Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Special Gift


In a recent Gizmodo 'Winter Break' article by Kyle Wagner, we learn that wild dolphins at an Australian resort will occasionally give gifts to humans. So, if a dolphin ever offers you a squid, be sure to smile and say thank you!

Merfolk, have you ever been offered a gift by a dolphin? If so, tell us about it!


Just Add More Water

I did an article on the Australian television show, H2O: Just Add Water in my February 15, 2012 blog post. In that article, I mentioned being part of a Twitter live chat with Phoebe Tonkin who played Cleo (center in the photo) on the show. At the time, I could not locate the text of the chat.

Recently, I was able to locate some of the tweets from the chat which took place on October 17, 2009 by scrolling back in Twitter over 3 years. I don't have everyone's contribution, but I do have quite a bit. The names of other members of the chat have been shortened for privacy.

At this point, let me say that I have no proof that it was the real Phoebe Tonkin. I'd like to believe it was.

The chat turned out to be quite long, so I am putting it in a separate page. Hope you enjoy it!

Learn more about Phoebe Tonkin at this web site. Some good information, though perhaps not a good choice of color scheme.


Reader Question

Q: In which H2O episode did Emma dye her hair bright red?

A: That was in the season one episode 'Red Herring'. As Emma was in mermaid form at the time her hair was dyed, the color came out exceptionally bright. It turned out to work in the girls' favor, as Zane failed to recognize Emma when he saw her in the water.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Anniversary


Yes, it was one year ago today (December 20, 2011) that the first Cynthia Mermaid blog post went online. It has been a great year of splashing, reading, interviewing, and more splashing!

The first installment was a short post entitled 'Music for Mermaids'. In the past year, a total of 77 articles have been posted and total page views is now over 23,700. Over 3,300 blog pages are viewed each month. Big hugs and splashes to each mermaid, merman, and mer-fan out there for visiting, whether occasionally or as each post is put online.

During the past year, the top ten countries reading this blog have been: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Russia, Germany, Philippines, India, France, and Thailand. Google is the number one referring site, followed by Facebook and MerNetwork.

The most popular search term that has lead readers to the blog is, of course, 'mermaid'. Second place is held by 'mermaid pictures'. The most popular mermaids are Mermaid Kariel (by search) and Mermaid Shelly (by page view).

When results for individual blog post views are tallied, the clear winner is 'Ocean Minds and More' (Feb 12, 2012). Second place is the recent post 'Rare Whale' (Nov 9, 2012), and third place is 'News Shell 6' (August 30, 2012). Do let me know how you came to find these, and what specifically picqued your interest.

As we begin our second year, I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday! I would like to encourage more feedback from my readers. What is on your mind? What questions should we cover? Who should we interview? My email address is at the bottom of each blog post.


The Best in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Annalee Newitz has compiled a list of the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of the past year. Each book is discussed in enough detail for one to make a buying decision.

Look for Ms. Newitz's list in her article on io9. She asks readers to contribute their choices for the best of 2012 in the comments section.

One of the listings of particular interest is Wonders of the Invisible World by Patricia McKillip. This book contains 16 stories from the past few decades.  From high fantasy to fairy tales to magical realism, there should be something here for everyone. The mermaid on the cover is another clue that this might be one to consider.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Due out in June of 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman already has fans excited. While this novel shows no signs of merfolk, the artwork and quotes presented in a recent article by Irene Gallo show a quality work in progress.

The artwork is by Dave McKean, a frequent collaborator with author Neil Gaiman.

This is not a kid's book, tho it is a story of childhood, memory and magic. It is also a story of survival. We may wish to follow future articles on this novel, to see if we can gather more information.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Giant Squid

Giant Squid Suckers

A giant squid has been captured on video for the first time in its natural habitat. Squid fans should make their way to the recent article by Jason Robey on the Discovery Channel web site. The video footage will be presented by The Discovery Channel and NHK in January 2013.

A Discovery news report video from August 18th, 2010 appears at the end of the article, 'Animals: Giant Squid Legend Lives'.

Take the Giant Squid Quiz as well, and see how much natural history knowledge you have in the Giant Squid category.


Mer-Palooza 2013

The Mer-Palooza mermaid convention staff has confirmed that Mer-Palooza 2013 will be held August 9-11, 2013. Mark those calendars! I will provide further details as I get them.

You can also keep up with Mer-Palooza news at their web site.


A Correction

In my recent interview with StaySea Mermaid, the wrong web site address was given for Terresentials. This is the correct link, and I have also updated the interview page. Be sure to pay them a visit.


News Wanted

If you are a mermaid or merman and have a special event coming up, please send me the information for inclusion in an upcoming blog post. I am also interested in products for the merfolk community. What do you have to offer? Be sure to include a short description and web site address.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

More Robots

Robotic Sea Turtle

In past blog posts, we have talked about a robotic fish and a robotic water snake. Well, those humans are at it again. In a recent article on Gizmodo, we are introduced to a robotic sea turtle developed at ETH Zurich University. The robot moves quite well underwater, but you would never mistake it for the real thing.

What could be next?  Robotic mermaids?


Record-Breaking Robot

After a journey of 9,000 miles on the surface of the Pacific Ocean, the Wave Glider autonomous robot known as Papa Mau landed in Australia on November 20th. Along the way, it gathered a wealth of scientific data. For the full story, check out this article by Daniel Terdiman for C|Net.


Are Mermaids Real?

Once again, we have a news story in which the US government is reported to have announced, "Mermaids are not real."  In response to this, more than one reader commented, "If the government says they are not real then they are real!"

Take a look at the article and watch the video at Yahoo News and share your opinion.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

StaySea Mermaid


Today I have the pleasure of speaking with StaySea, a mermaid from the west coast of the US. Merfolk, As StaySea tells her story, you may discover that you have traveled a similar path of discovery. StaySea will certainly inspire us all. Join me in welcoming her to the blog!

Cynthia: Good afternoon, StaySea. Tell us a little about yourself.
StaySea: My mermaid bio: My full name is StaySea Oceanosea, I was born on a long beach and raised on the shores of a garden isle. I’m also known as Beach Blossom, crunchy kelp bulbs are my favorite snack and I received my early mermaid education at All Saints by the Sea.

The reality: I was born in Long Beach, CA and lived on the beach on the north shore of Kauai (known as the Garden Isle) as a child. Being born a flower child, my mother wanted to name me Beach Blossom, but thought I would hate it - instead I loved it and adopted the nickname! Oceanosea is a play on my father's last name, O’Shaughnessy. When I was little I really did love eating kelp bulbs straight off of the beach. I refrain from doing so now. I’m not sure that they are safe to eat, knowing that the ocean isn't clean, though my mouth salivates every time I see one! I am a hula dancer and I teach hula fusion dance and live with my wonderful husband by the sea, right around the corner from the nursery school I attended as a guppy, All Saints by the Sea, in Montecito, an enclave of Santa Barbara, CA.

