• 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.

    Read More
  • 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 …

    Read More
  • 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 …

    Read More
  • 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)

    Read More
  • 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 …

    Read More
  • 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 …

    Read More
  • 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 …

    Read More
  • 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 …

    Read More

The Crotchety Old Man

Dec 28, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on White Bread

White Bread

Having gained nearly 25 pounds between us over the last two weeks, my partner and I decided to keep Christmas dinner simple this year. We didn’t have any dressing, vegetables with cheese sauce, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, scalloped oysters, yeast rolls, mashed potatoes or gravy.  Nope. Just roasted turkey breast, cranberry sauce, and green beans, lightly seasoned straight out of the can. The best thing about roasting a turkey is having enough leftover for sandwiches.  I prefer mostly white meat, plenty of mayo, and an optional leaf of iceberg lettuce on white bread.  On occasion, I enjoy a healthier version with cranberry sauce instead of the mayo. White bread was an early casualty of our healthy lifestyle. We switched …

Dec 23, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Wooomp…There it is!

The weeks since Thanksgiving have been chocked full of celebrations. Each and every get together has tested my commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  With just a few more days of the season remaining, healthy living is way behind in the polls. I started the season strong. The week of Thanksgiving I ran three times, hit Zumba on the days I didn’t run, and worked out with weight machines two or three times a week.  Even with the big holiday dinner and all the leftovers, I lost .6 pounds. The night after I ran my first 5K, we went to a friend’s house for a dinner to celebrate a birthday. The food was awesome. I was especially taken with the sausage-stuffed …

Dec 21, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Zumba Challengers

I’ve been hitting Zumba classes with the girls three or four times a week for several months now. Yeah, my partner comes to class with me. And a little old man showed up for one of the Zumbathons. Otherwise, the only men around mostly crowd around the windows to watch. I figured they were watching me and laughing. When I said so, my partner suggested they were more likely watching the women doing mildly suggestive dance moves. Oh. Another item for the list of things that wasn’t about me at all. The guy who hooked me up with my gym membership came to Zumba last week. We’ve been teasing him about coming to Zumba for months.  He adamantly insisted Zumba …

Dec 21, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Our One-Woman Neighborhood Association

Our One-Woman Neighborhood Association

For most of the last fourteen years, our neighborhood association didn’t do much. Newsletters showed up in my mailbox a couple of times a year with contact information for the current officers, a plea for volunteers to chair one of several committees, and of course, a gentle reminder that paying membership fees (a minimal $10 to $25 per year) was not optional. Life was good. Then the association started hosting potluck cook-outs several times a year. We went for a while. Hated it. Don’t get me wrong–I like my neighbors, especially those I never see or hear. What’s his name and his wife seem nice. I wave when we pass each other on the street. Stopping to catch up on …

Dec 18, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Finished…Mostly

Finished…Mostly

Ten months ago, I started submitting 5,000 word chunks of my first novel to my writers group. As a novice writer, I was eager for the feedback of more experienced writers. Their numerous suggestions continue to help me to be the best  writer I can be. Tonight the group critiqued the last six chapters of Addicted. Rather than the usual 5K, I submitted two additional chapters (an extra 2,500 words) so everyone could see how the book ends. The ending came hard for me and I was anxious to hear what everyone had to say. Writing Glass Houses was easy. I’d lived the story.  I just needed to tell it in an interesting and entertaining way. My only constraint was …

Dec 14, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on An Avalanche of Catalogs

An Avalanche of Catalogs

Since Thanksgiving, the mailman has deposited forty-nine copies of thirty different catalogs in our mailbox with more arriving every day. I was going to wait until Christmas Eve to blog about them, but my partner had a sudden attack of “clean this damn place up” and tossed them in the recycling bin. I take that to mean today is the day and dug them back out to write this post. We received one copy of eighteen different catalogs.  Some of these, like American Girl, Mindware, and Catalog Classics we ordered from last year. Or maybe it was Catalog Favorites. Having recently made purchases from these companies, I can understand why they would send me a copy of this year’s catalog. …

Dec 13, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Things I Like About Christmas

Things I Like About Christmas

To balance yesterday’s overly negative (but entirely true) post about some of the reasons I hate Christmas, I decided to dedicate today’s post to things I like about the biggest holiday of the year. No doubt you’ve already noticed I said “like” rather than “love”. Call me jaded if you like, but in my old age it takes more to move the needle from like to love. The other thing you’ll notice is that there are only eight things listed. I tried to come up with twelve but failed. Sure, I could have included getting presents, but that’s just tacky. I thought about adding sweet treats to the list but didn’t because I hate the result and alluded to them …

Dec 12, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Twelve Things I Hate About Christmas

Christmas is not my favorite time of year. Back when I was a kid and into my teens and early twenties it was.  There are at least a dozen reasons why my attitude has changed to Bah Humbug. Here’s a sampling. Crowded Stores. From Thanksgiving through the day or two after Christmas, going shopping is a nightmare. I’m a browser and used to enjoy spending a lot of time looking over a particular display for just the right item. Not any more. After getting bumped into half a dozen times and dealing with aisle rage, I’ve learned to keep moving. Traffic. Just getting to shopping outlets is a pain in the ass. Anyplace I’ve ever lived, traffic backs up for …

Dec 07, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Progress!

