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Tail Flip INTERVIEW: CAROLYN TURGEON

HOW TO WRITE A REVIEW MERMAID FASION


ISSUE 2 (June 2012) 4 6 7 8 10 12 14 16 17 18 19 20 22

Interview: Carolyn Turgeon Merworld Online Upcoming Events deviantART Spread Interview: Kae-Leah Royal Purple Mermaid Princess Allure of Weeki Wachi should be Weeki Wachee Hidden Treasures: Floridian Springs Wishing for Longer Hair? How to Write a Review Book Review: Mermaid Wisdom DIY: Mermaid Barrette 10 Tips to Becoming a Professional Mermaid Mermaid Fashion

Issue edited by Joy&RaptorsUnrestrained! Cover photo courtesy of Alexandria Jeffery


The Mer Community

Photo courtesy of Mernetwork Facebook account & used with permission featuring admin & founders Malinghi & Iona.

The mer-community is alive & splashing! Want to be involved? A great place to go is Mernetwork.com Here’s what moderator Malinghi has to say about it: “MerNetwork is the world’s largest website dedicated to mermaid & merman costuming. Launched in July of 2011 by Malinghi & Winged Mermaid Iona, the site is the direct successor to an older costuming forum originally created in January of 2010 at mer.yuku.com. MerNetwork is intended for men & women of all ages & levels of involvement, from casual enthusiasts still looking to make or buy their first tail, to experienced professionals. The ultimate goal of the site is to serve the merfolk costuming community & help it grow. In addition to a forum, the site also features compiled lists of how-to guides & of professional tailmakers for making & buying tails respectively, as well as an FAQ.”

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Interview: Carolyn Turgeon What inspired you to write your novel? It was almost an accident, really. I was at the end of the editing process with my second novel, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story, when an editor from the UK swooped in & bought the UK rights to the novel & asked what else I was working on (to do a two-book deal). I sent a list with descriptions of the books I was writing & then included a list of ideas I had for future books. One idea, at the bottom of that list, was for a children’s book about a mermaid. & that’s the idea the editor bought, but as an adult novel. So then I had to come up with a story about a mermaid & write the novel! I experimented with some contemporary ideas, but my agent steered me toward the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale, which I loved but thought was too weird & depressing to do much with. Then I hit on the idea of telling the story of the princess the prince marries in the original tale (thereby breaking the mermaid’s heart) as well as of the mermaid, & making the relationship between these two unwitting rivals more important than either of their relationships to the prince. In the original story we don’t know anything about this princess. In the Disney version she becomes evil because she’s competing with the mermaid for the prince’s heart, so of course she has to be bad. I liked the idea of making them both likable, full characters who don’t hate each other & are horrified to discover that both have everything riding on whether or not the prince marries them. So that’s how it happened. I’d always liked mermaids the same way that most people do, but hadn’t had any big obsession. But as I wrote about them I got more & more into it, & then people started e-mailing me about mermaids & I started coming across them all the time (like for example, I decided to visit Weeki Wachee since I was visiting my grandmother in Florida, anyway, & the week before randomly got an e-mail from Weeki’s artistin-residence Julie Komenda. So I ended up meeting with her and, through her, eventually meeting all the Weeki mermaids! Another time I found myself in Warsaw, Poland, to see a concert—I was staying in Berlin at the time—and kept running across mermaids, & discovered that the symbol of Warsaw has been the mermaid since the middle ages!) It was starting to feel a little… cosmic... & so I decided to start my mermaid blog, Iamamermaid. com, to gather all this stuff. & that’s when I discov-

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ered how much mermaid stuff is really out there. Not to mention how many real-life mermaids. What mermaid experiences have you had? I really started my blog as an observer. But when you talk to mermaids & tailmakers, it’s hard to not get seduced in, & become a believer yourself. I did get into a tail once before, when I got into my photographer friend Annaliese Moyer’s mermaid tank in Portland, Oregon, in 2009. I used one of those photos for the back cover of Mermaid! Later, I started visiting places, meeting people in person (like at MerCon in August 2011) or just online, interviewing them, & then getting more & more involved in this world. & I started wanting to be in the water, after having avoided it for years & years! The place I’m most connected to is probably Weeki Wachee. I visited the park a couple of times, spent time with the mermaids there, & then attended the Sirens of the Deep mermaid camp last June, 2011. Which was amazing. We all put on tails & posed for pictures, & then got in the water. I was very freaked out by the mossy-backed turtles in spring, so much so that I think everyone thought I was hopeless... but when, on the second day, a wild manatee swam in & played with us all afternoon, I fell madly in love with it. It was a magical experience, & I loosened up & found it really easy to swim in a tail. & those Weeki mermaids, especially the glamorous former ones who run the camps, are so inspiring & amazing. I’d love to be there for their 65th anniversary this summer, but will be teaching in Alaska then. But I will be back at camp next year! All this mermaid stuff made me want to get in the water, & I actually got scuba certified last fall, in Nicaragua (a friend & I already had plans to travel there), & then went diving on another trip this January in St. Lucia. I would never have done that if not for talking to all these mermaids, whose love for the ocean is pretty infectious (and I’m someone who hadn’t had any contact with the ocean in years & years; I got scuba certified at age 40)! This coming August, I’m even going on a mermaid diving trip sponsored by Malena Sharkey & Robert Winnick’s dive shop Chesapeake Bay Diving Center, in the Bahamas. It’s seven days & nights on a boat, with three to four dives a day—including night dives, & a shark dive!—and other mermaids will be


