Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings – 3 Apr 2016

Okay, who stole the message sent to Mother Nature? Or was it deleted from the inbox? I’m sure I had a nice day this week and began cleaning up from winter’s ravages.  Even though spring is here, snow continues to bless (or curse) us.  Not as much accumulation over the past two days as expected, but it appears it’s been stored up for a final push.

We have a winter storm warning beginning later today, with an estimated 5-8 inches of snow forecast by tomorrow morning.  At least we’ve started the day with blazing sunshine. Someone, please resend the note about spring’s arrival.

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

I’m writing a thriller. But I never realized how many sub-genres follow.  I located a good article on http://bookcountry.com, which explains the differences. Eleven different categories, and after giving each one a careful examination, I believe ‘The Kurdish Connection’ calls under techno thriller although military comes a close second.

The article described this genre as, “a type of fiction with a plot reliant upon the heavy use of modern technology, and focused on the dangers of that technology falling into the wrong hands. The narrative is often global in scope and can share elements with military thrillers.”

‘The Kurdish Connection” begins with the discovery of WMD by three scavengers who believe in an united Kurdistan but a small group wants to use them to force their desires. A small international team is tasked to recover the weapons before they are used. Although caught up in their cause, the scavengers realize they made a mistake offering the weapons.

Here’s a bit more from my story:

“You must swear by Allah never to say a word of what I’m going to tell you. If you promise, come to me. Now. At my house. Swear by Allah, disaster might occur. This is the most important secret.”

A once-impressive parade ground now housed the rusted hulks of forgotten vehicles. Miniature sand dunes stretched from the trucks, like fingers, with a random shriveled weed where some forgotten plant once achieved a foothold. Only the occasional call of a passing crow interrupted the silence.

The squeak of nails forced out of their holes and labored breathing filled the air. An odor of mildew mixed with the tang of lubricants and aged pine created a heady bouquet, making breathing difficult. When he finished, he counted ten crates filled with grenades, while another ten contained plastic explosives.

More next week.

My Work in Progress

Work continues on reviewing various critiques I received on ‘The Kurdish Connection’ and adding recommendations into my manuscript. Chapter three is edited and now posted on the two subscription writings sites I use.

I’ve been researching publishing houses that accept unsolicited manuscripts and figuring out how to prepare my cover letter and a good synopsis.  My time spent researching meant I didn’t have a chance to work on ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’ as there are so many hours in the week I can devote to writing and the associated tasks.

I’m hoping to send my first submission next month, if I can meld the requirements into a cohesive package.  I don’t want to rush, no point in doing that and waste a possible opportunity due to sloppy writing.  If anyone has any suggestions to aid this endeavor, please send them my way.

Books I’m Reading

With my current efforts on ‘The Kurdish Connection’ as well as completing reviews of various novels for those who provided me with critiques, I didn’t finish reading ‘How Little We Know’ by John L. DeBoer. I will say at this point that it’s well worth a read and will provide my full feedback next week.

Blog Posts I’d Like to Share

When time permits I skim through dozens of blogs, sometimes for enjoyment purposes and stimulate my creativity. Today, I’d like to share the following blogs with you. Both provide inspirational thought through prose and/or poetry. I hope you’ll find something of interest.

Rebecca Jolie – well worth a read if you’re stuck for inspiration or reflection.

Piper’s Writing – a college student and aspiring novelist who loves to write and share her work with others.

Writing Resources

I don’t have any specific writing resources to share this week.  I’m still searching for something to capitalize on the use of the senses and to help me prepare the “dreaded” cover letter. Hope to have an update for next time.

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.

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings 27 Mar 2016

According to the calendar, spring is with us.  Since the official date, we’ve had snow, rain, fog, wind, and finally sunshine. Plenty of winter birds twittering and I noticed quite a few robins have returned.  What’s this all mean? Time to start clearing up after Mother Nature. Plenty of yard/garden work to do, some before the ground completing thaws while other endeavors will have to wait for the full thaw.

