Posts Tagged ‘Shortbus


Crashing the Shortbus

Yup, killed to death.

Yup, killed to death.

I felt the tires slip upon the tarmac and wheel go wild in my hands. Sliding noisily, the shortbus missed its turn and elbowed around a tree, its driver flung like bloody meat through the windshield. There were no survivors.

What happened? Was it a banana peel? No, it was a royalties check. I won’t say how bad the royalties check was, but it was awful. It was bad enough that I would intentionally drive my bus into a tree to collect the insurance money––but there is a minor setback. Shortbus drivers are uninsured.

What will I do now that my shortbus is a mangled wreck? Walk away? Some friends suggest I self-publish my next book. Take control over pricing, and be able to offer my third and greatest book to readers for free. One of my author friends has done well with self-publishing—comparative to my awful royalties check.


Being a fan of Jesus, I’m going to tell a Shortbus style parable. Here you go…

One upon a time there was a telemetry technician who worked in a hospital. He knew how to interpret cardiac rhythms so as to help medical teams quickly respond to critically ill patients and save lives. He was very attentive, and fairly astute at determining dangerous heart changes from non-dangerous rhythms.

But one ICU manager didn’t like how this technician sat around watching computer screens all day. She didn’t think watching over sick, critically ill patients was enough work for the tech. So, she and her micro-managing charge nurse conspired against the tech who watched over the sick and the dying. Although it wasn’t his duty, they made him transfer doctors’ orders to nursing charts. A duty that averted the telemetry technician’s focus from dangerous and sometimes fatal heart rhythms to charting medicines he wasn’t educated in the use of, or proper dosing. The ICU manager said, “You’ll figure it out.”

One day, while the telemetry tech was trying to read a doctor’s shitty scribble, a patient went into a fatal cardiac rhythm—and died. The tech was blamed for not doing his job—and fired. The end.


Nice parable, aye? It might be true, or maybe not. Jesus was never clear, so why should I be?

The point is this, I am a writer. I am not a publisher. Some people might have two heads and with their two heads be good at wearing two hats, but I have no desire to slack my primary duty to make way for one I’m not educated to perform. It is hard enough writing a book. Then selling that book, and then marketing that book. I have no interest in being the publisher too.

The shortbus is crashed, but there are other facets of my writing to be found for free.

Here is my fantasy fiction hobby blog—

Here is my professional webpage—

Dead Cupid


Don Giovanni –– Portland


If you are new here on the Shortbus, this is not intended to offend––although it will. When the Shortbus began rolling over three years ago, I was a very embittered telemetry technician whose silly dream was to be an author. Now I’m an embittered author wishing he could just get a paycheck. Please read About the Author and Players to get a better understanding of how the Shortbus rolls.


Before I get started, I want to remind you all of something important— Why is this guy still making money?



Don Giovanni is a very complicated opera written and composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. That is all the fact you will get out of me on this one. C-Jane plans to write her review based on the truth, my review will be as if seen through the fractured lenses of our good buddy, Glenn Beck. My review will be as you would expect here on the Bus.


I hate opera. C-Jane’s dad, better known as Papa Calamity, has given me crap for liking theater, but hating opera. I hate the caterwauling and the foreign languages translated on a screen above the stage. I can’t very well watch a play if I need to read all the dialogue. It is hard to read with someone shrieking like a banshee.


The other attack from Papa Calamity was “How could I claim to appreciate classical music and still despise opera?” I’ll tell you, it is the lack of caterwauling. To appease Papa and to get him to leave me alone, I said I’d see one of Mozart’s operas. When Calamity Jane told me Don Giovanni was performing here in Portland, I was cornered like a rat.


C-Jane, high pressure saleswoman and possessor of Big-J’s balls, told me Don Giovanni was a performance about a womanizer who gets his comeuppance. I liked that already. She bought our tickets. I would only be responsible for purchasing dinner. I like to eat—hence, Big-J.


Don Giovanni is a very big deal; it is a highly-reputed opera. Our seats were a little above stage level, but on the extreme right side of the stage. We could see most of the performance quite well from our vantage.


