Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 19, 2017

A reddish glimmer lined the horizon, the beginning of a new day. A noise had disturbed me, not time to get up. What caused the disturbance? Someone running in the hallway, crashing into a door. More footsteps–fast approaching. A thud, followed by scampering.

I eased the bedroom door open. Something hit my legs. I looked down and who should I find? Lady Flora, playing with a blue plastic ring from the top of a milk container. She had my attention. Rushing by, Flora dashed to the door, wanting outside. Another day, time to play!

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Lady Flora Fluffbum

 

Who had a birthday this week? Go ahead, raise your hand. Here are a few people from the writing world with birthdays this past week:

Sarah Gertrude Millina, South African writer (The Dark River, God’s Stepchildren); Phillip Roth, American novelist and short-story writer (Portnoy’s Complaint); Stephane Mallarme, French symbolist poet; Wilfred Owen, World War I poet; John Updike, American poet and novelist; Daniel Conway Moncure, U.S. clergyman, author, abolitionist; Janet Flanner, writer (Letter from Paris); and George Seferis, Greek poet.

Hope you enjoyed your special day.

My Work in Progress

Once again, marketing and publicity of The Kurdish Connection continued during the past week. A district library contacted me, wanting to purchase ten copies of my debut novel for a monthly reading group. The group will receive the copies at the next session on Tuesday. Next month, I’ll join them for a question and answer session, followed by signing each book. Exciting time!

Writing continued on Dangerous Alliance, with chapters fifteen posted for review to the two subscription writing sites I use. The total number of reviews thus far is 229, or an average per chapter of fifteen. I’ve received plenty of positive feedback to help me improve my latest story.

Chapter sixteen is underway, but real-life requirements stopped me from completed two chapters this week.

A bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

Dawn broke, promising to be a pleasant day. No clouds lingered above. Oranges and reds gave way to a deep azure.

The B&B’s door swung open. Out stepped Bedlam Bravo, dressed in jeans, short-sleeved work shirts, and wearing steel-toed boots.

“Fergus, did you learn anything last night on your stroll with Nate?” Koning laughed and elbowed him.

“Oi, I learned it’s better to go without you.” A smirk appeared Fergus’ face. “We went somewhere with class. You wouldn’t have been allowed in.”

***

A shadow descended—the crane lowered a new container straight for Koning. “Pun! Help! My foot’s trapped!”

Pun dashed forward and jumped. The unit shuddered to a halt in its resting place.

A thick smear of red trickled beneath the container, oozing down the side. Luigi and several others rushed to the scene. Suspended between containers, two men clung to a rope—

Perhaps more next time.

Books I’m Reading

Last night, I finished reading When the Tree is Dry by Alice Hill. Set in Zimbabwe, we delve into the stories of three women during a tumultuous period in the country’s recent history–2008. Claire, an English woman, leaves her shattered life behind, seeking to find a new beginning as a journalist. Florence, a Zimbabwean trying to make a new life for herself in England, decides to return to her homeland. Sekai, married to a political activist.

Forget hanging pieces of chad from a ballot in an American election or unverified rumors of people voting twice. Depending on which political party you supported during the 2008 Zimbabwean election, your very life could hang in the balance. Alice creates a haunting look into the horrors people faced as they hoped to elect a new government, one that would perhaps make their lives better. Follow Claire, Florence, and Sekai as they recount the stories of kidnapping, torture, rape, and death. A work of fiction, based on reality, and definitely worth a read. I look forward to reading more of Alice’s upcoming work.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Here’s a couple to check out when you have a moment or two:

Logical Quotes – a compilation of quotes by various writers, authors, and philosophers. Forgive the advertising; it’s part of the site.

Keith Garrett Poetry – the title says it all. Enjoy Keith’s poetry.

Once again, we’ve reached the end of another ramble.  Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Reader’s Abode – For All Readers!

Have you taken a peek at Reader’s Abode? It’s a new site for read-a-holics.

Click here to access the site

ReadersAbode

Formed by a group of writers spread across four continents, our works span across multiple genres. Whether you like poetry, action, or fantasy, you’re bound to find something of interest.

