Black feathers play a huge role in my young adult novel Life-Like. They are a reader’s tip-off that the person in front of Liv is an angel. Too bad for Liv, she can’t see they are angels/guides and ignores their attempts to help free her from limbo. One of my favorite moments is when Liv notices Mary’s tattoo.

excerpt: “I noticed a tattoo on the inside of her wrist. It was a small, black feather. Her vein was the quill.”

I think I want this tattoo for myself. The feather represents many things for me:

1. My book

2. My miscarriages

3. My belief in a higher power

I’ve been drawing feathers on my body this week in pen, trying to see if I can find the right place for it. I really want a vein to be the quill, it is such a cool idea. The only other place I have prominent veins is on my shoulder and the inside of my elbow. And I’m not tattooing there, too visible. I toyed with the idea of placing it inside my pelvic bone, so it would arc over it, but that tattoo would be too big. I’m also going to sketch it above my girly bit on a smooth patch of skin, as an homage to the babies I’ve lost to miscarriage. But I don’t think that’s where the feather wants to go.

Now, I’d like to quote my mother when I say, “Can’t you just draw a picture of it and hang it on the wall?” I’m sure my dad feels the same way too. The simple answer is I could, but it wouldn’t be the same. I want a scar to show my pain, my attempts at healing, and I want it as a symbol of my work.

In my mind the feather tattoo is black and gray on Mary. The line work is fine and the feather looks as if a breeze is blowing through it making the downy bottom part of the feather fan. On me there has to be some color, a hint of blue.  I wish I could sketch, I ‘d draw what I see. I’ve looked on-line and seen some cool tatts, a feather with birds emerging from the top, which totally fits in with Life-Like, but does not suit me.

I found these, they’re not quite it, but you get the idea. I don’t know why I’m on this kick. Maybe it is because I am in limbo, searching for an agent and unable to move ahead until I find my match.

6095884_f260 feather tattoo designs_back_upper_sexy_girls Crosses_tattoo_424


4 thoughts on “feathers

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  1. I had a friend draw my tattoo after I showed her a bunch of pictures and explained what I wanted and it turned out great. And it’s also cool that all my life, I’ll have a picture my friend drew, on me. BTW, if you have a rec for a tattoo artist in CLT, a friend is looking for one (I had mine done in NYC).

  2. Carin,
    Now you’re going to show me this ink of yours! The other tattoo I have is one I drew. I brought it to an artist in La whose work I loved and asked him to make it better, he said, what’s to make better? It’s your art on your body, and he was right!

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