Wriggly hair and geese (was Re: Zinka and Deep Secret)

mecha godscylla mechagodscylla at hotmail.com
Sat May 3 13:35:06 EDT 2003

>Minnow wrote:
> > Will has bushy hair that wriggles -- I just found that, looking to see 
>if  he had parents.  Was that a DS reference to "wriggly hair" you had in 
>mind, Kathleen?
Kathleen replied
>Yes, and Dakros' hair as well. I first noticed it in Hexwood, so I'm not 
>sure of examples in her other books.

I've always seen the wriggly hair as a dwj touch that comes from her own 
hair.  Not to say that she is doing that thing where she is her character - 
somehow I can't find words for it today... You know when you are reading and 
suddenly you realize that the character is the author glorified?  I'm trying 
to think of examples of this and I think I've usually come across it in 
those mainstream bestsellers like Patricia Cornwell books, Mary Higgins 
Clark...who else? My husband assures me this is also the case with Tom 
Clancy books. (Feeling conscious that I have just betrayed our unfastidious 
reading habits - lol! But that's another subject, isn't it?)  But I don't 
think it is that simple in dwj - or should I say - she seems so much more 
self-aware than that, as she doesn't seem to fall into the same pitfalls 
that those others I've mentioned do.  So I look on it more as a 'touch.'  
Adding to the wriggly hair list - Roddy (surely that isn't a spoiler?), the 
North people in Dalemark... I looked at my shelf of dwj, but it didn't 
further jog my memory.

Kathleen wrote:
Maybe I just really like the way DWJ writes waterfowl. Growing up I ran the 
dairy and egg industries on our farm (my sister had the pigs and made 
considerably more money). The leathery-winged avians in Dark Lord act just 
like real geese (I am prejudiced here, I inherited the geese from the people 
who leased our property while we were living in Brisbane and they were 
evil-minded brutes: geese, not people).

She does fantastic waterfowl doesn't she?  I enjoyed your post greatly and 
find your growing up experiences fascinating - thank you for sharing that.  
:)  Her geese (and avians), are so perfect and they have led to long 
discussions and tale sharing in our house.  When I was very little (2-4), 
there was a pond with a bridge down the hill from where we lived, and our 
parents liked to take evening walks there.  I dreaded it absolutely, because 
of the geese. They were terrifying and they always bullied me.  I would 
cling to my parents legs as the geese hissed and threatened me and my 
parents would laugh (stupid adults - completely oblivious = early sling and 
arrow of outrageous fortune), but the geese would try to cut me off from 
them and chase me. Yuk!  While I've never menaced a goose in revenge, it is 
ever reassuring to me that I am now much larger than they are.  Of course, I 
am fooling myself.

Because, as my husband's anecdote revealed to me - size does not matter with 
geese. One day he was driving down a country road in an SUV (err, 4-wheel 
drive truck) with friends and they came upon a goose sitting right in the 
lane. They stopped the car. They honked the horn. The goose rose up, hissed 
at them, and settled back down. It wouldn't move for anything. They had to 
wait it out until the goose had proved its point and finally moved off to 
discover its next victim.  Geese!  Just last week a bellicose goose 
confronted him as he left work and sought to chase him around the parking 
lot.  Affronted though not unamused by the absurdity of his situation, he 
walked deliberately to his car tailed by the hissing beastie.  So we've had 
further cause to reflect recently on how well dwj writes geese - and I like 
that she puts them in because life is like that, but who else writes it??

Kathleen wrote:
>As I said before, I find it all very thrilling, and it also relates to the 
>sensation of being made to look up and outwards that I mentioned in an 
>earlier post. The book is complete in and unto itself, and yet it isn't 
>confined by the official 'story'. It reaches out in every other direction - 
>there is so much out there, so much to see and know, so many other stories 
>going on  besides the one(s) you (as reader or character or person) are 
>intimately involved with.

Yes! And I enjoyed that other post a lot as well.  :) It reminded me of 
something I haven't thought of in a long time (such evocative postings you 
write). I once tried to come up with a metaphor that would work for me about 
what makes some art really better.  I thought that art is like, perhaps, a 
building.  With lesser art, it is a building that less people can get into, 
and perhaps fewer rooms with less of interest to be seen there - though 
still, much art fascinates some.  With better art - it's really accessible 
and fascinating and no matter who you are and where you are coming from, you 
can go in there and take away something from the experience of being there.  
I was thinking in terms of the reader/viewer/listener, but there's another 
level, which it seems to me is what you are talking about, where within 
dwj's books - the same process seems to be going on inside the work.  Ah, so 


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