Thursday, August 31, 2017

Are you Inked up? asks Vicki Stiefel

HALLIE EPHRON: I confess, it's taken me awhile to become comfortable with Millenials' romance with tattoos. I want to ask, "Don't you know your skin will sag when you get older?" "Do you really want that on you when you interview for a job?" "What's going to happen when you get tired of it? ... I want to ask, but don't.

My dear friend and author Vicki Stiefel (Chest of Stone) is far ahead of the curve on this. She's got them. And she's not a millennial. 

So here's a page from Vicki Stiefel... how tattoos twine through her real life and her fiction.

VICKI STIEFEL: I take the receipt from the clerk.

“Is it real?” He points to the tattoo on my finger, the one with all the flowery vines.

“Yes, it is.”

“Really?” His tone bubbles with skepticism.

The urge to reply with snark is strong, but all I say is, “Really.”

I assume his disbelief is because I'm not a Twentysomething or a Goth or a biker, either, although I do still possess a bit of the hippie I once was. 

But, hello? Tattoos have gone mainstream.


What is it about these permanent inkings—living symbols etched into our flesh—that make them so compelling?

I blame my tat addiction, er, acquisition on my late crime-writer husband, Bill Tapply, who sported a mayfly tattoo to honor his fly-fishing passion. When he chose to get another tat, I joined in. He got Kokopelli. Mine? A Celtic spiral tattooed on my wrist, which was the inspiration for Clea’s tat in my novel, Chest of Bone. Hers is magical. Mine? I'll never tell.

Clea’s tattoo is “applied” by her dying mentor, the act of which comes with lots of blood and pain and launches my story. But I’m not the first author to pen tats into a tale. 

Novels use tattoos as symbols, plot threads, and more. Good guys, bad guys, and even corpses are fleshed out with ink in their skin. Can you imagine Moby Dick’s Queequeg without his tats? Or Lisbeth Salander’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo minus that dragon on her back? 

Speaking of dragons, the serial killer in The Red Dragon wears a William Blake design, which he believes is a spirit he calls "the Dragon.” Tattoos play a huge role in Elizabeth Hunter’s masterful Irin Chronicles’ The Scribe, where they heighten the wearer’s magic powers. Magic of the evil kind illuminates Mr. Dark’s “human” tats in Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. From the Man Booker finalist’s The Electric Michelangelo to the evil preacher’s tats in Night of the Hunter, a character’s tattoos can add layers of meaning to a character and a novel, which is part of why I love them.

My Wyvern wrapped around a Key symbolizes two of my series’ characters from The Afterworld Chronicles. 

I’m not alone in sporting a tat from my books. To quote the marvelous Rob Hart, “Books and tattoos have a lot in common. Both are intimate — and sometimes painful — acts. They’re addictive, in that you finish one and immediately ache for the head rush of another.” Rob’s got his New Yorked inked on his skin. Elizabeth Hand, Kevin Wilson, Steph Post, and many other writers wear ink based on their books. Other tattooed authors range from Dorothy Parker to Julie Hennrikus to China Mieville. As ink-decorated John Irving told The New York Times, “Tattoos are souvenirs. They’re road maps of where your body’s been.”

Legions of readers, those wonderful folks who devour our work, ink themselves as a permanent badge of their love for authors and reading. They sport tattoos from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter novels to those of Jane Austen and Sherrilyn Kenyon. They wear open books with “I’ve lived a thousand lives” or “Books are proof humans can do magic” or “Wanderer,” which is etched into my forearm beneath an open book.
 
I am that wanderer of ideas and of books. And, yeah, I want to get another tattoo.

Oh, BTW — if you plan to get a tattoo, do it right. Go to a reputable tattooist whose style you admire. Be sure you’re passionate about the tat, since without costly laser removal, it’s forever. Finally, copyedit your design. Seriously. Or this might be the result.

Do you have tattoos? Care to show and tell?

HALLIE: I think all our readers know that I do not. Or if I did, it would be my secret.

Vicki Stiefel''s fantasy suspense series, The Afterworld Chronicles, launched with Chest of Bone, the tale of a Mage, a Monster, and a Mission. Her mystery/thrillers include Body Parts, The Dead Stone, The Bone Man, and The Grief Shop, a Daphne du Maurier prize winner. All feature homicide counselor Tally Whyte. Her writing and photography have also appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Worcester Magazine, Wild Fibers, Dive Training, and other national publications. She co-wrote (with Lisa Souza) and photographed the non-fiction 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters, and recently published Chest of Bone, The Knit Collection.

