mermaiden: (Goddess)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 12:02pm on 14/10/2012 under , , , , , ,
One of my very first tattoos was the word "Storyteller" on my wrist.  It was a deeply empowering thing for me to print upon my skin, in ink, exactly who and what I was, and a reminder for those dark nights of the soul (EVERY WRITER HAS THEM), that we never lose who we really are.  Out of all of my tattoos, this is still one of my favorites, even though it's one of my smallest, and one of my first.

Since the very beginning, though, it was the start of a much larger piece.  Every inch of my body has metaphors and meanings going on in my tattoos and my tattoo plans.  My right arm is, simply, my Storyteller arm (makes sense, right?  My right hand holds the pen).  This is the arm that has the half fairy tale tattoo sleeve on it.  I wanted the lower half sleeve to also reflect stories, but to go back to the root of them.  Not necessarily specific stories, but why and how they're written.  It's, arguably, one of the parts of my body I see the most--a perfect place for constant reminders of some of the most important parts of my life.

So, in my original plans for my forearm, I knew that I wanted a quill--the tip of it connecting, or almost connecting to the curlicue on the "Storyteller" tattoo, as if it just "wrote" that word upon my skin.  I wanted a very specific quill.  I'm Pagan, and I believe that, somehow and some way, all of my stories come from the Goddess.  I've built my entire life on loving Her and listening to all of the stories in my heart.  I'm also a lesbian, and that "colors" (HAH, A PUN) everything I do.  Maddie and I have been talking about both getting quill tattoos this past Yule, she presented me with my favorite tattoo parlor's gift certificate (ONE OF THE BEST GIFTS YOU CAN EVER GET MISS SARAH), and, yesterday, it HAPPENED.  <3

So I give you my Goddess of Writing quill tattoo.  The picture was taken a few minutes after the tattoo was finished, so IT'S STILL A LITTLE MESSY, and it's hard to see the rainbow She makes, because my arm is all GAH WHY DO YOU DO THESE THINGS TO US PRECIOUS (ie, enflamed).  She covers my entire forearm--the beginning of my bottom sleeve.

THERE IS A LOT OF SYMBOLISM GOING ON.  LET ME 'SPLAIN.  NO, IS TOO MUCH.  LET ME SUM UP:  the rainbow for lesbian stories, the peacock feather as a symbol of the Goddess, the repeating hearts as adoration of Her and love in general.  The dancing and playful posture of the Goddess as joy in the craft of writing.

Mood:: 'okay' okay
mermaiden: (Salem: Hocus Pocus -- Binx)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 11:56am on 11/10/2012 under , , , , ,
My Pentacle, on the Mother Tree in Salem, MA. <3

This past week, we celebrated our first year (and fifth!) wedding anniversary by journeying to New England. That handful of days, the moments of pure, intense magic and the riot of blazing colors nature gave us, in abundance, was a gift I'll cherish my entire life. It was the first time visiting New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont (that I remember--I went to these places when I was a year old, and less, but obviously that's not been kept in my brain ;D), and after a lifelong OBSESSION with them, getting to actually go was a dream come true.

Old Bennington Cemetery in Vermont.

We returned to peak leaves in New York state, everything, for the past eight days, has been a treasure in my eyes. When I blink, I see rich colors, when I dream, I dream of palaces built of trees crowned with gold. My favorite season has unfolded itself in a savoring, beautiful explosion of sacred moments, and I've simply been soaking them up as each new one presents itself to me.

I'm going to post more in detail about everything--I have to go finish wirewrapping the Glamourkins for tomorrow's update--but I just wanted to share my many mixed emotions. I feel loved and held and homesick and sad and happy and just...indescribable, really.

Maddie's Yule gift to me last year was a tattoo that we both had spoken of getting for years and years. A quill. It's taken this long for all of our schedules to come together, but we're finally getting them this Saturday. I've had the design idea in my head forever, and yesterday, after we got home in the wee hours of the morning, I sent everything to my tattoo artist. This morning, I received the sketch and stared at the laptop screen, breathless. My heart stopped beating.

All of my stories come from Her, so I needed the Goddess in the quill. And She's there in ways I never could have imagined. Just like in my life. Just like in my heart.

