The Crotchety Old Man

Feb 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Just Like That, I’m Old

My sixtieth birthday is two short weeks from today. The Crotchety Old Man moniker I’ve used on my blog for years is no longer ironic. It’s who I am. Ask my neighbors. Say what you want about age being just a number. I’m not buying it. Sixty is old. I’m not complaining. Getting older is a privilege. Aging, however, is a major pain in the ass. I’m lucky. Aside from vision issues, my health problems are trivial. Still, I collect health care providers like they were Matchbox cars. An assortment of physicians and specialists oversees my aging body. Hardly a month passes without at least one medical appointment. Last week, I added a cardiologist to my collection. My regular doctor ordered a stress test to …

Jan 08, 2018
By Michael Rupured

My New Gym

After the gym I’d used for six years closed in May, I joined a YWCO. Differences between the Y and my former gym were immediately apparent. I wrote about the most obvious on this here blog thingy back in November — 11/20/17 to be exact. If you’re on my web site, scroll down for that post or click here to check it out. With maybe a tenth of the equipment available at my former gym, I worried about crowds. Waiting in line is not conducive to a good workout and would likely deter me from going. My fears, however, were unfounded. Rarely do I see more than two or three people in the workout room. On several occasions, I’ve had the place to …

Jan 01, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Back to Class

A teaching degree wasn’t an option for me in college. The major was available, but a mountain of credit card debt prevented me from taking off work for student teaching. No big deal. There were plenty of attractive majors in the sea. Ten years later, I graduated with a B.S. in Family Studies. How I ended up in this major and why it took so damn long is a story for another day. Though what I’d be when I grew up remained a mystery, I had a degree, and after 22 years in school, zero interest in graduate school. No degree was required for my first post-college position. Accepting the job as a secretary in the department from which I’d …

Dec 24, 2017
By Michael Rupured

My Personal Relationship with Santa

The arrival of the Sears Christmas catalog kicked off the holiday seasons of my childhood. The massive tome offered everything I ever wanted and served as a reference for my annual letter to Santa. When I was old enough, Mom said Santa needed the page number and item number for everything on my list. Santa kicked off his U.S. tour with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, followed a few days later by the Christmas Parade in Lexington, Kentucky. He rode in his sleigh with eight tiny reindeer atop the biggest fire truck in the city. Dad was on the fire department, so I got to ride on the truck with Santa and toss candy to the crowd. That’s right. …

Dec 18, 2017
By Michael Rupured

Update: The Case of the Missing Drag Queen

Good news! I signed a contract for The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. The Case of the Missing Drag Queen is my first new release with DSP Publications (DSPP). This is not, however, my first book with them. DSPP released second editions of No Good Deed (originally After Christmas Eve) and Happy Independence Day in 2016, followed by a French translation of No Good Deed earlier this year. DSPP is an imprint of Dreamspinner Press, publisher of Until Thanksgiving, Whippersnapper, and the first edition of Happy Independence Day. Dreamspinner Press is all about LGBTQ romance, with covers and blurbs designed to catch the eye of romance readers. I don’t write romance, but my characters have enough of a love life to make the cut. Romance enthusiasts …

Dec 04, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Stonewall Movie

The Stonewall Movie

I first heard about the 1969 Stonewall riots in the early 1980s. I vaguely recall mentions in books I read after coming out and conversations with gay friends. Before researching Stonewall to write Happy Independence Day, all I knew was that a bunch of New York City queens stood up to police during a late June raid of the Stonewall Inn. While somewhat accurate, that little summary leaves out a lot of important details. The riots were part of a larger, more complicated, and far more interesting story about politics, extortion, corruption, and more that too few people have heard. So I was thrilled to hear a movie about Stonewall was in the works. Reviews lit up my Facebook feed even …

Nov 27, 2017
By Michael Rupured
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Orchid Surprise

I got my first orchids after moving into a freshly remodeled house five years ago. Home renovation shows always include an orchid or two in the “after” footage. I thought it was a rule. Though space for a plant was limited, the master bathroom seemed like an ideal location. My first two selections were miniatures with variegated foliage and mauve-ish flowers on four-inch stems. They were small, in pots that matched my color scheme, and inexpensive. Dormant orchids in net bags rather than pots were so cheap, I decided to try one of them as well. The bathroom wasn’t nearly as well lit as I thought. After a few weeks, I moved my trio of orchids to my kitchen table. It’s …

Nov 20, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Gym Memberships Revisited

