Shameless Begging for Presents

My birthday is in one week. I’ll be turning the big 4-0, and yeah if you’re wondering I’m having a party; if you’re a friend of mine and in NYC you’ll get the invite soon. (Dayjob madness means I never celebrate the big day on the big day; it’ll be closer to the end of the month or early October.) But in addition to a party, I’m doing something else to celebrate: I’m gettin’ a tattoo.

I mean, most people have their midlife crisis at this age, right? I got mine out of the way at 30, when I looked around and realized I was miserable in Boston, in debt up to my eyeballs, and nowhere near my dream of becoming a published author. So I got a new job and moved to New York, tried to manage my finances better (and eventually got out of debt), and started making a serious effort at getting published (which worked). I’m actually pretty content with my life these days, so I’m not sure what else I can have a midlife crisis about. But that’s OK! I can still pretend to have one, at least superficially. I’m not much interested in getting a sports car — you know how much parking and insurance costs in NYC? And I wouldn’t say no to some cute young thing, provided he likes the right books and although my definition of “young” includes fortysomethings so I’m not sure that fits the midlife crisis paradigm. But the tattoo? That I can do.

And I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo based on the Gatherers’ tats in the Dreamblood. Specifically I want a stylized blue lotus on one shoulder, and a black rose on the other. (Yes, Nijiri and Ehiru’s Gatherer marks.) In my head, these symbols are a cross between Adinkra and Egyptian hieroglyphs — thick black lines, simple, elegant. But since the world of the Dreaming Moon isn’t Earth, I didn’t want to just mooch actual Earth symbology. I’d like to make something new. The problem, though, is that I can’t draw. But some of you can.

So I guess this is a kind of contest. If you are so inclined, send me an image file (under 1 mb, please) with your rendering of what these two symbols would look like. If I like your design, I will a) showcase it here, b) send you your choice of any of my books, signed, or give you a raincheck for a future book, and c) have it driven into my skin with surgical needles. Cool?

Of course, if you just want to wish me a happy birthday (in a week), that’s cool, too!

9 thoughts on “Shameless Begging for Presents”

  1. I would suggest your find the tattoo artist first -based on your personalities matching and his/her previous artwork. Tattoo artists are artists and can lend a divining eye to your imagined design.

    On another note, I’m gaping at the screen because I thought that the world of Dreaming Moon was an alternate Egypt. Can you hear my inner imagination exploding at this revelation!

  2. Actually, I was just thinking that I wanted to send you a present. :) Given that I make jewellery, quilt, and knit, is there anything you particularly like? Particular stones? Particular colours?

    (I regret that I probably can’t manage a quilt with lotuses and roses appliqued on it, though. Sorry.)

  3. Your birthday is on the 19th? Sweet – that’s my birthday too!

    My fiance has the same birthday as Neil Gaiman, so with this news, he can’t hog all of the “sharing a birthday with an awesome fantasy author” glory. Yay!

  4. I have no artistic skill but I hope you end up with a beautiful result to celebrate your milestone birthday.

  5. Hi here in Hong Kong, I just bought the Inheritance trilogy. Starting to read the first book

    Congratulations on it being available. There’s only a limited number of chains that stock books in English and even amongst these stores many of them have limited shelf space, so even a large store like Dymocks will often only carry Children’s Fiction because it sells the best and everything else gets lumped as fiction and non-fiction.

    Amongst bookstores that do have the space for carrying a wide variety much of SF/Fantasy are dedicated to HALO and Warhammer book tie-ins. After that you have a few titles from Peter F Hamilton, some Song of Ice and Fire from George RR Martin, an oddly large number of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadow of the Apt books plus a bunch of generic Urban Fantasy.

    What little space is left over is left for random chance, with nothing very consistent. I found your books at a Page One bookstore in Tsim Tsa Tsui (a major commercial and tourist hub). But out of these random purchases, some titles can end up selling decently and end up picked up for more store branches. Hope that happens for your series

    Until the big Children’s fiction boom and movie tie-in to things like Harry Potter and Hunger Games, people in Hong Kong typically did not read much for entertainment. Imported books are expensive especially for titles that have strong exchange rates against the dollar and the English standard has been declining for over a decade so many people find it hard to sit and read a door-stopper novel.

  6. Having my crisis at 31 here. I really admire how you were able to *get out* of your situation. I’m in a similar one. My city is utterly devoid of jobs (fast food says I’m overqualified) and the only thing keeping me here are the mental health services and my family. In that order. Lol.

    My question is how did you get out? How did you find the time and, if you don’t mind me asking, the money? Why did you choose to live where you lived? Do you think it was directly related to your success as a novelist?

    Happy belated birthday.

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