The Crotchety Old Man

Jun 03, 2013
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The Yellow Rope

M.A. Church is no stranger to readers of my blog. She’s popped in several times to tell us about her latest novel. Today she’s back with another new novel, The Yellow Rope. She’ll talk about it too, but since my good friend is here all the damn time anyway, I thought you might enjoy getting to know a bit more about her first. ~When do you do your best writing… morning, afternoon, evening, night? Well, I’m probably the freshest in the mornings, but I write at all times of the day. If the hubby is working nights, then I’m working. If he’s on days, then I’m writing during the day. What it comes down to is this: when he’s off …
May 30, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Boy Scouts, Religion, & Homophobia

The 2013 Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia (HAHAT) has ended. The experience, from the easy-to-follow directions I received about what to do to feedback about my post, was nothing but positive. Thanks so much to the organizers for bringing attention to an important issue and for allowing me to participate. My HAHAT post is among the most popular posts on my blog this year, receiving the most comments ever. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, whether you commented or not. The winner of the autographed copy of Until Thanksgiving is aspiring author Sophie Bonaste. Congratulations! While we’re on the subject of homophobia, I must weigh-in on the uproar about the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to open troops to gay kids. …

May 27, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Field Research: Unexpected Outcomes

I decided to write about my experience with the smartphone hookup apps to bring my readers up to speed on something I suspected they — you — knew little or nothing about. Most of you, including more than a few published authors of gay romance novels, are straight women. Reporting on my field research was a public service — an altruistic token of my appreciation for all the advice and support. That’s right. I spent hours and hours researching the subject — all for you — with no thought to any cost or benefit to yours truly. I didn’t expect to end up with a better idea of what I want (and don’t want) in my next husband and who …

May 23, 2013
By Michael Rupured

iDating: Results

If you’ve been following posts about my field research on the dating habits of contemporary gay men, by now you should have a pretty good idea how the smartphone apps function. No doubt, you’re also curious about my experience. Have I met anyone? Good question. But the better question, given my current state of mind, is what do I want? The answer is… I don’t know. I’m open to possibilities, but currently have no interest in anything serious. This is uncharted territory and I’m trying to sort out what it means. For most of my life I’ve been a die-hard serial monogamist, rushing into relationships for all the wrong reasons. Like a gay Zsa Zsa Gabor or Elizabeth Taylor, I wanted …

May 20, 2013
By Michael Rupured

3, 2, 1, Launch Profile

When I created my profiles for the hook-up apps I’m using for my field research on modern gay dating practices, I opted for a generic face pic — one of several I’ve used here and on Facebook. Anyone who knows me will tell you, what you see is what you get with me. So I included my real age, height, weight, and that I lead an active lifestyle. Not to sound arrogant or anything, but I know at least some consider me to be handsome. My looks have opened a lot of doors over the years. Being attractive was never something I counted on, or until later in life, even believed to be true. But now that I’ve been working …

May 17, 2013
By Michael Rupured

My Homophobia

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and I’m breaking my rule against posting to my blog on days other than Mondays and Thursdays to participate in the Hop Against Homophobia And Transphobia.  More than 175 writers, cover artists, editors, and others involved with creating gay fiction are devoting their blogs to this important topic. Having lived openly as a gay man for more than 35 years, how could I not participate? The academic in me likes to start with definitions. Phobia comes from a Greek word meaning morbid fear. Clinically speaking, a phobia is an anxiety disorder revolving around a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that is out of proportion to the danger posed. …

May 15, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Field Research: Meet the Apps

As promised, here’s the first of several reports on my field research about gay hook-up apps. As this research breaks new ground, my focus has been on in-depth personal interviews rather than surveys. Yeah. Serious stuff. My readers deserve the best I can bring to the project. I’m still in the data collection phase, but wanted to lay the groundwork with an introduction to the apps. There are tons of different hook up apps with new versions coming online every day for different subsets of the gay population. My research focuses on three — Grindr, Scruff, and GROWLr. GROWLr is for bears, cubs, otters, chasers, daddies, and chubs — over-sized and/or hairy men of any age and the men who prefer …

May 13, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Field Research: Could He Be … THE ONE?

