The Crotchety Old Man

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 …

Nov 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Useless Usernames & Passwords

When I was in junior high a very long time ago, the only number I had to know was the combination to my school locker. I remembered it. Mostly. And when I forgot, someone in the school office could look it up for me. High school required that I remember two lock combinations (one for physical education and the other for my regular locker). Because I had a job, I needed to know my Social Security Number. In truth, I really didn’t have to remember it because anyone who had one kept the card in their wallet. By the time I reached college, my Social Security Number served as my Driver’s License and student identification numbers, and was printed on …

Oct 30, 2012
By Michael Rupured

I’m Talking to You, Not Everybody But You!

Just about every time I blog about trying to live a healthier lifestyle, I hear from people who say my journey has inspired them to make positive changes of their own. Deep down inside, I’m hardwired to help people. That something I said–some piece of information I provided–helped even one person in some small way thrills me to no end. Over the last few years I’ve heard from quite a few of you. Maybe you went on a diet, gave Zumba a try, or started running or bicycling. Yes, to have been a source of inspiration makes me very happy. But I’m concerned that so few of you have stuck with it. Yeah. I’m talking about you. Don’t worry. I’m …

Oct 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Unveiling

We all know not to judge a book by it’s cover, right? But whether you’re browsing online or in the bookstore for an ebook or a paperback, the cover is the first thing you see. And it’s often the reason you decide to buy (or not buy) the book. A good cover tells the reader something about the story and should be attractive, interesting, and/or intriguing.  The cover can make a big difference in sales. All the writers tell me that seeing the cover for the first time is one of the most exciting moments in the publication process. I filled out a survey for the cover in mid-September with details about the characters and plot of Until Thanksgiving, my …

Oct 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured

I Gotta New Attitude

When I joined the gym last fall, I really didn’t think I’d stick with it. Nothing about my track record gave me reason to think otherwise. After a few weeks of sporadic and half-hearted use, any home exercise equipment I ever purchased went unused. I don’t know what made me think I’d go to the trouble of hitting the gym. But I did. Not only did I stick with it, but I’ve signed up for another year. I hate to admit it, but I’m getting kinda into it. If they offered a class that worked with my schedule, I’d go to Zumba every day. I hit two classes just about every week and sometimes make it to as many as …

Oct 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Another Step Closer

It’s been two months, one week, and two days since I signed on with Dreamspinner Press. The initial email message from them explained all the steps leading up to a December or January release for Until Thanksgiving. The long list was intimidating and a little frightening. The message from the editor said to be patient. My manuscript was in the queue, and I might not hear from them for a while. Since then, whether by accident or design, I’ve heard from someone with my publisher just often enough to keep from losing my mind. That first message also included instructions for connecting with other Dreamspinnner writers via a dedicated message board. I can’t say enough about how warm, welcoming, and generous …

Oct 24, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Cure for Complacence

Over the last few years, I became complacent about my life. To make sure complacent was the right word, I looked it up. Showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements. Self-satisfied. Unconcerned. Yup. That’s the word all right. Long before July, I’d fallen into a rut. I took much in my life for granted and acted as if the way things were was the way they would always be. The good news is that having my life turned upside down knocked me way out of that rut. In fact, I’m still flying through the air, hoping I’m going to land on my feet. When both feet finally hit the ground, practically everything about my life will have …

Oct 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

iDating 2012

The prospect of dating again…or not…is the best and worst part of being single again. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not interested in settling down or getting tied down in the near future. Frankly, I don’t have the time. If you don’t believe me, just ask my ex. Be that as it may, as a lifelong serial monogamist, the chances of me going a year without getting involved with someone are slim to none. I love falling in love. Shoot. Back in the day, I fell in love six or seven times every weekend.  And in my experience, each love is 100 times better than the one before. Besides, I’m far too social an animal to live as a hermit. My friends …

Oct 20, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Life in the Fast Lane

