What is FaeNetwork.com

faenetwork

Hello friends, as the weather turns cold and we tend to spend more time indoors bundled up nice and toasty and days continue to grow shorter I want to take a moment to talk to you about something very near and dear to my heart. In previous posts you have seen me mention a website called Faenetwork, but it occurred to me I never took the time to explain what that is.

FaeNetwork is a forum that provides an online place for the fairy community, whether that be performers, enthusiasts, scholars, costumers, or just open minded individuals looking for a friendly place to experience some magic. A newer forum it has only being around a little under two years now, only one of which has it been out of Beta as it was modeled in a similar fashion to its inspiration and “big sister” forum of sorts, MerNetwork (The Mermaiding Community Forum). So naturally because it is such a young site, like many it is a bit quiet at the moment. However, when there is activity the magic can be found in every post.

However, It is more than just a bunch of forum threads of people talking about wings and flower headdresses. FaeNetwork is for fostering connections in the community. There are sections for posts in the media, ideas for performers, tutorials, a meet-up section, and so much more. But it can’t continue to grow without help. We are calling to all fae out there to come join us and help us create a truly special corner of the internet for ourselves where we can share our passion for fantasy with each other.

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Why I chose this path

Its a warm autumn Saturday, the breeze is gentle and it rustles it way through the leaves of the near by trees, children’s laughter can be heard as they play on the equipment nearby. And there sitting on a hill under a tree is a single fairy perched on a blanket playing soft notes on a small pan flute as she stumbles her way through a non existent melody. Adults throwing confused and judgemental looks at her as they give her a wide berth. But then something magical happens, someone not so scared of what others will think spots her and their eyes light up.

“Look a Fairy! There is a fairy right over there!”

The exclamation causes more eyes to turn and children start to see her too. Their eyes lighting up with wonder as they stop what they are doing and immediately beeline for the lone fae under her tree….

I get asked all the time why I do what I do. Whether this is from confused adults who think my bubble isn’t quite centered or from teenagers and children who are so in awe that they have just met a real life fairy at the park or a mermaid at the beach that they want to know why I am out there doing this.

Miss Fairy are you real?

The simple answer is yes, I am. But when it comes to little ones I never lie. My response is always the same, “Do you think I am real?”. I let them touch my wings, asking them to be gentle because I am ticklish and sometimes I even give out trinkets to those bold enough to approach me. My only rule is that I let each individual decide for themselves how much of the magic they chose to believe in.

Why are you here?

Well it looked like such a nice day and all you humans seemed to be having so much fun at this park I thought it would be a good place to rest my wings.

People always want to know why I am at the various locations I pop up at. It is almost as if I have to have a justifiable reason for being in a costume spreading smiles, even if I am just doing that by minding my own business. As a matter of fact I remember one time my cousin and I were at the farmers market downtown both as fairies and someone was very concerned that we were hired to be there and was bothered that we were buying produce. We tried to politely explain to the woman that no, this is just how we prefer to dress and that like herself, we just wanted to pick up some fruits and vegetables from local farmers. This seemed to unsettle her quite a bit as she still continued to lecture us and demand that we “perform for her entertainment if we were going to be dressed like that at a public event”.

Please don’t misunderstand though, I will very rarely turn down a request for a riddle or something small if I am out and about in a faesona, but just because I chose to look this way does not mean that I have to do anything. I am an individual with rights just like everyone else, I just chose to do something different with my appearance.

Okay, well if you get so much trouble for it, then why do you chose to be a fairy/mermaid?

Ah, I’m glad you asked friend. When I was a wee never-bug I had an unlimited imagination and I was lucky enough to have very creative parents who sewed and were open-minded that fostered that imagination. I had an entire closet full of whimsical fantasy costumes I had dreamed up and my mother had spent hours tirelessly creating so that I could have a magical childhood. We held masquerades, tea parties, read books of far off places where dragons were real and elves roamed. My room was even modeled after what I thought a fairies room might look like: my entire ceiling was a canopy of tulle, flowers, and vines; subtle glitter sparkled across every surface; my lamps were even disguised as metal scroll work or flowers.

