AIM, a prequel to BLUE and COMFORT, is about
family dysfunction spanning several generations. Junior Bledsoe has just lost Pop (his father) to an
alcohol-induced death. On top of that, his insufferable grandfather has moved in and now shares his bedroom.
As a writer I had the challenge of figuring out, not only Junior's emotions, but also, what made his Pop tick. Living with his grandfather yields clues about why Pop drank and avoided his own family. But Junior also seeks answers from his aunts and, as stories unfold, he begins to understand Pop better.
I also wondered why Granddaddy, himself was such a miserable person. Until I figured that out, the story felt incomplete. I found the answers in the following paragraphs.
|Source: Library of Congress|
First thing out of the box was a studio portrait of a soldier. “That’s your great-granddaddy there.”
“Yup. Gideon Bledsoe. Confederate army.” Granddaddy picked up the tin can he kept by the rocker. He spit a stream of tobacco juice into the can and kept on talking. “He was a pipsqueak when he joined. By the time, he came back, he was hard as nails. I wasn’t born yet but I can attest to the truth of it. A war will grow you right up.”
Gideon looked to be about my age. Fourteen. His eyes were might near as shiny as the buttons on his uniform. His dark hair curled out from under his wool cap. Looking at that picture, I couldn’t deny him for a relative of mine.
As Junior struggles with the dysfunctions of Pop and Granddaddy, he's drawn to the soldier boy who looks so much like him. Clearly Great-granddaddy wasn't always hard as nails.
In the course of the story, Junior makes some critical mistakes. He learns from those experiences but just as important are the lessons he learns from the generations that preceded him.
I'm pleased to announce that AIM is scheduled for release in Fall of 2016. What generational stories have you written or enjoyed?
Book giveaways and more on generational stories at Talking Story.