Of Ink and Editing

I had a pretty fun and active weekend.  I had a meeting with my primary editor.  I attended my friend’s daughter’s first birthday party.  I went bowling and played air hockey.

And I got my first tattoo.

For those who know me, this came as a huge shock.  I am not the kind of girl who gets tattoos.  I’m a goody-two shoes, nerdy fangirl.  Tattoos are just not my thing.  At least, they’re not supposed to be.

In high school, I spent most of my first hour classes drawing flowers and butterflies on my inner left ankle.  Of course, back then, I never considered actually getting a real tattoo.  Too painful.  Too rebellious.  Too permanent.

About six months ago, however, I started thinking about it.  I really couldn’t afford it, and I wasn’t entirely certain it wasn’t just a passing fancy.  I decided to give it six months.  If I still wanted one then, I’d get one.

Last week, I realized I still wanted one.  I began browsing design ideas and found one of a turtle with a flower on its shell.  I recognized the flower, but couldn’t name it, so I looked it up.  As fate would have it, it was Plumeria rubra acutifolia, or West Indian Jasmine.

I knew right away that was the flower I’d been waiting for.  Beautiful, tropical, and bearing the same name as my sweet Jazzy.  I drew up a design, and Saturday afternoon, my friend Kit Kat met me at Ink Inc in McKinney.  The idea of getting a tattoo is pretty nerve wracking, and I wanted someone there for moral support.

As it turns out, however, the pre-needle anxiety is the worst part of the entire process.  My tattoo artist directed Kat and me into one of the back rooms where I sat down on the operating chair (ha ha).  He sterilized my leg, set the stencil, made sure I was 100% happy with it, and then he opened up the needles.  I learned that was the most important thing you can do while getting a tattoo.  Make sure they open the needles in front of you.

My design has little dots on it, so he said, “Okay, I’m going to start with those.  Are you ready?”

I figured if I could survive the hell that was wisdom teeth extraction, I could handle anything.  So I said, “Go for it.”

For those of you who’ve always wanted a tattoo but are scared of the pain, let me tell you right now, I have had paper cuts that hurt worse than being tattooed.  I’m not kidding.  It’s just above my inner left ankle, which, I’ve heard, is one of the least painful places to get tattooed, but still.  On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most painful, I’d give it a 3.5.  Of course, that kind of pain really doesn’t bother me all that much.  Headaches and muscle cramps, now those almost put me over the edge, but getting tattooed?  Really no big deal.

Especially when the result is this:


Less than a minute after he finished.




Today. Much less red and swollen.

Like I said, I am the last person on Earth anyone would expect to get a tattoo, so I got a wide variety of responses such as, “WAIT WHAT” “Is that your ankle?!!?”  “Is that real?!  Is it permanent?”  and “Welcome to the club!  Look out, they’re addictive!”

I will admit, that I do not have any more planned at this time.  I really just wanted the one on my ankle, and I love it.  I designed it, I love flowers, I love summertime tropical things, and it has special meaning to me.  However, I am open to the idea.

In other non-tattoo news, I’m about ready to begin (or I guess the correct term is “continue”) the editing process.  I have two copies full of edits and suggestions to work with.  Also!  Before I forget, there is a blog called The Book Cover Project.  Authors, all you have to do is submit a picture of your book cover and a small blurb about it.  You can find Cemetery Tours‘ Book Cover Feature here: http://thebookcoverproject.blogspot.in/2014/04/cemetery-tours-jacqueline-smith.html

Have a great Monday, all!


Last night, my mom and I went out to eat at our favorite restaurant.  We got to talking with our waitress, who told us all about her love for photography and her aspirations to earn her Master’s Degree so that she may one day teach photography at a university.  I love meeting people like that who know what their dreams are and who believe in making those dreams their reality.  I like to think I’m like that, but sometimes I wonder if, even though I wrote my book and am trying my best to get it out there, maybe I not quite brave enough.  Some days, I think I’m doing the absolute best I can, but most days I think, “No… there’s a lot more you could be doing.”  I just need to figure out what those things are.

In the mean time, however, our discussion last night reminded me of my own love for photography, and how I enjoy nothing more than spending the day outside on a warm sunny day (not today) and taking pictures.  I know this blog is predominantly for my writing updates, but I thought that I could take a day to share my other passion with you.



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All images Copyright © Jacqueline E. Smith 2014.