Tattoo Tuesday – My New Tattoo

This Tattoo Tuesday, I decided to share my most recent tattoo story.  Recent as in two day ago.

So, let me take you though it.  First I pick out an image.

I love lotus flowers and the meaning behind them.  They have a fascinating life.  The lotus flower begins as a seed buried deep into the mud and sediment of a lake or pond.  It pushes its way through the dirt and muck reaching for the light.  When passes through the murky water, it purifies it and makes the water clear.  The messier its surroundings, the more beautiful the lotus becomes.  It is inspiring to me to think that beauty can come from less then ideal situations.

Next, my tattoo artist takes my image and creates a stencil.  I have a couple of tattoos where the artist drew the image free hand directly on my skin.  This tattoo needed clean solid lines and was pretty specific, so the stencil was the way to go.

That is YoYo.

After she places the stencil, she gets to work on my tattoo.

At this point, just imagine a hot nail being dragged across your skin like a hot poker and then mix that with the sound of a tooth drill.  It is so much fun.

But, if you can stand all that, you end up with something like this:

Happiness, Passion, Love & Faith

If you have a tattoo story to share, let me know.  

My Weekly Update – Interview, Interesting and I’m Going to Camp

This is Interesting.


Last week, an interview that I conducted a couple of months ago was posted on My First Book.  It was a really great interview and I am happy it is out there because the interview is so me.  If that makes sense.  And, it surprised me just how different things where just 2 month ago.  Two months ago I had not finished my first draft of ‘I’m Coming Home’. Two months ago, I didn’t have an outline for another story and ready to tackle another challenge (Campnano starts in 3 days). And, 2 months ago, I didn’t really have a clue how writing would become so much a part of my life the way it has.  I enjoy conducting interviews because I can learn so much from other, but I had no idea in doing an interview, I would learn so much about myself.

Thanks so much Misha.


A couple of items I found interesting this week:

In the last two week, I had two days with huge numbers on my site. I like to think it was because of my brilliant content, but part of it is what I am calling the ‘Stumble Upon Effect’.  I have a Stumble Upon tribe in Triberr and all we are required to do is Stumble each others post and I am happy to see that it has increased my site hits.  And, the most popular page viewed on those two days – Tattoo Tuesday.  If you want to gain some exposure, submit your tattoo stories.  I would love to feature you on Tattoo Tuesday.

Another Triberr related item of interest, my blog friend Fel at The Peasant Revolt shared her thoughts on SEO.  I admit I am clueless about why this is so important to grow your blog traffic and she clears it up a bit. She also shares a fun webinar by one of the Triberr creators Dino Dogan on the this topic.  Great stuff.

Another great post I came across was over at Pensuasion called A Modern Make-Over:  The Classics Retold. As someone who loves movies, old and new, I found it interesting her take on how well these modern make overs retold the classics we know and love.

I’m Going to Camp

That’s right people.  I am going to camp.  I have once again signed up for a 50,000 words in 31 days challenge and this time it is called CampNaNo.  I am basically testing out my theory that I brought up last month about whether my first writing experience in JuNoWriMo ruined me.  All things came together in June, which allowed me to write a good and complete first draft.  So, the real test is, can I do it again.

I am on track with finishing my outline, character and scene sketches.  The more I get into this story the excited I am to tell it.  You can follow my progress with daily update under the Sydney Aaliyah Writes tab at the top.  Wish me luck!

New Followers – thanks so much to my new followers, you guys and gals are awesome.

Karen from Charron’s Chatter
Julie from Word Flows
The Star Chasers
Susan Moffat from Writing Glimmers
Chris Stocking from Write to Perfect
Kelly from This is Helenora
Poetic Parfait
Carrie at dare I eat a peach?
Deena the Digital Diva from Digital eBook Building and Formatting

Next Weeks Schedule

Tuesday – Tattoo Tuesday
Wednesday – Insecure Writer’s Support Group & First day of Campnano
Friday – Blog Post – I am prepared this week
Sunday – My Weekly Update

I am in a Quandary

I just love that word, but I don’t love this situation.  Let me tell you about my quandary.

You see, in My Weekly Update, I promised you a blog post today.  The issue is that I don’t have a post ready.

Now, this isn’t the usual, ‘I don’t have anything to say’ post.  I have a lot to say. In fact, I have 6 pre-written post for exactly these type of situations.  But, unfortunately, I don’t have access to them at all day.  They are on another computer in another city.

I could probably remember a few words of some, but they are already perfect and I would hate to waste a post by giving it to you half assed.

I could talk about what is coming up next week, but then that would spoil My Weekly Update for this Sunday.

I could go into a dissertation about something in my writing that I need help with, but that is what Insecure Writer’s Support Group is for, which is coming up next Wednesday.

I could create a list or pose a question for all of us to debate, but I am not in the mood.

I could post some random photos from my trip to Tokyo two years ago, but that is actually a great idea for another post for another day.  How cute is this lady on her wedding day?


I could not post anything and then apologize for it later, but that would bother me for years to come.  Plus, I really don’t like those post that apologize for not posting.  Truth is, I would rather you come back with a great post about something I can get behind instead of the ‘sorry, I haven’t posted in a while’ post.

