Alethea Kontis

The Lost Art of…Lost Arts

Alethea MermaidLike many a work of prose, this blog post was born from the merging of two entirely separate ideas.

Idea Number One: I often joke to friends about certain “Lost Arts” of the twenty-first century — habits that are fading out of existence that wouldn’t normally cross the mind of anyone over the age of 25. A few examples:

Handwriting Journaling Introducing oneself in person Politely answering a house phone without caller-ID Backing up in a car without a rearview camera Nursery Rhymes

Idea Number Two: Researching is a fabulous rabbit hole. A writer can google “bird wing anatomy” and find herself hours later researching Native American snake myths. (Not that I’ve done this before…ahem…) A few times I have been temped to blog about my researching adventures, and the myriad of things I’ve discovered in my virtual travels.

So in researching what other folks might consider “Lost Arts”, I stumbled upon a few things I hadn’t considered.

The…
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Mermaids & Friends: Leah Cypess

Good morning, everyone — Alethea Mermaid here, wishing a happy book release week to fellow author Leah Cypess! Her young adult fantasy DEATH SWORN released this Tuesday, March 4th. It’s a gorgeous book…congrats, Leah!

I asked Leah to join us in the lagoon today to talk about three favorite reads. And not just any reads…her favorite WRITING reads. Take it away, Leah!

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Leah Cypess, AuthorI’m going to combine the “three favorite reads” with “three things every writer should know” and give you a list of “three favorite writing advice books.” Is that cheating? As I’m writing this, I don’t know, but if the post is up, I guess it’s not. Either that, or I bribed someone to put it up anyhow.

I read lots of writing books, and most of them have nuggets of wisdom, inspiration, or thoughts to ponder; there are few that aren’t worth reading. But these are my favorites – the ones that, after reading…
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The Harsh Light of Day

I seem to be having a problem with reality.

Mom and I just finished watching Austenland, an exceptionally cute romantic comedy that is Every Austenite’s Wish-Fulfillment Fantasy. Not surprisingly, one of the major themes of this flick is wondering just how thin that line is between fantasy and reality.

I read fantasy. I write fantasy. I’ve been a princess and a pirate and a pig-keep and a lady knight. I’ve been a sorceress and a scullery maid. I live the adventure, revel in the romance…and then I finish the chapter and either shut the laptop or close the book. I feel like I have a fairly good handle on What Fantasy Is.

Reality is a bit of a puzzle for me, though.

And don’t even get me started on “Reality” television.

What is reality? Is it paying bills and mowing the lawn and collecting receipts for taxes? Is it the stubbed toes and the tears and the extra fifty pounds? Does “reality” always have…
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Why We Write Romance

Valentines-day-valentines-day-22236757-2560-1600-300x187Happy Valentine’s Day from the Waterworld Mermaids!!!

We love Valentine’s Day so much that we are celebrating all week long. Ever curious about why the Mermaids write romance novels? Today we decided to share our answers to the question: What made you start writing romance?

Come back tomorrow when we turn the tables on industry professionals with their very own question. Our celebration will wrap on Thursday with a gift card giveaway. Leave a comment today and tomorrow for extra chances to be entered in the giveaway on Thursday.

Enjoy and smoochies!

What made you start writing romance?

Alethea

This should come as no surprise to anyone: Fairy Tales are the reason I started writing romance. Fairy tales are full of fantasy, adventure, magic, mystery, blood, and death…but the tales I always found most interesting were the ones that involved true love. This love might end tragically (The Little Mermaid) or wonderfully (Rapunzel) or coincidentally (Briar Rose) or with a heaping…
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The Princess and the Vlog

Snow White Fairy Tale RantYesterday marks the release of the 17th Episode of my Fairy Tale Rants Vlog (Video Blog) on YouTube.

17 episodes…in US time, that could be an entire season of a TV show. (In UK time, it could be two seasons.) It feels like I’ve been doing this forever, and it feels like I just started yesterday. No, I’m not Viralnova Internet Famous yet, but it’s only a matter of time for these things. As they say, the key is Content, Content, Content. Post regular content on a regular basis, and the fans will find you.

I guess we’ll see, right? I’ll be sure to let you all know when exactly that happens. :-)

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you some things that I’ve learned about my video blogging experience.

