Tag Archives: poseidon

Seaborn art


Seaborn Giveaway on Goodreads!

Enter to win one!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Seaborn by Chris Howard


by Chris Howard

Giveaway ends August 01, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Maine Lighthouses

So many lighthouses in Maine, you trip over them.  My dad's out from California for the Thanksgiving holiday, and we spent a good chunk of Monday driving along the Maine coast, stopping to shoot some pics of lighthouses.  We drove right past the Cape Neddick–Nubble–lighthouse without stopping.  We did catch five more lights, and even had a pretty clear shot of Boon Island Light which is way out at sea, but didn't for some reason think to take a picture of it. 

Shots of five of Maine's many many lighthouses, Portland Head Light, Goat Island Light, Cape Elizabeth Light, and some distant shots of Ram Island Light and Spring Point Ledge Light

Posted 59 pics on Flickr here.

Picture 5


IF: fierce

Spent a couple hours painting this afternoon, this one for Illustration Friday topic: fierce.  (Yeah, I’m a little late).  This is Kassandra dragging some unfortunate Seaborn troublemaker to the surface by the hair.  Click for the larger view.


Seaborn: Four stars at RT

Romantic Times Booklovers Magazine has given SEABORN 4 out of 4.5 five stars.  (4.5?  Who knew it was this complicated?  Read Lori’s explanation in the comments of my LJ x-post).

…Howard’s fantasy tells the story of a woman who is seaborn and must fight to win back kingdoms as the wreathbearer. This novel is graphic in violence and leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to mutilation and death, but readers who love a good fantasy can overlook the gory descriptions to see what happens to the heroine of this fascinating read.

It’s "Wreath-wearer" not wreathbearer, and it’s really more of a nice oozy undead decay than mutilation, but I’m not going to be picky.

Syren Tears

Or, how do mermaids cry and sweat, and what it looks like in the water.  This is the second in a set of posts for those speculative fiction authors out there who have already–or are planning to–dive into a stories with humans/half-humans that live and breathe underwater.  (See the first, How do mermaids hear? on underwater acoustics).

Right off, I’ll say if you’re a mermaid and someone’s trying to sell you the "never let them see you sweat" line, keep your money.

Let’s start with an experiment.  Take a glass of fresh water, a glass of saltwater (mix in a few tablespoons of salt into 4oz/118ml of water), and with a teaspoon, pour the saltwater into the fresh a few drops at a time. What do you see?  The mixing of fluids of differing salinity affect the refraction, the way light comes through the fluid.  Where the two mix, there’s a blurry swirl in the water.

I’ve tried to capture it here in these images.  The one on the left is the glass of freshwater, the right has some saltwater mixing in.  This also works in reverse.  Pour the freshwater water into the saltwater, and you get the same swirls and blurriness.

Salinity1_2 Salinity2

Close-ups of this:


What’s happening here?  It’s all about salinity, or the measure of total dissolved salts in water.  (Salts come in many flavors and compound varieties, but we don’t need to go into that here).

The salinity of human tears, sweat, blood plasma, amniotic fluid are around 9PPT (parts per thousand) and seawater is around 35PPT  (These numbers vary, for example seawater sampled in the north Atlantic is less saline than water sampled from the Red Sea). 

What it comes down to is that even though we have much the same properties as seawater, we are, well, less salty.  When a mermaid cries, her tears take some time to blend into the saltier water around her eyes. She may have trouble seeing through a good fit of sobbing.

The lacrimation system, primarily used for cleaning and lubricating the eyes, includes the gland, reservoir, and canals that manage tear production in most land mammals.  Tears are salty, but they don’t sting because our eyes are already accustomed to the salt content in the fluid that protects them.  This protective fluid for the eyes is actually a set of three different substances that make up the tear film, each layered on top of the other, the outermost lipid layer, aqueous layer, and a mucous layer. (For the different kinds of tears, basal, reflex, and weeping, see the Wikipedia article on this).

No sweat.

There are around 650 sweat glands in an average square inch of your skin, and although the mineral composition of sweat changes with the individual and the source of sweating, the blurring effect of mixing two fluids of differing salinity still applies.  In other words, you would be able to see a mermaid sweat, a thin blurry layer of water over her skin.

All of this assumes that your mermaids, mermen, selkies, nereids, people of the sea, have typical human skin and tear functions.

The concentration of sodium in thermal sweat, M. G. Bulmer and G. D. Forwell


IF: little things

Earth is an ocean world–and worlds come in all sizes…depending on who or what you are.