I knew this was going to happen some time in my blogging career.  I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon.  Neither did you, I bet.  Your probably saying to yourself right now, “She was so young,” while shaking your head with bemused pity.

But, no worries.  It did it once.  But, I will never do it again.  This month anyway.

Ok, talk amongst yourself.  


Sydney Quotes the Movies – The Ides of March

I watched Ides of March today. Written, directed and starring Mr. George Clooney, rarely does he disappoint, and the lovely Mr. Ryan Gosling who can do no wrong.

I was excited about this movie because of the cast (Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright) and the concept. By, I think my expectations were to high.

When ever I think of political drama, election drama, dialogue driven drama, I think of Aaron Sorkin. Well, this movie was no Aaron Sorkin drama. But, if I measure it alone, it was a pretty good movie. Great story and great message. It is becoming the oldest story in the book.

Young idealistic and “media smart” Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) is quite the patriot.  “I’m not a Christian. I’m not an Atheist. I’m not Jewish. I’m not Muslim. My religion, what I believe in is called the Constitution of United States of America.”

He feels like he has finally found a presidential candidate in Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) that can and will change America.

Even the media love him.  – “All the reporters love you. Even the reporters that hate you still love you.”

Morris is dedicated to running a clean campaign, no mudslinging, no negative campaign ads and no offering cabinet positions to people he doesn’t respect in order to get votes.

Everyone around him had “drunk the kool aid” and even his wife was in on it. That was the part that really threw me because they have this really great scene with him and his wife riding in a car. She is resting her head on his shoulder while he is making notes on a speech. She looks at him in her best “My husband is the greatest man in the world” look and then begins to try and convince him to make a deal with someone he doesn’t like in order to win the election. Using the same argument that his campaign managers made on him earlier. He refuses to make the deal and refrains from telling her off. Just gives her an uncomfortable giggle and then kisses her on her forehead.

Big spoiler alert, Clooney’s character isn’t what he appears. He breaks the cardinal rule that all presidents since Clinton must adhere to, DON’T SLEEP WITH AN INTERN! Anyway, the intern gets pregnant. And, she ends up either accidentally or on purpose, od’ing on pills and dies.

The young idealist finds he has to turn into what he hates in order to save his own ass and perhaps the election as well. He orchestrates it pretty brilliantly.

At the beginning of this movie you really like everyone. All the characters seem like good people. But, by the end of the movie, everyone one seems a little seedy. Even the young intern.

While the writing wasn’t what I was expecting, two lines stood out to me and really made me enjoy this movie.

“We’re going to be fine. We have to do it and it’s the right thing to do. And, nothing bad happens when your doing the right thing.” – Ryan Gosling in Ides of March – While he still feels like they can concur the world because they are the good guys.

Then, . . .

“Cause you broke the only rule in politics. You want to be president? You can start a war, you can lie, you can cheat, you can bankrupt the country. But you can’t fuck the interns.” – Ryan Gosling – Really great line and it was delivered by Ryan Gosling’s character beautifully. Needless to say by this time, his idealism has been shaken.

If you like these actors, they will live up to your expectations as actors, but in comparison to other political dramas, it misses the mark.

Tattoo Tuesday – They Don’t Like My Ink

Marvin by Tom Armstrong

When it comes to personal forms of expression tattooing your body is as personal and as expressive as it gets, but we don’t live in a bubble.  People are going to see your tattoo.  You may be thinking, oh, I will get it some place where no one can see.  My personal opinion is what’s the point, but regardless, unless you never plan on taking your closes off in front of anyone every again.  Someone, at some point, somewhere is going to see it.  So, do their opinions matter?  I guess it just depends.

When I got my first tattoo, my parents were not thrilled about the idea.  But, they weren’t exactly surprised about my decision, either.  I have always been the one in the family that was a little different.  I have a long history of stunts that pushed the boundaries on their patients under the guise of self expression (I once shaved my head in high school, but that is another story for another day).  When I told them I was going to get a tattoo, they tried to talk me out of it.

I heard all the typical excuses: your to young, what you like now will change, tattooed people are delinquents, you will regret it when you are older.  I didn’t care. I had made up my mind and I was not going to be dissuaded.  On a family vacation to New York, I broke away from the group, went down to The Village and got may first tattoo from an Asian guy named Sammy.

And you know what, my parent got used to it.  Don’t get me wrong, every time I show up at home with a new tat, my mother still gives me that look, but it is worth it for the opportunity to express myself as I see fit. After all, they were the ones that raised this strong willed, independent, and a little crazy sometimes daughter.  It’s all their fault anyway.  Shout out to my supportive parents.

When you got a tattoo, how did your people react?  Did their opinion effect what you got and where you got it? If you don’t have one, but want one, is this the reason why?  

I am always looking for great tattoo stories.  If you would like be featured on Tattoo Tuesday in the future, let me know.

Thanks so much to Kate for being my first Tattoo Tuesday friend.  Check out her book inspired tattoo, here.

Oh, I almost forgot.  I have a special treat for you next week.  Guess what, I am getting a tattoo.