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Eye on the Prize

August 21, 2008 by in category Blogs tagged as with 8 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > Eye on the Prize

Every family has “rules.” I’m writing, of course, about the family rules that start out as a casual remark made by someone which grows to achieve inside joke popularity. In my family, the rule has to do with tattoos.

I remember being young, maybe 8 or 9 and telling my mom I was going to get a tattoo. At the time we were watching the Olympics and one of the athletes had the rings tattood on his body, not unlike many of today’s athletes. I said it more for the shock factor then anything. Imagine my surprise when my anti-tattoo mom immediately responded with “If you qualify for the Olympics I’ll pay for your tattoo.”

Well heck, I remember thinking that’s a pretty good deal! Oh, wait… Even at 9 I was too busy with school and sports and other kid stuff to even consider an Olympic attempt. But the rule remains.

Tattoos for me at that moment became more then just something that was pretty. They were a symbol. Achieve excellence in a field and mom had no problem with you proclaiming your achievement via body art for the rest of your life. SWEET! (Yes, I’m a little bit competitive).

The challenge remained in the back of my mind when I entered high school. I remember writing (let’s be honest, horrible) angsty poetry and reading about Toni Morrison. “If I win a Nobel Prize will you pay for the tat?” I remember asking my mom. You have to love mom, she nodded immediately even as she asked. “Honey, do you know what the Nobel Prize looks like?” I didn’t.

It didn’t have the same zing as the Olympic rings, did it?

After high school, college, and grad school I decided I’d read enough sad stuff to last me awhile and I turned to writing fiction. Specifically romance fiction. And who is the queen of romance fiction? The Nora. And everyone knows Nora tends to camp out at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list.

Only this time, I didn’t even ask if my mom would pay for the NYT tattoo. I really don’t think I could stomach having the New York Times logo forever emblazoned on my body. Maybe I’ll feel differently about that when the time comes.

But in the meantime. I want to know why Olympic medals seem to symbolize the prettiest of tattoos. As writers, I think maybe we need to hire a graphic designer. Just saying…


  • Anonymous
    on August 22, 2008

    I have no idea where the heck I would get the tattoo. It would have to be tiny, too. I actually get Italian charms for every book I write. I have tools for Losing It, a wolf for A Wolf at Her Door, a dolphin for Hostile Takeover, etc.

  • Anonymous
    on August 21, 2008

    Shelli, I love the star or little heart. If I went with a star by the time I exhausted my idea tree it’s entirely possible I’d be a walking solar system. How cool is that!

  • Anonymous
    on August 21, 2008

    Crystal, I agree. I want mine to mean something (guess that means I’d better get cracking on that future NYT book!) Pretty tats are cool but I prefer the meaningful one.

    Gwen, I don’t even want to know what that would look like. Nora is kinda little to begin with!

  • Anonymous
    on August 21, 2008

    Hmmm.Yeah something small would be cute. Flower is good. Or a star? Like stars on your homework as a kid? 🙂 Or a tiny heart?

  • Anonymous
    on August 21, 2008

    Can you imagine what Nora would look like if she got a tat for every book she sold?

  • Anonymous
    on August 21, 2008

    I got a tattoo for my first NY sale. A lady bug. And I’m buying my best friend’s first tattoo as a graduate school graduation present. I like tattoos that mean something, where people got them for a reason other than they were pretty or they got drunk one night and ended up at a tattoo parlor. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    on August 21, 2008

    Oh Feisty that’s a good one actually. And much prettier then the NYT logo

  • Anonymous
    on August 21, 2008

    I get a flower whenever I make a sale. 🙂

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