The Crotchety Old Man

Oct 26, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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New Edits for an Old Story

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the arrival of first round edits for Whippersnapper foiling my plans to spend Labor Day weekend working on my next novel. Two days later, first round edits for the re-release of No Good Deed (formerly After Christmas Eve) appeared in my inbox. Two sets of edits to work on in addition to my duties for the day job freaked me out a bit. Some authors have no problem moving back and forth between several different stories. Not me. Immersing myself in a story takes time. Since I was already up to my eyeballs in Whippersnapper, I decided to ignore No Good Deed until I finished those edits. Going from my fourth novel (Whippersnapper) to my second …

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 12, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Over the Hill

“Over the hill” is a term we’ve all heard, and on some level, come to fear. A quick search turned up the definition. Past the peak of one’s youthful freshness and vigor; far along in life; old. You talking to me? I continued my research. A few web sites said “over the hill” applies to anyone twenty years older than you are. Interesting, but a tad depressing. I wanted to find the definitive point at which one has indeed reached the apex. The Urban Dictionary says “over the hill” applies to people forty and over because they have reached the climax of their life time and it’s downhill from then on. Forty was so long ago, I can’t recall if I’d climaxed or …

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 …

Oct 04, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Three Months into Rehab

Three months ago, I shared about a dear friend who was dealing with a serious addiction issue (Traumatized, June 30, 2015). He was hooked on crystal meth and GBH, faced drug charges in two counties, had lost his job, and no longer cared if he lived or died. For three long weeks, I worried an overdose or car accident would kill him. On June 30th, he checked into Bridges of Hope, a rehab facially in the middle of nowhere in South Georgia. The staff and board of directors are all graduates of the facility. The program revolves around the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The residents (all male with a capacity of 50) rotate through various teams. Each team is …

Sep 28, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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First Round Edits

Labor Day weekend, I took off an extra day from the day job. Four days is a nice block of time to get some writing done. I planned to make progress on my new mystery series. The first book in the series — my fifth novel — is a bit more complicated than previous projects, so the going has been slow. As always happens when I have a plan, fate intervened. The long-awaited and much dreaded first round of edits for Whippersnapper appeared in my inbox on Friday. I don’t usually dread edits, but this time, I was worried about how much work would be involved. Because they are “structural” and focus on the story, first round edits can be difficult. Changing 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 …

Sep 14, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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I Pod Now

I drink a lot of coffee. Caffeine is my drug of choice now, and my last remaining addiction. Just the thought of giving up my Joe gives me a headache. Over the decades, my coffee tastes and preferences have evolved. I’ve been a devoted and loyal customer at different times for Maxwell House, Folgers, Chock Full o’ Nuts, and Eight O’Clock. I drink mine black. A cup of flavored coffee is okay now and then, but not a pot, so I never buy any. I stepped up to whole beans eight or ten years ago. Freshly ground coffee smells wonderful, and tastes better too. Within a few weeks, I replaced my grinder and drip coffeemaker with a Grind N Brew …

Sep 07, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Old Habits, RIP

Change is a fact of life. No, I don’t mean nickels, dimes, and quarters. I’m talking about things being different than they were before, largely as a result of progress. Thinking about changes in my own life, I came up with ten things I don’t do anymore — some thanks to progress, others due to advancing age. Print Photographs. The days of having rolls of film laying around waiting to be developed are over. Now I’ve got hundreds of pictures I never would have taken before that, unless I post them on Facebook, nobody will ever see. Damn smartphones. Fry Chicken. To tell you the truth, I’m not much intro frying anything these days. Health has less to do with my frying …

Aug 31, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Genre-Fication

When I get an idea for a story, genre never enters my thought process. Opinions vary as to whether or not it should. As un realiste, I recognize the value of genres, but as un artiste, I resent the limitations. Conforming to genre conventions is so… conformiste. Initially, I was on a crusade to change the m-m genre. Lots of gay male authors go through this phase. Finding out the genre is dominated by straight female writers and readers is a WTF? moment. Battles about whether this is a good/bad/right/wrong have raged on Facebook, Twitter, and via countless blog posts. <SHRUGS> It is what it is. I’ve moved on. Genre matters because readers want some idea of what kind of story to expect. Whether m-m …

Aug 24, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Dad’s Garden

I’m pretty sure gardening is genetic. Whether a recessive gene or one of those that lie dormant until needed, I don’t know and couldn’t say. But I know beyond a doubt that my love for gardening was passed down to me from my father’s side of the family. Dad’s mother kept a vegetable garden in the backyard of her little house on Park Avenue in downtown Lexington. She may have grown a few zinnias for cutting and maintained a beautiful collection of African Violets in her dining room. But Granny was first and foremost a vegetable gardener. Space was too precious in her little garden to waste on pretty things. Granny planted new crops in late winter, early summer, and late …

Aug 19, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Trumping the Presidency

If you’re breathing and have seen or heard even a few minutes of national news, you know Donald Trump is running for President of the United States. Again. This time is different. He’s actually leading in the polls. Granted, the election is still more than a year away. A lot can happen between now and November 2016. Pundits say the odds of Trump becoming the GOP nominee are slim to none. Perhaps, but he’s maintained his lead for much longer than anyone (save the Don himself) would have predicted before the big debate. Donald Trump is, first and foremost, a media figure. Yes, he’s also a successful businessman, but reality television made him the household name he is today. Consequently, …

Aug 17, 2015
By Michael Rupured

A Golden Opportunity

In the first six months of 2016, I’m scheduled to release three novels. My fourth novel (Whippersnapper) is scheduled for release in January or February, with re-releases of my second and third novels in April or May and June or July. Shepherding them through the production process will keep me busy for the rest of the year. My struggle to define myself as a writer is more or less over. Oh, I’m still learning — I just don’t stress out about my identity anymore. I’m just me, and that’s pretty much who I am as a writer too. Challenges around genre continue to plague me. Up to now, my novels have been published as m-m romance. None of my books follow the conventions of the genre, but …

Aug 10, 2015
By Michael Rupured

My Feeble Eyes: Good News!

In early June, I blogged about my rapidly deteriorating vision. Instead of only bothering me when I try to read, since February or March, I’ve had trouble seeing anything much smaller than a school bus. The sudden change has been both frightening and frustrating. Since 2010, I’ve been getting injections of various drugs (Avastin, Eylea and Lucentis) in my left eye every month or two to treat my advanced (wet) macular degeneration. Recent retina scans of my left eye show a marked improvement, but even the top row on the eye chart has been impossible for me to see. Fortunately, until February or March, my right eye had been fine. At my June appointment, the retina specialist checked my right …

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, …