there, like Malena of course, & Iara Mandyn, & Chris Crumley will be there taking photos. I can’t wait! Why are mermaids so alluring to you? Well, there’s the mythology of mermaids, which I think is pretty gorgeous & strange. These half-women half-fish who are as accessible & beautiful as they are dangerous. Like many people I’ve talked to, I loved Splash as a kid, in which the mermaid is gorgeous & yet the ultimate outsider. & of course I always loved the little mermaid—the Hans Christian Andersen version, in all its sad beauty. But then there’s the world of real-life mermaids out there, which I maybe love even more. I love that there’s this whole community of people out there who slip on mermaid tails & get into the water— whether it’s their backyard pool, their local lake, the ocean, or the spring at Weeki Wachee. I love how all these people have found a way of incorporating fantasy & magic into their everyday lives, & in many cases have created a whole new identity for themselves around that fantasy & magic. & I love how it’s not just fantasy—you can actually swim with sharks & whales, you can learn to hold your breath & dive into the deep ocean, you can swim in a tail that makes you powerful & strong… What a crazy, beautiful thing! In general I love seeing people living their lives in creative, passionate, unconventional ways, & to me being a mermaid really embodies that.

Oh I have plenty of advice! One of the biggest things, though, is that you have to believe that it’s worth it, all those long hours at a table, just you & your computer screen, when there are all sorts of more fun things you could be doing (and almost everything is more fun). It takes tremendous patience & discipline to finish a book, & revise & perfect it, especially when you’re starting out & no one really cares whether you finish your book or not. Even if your friends care, they’d probably rather you spend that time with them! & then you have to have a ton of faith to go through the rejection you will inevitably have to go through if you’re trying to find an agent & a publisher. You have to be confident enough to believe in your book, but humble & smart enough to listen to good criticism when you receive it. I mentioned that my first book took ten years to write & four years to sell. It took ten years because it was hard & I made all kinds of mistakes along the way. But I finished and, eventually, sold it, & by the time I sold it I was almost done with Godmother, which I wrote believing that my first novel was a failure. & since then I’ve published two more books & have another coming out next year. Though I believe I have talent, etc., what I also have, & what’s just as important, is the faith to keep going when there are obstacles & when there’s rejection.

What is the hardest part about being an author? The most rewarding? Well, it’s a pretty tough business. I’ve worked hard & been very lucky (though my first book did take ten years to finish, & four long years to sell!) but even if you’re very successful you never know if it will last & if people will keep buying your books (publishers & readers). There are lots of people out there trying to sell books & I know some very fine writers who haven’t been able to get their books published. So it’s a tough business, there’s a lot you can’t control, & I don’t take anything for granted. The most rewarding thing, though, for me, is the way you can write a book & have that book go out into the world & really touch people in ways you couldn’t have anticipated. That is pretty magical. Any advice for aspiring authors?

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MerWorld Online Here are a few mer links to help you navigate. www.iamamermaid.com Check out this blog by well known author Carolyn Turgeon. Not only does it feature many mers but also includes celebrity interviews, music & literature connections, & lots of great mermaid kitsch! www.cynthiamermaid.blogspot.com A previous article contributor Cynthia has been one busy mermaid- interviewing everyone she can find involved in the mer-world! Check out her blog for some insight into the most interesting of fishies! www.mermaidtails.net Constantly googling your way through the tail maker community? Well, google no more! Alasea the Blue Mermaid has created a handy dandy index to all the known tail makers who advertise their services online. Check it out & buy your dream tail! www.mermaidtales.net Want to hire a mermaid but who’s local? Check out Blue Mermaid’s Index of professional mermaids! If you’re a professional mermaid you can also contact her to have your name added! www.mermaidminerals.com As environmentally conscious mers feeling pretty without harming the environment is important! Mermaid minerals is a mermaid-owned company that has created a line of beauty products & makeup that are organic, natural, & as eco-friendly as possible. Known for their frequent sales & contests for free swag, Mermaid Minerals is where the fishies head to get that extra other-worldly glow! www.seatails.org In the early days of the internet, seatails was the online last word in all things mermaid. The site has evolved through many stages to be a forum dedicated to all things mermaid & fantasy related. Some content is NSFW & intended for adults, but that’s all clearly labelled. www.deviantARTmermaids.deviantart.com The largest group on deviantART dedicated to mermaids! Check this group out to see thousands of mermaid art pieces, costumes, photos, & lit pieces. Join & contribute your own! Excellent place to look for mermaid art prints too.