With her late husband, William G. Tapply, she ran The Writers Studio workshops in creative fiction. For six years, Vicki taught fiction writing and modern media writing at Clark University. She mentors writers and students and critiques writing in a variety of genres, from partial to completed manuscripts.

The Afterworld Chronicles' second novel, Chest of Stone, will hit shelves Nov. 2017, and she’s pounding the keys on the series' third novel, Chest of Air. In the works, her next mystery series will feature a tattooist.

Twitter: @vickistiefel

66 comments:

  1. Interesting . . . I’ve seen some folks with amazing, intricate, beautiful tattoos, but I have none. Just the mere thought of being stuck with a needle enough times to create one of these works of art sends me into paroxysms of panic . . . .

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    1. I understand. But it doesn't hurt too badly.

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  2. I'm with you, Hallie! And with Joan on the panic about the needle. So tell us, Vicki - did getting your tattoos hurt? Or does it depend on where on the body it is?

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    1. It doesn't hurt too badly, Edith. And it absolutely depends on where the tat is placed. My wrist tattoo - piece of cake. My finger, but the nail? Ouch!

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  3. I have no tattoos, nor do I want any. I have nothing against them, I just don't think they would look all that good on me.

    My brother is covered in them. He was always trying to get my dad to get one, and when my dad was being treated for cancer, he had to get a scan or something that required him to be tattooed, a tiny little dot. Absurdly, my dad counted it.

    I have friends that are heavily tattooed. Some look good, some do not. And the idea that they won't look good when you are older (or old) is true because I've seen some people with tattoos they got in their youth and they just look awful decades later.

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    1. I've been pretty careful, Jay, not to get a tattoo in a potentially "saggy" place. Getting a tattoo is such a personal decision. Not such a good idea pushing another into getting a tat.

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  4. I don't have any tattoo, but I have thought about it. If I ever did, and I probably won't, the tattoo would somehow be inspired by books. Maybe "Surprised by Joy" from Louise Penny (with three pine tress) or something inspired by Diana Gabaldon's book - which is probably too mainstream now.

    The series I most connect to, in which tattoos play such a huge role is Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel books. I have seen so many beautifully rendered tattoos based on those that appear in the novels.

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    1. I'm with you Kristopher, although I too have thought about Three Pines. Of course on me they would soon look like Three Weeping Willows.

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    2. I've got a book tattoo on my right forearm, Kristopher, with the word "wanderer" written beneath it. I love it because I identify with it so very much. I'll have to check out Carey's novels! Thanks for the tip.

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  5. Vicki, they look so pretty on you! I tend to think they would look ridiculous on me, however. I never really thought about giving a character one, but it's an interesting idea that I'm now considering.

    I took a short story class a couple of years ago, and one of my classmates (who was well over 50 and seemed a bit straight-laced) had a character getting a tattoo in her story. The instructor, who had definite goth leanings, told her, in a nice way, that her vision of a tattoo parlor was completely unrealistic, and that she should consider visiting a parlor if she wanted to keep the scene in her story. The writer came in the next week and pulled up her sleeve to reveal a very pretty flower tattoo. I thought it was cool that she did something she would never have considered doing in the name of research and was quite happy with it!

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    1. Thank you, Mary, for your kind words. I love what your classmate did! How cool. Tattoo parlors come in many shapes and sizes and with much different ambiance. Neat that she included that in her story.

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  6. I feel as you do, Hallie, about tats. I would never get one, for a variety of reasons. Vicki, I am so happy to meet you here! Bill was one of my favorite authors and I still read his books. He was one of only three authors who ever answered when I wrote to him - so kind and generous. I still miss him.

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    1. Hi Judi! Love that you've read Bill's work and that you wrote to him. His tattoo was beautiful, in full color. I loved it. Thank you for writing here. Warms my heart. I miss him, too.

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  7. No tattoos for me, and none for my husband, either. When I was growing up, tattoos--the exclusive territory of men--were considered low-class, or tacky. It's been a big shift for me to change that perception. I've thought about it, but like Joan, I can't get past the idea of intentional pain.