Our bi-weekly blog posts will provide a wealth of information, how to obtain free books, read interviews with various authors, and even read some of our poetry and short stories.

So when you have a moment, why not stop by and say hi?  Reader’s Abode is for you!

Click here to access the site.

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 29, 2017

Here we go, the last Sunday in January. It’s been a crazy month weather-wise, with temperatures all over the place, ranging from 12F/-11C to 47F/8C. According to the forecast, it appears we’re heading into a stretch with more seasonable temperatures. Right now it’s 23F/-5C. Not much snow, some flurries right now, but that’s okay. Less shoveling to do!

Did you have a birthday over the past week? If so, one of these individuals might have shared your special day: Jose Marti, Cuban poet and journalist, known as the’Apostle of the Cuban Revolution’; Thomas Paine, political essayist (The Rights of Man, The Age of Reason); Robert Burns, Scottish poet (Auld Lang Syne, Comin’ Thro’ the Rye); Virginia Woolf, English author (Mrs. Dalloway and Orlando); Pierre de Beaumarchais, French dramatist (The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro); Edith Wharton, and U.S. novelist (Ethan Frome and The Age of Innocence). Happy birthday to all.

Coming in Early February

Moonshine Cove, Publishing, LLC, will release my first novel, The Kurdish Connection, in early February.  Watch for the announcement. Here’s what a reviewer had to say:

“A behind the scenes story, ripped from today’s headlines deepening the reader’s understanding of an ancient strife … filled with the sights and smells of the market place and secret meetings, the reader is admitted to the secret heart, the desperate longings of those that must fight and win, or see continued subjugation by their masters…”—Oliver F. Chase, author of Camelot Games, Levant Mirage, Blind Marsh, and Marsh Island.

My Work in Progress

I was unable to complete any new chapters in Dangerous Alliance this week as editing of The Kurdish Connection‘s Intermediate Proofs took center stage. My last read and review is ongoing as I type this, with any last minute changes to be sent to my publisher tomorrow morning.

Books I’m Reading

This past week I’ve been doing a beta read on a novel by Duncan Simpson, author of The History of Things to Come: A Supernatural Thriller (The Dark Horizon Trilogy Volume 1). Since it’s a beta read, I’ll only be sharing my comments with Duncan. Hope to have something new for you next time.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. With the beginning of a new year, I’d also like to include some lighthearted sites I stumble across, whether comedic or with animals. Unfortunately, work on The Kurdish Connection prevented me from scanning new sites.

Once again, we’ve reached the end of another ramble.  Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

 

Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, January 15, 2017

It’s the middle of January already. Seems like it wasn’t long ago we were putting up Christmas decorations and rushing around selecting items to put smiles on faces.  We suddenly noticed yesterday daylight is hanging around longer. It’s a good sign, winter is moving forward. 

We’ve had plenty of company this winter, between numerous deer, a variety of birds, and even a lone possum. A young white-tailed buck made an appearance this week, the first we can recall since we moved here in 2013. Needless to say, with winter well on its way, the shoreline changes daily. Plenty of ice piled head-high along the beach, but the wind and waves continue to create something new for us to gaze upon.

There are a number of birthdays this week. Is yours one of them? Here’s a few who had one this week: Taylor Branch, author, historian (Martin Luther King Jr); Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist, author; Horatio Alger, Jr., American children’s author (Ragged Dick, Tattered Tom); Michael Bond, author (Paddington Bear series); Jack London, American writer (The Call of the Wild); Alan Patton, South African novelist (Cry, the Beloved Country); and Lord Acton [John E.E. Dalberg], English historian, editor of The Rambler. Happy birthday to all!

Coming Soon

My first novel, The Kurdish Connection, will be released soon by Moonshine Cove, Publishing, LLC.  Here’s what a couple of reviewers had to say:

Refreshing, intriguing, and insightful tale by a budding author. Randall’s authentic voice adds a powerful push to keep a reader turning the pages. Janet Taylor-Perry, Critically Acclaimed author of The Raiford Chronicles, The Legend of Draconis Saga, and April Chastain Intrigues.

