Tag Archives: princess alethea

My Favorite Writing Spot: Alethea Kontis

Alethea Kontis at HomeHello, the Lagoon!

Alethea Mermaid here! I’m kicking off our latest blog theme, which asks the question, “Where’s your favorite place to write?”

My answer: HOME.

There are many reasons for this, including: a grand library, a hand-me-down couch, a boatload of inspirational quotes, and the petrified body of my first best friend.

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Filming Podcast Videos and the Best Surprise Ever

In February 2015, I filmed my last Fairy Tale Rant. Episode 55. I promised that I would be back “in the Fall,” but I couldn’t make that happen. As much as I missed posting videos and video blogging, it just didn’t pay the bills. (I also wasn’t sure how to make a successful Patreon campaign for it–I’m currently looking into that.)

After meeting with a representative from Patreon over SFWA’s Nebula Awards Weekend, I tried watching the Rants from a different point of view. Even then, it was hard to see the forest for the trees. I was too close to the project. Since I flew directly to Kate Allie Reading EnchantedBaker’s house after the conference, I sat down with her girls–Lexie (16) and Allie (11)–and asked them to watch a few episodes and give me some feedback.

Allie didn’t just fall in love with the Rants, she fell for the entire Alethea Show. She watched other rants on her phone. I gave her the audiobook of Enchanted, which she immediately began to read ALONG WITH THE BOOK. (You know, like we used to do as kids, but we’ve gotten so old and jaded that we forgot how awesome that was.) She also took notes as she read, writing down her favorite quotes from the book.

And, somewhere around Chapter Seven, she asked if she could film a video with me.

One does not say no to such a dedicated fan.

But I will admit, I put her off for a while. As some of you know, on May 1st I sprained my right ankle so badly that I couldn’t walk for two weeks–two weeks that included both BEA and the Nebs. As soon as I got to Kate’s house afterward I started trying to walk with the boot, a slow and painful process. I have learned from experience that when I’m not “feeling it,” I can’t bring that into a performance, because my audience can absolutely tell. But I also couldn’t let Allie down. So, last Thursday afternoon after school, we shot some video for a Rant.

WPA 5-30-16I made it clear to Allie that SHE was the star of this one, and that I was just a guest on her show. She needed to put on the tiara and makeup. To frame the shot. To look into the green dot that was her “fairy audience.” To project. To do several dozen takes of the same thing, for one good edit.

Most of the things I have learned in my life, I have learned by doing. If nothing else, we were 1.) having fun, and 2.) Allie would be able to give me much more constructive feedback on my own Rant series.

She and Lexie left for their dad’s house on Friday, and I made it my goal to edit the video as a present for her when she got home. And I did. But I hadn’t posted it yet. (You can watch it here.)

Kate WinningNow…while all this was going on, Kate was prepping for a Date with Chris Pratt that she’d won, courtesy of Omaze. They called her the first night of the Nebs to tell her she was a finalist and invited her onto a Skype call…during which they sprang the news that she was a winner. (In case you missed it on The Today Show, you can watch that video here.)

She would have to fly out on May 31st for a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 studio tour and lunch with Chris Pratt on June 1st (which I imagine is happening RIGHT NOW). She could bring one person along with her…but she has two daughters! However, the rules said “13 and up,” so she had no choice but to take Lexie. Lexie, of course, knew none of this. So we surprised her on a video of her own, by telling her that Omaze wanted family reactions to Kate’s win. (Watch Lexie’s video here!)

So…I spent Friday morning editing Allie’s Fairy Tale Rant video.

On Friday night, Omaze called and told Kate that they’d like her to bring Allie along too.

Pretty sure Kate and I both cried at that news. Good tears. Because Allie really had been so awesome and mature about the whole situation–she totally deserved it.

We absolutely wanted to surprise Allie on video, just as we had with Lexie. But how were we to pull it off so that she didn’t suspect anything? Thanks to her Fairy Godmother Alethea, we already had the solution to that problem!

That’s right…I lied to my Fairy Goddaughter and told her we needed to reshoot the intro, just so we could get her reaction on tape.

