It’s been a long time since I’ve traveled to a state I had never been to before.
I’ve never flown overseas, so I’ve never been to Hawaii. I’ve been to Mexico a couple of times and Canada several. In fact, I’ve been to all the provinces in Canada that border the United States. I’ve never been north enough to reach Alaska.
And until last week I had been to 41 of the continental United States. Last week I made it to number 42.
Last week I helped my daughter move to Louisville, Kentucky. Until last Thursday around noon I had never been to Kentucky.
I only lack North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.
I saw some beautiful scenery—early November was a great time of year for the drive—as I steered the U-haul through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, then ending in Kentucky. And I listened to WAY too much talk radio on the drive.
Since I had never been to Kentucky I didn’t know much about the state outside of their college basketball teams. Louisville is right on the border of Indiana. In fact, my daughter’s apartment is only, I would guess, three or four miles from the border.
The highlight for me, other than the time with my daughter, was visiting the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. I saw and read lots of history of the game of baseball, particularly about the bats and who used Louisville Slugger bats. And I saw how the bats are made.
They had batting cages where you could pay $2 for ten pitches. They offered both aluminum and wood bats, but I chose a wooden one because I probably haven’t swung a wood bat since I was a kid. You can choose to hit baseballs or softballs and I chose baseballs because I probably haven’t swung at one of those, well, maybe not since college.
Considering I haven’t swung a bat in several years I felt good about my time in the cage. I hit every pitch, and some of them were solid line drives.
And I’ve added a bat to my collection. After taking the tour they gave each of us a souvenir bat, maybe eighteen inches long. I might have been tempted to buy a regular sized bat but I didn’t figure the airline would allow me to carry it to Chicago and then Wichita.
One other strange experience on the trip. After I boarded the plane in Chicago I received a text from Jared, the Harvey County Independent editor, saying his sister was on the same flight as me. Apparently she had thought I looked familiar so took my picture and sent it to Jared to confirm. She had an empty seat next to her, so after we took off I went back and visited with her for a while. That was fun because I didn’t really know her well, plus it made the flight go by quickly.
It was a short vacation, but a productive and enjoyable one. As fun as it is to travel to other places, especially ones I have never been to before, it’s always good to come home to a small town in Kansas.
A.R. Crebs is a multi-talented author, creator, graphic designer, and artist. I’ve worked with her enough to know that she’s fast, talented, and smart. She is a friend and I’m thrilled to introduce her and her writings to my readers.
As a bonus, she shared a short story from her new book, Whispers from Beyond, found at the end of this interview.
A. R. Crebs is the writer and illustrator of the Esoteric Design series and a couple of stand-alone novels.
A native to Kansas, Crebs dove into the creative world at a young age. Her passion for gaming and creating characters led her to pursue an art career, taking art classes throughout her academic life, leading to her attendance at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, where she received a BFA in illustration / children’s book specialization.
With experience in graphic design, formatting, illustration, and writing, Crebs creates and designs everything for her novel series while working freelance on the side.
The Esoteric Design is a sci-fi/fantasy novel series with chapter illustrations. There are currently 3 books in the series. The Trouble with Mystery is a romantic thriller. Whispers from Beyond is a collection of miniature horror/thriller stories.
Share a little bit about your latest bookWhispers from Beyond: 30 Miniature Tales
A small child survives the end of time in a silent world, but is he truly alone?
People awake within a dark tunnel haunted by death. Can they escape?
A woman strives to make her husband happy with a new dinner recipe, a meal he will never forget.
An evil being assists a man trapped in a psych ward.
As fire consumes an entire city, a mysterious figure emerges, its intentions unknown.
A simple game of hide-and-seek goes wrong, destroying a family.
This collection of miniature stories explores the dark side of both humanity and the supernatural. Whispers from Beyond is a series of ever-changing themes and styles per chapter, offering thirty horrific tales of death, murder, loneliness, and revenge.
Tell us about your previous books
The Esoteric Design is an action-packed sci-fi/fantasy novel series paired with illustrations in every chapter and an additional section with character biographies, bestiary, weapons, and more.
There are currently three books in the series, with more to come in the future.
The Trouble with Mystery is a romantic thriller that does contain mature content. The plot-twist is the real inspiration for creating the story.
How long have you been writing and why did you start?
I’ve been writing and creating stories since I was a child, along with creating art. Character creation is my favorite process, and from there, I move on to world-building.
It was a hobby at first, but I started writing heavily in college and posted the stories online, where my readers encouraged me to write and publish my own books. A few years later, I worked on The Esoteric Design while working full time until I published it in 2014. I then focused solely on running my own business for 5 years as an author and illustrator and freelance for businesses and other authors, acting as a publisher, editor, and designer.
I currently work full time while continuing my business.