Topical – Engaging – Intriguing – Powerful. Randall Krzak has created an action-packed story with unforgettable characters and vivid descriptions. A real page turner. – Rikon Gaites, author of Mummy’s Little Soldier and Darius Odenkirk.

My Work in Progress

I was unable to complete any new chapters this week as research took center stage. I also spent time working on the outline for New World Revolution and a new suspense/thriller, The Fickle Assassin.  Sometimes, I think I need another pair of eyes and set of hands to help coordinate my way forward. Every bit moves me forward on my writing journey and well worth the effort.

Books I’m Reading

I began reading a new novel this week, Tom Clancy Commander in Chief (A Jack Ryan Novel) by Mark Greaney. I’ve enjoyed his other stories and this is another excellent read. I’ll provide my full review next week after I finish reading. Commander in Chief is almost 800 pages and I read about 650 this week.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. With the beginning of a new year, I’d also like to include some lighthearted sites I stumble across, whether comedic or with animals. Unfortunately, with snow to clear plus further external requirements, I was unable to browse for new sites. Hopefully, I’ll bring one or two next time.

Writing Resources

I mentioned a ramble or two ago I would share the titles of resources my publisher recommends. Here’s one for you:

Self-Editing For Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Rennie Browne and Dave King. This is an excellent guide to tighten your writing. This one will be on my bookshelf as a vital reference for years to come.

Once again, we’ve reached the end of another ramble.  Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 23, 2016

Another week has passed us by. Another week hopefully filled with success for everyone and not missed opportunities.

Let’s see … what famous people associated with the world of writing had birthdays this past week? Did you? If so, you shared your special day with the following: Michael Crichton, writer (Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain); John Reed, American journalist, poet and revolutionary, (Ten Days That Shook the World); Doris Lessing, novelist (Children of Violence, The Golden Notebook); Ann Rule, true crime author (The Stranger Beside Me); Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet (“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Kubla Khan”); Ursula K. Le Guin, science fiction writer (The Left Hand of Darkness); Carrie Fisher, actress, author, screenwriter; best known as Prince Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy and her bestselling novel (Postcards from the Edge); Leigh Hunt, English journalist, essayist, poet and political radical; and John Le Carré, English suspense and spy novelist. Happy birthday to all!

Why I want to Write–What’s Led Me to This Stage in My Life

Personal commitments continued to require more time this past week, devouring most of my writing time. Ideas keep creeping into my mind, so I try to jot things down in the hopes I’ll capture enough to stimulate my brain cells and re-create scenes and characters which are springing forth, sometimes at the worst possible times.

My Work in Progress

With personal commitments taking so much time, writing progress was almost at a standstill. However, as planned, I did complete chapter four of Dangerous Alliance and it’s posted to my subscription writing sites. Good feedback thus far; just a bit of tweaking to do. Here’s a snippet for you:

A gunshot echoed from the bow of the ship. Another crewman refused to surrender. Dacar Khadaafi turned away from the dying echo and went back into the bridge. Inside, the ship’s captain, a bloody bandage wrapped around his head, sat in his chair. He glared at the tall Somali as Dacar approached. Two of Dacar’s men, brandishing weapons, stood guard.

The captain snatched the handset from Dacar’s hand and pressed the transmit button. “This is Captain Rossi. Toss out your weapon and move so the pirates can see you. Do this now or they’ll begin killing the crew.”

Moments later, two shots rang out, followed by cheers from the pirates.

Captain Rossi turned to Dacar. “You bastard. They killed him.”

Dacar waved a hand in the air and shrugged. “Oh well. He shot one of my men. He paid for his crime.”

Perhaps more next week.

Books I’m Reading

As I mentioned last week, I began reading the novels of Preston Holtry. His second book, A Troublesome Affair, is another action-packed mystery. Did the black Army sergeant really rape and kill a white officer’s wife? Or was it too good an opportunity to have the sergeant take the fall for someone else?

