First Mermaid Sparks Illustrated Action #FridayRecommends

Friday Recommends

You know how you hear about something for the first time and then you hear about the same thing right after? That happened to me the other day. I had literally Just. Finished. reading about Mami Wata on a fabric art site, and my high school buddy, Beth, Facebooked another article about her from an entirely different site!

So Mami Wata, an African water goddess, was around long, long, long before opal-skinned mermaids. She both protects and endangers people of the coast and on the waters, as befits a powerful deity. Mami Wata was said to accompany slave ships. Slave ships lost at sea were said to have been sunk by her to rescue her people from slavery. She puts a whole new slant on The Igbo Landing, in which a shipful of captive Africans of the Igbo people overcame their captors and drowned themselves, rather than be slaves. Maybe they were taking refuge with Mami Wata.

I met a writer at InConjunction this year who is, like, a super-writer. I mean, ideas are Marcus V. Calvert‘s superpower. He tossed out story spark after story spark, like he was some kind of St. Catherine Wheel or something. Boom! I bought his two books of prompts, which are really more like story babies: BATCHERY, Volumes I and II. Story A Day May 2020, here I come!

His covers are STELLAR! So I looked up the guy who did the covers. Lincoln Adams did them, and it’s no wonder they’re impressive: Mr. Adams’ cover art starts at $750 a pop. That is not surprising, considering the quality and considering he’s done work for Monster High, Veggie Tales, Dreamworks, Disney …. His stuff is so good, it leaves me breathless.

Now, I’ve kind of been avoiding reading my buddy Tony Acree‘s THE HAND OF GOD books. They’re about a bounty hunter who kills demons and major evil-doers at God’s command. I bought an omnibus of three of the books and a short story, but I’ve avoided reading it. I’m pretty squeamish, and the first book had, like, decapitations and entrails and stuff. But I picked up the omnibus and started, and I couldn’t put it down. Talk about a page-turner! I binge-read the whole thing and bought the next in the series. I think I would prefer his upcoming detective series, but I can only afford one addiction at a time. Well, two, if you count Dragon’s Milk Stout.

Meanwhile, Tony and I are collaborating on a short story, Lonnie, Me, and the Hand of God. I kid you not.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a water spirit.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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