At the time I got the 'spirare' tattoo, I thought it would be cool to get 'scribere,' Latin for 'write' on my right wrist (since that is the hand I write with.) But last January when I got 'spirare,' I was in the middle of my major crisis of faith about my writing career. I was doubting if I would ever be published again, if I deserved to call myself a writer anymore, or if I even wanted to be one.
I told myself that when I sold another book, I would get the 'scribere' tattoo along with a Sleater-Kinney quote that has been like my personal motto since I was sixteen years old when I put it in the introduction to the zine, Hospital Gown, that I created to work through the emotionally abusive relationship I'd recently come out of. The quote is "These words are all I am." Writing is my soul, my form of survival--at least I thought it was for most of my life, but again, last year, I was in doubt.
This (unfortunately) is not my round-about way of telling you that I sold another book, but I hope, no, I believe, I will sell another one soon. I finished revisions on The Grief Book on May 10th. They weren't major... I just had to cut about 15,000 words. That book just flowed out of me, though. I'm so proud of it, maybe even more proud than I was of BALLADS, which has always been the book of my heart. My agent took the book out on submission last Friday. I
I breathe and I write. These words ARE all I am. And dammit, I wrote and revised a book in 9 months time (whoa, literal book baby!), I powered through uncertainty, through depression, anxiety, and grief, some very fresh, some as old as my first book now, but still raw and painful at times. That was an accomplishment worth celebrating, so I did with tattoo number 12:
which fits quite perfectly below this tattoo that I got for my first book and goes along with my Sleater-Kinney theme there. (I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is named for the Sleater-Kinney song, and the tattoo features the music for that song. Also "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" is on the same album as "Anonymous," the song my new quote comes from):
So here's to new ink, revived faith, and a book on submission that I