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

Over the past few weeks I think I’ve covered why I want to write and the journey that I’ve taken.  Now, it’s time to share a few morsels from my stories. 

The first morsel is from ‘The Kurdish Connection’ and ideally should have been released last week, closer to the March 16 anniversary of the attack on Halabja twenty-eight years ago, the backdrop for this novel. Here we go:

The ground shook with each artillery barrage; the screams of the injured mingled with the putrid stench of death and the billowing, acrid smoke. Breathing became difficult and many suffocated in the toxic air. Cries of grief over the mangled bodies of loved ones rose everywhere.

An aroma, not unlike sweet apples, and the pungent odor of rotten eggs spread across the city. Birds fell from the sky; small animals and later larger ones sank to the ground. Nothing and no one was spared—humans collapsed, never to move again.

My Work in Progress

Over the past week, I continued reviewing the various critiques I received on ‘The Kurdish Connection’ and adding recommendations into my manuscript. Chapter two is edited and now posted on the two subscription writings sites I use.

Work on ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’ moved along at a snail’s pace as I worked on the above chapter. Hopefully, I’ll finish the prologue and chapter four this week and post them.

As I mentioned before, I’ve created plots for three new stories and given them working titles. These will be follow-on stories in the Bedlam series, with ‘The Kurdish Connection’ being the first.  Here’s the initial information regarding ‘Ultimate Escalation’:

Punjabi militants seek to distance themselves from Indian and Pakistani dominance and interference. With the dissolution of British India in 1947, families were ripped apart as the Punjabi region was split between the two countries. Limited attacks within each country caused further persecution and heartache.

The militants have no idea how to achieve their desires–until the appearance of Vladimir Aleksandr Nikolai, a disgraced Spetsnaz colonel. He offers the militants a means to spark a conflict between the two nuclear powers.

Russian subs sold on the black market and manned by Iranian and Russian sailors will surface off the coasts of the two countries and destroy Karachi and Mumbai. Propaganda machines will levy accusations against each country, leading to escalation of hostilities, pushing the countries to the brink of nuclear war.

The Bedlam organization fields their three teams to counter the violence and seek to restore calm before it’s too late. Will they be successful or will South Asia become a smoking ruin?

Books I’m Reading

Over the past week I completed reading ‘Mindfield‘ by A. Wallace. The first book in the ‘Sideways Eight’ series, it is quite simply, a must read for all thriller affenciendos.  Someone’s kidnapping and murdering little girls. Charley, a FBI behavioral analyst is teamed with Special Agent Murphy, and they take us on a wild ride chasing an unknown villain. This story contains everything you’d want in a thriller: intensity, intrigue, twists and turns, and even a hint of a potential romance. Every time I thought I knew the identity of the killer, a new clue pointed elsewhere.  Unlike many “who done it” plots, this one will keep you guessing to the very end.  Well done and A. Wallace is now one of my favorite authors.

Next week I’ll give my views of ‘How Little We Know’ by John L. DeBoer.

Blog Posts I’d Like to Share

Every week I continue to skim through dozens of blogs, sometimes for enjoyment purposes and other times to help stimulate my creativity. Today, I’d like to share the following blogs with you. Both provide inspirational thought through prose and/or poetry. I hope you’ll find something of interest.

Jennifer Novotney – Jennifer is an English teacher and author, who shares her journey with us.

Kosmogonic – a variety of poems, with something for everyone.

Writing Resources

I don’t have any new writing resources to share with you this week.  I’m still searching for something that will allow me to capitalize on the use of the senses.  Hope to have an update for next time.

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.

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings – 20 Mar 2016

An utter shock occurred this week–my beloved Michigan State Spartans were knocked out of the NCAA tournament.  I thought they would at least make it to the Final Four. Guess there’s always next year.