Technology has changed dating — gay and straight — forever. Some of you may have used a computer to meet the love of your life, the second or third time around, anyway. But for most readers of this blog, any phone involved in meeting a love interest more likely involved a rotary dial than a touch screen. Before I plunge into a discussion about hook-up apps, here’s a little background to bring my long-married readers up to speed. No matter your sexual preference, meeting someone datable is tricky stuff. Back in the day, alcohol played a critical role. Waking up with a hangover next to the apparent man of my dreams, my first thought was more often,”What the hell was I thinking?” than …

May 09, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Birth Control?

I’ve come to believe that babies and contracts for first novels should come with detailed instructions. I feel like a thirteen year-old who got pregnant on purpose. Contrary to our expectations, birthing the little darling wasn’t the hard part. Conceiving the story is wicked fun. There’s nothing like the wild, reckless, and lusty passion of a first-time encounter with an intriguing story. Infatuation’s siren call compels me. I can’t stay away. Sparks fly as I pound away on my keyboard exploring, discovering, and forging an electric connection with the heart of my digital story. Sweating and gasping for air, we fight to become one. Frenzied fingers fly as I rush toward completion. Yes! YES! Y E S ! ! The story has been conceived and …

May 06, 2013
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Be My Alien

Today I’ve handed my blog over to writer pal M.A. Church to talk about Be My Alien, her new collaboration with Julie Lynn Hayes. The idea of co-authoring intrigues me, and one of these days, I’m going to have to give it a try. But first, let’s see what M.A. has to say about writing as a team. To co-author or not to co-author Well now, that *is* the question, isn’t it, lol? When I first started writing, I really didn’t get the whole co-authored thing, and I also had dozens of questions on how it would work. *shrug* I dismissed the whole concept, actually, as something that wasn’t for me. Then I met Julie Lynn Hayes, lol. Julie and …
May 02, 2013
By Michael Rupured

The Writing Life: Field Research

Not too long ago, homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Sexual acts between two men, even consenting adults, were illegal in all fifty states. Institutionalized homophobia and the risk of physical harm combined to make meeting someone a challenge. Out of necessity, gay dating practices evolved to fly beneath the radar. Imagining this reality is difficult for straight people. Staring at an attractive member of the opposite sex across a crowded room rarely leads to an ass-whupping. Whether or not the object of your affection feels the same way about you is one thing. Worrying he might beat you up or even kill you if he knew is something all together different. Being straight gives you the opportunity to select a life partner …

Apr 29, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Friends

Through second grade, I didn’t have friends who weren’t also kin. Before you shake your head and think, “Poor Michael,” you should know my parents came from large families. I have fifteen blood aunts and uncles plus spouses, and nearly all lived in Lexington. Never mind all the seconds, greats, and grands around at the time. Until I moved to DC in 1996, I’d always lived within easy walking distance of another relative’s home. My thirty first cousins range in age from five years older than me to ten years younger. From the time I started school through graduation, I never went to school without a cousin in my grade. Unless I was in the highest grade, there were always older …

Apr 25, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Gotta Dance

I don’t know about everyone else, but dancing is in my genes. No, I’m not talking about an inherited ability to trip the light fantastic. I can hold my own on the dance floor, thank you very much, but would never win any contests. My lack of talent, however, in no way diminishes the joy I feel when dancing to a favorite song. Dancing is behind three major weight loss episodes in my life. After a string of part-time jobs working around food, my activity level had dropped just as my caloric intake shot through the roof. Young people beware! Free Cokes as a fringe benefit are just a sneaky way to hook up new addicts. I remember getting up to …

Apr 22, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Raising the Bar: Consistency

When I started blogging in 2008, the hard part was coming up with an idea. After that, the writing came easy. I could knock out a post in an hour — two at the most. Those days are gone. Now I agonize over a post for hours, even days in come cases. Okay. Agonize might be a little strong. But writing a post does take a lot longer. My intention, when I started this post, was to lay all the blame at the feet of my status. I’m a published author for christ sake. I can’t just crap something out now. People expect more. My posts should be clever, beautifully constructed, thought-provoking, informative, poignant, and amusing. As I pondered my way …

Apr 18, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Backyards

Outdoor spaces where I’ve lived haven’t been all that functional. I blame myself. Once the gardening bug bit me, I viewed every residence before moving in more for garden potential than anything else. I fell in love with plants and, as I’ve been known to do, went overboard — three times, including in a duplex I rented — cramming each new variety I couldn’t live without anywhere I could find a spot. Other than mowing, checking out all the different kinds of flowers has been pretty much the only thing to do in any yard of mine ever since. The garden I just abandoned contains more than 600 varieties. Sixteen years ago when I bought the place, I visualized a …

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