What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
I have suffered dramatically from writer’s block in recent years. The hardest part for me is finding the motivation I once had to write and getting started in the first place. I’m not sure why the trouble started in the first place, other than stress and constant significant life changes over the past few years.
Soundtrack music, video games, and film help inspire me. When my block is too dense to fight through, I often create art, a book cover, or a book trailer to motivate myself to finish.
Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure. I am inspired by video games mostly and often binge play games to build up my creative gauge. A glass of wine always helps, but that isn’t a very unique trait for most creatives!
Does writing energize or exhaust you? Or both?
The idea of not writing enough exhausts me and discourages me. Once I start and get a good flow, I feel energized and more motivated.
What are the essential characteristics of a hero you can root for?
A hero that is relatable. I enjoy flawed characters who have development and growth, maybe even a dark side. Perfect heroes with little personality bore me.
Talk about your interest in graphic design/art. Is it related to your writing or a separate interest?
I started drawing as a small child and always wanted to be an artist. As I aged, I wanted to work as a concept artist for games and film.
I went to the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and received a BFA in illustration with a specialization in children’s books, which taught me a bit about formatting, graphic design, and the publishing world.
For my grad show, I reworked the concept art for The Esoteric Design characters, which I had created through character concepts when I was fourteen years old and continued to revisit over the years. Though the art was initially intended as a concept for a video game, I wrote out the storyline in a novel format due to encouragement from readers and the fact that I had no way to create the story as a game. So, frequently, art inspires the stories I create, whether from character concepts or book covers and trailers I create along the way, which helps motivate me to write when I feel stuck.
Who has been the biggest support(s) or your writing?
I have regular fans and a few close friends who encourage me to continue writing. They purchase my books, visit me at shows, and help bring in new customers.
What does being a successful author look like to you?
Success, to me, is continuing to create and publish. Furthermore, it’s obviously about selling your product and growing your business. Everyone has the dream of being rich and famous off of their books, but as long as you can keep creating and maintaining readers, I would say you are successful.
It’s a challenging world to compete in, especially with how easy it is for everyone to publish their own books now. There is a lot of good stuff and a lot of bad for readers to wade through, which has harmed the indie community a bit. That’s why I’ve educated myself in writing, art, design, publishing, editing, and marketing. It requires a lot of motivation, but as long as you maintain a good work ethic and understanding of the shifting marketing world, you can make things work out in your favor.
Is indie publishing all bad? Absolutely not. There are pluses and minuses to both the indie and traditionally published world. I have spoken with traditional publishers in the past for my Esoteric series. Due to its size, art, and design, they would have made many changes to my books that I disagreed with. Because of this, I stuck with self-publishing so I would have 100% creative control over the project.
Would I publish something traditionally? Yes, I wouldn’t mind in the future, and I’ve been invited to work on professional projects as well, which are still in progress. I would love to be a part of both worlds. And to be in both worlds, I would consider that successful as well.
Anything additional you want to share with readers?
The most important part of writing is actually writing. Every year I come into contact with people who label themselves as writers and sometimes even authors when they have never completed even one project.
To be a writer, you must write. To be an author, I believe you must actually finish a book and publish it in some format. But don’t be discouraged if you find your progress to be slow. Force yourself, find new ways of motivation and inspiration. The challenge is finishing.
Also, your story will never be perfect. So, yes, while it is crucial to have a clean and professional manuscript (please don’t publish a book full of mistakes and errors.), you also have to let the project go eventually. Let people read it. Learn from trial and error and reviews. Learn from your own creative processes and experience. But, most importantly, don’t give up. Even if it takes you years to finish a manuscript, it’s better than never finishing at all.
Little Victoria sat upon the wrought iron fence, kicking her feet back and forth as she stared at the pale moon of the midnight sky. It was larger than usual, and she wondered if that meant it was closer, brighter, or had merely grown in size like her tummy used to when she overindulged in Mr. and Mrs. Kaplan’s baked pies. A dense fog eddied low across the dirt roadway in front of her, a chill wind carrying dead leaves along with it.
The clip-clop of hooves echoed in the distance, attracting her attention. She narrowed her eyes. Rarely a man journeyed along this path, especially at this time of night. A large silhouette formed within the mist—tall, dark, a man on a giant horse. An excited whinny blared into the night, and Victoria smiled.
“It is Mr. Irving and Sir Washington!” she happily declared.
The horse and man neared her position; the clopping hooves provided a parading fanfare as they approached the iron gate. The young girl smiled and waved. Mr. Irving’s shoulders turned toward her as Sir Washington reared, crying out. She wasn’t sure what the real names of the man and his horse were. Mr. Irving never spoke, but she felt it odd not to have a proper title, so she made up her own, which she believed to be very fitting. The man never protested, and so the labels remained.
