Tuesday Top Ten – Things You Should Know Before Getting a Fandom Tattoo

I know that its been awhile since I’ve done a Tuesday Top Ten and I feel bad about that. I’ve been so busy and I’m glad to be back and with such a fun topic. I love tattoos. I love getting them, information pills I love having them and I love showing them off. I admit, buy summer is usually my favorite time of the year because I don’t have to bundle up and cover it and my tattoos can be seen. I love when people see them, healing and I really love that I can see them. I get them for myself first and foremost, so I love having them show.

That being said! I’ve had a lot of people come to me and ask me for advice over the past few years, and I thought, you know what, I’m going to do a Tuesday Top Ten talking about getting a tattoo and the things you should know!

1. Research Your Artist

This seems like a common sense to me, but you’d be surprised how many people just don’t do this. Its important to feel comfortable with the person that you’re getting a tattoo from. They should have a good reputation, work in a clean tattoo shop, and all of that sort of thing. But they also should be on the same page as you when it comes to your vision and what you want. Not all tattoo artists are the same! I use the same artist for a good chunk of my tattoos but I know that I won’t always be going to him, because there might be some tattoos that he might not feeling comfortable doing. Do your research for sure!

This is also important: be VERY clear on what you want. Bring pictures, examples, all of that. Make sure you and your artist are on the same page about what you want. Vague descriptions, “I don’t really know what I want”, that sort of thing is just frustrating to an artist. Give them something and work together to create something that you’re going to love and that they feel 100% comfortable tattooing.

2. More Money, Better Quality

Again, should be common sense. But again, people don’t put the time to think about this. You’re going to be spending a good amount of money. Most shops have a minimum of about 60 to 80 dollars, no matter how small the tattoo is. Please be aware of that. Your tattoo artist, for the most part, is not trying to rip you off. You are definitely going to get what you paid for, so pay more! You are spending money on the quality of the tattoo and this should be incredibly important to you as its going to be on your body forever!

3. Put Some Time and Thought Into It

This is huge to me. I don’t believe that every single tattoo on your body should have some deep soulful meaning. I don’t. I think tattoos can be there just because you want them, or just because you appreciate the artistic value of them. Either way, you still should think before you get one. Put some thought into it, especially if its a fandom tattoo. Is this something you want on your body forever? Is it something that, even if you don’t like later, you can look back onto fondly? I may not always love the book series I’ve permanently etched on my skin but right now, they mean so much to me and I’ll remember that when I’m older. Give some thought to what you want!

4. Location!

THIS IS HUGE! This is incredibly huge and you need to think about this. The location is incredibly important when getting a tattoo. One, you need to make sure that you have enough space available for what you’re hoping to get tattooed. Don’t think you can get something huge on your arm if you have noodle arms. Be realistic.

You also have to think of it because of potential job situations. I would never judge anyone who has visible tattoos…I have plenty! But if you’re looking to go into something that looks down on visible tattoos (though I think that’s becoming more and more rare), you need to weigh how much you want your tattoo in that location versus how important that career choice is for you. You should also keep in mind that while a job might be okay with a visible tattoo, do you want to present a huge Pikachu on your bicep to the people you will be interacting with at work.

Lastly, you need to think of the pain. That’ll be covered more below but location is huge when it comes to pain and pain tolerance.

5. Its Going to Hurt

Yup. It is. Don’t let anyone tell you that its not. Tattoo artists use anywhere from one to many needles at one time, and yes, they’re stabbing at your skin over and over again.

What’s great about this is…I personally think its not nearly as bad as people make it out to be, at least in the locations that I’ve gotten tattoos so far. Some areas hurt more than others. Places that are more muscly or bony tend to hurt more. My thigh and ankle were the worst places for me and I keep putting off my rib tattoo because I’m not quite sure I can handle it. But all of my other tattoos were mildly painful but definitely tolerable. Be aware of this. Know which locations hurt more than others when deciding where to get your tattoo and keep that in mind. If you have a low pain tolerance, I wouldn’t suggest getting your tattoo in a spot where its going to be incredibly painful! That or be very prepared to feel that pain. In the end, for me, the pain is always worth it because of the beautiful piece of artwork left behind. Also! Talk to your artist; they will take breaks, and give your skin a breather if that’s what you need!

