Crazy In Love With Writing: Alethea Kontis

It seems our next blog topic in the Mermaid Lagoon is along the lines of “the craziest thing you’ve ever done to finish a book.”

Now, as my dear Queen Jane Yolen says, the real key to Finishing a Book is putting your BUTT IN THE CHAIR and FINISHING THE BOOK. That’s really about the size of it. No romance involved.

HOWEVER…I will admit. My first novel manuscript was a doozy.  I don’t mean HAVEN, that crazy little NaNoWriMo project I spent the next 10 years revising. No…I mean SUNDAY. The book that eventually became ENCHANTED. The first (and so far only) manuscript I’ve finished that clocked in at over 100K words.

Like many a novice writer, I hit the 2/3 or 3/4 mark in the manuscript and started floundering. So I sat down and had a serious chat with myself. I outlined the remaining chapters in bullet points, so I knew what…
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Everyone Deserves a Pick Me Up

Isn’t this wonderful? I get to post again about things that lift me up and improve my life! ONE: My phone alarm clock.      Okay, hold it right there. You’re thinking that’s nuts, and I don’t blame you. People don’t like having to get up in the morning (and if we all got to bed earlier, we wouldn’t be so grumpy!).  However, I adore having something that wakes me up that ISN’T the dinging, or screeching or other standard alarm clock methods to “get the hell up right now!”        No, this gentle flower (me) uses temple bells in my phone menu, or a Spanish guitar riff from the internet to bring on a desired state of wakefulness.      Or, for an unusual morning rousing, I let loose with a recording I made of Damon Suede at a CTRWA Fiction Fest table talk…
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My Ultimate Pick-Me-Up

There are a few things in life that make me really happy. My family. A good writing day. Laughter with friends. And last but not least…food!

If I’m looking for a pick-me-up when life gets stressful, a good meal almost always does the trick.

Here are some of my fav dishes from the last few months:

 

 

 

 

What’s your favorite pick-me-up?

 

 

 

 

Pick-Me-Ups, Inspiration and Writing Friends

When I’m feeling like I need a pick-me-up or inspiration, I usually find those in a couple different places: awesome quotes by people/writers I admire; talking to writing friends who understand my special brand of crazy; or drinking–preferably with writing friends who can commiserate. 🙂

 

Here are some of my favorite quotes that have been tacked up on bulletin boards/dry erase boards in my house or scribbled into countless notebooks.

Some of these are writing related, but most of them are just quotes that make me feel warm and fuzzy. But that could be the mojitos. That’s a real possibility.

 

“You don’t have to see the top of the staircase to take the first step.”–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”–Mahatma Gandhi

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”–Mahatma Gandhi

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.”–Vincent van Gogh

“Success is sometimes the outcome of a whole string of failures.”–Vincent van Gogh


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My Personal Pick-Me-Up

Here in the magical Mermaid lagoon, we’ve been sharing the things that we turn to when we need a little pick-me-up. While there are many things that lift my spirits – bubble baths, coloring, Zumba, cooking – there is one thing that NEVER, EVER, EVER fails to put a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. My own personal happiness savior… HARRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Latest Favorite Pick Me Up! (Surprise, It’s cartoon me:)!

When I thought about pick-me-ups, the first thing that came to my mind was — well, me:). No not that “me”, but the me I made in the land of Bitmoji.

It’s like I created this living, breathing gal who wears the coolest shades, sports stylish dreadlocks, loves red lipstick and each time I let her loose in the world, I smile. She’s the other me, the one who says so much with so few words and the expression on her face, well, she cracks me the heck up.

So, my pick me up after, during, while the day is spent hunched over a computer keyboard, my brain ready to explode, digging into the deepest corners of my mind, searching for one more sentence, better than the last, and viola — I pull out the best mini-me evah! So, yeah, I just had to share why this girl (though I wish I could make her dreadlocks…
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Sunshine and Daisies Make Me Happy

 

In our own special way, each of us strives for that happiness and joy that brings with it an inner peace, but sometimes life gets in the way. It could be a hectic schedule bogged down by playing taxi to your children or that cursed day job. The fact is, even when your life is going famously, sometimes you crack open one bleary eye to a rainy morning and feel like your blankets have claimed you as one of their own. Ahem, I’ve heard. 🙂

Regardless of what is drudging up the doldrums and making your creativity wane, all you need to turn that frown upside down is some inspiration.

I find peace in order. Yes, I am one of THOSE people. My books and DVDs are organized by genre and the movies are even alphabetized. And I love lists. I make a list of things to do every day. When I’m feeling particularly sluggish I have been known to…
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Mermaids & Friends: Sonya Cooke + Book Giveaway!

“Avoid boxing yourself into choices without allowing yourself a period for discovery.” ~ Sonya Cooke

Sonya and I haven’t known each other for very long, which says a lot for the amount I’ve already learned from her. We connected this past September when she was in need of a last minute proof read of her book which she was very close to having published. My friend Kathleen, who I had edited for in the past, was a student at Sonya’s Acting Studio of Orange County and when she heard of Sonya’s need, she graciously thought of me. I happened to be free and it was within a few days’ span of working with Sonya that I realized, someone very special had crossed my path.

I will do my best to list the plethora of hats Sonya regularly dons. She is the Founder/CEO/Owner and Head Teacher of Seven Pillars Acting: LA Studio and the Actor’s Studio of Orange County. She is also a…
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Finding Your Flower in the Cracks (Productivity Tips)

Greetings from San Diego where it is a crisp 35 degrees Fahrenheit right now. (I’m eyeballing the fireplace and seriously debating….)

As I think warm thoughts and wiggle the ice caps from my morning toes, I’d like to share with you my favorite tips for writing/productivity/pick me ups when you are down. There are hundreds of things I could include in this post that serve this purpose, and I’d be willing to bet you have just as many, because each of us are so unique and therefore what we find inspiration and hope and magic from is equally so. This is perhaps the best, most important arsenal to have and one you want to be diverse and plentiful. I was going to say that I hope these things that lift you up happen to cross into your path when you need them. While I do hope the universe serves you in that way, I’d like to acknowledge and respect the importance that…
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Our Little Overachieving Mermaid

Hello, lagoon! Princess Alethea Mermaid here.

You know…we work and slave and toil and force out all our blood sweat and tears, laboring over a laptop in our PJs until our necks freeze stiff and our bodies fall apart. And then, some magic happens, and suddenly it all comes together. A beautiful book springs forth like a fully-formed piece of art.

Sometimes, release dates are pushed back. Sometimes, things get delayed. Sometimes, the planets align and you have the opportunity to get something out into the world far earlier that you expected! Which means that sometimes, THIS HAPPENS ALL AT ONCE.

That’s right. I have THREE February releases: A novel (that was pushed back a month), an original story in an anthology (that was delayed a few weeks), and a special short-story chapbook that wasn’t even going to be a thing but SURPRISE! I’ll have it available for sale at Coastal Magic at the end of this month.

They may all be coming out at once, but that doesn’t mean…
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