The Crotchety Old Man

Oct 30, 2014
By John Genest

Samhain and Witches and Bears, Oh My!

Hi, everyone.  My name is John Genest, and my paths recently crossed with Michael Rupured and the other authors of the A Taste of Honey anthology this summer in promoting the book.  During that time, Michael offered several guest posts here on his blog and I chose October 30 because it was closest to a holiday near and dear to my heart: All Hallow’s Eve,  the Celtic Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”), or just plain old  Halloween. Though my story, “Just Breathe,” was about a cub going in for a sleep study on Valentine’s Day evening (can you imagine?) and the woofy technician that monitors him, in my other writing endeavors I follow the adage “write what you know” and I know of  two …
Oct 27, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My Writing Demon

In honor of Halloween, I’m dedicating today’s post to my demon. He’s possessed me for as long as I can remember, compelling me to write, whether anyone reads my words or not. Over the years I’ve sacrificed vast quantities of time, ink, and paper to appease him. My demon makes me write for an hour or two every day. Fortunately, he’s easy to please. As long as I’m writing something, he’s happy. Letters to friends, email messages — even making a list counts. Waiting for replies annoyed the demon, and one can only make so many lists. Eventually, I had to write something else. The personal journal I started in 1979 to appease my demon fills twenty volumes. The quantity is far more impressive than the content. …

Oct 23, 2014
By Christopher Hawthorne Moss

From History to Herstory to Our Story: GLBT Historical Fiction

By Christopher Hawthorne Moss, author and editor oof Our Story GLBT Historical Diction at GLBT Bookshelf www.glbtbookshelf.com I remember when feminists coined the expression “herstory” to counteract the overt and subtle masculinism of the word “History”.  Of course, we all know that the “his” in “history” is not actually the masculine pronoun, but it was an acknowledgement that what we were taught in school was, in fact, the history of men.  Women were a side issue.  The impetus for developing “herstory” was to bring to light the equally central role of women in our past.  The impact of this effort did more than just add female names and faces to the story of humanity.  It helped change the way we …
Oct 20, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Life After Fifty

My mother is the baby of eight, and my father was one of the later arrivals among ten children. Throw in the folks they married and the children the respective couples had together, and I grew up around an awful lot of people with widely varied views about what makes for a good life. All influenced me in one way or another, but none so much as Aunt Toodles. Long before she reached the half century mark herself, my beloved Aunt Toodles insisted life begins at fifty. That’s when she married for the first time — on Valentine’s Day no less — swapping a lengthy wild-child past for a self-proclaimed role as grand matriarch of the family. I love her more than ice cream and …

Oct 16, 2014
By J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth: The Bear at the Bar

It was an interesting experience writing “The Bear at the Bar” for Dreamspinner’s A Taste of Honey anthology. First off, I normally write sci fi and fantasy, sometimes with LGBT characters, but never as a romance. Second, I really hadn’t done much writing for fifteen years, after my novel was soundly rejected by ten publishers in a row. That can kinda do a number on a guy. But then last year, with my husband, Mark’s, support, I got bitten by the writing bug again.  I picked up the threads of a bunch of short stories I had either completed or started and reworked and finished them, sending them out into the world. But “The Bear at the Bar” is special. …
Oct 14, 2014
By Kim Fielding

Kim Fielding

Hi! I’m Kim Fielding, here to teach you a lesson: don’t screw with your muse. The ancient Greeks believed that the Muses were the source of knowledge. Muses inspired artists and scientists so strongly that sometimes the humans were thought to be simply instruments through which the Muses worked their wonders. I can understand this. Sometimes I sit down to write, and the story just flows through me, appearing on my computer screen as if by magic. Later, I look back at my words, at the plot twists that appeared out of nowhere but worked out perfectly, and I think, Where the hell did that come from? Well, from my muse. Obviously. But here’s the thing: what muses give, they …
Oct 13, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Writing: Career or Hobby?

