Monday, February 27, 2012

Mermaid Melissa

Today we travel to sunny Florida, home of Mermaid Melissa. You may have seen Melissa recently on television, in magazine articles, or at special events. You may have been lucky enough to see her at a convention or one of her aquarium shows. To learn more about Mermaid Melissa, let's go back a few years...

Mermaid Melissa
Melissa has pursued an aquatic career from a very young age. You just couldn't get her out of the pool! As early as age 12, she was able to hold her breath for 2 1/2 minutes. This was the beginning of her training as a free diver, which she continued into adulthood.

In 2005, Melissa realized her goal of finishing her Scuba courses and becoming PADI certified for open water diving. This allowed her to explore the underwater world without having to come up for air every few minutes.

Aquariums have always been a source of inspiration to Melissa, and she soon began working with marine mammals, including killer whales and dolphins. Dolphins have always been her favorite animal, and she has enjoyed swimming with them since she was as a young girl.

Many young girls dream of being a mermaid. Movies such as The Little Mermaid and Splash, combined with her love of the ocean, prompted Melissa to venture into the then little known field of Professional Mermaid. She began to focus her energy into making this happen.

YouTube and social networking gave Mermaid Melissa a way of reaching the masses with an important message, “Let’s save the oceans before all creatures become mythical.” Instead of painting a picture of gloom and doom, Melissa works hard to entertain with a positive message. She does this while promoting ways to enjoy our oceans and waterways while we work to save them.

The story of Mermaid Melissa can be found in the children's book, A Mermaid's Tale - Bubble Heart Kisses by Nancy Thibault. An autographed copy is $20, and the book can be ordered at Melissa's web site.

Like most merfolk, Melissa keeps a very busy schedule. Her adventures include television appearances, music videos, magazine articles, aquarium shows, conventions, promotions, special events, mermaid birthday parties, stunt work, film and commercial projects.

I was able to interview Mermaid Melissa recently via email...

Cynthia: Melissa, do you have an amusing story, such as one involving meeting humans when out swimming?
Melissa: Every time is amazing for me. The chain reaction of, "Look there's a mermaid!" tends to flow through the water. If I find someone who is not paying attention, I will purposely swim underwater a very long distance past them, to startle them. If in that one moment, I can make them question if they did in fact see a real mermaid... my job is done!

Cynthia: Do you have a message for those just starting out in the mermaid profession?
Melissa: Do it for the love of being a mermaid and having fun. I get asked a lot how to become a "pro mermaid" and to be honest... it is not something you can apply for from the paper. Every once in a while you may find a place to show your awesome tail to the world, but the goal is to have fun! Everyone's path is different in life -no matter what species. Make it unique by having your mermaid tail and personality be a refection of who you are on the inside.

Cynthia: What is your favorite color for your tail?
Melissa: I love my blue tail best... but there are so many colors I like to combine, that I continue to add more because I have many colorful sides to my mermaid personality.

Cynthia: Do you have a favorite mermaid themed story or novel?
Melissa: Getting handed a signed copy of, "Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale" by Carolyn Turgeon at FaerieCon 2011 -stands out in my mind as a very special mermaid moment!

Cynthia: Anything out of the ordinary happen at a mermaid birthday party?
Melissa: You mean besides kids asking if they can "ride a mermaid" lol! There is no filter on kids, so they say anything and everything. The questions are creative, odd, and funny. I had one birthday girl stroke my tail like you would a cat and kiss the fluke a lot... that pretty much took the cake for me and her mom to giggle about!

Cynthia: Anything else you would like to share?
Melissa: Lots of new/exciting things developing... So don't be surprised to see glimpses of me doing creative new projects in the weeks to come!

Let's all give Mermaid Melissa a big wave and splash, for all you do for our aquatic friends. Thank you!


Most of you are familiar with Google Earth where you can get up close and personal with your own neighborhood as well as locations around the world. But what if you could take a look under the surface of the ocean? The Catlin Seaview Survey will allow us to do just that.