What a wonderful moment — something I was so happy to be a part of! The Universe could not have given me a better gift. The Universe, and Omaze. And Chris Pratt. Thanks, you guys. This Fairy Godmother appreciates you more than you will ever know.

Princess Allie — I love you and miss you and hope you are having the time of your life! I can’t wait to see you in Florida next month!! xox

Mermaid Takeover – Kerri Bumps Alethea

Here at the Mermaid Lagoon, we each get at least one day a month to blog. Today is Alethea’s day. Or was… [Insert ominous laugh]

That’s right, I’m stealing Alethea’s day! But before you get your fins in a bunch, don’t worry. It’s all to talk about our lovely, amazing, sparkly, Princess, massively talented, beautiful Mermaid Alethea. And bonus, she has a new book out today called Dearest, the 3rd book in the Woodcutter series, and it’s amazeballs! I’m not just saying that because she was my crazy-fun roommate in San Antonio who encouraged me to put whipped cream in my coffee every morning or make waffles in the shape of Texas.

So read on to learn more about our very own Alethea, what she’d make me for dinner, how she’s taking my dog to Hawaii, and which noise she really, really hates. (It’s a good one!) Go Alethea! Dearest


When I think of fairy tales, I generally think of the Disney version of said fairy tale, which may or may not be an accurate depiction of the original story. What Disney adaptation of a fairy tale is your favorite?

Everyone always expects me to say Beauty & the Beast because I look like Belle…and act like Belle…but my answer to this question has to be The Little Mermaid. I loved this Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale so much as a child. I would read it…and cry…and then read it again. When I found out Disney was adapting “The Little Mermaid,” my eyes were like saucers. I mean…SHE DIES. Can they do that?!? But Disney gave that mermaid what we’d all been wishing for her for 150 years: a happy ending.

It’s a random Sunday night and I show up at your house. What are you making me for dinner?

If you caught me at the last minute, I’d make you Greek Chicken & Potatoes. It’s a staple of the Kontis house–a favorite, and easy to make. If I had all the ingredients and all the time, I’d make you my mother’s moussaka. Because it’s possibly my favorite dish ever. And if you don’t care for eggplant, I’ll do the Thea Ana variation that’s made with only potatoes.

You travel. A lot! What one place surprised you the most? And in what way?

There was this one place, at my horrid ex-fiance’s mother’s house in Newcastle, England. The ex was horrid but his mother was lovely, as was her husband (the ex’s stepfather) who, in his retirement, did things like climb mountains and grow things. There was a stone wall beside their house, and through the archway I found the most amazing garden. I walked among the flowers and plants, barefoot in the thick grass. Standing there on the top of that hill, with the wind in my hair, I had a moment of complete serenity. It occurred to me that this was the most beautiful place I had ever been to on the planet.

And then the ex called me inside and ordered me to wipe my feet off so I didn’t get grass stains on his mother’s white carpet.

Speaking of traveling… I’m very busy reading Dearest and my dog Harry needs to go for a walk so you’re going to have to help me out. He loves beaches. Where in the world are you taking him?

Let’s go to Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to go, and I have some friends there I’d love to visit!

Give me one Easter Egg from Dearest.

All the Kates in Dearest are named after my dear friend (and award-winning voice actress) Kate Baker, because I was writing that scene on her birthday.

As always, I have to go here. I love the ten questions that James Lipton asks at the end of every episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio. Your turn.

  1. What is your favorite word? — syzygy
  2. What is your least favorite word? — failure
  3. What turns you on? — intelligence
  4. What turns you off? — people who don’t read
  5. What sound or noise do you love? — dried leaves skittering down the street in the Fall
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? — When people say “blech” at food without tasting it
  7. What is your favorite curse word? — Joy. As in, “Oh, JOY.”
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? — Marine Chemist. It’s what I studied in college. I miss being a genius.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? — anything involving a cubicle. *shudder*
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Alethea! Lovely to see you. Here’s the photo album you requested.”

