Monday, July 13, 2009

The Ballad of a Birthday Tattoo: Stephanie Kuehnert

Today is the kickoff of the Ballads of Suburbia Cyber Launch Party!!!!! Welcome!!!

Here are the details:

Over the next month (Yes, seriously this will run every week day until 8/14. I have no idea what I've gotten myself into!), author and musician guest bloggers (and sometimes me) will share their "ballads"--the stories of poignant moments in their life (or one of their character's lives) or about their relationship with music or a certain song. You can find out who all of my guests are by viewing the video invitation!

Each day I will host a contest, whether it is something given away by my guest or something I donate. Each contest will be open for one week. Then a winner will be chosen at random from the comments.

At the very end of the Cyber Launch Party, a grand prize winner will be drawn at random from the comments on all the blogs and they will receive a gift basket of MTV/Pocket Books!!! So the more blogs you comment on, the more entries you have to win that grand prize! Fine print: Due to shipping costs, only people with US mailing addresses are eligible for the grand prize.

Now let's get this party started!

I figured the best way to get this party started is to post my very first ever vlog! You'll even learn how to pronounce my last name! It comes in two parts:

Part One: The Ballad of a Birthday Tattoo
(In this part I talk about and show off the tattoo I got this weekend with Jeri Smith-Ready.)

Special notes about this vlog:
-The video invitation I mentioned is here.
-The blog from February that I mention is here.
-That strange sound in the background toward the end is probably Sid meowing.
-This is filmed in my bedroom by my fiance. Those are his Johnny Cash and Misfits posters. I coveted them like crazy while were dating and planned for them to go up in the bedroom as soon as he moved it. It's an added perk to marrying him, good posters.
-Apologies for the awful bags under my eyes. The curse of the insomniac. I also filmed this at like 3 am after work.

Part Two: Reading from Adrian's Ballad
(In this part I read a section from one of the character's ballads in Ballads of Suburbia)

Special notes about this vlog:
-Now I'm in my office with all my own posters and a photo collage of my friends I made before I moved out on my own at 17. I filmed this one myself so I sound extra lispy. Sorry.
-If this reading inspires you to pre-order the book, I recommend you do so from Women & Children First because then you can get a signed copy. All the details are here.
-Remember when you buy or pre-order to book to enter the Ballads Blitz, which isn't my contest, but a fabulous contest put on by Write for a Reader. And there are some awesome prizes! Speaking of contests....

Last week, I ran a contest for my first-hot-off-the-presses copy of Ballads of Suburbia. I barely got any entries. That was probably my own fault. It's not really fun to blog about or link to the Cyber Release Party when it is not going on and there is nothing to see yet. But now there is lots to see. So I'm carrying over last weeks entries to this week and continuing that contest....

Up for grabs is my first hot-off-the-presses copy of Ballads and since I'm extending the contest, I'll throw in another prize. You'll also get a copy of my Ballads soundtrack cd.

+1 for a comment on the blog.
+1 for a comment telling me about a significant tattoo you got or would get if you were ever to get a tattoo
+1 for spreading the word about this blog, the cyber release party, linking to the video invite or to one or both of my vlogs from today. Do it via twitter, blog, facebook, myspace, whatever. You can do as many of these entries as you want. Please list them in the comments here though since this party will be keeping me so busy I won't have time to be tallying from multiple places (except for last weeks entries, I have those and will add them to the tally, don't worry!)

Tomorrow's Guest:
As I mentioned in the vlog is the fabulous Cecil Castellucci. Please come back tomorrow to read her ballad because it rocks and she's giving away a copy of my personal favorite of her books, Beige.

Some other random links:
-A column I wrote for my local paper about my feelings (or lack thereof) about turning 30.
-Teen Fiction Cafe. Where I will be blogging about cupcakes shortly :)

And last but not least, for everyone curious about what I am doing for my birthday, I am going to Green Day. Fabulous fiance and BFF got me tickets! Woo hoo!


little miss gnomide said...

Hey! This blog party is an awesome idea.

