The Crotchety Old Man

Mar 26, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Cover Reveal: The Case of the Missing Drag Queen

I’m thrilled to present the cover for The Case of the Missing Drag Queen, now available for preorder from DSP Publications. Broke, saddled with a mountain of debt, and dependent on his Aunt Callie’s support, aspiring writer Luke Tanner has returned to Kentucky to put his life back together after a failed five-year relationship. On his twenty-fifth birthday, Luke meets diminutive Pixie Wilder, a longtime performer at the Gilded Lily. After headliner Ruby Dubonnet doesn’t show up, Pixie takes her place as the star of the show—a motive that makes her a suspect in Ruby’s disappearance. Luke reluctantly agrees to help his newfound friend clear her name. He and Pixie set out to find the missing drag queen, and in …

Mar 21, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Farewell, My Friend

The man I’ve loved for nearly eighteen years passed away last weekend. The circumstances were tragic — he was only 38 years old. My heart is broken. We met in a gay chatroom. He was half my age at the time — a beautiful young man inside and out. We hit it off right away and chatted often over the next few weeks. My twenties were the worst time of my life. I did a lot of reckless, dangerous, and stupid things after I came out. That I’m alive today is a miracle. How different might my journey have been with even one positive gay role model and mentor? Water under the bridge now, but being someone others can look up …

Mar 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Comes the Time in a Man’s Life….

Sex in later life is not without challenges. Men of a certain age sometimes experience equipment malfunctions. The mind is willing, but essential parts refuse to cooperate.  Over time, once in a while turns into more often than not. Sigh. Prior generations accepted male performance issues as a natural part of the aging process. That has changed. Thanks to the makers of Viagra and similar drugs, impotence has become a treatable illness with a new name: Erectile Dysfunction. The ads crack me up. My favorite features an attractive older man tossing a football through a tire swing. Get it? Eventually, I worked up the nerve to broach the subject with my doctor. She told me to see a urologist. Fear …

Mar 12, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Time Warp

The older I get, the faster time seems to pass. I can’t believe it’s nearly the middle of March. What happened to winter? The last month of the year always goes by fast. This December went by at a record-setting pace. On top of the usual end-of-year and holiday rush, preparing to teach a class for the first time in thirty years kept me uber busy. January usually feels like the longest of the twelve months. Not this year. The flu kept me in bed for most of the month. Sickest I’ve been in more than twenty years. Classes continued, deadlines passed, and work piled up. My inbox filled up with hundreds of email messages, and all I could do was …

Feb 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Just Like That, I’m Old

My sixtieth birthday is two short weeks from today. The Crotchety Old Man moniker I’ve used on my blog for years is no longer ironic. It’s who I am. Ask my neighbors. Say what you want about age being just a number. I’m not buying it. Sixty is old. I’m not complaining. Getting older is a privilege. Aging, however, is a major pain in the ass. I’m lucky. Aside from vision issues, my health problems are trivial. Still, I collect health care providers like they were Matchbox cars. An assortment of physicians and specialists oversees my aging body. Hardly a month passes without at least one medical appointment. Last week, I added a cardiologist to my collection. My regular doctor ordered a stress test to …

Jan 08, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My New Gym

After the gym I’d used for six years closed in May, I joined a YWCO. Differences between the Y and my former gym were immediately apparent. I wrote about the most obvious on this here blog thingy back in November — 11/20/17 to be exact. If you’re on my web site, scroll down for that post or click here to check it out. With maybe a tenth of the equipment available at my former gym, I worried about crowds. Waiting in line is not conducive to a good workout and would likely deter me from going. My fears, however, were unfounded. Rarely do I see more than two or three people in the workout room. On several occasions, I’ve had the place to …

Jan 01, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Back to Class

A teaching degree wasn’t an option for me in college. The major was available, but a mountain of credit card debt prevented me from taking off work for student teaching. No big deal. There were plenty of attractive majors in the sea. Ten years later, I graduated with a B.S. in Family Studies. How I ended up in this major and why it took so damn long is a story for another day. Though what I’d be when I grew up remained a mystery, I had a degree, and after 22 years in school, zero interest in graduate school. No degree was required for my first post-college position. Accepting the job as a secretary in the department from which I’d …

Dec 24, 2017
By Michael Rupured

My Personal Relationship with Santa

The arrival of the Sears Christmas catalog kicked off the holiday seasons of my childhood. The massive tome offered everything I ever wanted and served as a reference for my annual letter to Santa. When I was old enough, Mom said Santa needed the page number and item number for everything on my list. Santa kicked off his U.S. tour with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, followed a few days later by the Christmas Parade in Lexington, Kentucky. He rode in his sleigh with eight tiny reindeer atop the biggest fire truck in the city. Dad was on the fire department, so I got to ride on the truck with Santa and toss candy to the crowd. That’s right. …

