Category: Writing

Aug 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

What Have I Done Now?

Since learning how to read, most the writers I know have dreamed about getting a book published. Not me. Until last year, the idea that I could write a novel had never even entered my mind. Writing fiction was on a rather long list of inabilities that I inherited from my mother. We can’t do calculus, learn a foreign language, or understand anything related to physics or chemistry, either. It’s a family curse. When I started writing my novel, being so new at it, getting published was an abstract idea about something in the distant future. I definitely wanted to have my book published. But I’d learned enough to know that the odds were not in my favor. I set …

Aug 22, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Living on Cloud Nine

I’m still happily ensconced atop Cloud Nine. Life is good here–full of promise and possibilities. I like it a lot. All I think about is Dreamspinner Press’s upcoming release of Until Thanksgiving–my first novel. Since Wednesday I’ve called or emailed everyone I know who isn’t on Facebook or Twitter, chatted with all my pals at the gym, and stopped into every office in my building to share the news. I’ve run out of people to tell. I even told my department head and the dean of my college. I’ve been calling myself a published author at every opportunity. I smile in the mirror fifteen or twenty times a day and say, “Hello, published author!” This morning on the drive into work …

Aug 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Wildest Dreams

I wrote Glass Houses in 2010 and thought it was an absolutely brilliant memoir. My first choice agent rejected the manuscript. Then I tried a small gay publishing house that also turned it down. Solid in my conviction that the manuscript was perfect, the problem had to be with the blurb, synopsis, and query letter. I joined a local writers group for help. In the next few months I learned enough to see that my memoir had a lot of technical problems. I decided to set it aside until I could figure out a way to fix the major structural issues. Leaving it behind was okay. Writing the memoir changed me in a lot of ways, with one of the …

Aug 11, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Reviews Are In!

Several years ago I started renting audiobooks from Cracker Barrel for road trips longer than about three hours. Then I started downloading them on my iPod Nano to listen to when I run. Now I’m in the middle of a book just about all the time. The hours I once spent reading books I now devote to writing–either for this blog or adding to my work in progress. Reading and critiquing submissions for my writers group takes a lot of time, too. Throw in the blogs I keep up with, my New Yorker magazine subscription, the daily newspaper and crap I have to read for work and I really don’t have time to read a book for pleasure. Thanks to …

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 …

Aug 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Stop the World!

Swapping the vacation my partner and I had been looking forward to for Dad’s funeral ended up being a good thing. We were already off work, and since we were driving anyway and had a free place to stay at the beach, changing our plans at the last minute didn’t cost anything. Any other time would have caused problems and posed challenges. All this to say I’m not unhappy that we gave up a relaxing week at the beach. Things have a way of working out for the best. Already exhausted from the previous weeks activities, I spent the weekend catching up on laundry, mowing, and other chores. My writers group met Saturday, and I managed to squeeze in a …

Jul 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Path We’re On: A Short Story

Nobody could say they didn’t see it coming. Signs pointed toward the showdown back in 2000, when the GOP stole the election from the Democrats in an election that taught us about hanging chads. At the time, everyone thought the showdown would take the form of a hotly contested election. Nobody really thought things could go this far. For years pollsters had been commenting on the increasing polarization of the country. Red and blue states divided up into red and blue towns. Reds patronized red businesses and blues stuck to blue businesses. Reds opposed immigration, tax increases, abortions, gay rights, birth control and regulation of any kind. Blues were a more diverse group, which often interfered with attempts for a …

Jul 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve been listening to Fifty Shades of Grey when I run. It is essentially, unequivocally, mathematically, and fundamentally the most poorly written book I’ve ever read. I’m not sure I was able to cram enough adverbs into that sentence to convey how bad the writing is. It’s so bad, I think I would have known even before I joined the writers group. Throw in the horrible voice work  and honestly, I think the book was putting me off my pace. I didn’t realize how much until yesterday when I got to listen to the new book I’m reading as I run. Groaning at bad writing really slows you down. Thanks to the new book, …

Jul 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Section at the Bookstore

I never dreamed I could write a novel. Sure, I’ve always loved to write. But a novel? My first project was a memoir for a reason. I didn’t need to write dialogue, develop believable and interesting characters, or come up with clever and intriguing plots. Just write about my crazy family and the rest would take care of itself. Though I did it for all the wrong reasons, joining the Athens Writers Group changed my life. I wanted help with the submission process, which of course, required reading my manuscript. My friend Adrienne Wilder, an emeritus member of our group and a successful writer (click here for her books), was the first to try to tell me that my memoir…er…needed …

Jul 08, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Ready for Wednesday

Last night I got to hear what the writers in my group thought about the first four chapters of After Christmas Eve. Before I tell you what they said, I have to give you a little back story. Otherwise, this would be a three sentence post, and you know me better than that. Every word  counts, but the beginning of any book is especially important. It needs to lure the reader in and give him or her a reason to keep turning the page. The first 5,000 words of Until Thanksgiving, then known as Addicted, went through the group four times before I got it right. Last night, the first four chapters of After Christmas Eve got a thumbs up …

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