Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, February 13, 2022

We’ve had another week of topsy-turvy weather–rain, sleet, a bit of snow–even a rainbow, with the occasional dry spell. Today it seems we’re in for a day-long rain. Temperatures are struggling to reach 50F (10C) but with the wind chill it’s been closer to 40F (5C).

The small business market last weekend was another success, with fifteen of my novels being sold. In addition, seventeen of Sylvia’s laminated poetry sheets went, plus three of her poetry and prose books. We’re looking forward to next month’s market!

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 February 13th, the second Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Jan B. Wellekens, Dutch poet and painter; Ivan Krylov, Russian fabulist; Lev A Mej, Russian nobleman/poet; Gerard Keller, writer (Netherlands Spectator); Frank van de Goes, Dutch writer/marxist theorist; Uchimura Kanzo, religious writer (How I Became a Christian); Sarojini Naidu, Indian freedom fighter and poet; Eleanor Farjeon, English writer (Martin Pippin); Kate Roberts, Welsh nationalist and writer; Neville Pearson, English publisher; Georges Simenon, Belgian born mystery writer (Maigret detective novels, Snow Was Black); Jan Arends, Dutch poet/author; Ali El-Maak, Sudanese writer; Friedrich Christian Delius, German writer; Leo Frankowski, American sci-fi author (High Tech Knight, Flying Warlord); and Denise Austin, US fitness instructor & author.

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 Work in Progress

Slide1Most of my available time this week was spent on real-life matters, so I wasn’t able to complete another chapter of Ultimate Escalation. My manuscript received another ten reviews, bringing the total to 539. As always, plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

The rocking of the overpacked Chevrolet cargo truck as it lumbered along the M2 lulled Vladimir to sleep, his arms through the sling of his AK-47.


Vladimir jumped, aiming his weapon toward the sound.

“Relax, my friend.” Ajit grinned. “Umar hit another pothole or drove off the side of the road again.”

“He’s not a very good driver, is he?” Vladimir relaxed.

Ajit shrugged. “Perhaps not, but he’s willing to do whatever we need and doesn’t ask too many questions.”

“Da. He’s a wise man to keep nose out of—”

The truck jolted to a stop. Umar’s voice trickled through a speaker. “Do not speak. We are at a roving military roadblock.” He killed the engine.

Vladimir eased a Maserin Reactor folding knife from his belt and opened the blade. After it locked in position, he laid it on his leg and retrieved a second one.

Voices filtered through the speaker.

“They said Umar’s papers are in order, but they want to inspect the load,” Ajit whispered.

Vladimir nodded.


The rusty cargo doors opened. The vehicle tilted slightly as someone climbed inside.

Angry voices increased in volume.

Thwack! Thwack!

Someone kicked one of the crates. The truck shifted as the person climbed down.

Voices faded as Umar climbed back into the cab. His voice came through the speaker. “They weren’t happy with the baksheesh, but I told them I’d pay more next time. Anyway, they are going after a much larger vehicle behind us.” He started the engine. “Perhaps one more hour to our destination.”

* * *

The roar of a commercial plane rolling down the runway echoed in their small compartment.

Ajit placed his hand on Vladimir’s AK-47 and tapped him on the knee.  “We’re here.”

Vladimir opened his eyes. “I wasn’t asleep—just contemplating our mission.”

“Who would have thought our reunification movement would be conducting their planning in a hanger on one of Pakistan’s international airports?”

Vladimir chuckled. “Yes, and the military is providing overall security. When will they find out?”

“I hope long after we’ve moved.” Ajit rubbed his chin. “Let’s join the others.”

Vladimir and Ajit climbed out of the hidden compartment and shook hands with the departing Umar.

Ajit led the way into the office.

Grigori, Fedor, and Eduard stepped forward. After sharing man hugs with Vladimir, they sat around a scarred wooden table. Stretched across the surface was a map of the border area.

“How is the initial training coming along?” Vladimir studied the frown on Grigori’s face.

“I admit, not as good as I would like.” He pointed at Fedor and Eduard. “However, they’ve reminded me to do my best. I think they’ll be ready for the first demonstration in three days’ time, but nothing is certain.”

“Understood. Vladimir gazed at the map. “Remember, this is just the beginning. Mishka and his team will begin demonstrating across the border.” He glanced into the faces of the three former Spetsnaz soldiers. “Make sure they are unarmed, at least for now. As things progress, we’ll allow an escalation of violence if it seems to be helping the cause.”

“Yes, Vladimir.” Eduard pointed to the map. “When should we begin splitting our volunteers into separate teams?”

“As soon as possible. Suggest you acquaint yourselves with your men.”

“If I may add, Vladimir.” Ajit half-raised a hand. “I’m expecting at least another hundred supporters tomorrow.”

“Okay. When they arrive, they’ll be split among the teams. Anything else?”

The Russians shook their heads.