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Upcoming Events

Photo from Richard Lowe Jr Mer-Palooza is an all ages event dedicated to Mermaids & Mermen from around the world! Mer-Palooza is bring held at the Radisson Worldgate Hotel & hosted by Merman Jr. Mermaid Convention & Trade Show, with a Mer-Party including “all swim� opportunities, etc.! It is the Biggest, Best Mermaid Event ever! Tickets: $25 for kids & $50 for adults. Rooms are available. There are packages available on the ticket page at www.mer-palooza.com. They are going to have a Disney day on Friday & Sunday as well as other activities throughout the weekend. Please keep checking the website for details as they come!

Photo from Merbellas MerBellas Audition Date: Sat June 30th (might extend Sun as well.) Time: Starts at 12:00pm, please show up early Location: Orlando FL. Please bring with you: Towels and bathing suite Optional: Tails, mermaid tops or accessories, monofin, waterproof makeup, etc. We will be looking for: -Relaxed underwater face -Any bubble/mermaid tricks you know -Buoyancy control -Grace in the water -Breath holds **Must be willing to travel out of state There will be pool time for warming up before the actual tank audition. You MUST be comfortable opening your eyes underwater. Goggles, nose clips, ear plugs etc are NOT to be used for the tank audition but fine for warming up in the pool. Please do NOT wear any skin lotions or products in your hair for the audition.

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deviantART Spread

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Interview: Kae-Leah, Royal Kae-Leah the Royal Purple Mermaid Princess is known throughout the mermaid community for her love of all things ocean and her passion for writing. Tail Flip had a virtual sit-down with Kae-Leah about herself as a mermaid and an author. Here’s how it all went down....

1. Where online can people find your story? www.fictionpress.com/u/729633/Kae_Leah_W

2. Please write a brief synopsis of your story. Nerissa Sanderson is your average, insecure, 15-yearold girl, growing up in sunny Southern California with her eccentric, single mother, but her world is turned upside down when she finds out the father that she was always told was dead is not only very much alive, he isn’t even human: he’s a merman, & not just any merman, he’s King Poseidon, ruler of the undersea kingdom Pacifica. The series follows Nerissa as she learns more about the world she was born in, finds herself torn between two boys, one human, one a merman, fights evil Sea Sirens, & so much more.

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ing than those cheap mass-produced Ariel Halloween costumes for little girls that don’t even reach the ankles, I was quite intrigued & needless to say wanted one for myself. I also was very inspired by the passion some mermaids like you & Hannah Fraser have for environmental activism, & wanted to also use a mermaid identity as a tool to advocate for causes that are important to me, as well as promote my FictionPress series. 5. What causes do you advocate for as a mermaid? I’m very passionate about doing all we can to save the oceans & it’s beautiful & ecologically valuable creatures, & I personally believe that the best thing a person to do to help the oceans is to stop eating seafood, or at the very least eat only sustainable seafood, as over fishing is a much more serious environmental problem than most people realize & I think that some very drastic action is needed to reverse the damage, even if it means making some pretty serious sacrifices. I also encourage folks to help the planet & its creatures by recycling & composting whenever possible, limiting their consumption of single-use plastics, not wearing real fur, eating less meat, & boycotting certain marine parks which hold marine mammals in captivity. I started a petition to convince Island Burger, a fast food restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, to remove shark burgers from their menu.

3. What inspired you to write your story? I came up with the idea for “Nerissa” a few years ago, inspired by several different things: the Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot & the Disney films based on them, Disney’s The Little Mermaid film & animated series, magical girl manga & anime from Japan, & one of my favorite guilty pleasures, the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal, as well as my own yearnings as a teenager to escape from the world I was in & discover I was something more than I what I seemed.

I live with Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder, & I’d like to also promote Autism Awareness. With some statistics claiming that now one child in 81 is born with an ASD, I believe that doing all we can to understand autism & make life as easy as possible for those on the “spectrum” is very much a must nowadays. One step that I encourage people that I think is easy enough to take in order to make those with autism, as well as asthma, allergies, & other health problems, feel more comfortable is to stop wearing perfume & cologne & use unscented personal care & cleaning products whenever possible. For those with ASD, scents & other chemicals can make us feel so “overstimulated” that we may have meltdowns in public, get headaches, & have trouble breathing.

4. What drew you to becoming a mermaid too? When I first heard of people buying or making mermaid tail costumes much more realistic-look-

Like many others with ASD, I identify as asexual, & while my main focus as a mermaid activist is ocean conservation issues, not asexuality, I do wish


Purple Mermaid Princess to do all I can to help people better understand what I feel is a very misunderstood orientation. So many people seem to confuse sex with romance, & as such assume that because I do not desire sexual intimacy, I do not enjoy romance, which isn’t true. I love reading & writing about romance, & watching romantic films, perhaps more so than most even, as long as it’s not sexually explicit. 6. What can we expect from you in the future as an author? As a mermaid? As an author, I have started working on “Nerissa #4: A Mermaid’s Song”, & will begin posting it as soon as FictionPress fixes my hit tracker. As a mermaid, I hope to continue to inspire people to take better care of the oceans, do some more photo shoots, meet other merfolk, & possibly, when the time is right for me, make volunteer appearances at nonprofit events, such as Autism Day Washington.