The mapping of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia begins in September of 2012. The Seaview camera has a depth range of zero to 100 meters, so there will be a lot to see!

For more information on this project, see Dara Kerr's article on CNET.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mermaid Rain

I recently put out requests on Facebook for merfolk to send me their stories of being seen by unsuspecting humans. The following two stories were sent in by Mermaid Rain Hauger. I hope you find them as entertaining as I did. I am still looking for more such stories, and will present them in future blog posts. Please send them to the email address below. Here is our first story:
I was swimming in the north shore at Shark's Cove. I was in my mermaid tail just enjoying the sun and swimming through the wierd rock formations and corals. I startled a Japanese couple that was swimming close by. I was in my own little world and didn't even realize them until I was hit in the head with their camera! Apparently I had scared them because all they saw was my tail! They then followed me throughout the entire cove watching me and taking pictures. Every time I turned my head I saw them peeking out at me from behind a rock lol. I would wave and smile and continue on swimming with the fishes and the little turtle. But they were still following me. I don't think they spoke English because every time I tried to say 'Hi' they would smile and nod and then whisper to each other! A camera to the head hurts let me tell ya.
Mermaid Rain
When you are visiting the ocean, you might just spot a mermaid. Don't forget to bring your camera, but please don't hit the mermaid over the head with it!
I also was in Hawaii, and this time I wasn't in the water. My mother lives by Pokai Bay and there is this long beautiful rock wall were I swim to the ocean side of the rock wall and I would lay out and sun bathe. This bay is where all the tour boats from Wikiki would go to bring tourists to swim with dolphins. I was laying there when I heard all this shouting and I turned to find all the people on the boat pointing and screaming at me lol. Instantly the boat began to play music from The Little Mermaid and the tour guide told everyone to wave at Ariel, The Little Mermaid.
I can hear it now, "We are now entering Pokai Bay. On the left you will see... OMG A Mermaid!"

Thank you, Mermaid Rain, for the great stories, and for the following...

The Mermaid Rain Program

The Mermaid Rain Program was created by Mermaid Rain to help children learn about water safety and Ocean Awareness.
The Main Focus of the Program is first and foremost the child's safety in and around water. Every year in the Arizona Phoenix Valley there are at least 10 cases involving a child drowning. This is due to the fact that children aren't properly taught about water safety. Every parent says, "Oh my child is fine, he/she is a great swimmer." That may be the case but things happen.
A very good friend of mine at the age of 16, when I was also 16, drowned in a neighbor's pool. Due to peer pressure he ended up doing something he shouldn't have and drowned! I lost a good friend that day, and a boy who had a bright future died before he could have ever have reached it. 
In the program I talk to children about the do's and don'ts of the pool rules! As well as encourage them to swim and enjoy themselves, but in a safe manner. I also talk to the parents. I give the parents the tools they need to talk to their children, to remind them of the water safety rules. I let the parents know that they are the key to keeping their kids safe. The Mermaid Rain Program is available to anyone and everyone who needs it, not just businesses or child care facilities. 
The Mermaid Rain Program is Non-Profit which means it is Free. I do not charge any money to have me come to your child's party or your pool party or your event. I believe a child's life is too precious to put a price on. I'd prefer to be poor and a child safe. However, the Mermaid Rain Program does except donations. All the donations go back into the program whether it's for information pamphlets, flyers, props that I use for the kids, the little treasures I like to bring them, or the upkeep of my mermaid tail.
Love, and Fishy Kisses
Mermaid Rain 
And always remember watch your children around the water this summer!
You can find Mermaid Rain splashing around on Facebook as well.

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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mermaid Kariel

In the coming weeks, I plan to introduce you to a very special breed of mermaid. These are the professionals. They have worked long hours in order to pursue their dream of making a living as a mermaid. One excellent example of true dedication to the ocean and the mermaid profession is Mermaid Kariel of Hawaii.

