Blog

The Joker Part III

September 29, 2015 – Blog Post

 

The Joker – Part III

 

Picking up where we left off with the last post:

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the bruised feelings I’d erroneously nurtured due to my misunderstanding of constructive criticism resurfaced and planted the seeds of mild revenge. Riding the rebellious wave, I conceived a plan, which I thought might gain the attention of my fellow critique partners while simultaneously allowing me to poke a little fun at them.

Eager to crawl forward with the dastardly deed, I began to put together a story. However, as the characters and plot unfolded, whenever I perceived an opportunity I began to exaggerate, writing in a style I considered over-the-top with the characters behaving in a manner I thought almost comical.

The plan was to demonstrate to the group that I had understood what they’d been saying, and to show them that, yes, I could write that way, while at the same time throwing a redeeming comical light on the whole matter.

A few days later at the meeting, I almost lost my nerve, and entertained thoughts of telling the members that I hadn’t written anything, but had come only to listen and learn. Instead, when it came my turn to read, I went through with it.

Upon completion of my reading, the room hung suspended in silence. A sick feeling began to form in my stomach. I fully expected to be excoriated for my insolence, but that didn’t happen. To my surprise, each member orderly took their turn and showered me with praise and compliments.

As shame and guilt crept over me, I felt so low that I almost wished that they had assaulted me with insults. At that point, I could not bring myself to tell them the truth, so I went with it, each week bringing a new installment. About a year later, I had a rough draft of a novel, which would eventually become my first book, Twisted Perception.

To be continued.

Please check out the results of my writing with the links below:

http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Avey/e/B002BM2VJ8

For an audio version of Twisted Perception:

http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Perception-Detective-Elliot-Mystery/dp/B00XZKFWDM/ref=la_B002BM2VJ8_1_2_title_2_audd?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441901683&sr=1-2

 

Extra Bargain: Mark your calendars for October 16, 17, and 18. Check the link below on those dates for a great deal. We’re talking free.

http://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Buried-Detective-Elliot-Mystery-ebook/dp/B003SE7J6I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

With the help of my publisher, I’m putting together a program we are calling: Bob’s Reader List. With the list, I hope to offer true value to those who subscribe with give-a-ways, freebies, and bargains. Check it out by clicking the link below:

http://awoc.com/BobAvey-TwistedPerception/

 

Share

The Joker Part II

September 10, 2015 – Blog Post

 

The Joker – Part II

 

I left you hanging last time in the midst of my ramblings about criticism. Let me pick up where we left off.

A few days after having perceived my writing as being trashed – actually, while containing hints of inspiration, those early short stories were pretty bad – I was sitting home one night, watching television and feeling sorry for myself when something rather strange happened. An internal voice, which I realized as being a fictional character, actually told me how to pick up the pieces and proceed with my writing. You probably paused after reading that, and perhaps entertained certain doubts. I won’t go so far as to say there’s nothing to worry about, but having characters, which are actually part of the subconscious, pop into my thoughts with tidbits of story is now a common occurrence. However, with this being the first time I’d become aware of it, it was mildly unnerving.

This is how it happened: Halfway through some now forgotten television program, the internal voice, a character, said: You can’t fill out a homicide report, indicating the suspect to be a ghost.

The enigmatic phrase might seem like gibberish, but I immediately recognized it as a possible answer to my current dilemma. The character’s reference to a homicide report indicated he was involved with law enforcement, which meant, if he hung around, he would lead me toward some type of crime story that would be conservative enough to satisfy the critique group. At the same time, there was this ghost thing thrown in, which could offer substance, if you will, to satisfy my leanings toward the not-so-conventional. In short, it was perfect.

I immediately went to my office, which consisted of a cheap desk crowed into a corner of the master bedroom of our rented house, and began banging out what would eventually become a mystery novel. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the bruised feelings I’d erroneously nurtured due to my misunderstanding of constructive criticism resurfaced and planted the seeds of mild revenge.

To be continued.

