I just noticed that it’s been since about four months since I've last posted. Graduate school takes a lot of my time - reading, writing papers, grading papers etc, and generally when I'm free I like to do very little in the way of written expression. This isn't good especially since I've always prided myself on writing plays, stories, and acting, but nevertheless this is a sad but true reality.
Graduate school, graduate school, graduate school. How can I describe graduate school? It’s an experience that's for sure. Not one for the faint of heart or for those unsure about what they want to get out of it. As my one of my professors put it, “graduate school is a graveyard” filled by those who gave up because they didn’t have the heart (or stomach) to continue. I can easily understand after having experienced a single semester.
I’m happy to report that I earned a 4.0 – a realization that still floors me every time I tell someone. I honestly wasn’t sure how well I was going to do. A lot of my work was always between high B, and low A, and there were moments of doubt that washed over me. I’m happy with my grades, and I plan to operate under the same strategy this semester, although with more wisdom and savvy (if possible). In past semesters I’ve generally been stronger in the spring, let’s hope this continues!!!
I began work on my first work of fiction in about…five years. When I was an undergraduate, especially for the first two years, I wrote more short stories and plays. Unfortunately time became an issue and I had to put a lot of my creative writing on hold. Luckily I’ve been able to take to the stage a few times, and give occasional lectures which have satisfied my thirst for public performance. Still, I miss telling a story. I plan to keep this side project going in the background as go about graduate work.
The working title of my story is “Shuttered” and I see it, at the very least a short story, and at the most a novella. The way I have it in my mind: it will be about a man who lost his wife (haven’t decided how yet, and that will greatly affect the story), and gradually becomes more reclusive – locking himself inside his Wellington, Ohio farmhouse and only connecting to the world via the internet. The story begins with an overview of the funeral of his wife and then jumps six months later to the point where he has shut himself in his house. As he spends his days locked away he experiences things that could be elements of the fantastic/supernatural, or elements of madness. Another idea is that the narrative will come from an outsider (next door neighbor for example) who simply watches the house nightly and reflects on the events. As you might have guessed, the story is a suspense story. Not really a ghost story, not really a thriller, but a suspense story.
I got the idea to write this when I drove by some older homes near my hometown and caught myself appreciating real shutters. Not the fake, decorative shutters that we see on most homes today, but the real heavy wooden shutters that actually close over the window. I imagined how creepy it would be to see a house, all alone in a rural area, shuttered with only faint light coming from inside. I also got inspiration from the Shel Silverstein poem "A Light in the Attic" (typed at the end of this post).
I haven’t decided on outcomes, if there will be a happy ending, sad ending, or an ending that is inconclusive. I will keep you updated though. Though this may move to becoming a short story or novella, I might adapt a stage version (if possible) to produce with my theatre connections in NEO.
Well that is all for now. I will keep you updated!!!!
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silvertstein
There’s a light on in the attic
Though the house is dark and shuttered,
I can see a flickerin’ flutter,
And I know what it’s about.
There’s a light on in the attic.
I can see it from the outside,
And I know you’re on the inside . . . lookin’ out.