Cynthia: How did you first get into mermaiding?
StaySea: I have felt that I was a mermaid as long as I can remember. I have always lived near the sea and derived endless hours of joy from playing in water or just being by the sea shore. I feel a deep connection with sea life, whales often come to me in profound dreams, as do sharks and dolphins. Though I never took swimming lessons as a child, I could swim faster and could hold my breath longer than anyone I knew. Ironically I failed the swimming test in high school because I didn't know proper surface swimming strokes. Swimming underwater came naturally to me and even though I had to take swimming class and learn surface strokes I still prefer to swim underwater, it just feels right. I feel like a mermaid in other ways as well, I am a creature of solitude and feel like an outsider in the human world. I find solace in the wild sea, and a desire to escape to it, a world that accepts me as I am, a being of few words (usually). People often do not know how to take me, find me to be an enigma, but also feel more calm and peaceful being in my presence, like being near the sea.

The movie Splash resonated with me deeply. After seeing it I started drawing mermaids and writing short stories about a girl learning of and revealing her true identity as a mermaid and returning to the sea. I never thought about the costuming factor. I didn't need a tail to be a mermaid. That was until 2008, when I learned of Hannah Mermaid. Her image was on the page of a petition to save the dolphins of The Cove. I clicked on the image and was forever changed when I watched the video of her swimming with whales. It rocked me to the core and made me cry. I felt like I had found my calling, to swim in the sea as a mermaid while promoting ocean conservation. Within a few months I made my first tail and began my journey of outwardly expressing my true self.

Cynthia: What kind of performances do you do?
StaySea: I perform underwater for photography and film productions, and also appear for most any kind of event, be it a fundraiser, promotional event, corporate event or children's party. I perform mermaid dances in the water, and for children's parties I perform mermaid hula to sea inspired songs.


Cynthia: Tell us about your work in ocean conservation.
StaySea: I do what I can personally to lessen the negative impact on the sea, knowing that all of our actions ultimately affect the ocean. I am conscientious about the products I use - only baking soda and vinegar to clean my house and Oasis detergent and dish soap (which is actually beneficial to plants). Skincare is my special interest, as it is highly unregulated. I suggest reading up on the subject at terressentials.com (link updated Dec 13) - it is a great resource to learn about the ingredients in skin care, what is in it, how it is produced and the effects of both on your body and the environment. I use only organic oils - coconut, shea butter and cocoa butter - on my skin. Each time I’m on the beach I pick up trash, which, unfortunately, over the years there seems to be more and more of it to pick up. I use a glass bottle for my water. I write to companies that use wasteful packaging. We must first reduce, then reuse, then recycle.

I am a fan of various ocean conservation organizations on facebook and share their efforts on my mermaid page. Being a mermaid is a great way to capture children’s imaginations and reinforce the need to take care of the sea. This year I volunteered at SB Earth day celebration. Earth Day began because of a huge oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, so I thought this event was fitting for a mermaid. My husband thought up the idea to have a fish wish booth. We used recycled and reused paper and printed fish for children to color and cut and put in the sea. The children wished something positive for the ocean as they put their beautiful fish into the “sea” (a background we painted). This correlated perfectly with my beliefs and overall message. Not only do we need to take care with our actions, but our thoughts as well. We need to use our collective thoughts to heal the sea. Rather than be defeatists, we need to think positively and visualize a healthy ocean. We also posted information on ocean safe products, amazing ocean facts, and how our actions affect the ocean around our booth. It was a huge hit and so much fun, hundreds of kids came through our booth and made fish wishes, got sea stamps and took photos with me while my husband, “Captain Rook”, sang ocean songs.

Cynthia: Have you been to any of the mermaid gatherings?
StaySea: No, I haven't, but they look fun and hope to attend one in the future. It is so great to have this wonderful mermaid community. I am continually inspired by all the creativity out there. It is funny to me that some think mermaids should be one way or another. Mermaids come in as many shapes, sizes and types as there are people. I am so tickled by the variety out there, it makes my heart sing! I love it all, from the most natural to the kitsch and everything in between - variety is the spice of life!

Cynthia: You were in Hawaii recently?
StaySea: Hawaii is the home of my childhood and heart, so I make a regular pilgrimage there. It is always so hard for me to leave, it is where I belong, swimming in the beautiful warm sea every day. On this trip I swam with honu (green sea turtles) and my husband and I did some underwater video and photography. It is such an amazing thing to swim in the sea as a mermaid, it is pure joy to live it and am thrilled that we can create art from it. We’re just scratching the surface, it is technically and physically challenging, but we can’t wait to do more! He is so creative and a great photographer and director, I feel so very blessed that we are on this journey together.

Cynthia: Do you have any special/amusing stories from your mermaid adventures?
StaySea: I love that being a mermaid brings so much joy to others, but I’m just not always up for making a spectacle of myself. We usually seek out remote locations for video and photography sessions. The last few days of our trip I wanted to shoot by a pier for some cool underwater background, but the pier was on a busy beach. I prepared myself mentally for the mob scene, but I was able to get into the water without much notice, which was pleasantly surprising. What I didn't think about were the people on the pier itself. The mob scene happened once I swam near the pier! Then one large group after another would discover me and freak out each time and ask me if I would pose for photos and perform for video. I felt compelled to oblige and do flips and dives because of their smiles and joy and so I wore myself out before we did any underwater work!

Cynthia: What else you would like to share with us?
StaySea: I just want to get the message out to everyone that we need to keep our thoughts positive, daydream regularly, play often, visualize more, observe less. We are all co-creators in this magical thing called life, our thoughts and dreams are driving this ship, so dream and live BIG!

Cynthia: Thank you very much, StaySea! Look for StaySea on Facebook as well as her web site.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Philosopher and The Snake


The Philosopher

Way back in the year 360 BCE, Greek philosopher Plato wrote about an island that has been the subject of much debate. Over the years, many have assumed the island to be fictional. Others believe that the island did exist, and have offered their opinion as to its possible location.

The island, of course, is Atlantis.

Atlantis, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, are named for the Greek god, Atlas. Poseidon was the father of 5 pairs of twins. Atlas and his twin brother Gadeirus (or Eumelus in Greek) were the eldest. Atlas, the first born, was made rightful king of Atlantis and the Atlantic Ocean.

The people of Atlantis lived in peace at first, but war eventually broke out. In the end, an earthquake destroyed the civilization and the island sank into the ocean.

If this short introduction has piqued your interest, you may read more about Atlantis in this article by New World Encyclopedia.


