Monday, April 2, 2012

Fulfilling my promise to lift my shirt for you

OK, everyone – offer me either your right hand or your backside.

High fives and butt pats all around, because we won the Sourcebooks #ebookbracket Twitter challenge!

From a field of eight Sourcebooks authors who all have a strong social media presence and at least two published novels, Making Waves somehow emerged victorious with the highest number of tweeted votes during the one-week contest period. Thanks to you guys, the eBook version of Making Waves will be priced at just 99-cents April 3-9.

I couldn't have done it without your support, and I'm HUGELY grateful to those of you who tweeted your little hearts out and made it happen..

And now, I'll hold up my end of the bargain (along with the hem of my shirt).

I promised last week that if we won the #ebookbracket challenge, I'd show you my new tattoo. It's a 3.5-inch starfish inked on the left side of my ribcage, and I got it last Wednesday after nearly two decades of contemplating some sort of body art.

It's my first tattoo, and though I generally have a high tolerance for pain, I'll confess right now it hurt like a sonofabitch. Note to self: Next time (if there is a next time) pick a nice, fleshy spot like a butt cheek or a boob.

Here are a couple photos:

Why a starfish? Quite a few reasons, actually.
  • I've had a fondness for stars of the astral variety my whole life. Each year, my birthday coincides with the peak of the Perseids meteor shower, which may have something to with that fixation. Many of my favorite poems have star themes, including Walt Whitman's "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer," Robin Schecter's "Venus, or Maybe Mercury," and "Decembrum," by Wallace Stephens.
  • My parents grew up and met on the Oregon coast. Since my grandparents remained there through most of my childhood, I spent a lot of time poking around in tidepools and contemplating a career as a marine biologist. As a globetrotting adult, I gravitated toward destinations with great snorkeling and marine life, like Fiji, Jamaica, Hawaii, Mexico, Barbados, and Australia's Great Barrier reef (the birthplace of my debut novel, Making Waves). Since my parents retired, they've spent part of each year on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, which is where they summoned me last year when I was on the brink of divorce and in urgent need of love and support.
  • I've always admired the regenerative properties of starfish. Most varieties can regrow an arm that's been torn off, and some (like the Linckia starfish commonly found in Hawaii) can regrow an entire starfish from a single severed arm.
  • Every writer has moments of feeling the pursuit is futile and no one really cares what we have to say. Years ago, someone shared an excerpt from Loren Eiseley's "The Star Thrower" (commonly known as "The Starfish Story") and it's the thing I always repeat to myself at times like that. The gist of the story is that a man was walking along a beach littered with starfish that had been washed up by the tide. As he walked, he spotted a boy picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean one by one. "What on earth are you doing?" the man asked. "Helping the starfish," replied the boy as he picked up another. "If they don't make it back into the water, they'll die." The man shook his head. "There are thousands of starfish and dozens of miles of beach here. You can't possibly make a difference." The boy bent down and picked up another starfish. Tossing it into the ocean, he turned and smiled at the man. "I made a difference for that one." Cheesy? A little bit. But on those inevitable rough days in my writing career, I can't tell you how amazing it is to get an email or blog comment saying, "You made me laugh on a day I really needed to, so thank you."
And thank you, dear readers, for all your comments, tweets, emails, Amazon reviews, Facebook posts, and telepathic butt pats. These last couple years have been a wild and crazy ride, and I'm damn lucky to have had you all in it with me.


Kristina L. Martin said...

So glad to have met you and your words.

Oh, and nice tat. :)

Sarah Allen said...

Ooh, me likey me likey!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Jess Corra said...

woooot! I love it. I'm glad you like it.

I find it interesting that my first tattoo is a phoenix because it reminds me I can fly and I appreciate the rebirth symbolism. we are two peas, sometimes, aren't we?

Kari Young said...

Watch out they're addictive. I have five and swore to myself, when I got my first one, that I wasn't going to get anymore.

Looks good and the ribs are a tough spot.

Laina said...

That is BEAUTIFUL!!! And you chose one of the most painful places for your first tattoo :P 'Cause of the bone. But totally worth it :)