The Crotchety Old Man

Dec 10, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on And a Dog Named ‘Too’

And a Dog Named ‘Too’

If you’ve seen me with my little chihuahua, you know that Toodles and I have a special relationship. Views on our bond vary from “isn’t that adorable!” to “one or more of you needs professional help.” I can see both sides and will only say, it is what it is. One of the more difficult decisions my ex and I had to make as we restructured our relationship was whether or not to separate the dogs. I can’t imagine how difficult the decision must be when you’re dealing with children rather than dogs. Would they be scarred for life? Require years of counseling? End up on death row in the dog pound? We went back and forth, changing our mind …

Dec 07, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Change

Change is the one thing in life that never changes–and I’m not talking about coins. That change is a constant force in our lives isn’t a novel concept. A quote about “change being the dominant factor in society today” is attributed to Isaac Asimov, with lots of dissenters pointing to similar comments dating back to 500 B.C. The versatile word can be used as a noun or a verb (transitive or intransitive) and, depending on how it’s used, means many different things. Change can be gradual or instantaneous, positive or negative, expected or not, and of varying magnitude and intensity. The impact may be minimal, enormous, or somewhere in between. Most of us learn to live with the gradual changes …

Dec 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Southern Way

Today my new bedroom furniture arrives. Regular readers will recall I ended up ordering enough for at least two and possibly three bedrooms. After the furniture arrives and I get it arranged the way I want it, my move will be complete. I’m grateful for a team of contractors who worked together to get me into the house as fast as they could. My success can be attributed to what I call the Southern Way. Allow me to explain. Without going into the particulars, I picked my real estate agent because I’d done something nice for her daughter. I’m not saying she owed me. It wasn’t like that at all. But she did have a deep appreciation for what I’d …

Nov 30, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Beeping New House

This morning I woke up in my new house. Though I thought moving day would never get here, in truth, time has flown. Hard to believe that as recently as three months ago, the idea of moving hadn’t even entered my mind. I heard on the news that consumer spending was down last month. It’s not my fault. In fact, considering what I’ve spent, I’m rather surprised we didn’t see an uptick. Since the closing two weeks ago, my new house has been visited by a steady stream of contractors, installers, and delivery men. Before you chastise me for sexist language, I was going to say delivery persons, but they were all men—so I’m merely being accurate. Don’t judge me. Earlier …

Nov 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Devil is in the Details

The Devil is in the Details

Over the weekend, I finally finished writing After Christmas Eve. Finding time to write had been the biggest obstacle–never mind that I had loose ends all over the place and no earthly idea how to tie them all together. I had time to write this weekend and along the way, figured out how to end the book. Hallelujah! I sent the draft to my beta readers for general feedback, two technical consultants to look at specific things, and some of the folks in my writers group. At this point, I just needed to know if everything makes sense and fits the characters. And with my technical consultants, I want to make sure details about guns and explosives are correct, as well …

Nov 24, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Creeping Forward

Creeping Forward

To the best of my knowledge, the move I’m about to make will be my fourteenth–not counting any moving my parents did while I still lived at home. Most–all but four–took place when I was in my twenties and involved moves between apartments. This is just the second time I’ve moved out of a house, and if I get my way, it will be the last. Every move has been different. None have been what I’d call enjoyable. Taken together, my general impression is that moving is a stressful, costly, and mostly unpleasant experience to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. This move feels different from the rest. I’m not stressed out, exhausted, or worried about whether I can afford the …

Nov 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Channeling My Inner Romance Novelist

Yesterday I wrote the first draft of what may be the last chapter of After Christmas Eve. The ending has always been a little hazy in my mind. Because the story continues, part of the challenge is deciding where to stop. I decided when I sat down to write it that the last chapter would revolve around two of the main characters hooking up for dinner a few weeks after the climax of the story to tie up all the loose ends. I had no idea they would be so glad to see each other or that so much would have happened since they last saw each other. Their conversation took off in a completely unexpected direction. I was shocked! …