“It’s been countless nights since you paid me a visit, Mr. Irving!” Victoria hopped off the fence and strolled toward the man and his horse. “How is Sir Washington? He seems a bit bonier than last I saw him.”
Mr. Irving remained silent as the girl inspected the horse’s hooves. Black goo covered the front right foot, where a chunk of flesh had fallen off the leg, revealing dried and torn muscle and a bit of bone. The girl patted the horse’s neck with a frown, inspecting Sir Washington’s blood-red eye and muzzle, which also looked about as poorly as his legs. On one side, a pair of ribs shimmered white in the moonlight.
“He needs to eat,” Victoria scolded Mr. Irving, who sat straight as a board upon his saddle, his leather-covered hands tightly gripping the reins. “And I dare say you don’t look much better. Where has your head gone? Did you lose it once again?”
Irving’s shoulders slumped, a gesture that told her he was slightly disappointed and perhaps a little tired. She couldn’t remember ever seeing the man’s real head, but frequently he wore a replacement, usually something Victoria had made-up herself.
“No matter! I have just the thing!” The girl skipped away, capturing a plump orange pumpkin that sat beside the entrance gate. “I was bored earlier, so I carved this! I think it is quite lively, don’t you?”
Mr. Irving turned a bit toward her, still no words spoken, as would be difficult for a man without a head. The pumpkin was large in her hands but appeared to be about the right fit for his shoulders. A pair of carved eyes and a crooked smirk decorated its surface. Leaning forward, a large hand reached toward the girl. She happily dropped the gourd into the man’s palm. Without much more than an invisible glance, Mr. Irving placed the pumpkin directly where his head should be. After some twisting and adjusting, he peered down at Victoria with a sizeable black smile.
“I think it lacks something,” she said, holding her chin.
Mr. Irving nodded and snapped his fingers; a blaze of yellow flame sputtered to life inside, illuminating his features. Victoria giggled and clapped.
“Perfect! That is much better! I must say, I think this is my favorite look for you. Any time you lose your head, be sure to come back to me, and I shall make you another.” Victoria twirled, eyeing the pumpkin patch that lay on the horizon in a faraway field. “I shall take stock to hold us over for the rest of the season…just in case.”
Mr. Irving remained silent, but he did manage a short nod. After a moment, he returned his attention to the small town occupying the edge of the forest. It mostly lay dark save for the glowing lanterns lining the main road and a few windows. Smoke seeped from the chimneys, the scent carrying on the breeze. Victoria followed his gaze, eyeing the sleepy little town.
“You’re going into town, aren’t you?” she asked. There came no response. “Well…as you most likely are, it may be pertinent information for you to know that little Billy Kaplan passed away the other day.”
Mr. Irving met her stare, and Victoria continued. “Turns out, he drowned unexpectedly in the river on the edge of town. But whispers on the wind say it was no accident. Mrs. Kaplan had become quite friendly with Mr. Parker in recent years. A few quiet rumors spread that Billy wasn’t Mr. Kaplan’s child but Mr. Parker’s instead. It seems the allegations reached Mr. Kaplan’s ears, and not long after did he and Billy go on a fishing trip, where the boy met his untimely end. Tripped and hit his head on a rock, says Mr. Kaplan.”
Irving looked toward the town, his fiery eyes narrowing a bit.
“But I know the truth,” Victoria sang. “For I spoke with Billy before he crossed over. Mr. Kaplan knocked him upside the skull with a rock and then held the poor boy underwater for a whole ten minutes!”
Squeezing the reins, Mr. Irving readied to ride forward. Sir Washington snorted, the animal’s red eyes looking straight ahead.
“You know, it’s been an awfully long time since I had one of the Kaplan’s fine pies. Despite being a mean, crotchety man, Mr. Kaplan surely knows how to bake.” Victoria lightly kicked at a small rock. “I would think it’d be nice to share a warm apple pie with you before you disappear again.”
Mr. Irving pulled back on the leather straps, and Sir Washington reared, neighing like a wild beast. Without another word, the pumpkin-headed specter and his horse sped off into the foggy night toward the small town. Victoria turned back to look toward the cemetery behind her, passing through the gate entry. She’d sit atop her stone, gleefully awaiting the return of her friend, for she knew that despite his scary exterior, he would be kind and thoughtful enough to bring her some pie.
She played with a trinket lying across her tombstone. It had been many years since her own family, close and extended, laid flowers on her grave. However, Mr. Irving always returned with a gift in thanks for any information regarding the latest victim of the atrocities that occurred within the small, dark town. It was home to a long list of filthy crimes and corruption, governed by a society that protected their own. After Victoria’s murder, she made it her pastime to avenge those who similarly met their end. And for those who appeared within the cemetery—lost and confused—she helped guide them to the other side. The girl could leave whenever she wanted but chose to stay in the cemetery until she felt she had assisted enough, and the ugly, dark secrets would come to an end. Besides, it wasn’t entirely lonely. She had Mr. Irving and Sir Washington. A scream roared in the distance, and one by one, the windows of the small town lit up, a few more shrieks following in panic throughout the streets as the frightening specter took his revenge upon Mr. Kaplan. Victoria smiled. She could almost smell the pie from where she sat, and then she wondered if he would bring her a slice of pumpkin pie as well.
