Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just Twisted

While attending the OWFI conference at the Embassy Suites in Oklahoma City, I went to the vending machine on my floor to get a soft drink. In a dark corner, I found a Pepsi machine, but as I fed my dollar into the slot, I noticed the machine was filled with Coke products: I could tell this by the selection labels. I stabbed the button designated for regular Coke and a twenty-ounce bottle fell into the tray below. There was only one problem. I couldn’t get the bottle out of the slot: It was too large. I don’t know what the other customers did. Perhaps I was the first to try the cross-genre cola experiment. You know what they say: you can’t roller skate in a buffalo heard, and you can’t put a Coke in a Pepsi machine.

Again in Oklahoma City, I was attending the Oklahoma Book Festival where I met an old friend. I also saw something unusual… perhaps bizarre would be more descriptive. It was a dog that only had two legs, the back ones, which it walked on quite handily. The dog didn’t hop like one might expect in such a situation, but it actually walked, like some forgotten humanoid species, or an alien from another world.

Back in Tulsa, I saw an old Camaro parked alongside the road. It had two flat tires and an inscription written across the rear window. It read: Just married. Off to a bad start I’d say.

My family and I had heard of this new restaurant called – I better not put the real name here – so we decided to give it a try. I knew something wasn’t quite right when I saw the d├ęcor. I’m not sure how to describe it. Let’s just say they were trying for the mix-and-match look and overachieved their efforts with stellar proportions. Being led into a dining area that might have been better suited for an automobile repair shop, we were seated beside a large white-painted buffet. The doors of the buffet were open, showing not only bottles of catsup and mustard, but also blue signs taped inside the doors that read: Please keep doors closed. But the fun was just beginning. We had just ordered from a one-page, plastic-coated menu when one of the employees began to walk through the area. If you can imagine a vendor at a baseball game, hawking his wares, only with a lot less enthusiasm – I mean a lot less; we’re talking just this side of manic depressive – then you’ll get a pretty good idea of how it went. I can’t say that I blame the poor guy. He had to walk around the restaurant announcing “fried okra” to the backdrop of Country music, Merle Haggard no less, wailing, “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee.” I still have nightmares about it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Twisted Book Tour

Hello, everyone. Beginning October 14th I start my Hastings tour, signing books across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. Please check my website at for details.

Later that day, I saw an old car with its headliner hanging loose. There was a child in the backseat, having to hold the material with his hands to keep it from covering his head. The car had a bumper sticker on it that read: If you’re not appalled, you’re not paying attention. Pretty appropriate, wouldn’t you say?

Two weeks earlier, I was aboard a giant cigar with wings, flying to Tucson Arizona for a book fair in Sierra Vista. About halfway into the flight, a man fought his way through the narrow isle to the front of the aircraft where he began to struggle with the bathroom door. I was beginning to feel embarrassed for the poor soul before he finally got it open. To make matters worse, a sign, positioned so that everyone in the cabin could see it, announced in bright red letters that the necessary room was occupied.

Quite a bit of time passed, but then strange noises ensued, and the light began to blink, phasing between dormant and occupied. I figured, being that the guy had trouble getting in, that he was likewise experiencing a difficult go at getting out. I could actually hear him thrashing around in there. The guy finally busted out, his hair sticking up, a frazzled look on his face as he approached a flight attendant. Seconds later, the flight attendant keyed the intercom and announced that the light in the lavatory was malfunctioning. She asked that we refrain from using the facility, but added that if it got to the point to where you had to go, to please see her and she would loan you a flashlight.

More to come.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Here we go again

Hello Everyone.

Early in the month of April, I pulled to the curbside and parked along Sixth Street in Muskogee, Oklahoma, checking the map to see if I was in the right location, number thirty-eight of eighty-nine entrants, right behind Miss Keetoowah. I’d discovered a couple days earlier that my sister-in-law had signed me up for the annual Azalea Festival and Parade, and my wife, Kathi, and I hastily put together some pretty decent signs and taped them to the sides of my already somewhat decorated little car.