Life in the Fast Lane

Things have been crazy for me since July. If you’re new here, just click on “select a month” over to the right under Previous Posts, pick July, and skim through until you’re caught up. You don’t have to do it now–the posts will be there later. The point is, that because of all that’s happened in the last few months, I am one busy grown-ass man. Back in January, I blogged about upcoming changes in Georgia schools revolving around career clusters. Since that post, I’ve been following the situation closely and keeping the Dean of our college informed. Last week, because of those updates, she called to ask me if I would serve as Assistant to the Dean for Family …

Oct 19, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Lost in iSpace

Last Saturday, I finally got around to switching from Android and a piece of shoddy engineering known as the LG Ally to the beautiful and magnificent iPhone 4S. Now I know how Helen Keller must have felt when she figured out how to communicate with the world around her. OMG! It’s like the fifth dimension opened up to me–an alternate universe that only some people know exists. And now, my friends, I am one of them. I get it! Now those people you see with the devices permanently clutched in the left hand are my kindred spirits. More than that, we are one with the iUniverse. I love it here in iSpace so much that the real world doesn’t much …

Oct 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Trial Run

The dogs and I have been on our own since Thursday when my ex left for his dad’s wedding in Hawaii. We’re getting used to doing our own thing. For one reason or another, he hasn’t been here on weekends since we decided to restructure. This ten-day separation is a trial run for being on my own and the longest we’ve  been apart for years. Friday I made an offer on a new house. It’s like a miniature version of my current house on a much smaller lot in a lovely neighborhood I didn’t even know existed. It needs a good pressure-washing on the outside and has nasty carpet and walls in dire need of paint on the inside. Later …

Oct 12, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Hitting Home

The housing crisis has hit home…literally. Turns out, the asking price we believed to be well below market value is too high. The five-figure difference is significant. By significant, I mean painful. We’re talking serious ouch. I was devastated by the news. The cost is so high that I can’t afford to get out of my house. Waiting for the value to go back up will take years. The more I think about the situation, the more trapped I feel. My former partner closes on his condo at the end of this month. I have to admit that the idea of helping him to move out when I’m stuck in this house depresses me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m really …

Oct 10, 2012
By Michael Rupured

It’s Working!

Two years ago this month, I was diagnosed with macular degeneration. I have a mild case in my right eye and an advanced case in my left. To have the condition at my age is unusual. To have such an extreme case at such a young age is practically unheard of. For once, I’d prefer not to be so exceptional. Since being diagnosed, I see a retina specialist. At first I went every six weeks. Now I go every four. Let me tell you, four weeks rolls by fast. There is no cure for macular degeneration. As I understand the condition, swelling occurs inside the eye that interferes with my vision. The peripheral vision in my left eye is fine, …

Oct 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Old Habits & New Technologies–New to Me, Anyway

I’ve always been the kind of person that balances my checking account every month. The habit started when I was in college. When every penny counted, the last thing I needed was a bounced check charge–or ten. Have you ever bounced just one check? No. They come in runs. Fortunately, it’s been ages since I’ve bounced a check. But the money management habits I developed during those early, poverty-stricken days persist. The differences are mostly the result of technology. Before I get into the particulars, let me say that I have been slow to take advantage of the available technology. I hear horror stories every day about identity theft, hacker attacks on big company databases, and problems folks have had …

Oct 07, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Purse Envy

The first purses I remember were the enormous bags my beloved Aunt Toodles always carried. I couldn’t tell you what they looked like. I just remember they were huge. When I was little, she’d ask me to get her purse for her. I’d grab the handle with both hands, pull it onto the floor, and drag it across the room because it was too heavy for me to lift. I have no idea what all she kept in her monstrous bags. Like Mary Poppins, you never knew what she might pull out. Retrieving the desired item always involved a lot of digging. Now and then she’d remove a few items to make the rest easier to dig through, but I …

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