Slice of Life Story- Spiders Spin A Web for The Writer Within
A conversation with some young writers prompted memories of spiders. They were sharing spider stories and deciding how they might choose to write about these fascinating creatures. I told them, ‘You have got me thinking now. You know, that’s why writers need to have conversations such as this.’ It was true. My mind was alive with possibilities. I could not wait to explore the topic of spiders in my notebook and I shared this simple truth.
Today I began to think about the common Australian Huntsman Spiders and their particular characteristics. I listed what I already knew about them in my notebook. My list included:
- They move very quickly
- The female lays up to 200 eggs
- They don’t build webs
- They have eight large, long hairy legs and flattened bodies ideal for living in narrow spaces
- They are crab like and grow up to 15 cms. from leg to leg
- People often refer to them as ‘tarantulas’
- They have no qualms about entering houses and cars. They often announce their presence by scurrying across the windscreen or dashboard or just suddenly dropping from the sun visor.
- They look scarier than they really are.
I was curious to know more before I wrote. So I began reading/researching about them. I discovered they often take over burrows discarded by cicadas. They also shed their skin. Huntsman Spiders are not aggressive and a bite usually causes inconvenience that can be treated with an ice pack, -so their physical appearance is misleading. I moved onto other spiders I knew something about and began investigating such species as the Garden Orb Weaver and the deadly Red Back Spider, both common to
By now my mind was galloping with possibilities…
The result of all this mind activity is a draft narrative about a spider called Harriet the Huntsman. We’ll see where this leads. I am indebted to the conversation I had with those young writers last week. A spark has been ignited and I am drawn to it.