The Blog Propellant · writing

TBP New Prompt #3- Dating Music


Malloree was a few years younger than Logan, but she had been the apple of his eye for quite some time now. Ever since she had come to work at Pellmans.

Malloree was the most beautiful girl Logan had ever seen, and he thought that today could be the day. Today could be the day he would finally ask her out on their first date. He had done his research. He knew what kind of music girls her age liked. He knew what they liked to do. He stocked his car with smooth jazz CDs. He knew that girls liked saxophone players, he’d seen “Some Like it Hot” with Marilyn Monroe. He got music that should make her feel warm and comfortable. He bought Kenny G, Dave Koz, Candy Dulfer, even Boney James.

He also remembered when he’d been in high school. In those days, girls enjoyed artists like The Carpenters, Christopher Cross, Barry Manilow or the Captain and Tennille. He used to keep eight-track tapes in his car in those days. For his planned date with Malloree, he stocked up on some of those artists, as well. Those guys were harder to find on CD, but he had located at least one example from each artist. He even managed to score a Barry Manilow CD at a Second Spin Shop.

That morning, at work, Logan kept one eye on the break room. He watched Malloree go in for coffee at about nine o’clock and waited, counting to ten before following her in. He planned to put a cheese Danish in the microwave and strike up a conversation with Malloree.

As he breezed in and spotted her pouring a cup, he made his way to the fridge.

“Morning, Malloree,” he sang out cheerfully. He reached in and found the bag with the two Cheese pastries he had picked up that morning at French’s.

“Hmm? Oh, good morning Mr Oberlin,” she responded absentmindedly.

“Please, call me Logan.” He looked in the bag, “Oh wow, looks like they gave me two this morning. I only asked for one.” He muttered to himself then, as if only then occurred to him, he offered one to Malloree. “Hey, you want one of these cheese Danishes?” He asked. “It looks like they gave me two this morning. I can’t eat two.” He held the bag out so she could see it.

“No, thanks Mr. uhm… Logan,” she said, “I have to watch my weight.”

“They’re from French’s Bakery,” he was trying to tempt her.

“I love French’s,” she said. “If you’re sure you don’t want it?”

“Oh, I’m sure. I can’t eat both of these.” He pulled a couple of paper plates from the cupboard, placed a pastry on each and slid them into the microwave. Now he had her attention and some time.

“Hey Malloree,” he started, “I won some passes to ‘WonderLand Park’ from a Gary Ghost contest on KJJW. I was thinking about going this weekend, but it’s no fun to go by myself. Would you be interested in coming along?”

There was a moment of silence. Then she gushed, “OMG, Logan, you listen to Gary Ghost?”

He held his hands out, palms up, “What? Of course, I listen to Gary Ghost. I’m not some old geezer.”

He smiled, she smiled and thought about it for a while.

“Is Gary Ghost going to be there?” she asked.

“I’m not sure,” Logan said, “maybe.”

Her face lit up when she smiled, “I’d love to. Thank you.”

“Great, I can pick you up around two on Saturday afternoon. You have to give me your phone number, tell me where you live.”

“Of course,” she said and then she wiggled her shoulders, set her breasts to swaying. She did a little happy dance as she exited the break-room, Her pastry forgotten. Logan decided not to chase her and, ate both of the Danishes.

At two o’clock sharp Logan pulled up in front of her apartment building. He went upstairs and knocked on the door marked 36B. Malloree, almost immediately came dancing out to the landing. She looked beautiful with her short and colourful sundress, sandals, and a wrap slung over her arm. In the car, Logan started the engine and pushed in the Kenny G Ultimate Collection CD. He selected the Songbird track. The music started slow and soft, but when Kenny began playing a look of extreme distaste came over Malloree’s face.

“What the f…. is that?” Malloree said with a loud laugh.

Logan turned red and reached for his Christopher Cross.

“Jeezus,” Malloree exclaimed, “don’t you have any punk music. Put on The Cranky Fuckers or Industry Tommys!” she smiled, rolled her window down, and raised both fists out into the wind as Logan pulled away from the curb.

The prompt:

Make of, or do with the following narrative what you will:

I remember the first time I heard Kenny G. We had MTV playing in the background while we puttered around, separately doing whatever it was we were doing, when this soft, melodic, soprano saxophone came wafting through the house. We simultaneously emerged from wherever we individually were, drawn to what this completely bizarre/not MTV sound was. The two of us stood dumbfounded, listening and watching ‘Songbird’ video.

“What the f….was that?” my husband said with a loud laugh when it ended.

The Blog Propellant · writing

TBP Redux #13- Working for the Man

“Afternoon sir. I’m Gerald, from Templeton Plumbing. You’re having a problem with your cesspool?”

“Thank God you’re here.”

