It’s been a fairly dry period over the past week. As a result, on Tuesday I was able to clean up a lot of leaves that had fallen but previous rain stopped me from getting outside. On Wednesday, a bit of sun made it an even better day so I put up Christmas lights across the front of the house.
As the week progressed the temperatures temperatures have dropped, with daytime temperature barely breaking 40F (4C) and nighttime going down to 26F (-3C). As I’m typing it’s 32F (0C). I noticed last night none of the hedgehogs inhabiting our property came for their nightly feed. I guess they’ve gone into hibernation.
Once again there was another decrease in gasoline (petrol) prices this week, with a further two pence shaved off the price to £1.45 a liter. However, with the current exchange rate, the equivalent price of a U.S. gallon remained the same at $6.91. Meanwhile, diesel dropped three pence a liter to £1.54, but with the exchange rate, this actually led to a decrease of seven cents a gallon to $7.33.
Here’s the latest inspirational quote for writers: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin. Compliments of https://www.inc.com/glenn-leibowitz/50-quotes-from-famous-authors-that-will-inspire-yo.html.
So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on November 26th, the fourth and final Sunday of the month. (Compliments of https://www.onthisday.com/birthdays/).
Princess Catherine of Portugal, Portuguese princess of King Edward of Portugal and his wife Eleanor of Aragon and writer; Pedro de Peralta y Barnuevo, Peruvian poet (Obras Dramaticas); Theophilus Cibber, English actor and writer; William Cowper, English pre-romantic poet (His Task); Charles-Joseph Panckoucke, French publisher (Mercure de France); Georg Forster, German writer, naturalist (A Voyage Round the World) and revolutionary; Herman Gorter, Dutch socialist and poet (May, Tiny Hero’s Poem); Edmond Fleg[enheimer], Swiss-French author (Ecoute Israel); Franz Jung, German writer and political activist; Albert Dieudonné, French actor and novelist (Backbiters, Napoleon); Eugene Ionesco, Romanian-French playwright (Rhinoceros, Bald Soprano); Eric Sevareid, American author and News correspondent (CBS); Frederik Pohl, American sci-fi author (3 Hugo, Gateway, Bipohl); Paul Rodenko, Dutch poet and author (Stolen Lover); Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist (Peanuts); Marilynne Robinson, American writer (Gilead); Ethan Russell, American photographer and author (photographed covers for the Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who); racy Hickman, American sci-fi author (Dragons of Spring Dawning); and Nico Slothouwer, Dutch poet (The Man and His Bag).
Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Charles M. Schulz. 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
This week, I finished chapter twenty-one of Mission: Yemen, Xavier Sear Thriller Book 2, and posted it to the two online subscription writing sites I use.
Reviewers continue to check out my work and provided another nineteen critiques this week, bringing the total to 419. 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 to improve the story, please let me know.
Uzza knocked on the door to Shatara’s room before putting the key in the lock. After opening the door, she pushed it open. Where is she?
Moments later, she heard the toilet flush. Oh.
Shatara entered the room and stopped. “Oh! I didn’t hear you come in.”
“That is okay.” Uzza smiled. “I have a surprise for you.”
“What is it?”
“Prince Hussein has given us permission to have our breakfast in the courtyard. We can stay for one hour.” Uzza wrinkled her nose. “Of course, someone will monitor us.” She turned toward the door. “Oh, do not forget your hijab.”
Shatara wrinkled her nose. “If we are just going to be in the courtyard, why must we wear it?”
“You know.” Uzza laughed. “We must protect our modesty from those to whom we are not related.”
Shatara sighed as she placed the white hijab over her head. “Understood. It’s just at home I didn’t have to wear it unless I left the house.” She toyed with the headscarf until her head, neck, and ears were covered. “I’m ready.”
Uzza unlocked the door, and they stepped into the corridor. She pointed to the right. “The stairs to the outside are at the end of the hall.” She walked along the corridor and climbed the stairs.” Cover your eyes—the sun will be bright for you.”
“Yes, thank you.” Shatara pulled the edge of the hijab over her eyes. “Even covering my eyes, it is very bright, and it hurts them.”
“Give me your hand. I’ll lead you to the table, which is protected by the branches of the date palm trees.” Uzza took Shatara’s hand and guided her.
“Oh! I can feel the temperature drop. We must be under the trees.” Shatara uncovered her eyes and glanced around. “What a beautiful courtyard. I love the fountain.”
“The fountain is beautiful but much better when the water is working.” Uzza pointed to a chair. “Please have a seat. I brought the food out earlier, so we’re ready to eat.”
After Shatara sat, she continued to scan the area. “I see there are two guards, but they both appeared to be asleep in their chairs. Their weapons are propped against the wall.”
“Do not tempt fate. If you move toward the wall, they will jump to their feet, grab their weapons and point them at you.”
Shatara grinned. “I was going to ask how easy it would be to climb the wall.”
“Even if the guards were not here and you could climb over it, you still would not be free. Prince Hussein owns the properties on either side of this one and behind it, too.” Uzza pointed to the one over the left wall. “He maintains his office in this building but lives in that one.”
“Have you ever been there?”
Uzza shook her head. “No. I know the prince entertains local dignitaries there, but I’ve never been invited to visit.”
“Hmm.” Shatara studied the wall again. “I am sure I could climb it. As a child, I loved to climb the date palms around our compound and jump onto the wall. I pretended I was climbing a mountain and could see for miles.”
Uzza laughed as she reached for a covered plate. “Let’s eat—I’m hungry.” She lifted the cover. “Shakshouka—one of my favorites.”
“Mine, too.” Shatara smiled. I love how the color of the scrambled eggs is offset by the red tomato sauce. The spicier the shakshouka is, the better for me.”
“I agree.” Uzza gestured toward a covered bowl. “Cook made more masoub to go with it and milk tea for us to drink.”
Shatara loaded a fork with eggs and brought it to her mouth, blowing on the steaming food before taking a tentative bite. “Fantastic!”
“Will you read to me after we eat?” Uzza pushed Shatara’s book across the table.
Shatara’s eyes narrowed. “Where did you get this?”
“While you were in the bathroom, I picked it up. I hope you do not mind.”
“I guess not. But next time, ask me first, okay?”
More next time.
I’m continuing to work on the new project as a co-author with Michael Maxwell, the author of over thirty novels. The tentative title is The Great Rebellion – Finn Harding Book One. It’s a romantic alternate history of the American Civil War. I recently completed a new chapter three and sent it to Michael for approval, which came quickly. Now, I’m busy with a new chapter four.
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.
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