This week I focused on brainstorming about topics for my thesis. I knew that I wanted to do something creative for my final project and I also knew I had creative writing projects that I had started but had not yet finished. In particular I had a YA novel I started writing a while back. As I thought about my thesis I decided that it would be great to incorporate my YA novel into the thesis and research more on the topic of the novel itself. I spent most of my time this week thinking about my story, reading sections of what I have written already and thinking about what goals I had in mind when I started writing it. One of my goals was to write something I could publish and have printed copies of it. While this is a more traditional route I am excited to see how I could create a digital version of my thesis.
Sorry to be so late with my post. I moved buildings this year, have a new principal, and have 3-5 new initiatives starting all at once. Once everything settles over the next few weeks I hope to find a steadier rhythm.
I’m still very strong on the idea of writing about fear and how people respond to it. After discussions with Dr. Zamora, it appears to be headed in the direction of documenting myself in scary, allegedly haunted locations. I had all summer to plan it out and to start visiting places, but failed to take advantage of the time. My wife is incredibly excited about the project. She bought me a GoPro for Father’s Day in anticipation of our visits to these places.
Some of the activities that I have lined up are the engagements I briefly mentioned last week. The talks will examine Jersey legends with a strong emphasis on the Jersey Devil. In October, I’m even taking Maddy on “Jersey Devil Hunt”. That will incorporate how people of all ages respond to terrifying situations. Burlington County Prison Museum offers tours and is supposedly haunted, so that will be a stop. Eastern State Penitentiary has been a dream of ours since many of the shows we watch feature it heavily.
To continue using my kids as material, I’ve been documenting our frequent trips to Spirit Halloween since they popped up last month. We’re talking three to four times a week. We have four different Halloween stores in our area and my kids absolutely love them; but they are terrified once they get there and want to leave. What is it that calls them back?
Weird NJ offers so many ideas and places that are off the beaten path. This past Friday, a 20-year-old woman fell off a catwalk while exploring the Curtis Specialty Paper Superfund Site. The EPA goes around and cleans up sites that could potentially pose a risk to public health. Unfortunately, many of these same places draw people in who are looking to explore. So many people ignore the fences and warning signs, unaware of or ignoring the fact that these abandoned sites are decaying and seriously dangerous. I won’t be doing that. As a grown man with a family and a career, I think I’ll be staying away from trespassing and any other activities that could prove dangerous.
I’m anxious to see how it will eventually pan out. This is already a different idea from what I started with, but I’m happier with what it has morphed into. I am extremely excited for this project and can’t wait to see how it will turn out. If anything, my family will get to create a lot of memories and fun experiences together.
ENG 5698 (Fall 2020) & ENG 5699 (Spring 2021)