The Crotchety Old Man

Nov 17, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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Flying Solo

When I joined the gym two years ago, I paid extra for weekly sessions with a trainer for two reasons. First, having not set foot in a gym since high school, I needed someone to show me what to do. Second, the extra cost kept me going. I’m way too cheap to let my pricey membership go to waste. After watching several seasons of The Biggest Loser, I was nervous about working with a trainer. Getting up in my face a la Jillian Michaels is counterproductive. I’ll pout and go all passive-aggressive on your ass. Based on my experience, trainers are much less confrontational than what you might expect. Outside of the military and reality television, they have to be nice …

Nov 13, 2014
By Brynn Stein
Brynn Stein

Brynn Stein: Blog Tour for Through the Years

Hi Michael, Thanks so much for allowing me to stop by your blog today. You are the last stop on my blog tour for Through the Years. I’ve been having a ball with the tour and am kind of sorry to see it end. I’ve been talking about all sorts of things and really love getting the feedback and getting to know some of the other writers and readers out there. I would like to ask for some advice on the kinds of topics to address for my next tour in March for Ray of Sunlight. Obviously the typical: getting to know the characters, the back history of the story itself, excerpts, etc. But what other topics do you, as …
Nov 10, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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I’m so Fancy…for Now

As with my brain, I use a fraction of the full capability of the technology at my fingertips. My smartphone and Macbook Air mock my ignorance, and think they know more about my needs than I do. Both are forever doing me little favors, like importing contacts from Jobs only knows where into a huge, useless directory with dozens of duplicates and unwanted entries. Same with pictures I snap from my phone. Thanks a lot. When FAX machines were new to the workplace, I was one of the more tech-savvy folks around. After the department store where I was employed in the late 1970s switched from cash registers to computer terminals, I taught the other employees how to use them. A few years later, …

Nov 03, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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Real Time

Time is my master. I’m a slave to the clock and my calendar. Whether I go to work or get the day off, my schedule is full from the time I get up until I go to bed. The time change twice a year totally rocks my world. Smartphones, computer displays, and cable boxes are arbiters of the correct time nowadays. They spring forward and fall back automatically, and synchronize with millions of devices all over the world. I wonder about the impact of this massive time sync on society. For hundreds of years, clocks were set by the location of the sun in the sky. Before the advent of instant mass communication and transportation options faster than a horse, differences from …

Oct 31, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Spooktacular Blog Hop

Happy Halloweeen! Thanks a million to writer pals Julie Lynn Hayes and M.A. Church for organizing the 2014 Spooktacular Blog Hop and Giveaway. I’m excited about the opportunity to meet new readers and honored to be associated with so many wonderful writers. Everyone is doing their own giveaway. CLICK HERE to visit all the participating blogs to enter. You’ve got nothing to lose, and you might even win! I’m giving away an e-copy of one of my three novels (Until Thanksgiving, After Christmas Eve, or Happy Independence Day) to three lucky winners. To enter, leave a comment below. As a kid, I really got into Halloween. Mom wasn’t terribly creative, so my costumes were always one of those highly flammable …

Oct 30, 2014
By John Genest

Samhain and Witches and Bears, Oh My!

Hi, everyone.  My name is John Genest, and my paths recently crossed with Michael Rupured and the other authors of the A Taste of Honey anthology this summer in promoting the book.  During that time, Michael offered several guest posts here on his blog and I chose October 30 because it was closest to a holiday near and dear to my heart: All Hallow’s Eve,  the Celtic Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”), or just plain old  Halloween. Though my story, “Just Breathe,” was about a cub going in for a sleep study on Valentine’s Day evening (can you imagine?) and the woofy technician that monitors him, in my other writing endeavors I follow the adage “write what you know” and I know of  two …
Oct 27, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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My Writing Demon

