It’s one of the few books where I could say that there was a touch of inspiration, and that was — I was out digging post holes. We’d gotten into running sheep. And because we were smart-ass hippies, we were going to show the old timers how to do it. Which is to bring them in every night, so the coyotes didn’t get them, and to cross-fence pasture, so you didn’t overgraze and all that. So, we dug a lot of post holes. And I just finished digging post holes, and it started pouring rain. And when I thought oh god, there’s all these post holes out there filling up with rainwater. And I was really tired, and I sort of like was dozing off. And I had this image in my head of a post hole filling full of water. And then I saw like a little duck — like it looked like a lake, in that you know how you get in that state, and like a pond looks like a lake. And I saw this duck, and sort of went wow, that’s pretty interesting.
And then I imagined wouldn’t it be fun to find a little duckling in a post hole? And it just sort of all started falling into — who would find it? And then I thought of Tiny, and all of that. So, it sort of just all came to me like in that kind of like precipitating out of the image of a pond. And so, I sat down, and I just finished writing what later turned out to be Stone Junction. So, I was sort of like in the prose, and I started writing. And it just like flowed. I’d never had that experience before till I got to the part of the story where the duck was introduced, and it’s like I hit a brick wall.
So, I was really confused, and I didn’t know what was the matter and what had happened. And about eight months later, I was splitting kindling for breakfast, set up the fire breakfast, and it suddenly dawned on me, the duck, which I’d originally had as a mallard; should be a female, and then damn, it just coalesced again since. Don’t ask me why, but I think it was pretty important to that story that Fup be a female, that that particular spirit needed to be there to balance the two very male characters; at least the male character of Granddaddy Jake. And Tiny is wounded. I mean he’s deeply wounded from losing his mother and father and all that.
And then, it was almost like — it was prescient in that we later adopted a relative — the child of Vicky’s sister. So, it was like that — I mean it’s just this amazing scene of coincidences, or whatever they are; little jokes. So, it was weird. It was weird. It’s like I was already feeling my way through that when I was writing that book, particularly from Jake’s point-of-view. You know, he was really making a tremendous sacrifice to adopt that kid, but he’d sort of fallen in love with him too, and that was certainly not the case with Jason. My wife said, “I’m going to adopt this kid. Are you interested?” And I said, well, not till I meet him. And then when I met him, the minute I met him, I was just completely smitten, you know, just smitten. So, I mean there was no hesitation ever in the commitment. Every once in awhile I wondered if I was just like utterly out of my mind to undertake that, but no regrets whatsoever.