My word for 2020 is habits, so each month I select one habit that I want to stop and one I want to start.
So far in 2020 I’ve given up:
January – Watching shows for entertainment
February – Soda
March – Chocolate
April – Chocolate
May – No hitting the snooze
June – No hitting the snooze
July – Avoiding the national news
August – Avoiding the national news
September – Soda
October – Watching the Chiefs football games
I gave up watching the Kansas City Chiefs play football in October. Well, I didn’t watch any full games but I did see parts of several games, probably a half at most. I picked it because I didn’t have any better ideas the time and honestly I wasn’t committed to giving them up.
What do I want to give up in November? I should really challenge myself this time but I’m not confident I could give up something like chocolate or sweets, not this time of year. I think I want to do the no hitting the snooze again. I did well for a while but have slumped back into using it more than I would like.
My starting habits for 2020 include:
January – A daily devotion using the YouVersion Bible app and a ten-minute writing timer (TMT)
February – Read a list of truth declarations (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)
March – Twelve minutes in prayer (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)
April – Twelve minutes in prayer (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)
May – Two minutes of prayer after devotions (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)
June – Two minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)
July – Three minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)
August – Four minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)
September – Five minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing); read truth declarations every day
October – Five minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running and one ten-minute workout a week; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing); read truth declarations every day
I continued my YouVersion devotional streak to ??? in October. Most days I read my truth declarations and spend five minutes in prayer as part of my devotional time. I’ve been doing them more at night as I haven’t been as faithful of getting up early enough to make them a priority, so I hope to change that in November.
Finally I am seeing some progress with my core workouts. I was 100% successful is doing at least two minutes of core training after each run, and once a week I did one 10-15 minute workout. But the biggest breakthrough is in my mind. While I still don’t look forward to the workouts, I don’t dread them and I don’t think about not doing them. My mind has accepted they are going to happen, so I don’t have the temptation to skip.
For November I want to continue my core workouts to see if they can stick. Also, I am participating in National Novel Writing Month and I am trying to write 60,000 words by the end of November. In order to do that I’ll need a lot of TMTs, so my goal is to not have any days less than six. I’ll need a lot more than that and on good days I can do that, but even on my extra busy days I need to see if I can squeeze in an hour of writing fiction.
I have successfully written for at least one ten minute timer (TMT) session every day of 2020. That’s 305 days in a row. In ten months of writing TMTs I have completed 1,101 TMTs, which is 11,010 minutes (183.5 Hours) of new writing in 2020.
Note: The following article was first published in the Harvey County Independent on October 29, 2020.
This is the seventh and final article in the series. If you haven’t read the previous articles and want to start with the first, click here.
Wow, it’s hard to put into words my reaction to Saturday night’s book launch and haunted house.
The turnout was spectacular. We didn’t count visitors, but someone estimated that 250-300 people walked through the haunted house. I believe it. Zone 33 did a fantastic job setting it up and running it and I can’t thank them enough.
I had lot of family and friends stop by to congratulate me and to buy books. Even more people from the community came by and I’m grateful for every one, even though with masks on I didn’t recognize many.
Initially I ordered 50 books, then decided at the last minute to order 50 more, just in case. I’m glad I did because I sold 56 copies of When the Time is Right on Saturday night. I also sold a couple of dozen of my other books.
It was by far the best even I’ve ever participated in.
I still haven’t broken even on the new book, but it won’t be long until I do. That’s a significant step since it took over three years before I made it into the positive for my first book. Baby steps, right?
The best part is that I had someone tell me that they started reading my book and were hooked. There is no greater compliment to a writer than to tell them you couldn’t stop reading their story.
If you’re interested in my book, When the Time is Right, it’s available on Amazon or you can check out my website, billbushauthor.com.
Readers won’t have to wait long for more books in the series. I have much of the rough draft done on book two and I plan to work on book three in November.
We have two significant events in the next few days—the time change and the elections. Over the last 22 months I ran a series of columns about running for the United States Senate. For those of you who read any of them you know that one of the issues I want to address is the time change.
I won’t rehash my disdain for setting our clocks forward and backward as if we controlled time, but I have put the series of columns on my website for anyone who would like to be reminded of the brilliance of my campaign. If not for COVID-19 I might have been on the ballot and on my way to Washington D.C. Instead, all we are left with is an opportunity to write in my name.