Getting the contract for my first novel was like winning the lottery. Rather than the years-long, rejection-filled path traveled by most writers, I’d found success right out of the gate. Until Thanksgiving was going to make me rich! My preconceived notions about publishing a novel were a tad off. Two years, two more novels and a short story later, my vast fortune has yet to materialize. Turns out, getting published is the easy part. With hundreds of new titles coming out every week, catching the attention of book-buying readers is a much bigger challenge. Good thing I kept the day job. I’ve loved to write for as long as I remember — at first mostly letters to friends and family, and later, in my journal. …

Oct 09, 2014
By Renae Kaye

The Shearing Gun

Once upon a time, I was unpublished but had a couple of contracts for my books to be published.  I saw a submission call out from Dreamspinner Press for short stories to be included in an anthology about bears.  It was to be called A Taste of Honey and would feature men who were “bears” as defined in the gay culture. I was excited.  What a great project!  My favourite type of character to read and write about was the “average” man.  I liked all body types – not just the hotted up gym bods.  And finding m/m romance with a character that was a bear was rare.  I mentally ticked the box to remember to buy that anthology once …
Oct 06, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Stepping Up My Game

Exercise is great. The more I do, the more I’m able to do. The downside is the more I do, the more I must do to get the same result. The time comes to either step up my game, switch up the activity, or quit and wait long enough for the same effort to work again. I ain’t gonna lie. When bicycling was my primary exercise, I’d quit every few months to keep from having to go for longer and longer rides. I’m guessing this is a normal part of the process of becoming more active — a process I’ve been working on for seven or eight years now. Two years ago, attempting to exercise as much as I do now would …

Oct 03, 2014
By Lissa Kasey

A Plague that Reshaped the World

There’s a little bit of madness going on right now in the news. Panic and worry over the outbreak of a plague that has killed millions overseas. It’s an illness that is hard to catch in a world of fanatically clean people who hate having to look up from their phones. Still the worry remains, what if? In the Hidden Gem I began by crafting a world after a plague. World War III brought around heavy chemical warfare and genetic manipulation. Everyone wanted to create the next super human. Instead of using their knowledge and skills to develop cures for cancer or AIDS, science and politicians used experimentation to create a super plague. The plague does one of two things …
Oct 02, 2014
By John Amory

John Amory – “The Bear Fetish”

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of escaping New Jersey’s winter tundra for the sunny streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was attending an academic conference (I won’t bore you with the details of the paper I was presenting, unless you really wanna know) and was thrilled to be in the Southwest for the first time. I immediately fell in love with Albuquerque. As someone who regularly visits both New York City and Philadelphia, Albuquerque still felt like a city but with a small-town mentality. I’ve never met more helpful people, or nicer strangers. Almost every single person I passed on the street during my walk from my hotel to the conference center waved or smiled. Coming to this …
Sep 29, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Taking the Bull by the Horns

Novels are an author’s bread and butter. Yet, for most of this year, I’ve made little to no progress on a trilogy based loosely on certain events from my life. Other commitments have been part of the problem, but the bigger issue has been my inability to separate fact from fiction. Writing pure fiction is a process of adding to a blank slate to define characters, set the scene, and advance the plot. Inspiration may come from many sources, but the events and characters are made up. Add more details, throw in plot twists, rearrange a few things, perhaps cut a bit here and there, and voila, a novel. Basing a story on something that really happened, whether an historical event like the Stonewall Uprising …

Sep 25, 2014
By Jack Byrne

Jack Bryne

Good morning everyone!  I’m delighted to be here, and I’d like to give Michael Rupured a big thank you for hosting this guest post for me. Firstly, I write a LOT.  I write short stories, I’ve written three novellas and five short stories this year, and I’m working on two novels at the moment.  I plot and structure stories, and I mud-wrestle uncooperative muses, and I have to admit I’m better at writing action and hot sex scenes than I am at romance.  So when a friend suggested I write for Dreamspinner last year, I was a bit nonplussed.  If you had told me last year that I’d be working on a full length romance novel at the moment I’d …
Sep 22, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Call Me Transformed

I joined the gym three years ago because it was cheaper than paying by the class for Zumba. My membership included weekly sessions with a personal trainer. He gave me a workout plan, expected me to follow it, and since he was really hot and more than a little intimidating, I tried to obey. In addition to two or three Zumba classes, my weekly exercise plan consisted of a thirty minute training session plus three more trips to the gym to workout on my own. I hated the weightlifting, but kept at it, knowing strength training would boost my metabolism. My prescribed workouts took thirty or forty minutes — tops — which I thought was an awful lot to of time at the gym. Ninety …

Sep 18, 2014
By Megan Linden

Open Endings and Characters in Military

Before I get into it, I’d like to thank Michael for hosting me today! Thanks, Michael! I love well-written characters who are or were in the military. Who doesn’t, huh? There’s just something about them. They represent an idea, they are easily recognized hero-type. Readers may have different opinions about military in real life, but in books? Especially in romance genre, be it gay or straight love story? Most of us LOVE those characters. I am no exception. An author gets brownie points from me every time there’s an interesting military man (it’s usually a man, but I’d love to see more women in uniform, too!). And when I write, nine times out of ten, there will be at least one …
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