About the Name
Hi everyone, it’s Dalni back for another blog post!
One question that I get asked fairly frequently is: where did I get the name from? While I wish I had some great back story to tell on account of the name, really it came about as just a silly coincidence.
When I originally began my mermaid activities, I had planned to be Mermaid Dani, after my name Danielle. The first account I made under the mermaid theme was a Tumblr, so that I could share picture of my projects. When I went to get the URL for my blog, every possible way I tried Mermaid Dani was taken already. It seems to be a pretty popular name! I didn’t want numbers in my URL, because that would make it harder to remember and tell people. I tried every combination of dots and dashes; between words and even between letters. After so many multiple attempts I was getting exasperated, but finally one of them worked! I was so happy with myself for finally getting a free URL.
I went back to check what had finally worked and noticed that an L had slipped in by accident. At first I was so irritated, but I thought about it for a moment, and decided that all things must happen for a reason. After saying it a few times, I started to like the name. It was unique and almost musical. It was very much a mermaid’s name.
Because this name derives itself from a misspelling of ‘Dani’, I personally pronounce it DAHL-NEE, with a nasal ‘A’ like the name Dani itself has. It’s a difficult name to pronounce on sight, and many people stumble on it at first. A lot of them will come to pronounce the name as DOLL-NEE from only reading the it. I like both pronunciations, and won’t correct anyone when they say one or the other. It’s just great having people know my mermaid name!
I’ve looked up the name, and found nothing for ‘Dalni’. I instead went and tried the name ‘Dalny’, and this wasn’t really a known name either. The only results I found for it were that there is a small town in Russia with the name Dalny. I guess I may have made up a new name! Or maybe it’s just a mermaid name the humans didn’t know about yet. What pronunciation do you like best?
As a side note, I’ll be at the Pirate Day as part of the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival on the Burlington Waterfront in Vermont! Pirates day is a free event that runs from 10 am to 2 pm, make sure to stop by!
Hi Everyone it’s Dalni!
I’ve been doing lots of exciting things lately, and I’ve been traveling a lot! Last weekend I visited Albany, and two weekends before that was another town in New York a little further south. I surprised everyone at the pool party with my tail. Everyone was so excited to see a mermaid swimming in their pool! I’m used to fresh water like Lake Champlain, but pools are great too, especially when there’s a lot of new people to meet. They had a lot of neat blow up toys in the pool, also. I have some of my own blow up pool toys for when I visit pools, like a giant dolphin and turtle you can ride on, inflatable swords, beach ball and floats, and big rings to swim through. I also have fun games to play! One of my favorite games is turtle eggs. I bring five treasure chests filled with turtles and “turtle egg” ping-pong balls. Everyone breaks into teams and stands at the edge of the pool, then we throw the turtles and their eggs all into the pool. The kids have to go retrieve them and put them in their treasure chests. The team with the most wins! This is a really fun, safe game for swimmers of all levels because the turtles and the eggs both float, so even kids with life vests or floaties can play!
Traveling and meeting new people are some of my favorite things. I love to visit other states for parties and events, and I travel pretty far. In August, I’m tentatively visiting Boston, and later in the month I’ll be in Bermuda for a little more than a week. I’m so excited to see Bermuda, this will be my first time visiting! I’ve heard that the water is beautiful bright blue, and the sand is pink. The beaches are supposed to be beautiful, and I can’t wait to swim in the crystal clear water. There will be lots of different types of fish than what we have in Lake Champlain. Hopefully I’ll get some great underwater photos to show everyone from out there!
The weekend after this I’ll be at the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival’s Pirate Day! I’ve heard that sometimes pirates are scary, but I think that these ones will be really fun. There are a lot of fun kids activities going on Saturday July 30th on the Burlington waterfront for this event, and Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate will be there singing and putting on a show. Come visit us! http://www.lcmfestival.com/event-information/kids-activities/
That Sunday I’ll be taking Wayne Tarr into the depths to shoot some great underwater mermaid tricks. Look out for photos from the shoot after!
Picture Book in Progress
Hi guys, its Dalni back again!
This week’s post will be about the picture book I’m working on! I’ve written the story for it, and am now working on the illustrations. It’s about three quarters of the way completed. It really just started as a fun little side project, but now I’m really hoping to finish the book and have it published. More than anything the picture book started as an excuse to do some drawing. I drew some sketches, and those developed into characters, and once they became characters, that’s how their stories started evolving. I started thinking about what they would be like if you met them; what their traits would be, how they would behave, and what kind of back story they would have.