Morgan Westphal, our private investigator, is requested by the sergeant’s commanding officer to look into the matter, which could have serious negative connotations for the Army. Morgan agrees, but his task is complicated. The sergeant is highly decorated for bravery and the crime appears beneath him. Yet, many within the 10th Cavalry Regiment believe he’s guilty. Join Morgan on his latest quest for truth, as he follows the 10th into Mexico so he can continue his investigation. Another great read from a master storyteller. Each page will compel you to read further as different suspects appear. But who committed the crime? You’ll have to buy a copy to find out.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. This week, I only had time for one but it’s well worth checking out.

Writers-network.club – I’ve mentioned this one before but we’re having a membership drive for this free writing group. It’s not to late to put together a short story or poems about nature and submit for consideration to their anthology, but you only have until the end of the month. You must be a member to submit any work, but there’s absolutely no cost. Complete information is available on the site. Get out your iPad, laptop, desktop, or if you still use pen and paper, sign up and get writing!

Writing Resources

Each week draws me a step closer to the release of The Kurdish Connection, so a large part of my research time is now devoted to work on a promotion/publicity plan. Hopefully, I’ll have something to share with you next time.

Once again, we’ve reached the end of another ramble.  Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2016 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings, Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, October 16, 2016

As the days become cooler and the nights longer, it’s still a good time to write. Early morning is my favorite time to sit in front of the computer, capturing any thoughts left behind from the night before.

Birthday greetings to all celebrating during the past week. Here are a few people who shared your birthday: Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), Roman poet; Helen Hunt Jackson, writer and poet; Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and writer; P.G. Wodehouse, novelist and playwright; C.P. Snow, novelist; Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author; Mario Puzo, novelist and screenwriter (The Godfather); Italo Calvino, Italian novelist; Noah Webster, U.S. teacher, lexicographer and publisher (American Dictionary of the English Language); Oscar Wilde, dramatist, poet, novelist and critic; and Kathleen Winsor, writer (Forever Amber). Happy birthday everyone!

Why I want to Write–What’s Led Me to This Stage in My Life

Most of my writing time this past week disappeared due to personal commitments. I’m hoping the following week is a better one. If so, I plan to spend time refining my outlines. I’ve been looking back over my travels to pick some personal events that can be used to add local flavor to the stories. I think I found a few that would work. Someone recently commented about their enjoyment of the cultural aspects that are woven into my novels and I want to include more, as long as they don’t disrupt the flow.

My Work in Progress

With personal commitments taking me away from the keyboard, progress was very slow this week. All being well, chapter four of Dangerous Alliance will be finished and posted to my subscription writing sites. Hope to do the same with chapter eight of A Cartel’s Revenge, but that might be too ambitious. I’m not a writer who puts word-count goals upon myself. I write when the mood and inspiration take me. There is plenty to do during the occasions where the inspiration is missing, such as research and editing.

Books I’m Reading

Over the past few days, I began reading an author I hadn’t come across before. His name is Preston Holtry, and I must admit I’m hooked and already into his second book.

Death in Emily 3 (A Morgan Westphal Historical Mystery Book 1) is an exciting mixture of historical facts laced with vivid fictional characters and plots to create an excellent blend of murder, mayhem, intrigue, and mystery. Who’s behind the deadly attacks?

Join Morgan Westphal in Arizona as he tries to uncover whether his stepbrother is guilty of the crime he’s been charged with.  Preston has created an excellent web with his story, which will keep readers turning the pages to find out if they know who is behind the crime. It is a mine owner, the union, someone out for revenge, or is Morgan’s brother really the culprit? Hold on to your seat and enjoy an outstanding read by a superb storyteller. 

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. This week, I only had time to read through one but it’s well worth a read. Hope you’ll check it out!

Words and Wonders – by Gillian. Get a glimpse of the world through the eyes of an expat.

Writing Resources

Each week draws me a step closer to the release of The Kurdish Connection, so research time is also devoted to work on a promotion/publicity plan. Over the past week, my publisher sent me a document he provides to all his new authors. I’m well on my way with the first couple of recommendations, having set up this site (although it will transform as time progresses) and reaching out on social media. Next week, I’ll provide further tips.

