The Crotchety Old Man

Jun 04, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Little Garden

My garden is ready for a long, hot Georgia summer. A ton of rain helped. We’re six inches above normal for this time of year — most of that coming in May. Getting all the new arrivals into the ground early helped too. I’ve gardened for more than thirty years. Space constraints limited options with my first two, leading me to buy a house with a ginormous yard for #3. Over the next ten years, I accumulated more than 600 varieties of ornamental plants. Taking care of the sprawling landscape and spacious house by myself was too much, so in 2012 I downsized. The first year or two, I didn’t do much in the yard beyond mowing. Not having to …

May 28, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Savoring Solitude

Ten weeks have passed since the unexpected death of my ex and best friend. Our seventeen-year relationship was complicated — especially the last few years. Adjusting to life without him is an ongoing process. How am I doing? Mom says I’m doing great. Arguing with her is pointless, but in this case, I’m inclined to agree with her assessment. Life goes on. Commitments must be honored and stuff that comes up at home and at work has to be dealt with. Letting things pile up just makes for a bigger mess. After wrapping up several projects last week, I’m caught up at the day job for the first time this year. I’m still crazy busy, but the pressure is off — …

May 14, 2018
By Michael Rupured

The Friends Behind my Blog Tour

The midpoint of my 14-week promotional campaign for The Case of the Missing Drag Queen just passed. So far, so good. It’s #8 on DSP Publications best sellers list and has been as high as #6.. Setting up a blog tour is a lot of work. Since my first release, I’ve outsourced the job. Those campaigns revolved around daily posts on various sites over a short period of time. Though affordable and expedient, I suspect the tour services are more effective for authors of erotic m-m romance than for me. Some romance enthusiasts enjoy my novels, but purists (rightfully) do not. My stories are gay fiction–a nearly invisible sub-genre. I needed a campaign that reached gay-friendly readers who aren’t necessarily fans …

May 07, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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The Teacher in Me (Part 2)

The teaching I do through Cooperative Extension is not classroom teaching. Other than other extension educators, I tend to see my students only once. Over the past thirty years, I’ve presented personal finance information to the public and provided training to county-based Cooperative Extension educators, school teachers, and others to provide personal finance education to youth and adult audiences. This past spring semester marked my return to the classroom for the first time since graduate school thirty years ago. I taught Introduction to Family and Consumer Sciences — a one-credit course every student in the college must take to graduate. With guest lecturers for almost every session, I didn’t have teach so much as manage the class. Although I’ve done dozens …

Apr 30, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Teacher in Me (Part 1)

The Teacher in Me (Part 1)

Education was one of many majors I tried on during my ten-year stint as an undergraduate. Thanks to a mountain of credit card and other debt, working full-time (and more) wasn’t optional. I had to change majors because practicums and student-teaching didn’t fit into my schedule. I compared the credits I’d earned to the requirements for every degree offered at the University of Kentucky in search of the shortest route to a degree. The result was to major in Family Studies in the College of Home Economics. My other option — English — seemed unlikely to improve my lot in life. After graduation, I left my middle-management position in the hospitality industry to work as a secretary in the Family …

Apr 23, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Spare Tire

Confession time. I’ve put on more than twenty pounds since this time last year. My belly is all jiggly and the man-boobs have returned. Pants and shorts without elastic in the waistband are uncomfortable. It’s not my fault. A penchant for sweets had nothing to do with it. My gym closed last May, tendinitis in my foot has kept me from running since October, and Andy, who did nearly all the cooking before he passed away, didn’t always prepare the healthiest meals. Beggars can’t be choosers, right? He enjoyed cooking — especially baking — and spoiled me rotten. I bought groceries, washed the dishes, and cleaned up the kitchen. No matter what he cooked, his version was vastly superior to anything …

Apr 16, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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New Release Anxiety

The Case of the Missing Drag Queen comes out on June 19th: exactly one year after I started working on the story. It’s my first new release since Whippersnapper came out in 2016. As always, I’m anxious to see what happens. Click Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or DSP Publications to preorder. The quick turnaround to release day is a record for me. Just writing each of my first four novels took a year or longer. Depending on the wait to get a contract, the publication process adds another nine- to twelve months to the timeline. At least, that’s what I expected. Revamping my writing process sped things up on my end. Instead of making everything up as I went along, I used …

Apr 09, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Filling the Void

Three weeks ago, my world forever changed when my companion of nearly seventeen years unexpectedly passed away. Grief is no stranger to me. Lots of people who were important to me have died. But this time is different. We’ve lived together for years. The few months he wasn’t living with me, we saw each other just about every day. A month is the longest we’ve ever been apart — and that only happened once. His death leaves a huge empty space in my life. Writing in my journal has eaten up big chunks of my time. Entries since he passed are letters to him about things he was interested in, what I’ve been up to, and how I’m feeling. The letters …