I have always said that when I die, I wish to see a photo album of all the pictures where I appear somewhere in the background. Families on vacation, strangers at conventions, random folks on the street. I’ve always been curious to know just how many people I might have known…how many lives I might have touched but for some twist of fate.

Alethea & Kerri, Selfies at RWA 2014

Alethea teaching Keri how to take a selfie at RWA 2014.


Who is your favorite Mermaid sister? [Evil grin]

(You may deliver the truck of glitter to my new house in Florida. But only if you come too!)




Okay, I will alter that question because I’m not completely evil. [Shut up, peanut gallery!] Hollywood comes a-calling. Cast your Mermaid sisters in Enchanted, Hero, and Dearest.

Ooh…tough one!

Carlene — Sunday Woodcutter (without a doubt)

Denny — Aunt Joy (omg she is SO Aunt Joy!)

Kerri — Friday Woodcutter (big heart, big adventure)

Susan — Henry Humbug (silly but knows EVERYTHING)

Masha — Monday Woodcutter (beautiful, serene, dark, & powerful)

Dana — Thursday Woodcutter (only because Dana is too short to be Saturday Woodcutter)

Pintip — Yarlitza Mitella (exotic and fashionable, with a colorful history involving the Duke of Cauchemar)

Loni — Aunt Rose Red, The Abbess of Rose Abbey

Kimberly — Mama Woodcutter (because Kim has like 18 kids…)


BEST INTERVIEW EVER! I should totally steal Alethea’s day more often. While I ponder doing that, make sure you check out Dearest, out today in hardcover and digital versions. Seriously, check it out. Do it! Or I’m sending you one of those exploding glitter boxes!

For more about Alethea, check out her website here. And to really stalk her, click the icons below.

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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/fwqmrUjlRLoEpisode 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 Night, since it was a lovely day outside and I was already dressed like a princess. I just said something like, “Happy World Book Night, and happy birthday Shakespeare!” — that 10 second video then got posted to Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook…where it was seen by all my friends & fans, and then was shared by the World Book Night folks.

Score one for exposure!

There’s also a new platform called Patreon — a new way for folks to become Patrons of the Arts. I’m still diving into it, but you can put up *something* every *however often*, like a piece of art or a song or a video or a podcast. People then pledge (like PBS!) to donate $X for each *something* that you do.

Here’s the link to may latest video on Patreon if you want to check out the platform: http://www.patreon.com/creation?hid=406789&rf=83064

So far, I only have one patron donating $1 per video…but we all have to start somewhere. And if eventually I can get a little Flip camera to help film my videos in different locations (and on something sturdier like A TRIPOD), then hooray! For now, it’s just another place I’m seeding myself to be discovered.

Do you guys play around with different social media? I just love to experiment to see how I can work them into what I’ve already got going. I know of places like Reddit and StumbledUpon, but I’m not as familiar with how they work. Anyone have any insight on those?

Much love to you all — have a great day! xox

Alethea Mermaid



Guy Day: Interview with Santa Claus

Yes, it’s that time of the month again here in the Mermaid lagoon: Guy Day!

I would like to welcome an incredibly unique and special guest to our site today. I caught him during the off-season and used all my magical princess mermaid powers to persuade him to answer a few questions for this special day.

Please sit back, relax, and enjoy your milk and cookies while you read this EXCLUSIVE interview with the one…the only…SANTA CLAUS.  Continue reading



This is what happens when you land on the first day of NaNoWriMo and you’re still not done the read-through of the novel revision that was due on the 31st AND IT’S YOUR DAY TO BLOG.


You’re all participating in National Novel Writing Month, right? Me too. My handle is Princess Alethea.

You will see from my stats that I have participated in NaNo a bunch of years, and I have yet to ever complete it. That’s right, folks, I have failed EVERY SINGLE TIME.

But that doesn’t stop me from trying.  As I learned from Sherrilyn Kenyon & Buzz Lightyear: Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

Based on the fact that I only had a few months to piece together a novel this summer (and then completely revise & partially rewrite it), I believe this year is my best chance of hitting 50K by November 30th.

But I’m not holding my breath.