“After the first demonstration, I want to gauge the reaction by the government and the people.” He turned to Ajit. “Do you have people you can trust to embed themselves with the demonstrators and report back?”

“Of course.” Ajit grinned. “I shall be one of them.”

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 9, 2022

So far, the dreaded ‘s’ word has stay away. We’ve had a mixture of rain, sunshine, and dry spells, with temperatures in the low 40s F/single digits C) but that’s good enough for now.

This weekend has been the first small business market of the year. While it’s been slow, eight of my novels have sold, along with two of Sylvia’s poetry books and thirteen of her poetry sheets. Today’s the final day for January, so hopefully, we’ll add to those totals.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): Regrets? I have no Regrets. Even if I could, I would not change anything in my past. Rather, I look back with Gratitude because if weren’t for my Past, I would not be who I am Today.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 9th, the second Sunday of the new year. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Thomas Warton, critic and poet (Pleasures of Melancholy) British Poet Laureate (1785-90); Gilbert Abbott à Beckett, English writer; Thomas William Robertson, England, playwright (Caste); Félix-Gabriel Marchand, journalist, author and politician, Premier of Quebec; Anton Askerc, Slavic priest/poet (Primoz Trubar); Lizette Woodworth Reese, American poet (Branch of May, Tears); Henry B Fuller, American writer (Under the Skylights); Hayyim Nahman Bialik, Jewish poet; Hans Bethge, German poet; Giovanni Papini, Italian writer (Il Diavolo); Lascelles Abercrombie, English poet/critic (Revaluations); Karel Čapek, Czech writer, playwright and critic (R.U.R.); coined the word “robot”; Kurt Tucholsky, German journalist/writer (Panther Tiger & Co); August Gailit, Estonia, writer (Ekke Moor); Simone de Beauvoir, French author & feminist (The Mandarins, The Second Sex); Stafford WIlliam Somerfield, British newspaper editor; Lister Sinclair, Canadian broadcaster and playwright; Abdelhamid ben Hadouga, Algerian writer; Judith Krantz, Jewish-American novelist (Scruples, Princess Daisy, Dazzle); Heiner Muller, German dramatist; Brian Friel, Irish dramatist “Irish Chekhov” (Dancing at Lughnasa); Algis Budrys, Lithuanian-American sci-fi author (Man of Earth); Sonia Garmers, Curaçao writer (Dear Queen); Wilbur Smith, Zambian novelist (War Cry, River God); Anne Rivers Siddons, American writer; Klaus Schlesinger, German writer; Robert Drewe, Australian author; Harun Farocki, German filmmaker & author (Nicht loeschbares Feur); Morris Gleitzman, British-Australian children’s author; Michiko Kakutani, American literary critic; Oliver Goldstick, American screenwriter; and Hal Niedzviecki, Canadian novelist & cultural critic.

Any names familiar to you? The only name I know is Judith Krantz. 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.

My Work in Progress

Slide1I finally posted chapter twenty-one to the two online subscription writing sites I used. Ultimate Escalation received another chapter ten reviews, bringing the total to 468. Plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

The Bedlam operatives congregated in Willie’s room. They removed the false bottoms of their suitcases. Inside each one was a SIG Sauer P226, a shoulder holster, and three magazines. A Ka-Bar knife and small whetstone completed their arsenals.

Alfie shoved a magazine into his pistol and chambered a round. “Now, I don’t feel naked.”

“Please—that’s a picture I don’t want to see.” Nate covered his eyes. “Promise you won’t walk around without any clothes on.”

Alfie laughed. “Just for you, I might do it.”

“Calm down, guys.” Willie finished logging into his email. “Something from headquarters. Let’s see what’s up.”

To: Rebel, Bedlam, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

From: Bedlam Actual

Source reports associates of primary target transited Karachi and are now in Peshawar. Recommend flying to Islamabad and driving the rest of the way as the Peshawar Airport is likely under surveillance. Advise caution. Remaining team members now on standby. ACK.

Willie acknowledged their new orders and turned to Nate and Alfie.  “Looks like we’re on the road again. Vladimir’s associates are now in Peshawar.”

“Isn’t Nikolaev holed up in Pesh?” Nate yawned.

“According to the latest intel, that’s his current base of operations.” Willie scanned the list of flights. “Next flight to Islamabad is tomorrow at 07:00.  Once there, we’ll rent a vehicle for the remainder of the journey.”

“No flights tonight?” Alfie slid the blade of his Ka-Bar across the whetstone.

“Yes, one, but we won’t arrive at the airport in time for departure. Suggest we eat in the hotel and have an early night. Our sleep’s likely to be minimal once we reach Peshawar.” He picked up the phone from the desk. “I better let them know our plans changes and were leaving in the morning.”

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

I’ll resume posting my reviews next time, beginning with The Lair of Anubis (The Project Book 20) by Alex Lukeman.

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