The Best Mermaid Books and Movies

meridianringblog
Meridian’s ring that that was her mother’s wedding ring to her father. “My father has long passed, so this ring means more to me than just a normal wedding ring. … your words express the promise of hope that I see in my ring.”

The_Little_Mermaid

By Debbie Herbert

Part II of my interview with Mermaid Meridian Mer-Gyver.

Any favorite mermaid books or movies? I have to confess I’ve never seen The Little Mermaid. Can you believe it? 🙂 My favorite mermaid book is Alice at Heart by Deborah Smith. She inspired me to write my own mermaid novel, Siren’s Secret, which is part of a series published by Harlequin Nocturne. Where to start?! I read a lot!

Where to start indeed?! I read a lot too, here is my offering of favorite mermaid/aquatic novels from the romantic to the downright bizarre!

Misadventures and Merfolk by Kelly Reno, was given to me by Thom Shouse, he recommended I read it because it takes place in the Isle of Mann off the coast of Scotland. The story follows the life of a mermaid living on land and her merman brother, that the local men call Charlie Tuna, because he seduces all the town’s women. A love story through and through but full of hilarious moments, touching scenes, steamy romance and little heart racing action. But my favorite part is the fact that the author brings the old legends of the Dinny Mara and Merrow back into the limelight, these are names and legends that few people know about and it is nice to see them again in modern stories.

There are several smaller books that are full of mermaid lore and legend, some like The Secret History of Mermaids by Ari Berk, are geared more for children. With lots of beautiful pictures and interactive pages, but the information is solid. If you want to learn about the history of regional mermaids and read reports of real mermaid sightings then I recommend Mermaids: The Myths, Legends, and Lore by Skye Alexander. I have learned a lot from this little book and I often reference her writing in my blogs. If you are interested in my writing and my adventures, you can find me at: http://meridianmer-gyver.blogspot.com/.

A modern day story of mermaids, ocean conservation, and love triangles is The Mermaid Story by Don Severance. I adore this book, the message it offers and the mermaid is a mix of alien and aquatic features, which is unlike anything I have read or seen. His writing draws you in and makes you feel what the characters are feeling, you get nervous and excited, and the book is a roller coaster and a true page turner. There is a mysterious island known as Ooja, where several fantastical aquatic creatures live in secret. The island is home to Epyphany, the mermaid, and her mysterious mentor.

Jack Fish by J Milligan is one of my favorite random, bizarre adventure tales that takes you from the depths of Atlantis to the gritty streets of New York. It’s about Jack Fish, secret agent of Atlantis and his mission to come to land and stop the bad guys in gold wet suits. You will meet a blind sushi chef, a man named Dick who drives the Dick Van, and a coke addicted man who had a run in with Batman and yet somehow the author brings it all together in modern story of Atlantis. It’s a fun, silly, and sometimes sad book that I highly recommend to anyone looking for something truly different to add to their reading list!

I must also say that no mermaid library is complete without a copy of the original text of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, Peter Pan by JM Barrie and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. In my opinion all three are integral to my mermaid persona, these stories have always been a part of my life and without them I might have been a different type of mermaid. Another Author who has played a huge role in my life is Lewis Carroll, though he has nothing to do with mermaids or the aquatic, he is the father of make believe and has been a source of inspiration for me in many aspects through out of my life.

….and now on to the cinema!Queen_of_the_fishes

I grew up with an older Japanese animated version of the Little Mermaid, so when Disney released their version I was all over it, but if there is one version of this classic tale that must be seen… it is Ponyo by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli in conjunction with Disney. Same great story with a modern feel and the animation is incredible!

For something a little darker, I turn to She Creature a made for TV movie that I saw in its post-production days via my boyfriend at the time! It’s a great horror story adventure that is reminiscent of old carnival days and the mermaid is too is to die for!!