And, on Saturday in the magic season, She comes out--again--upon my skin forever.
Mood:: 'indescribable' indescribable
mermaiden: (Rest)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 10:58am on 19/09/2012 under , ,
Jenn and I have worked every single day, non-stop, inhuman hours, for months with no *definite* end in sight. No human being can do this. We were at a lodge in the mountains with Jenn's parents this past weekend--which was wonderful, but we had to spend the entire vacation working (though there were still wonderful moments, it would have been NICE and RELAXING if we'd treated the vacation LIKE A VACATION). I've been re-reading one of my favorite childhood series, "The Rocky Ridge Series," (it's also sometimes known as "The Rose Years"--a series of books written by Roger MacBride, Rose Wilder's adopted grandson. Rose Wilder was, of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter.), and I brought the books down with me to read in tiny snatches of moments. I had a lot of epiphanies, strangely enough, re-reading one of my ultimate comfort books for the 1,243,567 time, but one of them was this:

The books chronicle some incredibly hard times, but no matter what, if there was imminent blizzard, or if you didn't gather enough food DEATH may be a possibility, or if there was a raging FIRE, they always, always, always had a day of rest. Even when they were in their covered wagon. A particular line struck me...that even the horses needed a day of rest, because even animals deserve a tiny amount of time to recoup during the week.

Okay. That above paragraph may sound like the most obvious thing in the known universe. But it was like a punch to the gut to me. It has been very, very, very hard these past few months. There have been amazing and wonderful moments, but it's been difficult. We've not given ourselves any amount of freedom or time, because we've felt we didn't have the "luxury" of spending one second away from our work. What this results in is when we take small vacations, we spend the entire time ill or sick, because we've worked ourselves into the ground more than pit ponies (WHY IS SARAH USING ALL OF THE EQUINE METAPHORS).

So I thought about this for a few days, and on the drive back up from the lodge, Jenn and I talked about it. And we were like: yes. We need a day of rest.

This week is one of the most hectic in my life. There's a novel deadline for REASONS on Friday, and I have worked non-stop on this for book for two months (plus more time, but NON-STOP, TWELVE HOURS A DAY for two months). We'd decided, on our drive up, that Wednesday would be what we jokingly referred to as the "Purple Sabbath" of our week.

But...this Wednesday? I was worried about it. Shouldn't I take the entire day and pour over things again? Won't I have to stay up super late on Thursday and Friday to get this done, when I've already been doing this?

And we both decided: you know what? There's ALWAYS GOING TO BE SOMETHING. The Purple Sabbath needs to be as fucking non-negotiable as the tides and the moon phases. Because if it is NOT non-negotiable, we will always, always, always work, instead of rest.

And we need. To. Rest.

So. This is the first Purple Sabbath. I'm sitting in bed writing this post, next to Jenn, who's ALSO writing a post (THE MOST SHOCKING THING SINCE TIME BEGAN, TWO POSTS FROM US ;D). I'm a little happily overwhelmed, in the best of possible ways, with what we could do with this day. The only plan is FINALLY getting to go see this movie tonight at our local crazy-cheap-adorable theater. I also want to head to one of our favorite parks, but in all seriousness, I have ten books on my bedside table that have been giving me sultry eyes every moment of every day, and WHO KNOWS, MAYBE WE WILL STAY IN BED AND READ.

I don't know. But that not knowing is like...the most glorious thing ever.

I was telling Jenn last night: it is a LITTLE SAD when we are overjoyed to the point of TEARS for a SINGLE DAY in which we are allowed to READ AND GO FOR WALKS. But we don't really require all that much in life. A beautiful fall day, spent relaxing with my wife...paradise, in physicality. <3


<3 THE END. <3
Mood:: 'optimistic' optimistic
mermaiden: (Our Wedding:  Mrs. + Mrs.)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 10:23pm on 02/08/2012 under , , ,
Jenn and I dialogued at Muse Rising: Why Lesbian YA Stories Are Important: A Dialogue on Project Unicorn by Its Authors. <3 Project Unicorn unches tomorrow!

mermaiden: (Me:  Magic)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 01:54pm on 23/07/2012 under , , , , ,
- While I'm getting ready to post the Fable Tribe update, Jenn is doing something we've been trying to get set up for months: she's posting the first update in our vintage Etsy shop, A Clover and A Bee! <3 It's going to be filled with 80s paper ephemera, toys and antiques--the first update is from Jenn's childhood and teenaged sticker collection, and it's filled with utterly adorable stuff. Take a peek! <3

- We spent the weekend down with Jenn's parents, celebrating the annual Cancerian Birthday Party (I'm a Cancer, and so are both of Jenn's parents. <3). It was awesome and wonderful, though came right on the heels of another incredibly-almost-catastrophic health related issue concerning her dad. :/ So it was really wonderful to see him okay.

