Randall’s Ramblings, October 29, 2023

As we move toward the end of October, clocks went back an hour this morning in the UK. We’ve had a better week with the weather, which allowed me to spend several hours power washing our block-paved driveway. It’s clean looking once again, so I won’t have to do it again until next spring.  I wanted to rake up more leaves but the rain came on, putting an end to that idea–at least for now.

The latest small business market began on Friday. For the first two days, I sold eleven autographed novels, while Sylvia sold twelve laminate poetry sheets, five poetry book marks, and three poetry books. Today’s the final day, so hopefully we’ll have another good day.

The price of gasoline (petrol) dropped three pence this week, down to £1.53 a liter. With the dollar continuing to strengthen against the pound, this equates to $6.99 for an equivalent U.S. gallon, a drop of nineteen cents. Meanwhile, diesel dropped another penny to £1.62 a liter, or $7.41 a gallon, a drop of seven cents.

“Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil—but there is no way around them.” — Isaac Asimov. 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 29 October, the fifth and final Sunday of the month. (Compliments of https://www.onthisday.com/birthdays/).

Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix, French Jesuit priest and historian, born in Saint-Quentin, Picardy, Kingdom of France; James Boswell, Scottish biographer of Samuel Johnson and diarist; Ľudovít Štúr, Slovak politician and author of Slovak language; Konrad Haebler, German historian (Early printers of Spain/Portugal); Narziss Ach, German psychologist (Analyse des Willens); Guillermo Valencia, Colombian poet, translator and statesman; Jean Giraudoux, French writer and playwright (The Madwoman of Chaillot); Claire Goll, German-French writer; Fredric Brown, American sci-fi author (Martians Go Home);Bernard Gordon, American writer and producer (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers); Zbigniew Herbert, Polish poet and writer; Dominick Dunne, American writer and producer (Panic in Needle Park); Lee Child [James Grant], English author (Jack Reacher novels); David Remnick, American writer and editor of The New Yorker; Stanley Donwood [Dan Rickwood], British writer and album art designer (Radiohead; Thom Yorke); Gabrielle Union, American actress, author and activist (Bring it on, Being Mary Jane); and Mohsen Emadi, Iranian-Mexican poet.

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Lee Child. Several purchasers of my novels have compared my work with Lee Child’s. 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- YemenI didn’t quite finish chapter seventeen of Mission: Yemen, Xavier Sear Thriller Book 2 this week, but hope to have it done in the next day or so. Reviewers provided another thrity-one critiques this week, bringing the total to 344. 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.

As Uzza turned from the locked door, she put the key in her pocket.

Someone grabbed her from behind and spun her around.

She gasped. “You scared me, Yusuf. What do you want?”

“You are late. Why are you still here?” He let go of her arm.

“I was talking with Shatara. She is like an older sister I never had.”

“Hmmm.” Yusuf grunted. “You were supposed to provide an update to Prince al Mishari an hour ago.” He pointed toward the ceiling. “Go see him—now.”

“Yes, Yusuf.” She turned and headed toward the stairs.

As she approached the door to al Mishari’s office, her steps faltered. I hope he will be pleased with my report. She knocked on the door.


Uzza swallowed at the sound of his harsh voice. She pushed the door open, walked across the multi-colored silk carpet adorning the tile floor, and stopped in front of al Mishari’s desk. She gave him a brief bow, waiting for him to speak.

The prince leaned back in the black leather chair and sipped from a glass of tea. “Well?”

“I-I am sorry to be late, Prince al Mishari. I lost track of time.”

He waved a hand in dismissal of her comments. “How is our guest doing today?”

Guest? She is locked behind a door. “S-She is adjusting to her new surroundings. I gave her new clothing as you ordered. She was delighted.”

He nodded. “Burn her old clothes. Did you give her the book I provided?”

“Yes, my prince. She said she would read to me later.”

Al Mishari glared at Uzza. “Do not become too attached to her. I do not know how much longer she will remain with us.”

What will he do to her? She nodded. “As you command.”

He reached into a drawer, withdrew a small package, and slid it across the desk. “Give this to her the next time you visit.”

“What is it?”

“Not that it’s any of your business, but it is a set of prayer beads. When she asked about a book to read, she also asked for some beads to help her track her prayers.”

Uzza’s face turned red. “I am sorry if I offended you.”

Al Mishari tilted his head as he studied her profile. “Remember your place, and we shall get along fine.” He gestured toward the door. “You may go now and continue your duties, or should I send you back to the slum my men found you in?”

She shook her head. “I will do my tasks, Prince al Mishari. Please do not send me back.” Uzza turned and fled toward the door. Back in the corridor, tears glistened on her face. I thought he liked me. Is Shatara to replace me?

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

1 thought on “Randall’s Ramblings, October 29, 2023”

  1. Always a pleasure to hear from you. More wet weather in Montreal. Our clocks go back November 5th. Great work on the new novel. I will read as soon as it gets on Amazon. I’m past due to send you a review.
    Michael Kent

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