Recently a couple of friends called to tell me that there was a book reviewed on NPR I that I need to read. It’s about a boy who draws maps of his world. Of course, I ran out and bought The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet right away. I love it. There are so many coincidences in the book, things that remind me of my childhood, ideas that I’ve had for map making, etc. I find T. S. Spivet’s mother, Dr. Clair, to be a very intriguing character. She is a coleopterist (entomologist who specializes in beetles) and has spent 20 years searching for the allusive tiger monk beetle. The other day I was thinking about her as I was scanning a few maps that I had made and wondering if I should even continue with this sketchbook. After all, T.S. Spivet had pretty much scooped me and published many of my ideas already….
Just then a huge, gargantuan, buzzing beetle came in from my screened porch and was frantically richoceting off the walls, my monitor, my HEAD, the window…. Needless to say I beat a very hasty retreat out of my studio, slammed the door and ran down the stairs. I am no Dr. Clair. I did not re-enter my studio until the next day. I found the beetle, belly up on the floor. I scooped him up with a page from my circus calendar and proceeded to photograph him. The above photo shows the perceived size of said beetle (compare to tightrope walker) as well as the actual size (compare to key). Below is a map of the beetle’s crazy shaky journey around my head and my subsequent escape. Whew.
I am about a third of the way through The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet. I can’t wait to find out what will happen next….. it is fast becoming my Jumanji.