Dec 18, 2017
By Michael Rupured

Update: The Case of the Missing Drag Queen

Good news! I signed a contract for The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. The Case of the Missing Drag Queen is my first new release with DSP Publications (DSPP). This is not, however, my first book with them. DSPP released second editions of No Good Deed (originally After Christmas Eve) and Happy Independence Day in 2016, followed by a French translation of No Good Deed earlier this year. DSPP is an imprint of Dreamspinner Press, publisher of Until Thanksgiving, Whippersnapper, and the first edition of Happy Independence Day. Dreamspinner Press is all about LGBTQ romance, with covers and blurbs designed to catch the eye of romance readers. I don’t write romance, but my characters have enough of a love life to make the cut. Romance enthusiasts …

Dec 04, 2017
By Michael Rupured
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The Stonewall Movie

I first heard about the 1969 Stonewall riots in the early 1980s. I vaguely recall mentions in books I read after coming out and conversations with gay friends. Before researching Stonewall to write Happy Independence Day, all I knew was that a bunch of New York City queens stood up to police during a late June raid of the Stonewall Inn. While somewhat accurate, that little summary leaves out a lot of important details. The riots were part of a larger, more complicated, and far more interesting story about politics, extortion, corruption, and more that too few people have heard. So I was thrilled to hear a movie about Stonewall was in the works. Reviews lit up my Facebook feed even …

Nov 27, 2017
By Michael Rupured
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Orchid Surprise

I got my first orchids after moving into a freshly remodeled house five years ago. Home renovation shows always include an orchid or two in the “after” footage. I thought it was a rule. Though space for a plant was limited, the master bathroom seemed like an ideal location. My first two selections were miniatures with variegated foliage and mauve-ish flowers on four-inch stems. They were small, in pots that matched my color scheme, and inexpensive. Dormant orchids in net bags rather than pots were so cheap, I decided to try one of them as well. The bathroom wasn’t nearly as well lit as I thought. After a few weeks, I moved my trio of orchids to my kitchen table. It’s …

Nov 20, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Gym Memberships Revisited

Gym Memberships Revisited

Six years ago, I joined a gym for the first time. A location close to my house and the availability of Zumba classes were deciding factors. Having never set foot in a gym, I sprung for regular training sessions to keep from hurting myself. The gym — Omni — hadn’t been open very long. Everything was shiny and new. A wide variety of classes were available from 6:30 in the morning to 8 in the evening through the week with a lighter schedule on weekends that still provided a host of options. Going to the gym became part of my lifestyle. I went almost every day for a class or two, a training session, or to work out. I felt …

Nov 13, 2017
By Michael Rupured
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Re-Energized

December 17th marks the fifth anniversary of the release of my first novel. Signing the contract made me a pro. Becoming a published author remains the coolest thing I’ve ever done. The fame and fortune I imagined would follow still hasn’t panned out. My expectations were out of whack. In my neck of the writing world, selling 1000 copies is great. Selling more than 5000 is fantastic. That’s a lot fewer zeroes than I’d envisioned. It’s not the money. My financial security isn’t tied to book income, thank God, or I’d have starved four-and-a-half years ago. I want people to read and, hopefully, enjoy my stories. Anything else is icing on the cake. For reasons both beyond my control and of my …

Nov 06, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Cologne: A Confession

Cologne: A Confession

Spritzing on cologne is a part of my getting-ready-to-go routine as much as brushing my teeth. Smelling nice is my brand. Unless I’m walking the dog, going to the grocery, or hitting the gym, I’m packing fragrance. When it comes to cologne (and men), I’m a serial monogamist. Over the years, my preferences have changed, but, except for an experimental phase in college and most of the 1980s, I’ve been faithful to one cologne at a time since seventh grade. Old Spice was my first love and gateway fragrance. Mom hooked us up for my first dance. We had tons of it around the house — remnants of gift boxes my dad received for Christmas, Father’s Day, and his birthday. …

Oct 30, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Write What You Know

Write What You Know

Every aspiring writer has heard “write what you know.” This age-old adage expresses a general truth that has stood the test of time. My understanding of those four words, however, has evolved with each book I’ve written. I took “write what you know” literally for my first novel. Until Thanksgiving is loosely based on a major event from my life: Moving for a job from Lexington KY, where my family has lived for generations, to Washington DC. I never had a run in with a serial killer, but main character Josh Freeman and I lived in Dupont Circle around the same time and frequented the same restaurants, bars, and other places. Memories weren’t much help for my second or third novels. No Good …

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