When I first started writing seriously a number of years ago (here's that story if you're interested: http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2010/04/paige-shelton-on-getting-published.html#links), my big goal was, of course, to get published. It can be an all-consuming and heartbreaking goal, but the work was well worth it.
Shortly after my agent sold my first books to Berkley, I had a fleeting thought that over time somehow turned into a big thought that wouldn't go away. In a happy moment, probably in an off-handed way, I said aloud though not to a live person, "If I ever make the New York Times Best Seller list, I'm getting a tattoo with whatever number I land."
Okay, you have to understand: In my head, this was a dream for some time down the road, and when I envisioned the list, my dream shot for a low number, perhaps 1 or maybe 2. Also, I don't have any tattoos. I don't have piercings other than one hole in each ear. I've admired some body art, but never ever been courageous enough to lend my own to the cause. Translation: I'm a pretty boring middle-aged woman.
I can't even begin to share with you the thrill of landing on the New York Times list. When my editor called to tell me the good news, I laughed, I cried -- but I won't go on because that would make us all uncomfortable. Sure, it was the extended list, and hey, it was number 35 out of 35, but it falls right in there with the best moments of my life. Even a lower number, even number 1, couldn't have been more awesome.
That said, I believe in keeping my deals, keeping my promises, even if they are to that invisible universe. I'm proudly getting a "35" tattoo (my husband joked and said that Bo Derek better watch her back now -- yeah, took me a minute to get it too, but he's a good guy), but I can't decide where to put it. It won't be very big, and anything above my shoulders isn't an option, but I'd love to hear suggestions -- locations, fonts, colors . . . I don't know where to begin.
Oh yeah, if you know my parents, you might not want to tell them.