And finally, I’ve lived the majority of my life in Kansas. I’ve left twice for places like Texas, California, and New Mexico, but, well, here I am. While I have seen snow in October on a number of occasions, I don’t recall ever having the freezing ice and cold that caused many schools to close on Monday.
I remember when I was a kid in the 1970’s a magazine—Time Magazine, I believe—announced the coming ice age. What if they were just fifty years too early with their prediction?
If so, then every one of you will rue the day you didn’t write my name in for U.S. Senator so I could introduce my bill to ban cold weather. Do you want to look your shivering grandchildren with ice cycles hanging from their noses in the eyes and tell them, “I could have prevented this?”
Welcome to October’s Blog Hop, where authors from all over the world tag each other so visitors can follow the links and read all of their stories in one sitting. Enjoy my story, then pick a link below and check out the others.
Halloween. After midnight. I’d frightened away the greedy children I dreaded each year.
For ambience I read my Alfred Hitchcock macabre using a small flashlight with the window open in my upstairs library. I pulled the afghan over my shivering naked body. I couldn’t put the book down.
Until I heard voices.
I quickly clicked off the flashlight, leaving me in complete darkness.
Three boys, not yet teenagers judging from their high-pitched voices. Here to snoop around the old haunted house, no doubt. Being that young, they wouldn’t stick around long before pissing their pants and running home to mommy.
I returned to my seat to wait them out.
At the crashing of my downstairs window I leapt from my chair.
By the time I arrived, two of the three stood inside my living room.
One wore a cap with a wildcat on front. The other, a tank top that revealed goose bumps up and down his arms. I determined to watch him flee in tears. I guess the third chickened out.
Tank Top tried to record but I slapped the phone then crushed it under foot as the pair screamed and ran.
Two beams of light searched the room as the boys hugged each other like their life depended on it.
Tank Top pointed his flashlight at the debris that had been his phone. “D-d-did…did you see that?”
Wildcat managed between breaths, “I heard someone whisper, ‘Who are you?’”
No. All I said was ‘boo.’
I slammed the broken window shut and locked it. They sprinted up the stairway that sat behind them. Not their smartest move.
I slowly crept upstairs, making sure to hit every creaky step.
They ran into my library and slammed the door. Stupid kids.
I slowly turned the knob so they would get the full horror-movie effect.
Pushing open the door, I slid inside while their beams fixed on the empty doorway. Hitchcock lay on the floor beside Wildcat; my bookmark a foot away. Those worthless punks. I replaced the bookmark and set the book on my chair.
“It’s—it’s a ghost!”
I’m flesh and blood, but better they believe I’m a ghost than to know the truth.
The boys backed toward the wall, flailing their flashlights wildly around the room looking for what they could not see—me.
A beam of light hit my eyes. I blindly grabbed a book from the shelf and hurled it their direction. My eyes readjusted to the darkness in time to see Wildcat stumble backwards and disappear through the window.
“NO!” Tank Top and I screamed at the same time.
The kid shined his light my direction. His lip quivered, his chest heaved, and he wept while his body worked up the courage to move. Then he screamed and fled the room sobbing. I bet his crotch was wet, too.
I leaned out the window; Wildcat’s body lay motionless on my patio below.
Just wonderful—now the authorities would come snooping around.
Note: The following article was first published in the Harvey County Independent on August 20, 2020.
This is the sixth article in the series. If you haven’t read the previous articles and want to start with the first, click here.
For those who have followed my column, back in January of 2019 I announced my candidacy for the U.S. Senate in hopes of replacing the retiring Pat Roberts. I believe I was the first person to publicly announce his/her candidacy.
I wrote a few columns outlining my platform, my purpose, and my strategy to get my ideas implemented.
My plan was solid…everything except for getting my name on the ballot.
Earlier this year I inquired with the State of Kansas how to get my name on the ballot for the senate race. Since I’m independent and not affiliated with a political party, I needed the signatures of five thousand registered voters. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get five thousand signatures during a pandemic when everyone is locked away in their homes?
Let’s just say that my name will not be on the ballot.
My competitor, Dr. Roger Marshall, visited Halstead Sunday evening as part of his campaign for the U.S. Senate.
I had the opportunity to interview Marshall in mid-April, and I asked him about one of the planks on my platform—changing the country to a standardized, year-round daylight savings time.
His response, and I quote, “I’m okay with it.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. But he wasn’t through. “It just never gets much traction…I pick my battles and I try not to fight unless it’s a fight I can win.”
Is that the type of leadership Kansans want to send to Washington? Someone unwilling to stand up and fight for what history will look back and say was the most important issue of our generation? We need someone representing us who’s willing to change minds and successfully stand up for this important issue.
That means, of course, that I cannot endorse Marshall for the senate.
