The tradition for me is to make the tattoo reflective of the story. In this case, I want a version of the tattoo on Rhiannon, my hero, who is a member of the Guild of Orchalyva, the weaponsmasters. Here is the description straight from Lotus Petals:
On her left shoulder blade, she wore the savage black tattoo, the image of a double-headed axe ringed by weaving knotwork patterns. The ring grew narrower at the top, wider and more intricate at the bottom, like a circlet, a royal diadem around the warrior’s blade. Along the bottom of the design read a short inscription in the Greek language—Aijyn recognized the characters from engravings and artwork the daimyo and his samurai sometimes collected. Orgí kai chályva, the creed of the weapons-masters: "rage" and "steel".
Here is my challenge to you, my lovelies: help me commemorate the release of Lotus Petals and become part of the tradition. If you are artistic, like to design tattoos, or just want a chance to win a free copy of the book, send me a tattoo design that will incorporate the elements of Rhiannon's tattoo above. They don't have to be arranged the same way as described, but the key elements -- the labrys (axe), the Greek phrase, the diadem -- should all be included. Fonts, designs, knotwork if you want to include it, are all at your leisure to design. Though Rhiannon wears her tattoo on her left shoulder blade, I've already got a tattoo there, so this one will be going on my right ankle. Design it however you like: as a single image, as an "anklet", or any other creative design. My tattoos are generally small, so something roughly 3x3 (think a standard Post-It Note) would be best. I would consider larger, if the design is worth it. One thing to note: lettering on a tattoo can only be so small, and my tattoo artist won't do it if he thinks the letters will bleed together.
Lotus Petals is set to be released on Friday, January 17th; I'll be at the tattoo parlor on Saturday, getting the celebratory ink! Submit your designs to me at Brantwijn at gmail dot com,
So get your pencils ready, darlings! Show me your tattooing talent and let's celebrate the book's release!
(Original designs only. I shall be very cross if I find out you've taken another's design.)