Camera and Microphone: Let’s be honest, I don’t have a huge budget. But I do have…
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There and…well, Still There

One of my favorite days of the year is December 21st: Yule, also known as the Winter Solstice. This is the shortest day of the year and the longest night, marking the return of the light to the world and increasingly brighter days, which I’ve found makes me rather happy. It’s a bit of an emotional New Year, inspiring me to a new outlook on life.

I spent most of December 21st, 2013 crying like my heart was broken.

My little sister Soteria called that morning to tell me two things: that Mom and Dad had arrived safely at her house in Charleston, SC from their home in FL the night before, and that she’d gotten the results of her MRI. Turns out the reason her right side had been numb off and on for three months was a severely herniated disc in her neck that was pressing so hard into her spinal cord it was bruising it and cutting off the flow of spinal fluid. But this was nothing…
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Famous Jammies

There’s a link that’s gone viral — a family’s 2013 Christmas Card performance called “Christmas Jammies.” And when I say viral I mean it — since it was uploaded on December 11, this video has been watched over SEVEN MILLION TIMES.

Here it is, in case you haven’t had the pleasure — it’s really cute & super fun for the whole family! (Here’s the link for those who can’t see the video embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kjoUjOHjPI )

Most of the comments say things like, “I love these people!” and “I want to be part of this family!” when in reality, if most of us presented our kids with matching Christmas PJs on December first and told them we were all going to rehearse a family video that would be LIVE ON YOUTUBE FOR ALL THEIR FRIENDS TO SEE, the result would be massive rolling eyes and filing for emancipation.

These are the things I thought when I watched this video. Did you notice how it’s not only a Christmas card,…
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A Brand New Year: A Brand New Me!

Denny's MermaidsWell, world, here’s the announcement you’ve been waiting for:)! No, not that one. And definitely, not that one (seriously? seriously, I can’t believe you thought that!).

I’m getting a face lift! I know you sit there and wonder what took me so long to make that call? But another no, not that face, I mean Denny Mermaid is getting a face lift! or should I say a new avatar! Look below for the gorgeous new me, courtesy of Lee Moyer (the graphic designer, illustrator, artist extraordinaire) and our own friendly pond-hopping princess, Mermaid Alethea Kontis.

Can you believe it? I was hanging out on Facebook, and Alethea tagged me on a comment and that’s how this love story began. I haven’t met Lee in person yet, but after a few emails, a visit to his website, and of course, his permission to use this gorgeous beauty below, I was hooked. And my new love is here to stay!

The…
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So…if I have an awesome Thanksgiving and it doesn’t go viral, is it still awesome?

Hello everyone!

How was your Thanksgiving, US folks? Mine was incredibly stressful, thank you. Oh, it’s all stuff I won’t discuss on the internet…you know. Suffice it to say that I hope yours went a lot more smoothly than mine.

In one way, though, my Thanksgiving was awesome.

Here’s what happened: The first day we were at the in-laws, Joe’s mom presented him with a handful of 4-5 inch tall comic book figurines. She had cleaned out something, somewhere, and despite Joe having no recollection of these items, Mrs. B was sure they were his. They were all posed for action: Wolverine, The Punisher (missing an arm), and Captain America.

I lifted Captain America to examine him. The stamp on the back read “1989,” which would have meant Joe bought these when he was at least 19 if they really were his…but they were his now, and within his power to redistribute as he saw fit.

“Can I have Cap?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said.

I had my phone with…
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What Do You Do With a Drawing Princess?

Princess Alethea MermaidHappy Guy Fawkes Day, everyone!

Today is my absolute favorite holiday, and it’s all because of a book. Before Harry Potter was a glimmer in Jo Rowling’s eye, there was a little book called Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones. It remains one of my favorite books to this day. One day I will be in England for Bonfire Night.

At the beginning of Witch Week, teacher Mr. Crossley discovers a note that says, “Someone in this class is a witch.” Are they? Are they not? Is it a bad thing to be a witch? A good thing? And what does this all have to do with Guy Fawkes?

No spoilers — you’ll have to read the book. But I will say, after finishing Witch Week, I wanted to be a witch more than anything.

I’ve always felt like an outcast, so I’ve always been drawn to them. It may be a fine thing to dance to the…
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