Nov 20, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Nine and a Half Days

I’ve made some really big decisions in the last few months. Decisions that will impact my life for a long time to come. I consulted experts about my options, but they have no crystal ball or special knowledge of the future. When push comes to shove, there are no guarantees. Anything can happen. So when the time came for me to decide, I did something unusual for me. I followed my gut. Instead of waiting to see what happened and otherwise leaving my fate to others, I took control of my life. I jumped into the driver’s seat, set a new course, and hit the gas. And I have to say, it’s been one hell of a ride. Circumstances worked …

Nov 17, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Just Two More Weeks…

As expected, I closed on my new house yesterday. The contractors got to work right away, and seem to be playing well together. Even though it’s Saturday, the painter volunteered to work today, which means the flooring installation can be moved up. Thanksgiving makes moving in next weekend highly unlikely, but I should definitely be in by the end of the month. Today was the garage sale, and I have to say, the ex and I throw a mean one. Seriously. The key to our success is staying focused on the goal: clearing crap we don’t want or need out without having to pay someone to cart it off. Think about the stuff in your sale as trash. Never mind …

Nov 15, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Out of the Old and Into the New

Since my ex and I decided to split up two months ago, I’ve been in a limbo of sorts–an uncomfortable place between my old life and a new normal. Patience has never been my forte, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to get through this transition. Hard to believe I’m almost there. I bought my current house fifteen years ago this month. At the time, I owned a home in Lexington KY and was renting an apartment in DC. I decided to go ahead and buy, even though I wasn’t familiar with the Athens area, just so I wouldn’t need to move again. The house, yard, and price tag were all bigger than I wanted, but more desirable than …

Nov 13, 2012
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Meet Charlie Cochet

I’d like to thank Michael for having me as a guest on his blog today. I’d also like to congratulate him on his upcoming release Until Thanksgiving. I wish you loads of success, Michael! When you hear the words ‘historical romance’, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? It’s okay, you can be honest. For a lot of folks, Regency England or thereabouts comes to mind. Beautiful damsels in precariously tight bodices being clutched in the beefy arms of rogues with windswept hair. I’m not ashamed to say I grew up reading those romances. In fact, on occasion, I still enjoy picking up a good historical romance. Hi, my name is Charlie Cochet, and I write Historical Gay Romance. …
Nov 12, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Starting Over Again

My ex moved out of the house we lived in for the past eight years last Saturday.  I’ve known since he said he wanted to move out the day would be rough. It was. Splitting things up was easy enough. We never made any joint purchases, so everything is either his or mine–even the dogs. He took Tico, I’m keeping Toodles. When he moved in, I had everything I needed. Much of the furniture was what I’d call late 20th Century Garage Sale. None of it matched, but it was mine. He moved in with little more than the clothes on his back. But then his mother passed away, and his father downsized, flooding our home with a lot of …

Nov 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Almost There

The last six months have been crazy. I haven’t experienced this much change, over such a short period of time, since coming out more than thirty years ago. I dealt with my father’s illness in June and his passing in July; got my book deal in August; split up with my partner of twelve years in September; put my house on the market and got major new job responsibilities in October; and this month, I’m buying a new house. Through it all, I’ve worked hard to maintain a positive attitude. It hasn’t always been easy, nor have I always been successful. But mostly, focusing on the positive has worked. I’ve tried to keep my eye on the prize–to get to …

Nov 07, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Let the Spin Begin

At long last, the election of 2012 is behind us. Contrary to all the hype about having to wait days for the results, the outcome was certain early in the evening. Now the pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle will explain what it all means–or at least, what they want us to think it means. The big take away message for me is that saying something over and over again doesn’t make it true. The GOP, Fox News, and “entertainers” on the far right have proclaimed for weeks now that the polls were biased and just plain wrong. Romney was going to win. They were sure of it, despite a preponderance of evidence suggesting otherwise. Given GOP …

Nov 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

How to Write a Novel

If you ask me, there are two basic ways to write a novel. You can either make it up as you go along–a style known as pantsing, as in flying by the seat of one’s pants. Or you can plan the story out from start to finish and then start writing. No doubt there are endless permutations and combinations of these two approaches. The essential difference is you either make it up as you go along or plan it out ahead of time. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Seems maybe I was half right. I’ve done it both ways, pantsing my way through Until Thanksgiving and outlining my second novel. Having just about finished After Christmas Eve, I’ve been …

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