I stowed the map in its manila folder then climbed out of the car and leaned against it, waiting for parade time. I was starting to relax when I saw two men dressed as old-west marshals, guns slung low on their hips, walking toward me, and a burning sensation ran through my stomach. I didn’t know if a person could be shot for using a parade for personal gain, but I suspected I was about to find out.

As it turned out, the parade marshals were friendly – just curious about the signs on my car. I handed each of them a bookmark. With the ice broken, we began to talk and a few minutes later one of them said, “You’re not going to believe this, but I just saw the craziest thing. A few moments ago, a lady came driving up in a grey car with no decorations. I told her she couldn’t park on the parade route, but she jumped out of her car holding a handmade sign in one hand and a bottle of glue in the other.” He paused and nodded, as if I’d already ascertained the punch line. “That’s right,” he continued, “she glued that sign to her car right there in front of me. Just squirted that stuff all over the door and smashed the paper sign onto it. She was entry number twenty-one.”

After that, he said good-bye and walked away, laughing. He didn’t have to tell me who had done such a thing. I already knew, even before I saw my sister-in-law, driving her grey Saturn with number twenty-one proudly displayed in the windshield.

Please visit my website at There you can read chapter one of my mystery novel, Twisted Pereption, and register for a free autographed copy. Talk to you later.

Bob Avey

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pagan Research

For my next mystery novel, Beneath a Buried House, the second in the Kenny Elliot series, I plan to have the killer try to hang the murders on a pagan religious group. The killer is not religious, one way or the other. It's just a diversion he uses to throw the cops off his trail. I do, however, want to get the facts dealing with pagan religion right. So if anyone out there has any info, or could direct me to some good info, I would greatly appreciate it. I might even name a character after the one who gives me the best source. Thanks.


When the appointed time finally arrived – after I’d waited in the bookstore parking lot, checked out the few shops in the area, and helped a struggling shopkeeper put up a canvass sign in near hurricane winds – I proudly waltzed into the bookstore and announced my presence. “Yes,” the lady in the store said. “We kind of figured the person in the car with a four-foot picture of his book on it must have been you.”

Well, with my near-celebrity status, I was kindly shown to my author’s quarters, a table, and I use the term loosely, in the back of the store where I pre-empted the coffee urns, both regular and decaf, for their spot; a strategic placement, located before the rear exit along a narrow hallway created by a bookshelf that housed books on alien abduction and the coffee table itself. In such a confined area, one had to put forth effort not to see the coffee on their way out of the store.

It might have been amusing, had it not been me sitting there, watching the customers raise the art of overachievement to unprecedented levels as they invented ways of getting through the narrow space between my table and the exit while pretending to peruse the UFO shelf, edging by in a near crablike manner, trying to avoid making eye contact with that strange man sitting where the coffee used to be; that being me.

And those were the customers that did show up. Never have I been in a library as quiet and bereft of human spirit as this, the patrons floating through like disembodied ghosts, completely unable to interact with the living. Even the stoic store employees, who, out of shear boredom, had resorted to dusting the shelves, commented on the store’s lack of traffic.

Paul Phillips from North London won the autographed book giveaway for the first quarter of 2006. Congratulations Paul.

Stay tuned. There’s more to come.

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.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Resistance is futile, but what the heck

Hello, everyone... or no one as it seems to be. Anyway still looking for Pagan Info.


During another episode of book-signing wars, not knowing how long it would take to get to this particular city, I arrived somewhat early. Luckily a shopping mall was just across the street, so I whipped into the parking lot – because that is what one has to do to make the tight turn and avoid being rear-ended – and began to search for a parking spot. The traffic was atrocious. Finding an empty parking spot proved to be a challenge, but after several revolutions around the colossal lot I managed to grab one, receiving a through-the-glass lecture from an angry shopper in a Honda as payment.

