Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 26, 2016

The summer solstice passed by this week. Seems like it wasn’t that long ago we were in the middle of winter. The longest day of the year, marking the beginning of summer, was on Monday, June 20.

This year the solstice coincided with Strawberry Moon, something that hasn’t happened since 1948 and apparently it will be 2062 before the next double occurrence. What exactly is the Strawberry Moon? I had no idea.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the name originates from the collection of strawberries by Native American Algonquin tribes, who took the changing color of the moon to be the ideal time to pick the fruit. There are plenty of articles regarding the Strawberry Moon, so if you’re interested in reading more, have a Google.

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

Last week I introduced readers to my first venture into a futuristic/alternate world as I prepare a short story as a contest submission. I dubbed this, ‘Countdown to Extinction’. Here’s a bit more:

Ten hours later, Sam awoke with a jolt. A portion of his monitor flashed red. He silenced the alarm and scanned the data to determine the cause. By his calculations, the drill should be at a depth of six hundred meters.

Incorrect—six hundred fifty meters.

“What’s causing the inaccuracy? The machine stopped as programmed. Why has it cleared another twenty-five meters? Very strange.”

Malfunction identified. Damaged drill head.

Adding a replacement part to his backpack, Sam left the shelter and strode to the tunnel’s entrance. Glancing around, he headed inside, trudging through the residue thrown back by the MUA.

When he reached the drill, he came to a halt and glanced down … at what appeared to be a footprint. Sam whipped around, a feeling of dread rising in his conscious. Nothing. He used the built-in photo-mod to capture the image.

“Maybe I need to change the oxygen mixture. Must be causing me to hallucinate.”

He tapped his helmet, closed his eyes, and shook his head. Opening his eyes, he glanced back down. The footprint remained.

Final installment next week.

My Work in Progress

It’s been a busy week with my works in progress. ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’ is on hold for the next week or so, pending critiques from a group called Round Table Pals, where we take turns reviewing three chapters written by the six participants. Once the group finishes, I’ll be making edits and continuing to write.

About two-thirds of my short story ‘Countdown to Extinction’ is complete, at least in the first draft stage. Hope to finish the draft in the next few days.

I’ve written most of the first chapter for the second book in the Bedlam Series, ‘A Malicious Affiliation.’ Perhaps in a couple of weeks I’ll begin including some snippets in my ramblings.

Books I’m Reading

Over the past two weeks, I read ‘The Piedersen Conspiracy: An Ed Vandera and Marti Ellis Series Thriller Book One‘ by Christian Dane. I’ll begin my comments by stating I can’t wait to read book two.  Uncovering a possible cyber crime leads Ed and Marti on an exciting and dangerous adventure. The crime is much more than it seems, with a group plotting the demise of three generations of the Vandera family.

As the story moves through it paces, we uncover more clues to the group after the Vandera family. They set a seventy-two hour window in which Ed and Marti must appear or deadly events will unfold. They pick up help along the way, but a forcibly removed finger and a kidnapping makes the situation seem dire for Ed’s family. It’s not until the end of the story that we learn to what extent the criminals went to in order to extract their revenge.  A great read from a new author. Well worth the read.

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. Hope you’ll check out the links!

Sideways Eight Series – Meet series author, AJ Wallace, and learn more about her first novel, Mindfield and her works in progress.

I came across two blogs in the past few days dedicated to our feline friends and can’t resist sharing them:

Cat Lady Lives On – Pictures tell us a thousand words and the cats show us how.

My Cat Can Blog – More cat antics.

Writing Resources

I don’t have any new writing resources to share this week.  I hope to have something new for next week as my research increases. Have an enjoyable weekend.

Once again, we’ve come to 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.



Blogging 101

Our Four-Legged Family

Early this morning one of our cats was very ill.  As soon as I could call the vet for an appointment, I did so.  Digging the vehicle from beneath a snowdrift, we ventured out in the cold, traveling thirty-five miles. 

A check-up, an IV, and three injections later, we returned home.  Two hours after receiving his treatment our feline family member began squeaking for food.  Fantastic–another recovery.  Why is the so special?  Most people would have put him to sleep when they received the news we did when we first gave Shadow a home.  Initial blood tests showed that he is FIV-positive, similar to HIV in humans. We brought him home, read up on FIV felines and discovered he could still live a long and happy life, given proper care.  So he is here to stay.

Let my introduce you to our current family of four-legged creatures:

Oliver (AKA Ollie)

Oliver is from England, twelve years old and a loner.  He probably was a feral kitten that someone couldn’t handle and passed him to us, knowing we had experience raising feral felines.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Hope (AKA Dosy)

Hope is about six now.  She came to us a couple of years ago from a no-kill shelter.  Always seems to be off in a world of her own, but a very loving addition to the family.

KODAK Digital Still Camera


Lola (AKA Little One)

Lola came to us from a vet.  She had been found in a dumpster, with a bloody ear and a dislocated hip.  The vet took care of her medical needs and we took care of her home.  Of out current crop of felines, she gets bored easily and will pick on the others for amusement.  Sometimes that works and other times, fur flies! Lola is around four.



Shadow (AKA Squeaky)

Destined for the pound, a friend who already has five cats told us about Shadow (unnamed at the time). He joined us December 2014.  Other information about him begins this post.

KODAK Digital Still Camera


Flora (AKA Lady Flora Fluff Bum)

Flora apparently accompanied Shadow to the pound.  Couldn’t leave her behind to a sad fate, so she’s part of out family, too.  Both are around two years old.

KODAK Digital Still Camera


Charley (AKA Pumpkin Boy

The end of January 2014 was bitter, with nearly two feet of snow on the ground.  We heard a commotion at one of the deck doors.  Outside, clawing to come indoors, was a handsome stray cat.  We hadn’t seem him before and living where we do, there was no possibility of him belonging to a neighbor, unless he traveled a long distance to find us.  Never saw a “missing” poster and he’s now one of the family.  Very skittish, hates loud noises, but plays well with others. According to the vet, he’ll be around two years old.



Tyson is the only canine in our family.  He joined us in October 2013, a few weeks after our thirteen-year old German Shepherd, Minnie, passed away.

Tyson had been turned over to the same no-kill shelter as Hope.  He apparently wasn’t good with young children, but we don’t know for sure.  Tyson, who brought his name with him, celebrated his seventh birthday earlier this month, on the sixth.  A great addition to the family, he breaks up any quarrels between the others, but is soft as anything.  Saying that, there is no way a stranger would get in the house, but once he knows someone, they’re good to go!

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Hope you’ve enjoyed meeting out family!