I’d like to make this picture book into a series, with each of the characters ending up with their own individual story. The story I’m working on currently centers around Delphie, a shy little mermaid who has trouble talking to the other mer-kids. I’ve written and staged the entire story, and I’m a little more than* halfway through the illustrations. I can’t wait until I can bring this project to life!
Click here I think this story will be really relatable for a lot of children out there. Delphie is close to my own heart. I was very shy as a child myself and sometimes a little awkward in social situations. That lead to a kind of anxiety forming around trying to make new friends. I know there must be a lot of other people out there with a similar struggle. As I got older, it became a little easier, and now I love to meet new people! I’m hoping that this story will help kids realize that making new friends isn’t so scary after all, and that the other kids probably want to play with them as much as they want to play with the other kids! I hope that this story will help inspire children to branch out, and be the first step towards helping them shed off the feelings of fear and isolation that can come with shyness or anxiety.
I think the hardest part about this little story writing adventure of mine will be actually getting it published. I’ve heard about self publishing, but I’m not sure that that is the route I’d like to take. I’m honestly a little lost about how I would go about getting this story published. I’ve done a little research, but that actually just seems to be confusing me more! There’s a lot of old, or conflicting information out there, and it seems like things may have changed a lot in the past few years in regards to publishing. I’ve read that I need an agent to be published, or else no publisher will look at the manuscript; considering it “unsolicited”. I’ve also heard however, that it can be a good idea to forgo the agent, thereby avoiding paying a portion to an agent, and try to find publishing houses who accept unsolicited manuscripts from new authors.
I’ve also heard that it may not be the best idea to illustrate your own story, and while I’m not 100% attached to my current drawings, I’d love be to able to both illustrate and write the picture book. I may be just getting ahead of myself. Once the book is actually finished is when can hammer out all of these confusing issues. Until then I will continue work on this little project! I know you will all be patiently waiting for it to be done. If you have any questions or comments, or know a little more about publishing than I, feel free to leave me a comment! Thank you all for reading; until next week!to edit.
Vermont Renaissance Faire!
Hi guys, it's Dalni!
This past weekend I entertained at the Vermont Renaissance Faire's inaugural event. It was such a great fair, and I got to meet so many great people! Vermont hasn't had an event of this kind for around 20 years, so I've been told. I was so excited to be able to be a part of it. I swam all the way in through Lake Champlain, and hitched a ride to Stowe just to be there! ;)
People traveled from all over the Northeast just to be there. Of the people I spoke with, I found out that many had traveled hours to Vermont from states including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York. Some of the performers were nomadic, or were from even farther away.
Nearly everyone who came was dressed in garb, performer and patron both, and it was incredible to see! There were fairies, queens, minstrels, buccaneers, a mischievous fae named Splinter, and even a unicorn! I heard someone pass by and say "everyone here is a performer, whether they know it or not." I hadn't noticed this myself, but as soon as I heard this I realized it was completely true.
Below the Gaff and Myschyffe Managed both sang mermaid songs, they were so wonderful to hear. The song was hilarious. It was about a backwards mermaid with the head of a fish and human legs. How silly! Everyone knows mermaids have a fish tail, not a fish face, although mermaids have been known to make a silly fishy face from time to time!
One question I was asked often was "where is your water?" or "where is your tank?" As of now, I'll have to deal with a dry tail while on land. (As long as I don't dry out too much!) I usually set up a throne room on land so I can talk to the people better, but a mermaid can't stay out of water forever, and I like it on land! I'm working on getting my tank, the big issue is the logistics more than anything. From the top of my head to the tip of my fluke I'm 8 feet tall.
I can't wait for next year at the Renaissance Faire! In the meantime, everyone enjoy the fireworks this weekend! Mermaids absolutely love the colors they cast on the dark waters!
Getting Scuba Certified!
Welcome back! For those of you reading for the first time, I’m Dalni! I’ll be updating this blog frequently, so stay tuned for updates (I’m shooting for once a week, on Wednesdays or Thursdays).
The weekend before last, I took a journey to Massachusetts to complete my scuba diving certificate. A group of around ten of us did four dives over the course of Saturday and Sunday. It was beautiful and sunny all weekend, but the water was still chilly, being in the North at the end of spring. The location we entered the water from was called Back Beach, in Gloucester, MA. It’s a small, protected ocean cove with a thin strip of sandy beach only visible at low tides. The view is fabulous. To the right, the shore line scrawling around the edge of the town is embanked by granite boulders and topped with pretty buildings. Ahead is open ocean. It’s a beautiful place to dive, and apparently a favorite of divers, as there were one or two other groups there diving at times.
