brni (brni) wrote in grumps_journal,
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The Making of Centipede Girl

Today we're honored to host a guest post by Ada Hoffmann, describing the inspiration behind her story, Centipede Girl.

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Some of the authors at the Journal of Unlikely Entomology are here because they love bugs. My reason for writing "Centipede Girl" is different: it stems from a much-too-close encounter, a couple of summers ago, with an actual centipede. Seriously, it must have been three inches long and it crawled onto my keyboard while I was typing. I screamed, jumped back, knocked over my chair, and then spent several minutes convincing my mother that I had not been axe-murdered. Meanwhile, the centipede disappeared into the clutter at the side of my room, and for several minutes I could hear it rustling around, but couldn't find the bloody thing.

(Sometimes I like to tell people true stories about me and bugs just to freak them out. That's one of them.)

For several days afterwards, I heard centipedes in every tiny sound and saw them in every shadow. Finally there came a moment when I dropped a piece of paper on the way down the hall and imagined a centipede scurrying to pick it up, as if I had them all over me, little familiars at my beck and call.

And then I thought, "Actually, that would be sort of cool."

Other ideas with more conventional origins came into it from there, and then came the critting and editing process (in which several beta-readers dissuaded me from writing the whole thing in alternating tenses). But the centipede, as always, is the interesting part of the story.
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