The Crotchety Old Man

Jul 19, 2012
By Michael Rupured

And Somehow…Results

Healthy Lifestyle and I are still having trouble getting along. I left the bitch in Georgia when Toodles and I went to Kentucky. There was just too much going on to be bothered with her. Since I’ve quit paying so much attention, my weight has steadily dropped about a pound a week. The ten pounds I keep gaining back are gone, at least for now. Whether I gain them back or finally move on to the next ten remains to be seen. I’m optimistic. In the last two months I’ve skipped sessions with my trainer, cut my Zumba time in half, and just about stopped doing any strength training at all. I’m not running as much either, though I have …

Jul 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Tag, I’m It!

Vikki over at The View Outside (see blog roll for link) has tagged me in a game of Blog Tag. I’ve been it for more than a week, but haven’t had time to pass on the “honor” until today. Thank you, Vikki for thinking of me. I’m required to post the rules which are to answer the questions sent to me by Vikki, come up with new questions (or keep using the old ones), and as is always the case with these things, tag eleven more bloggers. 1. Who is my favorite author? Yikes. I’m going to go with Misty Hawkins. She isn’t published yet, but her writing is truly beautiful. She’s working on a fantasy series that’s going to …

Jul 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve been listening to Fifty Shades of Grey when I run. It is essentially, unequivocally, mathematically, and fundamentally the most poorly written book I’ve ever read. I’m not sure I was able to cram enough adverbs into that sentence to convey how bad the writing is. It’s so bad, I think I would have known even before I joined the writers group. Throw in the horrible voice work  and honestly, I think the book was putting me off my pace. I didn’t realize how much until yesterday when I got to listen to the new book I’m reading as I run. Groaning at bad writing really slows you down. Thanks to the new book, …

Jul 15, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Visit with Dad

Saturday morning I left the hotel in search of more flowers for Dad. Kroger hadn’t put out the new stuff yet. I didn’t have time to wait, so I picked out the best of what was there. On the way out I noticed pots of black-eyed Susan’s. They were nearly four foot tall and covered with bright yellow flowers. So I bought one of them, too, adding a big pink phlox at the last minute just because. Toodles and I got to Dad’s before our appointed time. The garage door was open, so I set up shop at the utility sink and helped myself to two of Dad’s vases. He’s got dozens of them arranged three and four deep on …

Jul 13, 2012
By Michael Rupured

More Visits with Dad

Having shared so much with you about my Dad and my anxiety about coming to see him, I’m compelled to let you know how things are going. It’s also therapeutic to write it all down, while it’s fresh in my mind. Thank you so much for all your love and support. You’ll never know the difference it’s made. Toodles and I arrived at Dad’s house promptly at ten this morning. He was already up in his chair and was in a good mood. He was proud to tell me he’d eaten both peaches and wanted more. I brought the basket in and set it at his feet. “If you can eat them all, they’re yours.” He laughed and after saying …

Jul 13, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Visit with Dad

My father and I have never had a particularly close relationship. Or at least, that’s what I’ve always believed. Now I’m not so sure. The problem has been my idea of a close relationship. I have quite a few of them. Always have. Comparing those relationships to the one I have with Dad led me to conclude that we weren’t all that close. To me, the glass looked empty. But if I turn the lens around, I see that my father doesn’t have a lot in the way of close relationships. Never has. As I think about it, I realize that the people I would count as close to him number fewer than five–including me and my sister. Among that …

Jul 11, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Little Good News

Finding out a few months ago that the miracle cure for macular degeneration wasn’t working for me hasn’t made going in for my monthly shot in the eye any easier. Until last month, at least things weren’t getting any worse. Struggling to see the big E at the top of the eye chart and then seeing a scan with more swelling than ever before took the wind from my sails. I’ve been dreading today’s appointment. That I’m driving up to Lexington tomorrow to visit my father for the last time added to the dread. As you might imagine, I’ve had a lot on my mind. The office was already packed when I arrived, New Yorker in hand and my brand …

Jul 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Section at the Bookstore