    My former sister-in-law has dozens, and so does my nephew, although his are mostly hidden. My sister and her husband have matching tats: huge spiders (why?), and each other's initials. Our cousin Sheree has them everywhere except her face. She worked as a probation officer for years, and I'm sure her tats gave her an extra credibility with her clients.

    Two of my daughters have them. My youngest got a bird of peace holding a banner with her aunt's initials, the banner is the color of the ribbons for the ovarian cancer that took her. The irony is that her aunt would be horrified. She has to cover it for her job, which sounds like a pain to me. My other daughter has a quite beautiful tattoo representing her favorite constellation. It wraps around her side, as delicate as a cobweb, and only shows when she wears a bikini.

    Years ago, in the mid-70's, I managed an upscale maternity store. one of the pregnant women came in with her mother, who beckoned me into the dressing room to see what a growing belly had done to the sweet butterfly at her hip. It wasn't pretty.

    Karen Olson wrote a cozy series about a tattoo shop artist in Vegas.

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    1. Tattoos have certainly gone mainstream, Karen. Some people love them, while others have no interest in them. I loved reading about your daughters' tattoos. I haven't read Karen Olson, but I do enjoy books about tats, I confess.

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  8. I agree, Vicki's tattoos look great ON HER. For me, writing is painful enough. I don't need needles and pain.

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    1. Thanks, Hallie! Oh, writing is much more painful than getting a tattoo!

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  9. No tattoos for me, either. I've seen some amazing designs, but never fallen in love with one so much I want it permanently etched on my skin. The needles. I shudder at the thought.

    My husband is violently anti-tattoo, which is weird for a retired Army guy (at least it's weird to me).

    My brother has several, one dedicated to our mother who died in 2001. He's a school guidance counselor, but since his are on his shoulders, his shirt sleeves cover them up. My younger sister has Eeyore on her shoulder blade.

    Someday The Girl wants a tiny one with our dog's name and his year of birth. I told her as long as she can pay for it and she doesn't need me to sign permission, have at it.

    Mary/Liz

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    1. I agree, Mary, you've got to love the design. Like The Girl, I've thought of getting my Gracie tattooed, as she recently passed away. But I have had so many dogs I love, I fear the doggie tats would get out of control.

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  10. Vickie, welcome, and how did you come to this yourself? Did it hurt? Would you do it again?

    My daughter has a tattoo, on her right wrist, a complicated thing in blacks and grays, something about seagulls. I hate it. She loves it. It's her wrist.

    All that being said, I'm rather fascinated with tattoos, something dark and forbidden perhaps? In my youth, only sailors and loose women had them. Of course I could never be a sailor (grin).

    I have a long-time online friend, twenty years duration now, who is/was a tattoo artist. She is amazing, and if I were ever to have succumbed, it would have been to her art. Unfortunately, that is a thing of the past. She had a series of severe strokes a couple of years ago, 45, and she now is a hemiplegic, can no longer work.

    I'm waiting with bated breath to see which JR will 'fess up to a tattoo. Deb? Lucy/Roberta? Hank?

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    1. Imagining Rhys with a tattoo.
      If I had one, it would be somewhere the sun don't shine.

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    2. Hmmm Hallie, maybe in Toronto, if we can get her to partake of enough wine.

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    3. Nope. And although I am willing to do a test, I can tell you there's not enough wine on the planet to make ME get a tattoo.

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    4. What is fun is getting henna "tattoos". They are so beautiful and wash off when you're done with them.

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    5. Ha ha ha! Ann, I read your reply part-way through and thought, "the sun don't shine in Toronto?"

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    6. Yeah, the sun shines in Toronto. And we have LOTS of tattoo parlours. Well, if there's a group tattooing happening next month, invite me along. I've never ruled it out, and now I'm at the stage where my skin's not going to sag much more than it already has (I hope)

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    7. Hey Ann - thanks for your comments. It does hurt a bit, but not a terrible pain at all. And, yeah, I may get another one. I've had henna tattoos, and one was what inspired my finger tattoo. Ah, sad about your tattoo artist friend. A group tattoo! What fun. Go for it, gals!