I entered the mall intending to grab lunch, but found the food court even busier than the parking lot, so I walked around the mall until I felt conspicuous – I was really early – then went back to the car to pass the time. This was not a good idea. Other cars, which were looking for a spot, kept hovering around me, like buzzards circling a fresh kill. Finally, when the cars had stacked up three-deep on both sides, the drivers having given up circling, deciding there chances of getting a spot were better by participating in the intimidation ritual of the only guy in the lot still sitting in his car, I gave up and backed out. Why didn’t I just walk across the street to the bookstore? Let’s just say the street wasn’t designed for speeds under fifty miles per hour, let alone pedestrian traffic.



Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pagan Research

Hello, everyone. For my new book, I'm looking for information related to pagan gods and goddesses. If anyone has any information, I'd appreciate hearing from you. Just email me at

I have some exciting news. I’ve renegotiated the rights to Twisted Perception, and I now have a new publisher. The book is being re-released by Deadly Niche Press, an imprint of AWOC Books, and should be available under the new imprint by the time you receive this newsletter. Several people contacted me, saying they had tried to get the book, but found that it was unavailable. The distribution problems that caused this have now been resolved. The book can now be found in, or ordered from any bookstore, both on and offline. (ISBN: 0-937660-31-0)

On one of my recent excursions, I found myself driving along an old two-lane highway. Somehow I managed to get between a massive truck, carrying what looked like the next space shuttle, and it’s escort, which was complete with flapping flags, flashing lights, and a sign proclaiming; wide load. Okay, so I passed the big truck but couldn’t muster enough power from my mighty Neon to get around the escort in time to beat the oncoming traffic. There has to be a law against this, driving in the forbidden zone, violating the symbiotic relationship of tiny, flashing trucks and their slow-moving hosts. This situation lasted much longer than it should have. To make matters worse, the ostentatious escort slowly began to pick up speed. I guess my being on his tail made him nervous. I couldn’t help it. I was late for an appointment. You can probably guess what happened next. Soon my escort and I had left the wide-loaded behemoth behind. I was now the wide load. I got a lot of funny looks before I finally managed to get around that silly little truck.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'm Back

All right, I can’t resist. Last month, I’d arrived early for a reading I was to give at one of Tulsa’s libraries. It was cold outside, and I was sitting in my car, sipping on a cola. After a few pulls on the straw, however, the cup seemed to run dry. I shook it. There was plenty left, just a lot of ice in the way. No problem. I’d just shove the straw up and down a little to loosen things up. This is not a procedure that I’d recommend. I managed to shake things up, but in the process I poked a large hole in the bottom of the Styrofoam cup, and of course the contents, that being ice and diluted cola, dumped out, falling onto the first thing below it, that being me. Have you ever seen what a watered-down cola stain looks like on freshly laundered kakis? Let me tell you, it isn’t pretty. Not one to fall apart in the midst of danger, I dashed into the library and found the restroom. As luck would have it, the restroom was equipped with one of those wall-mounted blow-dryer things. Somehow I managed to get the wet portion of my pants up high enough to do a pretty good job of alleviating the stain. In fact, you had to look pretty close to tell anything had happened. I hoped no one would do that. A few minutes later, I was in a room with a bunch of wonderful ladies who called themselves, The Mystery Readers Roundtable. I read from my book and had a great time.

My publisher submitted my book to the Oklahoma Center for the Book for the Oklahoma Book Awards. Wish me luck. On January 14, 2006 I’ll be signing books at the Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.; February 15, I have a cable TV interview in Arlington, TX. It’s called Metroplex Today, with Comcast Cable, but I don’t know the channel or anything; March 18, I’ll be speaking at the Oklahoma Mystery Writers, a writing Club that meets one month in Tulsa, and one month in Oklahoma City; and on March 25, I’ll be at the High Desert Crimes Book Fair in Sierra Vista, AZ.

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

The contents of this newsletter were written by Bob Avey, author of Twisted Perception.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

DVC and a bagel makes 3

I don't know about you, but I'm really getting tired of The Da Vinci Code, and all of the items spawned by the craze. Today I was standing in line at a grocery store, and there it was; on the cover of a magazine on the rack: Lose weight with the Da Vinci Code Diet. Discover the secret hidden in the pages of DVC for destroying fat.