I have two tattoos. I got the one on the small of my back about 7 yrs ago with my 2 younger brothers. It is the trinity symbol and (in Latin) around the symbol it says "a three-fold cord is not quickly broken. It's from Ecclesiastes (I was raised very religious) and it symbolizes our sibling bond.

I just got a new tattoo. It's a little blue star on my left hand. My hubby has a little red star on his right hand. So now when we hold hands our stars will be touching.

(I know, I know...we're sappy...)

Annika said...

My most significant tattoos are the ones I didn't get. When I was 18 I was planning to get a dragonfly that my best friend drew on all our letters. I was delayed and missed my appointment. When Will and I got married we were going to both get a phrase in Latin, but we never got around to it. And this Mother's Day I was going to get Sam's zodiac symbol, but I found out that I am pregnant so I've put that one off as well.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

OMG Annika, you are pregnant!!!! I am a bad bad friend for not keeping up. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! I think you need to get double contest entries since you are entering for two. And great almost tat stories.

Gwen, I love your tattoos. Especially the one with your hubby!

Annika said...

Thank you! It was a pretty nice surprise.

By the way, I tweeted a link to this post. Hopefully some of my friends will enter your contest!

lyndsey dee said...

Ooh cyber party! This is a fan idea.

I don't have any tattoos---YET. I've been pondering what I would get since I turned 18 and here I am going to be 26 in a couple weeks. I've been drawn to old school/Sailor Jerry style forever now. I've always wanted swallows-cliché-but I figured they'd be my constant reminder that I've picked myself out of life's ruts. I'm also a big fan of catholic symbols (that in being raised catholic and being so mike ness-y) and once considered the virgin Mary. Still not sure, sometime the right time will come as well as the money to have it done. :)

lyndsey dee said...

Fab idea, not fan. Curses iPhone autospell!

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

Happy Birthday!!!

I love hearing the ballad of your new tattoo and it looks great! I think tattoo stories are always the most interesting to hear because most of the time they do have a very deeper meaning behind it, like yours =D!

(Don't enter me in this giveaway since I already have the book. Love the posters in the rooms too by the way.)


DeNiSe said...

+1 for a comment on the blog.
+1 If I were ever able to get a tattoo I would be a dove To me a dove represents Love Freedom and so much more I think It would be a great tattoo 
+1 I posted A link to you cyber party as well and the video that come with it


can You tell I really want to win 

Diana Dang said...

No tattoos here. But I have spread the word at twitter ( and my blog (

Can't wait!

Melanie said...

The blog party is such a cool idea! I remember hearing Khy, from Frenetic Reader, saying that Ballads made her cry. It's been a long time since I've cried just from reading a book, and I'd love a chance to read it. Congrats on your second release!

I don't know if I'll have the guts to get a tattoo. I once made myself cry by giving myself a papercut. Yeah, I hate inflicting pain, of any kind, on myself, on purpose. However, if I were to ever get one, I think the idea of a dragonfly. They're cool. :)

Lilixtreme said...

I commented on the other post and I'm adding an extra entry because I wanted to tell the tattoos I would get if I could. I would most likely get the 4 elements (Air, Water, Earth, and Fire) in chinese symbols on corners of my body and probably a ying-yang on my forearm.

donnas said...

Congrats on the release.

I dont have any tattoos but I have often thought about it. I just 1. havent decided where I would put it or 2. seen anything that really hits me yet.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

No tattoos unfortunately but I would love to get one.Though I'm a wimp so it could be years!

Alyson Noel said...

Happy Birthday, Stephanie! I LOVE your latest tattoo and the story behind it!

Shelly B said...

Love the blog party! I especially like your "special notes" for your vlogs.

I have debated about getting a tat, but my hubby's not really fond of them. If I did, it would probably be a fairy.

I'm blogging about the party, book signing, Blitz in tomorrow's Wednesday Wanderings post on my blog. It will post in the morning.

shelcows AT gmail DOT com

Breanna said...