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  11. One day I sat next to a man in a food court. I noticed his tattoos. I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked a complete stranger to explain the tattoos. He told me they were memories he wanted to carry visually. Long story short, that conversation lead to other subjects. We developed a friendship that lasted years. While I held his hand in his final days, he asked if I'd ever get tattoos. "Hell no," I said, "I love you, Brent, but not enough for tattoos." That's been ten years. I have enough difficulty getting flu shots. Thankfully the needles are getting smaller. I gained an awareness that day in the food court. Now when I see a tattoo, I try to read the story. Occasionally, I'll point and ask. Amazing, the tales that evolve from the ink on someone's body.

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    1. What a great story, Pam. Reminds us that we should all get out of our comfort zones more often.

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    2. That's a marvelous story, Pam. A beautiful one. Thank you for sharing. All my tattoos have a story. They mean something to me, an indelible something.

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  12. Hey! My post disappeared! So weird. Anyway, Vicki, as I said about two hours ago, grrrr, your tattoos look gorgeous on you, amazing. But I fear on me they would look like… Like they didn't belong.
    My adorable niece, emily, who is about 37, has amazing tattoos. She has the Salvador Dali flaming giraffe – – you know the one with the drawers in the neck? – – On one shoulder and down one arm. It is an astonishing work of art . And she has many many more.
    And there was just an APB put out for this bad guy who robbed a few banks or something, and he is completely covered- including his face! -- with tattoos. I do not think he will be able to hide for long.
    As for me, put me in the no-tattoo column. If I got one, it might be a tiny star on my ankle. But that is never going to happen. :-)

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    1. I get it, Hank, and tattoos surely are not for everyone. The decision is so personal. That bank robber = not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I couldn't write about it - length! - but the history of tattoos fascinates me, too. Many "wise women" of the Inuit wear facial tats. Uh, oh - see? I get carried away.

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  13. Vicki, was the one on your finger particularly painful to get? It looks lovely, but I wince thinking about the actual creation of it.

    No tats for me, but friends and family have them, and there's at least one guy in my neighborhood who has full-face tattoos. Oww!

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    1. Yes, Vicki, I thought that about the finger, too!

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    2. You're right, Ingrid (and Deborah, too!), it was the most painful. But the process is so fascinating to me, I lost track of the pain. It's my fave tat...at the moment.

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  14. I have several, each marking a different part of my life. My first is an inkwell with a pen I got in college when I first won a prize for my poetry. I'm currently contemplating my fourth seventeen years after the first.

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    1. Love this, Rowe. Ah, yes - the tattoos that signify events in our lives. Meaningful. I bet yours is lovely.

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  15. I celebrated my 50th birthday with a batch of flowers tattooed on my shoulder.
    I chose my shoulder because it sags less than many other areas of the body and I have to choose to look in a mirror to see it, making it less likely to get boring.
    At the "ripe" age of 68 I enjoy people noticing the tatt.
    I've considered others (including various ideas for a winged dragon), but I think I've made my statement, at least for now.
    Libby Dodd

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    1. I know - when we're older, folks are shocked by our tattoos. I pretty much love that.

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  16. No tattoos on me either, and don't think I'll be getting one. Though we have friends in Key West, a couple, who have lots of tattoos and they look good – they look good on them! I know I've told you the story about spotting something written on a man's leg in the Miami airport. This ended up being a clue, as it was a line from a song about regret.

    Vicky, I don't think I could do the finger tattoo because I would always think it was ants or spiders. I have enough trouble with my floaters as it is! But loved your post, thank you for visiting

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    1. Ah, Roberta! Thanks for the comments. I swear I never knew you and "Lucy" were one and the same. Duh. I pretty much love tattoos as clues. I deliberately got the vines on my left finger - my dominant one and my writing hand. Loved doing this post.

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  17. Watched my son get his first tattoo at age 17, twenty-four years ago, and remember thinking the banner hung in the back room, "Hell, yes, it hurts," would be enough to stop anyone. But I have three tattoos . . . tattoos to mark where my targeted radiation took place. Won't be getting anymore, but appreciate your post and tips on the topic, Vicky.

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    1. Meaningful, TFJ. We get tattoos for all sorts of reasons. Yours was profound. Thank you for sharing.

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  18. Don't have one.
    Don't want one.

    But, yes, I can see why some people would want one. I'm not afraid of needles; I get plenty of them throughout the year for medicinal reasons. I just don't like the idea of my body being a canvas.


