The Crotchety Old Man

Aug 12, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Privacy and the Rapid Pace of Change

I often wonder what a visitor from the past would think about modern life. Perhaps because of shared ties to Kentucky, Daniel Boone and Abraham Lincoln are almost always my imaginary time travelers. What would they think about supermarkets, central air conditioning, automobiles, televisions, and airplanes? What would impress them most? In the century between 1765 when Daniel Boone would have been 31, and 1865 when 56 year-old Lincoln was assassinated, the pace of change quickened as America entered the Industrial Age. People might have thought him a bit backward, but Daniel could still have lived in Lincoln’s time more or less the way he had in his own time. Going back a hundred years, except for maybe learning the native tongue, …

Aug 08, 2013

Made in China: The Great Wall, by Z. Allora

Well, thanks Michael for having me on your fancy blog. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a writer and I lived in China for six years. There are many things I found out while living there I really wished I didn’t know. 10 Things You May Not Want to Know About China 10) In the West of the country… diapers aren’t necessarily used. Children have pants with like chaps…their butts and genitals are out. The people holding them learn when the babies will be going to the bathroom and quickly find a place for the child to relieve themselves… when lucky its over a potted plant but more than once I’ve seen the places are in the …
Aug 05, 2013
By Michael Rupured

My Holiday Series

I had no idea when I wrote Until Thanksgiving that a prequel would follow. The idea of writing a novel was intimidating enough — never mind a series. But something about Philip Potter, a supporting character, grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I wanted to know more about him. Readers loved him too, and shared my interest in his past. After Christmas Eve, scheduled for release this fall by MLR Press, is Philip Potter’s story. Fans of Thad Parker’s uncle will find out what sparked his interest in helping gay teens who’d been abandoned by intolerant parents. They’ll also learn Philip’s deepest, most well-kept secret — unknown even to his precious nephew. Discovering Philip required a trip to the sixties — widely …

Aug 01, 2013

Lane Hayes: Better Than Good

My new book (and yes… first ever) Better Than Good was released July 8th.  It is a story of self-discovery and ultimately acceptance.   Of course, it’s also a love story because truthfully, that’s my favorite kind of story.  I will read almost any type of genre, but the ones I end up enjoying the most have at the very least a side note love story.  I gave up feeling guilty that I wasn’t reading War and Peace equivalents long ago.  Been there, done that.  Now I happily read my M/M romance novels when I’m not busy trying to pen them myself. Matt and Aaron, the main characters from Better Than Good have been in my head for some time.  I …
Jul 31, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Anniversary Give Away Contest

A year ago in August, Dreamspinner Press offered me a contract for my first novel. To celebrate, I’m giving away autographed copies of Until Thanksgiving. How many? I have no idea. Maybe I’ll send a copy to everyone who enters. That’s what I’d like to do, anyway. But with my luck, the offer would go viral and I’d be on the hook for millions of copies. To cover my ass, I’ve made up a point system, based on comments on my blog during the month of August. Earn one point for each comment on posts written by me. Really want an autographed copy? Comments on a guest post will earn you three points. You can comment as many times as …

Jul 29, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Gone, But Not Forgotten

I lost my father a year ago today. This picture was taken a few weeks before he died, during my last visit with him. In memory of a man I never really understood, here’s my post from that fateful day: My father passed away this morning. My sister called me to tell me the news. I knew when I saw her number on the callerID that he was gone. Now I know what the expression “overwhelmed with grief” means. His death wasn’t a surprise. In fact, I welcomed the end to his suffering. There was nothing left unsaid between us. I’d told him goodbye and that I loved him two weeks ago. I thought I was prepared. I’m in a daze. …

Jul 25, 2013
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My Magazines

My Magazines

In college, I majored in consumer studies and family resource management. Rather than a textbook, many of my professors compiled packets of articles from academic journals and weekly news magazines that we had to purchase from Kinko’s. Nowadays they make this kind of information available to students online. All the weekly news magazines were represented in these packets. But for some reason, the articles in U.S. News & World Report appealed to me more than articles from Time or Newsweek. Within a semester or two, I paid for a subscription to U.S. News & World Report which I continued until last year when they stopped printing magazines and switched to an online format. Staying up on current event is important to me. In addition to my weekly …

Jul 22, 2013
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Keep Getting Better

