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Hiding from a Spider (and Other Possibly True Stories)

hiding from a spider -

I remember the day I spent hiding from a spider that turned out to be a hairband. I couldn’t even leave the room for lunch.

It’s the 15th of the month, and I should be about 15,000 new words into my novel by now. Instead, I’ve written only about 5,000 new words. Slacker, right? Yes and no. See, I’ve been fixating for days on a two-page section of the novel about a spider. Well, it’s about a spider and it’s about everything but a spider.

Thing is, I don’t even like spiders. Case in point: A while back I saw a big spider on the living room carpet, and I hid from it for most of the day. Talk about a rough go. I couldn’t even leave the room to get lunch. Imagine my surprise when, starving and desperate to pee, I got up to investigate and discovered that the spider was really a  black hairband.

I really don’t like spiders.

Still, I’ve been revising these two spider-related pages like mad.

In them, my protagonist, Cassie, sees a spider on a drapery across the room. She starts by hiding from the spider but then , over time, finds the will to pull herself off the sofa and check on how he’s doing. (All spiders are male, right? Except for Charlotte.)

Cassie is worried the spider’s dead, but sure enough he skitters about when she approaches. The two-pager essentially fast-forwards through a period of intense mourning, the kind that’s fresh and immobilizing and unvarying. The spider pulls Cassie from her torpor, theoretically enabling me (the author) to reveal the depth of her (the character’s) mourning. I’m essentially showing her recognition of and response to the existence of a tiny creature that shares her living space. The spider makes her reality—the “what is”—more bearable than it otherwise would be.

Though as it turns out the solace he brings is short-lived. As solace often is.

One Response

  1. I am loving your blog. You mustn’t stop writing; I really do check every day for your new entries. Poor Cassie. I can’t wait to read your novel.

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