If you want something to be permanent, you put down the pencil that has an eraser, a get-out-of-jail-free piece of rubber, and pick up a pen. When we want to make sure our thoughts, dreams, and outlandish doodles don’t disappear, we rely on ink. When you want a memory to live on for as long as you do- you also turn to ink.
When I learned that my very first book, “Fortunate Sum”, was going to be published it was an enormous occasion for me. It marked the day a dream came true and the moment I recognized exactly what I was capable of, no matter what the odds were before. It was a milestone- so I went straight to my favorite, local tattoo parlor. I wanted a symbol of this occasion to be with me until the end of my time, naturally. To say I was excited for this next piece would be an understatement, even if my face didn’t show it.
I play dead very well, don’t I?
The design idea was simple- a blue and gray cowboy boot. It’s symbolic of Imogene’s impact on Catherine’s life, bringing color back into an otherwise gray lifestyle. The good, old fashioned imagery of gray clouds parting to reveal beautiful blue skies. Melancholy turning into happiness and so forth. Thankfully, Imogene’s character owns a boutique with the quirky name of Cowboy Fran’s (I also happen to have an undying love for cowboy boots) so giving the tattoo a shape came easily. I adore the final product and it’s just vague enough to spark the question, “Why a cowboy boot?” Well, let me start by saying that I wrote a book… A conversation starter that includes the two topics I love to talk about.
I am very happy with the final product, to say the very least.
I got my first tattoo when I was twenty and I was nervous. When most people tell their stories of tattoo trials and tribulations, they’ll usually say it was nothing or the pain brought them to tears. Of course the latter is always a little more believable than the former. I had wanted a tattoo for as long as I could remember, but my parents had a strict “absolutely hell no” policy regarding them. That held up until my brother joined the United States Navy and got his first tattoo soon after. I was quick to play the “fair is fair” card and before I could taunt “mine will be better than yours”, I was laying flat in front of an artist I had only heard of until then, wordlessly shaking my head in agreement when he asked if I was ready. This was the start of a very colorful love affair. (With tattoos, not the artist.)
Here I am now, on the other end of a decade later with plenty of additions to my collection scattered across my skin. I understand that tattoos aren’t for everyone. The Pope for example, I can’t imagine the guy walking around with a silhouette of the Virgin Mary on his ribs (or can I?) and that’s fine. But for me, with each new tattoo I feel more like me. Everyday I get to look down and be reminded of accomplishments, things I love, and connections I’ve made along the way. I even have a design laid out to commemorate my second book that is due out later this year. It’s true what they say- you can’t stop at just one. A sentiment that can apply to both tattoos and lesbian romance novels.
“Fortunate Sum” is available this week.