Randall’s Ramblings, September 18, 2022

As autumn descends upon us, so does the cooler weather, augmented by Arctic winds. Most morning temperatures (at 8 a.m.) struggled to reach 52F (11C) with daily highs rarely making it beyond 62F (17C). At least we’ve had plenty of sunshine this past week, making it feel warmer than the actual temperature.

Good news at the petrol (gasoline) pumps this week as the price of a liter dropped two pence to £1.64. This way above the £1.45 we saw in January, but at least it’s heading in the right direction. With this drop, coupled with the exchange rate dropping on Friday to its lowest in thirty-seven years (hit $1.137 before closing at $1.142) making the equivalent cost of a U.S. gallon $7.07.

Since returning to Scotland in 2018, it’s been rare to watch a Big Ten football conference game. Something has happened this year. BT Sports is now showing at least one Big Ten game each Saturday. I’ve watched both of my favorite teams (Michigan and Michigan State) play two games each, in addition to some of the other teams in the league. Happy days!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/):

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” ~ Mother Teresa

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on September 18th, the third Sunday of the month:

Claudio Achillini, Italian lawyer and poet; Samuel Johnson, English scholar and lexicographer (A Dictionary of the English Language); Tomás de Iriarte, Spanish writer (Fabulas Literarias); Johann Anton Sulzer, Swiss writer and composer; Johannes Anker Larsen, Danish writer (Vises Sten); Milan Rakic, Serbian poet (Nove Pesme); William March, American writer (Company K); da Kamińska, Polish stage and screen actress, director, and writer (The Shop on Main Street; Mother Courage and Her Children); Semjon I Kirsanov, Ukrainian poet (Semj Dnej Nedeli); Helene Virginie Weijel, Dutch author (In the Street Without a Coat); and Chris Hedges, American journalist and author (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning).

Any names familiar to you? This week was a washout 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

Slide1Things are proceeding with my next WIP, Frozen Conquest. Chapter fourteen was posted this week to the two online subscription writing sites I use. I’ve also made a dent in chapter fifteen.

This week, there were another seventeen chapter reviews, bringing the total to 221, some from long-standing reviewers while others came from new people. As always, plenty of good suggestions to improve my story and I’m greatly appreciative of the support.

Here’s the next snippet:

Carina Eklund, a tall blonde with deep blue eyes, leaned against the rail of the RV Aquavit as she studied Ushuaia. She smiled as she gazed at the snow-capped Martial mountain range surrounding the city. Reminds me of home. Wonder what it would be like to ski here? Perhaps when we return. Raising a hand to shelter her eyes from the intense sunlight, she continued to look around the city before their ship departed.

Two and three-story buildings lined the street running along the harbor, ranging from hotels to restaurants.

Other ships were docked near their research vessel. One was a cruise ship from the Holland America line headquartered in Seattle, Washington while the other was an Argentinian destroyer, allowing visitor tours.

Pleasure craft crisscrossed the water, laden rucks trundled along the streets to unknown  destinations, and tourists stopped and took photos of whatever caught their attention.

Carina jumped as two hands grabbed her shoulders. She turned and smiled when she realized who was behind her. “About time you got out of bed. I thought you were going to sleep away the morning before we depart.”

“No way I’d miss our departure from civilization.” Gunner Bengtsson chuckled. “Won’t be long before penguins and seals will be our neighbors.”

“Yes, but our mission for the Scandinavian Protection Agency is an important one. The data we collect will be shared with other countries throughout the world through the United Nations to show how Antarctica is being impacted by climate change.”

Gunner nodded. “Very true. However, everything needs to be examined in perspective. Most countries will probably agree there is something to the claim about climate change, but there are plenty who disagree on the severity of the situation or how to deal with it.”

“That’s why our mission is so important. We must convince every country to support efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses.” Carina sighed. “No one said this would be easy.”

“Hey, who are those guys?” Gunner pointed to two men approaching the gangway.

Both wore red and green boiler suits. After showing identification to the security officer, they were allowed to board.

I thought all crewmembers were already onboard and making preparations to depart.”

Carina shrugged. “Might be part of the crew we haven’t met. I guess if it’s important, we’ll find out later.”


A shrill whistle pierced the air.

Crewmembers ran to the mooring stations to release the chains, freeing the ships from the dock. Others shifted the gangway before leaping back on the ship.

Gunner tugged on Carina’s arm. “C’mon. Let’s join the rest of the team in the ship’s mess.”

“Wait.” Carina jerked her arm free. “Remember, we agreed to keep our relationship secret from the others—at least until we return to Ushuaia.”

Gunner grimaced as he stepped away. “I remember. Don’t agree, but I understand your caution. We don’t want people to jump to conclusions.”

More next time.

Vendetta-Cover-1I also started work on Vendetta, which will follow Frozen Conquest in my Bedlam series.  Here’s the synopsis:

The Bedlam organization proceeded with their plans to create a fourth operational team, based in Pretoria, South Africa. The existing team leaders, Craig Cameron, Col Trevor Franklin ®, and Lady Evelyn Evinrude are sent to assist the designated advisor with team member selections.

What should be a routine deployment is anything but as they’re targeted by unknown assailants. Who or what organization is after them, and why?

While assisting with the creation of the new team and searching for those trying to eliminate them, Craig, Trevor, and Evelyn are given a new operational mission.

The Council of Vengeance, an extremist militant group seeks to overthrow the government of a country sympathetic to Western cultures and values. Extortion, bribery, kidnapping, and murder are part of the group’s modus operandi as they surge forward toward their objectives.

How will the Bedlam teams fare in the face of adversity? Or will the militants’ efforts be rewarded?

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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