The Crotchety Old Man

May 12, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Pet Writing Peeves: That

Pet Writing Peeves: That

Coming up with ideas for Pet Writing Peeves isn’t a problem. Finding topics that I know enough about to explain, however, is a bit more challenging. “Just because” is hardly sufficient, but that is too often the only explanation that I can offer. Such is the case with my admittedly mild aversion to the word “that.” I took grammar as an elective my senior year in high school. Ms. Stiles — a retired Army sergeant and a truly great teacher — must have schooled us on the rules. My inability to use the appropriate terminology today suggests that maybe I wasn’t paying attention. I’ve come to see “that” in my own writing as a word that is worth scrutinizing. How does …

May 08, 2014
By A.E. Via

Nothing Special

A.E. Via is the new best-selling author in the beautiful gay erotic genre. Her writing embodies everything from spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, A.E. runs a very successful paralegal-for-hire business, and in her spare time, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children, her two pets, a Maltese dog and her white Siamese cat, ELynn, named after the late, great gay romance author E...

May 05, 2014
By Michael Rupured

RainbowCon 2014

My first gig as a featured author at a conference took place last month in Tampa. Back in October I dropped by a similar event — the Gay Romance Literature retreat (GRL) in Atlanta — to scope things out. Meeting and hanging out with publishers, reviewers, readers, and other writers was great fun!  I heard about RainbowCon and, rather than registering as a reader, was thrilled to get in as a writer. Attending events isn’t cheap. Between promotional items, registration for the conference, the hotel room, meals, gas for my car, and a new wardrobe, I spent a fortune for the four-day event. The short-term expense is an investment in my writing career to hopefully pay-off in the longterm. Besides, money isn’t everything. Getting …

May 01, 2014
By Rider Jacobs

Forgotten

The first of the year found me sitting with my best friend Angel making our plans for the New Year. This was going to be her year, she just had that feeling. I thought this would be a year of change for me too, little did I know how much of a change my life would have. Her dream was to put out twelve stories; it is bittersweet that it looks as if I will be the one that accomplishes that goal for her. On January 17th my best friend passed away after a very short battle with pneumonia. In February I had the story Everything Changes published by MLR press. It was the last story that Angel read and …
Apr 28, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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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 …

Apr 24, 2014
By Shira Anthony

The Mermen of Ea Series

For those of you who may not know, Michael is an all-around amazing man. He’s also an amazing running partner. I just returned from attending Rainbow Con 2014 in Tampa, where Michael and I started off several mornings by running several miles. I can’t speak for Michael, but I personally find that running clears my cobweb-filled brain and helps me focus on my writing. In fact, some of my best ideas have come to me when I’m out on a run, although I have to admit that remembering them long enough to write them down when I get back home is sometimes a challenge! As I write this, it’s two weeks from the release of my 11th Dreamspinner Press book, …
Apr 21, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My Retirement Expenses

Welcome to the third of four April posts about my retirement planning experience in honor of Financial Literacy Month. I wrote about my preparations for retirement over the years in the first post, and in the second, the sources of income I expect to receive in retirement. Now I turn to my retirement expenses. Figuring out future living expenses is a guessing game. I won’t need to replace my current income — rules of thumb say to plan to live on twenty to twenty-five percent less than preretirement income. Travel and other pursuits could push expenses higher. My life won’t change much, so I expect my cost of living will be more or less the same as now. Inflation is another question mark. How fast …

Apr 17, 2014
By Teegan Loy

Picks & Pucks

When I asked my gracious host, Michael, what I should write about, he suggested I discuss my main character. I decided to let Justin tell his story. My name is Justin Corrin. I’m about 5’11”, the same height as Olympic figure skating champion, Brian Boitano. I didn’t set out to be a figure skater. I originally started in the world of hockey, where I was considered on the smaller side. Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins is 6’9”. Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks is listed at 5’11”, but that’s probably when he’s wearing his skates, so I had a shot at the pros. My story started when I was around fifteen years old, when I took up figure skating …
Apr 14, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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My Retirement Income