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The Allure of Weeki Wachee As I sat in the underwater theatre at Weeki Wachee springs, it wasn’t the vastness of the springs or the potential for seeing mermaids that was on my mind. It wasn’t the butterflies in my stomach knowing I’d be meeting up with mermaid friends, or the tantalizing gift shop deals, either. My mind was completely anxious & worried over what my boyfriend, who was sitting next to me, was going to think about all this.

I looked around us to see a primarily senior & female audience & was thrilled when I spotted Merman Jesse & his partner Dennis. Merman Jesse was always a fan of the beautiful Weeki Wachee mermaids... But would my boyfriend find them as entertaining & alluring as Jesse & I did?

I’ve been fairly lucky when it comes to support from my boyfriend. Despite being completely opposite personalities (Me, the ever-outgoing mermaid tail-wearing girlfriend, him, the quiet, introverted, computer-loving boyfriend) my boyfriend always silently showed me unending support in my quest to be a professional mermaid.

While the underwater actors were getting ready, video clips played on the screens documenting the history of Weeki Wachee. I turned to ask my boyfriend what he thought of the layout only to see him totally engrossed in the video. His eyes were shining... and I knew Weeki had just catered to the total history buff in him hook, line, & sinker! I started to feel relaxed, knowing I could get back to being excited. It seemed Weeki Wachee was prepared, & had entertainment for everyone!

He’d helped with all my events, gave opinions on costumes & makeup, & even helped organize this trip to Florida where I’d be meeting all my special mer friends. But sitting there in the underwater theatre I was suddenly afraid I might have dragged him outside his comfort zone.

The videos were so amazing, showing the founding of the park, the training of the mermaids, the evolution of the acts, & vintage photography. Before I knew it my boyfriend was talking to me with just as much enthusiasm for what we were about to see as I was feeling! The show began & my eyes went wide as saucers. Despite being a mermaid myself, I am always impressed with the underwater talents of others. These women moved so fluidly & looked so real. Fabric tails tend to get knocked in the community for being less realistic, but the children sitting around me totally believed! We marvelled together at their swimming tricks, & laughed as they were shadowed by nosey turtles. Fish swam around them like they were a normal part of their environment, & the girls impressed us, eating & drinking underwater. They did amazing tricks & dives on a single breath of air, blew bubble rings & swam synchronized. I felt like a kid. We watched two shows that day: The Little

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by Raina Mermaid Wachee really did do a good job of catering to all types of people. It’s not just a place for little girls to look in awe of mermaids. It has real history, talent, & nature. I can’t wait until I have my own children so I can share this wonder with them.

Mermaid & a behind the scenes look. Merman Jesse & I met up with Mermaid Moonflower & her friend Faux & were lucky enough to be invited in while the theatre was empty to get a few photos & ask some questions. We also got to meet Mermaid Kylee, the 2011 international mermaid. Of course, we had to get some photos with the iconic mermaid tail photo prop too!

I recommend Weeki to anyone on vacation or visiting Florida. Anyone of any age will find something of interest there. Let the mermaids entrance you with their beautiful grace, let the turtles tickle your funny bone with their antics, enjoy a relaxing boat ride & the scenery, & learn about the history of the park. It’s not hard to see why these mermaids are inspiring people everywhere.

After raiding the gift shop where I picked up a bumper sticker that said, “Dont you wish your girlfriend could mermaid like me?” the group met up with Mermaid Sirenia Solaris & boarded the Weeki Wachee boat tour of the springs. It was so relaxing & beautiful, we learned a lot about the local nature & saw a lot of wild animals. The entire time we toured Weeki my boyfriend was asking questions & completely engaged. Weeki

Photos by Raina Mermaid

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Hidden Treasures: What are the first things that come to mind when one mentions ‘Florida’? Palm trees? Beaches? Orange groves? Disney World? All are potentially correct answers, but let’s delve a little deeper in to the natural side of Florida & what it has to offer, shall we? Florida offers a multitude of outdoor attractions to “wet” any outdoor-lover’s appetite. Sure, you can hit any number of beaches, which are surely the number one outdoor attraction that Florida has to offer. What about natural attractions away from Florida’s shores? I’m talking about the abundant natural springs that can be found all over Florida! While no expert on the topic, I wanted to mention a few of my favorites, from a mer-tender’s point of view. Perhaps my favorite natural spring of all I have visited thus far is Juniper Springs, located along Rt. 40 halfway between Ocala & Daytona Beach. Park admission is currently $2 per person, payable at a small park kiosk upon entering the park. Admission buys you an afternoon (or spend all day if you like) of peace & tranquility in the heart of the Ocala National Forest. No busy highways within earshot. No trucks, trains, sirens or any other distractions of modern-day life. Pack a cooler with ice, soft drinks & a lunch. You might as well leave your cell in the car. There isn’t a cell tower within miles. The only sounds you’ll likely hear at Juniper (or any of the other natural springs Florida has to offer) are possibly children playing in the springs & the occasional weed whacker from park maintenance working laboriously to keep the park’s grounds spectacular. The air is full of butterflies, birds chattering, & the scent of flora, fauna & the occasional cluster of wildflowers, should you happen to pass by one close enough. Weekdays are the best days to head out to any of the springs, particularly if you like a little peace & quiet while you swim. Weekends tend to be a little more crowded, & with the crowds comes the inevitable additional noise. But, the flip side of swimming in a tail amidst a crowd will be the onlookers who will undoubtedly point, take pictures & impress upon others in their groups, “Hey! Look! There’s a mermaid out there swim-