- The Bone Girl is being released August 28th, my first anthology Love Devours is going to be released earlier in the coming month, and Project Unicorn is starting to get a lot of press and notice and OMG EXCITEMENT, WHOAH did people want this. :D I had hoped, but really, the amount of support has been absolutely staggering. <3 So that launches not next week, but the week after it. Holy crap, you guys, it's going to be INTENSE. I love the Project Unicorn themes, but one of my FAVORITE ones is for this first month, "The Dark Woods." It also somewhat ties in to what I'm wrapping up with Love Devours, and what I've been working on with Follow the Wolf, which is part of Sappho's Fables (it's the "Little Red Riding Hood" retelling). So, in short, not surprisingly, and--as always--we're knee deep in stories and words, and there are so many exciting, shiny things coming. <3 Viva la story! <3

- Jenn and I are heading on our yearly pilgrimage to Salem/Gloucester/Rockport in two days. <3 This year, as many things in our lives have, our trip has changed. This is the first time that Jenn and I are going by ourselves (Maddie's going a week after, with her mum! <3), so there's a real feel of second-honeymoon-ness going on. <3 Also, we wanted to have the most inexpensive vacation known to mankind, so we're not staying at a m/hotel. We're camping at Winter Island in our GLORIOUS! PALATIAL! SPARKLE-TENT! We're so hella excited about camping there, words escape me. Every year, we experience the place more and more like the locals do (our hearts belong there, after all!), but this year, we're diving even deeper in that. We're not going to use the car at ALL while we're there, instead simply walking, and taking the train where applicable. We're going to spend hours and hours in coffee shops as we outline our upcoming novels, discussing stories together. We're going to spend hours and hours and hours on the beach at the campground, cavorting in the water like the mermaids we's going to be an easy, relaxing vacation with absolutely nothing to do but spend time with each other, create, and be in love. <3 <3 <3 I'm over the moon. I think this trip is going to change our lives. I have a feeling.

- That's where my mind is. Stories, and going home to the most precious place in the world, to us. Being together, exploring some of our favorite haunts, inventing new trails, being embraced by the perfect blue waves. <3 Finally, going home as a free woman--it holds more meaning than I can describe, that. <3
Mood:: 'good' good
mermaiden: (Firefly)
Today we woke up early, finished up all of our chores, made SIGNS OUT OF RAINBOWS, and then we were READY. For today was the ending of the week-long celebration in Rochester, NY: Pride 2012, ending in the culmination of the Pride parade and festival. And we were marching in the parade!

You have a fair understanding of how much we love and are obsessed with our church, Pullman Memorial Universalist. As married lesbians in an extremely rural community, being able to have a place that we can go, once a week, and be completely ourselves without any fear of repercussion or violence--and not only no FEAR, but the joy of knowing that you're loved by a family that embraces you in every aspect, cares about you so deeply, and is so intensely supportive of you? Yeah, it's one of the most amazing, cherished things in our world. So, when we found out that our church was marching with the contingency of Unitarian Universalist churches from Rochester and the surrounding areas, we were so excited to take part. <3 EXCITED MIGHT BE AN UNDERSTATEMENT, ACTUALLY.

Jenn and I wanted to dress as Pride Fairies, so I got my tutu out, our wedding wings, AND AS MANY RAINBOWS AS ONE PERSON CAN FEASIBLY WEAR. AND THEN ONE MORE, JUST TO MAKE IT GAYER. And GLITTER! THERE WAS A LOT OF GLITTER.


MORE RAINBOWS and the CONTINUATION of the Story of PRIDE... )

And lo, afterward, we gotteth Pistachio Rose vegan cupcakes as our PRIDE! TREAT! from our favorite vegan deli, and fainted, verily, upon ingestion of them BECAUSE THEY WERE SO DAMN GOOD, thus bringing a SATISFYING and SPARKLY ENDING to our SATISFYING and SPARKLY day. <3

The End. <3
Mood:: 'satisfied' satisfied
mermaiden: (Me in cartoon form~)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 06:19pm on 09/07/2012 under ,
Since I'm so close to being finished with The Bone Girl, most of my current days are spent staring at my laptop screen, writing furiously, staring at the ceiling, and then writing furiously some more. I've written eleventy billion words already today, and as soon as I'm done posting this entry, off the internet I will go again, and on to the second wind of writing for the day.


