A Thousand Versions of A Thousand Years

I removed my post about the short story. Why? Because it’s not my story to write yet. It doesn’t feel right. Maybe someday. I may write another in its place. What I can’t let go of is the book that has had my heart for a few years now. There are a thousand versions (slight exaggeration) of A Thousand Years. It has changed so much that I sometimes wonder if I should talk about it. The posts about it are still live, however.

A Thousand Years is much more than a love story. It’s a family’s story. It’s about family, blended families, and creating a life of meaning with those you love – regardless of the world’s very tight and linear definition of family. It’s about dysfunction and how to love hard through it. But the more I wrote about Birdie & Graham, the more I knew that Birdie would never be the character I wanted her to be, if I started in the present day. Birdie is who she is because of the family that built her. She chose to love the men she loved because of the way she was molded. She is the parent she is because of the good (and bad) she’d witnessed and experienced herself.

I love Birdie. I wasn’t really doing her justice by jumping into her story the day she met Graham or the day they found their way back to each other. And so, I’ve been working my way through new aspects of Birdie’s life. The only way to start this thousandth version of this novel was to go way back to the parents and grandparents that molded Birdie into the woman she would become. The novel still tells her story. But the prologue begins theirs. I think it might be easier to understand and love her parents and grandparents if you meet them before you meet Birdie.

New thoughts on an old work in progress..

  1. This novel heavily features a Mexican family. There are absolute similarities between my own precious grandparents (on my dad’s side) and Birdie’s grandparents. But the prologue is not their story – other than the fact that my grandpa was in the Army as a medic during WWII. Oh, also, my Grandpa is from the state of Sonora in Mexico. When you meet them later in the novel, that is where more of their story comes into play. My grandparents were sweetly in love. It hadn’t always been that way. But my grandpa adored my grandma in the most beautiful way I’d ever seen a man love a woman. She didn’t always deserve it. But then again, he didn’t deserve her faithful love for many years, either (according to his own words to me). Though he passed away before she, he tried so desperately keep his heart pumping so he could be there to care for until the end. She had Alzheimer’s. He doted on her in a way that will forever be my hope for my own future love story. Anywho…the love story of Rosa Moreno and Ignacio Castillo is not unlike the love story of Amelia and Emilio Avalos. I love my grandparents so much.

2. I’ve added to the playlist as the story takes me further back – about song 130 is where I started to feel like I’d started this novel in the wrong place. My grandma was a music lover and when me and Matt were with her, we listened to everything from mariachi music to Michael Jackson. 🙂 While cleaning at her house on summer mornings, it wasn’t unusual to listen to Canciones de mi Padre by Linda Rondstadt or Thriller.

3. I’ll share the prologue shortly. The novel itself definitely starts in California. There’s no other place to start it. But all bets are off about where it goes from there. There was a time I expected to land this novel in the mountains of North Carolina. I’m not sure that will happen now. We’ll see. 🙂 I reserve the right to write whatever I want. Here is my Pinterest inspiration board. Well darn, it doesn’t want to share the right board. Whatever. You get the point. I’ll share the prologue shortly.

Had to come back to add my grandma & grandpa’s favorite song! Sabor a Mi (the Eydie Gorme version in particular) was their song.

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