Random Scribbles · The Blog Propellant · writing

Picture Prompt #49

Authors note:

Congratulations are due for Ms. Rose. She does a great job with The Blog Propellant and I, for one, have a great time responding to the challenges she throws out there. Thank you ma’am for all the work you put into this site.

I was having a difficult time with these photos and this required sentence. When I occasionally find myself stuck for an idea I find it can help if I just start writing. That’s what I did and as usual my mind veered towards the absurd so that’s what I wrote. But as I wrote this drivel an idea began to percolate for a real story. I’ll have another go at this tomorrow. In the meantime you can read this. If you choose to comment please be gentle! I will probably assume any “Likes” are mistakes or possibly just sarcasm. Gracias.


Rupert licked the tip of his pencil, he had stalled long enough. Pushing his hair back from his face, with his fingers, he hunched over his notebook, pencil poised. He pushed his hair back again and pushed his glasses up on his nose but before he could hunch over again he wondered if he needed to lick the pencil lead one more time.

Why do I do that anyway? He wondered. Is it necessary to get the pencil to write? He didn’t know. It was just what he had always done. Who taught me to do that? Was it Mom? Dad? Some teacher I had in my formative years? He didn’t know so he pushed his hair back and licked his pencil.

Once upon a time…

Nah, too cliché, he crossed it out.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

I think I’ve heard that before, probably already been done, he crossed that out too.

It was a dark and stormy night…

That’s better, but he didn’t just cross that one out he blacked it out. It had definitely been done before.

He wrote, “Oh, yes, indeed. It was, in fact, a dark and stormy night.”

That might be better, he thought, and paused. Rupert set down his pencil to read it again, and he did. He read it silently. He read it aloud. He read it with feeling. He stood up and read it as he paced across the room. He read it to the mirror. He read it to the cat. He read it with his hair falling in his face then he pushed his hair back and read it again.

Too many commas, he thought. I should use some semicolons or em dashes instead. He began to rework his opening line:

“Oh, yes; indeed. It was in fact – a dark and stormy night.”

“Oh, yes, indeed. In fact, it was, a dark; and somewhat stormy; evening.”

“Oh, yeah – Baby! Dark and stormy are pretty much ruling the night.”

“Yeah, yeah, it was dark, but that was to be expected. It was nighttime after all. The weathergirl on channel 7 had predicted storms tonight too but she didn’t say what kind. Thunder? Electrical? Rain? Snow? He couldn’t be sure what to wear so he had best just stay inside. He’d cuddle up with the cat and watch reruns of “Jeopardy”, or maybe “The Jetsons”. He loved “The Jetsons”.

Rupert pushed his hair back from his face. He knew that his tongue was black by now. He looked at the photographs he was using for inspiration. It was dark in only one of them and in that one it was foggy. There were no storms at all. The others were taken during the middle of the day; clear blue skies.

Maybe this is what writer’s block feels like, he thought, then he tore that page out of his notebook. He crumpled it up and tossed it into the wire basket he kept next to the small desk. He pushed his hair back and licked his pencil. He wrote:

Mr. and Mrs. Rupert Jetson

He wrote:

Rupert + Jane and drew a heart around it

He wrote:

Jane and Rupert sittin’ in a tree

He ripped that page from his notebook as well and tossed it in the wire basket with the other. He sighed; Jane Jetson was one of his favourite actresses. Pushing away from the desk he made his way upstairs. He paused to scratch the cat behind the ears, and yawned.

Maybe all I need is a good night’s sleep.



El Presidio Real de San Francisco

Thursday Doors

El Presidio Real de San Francisco now known more commonly as The Presidio (Spanish for either Prison, Garrison, or Fortress) is a park that was once a military base on the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula it is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It had been fortified and functioning as an active military base since 17.September.1776. Originally by Spain, then Mexico, then the United States.

The US Congress, as part of a cost cutting program, voted to end the active military use of the facility in 1994, and The Presidio was transferred to the National Park Service. They boast visitor’s centers, museums, shops, and educational facilities. It’s mission has changed.

Here are some shots of “The Commissary” door, still looking squared away and ‘very military’.