The nickname Kariel was given to her by her mother at a young age. It seems Kariel has been a mermaid fanatic her whole life. Mermaid Kariel makes her own tails out of recycled wet suits, very eco-friendly. A typical tail takes from 350 to 400 hours of work to create. Tails also need periodic maintenance. Mermaids don't see a lot of free time.

Mermaid Kariel teaches a mermaid fitness class at a hotel in Hawaii. Students wear mono-fins and learn how to swim like a mermaid using the dolphin-kick technique. This is great exercise, and a lot more fun than a treadmill.

Hawaiian residents and visitors can rent mermaid tails from Mermaid Kariel for photography sessions. She can also put you in touch with a professional photographer. You'll want to frame these vacation photos.  They won't be among the ones collecting dust in a forgotten photo album!

Kariel has written a children's book which gives children the knowledge to use their talents to accomplish their dreams by believing in themselves. The book's profits will go to a nonprofit to help rare cancer research.

What better way to make a young girl's birthday special than to have a surprise visit from a mermaid?  Mermaid Kariel and a handler (assistant) provide the entertainment: face painting, stories, games, and a mermaid swim (optional). All you do is provide the cake! Details are available on the web site.

Mermaid Kariel has been featured in a number of magazine (including ELLE) and newspaper articles. She does promotional appearances and corporate events. In the Living Social list of 365 things to do in Honolulu, swimming with Mermaid Kariel at her Wednesday fitness class is #25. That's hard to beat.

You can follow Mermaid Kariel and her adventures on Facebook and at

A big wave and splash to Mermaid Kariel, a true professional and an inspiration to us all!

Mermaids Magazine

Mermaids is the name of a special-issue annual magazine edited by author Carolyn Turgeon. The first issue will be out on March 30th, but can be pre-ordered now at the Faerie Magazine website. List price is $14.95. The first issue will be over 200 pages, and will feature Mermaid Hannah Fraser on the cover.

Articles will include: Ten Ways to Fall in Love with a Mermaid, Advice for Aspiring Mermaids, and Hannah Fraser on Swimming with Sharks. After its release, the magazine will also be available at Barnes & Noble as well as independent booksellers across the US.

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Just Add Water

The Australian television program, H2O: Just Add Water (H2O for short) is sure to put you in the mood for a swim.  The show is quite popular with mermaids and mermaid fans.  As such, you may already be very familiar with it.  It is my hope that I can share some additional information in this article.

H2O is the product of Jonathan M. Shiff Productions and was shot on location at Sea World along the Gold Coast of Australia.  In Australia, the program is broadcast on Channel 10.  In the US and the UK, the program is shown on the Nickelodeon Teen network.

The show follows the adventures of three teenage girls that turn into mermaids after visiting the mysterious Mako Island during a full moon.  The girls look normal on land, but when they get wet they turn into mermaids.  The three agree that this will be their secret, and nobody else should know about it.

As season one opens:
Emma (on right, played by Claire Holt) is the confident intelectual, and a member of the school swim team.
Cleo (center, played by Phoebe Tonkin) is shy and awkward, and one who has to work to keep her school grades up.
Rikki (on left, played by Cariba Heine) is the rebel and daring one, and she will not be pushed around.

The girls' ability to keep the secret to themselves doesn't last long. Cleo's friend Lewis (played by Angus McLaren) finds out soon enough, and then tries to discover how it all happened.

Originally, two seasons of the program (26 episodes each) were created and broadcast.  The popularity of the show prompted a third season be created.  Emma has moved away (Claire Holt was busy with other projects), but Cleo and Rikki soon meet Bella (played by Indiana Evans), who became a mermaid at age 9 in Ireland. Lewis is also absent for part of season three (Angus McLaren was working on a movie).

Wikipedia has a pretty good article on the show, if you haven't found it already.

There are a number of behind-the-scenes videos of H2O on the net, including this one.

The H2O theme song, No Ordinary Girl, is an upbeat tune that can easily become any mermaid's theme song. A shortened version is played at the beginning of each episode. The song and lyrics are available so you can sing along. Mermaids love to sing! The player is just under the "No Ordinary Girl Lyrics Widget" heading on the left side.