“Yes sir, I’ve got the diver all ready to go. If it’s OK with you, I’ll send him on in to take a look.”

This week’s prompt:

I have a friend who genuinely loves their work as a bookkeeper. I can’t think of anything more tedious. What is it about an occupation or leisurely pastime that others misunderstand? What are assumptions others hold? How are they inaccurate? What would others find a happy surprise about an otherwise dull occupation or pastime?

I decided to rebirth a piece from long ago that somehow seemed apropos in response to this week’s prompt. Hope you like it!

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 192- An Even Trade: Ziggy for Michael

Written for OLWG# 192

It was dark when Andy woke up. He was on his belly, he was cold, his mouth was dry, and he could hear the ocean waves hitting the beach. But, he lay still and tried to figure out where, exactly, he was and how he had gotten there.

Images played through the fog in his brain. Family picnic at Stockfolk Edge – Beer, Lots of people, Mom, Dad, Donny, Liz, Beer, Uncle Marty and his New Wife (The Waitress), Beer, Beer, cousins by the dozens, more Beer, maybe some whisky.

His back itched.

Pushing himself up, he turned over and sat in the sand. The moon reflected off the whitecaps and shone like dotted lines in the darkness. He rubbed his face and grimaced. Realizing that his back still itched, he reached behind and scratched. Bringing his hand back around, he found blue painters tape stuck on his fingers.


It was about that time that he noticed the dog sitting at his feet. It was a tan Chihuahua with big dark eyes.

Then he began to remember. The dog’s name was Paco, or Pancho, or Rocco or something like that. He reached out to check the bone-shaped tag that hung on Ricardo’s collar (maybe it was Ricardo). It read Ziggy. Hmm?

He scratched his back again, more blue tape.

Looking around, he noticed that he and Ziggy were the only ones on the beach. He pulled himself to his feet and looked around for his shirt… he couldn’t find it, it was gone. He looked at Ziggy and vaguely remembered, maybe he had been gifted the dog. He envisioned a small, ginger-haired, girl, with a gap between her front teeth and a spray of freckles across her nose. He had a vague recollection of her telling him that she needed to find Ziggy a new home because of his flatulence problem. She was sensitive and could no longer care for him. Andy recalled drunkenly agreeing to take over the care of her pet.

He struggled to his feet and tucked Ziggy under his arm before stumbling in the direction of the car park. Falling into his car with the dog, he took stock of the situation and determined that he might be sober enough to drive. The clock on his dashboard told him that it was almost three o’clock in the morning. He made his way slowly to Michael’s house.

Once there, Andy fixed a peanut butter sandwich for the dog and crawled into bed with his fiancée, Michael. Andy’s parents didn’t know about Michael. Andy hadn’t figured out how to tell them, but he would. He would do it soon. Andy fell asleep.

When he came to, his head still hurt. Michael was standing over him with a cup of coffee.

“Where were you last night?” Michael asked, “Who’s Liz? And where did the dog come from?”

“You know who Liz is. I’ve told you about her.” Andy answered, “I was at my family picnic yesterday. What dog?” Ziggy and the ginger-haired girl had receded into a gauzy blur.

“You were at a picnic till three-thirty in the morning?”

“Well, yeah. I got a bit tipsy and fell asleep on the sand.”

“I know about Liz because you have her name branded on your back. The dog’s name is Ziggy.” Michael handed over the coffee.

“Liz is my sister.” Andy said, “I got the dog from a girl who couldn’t keep him anymore.”

“The dog smells horrible, and I don’t believe that shit about your sister. You told me your sister’s name is Ann.”

“It is,” Andy was scrambling now, “Ann is her middle name. Her first name is Elizabeth. I grew up calling her Liz, but now she goes by Ann.”

“Yeah, right,” Michael seemed to have a jealous streak that Andy had never seen before.

“I’m being straight with you, fair dinkum, Liz is my sister.” Andy was pleading.

Michael scowled, “What happened to us, Andy? I can’t trust you anymore. You need to leave. Take your stinky dog, but I’m keeping your black tee-shirt!”

“I don’t care – you can have it!” Andy called for Ziggy and the two left together. It was done.

Later, much later, Liz hugged him and told him she was sorry about Michael.

She told him that when she’d noticed him sleeping in the sand, she had written her name on his back with painters tape that she’d taken from the bed of Donny’s truck. She thought it would be funny, and when Andy showed her that it was still on his back, they both laughed. It was funny.

I have been slow in getting things done for a couple of weeks. This one was fun to write and I am getting closer to catching up. I’m not off the hook yet, but I’m getting closer.

This weeks prompts were

  1. sunburned and hungover
  2. the camera smiles
  3. fair dinkum
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 191- Hastily Thrown Together

Written for OLWG# 191

When out the back garden there arose such a crash,
I sprang from the bed to see what had been smashed.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
T’was the patio furniture, smashed beyond all repair.

