Randall's Ramblings, Uncategorized

Randall’s Ramblings, March 5, 2017

Yesterday morning, I glanced out the window–a few snow flurries. Okay, nothing unusual in this part of the world. The snow was coming from the east, across the lake. I pulled up my favorite weather site, just to see what was in store. Mainly cloudy, outbreaks of sunshine, but cold. 

The flurries didn’t last long and the sun paid us a visit. A couple of hours later, it was hard to see much outside as the wind-driven snow was pelting down–a whiteout! In no time at all, over an inch of the white stuff was on the ground, with no sign of the storm abating.

I prepared a shopping list, figuring I’d head to the nearest store where I could pick up groceries and the all-important cat food for our five feline family members. By this time, the white-out had slowed, it was more of a regular storm. Bundled up, I climbed into our vehicle and headed out. The county road crew had already passed by, so the highway wasn’t too bad. Six miles inland, and there was hardly any snow, so I needn’t have rushed.

Now for birthday celebrations over the past week. According to historynet.com, the following members of the writing community had birthdays:

Howard Pyle, writer and illustrator (The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood); Frank Norris, novelist (McTeague, The Octopus); Leslie Marmon Silko, writer (Ceremony); Alan Sillitoe, novelist (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner); James Merrill, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet (Divine Comedies); Nicolas Freeling, crime writer; Theodor Seuss Geisel [Dr. Seuss], author of numerous children’s books including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham; John Irving, novelist (The World According to Garp); William Dean Howells, novelist; Ralph Waldo Ellison, African-American author (Invisible Man); Robert Lowell, Jr., poet; won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1947 for Lord Weary’s Castle;  Richard Wilbur, writer and translator; won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1957 and 1989; Howard Nemerov, writer; won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1978; Ben Hecht, writer; Stephen Spender, English poet and critic; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet; John Steinbeck, American novelist (The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men); James T. Farrell, author (Young Lonigan); Peter De Vries, writer, poetry editor (Poetry Magazine, The New Yorker); and Lawrence Durrell, novelist (The Alexandria Quartet).
Recognize any names? I found a few. If you had a birthday during the past week, I hope you had an enjoyable day.

My Work in Progress

Marketing and publicity of The Kurdish Connection continued this week and will become part of my regular writing program.  Good news to report, at least I think so. Two district libraries have set dates for book signings. As part of their National Library Week activities, I’ll do a book signings on April 11th, followed by another one the next day. Along with the book signing, they also want me to talk about my writing journey.

Writing continued on Dangerous Alliance, with chapters eleven and twelve posted for review to the two subscription writing sites I use. Chapter thirteen is now underway.

A bit more from Dangerous Alliance:

The door swung open, a shadow crept across the carpet. Kim slammed the door shut and jumped on the intruder. He shoved him to the floor and rolled him over.

Soo stared up at him.

“Ambassador, what were you thinking? Where did you go?” Kim jumped to his feet and pulled Soo up. “You know nothing about this place.”

“I-I woke early and went for a walk. No one saw me—at least I don’t think so.”

Kim sat on the edge of the bed and motioned for Soo to do the same. He sighed, easing the adrenaline, which had built up in his system as he went into fight mode.

“Ambassador—Soo, you must understand. This is not Pyongyang or Beijing, where you travel with at least six bodyguards. I am your protection, and if you disappear without my knowledge, what might happen?”

He speaks to me like I’m a child. I am the ambassador to China, and he’s a lowly aide. Perhaps a spy for Sung.

Books I’m Reading

While I had planned to finish one novel this week and begin another, extra time in front of the computer cut into my reading time. Hope to have a review to share with you next week.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. I have two to share today:

MDNeu – Join MD Neu on his writing journey. Check out his novels in progress, poetry, and his blog. Well worth the visit!

Reader’s Abode – This is a new site started by an international group of writers. Spread across four continents, they’ll share their short stories and poetry with you. There’s sure to be a genre of interest!

Once again, we’ve reached 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 2017 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.


Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 24, 2016

For the past week, the heat index hovered around 100. No big deal if you live in an area that has 100-degree temperatures on a regular basis. Our hottest day temperature-wise, was Friday with 91F/33C, but with high humidity, it’s been a scorcher. Even being on the lake and normally have a breeze didn’t help. When there was some wind, it wasn’t cooling as a wave of hot air pushed forward. By the way, our historical temperature for this week is a pleasant 80F/27C.

If your birthday was yesterday or today, congratulations and may you have many more. Notable personalities with birthdays on July 23rd and 24th include:Raymond Chandler, detective writer and creator of Philip Marlow; Marston Bates, author; Nicholas Gage, journalist and author; John Nichols, author; Lisa Alther, author; Alexandra Dumas, author (The Count of Mounte Cristo, The Three Musketeers); Robert Graves, poet and novelist; Zelda Sayre, writer; and John D. MacDonald, author.

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

I’ve been on a roll lately with my writing. This week, I’d like to share more snippets with you. From ‘Trek For Survival’, a short story:

With three injured men tucked into a safe location, she returned to the plane to gather whatever supplies she might find. Ten minutes later, she placed the last item on a blanket and dragged the stash to the shelter.

“What’d you find, Maddy?” her brother asked.

“A few things we need: four blankets, first aid kits, six energy bars, a flashlight with extra batteries, a box of matches, and a canteen. Also found ten bottles of water and some beef jerky. I brought everyone’s backpack, too.”

“Not beef, Miss Maddy. “Jomo shook his head. “Impala and zebra. Good for you.”

From ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’:

Flicking her long, brown hair, AJ grabbed her chair and glanced around the table. Colleagues filled four of the seats. A stranger sat in the remaining one, across the table. Silver eagles adorned his uniform. Black hair, piercing green eyes, an olive complexion, and his nametag read Smith.

Both stood to shake hands across the table. The colonel dwarfed AJ’s five-foot-ten-inch frame by several inches. AJ noted a thin scar running from his left ear to his chin. After a firm squeeze, both returned to their seats.

“You’ll be working togeth—”

“Sir, I work alone.”

“Not this time. Orders from above.”

“Don’t worry, AJ, you won’t slow me down.” Colonel Smith smiled as his base voice resonated.

“Excuse me, Colonel, I don’t want you to be in the way.” AJ crossed her arms. A frown etched across her face.

“You two finished? Good. You’re working together—no debate.”

More next week.

My Work in Progress

Another busy week, but with the weather stopping some outdoor activities, I spent more time writing. I finally posted chapter four of ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’, on my two subscription writing sites. So far, favorable reviews overall, especially with the introduction of two new characters, AJ Bruce and Col Javier Smith.

My short story, ‘Trek For Survival’ was posted to the writing sites this week and received thirteen critiques. I’ll definitely be expanding this into a novella or a novel in the future.

Editing of my short story ‘Countdown to Extinction’ continued, but at a slow pace. It will be submitted to a contest next month. Didn’t have much time left over to work on ‘A Malicious Affiliation’ but hope to have a first draft of chapter two completed over the next week.

Books I’m Reading

I began reading ‘Darius Odenkirk‘ by Rikon Gates. My review won’t be posted until next week, but I will say it’s a great story and well worth a read. I’ve had the pleasure of providing reviews for the sequel, both they both standalone, too.

I’m also scurrying to finish reading two other novels, recently completed by fellow writers on one of the subscription sites before the stories go to editors. Once they’re available, I’ll provide my thoughts.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Hope you’ll check out the links!

Roderick Will’s 365 Short Stories – A very ambitious undertaking by Roderick Wills, who is writing a short story of about 1,000 words every day for a year. Check out his stories!

Writing Resources

As I’m constantly seeking to improve my writing, this week I’d like to share a link for those who like to blog and how to improve your posts. I’ll be making changes to my own work based on this information. The article is written by Robert Woods, a developmental editor for Standalone Books.

This brings us 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.