About Lauren Osborn
Lauren Osborn is a Ph.D. candidate in OSU’s creative writing program and a graduate of the MFA program at Queen's University of Charlotte. Her fiction and nonfiction are published or forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review Micro Series, The North American Review, Fourteen Hills, Lake Effect, The Laurel Review, JMWW, and elsewhere. She resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma with her collection of tarantulas and other unusual pets.
A Profile of the Author
Notes on "Gossamer Girl"
Spiders are among the most misunderstood creatures on the planet. Once, while explaining how spiders don’t seek confrontation—how they throw their legs up in warning, flashing their fangs before using them—a man responded with “it’s funny how their threats look so much like dancing.” It struck me then how much women and spiders are alike; Our fear often overlooked or mistaken. While writing this story, other themes such as isolation and exclusion bled through, and I found myself reckoning with what it means to be part of a collective but also separate. What do we lose when we mask ourselves for other’s comfort, for acceptance? What part do labels play in our identity and actions? I imagine more than a few of us have felt like a mass of arachnids wearing human skin at some point in our lives. I certainly have.
Music, Food, Booze, Tattoos, Kittens, etc.
I recently reared silk-moth caterpillars as part of a summer job for the entomology department at Oklahoma State University. Polyphemus caterpillars are jolly-rancher green, have suction-cup feet, and eat handfuls of oak-leaves each hour. In other words: they’re delightful. At the end of the summer, they wrapped themselves in silk cocoons, and now have begun to emerge this fall as mature moths. The adults are suede-winged with large purple eyespots mirrored on each side. Beautiful. Yesterday, I snuck one home and held it in my hand, amazed at how something that was once an egg—half the size of a split-pea—now filled my entire palm, quivering its downy scales against my fingertips. In other words, it felt like holding a miracle. I’m fortunate to spend my life surrounded by wonderful creatures, whether they be moths, spiders, or my beloved three-legged chinchilla, Emmerson.