I usually start the mornings as early as I can manage at one of my two favorite coffee shops. I drink a LOT OF COFFEE with insanely cheap refills because I love my baristas, and my baristas love me, and then I write an obscene amount of words. Actually getting up and going to a location is a way of treating writing like the job it actually is, and respecting it for me. Some mornings, certainly, I roll out of bed, do mah yogas, and start to write on the loveseat or in the Temple Room, but my best writing days come from the previous way of doing things. Also, our children are mad distracting. WORK THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT SCENE OR PET A PUPPY? HM, LET'S SEE WHAT I SHALL CHOOSE. :P

I love that I've figured out my best way of doing things. I can't even tell you how many words I've been writing lately, because the Word Council might get on my tail and redact some. ;D <3

So, coffee shop! And around midafternoon, all revved up, I come back home, or we come back home, and MANY MORE WORDS are written together in the Temple Room. There are breaks in there, walks, LOTS of hula hooping, and glomping of cats and pups, but for the most part, it's just writing, all the time.

Jenn and I are so deep in both of our current projects, that when we surface for air, we have the sexiest, "let's figure out the rest of the plot," or "what should this character do?" or "what about this plot hole?" conversations. Writing and working together is one of the smexiest things in the known cosmos.

It's TRUE.

On the way home from the coffee shop today, I turned to Jenn and said "I so badly want to make an LJ post, but I'm SO BORING right now! It's all plot details and main characters, and keeping ten stories together clearly in my head REQUIRES SKILLZ, and I am going to BORE people with MANY WRITING RELATED DETAILS." And Jenn was like: "well, post anyway. :) <3"

Mood:: 'absolutely ridiculous' absolutely ridiculous
mermaiden: (Me:  Magic)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 01:15pm on 06/07/2012 under , ,
Today is my twenty-eighth birthday, and I have reached my life-long dream this past year: I am a completely self-employed author. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew this is what I was supposed to do with my life, what I wanted with all of my heart, and I have worked every day, countless hour of every day, to get to this place and time. It was a well-earned dream, but I know that many other authors out there are working just as hard as I am, and the going is hard, so this is the truth of it, as simply as I can put it:

I am where I am today because people believed in my stories--because you believed in my stories.

I write lesbian YA and fairy tale books in a world that told me, repeatedly before I put them out there, that "no one" wanted to read such things. I make my living on the exact opposite of that statement. People have responded to my stories, to my leading ladies, and they have responded resoundingly and brilliantly, and every day I get fan emails and tweets, and there is such a vibrant community behind me, it takes my breath away. I write my stories with my whole heart, because I believe the world needs them, and people respond.

It is very difficult for me to articulate how much that means to me, how humbled I am by that, how seriously I take that. I am so grateful for you. Yes, you. The person reading this. The person who might not have heard of me, but is going to try out one of my stories, the person who has been a fan from the inception, reading everything I've put out, the book blogger who has supported me by posting a review, the fellow author who has shared my stuff because s/he believes in it, too. There are so many people who are happy my stories exist, who support my work, and I am honoring you by writing more every single day, by having a publishing schedule that's tight and story-filled, by putting out more and more stories of strong girls who love girls and women who love women.

From the bottom of my heart: thank you. Thank you for thinking lesbian stories are worth reading, that they're equal to other stories. Thank you for treating me like all the other authors who write stories, for not putting me into a "I can't read that, it's lesbian and I'm not" slot. Thank you for giving my stories a chance, for loving them, for supporting them, for spreading the word on them. This, my life-long dream, has come true because you believed in it, in me, enough.

Here, on my birthday, I raise the gratitude again. It's the perfect day to think about gratitude, but I think about it every day. That I am where I am because people believed.

Thank you from my heart.

If you're thinking: "Sarah, it's your birthday, I'd like to celebrate it with you!" first off, thank you. <3 Secondly, the greatest gift in the world that you could give me is simply more of your support. The single happiest thing you could do is talk about my books (and my books as Elora) on your social networks, your blogs--anywhere you felt compelled to share. Maybe buy another copy for a friend, or--if you haven't read anything of mine, yet--give one of my stories a shot. If you've loved something in our Etsy shop, consider treating yourself.

And thank you for being. <3 <3 <3
Mood:: 'birthday-i-fied' birthday-i-fied
mermaiden: (Me:  Author photo)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 01:00pm on 06/07/2012 under ,
Every year on my birthday, since I was a very little girl, I have written myself a letter. It was a very real, very honest and vulnerable message to myself–the myself of the following year and the previous year, and still is. When I turned fifteen and began to blog in earnest, I wrote the letter and put it online. This is, I believe, my twentieth birthday letter, on my twenty-eighth birthday. <3


Dear Sarah,

Today, you are twenty-eight. Last year, you wrote about finally putting your books out there and becoming a published author. Today, I re-read last year's letter and sat here and marveled, because it's full of marvel. Last year, I could have never predicted that I would end up here, now...where I am, because of a novel, because people believed in it.