6. Trust Your Artist!

Yes please do! These people have spent years doing what they do. They must apprentice and learn all the different aspects of tattooing and running a tattoo shop. They draw and draw and draw and practice and practice and practice before they even tattoo somebody. This is a trade, just like any other trade that has to spend time learning and they know best. If they suggest something, you need to listen. This is why researching your artist is very important. Find someone who sees your vision and gives it to you in a very practical way. This is not only going on your body, but this is something that is under their belt and they want to be proud of it. They know better than we do. Of course, don’t give up everything you want! Just like with everything, there is a compromise. Listen to your artist, tell them what you want and work together to come up with the best tattoo for you!

7. Tips, Tips, Tips

Its so simple: tip your artist. They work hard! They draw out the design for you, they make sure its on straight, which canNOT be an easy task, and they spend a lot of time, hours, multiple sessions, bent over, making sure your tattoo comes out perfect. Its simple. Just tip them. They deserve it!

8. There is Long Term Care

Please remember this! You don’t just get to walk out of a tattoo shop, and wham, you’re done. There’s a lot of care going into a tattoo. When you first get it, you need to do everything your artist tells you to do in order to make sure it heals right. Keep it out of the sun, lotion it up, all that good stuff. This is important to make sure that it heals correctly. But also remember, after it heals, you still need to take care of it! Sunscreen will keep it safe from sunburns and fading, and lotioning it up will make it look shiny, and soft and new! Also keep in mind that you will be putting more money into that tattoo over the years, to keep it looking fresh! Touch ups are necessary. Tattoos are something you need to care for, so its definitely something you need to keep in mind!

9. Its Addicting 

People always joke, oh tattoos are so addicting. I remember laughing and thinking, no way! I just want a few and I’m good at that. Fourteen tattoos and a million more ideas later…and I would agree with that assessment. I’m not saying that’s going to be you! But do keep in mind that you just might be bit by the tattoo bug. I’m happy to be a part of the club though, so if you do get a little addicted, there’s nothing wrong with that. Remember: its your body!

10. Be Confident

This one I put on here especially because of fandom tattoos. People are NOT going to understand. Fandom people will and its awesome to get compliments on my Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Wars and other nerdy tattoos. It really is. But not everyone is going to think that. Now maybe I’ve had bad experiences with it. I’ve had people judging me, making fun of me, telling me I’m going to regret getting Harry Potter tattoos and all sorts of just mean and negative things, but here’s what I’m going to tell you: who cares? Be confident. If you are happy and satisfied with your tattoo, rock it! Its your body, not anyone else’s and you are the one that should be happy with it. It does suck to have someone tear you down for something like that but I look at my tattoos and I see how awesome they are and I love where they are and all of that and I rock it. I remember that this is my body and not theirs and I’m happy with them. If you’re happy with what you have put on your body, then that’s all that matters…and to me, it makes it that much easier to not have any regret about them.

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So those are my ten little bits of advice about getting a fandom tattoo…or any tattoo really. I will never pretend to be an expert but after fourteen tattoos, I am more and more comfortable when going under the needle. I am always here for advice or any of that, and if you live around me, I’m always always always up for a trip to the tattoo parlor!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Don’t forget to share your awesome tattoos with me!

NaNoWriMo 2014: Let’s Talk About…Setting

Hello everyone!

NaNoWriMo is in its first full week! And I think I’m doing quite good. My goal for NaNo this year is 40K but I’m starting to think maybe I’ll reach 50, medical or even beyond, salve if I stay at the rate that I’ve been keeping up. In my first week, price I’ve reached just under 20K and I’m really excited to continue this novel.

And yes, it does still need a title. It has a really crappy edited cover that says “Evie and Austin Story” on the official NaNo website haha but it needs a legit title. If you guys come up with a title, please make sure to share them with me, because you get a prize if you pick THE title.