Yesterday I had my weekly appointment with Armand, my personal trainer. I told him I was getting frustrated and discouraged by my lack of progress. He begged to differ, saying he could tell a big difference since I started working with him two months ago. I wasn’t convinced, so Armand decided to take all my measurements again.  I was pleased but not overly impressed that my percent body fat had dropped by a full point since the last reading. Then he pulled out the tape measure. My calves are two inches bigger than they were two months ago. My thighs and waist are unchanged. My chest, shoulders, and arms each increased by at least two inches. Wow, I guess I’ve …

Dec 06, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Please Take Care of Yourself

Yesterday I learned that a dear friend has colon cancer. I don’t know how involved it is or what the treatment plan will be. Additional tests later this week should answer those questions. Until then I’m trying not to over-react and hoping for the best. In addition to eating a high fiber diet, the chief means of preventing colon cancer is the colonoscopic exam.  By age fifty–if not before–everyone should have one.  Yeah, it’s unpleasant–but not nearly so bad as say, dealing with colon cancer. Shortly after my fiftieth birthday I had a colonoscopic done. The doctor removed two polyps and biopsied a questionable lesion. The lesion was precancerous.  The doctor scheduled me for surgery to have the lesion removed. …

Dec 05, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Bargain Tuna

Bargain Tuna

Since starting Weight Watchers back in May, I’ve significantly increased my consumption of canned tuna.  It’s cheap, a good source of protein, and barely makes a dent in my daily point allowance. What’s not to like? I come home for lunch every day for a leafy green salad. I usually add some fat-free shredded cheddar cheese (one point), some croutons (one or two points, depending on the brand), and use olive oil vinaigrette (two points) because it counts for the healthy oil I’m supposed to eat every day.  Five points for lunch means I can definitely have ice cream before I go to bed. While I say ice cream, in truth, it’s low-fat frozen yogurt. Instead of the five points …

Dec 03, 2011
By Michael Rupured

My First 5K Run…Ever!

My first 5K event took place in January of 2009. I signed up to run in the Chilly Dawg because it  was sponsored by my employer.  The plan was to walk it, but I quit before I even reached the half way point. This morning I ran in the Sleighbell.  Having failed miserably at my first 5K, this time I was bound and determined to finish. To guarantee my success, I trained for three full months.  For the last month, I’ve set my pedometer to 5K at least three times a week and have had no trouble going the distance.  I was ready. The temperature was a brisk 34 degrees when I got up this morning. I put on my …

Dec 02, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Back on Track

Back on Track

I recorded my lowest weight (224) in early August.  That low reflects a total of 22 pounds lost this year. Since that low, my weight has hovered around 226, plus or minus a pound, with a lot more pluses than minuses. My lack of progress has been discouraging. It’s not like I’ve given up. I’m still on Weight Watchers, and since early September, have been going to the gym almost every day and jogging at least three times a week.  I thought by now I’d look like Hulk Hogan and be wearing a Speedo to work on casual Fridays to show off my new physique.  How’s that for an image? The trip to Kentucky back in October for my high …

Nov 29, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Learning Curve

Those of you who know me will attest to the fact that I’m a bit slow.  Though it applies, I’m not talking about my jogging speed. For some reason it takes me a while to figure things out that others pick up right away. For example, I was one of the last people to figure out that I was gay. It’s true. Despite mountains of evidence, I was twenty-one years old before I realized what practically everyone else knew by the time I was sixteen or seventeen. Some of this slowness is a result of having learned the wrong lessons earlier. Right or wrong, once I get something in my head, it takes quite a lot to change my mind.  …

Nov 23, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Off the Beaten Track

Off the Beaten Track

Counting grad school, I’ve worked in the same small academic field of study for nearly three decades.  Because I’ve skipped it for the last few years, the conference I attended in Jacksonville, Florida last week was a homecoming of sorts.  It was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with colleagues I’ve grown close to over the years. These friendships are special. Aside from our common interest in family resource management (the broad term for our field of study), we have similar jobs. We also share many of the same interests, challenges, and frustrations–and of course, know a lot of the same people. In other words, we have a lot to talk about. Early in my career, attending one of …