I have not had the opportunity to visit with his Democratic challenger, Dr. Barbara Bollier. If I do, I will ask her thoughts on the ridiculous practice of changing our clocks forward and backward. I suspect her answer will be no different from Marshall’s. All the U.S. Senators are the same when it comes to this issue. When was the last time any of them spoke out about this injustice?
That leaves Kansas residents with only one option for real change—write in my name for United States Senator. Seriously, do you really want to send a Republican or Democrat to Washington D.C. just to participate in the increasingly divisive politics that pervades our capital, or do you want someone who will arrive with a focused purpose and do everything he can to make Fall Back and Spring Forward as obsolete phrases as carbon copy, dial tone, and be kind, rewind.
For one of my stories this week I asked area coaches how they would handle the uncertain times with their athletes. I received nearly two dozen responses and most of them had a similar message—focus on what we can control.
Isn’t that a good message for us all? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have and express our opinions, but if more of us would focus on what we can control when we thought or spoke or posted on social media, I believe there would be a lot less anger and stress. Because frankly, most of us have enough of our own issues we need to work through without worrying about other people’s problems.
That being said, if you don’t support year-round daylight savings time you’re a communist nazi racist. I hope I can count on your vote.
Note: The following article was first published in the Harvey County Independent on March 12, 2020.
This is the fifth article in the series. If you haven’t read the previous articles and want to start with the first, click here.
The good news is that by the time most of you read this, I’ll be mostly adjusted to the time change.
For those who have had to deal with me, I apologize. I don’t handle the time change adjustment well.
I hate the time change. I hate it in the fall because suddenly is gets darker so much earlier and that messes with my evening routines. I hate the time change in the spring because I lose an hour of sleep and it takes me most of a week to adjust.
I don’t throw the word hate around lightly. I use it only for the worst of parts of life like peas and cold weather and snakes and fingernail files and the time change and cancer.
Someone said to me this weekend that the time change didn’t bother her and she didn’t understand why it bothered others. “You stay up late sometimes, right? It’s the same thing.”
It sounded like a reasonable argument. Sure, sometimes I’m awake later than I’m used to. I’m also tired and relatively grumpy the next day. But there is a difference; a significant one.
If I stay up late I can usually go to bed a little early and get right back on the same schedule the next day. Sometimes it may take me an extra day to catch up on missed sleep, but it does happen quickly.
With the spring forward time change I can’t slip back into the same sleep routine the next day because the lost hour of sleep is fixed. If I return to the pattern my body is used to I’ll be an hour late to everything going forward. I have to adjust to the change, and like I said, I don’t adjust quickly.
If you are like me and you don’t like the time change, you need to consider me for the U.S. Senate. I’ve written about it in the past, and I’ve done a little research. But before I tell you what it’s going to take to get my name on the ballot, I want to remind you of my very succinct, and bi-partisan, platform.
My pledge is to introduce four bills as a Senator. That’s all I’m going to Washington D.C. to do.
The four planks in my platform are Daylight Savings Time year round, winter and cold weather banned after Jan. 1 each winter, term limits for all politicians, and a mandatory federally balanced budget.
My pledge is that I will not vote for any bills unless another senator has agreed, in writing, to support one of my four planks. I also pledge to only serve one term.
The timing of my candidacy is a bit ironic, since it’s literally a quid pro quo strategy to promoting my agenda. I originally laid out my strategy in January, 2019.
I’ve done some research and it will take 5,000 signatures to get my name on the ballot, and the signatures must be done within a 180 day time span.
Obviously it’s going to take some work to get that many signatures and I can’t do it on my own. In order to start the campaign, I need ten people who will commit to securing at least 100 signatures. I’ll provide the forms and instructions, but I need manpower.
So, if you are willing to gather at least 100 signatures, contact me and I will put you on my list. Once I reach ten people, or 1,000 pledged signatures, then I will pour every free moment I have into the campaign.
Remember, I’m running as an Independent and I won’t caucus with either party. I have some very strong political opinions, but they won’t factor into my term as a Senator. I have laid out exactly how/why I will vote. And that goes for all of my votes—bills, confirmations, etc. If no one trades their vote for mine, then I will abstain. Simple.
You can read more detail about my plan in the Harvey County Independent issues: January 17, 2019, February 21, 2019, and August 8, 2019.
Help me bring common sense back to America by outlawing the ridiculous practice of changing our clocks twice a year.
Note: The following article was first published in the Harvey County Independent on November 14, 2019.
This is the fourth article in the series. If you haven’t read the previous articles and want to start with the first, click here.
For those of you still unsure about supporting my Senate candidacy, the last couple of weeks should have convinced you that change is needed.
Cold weather and early nighttime have brought a layer of darkness over our country that only Thanksgiving and Christmas can alleviate. And just barely.
