Ronald Wolf knew his deceased lovers had come back to make trouble when a large mallard tumbled like a drunkard out of a blue sky and smashed onto his porch . . .
Read it here
First prize winner, Writers of the Future, originally published in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, vol. 13., Ed. Algys Budrys, 1997.
The name of the main character came from a transient I picked up one evening when I was living in Spanish Fork, Utah. It was in the late fall. He was solidly built, had dark ginger hair and a good beard. I’d seen him about town, wearing a pair of tan Carhartt coveralls. He was wearing them when I picked him up. I asked him if I could give him a ride. He said he was living at the moment in the storage room of a used bicycle shop. He told me his name was Ronald Wolf. When I dropped him off, he washed my windows, and I gave him some change. I liked the name Ronald Wolf. Liked it a lot. At that time, I was also reading Laurel Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate. Love, a rough man in Carhartts, and a bit of magic realism led me to the opening paragraph. From there I knew this was going to be a story about a man finally finding love.
This award-winner was originally published under the pen name Bo Griffin in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future v13. Ed. Algys Budrys, 1997.
Why a pen name? An author friend suggested “John Brown” was too plain. So off I ran, trying to think of a new name. After a gazillion options I think my brain went out for lunch. Bo Griffin? Some mixture between a backwoods redneck and a mythical eagle thing?
Alas, I came to my senses too late. Really, what the heck is wrong with John Brown? It’s a grand name that’s been used by a lot of interesting characters. So when people ask now what my name is, it plays like this.
“And your name?”
Upon which the person begins to sing either a song about a man who had a cold upon his chest or ten little Indians.