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ming around!” Be prepared for inquisitive children to ask questions: “Where did you get your tail?” & “Where are your legs???” seem to top the list. But back to Juniper. Juniper offers a lagoon (the spring-head) large enough to don a tail either at the waters’ edge, or within the water itself. Getting ones’ self from the waters’ edge into the water while wearing a tail can prove to be the trickiest maneuver of all. You don’t want to scrape along the ground in your tail as you flop along to the waters’ edge. A beach towel is an easy solution. Place the tail on to the towel, work yourself into the tail, then have someone (your mer-tender, of course!) then drag the towel into the water with you on it. If you don’t have a towel, or prefer not to use one, any foam mat used for camping will also work well. Better yet, come equipped with your own strapping mer-tender to heave you up & into the water! Juniper is my favorite spring not only because it is far removed from civilization, as it were, but also because it offers much more than just swimming. In fact, my favorite activity at Juniper isn’t even swimming at all, or even the spring-head itself. It’s the four - five hour long canoe trip that you can take down the scenic waterway. You can bring your own canoe, or rent one quite easily & inexpensively. Again, bring a few snacks & drinks (be sure to check Juniper’s website, as there are LOTS of restrictions as to just what can & cannot be taken in to a canoe with you!). Don’t forget the cameras & sunburn lotion, & most importantly, while canoeing, be quiet. Nothing is worse than being able to hear the commotion, the yelling, whooping, hollering, screaming, laughing & carrying on of the canoe’s occupants 500 feet ahead or behind you. It really is annoying. Being noisy is inconsiderate, & a total turn-off to the animals you’d otherwise see peeking through the foliage on the banks on either side of the canoe. Also, be on the lookout for gators! Yes, any time you’re in a canoe, you’re most likely in a gator’s home territory. Don’t be alarmed, though- for the most part they stay clear of the spring-head area where swimming is permitted, & they generally keep to themselves if you do happen to see them sunning themselves along the banks while you’re canoe-


Floridian Springs ing down the run. Don’t feed them, obviously. We don’t need gators associating with humans the halfeaten sandwich you tossed over the edge, right? Next on the list is Rainbow Springs, located near Dunellen. Rainbow Springs is just as beautiful as Juniper. All these springs are beautiful. Most if not all of these springs will offer swimming in crystal-clear water, easy hiking trails, picnic tables & restrooms. Always check online at these parks‘ websites for more complete & accurate information as to just what is & what isn‘t available at any particular spring or park. Rainbow does not offer canoe rentals, but that’s of little concern anyways if you just want to go & show off your tail, right? Rainbow offers a small area where wooden steps lead down in to the water, allowing for an area to sit on the steps partially submerged while you wiggle yourself into your tail. Salt Springs is another swimming hole, although at the bottom of my favorites list. It gets its name from the salty taste of the water- a naturally-occurring mix of salty compounds that is dissolved into the water that is being forced up out of the ground at the spring itself. The only thing I disliked about Salt Springs is the unnatural look of it all. The entire swimming lagoon is surrounded by an ugly concrete wall that simply looks so out of place. When I first saw this I wondered what on earth the Army Corps of Engineers was thinking to build such a hideous structure. The concrete wall aside, the rest of the park is beautiful: crystal-clear water & scenery. A new addition to my ‘favorites’ list has to be Three Sisters. Located close to Crystal River, Three Sisters is somewhat unique in that it is so secluded. It is surrounded by private property, thus ensuring that people (except the adjacent property owners) cannot simply walk up to the springs area themselves. One can easily rent a canoe at any of the local canoe rental sites. The canoe trek to Three Sisters is an easily-doable 30 - 45 minutes each way.