I’ve been wanting to complete my scuba dive certification for quite a few months now, but the certification requires four open water dives, and shops don’t like to take new learners out in icy or frozen water, so I had to wait until summer came around. The first available dive sessions were in late May, and early June. I completed my class work one weekend and the diving the next. Along with two full weekends of work with the instructor, there was also hours and hours worth of text book reading and videos to watch (PADI estimates 15 hours worth of reading). Getting your certification takes a big commitment, but the reward is worth the cost and effort.
My first dive was fantastic. We dove to about 20 feet at the deepest. My instructor was excellent at spotting marine life, and I was amazed at how much activity there was just in this small cove. The majority of what we saw were flounder, crab and lobster. I spotted one or two different fish, but I believe being in a large group as we were quickly scared off many of them. I’m sure there were many that saw us and bolted before we even had a chance to spot them. Alone, I’ve been able to swim alongside groups of fish without scaring them. But the fish weren’t the only thing to see. We swam over underwater fields of vegetation, waving with the water; sometimes it looked like the whole floor of the ocean was shifting.
There were a couple of things which weren’t so great, however. At points, some of my classmates would get a little over excited and grab or poke the fish and other creatures. As I swam, I became more aware of my environment. Beneath us there were pieces of plastic scattered across the ocean floor and vegetation we swam over. It seemed impossible that some of those things could end up out there, but there they were. I personally grabbed pieces of plastic bag, a spool of ribbon, and various chunks and sharps of plastic out of the water to be thrown away on shore. It’s important to remember to be respectful of the ocean and marine life.
Many aquariums and large venues like to see that you’ve completed the diving training to prove that you’re proficient and comfortable being in deep water. I personally would love to be in a huge aquarium with all of the exotic creatures. Lake Champlain doesn’t have quite the biodiversity or color seen with the tropical fish. Getting my dive certificate seemed like a step in the right direction towards being able to show off my tail at an aquarium (and being able to dive with a cuttlefish!). Maybe the New England Aquarium will invite me for a swim! Until then, Lake Champlain is my home.
As a side note- this weekend June 25th and 26th I will be at the Stowe Vermont Renaissance Faire sitting on my shell throne to say hi to all the people; come pay me a visit!
You can find more information by visiting the bottom of my Booking & Events page, or by visiting the event website at http://www.vtrennfaire.com/
Hi everyone, I’m Dalni!
This whole adventure began for me last year after seeing a TV spot on how the Mako tails were made. They were so beautiful and realistic that I decided that I wanted to have a tail as well. I started to look into the professional makers tails, they were all absolutely gorgeous, but I’d always been one for DIY and this seemed like a fun project!
I started out by making myself a mermaid tail out of a monofin and cloth from my local fabric store while I was working on my real tail, so that I could get used to the feeling of swimming with a mermaid tail instead of legs. It’s always recommended to begin with a cloth tail before moving on to a more advanced one to gain experience and to make sure that you’re comfortable in a mermaid tail. You won’t have legs or feet you can use! My first swim in a friends pool was an incredible feeling! However, I wasn’t so great at being graceful just yet. I hadn’t figured out the exact motion of the dolphin kick and had no idea how to keep myself afloat on the surface, or what to do with my arms. I ended up doing a modified doggy paddle around her pool. Thank goodness my swimming skills have improved!
I began the first steps of making my tail in April of 2015. After lots of tutorials, trial and error, and wasted materials; nine months later my tail was complete. It was now December, but living in Vermont didn’t offer much opportunity for outdoor swimming like I’d hoped to do. I got a membership to a gym which allowed tails and had two of its own indoor pools. I started swimming multiple times per week to practice with my new tail, and people started to notice that a mermaid had popped up in Vermont! Children and adults alike were enamored with my tail.
I started looking up other mermaids and connecting with them on Mernetwork. I saw Mermaid Hannah Frasier holding a protest over the killing of dolphins, and people actually paying attention! I saw Raina, starting her own business and inspiring other women to empower themselves. I saw Raven of Merbella making the most beautiful tails I’d ever seen. The impact of all of these strong women, coupled with the joy when a child sees a mermaid for the first time, inspired me to start my own business.