The Crotchety Old Man

Apr 28, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Countdown to Retirement

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
Comments Off on My Retirement Income

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

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


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 …
Mar 24, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My Clean House

Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, points out in an interview I heard on NPR that the housewives and homemakers of the sixties have morphed into today’s stay-at-home moms. The emphasis has changed from keeping house to parenting. Staying home with the kids has become a luxury. Whether they work or not, moms are too busy to clean house to the standards of earlier generations. My mother kept house like nobody’s business. Most of my sixteen aunts did too. The few who didn’t worked outside the home and/or had lots of kids. Rather than judging a sister or sister-in-law for falling down as a homemaker, the non-working aunts felt sorry for her. Bless …

Mar 20, 2014
By JP Barnaby


Award winning romance novelist, J. P. Barnaby has penned over a dozen books including the Working Boys series, the Little Boy Lost series, In the Absence of Monsters, and Aaron. As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more i...

Mar 17, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Pet Writing Peeves: Pop Culture References

A good writer makes the reader feel like he or she is a witness to events in the story as they unfold. Keeping the reader’s attention focused on the action and dialogue is the goal. Errors and mistakes, when noticed, take the reader out of the story. Ignorance is bliss. Before getting published, as long as the story kept me interested, I could enjoy the most poorly written of novels. Not anymore. Now all kinds of things I never noticed — my personal pet peeves — take me out of the story. If this happens often enough, I quit reading and never finish the book.  I’m in the middle of a book by a favorite author who has had a …

Mar 13, 2014
By Jay Vaughn

The Rough Boys

Michael, thanks so much for hosting me. It’s very much appreciated. I’m here to talk about my Rough Boys trilogy. The final novel, Rough Boys: Revenge, came out in mid-February, and to celebrate I’ve made the first novel, Rough Boys: Runaway, available for free. I touch on a lot of themes in this novel, but at it’s heart, it’s a love story. Three different love stories, actually, and as with most true love stories, there are some bumps along the way. Let me introduce you to the couples: Ty, a runaway, is rescued from freezing to death by Abe, who stumbles across him on the way home from his work as a trauma nurse. The connection is strong from start, …