    The daughters of a friend wanted to get tattoos when they were in their twenties. She was not happy about it, but they were adults. She was at least happy that they had done research before making an appointment, and they assured her that the place where they were going was reputable. They said she could go with them to see that the place was clean, etc. She ended up getting a tattoo and has since gotten a second one. If you knew her, you would not expect her to be the type to get a tattoo!

    DebRo

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    1. A bunch of surprising people out there, Deborah, have tattoos, just like your friend. Cool story!

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  19. Vicki, I love this post. And your tatoos. AND the cover of CHEST OF BONE, which is just gorgeous. (The book sounds like my cup of tea, as well.)

    No tattoos for me, either, although I have thought about it. Something small, and intricate, and someplace not as likely to sag... But I'd want to see it. And I'd want it to be something really personal but I've never figured out quite what that would be. So I'm not ruling it out, even though my husband really dislikes them. (Former police officer, doesn't think anyone should get "identifying marks." But I'm not planning to rob a convenience store!!!)

    My daughter and son-in-law have them, by the way.

    The most beautiful tattoos I've ever seen belonged to a waitress at my favorite London pub--multicolored dragons wrapping her arms and shoulders. I liked them so much I put her in a book.

    Oh, and I was fascinated by Bradbury's THE ILLUSTRATED MAN when I was a teenager.

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    1. Hey Deborah - the "sag factor" matters a lot! Ha! Oh, Bradbury's ILLUSTRATED MAN did me in. I loved it like crazy. And I must say, I'm thrilled that you won't be robbing a convenience store. Hope you love CHEST OF BONE. It was a labor of love, my first novel after Bill passed away. So cool that you put the waitress in a book. I'm concocting a series led by a tattoo artist, though I have to finish my current series first!

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    2. Identifying marks! Your husband and mine must be kindred spirits.

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  20. Wow, Vicki, your tattoos inspire me and I love that you're going to be featuring a tattooist in an upcoming mystery series. Most people assume I have tattoos, but I don't -- yet. I jokingly promised the Hub when I started writing that if I ever hit the NYT, I'd get a tattoo (he has several). I didn't think it would actually happen -- but it did -- seven years ago and several times since, but I still don't have a tattoo. I keep telling him it's on my to-do list. Someday, I'll get it done, I swear.

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    1. Hey Jenn - First, congrats on the NYT list! Tattoos are funny things, in that they're such a big commitment. I get why you've waited. A person has to be ready and really want that first one. I will not tell you how old I was, but it took a long, long time for me to get my wrist tattoo. You'll know when you're ready. Or maybe you'll never be, and that's cool, too.

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  21. I'm not a tattoo person. Hey. Freckles are bothersome enough! I met several ladies a couple of months ago who had all gotten tattoos to commemorate life changes. That's cool, but I'd rather commemorate something with a trip somewhere fabulous. My son has tattoos and that's fine for him. My husband is in the no-way-in-hell school regarding tats. If they make you happy, go for it!

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    1. I love the idea of commemorating with a fabulous trip! Mine make me happy, and both my sons - in their 30s - have zero tats. Different strokes and all that. Thanks for commenting!

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  22. Oh Vicki, you have tapped into my secret desire to get a tat and my fascination with other peoples's tats. For years I told myself that I would get a tattoo when I turned 60. Well, I'm now 63 and still mulling it over. I used to want a small mermaid somewhere, like my ankle, but now I can't see going with anything but a book or book related. I would want it small, but I'd like it to be where I can see it. Getting one on my shoulder wouldn't be satisfying to me, as I'd like to delight in one without craning my neck or looking in a mirror. What's interesting, to me anyway, is that a few months ago my daughter, who is the practical one of my children, asked if I wanted to get a tattoo with her. You could have knocked me over with feather! As I said, she is extremely practical, not very whimsical, and I was filled with glee that she suggested such a thing. My son is the dreamer, who if he told me he was wanting to get a tattoo, I would think it was totally in line with who he is. I do think that tattoo are such a personal and creative expression of who a person is and where they've been or are going. Now, the problems. I'm scared that my tattoo artist would mess up or that the ink used would hurt my body in some way. I'm the person who as a teenager went to get my ears pierced, and the lady doing the piercing commented that she was a little shaky from just having had the flu.