For instance, I will probably get no new writing done until this weekend because I AM STILL POLISHING THIS REVISION. (And let me assure you, I am chomping at the bit to work on a new project right now. Anything else. PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.)

Want to feel more productive than a NYT Bestselling author? Friend me on NaNo. You’ll instantly feel better about yourself, I promise.

So, do you NaNo?

The Adventures of Supermermaid #1

I am a comic book geek, dyed in the wool from the tender age when I could lift my first Archie Comics Digest. Casey and I loved Elfquest in middle school. I moved on to Arkham Asylum and the X-Men Phoenix Saga and John Byrne’s Next Men when I was a teen. In college, my boyfriend gave me a graphic novel by that guy Tori Amos was always writing into her songs–at my first Dragon*Con, Charles Vess drew the Sandman in silver paint pen inside my first edition hardcover of The Wake. It’s one of my most prized possessions.

I’ve been to comic book conventions before, spoken to artists and authors, found new things and scavenger hunted for signatures. But this past weekend at HeroesCon 2012 was my very first time BEHIND A TABLE.

I snuck into the comics industry through a hidden passage in the hedgerow. My collaborator on The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABCs and What She Found There (just released last week!) is the amazing artist Janet K. Lee. Janet and I have been friends for over a decade–we worked at the same book wholesaler in TN. I was the writer; she was the artist. I started out in magazines and picture books, she started selling in local art shows and galleries. I went on to get a novel published. Janet went on to win a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Return of the Dapper Men (written by Jim McCann, another friend who used to work at that same book wholesaler, coincidentally enough).

When the publisher of Dapper Men (Archaia Entertainment) asked Janet if she had any other projects lying fallow that they could publish while she and Jim worked on a sequel, Janet mentioned the ProtoPulp Art Show in which I had helped her create an Alice in Wonderland alphabet book…and the rest, as they say, is history.

Since Archaia is a publisher of fine comic books, I suddenly found myself stepping over the threshold of the comic book world. My official title is “creator.”

Talk about a dream come true.

Yes, comics is a whole other genre and therefore a whole other world, full of fabulously talented people and a boatload of new best friends to make. I was like a kid in a candy store.

Only, at HeroesCon, I had to work at the candy store. Here are some things I learned:

1.) The convention floor opens an hour before doors open to the public. Be there as early as you can. It may take you 5 minutes to set up your table, but before the doors open is the only time the other creators have to walk around and meet people and buy things. I signed a ton of books and prints, just while setting up.

2.) Artists like to support other artists, especially at HeroesCon. If you are a comic book geek, some creators will offer you a “trade” of your book for theirs (or a bunch of theirs). Ultimately, it’s all about loving what you’re doing and getting the word out to like-minded people. I didn’t get to walk the show floor much, but the couple of times I was offered a trade, I took it.

3.) You will get a MASSIVE thigh work out. This is not something I had anticipated. My feet hurting, sure–those floors are uncarpeted cement and very unforgiving. I am one of those people who stands when they talk to someone. I stood most of Friday. I sat a few times on Saturday when I got tired, or I needed to sign something, but I would pop right back up again when a new person walked by. All this up-down-up-down was the equivalent of eight straight hours of Catholic Mass. When I woke up Sunday morning to walk to the bathroom, I almost collapsed in pain.

4.) You will not eat. Or drink, much. As a Dragon*Con regular, I am never without a Powerbar and a bottle of water. Which is good, because we never got a break to leave the table. Ever. Once, the Fairy Godboyfriend brought me a leftover slice of pizza from his lunch. Once, Anya Martin from the Womanthology table brought me a frappuccino back from her Starbucks run. Once, on Saturday, during a lull, I went to the bathroom. I returned to find a line at the table and three items needing my signature immediately.

Janet never left the table the entire time. I told you–she’s amazing. Of course, she also does San Diego Comic Con every year, so she’s a seasoned pro. I’m still working up to that level of awesome.

Due to a work emergency of the Fairy Godboyfriend’s, I was whisked away early and forgot to say goodbye to a few people. I promise to make it up to them at Dragon*Con or Baltimore ComicCon, or New York ComicCon. If you’re going to be at any of those, please come find me and Janet in the Artist’s Alley!

