Nanowrimo Spotlight: The Yellow Wallpaper, Redux


And good morning! I thought I’d send you a new spotlight early today, so the day doesn’t get away from me again. I’d like to welcome Abigail, who can be found on Nano as firewatchersdaughter, and also on facebook and instagram. Here’s Abigail talking about her Nanowrimo background:


I first attempted (albeit half-heartedly) NaNoWriMo years ago. My wife was the ML of our region at the time, so it was just natural to participate. I didn’t get very far, and my heart wasn’t in it to be honest.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m starting to establish myself in the art world, and am working on tackling some short story comics and graphic novels. I attempted CampNaNo twice earlier in the year for different projects, but felt like I had a block. Having great ideas was one thing- putting them on paper was another. I think in my heart I thought getting it written would be the easy part, and then I could just go onto the artwork where the ‘real’ work would begin. But I found myself striving for perfection right off the bat, when I hadn’t written anything significant in years. I failed miserably, and since then have been refining my writing process on shorter works in anticipation.

What are you writing about this year?
For this year’s nano, I’m writing a pseudo autobiographical deconstruction of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’ a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It was one of the first short stories that really spoke to me when I was in high school, and since then it’s been an all-time favorite and go-to of mine.

The original short story deals with how women who were depressed were treated in that era. It’s written as diary entries of a woman who slowly descends into psychosis because of under-stimulation and confinement. Similarly, my work will be dealing with modern mental health facilities, and the stigma associated with treatment. It will be a first-hand look at depression and how people who deal with it are treated within the system.

While some criticism of the care received will be implied, the primary theme will be that of empathy and understanding towards the 1 in 4 people who undergo treatment for mental disorders every year.

What is your favorite movie – you have to pick just one!
Hands down, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It’s one of the few Jim Carrey films where he takes on an earnest role, and the story is just quirky enough that it keeps my attention.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Don’t let the inner editor stop you. It will scrape and beat at your mind and claw at your fingers but don’t give in. Get it written. THEN get it right.

Sneaky Ninja question! If you had one day left to live, what’s one thing you’d want to spend that time on?
I’d honestly spend it with my wife. The whole day. I’d go with her on a walk, something she adores to do and I never have time for. I believe our lives are measured by the people who know and understand us, not by what we’ve created. As much as I want to get out my magnum opus, the things I miss most would be the people who supported me through everything.
abigail_southworth
I’m working on several short novels at the moment, but the biggest project i’m tackling is a joint venture with my wife, a sword and sorcery comic titled ‘Wilindir Dark.’ It will be premiering early 2016, so keep an eye out! I post frequently about it on my Facebook Page.

You can also find my artwork at AbigailSouthworth.com, where I keep an archive of old work and update with new work, some you can’t find anywhere else.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Abigail!

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