[DWJ] Mermaids^Wmer-people (was HP)

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue May 15 07:41:33 EDT 2007

>> Elizabeth said:
>> is Mark arguing that children's books don't need to be as intelligent,
>> well-written, or non-stereotypical as adult books need be?

>Sally Odgers wrote:
>> I don't think so. I think he meant that  stereotypes don't bother
>> children as much because they have not experienced as many of them.

and Mark A expressed relief:

>Good save!  Thanks!  Not really want I was saying, but I did think of
>that while I was reading other posts.  Children, as you say, must learn
>their stereotypes at some point.  :)

if only so they can avoid or discount them.

>> A writing exercise I give my fantasy-writing clients includes writing
>> down everything they "know" about a specific fantasy creature, and then
>> writing down WHY they know it... i.e. mermaids sing sailors to their
>> deaths - because that's what happens in the Odyssey. It's especially
>> interesting with vampires and dragons, which have more than one trad.

>I thought that was the Sirens, not mermaids.  Or do mermaids do that too?

They all do; it's what water-dwellers *do* even if they are lorelei really
and living in a pine-wood on a rock on the Rhine.  Mermaids have
a-comb-and-a-glass-in-their-hand (dipso types that they are! I thought when
singing that as a child) and leap from the water to clasp pore sailors
round the neck and drag them to a watery doom.  (Presumably at that point
they abandon their props, or swiftly secrete them in a small bag hanging
round their necks.)  The moral of which is, don't lean over the side just
because someone is singing in the water: fling a life-belt at her head and
carry on with your inboard duties regardless.  I'm sure that's part of the
basic training at Dartmouth.

Minnow (who doesn't sing, as a rule)

More information about the Dwj mailing list