Category: Advice

Jan 06, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Pet Writing Peeves: It

The members of my writers group will tell you that overuse of the word “it” is one of my pet peeves. Don’t get me wrong. “It” is a perfectly acceptable word. But most of the time, there are better options. Sometimes, “it” is used to refer to another word or phrase that comes later in the sentence. Let’s take a simple sentence like “It was a beautiful day.”  In this instance, “it” refers to the day. I’d say instead, “The day was beautiful.” That’s not much of an improvement, so I’d take a look at the sentences on either side of “the day was beautiful” to see about combining the two. Let’s say we have: Cathy walked along the shore. …

Dec 09, 2013
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on DVR Changed My Life

DVR Changed My Life

For longer than I care to admit, my evenings revolved around the television. I had shows to watch every night of the week. Picking favorites for some nights was easier than others, but somehow, I always found something to watch. Looking back, the quality of my viewing selections makes me cringe. I couldn’t stay awake late enough to watch the top-rated ten o’clock dramas. So I filled the hours with banal situation comedies, an endless variety of reality shows, VH1 Top 100 countdowns, and occasional episodes of Jerry Springer, Cheaters, and Dr. Phil. You know — must see TV. Years ago, I changed my cable package. As part of the introductory offer, the company threw in a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). No …

Sep 12, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Masculine Enhancement

Listening to talk radio on long drives keeps me from falling asleep. Depending on traffic, a few minutes of Rush Limbaugh can keep me seething for a good fifty miles. Though his partisan rants are intended to amuse, the real entertainment comes from some of the ads — especially the ads for masculine enhancement. For the uninitiated, uninformed, or blissfully unaware, masculine enhancement is a radio-friendly euphemism for penis enlargement. That’s right, ladies (and both of the men who read my blog), your man can now buy pills, potions, devices, and exercise plans guaranteed to add inches to his… er, masculinity. Looking for a gift for the man who has everything?  Rare, indeed, is the guy who wouldn’t mind another inch …

Dec 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Joining a Writers Group

The start of another year is like Christmas for the resolution industry. The gym will be crowded and meetings at Weight Watchers will be standing room only. January is also when we see a big influx of new members in our local writers group. Seems there are lots of aspiring writers out there. Some have maybe only thought about writing a book. Others have finished works that keep getting rejected. They want to know if I did something they didn’t do that made a difference. That’s not what they say, of course, but that’s what they really want to know. Quite a few successful writers–far more knowledgable and experienced than I–have written books about how to write a novel and/or …

Dec 07, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Change

Change

Change is the one thing in life that never changes–and I’m not talking about coins. That change is a constant force in our lives isn’t a novel concept. A quote about “change being the dominant factor in society today” is attributed to Isaac Asimov, with lots of dissenters pointing to similar comments dating back to 500 B.C. The versatile word can be used as a noun or a verb (transitive or intransitive) and, depending on how it’s used, means many different things. Change can be gradual or instantaneous, positive or negative, expected or not, and of varying magnitude and intensity. The impact may be minimal, enormous, or somewhere in between. Most of us learn to live with the gradual changes …

Nov 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Useless Usernames & Passwords

When I was in junior high a very long time ago, the only number I had to know was the combination to my school locker. I remembered it. Mostly. And when I forgot, someone in the school office could look it up for me. High school required that I remember two lock combinations (one for physical education and the other for my regular locker). Because I had a job, I needed to know my Social Security Number. In truth, I really didn’t have to remember it because anyone who had one kept the card in their wallet. By the time I reached college, my Social Security Number served as my Driver’s License and student identification numbers, and was printed on …

Oct 30, 2012
By Michael Rupured

I’m Talking to You, Not Everybody But You!

Just about every time I blog about trying to live a healthier lifestyle, I hear from people who say my journey has inspired them to make positive changes of their own. Deep down inside, I’m hardwired to help people. That something I said–some piece of information I provided–helped even one person in some small way thrills me to no end. Over the last few years I’ve heard from quite a few of you. Maybe you went on a diet, gave Zumba a try, or started running or bicycling. Yes, to have been a source of inspiration makes me very happy. But I’m concerned that so few of you have stuck with it. Yeah. I’m talking about you. Don’t worry. I’m …

Oct 19, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Lost in iSpace

Last Saturday, I finally got around to switching from Android and a piece of shoddy engineering known as the LG Ally to the beautiful and magnificent iPhone 4S. Now I know how Helen Keller must have felt when she figured out how to communicate with the world around her. OMG! It’s like the fifth dimension opened up to me–an alternate universe that only some people know exists. And now, my friends, I am one of them. I get it! Now those people you see with the devices permanently clutched in the left hand are my kindred spirits. More than that, we are one with the iUniverse. I love it here in iSpace so much that the real world doesn’t much …

Aug 10, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Hasten My Retirement

Successful blogging tip number one: Never add blog posts on weekends. People read blogs on weekdays during working hours. Posting between two o’clock Friday afternoon and nine o’clock Monday morning is the blogging equivalent of masturbating–a solitary act that nobody will know about. Unless, of course, it goes viral on the internet. Advice for becoming a successful blogger is readily available. Now and then, I read the suggestions. The bottom line is that to be successful, one needs to go beyond merely writing interesting posts. It’s all about the marketing. I’m supposed to spend hours every day reading and commenting on blogs like mine in a shameless attempt to lure readers here. Perhaps it works. I just don’t have that kind …

Jun 02, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Real Me?

My life as a professional writer isn’t exactly profitable. Three blogs and two completed manuscripts have yet to generate a dime of revenue. At least blogging doesn’t cost anything. After paying a freelance editor to review them, I’m in the red on both books. Consequently, I’ve not yet given up my day job. I happen to love my day job. The work itself has changed dramatically over the last 25 years, but with my current and previous employers, the objective has always been the same. Help people to make sound decisions about earning, spending, and saving money. I develop educational materials and programs and train our statewide network of educators to use them with youth and adult audiences. Thousands of …

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