For my next novel, I'm researching the dark side of paganism and dark Pagan Gods. If anyone out there has any good information on it, I'd like to hear from you. I might even put you in the novel, if the info is good enough. Contact me at

A few times a day, while I’m at my day job, I walk the stairs for exercise. There are six flights with the last two, leading to the roof, existing for maintenance purposes. Not long ago I was involved in one of my little treks when I came upon a pair of shoes sticking out of the darkness of the final flight. The lights aren’t used there unless it’s maintenance time. And the shoes were not on the ground, as if someone was standing in them, but were upright as though the owner was lying down. As I drew closer, I saw that legs were indeed attached to the shoes. For a brief moment, I was panic stricken, wondering if I’d come upon a dead body. But it was just a person, a lady, sitting on the floor in the dark with her back against the cinder block wall. I didn’t ask. I just said, hello, and turned around and walked quickly away. I don’t know what she was wearing, but I’d bet it didn’t look very good after sitting on that dirty cement floor.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

On the road... continued

This was around Christmas time. I'll get caught up one of these days.

With it being a new year, I thought I’d shake things up a bit and shift the emphasis from the perils of yours truly and meander across a few recent casual observations.

I’ve noticed a significant increase in the shiny-Christmas-deer-ornament population in the last few years. Not to be outdone, the subdivision where I live jumped on the bandwagon and acquired several of these artificial animals and placed them strategically near the entrances to the sub. I suspect the homeowners association acquired the lot at a bargain price, perhaps picking them up at a garage sale, for the little sparkling darlings looked a little off from the start – at least the ones stationed near the entrance that I use most often.

Not being merely statues, these blinking beauties laid claim to a rather awkward form of movement: the doe, being the hungrier of the two, would raise her head then lower it to the ground where she would munch a couple bites of grass before starting the process over again; the buck’s head rotated in constant vigil. These were no run of the mill plastic venison. As time passed, however, the pair’s motor skills began to deteriorate. By the time Christmas was near, it was almost painful to watch the poor deer in their gallant maintenance of their routine. The doe’s head, now stuck in the lowered position, could no longer reach a height of more than a couple inches, though she kept trying, which gave her the appearance of sadness, while the buck, having developed a rare neural disorder, twitched spastically. It wasn’t pretty.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, disaster struck. I believe it was the day after Christmas when I drove by to see the buck lying on his back, his four legs sticking in the air. But that wasn’t all. Perhaps someone could no longer take the ugly bump and grind of the mechanical pair and decided to take matters into their own hands. Not only was the buck on his back, but he’d also been decapitated, his twitching head writhing beside him. This alone would have been hard to take, but the sight of the buck’s heartbroken mate, weeping by his side, was just too much.

Read chapter one of Twisted Perception at

By the way, you have permission to reprint, or use the contents of this blog, or any part thereof. The only restriction is the inclusion of my name and website with the material. Thanks,

Bob Avey

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hello, everyone. If you would like to register for a free copy of Twisted Perception, please go to my website at

That doesn’t sound so bad you say? Okay I’ll quickly throw in the good stuff. During the two-week period that acted as the end of July, the air conditioner in my house decided to quit working on the hottest day in Oklahoma history and all the people who attend to such matters were already doing so and couldn’t get to my house for two days. Don’t ask. My mother decided to pay us a visit, and while she was here the a/c did its disappearing act, we went outside to sit on the porch swing, and the darned contraption fell, giving me and mom quite a scare, not to mention spilling hot coffee on my mom. I had to run to the drug store and get some burn medication. To top all that off, my wife caught some sort of viral bronchial infection and gave it to me and my poor mom.

Did I mention things got better? Since then, I’ve had several wonderful radio interviews with hosts that actually read my book and loved it, and numerous successful book signings at bookstores around Broken Arrow and Tulsa. Okay I’ll mention a couple. If you are ever in Broken Arrow and want to peruse the shelves of a good bookstore, go to The Book Place at 101st and Elm. While in Tulsa, you will want to visit Steve’s Books and Magazines, an absolutely wonderful bookstore that’s been in operation since the 1950’s.