Once again, we’ve reached the end of another ramble.  Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2016 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, October 9, 2016

Weather across Michigan, and in particular, our patch by Lake Huron, has unseasonably high temperatures during the week, ranging from 76-80F. Yesterday brought clear and sunny skies, but only 54F, seven degrees below the historical average. The next week looks to be more of the cooler weather, but we’re heading to the middle of October, so it’s to be expected.

At least we’ve missed out on any issues caused by Hurricane Matthew. I hope those impacted by Mother Nature’s worst are able to overcome any situation.

Birthday greetings to everyone who has had a birthday during the past week.  A few notables share your birthday: James Whitcomb Riley, poet; Helen MacInnes, writer; Thomas Keneally, novelist (Schindler’s Ark); R. L. Stine, author; Bruce Catton, U.S. historian and journalist; Brian Lamb, journalist; Caroline Gordon, writer (The Strange Children); Clive Barker, author, director (Hellraiser, Candyman); Damon Runyon, journalist and short story writer; Rene Marques, Puerto Rican playwright and short story writer; Alvin Toffler, writer and futurist; Jackie Collins, novelist (Hollywood Wives, Drop Dead Beautiful); and Edward Stratemeyer, author, creator of the Hardy Boys, Rover Boys, Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins. Happy birthday to all!

Why I want to Write–What’s Led Me to This Stage in My Life

I continued to use my writing time this week to review/update my novels’ outlines and research. My outlines continue to evolved as I move forward with a story, re-positioning chapters, editing content, and plotting my next moves. Unfortunately, real-life events cut into my writing time, so I wasn’t able to accomplish as much as I wanted.

My Work in Progress

I did manage to post chapter three of Dangerous Alliance for review on the two subscription writing sites I use. Three pages of chapter eight, A Cartel’s Revenge, were also completed.

I received some information from my publisher regarding things I need to do to help promote/publicize The Kurdish Connection. Over the coming weeks, one thing that will change will be this site’s layout. Hope you’ll stay tuned. 

I haven’t provided any glimpses into my work lately. Here’s a snippet from Dangerous Alliance:

No! This is the coward’s way. I’ll show Sung.

Soo placed the Chinese Norinco pistol back into the drawer. He pushed the intercom button.

“Yes, Ambassador?”

“Nari, please come in.”

“At once.” A moment later, a woman, gray-haired and stooped, entered Soo’s office.

“Oh! What happened?” Bug-eyed, she bent down to pick up the papers and photo frames strewn across the floor.

“I slipped when I entered and fell against the desk, knocking everything down. Once you finish, I have instructions.”

***

A smile creased Soo’s face as a glimmer of hope surfaced after a bitter week. He wrote a note to Nari and asked Kim to send it. For the first time since he departed on this ill-fated trip, Soo slept.

Kim read the message and smiled. Once he completed the transmission, he placed his weapon in its case. Known as Major Kim, Ministry of State Security, he sent a high priority message to Supreme Leader Sung: Termination delayed pending review of possible solution.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

During the past week, I read In the Shadow of the Judas Tree: Summer of Forbidden Love (Father Brennan Series) by Norman Morrow. This story is full of emotions as Father Brennan is sent to Castlebridge to work with a senior priest. You’ll endure humor, rage, disappointment, and joy as you learn about what makes the two priests tick.

It doesn’t take Father Brennan long to figure out the senior priest, Sweeny, is abusing boys entrusted in his care. He also meets a woman with a young boy, and falls madly in love with her. Before he can leave the Church, he is compelled to deal with Sweeny, with a tragic outcome regarding Brennan’s future happiness. A gripping story and well worth reading.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

This week I wasn’t able to check out any blogs or author pages. Hope to have something for you next time.

Writing Resources

As time marches toward the publishing of The Kurdish Connection, some of my research time is devoted to work on a promotion/publicity plan. I’ve found a wealth of information to help me prepare things like press releases and setting up a virtual book tour. This information is available through a site put together by Sandra Beckwith, an author and former public relations practitioner. Check out her site: Build Book Buzz.

Once again, we’ve reached the end of another ramble.  Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2016 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.