Effort = Results

Happy Month 5 of The Sparkle Plan, my made-up diet and wellness plan. What’s the Sparkle Plan? Check out the inaugural post here. (Short version: I set off to lose weight and feel better about myself by setting small monthly goals to help me achieve larger goals.)

As reported last month, I had a very hellacious couple of weeks of traveling and being so busy that I didn’t know what the heck was going on. And yes, I ended up gaining weight from it. However, after my Month 4 post, my brother offered me some advice. I’m going to share it with you now.

Drink lots of water. Avoid sodium because it makes you feel icky and retain weight. Don’t snack unless it’s a banana, almonds or something healthy. Prioritize your own health over everything else. Work out first thing in the morning even if it is just walking for 30 minutes. Get as much sleep as possible. Eat fish or chicken and vegetables. Avoid steak…
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I’m in New Orleans at RT Convention!

New Orleans has one of the most intriguing and unique neighborhoods in the USA–The French Quarter. It  only encompasses a few blocks, but it attracts millions of tourists every year. This is my 10th trip to New Orleans, and I am excited this trip is all about reading and writing romance! Here’s a brief pic-spam from my first day and a half at RT.

My first RT Convention has  started  with a bang. I hung out with Cherry Adair and met debut authors Stella Barcelona and Tina deSalvo - and visit Tina’s website for more information about  Friends Fight Together.

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Those are raw oysters, but look at the gigantic oyster in the middle – it’s like the Godzilla of oysters!

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 And yes, that is Ms. Avery Flynn herself, taking a bite out of Godzilla and texting about…
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A Supernatural Experience

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This year we decided to do things a little differently for Christmas and birthdays. Instead of purchasing something that would get lost, broken, pushed aside, or donated later in the year we decided that we would give our kids experiences that will hopefully stick with them for a lifetime.

Our youngest is really musical and almost came unhinged when she discovered that The Piano Guys were coming to the Warner Theatre in March, especially since cello is her primary instrument. For those of you unfamiliar with The Piano Guys, look them up on YouTube; they have their own channel. One guy plays a cello and the other a piano. They write their own arrangements of popular songs, often combining them with classical music, and then create fun videos with stunning photography. So anyway, we got VIP tickets and took Brenna. I cannot even express how thrilled she was.

Our older daughter chose Supernatural Con 2014, which took place last weekend….
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The Book Prop

Mermaid CarleneGood morning fishy friends!

Have you ever had that moment when an item in a book is woven so well into the story that it adds another dimension to the reading? I have. It’s what my post is about today. The book prop.

Here’s where I divulge a creepy secret about myself in the hopes that others (that’s you guys) will share and therefore make me feel slightly less creepy. :) I can be a little obsessive when it comes to these book props. For example, I might own a pink nightgown just like the one Grace wears in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Fantasy Lover. It might have been really hard for me to find just the right one, like Grace’s, and I may have scoured several stores to find it. But I love the way her hero Julian makes her feel when she’s wearing it. And yes, I want to feel that too! I also might have…
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Mermaids & Friends: Sandra Tayler

Today, the Mermaid Lagoon is proud to host the fabulous Sandra Tayler!

I had the honor of being a backer of Sandra’s Kickstarter campaign for her second picture book, The Strength of Wild Horses. I asked Sandra if she might stop by and share a little bit about her experiences, both as a writer of books for headstrong young girls, and as the proud owner of a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign.

Take it away, Sandra!

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* What inspired you to write picture books?

My daughter was in the middle of a particularly difficult kindergarten year. It was the kind of year that has visits to the principals office and lots of conferences with teachers. Through it I watched my daughter start coming to the conclusion that she was a bad person because she was always in trouble. I knew she needed a story that let her see that ideas are separate from ourselves and that they can be steered in good ways or…
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May Day, Play Day

I welcome you this first of May A day for work, when work is play The storms of April passed on through I’m thrilled that I survived…are you?

*giggle* Yes, I did just write that poem while I was sitting here. Silly, I know. But it’s something I created that didn’t exist before, however small. And that counts for something.

Poetry was my first love as a young writer (when I say “young”, I mean “eight years old”). Anything could be a poem. There were no rules. Or, rather, there were rules, but only if you wanted them.

April is (was) National Poetry Month — on my blog every day for the entire month of April I posted one of my favorite poems, aong with a story about how I loved it and what it meant to me. Some of the poems were written by women, some by men, some by me. Some were short, some were long. Some had better background…
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Pardon Me, Have You Seen My Mind?

Alethea MermaidGrace Under Pressure.

I wish this is how I could describe myself. But my parents named me “Truth” — “Grace” is my cousin. (Technically I have a couple of cousins named Grace, one of whom worked on the Hubble Space Telescope.)

The “Pressure” part, though? Shoot. I’ve got that down pat.

i was that kid who did all her school work at the last minute, even though my parents offered to help me do anything I needed. I was the author who promised to write a book in four months when the first one took me five years. I was the nerd who ran the light board and memorized everyone’s part in the play, qualifying me to understudy for anyone at the drop of a hat.

Even now, looking back, I’m not entirely sure I could chalk all that up to laziness or procrastination. Yes, I put things off…but in doing so I turned that last minute into a…
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This Book is LEGEN-wait for it-DARY!

True Story: Almost a year ago, I went to a large networking happy hour where I didn’t know a single person. Luckily, there was another person in the same position. We started chatting and turned out that we were both writers. Even crazier, we were in the same writing group, the Washington Romance Writers. That person is today’s guest, L.H. Nicole, who just released her first novel, Legendary, the first book in her Upper YA/New Adult Arthurian fantasy saga.

In her debut Waterworld Mermaid appearance, please welcome L.H. Nicole.

 

Congratulations on your debut novel, Legendary! Care to tell us a little about it?

Aliana Fagan grew up traveling the world with her famous parents. Her life was her friends, family, her photo art and her love of Arthurian legends. Only two years after her parents violent death, Aliana find herself thrown into a story she never dreamed could come true. King Arthur’s world and that of his Knights of the Round Table. And everything she thought she knew,…
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Star of the Really Small Screen

Princess Alethea Rants "The Giant & The Tailor"Good morning, everyone!

I have a new Fairy Tale Rant up on Youtube this morning. Check it out! http://youtu.be/fwqmrUjlRLo — Episode 27: In Which Princess Alethea Rants about the Grimms’ fairy tale “The Giant & The Tailor” (2:58)

Can you believe I’m on Episode 27 already? How time flies…

Back in February, I talked here about some of the basics of vlogging I learned by trial and error. Vlogging really lends itself well to “learning by doing.” As you learn and grow on your vlog, your audience learns and grows with you.

I’ve also learned about new opportunities in vlogging…I mean, if you have the skills, use them, right?

Instagram now has a way for you to post a video instead of just pictures…I think this was a response to the Vine program (which I’m not familiar with, but I do know Instagram!). I tried this out on the day of World Book…
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Quotes For Writers

Writers are different. Not better. Not worse. Just different.

I have come to this conclusion in stages. First, when I was growing up and realized other girls generally didn’t spend hours sitting around making up stories in their head. As a young adult I discovered that most people don’t actually identify the character arc or the story arc or the black moment when reading books or watching movies for entertainment. Who knew?

And then I attended my first writing conference. I looked around and heard other people talk about sitting behind a computer for hours in hopes that one day someone else would enjoy the story they couldn’t get out of their head. There were entire conversations about fictional characters and people who didn’t think it was at all weird to get busted by the UPS man in your pj’s at 2:00pm. I did a little mental happy dance. At last I had found my people! Others who understood.

Dana MermaidSo in…
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