John Coiley

FIGHTER TURNED WRITER I AM a Writer. I never really thought about writing as a career choice. I just wrote. It started as a means of escape from the rape and childhood abuse we suffered at the hands of my father. And then I realized that writing enabled me to not forget things. Even at a young age it was as if there was information overload in my brain, and fortunate to be able to accept that shortcoming, I started writing everything I would need to tend to in the near or distant future. At first it was notes to myself and then one day I decided I could put the randomness to good use in a conscious way to tell the many stories I’d dreamed as a means of escape from those early years in the Cambridge MA housing projects. Actually, when it came to dreams, from the beginning it was to be Middleweight Boxing Champion. Originally it was my father’s dream. It became a dream I was born to fulfill, but didn’t, given the competition I was up against in the New England fight circuit early 1970s. The dream bubble burst, with my tail between my legs I headed west. Destination, California. During the drive I began a novel I named WHEN WILL THERE BE GLORY? We have all noticed I hope that life has a way of disrupting plans. I have found this to be a good thing, as long as I was paying attention. Disruption #1 occurred when I stopped in Seattle enroute to California to visit an old friend who introduced me to Evelyn (not her real name) to whom I would fall instantly in “love,” wed, father a child we call Jade, and divorce within 2 years. Metaphorically once more on the ropes, I returned to Boston where I became a Youth Advocate for the Somerville Youth Program. In the process I developed and incorporated the Somerville Boxing Club into the city’s charter. During my off-work hours, when I wasn’t writing, I vented with a Shrink. Two years later this story, this search for GLORY, took on a direction of its own when I found myself in Baltimore where I was granted custody of our by then, four year old, Katherine. Nearly ten years into that life-altering experience I met my Soul Mate, Mary Pat Osborne. We were married for fourteen years when she was taken home to Our Father on November 21, 2006. Nothing, not my job of fourteen years as a Brick Bodies Health Club employee, not our home, nothing was the same any longer. I sold our home, resigned as the longest tenured Towel Boy (one of my 4 movie scripts) in the industry and moved to Florida where I would live with my mother until finding a place of my own. She died a year after Mary Pat. Yet here I am, bunked down in the Sunshine State at work again on the novel, the title of which has been changed slightly to the more affirmative proclamation, WHEN THERE WILL BE GLORY. Between job interviews it is how I ply my trade, a fighter-turned-writer of short stories, song lyrics, movie scripts, hoping to one day be able to make a living full-time, but until then, without a job to support this passion of completing the Novel that I figure might take a year, I could use about $30,000.00 to live on.


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