The Crotchety Old Man

Jun 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Daddy Wants New Shoes

Some people seem destined for certain careers and occupations. They’re somehow born knowing what they want to do until they die or retire.  For them, instead of a place to hang out with friends or an escape from the drama at home, school is a road to their dreams. No wonder they did so well. I was never one of those people. Uncertainty dominated my extended adolescence–a stage ending somewhere in my late twenties. I tried on various jobs and college majors like Imelda Marcos in a shoe store. I’d wear my new selection around to check the fit, eventually tossing it onto the ever growing heap of rejects that littered my resume. Settling on a field of study for …

Jun 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Another Award!

The nice lady at Floating With the Breeze has nominated my blog for a Reader Appreciation Award. Wow! That’s the second award my blog has been nominated for in as many days. Thank you so much! As before, these nominations come with stipulations. There are certain questions I must answer. And with me, most the time all you really need to do is ask. What is my favorite color? Depends on what you’re talking about. I like clear red flowers, turquoise water at a white sandy beach, the rich green of Kentucky Bluegrass in the spring, and black pants because my ass doesn’t look quite so big. What is my favorite animal? A little five-pound, long-haired Chihuahua named Toodles. She …

Jun 26, 2012
By Michael Rupured

I Win!

Today I’m sending a million billion hugs and kisses to Vikki over at The View Outside. Thanks to her, I’ve (finally) received my very first nomination for a blog award–Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award. Isn’t it gorgeous? As a  nominee, I’m required to answer a number of questions about myself. You know how I hate to talk about myself. But as it’s required, I’ll do my level best to answer the questions with candor, honesty, and the dignity they deserve. Describe myself in seven words. Seven? Seriously? But I’m so damn complicated… What keeps me up at night? In no particular order: too much coffee, thinking about various and sundry aspects of my work in progress, restless Chihuahuas, body functions, …

Jun 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured

And We’re Off!

Nearly two weeks ago, I submitted a blurb, synopsis, character profiles, and chapter summaries for my next novel, After Christmas Eve, for critique by the writers in my group. I’ve never known enough to be able to put those pieces together without first having finished writing the book. I couldn’t wait to hear what they would say. Saturday night I got the verdict. The general consensus was that everything sounded okay. However, the devil is in the details the barebones outline didn’t provide–a fact that somewhat limited the kind of feedback they could provide. Everyone agreed that the story is chocked full of cliche characters, plot twists, and conventions. For the uninitiated, that is NOT a good thing. To some …

Jun 22, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Touched

Yesterday’s post ended with me saying I’d have to figure out whether or not to visit my dying father all by myself. I was wrong about having to do it by myself. The comments I received here, on my Facebook page, and in dozens of email messages helped immensely. Thank you. That so many would take the time to offer encouragement and support touched me deeply. Turns out, I’m not the first to have an awkward parental relationship. Lots of people have had less than ideal relationships with a parent–especially the father. Several of the emails made me cry. Maybe I haven’t had things so bad after all. I made my hotel reservations today for a trip to Lexington next month. …

Jun 21, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Torn

We’ve never had what you’d call a close relationship. Truth be told, we’ve barely had much of a relationship at all. For years, I never knew the difference. You can’t miss what you haven’t had. During the many years we lived together, we barely spoke. We weren’t mad or upset. The unfortunate truth is that we just didn’t have anything to say to each other. We’d walk by each other like strangers in an airport, hardly acknowledging each other at all. Fond memories? Not so much. Yeah, there are moments here and there. But mostly I hoped he wouldn’t notice me. Because when he did, it usually meant I was in trouble. I can’t remember him praising me, telling me …

Jun 20, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Ruined

Except for a brief hiatus when my vision started failing, I’ve always been a big reader. I’ll read anything that keeps me turning the pages. Any genre, fiction or nonfiction–makes no difference to me. A good read is a good read. Though I’ve often been a voracious reader, I never knew or cared much about the technical aspects of the story. Ignorance is bliss. If I found it entertaining, it was a good book. A lot of so-called great books weren’t that entertaining to me. That’s fine. To each his own. Now and then I’d run across a book that failed to keep my interest. I’d set it aside without giving too much thought to the reasons why it failed to …

Jun 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Little Gratitude

Today I’d like to give a shout out to some blogs. The writers of these blogs are brilliant and/or have excellent taste, as they’re all followers of my blog.  Check a few out. I have to say it’s a diverse and eclectic group. A tip of the hat to… 4 Dudes Relationship Advice Adopting James Airports Made Simple anauthor’slife Chicks with Ticks Coco J. Ginger Says The Coevas Official Blog Faithfinding FicFaq The Five Reflections Fix it or Deal Floating with the Breeze Goodbye Whoopee Pie Health DeMystified Heaven 4 Earth I Am Zion Inside Nana Bread’s Head Mary Louise Eklund My Look on the World ooamerica A Portia Adams Adventure Placeholder for a new title Robotic Rhetoric Sean Lynch’s …

