Tag: After Christmas Eve

Sep 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Six and a Half Weeks Later

On August 15th, I became a soon-to-be-published writer. The tidal wave I rode for several weeks has broken up into smaller waves, but I’m still very excited and busier than I’ve been since graduate school. An update on my journey is overdue. In truth, there hasn’t been a lot of action.  Dreamspinner Press (DSP) gave me access to a message board for other DSP writers and added me to the DSP writers group on Twitter right away.  Other than that and an email exchange about my desire to delete two paragraphs that don’t work with the prequel I’m working on, I’ve heard from my publisher twice. On September 15th, I got an email from the artists who design DSP covers. …

Aug 20, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My New Normal

Too much has changed in the past month for my life to ever return to normal. I lost my father. But the end to his suffering and his inability to do the things he wanted to do prevent me from being sad. Mostly, I feel a profound sense of relief–like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. The end turned out so much better than I ever would have expected, and for that I will always be grateful. Then I got the life-changing e-mail message from Dreamspinner Press. That was five days ago, and I’m still firmly anchored to Cloud Nine. My cheeks hurt from the giant and ever present grin on my face. I don’t think I’ve …

Aug 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Stop the World!

Swapping the vacation my partner and I had been looking forward to for Dad’s funeral ended up being a good thing. We were already off work, and since we were driving anyway and had a free place to stay at the beach, changing our plans at the last minute didn’t cost anything. Any other time would have caused problems and posed challenges. All this to say I’m not unhappy that we gave up a relaxing week at the beach. Things have a way of working out for the best. Already exhausted from the previous weeks activities, I spent the weekend catching up on laundry, mowing, and other chores. My writers group met Saturday, and I managed to squeeze in a …

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
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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 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
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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 …

Jun 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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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 17, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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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 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 …