Where I am, and how.
1. I've watched and re-watched True Detective and have taken notes each time. I want to do it again and probably should, though it might be mere self-indulgence.
2. I've read a good bit of academic research published in Lovecraft Annual on topics that I could tell were related to my core ideas. All of this research was published well before True Detective came out, so there's no direct scholarship in Lovecraft Annual. Still, I found numerous valuable articles.
3. I've gone through Selected Essays Volume 2: Literary Criticism, the collection edited by the esteemed ST Joshi. I took notes on several essays, especially "Supernatural Horror in Literature," HPL's statement on the nature of what he variously terms horror, terror, cosmic horror, and weird literature and his estimate of his predecessors and contemporaries who seem to grasp what he himself is about. Quite a few sections were fruitful.
4. I haven't done a thorough job of tracking down websites and blogs yet, for a couple of reason. One, there are a few ten thousands devoted to that first season of True Detective. After a few searches for subtopics and keywords, I discovered, not to my surprise, that they vary in quality. Vary. Verily. Two, the majority that I consulted follow the episodes, especially those blogs and websites associated with entertainment shows and outlets, and few of them go beyond plot summary and guesstimates of upcoming content in season 1. The content struck me as similar to that of Lost in its heyday, when people felt themselves in competition to get it. There are some good reference sites, such as one Wikia site that takes pains to cross-reference. I don't have a lot of fear that someone else has picked up my ideas.
5. A couple of other volumes in Joshi's Selected Essays series might have valuable works. I have two more volumes with post-its on promising items. Really, there's no end to this.
Where I've set the signposts.
1. Firming up my central idea. I've got it, I just need to get it sharpened, then let it sit while I do other things, which will let me see if it needs expansion.
2. Transcribing my idea maps into blog posts. If I were just writing a speech, I could use the idea maps I've drawn, but I need them to be prose now.
3. Damn, this thing really is a book. I just kind of guessed that when I got started because everything was pouring out of me, and then I look at the nine pages of idea maps and the (currently) 42 pages of handwritten notes in my notebook--which is an inventor's notebook, much like a lab book, larger than a simple composition book--and I realize that I haven't even written a speech yet, much less an essay.
4. It may well be time to do an outline. I've got a long history of writing outlines only to find that I radically change them, which has always worked well, and I'll go on the assumption that the same will be the case now.
5. The abstract is due 23 May, but I want it done well before then so that I can give it time to simmer and survive revision. I've read many a crappy submitted abstract, and the best ones were from candidates who'd actually done the work and knew what the edges of their work looked like. Those are what I need to find, the edges.
Wish me luck. I always liked you best.