This video clip from the very first episode shows the original three girls discovering that they are now mermaids.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a Twitter 'Live Tweet' with Phoebe Tonkin (Cleo) and other H2O fans. (Update 12/2012 Chat text)

The show is not for everyone, however. Because the show is targeted at pre-teens and teens, some adult merfolk find it too immature and unable to hold their attention. I quite enjoy the show, myself.

Before buying any DVD's of the show, note that a DVD created for Australia (Region 4) will not play in the US or Canada (Region 1), or Europe (Region 2). Here is more info on DVD regions.

If you can't get enough of H2O, note that producer Jonathan M. Shiff is planning to produce a sequel entitled Mako - Island of Secrets. Look for it in late 2012. More information on this new show can be found at and In this spin-off, a 15 year old boy named Zac becomes a 'merman'. This is bad news for the three (new) mermaids that watch over Mako Island. Many H2O fans are disappointed that Zac will have fin-like feet instead of a fish tail.

As always, your comments and questions are welcome!

Meet me at Mako,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ocean Minds and More

Ocean Minds

The web site Ocean Minds is a collection of news stories about the ocean, marine life, and nature in general.  The news stories are displayed under several headings including Oceans on Google, Twitter Oceans, Underwater Times, Deep Sea News, Science Daily Oceans, and so on.

There is a lot to explore on this site. The Underwater Humor section will bring a smile to your face, and the Ocean Gallery section has some awesome photographs.

At the bottom of the home page is a Sustainable Seafood Guide. Be sure to look up your favorites.

A menu at the top of the home page provides links to other sections of the web site including Freediving In Mind, an Ocean Minds Blog, and a Feedback page.

Visit Ocean Minds on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as well. Links are at the very top of the home page.

"Ocean Minds, Where Fish Get Their News."


Mermaid Cupcakes

Readers of Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs will find a recipe for Mermaid Cupcakes at the end of the book.  I have made them and they are quite good.  This is a great recipe to make with your kids, and perfect for mermaid themed birthday parties.  Note, however, that this is not a quick recipe.  It does take some time.

Cynthia's Tarter Sauce

I realize that a lot of merfolk are vegetarians, or just don't eat seafood. For those of you that do, I wanted to share my secret tarter sauce recipe. Exact measurements will not be given for most ingredients, it's all a matter of taste. This recipe can be a starting point for your own experiments.

Mayonnaise (regular or lite, about 1 tablespoon for one person)
Sweet Relish (just under half as much as mayo)
Black Pepper (freshly ground)
Lemon Juice
Cayenne Pepper (the secret ingredient...  shhhh)

Combine Mayonnaise and Relish in a custard cup. Add small amounts of the remaining ingredients, more or less according to personal preference. Mix well and use as soon as possible.

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

Blog Index

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Something New

Tail Flip

Tail Flip is the name of a new online magazine for the merfolk community.  The first issue came out recently, and the initial reviews are quite positive.  The magazine is completely free, and includes interviews, tail making tips, mermen in the community, a mermaid horoscope, and a lot more.

I was honored to be asked to contribute my article on the 2011 World Mermaid Awards and Convention to the first issue.

Tail Flip was inspired in part by the MerNetwork discussion forum...  Be sure to pay them a visit as well.

Mission of Mermaids

Mission of Mermaids (MOM) is a short film by Susan Rockefeller.  According to the web site, the film is "Both a poetic ode to the seas and a plea for their protection."

Susan Rockefeller is a board member of Oceana and Chairwoman of the Ocean Council, so she knows of what she speaks.

"The message of the film is simple and straightforward:  We must take responsibility for our seas by taking immediate action to save them.  In keeping with this, MOM is a low carbon-emission production.  Comprised of “found” footage from YouTube videos, scanned images, and archival, licensed, or donated footage and music, the film has a gritty, guerrilla aesthetic that reflects Susan’s long-term engagement in innovative, organic and less materialistic practices."

