• The Case of the Missing Drag Queen

    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 long-time 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 new-found friend clear her name. He and Pixie set out to find the missing drag queen, and in the process, put themselves in danger.

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  • Aucune Bonne Action

    La veille de Noël, en 1966, Philip Potter, un conservateur du Smithsonian au grand cœur, termine ses achats de dernière minute. Au même instant, James, son compagnon depuis plusieurs années, s’ôte la vie chez eux. Inconscient de ce qui l’attend, Philip dépose des cadeaux à un refuge pour sans-abris, un acte généreux qui fera plus tard de lui un suspect dans le meurtre d’un prostitué. Après la mort choquante de James, deux hommes entrent dans la vie de Philip… et tous deux conduisent une Continental jaune. L’un d’eux, toutefois, est un tueur avec le sang de six prostitués sur les mains. Et tous deux cachent quelque chose. Comme Philip est sur le point de le découvrir, aucune bonne action ne …

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  • Equality: What Do You Think about When You Think of Equality?

    In the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Stride Toward Freedom and Malala Yousafzai’s, I Am Malala, Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality? presents thought-provoking and compelling personal essays that probe a concept professed to be the very foundation of our democracy—a concept that may even be more vital today than in the past. From international bestselling author, Anne Perry who asserts we must look within ourselves to our emotions, experiences, and beliefs before we attempt an honest and truthful answer, to Dennis Palumbo, psychotherapist and author, who claims diagnostic labels used in treating mental illness often stigmatize and dehumanize the patient causing clinicians to view their patients in terms of their diagnosis rather than …

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  • No Good Deed

    On Christmas Eve in 1966, Philip Potter, a kind-hearted Smithsonian curator,  wraps up his last-minute shopping. Meanwhile, his lover of several years takes his own life back in their home. Unaware of what awaits him, Philip drops off gifts at a homeless shelter, an act of generosity that will later make him a suspect in the murder of a male prostitute. Following James’s shocking death, two men enter Philip’s life—and both drive yellow Continentals. One of them, though, is a killer, with the blood of at least six hustlers on his hands. And both are hiding something. As Philip is about to discover, no good deed goes unpunished. (Originally released by MLR Press in 2013 as After Christmas Eve)

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  • Whippersnapper

    Tellumo Magnamater is a fresh-out-of-college, first-year English teacher at Salt Lick County High School in Kentucky. He rides the bus to and from work, and every day he walks to the gym behind his small efficiency apartment to exercise. Perhaps because of being raised by two lesbians, Tellumo is attracted to older men. He sets his sights on fifty-something available bachelor Oliver Crumbly. But Tellumo isn’t the only resident interested in Oliver. Peggy Tucker, a widow approaching her sixtieth birthday, is determined to marry again, and she thinks Oliver is her perfect match. Despite Tellumo and Peggy striking up a friendship at the gym, neither realizes they are interested in the same man. But the joke might be on both of …

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  • Happy Independence Day

    Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. Little does he know the world is already changing, and his part in it won’t be what he expects. A prelaw student at Columbia University, Terrence’s interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie, the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn. Too bad Cameron bolts whenever Terrence looks his way. College dropout Cameron McKenzie left tiny Paris, Kentucky with dreams of a career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he prostitutes himself to survive. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes. He’s in over his head with no way out—at …

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  • The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain

    Recently single Jeremy Jenkins is an average guy working hard as a landscape designer in the mountains of Tennessee. At a conference in DC, he meets gorgeous Donald Matthews, who says the strangest things—like how he thinks Jeremy is hot and wants them to spend the rest of their lives together. This story is part of A Taste of Honey, a Dreamspinner Press Anthology. Other stories in the collection: The Bear Fetish, by John Amory The Bear Next Door, by Jack Byrne The Bear at the Bar, by J. Scott Coatsworth Barefoot, by Lillian Francis Just Breath, by John Genest Bear Chasing, by Renae Kaye Golden Bear, by G. P. Keith Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale with a Very Hairy …

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  • Until Thanksgiving

    Josh Freeman knows his best days are behind him. After his partner of seventeen years has an affair with a younger man, Josh buries himself in takeout boxes, half-smoked joints, and self-pity until his best friend gently kicks him in the ass and encourages him to try out a new job in Washington DC—at least until Thanksgiving. Though DC has its share of troubles, specifically in the form of a murderer targeting gay men, Josh soon discovers its charms as well. Unlike his old home, DC is crawling with men who want to date him—apparently he’s not as overweight, out of shape, or over the hill as the man he once loved made him believe. In particular, Josh would love …

