Saturday, January 26, 2013

News for Dolphins

Cynthia: During the past week, our friends the dolphins have surfaced in a number of news stories. For the details, we take you now to our cetacean correspondant, Danny Dolphin.

Danny Dolphin
Dolphin Rescue

Danny: Thank you, Cynthia. In our first story, a group of divers were out watching manta rays near Kona, Hawaii. They were approached by a dolphin that had fishing line and a hook stuck on one of its fins. One of the divers was able to remove most of the fishing line. Note that the dolphin sought out the help of the divers. Read the full story by Robert T. Gonzalez at io9 and watch the video for the complete details.

Adopted Dolphin

Danny: In another report from io9, a dolphin with a spine deformity has been adopted by a group of sperm whales. This touching story takes place in the Northern Atlantic, and is covered in an article by George Dvorsky. The original story was reported by ScienceNow.

Trapped in NYC Harbor

Danny: The new video sharing site, Vine, is the Twitter of video sharing. Each Vine video clip is limited to six seconds. Vine's first breaking news story concerns a dolphin stuck inside the Gowanus Canal in New York City Harbor. The complete story can be found in this article from Mashable.

Back to you, fishy girl...

Questions Remain

Cynthia: Err... Thank you, Danny. The giant squid remains as a hot topic of conversation. A recent article on Mashable reports that while a giant squid was recently caught on film, a number of questions remain to be answered. Don't miss this article by Jennifer Viegas, and be sure to watch the Discovery Channel tomorrow (27 January 2013) for the official airing of the giant squid video footage.

Mermaid Odette Encore

Cynthia: Fans of Mermaid Odette from my previous blog post will enjoy this encore photograph. Odette is making quite a splash in Tucson, Arizona these days. If you missed her interview, swim on over and take a look.

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

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mermaid Odette

Thank you, dear readers, for visiting my blog and telling others about it! Today we will be chatting with Mermaid Odette of Arizona, USA. If you thought there wouldn't be any mermaids in the Arizona desert, you would be mistaken! Join me in welcoming Odette to the blog!

Mermaid Odette
Cynthia: Hello, Odette, tell us all about yourself.
Odette: I work as Mermaid Odette in Tucson, Arizona. I mostly work in Arizona, California, and Hawaii, but will travel anywhere in the United States for gigs. I make all my tails, accessories, and props in a workshop downtown. I have been mermaiding since 2009.

My abilities that make me a professional are my swimming and performance abilities. I've performed since I was 12, and have been a swimmer since age six. I enjoy entertaining and putting a smile on the dimmest face.

Cynthia: How did you first get into mermaiding?
Odette: I've been working for a historical fantasy theme park called Valley of the Moon since I was 13, and we have every type of creature except mermaids. I love swimming so I thought of bringing the two together.

I worked hard trying to make tails with no knowledge on anything but costuming and sewing. I figured out fins and then the monofin thing then got inspiration from online info. I wasn't completely happy with how tails were made, and started making tails in different ways that included adding scales one-by-one and using materials that seemed inappropriate for a tail which got me the golden emerald tail.

Mermaid Odette - photo by Joelle Higdon
Cynthia: Tell us about your Mermaid 101 Panel.
Odette: The "Mermaid 101" panel is something I started a few years ago to give people a chance to learn about being a mermaid. The panel talks about how to make a fabric tail, who you can buy from, swimming and breathing techniques as well as a lot of immediate, straight-forward, scientific, and personal info that you can't get online.

I give answers to even the professional things and tell them where they need to go to get started. It has been presented at many conventions, but has been done at Connichiwa for 3 years now, and I'm making it more amazing every time.

The panel has gotten so many good reviews that I decided to expand availability to Chicago and Southern Florida once I get a chance to catch up in Arizona.

Cynthia: What kind of performances do you do?
Odette: I perform a lot of swimming gigs and private parties. I get a public event almost every month now. I've performed for many different types of events and I love it! Public and swimming events are my favorite! I have done art galleries, parades, a concert, conventions, festivals, parks, birthday parties, movie presentations, Hawaii tour where I dived for snorkelers, and a unique birthday party at Hotel Congress as a vampire mermaid swimming with snakes.

