The home page for author Eric J. Juneau

In Which I Condemn Ariel to Misery

simpsons homer ned flanders

Okay, so I am not a lawyer. But there’s this post by Shon Faye (@shonfaye) that’s gone viral. And I thought it’d be a fun experiment to see if I could argue the other side of it. So, yes, I’d be defending Ursula.

unfrozen caveman lawyer phil hartman snl
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury — I’m just an octopus. Your world confuses and frightens me.

1. Ariel being a minor is subjective, and I disagree this makes the contract any more nullable. I would assume that there are no clearly established laws of consent in this medieval world, either on land or sea. But let’s say there are. Ariel’s still old enough to get married and be emancipated from her father. I would argue that if she’s old enough for that to be socially accepted, she’s no minor.*

2. The contract is not for Ariel’s soul. Verbatim, Ursula says “You turn back into a mermaid and… you belong… to me.” This has nothing to do with a soul. It’s more like eternal servitude or slavery. Now this is all a gambit to gain control of Triton, but that’s beside the point. Ursula has no intention, nay the ability, to do anything with Ariel’s soul.

Also, do we know the extent of the magic Ursula used? The three days may not be arbitrary. It may be an attribute of the spell. In the same vein, perhaps these are ingredients that will never be seen again. Perhaps they exacted an extremely large price. When you pay for medication, you’re not just paying the cost to manufacture some pills. You’re paying for all the research, the trials, the failed experiments, the doctors, the logistics that came together to make that pill. Ursula had to learn her magic. Plus she is the only one in the sea who can perform these acts, which means in a free-market, she’s able to charge whatever she wants.

Now I put it to you — the cost of doing the spell in itself is one voice. If Ariel fails to fulfill her side of the bargain, her free will is forfeit. Is that reasonable? That’s a matter of opinion, and it depends on what Ursula had to spend in order to make it happen. Ariel deemed it a fair exchange of services, and I believe she was old enough to make that judgment. Even if she was emotionally distressed, things you do under that influence are still things you’re responsible for. Otherwise, we’d never have “Girls Gone Wild”.

3. Has Ursula attempted to sabotage Ariel’s end of the contract? In one instance she sends her employees to prevent an incident that might fulfill her contract. In another, she disguises herself and places Eric under a hypnosis spell that blockades Ariel from fulfilling her contract. But even Shon Faye acquiesces that either party may not have a duty to act in good faith. In this case, I would argue character flaw. Ariel KNOWS that this is the sea witch. She KNOWS her past history, her, do we dare say, selfish and evil ways. Yet, she still proceeds forward. Therefore I argue that she knew that Ursula may attempt to interfere at anytime, and still took the risk.

According to Wikipedia, the “implied covenant of good faith” is just that — implied. It wasn’t adopted into law until the Uniform Commercial Code of 1950. And it’s pretty obvious The Little Mermaid takes place before 1950.

The problem with the term “good faith” is that it’s an unwritten rule based on community standards of ethics and morals. These definitions vary from community to community, and thus, are hard to enforce. This is a world that deals with thieving crocodiles and lobster mobsters. How can any of us judge them by our standards?

And honestly I don’t know what any of her argument means after “she and Triton would be liable only in damages”. I’m not being sarcastic. I really don’t know what it means. I’m not a lawyer.

4. Given that the sea is an absolute monarchy, with King Triton given all executive and judicial power, he should be able to declare the contract void. Sure, that’s a valid argument, except that HE TRIED THAT. And it DIDN’T WORK.

As demonstrated in both this movie, there are forces at work behind these contracts stronger than human judgment. Triton’s trident, which can destroy a multi-thousand pound concrete statue cannot make a dent in this piece of paper. Conversely, when Hades fails to protect Megara from harm, the contract automagically becomes void and Hercules strength is instantly restored. Since at no time during the time the contract was signed and Ursula’s death did the contract lose its power, we can assume whatever powers that enhance this contract did not declare it

Quod errata demonstratum. Cogito ergo sum. Et cetera habeus corpus vis a vis ex fina boda. C’est magnifique.

little mermaid signing contract ariel
Go ahead and sign that scroll, dollface. You got nothing to lose.

*If you absolutely have to have a country’s system of laws to go by, you should be using Denmark’s, which, as certain clues have suggested, is the location of The Little Mermaid. The age of majority there is 18, same as America.