You are a completely self-employed author. Read that again, future Sarah, because this is your twenty-eighth birthday on this beautiful, blue planet, and you've attained that elusive "it." You are a self-employed author. You know all of those countless days of work and effort and dreaming and work and dreaming and effort...? They came to this time, this moment. You've been a completely self employed author for four months now, and you're making your living on lesbian stories that people said folks would never want, or want to read, because who the hell wants to read about lesbians?

My gods. You're not a petty lady, and you forget and forgive easily, but sit very still for a moment, breathe out and whisper, with just a bit of a smile: they were wrong.

You work very hard. You work harder than you ever have in your life, and you put in some of the longest hours of anyone you know, but every single hour, even the hard ones, you feel easy. Content. Like you're making a difference on this planet. Because you are. You're putting out stories that people are reading and loving, and you're doing that as your full time work. You've reached what you quested for, every year of your life, and in this moment, I am proud of myself. I, Sarah, am proud of myself. I don't think I've ever said that before, and I don't know if I'll say it again, but in this moment, I'm saying it. And it feels good.

(photo by Laura Diemer)

But the most amazing thing of this past year wasn't even attaining that life-long, elusive dream. It was getting married to the most amazing woman on the planet, it was this beautiful New York state recognizing that we were human, too, and that we deserved the same rights as everyone else. It was gathering with those ones I love dearest, in the church I love dearest, and declaring my everlasting love for that woman I love dearest. The most perfect day of my life, the most magical, the most sacred. I am legally married to the love of my life, and every day, I live to love her more.

(photo by Laura Vasilion)

Being an entrepreneur isn't always easy, and I hope that next year's letter will be the last in this "great three," as I'm considering them. Twenty-seven: I published my first novel, and I'm happy. Twenty-eight: I am making my living as a completely self-employed author, and I'm content and happy. Twenty-nine: I haven't worried about money in a few months, the debt is gone, and every day, I wake up next to the love of my life, and worry is a distant, bad, ill-remembered dream.

If anything from these past two years has taught me, it's this: dreams can happen if you believe in them hard enough, and if you put the work and effort and hope and yearning into it. You can change your life if you have enough courage, and you don't always need the courage: sometimes it's okay to be scared. But if you believe in something hard and long enough and work your heart out, you can reach where you dreamed of going.

I've always been a content person, and a very happy person. And Goddess knows I'm not asking for this sort of thing... But I've never officially reached this place before, and it's worth remarking on. Always, before, I told the Goddess (hah! I TOLD Her! ;D): "I can't possibly die, I haven't done 'it' yet. I wouldn't be content if I died. I have to work harder." There will never be a "good" time to die, as far as stories are concerned--Death will have to snatch the pen from my hand, and then literally take the notebook from my clutches. But if the Universe decided that tomorrow was the day, I would stand still and calm, and I would say: thank You for the run. I am content, and I am happy, and I'm proud of myself, and every day, I go to sleep feeling accomplished and good and all is right with the world. If I had to die tomorrow, I would be perfectly at peace.

I've never been here before. And it feels good. Right. Wonderful.

I am so filled with gratitude every single day, that it's very hard to articulate. I may have tenacity and courage and this really dogged relentlessness, but it came from somewhere. And all I have done, and all that I will yet do is because people believe in me. They believe in my stories. My wife believes in me. My friends believe in me. I am loved. I am held by the Universe. On the bad days, on the hard days, on the worry-filled days, those are the things that matter. And I work harder, and I sing louder, and I dance faster, and I smile and hug random strangers, and the world is a beautiful, shining, difficult, immaculate place, and I am so fucking grateful to be here.

Here's to twenty-eight. Here's to stories and possibility and magic and love: the four most important things in my life, the four most precious.

I am content, and I am filled with wonder, and I am so grateful to be here, now.

Go do great things, Sarah. I believe in you, too.

With all my love,
Mood:: 'birthday-i-fied' birthday-i-fied
mermaiden: (Firefly!)
posted by [personal profile] mermaiden at 08:01pm on 03/06/2012 under , ,

Home from Pride! <3 Exhausted, but so, so happy—we had such an amazing time—I shall post the sparkly bits later!

But I had to show you guys this now! I got the bestest shirt in the entire UNIVERSE there. FIRSTLY, it is the cutest, cleverest pun EVER. Lez-bo(w)! <3 I am madly in love with it. <3

SECONDLY, it looks like SAILOR MOON TIMES. :D *hearts and rainbow sparkles forever!*
Mood:: 'good' good


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