Today’s reflection comes from Beverley Lello – her short story ‘In the Web’ was shortlisted in page seventeen‘s 2012 Short Story Competition and published in Issue #10.
Beau Hillier | Editor, page seventeen
I was inspired to write ‘In the Web’ after the bushfires in Victoria in 2009. I was in a very different place when Black Saturday occurred – Patagonia in southern Chile. The images appeared in a short news flash on a TV screen in a small cafe. The fires were in an area I knew well and had visited many times and those screen images of destruction and personal suffering stayed with me as I continued to travel.
In 2012 there were floods in Wagga Wagga and newspapers reported that a certain type of ground spider cocooned trees in thick webs to create places of refuge. This became an image of survival and reconstruction.
I like working this way; taking two or three things not normally linked and weaving them together in a story. I chose the first person voice for my main character, a young girl, because I wanted to capture that self-centred stage of life when the world is only partially understood and often misinterpreted. Like all children she asks questions to make sense of a confusing world but after the fire she no longer asks because a particular question might elicit an answer she doesn’t want to hear.
The web is both a symbol of reconstruction and a way of connecting the girl to her parents and to her environment. Together they are her whole world.
I’ve been writing short fiction, both plays and stories, for a few years – since retiring from teaching – and have found that writing frequently and a certain amount of persistence have been rewarded with ten stories now published, several competition wins and several plays performed.
My inspiration comes from my own life, travelling, observations of the natural world and many years of reading for pleasure.
Beverley Lello has been writing seriously for four years. Several of her stories have won competitions: the Albury City Short Story Award and Stringybark Awards in 2011, and the Margaret River and Country Style competitions in 2012.