Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 8, 2022

We’ve had rain to start most days, but today’s been dry and overcast, so I was able to cut the grass. Hope it remains dry for a few days, as we have a painter coming tomorrow to paint the eves. Too high for me without a different ladder, so we took advantage of this painter doing a couple of other properties on the street.

Another update on Sylvia’s condition. She had a pacemaker installed on Tuesday and all the initial tests were fine. We saw the practice nurse on Thursday, who changed the bandage and said Sylvia was healing nicely. The next appoint is six weeks from now and the pacemaker will be recalibrated/adjusted if needed.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Never lose Hope you never know what Tomorrow may bring.” Hope is the best thing which make us believe that God is with us ,God with us that mean hope lives in our souls and our thinking so please smile never give up everything be okay. Always when things seem darkest you know God is always there & things work out, that’s God working in a mysterious ways. Always works for me. You just have to do everything humanly possible& and let God handle it. ~ Melissa Browning © Wisdom Quotes & Stories

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 8th, the second Sunday of the month:

Andrea Alciato, Italian lawyer and writer; Francis Quarles, English poet (Argalus & Parthenia, Emblems); Edward Gibbon, English historian (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire); Phillis Wheatley, American poet who was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman; George Bruce Malleson, English officer in India and author; Francis Warre-Cornish, English scholar and writer; Oscar Hammerstein, German opera and playwright (Kohinoor); John Meade Falkner, English novelist (Moonfleet); Edmund Wilson, American critic/writer (Patriotic Gore); Vera Chapman, English writer and Tolkien Society founder; George Woodcock, Canadian writer of political biography and history (Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements); Gertrud Fussenegger [Dorn], Austrian writer (Mohrenlegende); Romain Gary, Polish writer; Sloan Wilson, American novelist (Man in the Gray Flannal); Tristan Jones, British sailor and author; Gary Snyder, American beat poet (Turtle Island – Pulitzer Prize, 1975; Rip Rap and Cold Mountain Poems); Julieta Campos, Cuban-Mexican writer; Daniel Robberechts, Belgian writer (Labia Majora); Thomas Pynchon, American novelist (V, Gravity’s Rainbow); Peter Benchley, American novelist (Jaws, The Deep); Beth Henley, American actress and playwright (Miss Firecracker); Andreas P. Nielsen, Danish author and composer; and Terry Christian, British writer, radio and television presenter.

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Peter Benchley. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

My novels are participating in three Bookfunnel promotions this month:

May Mayhem: A Kindle Unlimited Promo group promo. There are 105 novels to choose from:
https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 168 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

May the First Book – Mystery Thriller Suspense group promo. There are 44 novels in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

Please support author such as myself by checking out these promotions. Thank you.
 

My Work in Progress

Slide1The final chapters of Ultimate Escalation have now been uploaded to the two online subscription writing sites I use. My manuscript received another fifty reviews this week, bringing the total to 815.

Here’s another snippet:

Two days later, over 100 protesters assembled near the memorial park. Two youths led the demonstration inching toward the monument, beating a discordant rhythm on their drums.

Police officers lined the perimeter of the monument, their backs to a black wrought-iron fence.

Numerous onlookers crowded the park, anticipating a clash between the security forces and the protesters.

The apparent demonstration ringleader stopped within a couple of meters of the police line. He turned to his supporters, holding a blue and gray portable megaphone. He gazed at the myriad of banners, signs, and flags. “Listen, my friends. Today we begin our conquest to reunite Punjabi—once and for all. Do not cower in front of these officers.” He gestured toward the police. “We have a fundamental right to demonstrate.”

Cheers erupted from those assembled, while some waved their flags with vigor.

“We will not be cowered. We must show courage in the face of ongoing strife. Who is with me?”

“Yes!” a multitude of voices shouted.

Someone broke into a pro-Punjabi chant.

Soon, others joined in.

The ringleader raised his hands. “There is no better place to show the government our strength and courage than at the monument to those who lost their lives facing adversity. Will they continue to beat us down?”

“No!”

Someone threw a rock at the police line.

An officer collapsed to the ground, his face bloodied.

Another officer blew a whistle.

Gunshots came from the police line, striking the demonstrators closest to them.

Screams filled the air. Pandemonium broke out as tear-gas canisters blanketed the area with a thick fog.

Once peaceful protesters lowered their signs, banners, and flags. Using the staffs as weapons, they charged the police line.

More gunfire ensued.

The penultimate snippet will come next week.

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 1, 2022

Happy May Day! May April’s showers bring May flowers. We didn’t have a lot of rain throughout April, but the final day did bring us a steady but light rain all day. Hopefully, we’ll see the benefits soon.

An update on Sylvia’s condition. Although the consultant had anticipated Sylvia’s procedure was going to be on Tuesday, the specialist actually doing the operations told he on Monday he was heavily backlogged and would refer her to a colleague at a different hospital and she was discharged.She’s now scheduled to have the procedure this coming Tuesday, May 3rd. Fingers crossed it takes place and gives her what she needs!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Staying quiet doesn’t mean I have nothing to say, it means I don’t think you’re ready to hear my thoughts.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 1st, the first Sunday of the month:

Joseph Addison, English essayist and poet (co-founder of The Spectator); Aleksey Stepanovich Khomyakov, Russian poet; José Amador de los Ríos, Spanish historian and poet; José de Alencar, Brazilian writer (O Guarani); Guido Gezelle, Flemish priest and poet; Laza Lazarević, Serbian writer (Prvi put s ocem na jutrenje) and psychiatrist; Conrad Weiss, German writer and poet (Tantum dic verbo); John Evans, English cricket batsman (1 Test) and author (‘The Escaping Club’); Ignazio Silone, Italian novelist (Fontamara, Pane e vino); Antal Szerb, Hungarian author and historian; Giovannino Guareschi, Italian writer (Don Camillo, Peppone); Yiannis Ritsos, Greek poet and political activist; Joseph Heller, American novelist (Catch-22, 1963 Arts & Letters Award); Terry Southern, writer; Sergio Infante, Chilean poet and writer; and Wes Anderson, American director and writer.

Any names familiar to you? There was one for me: Joseph Heller. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

My novels are participating in three Bookfunnel promotions this month:

May Mayhem: A Kindle Unlimited Promo group promo. There are 105 novels to choose from:
https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense Reads group promo. There are 168 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/b…

May the First Book – Mystery Thriller Suspense group promo. There are 44 novels in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

Please support author such as myself by checking out these promotions. Thank you.

My Work in Progress

Slide1As I mentioned last week, the final chapter of Ultimate Escalation was completed. I’m currently working my way through the myriad of reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use.

My manuscript received another forty-one reviews this week, bringing the total to 765.

