brni (brni) wrote in grumps_journal,

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.


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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