“Born To Be Wild” – 52 Pickup, #48

52 Pickup, Question #48 4/09/19

Kimberly Leimer:

“Mr. Johnson- what gets your motor running? I understand that writing is a huge part of your life but what other things keep your life passion alive?”

I like building things. I built my ranch and now my wife’s got a store in Buffalo, The Bucking Buffalo Supply Company, and I’ve got a cabin up on the mountain that keeps me busy and out of her hair at least one day a week. I like taking things apart and putting them back together, which keeps the antiquated machinery around the place running.

Reading. I love reading good writing that makes me envious as hell, writers that make me want to throw their books in the fire they’re that good—but I don’t. I just shake my head and quietly place them back on the shelf when I’m done and keep them there as goalposts to help me raise the bar in my own writing.

Getting out. Whether it’s walking the dog here on the ranch, going for a ride, or heading up the mountain, a great deal of my soul-searching takes place when I’m alone in the wilderness, admiring the incredible place where I’m lucky enough to live.

Curiosity. I think you have to be curious about everything–it’s what keeps you alive. When you reach the point in your life where you think you know it all, I can’t help but think that it’s a slow crawl to pulling up the turf and pushing up daisies. I think you have to stay engaged with people, their lives, history, culture, art, music, all the things that are lifelong pursuit. Education isn’t a goal, it’s a quest that never ends. Fortunately, I’ve got an outlet for all that research or I’d be one of those guys at the donut shop sitting around telling everybody what they know… Or maybe I’m there already.

All the best,


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