Let me know how your progress is doing in the comments!

Today we’re talking about setting. 

In all of the novels that I’ve written, I’ve based it on real world places, and done lots of research on those places. Or I’ve straight up used real places like New York City and Mesa Verde in Colorado and Brea, California.

But for this newest novel, I’m writing an entirely new setting: Macon, California. Its a coastal town in Central California that has some real world bases in Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz (especially Santa Cruz) and a little bit of Santa Barbara, but for the most part, its all from my imagination.

Do you know how hard it is to create a new setting! Its crazy. So while I’ve been trying to get my word count up, I’ve also been working hard at making sure that Macon seems like a genuine town. Because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned: setting is a character all in its own. Think of Middle Earth, Hogwarts, Tortall, Idris, Panem, Camp Half Blood. They all have their own personalities. They react to the story, they are effected by the story, they’re just so massively important.

So I scoured the internet to look for tips on creating setting and I gathered a few of them here for you!

1. Base Your Setting on Real World Places

It goes back to what I said about Macon. Macon is a completely fictional town. It’s small town, coastal, with a beach boardwalk, a small town downtown main street with family owned businesses. But I throw things off when I insert a baseball obsessed population. And that population is obsessed with the university that exists in this town. Sounds complicated right? There isn’t an actual place that exists like this. So I’ve used real life references in Santa Barbara, Monterey Bay and mostly, Santa Cruz. These three are all real coastal cities in California. Having these real life bases helps to create a town because you have examples. You know how things can be arranged because you have a real life basis for it. I have no idea how to arrange a fictional city because I’ve never been a city planner. I don’t know how that works. So I kind of mesh these cities together and voila, Macon, California!

2. Base Your Setting on Real Time Periods

Now, this doesn’t totally apply to me and this particular novel. My novel is based in real world time, right now, in the present. So that’s easy enough. I can have iphones and smart cars and macbooks and Netflix and it alllllll makes sense. This could also work for historical novels as well. You have a real world time period to base off of. There’s information out there (yay research!) that will help you to make sure your setting is historically accurate.

But this also works quite well for a fantasy novel, or science fiction, that sort of thing. You can base your fantasy society based on the medieval settings of old Europe. You can base your futuristic society on the Victorian age of the Industrial Revolution. Creating a brand new setting in a brand new world is HARD because you have no real world basis for this society. BUT you can use time periods to help you out. Feudal societies, capitalism, communism, empires, Chinese dynasties, the Crusades, etc. There is SO much history out there that you can rework to base your own setting on.

3. Create Rules

When I say create rules, this could go either way. In a completely fictional world, you need to make sure you create its government, its politics, its social strata, its laws, weather, climate, all that sort of thing. This is incredibly important because this is going to have an effect on the characters and the plot and all of that. Setting places an enormous part on our lives. Where we live, the rules we live under, play a HUGE part in our lives: getting our licenses at a certain age, drinking at a certain age, getting a job, paying bills, all those sorts of things come from the setting: where we live. So this is important when creating an entirely new place. Set the rules because you’ll need to follow those. They have a profound effect on your characters.

Now when you’re creating a fictional place in a real world, like me, a new town in California, the rules are already there, for the most part. California has laws and weather and all of those things already. What’s important is that you remember them. California is a little easier. If I make it a really super hot day in the middle of December…it might be a little confusing to others but to those of us who live in California, we would laugh because this really happens. (Its November, and we’re expecting 80 degree weather all week). But making sure you don’t make it a super hot day when writing your fictional town on the eastern seaboard? That’s important. Making sure your 14 year old character isn’t driving a car when logically that doesn’t make sense, things like that. Follow the rules.

