Category: My Life

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 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. …

Aug 15, 2014
By Michael Rupured

The Nature of Change

I’ve kept a personal journal since 1979. Writing in my journal is a hobby of sorts — a place to express myself without worrying my words will offend or hurt someone else. Believe it or not, the entries — while documenting my particular style of crazy — are repetitious, pedestrian, and boring. Writing stuff down helps me figure out what I really think. Talking shit is easy. The uttered word vanishes from view as I move onto the next thing. But opinions, desires, dreams, and ideas expressed on paper are different. The words linger, forcing me to take a closer look — especially when something doesn’t quite ring true. Last weekend I came down with a bug that knocked me for a loop. I don’t get …

Aug 04, 2014
By Michael Rupured

He’s Back…

Six years ago — for no good reason — I started blogging as the Crotchety Old Man. My musings revolved around things that pissed me off, like pet owners leaving dog poop on my lawn, bad drivers, and poor service. Writing to entertain was a lot of fun and a nice change from the kind of writing I did for myself or on the day job. Back then, I’d spend an hour or two cranking out new posts a few times a week. Instead of a regular schedule, I hit “publish” the second I finished, no matter the hour or day. When coming up with ideas for something to write about became difficult, I turned to my past for inspiration. After a series about my wild-assed youth, friends encouraged me to …

Jun 02, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Five Steps to Becoming a Successful Author

On this date just two short years ago, with a lot of encouragement from my friends in the Athens Writers Workshop, I submitted a query for my first novel. I waited for the “not what we’re looking for at this time” message to file with the rejections I’d already received for Glass Houses — my still unpublished memoir. Instead, less than three months later, the fine folks at Dreamspinner Press sent me a contract for Until Thanksgiving. When I signed that first contract, my expectations about overnight success as a published author were a tad unrealistic. I haven’t quit my day job. You won’t find excerpts from my books in The New Yorker. Terry Gross hasn’t interviewed me for Fresh Air, nor has Oprah called. Even …

Feb 24, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My New Fireplace

Fireplaces have never impressed me much. I can’t even recall my first indoor encounter with burning logs. Until I was older, none of my relatives had working fireplaces. My first childhood home didn’t have a fireplace. The second — the house my father died in — didn’t have a fireplace when we moved in. A few years later, Dad knocked out a wall in the dead of winter to add one to the basement he’d just finished. The fireplace Dad built is constructed of street bricks, manufactured in the 19th century and salvaged by Dad over many years as roads in downtown Lexington KY were repaved. The massive bricks, about ten or twelve inches wide, five or six inches deep …

Sep 23, 2013
By Michael Rupured

My MVPs

I am not a hoarder. The neat freak in me couldn’t handle the mess. If anything, I err in the opposite direction, tossing stuff others would probably keep. Whether the result of nature or nurture, I can’t say. As with most traits, I suspect both play a role. My parents were both OCD control freaks. At least once every few months, I’d come home to find my bedroom spick and span…almost. A note atop a mountain of clutter piled on the bed, almost to the ceiling, advised me to deal with the mess, pronto, if I knew what was good for me. Knowing what’s good for me has never been my forte. Google “slow learner” and my picture shows up in …

Jul 29, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Gone, But Not Forgotten

I lost my father a year ago today. This picture was taken a few weeks before he died, during my last visit with him. In memory of a man I never really understood, here’s my post from that fateful day: My father passed away this morning. My sister called me to tell me the news. I knew when I saw her number on the callerID that he was gone. Now I know what the expression “overwhelmed with grief” means. His death wasn’t a surprise. In fact, I welcomed the end to his suffering. There was nothing left unsaid between us. I’d told him goodbye and that I loved him two weeks ago. I thought I was prepared. I’m in a daze. …

Jan 27, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Dereliction of Duties: Seven Excuses

My new normal is crazy busy. I thought the situation was temporary. For months I’ve believed that things would slow down once I got over the next hump. Being a slow learner, it took me more than a year to figure out that busy is here to stay. Reading and commenting on the blogs I’ve followed, for years in some cases, has been a casualty of my new normal. Sweet Manty67 over at Him, Her and Us gave my blog the Liebster Award and the Beautiful Blogger Award back in early December.  Thank you so much! Being picked from among so many great blogs by anyone is an honor, and I’m embarrassed that it has taken me so long to …

Jan 20, 2013
By Michael Rupured

The Longest Month

January is my least favorite month. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I detest the first 31 days of the year. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Let’s start with the temperature. Here in Athens, January is the coldest month of the year. The average high is 54, and the average low is 33. Not even freezing. We’ve had quite a few days with highs in the upper 60s and into the 70s this year, which helps…some. Even if what we call cold might be considered downright balmy elsewhere, I still hate it. Then there’s the weather. Snow and ice are rare enough that even the threat of it is a major news event. Instead …

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