Last week I kicked off a four-part series about my retirement planning experience. I’m close enough to retiring to get serious about picking a date. Despite the reckless spending of my youth and some stupid decisions along the way, sticking with the plan cut my retirement age from seventy to sixty-five. I made a date with my financial planner to take a look at a realistic timeframe. Before our appointment, I tried out different scenarios with a retirement calculator. If you’ve never played with one of these planning tools, you should. The results, although just estimates, give you an idea of where you are, when retirement might be possible, and things you can do to move your retirement date forward. My …

Apr 10, 2014
By M. J. O'Shea

Rising Sun

Hey, this is MJ O’Shea here, and I thought in honor of my newest book Rising Sun, which has a lot of Sci-Fi characteristics, I decided to talk about my top six sci-fi and fantasy books (I was going to do five, but I thought we needed an even number of each!). My Top Five Six Sci-Fi/Fantasy books 1. The Belgariad by David Eddings – Okay, I know this is a series, but since it’s one long story that just picks up where it left off, I kind of thing of it as a book. I haven’t read this in years and years but I found a ratty old copy of it in fifth or sixth grade and fell in …
Apr 07, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Thinking about Retirement

I got my first steady job in the summer of 1972 at an ice-cream store in a brand new shopping mall. I was fourteen. Except for a month or two in 1977 after my employer went out of business, I’ve worked at least one job ever since. Those early positions were more character-building than income-producing. Saving for retirement — or for any purpose — never crossed my mind. I spent every penny and then some, relying on credit to make up the difference. Some of my earlier jobs required participation in a retirement plan. I minimized my contributions and cashed in whenever I changed jobs, paying both the ten percent penalty and the taxes on the meager sum I’d still managed …

Apr 03, 2014
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Paul Fahey: Lovers and Liars

Thank you, Michael, for having me here today. I’m giving away a free, autographed copy of Lovers and Liars! For a chance to win (U.S. Residents only for print book), comment on this post by midnight, April 6 (Sunday). Be sure to include your email address. The winner will be selected and notified via email on Monday. Since you’re focusing on financial literacy for April, I thought I’d mention how my partner, Bob, and I managed to retire. Bob worked for a construction company that went public in 1990. He invested his shares along with a retirement package and retired early. I continued to teach for the next 18 years, and we lived off my salary. When I retired in …
Mar 31, 2014
By Michael Rupured

The Swag’s the Thing

I’ve attended numerous academic conferences over the last three decades in connection with my day job. But before last year, I’d never attended any kind of Con. When I heard the 2013 Gay Romance Literature Retreat would be in nearby Atlanta, I had to go. One glance and I knew GayRomLit would be nothing like the scholarly gatherings I’m accustomed to attending. To date, those conferences have not included an abundance of male strippers and gay porn stars. Yet another reason to love being an author. Word of the April 2014 RainbowCon in Tampa reached me a few days after GayRomLit. Several of the writer pals I ran into in Atlanta had registered to attend, along with other guests on my blog I’ve …

Mar 30, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Poisoned!

A whopping case of food poisoning has made for a rough week. I should have known better, but misplaced trust and my inner cheapness conspired against me. I have nobody to blame but myself. The nasty little beasts hitched a ride into my gut last Friday. I’d paid a pretty penny for a thick ribeye steak the previous Sunday. No oven-broiling or pan-frying for me. A steak that nice has to be grilled, but the weather didn’t cooperate until Friday. With few exceptions, I hate putting proteins in the freezer. Not for taste reasons, but because I have to think about what I want to eat far enough ahead of time to thaw something out. And if I change my mind, …

Mar 27, 2014
By Elizabeth Noble

Electric Candle

Thank you so much, Michael for having me today! I originally planned to write a little article on edits and how I feel about them. Then I spent the day with my daughter at a museum and saw a very interesting exhibit that set me to thinking. The display was named Progress and it featured a look at life in Ohio and how it’s changed since the late 1800s. It was interesting and cool to see what things people once considered the most modern and technologically advanced items available at the time. As we walked through I began pointing things out to my daughter that my grandparents owned. My grandparents raised me and now, many years after their deaths, I’ve come …