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!

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

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.

OLWG · writing

OLWG#58- Interview

Just a moment or two
Written for OLWG#58

Brian Yednak looked at his phone. It was a message from reception telling him that his 1030 appointment was in the lobby. Sighing, he rose from the desk, pulled his sport coat on over his shirt and felt the pocket for his pipe. It was there and he longed to take it out, clench the stem between his teeth, and inhale the ‘over processed’ office air through the scented tobacco that he had loaded in the bowl. Years ago he could have gotten away with that but not today. These days you weren’t allowed to smoke at work. Hell, he couldn’t even wear aftershave, or a scented deodorant. Somebody might be allergic to it.

Brian grinned to himself as he made his way into the passage and headed to reception. Girls used to like the ‘Sport’ scent that he wore then. Girls liked ‘Sport’ and when it was combined with the vanilla scented tobacco, it drove ‘em crazy. Well those things combined with his boyish grin used to pack ‘em in. Then the world changed, but it was OK. These days; girls loved secrets. They’d do anything if they thought it would get you to tell them your secrets. Brian found it easy to make up secrets but he was getting older, he didn’t smell like ‘Sport’ anymore and couldn’t smoke in the office. Girls were harder to come by nowadays. He turned right at the main corridor and pushed his way through the door out to the reception and there waited a young guy with a bad haircut and an ill fitting suit; he was tall and lanky when he stood, appearing to be about twenty-five pounds underweight. He looked in Brian’s direction, but not actually at Brian. He didn’t say a word.

“Ballantyne?” Brian asked.

The young man nodded his head and glanced at a small slip of paper he held in his hand, “Mr. Redneck?” he asked back.

Brian grimaced, “Yednak,” he corrected the young man, “Yednak.”


“My name… its Yednak. Not Redneck.”

“Oh, sorry; my mom took the message. She wrote Redneck. She’s getting older and her hearing must be starting to go.”

“Not a problem – happens all the time. You should just call me Brian. How old is she?”


“Who? Well your mom. Weren’t you talking about your mom?”

“Oh, yeah. She’s really old. She’ll be fifty in a couple of years. In some ways she’s still good, ya know? I mean, she still drives and cooks and all. She gave me a ride here today because, I don’t drive. She parked in the shade under that big tree in the lot. Do you think she’ll be OK there?”

There was an awkward pause until Brian laughed. He clapped the young man on the shoulder, “Let’s go down the hall. There should be a free meeting room close by.” He looked at Emily, the receptionist who nodded.

“407 should be free,” Emily informed them. She leaned over and handed Ballantyne a sticky note that she had folded in half. Her hand lingered on his.

“Call me, Matthew,” she blushed and looked down, “anytime.”

“Oh, sure, thanks.” he replied as he hurried after Brian Yednak who was strolling down the passageway, shaking his head from side to side.

This weeks prompts:

  1. a young guy with a bad haircut
  2. did you really think it through
  3. put that away