Is anyone a veteran of NaNoWriMo? I’ve been resistant to the idea for some reason…..oh yeah, grad school and mommy-hood, those reasons. However, I feel pretty grounded now when it comes to working and writing. I have a spiffy new office on the bottom floor of my place; my office used to be upstairs. I hadn’t estimated what a positive change moving the office downstairs would be. Now, I can’t imagine how I ever worked upstairs—right now I’m sitting next to a ten foot by five foot panoramic window. I kid you not.
My primary work-related goal for the rest of the year is to complete my MFA degree. Comprehensive exams are the last two weekends in October. I’ve submitted my novel to my advisor, but I’m unsure of how much revision will have to go into that manuscript. Hopefully, that won’t be that big of a deal. So, October. I’m teaching the mini-mester, which also ends in October. All of this everything-culminating-in-October business got me thinking about NaNoWriMo, which is in November. Besides revising the MFA thesis, completing a directed reading, and continuing to work for the magazines I work for, I don’t have much else work-stuff going on until I graduate in December. Wait, that somehow doesn’t sound like not much else all of the sudden. I felt very optimistic about it last night. Eh. I will plan on it. I’m telling myself I can do anything for a month. And it would be awesome to have two completed manuscripts in hand, even if one is a rough draft, by the time I graduate.
I’ve been researching modern adaptations of the Cinderella tale for my directed reading. I’ve also been reading a lot of Joyce Carol Oates, as well as a huge chunk of short fiction in preparation for exams. I keep coming back to the ideas of Gothic romance and horror. I’ve become slightly obsessed with Nantucket, or more so the idea of a small New England island with lots of empty big houses in the off-season, old history, isolation, the water, the fog and cold. I think I’ll let all these ideas brew for NaNoWriMo…perhaps a modern spin on the Cinderella tale and the Gothic. I’ll go with a young male protagonist Byronic hero. A haunted house estate. A devious woman femme fatale, a love interest damsel in distress, a villain. A mystery hereditary curse.