Robotic Water Snake

Are you comfortable around water snakes? Those that haven't swam off to hide may be interested in a recent article from Gizmodo. In the article, Eric Limer tells of a robotic water snake designed for underwater movement. Read the short article and then take a look at the video at ieee.org. Terrifying, or just good technology? You decide.

Take a look at the comments below Mr. Limer's article as well. A few of them are quite amusing.

For those that may have never seen a water snake before, the photo above shows just one of the many varieties: a northern water snake. No, he's not the robot.


Full Moon

For many of us, tomorrow (28 Nov) will be a full moon. Merfolk, feel free to act a little crazy! Those that watch H2O: Just Add Water will understand.

Don't get TOO crazy though, we want to see you back here next time.


Coming Up

Quite some time has passed since I published a mermaid interview. Fear not, mermaid fans, I have a few in the works.

No water snake interviews, I promise.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

News Shell 11

Let me start this blog post by wishing everyone in the US a very happy and festive Thanksgiving! I am very thankful for my readers, those across town and those across the seas. Hugs and splashes to all! Join me now as we peek inside today's News Shell.

Is That a Person?

A recent article by George Dvorsky asks an important question, "When does an animal count as a person?" It is not hard to think of merfolk as people. What about dolphins? They are quite intelligent, perhaps more than we give them credit for. What about chimpanzees and other primates?

As Mr. Dvorsky explains in his article, a number of scientists, legal experts, and others are supporting the idea that some non-human animals are persons and deserve human-like legal protection.

How do you define a person? Read the article at io9.com, and share your views in the comments section below. The comments found below the article are for the most part in disagreement with the animal as person concept.


Guardian of Atlantis

If you are a young adult (or a young adult at heart) and you love to read, then you should know about Bittersweet Enchantment, a blog by a nice lady known as Becky. Recently, Becky welcomed Annie Rachel Cole who talked about her fantasy novel, Guardian of Atlantis. The novel is centered around Greek Mythology, and specifically Medusa and Poseidon.

"Sixteen-year-old Raven Weir has a somewhat normal life until she receives a mysterious necklace... a necklace others are willing to kill her to get because it contains the key codes to Atlantis." Looks like someone's normal life is about to change. Read Ms. Cole's entire guest post for all the details, including her inspiration for the story.

The blog post also contains a link to Amazon, where you can purchase Guardian of Atlantis in paperback for $9.99.


Mermaid Poem

The following was written in 1830 by Alfred Lord Tennyson:

WHO would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?

The full 3-stanza poem can be found here.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Magazines for Mer

Clarksworld

Clarkesworld Magazine features science fiction, non-fiction, and fantasy reading from a variety of authors. The magazine also features podcasts of selected titles and works of art.

In an article on Clarksworld that recently ran on a web site called 'Whatever', John Scalzi points out the benefits to subscribing to Clarksworld Magazine... benefits to both authors and readers.

The current issue of Clarksworld (14 Nov 2012) contains a short story by Maggie Clark called Aquatica that makes for interesting reading.

I know a number of mermaids that are also authors. Be sure to visit the Submission Guidelines page to see how to get your science fiction or fantasy story published at Clarksworld.

Follow the magazine on Facebook and Twitter. Links are at the bottom of the home page.


Mermaids & Mythology

At each change of season, mermaids and mermen wait in anticipation of the next issue of Mermaids & Mythology Magazine. The web site has subscription details as well as information on the current issue.

Find the perfect photo of you splashing around and send it to info@mermaidmagazine.com for inclusion in the Your Photos section! Mer themed artwork is also accepted.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Rare Whale

Welcome to blog post number 70! A big splash of thanks to my regular readers! You are Fin-tastic!

Rare Whale

As we discussed in my October 28th article, there is so much more for us to learn about the oceans of our planet. In late 2010, the world's rarest whale was spotted for the first time when two of them were found dead on a beach in New Zealand. Scientists knew of its existence from skull fragments, but this was the first time they were actually able to see one.

The whales are known as Spade-Toothed Beaked Whales.

Check out the full story by OurAmazingPlanet at MSNBC. You can follow OurAmazingPlanet on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Links can be found in the article.

Thank-you splashes go out to Caroline W. for first showing me this article.


Mermaids in Comics

Since June 2012, Black Mermaid Productions of Australia has been sharing examples of mermaids in comics that they have discovered. Their latest blog post in the series is their November 6th edition, Mermaids in Comics 5, which features Lucia and the Golden Mermaid. Be sure to look through the past blog posts from June to the present for the other Mermaids in Comics articles.

Lucia and the Golden Mermaid, what a great name!


Be Interviewed

Recently, I have had less time to search the seven seas for qualified interview candidates. If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed for this blog, please contact me at the email address below. Individuals and performance groups are welcome. Thank you!


Mermaid Riddles?

What did the sea say to the Little Mermaid?
Nothing, it just waved!

This and other awful mermaid jokes and riddles can be found at JokesPrank.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Mermaid artwork by Cowshell Graphics.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

News Shell 10

Tossed on the seas for several days, our latest News Shell finally reaches its destination. As I am originally a New England mermaid, my heart goes out to those affected by hurricane Sandy. I would like to wish my merfolk and human friends in the northeastern US a quick recovery.

Discovery Channel Mermaids

The faux documentary, Mermaids: The Body Found, originally aired on Animal Planet in May and caused quite a stir. Many people took the show to be factual, causing NOAA to issue a statement to the contrary. The show has also appeared on The Discovery Channel beginning in June where it found another group of eager listeners. Unfortunately, none of it is true. Is it ratings that causes networks known for their science and educational programming to run a fictional 'documentary' on a popular subject?

Wikipedia has a short article on the show which is worth a quick look.


Seafaring Robot

As hurricane Sandy approached the New Jersey coast, a seafaring robot named Mercury was 100 miles offshore, transmitting storm data through 70-knot (80.5 mph; 130 km/h) winds. Read all about this hard working aquatic robot in an article by Tim Hornyak for C|Net.


The Secret History of Mermaids

If you are a collector of mermaid-related books, here is one to add to your collection. The Secret History of Mermaids by Ari Berk is "a lavishly illustrated resource offering insight into the lives, origins, language, and magic of these elusive peoples."

Barnes & Noble and Amazon are both out of stock at present, but both offer the book from resellers.

Ari Berk's other titles include The Secret History of Giants and The Secret History of Hobgoblins. In addition to being an author, Mr. Berk is a professor of English at Central Michigan University. You can visit his web site at www.ariberk.com.

Do you own this book? Please send me a short review and I'll feature it in a future blog post.


Disney Meets Star Wars

As you probably have heard, unless you've been hiding in a sea-cave, Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for US $4 billion. What influence will Lucas' Star Wars series of films have on the Disney characters we know and love? John Martz has come up with a few funny concepts, as featured in a Laughing Squid article by Scott Beale.