In addition to information about the film, the web site also contains a blog.

If you are a mermaid, merman, or just love the ocean, then you may also want to connect with the MOM folks via Facebook and Twitter.  Look for links on the web site.

Quote of the Day

I find myself at the extremity of a long beach. How gladly does the spirit leap forth, and suddenly enlarge its sense of being to the full extent of the broad, blue, sunny deep! A greeting and a homage to the Sea! I descend over its margin, and dip my hand into the wave that meets me, and bathe my brow. That far-resounding roar is the Ocean's voice of welcome. His salt breath brings a blessing along with it.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Foot-prints on the Sea-shore"

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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Minutes and Fins

Mermaid Minute

Photo by Reuben E. Reynoso
Well known mermaid and freediver, Linden Wolbert of Mermaids In Motion, recently announced a new project. She is producing a video series geared toward teaching children about the ocean. The series is called Mermaid Minute, and the first episode is entitled 'Meet a Real Mermaid, Linden!'

Through this series of short videos, children as well as adults can learn about dolphins, sharks, fish, and a lot more. Children will enjoy learning about the sea from a real mermaid! Viewers are encouraged to ask Mermaid Linden questions. These questions may help guide the content of future episodes.

Inspiring children is Linden's passion. Be sure to share these videos with your kids. The ocean can always use another fan!

Here is more information on the Mermaid Minute series from Mermaid Linden:

I thought of the idea of the Mermaid Minute in 2011 while swimming... naturally!
It took months and months to digitize and import all of the underwater footage from my friend Reuben into Final Cut Pro to be edited. Then it took a long time to research every animal and write the scripts for the first several episodes.
The footage of me in the mermaid tail on the beach was a big green screen experiment... I am very happy it turned out pretty well. That thanks to my friends who helped me while I was stranded in my 35-pound mermaid tail on a giant piece of green fabric!
I co-wrote the opening theme music with my friend Chris Ward who is a pro film and television composer, which was a really fun process!
I worked hard to improve my skills as an editor with the help of another neighbor... where would I be without my friends?!?!? I have really used my background as a film student (Emerson College '03 grad) to pull this together. I am so grateful for each and every person who helped me with the Mermaid Minute... you know who you are!
A new episode will be released every week!
At this point, the Mermaid Minute could appear in any number of venues. There are possibilities "floating" about ;) I am unsure at this point about podcasts or iTunes. I would like to keep the Mermaid Minute FREE as long as possible for any child who has access to computers.
I grew up learning from PBS shows since I didn't have cable TV as a youth. I wish for kids to have the same opportunity to learn today as I did then... from shows like Jacques Yves Cousteau and NOVA, Marty Stauffer's Wild America, etc... and I realized kids could really use some oceanic education, so that was the inspiration behind creating the Mermaid Minute! 
Teasers? Well, there will be fun episodes about all manner of creatures, ocean phenomenon and more!!! What else can I say... it's a Mermaid Mystery each week with the Mermaid Minute. ;)

You can find Mermaid Linden on Facebook and Twitter. The official YouTube channel for the Mermaid Minute is mermaidsinmotion.

Just For Fins

Fans of the 'Fins' series of teen novels by Tera Lynn Childs have been waiting somewhat impatiently for news of a third book in the series. 'Forgive My Fins' and 'Fins Are Forever' are both excellent books, but they do leave a number of plot lines unresolved.

The third book is called 'Just For Fins', and it will be available on July 3, 2012. The book may be pre-ordered now at or Barnes and Noble for $10.52. A friend of mine was heard to say, "I am soooo pre-ordering!"  Note that you don't have to be a teen to enjoy these books.

The Fins series follows the adventures of Lily, a student at Seaview High School and a girl with a secret... she is also a mermaid princess.  For more information on these books, see my earlier blog post, Mermaid Adventures.

Ms. Childs can be found on Twitter as well as her very own web site.

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