Coming up in the near future, I will be conducting a free on-line tele-seminar on September 28 at 7:00 PM Central Time. If you want to learn about writing mysteries, or know of someone who does, go to On the right side of the screen, there will be a link with my name on it. Click on this and register. You will get directions on what to do. Everything is free.

On September 30 through October 2, I’ll be at the Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave in Manhattan Kansas; October 11 at 1:00 PM I’ll be doing a radio interview with KTFK 1340 AM in Sand Springs, OK; October 13 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, I’ll be giving a program and signing books at the Newcastle Library in Newcastle, OK; and October 28 through 30, I’ll be at the Cape Fear Crime Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Until next time…

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I don't know

Hello, everyone. I had another weird dream that I will share with you. I know, but it makes me feel better. I was walking across a large grassy area when my father, who passed away last year, came running up to me, holding his hand to his face. He told me he had a tooth ache, and asked me if I would mind taking him to the dentist. The fact that my dad had false teeth for the last few years of his life didn’t seem to enter into the equation. I then realized that I was also supposed to pick my mother up from work. (She hasn’t worked in years, and she and my father were divorced when I was young. I told my dad that there was a dentist just down the street – there were no streets when the dream started, I was in a grassy area, like a woods. – and that he could actually see it from here if he would turn around. He seemed happy with this and started toward the dentist. I then found my car and began the trip to pick up my mother, but I was worried that my dad would not find the dentist, and I felt guilty about leaving him. I woke up sweating.

The Coweta American, the closest local newspaper even ran an article advertising the event. Sounds great, right? It was, but… I had to acquire a shelter, one of those easy pop-up tent thing-a-ma-gigs that the box says one person can erect, but in reality takes 5 strong men and 14 boy scouts to manage. But it was fun. I sat there for 12 hours both days in temperatures that hovered around 125 degrees inside the protected area of the tent. To top that, I used one of those folding canvass chairs which left me about eye-level with the folding table I had for a desk. Have you ever tried to sell a book looking like a sweating pygmy with a bad attitude? Let me tell you, it isn’t easy. But, hey, I ended up selling 14 books and making a lot of new friends. Many of the other booth attendants stopped by and chatted with me, giving me tips on how not to set up one of those easy pop-up tent thing-a-ma-gigs, and maybe using a taller chair. It was like being a circus carnie for the day.

Please visit my website at
or email me at

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Free Twists

I give away one free autographed copy of Twisted Perception, my mystery novel, each quarter. Be sure to go to my website at and sign up. I think I saw a meteorite last night. I was driving to the post office and through the windshield of my car I saw something, which to me appeared about the size of a basketball, falling from the sky. It was greenish in color and irregular in shape.

Hello everyone. Well some of the weird luck I was having spilled over into this quarter. But it soon got better… much better. Anyway, such zany goings on deserve to be shared. On July the 15 and 16, I was invited to participate, by way of manning a booth featuring me and my book, in the Porter Peach Festival. This all came about in a rather interesting manner. Kenny Elliot, the hero of Twisted Perception, grew up in Porter, and the two original murders in the book took place there. I wasn’t sure how the town of Porter was going to take this. I thought about using a fictional small town, but in the end opted for Porter due to its logistics to Tulsa, and its small-town Oklahoma charm, and I decided to use the real name for, well realism. Anyway, I knew sooner or later someone living in Porter was going to run across the book, so I decided not to leave it to chance and sent a copy of the novel to Porter’s City Hall, and another to the local Lions Club. That should do it. And it did. As it turned out, I got a call from Roy Essary, president of the Lions Club in Porter and a very nice gentleman. He informed me that my copies had circulated around the elite of Porter, that being the mayor, the chief of police, all their wives and several police officers, and that they all loved the book and wanted me to come down to the Peach Festival in July.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Twisted Dreams

