, the vehicle moved forward, as one of them maneuvered into the almost-deserted street.

Shatara became ill with the bouncing of the vehicle as the trunk filled with exhaust fumes. She screamed again and coughed, the acrid fumes burning her throat.

About fifteen minutes later, although she didn’t know for sure, the car came to a halt. The car doors opened and were slammed shut.

Shatara worked the hood back over her chador. What’s going to happen now?

One of the men opened the trunk, and together they yanked her out and helped her stand.

“Do not make a sound, or you will regret it.” Yusuf squeezed her arm. “Do you understand? No one will come to your rescue.”

“Y-Yes. Don’t hurt me.”

“We are going to go down a flight of stairs and take you through a door. Once inside the building, we will take you to your new home.”

Both men laughed.

Shatara slipped on the steps as they descended, banging a knee against the railing.

After they were inside the building and the exterior door was shut, Wazir removed her hood. “Do not attempt to run. There is no place for you to go.” He pointed down a dimly lit corridor. “You will be staying in a room on the right. Follow me.”

Wazir led the way, and Shatara followed, with Yusuf pushing her on a shoulder from behind.

After unlocking the third door on the right, Wazir entered.

Yusuf shoved her inside.

Shatara glanced around. Against the right wall, there was a bed with two blankets folded on the end of the mattress, and a pillow. Next to the bed was a small rickety table with a lamp, and beside it, a small chest of drawers. Next to the lamp was a full bottle of water. Basic but much better than the cell where they held me.

Wazir pointed to a closed door. “Your toilet is in there. There is no way to escape, so make yourself comfortable.

Both men chuckled.

“What about food? I’m hungry.”

“You will have to wait until the morning.” Yusuf marched to the door and held it open. “Time to go, Wazir.”

“Give me a minute.” He turned to Shatara. “Prince al Mishari will visit you in the morning.” Wazir shrugged. “He will decide whether you eat or starve to death.”

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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