In the meantime, I’m going to work on my novel…and read Princeless and Girls with Slingshots during the breaks. While curled up with my new Lando Calrissian plush.

So…what’s YOUR favorite comic book?

Author Interview: Princess Alethea Swims with the Mermaids

Alethea Kontis, author of Enchanted

This surprised me. I was nervous. I wanted to conduct the best possible interview ever because I was interviewing the one and only Alethea Kontis. Yes, the New York Times Bestselling author, the multi-published author of the AlphaOops! series, the author of the newly released Enchanted, which is getting RAVE reviews, not surprisingly–and she’s also the founder of the Waterworld Mermaids (and my roomie at the 2012 WRW-DC Retreat). So yes, I was nervous! But if you know Alethea, you know I shouldn’t have been nervous one darn bit. Mainly because she wouldn’t allow it. A charming young woman with an infectious fun-loving personality, and a huge amount of talent, energy and love for writing and for being the best writer she can be, Alethea is fabulous and likely the only Princess I’ll ever know:)…and that’s just fine with me.

It was my pleasure to spend a few minutes swimming in her pond. So, without further adieu, here’s my interview with Alethea Kontis.

Denny said: Let’s get to the facts right up front. What’s your full author name, website, your latest release, the WIP that is keeping you up at night, your agent, your publisher, how long have you been writing…your successes? Yes, I want the mini bio right here, right now!

Alethea said: My name is Alethea Kontis, www.aletheakontis.com, Latest release(s): Enchanted, The Wonderland Alphabet, and my current WIP is called Saturday (sequel to Enchanted). My agent is Deborah Warren (East West Literary Agency).

I have been writing since I was eight years old. I was published by 30 and hit the New York Times bestseller list at 31. I’ve published picture books, short stories, poetry, essays, romance encyclopedias, and now (finally!) a novel. I’ve edited a major anthology, and I have friends in all genres, all over the world. I am a very lucky girl.

Denny said: What’s the best kept secret about your writing process?

Alethea said: Brownies. (The elves, not the dessert. Or the Girl Scouts.) For a bit of milk and honey, I get a lot of work done.

Denny said: What character have you written or are writing that keeps you up at night – just one, please:)?

Alethea said: My most recent obsession was/is a young girl named Ashes on the Wind — the princess formerly known as “Snow White.” I wrote her origin tale as a short story–“The Unicorn Hunter”–that was included in John Skipp’s Demons anthology last year. (You can still read it for free by clicking here. She also appears as a character in the sequel to Enchanted. But it’s not time for me to tell the rest of her story just yet…but I promise you, what a story it will be.

Denny said: What fictional character (book, film, television, comics) has had the greatest influence on your writing style and why?

Alethea said: My writing has been most influenced by the King of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” The rhyming and the nonsense and the impossible things before breakfast are all just part and parcel.

Denny said: What book/author is the current “hot read” on your bookshelf?

Alethea said: Right now on my TBR pile are Wuftoom by Mary G. Thompson, The Taker and The Reckoning by Alma Katsu, and Thieftaker by D. B. Jackson

Denny said: What’s your favorite drink on a beautiful, not too hot, not too cold, spring evening – and who (fictional or not, friend or family, celebrity or historic figure) would be sitting at your side enjoying that drink with you?

Alethea said: Drink: A hot cup of Greek coffee.

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Companion: My Greek grandfather Soterios Kontis–refugee, merchant marine, and pirate–who died before I was born.

Denny said: Who’s your favorite author and what would you ask them if you had the chance (or when you had the chance)?

Alethea said: I’ve sat here for far too long trying to think of a favorite author. I’ve come up with no less than twenty-seven names. But I don’t have questions. The sentiment I would say to all of them remains the same: “Thank you.”

Denny said: Last question…what question have you been dying to answer but no one has ever asked?

Alethea said: Hey, Alethea, where do your own siblings fall into the Woodcutter family? Which children are they most like?

