The Mad Men Finale Kicked My Ass

The Mad Men Finale Kicked My Ass


I love the ends of things.

As much as I hate to see a story I love go away, I’m always terrified it won’t end. That the story will drag on, teeth growing longer and longer, fatigue drinking away all of the good will reserves I’ve been building for years (coughHowIMetYourMothercough). It’s a fine line, what’s too long for a television show, what’s too short. All I know is that if I’m ready for it to end, they’ve gone too far.

And it’s easy to forget that the end of a story is the most important part, if done correctly. While the journey may be more important than the destination, it’s the final statement in a piece of fiction that tells you everything you need to know about the story. If the final episode ends optimistically, it colors everything that came before – you understand what it was all building toward. If everything ends in ruin and destruction, you realize that the story was about futility, or possibly about the struggle to succeed being just as noble independent of the outcome of the struggle.

Unlike a good essay, the last episode of a television show (or the last chapter of a book, or the last scene of a movie) is where the thesis statement lives. What was the story about?

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I Wrote A Sequel and Learned Stuff

Sequels are hard. This is obvious from the amount of sequels to amazing films and books that frequently die with only a dry fart playing at their funeral. Before this year, I experienced this feeling only as an observer, watching the scions of great dynasties fall into ruin.

I’d like to share with you my experience writing a sequel. It’s a little writer “inside baseball,” but like I’ve said before on Agents of GUARD, we like talking about creators. Sometimes those creators are on this side of the bullpen. I promise to make a bunch of silly jokes along the way, if that helps. And maybe a Riker gif, if you’re good. WE RIDE.

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BC Johnson Reviews Bioshock Infinite, Acts Like Crazy Person

I got excited about video editing software. Oh, and video games. And birds.

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Deadgirl Deleted Chapter – Puck, Revisited

So, Deadgirl, my first novel, was originally an extremely long book. Which is a funny thing to say, because it’s already a significant novel in it’s current state.

Every book need to be cut, and for my books, that rule applies double. Or triple. My windbaggery is well documented. I do go on. It’s been said.

In the original version of Deadgirl, there was a chapter that outlined Puck’s pre-death life, a mini-biography sitting right smack dab in the middle of a young adult adventure. Ultimately it didn’t fit the tone, and it forced the reader to take a break from the action (just before the climax, no less) to hear the tale of a side character who had no bearing on the action in the third act. 

Though I love Puck, and he remains one of my favorite characters from the book, the chapter had to go. And like all deleted scenes, I really believe it’s best deleted.

Still, the chapter exists, and after a little polish, I’m HAPPY to provide it for readers who wanted to know more about the gangly old man with the crimson scarf.

Check the story out at Wattpad, right here, if that sounds like something you’d be into.

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A Perfect Summer Song


My brain’s been boiling in this oppressive-ass summer heat wave, the one that (in my part of the world) started at the beginning of August and will end with my untimely death. Ho-lee-crap, is it warm. The definite, extreme downside to living in California, just far enough away from the ocean for it to mean jack shit.

I have a window-mounted air conditioner in my living room, and that is the only respite. Unfortunately, it works about as well as a Russian nuclear power plant (zing!), and does little but to remind me how hot it is the second I take a step out of it’s four-foot effective radius. 

This leaves but one solace: music. There are many songs guaranteed to, if not distract me from summer, then to fool me into thinking there’s a cultural payload to this, the great Mother Bitch of all seasons.

Here’s the story of one such song:

Gnarls Barkley – Crazy

Click that link above. Feel free to listen to it while I discuss.

“Crazy” holds a sense-memory for me that springs up every single time I hear this song. It would have been the summer of 2006, just at the song’s peak of air-time popularity, just before it became overplayed. Basically, I liked it, and so did most people. 

I’d agreed to a Fourth of July extravaganza in Newport Beach with a bunch of my friends: the typical California stereotype. Sand, balls both foot and volley, music, and probably some illicit drinking on a public beach. I’ve never been a huge fan of the beach, but I figured “What the hell.” I was 21, the world was my shellfish, and I wasn’t really sure what I liked. Stephen King said being 19 is a special kind of magic, and while I don’t disagree with him, 21 might just be the peak of “19ness.” You’ve gained experience from being 19, and your body is still completely impervious to hangovers, shame, or injury. So I agreed to go, because my friends were there, and that’s all you need when you’re 21.

I forgot the cardinal rule of popular locations – there isn’t parking. There will not be parking. Parking is for people who showed up at 6:00 am or live within walking distance of the beach. I forgot this little factoid, to my incredible tragedy. Compound the Fourth of July-iness with a city-wide bicycle marathon (what?!), and you have a recipe for vehicular homicide.

Lemme cut the bullshit: I drove around for forty-five minutes. No parking. Bicycles. Incredible heat. I swung by the location of the beach party, and I dropped my then-girlfriend now-fiance Gina off. An attempt at gallantry, I assure you. Oh don’t worry, I made it worse: I also agreed to take the cooler we’d brought by myself, because I assumed I’d find parking. Ohhh, past Bobby. You are so cute.

