• 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

Oct 11, 2011
By Michael Rupured

National Coming Out Day

Society has come a long way since 1979–the year I came out.  I never dreamed we’d see gay marriage (now legal in a small number of states) or Emmy-winning television shows featuring gay characters. In honor of National Coming Out Day, I’m retelling my story about that fateful night. In 1979, I worked second shift full-time at a hospital in Lexington, KY.  I had benefits, the money was good, and it was always possible to pick up an extra shift for time-and-a-half pay.  I moved out of my parents’ house, went to parties with the nurses after work, and was frankly too busy to be bothered with anything as mundane as school. The shift rotation was such that I was …

Oct 09, 2011
By Michael Rupured

You Talking to Me???

So the big Values Voter Summit wrapped up today in Washington, DC.  The summit is billed as the premier event for conservatives and a “must attend” event for any Republican running for President. Since I’m neither conservative nor a candidate for president, I didn’t go. The summit was sponsored by several organizations identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups including the Family Resource Council and the American Family Association. Additional sponsors include Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and the Institute for American Values. Nazis, skinheads, and the Ku Klux Klan apparently missed out on this great opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals. I’ve seen a lot of reports from the summit and checked out the web site. What …

Oct 06, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Week One @ The Gym

As of today, I’ve belonged to a gym for one full week. I did some kind of rigorous exercise every day but Monday–my one exercise-free day of rest. I’ve been to four Zumba classes, a spin class, and had a thirty-minute session with my personal trainer. When I weighed in Monday morning, I’d lost two full pounds–the most I’ve lost since my first week on Weight Watchers.  Rather than the gym,  I credit the increasing demands of the Couch to 5K program. I’m finishing up week three which involves running for ninety seconds, walking for ninety seconds, running for three minutes, walking for three minutes and repeating the sequence with a five-minute walk on either end. Running is getting a lot …

Oct 02, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Baby Momma Drama

The number of baby mommas one has to deal with is directly related to the likelihood the relationship will last. I haven’t seen any studies confirming this theory. But experience and years of watching Jerry Springer and Cheaters on television have convinced me it’s true. The challenge is pinpointing the boundary between an acceptable number of baby mommas and too many. I suspect individual differences play a role. For some, even one baby momma is too many. Others might be able to handle one or two. I’m guessing there are some who could even handle more. Not me. My first long-term relationship included a baby momma. Mostly we didn’t have anything to do with each other.  Even so, she was …

Sep 29, 2011
By Michael Rupured

New Me Coming

Today I did something I’ve never done before. In fact, I’d never even thought about doing it. Truth be told, it wasn’t even something I’ve ever really wanted to do. But I did it, and now I hope it wasn’t a mistake. In a recent post (Resigned, September 21), I wrote that I had started Couch to 5K (C25K) and was thinking about joining a gym. I’m happy to report that so far, I’ve stuck with the C25K program. Running hurts less and is getting easier. I’m even thinking about signing up for the 4th Annual Chilly Dawg 5K Run scheduled for late January, 2012. Yeah, me–I’m as shocked as you are. But that’s not what I did today. Actually, …

Sep 26, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Our Day in Atlanta

When I first moved to Athens from DC nearly fifteen years ago, that Atlanta was “so close” was a plus. Then I found out that depending on traffic, the 65-mile trip can take anywhere from one to three hours. There are several different routes I can take–none of them pleasant. I’ve reached the point where I won’t go to Atlanta without a court order or subpoena. My partner got tickets for us to see a matinee performance of Wicked at the beautiful Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta. We decided to make a day of it.  Since we would be in town, in addition to the one o’clock show, we decided to hang around for dinner at one of the numerous …

Sep 24, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Destiny & Gratitude

That I am a slow learner is one of several themes throughout Glass Houses, my as yet unpublished memoir. Besides adding an element of humor to the story, it also happens to be true. Where self-awareness is concerned, I’m especially obtuse. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to write. Out-of-town friends and relatives still talk about the long, chatty letters I wrote them dating back to the 60s. The journal I’ve kept since 1982 now includes nearly twenty volumes. All that and the professional articles, consumer fact sheets, news articles, and blog posts I’ve written over the years would fill a trunk or two. But more than enjoyment, I am compelled to write. Something drives me to …

Sep 22, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Like There’s No Tomorrow

