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!
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?
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?