Would you believe Yoda with Mickey Mouse ears? And what would happen to The Little Mermaid?


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Is Marine Science Dying

It is apparent that science is one of the first things left out in the cold when budgets are tight. Marine science is dying, and there is so much more for us to learn.

Recently, io9.com featured an article by Robert T. Gonzalez that brings to our attention the article by Dr. M and Deep Sea News entitled, We Need an Ocean NASA Now.

Is this the answer to the problem of Marine and Deep Sea science under-funding? Is there another way?


The Mermaid Song

Merfolk, here is another song to add to your collection: The Mermaid Song by Dylan Guthro is available for 99 cents on Amazon, and you can listen to a clip before purchasing. The song is also available on Dylan's CD, All That's True.

Be sure to share titles and artists of your favorite lesser-known mermaid songs!


Newsletter Update

In my October 4th blog post, I told you about the Mermaid Newsletter from Mermaid Dana of Hawaii. I received my first edition recently, and I must say that it is very well done. If you haven't signed up as yet, you can do so at Dana's web site. The newsletter is another great resource for merfolk and fans.


Closing Quote

I leave you today with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Kitty Mermaid

If you have been following my merfolk interviews, you have discovered that mermaids and mermen can be found across the globe. Today, we are taking a virtual trip to the Netherlands for a chat with Kitty Mermaid.

Cynthia: Greetings, Kitty, please tell us about yourself.
Kitty: Well... let's see... Most remarkable of me is my first name: Kitty-Madison. No, 'Madison' is not my nickname, but my real one. I will tell you more about it soon. I'm a 42 year old woman, living near the beach in IJmuiden, North-Holland, Netherlands. In Holland we call it "IJmuiden aan Zee" but I call it "IJmuiden Beach". You have to know that my life is not like many others. I wrote 'woman' but I was born as a boy. Perhaps for some of you a surprise. My dream to be a mermaid and my gender dysphoria were the most important 'lines' in my life. Later you will understand why.

For more than 20 years I worked as an electrician in a giant greenhouse: the biggest horticulture in bromeliads in the world. Now in daily life I'm a mindfulness trainer, and I have my own company named "Kitty-Madison". Being a mermaid is a part of my company. But some people said that I'm multi-talented. Well, perhaps that's true. I also work in Zuid-Kennemerland National Parc. It is located nearby my home, with forests, dunes, beaches and of course the North Sea. The Parc uses my experiences in technical science and engineering, but I also love nature, the sea and the dunes. I'm also a musician. I have played piano, keyboards and synths for about 34 years - but I cannot read music. For me I have to listen to a CD or MP3 and I can play it. Composing is also a part of it, of course.

Cynthia: How did you first get into mermaiding?
Kitty: Although most mermaid lovers were inspired by The Little Mermaid, my mermaid dream began in 1984. Yes, Splash. I was 14 years old, and since then I wanted to dive like a mermaid. Please note that I write: 'dive like a mermaid' and not 'to be a mermaid'. You have to know that Dutch people are very, very down-to-earth. If I told them that I wanted to be a mermaid, I'm sure they would say that I'm crazy. 'Being' a mermaid is for Dutch people impossible, but perform as a mermaid is accepted.

But, let's return to 1984 and the movie Splash. Mermaid Madison, played by Daryl Hannah. Her dream came out, my dream began. How to start? Swimming lessons, or need I diving lessons? How can I make my own tail? And... oops... yes, I was a boy. Not happy with the choice of Mother Nature, but realize that in the early eighties gender dysphoria was not well-known. Fortunately my mermaid dream helped me with my gender problems.

A dive instructor of CMAS, who was interested in mermaids too, told me about a manufacturer in custom made diving suits. They created my first swimmable mermaid tail, with a Waterway monofin. Before that I made many tails from old leggings and home made monofins, and a 'dry-tail' out of polyester. The dry-tail is still one of my most realistic mermaid tail I'd ever made.

From the early beginning I did not want to dive with scuba. For me it was so un-mermaiding. My mermaid-dive-instructor helped me with tips and tricks in freediving, and I was very surprised that I could swim 100 meters underwater after half a year of intensive training, and a 'static apnea' of 6 minutes!

Cynthia: Tell us about Dive4Life and your other Freediving activities.
Kitty: After my own personal record of 100 meters dynamic freediving, I realized that I need a serious freedive training. AIDA in the Netherlands was just born. In a small pool in Haarlem, North-Holland they taught me the secrets of breath-holding, diving- and swimming techniques, buddying, and safety underwater. Yes, without my first mermaid tail, because they do not want to be associated with mermaids. I got the first 'pool' 2* AIDA certificate in Holland. Of course I plunged in open water, but you have to know that in Holland we have no warm and clear seas. I didn't like that, I wanted to dive in a clear blue ocean!

Many years later the freedive group saw that my mermaid dream was very seriously, and that I use the AIDA safety rules during my dives. Slowly but surely they accepted my mermaiding and they helped me with my video projects (Project Madison I, II and III) with camerawork and safety underwater. Not much later they were my safetydivers during a great photoshoot in the Mediterranean Sea near North Spain. My dream came true again: I was diving in a clear blue sea!

Back in Holland I was looking for possibilities of diving during winter. Travelling to Florida or other beautiful coral reefs was too expensive for me, so I decided to use diving towers. Project Madison III was held in DiveWorld - a 10 meter deep tower filled with 60 F cold water. Dive4Life in Siegburg, Germany, is much deeper (20 meters) and much warmer. Now I use that location for my training, and I even want to dive in Nemo 33: the deepest pool in the world.

I told you before: scuba is not done for me. Not even a single gulp of air at the bottom from a scuba diver. That means that I use freediving for all my projects. Breath-holding is a second nature for me, as a safe home for me when I stay underwater. Above the waterline meditation and mindfulness are my friends.

Although I have a great mermaid tail, I do not always swim with it. My mermaid feelings are not based on a mermaid tail, but based on my graceful movements with a monofin - without a diving suit of course. I have to feel the water alongside my skin, the power of the monofin - even during training. My mermaid tail is used for performances, photo shoots, pool sessions, underwater projects and for fun of course.

Cynthia: You are active in spreading the word about the dangers of plastics in our oceans.
Kitty: In the beginning of mermaiding, I was asked for many television programmes, magazines and newspapers. Kitty Mermaid was new in Holland, and in combination of my gender dysphoria I was well-known in only a few weeks. But now I'm a woman and I've no longer a gender problem. For me that is history. My mermaid dream came true. This sounds like the end of a story. Doesn't it?