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

Someone once recognized I could write–now it’s up to me to take on the challenge and show whether I possess what is required to master my raw talent and create something people would like to read. No easy task, but one I hope to achieve. The journey has been a fruitful one thus far. On occasion, I look back at my original start to my first novel. Today’s work is strides ahead, almost hard to believe it came from the same person.

What do I credit for this change? Simple. Readers. Those individuals who’ve taken the time to read what I wrote and offer suggestions and observations to improve my writing.  There’s nothing to rest my laurels upon at this stage. Plenty left to learn and apply, but that’s half the fun.

My Work in Progress

Over the past week, I continued reviewing the various critiques I received on ‘The Kurdish Connection’ and adding recommendations into my manuscript.  I’ve now done this for the first eleven chapters.  The revised prologue and chapter one were to re-posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. Good feedback thus far.

I also posted chapter three for ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’. Based on feedback for the first two chapters, I’m also working on a prologue and on chapter four. Both should be posted over the coming week.

As I mentioned last time, I’ve created plots for three new stories and given them working titles.  Here’s the initial information regarding ‘Carnage in Singapore’:

Terrorist groups such as Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah have flourished in recent years with new recruits joining them at an alarming rate. Blended operations by various Asian countries have forced the groups to work together to identify a new operational base.

They seek an island nation to call home, one where they can plot against countries who oppose their ideals.  They found a target, a small nation-state, perfect for their needs: The Republic of Singapore.

Before anyone can respond, the ambassadors of the United States, Great Britain, and Australia are kidnapped from their residences in Singapore. Right index fingers of each victim are sent as a warning.  Any attempt to recover the ambassadors will result in the removal of additional body parts.

Bedlam Charlie team leader, Amiri “Joshua” Tahu, leads the group to rescue the ambassadors and capture the leaders of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. Can Bedlam succeed or will events escalate, resulting in more deaths?

Books I’m Reading

Over the past week, I completed ‘Secret Assault’ by Don Helin. A fast-moving story filled with action, suspense, and intrigue. Who is killing retired senior military personnel and why?  Colonel Zach Kelly tries to find out and nearly loses his own life. His daughter is also kidnapped. Is her kidnapping tied to his investigation or a sub-plot woven into the main event? Meanwhile, more retired personnel lose their lives before Colonel Kelly’s compatriots uncovered a common thread leading to the killers. Don’s created a ‘must read’ thriller, filled with heroes, heroines, and villains, converging together. Don’t miss this one!

I’ve also started reading ‘Mindfield‘ by A. Wallace. My thoughts will be provided next week.

Blog Posts I’d Like to Share

Every week I continue to skim through various blogs, sometimes for enjoyment purposes and other times to help stimulate my creativity. Today, I’d like to share the following blog with you. I hope you’ll find something of interest.

Darkland Poetry – the author expresses her life’s journey through the use of poetry.

Writing Resources

I don’t have any new writing resources to share with you this week.  I’m currently looking for something that will allow me to capitalize on the use of the senses.  Hope to have an update for next time.

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.

Randall's Ramblings, Uncategorized

Randall Ramblings – 6 Mar 2016

Another week of winter passed us by, another week of creativity! Hopefully we’ve had the last snow of the year. On Tuesday we received about nine inches but with thirty-five mile per hour winds, we ended up with drifts nearly four feet high. Normally it takes about two hours to completely clear our driveway and the apron. This time it was closer to five. Roll on spring!

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

When I’m working on outline for one of my stories, initially I don’t worry about reality. A beginning idea is transformed from a basic plot, who and what, without consideration for where and when.  As I write I’ll jot down a number of potential scenarios, some which may be eliminated later while others become the basis for a specific chapter or thread in the story. 

For example, in ‘The Kurdish Connection’, there is an international team and the Kurds. I wanted someone to monitor activities of several team members.  This led to the creation of a government watcher from one agency, a two-person team from another agency (although that isn’t obvious at first), and a second two-person team supporting the Kurds. The two-person teams were initially identified solely by physical characteristics, Thin Man, Fat Man, Beady Eyes, and Spectacle Man, until eventually their names appeared.