Here’s another snippet:

The sounds of heavy traffic woke Mishka. He glanced out the window, watching a motorcycle with a family of five passing by. “You forgot to wake me.”

Bikram shook his head. “We have not yet reached Amritsar, sahib. Perhaps ten more minutes. Do you want to stop by the Golden Temple? It is the most important shrine for the Sikhs.”

“Perhaps another time. I think—” Mishka grabbed onto the door handle to steady himself as the truck rocked while passing a cluster of people on bicycles.

“Yes, sahib?”

“I think we might have to leave India in a hurry after we complete our mission.”

“Many things to visit in India, sahib. I will be happy to be your guide—for a small fee.”

Mishka laughed. “We shall see.”

Bikram turned onto a side street, packed with trucks, cars, and rickshaws. Dozens of pedestrians scooted between the vehicles, tempting fate as they headed toward their destinations. Three and four-story buildings, with stores on the ground floors, hugged both sides of the street, display stands erected on the sidewalks to attract buyers. Multi-colored signs covered the storefronts, beckoning consumers inside. Vehicle horns, people shouting and laughing, and the scent of cooking food wafted through Mishka’s window.

“One day, sahib, a ring road around Amritsar will be completed. For now, we must work our way through the outskirts of the city until we reach the road leading to Vedant’s property. From there, it is only a few kilometers.”

Twenty minutes later, Bikram made another turn onto a divided highway. Traffic heading into Amritsar was heavy, but few vehicles traveled in the outbound direction.

Bikram blew his horn and swerved to miss another motorbike bearing multiple passengers. “We will soon arrive, sahib.”

“Excellent.” Mishka studied the family clutching to one another as they sped by. “How often do those overloaded motorcycles end up in accidents.”

“Many times each day. They are a hazard but no worse than stray livestock on the streets.”

Buildings gave way to farmland as they continued out of Amritsar. Bikram pointed to the right. “See those buildings in the distance? That is where we are going.”

“Did I catch a glimpse of a sign for a business?”

“Yes, sahib. The farm is used as a getaway for people who want to escape from city life. It is closed right now, so we could use it for our purposes.” Bikram chuckled. “I am aware you will be paying the fee for all of the buildings. Did you not know this?”

Mishka pursed his lips. “Vedant did mention something about it, but we’ll take care of the finances later.”

Bikram slowed and turned onto a narrow lane. The second truck followed. “We are here, sahib. First, I will take you to one of the stone cottages where you and your men will stay. Our supporters will use two of them to make signs and banners, and those not from this area will sleep in the other two.”

“What about the big house?”

“That is where we will eat out meals and meet to discuss whatever you think is of importance.” Bikram gestured to the first cottage. “You will be in this one. In the evening, when there is a slight breeze, it is very pleasant on the rooftop terrace to enjoy a sunrise or sunset.”

Mishka laughed. “You sound like an advertising man.”

“It is my duty, sahib, to support the family.” Bikram stopped in front of the building. We shall unload your equipment before going for something to eat.”

Another snippet next week.

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, April 10, 2022

Over the past week we’ve experience more below season average temperatures, barely reaching 50F/10C. There’s been a mixture of sun, clouds, and rain throughout, and we even had frost one morning. Today, it’s bright and sunny and the birds are singing away.

We’ve been at the monthly small business market this weekend. Sales were a bit lower than normal. Thirteen of my autographed books sold along with sixteen of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets and another of her books. With the recent increases in domestic gas and electricity bills (ours went up fifty-four percent from last month), council taxes (similar to property taxes), car taxes, and national insurance premiums, it’s likely some people are still figuring out their personal impact. Also, local schools began Easter holidays which could also have figured in the lower attendance.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): When a bird is alive, it eats ants. When the bird had died, ants eat it. One tree can be made into a million matchsticks, but only one matchstick is needed to burn a million trees. Circumstances can change at anytime. Don’t devalue or hurt anyone in this life. You may be powerful today but time is more powerful than you.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on April 10th, the second Sunday of the month: Balthazar Huydecoper, Dutch translator and historian; Basílio da Gama, Portuguese poet (O Uraguai); William Hazlitt, English essayist and critic; Lewis “Lew” Wallace, American author (Ben-Hur) and Major General (Union Army); Forceythe Willson, American poet (The Old Sergeant); Joseph Pulitzer, Hungarian-American publisher (St Louis Post-Dispatch, NY World) and Democratic politician whose bequest founded the Columbia School of Journalism and the Pulitzer Prize; George William Russell, Irish nationalist, poet and artist; Alfred Kubin, Austrian writer and illustrator; Montague Summers, English clergyman and writer (Malleus Maleficarum); Paul Sweezy, American Marxist economist and editor (Monthly Review); Stefan Heym, German-American author (Crusaders, Family Benda); Leo Vroman, Dutch-American hematologist and poet; Chuck Connors, American author, actor (The Rifleman, Branded, Cowboy in Africa), professional basketball and baseball player; Marcel van Maele, Belgian poet and playwright; Adrian Henri, British poet and founder of poetry-rock group (Liverpool Scene); Rokusuke Ei, Japanese author and lyricist (Sukiyaki); David Halberstam, American journalist, historian and author (Pulitzer 1964); Bella Akhmadulina, Russian poet (The String, Fever); Penny Vincenzi [Hannaford], British novelist (An Absolute Scandal, Spoils of Time trilogy); Paul Theroux, American travel book writer and novelist (Mosquito Coast); Barry M. Riemer, American author (The Great American Con Machine); John M. Ford, American sci-fi author and poet.

Any names familiar to you? I spotted three I know: Joseph Pulitzer, Chuck Connors, and Paul Therous. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

Colombian Betrayal and Revenge continue to participate in a Kindle Unlimited thrillers and killers promotion throughout April. Why not stop by and check it out? There are 109 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/aprilthrillersandkillers/ygd654x5xa

My Work in Progress

Slide1I continued moving forward with Ultimate Escalation, completing chapters thirty-four through thirty-six. My manuscript received another twelve reviews, bringing the total to 664. Once again, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

I also updated my manuscript’s outline again. Barring any further changes, there will be fifty-two chapters when it’s completed.

Here’s another snippet:

Admiral Blakely rubbed a hand over his messy hair as he strode down the corridor to his office. The click of his heels echoed in the deserted hallway. He unlocked his door, turned on the light, and set his Starbucks coffee on the credenza. He flicked to one of the twenty-four news channels and sat at his mahogany desk.

The admiral glanced at the wall clock as it clicked to 0430. While he waited for his computer to boot, he sipped his lukewarm brew. As soon as his computer was ready, he logged in and began sorting through a myriad of emails. Lots of routine stuffmy subordinates are cc’ed so they can respond.