4. React!

Treat your setting like a character. If something is happening in the story, how is your setting reacting to this. For instance, in my novel, my town is baseball obsessed. Say the the team wins a particularly difficult game. The town is going to react to this, obviously. It may not be something obvious that I distinctly point out but my main characters may go to lunch the next day, and the patrons could be wearing more orange and white (the team colors) than usual. There may be more banners in the window, the weather might look that much better, people will be happier. The setting reacts to the story. If the characters get in a fight, or have a bad day, the weather might be crappier or the sunny weather might bother them. React and interact with the characters and the setting. They have an effect on each other.

5. Its All in the Details!

Of course, details are always important. But for setting, I feel like its important because it makes your setting authentic and real. The hardest part of this for me is making them subtle and genuine. I want Macon to seem as real as possible and the details will make it so because it’ll seem like a real place. But every time I try and write a detail, I feel like its obvious that I’m trying to point out things about Macon and its hard. But the details are important. Where things are located, what the weather is like, the plant life, all that sort of subtle detail just makes it more genuine. Is it nearly an ocean? A mountain? This effects the weather, etc. There are stores on the main street but what kind of stores? That sort of thing. This is probably the one I struggle with the most and I’m working on it!

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What are some of YOUR tips on setting? Share the in the comments!

NaNoWriMo 2014: About My Novel and Where I Write!

Welcome to NaNoWriMo 2014!

I’m so happy its finally this month. While I’m a writer 365 days a year, treatment I like NaNo because it gives me the motivation to stop procrastinating on Tumblr or Netflix and sit down and write my novel. It gets my butt in gear basically.

So I’m really happy its here and I’m really excited to be participating today.

For those of you that don’t know much about NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month), doctor you can refer to my kickoff post for the month here :) I’ll be talking about my novel, my progress, writing in general and more all month long and I have a special post coming November 8th filled with writing advice from some seriously amazing YA authors.

So let’s jump in then, shall we?

About My Novel

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Last year, my novel was The Awakened. At the time, the title was The Reawakened but I’ve since changed that. You guys know a lot about this novel because I’ve talked a lot about it in the past year. I’ve since last year finished it, edited it and am now shopping around for an agent.

The plan was to write the sequel to The Awakened (which has a title but cannot be shared because spoilers!) for NaNoWriMo but…I kind of need a break from the science fiction right now. Its a lot harder to write than I ever thought it was going to be and I am focused on finding an agent for the book at the moment so I wanted to work on something different.

And that is the novel I’m writing. Its untitled! If you follow all these NaNoWriMo posts, you’ll find out more about the novel, the characters and so on, and there will be a contest at the end for titles for this novel. So I hope some of you are paying attention!

But anyway…

This novel is centered around a girl named Evie Cordova and the town of Macon, where she has lived for most of her life. See, the town of Macon is a beautiful coastal California town, complete with good food, friendly neighbors, a boardwalk on the beach, and a booming tourist economy. But the one thing the town is obsessed with more than anything is baseball. And not just baseball but the Macon Rebels, the local college’s baseball team. The entire town is decked in orange and white and worships the players like superheroes.

Evie’s dad once played for the Rebels before playing in the Major Leagues so she’s grown up on baseball. Baseball is the beginning and end of every single day. She worships the Rebels, memorizes the stats of every player, watches every single game eagerly. She anxiously awaits each batch of new freshmen and talks of nothing but baseball. Then her dad becomes the coach and recruits young Jesse Valdez, a high school phenomenon, to come pitch for the Rebels. He’s incredible, on and off the field, and Evie is determined to make him her boyfriend.

Fast forward two years. Evie’s love for baseball? Gone. She’s now at the university and she’ll do anything she can to steer clear of the baseball team, especially now that Jesse is a star pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, engaged to her twin sister Lucy and the father of her niece, Ava. Something happened two years ago, something that changed her love for baseball.

Then she mets Austin Young, a junior transfer from the University of Texas. He’s struggling to make something of himself in the baseball world but he’s determined, working every single day to make himself better and better. But he keeps failing, his batting average is terrible and he makes too many mistakes on the field. Evie knows that she can help him, she knows exactly what to do to make him better but she DOESN’T want to be involved with baseball anymore, especially when it involves a hot baseball player. Because we still don’t know what happened a few years ago…

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I understand that this is the longest synopsis ever…because I’ve only written about 3000 words and I need to hone the plot and the characters and all of that. As it comes more and more together, so will the synopsis haha. But if you have any ideas of a title, email them to whatanerdgirlsays at gmail dot com!

