The Crotchety Old Man

Jul 25, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Release Day for Philip Potter Story #3

DSP Publications releases the second edition of Happy Independence Day tomorrow. The 1969 Stonewall Riots are the backdrop for the third Philip Potter Story. The story picks up two and a half years after the end of No Good Deed (the second Philip Potter Story). Returning characters For Harold Clarkson’s high school graduation, Philip Potter and George Walker take Harold and his pal Abigail Dombrowski to New York City. Terrence Bottom lives in Greenwich Village and attends  Columbia University. Thad Parker (and his parents), Shirley White, and Mrs. Dombrowski make cameo appearances. New Characters Kreema Dee Kropp and Kelsey Ryan were inspired by two unidentified individuals (a drag queen and a lesbian) who allegedly started the riots. I had to fill in a …

Jul 18, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Out-Crotchetied by Whippersnapper

In our little subdivision, I’m the resident crotchety old man. Pity the fool who provokes me. I run kids out of my yard, fuss at anyone who fails to pick up after their dogs, and call the police to report illegally parked cars. A guy I’d guess to be in his early thirties recently moved into the neighborhood. He bought a house that had previously been rented by an army of drunken college students. The percentage of rentals in our ‘hood has gone up since I moved in. We homeowner were happy to see him. Within days, dog walkers warned me to stay clear of his house. On several occasions, he’d come running out of his house to tell them dogs were …

Jul 11, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Diabetic Doggy, Part Three

In early May, we found out my little chihuahua, Toodles, was diabetic. We have to check her sugar twice a day (6:30 am and pm) and, if it’s less than 200, give her an insulin injection. Most of the time, her sugar is well over 200 so she gets an injection. I can’t see well enough to do it, but for Toodles, checking her sugar is not a problem. The stick inside of her ear doesn’t appear to hurt, and the double beep indicating the test is complete means time to eat. The injection comes after she eats. Giving her the injections takes two people. The injection itself takes two hands — one to pull up the skin while the other …

Jul 04, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Happy Independence Day!

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. I don’t care about fireworks, sparklers, and parades. My affection for Independence Day stems from the family reunion picnics my mother’s family put on every year when I was growing up. My mother is the baby of eight children. They married, and all but two had children of their own. Several of Mom’s aunts, uncles, and cousins also attended, along with an assortment of close friends of the family. By virtue of the lengthy guest list, our annual picnic was an EVENT. My aunts spent days preparing food. Plastic washtubs were mounded with potato salad, coleslaw, and macaroni salad. Aluminum foil roasting pans contained baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and  green beans. Homegrown tomatoes …

Jun 27, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Diabetic Doggy, Part 2

Last week, I shared about finding out Toodles, my chihuahua, is diabetic. Dealing with a pet’s chronic disease can be expensive. I worried about the cost and what I would decide to do. My rapidly approaching retirement has changed the way I think about money. The difference between wants and needs is a lot clearer. Reducing my expenses is a top priority because the less money I need, the sooner I can retire.  How much am I willing to spend to keep my precious pup alive? Money wasn’t my only worry. Insulin injections twice a day are the only treatment option for dogs. I could maybe handle giving her the injections, but advanced macular degeneration prevents me from seeing well …

Jun 20, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Diabetic Doggy, Part 1

For her seventh birthday in early May, my sweet little long-haired chihuahua, Toodles, was diagnosed with diabetes. Daddy (aka moi) was devastated. Dollar signs flashed before my eyes. What was I going to do? I’m crazy about my little dog. She sleeps with me, gets anxious when I’m not around, and won’t have anything to do with anyone else but my ex. Yeah, I know the middle-aged gay man and his tiny little dog(s) is a cliche. What can I say? I drive a convertible too. I sleep on my side in a bed too high off the ground for Toodles to jump up or down. She curls up against me with her rump jammed into my armpit. If she wants down, …

Jun 13, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Next Project, Part 2

Last week’s post was about lessons learned from my first four novels. Genre matters, and try as I might, romance is not my forte. That’s why DSP Publications is a better fit for the stories I write than its parent, Dreamspinner Press. All my ideas for sequels to Whippersnapper are essentially romances. However, I know from experience they won’t turnout that way. So on to something else. Posting something new on my blog every week consumes a lot of my writing time. To free up a big block of time, I set a goal to write all the posts needed for the next three months. Finishing a post makes me feel better about my unfinished projects, too. With blog posts written …