The stage had been set up so upon entering the theater my first thought was that fortune smiled. I thought maybe I was about to see The Book of Mormon and not Don Giovanni. [See how nicely that ties in Glenn Beck?] There were two rows of uncomfortable chairs––about fifteen per row––and a big cross on the left stage wall. The opera was modernized from its original time-frame, and when the players appeared, their dress appeared late 1930’s to early 1940’s.


Act One begins with Don Giovanni wearing a mask and trying to get it on with young Donna Anna, who is betrothed to Don Ottavio. There was lots of caterwauling, then Donna Anna’s father shows up and threatens Don Giovanni. Don Giovanni smashes the old man’s head into the wall and he dies. Giovanni runs away.


Don Giovanni has a servant named Leporello, who happens to be my favorite character in the play. For the entire first half of the opera, I was convinced that Leporello was in fact, Don Giovanni’s conscience by the things he does to try to warn the women of what Giovanni is all about. Here is an example—the translation of Leporello’s caterwauling to heart-broken Donna Elvira is, “His conquests include 640 in Italy, 231 in Germany, 100 in France, 91 in Turkey, but in Spain, 1,003.” Later in the opera, it becomes clear that Leporello is quite corrupted by his own greed.


I’m not giving you the whole play. I’d have to start a Shortbus Wiki to get all the details, but there are more players than just these. There is also the peasant girl Zerlina and her betrothed, Masetto, who are cornerstone characters to busting Don Giovanni’s game.


As a play and as a symphony, this show was fantastic. Don Giovanni is touted as one of the best operas ever written. As perfect as the Portland performance was, it did not win me over to that noisy side of art. I still, and most likely will always, hate opera. As we’d left the theater, I admitted that the players and performers were the best––the show was impeccably directed and cast, but C-Jane would need to find a gay friend to go with her to the next opera.


Papa Calamity, I still hate opera.




Interesting that Sober is the song playing as I write this. The drunken ramblings that are the Shortbus to Hell must change–as I’ve stated now for more than a year. These anonymous blah-blah-blatherings that we have all enjoyed are doing nothing for my career. C-Jane and I intentionally left Las Vegas so as to purge the mean-spirited attitude. I think our escape worked. Life here is not ‘perfect,’ for whatever that word means in reality, but the intense hate has fallen off.  Since its inception, the Shortbus was intended as a way to release hostility incurred by a purely apathetic society. I have left that society and so I’ve also abandoned my hostility. Now that anger serves no one.

I cannot delete the Shortbus, that would be wrong, but the frequency for which I post here will be greatly diminished.  I will eventually leave a link to my ‘professional’ blog, and then one for a new project that is in the works as we speak. Since I write fantasy fiction and I am a huge gaming dork, I’ve decided that I should do fan-fiction of the game Skyrim. It will be as niche as the Shortbus, but with a greater reach and attracting more readers that might buy my books. To continue investing in humorous, yet spiteful rants serves no one.

Those who have remained loyal to this kooky blog, don’t worry, I will still post here. I still have to give ‘Big-J’s presidential endorsement’ — which I promise you will love. Occasionally, if something fun happens, I’ll post it here, but reviews about entertainment need to go to my other blog, book reviews and author interviews belong there too. I’ve sought to post about once a week here on the Shortbus, and that is going to slow drastically. Here is one promised link for those who are interested.


Always Evolving

I’ve always liked my anonymity, but now things are changing. As a fiction writer, I have a short story published and a novel, but on September 1st, another fiction story is appearing in an anthology and on the very same day, my second novel is going to be released. I just received a nice review from a respectable critic about my first novel.

I’d still like to be a little quiet about who I am. I do write crazy stuff from time to time on the Shortbus, and I’d like for that to continue, so… I’ll never say who I am, but I just might leave a random Link for those of you who come here often. This way, Google searches for my non-Big-J name will not link to this site, and we can keep on talking smack about whatever we want.

That is a pretty damn cool idea, eh?

This way, I can happily let you meet new authors here on the Shortbus. Some of them might even be super-talented, who knows? All the time, I’ll be able to remain the Shortbus-wookie.

I’m going to post an interview with horror author Greg Chapman soon. I have the interview, I just want this message to get out to everyone first.


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