In honor of Halloween, I’m dedicating today’s post to my demon. He’s possessed me for as long as I can remember, compelling me to write, whether anyone reads my words or not. Over the years I’ve sacrificed vast quantities of time, ink, and paper to appease him. My demon makes me write for an hour or two every day. Fortunately, he’s easy to please. As long as I’m writing something, he’s happy. Letters to friends, email messages — even making a list counts. Waiting for replies annoyed the demon, and one can only make so many lists. Eventually, I had to write something else. The personal journal I started in 1979 to appease my demon fills twenty volumes. The quantity is far more impressive than the content. …

Oct 23, 2014
By Christopher Hawthorne Moss

From History to Herstory to Our Story: GLBT Historical Fiction

By Christopher Hawthorne Moss, author and editor oof Our Story GLBT Historical Diction at GLBT Bookshelf I remember when feminists coined the expression “herstory” to counteract the overt and subtle masculinism of the word “History”.  Of course, we all know that the “his” in “history” is not actually the masculine pronoun, but it was an acknowledgement that what we were taught in school was, in fact, the history of men.  Women were a side issue.  The impetus for developing “herstory” was to bring to light the equally central role of women in our past.  The impact of this effort did more than just add female names and faces to the story of humanity.  It helped change the way we …
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 16, 2014
By J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth: The Bear at the Bar

It was an interesting experience writing “The Bear at the Bar” for Dreamspinner’s A Taste of Honey anthology. First off, I normally write sci fi and fantasy, sometimes with LGBT characters, but never as a romance. Second, I really hadn’t done much writing for fifteen years, after my novel was soundly rejected by ten publishers in a row. That can kinda do a number on a guy. But then last year, with my husband, Mark’s, support, I got bitten by the writing bug again.  I picked up the threads of a bunch of short stories I had either completed or started and reworked and finished them, sending them out into the world. But “The Bear at the Bar” is special. …
Oct 14, 2014
By Kim Fielding

Kim Fielding

Hi! I’m Kim Fielding, here to teach you a lesson: don’t screw with your muse. The ancient Greeks believed that the Muses were the source of knowledge. Muses inspired artists and scientists so strongly that sometimes the humans were thought to be simply instruments through which the Muses worked their wonders. I can understand this. Sometimes I sit down to write, and the story just flows through me, appearing on my computer screen as if by magic. Later, I look back at my words, at the plot twists that appeared out of nowhere but worked out perfectly, and I think, Where the hell did that come from? Well, from my muse. Obviously. But here’s the thing: what muses give, they …
Oct 13, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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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. …

Oct 09, 2014
By Renae Kaye

The Shearing Gun

Once upon a time, I was unpublished but had a couple of contracts for my books to be published.  I saw a submission call out from Dreamspinner Press for short stories to be included in an anthology about bears.  It was to be called A Taste of Honey and would feature men who were “bears” as defined in the gay culture. I was excited.  What a great project!  My favourite type of character to read and write about was the “average” man.  I liked all body types – not just the hotted up gym bods.  And finding m/m romance with a character that was a bear was rare.  I mentally ticked the box to remember to buy that anthology once …
Oct 06, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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Stepping Up My Game

Exercise is great. The more I do, the more I’m able to do. The downside is the more I do, the more I must do to get the same result. The time comes to either step up my game, switch up the activity, or quit and wait long enough for the same effort to work again. I ain’t gonna lie. When bicycling was my primary exercise, I’d quit every few months to keep from having to go for longer and longer rides. I’m guessing this is a normal part of the process of becoming more active — a process I’ve been working on for seven or eight years now. Two years ago, attempting to exercise as much as I do now would …

Oct 03, 2014
By Lissa Kasey

A Plague that Reshaped the World

There’s a little bit of madness going on right now in the news. Panic and worry over the outbreak of a plague that has killed millions overseas. It’s an illness that is hard to catch in a world of fanatically clean people who hate having to look up from their phones. Still the worry remains, what if? In the Hidden Gem I began by crafting a world after a plague. World War III brought around heavy chemical warfare and genetic manipulation. Everyone wanted to create the next super human. Instead of using their knowledge and skills to develop cures for cancer or AIDS, science and politicians used experimentation to create a super plague. The plague does one of two things …
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