Sunday, December 30, 2012

My First Tattoo at 43 - Kathryn Knight

I admit it, I definitely have a wild side.  I've always wanted a tattoo, and once every few years I would spend time researching the process and looking for artist recommendations.  But it's such a permanent and personal thing, and the one thing holding me back was: what did I want inked onto my body?

I've read enough to know you don't show up at a tattoo parlor and pick "flash" off the wall.  I wanted something meaningful and significant, like what I gave my hero in Silver Lake.  Jason Lansing had the Japanese symbols for an inspirational statement inked onto the outside of his shoulder right before he took the plunge and opened his own Karate studio.

I decided for sure I would somehow want to incorporate the men in my family: my husband and two sons, the most important people in my life.  But the design I had in mind still felt incomplete, and I was lacking the motivation to actually begin the process with the artist I planned to use.

Then I got the "call" last winter, a year ago on a cold morning of December 2011.  Silver Lake, the novel I'd worked on for 4 years, had earned a publishing contract.  It was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

Silver Lake was released in August of 2012, and from the moment I saw it available on Amazon a few days early, I didn't sleep for almost a week.  The excitement of the arrival of a day I had been anxiously awaiting, combined with the stress of knowing many of my family and friends were finally reading my words, fueled an insomnia that lingered until those first few reviews came in.

Somehow, I wanted to include this huge accomplishment in a subtle way into my tattoo design.  Suddenly I knew exactly what it would look like, and I wanted to get it before 2012 - the year I was published - was history.  I quickly made a rudimentary mock-up of what I had in mind and made an appointment with the artist.

Surprisingly, it didn't hurt very much.  I did almost faint before we got started, but that's the kind of thing I do around needles.  The end result is a design incorporating the first initials of my guys with the moon from Silver Lake's cover.  I truly love it, and it serves as a reminder that you have to work for what you want in life, be patient, stay strong, and nurture the gifts you've been given. 


  1. Congrats on taking the plunge! I got my first at 40 and my second at 45! They are a little addicting! :)

  2. Thanks Melissa, so glad I'm not the only one :) I can imagine they are addicting, I always notice I say "my first" when I refer to it, lol.

  3. You brave lady! I was tempted to get a tattoo after reading Sarah Hall's 'The Electric Michaelangelo' but I've never quite plucked up the nerve. Maybe when I'm 43 - I have a year or two to go yet!

  4. Thanks Stephanie! I'm glad I finally did it...honestly the anticipation right before was worse than the actual pain! But a topical skin numbing agent is also a wise investment :)