I thought I was angry after forty-five minutes. You can only imagine the sense of betrayal and deep-seated shock I must have felt after four hours. 

You read that right. Go ahead, read it again.

Four hours. Four hours in my truck on the hottest day of the year, looking for parking. I extended my net at some point – I didn’t care if I had to walk for miles. Still, no parking. None. Every space filled or carrying such dire warnings of beach-parking consequence that I couldn’t abandon my truck there. Four hours. 

Finally, through sheer fucking luck, and probably conjured by a stream of non-stop profanity so vitriolic it had torn a hole in space/time, parking was given to me. As unto Jeremiah, from our Lord-God. Apparently Gina had some relatives who happened to be renting a house in Newport Beach for a few days, and they had parking in their garage. They let me rest my truck and my weary, adrenaline-addled mind, and bless them for it. 

Then – ha. I’d forgotten. I had to lug a wheel-less cooler full of ice and what had to be bricks to the party, which existed on the other side of Tatooine. Luckily, Gina had walked back in a fit of sympathy, and the two of us carried that bastard-heavy thing all the way.

Just as I arrived, my body emptied out from anger and exhaustion. I felt numb, and tired, and dreamlike. If you’ve ever been to Newport Beach, you know that the beach is lined, sand-to-deck, with hundreds of tiny little beach-houses for tourists or just crazy people. Throughout this entire walk, I could hear and see them partying, on balconies and decks, wearing little clothing and drinking great quantities of alcohol. They dance and capered and frolicked, like the fey-folk of old, and I hated them for it.

I dropped the cooler into the sand, staring at my friends with the haunted hollow-eyed look survivors of World War One called the “thousand parking-lot stare,” contemplating my own mortality and the cruel maker that had subjected me to four hours of circling hot asphalt like a masochistic vulture. Then, one of my friends handed me a beer. They congratulated me, pitied me, understood me. I felt friendly hands upon my back, and voices raised in cheer.

It was summer, and I was 21, and my friends were on the beach and the world was not a bad place. Then, booming over the beach from one of the nearby beach houses, came the throbbing earth-wobbling bass of Gnarl’s Barkley’s “Crazy,” a song that begins like this: “I remember when I lost my mind. There was something so pleasant about that place.”

I stood up. My mind sharpened into a fine blade, and I listened, the cool bitter perfect flavor of Corona splashing over my tongue on a hot day. I listened to these lyrics, and I knew what it was like to finally come home. After my trials and subsequent rest, think of this:

I remember when, 
I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
But there was something so pleasant about that place
Even your emotions had an echo 
In so much space.

And when you’re out there, without care
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough
I just knew too much.

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?

And I hope that you are having
The time of your life
But think twice
That’s my only advice.

Come on now, who do you,
Who do you, who do you, who do you think you are?
Ha ha ha, bless your soul
You really think you’re in control?

Well, I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
Just like me.

My heroes had the heart 
To lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember 
Is thinking, I want to be like them.

Ever since I was little
Ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it’s no coincidence I’ve come…
And I can die when I’m done.

But maybe I’m crazy
Maybe you’re crazy
Maybe we’re crazy

Have a happy summer, everybody.


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A book giveaway, you say? WHAT?! Get Deadgirl now! Free for nothing, assuming you have incredible good luck and have the necessary chutzpah to step on the necks of your fellow humans to improve your station. Which, if you read this blog, you do!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Deadgirl by B.C. Johnson


by B.C. Johnson

Giveaway ends May 10, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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George McFly Day

I am SUCH a nerd. I spent a good thirty minutes yesterday googlating how to properly sign a book. Apparently there is a whole arcane system of rituals involving placement, pen, personalization, punctuality, pears, poplars. 

Alliteration may have just gotten the best of me. Again. It’s a weakness, I admit.

I took my steps down this dark internet path for a very important reason: my books came! The copies sent to me by Cool Well Press (my publishers) arrived in a big happy brown box that made me happy, especially considering that they arrived right as I was walking out the door to go to my non-writey job. Double surprise: the Deadgirl paperbacks are the big ass trade paperbacks, not the little standard paperbacks I thought they were gonna be.

Naturally I just tossed the whole shebang in my truck and drove to work, making sure to drop a copy into the pool of high school dancers / dance teachers that were prancing and wheeling in my theater that night. Because marketing, that’s why. Demographics, etc. I’m not wearing a suit right now, but if I was, oh man. The grown-up sounding marketing terms would be buffeting your sensibilities like a handful of shurikens tossed into a tornado.

Which, I mean, ow. Anyway. I’ll go back to ogling my books now. Or playing Mass Effect. You know, whichever. Writing more books might be a good idea as well. 

– B.C. Johnson

Sample or buy Deadgirl at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

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