The Crotchety Old Man

Jul 22, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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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
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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
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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
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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 …
Jun 24, 2013
By Michael Rupured

More Change

Like being gay, writing has always been a big part of who I am. In both cases, I was among the last to know what had long been obvious to just about everyone who knew me. Guess maybe I’m a little slow. “How could Michael Rupured be gay?” said nobody, ever. But I didn’t figure it out until well into my twenty-first year, and except for maybe my mother, was more surprised by the revelation than anyone. I’m not girly or feminine — just gay as hell — you know, in that way straight women love. I terrify most straight men, but that’s more about them than me. I don’t hit on straight guys. Blame a silly desire for mutual affection. Coming …

Jun 20, 2013
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Pure, by M.A. Church

Morpheus, god of dreams Hey, everyone! Pure is the final book in The Gods series and has been released as of June 12th by Dreamspinner. This is a series about love, gods, and the issues all three couples in it face. Book three is about Zygi and Mo, otherwise known as Morpheus, god of dreams. Zygi is a dom who is tired of the endless scenes. Mo is a sweet, shy god who wants nothing more than to be loved for who he is. While the couple battle through several issues, there are Zeus and Ares, both of whom have their own reasons to break up the couple … and things come to a head in the worst way. Can …
Jun 17, 2013
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on A Slight Miscalculation

A Slight Miscalculation

Since at least September, I’ve looked forward to settling into my new normal. Living alone was supposed to mean more time to devote to my writing career. Those extra hours haven’t materialized. Apparently, I miscalculated. Knowing the transition to the bachelor lifestyle and moving would take time, I took a break from my writers group. From mid-2010 to a few months ago, all I did was write and work the day job. Just ask my ex. I never missed my biweekly Saturday night writers group meetings, critiquing thousands of words ahead of time for every meeting. A break was in order. The time went toward getting everything at the new abode the way I wanted. Other than selected yard projects, my do-it-yourself days …

Jun 13, 2013
By Michael Rupured

An Historical Perspective

Exploring the dating habits of contemporary gay men continues to require huge investments of time and energy. Data collection is ongoing. In fact, I see no end in sight. The larger the study population, the better the results. And as you know, I want only the best for my readers. Before we get to today, you need a better understanding of history. Specifically, mine — warts and all — up to my most recent ex. He doesn’t fit a mold I can only hope is now broken. In the months after I came out, 21-year-old me fell in love about 427 times. Bouncing in and out of the closet cost me the best of the bunch — a kind, handsome …

Jun 10, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Sliding Down Mount Cocky

I lost weight over winter for probably the first time in my life this year, coming within four pounds of a goal I set more than two years ago. By summer, I fully expected to be below my 200 pound goal for the first time in decades. Instead, my weight has slowly but surely gone up. I decided to investigate. First I checked to make sure I wasn’t just making up the gain. I fabricate stuff sometimes. I’m a novelist — making shit up is what we do. So I logged on to Weight Watcher’s to see weights I’ve recorded every Monday for the last two years. The lowest was 203.1 pounds on February 18. Now, four months later, 211.1 pops …

Jun 06, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Coming Up Short

After the ex and I parted ways last fall, deciding to sell the house was a no-brainer. The place was half-again as much space as I could ever use. The one-acre lot — an asset when I moved in — had become a liability. Taking care of everything, inside and out, required far more work than even the two of us could manage. No way I could do better on my own. Just making the decision to move took a load off my mind. Even though I’d refinanced and cashed out some of the equity back at the peak of the housing market, I figured I had enough equity to cover the loan and closing costs. Assuming home values would keep …

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 …
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