Jun 17, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Gearing Up

This weekend I’ve been immersing myself in the 1960s. No, I didn’t watch a Mad Men marathon or vintage shows on the TV Land network. I’m gearing up to write my second novel, After Christmas Eve, set in 1966/1967 in Washington DC. I’m not trying to catch the nostalgia wave generated by the success of Mad Men–not that I’d mind. The exact date for the story was dictated by a seemingly insignificant detail that I wrote into Until Thanksgiving. Setting this sucker in the 60s poses all kinds of challenges. The devil is in the details. The fully formed idea for a prequel around that little detail came to me in a flash. I wrote down my thoughts and in a couple …

Jun 15, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Remember When Facebook Was Fun?

I forget how long I’ve been on Facebook. I just know it’s been long enough that updating my status and checking my wall are now fully integrated into my lifestyle. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is the subject of another blog post. Today I want to talk about how much my Facebook experience has changed. I’m sure you’ve been annoyed more than once at sudden unexpected changes to the Facebook experience. Countless campaigns to repeal various and sundry changes fall on deaf ears. Before I’ve really adjusted to the last change, something new comes along that pisses me off even more. I adjust to the changes because I really don’t have any choice. But I can’t think …

Jun 14, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Waiting Games

Three weeks ago today I submitted a query, synopsis, and the first twenty pages of Until Thanksgiving to a publisher. Three days later, I received a response to my query: a request from the publisher for the full manuscript. I sent the manuscript within thirty minutes and have been dancing off the ceiling ever since. Waiting is not my forte. Years ago I learned two ways to eat up waiting time. Sleep, or stay busy. Long-term sleeping really isn’t an option. Since I couldn’t sleep past seven if my life depended on it, I’ve been trying to stay busy. Some would spend more time running and going to the gym. Not me. I still try to do something for thirty …

Jun 13, 2012
By Michael Rupured

In My Defense…

I need to talk about the photograph that showed up on my Facebook page late yesterday afternoon. The emails I’ve received, the comments people made on the original Facebook post, and the things people have said to me since they saw the photograph demand a response. Today I’m here to offer my defense. People want to know what’s in the bowl. It’s ice cream (Neopolitan, so of course I had to have some of all three flavors) drizzled with chocolate syrup (Hershey’s. Is there another kind?), covered with whipped topping, dusted with sprinkles and peanuts, and finished with just a little more chocolate syrup. I spent my first two years in the workforce dipping ice-cream, so I know a thing …

Jun 12, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Harsh Mistress…

Me and my Healthy Lifestyle have barely been on speaking terms. The disagreement started in the weeks leading up to our annual derby party. Since then, things between us have only gotten worse. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Healthy Lifestyle. But sometimes the bitch flat wears me out. Seriously. A fellow needs to just sit around on his ass eating pizza and drinking beer now and then. It’s a fact of nature. Science. During our vacation at the beach last month, me and Healthy Lifestyle didn’t have a thing to do with each other. In fact, I didn’t come anywhere close the entire time we were gone. It was nice to get away. Since then, things have really …

Jun 10, 2012
By Michael Rupured

We’ve Come a Long Way

After Christmas Eve takes place in late 1965 and early 1966 in Washington, DC. I didn’t have a choice. Details I wrote into Until Thanksgiving, before I knew there would be a prequel, forced my hand. I firmly believe in writing what you know. My first two books were set where I’ve lived. For the memoir, I didn’t have any choice. The story takes place in Lexington, Kentucky; Washington, DC; or Athens, Georgia–the three places I’ve called home. For the novel, I had a  choice, but opted for DC during the time I actually lived there. My memory and the occasional refresher via a search of the internet or my old journals provided all the details I needed. Now I’m …

Jun 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Totally Different Experience

A few years ago, the idea of writing a book intimidated me enough to keep me from even trying. The complexity of the task overwhelmed me. The job was too big to comprehend and I didn’t know enough to break it into smaller, more manageable chunks. I added “write a book” to the things I would probably never do. Even if it never gets published, writing Glass Houses changed that. Turns out, I could write a book. Not having a clue about how to get it published motivated me to find the Athens Writers Group. We hang out together for three or four hours every other Saturday at a local coffee shop. I’ve missed the meetings maybe four times in …

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