A quite little love story about the Selkies, the Irish seal people, The Secret of Roan Inish, a movie of life on a tiny island and how the Selkies are in very day life of the Irish people. I love it because as dark eyed/haired women of Scottish/Irish decent, I feel like I can relate to the Selkies. There is also a movie called Ondine, which is not a mermaid story, but it does play off the Selkies legends. As much as I adore the Selkie stories, I think if there was to be one favorite mermaid movie, it would be Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, I just adore Anne Blyth and her performance as the mermaid was strikingly beautiful. Plus the underwater scenes were filmed at Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida, which is every mermaids dream to attend!

I see that you care about ocean activism and recently adopted a sea dragon. How did you do this? Any other causes you support?Mermaiddiver

This year for Earth Day, my Husband and I decided to adopt from the Aquarium of the Pacific, every year we do something for Earth Day and this was something new to both of us! After a trip to the Aquarium, we learned that you can adopt, more like sponsor, several different sea creatures currently living there. We adopted a Leafy Sea Dragon and named him Blythe (named after Anne Blyth!) our adoption fee goes to support, house, and feed the Sea Dragons! Anyone can adopt, at any time by going to the Aquarium of the Pacific website, donations start as low as $25. Choose from Sea Dragon, Sea Horse, Penguin, and many more! Each adoption package comes with a photo of your adopted animal and a fact sheet and our package came with the cutest plush Sea Dragon. It’s a really cool and fun way to give back to our ocean family.

I also follow Dr. Wallace’s work with The Blue Marble Project. I help spread the message of Live Blue and ocean conservation through his Blue Marble game. Every time I got to a mermaid event I hand out blue marbles! How to play!
1. Get a blue marble
2. Look through your marble and imagine the taste and feel of the ocean
3. Hold the marble to your mind’s eye and think of the person you will give it to.
4. Hold the marble to your heart and imagine the gratitude felt in giving and receiving.
5. Give a blue marble away and watch it travel the world!

I have joined in on Beach Clean Ups and I follow and support Project Aware. They are all scuba divers, like me, egger to help out our oceans! Mostly, being a water activist means being aware of what is going on and how I can help prevent things by doing good things every day. Things like using your own canvas bags or paper bags, plastic bags spell death for many sea creatures. Plastic is the serial killer of our oceans and waterways, I am a huge recycler and composter. We hardly have “trash” because everything is composted or sent to the recycle yard. In Southern California we are experiencing a high drought season, which is sadly common and how we use our water is important. For years we have had a system on how to conserve water. Washing Machines, Dishwasher and Sprinklers all run at night, to help elevate daily waste from over watering and washing during the high heat of the day. We collect the water that runs from the tap while waiting for Hot Water and it is used to fill the water dishes for our many pets. It’s the little things that are done each, that go unnoticed, but if everyone does their part they become big things that really help!

Tell me about Mineral Mermaids – the whole line sounds so yummy – organic and unique.

Mermaid Minerals is a small eco-friendly Company, which uses all natural ingredients inspired by Hawaii! I have been working with Patti Orit, owner of Mermaid Minerals and Merman Minerals for just over a year. I run her Merman Mineral page and the monthly contests; I also help her out in other aspects of her companies including her new clothing line Mermaids Life! Since I began working with Patti, I started using her products and I swear to you, I have not looked back! I strictly use only Mermaid Mineral products and I get the most wonderful comments about how good my skins looks! I would rather get a complement on my skin then on my makeup. I want people to notice me and not the fact I am wearing makeup, this to me is a testament of the product. With no harsh chemicals or artificial by-products your skin can actually breathe and heal and healthy skin glows! Everything I have used from the lip stick to the body wash always smells delightful. Light, organic scents, that fill the senses with a calm loving embrace. A hard day for me ends in a relaxing bubbly shower with Mermaid Minerals body wash and when the scent hits my nose, I can finally feel relaxed and at peace.

Many thanks Meridian for sharing your artistic inspirations!

What are your favorite mermaid movies and books?

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a mermaid? By Debbie Herbert

mermaidbamablog
Mermaid Meridian Mer-Gyver is a true Alabama Crimson Tide fan.

