We bought a butterfly kit.
This makes me feel as though I’m doing a good job homeschooling, because kids are supposed to watch caterpillars turn into butterflies, right? Never mind the fact that I never saw a caterpillar turn into a butterfly when I was a kid. It still seems like something important to see. (And, the fact that I never have, might just make me more fascinated by the process than the kids are.)
Anyway, these ten little caterpillars came a week ago in two little plastic cups. I would feel bad for them except the REALLY seem to like eating the brown sludge that sits in the bottom of their cup. And clearly it’s nutritious, because in eight days, they have grown so explosively that I have been nervous that they might actually explode.
But today, all the caterpillars are climbing up to the lid of the cups and hanging by their bums in little “J” shapes. I’m assuming this is the precursor to forming a chrysalis, but I don’t know for sure. I could just google it, but there’s something about their ponderously slow movements and blind instinct that makes me want to just watch and find out. It’s not that I don’t know WHAT’S going to happen. I’m just not sure about the HOW.
In the last week I’ve realized how little I’ve ever considered the actual mechanics of how a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly. Or even how a creature with no opposable thumbs manages to wrap itself in a chrysalis.
Are their bloated little bodies hiding the beginnings of a whole new form already? Or do they wait until they’re in the chrysalis to grow wings and a new body? Or is it more of a magical dissolving-into-goo-and-reforming-out-of-a-primordial-sludge sort of transformation? I wish these guys were going to form clear chrysalises so that I could see the change. (If you know, don’t tell me. No spoilers, please. I’m watching until the end, at which point I will probably google it all and see more information on it than I ever cared to see.)
It’s all very poetic and metaphorical, this changing from a crawly, lumbering thing to a butterfly.
And speaking of things changing from a slow, lumpish mess to something more beautiful, my book is almost done! (Yes, I just did that. I compared my book to a butterfly. Flutter, flutter.)
The caterpillars have managed a good deal of their growth and transformation in the last eight days. My book started eight years ago. So, I’m slower than a caterpillar. (Just to be clear, I didn’t work on it for eight years. It mostly languished in a cyber-chrysalis that did not change it or grow it in any way. Worst chrysalis ever.)
There are final edits going on but the book is pretty much done.
And it has a cover!
Fancy, no? It came out just like I had hoped. The main character is part of a bookish sort of group and there’s this glowing, swirly ruby which is quite important to the plot, so the cover is PERFECT. I’m happy with it.
If the stars align, it should be published, at least in ebook form, in the next month.
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll post the first chapter and if anyone is interested in reading the rest, you can let me know and you’ll get a free advanced copy of the ebook for being a beloved reader of this little blog.
Before that book is published, though, I made a coloring book for moms. If you didn’t know, coloring books for adults are a thing. A big thing.
I do love a little artsy break in my day, if I can fit one in. There are a lot of coloring books available by artist who have put together gorgeous pages to color. But many of them are really intricate. Having a gaggle of kids around me, I have a lot more need for short, quick artsy things than I do for beautiful, intricate ones. So I made up a coloring book that has a wide selection of simple mandalas for when I only have a few minutes, and then a few medium-length ones and a few intricate ones. And I tossed in a few fun stories about what life is like as a mom. If you’re not a parent of young kids, you probably won’t find it funny at all. If you are, maybe you can relate.
It should be available through Amazon in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be getting an email list put together soon, so if you like coloring and are interested in a free copy of the book, just stay tuned.
And of course, you’ll want to stay tuned to find out, “What on earth is going to happen with the caterpillars?” Because I’m sure none of us can guess the outcome of a caterpillar hanging upside down and cocooning itself…
BREAKING NEWS…BREAKING NEWS…BREAKING NEWS…
This just in from the kitchen counter: THE FIRST CATERPILLAR HAS EXPLODED AND IS NOW CRYSTALIZING. I believe the technical terms are “shed its exoskeleton” and is “hardening into a chrysalis”. Which would explain why it is now 1/3 smaller and gooey in an off-putting sort of way. It is also a better explanation than the first one which was voiced: “THIS CATERPILLAR IS EATING HIMSELF. AND TURNING INTO GOO!”
Stay tuned here for what’s going on in the fast-paced world of caterpillar metamorphosis.