    My son's ex-girlfriend had a tattoo on the underside of her wrist which read "cellar door." As a lover of language, I was surprised that I hadn't heard of it before. Here is why she got the tattoo and what it means. From Wikipedia--"In phonaesthetics, the English compound noun cellar door has been cited as an example of a word or phrase which is beautiful purely in terms of its sound (euphony), without regard for semantics (i.e., meaning).[1] It has been variously presented either as merely one beautiful instance of many, or as the most beautiful in the English language; as the author's personal choice, that of an eminent scholar's, or of a foreigner who does not speak the language.[1][2] The original instance of this observation has not been discovered, although it was made as early as 1903." I loved the story behind her tattoo, but, alas, after five years together with my son, she and the tat are now gone.

    Now, I want to go check on your books, Vicki, which sound wonderful. And, I'll definitely be watching for the series with the tattoo artist.

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    1. Kathy, I find myself rooting for you to get one. And scurrying to Google to look up phonaesthetics. Beautiful sounding words. One of my favorites is French: Pamplemousse. Love that sound. It means grapefruit.

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    2. Wow, Kathy - I identify with so much of what you say. All my tats are where I can see them. I can't show a pic here, but I have a lovely book tat on my forearm that shows a book, but says "wanderer." It means the world to me, as I've wandered the world reading an continue to do so. Love the story of phonaesthetics. I'd never heard of it. Hallie - I love pamplemousse, too. Marvelous sound. I have a whole board with tattoos on Pinterest, and quite a few book tattoos there. Tattoos are strange, wonderful things to me. Magical, even. I'm so glad you wrote! Thank you! P.S. - Hope you love the books!

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    3. Hallie and Debs, I am going to talk to my daughter this weekend to see if she's still interested in doing it. I think I'd be a bit braver if someone else does it at the same time.

      Vicki, do you have a link to your tattoo board. I have a book tattoo board on Pinterest, too. Here's my link. https://www.pinterest.com/kru2do/book-tattoos/

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  23. My daughter and I played around with an idea for one for me some time ago--a sort of London postage stamp design. But life moved on and I forgot about it. Maybe I'll start a Pinterest page:-)

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    1. I am a Pinterest addict. I must follow your pages, Deborah!

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    2. Oh, I think the London postage stamp idea is brilliant for you, Debs.

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    1. No apologies. We all see the world differently, Jets, and I find that a good thing. I love other people's point of view. I learn a lot.

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  25. What an interesting post! And Chest of Bone sounds great, I need to add it to my TBR list.

    I've got two tattoos, so far. The first one is on my upper left arm and is based on a design from an ancient Korean dynasty, with my own touches added to it. I got it while I was teaching in S. Korea, where I met some amazing people and were among the best years of my life. One of my best friends there has a matching tattoo and another has a complementary tattoo of the design:


    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3do1NgDompY/WVm7QYlCvVI/AAAAAAAAAM8/9f0sqO0YRxMsjKdPyvJ3U5xuRRCt-0-5wCLcBGAs/s1600/diligence.jpg

    My second tattoo is on my right inner forearm and is a combination of the NC-symbol from a comic book (NC = Non-Compliant) and a quote from another comic book (different books, but same writer). I got it earlier this year as a reminder to myself to keep fighting.

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tG8e9bMONaM/WVm7QeInsUI/AAAAAAAAANA/tWxTQvDk_lsGfFJy4qFuDaa-GCTj0opVwCLcBGAs/s1600/noncompliant.jpg

    I already have plans for other tattoos: "Obstinate, Headstrong Girl!" from Pride & Prejudice is a good candidate, as well as something involving traditional Filipino writing and symbols to celebrate my heritage. And I'm 100% getting a tattoo whenever it is I finally get a book deal :)

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    1. How neat, Mia! I just looked at your tattoo images, and they rock. The story of our lives, for sure. I got my dragon/key tat when Chest of Bone was published. Not sure what I'll get when Chest of Stone comes out. I'm a huge Pride and Prejudice fan, so that gets my vote. Wonderful that you're a writer, too!

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  26. I'm so sorry I missed this yesterday. I have two tattoos. A dragonfly on the inside of my right arm, and on my chest I have an open book; pages becoming birds. I love them both and will probably get another, just trying to decide where.

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    1. Hi Kaye - I love dragonflies. I bet it's beautiful. The book with birds tat you describe... I've seen those, and they're quite beautiful. Books do let us fly, don't they? I have an open book tattoo on my forearm that says "wanderer." I love it. Thanks for writing!

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