But no. I'm also an environmentalist. My whole life is based on saving energy, less traveling as possible. I live in a small apartment, with water-recycling systems in it. I use 100% wind power. I have no car, only a bike and a reclining bycicle. Every evening I walk along the shore at IJmuiden Beach. And I hear the voice of the sea. She is screaming, crying... For much people the sea is like a dumping-ground. I want to help her, save her. Why not use the mermaid in me to accomplish that?

In Holland there is a non-profit organization called Plastic Whale. They want to make a giant ship out of thousands of PET bottles, found in the sea, lakes and even in the moats of Amterdam. It is a small beginning to solve a giant problem: plastic in our oceans. For them I perform as a mermaid in the moats, fishing plastic with my own hands. Sure, it is a small step, I know. But more important is the Dutch media like television and newspapers about this project: let the world know about the plastic soup, the problems in the oceans and possible solutions.

The other 'clean-the-sea' project is a so called 'zeemeerminnenparade' (Mermaid Parade). At the longest day of the year thousands of people will be dressed up like a mermaid, starfish, jellyfish, of even like a crab. It will be held at the beautiful beach of Scheveningen, South-Holland. Sure I will be there, perhaps in a 'mermaid aquarium' or other water tank. 

There is also a group of divers in Holland to clean up wrecks in the North Sea. Sometimes fishers lost their nets, hooked on a wreck. These nets are still 'fishing', even if the trawler is back in the harbour. We call it 'ghost fishing', cause all fish in these nets will die. Of course for me as a mermaid diving to these wrecks is no problem, but removing nets is a spacial job. I support these group of divers and use the mermaid in me to spread the word about ghost fishing.

And of course I support Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace too ;-)

Cynthia: Do you perform on a regular basis?
Kitty: Yes, I perform as a mermaid mostly three of four times a month for principals, like demonstrations, an opening of a pool, helping a school of journalism, and much more. That is my part time job. But every week I dive in our local pool for the kids. Sometimes I help them with swimming, but mostly it is only for much fun.

However I'm not only a performer, but also a kind of mermaid trainer. Since my dream came true, I wanted to share it with others. Of course professional mermaiding without training is almost impossible, but sometimes I let people try to swim in my tail. The "One Day Mermaid Experience" was born. In our pool I start with small tips and tricks, relaxation-, breathing-, and monofin techniques, safety underwater and last but not least: a real underwater photoshoot. For others who want to become a professional mermaid, I have a "Mermaid Academy". Based on freediving, using apnea tables from the world champion freediving, in one year you can dive like me and many other mermaids. After that it is possible to stream in a AIDA freedive course. The first professional mermaid who followed the academy was Vicky Mermaid. She is my stand-in when I'm sick.

Cynthia: Have you been to any mermaid gatherings?
Kitty: No. Sure I know about Mer-Palooza and similar events, but I prefer to dive only with my buddy or team. You have to know that I'm high sensitive: much people around me makes me tired. That will be no problem for events like the Mermaid Parade or Plastic Whale cause I'm the only mermaid underwater. Underwater is my home, where I find my rest and peace.

Cynthia: Do you have any special stories from your mermaid adventures?
Kitty: Sure! Of course, just like every mermaid, I can tell you about the kids who've seen a mermaid for the first time. But I'll take you back to early this century. I was asked for a photo shoot for a newspaper: held on the only island of IJmuiden. I just received the brand new mermaid tail from Thom Shouse. Without a zipper it took more than 20 minutes to put it on, with help of much baby powder. The photographer deceided to pick me as a mermaid up at home with a large van. I was waiting in my living room, tailed and be ready for it. Three strong men carry me outside, to the van. People who see us thought that I was kidnapped and wanted to call the police. After a journey of 10 minutes Kitty Mermaid was carried on the small ferry to the island. On the island a bulldozer transported me to the pier of the island.

The photographer wanted to wait till the ferry to Denmark was there. It is a great background of course! After an hour the ferry was turning around the island, but the harbour master's office saw us during the shoot. They called the captain of the ferry: "Hey, if you look at starboard, you will see a real mermaid!" The captain do not believe his eyes, cause he knows only the little mermaid in Kopenhagen, Denmark. Only a minute later the captain said to all passengers via the announcement system: "If you take a look at starboard - that will be on your right - you will see a real mermaid!" I never seen so much people on one side of a ship, most of them waved to me :-) Since then they call me The Mermaid of IJmuiden.

Cynthia: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Kitty: Yes. Since I dive like a mermaid I receive much, much e-mails about mermaid tails. Which one will be the best or most realistic? But what is 'realistic'? Since my first kicks underwater, for me safety is more important than realistic - especially during freediving. When I'm diving at 20 meters below the surface I have to trust the construction of the mermaid tail. That's one of more reasons to create a new one. Lightweight, easy to use and with a separate modified monofin. Inside the tail a ballast-system is built-in, and a system to take off the tail in a second in case of an emergency. The tail itself is made out of neoprene: just like my first swimable tail. In the meantime that one is more than 13 years old, weekly used.

Safety underwater. I'm very strict about that.

During the way to my dream I figured much out: how to see clear underwater without a mask? How to protect my eyes against chlorine water, without milk? How to close off my nose when I'm swimming upside down? How to 'remove' my two tattoos for photo shoots, with waterproof make-up? I'm very thankful for all friends, manufactures, companies, instructors, and inventors to help me...

Cynthia: Thank you, Kitty, and thank you readers for coming along for the swim! Look for Kitty-Madison on Facebook. Be sure to visit Kitty's web site as well. The site is in Dutch, but if you visit with Google Chrome you will be asked if you would like to translate the page.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

News Shell 9


A lot of great news for merfolk and our human friends in today's News Shell. Let's take a look!

Quadski Amphibious Vehicle

If you have been curled up on a rock reading your daily newspaper, you may have seen the Associated Press article about the Quadski amphibious vehicle. The Quadski is a $40,000 ATV-like vehicle that is just as at-home on the water as it is on land. Speeds up to 45 mph (72.4 km/h) are possible on land as well as water.

The Quadski should be available in the US by the end of 2012. The high price tag may cause most potential buyers to gasp for breath, however. Your better-than-average ATV tops out at about $10,000, so this is quite a step up.

For more information, check out the article from Fox News (shows the Quadski on the water) and/or The NY Daily News (shows the Quadski entering the water).


News Splash

From: Mermaid Nerissa
Mermaidens for the National Marine Reserve

I am part of a professional mermaid group in Australia known as Mermaidens - we do the typical birthday parties, corporate events, pool appearances etc etc, but we have recently been involved with something really special. We've teamed up with the Australian Conservation Foundation to promote awareness of the National Marine Reserve Network that will hopefully soon become law in Australia. Here is some information: All Fish Who Can't Vote and Mermaids.

