Symbolism, re: LADYBUGS & HP SNAKES

Blogland, Did you know that ladybugs are lucky?

Well, at least it’s a belief they share here in the US of A. I found that out about a year ago when I accidentally took one home with me. I found it in my notebook sleeping by the metal spirals the next day. It stayed with me the entire night. I  apologized for my human mistake, and left it on a leaf on my way to class.

Well, Reader, it happened again. Last Wednesday a lady bug came to me while I was shooting/filming an interview. I thought it was a spider and pushed it off my chest. When I saw it fly away, I saw the red wings and groaned. I had pushed away good luck.      I thought: Well, there goes my luck!     Surprisingly, the lady bug came back! Or at least another one came and landed on my neck. This time, I fought the urge to shoo it away and allowed it to walk around my neck and into the back of my hair.

After I finished the interview one of the women stood up and grabbed it from my neck, so that I could take a picture of the friendly bugger.    The other woman, who is a doctor, exclaimed: “You are blessed! You are blessed! This project will turn out great. There is good coming your way…” and she kept reassuring me that the ladybug is a good omen and that I was being blessed by mother nature.

Well, Reader, I am keeping my heart and mind open for this one. I need a pick me up after this past week. Things have been so exhausting.     In the end, I have a lot to be grateful for. I suppose this ladybug reminded me about that.

* * * * * * * * *

As writers, sometimes we can use these types of encounters to inspire us. Maybe I am writing about a character who is crying over the death of her grandmother, but then a ladybug sits on her while she cries. She doesn’t notice it.    The ladybug could represent a transition into self-revelation or happiness that is not visible in her current situation. Maybe only the reader notices the ladybug during the encounter.

Something else I read about ladybugs is that if you push it off, it usually flies towards the direction of your true love.

Symbolismcan be used to move the story along, and give hints out that may reinforce some thematic ideas behind your story.  It can be a tool to foreshadow something that might happen in the future.

For example, Harry Potter and the snake he meets at the zoo in the very first book and film. He starts talking to it, but neither he nor the audience knows that he is using Parseltongue. This is discovered much much later. Of course, the snake symbolizes a lot of negative things in the Harry Potter books, but this is not an original concept. Adam and Eve had a bad time with a snake themselves in the best seller book: The Bible. But pulling from history and culture like that can help guide your audience to better understand the complexities of your character. It’s just a fun way to show your reader/viewer something special about them, something unique. This is especially effective when the character is shown to be down on her/his luck, or before her/his transformation.

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