I know lots of people who are already tired of the cold. I know I am. Remember, I will introduce a bill to ban cold weather after Jan. 1 of each year. Yes, we still have to deal with cold days in November and December, but once my bill is passed you can look forward to the coldest weather ending with the calendar year.
The other recent event that should have spurred much support for my platform plank was falling back an hour. Now that it’s almost impossible to finish dinner before it gets dark and you feel like you should be going to bed before prime time television programming starts in the evening, it should be obvious that my plan to require daylight savings time year round across the country is the only logical action to be taken.
For those who haven’t read my previous announcement to run for the U.S. Senate and my follow-up columns on my plank and the interviews I’ve done, let me quickly recap my platform.
I plan to sponsor four bills. First, I will ban cold after Dec. 31 each year, with an exemption for ski lodges. Second, daylight savings time will be year round across the country. Third, I will sponsor a bill that would place an accumulative term limit on all federally-elected positions. My fourth bill will require the federal government to operate under a balanced budget.
And best of all, I pledge to serve only one term.
I also pledge to only cast my vote as a senator if I get a commitment from another Senator to support one of my bills in return for my vote.
A question I received recently that I haven’t addressed publicly is, “Won’t there be times when no one from either side will be willing to trade their vote for yours?”
Yes, that is true. On the other hand, there will be close votes where both sides will need my vote, which sets itself up for a potential bidding war. I’ll give my vote to whichever side is willing to commit the most votes to my agenda.
I realize that the other senators aren’t going to enthusiastically join my crusade. But in time, I will gradually gain committed votes and believe that I can, in six years, get all four of my items passed.
I’ll be running as an independent and will have an exciting announcement at the beginning of 2020. Stay tuned…
Note: The following article was first published in the Harvey County Independent on August 8, 2019.
This is the third article in the series. If you haven’t read the previous articles and want to start with the first, click here.
I want to start by expressing my gratitude for the support I’ve received since I announced my candidacy for the U.S Senate. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and I’ve received many verbal commitments of votes.
I’d like to share a piece of my most recent interview. It communicates some critical information.
Again, since this hasn’t been broadcast publicly yet, I’ll leave the name of the interviewer out. Trust me, everyone reading this would recognize it.
Interviewer: Since you announced your candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat in Kansas that is being vacated next year by Senator Pat Roberts, three Democrats and six Republicans have joined the race. Any thoughts?
Me: Nothing surprising has happened yet. Both Republicans and Democrats will settle on their final candidate a year from now in the primaries. The Libertarian Party, I’m sure, will also have a candidate on the ballot. Unless another Independent joins in it will be a four-person race.
Interviewer: How to you plan to overcome your lack of name recognition?
Me: First of all I don’t accept your premise. I have the same name as three recent presidents—George W. Bush, George H. Bush, and Bill Clinton. I’ve lived in six different cities in Kansas and my mom had seven siblings and most of her extended family lives in the state.
Both of my names are common and well recognized in Kansas. In addition, my middle name—Dennis—I share with the cartoon character Dennis the Menace. Easily recognizable.
Face recognition will be my biggest challenge. But I think once people hear my uniquely specific plan they’ll look me up on the internet to see who I am, so the face recognition will take care of itself.
Interviewer: I’m glad you mentioned your platform because it is very unusual. And short. You only have three items you hope to accomplish in the Senate. Let me see if I have these correct. You want to enforce Daylight savings time, ban cold weather, and introduce term limits?
Me: Almost. Daylight savings time will become law country-wide and year round. My ban on winter’s cold weather won’t take place until Jan. 1 each year and I allow an exemption for ski resorts. My term limit bill will include an aggregate lifetime provision so people don’t jump from one office to the other once they’re term limited.
You will notice that all of my proposals are topics that we can all get behind irregardless of our political affiliations. That’s once of the reasons I’m running as an Independent.
In that same spirit, I’ve done a lot of thinking since my last interview. I think it’s important that I add a fourth plank to my platform.
Both the major political parties are playing us for fools. They say they want a balanced budget but the nation’s debt continues to rise by over a trillion dollars a year.
Democrats want to raise taxes to cover the deficit and the Republicans want to lower taxes and grow the economy. The fact is that neither of those actions can erase the shortfall.
And they’ve both proven they’re not willing to cut expenses in order to stop the economic bleeding. Nothing will happen until the people speak out, come together, and force the government to live within its means.
That’s why the fourth bill I will propose as a U.S. Senator will be to balance the budget.
Interviewer: That’s big news! Do you think you can secure the votes?
Me: Just like I explained with my other planks, I will only agree to vote for other items if I get a commitment for a vote on one my proposals.
Interviewer: How can you be sure others will honor the word and vote for your bills?
Me: That is an excellent question. For each agreement I will require a written commitment between myself and the other Senators. This will provide accountability on both sides and will let me know when I have the required number of votes needed to pass my bills.