We've been travelling all over Australia meeting people and swimming with children, encouraging people to support the Reserves which will protect 40% of Australia's oceans including 6 species of sea turtle and thousands of fish! We've been lucky enough to be featured in newspapers and on television all over the country, all to spread the word about this wonderful cause. We even got to go tailswimming on the Great Barrier Reef, which there will soon be photos of too.

We haven't been paid money for this work - we do it because we're passionate about our oceans and really want to encourage the same love of the ocean in the people we meet.

Cynthia: Thank you for the note, Nerissa! Readers can find even more information on the Mermaidens on Facebook.


Author Renee Field

The October 12th issue of the Paranormal Romance Blog features Renee Field, author of Claiming the Temptress and Claiming Poseidon's Heart. In this article, Ms. Field tells us how her love of the seas shaped her love for myths.


Little Mermaid in Moscow

The musical version of The Little Mermaid, that premiered on Broadway in January of 2008, opened in Moscow on October 8, 2012. The opening coincided with the 175th anniversary of the first publication of this Hans Christian Andersen classic.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mermaid Aela


Today we return to the land Down Under for a chat with Mermaid Aela. In addition to telling us about swimming in the beautiful waters off the coast of Australia, Aela has an important message to share: You can feel good about yourself, no matter who you are! Please join me in welcoming Mermaid Aela to the blog.

Mermaid Aela
Cynthia: Greetings, Aela, tell us a little about yourself.
Aela: I am Aela, a 29 year old who resides in beautiful Melbourne, Australia. I am so multi-faceted with my hobbies and interests, but in a seashell I am an artist with a passion for creating a beautiful visual image for the world to see and enjoy though Mermaiding.

Cynthia: How did you first get into Mermaiding?
Aela: I first got into Mermaiding back in 2010 after seeing Mermaid Merlissa's beautiful videos and became inspired, realizing life was too short to worry about what other people think. I realized far too many people plod along in life wishing they lived their dreams and fantasies, and I didn't want to be one of those regretful people.

Cynthia: Tell us about your work for anti-bullying and women's self esteem?
Aela: As a curvy mermaid I know first hand and I am passionate that every woman has the right to feel comfortable with herself, no matter what her age, race, colour or body shape is like. Nobody is perfect and many women spend too much time worrying about what other people think of them that they waste valuable time actually living their lives to the fullest! I encourage all women to live their passions here and now. Don't wait for “When I'm a size zero” or “When I finally get a boob job” because then it may be too late. There are always going to be judgmental people around, but self confidence trumps judgmental people every single time. Plus, self confidence is inspiring to other people!

In addition, there will always be bullies no matter what you do. I find that bullies are the people who lack the self confidence to live their dreams, and must put others down to boost their own deflated egos. The trick is to ignore them. Simply swim away. Your time and energy is better spent being an inspiration and a good example for others who truly need someone to look to, than pandering to the boredom of a bully.

Cynthia: You made headlines back in February I hear!
Aela: I certainly did! I become a national headliner, making the front page of Melbourne's Herald Sun! It was so exciting! I did so many radio interviews and even met Australian producer Daniel Scharf! I have also appeared in national magazines, and even the popular Mermaids and Mythology magazine!

Cynthia: You have a number of videos on YouTube.  Tell us about them.
Aela: I try to capture the very essence of what it is to be a mermaid in my videos. To me, being a mermaid is more than simply swimming across the screen. Being a mermaid is all about how you present yourself: my hair, my movements, my facial expressions. A mermaid is the epitome of beauty and allure in my eyes, and I endeavour to capture that and keep the dreams alive.

Adelaide Mermaid Gathering
Cynthia: Have you been to any mermaid gatherings?
Aela: I have! I recently went to Adelaide for a mermaid meet! I was so much fun hanging out and sharing tips and stories with other beautiful Australian mers! It really made my heart swell with happiness to experience this and I have made friends true and strong from it! The Adelaide mermaids were so welcoming and accommodating, I cannot wait to go and visit them again!

Cynthia: Do you have any special stories from your adventures?
Aela: Not long ago, my boyfriend took me to this secret, secluded waterfall, that could only be accessed by clambering over fallen logs, moss covered rocks and other forest debris. But once we got there, it was so beautiful, and made all the more romantic as we took a risk to get there and we helped each other along the way. It's been said before, but there is nothing truly like swimming with the one you love.

Cynthia: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Aela: Yes. To me, being a mermaid is more than all the 'likes' I have, or about what ecological stance I take, or who makes my tail. A mermaid is her own, an ethereal creature. I encourage all mermaids to think for themselves, and do not be bothered by what small minds think. Go out and dare to be something more than human society pegs you to be. It's important to shed your inhibitions, live and love your life as you are, right now.

Cynthia: Thank you very much, Aela. You can find Mermaid Aela on Twitter and Facebook. You can also learn more at her web site.


Call for News

Do you have some mermaid related news? A new project, an upcoming event, or perhaps details of an event that recently took place? Do you know of a mermaid or merman that I should interview? Please contact me at the email address below! Thank you!


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sailor Twain


Sailor Twain is a graphic novel by author and artist, Mark Siegel. I first mentioned Sailor Twain in my August 15th blog post, but since the book has just come out, it is time to take another look.

The year is 1887, and the steamboat Lorelei is traveling up and down the Hudson River. Join the Captain on his adventure which promises mystery, intrigue and romance.

Sailor Twain, or as it is otherwise known, The Mermaid In The Hudson, was originally presented as a web comic. New pages were uploaded every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each page is accompanied by a blog entry where the author shares background information and asks questions of the readers. At the bottom, reader comments can be found. This interaction was key to producing a most excellent work.

The book is now available at Amazon and other retailers, but the first five chapters remain online for merfolk and humans to discover. To begin your journey, visit the Sailor Twain web site and click on the Chapters button.

Note that this is not the kind of story that you should rush through. It is a 'float on your back' reading experience, not a 'chased by a sea creature' kind of story. Take the time to enjoy the artwork as the story unfolds. Take the time to view the blog entries and the reader comments.

A number of online articles have been written about Sailor Twain, and each one has had high praise for the novel. Check out the articles from Boing Boing and The LA Times.

Great job, Mark!


Mermaid Newsletter

Dana Marie, Mermaid of the Sea, is now offering a bi-weekly newsletter at her web site. Members will receive free mermaid wallpapers for their phone and computer as well as a Facebook banner. Mermaid Dana is a resident of Hawaii, where she enjoys splashing around in the warm Kona waters.


Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ocean View

For those of us that do not live near the ocean, we can now explore the undersea world with Google. In a recent article at Mashable.com by Anita Li, we are introduced to the aquatic side of Google Street View.

Explore Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Oahu, Hawaii's Hanauma Bay, and much more. Let me know if you spot any mermaids!

Fuel?
Seawater as fuel?

