The Crotchety Old Man

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 …
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

Online

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, …
Mar 10, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Tethered to the Coffeemaker

I drank my first coffee — heavily laced with cream and sugar — a very long time ago. We’d spent the night with Uncle Don and Aunt Mary. Uncle Don got up hours before everyone else to make breakfast before he went to work. He kept his radio tuned to a country music station, and as he was more than a little hard of hearing, cranked up the volume loud enough to wake the dead. Hank Williams, Conway Twitty, and Loretta Lynn made going back to sleep impossible, so I’d join him in the kitchen for a morning cup of joe. I have no idea of my age at the time — somewhere between nine- and twelve-years old. Nor do …

Mar 06, 2014
By L.J. Labarthe

The Wind-Up Forest

I’ve always loved Arthurian legends, from an early age, and that love stayed with me well into adulthood. I’ve been wanting to write a novel involving those legends in some way. I had loved Douglas Clegg’s novel, the terrific “Mordred: Bastard Son.” And I had also loved the Mary Stewart novels focusing on Merlin as the main character. The ’80s shiny armored movie, “Excalibur” is still a firm favorite, despite the cheesiness, and a lot of the music I listen to focuses on Arthurian myth and legend—the Matter of Britain—bands like local group Spiral Dance and UK artist, Damh the Bard. So I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to use the mythos without focusing on the …
Mar 03, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Ten Things I Never Do Anymore

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 …

Feb 27, 2014
By Lane Hayes

Better Than Chance

Thank you for having me here today, Michael!  I’m very excited to talk about the release of my second book, Better Than Chance.  Those who’ve read my first novel, Better Than Good will recognize Jay and Peter as Aaron’s best friend and his long-time partner.   Aaron makes a point of describing the couple as having a relationship he admires.  “In the land of gay, they are what I would wish for one day…. they just seem to get each other.” I’m eternally fascinated by the mystery of attraction.  What is it that makes someone stand out?  Looks?  Sure, first impressions matter, but looks only take you so far.  Most of us learn along the way that what’s on the outside …
Feb 26, 2014
By Sid Love

Sid Love

Sid Love grew up in one of busiest cities in the world, Mumbai, listening to the excerpts of Indian epics from his father every night. While it served as an inspiration back in time, he has always had an ambitious mind. In 2007, when he had just turned sixteen, he decided that he would make his lifelong dream come true—to become a well-known, respected author some day.

Ask him and he would refuse to accept that he is obsessed with books. Or movies. Or TV shows. Addicted may even be the right word. He is a die-hard fan of Jane Austen...

Feb 24, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My New Fireplace

My New Fireplace

Fireplaces have never impressed me much. I can’t even recall my first indoor encounter with burning logs. Until I was older, none of my relatives had working fireplaces. My first childhood home didn’t have a fireplace. The second — the house my father died in — didn’t have a fireplace when we moved in. A few years later, Dad knocked out a wall in the dead of winter to add one to the basement he’d just finished. The fireplace Dad built is constructed of street bricks, manufactured in the 19th century and salvaged by Dad over many years as roads in downtown Lexington KY were repaved. The massive bricks, about ten or twelve inches wide, five or six inches deep …

Feb 20, 2014
By G. A. Hauser
Snapped Blog Tour

Snapped

Goldilocks and the Three Books Making it just right… Any writer who enjoys their craft tries to mix enough mystery, action, emotion, suspense, and of course, depending on the genre, sex, into their novels. There are some readers who like it hot- like porn- ‘gimme more sex! No! I said more sex!! MORE!’ Others, quite the opposite. ‘…sheesh, there was nothing but sex in this book- no plot…just sex, sex, sex- BORING!’ Some readers prefer high drama. ‘Kill him!! Kidnap him! Beat the heck out of him! Oh come on! No one got hurt? THIS SUCKS!’ Of course the savvy writer, who writes for their readers alone- will carve a niche and stick there. Boldly they will announce, “I am …
Feb 17, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Power of Love Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post for the Power of Love blog tour. A total of 13 commenters means I’m giving away an autographed copy of either of my books to three lucky winners. The winners are: Erik, Marsh10, and bn100. Thanks again to everyone who commented and to Julie Lynne Hayes and M.A. Church for organizing the Power of Love Blog Hop.

Feb 17, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Pet Writing Peeves: Adverbs

Adverbs top the list of my Pet Writing Peeves. These little words modify actions and usually end in -ly. They’re perfectly acceptable in lots of different situations, but should be used sparingly in novels. Paragraphs riddled with -ly words — like the one above — are fine in blog posts, status updates, conversations, tweets, news stories, and lots of other places. The occasional use in novels — especially in dialogue — isn’t a big issue with me either. But lots of adverbs in the narration are an indicator of lazy writing. A novel is supposed to show the story, not tell. Adverbs are tell words. They’re fine in conversation and in dialogue because talking is all about telling another person …

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