Randall’s Ramblings, July 19, 2020

It’s been a busy week. I finally managed to clear out an area in the back yard (garden) which had been neglected by the previous owner for eight years. Several shrubs had grown out of control, with some of them reaching tree proportions, requiring the use of a ladder so I could remove the higher branches.

Now the brick steps leading between two areas are dry–they used to remain wet several days after a rain and were a tripping/sliding hazard. A stunted maple tree is finally getting the sunshine it deserves!

Most of the verbenas which were planted in the front borders or in pots are now flowering, adding a mass of color which was sorely lacking. Once they’re all blooming, I’ll get the camera out and grab a few photos.

So, who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 19th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Heinrich Christian Boie, German author and editor; Gottfried Keller, German-Swiss poet and novelist; Ferdinand Brunetière, French writer and critic; Hermann Bahr, Austrian writer (Concert); Dwijendralal Ray, Bengali poet, playwright and lyricist (Dwijendrageeti); Vladimir Mayakovsky, Russian poet (Ode to Revolution); A. J. Cronin, Scottish writer (Citadel, Shining Victory); Marc Turfkruijer, Flemish movie journalist and writer; Edgar Snow, American author and journalist (Red star over China); Robert Pinget, French novelist (The Interrogation) and playwright; Max Sordam, Suriname warden and writer (Dictionary Sranantongo); Jan Myrdal, Swedish writer and journalist (Albania Defiant); and John Bratby, English painter and writer (Breakdown).

Recognize anyone? This was an unknown group for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

This week, I completed chapter twenty-nine of Xavier Sear: Angola, and began work on chapter thirty. As of today, there’s been 366 chapter reviews, an increase of twenty-one.

Here’s another snippet:

As the sun began to set, the vehicles pulled into a small clearing. A dilapidated building, constructed of wood and sheet metal, stood inside a cluster of trees.

Hearing others climbing down from the vehicles, Peter and Namali approached the tailgate. He jumped down, offering her his hand to help her to the ground.

A faint sheen of perspiration covered her face, and she wobbled on her feet.

“What is wrong with her, Doctor?” Alimasi grabbed Peter’s arm. “What is it?”

“I—I am not sure. Perhaps the journey was too much for her.”

Alimasi pointed to the hut. “Take her inside. There should be something to sit on. My men will bring whatever you require.”

Peter nodded. “I need fresh water, clean cloths—and my medical bag—the one your men took when you captured me.”

“Anything else?” Alimasi rubbed his hands toward, his forehead wrinkled with concern.

“Yes. Start a fire. Very hot.”

“What for?”

“In case …. Peter stared into Alimasi’s face. “To sterilize my tools, in case I need to operate.”

“What?” He grabbed Peter by the shoulder. “What did you do?”

Peter shook his head. “I didn’t do anything. When we were traveling here, Namali groaned a couple of times and clutched her stomach. There are several possible causes.”

“Such as?”

“In this part of the world, food poisoning, parasite infection, indigestion, dengue fever, cholera, or hemorrhagic fever are common. I should have something in my bag to help with these.” Peter swallowed. “However, I might need to operate if Namali has appendicitis, or if the baby is ready to join us.”

Alimasi yelled in the dialect Peter couldn’t understand.

Three men rushed forward.

Alimasi pointed at two of them and switched to Lingala. “Take my woman and the doctor inside the building. Get him whatever he requests.” He turned to the third man. “Go find everything taken from the hospital when we captured the doctor. Bring everything here. Hurry!”

The men each took one of Namali’s arms and led her toward the hut. Peter began to follow.

“Wait, Doctor.”

Peter stopped and turned.

“If anything happens to Namali or my unborn child, I will hold you responsible.” Alimasi stared into Peter’s eyes. “If either of them dies, so will you.”

More next time.

I didn’t get too far working on the next chapter of New World Revolution. The groundwork is laid for chapter six, with almost half of the chapter written. So far, there’s been over 140 chapter review, with plenty of sound advice.

I’ve struggled with a decision whether to have the characters speaking with contractions as I’m trying to keep the voice in the past. Fortunately, the Massachusetts Historical Society has provided some excellent information to help me. I’ll be going back to the original chapters and will begin changing things like do not to don’t, as contractions with n’t were some of the first to be used. Definitely plenty of research going into this one!

Speaking of research, I took somewhat of a break in research for my novels this week to concentrate on some geneaology research, working on my wife’s Scottish family history. I’ve been working on this occasionally for several years, but something sparked a return to the Scottish government website I use to trace records related to birth, marriage, death, census, and valuation rolls. The oldest ancestor confirmed with an online copy of a document, was a birth from 1692!

Books I’m Reading

I recently completed The Atlantis Riddle: A Dan Kotler Archaeological Thriller by Kevin Tumlinson. This is the second book in the series as was equally as good as the first one, with an excellent plot surrounding archaeologist Dan Kotler and his FBI friend, Special Agent Roland Denzel. Dan’s interest in a new project is stirred when a wealthy woman brings him an ancient stone. Before long, Dan’s on the hunt, with able assistance from Roland.

Will they be successful in rewriting history? Or will there be unsuspecting dangers lurking in the background? I don’t like to spoil things, so you’ll have to grab a copy and find out. With plenty of twists and turns, along with a bevy of interesting characters, it’s easy to immerse yourself in this story. If you enjoy action-adventure stories with some historical facts thrown into the mix, this one’s for you!

I also completed Bad to the Bone, the first book in Tony J. Forder’s DI Bliss series. Follow the exploits of Detective Inspector James Bliss as he attempts to unravel the mystery of a dead body. Examination indicates the woman had been killed several years ago but had been dumped in a new location.

With a riveting plot and well-defined characters, this story is guaranteed to keep you turning the pages. Not only do we follow DI Bliss through the tangled details the victim, we also learn about his personal life and what makes him the person he is today. This was the first book I’ve read by Tony and it’s definitely not the last as I’ve just downloaded books two through five!

This brings us to a close for this week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. 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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