Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Back in the Game

A large eagle glided silently over my path as I crossed the bridge, spanning the Arkansas River near Jenks, Oklahoma. It was going to be a good day.

On the third day of August 2017, I rolled out of bed with a different agenda in mind. I had unfinished business. The email I’d received the previous day was sent as a reminder, but I had not forgotten. I was, in fact, looking forward to it.

I backed the BMW from the garage and set a course for Woodward, Oklahoma, not the office as usual. The decision was neither spontaneous nor poorly thought out, though somewhere west of Enid I began to question the integrity of the satellite feeding information to my phone. I halfway expected the face of Rod Serling to appear in my rearview mirror. A signpost just ahead came into view.

Thankfully, the signpost made no mention of the Twilight Zone but indicated instead that Woodward was eighteen miles away. A few months earlier, the Woodward Library System had contacted me and asked me to be a part of their Summer Adult reading program. I am happy that I accepted the request, and thankful that I was able to make the trip. I truly hope all of the wonderful people, who attended the event, enjoyed the experience as much as I did.

Okay, let’s try this again:

About a month ago, I was sitting in a hospital lab, waiting to get… well, you know, stabbed or jabbed in one way or the other. I’ve been doing way too much of that lately.  Thankfully it has been on an outpatient basis. Anyway, I’d showed up two days earlier, like the endocrinologist had instructed me to do, only to be sent home, after having fasted – that means skipping midnight snacks, breakfast, and coffee – to return a few days later. It seems the doctor had requested the test, but had not scheduled it.

Am I missing something here? If a doctor requests a test be done on a certain day, isn’t that technically the same as scheduling it? And I used to think the accounting profession was convoluted.

To cut to the chase, while I was sitting in the waiting room, a young lady dressed in hospital attire came into the room, dragged up a chair, and sat beside the other young lady, who was already behind the desk and also dressed for the occasion. The young lady, who had already been behind the desk, acknowledged the presence of the later arrival with a curt nod, but for a few minutes, neither of them spoke, neither to me nor to each other. Yeah I’m liking neither, nor today. To compound the puzzle, the second young lady did absolutely nothing constructive or otherwise that I could ascertain, but simply sat there, perhaps conducting mind over matter exercises. The silence was finally broken when the later arrival began to complain about her hours. 

From the conversation that I could not help but overhear, I determined that the second young lady was there as some sort of disciplinary action. I didn’t pick up on what she might have done to earn the detainment, but what cruel form of punishment would give you a twenty minute break from work while still being paid for it?

It gets worse. Her complaining amounted to protests for having had to take off an extra half hour for lunch due to her working  a half hour overtime. I’m no Einstein but, relatively speaking, a negative half hour coupled with a positive one equals zero. And I’d be willing to bet she was paid for the overtime. No wonder the cost of medical care is soaring at a rate nearing the speed of light.

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This article was written by Bob Avey, author of Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer.



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Just Have a Little Faith

In the past – of which I must admit recalling the defining moments has become more difficult lately – I would always dread the thought of putting together a newsletter. However, without fail, once I started to write, the words would just happen, as if I had some sort of hidden well of thoughts that was only accessible when I wasn’t really aware that I was trying to. The well seems to be hidden. I guess I’m trying too hard.

Anyway, in searching for the light side of things, which used to come quite naturally to me, I now seem to struggle. It’s been a rough couple of years, but I won’t go into that. Instead, if I can’t find lighthearted, I’ll reach for something else.

A few years ago, quite a few actually, I was near a schoolyard during the summer when the school was closed, swinging a metal detector over the ground to see what I could find beneath the soil. I used to do that as much as time would permit. It’s a highly misunderstood hobby.

Curious passersby would often ask me, “Hey does that thing actually work?”

No, I would think but not say. I just enjoy waving a metal rod over the ground. You should try it sometime.

Or, “Hey, have you found enough to pay for that thing yet?”

