Carlene Mermaid’s Visit to the Set of The Voice!

Happy Hump Day, fishy friends! Carlene Mermaid here. This Monday night I attended a live taping of NBC’s hit show, The Voice, and it was amazing! Unfortunately, no phones or photography were allowed inside Stage 12 on the Universal Studios Hollywood back lot where they film. But did this mermaid let that stop her? No! I just so happened to have a small notepad and pen to capture the moments old school. I give you my pictorial review of Monday night’s The Voice… PS–Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera, Carson Daly and Jason Derulo really are that sparkly! But Pharrell is the sparkliest of them all. Le sigh…

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Mermaids & Friends: Delilah S. Dawson

I met Delilah S. Dawson at Dragon Con. We were on a panel together — I forget how many years ago. She was the other author on the panel (besides me) wearing a fabulous costume. We did not sit next to each other. I slipped up and accidentally called her “Delia” and felt like an idiot. I don’t think I saw her again that year. But I remember thinking, That woman is really cool and I wish I knew her better.

Getting to know Delilah S. Dawson has been one of the better decisions of my life.

My love for Delilah started with her tweets of verbatim dialogue with her kids. (Delilah’s son once decided to be an evil supervillain whose goal was to shut off the sun. She asked him politely not to, because she needed it. His response: YOU HAVE A LAMP.) Then there was her blog, with its incredibly helpful entries on being an author and reader…
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My Weekend in A Bigger Pond

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Greetings on a lovely Tuesday morning!  With all the rain behind us for the moment, I can calm down and think again about my fabulous weekend at WRWDC’s annual retreat, In the Company of Writers.

This is one of my favorite retreats. It’s small and relaxed, but still has the energy that comes from friends meeting for two full days to talk about writing and publishing, in every possible format.

What were my favorite parts of the retreat?

The food. Seriously. It just kept coming – although the Saturday night desserts caused a near stampede. One poor waiter saw his tray of cheesecake slices vanished before he could get them to the serving table. The seminars – My favorites: Bella Andre’s Ten Tips to Indie Success, Elaine English on Copyright (yes, it really was interesting) and the Keynote speeches. I know I’m leaving something out, but everyone put on such a great presentation, and I couldn’t be everywhere at once!…
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Back Away from that Phone!

Back. Away. From. That. Phone.pintip

Imagine me saying that to myself, in the meanest, most growly voice I can muster, at least once an hour, and you’ll have a pretty accurate picture of my afternoon yesterday.

Why am I yelling at myself? Because apparently, I have no will-power. I decided this week to increase my writing productivity by being internet-free between 10am and 2pm. These are the least-interrupted hours of my day, the hours while my kids are in school.

And um, I haven’t been successful a single day.

I have excuses! Really good excuses, about things that needed to be taken care of and responded to right that very moment. I didn’t fritter the minutes away on social media. And yet, my efficiency was shot, anyway, because life happens and life takes time. Lots of time.

But instead of chalking up my experiment as a failure, I’ve decided to see it as a lesson learned. It’s not (only) the internet…
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Editor and Agent Recommendations.. Go!

It’s that time of year. The Easter Bunny is tiptoeing through the tulips, April showers are sowing May flowers and Masha (yes, I’m referring to myself in the third person.. shows you how much I’ve been working in 3rd POV) is getting ready to bombard unsuspecting editors and agents with her (mostly) edited manuscript. Hence, the request. If anyone has an editor or agent recommendation, swing on by your keyboard and throw out some details. Since our pond plays host to friendly fishies, please no negative recommendations. Only glowing reviews from personal experience or the gossip mill. Any and all feedback is much obliged.

Barry Manilow: He Writes the Songs

I grew up listening to Barry Manilow, and he’s continued to be an inspiration to me throughout my life. It’s not his fame or fortune. It’s the music, the words and the man behind them. It’s hearing him talk about his Manilow Music Project where he encourages people to donate gently used musical instruments to be given to schools. How can you not love this man?

But knowing he married his manager and long-time partner, Garry Kief, makes me love him all the more. I can’t imagine hiding who I am for fear of what people might say, but I commend him for coming out and coming out so brilliantly. However, I hope we get to the point where nobody ever feels like they need anyone’s blessing to love who they love. No matter who you are.

For all those who may not support him, there are a thousand more who will embrace him and encourage him and rally around him.

I had planned to write this post about Barry…
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Finding My Joy

Norton Nominated PrincessI finished a new novel yesterday.

I didn’t write the words “THE END” because I was running late for a dinner party. I sent the last chapter to my mom (she reads chapter by chapter) and the whole thing to my editor and went off to watch the sunset at Cocoa Beach (technically, the Banana River).

I don’t think I was much fun at the dinner party. Which was okay–it meant I got to sit around and soak up other people’s stories for a while. And it allowed me to process some things.

Because I had just finished the first book I’m ever going to self publish.

I know what you must be thinking right now: “I get it. She got dumped by her publisher because she’s a terrible writer. Ugh. I don’t have to listen to this.” I know this is going through some people’s minds because it’s what went through my mind many, many times in those first…
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Writing on the Road: Meet My Friend, the Alligator

Denny (PortRoyale)This year winter in Reston has been absolutely ugh! I don’t like cold weather (years in Chicago) and I don’t like snow (years in Chicago) and even the lake in my backyard froze and ice is a huge no (years in Chicago, although Lake Michigan rarely froze:)…I do like to blame Chicago for a few of the items on my ‘don’t like’ list. But then I wonder why I set so many of my stories in Chicago? Mmmm….I’ll have to check into that, huh?

But let’s get to the reason I’m writing this blog post today. It is to share a few photos and also my first experience up close and personal with an alligator! And yes, it was so much fun, and thank you Mermaid Alethea for my meeting with a gator!

Okay, you say, why does Mermaid Alethea get the props (old school slang btw:)?

Two weekends ago, I visited Mermaid Princess Alethea at her home in Titusville, Florida – a very cool town with three…
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Mermaid & Friends: Jessica Ruddick’s LETTING GO cover reveal

Friends, I am thrilled to share the cover of Jessica Ruddick’s debut NA novel, LETTING GO! This wonderful novel is being released on May 26 from Entangled Embrace.

Check out this loveliness:

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Isn’t that a great cover? I love how the shape of her body forms the bottom of a heart!

 

Blurb:

How long do you hold on?

Cori Elliott likes order. Her schedule, her social life…even her GPA is perfect. Then she finds out her high school boyfriend’s death wasn’t an accident—it was suicide. The devastating revelation is enough to fracture her perfectly structured life, sending Cori in a downward spiral of self-doubt and impulsive decisions.

And right into the arms of Luke Evans.

But Cori’s life isn’t perfect anymore. In fact, it’s all coming apart. The only way she can save herself is to let go of everything—including the girl she used to be. Even if it means losing the one guy who might just be perfect…
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Why Men Write Romance and Why You Should Be Reading It! #Giveaway

Mermaid-Carlene-300x225Hello, fishy friends! Carlene Mermaid here. How are we all doing? Read any good books lately? How about any sexy smart romances written by men? No??? Let’s remedy that! Some of you might be familiar with my regular “Guy Day” posts. These usually come about when I can find a gentleman who is willing to answer in-depth questions about how he would respond, think, and feel in different situations, thereby giving us a genuine male perspective. The purpose of these posts is to help women writers craft realistic and believable male characters in our stories. Some of our brave guests in the past have included a musician, firefighter, waiter, gamer and one of my favorites, a fashion blogger. But today I figured what could be more beneficial than going straight to the source–men who are actually writing romance. Rather than doing the traditional Guy Day interview, I thought it would be best to let our…
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