good, considering the relative small size of Three Sisters. While you pretty much need a boat or canoe to get to Three Sisters, anything larger than a canoe simply cannot pass up the narrow waterway leading to the springs. Larger boats can get close, but the boat occupants would either need to swim past or otherwise somehow manage to get themselves past the barriers that restrict larger boat traffic. One of the neatest features at Three Sisters is the abundance of fiddler crabs that inhabit the waters’ edge. These little creatures are incredible to watch! If you creep your canoe up very slowly to any point along the waters’ edge, you’ll undoubtedly see tens if not hundreds of these little buggers, all waving their large claws in unison. Move your own arm suddenly & every single one of them will immediately take cover in to the closest nook or cranny, simultaneously, as if on cue. Then, once they sense the absence of danger, they will slowly crawl out from whichever nook or cranny they’d wiggled themselves in to seconds earlier, & begin their waving shenanigans once again until they’re startled by the next frightening movement that sends them all scurrying for cover. No doubt I’ve overlooked a spring here or there. I certainly haven’t been to them all, so I am still exploring & learning about them myself. Nevertheless, I still wanted to take the opportunity to list a few of our finds in the great state of Florida! Visit them. Enjoy them. Keep them clean & use the waste receptacles provided at each, or, even better, take your refuse home with you to recycle! Mer-Tender Dennis & Merman Jesse

The only other people you will see at Three Sisters will likely be other canoers, boat owners & the like, because it is so secluded & practically inaccessible by car or trail. Aquatic access to Three Sisters is further restricted to boat traffic by barriers that prevent anything wider than a canoe to pass. So, nothing larger than a canoe will be at Three Sisters, which is

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Wishing for longer hair? This article is a feature of a thread which can be found in it’s entirety on mernetwork, by Mermaasai. In light of the recent interest in longer mermaid hair & whatnot I decided to do a little research. I have med-short curly hair & I want long black or copper-brown tresses. I also want to save my poor still-growing hair from the damage of highly chlorinated pools & damaging sun. What better way to do that than with a swimmable wig? If you are about to swim, condition the CRAP out of your hair & let it dry, or just before you go swimming get it wet. This will help fill your hair with clean chlorine/salt free water/conditioner & will ensure minimal chemical absorption. I dont see why a swimmable wig isnt a reasonable solution to resolving damage/short hair problem. You’re a mermaid! Get creative with your colors! From what I’ve seen the best bet is to cut bangs into the wig if it doesn’t come with bangs to be sure of blending best & hiding the swimcap edge. Probably using a skin tone color, to match your ethnicity, is best as well. I dont have a lot of experience with spirit gum but maybe you could glue the swim cap down around the edges of your face to keep it more natural & stop the water from seeping in as much? I might even suggest gluing those hair clips into the inner edge of the swim cap to attach to your hair for maximum stayputtage! It’s not going to look perfect, meaning, don’t expect people to believe you have a mass of bright purple or red hair etc., but everything looks nicer under water & I think it would look perfectly ok in videos & pictures, especially after retouching it a little. & think of the hair damage you will be averting so you can grow out your own natural long hair! There are so many options out there, lets play dress up! Of course, wearing a wig is going to heavier than what you are used to, create drag, & remember- long hair is ANNOYING some times. It gets all up in your business, wraps around your arms, face, neck, & gets twisted up in necklaces & jewelry. I hope this has been helpful or at least inspirational. If you have any ideas share them, & remember to keep your imagination alive!

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How to write a review This article is a shortened version of an excellent thread on Mernetwork! 1. Your review should first include all basic facts: Who did you purchase from, do they have a website, the cost, the materials, any extra products that came with yours (e.g. bra, monofin) how long it took, etc. This is an unbiased list of information. For now this is an easy list at the top people can examine to see if your review is even relevant to what they’re looking for. On mernetwork you can now give a star rating as well as select a formal review process. 2. Explain the product. What is it used for? Are you using it in the water? On land? Modeling? Recreational swimming? Performing arts? Kid’s parties? Can you use it as you intended? 3. Describe your product. What does it look like? What is the craftsmanship like? What was it like upon arrival? Did the packaging affect it? Is the paint coming off? Is it falling apart? This would be an appropriate area to show a photograph or two of what you’re talking about. Again try hard to be objective without passing judgment. 4. Describe the ordering process. What information did you have to provide? What platform did you use? How long did it take to receive your product? Did you use a tracking number? This should all be factbased; you will have an opportunity for opinion later. 5. Describe your communication (if any) with the creator. Here’s where we get tricky folks & here’s where a lot of problem come up. If you’re going to say anything beyond very general claims be prepared to back up your reports with evidence. Without ample evidence it’s likely the creator may take issue with you. Post the truth of your experience but be prepared for what can come of it if you’re not able to back up your claims. Tread lightly in this area. Try very hard to be as objective as possible & only document what happened without passing judgment. There are laws that protect you from “slander” & “libel” when it comes to reviewing a product. 6. The pros & cons. Label this part whatever way you want but this is the section in which you can list all of the ways your product measures up & all of the ways it doesn’t. Pretty simple. Again, as objective as possible. You can also combine this with your ordering process, communication with the creator, their website layout, etc. 7. Adaptations, suggestions, care, etc. for the product. This is the section where you can list any adaptations you’ve made to your product to help it meet your expectations, your suggestions for care of the product or any issues as well as suggestions for the creator of ways to improve the product. 8. Adaptations, suggestions, etc for everything else. This is just like above but for things like the website, ordering system, customer service, etc. 9. Conclusion. This is where you can talk about your opinions & feelings, & most importantly, would you recommend this product & why if you have not all ready stated. Also add any other information, links, images, or evidence that you feel important.

