Friends, thanks so much for the love you have shown my Red Room blog, which in recent days has received its highest numbers of visitors--ever! In return, we've dropped my two novels published by Penguin Putnam (The Deadwood Beetle and The Floodmakers) from $5.99 to $1.99. It's a Spring Sale! An excerpt from The Deadwood Beetle:
Should I tell [you] that some beetles bury dead animals for food storage, mummifying corpses as large as birds and mice?
Or that beetles were once--unjustly--accused of landing on rooftops and starting fires?
Perhaps some etymology. "Beetle," from the Old English bitula, little biter; or "weevil," from the German Webila, meaning movement back and forth, teeming.
Ladybugs were once dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Dung beetles associated with sin. Scarabs roll balls of dung into masses the size of tennis balls, then guard their families meticulously inside them. Coroners and forensic anthropologists often put badly decomposed bodies into their "bug boxes"--Plexiglas tanks filled with flesh-eating dermestids, which obligingly chew and leave nothing behind but the clean evidence of stripped bone.
Beetles are the janitors of the planet. Without them, E.O. Wilson has written . . . the world would be piled high with mounds of unconsumed, immobile, inabsorbable waste. And we would become overwhelmed by our own existences . . .
Many thanks for your continued support of and interest in my work, my words, these unaccountable haunts and obsessions . . .
Causes Mylene Dressler Supports
The Women's Media Center