My dreams are always a little unusual, but I had one last night that I just have to share. Perhaps someone reading this blog might know something about dreams and interpret it for me. It goes like this:

I’m on this train, or trolley thing and I’m sitting in an old leather seat looking out a large rectangular window. A lady is coming up the isle collecting the fare for the ride, and I begin to get nervous. I don’t have much money with me and I’m not sure I can cover the cost. On top of that, I have no idea how I got on the train, or where I’m going. When the lady gets to me, I as her how much and she says, “That’ll be ninety-three cents.”
I think that is a very cheap fare, and I just happen to have a pocket full of change. However, each time I pull out a handful the coins are bent. She explains to me that she cannot accept bent coins and walks on saying that she will be back. In the meantime, someone delivers a lunch to me, a lunch provided by the train. I begin eating but the lady comes back for the fare. I again reach into my pocket, but his time I pull out a handful of beans which I spread across the lunch tray that folds down from the seat in front of me. The lady smiles and says that will be just fine. She then slices the beans in half. The inside of the beans looks unusual and I ask her what it is. “It’s fish,” she replies. With that I get up and go to the restroom to wash my hands because they are now covered with potato salad from my lunch. As I wash my hands, the alarm goes off and I wake up.

Back to the story:

June 24th found me at Springfield Missouri where I attended another delightful conference known as The Poison Tea Party. Did I mention I was driving a rental car because someone had rear-ended my three-week old Neon? I loved the tea party. Sleuth’s Ink, a Springfield Missouri writers’ group, hosted the party, doing a great job. The food was good, and the fellowship endearing. The hotel left a little to be desired. It smelled like it had seen better days, though it appeared clean, and a hoard of little league baseball players complete with coaches and parents invaded my floor.
One more thing and I’ll end this torture. Have you ever been to a movie or some other place where quiet is desired only to have someone’s cell phone ring, or whatever it is they do, and disturb things? Well, now I know what it feels like to be that person. During the highlight of the conference, a program given by Doctor Paul Spense, the Greene County Medical Examiner, my wife calls me. I received a lot of dirty looks, and one attendee even shouted, “Oh, turn it off!”
I quickly left the room, listening to the voice of my wife as she told me I had forgotten my suitcase. It was still lying on the bed in Oklahoma. I had a great time.
I want to thank everyone for signing up for this newsletter. Twisted Perception will be officially released on August 1, 2005.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I Guess So

I walked out of the building where I work today and saw something special: A man and a woman, both over weight and dressed as if they didn't have a lot of money. There's a diabetes clinic upstairs, and I assumed that is where they'd been. As they walked outside and into the parking lot their arms touched then their hands found each others and they walked away hand in hand.

Driving to work this morning, I saw a car, a faded red Chrysler and I noticed that one of the passengers, a boy about 10 years old, was figting something like a curtain hanging from the interior. I realized it was the headliner that had come partly undone. A bumper sticker on the car read: If you're not appalled, you havn't been paying attention. I was appalled, though not at what the sticker was meant to refer to; some political thing.

Back to my story:

On the way home, the nice lady and I were once again talking while she was driving. At one point, she looked in the rearview mirror and said, “oh my,” before pulling over to the side of the road to let the police car go by. It would have been good had he done this, but he didn’t. Instead he came to the window and asked to see the nice lady’s driver’s license, insurance, and registration papers. Luckily she produced the first two, but not the last. The van’s lack of a real license plate, with a paper one being taped to the back window, compounded the issue. I tried to explain that, in Oklahoma, it isn’t a requirement to carry registration papers, and that a paper tag is what happens when one buys a new car there. Then the officer asked who we were and what we were doing. He stated that he’d been following us for three miles, trying to get our attention. Apparently, engaged in our conversation, not only had we been exceeding the speed limit, we didn’t hear the siren and did not see the flashing lights of the police car on our tail.
The police officer talked on his radio for a moment then said, “I had several police cars ready to intercept you, had you not stopped when you did.”
They’d even placed nail strips on the road to stop us in case we busted through the roadblock. So for a few minutes, I was a wanted fugitive on the run from the law. Thankfully we were able to clear it all up, save for a speeding ticket.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Interesting Stuff

