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Reunited and it Feels So Good

If an inanimate object brought one out of a slump, considering one’s love for said object did not become obsessive, it would be a good thing, right

I’ve always been a gearhead, a real car enthusiast. At the age of seven, I was one of those kids that attached baseball cards to the spokes of his bicycle, trying to replicate the sound of a motorized vehicle. By the age of twelve, I had a closet full of automobile magazines and a drawer full of accessories to use on my first car, which turned out to be a 1950 model Plymouth. I was fond of the Plymouth of course. However, I continued to save any money I could get from odd jobs until I had enough to get the car I’d had my eye on for some time: A 1957 Chevy. I quickly became the terror of Sand Springs, my hometown, the 283 C.I. power plant of the Chevy igniting my already fervent passion for the hobby, driving that is.

Looking back, my continuing quest for automotive power took a somewhat lengthy hiatus with the purchase and subsequent sale of a 1964 GTO. There were a lot of cars in between. I won’t go into it any deeper than passing on that my wife once told me that I really should contact the Guinness Book of World Records to claim the automobile- ownership title. I seriously considered it. Back, however, to my hiatus. You see, a few months before the GTO I’d become a husband and not long after that a father as well, the sequence of events leading to several dynasties of puttering around in economical, more family oriented sedans. I now shudder at the thought, wondering how I ever made it through such a mired-in-molasses automotive existence.

A series of recent events led to a true renaissance of spirit. As it turned out, my automotive passion had not died but had lain dormant for years only to be reawakened by another set of initials: BMW. Call the series an initialism, an acronym, a Beemer, a Bimmer; break it out into Bavarian Motor Works, or Bayerische Motoren Werke, it matters not.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I put 227,000 miles on my latest economic puttering mobile before deciding it was time for an update. I didn’t set out to get a BMW, though I did mention to my wife, Kathi, that it would be nice to acquire something a little sportier for a change. I toyed with the idea of a Corvette, and actually drove a Porsche Boxster and a few Mustangs before Kathi reminded me that, with our son, David, being with us, having a four-door was more practical. I truly thought my perusal into piston powered passion had been empirically quashed. Sadly I again began to search for something sensible. As fate would have it, I was checking the internet for possibilities of transportation when I ran across an ad for a BMW at a lot in Broken Arrow. It was just down the street. I informed Kathi that I’d found a possibility and asked if she’d like to join me for a test drive.

A few minutes later, we climbed into the BMW then pulled out of the lot and onto the street. It didn’t take long before I had to fight to keep a silly grin from spreading across my face. The car handled like a sports car, and purring beneath the hood of this conservative-looking ride was a true power-plant. I kept glancing at Kathi to see if she’d caught on yet. I felt like a kid holding a cookie jar effectively disguised as a can of vegetable cocktail. I leaned closer to tell her that I thought this might be a possibility, but it came out as, “I gotta have one of these.”

I didn’t buy the car we test drove. The interior was pretty trashed out. But it was enough to let me know what to set my sights on. A few weeks later, I found a fairly nice BMW in my price range located in Oklahoma City. Every time I fire this thing up and put it through its gears, I still can’t believe it. For all of you responsible conservatives out there, nurturing a latent need-for-speed, there’s no need to sell the farm and shoehorn yourself into a Ferrari. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But don’t let the four doors fool you. This thing is the real deal.

Kathi has caught on by now and she is cautiously okay with it. She even commented that she likes my recent change in attitude. It seems I’m behaving a bit younger now.

Some might shake their head, thinking this is some kind of midlife thing, but those of you who know me well know that it isn’t. God does indeed work in mysterious ways, and I thank Him daily for instilling in me an insatiable curiosity, an adventurous spirit, and an unquenchable zeal for life.

In the immortal words of The Big Bopper, “Ah baby that’s a what I like.”

 

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Contest -- Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

I’ve been thinking about changing the cover of Footprints of a Dancer and replacing it with one, which would more closely reflect the storyline. Don’t get me wrong. I love the artwork. However, I’ve been told by more than one reader that the cover might give potential readers the wrong impression of what to expect from the book.

Back in the day – a mere 6 years ago actually – when physical books were the reality of publishing, once a book was out it was out, and making changes was not easy. But now that the world of publishing – thanks to Amazon Kindle – has gone mostly digital books and their design and content are easily changed.

I want to take this opportunity to ask my readers for their input. If you have read Footprints of a Dancer, please let me know what you think. Do you like the cover? Do you think it is reflective of the storyline? If you were to change it, in what ways would you do so?

You are invited to respond by commenting on this post, emailing me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by visiting my website http://www.bobavey.com and leaving a comment on the Blog Post that matches this post.

I’m currently working on the fourth Detective Elliot novel, and if someone lends me a good idea to solve my quandary above I would, if they want me to do so, include them as a character in the future book and send them a free copy.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas.

Thanks

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It's Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

Bob’s 1st Quarter Newsletter

2014

 

It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile.

Have you paused lately to consider how much things have changed in the last few years?

I’m not talking about: When I was your age, I walked five miles through the snow; but just within the last few years. Let’s take cell phones for example. Cell phones have been around longer than most people realize. In fact, cell phones were used by the military as early as the 1950’s. However, they were not used commercially until 1973, and didn’t become the rage until the 1990’s. I know that’s twenty-four years ago, but it seems like yesterday to me.

Well, you might be asking, what in the world does that have to do with writing and publishing?