As he reached the end of the overnight’s incoming emails, he clicked on one which caught his attention:

I wish to advise you, kind sir, about our Russian ‘friend.’ Since he relocated to Lahore, I have been cut off from him. I suggest asking a colleague to infiltrate the Punjab reunification effort.

“Hmm.” The admiral pursed his lips. “Might be useful.” He clicked on reply.

Proceed with caution. Assume he will pass his intel through you?

After sending his response, he stepped into the outer office, where the aroma of brewing coffee greeted him. He glanced around, wondering who had prepared it since it was too early for his secretary to be in the office.

A tall, slender man jumped to his feet. “Morning, Admiral. I thought you might enjoy some fresh coffee.” Matthew McMasters, nicknamed ‘the grandson’ because of his youthful appearance, filled two cups with the steaming liquid.

“Thanks, Matthew.” The admiral pointed toward his office. “Join me.”

They sat in chairs positioned in front of the admiral’s desk.

I have a task for you.” The admiral sipped his drink. “I want you to work your magic and delve into the financial background of two people—former Spetsnaz Colonel Vladimir Aleksandrovich Nikolaev and ISI Major Ejaz Bangash.”

“How far back do you want me to search, Admiral?”

“At least five years should be good. However, if something surfaces which might warrant going back even more, use your judgment.”

“Yes, sir. Should I send my reports to the usual distro?”

The admiral shook his head. “The report on Nikolaev can be sent to Sir Alex and Harrison but send the info on Bangash just to me.”

Matthew stood. “Yes, sir. I’ll get right on it.”

“Relax and finish your coffee.” The admiral laughed. “Plenty of time to get started.”

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, April 3, 2022

After some seasonally-high temperatures during a good portion of March, we dropped about 20 degrees (F) during the last week and the first part of April. For the most part, there’s been plenty of sunshine, but we had hail and snow flurries over two days. Fortunately, no accumulation.

We did manage to get some more yard (garden) work done. During the recent wind storms, several of the trellis panels atop the back fence were broken and can’t be repaired. So far, I’ve taken down four of them–another four to go.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Some relationships are like Tom & Jerry. They tease and irritate each other, knock each other down, but can’t live without each other.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on April 3rd, the first Sunday of the month:

Lieven van der Maude [Ammonius], South Netherland poet; George Herbert, English metaphysical poet (5 Mystical Songs); Ferenc Verseghy, Hungarian poet and composer; Washington Irving, American writer (Legend of Sleepy Hollow); Anne Lister, English diarist; Ivan Kireyevsky, Russian literary critic and philosopher; John Burroughs, American writer and nature enthusiast (Burroughs Medal namesake); Frederik Willem van Eeden, Dutch utopian writer (Walden); Jose Juan Tablada, Mexican poet (El Florilegio); Margaret “Daisy” Ashford, British child author who wrote “The Young Visiters” (Mister Salteena’s Plan) aged 9; Neville Cardus, English writer and cricketer; Douwe Kalma, Dutch literary writer and leader (Young Frisian Movement); Henry Luce, American magazine publisher (Time, Fortune, Life); Peter Huchel, German poet; Isaac Deutscher, Polish-English historian (Stalin/Trotsky biography); Bert Bakker, Dutch publisher (Free Netherlands); Herb Caen, American columnist (SF Chronicle); Max Frankel, American journalist (Tables of Id of Organic Compounds); Jane Goodall, British primatologist, anthropologist, and writer (Through a Window: My Thirty Years With the Chimpanzees of Gombe); Reginald Hill, British crime author (Andrew Dalziel and Peter Pascoe novels); Jonathan Lynn, English writer and actor (Greedy, Bar Mitzvah Boy); Arlette Cousture, French Canadian writer (Les filles de Caleb); and Boris Miljković, Serbian TV and theatre director, writer and lecturer.

Any names familiar to you? I spotted two I know: Washington Irving and Jane Goodall. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

Colombian Betrayal and Revenge are participating in a Kindle Unlimited thrillers and killers promotion throughout April. Why not stop by and check it out? There are over 100 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/aprilthrillersandkillers/ygd654x5xa

My Work in Progress

Slide1I was on a writing frenzy this week as I completed chapters thirty-one through thirty-three  of Ultimate Escalation. My manuscript received another eighteen reviews, bringing the total to 652. Once again, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

I also updated my manuscript’s outline. Barring any necessary changes, there will be fifty-three chapters when it’s completed.

Here’s another snippet:

Ajit stopped the dinged green and white van in the parking lot. He climbed out and motioned for Vladimir and the others to follow. He pointed toward the towering monument. “We cannot drive any closer, so we shall mingle with others visiting the park.”

Vladimir glanced at his watch. “It seems quiet.”

“Yes. However, dhuhr prayers will finish soon. Afterward, more people will flock to the park to enjoy the multitude of flowers, lush greenery, and fountains. On most days, it’s very busy as families partake of the food courts.”

“I spotted two of the leaders I picked.” Grigori grinned. “They’re doing just as we rehearsed. They’ll wait until they get near the black wrought-iron fence surrounding the monument before opening their banners. The other three leaders and their men should be surfacing soon.”

Vladimir clapped Grigori on the shoulder. “Appears all the frustration you went through is paying off.”

“We’ll see.”

As they strolled through the park, the number of visitors increased. Children ran across the grass, shouting and laughing as they chased a ball or trying to launch colorful kites in the slight breeze. Others sat on benches, eating ice cream cones, licking the drips before they fell on the ground. The aroma of cooking meat at the food courts wafted through the air.

“Punjab for Punjabis. No One Else!”

Shouts erupted near the fence. Several men carried banners calling for independence from Pakistan and India. Someone banged on a rhythmic beat on a drum while patriotic music played through a portable music system. More banners appeared, with slogans such as Unite Punjab and Let Our Families Join Us amid calls for an independent Punjab.

People waved the green and white national Pakistani flag with its white crescent and five-pointed star, while others held aloft the Punjab provincial government flag, comprised of a white circular seal with an Islamic crescent on a green background. Dotted here and there was the Nisan Sahib, an orange triangle with three black, interlocked swords.

Ajit turned to Vladimir and chuckled. “I told you Pakistanis are curious. There must be five hundred people near the monument now.”

Tweeet! Tweeet!

Police officers blew whistles and chased after two men who had jumped over the barricade and stood at the base of the monument, waving flags to encourage others to join them.

An officer raised his baton, striking one of the demonstrators on the shoulder.

As he fell, someone rushed forward and resumed waving the flag.

Incited by what they perceived as police brutality, dozens of onlookers screamed and hurdled the fence, rushing to the aid of the fallen man.

Police vehicles screeched to a halt. Officers wearing riot gear jumped out of the trucks, creating a melee as they waded into the crowd, swinging their batons and striking men, women, and children with total disregard.

