The Crotchety Old Man

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 …

Feb 14, 2014
By Michael Rupured

The Secret Lives of 20th Century Gays

Thanks so much to pals Julie Lynn Hayes and M.A. Church for organizing The Power of Love blog tour. Click here for links to all the participating blogs. All the authors are giving something away, so you’ll want to visit all of the participating blogs to see what to do for a chance to win free stuff. For every five commenters on my blog, I’m giving away an autographed copy of Until Thanksgiving or After Christmas Eve. For a chance to win (U.S. residents only), comment on this post by midnight, February 16, 2014. Please note, comments are moderated, so if you haven’t commented on my blog before, your comment may not appear right away. Include an email address so I …

Feb 13, 2014
By F.E. Feeley

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

F.E. Feeley Jr was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and lived there for twenty years before joining the military. He is a veteran of the US Armed Services; having done a tour in support of Operation Iraq Freedom in 2002-2003, he turned college student, pursuing a degree in political science. He now lives in Southeast Texas where he is engaged to the love of his life, John, and where they raise their 1½ year old German shepherd, Kaiser.

As a young man, reading took center stage in his life,...

Feb 10, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Coming Soon: Happy Independence Day

Back in July of 2013, I started working on Happy Independence Day, my third novel. The idea was to place several of the characters from After Christmas Eve in New York City for the 1969 Stonewall Riots — the beginning of gay liberation and a turning point for gay and lesbian Americans. Seven months later — at 10 a.m. on January 20, 2014 to be exact — I finished writing the story. Writing Until Thanksgiving — at all — was a huge challenge. Creating characters, developing a plot, and writing dialogue were new to me. I had to learn about stakes and tension (a reason to keep readers turning the page), and showing instead of telling. Getting a contract and …

Feb 06, 2014
By Jay Jordan Hawke

Pukawiss the Outcast

In my recently released novel, “Pukawiss the Outcast,” the lead protagonist, Joshua, is a 14-year-old, Ojibwe Indian, and he is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay. The Ojibwe have a long tradition of respect and reverence for gay people, or “two spirits” as they are known today. Western cultures tend to demonize and fear that which is different. Native American traditions, on the other hand, tended to honor those differences, believing that God singled out some people for a particular reason. As Walter L. Williams put in The Spirit and the Flesh: “If a person is different from the average individual, this means that the spirits must have taken particular care in creating that person. If …
Feb 03, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on OMG Scarlett! Snow! In Atlanta!

OMG Scarlett! Snow! In Atlanta!

Last week, the mess in Atlanta from the big winter storm caught the nation’s attention. All the finger pointing suggests someone here in Georgia caused all the problems. I hope they find the bastard. I got stuck in Savannah, my favorite city in the US. I probably could have driven home on schedule Wednesday afternoon without any trouble. But most of the trip is on a two-lane highway, and information about road conditions in rural Georgia was hard to come by. So I decided better safe than sorry and stayed put. Snow disasters are inevitable here in Georgia — no matter what anyone does ahead of time — especially in and around Atlanta. Had I sat in my car on the interstate for …

Jan 30, 2014
By M.A. Church

Wrapped in Leather

Fear can be a potent aphrodisiac. ~ Kele Moon The distinct smell of leather has many traits. It can evoke memories of the best moments in life. Scent is a well-known trigger for memory. Leather can also be soft, yet exciting. Enticing. The richness of its scent can tease the senses, drawing out primitive reactions. The smell is alluring, beguiling. The strength of leather, the comfort it offers by its proximity to the body, can be reassuring, even while shivers erupt along the skin as it wraps around a wrist, ankle, or neck. Need floods the body as thick cuffs are secured, triggering that sense of helplessness and immobility. Leather can excite… being so natural, and again, so very sensual. …
Jan 27, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Advantages of a Treadmill

The Advantages of a Treadmill

I’ve never been a fan of the treadmill. But as much as I hate the confounded torture device, I hate not running more. So I finally forced myself to adjust. Since then, I’ve come to see a few advantages a treadmill offers. Weather excuses disappear. I don’t like to run when it’s too hot, too cold, too windy, not windy enough, or raining. That rules out most days, especially in January, February and March. I can run on the treadmill year round. Fewer scheduling conflicts. Starting in May and continuing well into September, if I haven’t run by ten in the morning, because of the heat, it ain’t happening. By the time it cools off enough in the evening, it’s …