Then Alethea replied: You know, I was hoping that someone would ask me this question–thank you so much for being that person! My eldest sister Cherie is definitely Monday, fair of face. She was once runner-up in the Miss Vermont pageant. Peter has a lot of my brother West at heart–quiet, romantic, and magic with a knife. (Peter isn’t a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do…but there have to be some differences.) I am all of the sisters in some ways, of course, in order to breathe life into them…but I’m most like Sunday. Ironically, my youngest sister Soteria is most like Saturday–strong and soft-hearted, confident and insecure all at the same time.

I would love to make a personality quiz…which Woodcutter sibling are you most like?

Thank you Alethea!

Now visitors, it’s your turn!  Alethea will be stopping by to answer questions and to say hi! We also are offering a book giveaway today to one lucky commenter–a signed copy of Alethea’s new book, Enchanted.  So jump in the pond, and enjoy. 

Happy Valentine’s Week – Day Four

Happy Valentine’s Week from the Waterworld Mermaids!!!

Here in our lovely mermaid lagoon, we are all abuzz with the holiday of love. And because we’re in such a happy mood, we wanted to share some stories and memories from mermaid-pasts. Best of all, we’re celebrating all week long! We hope you enjoy!

Love can be messy.  It’s not always presented to us neatly, wrapped all pretty with a cute little bow on top. But there are those people, and those precious moments, that remind us it’s all worth it….


Sunday Afternoon
Susan Andrews

She’d been cutting his hair for years.  Well, not all the years – there was the time she’d put a ten dollar bill in his hand and, at his look of surprise, said, “It’s a gift.  You’re going out.”  Then deflated his pleasure when she added, “For a haircut.”  But that was long ago.  After so many years together, things were different.  No more surprises in this marriage.

Now she cut it again.  Every few weeks, she would notice the sparse hair on the top of his head resembled dandelion fluff.  He was an easy man to please, and shorter was better.  They’d gotten used to the occasional fumbles, the one spot that got away every time and spoiled the symmetry.  His hair was too fine for a perfect haircut, and his simple gratitude for any style that didn’t include a comb-over was sufficient.

They worked well together.  She got out the sheet and kicked aside the bathroom rugs.  He retrieved a kitchen chair and shed his flannel shirt.  They understood the need for cooperation.  Things worked better that way.

The clipper (bought for their son’s first haircut long ago) ran up the back of his head, the hairs making a pleasant brrrrrr asthey succumbed to the blade’s vibration.  The fluff fell against her hand, tickling at her fingers.  It cascaded down across his shoulders, a mix of dark and gray hairs.  Gone.  The curls she’d played with, the widow’s peak.  What was left?

“Your hair still grows fast. It’s long enough in the back to curl a little.”  Brrrrrrr.

“There’s not enough to let it be long.  Shorter is better.”

“Hmmm.  Tip your head?”  She pressed a hand against his temple and felt its warmth under her fingertips.  His head angled to one side as he waited for her to carve the outline around his ear.  Don’t knick the ear.  She coached herself through the steps.  Back. Change. Front.

Especially since she loved that ear.  The pretty shell, so neatly formed, delicate in contrast to the musculature of the man.  Not as pretty now, with the lobe gone fleshy.  Still…

She bent, her hands braced against his shoulder, and kissed the ear.  He flinched under the sheeting, surprised.  She’d broken the pattern.  Awkward, having to crouch, but her lips found the tip and pressed against it again.

She stood again, met his eyes in the mirror.  “I love you.”

“Love you, too.”  He couldn’t move, his body shrouded in a twin-size sheet.  She could, though, and bent to kiss his lips.  A good match.  All these years, and she was surprised that she still believed in the us they’d become.  “She chose wisely,” she joked against his lips.

She felt his mouth curve under hers.  “He got lucky.”

She laughed and set the clipper down, picked up the brush to flick the stray bits from his neck and face.  “We could both get lucky if you help me clean this up.”

He pushed against the twin sheet as she unwound it, scrubbed his hands against his face and down his neck.  Then he stood to wrap her in his arms.  Warm, firm, strong.  His hands found the muscles in her back that were too-often tight and soothed them.