I’m so thrilled that my very first blog post is an interview with Mermaid Meridian Mer-Gyver. Ever wondered what it would be like to be a mermaid? Here’s the scoop from my interview.

I’m enamored by mermaids — and write mermaid romances (Siren’s Secret, Harlequin Nocturne)– because I see them as symbols of feminine strength and power and beauty. I think it’s why so many young girls are so fascinated with them. What draws you to mermaids and when did it start?

Nothing draws me to the mermaids; it’s the water that draws me in. My family hails from Scotland, My mother and I am the only two Americans born into my family. We are from the Highlands of Scotland, where stories of Kelpies, Loch Ness Monsters, and Merrows run wild! I come from a long line sailors, privateers, fishermen, and lonMermaids_by_Enedina_Va¦üsquez_Cruzg shore men. The North Sea gave life to and claimed life from my family. I am in awe and fearful wonder of water; it is the water that calls me, the water that draws me in. All that is left of most of my family is sea foam, they call to me and I feel like I can connect to them as a mermaid.

My mother has always called me her Water Baby and I began swimming at 5 months, I guess you could say it started there. But I did not earn my fins until 2012, when I was reconnected with my Mer-Papa Thom Shouse. It was Thom who saw the true mermaid in me and it was Thom who guided and trained me to be the mermaid I am now.

You’ve worked special events as a mermaid which must be so much fun. Are there a few special moments you can share from your experience?orangeseashell

My favorite memory is from a Make A Wish Foundation project that I was a part of last year. Thom Shouse was asked to create three tails for three very special little ones, the MAW girl wished asked to be a mermaid with her two siblings and spend the day with mermaids on the beach (none of them had been to the beach before) As promised, Thom created three darling tails for two little girls and one sweet little merman. I work with children every day, so when I noticed the little merman feeling a little shy I went to sit with him. We hung out on the edge of the sand where the water was just coming up around his fluke. Well as waves tend to do, the water kept raising and with one large push from a wave our little merman was a float! A quick startled look told me to grab the little and throw him over my tail to the dry sand. Forgetting how heavy people, even children are in tails, I had to put a little more weight into getting him over me, so I ended up taking the hit from the wave. The little merman was shocked and ready to be away from the water and I got a big smile and heartfelt thank you from his Father who had seen the whole thing! It still makes me smile to think of that day!

My favorite mermaid performance would be from a private party that I have attended for the last two years. It’s a Halloween party for a large animal activist company and it is my favorite party of all times! I get to be a scary, creepy siren, lurking in the dark and misty waters and I LOVE it so! The pool has large metal fencing all around so people don’t fall in, but I use it to pull myself completely out of the water to reach for the people passing by. It’s so fun to watch their faces change, at first they see a pretty mermaid swimming below and then I climb up to them and they can see my fangs, gills, and crazed eyes! It’s also fun to reach a wet hand out and let the water drip on their feet or legs, I have made several people jump and run doing just that!

I would love to know the logistics – how hard is it to squeeze into a tail and swim? Does your skin get all ‘pruny’? 🙂 How long can you hold your breath underwater?

Getting into a tastarfishil is like getting a pillow into a pillow case! I’m short enough that the guys can grab the waist of the tail and just shake me in! It also helps to use baby powder to slip in; I have also used conditioner to lube up the tail and some girls use “Personal lubricants”. All tails fit different, one of my tails is a little too big and lined with neoprene I can just hop in and out of that one! I prefer a tail that takes some work to get into, because I know it will stay on and it won’t show my bikini bottoms when I bend at the waist. My other tail by Thom Shouse, fits like a glove and it’s harder to get into, but I can swim better and longer in a tail that fits properly. Weight can also be an issue with your tail, my heavy tail is nice but my Thom tail is lighter and I can do more. Swimming in a tail comes naturally now, but at first I felt a little like an ungraceful sea snake bobbing along the surface. Fortunately, I had Thom as my teacher, he gave me my first mono fin and said ‘go swim and learn.’ So I did and in a months’ time, he gave me my first fabric tail to practice in!