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Book Review:Mermaid Wisdom Book review compliments of Ms. Mermaid, for more visit her blog. Title: Mermaid Wisdom: Enrich Your Life With Insights From The Deep Book Type: ~ Mermaid info ~ Encyclopedia ~ Spiritual Motivation for the human Author: Brenda Rosen Rating: 5/5 Stars Pages: 160 Summary (goodreads): As sirens & sea goddesses, mermaids have long enchanted humans. Today, with the renewed interest in these angels of the deep, devotees will welcome this unique, new guide to accessing mermaid wisdom for personal growth & transformation. Enter world myths & legends & meet the first mermaid, Atargatis; the Celtic Seal Maiden; Menana of Native America; & others. Unearth universal symbols that make their tales resonate with our own life stories. Dive into the depths of the unconscious, using visualization, journalizing, & other exercises & rituals. Then bring back a treasure of mermaid insights that will nurture the wild, natural woman within & lead the way to happier relationships; greater creativity; & a more balanced & harmonious daily life. Review: When I first picked up this book, I was in a bad place at the time. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, & it completely flipped my life upside down & I had completely lost my tail & didn’t know who I was anymore. When I began reading this book, I knew it was instantly going to help me, & it did! This book really digs deep into the power of being a woman, & explores the woman’s sexuality as well. Rosen makes the reader of Mermaid Wisdom question, what does it mean to you to be a woman? This book was full of mystical tales of mermaids from around the world, but it was also full of fun & spiritual activities that help explore your mind & the secrets within it,discover your inner mermaid & helps you discover who you are as a woman. I am definitely buying this book. It will help you too if you are in a stressful place & feel as if you have lost your fins! I give this book 5 stars. -Ms. Mermaid

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DIY: Mermaids Barrete This DIY article was written by Mermaid Gem Stone . First, you need to gather your supplies. (I used a hot glue gun but you can use whatever water proof glue you prefer) You need sheen, a hair barrette, and sea shells of choice, a tissue, and some sort of glue. Step 1) Take the barrette and open it and wrap the tissue around the bottom part so you don’t have to worry about gluing it closed.

Step 2) Take your sheen and cut it into two squares, one larger than the other.

Step 3) Take the smaller piece of sheen and fold it into a nice rectangle that is about the same size as your barrette. Glue it on and then cut the folded sides so it frays out.

Step 4) Take the other piece of sheen and bunch it up around one corner so it looks about like a rumpled circle and glue it carefully on top of your other piece of sheen. Then glue on your sea shell and let dry completely. Finally, take off the tissue.

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10 Tips to Becoming a Tips & experiences from the members of mernetwork compiled by Raina Mermaid (Original Thread) From the moment so many of us laid eyes on Hannah Fraser swimming in her glimmering tail, many of us sprouted dreams of becoming a professional mermaid. Some of us have gotten to the point where we’re making a part of our living doing it, while others are still on the path. Some mers are aspiring to become professionals & aren’t sure where to start! Here at Tail Flip we’re happy to bring you some of these compiled tips from the mermaid/man community for your consideration.

1. Have realistic expectations. Becoming a professional rarely happens over night, it takes a lot of work & dedication as well as multi-tasking! The well known famous mermaids all multitask. Most have day jobs- if they’re lucky enough those day jobs may lend well to their mermaiding- & many juggle a variety of related jobs. Hannah Fraser’s main website shows how multi-talented she is being not only a mermaid but a photographer, a model, & an illustration artist. Mermaid Kariel does a fins to fitness class, & Mermaid Melissa works frequently at Sea World. The majority of professional mermaids do a variety of work ranging from performing underwater, birthday parties, aquariums, public speaking & fitness. Don’t set yourself up for failure by thinking you have to do ONLY mermaiding & nothing else! You can compliment your mermaiding with many other things, & you can still be a professional with a day job.

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2. Make use of every social networking site you can Today people often go to Facebook before they check out an official website. Get your mer persona on FB, twitter, Model Mayhem, Tumblr, Google +, anything you can to help get yourself out there. Make use of free online classifieds & sales on printed ones. Keep an eye out for sales on advertising. Sites like Kijiji & your local newspaper are a great way to share what you do. Make your ads clear & concise & give people an idea of your services.

3. Invest in your own website URL. There is generally a small annual fee for having your own URL & there are MANY free website builders out there like Wix, Weebly, WordPress, and Blogger that you can use to build your own website with little html knowledge.

4. Invest in a professional looking business card. Websites often have great sales & deals if you can keep an eye out. They usually have excellent templates but if you’re artsy enough to design your own or have someone do a logo for you- go for it! Keep these business cards on you at all times & find out local hotspots where you can leave some.


Professional Mermaid 5. Performers insurance. Is really good for mers worried about public pool swimming liability as well as big festivals. Some companies won’t even hire you without performers insurance. Insurance can be purchased for a year or on a case by case basis. It can also be included with your tax write offs. Contacting several agencies to get free quotes is always the best way to go. Many agencies will cover the loss or damage of your tail!