Please check out the results of my quasi insane writing with the links below:

http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Avey/e/B002BM2VJ8

For an audio version of Twisted Perception:

http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Perception-Detective-Elliot-Mystery/dp/B00XZKFWDM/ref=la_B002BM2VJ8_1_2_title_2_audd?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441901683&sr=1-2

With the help of my publisher, I’m putting together a program we are calling: Bob’s Reader List. With the list, I hope to offer true value to those who subscribe. Check it out by clicking the link below:

http://awoc.com/BobAvey-TwistedPerception/

Share

The Joker

In the last blog post, I raised the question as to why my first novel was written for the Mystery genre, when my love of reading – which ideally, for the writer, should be the same – leaned toward fantasy.

In the midst of confusion, while caught up in a burning cauldron – I’m feeling quite dramatic today – of internal and external turmoil, I had the wherewithal to seek out, find, and join a local writers group. The complicated process was simple, really. I called the Tulsa Library, and the nice lady I spoke to, gave me the contact information for the Tulsa NightWriters, a group I still belong to.

As fate would have it, – I’m experiencing an epidemic of clichés too – after attending a few monthly meetings, I discovered that a select cadre of fiction lovers within the club were in the habit of gathering once a week, to read and critique each other’s work. I inquired about the nature of this group within a group and before long I, too, became a member of the quasi secret society of writers.

As it turned out, the secret society leaned toward the conservative side of writing and, therefore, did not readily take to my fantastical ramblings. They told me I should abandon the short-story, for there was no money to be made there, and embrace the long form of a novel. They also suggested, perhaps a bit more subtly, that I consider a style of a more salable nature.

Needless to say, I was crushed. Writers, especially those new to the occupation, or should I say obsession, do not take kindly to criticism. Some of them might not show it, choosing to take it quietly, but trust me, they take it personally. When someone expresses a negative opinion of something you’ve worked so hard to create – whether  it’s warranted or not – it’s akin to them walking up to you on the street and telling you that your children are ugly.

Don’t let me put too sharp a point on this. Learning to take constructive criticism is a necessary and essential part of the writing process. And like I said, I’m feeling dramatic today. The help and criticism I’ve received from editors, publishers, and fellow-writers have been both appreciated and invaluable.

And now: actually with the next post; for the rest of the story.

http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Avey/e/B002BM2VJ8

With the help of my publisher, I’m putting together a program we are calling: Bob’s Reader List. With the list, I hope to offer true value to those who subscribe. Check it out by clicking the link below:

http://awoc.com/BobAvey-TwistedPerception/

 

 

 

 

Share

The Exile

July 30, 2015 – Blog post

The Exile

 

In the last post, Kathi and I had moved to Tulsa to either etch out a new life, or salvage the old one. I’m still not sure which on prevailed, but when the idea for this blog series came to me, I resolved to keep it upbeat. I’m finding it difficult to adhere to that promise. However, in concentrating on the writing instead of the life behind it, I would find it easier. But how boring is that?

In the spirit of Family Vacation, the movie, we rolled into Broken Arrow, Oklahoma in a mini caravan, which consisted of a rental truck and the family car. We rented a small, but clean little house, and there began the journey.

Kathi, as she’s mysteriously prone to do, immediately snagged a new job as an accounts payable clerk. Her ability to land on her feet and hit the ground running is nothing short of amazing. The love, inspiration, and help she’s given me through the years is unfathomable. She is a Godsend.

For me, it didn’t go so smoothly. Preparing a professional-looking resume, I sent them out in droves, only to be replied to, for the most part, that I was overqualified. How can one over qualify themselves into perpetual unemployment?

Looking back, the opportunity I’d always dreamed of, that of being a fulltime writer, was staring me in the face. At the time, though, an innate fear of ending up homeless and eating from dumpsters blinded me to the potential bliss. I didn’t give up on writing. The process of immersing myself in characters and situations, helped pull me through. However, as one might imagine, the writing I produced during that period had a rather dark slant to it, resembling, I suspect, the stuff possibly found in Rod Serling’s secret closet, where he kept that which was too intense for television.