Gym Memberships Revisited

Six years ago, I joined a gym for the first time. A location close to my house and the availability of Zumba classes were deciding factors. Having never set foot in a gym, I sprung for regular training sessions to keep from hurting myself. The gym — Omni — hadn’t been open very long. Everything was shiny and new. A wide variety of classes were available from 6:30 in the morning to 8 in the evening through the week with a lighter schedule on weekends that still provided a host of options. Going to the gym became part of my lifestyle. I went almost every day for a class or two, a training session, or to work out. I felt …

Nov 13, 2017
By Michael Rupured
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Re-Energized

December 17th marks the fifth anniversary of the release of my first novel. Signing the contract made me a pro. Becoming a published author remains the coolest thing I’ve ever done. The fame and fortune I imagined would follow still hasn’t panned out. My expectations were out of whack. In my neck of the writing world, selling 1000 copies is great. Selling more than 5000 is fantastic. That’s a lot fewer zeroes than I’d envisioned. It’s not the money. My financial security isn’t tied to book income, thank God, or I’d have starved four-and-a-half years ago. I want people to read and, hopefully, enjoy my stories. Anything else is icing on the cake. For reasons both beyond my control and of my …

Nov 06, 2017
By Michael Rupured
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Cologne: A Confession

Spritzing on cologne is a part of my getting-ready-to-go routine as much as brushing my teeth. Smelling nice is my brand. Unless I’m walking the dog, going to the grocery, or hitting the gym, I’m packing fragrance. When it comes to cologne (and men), I’m a serial monogamist. Over the years, my preferences have changed, but, except for an experimental phase in college and most of the 1980s, I’ve been faithful to one cologne at a time since seventh grade. Old Spice was my first love and gateway fragrance. Mom hooked us up for my first dance. We had tons of it around the house — remnants of gift boxes my dad received for Christmas, Father’s Day, and his birthday. …

Oct 30, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Write What You Know

Write What You Know

Every aspiring writer has heard “write what you know.” This age-old adage expresses a general truth that has stood the test of time. My understanding of those four words, however, has evolved with each book I’ve written. I took “write what you know” literally for my first novel. Until Thanksgiving is loosely based on a major event from my life: Moving for a job from Lexington KY, where my family has lived for generations, to Washington DC. I never had a run in with a serial killer, but main character Josh Freeman and I lived in Dupont Circle around the same time and frequented the same restaurants, bars, and other places. Memories weren’t much help for my second or third novels. No Good …

Oct 26, 2017
By Michael Rupured

Farewell, Tico (2008-2017)

The best little dog in the world passed away today. Tico had been limping now and then, favoring his front right paw. It came and went and didn’t seem to bother him much. A week ago, he screamed in pain when my ex picked him up. The next day, the ex took Tico into the small animal hospital. It’s something with the discs in his neck. He limped because he was partially paralyzed. They sent him home with medications and instructions to keep Tico in his crate (complete bed rest) except to eat and go out to relieve himself until a followup appointment scheduled ten days later.   At first, the medications seemed to help. When out of his crate, he …

Oct 23, 2017
By Michael Rupured
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The End of Wisdom

Change is constant, but the rate of change has reached the point where keeping up has become impossible. Once upon a time, things stayed more or less the same over the course of a lifetime. With age came experience, leading eventually, after many years, to wisdom about the ways of the world. Not anymore. The older I get, the more clueless I become. The wisdom gained through experience no longer applies, gets lost in translation, or simply isn’t heard. For most of my career at the day job, we’ve lost positions. Over the last two years, some of those positions have been restored. The result is a workforce that is either very young and inexperienced, or getting on in years …

Oct 16, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Three Tweaks Shave Eight Months off Time to Write Novel

Three Tweaks Shave Eight Months off Time to Write Novel

Three tweaks to my writing process enabled me to finish The Case of the Missing Drag Queen in a record-breaking four months rather than the usual twelve or more needed to write my first four books. To be honest, the changes brought my process more in line with what experts recommend. #SlowLearner Tweak #1: Write Every Day I tried to write every day. In the past, I’ve waited for weekends and other days off and written until I simply couldn’t write anymore. The greater the time between sessions, the longer it took to get back into the story, and the more likely I was to waste time editing and revising instead of adding new chapters. Tweak #2:  Stop in the …

Oct 09, 2017
By Michael Rupured

Sprinting for the Finish Line

I’ve almost finished the first draft of The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. I woke up yesterday believing just one chapter stood between me and “the end.” Close. Halfway through that chapter, I realized another chapter was needed to finish the story. This time, I’m sure. One more chapter and the first draft is done. Whether today. tomorrow, or Wednesday, I’ll finish this week. That’s about ten days later than predicted, but still a good eight months faster than it took to write any of my first four novels. I’m amazed, and after abandoning several false starts, thrilled to finally finish a story. The much shorter time to finish is due largely to changes to my writing process, discussed ad …

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