As time goes by, internet and book research is added into the outline, leading to where and when. Some ideas are shelved, but not erased, as I never know when I might want to refer back to something. A general premise is created and I’ll begin work on the first chapter. As a plotter, the outline is a useful tool for me, but it’s always subject to change.

My Work in Progress

Since finishing the first draft of ‘The Kurdish Connection’ I’ve been busy reviewing the various critiques I received and adding recommendations into my manuscript for when I commence editing.  As of today, I’ve gone through the prologue and the first seven chapters.  In a couple of weeks or so, the editing phase will begin.

I also completed and posted the second chapter of ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’ to the two subscription writing sites I use. Excellent feedback for improving my writing and keeping the story pointed in the direction I intend to go.

My brain cells were firing away this week at maximum velocity.  I had always planned for ‘The Kurdish Connection’ to be the first in the Bedlam series. I’m not sure if ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’ will be part of a series or not. 

I’ve now added three additional plots to the Bedlam series and given each one a working title: ‘A Malicious Affiliation’, ‘Carnage in Singapore’, and ‘Ultimate Escalation’. The premise for each will be available next Sunday.

Blog Posts I’d Like to Share

Every week I continue to skim through dozens of blogs, sometimes for enjoyment purposes and other times to help stimulate my creativity. Today, I’d like to share the following blogs with you. Both provide inspirational thought through prose and/or poetry. I hope you’ll find something of interest.

Daily Inspiration – this blog blends writing from different authors and poets and is a good place to lose yourself in a world of inspiration.

A Whispered Wind – the writing of Lori Carlson, a mixture of poetry and prose and well worth a read.

Books I’m Reading

This week I’ve been reading ‘DeathByte’, the sequel to ‘Bloodridge‘ a novel by D.S. Kane. I’m not quite finished, so my thoughts will be provided next time.

Writing Resources

This week I’d like to mention an additional writing resource I’ve acquired to help improve my writing and storytelling. I think the titles capture the purpose of the books very well.

The Emotion Thesaurus – A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression.

Show Don’t Tell – The Ultimate Writer’s Guide.

 

This concludes another week’s ramble.  Hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings – 21 Feb 2016

Many thanks to my faithful followers. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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

Since 2015, I’ve been learning about fiction–what it is and isn’t.  First thing to go – my reliance on expository writing.  One thing I’ve kept is my use of outlines.  After decades of relying upon an outline when preparing lengthy reports or operating procedures, this became second nature.  Even in my graduate degree programs where the exams were all essay, short outlines were recommended before diving into writing.

I read an article about fiction writing where the types of writers were described:  plotters and pantsers, with a third group who can’t make up their mind and use both methods.  Pantsers, literally writing “by the seat of their pants” have no idea where they’re going or how they’ll get there but this flexibility allows their creativity to burst forward.

Plotters, such as myself, use a systematic approach to their writing.  While this can sometimes be daunting if a change is needed, it’s still a feasible approach.  When I begin writing, I create a general premise for the story. This  provides me a potential starting point and a climax.

Then I begin chapter outlines – nothing complex at first.  Perhaps a timeframe, which major characters will be involved and a line or two about the chapter.  I’ll do this for about ten chapters before I begin writing.
As I complete a chapter, I’ll return to my outline and do two things. First, I’ll look at the next few chapters and adjust as needed, perhaps different characters, more about the chapter content.  I’ll also begin adding more chapters as I described earlier. 
This might sound like a lot of work, but looking back, I’ve spent 2-3 hours per week doing this. Not a great deal of time in the grand scheme of things and works for me.
My Work in Progress
I’m pleased to announce that I’ve completed the first draft of ‘The Kurdish Connection’, with a total of 108,800 words.  Now, the heavy work will begin–rereading the numerous critiques, selecting what works for me, and then making the changes. Sounds easy, but I’ll also be cutting out unnecessary scenes/dialogue, adding bits and pieces and will try to catch all my typos.
In addition to editing, I’ve started on the outline for ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’, using my approach discussed above.  I hope to have the first chapter posted on the subscription websites within a couple of weeks.