The stories were pretty bad, technically, but they served their purpose in allowing me to stretch my imagination and explore where my writing might lead. And it isn’t surprising that I would choose dark fantasy as an outlet. My love for reading began with fantasy, and my desire to write was born from reading books like, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine Le Engle. There are times when I wish I’d stuck with the genre. In fact, the discerning reader might pick up on slight influences infused within my first two novels; Twisted Perception, and Beneath a Buried House. With Footprints of a Dancer, I attempted to open the gates a bit too much. With the fourth novel in the series, which I hope to have out within the year, I believe I’ve struck a proper balance between the worlds of mystery and fantasy. It’s my best work yet. I know we writers always think that of our work in progress, but it goes beyond that. I feel it with each chapter: This is the one.

Why did I backpedal into straight mystery?

More to come…

http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Avey/e/B002BM2VJ8

Share

I Couldn't Ask for Anything More

My publisher and I are gearing up for some exciting contests and giveaways. Be on the lookout for further information.

There’s something to be said for organization. Whatever it is escapes me at the moment.

People often comment on my haphazard way of publishing the newsletter, releasing an issue whenever the mood strikes. Contrary to how it might seem, the publication is set up on a quarterly basis, and I try to adhere to that; sort of.

So, you might ask, what’s happened since the last breathtaking issue?

We – Kathi, David, and I – had a garage sale. This was no ordinary shindig. According to our neighborhood covenants, we’re only allowed to hold such an event once a year, and even then it’s to be scheduled on a date predetermined by the neighborhood association garage-sale wizards. The sale is a highly anticipated happening. We’ve been in the neighborhood going on four years now, and it was the first time we finally got around to participating, if you want to call it that. We’d had at least four weeks warning, and we put the time to good use, deciding in the wee hours of the night before to gather a few items and scatter them strategically across the driveway.

What a waste of time that turned out to be, sitting in a lawn chair in a hot garage, waiting for the horde of people who couldn’t wait to buy our stuff to show up.  It might have been tolerable, had that happened. Well a few cars did trickle by, and a couple of them actually stopped. One such family had a little girl, who strolled around our pretty pathetic offering, searching for something that might interest her.

Afterward, the defeated look on the girl’s face was just too much. Kathi ran into the house, and when she returned, she held a Barbie-themed kite in her hand, which she presented to the little girl, free of charge. The smile that came across that child’s face made it all worthwhile. You would have thought we’d given her a sack full of money.

Later we loaded up the car and went to the grocery store. Sometimes I don’t know how we stand all of the excitement.  However, I’d thought my luck had changed when I stepped out of the car and caught a fleeting glimpse of legal tender. That’s right, floating gracefully across the parking lot was a Federal Reserve note. I’m glad no one had their cameras ready. I must have looked pretty silly chasing down the ill-fated loot, which turned out to be only a piece of a ten-dollar bill.

The following Monday, I strolled happily into the bank, expecting to trade my partial bill for a new one. The lady behind the counter moved so fast that it took me back to my childhood.

During the interlude, I recalled my stepfather bringing home a little black box, which he grinningly sat on the table. He showed me the slot on top where one was supposed to insert a quarter. Without explaining, he left the box there and went into the other room. A quarter was a lot of money to a kid back then. But how could I not put one into that slot? When I did, the box began to shake and quiver then a hand shot out and grabbed the coin. Both the hand and the coin disappeared into the little black box, never to be seen again, at least by me.

It was a lot like that at the bank. The lady snatched the mutilated money from my hand.

“There’s not enough of the bill remaining for me to give you a replacement,” she said, “but we’ll happily dispose of it for you.”

Wow, left without so much as a conversation piece.

I have what I believe to be some great news. Twisted Perception, the 1st Elliot novel in the now (I wish) infamous series, is now available in Audiobook format. Yea!!! I can practically hear the squeals of delight, coming from my adoring fans as the momentousness of this epic event dawns on them. And now, here is the link:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Twisted-Perception-Audiobook/B00XWQFALI

Please follow the link and check it out. Once you’re at the site, there’s a button you can click to hear a free sample. Charles Bice, the reader we chose, did an excellent job of portraying the characters as he tells the story. I believe you can even get the audiobook of Twisted Perception for free, if you join Audible.com. And who wouldn’t want to do that?

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.

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.

 

Share

More Articles...

Page 2 of 13

2

Member Of:

Sign Up For Bob's Newsletter!

Like What You See?