Just to catch up:

Upon finding out that I’d written a novel, one of my friends in the office where I work my daytime job once commented, “I don’t know how you do it. I have trouble knowing what to write on birthday cards when they come around.”
I just sort of smiled and nodded. The truth is: I’ve always had the same problem. Without a plot, a character, and a setting, I’m lost.
For lack of a better idea, we’ll just launch into life on the road so far. With the book not being officially released until August, I’ve been hitting various writing conferences across the region, that being the Mid-West. The tour began April 29 in Oklahoma City with the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Conference, more commonly known as OWFI around these parts. My wonderful wife, Kathi, joined me for that event, and we met up with some writer friends, Charles Sasser and his delightful son, Michael. Together we enjoyed good restaurants and lively conversation, as well as taking in the conference. Nothing crazy comes to mind, so I guess it was a good trip.
After that on May 26, came Mayhem in the Midlands, a well organized, beneficial, and entertaining conference sponsored by the Omaha Public Library Foundation. Held in downtown Omaha with plenty of interesting sites to see, the conference energized my spirits, and left with me with a feeling of having experienced something worthwhile. However, just prior to and just after this event is where all the fun began.

Now back to the story:

When I got to her house, my fellow writer showed me the minivan she’d just purchased for the trip, a good, though slightly used Ford. She had a lot of luggage, so we took the van and left my brand new Neon in her driveway. Since I was sworn to secrecy, I cannot divulge the name of my cohort, so we’ll call her, the nice lady. On the way up, we began to talk, and the nice lady told me something I feel compelled to share. It went like this: “My husband is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Yeah, it’s sad. But you know sometimes he says to me, ‘Everything will be all right when my wife gets here.’” She paused then continued, “That would make most people sad, but not me because I know he’s remembering that skinny twenty-two year old he married, and not the old hag I see in the mirror each morning. And it’s kind of nice that he lives there in that special place we made together years ago.”That brought tears to my eyes. If you’re out there reading this, nice lady, I saw your grandson in that movie. He’s quite the cyclist.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Twisted Subjects

Hello, bloggers. Look, mom, I'm blogging.
Since I don't know what I'm doing, I'll just post some of my old newsletter content.

Several months ago, I was getting ready to go to a writers' conference when my life began to go haywire and it went something like this: My old stockade fence that I'd been patching up for two years decided it'd had enough and simply fell completely down, which, in retrospect was probably for the best (tell that to my pocket book) since some of the boards had already given up the ghost. In short the place was beginning to look like bad rental property in a good neighborhood. The guy the fence company sent out to estimate the damage had dollar signs in his eyes. I asked him where he got contact lenses like that, imprinted with such a monetary symbol, but he only laughed and scribbled harder on his note pad.

Not to be outdone, my old car, which held the record for high mileage, though I never bothered reporting it to the Guinness Book, invented a new, mechanically produced noise accompanied by a strange vibration which I'm sure would have induced weight loss, had I been able to endure it. It was time to buy a new one. Locating a salesman, who assured me I was getting the best deal turned out to be relatively easy, though, figuring I could get more for the old car by selling it myself, I refused the salesman's offer for a trade-in and parked the old buggy on the street. That turned out to be a mistake. The next day, while I was at work, someone smashed into the old relic, knocking off the side mirror and leaving a huge dent in the driver's side door. Whoever perpetuated the deed didn't stick around, a hit and run so to speak, and of course no one saw or heard anything.

I parked the now beat-beyond-recognition old Geo in the driveway and headed for Stillwater, OK, where I was to meet a fellow writer who would share the ride to Omaha.

More to come.

I'll be in the Azalea Festival Parade in Muskogee, Oklahom this weekend, April 8, and later I'll be signing books at the Arts and Crafts Show in the Muskogee Civic Center.