As the crowd continued to swell, the police seemed to lose control of what had started as a peaceful demonstration.

Blam! Blam! Blam!

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 27, 2022

Happy Mother’s Day to those celebrating today. Hope you enjoy your special day!

We’ve had quite a run of sunshine this past week. Today, it briefly ended with plenty of fog although the sun is still trying to make an appearance. With all of the sunshine, we were able to get the flower beds at the front of the house ready for planting–even managed to get a few violas in!  We also found an excellent place for walking–Devilla Forest. It’s not far from the house and there are six walking paths through the forest. We took advantage of the sunny and relatively warm days  to go a couple of times. The clocks also jumped ahead an hour today, into what’s called British Summer Time.

During the first part of the week, the price of gasoline (petrol) increased by two pence a liter to £1.64. However, the Chancellor’s spring announcement saw a decrease in duty by five pence. I was definitely surprised to see the price actually dropped at our local station by six pence, down to £1.58, which makes it the equivalent of $8.03 for a U.S. gallon at the current exchange rate.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Blowing out the other person’s candle does not make yours shine brighter.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 27th, the fourth and final Sunday of the month: Benjamin Neukirch, German poet (Herrn von Hofmannswaldau); Michael Bruce, Scottish poet (Elegy written in Spring); Franz Xaver von Baader, German philosopher and theologist; Alexander Csoma de Kőrös, Hungarian Tibetan scholar (first Tibetan-English Dictionary); Alfred Victor, Comte de Vigny, French musketeer and writer (Moise, Chatterton); Adolf Glassbrenner, German satirical writer; Heinrich Mann, German novelist and essayist (Professor Unrat); Marie Under, Estonian author and poet; Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, Turkish writer and translator; Thorne Smith, American sci-fi author (Topper, Rain in the Doorway, Stray Lamb); Karl Mannheim, German sociologist (Ideology & Utopia); acques [Izaak] den Haan, Dutch writer (Dangerous Book); Golo Mann, German-American historian (Antisemitism); Ai Qing, Chinese poet; Budd Schulberg, American novelist and screenwriter (On the Waterfront); Stefan Wul, French sci-fi author (The Temple of the Past); Louis Simpson, Jamaican-American poet (Good News of Death); Shūsaku Endō, Japanese writer (Sea & Poison, Silence); John Bayley, English academic and writer (Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch); Frank O’Hara, American writer and poet; Anthony Lewis, American columnist (NY Times) and author (Gideon’s Trumpet); Bob den Uyl, Dutch journalist and writer (Bird Watching); Istvan Csurka, Hungarian politician and writer; Abelardo Castillo, Argentine writer and novelist; Michael Jackson, British writer and journalist; Walt Mossberg, American journalist, the highest-paid journalist at the Wall Street Journal; Russ Conway, American sports journalist (Eagleson NHL scandal); and Patrick McCabe, Irish novelist (The Butcher Boy).

Any names familiar to you? I struck out this week. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Mystery & Suspense / Mystery, Mystery & Suspense / Suspense, and Mystery & Suspense / Thriller promotion called Mayhem and Motives. Why not stop by and check it out? There are 100 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

Colombian Betrayal and Revenge are also participating in a separate Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense / Mystery, and Mystery & Suspense / Women Sleuths promotion entitled March Fun Reads. There are 99 novels available in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/c…

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week I completed chapter thirty of Ultimate Escalation. My manuscript received a whopping thirty-four  reviews, bringing the total to 634. Once again, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

After they passed the accident, Raj turned to the taxi driver. “Find a place where we can monitor the traffic. I want to photograph the license plates of the two Tata trucks.”

“Yes, sahib. In a few kilometers, the road bends, and there is a hidden spot where the police wait for speeding motorists.”

“Excellent. Pull into that area and wait for them to pass us.”

* * *

Mishka’s two-vehicle convoy continued along the highway. He yawned as he studied the arid landscape. Good thing for us it’s not the monsoon season. Would be more difficult to travel. He reached down, picked up his water bottle, and sipped.

“Sahib.” Bikram studied the side mirror. “A yellow taxi approaching. What should I do?”

Mishka glanced in his mirror and spotted the vehicle. “Let’s see if it’s the same one. If it is, lose him.”

Bikram grinned. “Yes, sahib. No problem. I do not like taxi drivers. They think they own the roads.” He allowed the truck to slow.

The taxi drew abreast as they passed a steep ravine. The lone passenger stared at them.

“It is the same one, sahib.” Without warning, Bikram yanked the wheel and swerved toward the taxi.

Bang! Screeeech!

The side of the taxi caved in as Bikram continued to force the vehicle off the road. He gave a final nudge.

The taxi crashed through a rusted guardrail and sailed over the embankment.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

Now that Michigan State and Michigan have been knocked out of the 2021 NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, I hope to resume my normal evening reading. Within the next week or two, I’ll resume posting my reviews.

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 13, 2022

The past week has been marked by plenty of wind and rain, with the occasional dry spell. Fortunately, the temperature has risen and we’ve been close to 50F/10C for most of the week. The warmer weather has led to the appearance of buds on various bushes and shrubs, including the hydrangeas. I did manage to do a bit of cleanup in some of the flower beds at the front of the house, but plenty more to do when the weather permits.

Due to the current world situation, we continue to see the price of gasoline (petrol) increase. Over the past week, the price of a liter climbed seven pence to £1.57 or the equivalent of $7.87 for a U.S. gallon. If the exchange was the same now as in late February, the price would be $8.20!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “They are not grey hairs. They are my Wisdom highlights. I just happen to be extremely wise.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 13th, the second Sunday of the month:

Charles Bonnet, Swiss naturalist and writer; Moritz von Strachwitz, German poet; Oswald Garrison Villard, American journalist and editor of the New York Evening Post; Emanuel Stickelberger, Swiss writer (Bluthochzeit); Hugh S. Walpole, British novelist and playwright (Jeremy, Maradick at 40); Oskar Loerke, German writer (Longest Day-1926); Janet Flanner, American journalist (New Yorker); Dorothy Aldis, American children’s writer; Marcel Thiry, Belgian writer and wallon militant; Maria Pia de Braganca, Portuguese journalist and writer who claimed to be the bastard daughter of King Carlos I of Portugal; Mircea Eliade, Romanian religious historian (Le Yoga) and author; Walter Annenberg, American publisher (Triangle-TV Guide) and philanthropist; L. Ron Hubbard, American sci-fi writer (Death Quest) and founder of the Scientology cult; Sergey Mikhalkov, Soviet writer and poet; W.O. Mitchell, Canadian writer (Who Has Seen the Wind?); Maria Vlamynck, Flemish author; Charles Sickman Corsen, Dutch Antillean poet; Jim Slater, British financier and writer; Wolfgang Kohlhaase, German actor, director and writer (Solo Sunday); Barry Hughart, American author of fantasy novels (Bridge of Birds); David Nobbs, English comedic writer (The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin); Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian prominent poet and writer; André Téchiné, French director and screenwriter (Scene of the Crime, Rendez-Vous); Yuri Andrukhovych, Ukrainian writer, poet and political essayist; Joe Ranft, American screenwriter and animator (Toy Story, Cars); and Robert Lanham, American author and satirist (The Hipster Handbook).

