Dragonfly Daydreams


Resting for a Second

This past week I’ve been very aware of dragonflies.  They’ve been darting around our yard from early morning until I can’t see them any longer.  I don’t know if they still fly during the night because then I’m watching fireflies.

The variety of dragonflies amazes me.  Their agility astounds me.  One mid afternoon when I was mulling over how to rework a scene, I saw a dragonfly aerial expo that kept me watching for fifteen minutes.

My mind wandered as I watched, and in those minutes I solved my revision issue and allowed my thoughts to wander to the good these insects were accomplishing with their tricks.

Here in Wisconsin we’ve had a major hatch of mosquitoes lately and biting flies.  That’s what’s drawn the dragonflies.  They’re nature’s hit men and they’re very efficient.  And deadly gorgeous.

So once I got back to work and finished my scene, I did a bit a research on these beauties—because while I could identify them immediately, I didn’t know much about them.

For example, did you know they spend most of their life span in the water?  And while swimming around, they feast on smaller insects and aquatic critters tinier than they are.  When they leave the water, they metamorphose several times until they become the flying aerialists we all know.

Oh, I learned more, like some species are much bigger than others and one species in particular is on the endangered species list in Wisconsin.

Dragonfly and Tomato

Those facts made me think about how they compare to my characters, how they develop and change and become more formed as we go through developing an idea that becomes our plot, writing the first draft and then revising and polishing to produce a product that we and our readers will love.  (And this we is my characters and me)

Sometimes my characters are incredibly lovely, agile, maybe deadly.  If they are memorable, they will grow and change—or they won’t survive or axed in a revision or if it’s a suspense, they might get killed off.

Dragonflies only live a few weeks once they reach the stage that we recognize.

In that respect they aren’t like us or my characters.  Most of us will have many productive years as an adult.  Most of us will never attain the agility of these tiny but might fliers, but we will live longer.

Or are a dragonfly’s few weeks equal to decades for a human?  How might we ever know?

You can see this dragonfly issue has been on my mind.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have enough to think about.  Or maybe it’s because when watching these flying beautiful bugs, I let my mind wander and unleash my creativity.

Or maybe I’m just thankful they’re around to help keep those pesky mosquitoes under control.

Spider webs; I don't like them

I wonder if they kill spiders?  I’d love that, too.

Now, let’s see, maybe I could develop a story where mutant ninja dragonflies take over the world.  The leader would, of course, be a kickass female with the most iridescent of wings…maybe Angelina might be interested in playing her in the movie version…

What do you think?

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4 Comments on “Dragonfly Daydreams”

  1. Edie Ramer Says:

    I need more dragonflies by me. This morning I was reading the newspaper at my kitchen table, and I got three mosquito bites.

    I’m not an Angelina fan, so you can go ahead and have her. I think Reese Witherspoon would be great as the heroine in my latest book, even though she looks nothing like her.

  2. caseyclifford Says:

    Edie,

    I’m not an Angelina fan either, but she seems to have an aura of that kickass unusual heroine which is why I mentioned her.

    Sorry about the mosquitoes. We’ve been lucky here because of those killers on the wing. 🙂

  3. Elle J Rossi Says:

    Anything that allows us to unleash our creativity is a blessing!

    Mosquitos just make me cuss!

  4. caseyclifford Says:

    Elle,

    I can think of a few additional bugs that make me cuss in addition to mosquitoes: biting flies, gnats, spiders that bite,Asian lady beetles–they bite too. 😦

    And I’ll bet dragonflies don’t eat those lady beetles;they’re gross.


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