By Darvell Hunt, C. L. Beck, and Danyelle Ferguson
Last night at about 8:30pm, Ben Bracken, a fellow member of an online LDS writers group called Authors Incognito, posted this email response to our group:
Well....you could come over and help me type this blasted story. The darn thing has taken off with a life of its own, dragging me along behind, trying to keep up with the typing ;) Don't you just love it when that happens?
Just before 8:30am this morning, Ben’s keyboard went forever silent. The unfinished story in his mind and in his heart went with him.
We always appreciated Ben’s willingness to read our group’s writing and he offered many insightful critiques, yet he included praise for things he thought we had done well. He seemed to not only be a prolific writer, but a prolific reader.Ben was the “mountain man” of our writing group. In the photo he posted to our group archives, he’s dressed in buckskins and holding a black powder rifle, which seemed so fitting for his character. He loved the old west and favored the stories of Louis L’Amour. He expressed his wish to us that there were more modern-day writers who wrote western novels for young boys. He was doing his best to make that come true. Ben was good at writing compelling beginnings to his stories and we enjoyed reading them.
We just weren’t aware of his surprise endings.
Ben said his story had “taken off with a life of its own,” completely unaware that the final chapter of his own life was about to be written. His presence in our writing group will be sorely missed. We wish his family the best in dealing with their loss and we pray they will be comforted.