Any names familiar to you? I know one name on today’s list: L. Ron Hubbard. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Mystery & Suspense / Mystery, Mystery & Suspense / Suspense, and Mystery & Suspense / Thriller promotion called Mayhem and Motives. Why not stop by and check it out? There are 100 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

Colombian Betrayal and Revenge are also participating in a separate Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense / Mystery, and Mystery & Suspense / Women Sleuths promotion entitled March Fun Reads. There are 99 novels available in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/c…

And finally, The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance are participating in a Kindle Unlimited Mystery & Suspense and Mystery & Suspense / Thriller promotion. There are 41 novels to check out:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

ComL-8c(1)If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift (at least in the UK since it’s coming up on 27 March) for those special people in your life, look no further. Sylvia’s debut poetry and prose book, Colours of My Life, would make the perfect gift.

Colours of My Life is available across the Amazon network. Just click on the title anywhere in this article to find the universal link and your perfect gift.

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week I completed chapter twenty-eight of Ultimate Escalation. My manuscript received another fourteen reviews, bringing the total to 584 As always, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

“Aaaaaaih!”

Screams, shouts, and alarms pierced the air. Someone coughed.

Willie pushed aside chunks of concrete, broken furniture, and a dead body as he inched his way in the direction of the cough. “Hello? Who’s there?”

Another cough. “Alf.”

“Just a minute, and I’ll be there. Are you injured?”

“A few cuts and bruises but nothing broken. There’s a lump of mortar pinning my arm. Can’t get enough leverage to shift it.”

Willie slid through an aperture. “Hang on. I’m right here.” He put his shoulder into the concrete. “Ready? Might hurt.”

“Go for it, mate.”

Willie grunted as he shoved the debris off Alf’s arm.

“Ow!” Alf wiggled his fingers. “What the hell happened?”

“Not sure exactly. There was a loud explosion, the hotel shook, and floors collapsed.”

“How long ago?”

“About fifteen minutes. C’mon, let’s climb out of here and find Nate.”

The men worked through the collapsed building. Dust continued to hang in the air, making it difficult to see their way.

At last, Willie and Alf dragged an unconscious Nate from under a pile of rubble and into a corridor.

“Help!” Willie waved his arms above his head.

A hotel security guard, covered in dust, blood trickling down his face, stumbled forward, carrying a rolled-up canvas stretcher. “I will help you, sahib. Are you a guest here?”

“Yes, and thank you.” Willed helped the guard unrolled the stretcher on a somewhat debris-free space.

Together the three men lowered Nate to the floor. Once he was safely ensconced, they picked him up and trundled toward the hotel’s lobby.

A doctor, wearing a dust-covered suit and a grimy facemask, approached them and gave Nate a once-over examination. The doctor pointed toward the main entrance. “Take your friend outside. An ambulance will take him to the hospital.”

“Thank you, doctor.” Willie rubbed a hand over his face. “What are his chances?”

The doctor extended his hand so the palm was perpendicular to the floor. He tilted his hand back and forth. “Fifty-fifty. If Allah is willing.”

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, March 6, 2022

We just finished this month’s three-day small business market a the local mall. Overall, things went very well, although some vendors found things very slow. Twenty-three of my novels were sold, along with twenty of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets and three of her poetry books. Many thanks to all who supported us!

The price of gasoline (petrol) increased by three pence a liter this past week. This brings the cost to £1.50 a liter or $7.67 for a U.S. gallon. Good thing my car has a small engine!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “If you didn’t hear it with your own ears or see it with your own eyes, don’t invent it with your small mind and share it with your big mouth.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on March 6, the first Sunday of the month.

Michelangelo, Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance (David, Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel); Luigi Alamanni, Italian poet (Opere Toscane, La Coltivazione); Jan Zoet, Dutch actor, author, playwright and poet (Parnasssus aan ‘t Y); Cyrano de Bergerac, French playwright (Voyage to the Moon); Francis Atterbury, English man of letters, politician, and priest (Church of England Bishop of Rochester, 1713-23; Giovanni Meli, Siclian poet (Buccolica); Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet (“Sonnets from the Portuguese”); George du Maurier, Franco-British illustrator and writer (Trilby); Ringgold “Ring” Lardner, US sports writer (You Know Me Al); John Henry Pyle Pafford, British librarian (University of London); Hugh Williams, British dramatist, actor and writer (Wuthering Heights, Bank Holiday); Lewis Gilbert, British director, producer and screenwriter (You Only Live Twice, Sink the Bismarck!); John Fairchild, CEO (Fairchild publishing); Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist (1982 Nobel Prize in Literature); David Haddon Whitaker, British publisher (Whitaker’s Almanack); Teru Miyamoto, Japanese author; and Jan Kjærstad, Norwegian author.

Any names familiar to you? I know two names on today’s list: Michaelanglo and Hugh Williams. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Mystery & Suspense / Mystery, Mystery & Suspense / Suspense, and Mystery & Suspense / Thriller promotion called Mayhem and Motives. Why not stop by and check it out? There are 100 novels to choose from:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

Colombian Betrayal and Revenge are also participating in a separate Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense / Mystery, and Mystery & Suspense / Women Sleuths promotion entitled March Fun Reads. There are 99 novels available in this one:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/c…

And finally, The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance are participating in a Kindle Unlimited Mystery & Suspense and Mystery & Suspense / Thriller promotion. There are 41 novels to check out:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/m…

ComL-8c(1)If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift (at least in the UK since it’s coming up on 27 March) for those special people in your life, look no further. Sylvia’s debut poetry and prose book, Colours of My Life, would make the perfect gift.

Someone recently left a review on Amazon, entitled, ‘Remarkable Book of Poetry!’ It went on to say, “Too often, I think, people have a tendency to shy away from poetry. Maybe they find it depressing, boring, stuffy, ‘pollyannish’ – pretty much useless.

“Well, in Sylvia Grace’s fine collection, there is not a trace of the above negatives. It’s original poetry and it’s from the heart. No pretense. No gimmicks. No reasons to say, ‘Ugh!’

“Sylvia’s poetry covers all areas of life. No proverbial stone is unturned. This is a ‘Must Have!’ I am very glad to have a copy!”

