Tag: Until Thanksgiving

Aug 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Wildest Dreams

I wrote Glass Houses in 2010 and thought it was an absolutely brilliant memoir. My first choice agent rejected the manuscript. Then I tried a small gay publishing house that also turned it down. Solid in my conviction that the manuscript was perfect, the problem had to be with the blurb, synopsis, and query letter. I joined a local writers group for help. In the next few months I learned enough to see that my memoir had a lot of technical problems. I decided to set it aside until I could figure out a way to fix the major structural issues. Leaving it behind was okay. Writing the memoir changed me in a lot of ways, with one of the …

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 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 …

Jun 10, 2012
By Michael Rupured

We’ve Come a Long Way

After Christmas Eve takes place in late 1965 and early 1966 in Washington, DC. I didn’t have a choice. Details I wrote into Until Thanksgiving, before I knew there would be a prequel, forced my hand. I firmly believe in writing what you know. My first two books were set where I’ve lived. For the memoir, I didn’t have any choice. The story takes place in Lexington, Kentucky; Washington, DC; or Athens, Georgia–the three places I’ve called home. For the novel, I had a  choice, but opted for DC during the time I actually lived there. My memory and the occasional refresher via a search of the internet or my old journals provided all the details I needed. Now I’m …

Jun 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Totally Different Experience

A few years ago, the idea of writing a book intimidated me enough to keep me from even trying. The complexity of the task overwhelmed me. The job was too big to comprehend and I didn’t know enough to break it into smaller, more manageable chunks. I added “write a book” to the things I would probably never do. Even if it never gets published, writing Glass Houses changed that. Turns out, I could write a book. Not having a clue about how to get it published motivated me to find the Athens Writers Group. We hang out together for three or four hours every other Saturday at a local coffee shop. I’ve missed the meetings maybe four times in …

Jun 03, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Back to Work

It’s just been me and the dogs here at home this weekend. I took the opportunity to focus on me. My partner would say I do that all the time. He’s right. But when he’s not around, I really indulge myself. I could accomplish more without the dogs pestering me. They insist I stop whatever I’m doing to play with them, feed them, or take them outside when I’m trying to focus on something else. It’s their way of saying, “your always thinking about something else. Play with us!” They make me smile and remind me that there’s more to life than the recliner and the MacBook Air that stays open on my lap when I’m home. No doubt you’ve noticed …