I'm sitting in my kitchen with my laptop looking out at our backyard and the pool, thinking about mermaids.
I watched the new special, Mermaids: The New Evidence, on Animal Planet. I'd enjoyed the first mockumentary too and was excited to see this one. It did not disappoint. My writer's mind went whirring and then tonight, I looked up mermaids in this book I have, Fabulous Creatures and Other Magical Beasts, written by Joe Levy. This beastiary is filled with a plethora of creatures. I adore beastiaries and snatch them up whenever I can afford to do so. They are excellent inspiration for story ideas.
I've been kicking around the idea of doing a short story or novella about a young man who falls in love with a woman he's never met. She lives in the apartment above his and spends a lot of time in the shower and has a beautiful singing voice, but he's never laid eyes on her. And yet, he's fallen in love with her, tucked in his bed, late at night, imagining her face, her beautiful face that surely must be as enchanting as her voice. This is what I'm going to start writing.
Mermaids are dear creatures to me for two reasons. First, I've always loved the water and felt at home there. My mother had me swimming before I even entered kindergarten. I remember fondly taking lessons at the local YMCA in the summer. I was fortunate enough when I moved at age five to have a pool in my backyard. I swam every day in the summer and often imagined myself as a mermaid with perfect, long flowing tresses. Of course, that never happened, but I did learn the joy of swimming laps and have found that to be not only great exercise, but a good stress reliever as well. When I'm in the pool, the entire world melts away and my busy monkey mind is soothed. It's become a form of meditation to clear my head. I always feel better after going for a swim.
My second reason is a beautiful family legend. When my great grandmother, Babushi, came over from Poland on a ship, she claimed to see a mermaid nursing her babe on a rock before they reached Ellis Island. Babushi took this as a sign that coming to America was a good choice. And it was. My grandparents owned their own butcher shop for awhile and later my grandmother ran her own catering business after they moved from New Berlin to Whitefish Bay. Grandma Lesniak worked hard and saved her money. And she helped my father go to college. She strongly believed in education. My mother, Rosalie, was the first child in the family to graduate with a college degree. And she did it with a 4.0 average at fifty! I am the second generation of our family to have graduated from college, with honors as well. Sadly, my grandma passed away a few months before I turned six, but I know she watched me walk across that stage to collect my diploma that sunny day in May. She would have been proud to read the stories and poetry I've had published. I know she would have been so happy to see my first anthology I got featured in. I was too!
Two hundred and twelve other people are participating with me. So far I've raised $394, not counting the new donations made after this last week's report. I'm more than thrilled to be sponsored by anyone for any amount. Every penny helps Clarion continue to provide speculative fiction workshops. All of your donation, every cent, goes directly to Clarion. I am just a writer plodding along faithfully on my laptop. *grins* What do I get for taking on this six week fundraiser feat? Well, I get more motivation to write and I get to meet new people in the industry and network. Maybe, I'll get a few stories written and a few published, alone the way. And I know I'll get a lot of blog entries done too.
If you'd like to sponsor me or read about my writing goals and follow my progress on here or my nifty sponsor page, that'd be just ducky. You can also sponsor other writers or even a whole zoo of writers on the sponsor page!
And don't forget to check in with me. I'll be posting more about my experience and sharing a new story too.
As always, happy writing and happy reading, my demon hunters! And a big thank you to everyone cheering me on and everyone that's generously sponsored me!