Alethea Kontis

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….
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Last-Minute Wonder

My parents had a lot of rules when we were growing up.

And when I say a lot of rules, I mean at least 186–my little sister and I made a list at one point, that my mother swears still exists to this day. Soteria and I even wrote a song about it that we performed at Christmas a couple of years ago. Needless to say, the rules in my family are a tad infamous.

Now, not all of these were silly, needless rules. In fact, most of them were rather clever. One of my favorites is still “If you ask me if your friend can spend the night and your friend is standing right there, the answer is automatically NO.” But tops on my list will always be, “Your father and I will help you with every homework assignment and every project you have to do for school…until 24 hours before it is due. After that,…
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Sometimes, it’s all about context

You never know where a writer is going to get his/her next idea. There have been days when some of my most gorgeous writing was spent in emails…but I don’t consider that a loss. Sometimes, my genius will spark a Facebook discussion, or a re-tweetapalooza, or a reblogging storm on Tumblr.

This man’s writing genius was spent captioning photos and putting them to music. He has other songs, but this one remains my favorite. Yes, there are inappropriate things contained within…but SOMETHING here is going to make you laugh.

And sometimes, that’s what it’s all about. (Click here to watch video if embed player doesn’t come up.)

What’s some of the most clever non-traditional writing you’ve encountered?

With One Hand Tied Behind My Back

Why, YES, it bloody hurts.[Caveat: I am currently typing this post with my left thumb in a splint. Please excuse all the typos I’m sure I’ll find in the morning. –AK]

I am often asked what an average day in my writing life is like.

I have a rough outline of what my *ideal* day is like, in a world where conventions don’t exist, everyone is healthy and paid in a timely fashion, nothing is on television, the world is at peace, and the average temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit with a breeze. I have maybe a month of those days spread out throughout the year. And that’s a good year.

The rest of the year, my life is a bit insane. Yes, EVERYONE’S life is a bit insane. But there are times when my days reach Bridget Jones proportions. For instance, here’s an unedited example of an “average” day…
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What Was That Again?

I had a great idea for this blog post the minute I woke up. It was a fabulous premise, brief in nature, and open for comments. I was going to make the title “You Are Cordially Invited”, which would have been a clever play on…WHAT? ON WHAT? BECAUSE I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT I WAS GOING TO WRITE ABOUT.

I’ve had these moments since I was a kid. I’ve written on receipts and postcards. I’ve scribbled a poem in the wee hours of the morning inside the back cover of a Richie Rich digest. When I got older, I started keeping a small note pad or a stack of post-its beside my bed (and in the shower) to write down random bits of genius.

When I started driving, my parents bought me a handheld tape recorder. When I got a phone, I would call myself and leave messages on the answering machine. When I upgraded to an iPhone, I began sending emails to myself.

I have a really great memory, and…
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