Oh, I don’t know. Have you won enough tournaments to pay for your golf clubs? Perhaps you’ve caught enough fish to pay for your bass boat?

Just as it is with golf and fishing, the hobby of metal detecting isn’t about the money. It’s about relaxing and having a good time. But I stray from the point. While I was lost in thought, intently listening for the subtly different nuances of sound the detector was putting out, a boy of about twelve years of age walked over and got my attention. I nodded and removed my headphones.

He dug into his pocket, pulled out a handful of coins, and held them out for me.

The more I tried to explain that I didn’t really need the coins, the more insistent he became. I finally told him to scatter the coins across the schoolyard so I could find them with the detector. He was a good kid who thought he was helping me out. I often wonder what happened to the kindhearted lad. Good things I hope.  

On another occasion, I was walking across the parking lot of a local convenience store when a teenager with dirty, scraggly hair approached a lady. “Could you loan me some money for cigarettes?” He asked.

The lady explained that she would not give him any money, but instead would go into the store and purchase the cigarettes for him. To my surprise, the dirty, young man was overcome with thankfulness. He asked her what he could do to repay her. She told him to do something nice for someone else, if he got the chance.

In a world permeated with negativity and violence, random, selfless acts of love and kindness are not overshadowed, but instead shine their light into the darkness. We should all strive not only to become aware of such behavior, but to also act as conduits through which the light of Jesus can shine.
This article was written by Bob Avey

You have permission to use or republish all or a part of the article. The only requirements are to include my name as the author, and provide my contact information.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bob's 1st Quarter Newsletter 2017

Bob’s 1st Quarter Newsletter
First off, I extend a sincere and heartfelt greeting to all my friends and loyal readers. You haven’t heard from me in a while, and I apologize for that. 2016 was not a good year for me. I’ve been ill.

It started almost a year ago when I began to have problems swallowing. That turned out to be caused by acid reflux, which the doctors finally got under control. However, somewhere along the line, I began to feel weak, with flu-like symptoms. I’d lost a lot of weight, and I figured the acid reflux was to blame. That was probably part of it, but I suspected something else might be going on. I asked the doctor about it several times who kept prescribing different medicines, most of it aimed at treating symptoms related to the acid reflux. Nothing seemed to help. I finally asked the Gastroenterologist about it and he said he hadn’t seen anything during his two endoscope exams that would cause flu-like symptoms. I passed this information on to my general practitioner (regular doctor) and suggested maybe something else was going on. Since then I’ve been through various tests. The only thing the tests have revealed is that I might have mononucleosis. I know that sounds funny and not serious, but I assure you I’ve been quite ill. I’m still not convinced that is the only problem. Another recent test indicated possible thyroid problems. 

Anyway, the illness has left me weak and without much drive or ambition. I am trying to overcome that. During all of this many other things have happened. I’m not one to go on about such things so I won’t, except for one: I just learned that my longtime friend and publisher, Dan Case, has decided to close AWOC, his publishing business.  So now I’m scrambling, trying to get help with republishing my books to keep them out there and available. 

All of this, coupled with my preexisting propensity for procrastination, has rendered my already snail-like writing pace to the realm of exceeding the speed of light, which, theoretically, would cause one to go backward. 

Has he gone mad, you might ask?

It’s a debatable question. However, my 4th Elliot novel is caught somewhere in the Space-Time Continuum, and I hope to find the strength and energy to rescue the amalgamation of words, sprinkled with hints of brilliance and hopefully laced with enough cohesiveness to carry a sense of story, from this Twilight Zone that I, and Mr. Elliot, have found ourselves in.
I ask for your prayers and continued support.     

Please check out my writing by clicking the link below:

I want to thank everyone who signed up for my Reader List. We’ve already given away a nice prize. I have a lot more good stuff planned. If you haven’t signed up, I’ve placed the link below.

Twisted Perception is now out in audiobook. Please click the link below:
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 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.