Growing up in such a creative and free environment gave me an opportunity to find a safe haven from a lot of the scary things that come up as we become adults, but many of my friends were not so lucky. And as we got older the differences really began to show in how much hope we fostered. Those same friends who as children were running around dreaming of being anything have settled for what they refer to ask “soul-sucking” 9-5’s that take so much out of them all they do is come home, drink, and go to sleep. They aren’t living their lives. They are so bogged down by the societal expectation that they have to achieve certain things to be viewed as successful that they have forgotten the most important part: if you forget to actually live your life along the way none of those achievements really matter. You cannot take any of it with you.

It is time we stop worrying what others will think if it is getting in the way of our dreams. I hear it all the time from adults when I am out and about in character.

“Wow this is so cool. It sounds like so much fun, but I could never do that.”

Well why not? I have chosen an unusual path because I want to do something to change this. To actively contribute to keeping the magic alive for others as long as humanly possible. The real world is a very scary place at times and if we let all the magic die what do we have left to dream about to keep us going?

I do it for the look in that child’s eyes when they first see me. The over stressed college student who feels like they are drowning in a see of stress who for just a moment can relax and remember what it was like to be a carefree kid. For anyone whoes light is starting to go out.

A Late Summer Splash

mermaid

Now that summer has come to a close and we begin our journey into the heart of the Autumn months things begin to take a change. As the weather starts to pick up a chill on the wind, the nights grow longer, and harvest colors dance across the trees I thought it would be a perfect time to share one last tale from summer before we jump into pumpkins, warm fires, and cider under the moon.

This summer brought many new and exciting changes into my life that I am ever thankful to have had to opportunity to experience. One of which was the forming of our very small local pod of mer-people. Here on the year-round sun-kissed shores of Southern California we are a common people as the weather here is prime mermaiding weather. We benefit from no really having an “off season” where we must hang up our tails till snow melts or any other extreme weather. Yes, our waters do get a bit chilling in the cooler months causing us to trade in soft sands for heated pools, but we are lucky enough to be able to take a splash all year long if the mood strikes. And because of this many merfolk are drawn to the area. If you do a search you can find a good deal of them. So, then why do I say our local pod is so small?

Well you see, while in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas you can throw a pebble in the water and hit several at once, we are just a bit north of the prime mermaid territories. The southern pods are large, but here in our county there are just a couple of us. Our pod consists of about five of us total, but more of then not it is just two or three of us and our mertenders splashing around.

Throughout the summer one of our local members made a habit of weekly featuring one of our safe, sheltered, swimming beaches in the mornings every Sunday. I had the pleasure of being able to join him for a couple of these swims in the later half of the summer and we had lots of fun. When you are swimming in live water the workout is completely different that the experience of getting your fins wet in a swimming pool. So, there we were, bobbing and splashing in the waves as we raced up and down the soft beach in the summer sun. As the days would start to progress from early morning into early afternoon the little ones would show up to build castles on the sand or wade in the shallows with their parents. I cannot even begin to explain the warm feeling you get when you catch the light in their eyes the first time they spot the pod out in the water.

First, there is a shocking disbelief. Both parent and child stare in disbelief, because they really aren’t sure what they are seeing. Next comes the excited yelling as the wee one realizes what they are looking at and Mom or Dad waves with a big smile on their face. Once we hear the excitement we know that is our queue. With grace and practiced movements we do our best to navigate our way in to shore to greet the eagerly awaiting people as they rush to grab their phones to snap away for photographs of the unexpected treat of meeting live mer-people on a trip to the beach.

And that is the true magic in it. While, many of us do it for the great core and cardio work out we receive with our dolphin kick. The biggest treat, at least for me, is seeing the magic light up peoples eyes. Sharing a smile with someone is a powerful thing and you never know how it will may effect someone’s day.

What Being Fae Means To Me

Hello my lovelies, today I thought we would do something a bit different. Most of my posts here are about my life in the world of fantasy. Whether that is through my costuming, my entertaining gigs, or my literary preferences. But today I thought we could take a little side detour and talk about what being a fairy or a mermaid really means to me and the requirements and work it takes.

As I have stated previously, I am a modern fairy. And, before you start jumping up and down trying to tell me “Saelyyia fairies aren’t real. Its time to grow up.” Please understand this; I am not a delusional child I am an adult who works full time at one job and holds a second one on the side, have a college education, and am a productive member of society. In my human life which takes up a very large chunk of my time I work for a great company in the world of custom printing. I put it a minimum of 40 hours a week at the office and work my wings to the bone at my job. As for my second job, it is a much more entertaining one, quite literally since I’m an entertainer, but it takes almost as much time. I have to manage the pages, the clients, the costumes, the maintenance, and staff rehearsals/event prep and I do this all by myself. So when everything is said and done I work about 55-60/hrs a week in my slow months. I’m not bringing in all the gold though, I make enough to pay the bills and sometimes put a little extra towards something special.