Apr 02, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Luke Tanner’s Lexington KY

Luke Tanner’s Lexington KY

The Case of the Missing Drag Queen is the first story I’ve written that takes place in Lexington, KY. The thoroughbred horse farms that nearly surround the city set it apart from other places. Ocala FL be damned. Everybody knows Lexington is the Horse Capital of the World. I love Lexington. My family has been in Central Kentucky since shortly after Daniel Boone came through Cumberland Gap in 1775. My departure in 1997 was supposed to be temporary, but I never moved back. Twenty years in the Deep South has left me unwilling to travel north between late September and the middle of May. Our hero Luke Tanner has returned to Lexington after five years in Atlanta. It’s October 1982. Cordless …

Mar 26, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Cover Reveal: The Case of the Missing Drag Queen

Cover Reveal: The Case of the Missing Drag Queen

I’m thrilled to present the cover for The Case of the Missing Drag Queen, now available for preorder from DSP Publications. Broke, saddled with a mountain of debt, and dependent on his Aunt Callie’s support, aspiring writer Luke Tanner has returned to Kentucky to put his life back together after a failed five-year relationship. On his twenty-fifth birthday, Luke meets diminutive Pixie Wilder, a longtime performer at the Gilded Lily. After headliner Ruby Dubonnet doesn’t show up, Pixie takes her place as the star of the show—a motive that makes her a suspect in Ruby’s disappearance. Luke reluctantly agrees to help his newfound friend clear her name. He and Pixie set out to find the missing drag queen, and in …

Mar 21, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Farewell, My Friend

The man I’ve loved for nearly eighteen years passed away last weekend. The circumstances were tragic — he was only 38 years old. My heart is broken. We met in a gay chatroom. He was half my age at the time — a beautiful young man inside and out. We hit it off right away and chatted often over the next few weeks. My twenties were the worst time of my life. I did a lot of reckless, dangerous, and stupid things after I came out. That I’m alive today is a miracle. How different might my journey have been with even one positive gay role model and mentor? Water under the bridge now, but being someone others can look up …

Mar 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Comes the Time in a Man’s Life….

Comes the Time in a Man’s Life….

Sex in later life is not without challenges. Men of a certain age sometimes experience equipment malfunctions. The mind is willing, but essential parts refuse to cooperate.  Over time, once in a while turns into more often than not. Sigh. Prior generations accepted male performance issues as a natural part of the aging process. That has changed. Thanks to the makers of Viagra and similar drugs, impotence has become a treatable illness with a new name: Erectile Dysfunction. The ads crack me up. My favorite features an attractive older man tossing a football through a tire swing. Get it? Eventually, I worked up the nerve to broach the subject with my doctor. She told me to see a urologist. Fear …

Mar 12, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Time Warp

The older I get, the faster time seems to pass. I can’t believe it’s nearly the middle of March. What happened to winter? The last month of the year always goes by fast. This December went by at a record-setting pace. On top of the usual end-of-year and holiday rush, preparing to teach a class for the first time in thirty years kept me uber busy. January usually feels like the longest of the twelve months. Not this year. The flu kept me in bed for most of the month. Sickest I’ve been in more than twenty years. Classes continued, deadlines passed, and work piled up. My inbox filled up with hundreds of email messages, and all I could do was …

Feb 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Just Like That, I’m Old

My sixtieth birthday is two short weeks from today. The Crotchety Old Man moniker I’ve used on my blog for years is no longer ironic. It’s who I am. Ask my neighbors. Say what you want about age being just a number. I’m not buying it. Sixty is old. I’m not complaining. Getting older is a privilege. Aging, however, is a major pain in the ass. I’m lucky. Aside from vision issues, my health problems are trivial. Still, I collect health care providers like they were Matchbox cars. An assortment of physicians and specialists oversees my aging body. Hardly a month passes without at least one medical appointment. Last week, I added a cardiologist to my collection. My regular doctor ordered a stress test to …

Jan 08, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My New Gym

My New Gym

After the gym I’d used for six years closed in May, I joined a YWCO. Differences between the Y and my former gym were immediately apparent. I wrote about the most obvious on this here blog thingy back in November — 11/20/17 to be exact. If you’re on my web site, scroll down for that post or click here to check it out. With maybe a tenth of the equipment available at my former gym, I worried about crowds. Waiting in line is not conducive to a good workout and would likely deter me from going. My fears, however, were unfounded. Rarely do I see more than two or three people in the workout room. On several occasions, I’ve had the place to …

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