• 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

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 …

Mar 14, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Goodbye Windows!

I bought my first desktop computer for home use back in 1996. AOL was the rage. Other than AOL, the only other program I used was Microsoft Money. Like AOL, it came preloaded on the computer. Fast forward to about 2006. I was on my third or fourth home desktop–a machine that occupied a ton of space on and below the desk in my home office. As before, I used it mostly to keep up with my vast fortune and to visit gay chatrooms on the Internet via either Netscape or Explorer. Instead of Microsoft Money, I believe by then I’d switched to Quicken. We didn’t have wireless so I had to pick between playing on the computer and watching …

Mar 13, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Made for Each Other

I’m the first to admit our relationship is a little unusual. People who’ve spent any time at all with us notice and comment on our strong attraction to each other. Yeah, it’s that obvious. We can’t help it. We were made for each other. In fact, I wonder if either of us could survive for long without the other. People who see us together have even said as much. Spend just a few minutes with us and it’s obvious we love each other. We’re always giving each other adoring looks, reassuring touches, and affection. When we’re apart, our longing for each other is apparent to the people around us. I’m talking, of course, about me and Toodles–my five pound, long-haired …

Mar 11, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Hurry Up and Wait

The most common advice for new writers is to keep writing. Serious writers devote a few hours to the craft every day. I try, but too often, life gets in the way. Serious writers would say that life getting in the way is just an excuse. If I really wanted to, I’d find the time. Writing blogs and “how to” books are full of stories about super busy people who manage to squeeze in an hour or two of writing. It’s about discipline, and making time for the things that are most important. Writing has always been an important part of my life. I can’t help it. Something inside of me compels me. Before I learned the alphabet, I filled …

Mar 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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The Cloak of Anonymity

Athens was all astir last weekend about a bunch of random shootings on my end of  town. Several moving vehicles had windows shot out. A jogger and an eleven-year old girl were hit, too. The weapon: a high-powered BB gun. The incidents got front-page coverage in the local newspaper two days in a row. I’m guessing the story will appear on tomorrow’s front page, too. Today the police caught the thugs responsible for the shootings. You can read the full story here. Yes, I hope these two little boys get what’s coming to them. I also hope the consequences of their actions are severe enough that this will be their last run-in with the law. I’m doubtful, but hope springs …

Mar 07, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Results!

My monthly appointments with the retina specialist roll around entirely too fast. Seems like I had one just last week. Hard to believe four weeks have passed since my last injection. If you’ve been following along, you know I have Age-related Macular Degeneration in both eyes. At 54, I’m young to have this condition–much less, a case as severe as what I have in my left eye. I suspect high mileage is to blame. If you haven’t been following along, read my post from a month ago when I last visited the specialist. Earlier this week I got my first bill for the new treatment: $3,790. That’s $175 for the office visit, $125 for the retina scan I get every time I …

Mar 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Week in Review

For the past two weeks, I’ve been too busy to blog. I’m still busy, but the bug I picked up at a conference last week in Charlotte has prevented me from running or going to the gym. Consequently, I have a bit more free time. The conference went well–better than I expected. The hotel staff did a good job of taking care of us, the food was good, and I didn’t encounter any problems. Without seeing the final bill, my only complaint is that we had to pay $360 to use two little extension cords for two days. I’m not kidding. Thursday night, I went out to dinner with colleagues I’ve known for nearly thirty years to a fancy all …

Mar 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Running Man

I’ve been trying to run at least three times a week since September. Most weeks I find a way to squeeze all three runs into an overly busy schedule. You can’t possibly be as impressed by this as I am. Going to Zumba is a priority because it’s so much fun. I love dancing like a dirty girl with all my Zumba pals. I’d keep doing it even if I didn’t have my Zumba King title to defend. Running is different. I always run by myself, and frankly, it isn’t all that fun. I keep running because it’s about my only outdoor activity, and it’s supposed to be one of the best ways to eliminate belly fat–my arch nemesis. Sometimes …

Feb 26, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Never Say Never

Things I’ve always said I’d never do have become regular habits over the last year or so. Recently quite a few people–including some of my regular readers–have asked me how I do it. In today’s post, I’m going to attempt to explain. Writing Glass Houses was the beginning of my transformation. I never thought I could write a book. Now I’ve written two, and have been thinking a lot about the plot for my third. Glass Houses started the ball rolling in three ways. First, thanks largely to encouragement from some of you, I decided to give writing a book a try. That I finished it and that others have enjoyed reading it, even in draft form, thrills me to …

Feb 22, 2012
By Michael Rupured

God Bless America

I hear and read a lot from the right about how we pinko communist liberals are out to destroy the American way of life. Cries from the left to address income inequality are dissed as socialism. Attempts by progressives to regulate industry, whether financial services or energy, are shot down as job killers. Supporters of gay marriage, birth control, and the freedom to choose an abortion are demonized as unChristian and anti-religion. Global warming is a hoax. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. The man, too. The left supports equality, freedom, and individual rights. Folks on the left are not inclined to believe that businesses are people, too. In fact, a common cry from the left is the need …

Feb 21, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Walking Georgia

That my activity level has increased rather dramatically in the last six months is common knowledge among people who know me. I blame myself. Especially when I first became more active, the change was so drastic, wherever I went I talked a lot about all the new things I was doing. Three of my coworkers invited me to be on their team for Walk Georgia–an initiative of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension to help participants develop physical activity habits so they’ll be healthier and more physically fit. Participants log physical activity onto a web site. The more miles you log, the more Georgia counties you get to virtually visit. Our Dean is offering an award to the team that logs …

Feb 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Bitch is Back

Lately my normally silent inner bitch has become a lot more assertive. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s all that time at the gym. Or perhaps it’s because people just keep pissing me off. Mostly I’m an easy-going guy. I do, however, have standards. Leave me a phone message–I’m going to call you back first chance I get. Send me an email–I’ll respond as soon as I can. Tell me something is due Friday at four–I’ll get it to you by three on Wednesday.  I don’t know any other way to be. That’s just how I roll Increasingly I find I’m the exception rather than the rule.. When did returning phone calls and responding to email messages become optional? I’m not …

Feb 14, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Generation Clueless

Yesterday I participated in a meeting at the Georgia Department of Education about the new career pathways. Next year, eighth graders in Georgia public schools must select a pathway from one of seventeen career clusters. The purpose of the meeting was to develop new courses for one of the pathways. Our group consisted of teachers, industry representatives, and GADOE officials. The assignment was to develop the three courses that would make up the Customer Services pathway within the Human Services pathway. I represented consumer economics faculty from the University of Georgia. We quickly agreed that the first course would focus on consumer decision-making, the second on consumer math, and the third on consumer economics. The second course would also count for …

Feb 12, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Aiming High

Because of everything I’ve learned about writing in the year since I finished writing it, revising Glass Houses has been more interesting and less tedious than I expected. Leaving it alone for nearly a year helped, too. Hard to say whether the passage of time or my growth as a writer helped more. Both made a difference, but I feel like the experience gained from writing Addicted had the biggest impact. I’m into my third round of revisions. For the first round, I incorporated changes the editor marked up directly on the manuscript. In places, because I needed to think more about her suggestions, I highlighted the section with a yellow marker then folded the corner of the page down so …