Colours of My Life is available across the Amazon network. Just click on the title anywhere in this article to find the universal link and your perfect gift.

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week I completed another chapter of Ultimate Escalation. My manuscript received another forty-one reviews, bringing the total to 570. As always, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Admiral Richard Blakely leaned back in his captain’s chair, feet draped over the edge of his desk. Although his regular role as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff required him to spend most of his time at the Pentagon, as the mastermind behind the Bedlam program and the Alpha team overseer, he visited their headquarters at least once a week.

He sat upright after scanning an email on his desktop. Whatever Nikolaev is planning, if it involves nuclear weapons-capable Pakistan and India, can’t be good. He hit a button on his console. “CC, can you come in for a minute?”

“Aye, Admiral. Be right there.”

Moments later, CC entered the admiral’s office. “Tina wanted me to remind you about the upcoming VTC with Sir Richard and Harrison.”

“Yes, I want you to sit in as well. We might need to deploy all three teams.”

“What’s happened, sir?” CC frowned. “I didn’t notice anything on the threat board.”

“This is breaking news—just received an update from a source—Major Bangash. Seems Nikolaev might try to stir things up between Pakistan and India. He’s heading toward Lahore, while another Russian team associated with him flew to India.”

“Did Major Bangash give any idea what Nikolaev is up to?”

“Negative.” Admiral Blakely shook his head. “But, whatever he’s planning, it doesn’t bode well.”

“Aye. I—”

Soft gongs activated on the Marconi ViPr secure video conferencing system on the admiral’s desk. He turned and accepted both incoming connections. “Sir Alex. Glad you could make it. I see Trevor is with you.”

“Morning, Richard.” Blakely chuckled. “Looks like Harrison is having some technical difficulties again.”

“I’m prepared.” The admiral pulled up a sign and held it to the screen.

“Thank you, Richard.” Harrison grinned. “I forgot to unmute again.”

“No worries. Is Lady Evelyn with you?”

“Yes.” Harrison repositioned his unit, and Evelyn’s face appeared. “Better?”

“Much.” Admiral Blakely cleared his throat. “I sent you the latest report from our source in Pakistan’s ISI. As you’re aware, former Colonel Vladimir Aleksandrovich Nikolaev has been operating out of Peshawar for some time. According to the latest intel, he must be planning something along the Pak-Indian border. He’s apparently heading toward Lahore while some of his accomplices flew into India a few days ago.”

“Richard, did the source have any idea regarding Nikolaev’s motive?” Sir Alex scratched the top of his head. “I assume it must be more financial than ideological.”

“The source didn’t provide any specifics—perhaps he doesn’t know, or he’s dangling info in front of us to increase his stipend.” The admiral pursed his lips. “I asked him to dig further into Nikolaev’s motives and to keep us informed.”

“What do you propose we do, Admiral?” Harrison sipped from a cup, steam circling upward.

“Since our teams are back at their normal staging areas, and overall threat assessments are manageable, I suggest we pre-deploy. With two somewhat unstable governments, who knows what might happen and whether they’ll resort to nukes.”

“I agree.” Harrison nodded.

“I’m with Harrison, Admiral.” Evelyn’s lips tightened into a thin grimace.

“So do I.” Sir Alex glanced at Trevor.

Trevor gave a thumbs up.

“Here’s what I propose: Bravo will travel to Pakistan, and Charlie to India.”

“What about Alpha, Admiral?” CC glanced at the Marconi screen. “Forgetting about us?”

The admiral laughed. “No way! We’ll use Alpha as a QRF in case either of the teams requires assistance. You would be positioned at the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Doha. You could work out of Central Command’s forward headquarters.”

“Works for me, sir.” CC grinned. “Just don’t want to miss out on any action.”

“Understood.” The admiral gestured toward the screen. “I recommend Bravo proceed to Karachi and try to uncover any intel regarding Willie, Alfie, and Nate—they’re long overdue with a SITREP.”

“Agreed.” Sir Alex nodded. “When do you want the teams on the ground?”

Admiral Blakely rubbed an index finger along his jawline. “Five days—since we don’t have any specifics, no need to rush—yet. Any questions? If not, I need to prepare for a meeting with the National Security Advisor. She wants to brief the president.”

Sir Alex and Harrison shook their heads.

“Until next week.” The admiral broke the connection.

“I better get things organized for Alpha, Admiral.”

“Sorry, I couldn’t send you directly into one of the countries, but it’ll be easier for Alpha to coordinate access to Al Udeid.”

CC stood. “Aye, sir.”

* * *

CC chuckled as he entered the office used by Antonia “Toni” Turner, Ph.D., and Georgia White, Bedlam Alpha’s IT/Telecommunications consultant, and logistics whiz, respectively.

“Sharing recipes again?”

Toni and Georgia laughed.

“Something better—pictures of you.”

“Hope you picked good ones.” CC grinned. “Just finished a VTC with the other Bedlam teams. Alpha is heading to Al Udeid Air Force Base in Doha and will act as a backup to Bravo and Charlie going into Pakistan and India. Can the two of you work your magic and place us on the ground in five days at the latest? I prefer to go in on a C-130 or C-17, so we can take all of our equipment, to included weapons and ammo.”

“We’ll hop right on it, CC.” Georgia crossed her heart. “Consider it done.”

“Just take a few minutes to pull your communication devices and weapons from storage.” Toni pursed her lips. “I’ll do separate packages to send to the defense attaché offices in Islamabad and New Delphi.”

“Aye. Great idea. If you run into any difficulties, give me a shout.”

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 6, 2022

We’ve been at the monthly small business market the past two days. Friday was really slow–only the food stalls were constantly busy. Even so, ten autographed copies of my novels, ten of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets, and two of her poetry books sold. All being well, today will be a good day and we’ll hit our monthly sales averages.

Weather-wise, the dreaded ‘s’ word is in the forecast. It was supposed to hit the higher elevations last night. All we had was rain, but there is more forecast for the middle of the week. Only time will tell what we’ll receive, if any (fingers crossed).

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “You decide every moment of every day who you are and what you believe in. You get a second chance every second.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on February 6th, the first Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Džore Držić, Croatian poet and playwright who is considered one of the fathers of Croatian literature; Daniel Georg Morhof, German writer & scholar; Évariste de Parny, French poet; Ugo Foscolo, Italian poet (Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis); José María de Pereda, Spanish novelist; Eliza Johannes Meester, Dutch journalist & writer (Geertje); John Henry Mackay, Scottish-born German writer (Anarchists); Karl Sapper, German traveller & natural historian; Alfred Mombert, German poet; Wilhelm August Schmidtbonn, German writer (Der Sprechende Eros); Ljudmil Stojanow, Bulgarian poet (Metsh i Slowo, Cholera); Siegfried Kracauer, German writer; Pieter G Buckinx, Flemish writer (Temptation of Poverty); Irmgard Keun, German author; Lothar-Günther Buchheim, German author; Louis Heren, English foreign correspondent & writer (China’s Three Thousand Years); Paolo Volponi, Italian communist & author (Road to Rome); Jin Yong [Louis Cha Leung-yung], Chinese Wuxia novelist; and Oscar Sambrano Urdaneta, Venezuelan writer.