“Thanks.”  His lips still had the power to send a spiral down into her tummy.  He lifted his head.  “Pizza for dinner?”


“Me.”  His hand trailed down her side and tickled under the hem of her shirt.  A promise.  “I’ll get the broom.”

She knew she would find the one spot on his head that had escaped her.  At some point in the evening, she would run her hand across the crown of his head and find the baby-fine patch that had hidden.  Unruly.  Disobedient.  Sooner or later, she would have to deal with it.

Later on, she found it.  “There it is.”  Their feet were tangled in the blankets, their hands still exploring.

“Oh.”  His eyes were lazy now, but amused.  “You found the spot?”

“It got away from me.”  She nudged the puff of hair.  “I’ll have to get the scissors out.”

He slipped his hands under her and kissed her again.  “Do it later.”


We hoped you enjoyed our stories this week. We loved sharing them with you! Come back tomorrow for a fantastic giveaway!



Do You NaNo?

Welcome to November 1st, my watery denizens. You know what that means!

Yes, in writerly circles, November 1st marks the advent of NaNoWriMo— National Novel Writing Month. In short, those who sign up (I believe you can still sign up today) pledge to attempt to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

I’m not sure why November was chosen as opposed to say, August, when there are no Holidays and people are expected to go to parties and shop for the holiday season of their choice…but that wasn’t up to me.

My handle on NaNo (as it is affectionately called) is Princess Alethea. I will also be tweeting some of my progress and writing sprints under the #NaNoWriMo hashtag.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2005, and I have yet to get to 50,000 words. But I still participate every year, and I am still proud when I look at my word count come December 1st.

Now, there are all sorts of theories about how NaNoWriMo should work. Like writing, THERE IS NO ONE WAY TO DO IT. Should you try to write 50,000 words this month? Absolutely. Should you commit seppuku if you do not achieve this goal? Of course not.The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to teach you to find that elusive BUTT in CHAIR state, and get used to it. In the month of November, you will feel what is like to be a full-time writer. If writing is your goal, these are good habits to have. If you are already a writer, these are good habits to remember. This is why I sign up and play the game, every single year.

A couple of things to address:

PLANNING: A lot of folks plan what they’re doing for NaNo prior to the month. They have an outline and a writing space and time in their schedule.

I hate these people.

I usually have a general idea of what project I want to work on going into November, but that’s about it. This year, I got  a second dayjob as a sub at an afterschool program. It sounds crazy (and is), but it also forced a routine into my schedule. I told the bookstore that I could work 9-2 on the weekdays, and assorted weekends. The days I had off at the afterschool program, or the bookstore, would just be writing time. Hooray! My days were going to go from up in the air all the time to a set schedule. I had PLANNED TIME for writing. I told the afterschool program that I could start on November 1st. This was PERFECT.

Apparently, Murphy (my guardian angel) heard the word “perfect” and slapped me down for it. One manager at the bookstore got spirited away to help open more bookstores, and the other manager got fed up with this situation and quit. Suddenly, instead of quietly slipping into a position of less responsibility, as of Saturday I will be the only acting Manager on the premises. Yeah. Oops.

SO you haven’t planned. So you have a wrench somewhere in the works. Who cares? I have a secret: your life will never be perfect, and you’re still going to have to find a way to shove the writing in between the cracks. Make this promise to yourself, just for this month, and see what you can do. I dare you.

CHEATING: Some people say that if you 1.) continue a novel already in progress, 2.) don’t finish your novel in 50,000 words or 3.) write “shark shark shark shark turtle shark” for 24 pages, you’re CHEATING. You know what? I don’t care about this either. Princess Alethea Mermaid’s rules say that if you write 50,000 words in November, whatever those words are, you’ve “won.” Of course, Princess Alethea thinks if you only write 24,000 words in that month, you have also “won.” I mean, come on. In what other month have you written 24,000 words? (Except you horrible prolific people. Just humor me here, okay? Don’t rub it in.

Go on, jump in the deep end! The water’s fine. We’ll be swimming/flailing/treading water right alongside you. Are you with me? xox