Blog Posts I’d Like to Share

Each week I continue to skim through dozens of blogs, sometimes for enjoyment purposes only, and other times to help stimulate my creativity. Today, I’d like to share the following blogs with you. Both use poetry to motivate and inspire others.

A Whispered Wind – great mix of inspiring poetry and awesome photographs.
Giggles & Tales – more inspirational motivational poetry to brighten your day.
Books I’m Reading

This week I read ‘Bloodridge‘ a novel by D.S. Kane.  Here’s my thoughts:

Lies, deceipt, intrigue, love, sorrow, mystery–that just the opening chapters! A great mix of political maneuverings, crosses and double-crosses as our characters race around the world trying to stop a militant group from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and wiping Israel off the map. Alliances forge and fall as countries strive for what is best for themselves. A fast-moving story with something for everyone.

Writing Resources

This week I’d like to mention two addition books I’ll be using as I edit ‘The Kurdish Connection.’

Writing Fight Scenes – step-by-step means to create breathtaking fights.

The Writer’s Guide to Character Emotion – create realistic character expression and emotion.

 

That’s all for this week’s edition of Randall’s Ramblings.  I hope you’ve found something of interest and will join me again soon.  If you think a fellow writer might benefit, please pass the word along.  Likewise, if you think of anything to improve my ramblings, please let me know. Thank you for stopping by!

 

Blogging 101

Bloggin 101 – Day Thirteen

For today’s assignment, I’ve selected ‘Write Anything Wednesday’ from the ‘Community Events Listing’ so I could share some thoughts about where we live.

By The Lake’s Shore

Today is another winter’s day, much like any other. Cold, overcast, snow predictions–a typical winter scenario. This morning when Tyson went outside, he thought he was in heaven–four white-tailed deer peered toward us before turning away, their tails high in the air as they scurried away.  Tyson wanted to give chase, but a command (or two or three) stopped him in his tracks.  He could never catch them, but I don’t want to encourage him.

Looking toward the water, another vision awaits. Because of the clouds reflecting, the water is varying shades of gray interspersed with a few areas of blue. The shoreline has extended upwards and outwards due to the formation of ice. As the waves push forward, the ice piles up. Now it’s about four feet higher along the water’s edge than normal. Beyond that, it looks like miniature icebergs waiting their turn to land.

In anticipation of flurries, the birds are busy pecking away at their seed and suet, while a lone squirrel sits among them, stuffing his cheeks. Three cats went to inspect but decided at 17F/-8C it was better to remain indoors. Old Ollie decided he wanted to go out. I opened the door just as a gust blew in.  He hissed and growled and walked away–not happy that I couldn’t warm things up so he could go outside to play.

Ollie wanders to a deck door, thinking the weather will be better on the opposite side of the house.  Not so, and he sauntered off in disgust.  I looked at the lake, and the clouds have lightened. As a result, the areas icing over toward the horizon have turned white, reflecting the new cloud cover, like floating marshmallows.

A last look inland and what do I see, but those heavy gray clouds bringing their debris. A gust shakes the clouds, and they sprinkle their burden–the flurries have started, and it’s time for a tea.

100_2484winter.jpg
Lake Side

100_2706winter2.jpg
Road Side
Blogging 101, Morsels From The Kurdish Connection

Morsels From The Kurdish Connection

Someone on Blogging 101 suggested I add some snippets from my chapters–an excellent idea!  I’ll post things that my reviewers have particularly liked, so it will vary from scenery, character, and perhaps a bit of the dialogue.

What is The Kurdish Connection About?