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The Crotchety Old Man

Apr 17, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Over the Hill and Loving It

Over the Hill and Loving It

Over the hill–a term we’ve all heard, and on some level, come to fear. A quick internet search turned up a number of definitions with the most common being: past the peak of one’s youthful freshness and vigor; far along in life; old. This definition begs the question–are you talking to me? I did more research. A few web sites said that “over the hill” applies to anyone twenty years older than you are. Interesting, but not very helpful. If you’re 90, it really doesn’t apply to anyone. I continued my research looking for the definitive point at which one has indeed reached the apex. The Urban Dictionary says “over the hill” applies to people 40 and over because they …

Apr 15, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Coupons Made Me Do It!

The Coupons Made Me Do It!

I’m five days into my new exercise routine. So far, so good–at least as far as exercise goes. Who knew that sticking to the exercise plan would be easier than eating right? I blame our active social life. We went out to dinner with friends Friday night.  Had I stayed with the entree and salad I ordered, things would have been fine. But I had a couple of margaritas (probably the worse thing someone trying to lose weight could drink) and enjoyed most of the fried zucchini appetizer we all shared. As is always the case when eating out, I burned up quite a few of  the weekly points I’m allowed to have on Weight Watchers. Yesterday I vowed to …

Apr 12, 2012
By Michael Rupured

No Love for the Shack

When I moved to Athens fifteen years ago, I looked forward to Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Not because of the weekend, but because The Barbecue Shack would be open. Just about every Thursday or Friday evening, I’d stop in to pick up a couple of chicken plates and either banana pudding or caramel cake. The center piece of a chicken plate is a half-chicken, which I believe is smoked, though it might be grilled. It’s slathered with a clear, vinegar-based sauce and comes with Brunswick Stew, coleslaw topped with two bread and butter pickle slices, a bag of Lay’s potato chips, and two slices of white bread in a sandwich bag. Regulars know to ask for either mild or hot …

Apr 11, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My So-Called (Healthy) Life

My So-Called (Healthy) Life

At yesterday’s weekly session, my personal trainer checked my measurements for the first time since late last year. The good news is that my body fat dropped another one percent and my calves are a tad thinner. Everything else–including my weight–was essentially the same. Read on for the bad news. No doubt, you’re thinking I was disappointed. My trainer certainly thought so. But I wasn’t. Yeah, seeing a big change in the positive direction would have been nice. But given that I usually gain anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds from December to April, I was frankly thrilled that my numbers were essentially unchanged. The one percent drop in body fat was a bonus. Even so, the lack of forward …

Apr 10, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Enemies?

So Rick “Frothy Mix” Santorum is out of the race. My faith in humanity has been partially restored. I say partially because he did manage to win several state primaries. What were those people thinking??? Part of me kinda sorta hoped he’d be the Republican nominee. If the GOP wants a borderline fascist candidate who seems intent on returning us to the sixties, I say let them have it. But then I worried about where I’d move if he actually managed to win the election. I’ve lived in the hot and humid deep south too long to move to Canada, and unless I learn Spanish, there just aren’t a lot of options. Santorum’s departure leaves Mitt “Etch-a-Sketch” Romney and Ron …

Apr 08, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Fancy New Running Shoes

After I first started running late last year, I went to Academy Sports to buy some running shoes. Frankly, my idea of a good running shoe came down to selecting the pair that would look best on me. Until recently, I had no idea that all the different kinds of sports attire are more about function than form. Live and learn. The number and variety of running shoe choices overwhelmed me. If a purchase requires me to select from more than three options, I’m doomed. That’s why we don’t have wallpaper anywhere in our house. But I had to make a choice. My knees and shins demanded it. In the end I opted for the pair with the thickest soles–Nikes …

Apr 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Must See TV

I have to admit, Dancing with the Stars has never been “must see” television for me. But now and then, one of the celebrities catches my attention and I have to check it out. After I saw a list of the celebrity contestants for this season, I really didn’t think this would be a season I’d watch. Dancing with the Stars first aired in the Summer of 2005. If I watched that first season at all, I don’t remember. The fourteenth season started a couple of weeks ago, and you can bet your tap shoes my butt will be planted in front of the television for every episode. The first season I watched was the fall of 2006. Harry Hamlin …

Apr 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Day at the Doctor’s Office