It will also make my time as a Senator the most open and transparent in political history. Every time I vote yes on the Senate floor I can show, in writing, the vote commitment I received in return. That will make my votes 100% transparent. Everyone will know exactly why I voted yes or no.
Interviewer: You’re saying that even if you agree or disagree with a topic, you’re going to vote according to whether or not you get a traded vote?
Me: That’s exactly what I’m saying. Look, there are other political topics I care about. In fact, there are a handful of topics more important to me personally than the ones I’m running on politically. I am willing to forego those in exchange for accomplishment.
My candidacy is about coming together in a time of division. The country is split and unless someone does something radical we’re going to find ourselves permanently fractured, or worse, in the midst of a civil war.
I’ve deliberately chosen topics that are true to my heart, yes, but also are non-political in nature. They offer the opportunity for our nation to come together and heal, but also provide a better life for each American citizen.
I’d like to add that I’m not running against my opponents and I will not attack them personally. I’m running on my plan and either the voters will love and accept it or they won’t.
Only I offer a plan that is specific, concise, doable, and provides complete transparency. My team will put together a website that will display every agreement I make while in the Senate. This will allow my constituency in Kansas to see exactly where I stand in my efforts on any given day.
I can’t promise I’ll deliver anything. I can only promise that I will stick to the plan I have laid out and I will not waiver. I invite those who believe it is a winning formula for enacting desperately needed nonpartisan changes and effecting true unity to support my efforts and vote me for me for Kansas Senator.
Note: The following article was first published in the Harvey County Independent on February 21, 2019.
This is the second article in the series. If you haven’t read the first article and want to start with it, click here.
I recently gave my first interview as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Although it has not yet aired on the major networks, I have permission from the interviewer to share a portion of it with you.
Interviewer: You recently announced your candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Pat Roberts. How has the response been?
Me: Although a number of people have told me I had their votes, the excitement began two weeks ago when Richard Edwards said in his letter to the editor, and I quote, “I’ll take you for U.S. Senator over any of those sitting in the Capitol.”
That was almost a public endorsement—enough so that I soon had several friends afterwards publicly endorse me on Facebook.
The votes are adding up and my campaign is rapidly gaining momentum. I can honestly say that I can see a situation where my popularity spikes such that other potential candidates realize they waited too long to enter the race and I end up running unopposed.
Interviewer: That’s astonishing!
Me: I know. It’s hard to get your mind around, but that’s how quickly Bush mania is swelling.
You know what’s ironic? For 20 years I had the same name as a President—George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. And before that George H. Bush was Vice President for 8 years.
Since 1980 I’ve been asked, “Are you related to…”
The irony is that one day soon someone will ask former President Bush, “Are you related to Senator Bill Bush?” I would love to see his face when that happens.
Interviewer: So what do you attribute your success to?
Me: It’s simple—the power of my platform. It resonates with people and focuses on the issues they truly care about.
Interviewer: I’m glad you mentioned your platform, because one of the items is, well, rather unconventional. You promise a ban of cold weather?
Me: That’s correct. The cold and wintry weather forces many indoors, causing isolation which leads to loneliness and depression. Schools, businesses, churches and other organizations are forced to cancel activities without much notice.
And many don’t realize this, but people get disproportionately sick during cold spells. Some even die. Others experience falls or automobile accidents that result in bodily harm as well as property damage due to ice, snow, and freezing rain. Pipes freeze, power lines freeze and break. It’s like an all-out attack on our comfortable way of life.
And what about nature? The cold kills plants and animals, and ice causes tree limbs to break and fall. How can we stand by and watch such brutality? Well, I for one can no longer be silent. We have a duty to protect this Earth. It’s the only one we have, after all. Banning cold weather is the only logical and compassionate response to such horrific destruction.
Everyone complains about the cold; I’m willing to do something about it.
Interviewer: I’ve never looked at it quite that way.
Me: You know, we don’t often see what’s right in front of us.
Interview: How do you intend to enforce your ban on cold weather?
Me: I appreciate the question, and no offense, but it shows your ignorance of how our government works. Sadly, this question comes up a lot.
But I’m grateful for this national exposure and hope it expedites the process of educating the American citizenry.
As a U.S. Senator, I will be part of the Congress, which passes bills. We don’t enforce them. That will be the responsibility of the President.
Interviewer: In that case, have you spoken to the President about your bill, and has he agreed to enforce it?
Me: He is obligated to enforce it. He doesn’t get to ignore laws. Besides, once my bill passes there will be such an overwhelming amount of support across our country that he would be foolish to obstruct it.
As to your first question, no, I have not had the opportunity to visit with President Trump about my bill.
Interviewer: Do you think he will be able to enforce it?
Me: He convinced the American people to make him President, didn’t he?