Musa Publishing Shuts Down

musa publishing logo

So Musa, where Merm-8 has been published, is shutting its doors.  They announced it via email to its authors today that, at the end of the month, all links will be pulled from buying sites and rights are reversed back to us.

So in six short months I go from achieving my dream of being a published author back to the beginning.  I won’t have a book to show off and say “yes, I’m in the marketplace”.  I can’t point people to an Amazon page or promote on Twitter or anything.  I’ll be back to where I started.

I don’t blame Musa at all for this.  No anger.  They’ve been good and straightforward with me.  I’ve questioned some of their decisions and marketing choices, but nothing but love.  I thought they were doing fine, because they had hired/promoted a bunch of new people last year, so I thought the company was moving up.

The executives said that they hadn’t been accepting any profits from the venture for four years.  They’ve put it all into promotion and company-building.  This is why I couldn’t be an entrepreneur.  I can’t imaging working so hard on something and seeing no reward from it.  Much less for four years. Imagine how the people around them must have been affected. You’d have to really love the industry you’re in for that kind of commitment.  I hope they all find better lives out there.

But where does that leave me?  Well, I guess it’s back to the query list.  No reason to let a good book go to waste.  I’ll probably start going directly publishers again.  I think there was one site where I had some moderate success.  I might try them again if I find the e-mail.  After that?  Anybody’s guess.

FYI: If you’ve been putting off a purchase, now is definitely the time.

The Book Club

book club cartoon women

My wife is a member of a neighborhood book club. Which is not, as you might think, a thinly veiled excuse to drink wine and complain about their husbands. It is, however, mostly filled with snacks and conversations. Most of which aren’t relevant to the book. They’re usual fare isn’t usually book clubby books — books with heavy subjects but entertaining stories like The Help or The Fault in Our Stars.  This month, it was Merm-8.

Hey, that’s my book.

And to tell the truth, I’m disappointed in myself for not exploiting the opportunity as much as I could’ve/should’ve. For some reason, I just didn’t feel very writerly that day (or week). Been running for no reward. I had been drinking the night before, so my energy wasn’t up. Plus these were all women from the neighborhood, and this was a fairly male-audienced book (rated R for naked mermaid boobs). When you’re not talking to a core audience, you can’t expect a warm reception.

Plus, book club had already been delayed because of Christmas, and no one had read it at the time. Just one person was finished when it was supposed to be. I don’t blame them, it’s outside their genre. They were pretty much obligated to read it because one of their member’s husbands wrote it. Even I’d balk at that.

After I’d put the kids to bed, I came down and we started talking. I didn’t ask as many questions as I should have. It was an opportunity to get real live feedback, but I feel like I squandered it. Maybe it’s because I considered the book finished, and wasn’t really looking for feedback on it. Plus, so far down the line, I see the flaws in the piece, and know I’ve written better stuff since then, so it feels like an empty victory.

All that was asked by myself or others were generic questions. But like I said, not a book clubby book. Like my wife, they also found the relationship with Stitch and Gene more interesting than the plot with the mermaid. Also, where did you come up with the names, what was your favorite part, stuff like that. I hope they got something out of it, maybe a little bit of the creative process. Also had to clear up that the mermaid is not based on my wife, despite that the book’s dedicated to her and the mermaid has red hair.

Would I do it again? Yes, I think so. It’s too valuable not to find out how people are reacting. Maybe I should bake a cake for them, so I don’t feel so nervous.

Looking for Mermaids

pastel mermaid

When I started thinking about promotions for Merm-8 (now in fine stores and outlets).  I wanted to do a blog tour.  Basically, that means doing guest posts on various blogs.  I came up with a ton of good topics, but the places to put them seem to be as sparse as cuttlefish*.

I thought there’d be more websites about mermaids.  There were when I was younger.  But when I Google, most of the results are for commercial sites that are for things named after mermaids, like models and hotels and cleaning products and… seafood restaurants.

So I’m putting it out there.  If you can help me find some sites about mermaids that weren’t last updated in 2012, I’d be much obliged.  Otherwise, I can always post them here, but I’d just be shouting into the wind.  Need to spread the love.

Or sites that feature new authors would be good too.  I’m willing to bet there are more of them out there, sites that like to promote new books.  I haven’t searched for those yet.  But if you’re an early adopter, a referral would be most appreciated.

*I have no idea if cuttlefish are sparse, but it sounded good in my head.