Category: Southern Living

Mar 21, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Southern Talk 101

I grew up in Kentucky, lived in D.C. for eighteen months, and for the past seventeen years, have called Athens, Georgia  home. Most folks would say I’m a Southerner. I say most because some denizens of the Deep South don’t consider Kentucky or D.C. part of the South. Blame the War of Northern Aggression, or what you might know as the Civil War Folks down here have a different way of talking. In fact, some outside of the region have a hard time understanding what we say. Part of it is the accent, but the words we use can be confusing too. Here’s a guide for folks outside the region.. Anem. Everyone, as in, “How’s yer momma anem durrin?” Bless …

Feb 01, 2016
By Michael Rupured
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Exclusive Interview with Peggy Tucker

I’m super excited to have Peggy Tucker as a guest on my blog today. She’s a central character in my new release, Whippersnapper, and an extraordinary woman. She’s agreed to answer a few questions and, as a special treat, will share the recipe for her famous cinnamon buns. Peggy: Thank you, Michael. I’m thrilled to be here, and more than a little nervous. I’m not used to all the attention I’ve been getting since Whippersnapper was released. MR: No need to be nervous. We’re all friends here. So tell me, Peggy, how did you end up in the middle of an M-M novel about a May-September romance? Peggy: It was a huge misunderstanding. Blame that handsome Oliver Crumbly. We belong to …

Dec 21, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Ice Cream Memories

I’m lucky. A hand-cranked freezer is the star of my first ice cream memory. I’d eaten the store-bought version before, but making our own ice cream was a special occasion. Vanilla was the norm, augmented sometimes with strawberries, peaches, or bananas. Licking the paddles was the reward for helping with the cranking. Sometimes — not very often — Dad took us out for ice cream. Whether soft-serve or hand-dipped, he always got a banana split. I got a cone. Chocolate chip was my favorite, but I liked vanilla or chocolate almost as much. We had Mr. Softee back then — a mobile ice cream shop with soft-serve ice cream and other frozen treats. I became addicted. When the truck came down …

Oct 19, 2015
By Michael Rupured

My Old Kentucky Home

I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky — the thoroughbred horse capital of the world. Getting back home happens less and less often. There’s much to love about my old hometown, and I find myself missing it more and more all the time. If I had to pick one thing I miss the most about Lexington — other than friends and family — it would be the bluegrass. Bluegrass is the best of all the turf grasses. Nothing compares with a barefoot walk through tall, cool bluegrass. I love the dark green color and the way it shimmers in the breeze. The last time I was home, I didn’t get a chance check out the gay scene. Things have changed since I left. Last …

Oct 05, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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My Backyard

Outdoor spaces where I’ve lived over the years haven’t been very functional. I blame myself. Once the gardening bug bit, I viewed each potential new residence more for garden potential than anything else. Functionality never entered my mind. The garden I abandoned three years ago contained more than 600 varieties. When I bought the place nearly two decades ago, I visualized a garden worthy of a spot on the hoity-toity ladies’ garden tour. Deer, drought, fire ants, and Bermuda grass conspired against me. Throw in heat, humidity, budget constraints, and the size of the yard, and I never stood a chance. A walk through the garden was pleasant enough, but the overall setup wasn’t conducive to lingering. The peculiar lot lacked even a …

Sep 21, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Home-Grown Tomatoes

The older I get, the more I appreciate the taste of a good, home-grown tomato. Back in Kentucky the plants went in the ground toward the middle of May with hopes the first fruit would ripen by the Fourth of July. Without buying big plants or cherry tomatoes, the first ripe tomato rarely appear before the end of July. Within a week or two everyone I knew had baskets of tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers they couldn’t eat. My first summer in Georgia I had a Kentucky-style tomato harvest. Coworkers and neighbors welcomed the surplus. That was almost twenty years ago. Since then, thanks to deer, drought and/or excessive heat,  I’ve had precious little luck growing them. A few years ago, I bought a …

Aug 03, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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My Brand, Revisited

Like it or not, marketing/promotion is part of being an author. Last August, I rolled out my new custom web site design. Since then, marketing guru Poppy Dennison has worked with me to further refine my brand. I’m forever in her debt. Here’s an excerpt from my post about my brand and marketing from a year ago. More about my chats with Poppy follows the excerpt. The multi-talented Charlie Cochet, goddess of m-m romance and a marketing genius, has patiently shown me the way. She’s rescued me a thousand times after I messed up my web site and couldn’t figure out how to make it work. She’s also pointed out the limitations of my setup, encouraged me to move to my own host, …

Jul 27, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Change is Gonna Come

There’s more to being an author than writing books. Writing new stories is the fun part. The publication process is a sometimes painful learning experience, but the real torture comes around the release of each new novel. I’m talking, of course, about marketing and promotion, Even for an attention whore like me, the amount of self-promotion a writer needs to do is a little off-putting. Sometimes, I feel a little cheap. The effectiveness of the various marketing strategies, techniques, and practices I’ve tried is difficult to measure. I know the number of comments my posts get on other blogs and the number of visits to my web site per day. Once a quarter, sales figures come with my royalty checks. A careful analysis …

Jul 13, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Full Circle

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 6 This is the sixth and final week of my 10 Extra Pounds series. Since starting the series, I haven’t lost any weight. In truth, I’ve continued to gain. At least the pace has slowed. Ten pounds makes a big difference. My clothes are a bit too snug. On my runs, my knees, ankles, and shins complain. The extra weight added almost three minutes to my pace for a mile too. Graphs on the web site where I record my weekly weight revealed a pattern. I put on ten or more pounds this time of year in each of the last three years. December or January I could understand, but May and June? I told my …

Jul 08, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Rehabbing A Good Time

A week ago today, my friend woke up in a longterm rehab facility in the middle of nowhere, Georgia. The first thirty days, he’s not allowed visitors. Getting him there took some doing, and I’ve been anxious about whether or not the program is a good fit for him. I got a letter Monday. Yeah, a real letter. For those of you under forty, a letter is a really long text message, handwritten on paper in a dead language known as cursive and delivered days later by a U.S. Postal Service carrier. Here’s the first paragraph of his letter: I hate this place! Please pick me up as soon as possible. It kills me to be here! The food is …

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