Iraqi Kurdish freedom fighters have uncovered a cache of chemical weapons left over from the previous regime. Wanting to see a united Kurdistan nation, they offer these weapons to fellow Kurds in Turkey and Syria. The newly formed Bedlam Alpha team is rushed into service to head off further regional turmoil by locating and recovering these weapons. However, can they manage to do this while keeping the operation entirely hidden and without igniting further clashes? Team leader Cameron Craig MacTavish heads a small international team into the three countries to try to recover these weapons before they cause irreparable harm.

Prologue (will eventually be part of Chapter 1)

The softening of Halabja ended.

A cacophony of sound burst over the city—jet engines and a strange whistling sound like metal falling onto the ground. “Gas,” someone shouted. People panicked, trampling one another to find a place to shelter.

The aroma of sweet apples and the pungent odor of rotten eggs spread across the city. Birds began falling from the sky, small animals and later larger ones, sank to the ground. Nothing and no one was spared—humans collapsed, never to move again.

 Chapter 1

Dersim kept a safe distance from the exposed artillery shell he’d found the day before. Once past, he stopped to pull his tattered coat tighter around his slender body.  Although the morning was bright and sunny, the wind brought chilly air and a hint of rain from the nearby mountains.

Dersim and Hawre began loading Dersim’s dilapidated Turkish BMC truck with salvage they’d recovered during the previous three days, mainly metal: lead, steel, iron, and on a rare occasion, copper. The truck sagged on broken springs. Cracks spider-webbed the windshield, and the paintwork was so faded it was difficult to recognize any of the original colors.

“You must swear by Allah never to say a word of what I’m going to tell you. If you promise, come see me. Now. At my house. … Swear by Allah, disaster could occur. This is the most important secret.”

Chapter 2

Easing the vehicle back onto the road, Dersim continued his journey, albeit a bit slower. He ate a couple of green apples as he sang a song made famous by the Kurdish musician, Ali Merdann. Dersim knew most of Merdan’s songs, but Xalan forbade him singing in the house.

“Dersim, I realize you like to sing, and I like music,” Xalan said on several occasions. “But your voice… is not so nice.”

Babir unlocked the front door.  They wove through narrow aisles stuffed with a hodgepodge of bins and barrels containing Iranian pistachios, dried hot peppers, various spices, and dried fruits. The aroma of garlic, saffron, and mint floated through the air.

“We need to help all Kurdish people, not just the ones in Iraq,” Dersim said.

 “Yes,” Babir said. “We all believe that one day there will be a sovereign Kurdistan.  Only one person can make it happen—Abdullah Öcalan.”

“But he’s in a Turkish prison,” Ismet said.

“That’s true,” Babir replied. “However, the Council will guide us. They want him released as well.  There isn’t anyone better suited to unify Kurdistan.  When I return to Zakho, I’ll talk to Mullah Mala. He’ll know what to do. I’ll call you when the meeting is arranged.”

Chapter 3

Dersim carefully drove along one of the cobbled streets into the bazaar. Every driver had to be on alert; children ran everywhere while goats and sheep wandered aimlessly. The bazaar was alive with a cacophony of sound: horns blaring, vendors hawking their wares, and radios playing. Bright-colored canopies created shade for the various stalls, while along the edge of the bazaar, old, wood buildings stood like sentries. Some buildings were newly painted in pastel colors while others were in need of serious repairs.

Mullah Ahmed raised his hands to stop the chatter. He turned to Dersim. “Where is Ismet? I thought he’d be here, too.”

Dersim looked at him with a puzzled expression. I thought you gave instructions for Ismet to go to Syria. Why the question?

As Mullah Ahmed stared at Dersim, he realized the mullah was putting on an act. He was uncertain what the mullah was up to, but decided to go along, for now.

Mufti Tanreveri’s eyes narrowed as he intensely surveyed each man in the room. He proclaimed: “Our first objective remains to free Öcalan.  Under his guidance, we can proceed to our final objective, a united Kurdistan, even if it means war.”