When Beneath a Buried House, the second Detective Elliot novel, was released in 2010, it was still pretty much a brick-and-mortar, paperback world. By the time Footprints of a Dancer – a widely misunderstood work of art – was released in 2012, things had begun to change with the e-book quickly gaining in popularity.  And now, in 2014, the publishing world has been turned on its head with well-known authors dabbling in the previously forbidden, dark science of self-publishing: Since their large publishers still refuse to grasp reality by pricing their e-books at hardback prices while trying to pay the author a mere 15%. The revolution has also caused formerly unapproachable agents to act as friendly advocates and enablers of self-publishing.

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

On the brighter side, some things never seem to change. I was shopping in Walmegamonopoly over the weekend where I saw a display offering the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift: A pair of pink, aloe-infused socks. Nothing says I love you like a pair of socks laced with the extract of the Aloe Vera plant.

Finding the obituaries morbid and depressing, I never read them. However, I actually heard this on the radio. Some famous or at least well-known Oklahoma rancher had passed away and his family had him cremated. The ad, if you can call it that, told of the memorial service to follow, which was to be a barbeque out at the ranch. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Like my good friend, Chuck Sasser always says, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

Stopping for a cappuccino at the intersection of Highway 51 and 81st Street – I now live in this area and you really should add visiting this intersection to your things-to-do list – I saw a girl wearing bright, pink pajamas and cowboy boots; a young mother with black clothing and chemically-black hair adorned with a red flower, pushing a baby carriage. The baby was dressed the exact same way; a heavyset man who kicked his leg in the air. He’d take several steps and kick, several more steps and do it again; and finally a man with a long, grey beard, wearing pants, which appeared to be made from the American flag. Not only was he a disgrace, but looked like Salvador Dali’s rendition of Uncle Sam.

Okay I admit to not seeing this all at the same intersection, but not to not seeing it at all.

And now for something completely different: With the ethereal mist of Footprints softly lingering, I am on the brink of solving and bringing to fruition the age-old problem and nemesis of the alchemist: How do you successfully blend the normal – if there’s such a thing – with the paranormal? Becoming impatient, Detective Elliot shook me by the collar and showed me the way. With his next book, which I’m feverishly working on – even the title is proprietary – he’ll reveal it to you as well.

I want to thank everyone who has signed up for my newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it. If you know of someone who might enjoy it, too, please email it to them. Thanks.

I also give programs for writing groups, reading groups, or any group that’s interested. If you belong to a club, which needs program speakers, keep me in mind.

You have permission to reprint, forward, or use the contents of this newsletter in your newsletter or e-zine. The only requirement is the inclusion of the following footer:

This article was written by Bob Avey, author of, Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer. http://www.bobavey.com.

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Reality Check - Book Review - Eyes Wide Open

 

Through the exploits of Christy Snow and Austin Hartt, the heroes of Eyes Wide Open, Ted Dekker explores the nature of reality as defined by individual or personal experience.

Diving quickly into the story with an informal but engaging style, Ted Dekker immediately pulls the reader into wondering what will happen to Christy Snow, a likeable but somewhat naïve character. Eyes Wide Open was my first reading experience with author, Ted Dekker, who is not only known as a Christian author, but a New York Times best-selling author as well. After reading his work, I am not surprised. While the book contained numerous metaphors of good and evil, Dekker’s style is certainly not heavy-handed. I could imagine someone, who had not heard of Mr. Dekker, reading Eyes Wide Open without realizing they were experiencing Christian fiction. And I mean that as a compliment. Ted Dekker’s books are described as thrillers, but Eyes Wide Open had a fair amount of dark fantasy woven into the story.

I was a bit disappointed in the way the story ended, but I would highly recommend the book to preteens through adult readers who love a good story.

– Bob Avey , author of Footprints of a Dancer

 

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A Nightmare on Elvis Street

Like most people, I’m intrigued with the dream world, and occasionally, when a personal mind warp warrants further analysis, I’ll post the gist of it on this blog.

With this dream, I was more of an observer than a participant, a rarity for me, but certainly not a rare concept. I’ve spoken with many who’ve had this type of dream. Most often this type of mind-wandering unfolds for the dreamer as if they were watching a movie. With this dream, which I call the Elvis Dream, my role was more like the old Fly on the Wall routine.

In the dream, I become aware of a room, which serves as both a living and dining area, in a small house. The house belongs to a middle aged woman who is hiding in the bedroom, attempting to set up a type of sting operation with the aide of two police officers. Suddenly the front door opens and Elvis Presley walks in, not the often imitated, gracefully aging Elvis in sequined, white jump suit, but the younger, dynamic, rock and roller.

Elvis, who I intuit has been invited, immediately suspects that something is up. He sees a row of shoes along the wall near the dining table; a black pair, a red pair, and some house shoes. “Looks like a set up,” Elvis says. He then sits in one of the dining chairs where he takes off his shoes and puts on the house shoes. Elvis then gets up and walks into the kitchen where he sees a young girl, about three years old, sleeping on the floor beside the refrigerator. A large rattlesnake is slithering across the girl’s body.

At this point, the police officers come out of the bedroom, guns drawn and approaching Elvis cautiously, as if to make an arrest.

Elvis, appearing calm, even stoic kneels beside the young girl. He begins to pet the reptile, muttering, more to himself than anyone else, “I love snakes.”

I fear that Elvis will allow the snake to bite the young girl, but instead, like an expert snake-handler he grabs the rattler, one hand grasping just beneath the snake’s head while the other holds the tail. Elvis stands up, holding the snake outstretched over his head, and walks toward the front door.

At this point, I wake up.

Anyone care to venture an explanation of this dream?

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