Like There’s No Tomorrow

I recently heard a cancer survivor on the radio encouraging listeners to live every day like it was the last. I’ve heard this sage advice many times. It always strikes me as heroic, particularly when it comes from someone who has dealt with something as scary as cancer. So I got to thinking about what I would do if I really thought today was going to be my last day. I would certainly make a lot of changes. Just thinking about it excites me. If I knew I would die tomorrow, here’s a list of the things I would do today. Stop exercising.  It’s too late now so forget about it.  I’ve never enjoyed sweating–even during sex.  I grew up …

Sep 21, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Resigned

If you’re wondering why I haven’t updated you on my weight loss progress, it’s because there hasn’t been any. The good news is that I’ve lost a bit more than twenty pounds since May. The bad news is that I’ve not lost an ounce for the last three weigh-ins. At least I haven’t gained. The large bowl of ice cream I have every night at bedtime has absolutely nothing to do with my inability to lose weight. I swear, it’s true. Pity the fool who comes between me and my nightly ice cream treat. Just ask my partner. The major reason for the lack of progress, or so I tell myself, is that I haven’t been able to ride my …

Sep 19, 2011
By Michael Rupured

My Coffee Habit

Okay. I drink a lot of coffee. In recent years I’ve cut back…some. We’re still a two-pot-a-day household but now the afternoon pot is only eight cups instead of the twelve my mornings require. In my humble opinion, the coffee we make at home is the best anywhere. We have a Cuisinart Grind-N-Brew coffeemaker and only use Eight O’Clock coffee beans. I put the beans and water in at night, push the button, and at exactly six o’clock the next morning, the sound of the beans grinding wakes us up. The second pot goes on as soon as I get home from work–earlier on weekends. Years ago, I put cream and sugar in my coffee. That stopped when my coworkers …

Sep 18, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Going to the Dogs

Going to the Dogs

Growing up, we never really had a dog. Yeah, for a very brief time I had Poochy and Amelia. But my parents sent them to the pound well before either dog’s first birthday.  When I got an apartment, I wanted a dog. But I lived in a third floor apartment in a complex that prohibited pets. So I got my first cat. I tell the tragic story of all these pets in Glass Houses. When my partner and I got together nearly ten years ago, I had two middle-aged cats. Because my first three cats died tragically (two hit by cars), Damien and Sadie were inside-only cats. They were with me when my twelve-year relationship with my first partner ended, …

Sep 15, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Misnomers

Regular readers know I spend entirely too much time watching television and that I have a particular fondness for trashy reality shows. It’s true. Jerry Springer, Real Housewives (especially Atlanta and New Jersey), Toddlers and Tiaras and other, equally offensive shows are regular fare. I can’t help myself. The new television season kicks off next week. Having tired of summer repeats, In search of something new to watch, I’ve been pouring through the blue channel–you know, the one that shows the full schedule of every channel. Here’s a list of shows that caught my eye, only to disappoint. Dance Moms. I envisioned a show similar to So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars featuring a group …

Sep 14, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Kinda Biz-Zee

Whenever possible, I try to write a new post here on the blog at least two or three times a week. Lately ye olde blog has moved to the back burner.  Without a dose of my wry sense of humor and insightful observations, I’m guessing many of you have had a totally shitty week. I’m sorry. Between travel, a hectic schedule at work, the start of the football season, and ongoing attempts to launch my writing career, I’ve been busier than usual. Believe me, it sucks for me, too. September and October are always busy months at work. Because of a new grant and several big projects, this year has been even busier than usual. You won’t hear me complain–at …

Sep 07, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Another Day with the Seniors

I had my appointment with the retina specialist today. There were a few people waiting in the hallway, and the main waiting room was full. I took a seat in the nearly empty overflow waiting room and started catching up on Words with Friends on my cellphone. A sweet little old lady who had driven a member of her church to the appointment from Elberton was deep in conversation with a young woman who had driven her father from Buford.  As usual, the doctor was running behind. I eaves-dropped on their conversation for a good half hour. The older woman reminded me a lot of my Aunt Toodles. She was upbeat and positive about everything and told several funny stories …

Sep 06, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Change of Plans

Several months ago I hired a professional editor to take a look at Glass Houses. Due to other commitments, it took her a while to get to my manuscript. Today I (finally) received her review. The five-page review was actually better than I expected. Her criticisms were nothing I hadn’t heard before, and included several ideas for how we might address them. Her thoughtful review emphasized the positive and helped me to see a way to fix problems I’ve known about since finishing the memoir. Her review focused on general comments, strengths of the manuscript, and recommended revisions. The general comments revolved around narrowing down the storyline, selecting major characters (rather than the cast of thousands in the current draft), …