Mermaid Odette by Joelle Higdon
Cynthia: What other activities do you participate in?
Odette: I promote water conservation every year through the Tucson Water Festival, presented by the Tucson Arts Brigade. I work on bringing a lot of issues that a desert mermaid would face, and how important water is. Most of the articles I'm mentioned in are because of the Water Festival and the amazingly fun and educational atmosphere.

Cynthia: You have been transforming a pool into a kelp forest for photo ops?
Odette: I haven't finished it yet, but I thought of a fun way to make a kelp forest with some tough plastics. Since its simple and abundant, I will be able to make a lot of kelp strands for wonderful photo opportunities.

Cynthia: Have you been to any mermaid gatherings?
Odette: I haven't been to any but I have a few followers who will join me for a pool swim at public events. I love meeting other mermaids or aspiring ones!

Cynthia: Do you have any special stories for us from your mermaid adventures?
Odette: I had a magical encounter with a whale. I had no idea they would swim that close to shore. I was appearing at a beach for a party in Maui. I went far out to enjoy the waves before they came when I see this huge fluke come out of the water. I looked down and saw the form of the whale and watched her, mimicking her movements, dancing with the whale. I still regret not having a camera at that moment. It was so magical feeling close to what I love.
Mermaid Odette

Cynthia: Tell us about the Water Show.
Odette: I have a new type of performance I hope to get started by 2015. Its called the "Mermaid Odette Water Spectacular". It is made to be viewed by poolside with difficult stunts most tails cannot handle. Some moves are modified from vertical to horizontal so people can almost experience the same feel that an aquarium mermaid show has to offer and more.

There are special effects other than tails involved that will cost around $30,000 to complete the way I want it done. Its a crazy idea but I always like to dream big. I have already started putting the pieces together, and I'm very optimistic about it.

Cynthia: You make all your own mermaid tails?
Odette: Yes. All hand scaled. I enjoy making tails in new ways. I have also been working on a new tail design for over a year now. I've been doing research on the scales and intact epithelium of fish to try to make the most realistic tail ever made. I've had the opportunity to study fish through physicals (as I study veterinary science). Everyone seems to like cycloid scales the most, so I'm dealing with many of those fish right now.

I want the kids to truly believe, and I want to be able to teach them cool facts about fish that way. Its looking good so far, but still doesn't feel like a fish yet. I may be selling tails in the future.

Cynthia: What else you would like to share with us?
Odette: I will be opening an Etsy account to sell props and accessories called aluremermaidstore this summer.

Cynthia: Thank you for chatting with us, Odette! Best of luck with the Water Show! Readers, if you would like more information on Mermaid Odette, swim on over to her web site and Facebook page.

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

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Mermaids in Comics

Each day, cartoonist Rick Ellis shares his half baked humor in his comic strip, Half Baked. From time to time, his mind wanders to mermaids and we are treated to a mermaid themed cartoon.

Half Baked is certainly worth a daily visit, even when we merfolk are not the subject of the day. You can find Half Baked Comics on Facebook, where Rick always posts the cartoon of the day. At the official web site, you can browse the archive or buy one of the Half Baked books.

Mike Peters is the cartoonist behind the popular syndicated comic strip, Mother Goose and Grimm. Most of Mike's offerings center around the title characters, Mother Goose and her mischievous dog, Grimm. Occasionally, the title characters get a day off as in this example from February, 2010.

©Grimmy, Inc. Distributed by King Features Syndicate

Whenever I see a new mermaid themed comic, I attempt to contact the cartoonist to thank them. I usually get a nice thank-you back, but sometimes I get a little more. When I thanked Mike for the above comic, he replied, "Thank you for your kind note, it made my day!"

You can find out more about Mother Goose and Grimm at the official web site.

A big splash of thanks to you both for allowing me to print the above comics!

