a recent post by Emily regarding her body art struggles, I have been prodded to think about my next body art venture. I've had an "empty spot" that I've wanted to fill for some time. I've blogged about my tattoos before so I won't bore with what they are or why I got them. This time, I've resolved to get something book-related.
Which is, honestly, why it's taken so long.
It seems everyone agrees that the cover of The Ninth Avatar is great. Eye-catching, at the very least, but fitting to the subject matter and the darker themes of fantasy war. That being said, I don't really think it would be a good idea to get an army of undead warriors tattoo'd anywhere on my body. I have a few ground rules for tattoos which, frankly, most people would agree with:
#1: Never get a tattoo of someone's name unless your bond to them is absolute
Many people believe their bonds are absolute when they enter into relationships, but more often than not this type of tattoo proves to be a very bad idea. I've seen people get tattoos of their children's names, or their dead relatives, or symbolic images representing either, and I can understand this. Alive or dead, they will always be your family, and a declaration of that fact is sometimes helpful when the latter is the case. If you want a reminder of your boyfriend/girlfriend to carry around with you, order a wallet-size photo instead.
Note, I don't even advise this for people who are married. It's not that I believe the divorce rate so high that you're likely to break up. More accurately, having been through a divorce, I know how painful it can be, and I don't advise having a permanent reminder of that pain that you would then need to (expensively) remove or (sometimes just expensively) cover up.
#2: Never get a tattoo containing a skull, naked woman, or horrific "thing" that looks like it runs Hell's Literary Agency
Caveat: If you own a motorcycle and copious amounts of leather, have killed a man, or have done time in a correctional facility, please feel free to get whatever tattoo you want. You might regret it later, but so do many other non-violent law-abiding folks who thought they'd love butterflies and unicorns their whole lives.
To be honest, most of us 9-to-5ers work in an office building and we don't generally have a day to day need to intimidate our fellow cubies. Or make them think we're outlaws. I just believe that if you're going to put it on your body, forever, then it should be something beautiful to you. If you're into a angel having [unwilling] sex with an demon (which I have seen, in real life) then by all means go for it. Just don't ask why IBM chose someone else for the position.
#3: Nothing above the collar, nothing below the waist (unless you run out of room)
This one, of course, still has the caveat from above. The same reasoning applies. Neck and face tattoos can be quite frightening and, though in a different world it might be nice to express myself that way, I just can't imagine wearing a tattoo in a place I won't be able to cover up for a fancy event or wedding. I'm the type of guy who has tattoos but who also owns suits.
Regarding the "below the waist" angle, the fact of the matter is that it's a lot of real estate, but no one's likely to see it except at your local swimming pool. Therefore, it renders the real estate as second-rate. Kind of like Nevada.
So, it's within those confines that I contemplated my next tattoo. I knew where I wanted to put it, and how much space I wanted it to take up, but I had no idea about what it should be. As I said, I wanted to get something book-related, and by that I mean one of my books. The "original" Ninth Avatar cover was an absolute no-go, considering that girl was a stock photo and I had no special attachment to it. The "official" cover is also a no-go, for reasons already mentioned.
Plus, I don't just plan to release one book in my career. Sure, publishing my first novel was a milestone, but how many books will I write/publish in the next 10, 20, 30 years? (God, I hope I still want to get tattoos when I'm 60 years old)
So, I contemplated a solution to this quandary.
Many authors get tattoos. I'm not the only one who ever thought of it. Hell, Jacqueline Carey has an entire section of her website devoted to fan-art-tattoos. I'm certain that, soon, Peter V. Brett will have something similar. But while The Ninth Avatar references symbols for the 9 Pillars, the actual symbols were not used within the book or on the cover. Chiefly because they were drawn [poorly] by yours truly.
Without use of the cover or any story-related images, I was left with coming up with a completely different idea. Which I have. It is awesome.
No I'm not going to show it to you. Not until after I get it done, anyway.
But what about you all?
Do you have any tattoos?
Are they book-related?
Do they go against any/all of my 3 rules?
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