Randall’s Ramblings, October 1, 2023

It’s been a wet week, with plenty of rain and strong gusts from Storm Agnes. Fortunately, we didn’t get the brunt of the storm–that was reserved for Ireland and the west coast of Scotland. We’re starting today with mixed skies, but for now, there’s plenty of sunshine.

The stabilization of gasoline (petrol) prices didn’t last long. Over the past week, the price of increased to £1.58 a liter. Meanwhile, the pound strengthened slightly against the dollar, and the price of an equivalent U.S. gallon increase nine pence to $7.30. Meanwhile, the price of a liter of diesel jumped four pence to £1.63 a liter.

Writing is sweat and drudgery most of the time. And you have to love it in order to endure the solitude and the discipline. — Peter Benchley, author of Jaws. 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 1 October, the first Sunday of the month. (Compliments of https://www.onthisday.com/birthdays/):

William Beckford, British writer (Epsiodes of Vathek); Vincenzo Cuoco, Italian historian (Naples Revolution 1799); Sergey Aksakov, Russian novelist (Chronicles of a Russian Family); Charles Cros, French inventor and poet (Le Hareng Saur); Israël Querido, Dutch writer (Menschenwee); Louis Untermeyer, American poet and critic (Immortal Poems, Story Poems); Ahmad Amin, Egyptian historian and author (My Life); Faith Baldwin, American author (They Who Love); Ernest Haycox, American writer; René de Rooy, Surinamese and Antillean poet (Juancho Picaflor); Isaac Bonewits, American author; John Hegley, British poet; and Jon Guenther, American author.

Any names familiar to you? There weren’t any for me. 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 was unable to finish chapter fifteen of Mission: Yemen, Xavier Sear Thriller Book 2. Outside endeavors and catching up on reciprocal reviews kept me busy. Even so,  reviewers provided another ten critiques this week, bringing the total to 275. As always, they’ve provided 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 to improve the story, please let me know.

Sear squeezed the vehicle through the narrow opening and parked near another white Toyota Hilux in pristine condition. Beside it was a battered olive green Toyota Noah. “Looks like someone’s home.”

The men climbed out of Sear’s vehicle and approached a door covered with security bars.

Wasim located a bell and pushed the buzzer.

Moments later, a wizened white-haired man opened the door and bowed from the waist. “Salam alaikum.”

Sear stepped forward. “Wa alaikum as-salam.” He continued speaking to the man in Arabic. “I am Sear. Sayyid Bashari is expecting us.”

After a look of surprise crossed the man’s face when a foreigner spoke his language, he bowed again and opened the door wide. Min fadlak, Sayyid.”

“Shukran. Please take us to Sayyid Bashari.”

The man gestured them forward along a marbled-floor corridor. He rushed ahead of them, leading Sear, Malik, and Wasim through an arch and into a living area.

A man who Sear recognized from the photos had Vincent provided stood and stepped forward. He was dressed in a long-sleeved brown shirt and a futa, the skirt in a subdued green, while a white turban adorned his head.

Abdullah Bashari stretched out his hand. “Welcome to my humble home, Sayyid Sear. It is an honor and privilege for you to be here.”

“Shukran, Sayyid Bashari. Please call me Sear, as that’s what my friends call me.” Sear shook hands.

“Thank you, Sear. Let me introduce you to my wife, Yasmin Rashid. You might find us a rather confusing couple, as we picked up numerous Western customs while living in Europe.”

A diminutive woman dressed in a yellow zina and Western jeans stood and bowed. “Welcome. I shall leave you now to your discussion.” She adjusted her orange headscarf and left the room.

Bashari gestured to the matching brown sofas. “Please have a seat.” He picked up an envelope from a hand-carved rectangular table and offered it to Sear. “These are photos of my missing daughter, Shatara.” He sat, wiping a tear away as he seemed to struggle to remain composed. “We don’t know where she is. Yasmin was with her when two men broke into the house and took her.”

Sear opened the envelope and studied the photos. “She’s a lovely young woman. Has there been any ransom demands?”

“No.” Bashari shook his head. “It’s been almost a month since they took her. There’s been no contact except one day a courier brought an envelope. It contained a photo of Shatara holding a copy of Al-Jumhuryah with a current date.”

Sear nodded. “Proof of life. When did you receive this?”

“About two weeks ago. I’ll give it to you later.”

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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