I had an appointment with the retina specialist today to get my third injection of Eylea, a new drug that worked wonders for people suffering from advanced macular degeneration in the trials. The swelling in my retina had been reduced by fifteen percent after the first injection. So I was anxious to find out how much the swelling had gone down since receiving my second injection about a month ago. His office has three waiting rooms. The first, just inside the door, is always full. I picked a seat in the then empty overflow waiting room and started reading the New Yorker magazine I’d brought with me from home. Unless you are a voracious reader, I don’t recommend a subscription …

Apr 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Requiem for a Garden

Part of me is grieving a big loss in my life. No, I haven’t lost anyone important to me recently. My partner and I are still together and doing great. The dogs are fine,too. It’s our garden. I’ve lost interest in gardening–a hobby I’ve enjoyed for several decades. More accurately, I’ve given up. I don’t have the time, and even if I could find time, have lost the inclination. The gardening bug first bit me around 1985 when I lived in a duplex back in Lexington. Because the previous tenants owned at least one dog, the fenced in backyard sported a few patches of grass and large swatches of bare ground. I picked up a bunch of flower seed at …

Mar 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Lessons Learned: Conference Planning

Lessons Learned: Conference Planning

A great many years ago, I worked at a reasonably upscale hotel. During my years of employment with this establishment, I had several different positions. I waited tables, tended bar, helped out in catering, worked at the front desk, and served as a manager in both the dining room and the front desk. Because of all this experience, when it comes to dealing with hotels, I feel like I’m smarter than the average bear. I left the hotel for a career in academia. In the intervening 25 years, I’ve been involved with the planning of many state, regional, and national conferences. On numerous occasions, my hotel experience has really come in handy. Even so, compared with conference planning professionals who …

Mar 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A New Me On the Way

Until fairly recently, exercise was something totally foreign to me. About ten years ago–before I had settled down with my partner–this guy I was dating tried to get me to walk. I tried it a few times, hated it, and quit. In early 2006, a friend of mine loaned me a book called Younger Next Year.  The book was about the human body constantly replacing  cells. If you sit around all the time and otherwise don’t take care of yourself, the new cells are weaker than the cells they replace. If you exercise regularly, eat a nutritious diet, and otherwise take care of yourself, the replacement cells will be stronger than those they replace. The constant regeneration of cells means …

Mar 22, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Why I’ll Never Rule the World

After reading some of my recent posts, quite a few people suggested that I run for political office. I appreciate the vote of confidence, but it ain’t gonna happen. Try as you might, you’ll never be able to talk me into it either. Here are just a few of the reasons why I would never run for political office. 1. Geography. If I had my druthers, I’d jump right into the big time and run for President. But you can’t do that. You have to work your way up through local elections. I’m a gay liberal in a conservative state and an agnostic living in the Bible belt. I couldn’t get elected as the dogcatcher. 2. Finances. With enough money, I …

Mar 21, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Gross Incompetence

As the executive director of a small professional association, one of my duties is collecting registration fees for folks to attend our conference. It’s an easy task. I send out registration information, people send me checks, which I then deposit into our bank account. Simple. Our members are all very responsible. Given that a focus of our association is financial management education, as a group they also tend to be…well…a little cheap. That’s good for me because 99 percent take advantage of the early bird discount. Nearly all of our members are faculty, field staff, or graduate students connected with major universities here in the U.S. A tiny percentage–two people–work for a federal government agency that shall remain nameless. They, …

Mar 19, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on If I Ruled the World…

If I Ruled the World…

Do you ever have one of those days where everything people do pisses you off? Surely I’m not the only person who has that kind of day. Maybe it’s the early heat. Or maybe it’s that so many people are total f’ing idiots. I’ll let you decide. While you’re thinking about it, here are some of the changes I’d make if I ruled the world. Driver’s license tests would be a LOT harder. Applicants would have to pass a rigorous driving test. The written test would take a couple of hours and include questions about texting while driving, procedures to follow when encountering pedestrians or bike riders, and why one shouldn’t just stop in the middle of the highway for …

Mar 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Back to Square One

My affection for the people in my writer’s group has come up here several times before. We’re a diverse group with different backgrounds, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Together we’re a tough bunch of well-informed critics. Besides the formal submission process and the critiques provided at our regular meetings, there’s also a lot of informal sharing. Sometimes requests go out to the entire group. But mostly it’s one of us asking two or three others for feedback about a new section, an old section that’s been revised, or perhaps even about an entire manuscript. A year ago when I first joined, I sent Glass Houses to the entire group with a request for general feedback. I’ve since learned they thought I …