Chapter 4

CC, woke to the William Tell Overture ringing near his ear.  He rolled over and scooped up his smartphone. “Yeah?”

“Confirm full name,” a lifeless voice said.

“Cameron Craig MacTavish.”

“Code phrase.”

“Tatties, neeps, and haggis.”

“Identity confirmed. Proceed immediately to Bedlam.” The line went dead.

CC realized, after a few hours of deliberation, that he missed the excitement and danger of Army life. He had been deployed undercover to Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. His fifteen years of action, training, and more action had left him an adrenaline junkie, hooked as bad as any addict on skid row. No wife, no kids to worry about. He called the general. “If the offer’s still on the table, I’m in.”

Chapter 5

“Unfortunately, we think there are some leaks in the system. Unrelated information that should be kept within the IC is showing up through foreign sources where we wouldn’t expect to see it.  Until I’m convinced this is a coincidence and not coming from a hidden mole, I want to keep your operation to a very strict need-to-know basis.”

“Admiral, what’s in nine days?” Jake asked before anyone else could respond.

“March 16th—Halabja Day, the day all Kurds commemorate Saddam’s bombardment of the city with chemical weapons.”

Complete silence enveloped the room. Even the clock stopped ticking as if it understood the admiral’s announcement.

CC tossed and turned as his mind kept going over the day’s events.  He thought about other missions and the men he had lost. It dawned on him that this deployment was no different, just a smaller team.  Dear God, help me do the right things at the right time to lead this team and keep them from harm. Protect them from the perils we could face and guide us to a successful outcome. Amen.

Chapter 6

The taxi weaved across every lane of traffic and even onto the sidewalk to avoid several sheep. Jake, sitting in front, closed his eyes and prayed the journey would be over soon. A few minutes later, the taxi slid to a stop in front of the hotel.  Wide-eyed passengers bailed out, thankful to be alive. Jake took it in stride, having lived in Baghdad before, but he too was glad when they safely arrived at their destination.

Alpha this is Aussie.

Made it. Shaken and stirred.

Alpha this is Kiwi.

In position—Baggage missing in action. ETA two to three days.

As Ben shut down his computer, a huge explosion shattered windows and rocked the building. The lights dimmed, then glowed so brightly Ben thought they would explode, and then everything went dark.

“What the hell was that?

Chapter Seven

The officer reviewed the document, handed it back to Dersim, and climbed into the truck. Suddenly they heard the squeal of air brakes as a double tractor-trailer careened around the curve, the driver trying to avoid the stopped vehicles and the spilled load. The tractor tipped precariously as it swung outward until the tires gained a purchase on stretch of dry road—the trailers’ weight helping to pull it back down. The behemoth came to rest with its bumper kissing the back of Dersim’s truck.

He slammed on his brakes but hit a patch of fuel and went into a skid.  The police officer, eyes wide, froze in place as the truck headed toward him. Dersim tightened his hold on the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white.  He pumped the brakes and downshifted.  The truck’s tires gripped the asphalt and came to a stop inches from the petrified police officer. 

© Copyright 2016 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

Writing Muses

Why Write–Why Not?

Before I retired I churned out thousands of pages of expository writing.  Shortly before retirement, a work colleague and friend (since 1979) suggested I put my writing skills to good use and write a novel.

Since I had worked for the government you could say I was already proficient in writing fiction, but there is such a vast difference between expository writing and creating a plot, scenery, characters, etc.

Dialogue, what’s that? Didn’t have to do that either.  So I’ve completed an online dynamic dialogue course, bought several books related to fiction and dug in.

Since I was already accustomed to creating outlines, putting one together for my first novel came natural.  I had a general idea what I wanted to write about, where the story would take place, and the anticipated outcome.  Sounds simple, right?  My outline is still my bible, keeping me on track, but I do modify it on a regular basis to keep in line with necessary changes.

One thing for certain–this is a journey, one that I’m glad I’ve started.