Thinking I was hot stuff with my fabric tail, I hit the pool and was shocked to find how much the fabric restricted me and how much resistance was added with just a layer of fabric. I was nearly back to ungraceful sea snake, but within an hour I had it figured out and was back to swimming happily. Once I had the strength and training, Thom knew I was ready for my tail and ready to join the Pod. The day finally came, I was put into a Thom Tail, the Charmed Tail (made for and wore by Alyssa Milano for Charmed) and I have not looked back! Breath Holding is something I am just getting into, maybe 30 seconds at the most. My husband and I recently got an above ground pool and this is my summer to learn breath holding, it’s one of my personal goals. I have been in need of a pool for some time and now that we have it I make good use of it every day I can! My downfall is the cold, I get cold easily so cooler days are out of the question. However, I rarely get ‘pruny’ hands or skin, sometimes the bottoms of my feet will wrinkle if I have been in a tail for more than an hour. If it weren’t for my thin skin chilling me to the bone, you would be hard pressed to get me out of the water!

Are there any other hobbies/interests that you would like to tell us about?

I am like a diamond; I have many sides, many interests, and many hobbies! To sum up and try to give you a brief insight into my life on land…I am an Urban Farmer, Wife, Cook, Artist, Hula Hooper, Teacher, and Witch! My Husband and I are urban farmers, we raise our chickens for eggs, bees for honey, and we have full vegetable garden year around! As a wife, being married, caring for my home and husband is a big part of my every day, which brings me to my role as Cook! My best friend and I get together nearly every night and cook some amazing dishes. I hate to brag, but I am damn fine cook, my Dad was too! Cooking is a passion in my family. As an Artist, I work mostly in raw fibers, I spin raw wool into fine exotic yarns. I make mermaid jewelry and accessories, build my own costumes, create hair falls and head dress, I also knit and crochet and I am falling back into painting. I sell my one of a kind wearable art pieces on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TenTicklesArt.

Hula hooping also one of the Flow Arts and is a form of dance I have picked up in the recent years and really enjoy. I have always been involved in some form of dance and Hooping also incorporates juggling moves, which is new and challenging. Professionally, I am a teacher, it is the only profession I have ever had. My mother owns pre-school and when I turned 18; I began teaching with her and going to school to earn my degree. I have taught children for almost 15 years and in my older years I began teaching adults. My chosen religion is Paganism. I have been a witch for most of life and when I joined a coven it felt only natural to teach. For several years I taught our beliefs and practices to our coven. brownstripeseashellWhile I no longer teach Paganism, I continue to teach and help others in the mermaid community. I am often asked question and advice and will always help where I can.

Do you have a motto or mission that guides your profession or life?

I thought long and hard about this question and I am going to answer it honestly. It might not be kind, but it’s honest. Vanity and Pride, comes naturally with being a mermaid and I have seen and meet some very vain and prideful people. Everyone wants to be top mermaid, everyone wants the attention, but at what cost? I have seen the mean and spiteful way people treat each other because they want all the attention and have no time for the little guy. I often find myself thinking … it’s not about YOU. Being a mermaid is not about YOU, it’s about the dream, the magic, the sense of wonder you give to others. My mission as a mermaid is to uplift others, to support and guide them. After witnessing the behaviors of a group of Florida based mermaids, I made it my goal to never turn my nose up or shun someone because they were not like me. Over the past year, with the help of Patti, I have been able to help support the Mermen in our community. I have offered advice whenever asked and I have tried to be a voice for the little guy. I don’t know how much of this I have accomplished, but I keep at it and if it gets me a little recognition, then great! I would rather help some reach their goals then step on them on my way to the top.

Thanks so much for agreeing to be in my first blog guest! It’s been so much fun. Next week, this interview with Meridian will continue and she’ll share with us her favorite mermaid books and movies and her other projects like Ocean Activism.