Any names familiar to you? I struck out once again. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

The Kurdish Connection, Colombian Betrayal, and Mission: Angola are participating in a first-in-series promotion for mysteries and thrillers. There are sixty-four novels in this one, which ends on February 12th.

ComL-8c(1)

If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for those special people in your life, look no further. Sylvia’s debut poetry and prose book, Colours of My Life, would make the perfect gift.

Someone recently left a review on Amazon, entitled, ‘Amazingly Upbeat. It went on to say, “Sylvia’s poetry and prose lifted my spirit. Her love of life lingers on every page.”

Colours of My Life is available across the Amazon network. Just click on the title anywhere in this article to find the universal link and your perfect gift.

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week I spent my writing time on research for upcoming chapters of Ultimate Escalation. My manuscript received another eleven reviews, bringing the total to 529. As always, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Grigori slammed the door behind him as he entered the office attached to a hanger on the edge of the airport. “If I could, I’d replace these fifty zhopas with a dozen Spetsnaz.”

“Don’t be too harsh on our new colleagues. After all, they can’t help it if they are arses. Remember, we need Punjabis to fight for their cause.” Eduard Kalugin, a former Spetsnaz major laughed. “Many of them believe martyring themselves will give them a place with Allah.”

“Da. But I’m tired of repeating myself.” Grigori sighed. “They act like they’re getting ready for a picnic, not an uprising.”

“Relax and take several deep breaths.” Former Spetsnaz Captain Fedor Tatarov grinned. “You’re taking yourself too seriously. All we can do is offer our guidance based on our years of experience in troubled areas. If they choose to ignore us, it’ll be their downfall, not ours.”

Grigori tilted his head. “I suppose both of you are correct. But it is frustrating. If we can’t get them to understand how their demonstrations should begin and escalate when they should, how will we control them when it comes to shooting?”

“Do your best, Grigori. That’s all we can do.” Eduard pushed back his sleeve and checked the time. “Vladimir should be here in about three hours. Once he arrives, you can explain the difficulties you’re experiencing and find out if he has any suggestions.”

“Da. But I’m not sure it will help.” Grigori walked to a carton of bottled water in the corner. He pulled one out and drank, excess water dribbling down his face. “I hope Mishka is having better success with the Indians.” He grabbed another bottle of water. “Guess I better rejoin our recruits before someone gets injured.”

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 30, 2022

Parts of the UK were really hammered by Storm Malik during Friday evening and most of yesterday. In Scotland, winds reached 85 MPH, although it was a bit calmer in our area. There were a few branches down, but nothing like what the people in the Aberdeen area experienced, where hundreds of people lost power and one woman was crushed by a falling tree.

Storm Connie is supposed to hit us this afternoon, with calmer wind gusts between 50-60 MPH. Hopefully, the forecasters have this one correct. In any event, we’re heading out for a walk in the fresh air.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Let the challenges makes you strong.” Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow, there is only today. Be fearless. Listen to your heart. Envision your perfect day and go out there and live it. You have many smiles to share with those around you–and they with you. Radiate your love and feel that loving energy return to you. ~ Creig Crippen © Wisdom Quotes & Stories

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 30th, the fifth and final Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

George Villiers, 2nd duke of Buckingham, English statesman and poet; Charles Rollin, French historian; Walter Savage Landor, English poet & writer (Imaginary Conversations); Adelbert von Chamisso, French writer (Peter Schlemihl); Alfred Townsend George, American Civil War journalist; Francis H. Bradley, British idealist philosopher (Appearance and Reality); Samuel Pierre l’Honoré Naber, Dutch rear-admiral and librarian; Gelett Burgess, American humorist & author (The Purple Cow); Anton Hansen Tammsaare, Estonian author (Truth and Justice); Jaishankar Prasad, Hindi poet, dramatist and novelist; Hans Erich Nossak, German writer; Saul David Alinsky, American radical writer (John L Lewis); Barbara Tuchman, American historian & author (Pulitzer, Guns of August); David Opatoshu [Opatovsky], American actor & writer (Star Trek, Bonino, Secret Empire, Masada); Nikolay Glazkov, Russian poet; Lloyd Alexander, American writer; Margaret Yorke [Margaret Beda Nicholson], English author (Patrick Grant novels, No Medals for the Major); Andrew Salkey, Panamanian-Jamaican novelist; Shirley Hazzard, Australian-born author (Transit of Venus); Allan W. Eckert, American historian, naturalist, and author; Richard Brautigan, American novelist and poet (Trout Fishing in America); Gregory Benford, American author & scientist; Michael Dorris, American novelist & scholar; Les Barker, English poet; and Judith Tarr, American sci-fi author (Isle of Glass, Ars Magica).

Any names familiar to you? I struck out again this week. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Terrifying New Year promotion, running from now until the end of January. With 118 novels available, there’s bound to me something to catch your interest.

In addition, The Kurdish Connection, Colombian Betrayal, and Mission: Angola are participating in a first-in-series promotion for mysteries and thrillers. There are sixty-four novels in this one.

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week I posted chapter twenty-four of Ultimate Escalation to the two online subscription writing sites I use. My manuscript received another nine reviews, bringing the total to 518. As always, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Mishka slurped the last of his tea and turned to Benedikt. “Have you finished eating?”

Benedikt shoved the last of a samosa into his mouth. He chewed and swallowed before burping. “Da. I am now. What’s up?”

“Jadallah should be here soon. He’s bringing our contact with him. Take one of the others and find a good spot along the street to monitor anything strange.” Mishka handed his pistol to Benedikt.

“How will I know what’s strange? Everything here is different to me.”

“Use your common sense.” Mishka sighed. “I assume you still have some.”

Benedikt grinned. “Of course—just winding you up.” He shoved the pistol in his belt and joined the others.

Of all the people to send with me, why did Vova pick him? Mishka chuckled as he watched Benedikt approach the sleeping Evgeni and kicked him in the leg.

“Get up, Evgeni. You’re on guard duty with me.”

“Says who? Why not disturb Igor or Jasha?” Evgeni stifled a yawn. “Is this one of your jokes?”

Benedikt hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “Mishka told me to pick someone—you’re it.”

“You forget you’re no longer in the army.” Evgeni struggled to his feet. “Let’s go before I do or say something I might regret.”