Jun 06, 2016
By Michael Rupured

My Next Project, Part 1

For longer than I care to admit, I haven’t had a new project. Producing unique and interesting posts for blog tours for three releases this year kept me busy. As I was writing posts for the Whippersnapper blog tour, I realized how hard my first three novels had been to write. Setting all three in a real place in a different time required lots of research. Whippersnapper takes place in a fictional Kentucky town. I still had to do a little research (about programmable sewing machines, for example), but getting the details right was a hell of a lot easier with made up places. Writing a sequel to Whippersnapper would be fun. I love little Fallisville and the people who live there. In fact, I …

May 30, 2016
By Michael Rupured

In Memoriam

Memorial Day honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Nobody in my family has died as a result of military conflict since the Korean War. I appreciate the men and women who gave their lives for our country, but on this national day of remembrance, my thoughts turn to other losses. Between them, my four grandparents raised more than twenty children. All of my aunts and uncles married; most had children of their own. Being part of such a huge extended family was perhaps the greatest gift I’ve ever received, but loss came early in my life and often. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is tough. Unfortunately, it’s something we all must …

May 23, 2016
By Michael Rupured

This Bathroom Business

The push for transgender rights is much in the news these days. The guidance issued to schools by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education provoked a flurry of fear-mongering commentary from opposition groups. You’d think the world was coming to an end. Science has established that gender, sexual preference, and gender identity are three completely different animals. The switches are set one way or the other in the womb. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Sometimes they line up the same way, and sometimes they don’t. Shortly after North Carolina’s governor signed the transgender bathroom bill into law, I posted a comment on Facebook saying I was unwilling to patronize a state or business that discriminates. I was commenting …

May 16, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Pleading Ignorance

Recent events got me to pondering the difference between ignorance and stupidity. Neither is in short supply. The good news is that one is fixable. Despite a lack of formal training, I consider myself to be an expert on ignorance and stupidity. Life has taught me all I need to know. Decades of observations and more than fifty years of practice and personal experience inform my thinking. Ignorance is about a lack of information, and therefore; fixable. I am ignorant about poisonous insects of the tropical rain forest. Should I ever plan a trip to the tropics, however, you can be sure I’ll read up on the subject. Be stupid not to, right? I’m also ignorant about quantum physics, string theory, combustible engines, …

May 09, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Release Day Jitters

Release Day Jitters begin early in the first draft of a new novel and continue for three-to-six months after the big release. Anxiety builds with each completed step, from finishing the novel, signing a contract, and working with editors to arranging cover reveals and release tours. By release day, I’m an optimistic wreck. Could this be my breakout novel? Will this be the one to make the New York Times bestseller’s list and get me interviews with Oprah Winfrey and Terri Gross? When the preorder links go up, release day jitters are ramped up. Action is required. I monitor various bestsellers lists, check my Amazon rankings every few hours, and watch Goodreads for new ratings and reviews to come up. …

May 02, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Finding My Prince

I am a life-long serial monogamist. At the tender age of pushing sixty, I’m currently without my Mr. Right. This is the longest stretch (going on four years) without a significant other since grade school. Single life agrees with me more than I care to admit or thought possible. Still, I don’t see my bachelor lifestyle as a forever thing. One day he’ll come along… I’d like to meet a nice, gorgeous, and likable guy with a car, his own place, and full retirement benefits who takes good care of himself, thinks I’m amazing, and can’t keep his hands off of me. Is that too much to ask? Life is too short for bad relationships. I’ve reached the age where individual body parts have …

Apr 25, 2016
By Michael Rupured

New Home for an Old Story

DsP Publications releases No Good Deed tomorrow. It’s been available for preorder since January from the publisher, and since early March from Amazon and other outlets. The first edition was published as After Christmas Eve by MLR Press in 2013. My four novels include enough romance — barely — to have been picked up by romance publishers. Thanks to the folks at DsP and MLR for giving me a chance and for everything they’ve done along the way to help my writing career. I’m truly grateful. In the gay romance genre, I was a round peg trying to fit into a square hole. The covers and blurbs for my stories were crafted to appeal to gay romance readers. Readers expecting that kind of story are …

Apr 18, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Renewing My Gym Membership

A few weeks ago I renewed my gym membership again. The sales staff has been after me to re-up for months with phone calls and email messages offering “today only!” special deals. I fell for the “today only” thing the first time I renewed. Four years later, I know better. They’ve had the same specials since I joined. Pushy sales people annoy the hell out of me. For years, the high pressure tactics employed by gyms kept me from checking into memberships. I’m especially skeptical when the cost of the item/service being sold is not public information. Keeping pricing plans secret tells me one thing: the range is wide open. I know a little something about invisible pricing. A long time ago, I was …

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