I never dreamed I could write a novel. Sure, I’ve always loved to write. But a novel? My first project was a memoir for a reason. I didn’t need to write dialogue, develop believable and interesting characters, or come up with clever and intriguing plots. Just write about my crazy family and the rest would take care of itself. Though I did it for all the wrong reasons, joining the Athens Writers Group changed my life. I wanted help with the submission process, which of course, required reading my manuscript. My friend Adrienne Wilder, an emeritus member of our group and a successful writer (click here for her books), was the first to try to tell me that my memoir…er…needed …

Jul 08, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Ready for Wednesday

Ready for Wednesday

Last night I got to hear what the writers in my group thought about the first four chapters of After Christmas Eve. Before I tell you what they said, I have to give you a little back story. Otherwise, this would be a three sentence post, and you know me better than that. Every word  counts, but the beginning of any book is especially important. It needs to lure the reader in and give him or her a reason to keep turning the page. The first 5,000 words of Until Thanksgiving, then known as Addicted, went through the group four times before I got it right. Last night, the first four chapters of After Christmas Eve got a thumbs up …

Jul 07, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Ongoing Relationship Issues

You haven’t read anything about my diet and exercise program since me and Healthy Lifestyle started feuding early last month. I said then that we wouldn’t be having this trouble if she just didn’t expect so much from me. Seriously. “Fine,” she said. “Do things your way. Remember how that worked for you? Remember where you were back before we met? Is that what you want?” Lighten up, bitch. And so it goes. That I know she’s right doesn’t keep me from resenting the way she bosses me around. I mean, really–I’m a grown-ass man. I’m trying to exercise for at least thirty minutes, six days a week. Trying. I’ve missed a day or two here and there because of …

Jul 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Ready for Chapter Ten

I’ve always enjoyed a good jigsaw puzzle, whether the wooden puzzles I played with as a toddler  or the 1500 piece monsters I’ve tackled since. The more complicated the picture, the more satisfying it was to put the puzzle together. Writing After Christmas Eve is like working a puzzle. The pieces are all on the table, and I have a picture of the finished product to guide me. It’s just a matter of putting everything together. By comparison, writing Until Thanksgiving was more like going through a maze. I knew where it started, but had no idea where it ended or how to get there. There were several dead ends and wrong turns before I finally found my way to the end …

Jul 03, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Like Thinking in French

Like Thinking in French

I took French in junior high and high school and plodded through three semesters of Russian in college. I never learned enough to think in either language. I was too busy in college. High school is a different story. Five years is a lot of time to have learned so little. I  should have been thinking in French. Becoming a good writer is like learning to think in French. The more you practice, the better you get. Eventually, good writing becomes second nature. Then the writer’s mind is free to focus on more interesting elements–like pacing, plot and character development. With experience, these things become second nature, too, and the focus turns to new ways to improve the writing. I’ve …

Jul 02, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Undeterred

After five weeks of waiting, today the message I’ve been waiting for appeared in my mailbox. The publisher that’s been reviewing Until Thanksgiving has finally decided. “Unfortunately, your story is not a fit for us at this time.” This rejection is not a failure. The first query I sent out resulted in a request for the full manuscript. That’s progress. The message wasn’t a form letter. The editor offered some additional comments to give me an idea of why. She said, “For contemporary fiction, we’re especially seeking manuscripts with very tight and focused plot lines to match the quick and demanding pace of today’s contemporary reader. Especially with an upscale urban setting like NorthWest DC and a murder sub-plot, the …

Jul 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Movie Review: Magic Mike

Movie Review: Magic Mike

Last night my partner and I joined a group of our girlfriends from the gym to see Magic Mike. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater. Every few years, I have to go again just to be reminded why I wait for the DVDs. Last night was no exception. We arrived thirty minutes early. My partner had purchased our tickets online, via Fandango. We still had to wait in the long ticket line, but it was nice not having to worry about running out of tickets from a sell-out crowd. Inside the theater we joined an even longer line for refreshments. I didn’t bring my glasses with me and couldn’t read the prices. Figuring …

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 …

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