“Great idea. I might not be a sergeant any longer, but I can still whip you in a fight.”

Benedick and Evgeni disappeared, banging the side door as they departed.

Beep! Beep!

Moments later, Evgeni ran inside and hit the button controlling the vehicle door. As the roll-up barrier slid upward, Benedikt ducked underneath and entered. “Hey, Mishka—delivery’s here.”

As soon as the door cleared the opening, a dirty white Tata ACE HT truck.  pulled inside, followed by a second one.

Mishka waved the vehicles to the rear of the warehouse.

After the drivers alighted, they walked to the rear of their vehicles and unlocked the doors. Once they shoved them open, they climbed aboard and prepared to offload the cargo.

Mishka nodded to his men as he lowered the roll-up barrier halfway down.

Benedikt and the others began taking boxes and crafts from the trucks, carrying them into the lockable areas.

The rumble of a car’s engine caught Mishka’s attention. He turned.

A yellow and black taxi pulled up to the vehicle entrance. With barely enough clearance, the taxi inched inside, stopping by Mishka.

Jadallah grinned as he climbed out. “Sorry, we’re late.” He shrugged.

A tall man with black hair and a trimmed black beard dressed in matching grey patiala pants and shirt under a purple sherwani jacket climbed out of the taxi’s rear seat. He stepped toward Mishka, his hand outstretched. “Hello. You must be Mishka. I am Vedant Mohdi. I believe we have business to discuss.”

Mishka grasped Vedant’s hand. “Da. I understand you want to see a combined Punjab, is that correct?”

Vedant nodded. “Yes, it was a lifelong dream of my father’s. Now, I hope I’m in a position to make it happen.”

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 23, 2022

It’s been another breezy, damp and dreary week–for the most part, with temperatures struggling to get to 46F/8C. There were a couple of afternoons where the sun ventured out and we took advantage both times to go for a walk in a nearby park/play area. At least we’re starting to see the days slightly extend in length! In the meantime, all we can do is make the best of it. At least the dreaded ‘s’ word is staying away!

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “You decide every moment of every day who you are and what you believe in. You get a second chance every second.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 23rd, the fourth Sunday of the new year. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Friedrich von Matthison, German poet (Adelaide); Christian A. Vulpius, German novelist & dramatist (Rinaldo Rinaldini); Stendhal [Marie Henri Beyle], French writer (Le Rouge et de Noir, a Chartreuse de Parme); Herbert Bedford, English author and composer; Herbert David Croly, American author (Promise of American Life); Oton Zupancic, Slovenian poet (Zimzelen pod Snegom); Freda Utley, British scholar & author; Joseph Nathan Kane, American non-fiction writer & journalist (Famous Firsts); Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński, Polish poet (Zielona Ges); Dusan Kostic, Serbian writer; Walter M. Miller Jr., American sci-fi author (Hugo, View from Stars); Derek Walcott, Caribbean poet (Omeros), Nobel Prize for Literature 1992; Gatewood Galbraith, American author & attorney; and Elvira Lindo, Spanish writer & journalist.

Any names familiar to you? I struck out 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 Published Work

6 Novels

All of my novels are participating in a Terrifying New Year promotion, running from now until the end of January. With 118 novels available, there’s bound to me something to catch your interest.

In addition, The Kurdish Connection, Colombian Betrayal, and Mission: Angola are participating in a first-in-series promotion for mysteries and thrillers. There are sixty-four novels in this one.

My Work in Progress

Slide1This week I posted chapter twenty-three of Ultimate Escalation to the two online subscription writing sites I use. My manuscript received another seventeen reviews, bringing the total to 509. As always, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

Vladimir tilted his head. “Earlier, I started to ask about your crew when we were interrupted by the presence of the Americans.” He glanced upward. “How did you pick your crew?”

“The Russians are all experienced with the Lyre class before the submarines were decommissioned.  Rather than being trained so they could be deployed on another class, they were abandoned by the navy. Since the Iranians had already trained in Russia, it didn’t take long to provide the necessary guidance to work on the Negodyay. Of course, they aren’t involved in driving the submarine nor with the armaments.”

Chug! Chug! Chug!

“What’s that, Comrade Captain?” Wide-eyed, Mishka point toward the sound.

“Nothing to worry about. Just one of the many supertankers transiting the straits. If there was a potential for danger, the sonarman would alert us.” Pushkin chuckled as the sub shifted downward. The helmsman is adjusting our depth to ensure we won’t be involved in an accidental collision.”

Mishka kept staring upward as the sound of the tanker faded. “Do accidents happen often?”

“On occasion.” Pushkin shrugged. But not to us.”

They moved forward, stopping by the periscope station. “Would you like to take a look?” Pushkin gestured toward the controls.

“Da.” Vladimir stepped closer.

“Watch what I do.” Pushkin demonstrated, turning in a complete circle before stepping back. He tapped a control. “Hold this button if you want to focus on a particular ship.

Vladimir took over, mimicking what Pushkin showed them. “A great way to sneak up on your enemy.” Vladimir stepped aside, allowing Mishka a turn. What armaments do you carry?”

“The Negodyay has six torpedo tubes. There is storage space for eighteen to twenty torpedoes or the same number of cruise missiles. We have a mixture of both. In addition, we always carry a dozen mines.”

Vladimir pursed his lips. Can you hit an inland target?”

“Depends on the distance from the submarine. Our missiles can travel as far as six hundred sixty kilometers.”

“What if I wanted you to sink a ship?”

“Not a problem if we’re within fifteen kilometers for our torpedoes, but closer for the mines, which are usually placed in the projected path of the target.” Pushkin snapped his fingers. “Would you like a demonstration?”

“What? Here?” A grin spread across Vladimir’s face. “Da!”

Pushkin returned to the periscope and performed another search. “A perfect opportunity to cause confusion and mayhem.”

“What did you find?”

“Have a look—two Iranian patrol boats.” He stepped aside.

Vladimir scratched his head. “But what if you miss?”

Pushkin shrugged. “We acquired several American MK67 anti-ship mines a couple of years ago. We’ll use one on each boat. If any identifiable debris is found, the Americans will be blamed.”

“Captain, you’re full of surprises.” Vladimir glanced at Mishka. “What do you think?”

Mishka nodded. “Any opportunity to show America in a negative light is a good one, Vova. I say do it.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Feathers, the newest release by Blair Howard. Another riveting plot by a master storyteller.  Detective Kate Gazzara is embroiled in a  cat and mouse game with a deadly killer, who always seems to be a step ahead. As with all of Blair’s novels, this one is full of twists and turns. Combined with larger-than-life characters, this one will keep you turning the pages. Heartily recommended.

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 2022 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved