September 3, 2023

Happy Labor Day weekend for those celebrating! It’s hard to believe the summer has shot past.  We’ve finally had a few consecutive sunny days and the temperature has made it into the low 70sF (21C). Gone are the early morning sunrises and late sunsets, and the evenings are cool enough now to put the heat on.

Over the past week, the price of gasoline (petrol) increased another penny, bringing it up to 1.53 a liter. With the current exchange rate, this kept an equivalent U.S. gallon at $7.33. Meanwhile, the price of a liter of diesel rose to £1.56.

Friday saw the start of our latest small business market, with today the final day. So far, I’ve sold ten autographed novels, while Sylvia has sold three of her poetry books, thirteen of her new poetry book marks, and sixteen of her laminated poetry sheets. Hopefully, today will be another good day!

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time–proof that humans can work magic.” ― Carl Sagan. 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 3 September, the first Sunday of the month. (Compliments of https://www.onthisday.com/birthdays/):

Adriano Banchieri, Italian organist, composer, poet, and monk; Francisco Acuña de Figueroa, Uruguayan poet (Toraidas); Sarah Orne Jewett, American author (Country of the Pointed Firs); ean Jaurès, French socialist (L’Humanité, Les Preuves); Wilhelm Bousset, German theologist and historian; Sally Benson, American writer (Meet Me In St. Louis); Willem Kooiman, Dutch theologist and church historian; Loren Eiseley, American anthropologist and natural science writer (The Unexpected Universe), and poet ((Another Kind of Autumn); Alison Lurie, American novelist (Pulitzer Prize – Foreign Affairs); John Robert Jones [John Dalmas], American sci-fi author (White Regiment, Lizard War); Cherry Barbara Grimm [Lockett], New Zealand sci-fi author (Nearest Fire); Caryl Churchill, English playwright; Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan journalist and writer; Sergei Dovlatov, Russian writer; Mick Farren, English sci-fi author (Synaptic Manhunt, Citizen Phaid); Peter Morris, English historian of France; Spike Feresten, American television writer (Seinfeild); and Noah Baumbach, American, director, writer and filmmaker (The Squid and the Whale).

Any names familiar to you? There weren’t any for me this time. 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- YemenThis week, I completed chapter eleven  of Mission: Yemen, Xavier Sear Thriller Book 2. As always, it’s been posted to the two online writing sites I use. A further twenty-four reviews arrived this week, bringing the total to 201. 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, please let me know.

Footsteps of someone running echoed off the nearby buildings.

Sear turned, leading with his pistol. He relaxed when he spotted Dabir rushing toward them.

“Allah … be … merciful.” Dabir struggled to catch his breath. “And may His justice strike down those responsible.”

Sear stepped in front of him to block access to the scene. “Don’t look—he’s dead.”

Dabir strained to see around Sear. “Perhaps it is someone I know. Please let me take a look.”

“Okay.” Sear stepped aside. “Be it on your head.”

Dabir gasped. “I-I recognize that man from somewhere. Are you sure he’s dead?”

“Positive. The piece of metal poking into his chest extends through his body and out the back.”

“Oh. May Allah have mercy on him.” Dabir held prayer beds in his right hand. “The police will come soon—I called them. Of course, soon might be two or three hours, or even longer.” He glanced around. “They will ask fewer questions if you and your friends aren’t here.”

“Can we stay in my room?” Sear scratched his stubble.

“Of course.” He pulled two keys from his pocket and handed them to Sear. “These are for your friends. Their rooms are next to yours.”

Sear beckoned Wasim and Malik. “Let’s clear the area and go to my room.” He turned and headed toward the hotel.

The brothers followed him.

Once inside the hotel, they climbed the stairs.

Sear handed each of them a key. “Check out your rooms and make sure no one is inside.” He pointed to his door. “Join me afterward, and we’ll try to plot our next move. Bring a chair with you as there’s only one in the room.” He left the door open for them.

Minutes later, Wasim and Malik entered carrying chairs.

After handing out bottles of water, the three men sat.

“So, what do we know?” Sear, who had met both men when they worked at the American embassy as investigators for the regional security office, and he was assigned as a junior case officer, glanced at each one in turn.

 “I remember when we worked in the RSO office, Bashari gave a lecture to the American community about Yemen’s historical sites.” Malik pursed his lips. “I think at one time he served as Yemen’s cultural attaché.”

“Yes. I remember.” Wasim glanced at Malik. “He was assigned to the embassies in the UK, France, and Germany, before returning to Yemen. He’s continued his efforts to preserve Yemen’s heritage, in particular, with the UNESCO cultural world sites.”

Sear nodded. “Do either of you have any idea where he lives now?”

“Yes.” Malik shifted in his chair. “Not the specific property, but Borak said Bashari lived in the Haddah area of the city.”

“That’s where wealthy people live.” Wasim grinned. “One day, we’d both like to live there.”

Sear scratched his itchy facial hair. “Any way to find out the exact location?”

“I know someone in the Political Security Organization. Let me give him a call.” Malik yanked his phone from a pocket in his thobe. He punched in a number from memory after putting it on speaker. “Hello, Tariq. This is Malik. I have a favor to ask.”

A deep voice chuckled. “I told you before my sister isn’t ready for marriage.”

Both men laughed.

“I was supposed to meet with Abdullah Bashari, the archeologist, but I lost the paper with his number and address.”

“Yes, I know of him. Let me check.” Fingers clicking on a keyboard sounded through the speaker. “Ah. No phone number, but I have an address. I’ll text it to you.”

“Thank you, my dear friend.”

“No problem, but lunch is on you next time.” Tariq chuckled as he broke the connection.

Moments later, a ping sounded on Malik’s phone. He glanced at the text. “Haddah Street, in the al Khorafi residential area,  not far from the Jordanian embassy.”

“Excellent.” Sear smiled. “I think we should send someone with a note to tell Bashari I’m here and ready to meet with him.”

Wasim nodded. “I’ll do it.”

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