Jan 23, 2014
By Jana Denardo

Kept Tears

I always knew I would write a book like Kept Tears, or at the very least one with a disabled veteran. Many moons ago, I had planned to pay for medical school by going into the military. Most of my family was military in WWII and Viet Nam era service. I wanted to be Air Force. Things didn’t quite work out that way. However, in medical school and in my residency, I did work at several Veteran Administration hospitals and clinics across the country. I loved working with the veterans. In the latest twist my life has taken, I’m still very active with working with veterans on campus and with our local V.A.. While I wanted to do a story …
Jan 20, 2014
By Michael Rupured

The Treadmill and Me

I’ve gained ten pounds in the last few weeks. Why? A deep and abiding affection for Simply Lemonade, Nabisco Ginger Snaps, and ice-cream (any brand will do) had nothing to do with the extra weight. I blame cold weather. Why? Because I’m a fair weather runner. I love running shirtless, and that requires sunshine, temperatures in the 60s or 70s, and a little breeze. For most of last year, I ran three miles or more, two or three times every week, logging more than 330 miles in 94 sessions on MapMyRun. Cold weather has decimated my running routine. Never mind the weight gain. The big surprise is how much I miss running. So I had a little talk with myself. Somehow, …

Jan 16, 2014
By Etienne

About a Bottoms Series

My name is Etienne, and I’ve written several books in the M/M contemporary genre.  They are not, however, romance novels.  At least, not in the generally accepted sense of the term.  I don’t write purple prose, or for that matter, even semi-purple prose.  Why?  Because people don’t talk like that in real life—maybe in Victorian times, but not today.  My literary world is populated by men who act—and react—like men. Enter Chris Bottoms.  He is an RNFA (Registered Nurse First Assistant), which means he works in the OR, assisting surgeons at a somewhat higher level than surgical nurses.  Chris is also a bottom, but not by choice.  He’s a bottom because, between the ages of twelve and fifteen he was …
Jan 13, 2014
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on On Becoming a Gym Rat: Revisited

On Becoming a Gym Rat: Revisited

January is the month for resolutions, and for lots of people, getting more exercise tops the list. We year-round gym rats see the influx of new faces every January. Some will stick around, but in a matter of weeks, most will give up and quit coming. Read on if you want to be around next year to make fun of the resolvers. I joined a gym about two and a half years ago when paying by the class for Zumba got expensive. To make sure I’d use my membership, I signed up for the most expensive option. My plan came with a weekly 30-minute session with a trainer — great for me, as I hadn’t set foot in a gym …

Jan 09, 2014
By Christopher Hawthorne Moss

Beloved Pilgrim

Excerpt from BELOVED PILGRIM by Christopher Hawthorne Moss, release date January 23, 2014, from Harmony Ink Press
Jan 06, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Pet Writing Peeves: It

The members of my writers group will tell you that overuse of the word “it” is one of my pet peeves. Don’t get me wrong. “It” is a perfectly acceptable word. But most of the time, there are better options. Sometimes, “it” is used to refer to another word or phrase that comes later in the sentence. Let’s take a simple sentence like “It was a beautiful day.”  In this instance, “it” refers to the day. I’d say instead, “The day was beautiful.” That’s not much of an improvement, so I’d take a look at the sentences on either side of “the day was beautiful” to see about combining the two. Let’s say we have: Cathy walked along the shore. …

Jan 02, 2014
By Jacob Flores

When Love Gets Hairy

Hello, everyone. I’m Jacob Z. Flores, and I’m so glad to be back here at fellow author Michael Rupured’s blog. Since this is my second time here, I guess I didn’t make too much of a nuisance of myself during my last stop back in November. Yay! So why am I back? Well, Michael has graciously offered to be the second stop on my blog tour promoting my latest release, When Love Gets Hairy, which is the third book of my Provincetown Series. The Provincetown books don’t have to be read in order (in case you were wondering). The main characters in one book become the supporting characters in other books, so you can read them in any order you …
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