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

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Swim The Pacific

Ben Lecomte, currently living in Grand Prairie, Texas is preparing to swim across the Pacific Ocean. Before you dismiss Mr. Lecomte's plan as absurd, you should know that he already accomplished a swim across the Atlantic in 1998.

In my opinion, the guy must be part merman. After learning to swim at age 5 in the Atlantic Ocean, Ben Lecomte has loved the ocean ever since.

The swim from Japan to San Francisco, California is 5,500 nautical miles, and will take up to six months.

Read more about Mr. Lecomte's adventures, past and future, in this article from the Dallas Morning News.

Fantasy Literature Secrets

What makes a great fantasy story? What makes a great mermaid story?

Antonio del Drago recently had the opportunity to interview John Granger, known as the The Dean of Harry Potter literature. In this interview, Mr. Granger explains the importance of literary concepts such as ring composition, literary alchemy, and soul triptych/diptych.

Mr. Granger also discusses the most common mistakes that aspiring fantasy authors make.

If you're a writer, or a serious reader of fantasy literature, check out the full interview at Mythic Scribes.

Trending: Giant Squid

The big topic these days, and the subject of many searches, is the Giant Squid that was recently captured on video. We first talked about it here in mid December.

Squid fans may also want to take a look at a more recent article that appeared at The Verge. This article is entitled, "First Ever Video of Giant Squid is Amazing".

The full documentary will be shown on The Discovery Channel on January 27, 2013.

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

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Tides Series

Tides is an aquatic adventure series of four novels for teens by H.M. Alder. The first title in the series, Tides: The Treasure of Tay, is currently available at Amazon. The second novel, Tides: The Living Jewel will be out in early summer 2013, with the other two to follow within the next year and a half.

Here is a brief introduction to Tides: The Treasure of Tay: "Megan Kerr was fearless. But on the morning of her sixteenth birthday all that changes when a haunting chill creeps over her as something lurking from below watches and waits and challenges everything she thought she once knew. Now Meg must learn to believe in what was once considered myth as she and three others find they are heirs to an unfathomable legacy. Together they’ll journey into the deep and uncover a world once forgotten, filled with the mysteries of their ancestors, where mer-people and humans once swam synchronized among the waves. Soon each learns they harbor the secrets that will restore such a union once again..."

On February 16, 2013, H.M. Alder will be doing a book signing at the Floridan Palace Hotel in Tampa, Florida. She is also booked for Mer-Palooza 2013 in August.

Ms. Alder has a "Name a Character Contest" going on now for the third installment of the series, Tides: The Road to Bimini. Gifts and cash prizes will be awarded. Visit the Tides web site for all the details.

The web site also features the author's blog, a series glossary, information on story locations, and a place where you can sign up for a newsletter and special offers. Art created specifically for the series by RĂ£Dean is available for sale on the site as well.

The preview video will surely whet your appetite for the first title in the series.

Our introduction continues: "But every crusade has its challenges and such knowledge comes with a price. There are those who seek a claim in their expedition, those with evil intent hiding in the shadows waiting to strike. The four must learn to trust each other as allies in order to prevail. Friendships are tested as a treacherous battle begins. One in which to the victor goes the control of the tides..."
Hello to all! Just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for swimming by. Although I'm new to being a published author the support I've received so far has been truly appreciated. I'm very excited to see what the year ahead will bring and am eager to get to know more of you by attending Mer events throughout the country... and hopefully one day throughout the world. Please feel free to stop by my site at any time in order to stay up to date with announcements about the TIDES series or to contact me. Lastly, I just wanted to extend a sincere THANK YOU to our blog hostess, Cynthia. I really do appreciate you having me! Until again!  - H.M. Alder

Frankenstein and the Mermaid

Travel back in time with me to the year 1948...

What happens when a mermaid movie is being filmed in the vicinity of a Frankenstein movie? Sounds like trouble, doesn't it? Find out what happened in this Retronaut article by Chris Wild.

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

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