Keep Getting Better

I hear from a lot of people, gay guys mostly, who write and hope to be published one day. When they ask for my advice, I always reply with the same question: What are you doing to improve your writing? No matter how good you are, you can always get better. A wealth of excellent resources with practical advice for aspiring writers is available online and in print. But having your work critiqued by somebody who knows more than you do about writing is the best way to improve. You’ve already had some experience with this. Remember your high school English teacher? An excellent example is the term paper you copied from the encyclopedia slaved over, returned by her with “Rewrite!” …

Jul 18, 2013

Tali Spencer: A Visual Writer

Thanks for letting me stop by, Michael! Though I use words as my medium, much of the time I’m attempting to create images. As a species, humans are incredibly visual. We gather more information about the world through our eyes—up to 80%—than through any other sense. So when it comes to portraying a world, or a person in that world, description is an important component. Like it or not, the reader is probably going to build a picture in their head. The better cues I give as a writer, the better vision they will have of the world. Inexperienced writers often focus a little too much on describing their characters. It doesn’t really require many words to effectively describe a …
Jul 15, 2013
By Michael Rupured

The Evolution of a Writer

I wrote my first novel using a technique known as pantsing — as in, flying by the seat of my pants. With nary an outline nor character sketch, I wrote chapter one of Until Thanksgiving — then known as Addicted — with no idea what chapter two would be about, and so on, until I’d finished the story. My beta readers will tell you the thriller/romance I ended up with looks nothing like the slice of life story I had in mind when I started. Pantsing is a very free-wheeling, stream-of-conscious style of writing that many writers prefer. The problem, at least for me, was the need to revise a finished chapter to include something I thought about six chapters …

Jul 11, 2013

Shadows in the Night

Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child’s growth as vitamins. ~Joyce Allston Hey everyone! I’m M.A. Church and I’m here to talk about my latest book called Shadows in the Night from Dreamspinner, which will be released July 12th. One of my main characters is Jason, a Native American shifter—a black cougar. Here are a few facts about cougars: ~The cougar (Puma concolor)—also known as the puma, mountain lion, panther, or catamount—is native to the Americas. Its range extends from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America and is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. ~The cougar is an adaptable, generalist species and is found in most American habitat …
Jul 08, 2013
By Michael Rupured

My Vinyl Collection

I played music I can’t remember now on a portable record player when I was little. Rather than the traditional black vinyl, these ten-inch records came in colors like Play-Doh magenta and yellow — neither shades you’d ever actually select for any purpose. They may have even played at 78 RPMs. The children’s recordings got pushed aside for a stack of 45s, culled by an older cousin from her collection to make room for new additions (Vicki, for her kids and other family who read my blog). The fifty or so cast-offs included my favorite from the bunch, Big Girls Don’t Cry. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember even one of the other songs. My first album was …

Jul 04, 2013
By Michael Rupured

An Old Fashioned Fourth of July

To celebrate Independence Day, I looked for posts I’d done in the past about the Fourth of July family reunions that were so much a part of my childhood. I couldn’t find the posts. So instead, I’m running that chapter from my never-to-be-published memoir, Glass Houses. For background, Mom is the baby of eight Glass kids with four sisters and three brothers. Enjoy the read, and may none of your fireworks be duds. *** Throughout the sixties and well into the seventies, my Uncle Deezer hosted a Fourth of July family reunion and cook-out that was the biggest Glass family blow-out of the year. Everybody smoked, alcohol flowed freely, and the language would make a sailor blush. Count on at …

Jul 01, 2013
By Michael Rupured

My Island

I have my very own island. Taking care of the silly little thing is more trouble than it’s worth. I’m thinking about getting rid of it. A tropical island with palm trees, ocean breezes, and sandy beaches I’d keep. This isn’t that kind of island, or really even something I could put on Craig’s List for sale. Truth be told, giving the damn thing away would be a challenge. Take a gander at the photograph to the left. Look close and you’ll see a tuft of hair up front that isn’t connected to the rest of my hair. My island was born a widow’s peak, centered between matching cowlicks. I spent a good thirty years slicking the cowlicks down — along with …

Jun 27, 2013

Inspiration, by Chris T. Kat

Michael, thank you very much for having me on your blog! Dreamspinner Press published my new release Attachment Strings (Jeff Woods Mystery) on June 17th. Do you get as easily inspired as I do? It is great to have lots of ideas but sometimes it’s just the tiniest bit overwhelming when you leisurely stroll around for a walk, chat with a friend and look around to take in the scenery and within seconds you’re bombarded with at least three ideas for different books. That’s how I work in familiar settings. Now imagine me visiting my friend in the US (and for the first time taking a vacation without my husband and the kids), where everything is new and exciting and …
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