Category: The Day Job

Dec 20, 2016
By Michael Rupured

A Christmas Letter

Dear Friends, Holiday greetings from the Deep South. This year, I’m not sending any cards. My declining vision is such that hand-writing notes and addressing envelopes is too difficult. Yeah, I could print labels and mail form letters, but that’s about as personal as those stupid holiday email messages with dancing elves or some such. May as well write a holiday blog post. Regarding my vision (since I brought it up), I’m legally blind in one eye with 20/60 to 20/80 vision in the other. The retina specialist has given up on my bad (right) eye, but I get injections in the other one every four weeks to keep it from getting any worse. I see well enough to do most of what …

Nov 02, 2015
By Michael Rupured

A Real Time Change

Over the weekend we switched back to Standard Time. Few things mess with my head more than a time change. Frankly, setting the clock up or back does little more than piss me off.  Everyone talks about gaining or losing an hour. Whatever. In the end, we still have just twenty-four hours in a day. No matter how you cut it,twenty-four hours just isn’t enough time for everything I want to do. Forget shifting things around an hour. I’m ready for a time change I can believe in — one that magically results in a few extra hours every day. Not having to work would help. Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful for a job I still love. But if I had enough …

Jun 29, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Road Trips

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 4 Gaining weight two weeks in a row had me concerned. Exercising only on weekends wasn’t offsetting the damage. Try as I might, however, I couldn’t get back to my normal routine. I had to go to district meetings in each quadrant of the state. The coordinators in each district put me on the program right before or after the noon hour. I go along for lunch to network and catch up on all the real news. I drove 200 miles (one way) to Tifton and, two days later, over to nearby Watkinsville. Driving makes me hungry. In both towns I ate chips and salsa like I’d never seen food before. In Watkinsville, a plate of …

Jun 22, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Working It

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 3 A six-mile run and a generous reward system caused me to gain a few pounds. No reason for concern. Nine times out of ten, I lose weight the week after a bad weigh in. Persistence is the key to success. Getting back on track became my top priority. The universe, however, conspired against me. Back-to-back buffets at the office got my week off to a bad start. There’s always too much food. I do what I can to make sure nothing goes to waste. A caterer prepared trays of sandwiches, chips, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies for our faculty retreat. The hummusy-tasting pimiento cheese sandwiches were a tad dry. The chips were easier to resist …

May 25, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Where There’s a Will…

Do you have a will? A lot of people avoid estate planning — as if not talking about death will somehow keep it from happening. Wrong! Moreover, the worst thing you can do to your heirs is die without an estate plan. In recent posts I’ve mentioned my plans to retire in the next five to seven years. I’ll get a small pension from a previous employer plus Social Security. The bulk of my retirement income, however, will come from the money I’ve saved (including the match from my employer). At this stage of the game, the balance in my retirement accounts is significant.   God willing, my life force and my account balance will zero out at the same time. If I die before the …

May 18, 2015
By Michael Rupured

A Taste of Retirement

Submission deadlines make me nervous. Working without an outline and only vague ideas about where the story might go means I could hit a wall at any time. Prompted by a May 1 deadline for Whippersnapper, I took a week off from the day job in mid-April for a taste of what life will be like after I retire. I finished the first draft Tuesday evening. Wednesday and Thursday I worked on revisions. Friday and Saturday I wrote the dreaded synopsis the publisher requests with every submission. Vision issues keep me from writing for more than a few hours in one sitting, so I had time to do other things. The weather sucked. Aside from a few sunny hours on a couple of days, rain made doing much of anything outside difficult. …

Apr 20, 2015
By Michael Rupured

My Dual-Career Household

University faculty positions are very demanding. Many of my colleagues work all the time. I don’t. Balancing work and my personal life has always been a priority, and in my opinion, the reason I’ve managed to stay productive. My writing career is also very demanding. Penning a novel takes time. The publishing process adds additional time demands. Promoting books, maintaining my web site, and engaging on social networks adds still more to an already very full plate. Since becoming an author, striking a balance between work and my personal life is no longer possible. After getting home from the day job, I spend several hours on my writing career. I try to make exercising a priority, but otherwise, I work all the time. Fortunately, my faculty position …

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. …

Jun 16, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Priorities

My father taught me anything worth doing is worth doing well. Of course, he never actually used those words. Instead, he’d berate me for being half-assed. Thanks to this early training (or an undiagnosed personality disorder), I don’t do things by halves. Nope. Not me. I’m whole ass or not at all. Insecurity nourishes my obsessive tendencies. To compensate for feeling like I’m not up to the task, I play to win and am always looking for ways to improve my game. This competitive nature, on occasion, makes me come across as a bit of a jerk. Time and success have softened hard edges, but insecurity still drives me to overachieve. Life can be overwhelming. There’s always so damn much to do, and change is constant. With …

Apr 28, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Countdown to Retirement

To celebrate Financial Literacy Month, my regular Monday posts in April have focused on my experience planning for my looming retirement. For most of my career, retiring has been an abstract concept — something far, far away. But now that I’m pushing sixty, the time has come to get real about where, when, and how I’ll retire. Where is easy. I love Athens for the mild winters and all the gorgeous, fragrant plants that thrive here. Knowing I’d probably die in my next house, the low-maintenance design, stair-free floor plan, and tiny yard heavily influenced my decision to buy my current residence. Frankly, at this stage of the game, I’d rather die than face another move. When I got serious about …

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