Tired of high fuel prices? Tired of looking for a fuel stop when away from home? The US Navy is, too. The Navy wants to use seawater for fuel. Take a look at this article from Gizmodo.com by Leslie Horn.

What do you think of this idea? Is it feasible? Would it be environmentally friendly?

Getting Started

I have heard from a number of readers that are new to the mermaid community. Thank you for visiting! Some of you may be wondering how you can get started in mermaiding without spending too much money. Before you purchase a mermaid tail or make your own, you may want to practice swimming with a monofin.

One of the major monofin retailers is Finnis of Livermore, California. Several styles of monofin are available from Finnis, and children's sizes are available as well. Finnis also carries a wide variety of other products, including snorkels and training fins.

Once you have a monofin, you can practice the Dolphin Kick method of swimming. There are a number of videos on YouTube that can help you learn the technique. Just search YouTube for 'dolphin kick technique'.

And of course, remember to have your mertender nearby... Never swim alone.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Monday, September 24, 2012

News Shell 8

Tossed in the seaweed once again, we find today's News Shell with more news and fun for merfolk.

How to Become a Real Mermaid

The Huffington Post always has some interesting articles. The recent article, 'How to become a real mermaid' by Brenda Peterson is sure to catch the eye of many mermaid fans. It provides a little history of a woman that ran away from home in the 1940s to become a mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs.  It also covers Mer-Palooza and modern day mermaid performers such as Hannah Fraser.  Check out the full article.

Cat Tails?

We at News Shell realize that this isn't mermaid related, but most of us do come up to the surface from time to time. And, this is kinda fun... A Japanese company will soon come out with mind-controlled cat tails for humans. Their first offering was mind-controlled cat ears, and so the transformation is almost complete. Your heart rate and brain wave activity cause the ears and/or tail to reflect your mood. Read the full article on Wired UK

Sealife Word Search

Dive right in and see how many sea creatures you can spot in the grid below. Print out this page, and then circle each word as you find it.

O A T T E B A R C E R O H S H P
C C L A M E R M A N A T E E Q R
O J W H A L E F G R A T S A E S
R L V E S I T A N G N S N H U T
Y E P B T K S H S I F T A O G I
A S S D R E B R H E V R I R R N
R S Q U I D O P A E A O L S E G
A U D G P C L N R S N C D E E R
T M E O E O W I K I U K O O N A
N F T N D Z T H I O T F S W C Y
A H U G B X K C J P E I C A R L
M E R M A I D R O R P S A L A L
L M T L S L B U K O M H R R B O
N E L M S H R I M P I Y Q U I M
C J E L L Y F I S H L A E S W F

Word List:  BETTA, CLAM, COD, CORY, DOLPHIN, DUGONG, EEL, GOATFISH, GREEN CRAB, JELLYFISH, LIMPET, LOBSTER, MANATEE, MANTA RAY, MERMAID, MERMAN, MOLLY, MUSSEL, OCTOPUS, OSCAR, PORPOISE, ROCK FISH, SEA COW, SEA HORSE, SEA STAR, SEAL, SHARK, SHORE CRAB, SHRIMP, SNAIL, SQUID, STING RAY, STRIPED BASS, TANG, TUNA, TURTLE, URCHIN, WALRUS, WHALE

Trending

I enjoy checking out the blog statistics to see what readers are searching for. Here is the latest information:
- Mermaid
- Mermaid Kylee
- Shells
- Merman
- Mermaid Pictures
- Mermaid Profession
- Mermaid Rain

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mermaid Mizuko


Today we take a trip Down Under for a lively chat with Mermaid Mizuko. Mizuko is Japanese for Water Child, and that fits our guest perfectly. As we arrive, we find Mizuko relaxing near the shore.

Mermaid Mizuko
Cynthia: Greetings! Tell us a little about yourself, Mizuko.
Mizuko: I'm a small town girl who moved to the 'big city' a few years ago! I have a lot of interests- including fashion, drawing, performing and day-dreaming. My favourite colour is pink, and it shows in almost everything I do, from my clothes to my computer! Until I moved to the city, I lived in a fishing/surfing town on the West Coast of South Australia, so I was extremely lucky to have an ocean-loving family and spent every spare minute at the beach or marina: swimming, surfing, diving, camping. Because of this I have seen a lot of amazing wildlife in their natural environment, which led me to be a big animal lover. I am so grateful for the upbringing I had, as I know it shaped the person I am today!

Cynthia: How did you first become a mermaid?
Mizuko: I took the dive and officially became a mermaid mid-2011, but in my heart I had been a mermaid for life. Having the opportunity to literally grow up in the ocean, the idea of living and breathing beneath the waves was always something I desired and dream about. I used to run around the house using Mum's sheets as a tail pretending I was on some undersea adventure, and I read numerous books about mermaids (my favourite still being 'The Mermaid Princess' by Shirley Barber, it continues to influence me today). I even swam like a mermaid, using dolphin kick, ALL THE TIME. I refused to swim normally! Haha!

In 2011 I took the plunge and decided that I should live my dream. I researched online about other mermaids and how to make tails. And then I purchased my first monofin! Oh man, was I excited! Then I made my first tail (pink, of course). It was such a learning curve, as I am terrible at sewing, but when it was done it was the proudest day of my life. The first swim in it was as natural as breathing, and I knew right away I had found myself.

Cynthia: What kind of performances do you do?
Mizuko: At the moment I am still learning on the performance-side of mermaiding! But I have a variety of skills which have helped me, such as singing, acting and dancing experience from my years on the stage. Kids love it when I burst out singing, it really makes them go “oh wow, she's a real mermaid!” My freediving has improved a bundle, too, as I practice as often as I can. This makes me more confident with underwater tricks like blowing bubble kisses and bubble rings, as I can stay down the bottom much longer!

I try my best to bring the fantasy of a mermaid into every experience I have with people- whether it be popping up beside them in the pool to just say hello, or talking about my sea-lion pup who keeps chewing on my hair. The main thing about performing is to have fun! If you are having fun, everyone around you will pick up on the vibe and will enjoy themselves too. Making people happy is such a wonderful thing to do, and its one of the best things about being a mermaid.

Cynthia: Tell us about your connection to the play, "A Midsummer's Night Dream".
Mizuko: Being on stage for most of my life, I love acting and being a new character. Midsummer's Night Dream is one of my favourite plays ever! Its full of love, comedy, magic and of course Puck! Puck is the mischievous (or is it just clueless?) fairy who causes all kinds of trouble for the fairy-folk and humans alike, and I loved his character the second I read the book. I've got the opportunity to play him in a few months and I am so excited!

Of course, the magic and fantasy of Midsummer's Night Dream isn't the only thing that makes it my favourite Shakespeare play! The best line (for me) is said by Oberon:

My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememberest
Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
That the rude sea grew civil at her song
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music.

