My second guest blogger is Michael Rupured. He’s signed a contract with my very own publisher, Dreamspinner Press, and this is how we met and I guest blogged for him earlier this month. I was drawn to his fabulous sense of humor and positive attitude, both of which are evident in his blog, so check it out!
Okay. The pressure is on. Zahra admires my sense of humor. Failing to be funny is not an option.
The ability to find humor in just about any situation has been a blessing and a curse. On the downside, some people consider me to be a bit of a smartass. I can’t help it. Sarcasm is my native tongue, and the only language either of my parents ever spoke.
Aunt Toodles helped to soften the sharper edges. She taught me that people prefer being around someone who laughs a lot to just about any other type, and that making fun of people isn’t nice. Always the life of the party, she had more friends than anyone I’ve ever known. She was certainly the best friend I ever had.
I was never any good at sports, can’t draw a straight line, and was told throughout my early school days to just mouth the words during any group vocal performances. Acting was fun, but even before all the drugs I did in the 1980s, I never really had the memory for it.
Dance and I have always had a strange relationship. Back in the day, I ruled the dance floor at a certain gay bar with my natural grace, rhythm, and I-know-you-want-some-of-this moves. I’d get lost in the music and do my own thing, sometimes causing the people on the dance floor to back out of the way. At the time, I thought it was to watch, but I now realize they were just afraid of getting kicked or smacked.
I spent more time in college than grade school, junior high, and high school combined. Honest. We probably had the same major at some point—unless yours hadn’t yet been invented. I tried all of them, a few more than once, and ended up with bachelors and master’s degrees in…are you ready? Home economics.
For much of the last thirty years, I’ve used humor to make a boring subject (personal financial management) a little easier to take for my students. Over the years I’ve assembled an impressive collection of anecdotes, one-liners, and funny stories that get the point across that I draw upon when I’m teaching, speaking at a conference, or training new educators.
Talks I’ve done over and over again have been refined to carefully choreographed stand-up routines. People say I should have been a comedienne. Ha! They have no idea I’ve been retreading the same tired material for more than twenty years.
In 2008, I started blogging as the Crotchety Old Man, bitching about traffic, people leaving dog poop in my yard, and whatever else struck my fancy. Sometimes my sense of humor didn’t come across as intended. Ouch—sorry—I promise, that was the farthest thing from my mind.
Through blogging I found out a lot about what I liked to write and what people liked to read. After a series of posts about my wild and reckless twenties, the people who read my blog started telling me I needed to write a book. The seed was planted.
That my stories made people laugh tickled me pink. They were popular, too. Traffic on my blog went through the roof. So in 2010, I penned the memoir I promised Aunt Toodles on her deathbed that I would write. It’s called Glass Houses. Glass is a family name—I have more right to the title than just about anyone else who has used it. Just sayin’.
Friends who have read it tell me it’s great—an opinion that is not shared by agents, publishers, or my mother. I joined the Athens Writers Group for help and learned why publishers were rejecting my manuscript. They gave me the knowledge and the courage to try writing a novel and held my hand through the process.
Until Thanksgiving, scheduled for release by Dreamspinner Press in December or January, is the result. Is it funny? The writers in my critique group say my sense of humor comes through loud and clear. I hope so. Without the instant feedback of a live audience, I’m not always sure if my words come across the way I want. I suspect you’ll shed a tear or two along the way as well—assuming I’m not just a one-trick pony.
Set in 1997, Until Thanksgiving is first in a series of novels with holiday titles revolving around the same cast of characters, all taking place between 1966 and today.
Here’s the blurb:
Gay and pushing forty, Josh Freeman knows his best years are behind him. After his partner of seventeen years has an affair with a younger man, Josh buries himself in a pile of take-out boxes, empty bottles, half-smoked joints, and self-pity. His best friend, Linda does what friends do—gently kicks his ass and encourages him to give the job he’s been offered in Washington D.C. a try—at least until Thanksgiving.
Thad Parker, a DC-based relocation expert, rarely dates and has never fallen for anyone. But when he meets Josh Freeman and shakes his hand, a spark hits him like a lightning bolt. When Josh takes an active interest in someone else, Thad decides to wait.
While he waits, misunderstandings about Thad’s relationship with his older roommate, a reckless encounter with a serial killer, and a brush with death conspire against Josh and Thad’s chance at happiness.
Thank you, Zahra, for this opportunity to meet your fans. I’ll let you know when I have a cover, the official blurb, and a release date.
My blog (http://rupured.com),
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichaelRupured), and