6. Invest in a real photoshoot. This may mean doing time for print for a photographer, trading services, or paying some money but is always well worth it. You want your website & social networking pages to look professional so a few professional photos are the way to go & really help with that.

7. Know your target audience for each job. Decide what your ‘niche’ market is, & decide what your goals are as a mermaid. Are you someone dedicated to realistic performances? Feel ocean conservation is very important? Big on kids? Setting goals for yourself will help you grow & know yourself as a mer-persona better. This helps you commit to each gig & is also a lot of help should you get any media attention & need to answer questions.

8. If you call yourself a professional, act like it. Be professional in all your dealings with the public be it on a social networking site, through e-mail, telephone, or in person. Good news travels fast- but bad news travels even quicker & can stain your reputation for a very long time. Live & breathe professional & you will be treated as such!

9. Learn the established rate for local performers. Don’t sell your services for nothing, factor in all of your costs, your time, & your effort but be respectful & don’t undersell people working around you. It may work in the short run to get a few extra gigs, but it won’t in the long run. You need to be able to sustain what you do & the last thing you need is drama with other performers!

10. Be Prepared. Practice, be prepared for every gig with back up materials & costumes, know how you’re going to answer common questions (especially when working around kids), & take care of your tail by purchasing whatever materials you’ll need to guarantee a long life. Think ahead for all possible outcomes at a gig & be prepared. Do you need someone to carry you around? Help getting into your costume? A private place to change? Make those arrangements. These 10 points are just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to being a professional mermaid. Read the rest of what the community has to say on the original thread & be sure to keep an eye on Carolyn Turgeon’s blog as she frequently interviews professional mermaids. You might just learn a thing or two.

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Mermaid Fashion Mermaid fashion is a topic that could EASILY fill pages, but for the sake of you innocent readers, I will try to keep it brief. Now, before I begin, I realize that there are many kinds of mermaid fashion: what mermaids wear, fashion based off of mermaids, nautically inspired garb, jewelry, etc. Today I will be focusing purely on what actual merfolk have come to love wearing. Most commonly, merfolk are portrayed as being topless, wild creatures who wear only their untamed hair & shimmering scales. That doesn’t make for much of a fashion article though! So we’ll move into the next most common type.

Shell bras! We’ve all seen them, but they’re not all the simple purple shells that Disney’s Little Mermaid sported. They range all across the board, from deceptively understated to loud & proud. Some mermaids prefer something other than shells, such as starfish, cloth, netting, seaweed, coins, & metal. You can make a top out of anything, even an octopus.

As a mermaid or merman, you don’t necessarily need clothing on your bottom half, but that doesn’t stop many merfolk from wearing belts & sashes. A belt can be anything from a bit of net around the waist to an elaborate collection of fabric, shells, chain, & sea drift. They tend to show off a mer’s favorite things, almost like a signature. & they don’t always end up around your waist. Some cover the full tail & some sit right on top of the fluke base. They are meant to be an easy type of clothing that can double as a handy catch-all for your things.

Now that the majority of the body has been dressed, it’s about time to accessorize! Every mer does it differently, so jewelry reaches all across the board. One of the main points to notice, however, is that almost all mermaid jewelry is a reflection of the mer & their personality. Some of the more common jewelry elements include necklaces, bracelets, arm bands, rings, & earrings. There are also many kinds of hair pieces, from shell bobby pins to extravagant headdresses. Some merfolk even wrap their tails in jewelry, almost like bracelets for your tail (Tailets? You know it’ll catch on…). There are all kinds of elements that make up mermaid fashion, but most importantly it is a reflection of personality. Take the time to really put together a look that explains you! Keep it unique, new, & fresh & you’ll be sure to make a splash. by Mermaid Lorelei

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About Tail Flip Hello everyone! After months and months of waiting Sirena and I are happy to publish this second issue of Tail Flip! The first issue got a lot of positive response and I am so happy to see many community members stepping up to contribute. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to both and please don’t hesitate to contact us with submissions for the next one! This magazine is intended to be a resource for you, an extension of our community, & a product of our community. The majority of the articles are written or contributed by community members, & the few that aren’t were still requested by members. You’re going to see some unique perspectives & hear more about projects! Sirena & I founded this idea out of a common want for a magazine centered completely around community. We have so many interesting people in our world both mer & non-mer alike. There are so many Mers who are concerned with the environment that an emagazine was a unanimous choice. In addition, the magazine is completely free! This would not be possible without the volunteering of many members. Want to get involved? Keep an eye on Mernetwork threads related to the e-zine. You can also contact Sirena & I directly with article ideas, adds, events, & suggestions! Finally, I’d just like to say a big thank you to Sirena & everyone who contributed. This is what community is all about!

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Tail Flip Issue 2  

This magazine is for the mer-community, and by the mer-community. The brain child of Raina the Halifax Mermaid Tail Flip would not be possib...

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