Guest Post: Joanna Campbell Slan “Proud to Be a Trashy Girl”

mermaid finished

Proud to be a Trashy Girl

By Joanna Campbell Slan

For decades now, I’ve suffered in isolation. My crime? (Or perhaps my addiction?) Is a love of trash. I hate seeing stuff thrown away. Especially GOOD stuff, usable items that still have a lot of life in them.

My husband despairs of my habits. Once, as I struggled to pull a big piece of wood out of a Dumpster, he pretended not to know me. “La-la-la,” he sang loudly while walking in the opposite direction.

“Help.” I grunted with the effort of my task. His lack of interest only spurred me on. It took some doing, but finally I wrangled the wood out from under other trash. “See?” I balanced it on top of my head. “It’ll be perfect as the platform for a dollhouse.”

But rather than hold the door to the apartment building open for me, he yelled, “Got to go! See ya!”

Fortunately another neighbor took pity and helped me haul the wood up the stairs and into our apartment.

Happily, I’ve since met a kindred spirit named Carol. She’s a girly-girl, but like me, she’s never one to turn up her nose at other people’s cast offs. We’ve bonded over glue guns, E-6000, and Elmer’s. In fact, when she bought a perfectly plain plywood cut-out of a mermaid, the two of us plotted to gussy up the sea creature. Carol had seen a similar project selling for $500, where the tail was made of squashed plastic bottles. That seemed too clunky for me. As we stood there in Carol’s garage, I had a brainstorm. Grabbing a pair of kitchen scissors, I cut empty aluminum pop cans into scales like fish have. Then we savaged an old silver plastic tray that was in the recycling bin. It became the fins on the tail. Next, we glued on nubby yarn Carol had snapped up at a thrift shop for a buck. Bit by bit, we filled in the blank form. I painted her face and shaped a broken glass candle holder into a bra. Carol added gems in her hair and “jewelry.” After spray-painting seashells a vivid purple, we glued them on, too.

I think our finished project is divine. In fact, in the next Cara Mia Delgatto mystery, I plan to have Cara sell mermaids just like this in her store. In between solving crimes, she and her crew will dress up plywood mermaids. Maybe even expanding the idea to seahorses…crabs…boats…fish…the sky’s the limit!

all-washed-up smallIn the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series, Cara and her crew transform trash into treasure as a way of stocking her store, The Treasure Chest. In Book #3, All Washed Up, Cara comes face to face with the idea of treating humans as “trash,” when they are tossed overboard by smugglers. I wrote the book after a shipwreck spilled illegal aliens on the sands of the small island where I live. For a limited time, it’s only $.99 so grab your copy today. Click here —

About the author: National bestselling and award-winning author Joanna Campbell Slan has penned 30 books, both fiction and non-fiction, including a dozen featuring Kiki Lowenstein. RT Reviews has called Joanna “one of mystery’s rising stars.” Her newest mystery series introduces Cara Mia Delgatto, a spunky entrepreneur dedicated to turning “trash into treasure.” IndieReader Reviews has called it “incredibly charming.” Joanna’s historical mystery series featuring Charlotte Brontë’s classic heroine Jane Eyre won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence. You can read two of Joanna’s books absolutely free by going to and Visit Joanna at

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