We All Visit the Old Well

Though our exercise here is just beginning, we do need to discuss our final project – the “fearsome final,” as we termed it last year. This calamitous composition (or whatever secret alliterative phrase pleases you) looms in the distance, but, much like the fabled objects in automotive side view mirrors, it is much closer than it seems.

All sequels have a twist, and Vacation Necronomicon School is no exception. This year we will take our inspiration from Lovecraft himself, and the snippets listed in his commonplace book. This is not a new idea, to be sure, but it does add a challenge: how will you use one of his ideas in your own way?

Your final project can be any form of creative output: a story, a painting, a poem, a song, a work of collage, or a very short video – whatever appeals to you. Simply choose a concept from Lovecraft’s commonplace book and find a way to make it your own. (I have included Bruce Sterling’s cheeky 21st century explanations of Lovecraft’s entries below as a humorous example to aid in creative interpretation.)

We only have a limited amount of time, so choose wisely. Projects are due the 30th, our final day this term…

Reading: H. P. Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book
Task: Choose an idea from the list for your final project
Extra Credit: Bruce Sterling’s Lovecraft Vs. 21C

About Headmistress

Sarah L. Crowder, current headmistress of Vacation Necronomicon School, was once a pupil at the prestigious Miskatonic Academy for Girls -- though she did not graduate, as the school closed under mysterious circumstances shortly before her studies were completed. She spent many years contemplating both the arcane arts and hidden dimensions of commonplace life, and now lends her talents to our little online haven for workaday scholars.
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9 Responses to We All Visit the Old Well

  1. Pingback: Summer School: Final Project anticipation « TENTACLII :: H.P. Lovecraft blog

  2. Borrowind says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve selected the Commonplace Book entries that I think are most suitable for my type of pulled-back ‘landscape’ CG/Photoshop illustration…


    But… I’m also inclining toward undertaking some poetic fiction.

  3. Headmistress says:

    @Borrowind – All of those would make wonderful illustrations – I think you’ve chosen well, regardless of which final format you undertake. I’ve also chosen mine:
    38 Drowning sensations—undersea—cities—ships—souls of the dead. Drowning is a horrible death.
    It corresponds pretty closely to a nightmare I had last year that I was saving for a piece of short fiction. Now comes the hard part of actually writing it…


  4. Nina says:

    “Narrator walks along unfamiliar country road,—comes to strange region of the unreal.”
    Amazingly, there’s a road near my house that I call the Lovecraft Road. I am compelled by forces beyond reason to choose this quote for my assignment.

  5. Paul says:

    I’m torn between two prompts:

    195 Pane of peculiar-looking glass from a ruined monastery reputed to have harboured devil-worship set up in modern house at edge of wild country. Landscape looks vaguely and unplaceably wrong through it. It has some unknown time-distorting quality, and comes from a primal, lost civilisation. Finally, hideous things in other world seen through it.


    210 An ancient house with blackened pictures on the walls—so obscured that their subjects cannot be deciphered. Cleaning—and revelation. Cf. Hawthorne—Edw. Rand. Port.

    I’ll sleep on it, see which one haunts my dreams first…

  6. Headmistress says:

    @Nina – Lovecraft Road? Yes, indeed! I think you have chosen well…

    @Paul – I would also find it hard to choose between those two – but I’m looking forward to the outcome…


  7. Lynn says:

    I’m fascinated by:

    2 Inhabitants of Zinge, over whom the star Canopus rises every night, are always gay and without sorrow. [x]

    Call me cynical but that’s scary – Happiness Patrols (Dr. Who), the spooky little boy enforcing happy, the very stupid in glorious oblivion.

    “Three Canies woke up last week. If this pace keeps up I’ll have to bring in another liaison officer to help the formerly blissful blend back into what is left of this vale of tears. When they start seeing Zinge as it is, the smart Sister calls us early, brings me to them while they’re rejoining us, instead of waiting til trouble starts.”

  8. Headmistress says:

    @Lynn – As a rather melancholy person myself, I find that terrifying. Excellent choice!


  9. Pingback: Once Upon a Time in the West of London | Scrivenings and scribblings by writer and artist Paul Anderson

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