Yes, it is my favourite line because its about mermaids! Hehe!

Cynthia: You have a blog of your own I hear.
Mizuko: I do! Its a mish-mash of my daily life, fashion, mermaiding, and a general diary! I found if I dont write things down, I tend to forget them. So it is a way of sharing my memories and experience with the world, as well as a good reminder in years to come for myself! I'm not a talented writer, so hopefully people find it easy to read! Haha!

Mermaid Mizuko
Cynthia: Do you have any special stories from your adventures?
Mizuko: In my short life so far, I've had so many adventures! Most of them revolve around the ocean and my own mistakes, haha! When I was in my early teens, my family were camping on the beach, and everyone but me had gone out on the boat for a day of fishing. I was swimming and building sand castles having a great time- when suddenly I saw this huge black shape come barreling toward me from the deeper water. Scared, I raced (backward) out of the water and watched it approach. Only to realize there was an even bigger shape following close behind it- water was spraying off its back as its belly scraped the shallows. Before I knew it, the first shape- a huge sting ray- launched itself out of the water on to the sand in front of me, followed only seconds behind by the biggest sea lion I had ever seen. The sea lion proceeded to bite hard on the ray, killing it instantly, and stood triumphantly on top of it. He then just stared at me with his round, dark eyes. Pretty sure I stared back in absolute disbelief.

I spent the next fifteen minutes backing away slowly, running to the tent, and searching for a camera. Eventually the seal ate the stingray, and casually waded back into the water to vanish. I never did find that stupid camera. And my family still doesn't know whether to believe me or not!!

Cynthia: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Mizuko: If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a mermaid, its that being yourself is the most rewarding thing anyone can do! Follow your dreams, no matter how far away they feel, because every step toward your goals is an amazing experience and learning curve.

I hope to use my mermaiding to bring awareness to the oceans off South Australia and Australia in general- I know the importance of sustainable fishing and ocean conservation as these were important parts of my life growing up. I believe people can live, fish and dive in harmony with the ocean and its creatures, but we have got to get the awareness up first! These are my dreams and goals, and I know that with hard work and positivity, I can make a difference. Which means we can all make a difference!

Cynthia: Yes, each of us can make a difference. Thank you very much, Mizuko. Look for Mizuko on Facebook, and do check out her blog as well.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Entertainers With a Tail


On September 10th, CNN ran an article by Katherine Dorsett Bennett entitled, Mermaids: Entertainers With a Tail. This entertaining article tells you where to go in the US to find mermaid entertainers. Locations include the Sip 'n Dip Lounge in Montana and the Wreck Bar in Florida. As you may remember, The Wreck Bar is the home of Aquatic Performer MeduSirena (see photo). I had the pleasure of interviewing MeduSirena back in April of this year.

Also mentioned in the article is the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas, which was the home of the 2011 Mermaid Awards and Convention. Mermaids are a regular attraction there, and the primary theme of the hotel and casino.

At the end of the article, Ms. Bennett invites you to send in your theme bar recommendations.

Tail Flip Magazine

The third edition of the online mermaid themed magazine, Tail Flip, is now available. As they say, the magazine is 'for the mer-community, and by the mer-community'. A big splash of thanks to Raina the Halifax Mermaid for putting together another great issue.

This issue contains a number of cool photos from MerPalooza 2012 on pages 10 and 11. There are also book reviews, an interview with artist David Ayala, and interviews with mermaids Lanai and Raven.

Tweets and Splashes

A recent visit to Twitter has proven that mermaids are still a very popular subject there. In this one short visit I collected quite a few amusing tweets:

"Lost my brush and had to use a fork to comb my hair. I felt like the Little Mermaid but older..."

"In case you're wondering, my 10yo and 4yo agree that a unicorn would beat a mermaid in a fight. Unless the fight was underwater."

This one was posted by one of the other many mermaids on Twitter:
"If I had to choose between dating a human boy and keeping my tail, I would choose my tail."

"Convince the rubes on this passing cargo ship that you're a mermaid by wearing seashells and refusing all offers of rescue."

"I panic like a mermaid stuck in a puddle."

It is great to see folks that plan ahead:
"Today: cleaned room, won a Lakers cape, planned film shoot. Still To Do: Go to airport, bible study, put a mermaid in a fountain."

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a mermaid. Then always be a mermaid."

"Walked in on my 8 year old sister rubbing salt water on her legs. I ask why. Her response: I'm trying to turn into a mermaid. No words."

"Retweet if u r a mermaid."
So I did!

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

News Shell 7

You are just in time for another informative News Shell. If you have mermaid related news to share, please send it to me at the email address below. If you see an interesting news article online, let me know about that as well.

Water Ball

Humans love the water almost as much as we merfolk. I was at Grapevine Mills Mall in Grapevine, Texas over the weekend, and came across the scene on the right. A water ride in the middle of the mall, yet nobody gets wet! What will they think of next? The young women that were splashing around when I went by appeared to be having a great time. Everyone loves splashing around.

Boiled Shrimp Recipe

I like many seafood dishes, and shrimp is one of my favorites. At home, I usually have baked shrimp covered with Italian style bread crumbs. Recently, I thought of making boiled shrimp at home. After finding a promising recipe at food.com, we decided to give it a try. The results were quite good, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.

The recipe works well for shrimp that will be served hot as well as cold. When serving warm, bring along your choice of cocktail sauce or Cynthia's secret recipe tarter sauce.

The Starbucks Logo

Most of us are familiar with the Starbucks mermaid logo, but are you familiar with the origin of the logo? In a recent article on The Next Web, we learn the origin of the Starbucks logo and three others: Android, Apple, and NASA. What was the inspiration behind these four world-famous logos?

Interview Responses

I would like to thank Carolyn Turgeon once again for publishing her interview of me on August 29th. The response from readers has been wonderful. Here are just a few of the responses.

The first is from a sister mermaid on Facebook:
Greetings! I read the interview of you on the blog I Am a Mermaid and instantly thought, "Wow! A kindred soul!" I heard about your facebook group [Merfolk] and decided I would greatly like to join. The Sea has always been a mother to me, and, seeing as I'm still in school, I only do birthday parties and such. I would be honored to join your group!
I met a woman that I occasionally volunteer with about the time the interview came out. During our short conversation, she called me a mermaid due to my long hair. Since she brought up the subject, I gave her the web address of the interview and asked her to check it out. I heard from her a few days later:
OMG!! That is so funny! I totally called you a mermaid before knowing you ARE a mermaid! How cool is this!!!!? I’ve always been obsessed with mermaids and the ocean! I used to pretend I was a mermaid. I grew up on the beach and swam every day! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ocean! This is super wild! Hehe Now I can say I know a real mermaid! ... Well, Miss Mermaid, I am so happy we talked!
Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

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