It’s the Varner’s dog, Boomer, they just let it wander around all night

I have been slow in getting things done for a couple of weeks. I stole some Christmas verse that, I’m told, has been in the public domain for a while. I altered it, somewhat, and tossed an American Sentence in at the bottom. The result made me smile so I went with it.

This weeks prompts were

  1. let it wander around
  2. burning pyres
  3. I don’t like your haircut
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 190- Youth

Written for OLWG# 190

Cadence snuck out of the house that night. She went to meet Kit and it was harder than she expected it to be. Even as she lifted the window in her bedroom she was wondering if she had waited long enough. How could she be sure her parents were really asleep, maybe they were reading? Would Kit really be waiting? Or, had he fallen asleep at home?

She took dark streets to the club and to her relief, Kit was waiting. She smiled when she spotted him in the lot, leaning against his bike. She knew it was a Triumph Thruxton. Kit loved it but it looked a little too retro for her taste. He called it a “café racer” and she loved to sit behind him as he drove. She would wrap her arms around him, press her body next to his, close her eyes, and listen to the sound of the engine. She loved the rumble of the big machine. She loved Kit and she knew that he loved her too. That was why they were leaving together tonight. Next stop was a Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, the first one that they could find.

Cadence expected they would spend a few days in Nevada for a honeymoon and then return home as a newlywed couple. She thought that she would ask her Gramma if they could clean out the old garage apartment and live there. No one had occupied it since Papá had passed away.

I have been slow in getting things done for a couple of weeks. I need to catch up, so for this piece I used my 25 minute suggestion. I then gave myself an additional five minutes. Now I’m posting without editing. Apologies for the truncated story. This one was a tough one.

This weeks prompts were

  1. they did everything right
  2. leave it alone
  3. it’s a little too retro
The Blog Propellant · writing

TBP Redux #12- This Fine Spring Day

A Haibun, of Sorts

Maisie, Gigi, and Coco took the bus downtown. They boarded on the eastside, not far from the Junior High. They got off on Pacific, down by the Catalyst and set up there. Gigi’s dad had told the girls that he had seen John Lee Hooker at the Catalyst. He had seen Little Charlie and the Nightcats there with Maria Muldaur. Coco’s mother told stories of Ry Cooder and Neil Young live at the Catalyst. Coco thought it might be just the place to be discovered. It might be just the place to start on their road to fame and fortune.

Cool chicks busking dark jazz collecting ones, and fives in an upturned hat.

This week’s prompt

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 189- Sedition

Written for OLWG#189

He got in from GA on the evening of the 5th,

took a costly, but shabby room in Chinatown.

It afforded a short walk to the Capitol. He paid cash,

and walked it twice that night.

The first time, down 6th

the second time, 7th

left on Pennsylvania for a little less than half a mile.

He had to find his way to the Grant Memorial

his designated rendezvous point.

Alone, that evening, at Oyamel he

rehearsed the plan, in his head, for the next day

over and over again;





he thought that it might work. Even if not, what’d he care, he had been paid well.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. wind carries both the bad news and the good
  2. bury them naked
  3. Chinatown
The Blog Propellant · writing

TBP New Prompt #2- Interview with a Wannabe Writer

So they sent someone to ask me questions. I was gonna lie to her, but her questions were more interesting than I thought they would be. She wondered why I was taking notes, though.

What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?

The Eden Express by Mark Vonnegut

No, Mark Vonnegut, his son.

Let’s just say that I could identify with it.

Have you read it?

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I’d like to think I coulda been a pretty good bartender, but I never wanted to work that hard.

If not that, then I’d like to own a hot dog cart.

Near a beach, on a boardwalk, not in a city

Have you ever eaten a hodog with brown mustard and julienned jalapeños?

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I try but I’m seldom successful.

My readers, in most cases, have more life experience than I do.

It means that they see right through my feeble attempts at embedding secrets in my work.

Only once and I’m not going to tell you any more than that.

Do you Google yourself?


Nothing that I didn’t already know

Mostly boring shit. My story isn’t that exciting.

I wanted to know the ending

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I would want to have my parents read to me more.

As a teenager, the question is not so easy.

I guess, I would like to think that writing more at that stage in my life would have made me a better writer, but then I would not have had the opportunity to observe teenagers in the wild; in their natural habitat.

This would have hampered my ability to recognize their reality and know their reactions in any given situation. I might have become even less successful than I am currently and, that would be really bad.

You know, “A legend in my own mind …”


This week’s prompt:

Interview someone! Real or imagined. Come up with five questions and three follow-up questions to your interviewee’s answers. The Interviewer can be in first person, or a third person character.

I chose to present the interviewers initial question only, and then present my answer to that as well as her follow up questions below. You can undoubtedly ascertain the follow-ups on your own.