You can't keep a good man down, but you can crush him like a soda can and drive him towards inspiration. Beau Johnson tells us how he bounced back from a few bad breaks.
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE BIG MACHINE EATS
You got that right. I mean, there I was, my first book, A BETTER KIND OF HATE, just about to be released and my publisher asks me: so I guess the question becomes what’s next? Truth be told, I never expected such a question, always figuring myself a one and done type of guy. The reason for this is because I seriously believed I was finished with Bishop Rider, the main protagonist from my collection and a Dude so fuelled by hate. Hadn’t heard from him in over a year is what I mean to say.
And then this question from my publisher as to what comes next.
Gobsmacked, I said what any insane, rational writer would say: I’ve been working on some things.
Enter ultimate Frisbee and a family function in the summer of 2017.
Long story short, my oldest boy, Donnie, wanted to try this game with his cousins, brothers, Uncle, and father. Sure, why not. It’s part Frisbee. How hard could it be? Perhaps some of you sense where this is heading. If not, little hint: pain.
One of my nephews throws far and wide, over my head, and seeing as you cannot let the Frisbee touch the ground or lose possession in this game, I decide to run like I am twenty-four instead of forty-four. Going down I try the old tuck and roll. The earth and my left shoulder would have none of this, however. One cracking snap later I stand, walk two feet, and feel my collar bone fall apart.
Should I explain the pain before they put in the metal and screws? Fuck no. I’ll leave that to your imaginations. Maybe envision glass though, shifting each and every time you go to fill your lungs.
Anyway, this injury lands my bum in a recliner for eight weeks where I proceed to gain forty pounds, re-watch all of Friends and Lost on Netflix, and use my one good arm to write stories on my phone.
Write, you say? How so? I thought you believed you were a one and done type of guy?
Well, as the title says: a funny thing happened on the way to THE BIG MACHINE EATS. Bishop Rider started speaking to me again. Might be because I was bored as hell. Might be because it was meant to be. I’ll never know for sure. Not really. All I do know is this book, this version of this book, would not be here without my son and a sport I have now retired from. It was the first time I’d ever played ultimate Frisbee, sure, but hey, you take your wins where you can get them. Somewhere down the line I might have been able to put another book together, but the way most of this one occurred, how it’s so far from anything I could imagine, I now think I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
The pain. I’d backspace the shit outta that part for sure.