With all this work there are other struggles, I have mentioned being one of the hidden fae before and that is largely because my health is not something the human world is really equipped for. Extensive dietary complications, a literal allergy to sunlight (mild thankfully), and some other chronic conditions that pose serious restrictions on my lifestyle mean lots of doctor visits, which make lots of bills + a very large level of frustration coupled with a not so fun headache of problems.

So what does all this have to do with my life as a fairy/mermaid? Well, with all the restrictions and problems I have to fight to maintain a “normal” life or do things the way “normal” people can I have to face a constant battle up-hill. This leads me to the second half of the post. The real point I wanted to share with you today…

To me being Fae is the most freeing thing in the world.

Whether I dawn my flower crowns, gossamer gowns, and wings or one of my mermaid tails, sea shells, aquatic plant wreaths, and pearls I am escaping the struggles faced on a daily basis. My friends it is so easy for us to let the weight of the world drag us down. To stop seeing the magic and the fun. We wake up, put on our uniforms (sometimes literal/sometimes figurative) for whatever job we hold, we punch in, mindlessly labor for hours, punch our, and by the time we get home we are drained and there is no energy to chase our dreams. Ironically, the same dreams we are slaving away at our jobs to be able to achieve.

But for me I have found a way to keep that magic alive and I have found some amazing communities that share my interests. When I am in a park playing my pan-flute or frolicking, or even simply visiting with others/enjoying the scenery I am free. It keeps my inner child alive and keeps my dreams in reach. However, what makes it all the more special for me is seeing the light it brings to out in others. Other adults don’t always know always know what to make of me. Sometimes they pretend they don’t see me, others are just dumb founded, and some find it so refreshing that they decide it is something they want to be a part of. Meanwhile, children are my favorite reactions to witness.

We as adults have a terrible habit of wanting our children to grow up too fast all the while complaining that we feel robbed of our own childhoods because someone did the same to us.

Go to school. Do your homework. Keep your room clean. Act your age. Stop believing in fairytales, the real world isn’t like that. Well why not? Who is responsible for that being the status quo? WE ARE. As the adults we have the power to decide what is and isn’t going to be okay in our worlds. People fight for change all the time, so why have we not fought to stop erasing the joy & magic our children hold. Why are we still so determined to make being responsible adults a bleak and in my opinion, most often, a soul sucking chore? And when we do find someone that hasn’t lost that spark we treat them like a pariah or something to be looked down on. Society does a very good job at letting those like myself know that they are not welcome. Isn’t it time that changed? Why is it such a crime for those of us looking for something different to be ourselves? So when you see someone who looks different. Whether that means bubblegum pink hair and pastel Lolita clothing, a fairy, or a mermaid walking down the street or at the market instead of telling them to grow up or trying to shame them please remember they are just being true to themselves and there are some people that actually get a feeling of joy from that. So please be respectful to myself and those like me.

Mermaiding: Taking the Dive

It is time to introduce you all to another one of my personas or should I say Mersona. Back at the end of 2012 I was looking around online for new costuming inspirations for something new to add to my collect when I stumbled upon the most stunning thing I had ever seen. Professional Mermaiding. I am sure some of you may of heard of it because of all the publicity Eric gets as The Mertailor with his TLC spotlight, numerous online interviews ect.. But that cuttlefish is not who I am refering too, I will not go in-depth as to my negative opinion of Mertailor, but I will say that this fish does not consider him worth her time to type about. No, I am refering to Mermaid Raven, owner of Merbella Studios LLC. To make a long story short I knew that this was something I wanted to do.

For several years I did nothing but lurk on the online forum for the community (MerNetwork.com). But last fall for my birthday my wonderful boyfriend gifted me a mahina merfin that I have since made a tail skin for. Unfortunately I do not have pictures of that one currently, however I also have a second fin for work use. Now I am in the process of making this costume so please be gentle in your critism, but this is my current ensemble for my company and I thought I might like to share it with all of you…

Ariel2

A behind the Scenes shot to see how colors read on Camera in preparation for an event.