Yay for the first day of your release party! I totally forgot to come check it out yesterday. But I'm here now! I have yet to watch your vlogs but definitely will later :)

Please enter me for the copy of Ballads! I'm a slacker and still haven't pre-ordered it. So winning would be even better! Lol

I still don't have any tattoos but if I were to ever get one it would be my girl's names on my upper back. I think it would be so awesome to have their names on me for the rest of my life. And it would look really cute too. "Hallie and Lizzie" I'd want a couple hearts around it too because I love them so much! That would be really significant to me.


pepsivanilla said...

What a great idea for a blog party!

I don't think I can get a tattoo, since my skin freaks out when I wear metal jewelry, so metal under my skin would be bad. If I ever got one though, it would probably be a verse from the Bible, but I'm not sure which one.


Robby said...

i want this book. so badly. i'll pee my pants if i win.
i'm 14, so tattoos aren't exactly legal for me yet. :)
if i got a tatoo, though, i want to get a heart on my forearm, like the whole 'heart on my sleeve.' i'm an honest, sensitive person and i don't know. it's just something i've always wanted.


Unknown said...

Well, crap. I totally missed your birthday--but hey, at least I got to share it with you LAST YEAR, right? Anyway...happy belated. I adore you in so many ways, and it was so fun to see you in your Vlog. You look as awesome as ever, and now I miss you even more (but feel like I kinda-sorta got to hang out with you too!).

As for my belongs to you, of course. How could I not get inked on your birthday, and in honor of our Rock 'n' Read event? It read FRENEMIES...and I think it stayed there a full week. (Turns out Sharpies aren't really PERMANENT-permanent...probably a good thing. :-)

And CONGRATS TO ANNIKA! Another little one on the way. Wheeeee.


Alexandra K said...

I really like this idea! I loved I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, and I am so looking forward to reading Ballads of Suburbia, even if I have to buy a copy. :)

I haven't decided for sure if I want to get a tattoo or not (it's kinda permanent for my current tastes), but if I really want one, I know exactly what I would get: "fiat lux" in my own handwriting on my right wrist. First of all, it's in Latin, which I mostly adore (Latin and I have a love/hate relationship, wich intensifies when I have to read Cicero for class), I love the verb "fiat" and what its construction suggests, and I love the meaning - let there be light.

Lori T said...

Hi Stephanie!

I am loving your blog party.

I have four tattoos. The first one was sort of a whim...I had always wanted one and I went with my friend to get hers retouched and the amazing tattoo artist had an opening and said she could fit me my first tattoo. Which actually was for my birthday.

The next one was on my ankle to match the one on my arm.

The third is a nautical star on my chest which I got with my two oldest daughters...who also got stars at the same time.

The fourth is a Celtic knot for my family.

Thao said...

Great party. Happy birthday to you (again) and early birthday of Ballads. The vblogs are awesome, somehow the backgrounds remind me so much of Ballads so I think I'm going to reread it now : )

I'm not a fan of tattoos but yours look great. And I'm glad I know how to pronounce your last name now.

Llehn said...

Woo! I love a good party!

If I were to have a tatoo I'd probably get a small butterfly one on my shoulder blade because it looks sooooo sexy! But I am too much of a wimp!

Kay said...

Happy (belated) birthday, Stephanie! The blog party is a great idea.
I'm only just legal to be tattooed, so I don't have any at the moment. When I get around to getting tattooed, I'd like my hip tattooed. Don't know why. But I'd like a cute kind of girly skull and crossbones.

marina said...

i really like the blog party ballads thing. it's neat to read about other people's stories. well, it's neat to read stories in general.

marina said...

i like your tattoo. both of the ones you showed us. my sister has indecision on the back of her neck and pictures from the web comic explodingdog.


Sara said...

A month-long party - great idea! I'll definitely come back every day ;)

I don't have a tattoo, and haven't been thinking about getting one either...


Kristen said...

Great idea about the blog party!

I wish I had a tattoo of wings, or a small fairy - because I still believe there are things magical that we cannot see.

I tweeted!

Hailey said...

This sounds like an awesome book! Please enter me.

+1 If I were to get a tattoo it would be of snoopy and it would be on the back of my left shoulder!! I have always loved snoopy and wanted a tattoo of him, but I'm scared it would be really hurt.

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