The Crotchety Old Man

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 …

Jun 08, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Problem with Subway

Before I joined Weight Watcher’s a year ago, I never went to Subway. Ever. I’d evolved through all the various fast food options to a Grilled House Salad from Zaxby’s with honey mustard dressing for lunch practically every day. I had no idea my healthy salad costs 26 Weight Watcher’s points–better than half of my daily point allowance. These days I usually run home for a salad I put together with various greens, olive oil vinaigrette dressing (because it’s healthy), fat-free cheddar cheese, a few croutons (I’m addicted to the Texas Toast black pepper and sea salt croutons), and either a can of white tuna or something left over from dinner the night before, like a grilled chicken breast. But …

Jun 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Going, Going, Nearly Gone

I had another appointment with the retina specialist this morning. I go about once a month for an injection to treat the macular degeneration in my left eye. Both eyes have macular degeneration, but the case in my left eye is among the ten percent of cases so severe that it bleeds into the fluid inside my eye. I’m young to have it at all, much less a severe case. There is no cure. The eye injections are supposed to shrink the lesions that interfere with my ability to see fine detail. First the doctor tried dirt cheap Avastin. It worked for a few injections than suddenly stopped making a difference. He switched to pricey Lucentis, which didn’t reduce the …

Jun 05, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That…

Writing has been a key interest for most of my life. The rest come and go, some lasting for decades and others keeping my attention for only a few weeks. You’ll notice a trend. When I’m in, I dive into the deep-end and completely immerse myself in whatever activity has caught my fancy. My interests vary.  Some…more than I care to admit…are currently in the inactive mode. That I’m not currently engaged in the activity doesn’t mean I don’t like it any more. It’s just that there are only so many hours in a day, and obsessing takes a lot of time. Tropical Fish. Few things are more beautiful than a well-maintained aquarium. Saltwater tanks are pretty, but I prefer a freshwater …

Jun 03, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Back to Work

It’s just been me and the dogs here at home this weekend. I took the opportunity to focus on me. My partner would say I do that all the time. He’s right. But when he’s not around, I really indulge myself. I could accomplish more without the dogs pestering me. They insist I stop whatever I’m doing to play with them, feed them, or take them outside when I’m trying to focus on something else. It’s their way of saying, “your always thinking about something else. Play with us!” They make me smile and remind me that there’s more to life than the recliner and the MacBook Air that stays open on my lap when I’m home. No doubt you’ve noticed …

Jun 02, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Real Me?

My life as a professional writer isn’t exactly profitable. Three blogs and two completed manuscripts have yet to generate a dime of revenue. At least blogging doesn’t cost anything. After paying a freelance editor to review them, I’m in the red on both books. Consequently, I’ve not yet given up my day job. I happen to love my day job. The work itself has changed dramatically over the last 25 years, but with my current and previous employers, the objective has always been the same. Help people to make sound decisions about earning, spending, and saving money. I develop educational materials and programs and train our statewide network of educators to use them with youth and adult audiences. Thousands of …

Jun 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Going Pro

Okay. That Until Thanksgiving is seriously being considered by a real publisher means I’m that much closer to my goal of becoming a published author. It’s time to spiff things up here at the House to prepare for fame and fortune. I’ve done some research and as a result, will be making some changes. The first is to replace the three sentences on my “About Me” page here on the blog with an interesting and detailed biography. The experts offered lots of suggestions. So I thunked about it and figured on it and after a few days, came up with a replacement. As my most loyal and devoted fans, I appreciate any feedback. Here it is: Hmmmmm, what do you want to …

May 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured

They’re Back

The same ten pounds I’ve battled for the last twelve months have returned. Since we had to go out for anything we ate, I expected to maybe lose weight on vacation. I hear you laughing, but it’s happened before. Honest. After we got home, I stepped onto the scale–naked–so whatever number popped up would be all me. I admired my new tan line in the bathroom mirror as I waited for the digits to stop flashing. I weigh EXACTLY the same as I did this time last year–before Weight Watchers, the gym membership, and my new running habit. Wah! I blame the tan. It couldn’t possibly have been anything I ate. Isn’t seafood good for you? Or maybe it was …

May 26, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Bye Bye Boy Bars

I read that the number of gay bars is steadily declining. Various Google searches confirmed the trend without turning up any actual numbers. Hard to know if it’s true or not, but I’m going to assume it’s a cold hard fact. Is the same true for straight bars? I doubt it. If Athens is any indication, the demand for straight drinking spots is apparently insatiable. Gay bars serve a different function. For as long as they have existed, gays bar have been retreats–safe harbors in a world where it most definitely was not okay to be gay. The gay bar in Lexington, Kentucky was once the center of my universe. There were periods when I hit the bar six nights …

May 24, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Sent!

The vacation from my day job means I’ve had time to focus on advancing my budding writing career. Until Thanksgiving (formerly known as Addicted) has moved on to the next level. I submitted the first twenty pages of the manuscript and a complete synopsis to a small, relatively new publishing company this morning. Let the waiting begin. Writing a book is the easy part. Seriously. After that, unless you’re Stephen King, James Patterson,  or someone famous enough to get an advance for your memoir, it’s uphill all the way. Self-publish? E-publish? Agent? Major publishing house? Boutique publisher? The options and permutations are endless. My initial plan was to start at the top and work my way down until I found …

May 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Beach

The farther north you go in Florida, the more southern things become. Northern Florida definitely has its own flavor. And nowhere is that more true than here in Panama City Beach, queen city of the Redneck Riviera. Like coastal towns throughout the southeast, the town boasts a healthy assortment of hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas. The restaurants lean more toward sit-down and order-from-the-menu than all-you-can-eat buffets. The menus revolve around seafood–fried mostly–at prices I’d call reasonable.  Go-cart tracks, miniature golf courses, human slingshots, arcades, and more offer alternatives to the pool and beach scenes. The beach is beautiful with dazzling white sand and clear turquoise water as far as the eye can see.  Sinking into the light and fluffy sand …

May 22, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Vacation!

Going on vacation means different things to different people. For me, it’s not a vacation unless a fog-free beach and non-frigid water are involved. Perhaps because of my upbringing, I tend to favor the beaches of South Carolina and Florida. We haven’t been on a vacation in ages. Sure, we’ve traveled some for work and to visit family. But a trip to the beach just to get away from it all for a few days hasn’t been in the cards. I blame my partner’s desire to finish his college degree program. Before graduating a few weeks ago, he took at least one class every session–including summers–to graduate as rapidly as possible. Throw in my hectic work schedule and there really …

May 15, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Goodbye, Addicted

Last week I blogged about the present status of my writing career. Basically, all projects were stalled and I was trying to figure out a way forward. As is so often the case with me, all I need do is state my intentions for everything to change. I got the marked up manuscript from the editor I hired to help me with the novel formerly known as Addicted. Thanks to all the help from my writer’s group through the critiques they provided from start to finish, the editor had very few suggestions. I ended up incorporating all but one. The biggest suggestion and one I’d already heard from my writer’s group was the need to change the title. Addicted was …

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