Where I Write

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I write in my room. I’ve tried coffee shops and libraries and I just can’t do it. I don’t like quiet. I get distracted in quiet. I need background noise. So I write on my laptop because I type infinitely faster than I write long hand, even though I kind of prefer to write longhand. I usually have the fan going, though I don’t tonight because I’m so cold. I like writing comfy, seriously, I need pjs or sweats on.

I also always always always always have a water bottle next to me. Most authors tend to be of the “I need caffeine NOW” but I don’t really go that way. I’m not a coffee person. Seriously, I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack every time I drink coffee. I do have a slight addiction to iced teas BUT water is my thing. There’s a full ice cold water bottle right next to me as I write this.

Then there’s either Netflix on or music on. Right now, its Netflix but mostly because I’m blogging and blogging doesn’t require as much concentration as writing so Netflix works better. But once I start back on the novel, it’ll be music. I need noise. I can’t work in silence, it is SO loud. (Yes, I just quoted Sarah Dessen right there). I can’t handle that. So I listen to music. I’m not going to tell you what yet because that’s a whole ‘nother post!

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Thanks for listening to me ramble on about my novel and the quirks I have when it comes to where I write and what I need to write.

If you have any suggestions about a title, remember to email them to whatanerdgirlsays at gmail dot com. If you don’t, no biggie, I will remind you throughout the month, and future posts will help even more to get a title in the works!

And share your NaNo stories! Good luck to all those participating!

Vlog: Tips and Advice for New Bloggers!

I’ve been blogging for What A Nerd Girl Says for nearly TWO years now, sildenafil and I absolutely love it, more about and I love how much my life has changed since starting it. I love the people that I’ve met, and the things I’ve gotten to do, and I love writing for it.

I got a ton of feedback from you guys, all the time, and I LOVE hearing from you and one thing that I get a lot is “I’m starting my own blog; do you have advice?”

And you know, I always do the best that I can to give the best advice that I can. I have been doing this for two years but I don’t know everything and I’m learning every day how to be a better blogger and to have more and more fun with it.

So I decided to reach out to my blogger friends, and get some advice from them to share with you guys! It turned into an awesome vlog, which you can check out here:

There is a TON of great advice in this vlog, if I do say so myself, but there was also a ton of advice from these bloggers that I could not fit into the vlog so I wanted to share it below.

ADVICE and TIPS!

“Don’t be afraid to be controversial. Show up. Make your site look good. Keep your brand consistent.”

–Jackie, Seeking Bazinga

“Be serious. Don’t do it for the wrong reasons (like for perks or special admittance to events) – it shows in your work. If you genuinely love it, you’ll want it to be great, and it will be better for it.”

“Seek out other bloggers who share interests and work together.”

–Amber, Grown Up Fan Girl 

“Be honest about what you write/blog about. Be true to yourself and your love for it. Be yourself. Don’t be afraid about what others will say.”

“It’s not a competition! Just do what you love! Write what you love! Share what you love! Everyone else is doing it…so don’t be afraid to share as well. Blogging is supposed to be fun where people can share their thoughts and feelings about whatever they want to share!”

–Jasmine, Movies Shows and Books

“Take notes because sometimes you have the olds and forget what you wanted to write about in your review.”

–Alethea, Read Now, Sleep Later

(This is one that I’m DEFINITELY going to start doing…)

“Patience. I’m still new to the whole blogging thing and I love it. As a starter things get slow but honestly just wait you’ll get it.”

–Kristen, Recently Acquired Obsessions 

“I’ve learned if you are blogging for a particular fandom, competition can fester even if you don’t mean for it to. Fight against the urge to fall into the trap of trying to beat people, as hard as that can sometimes be. There is always someone who will feel threatened when you gain followers and they don’t. Just be true to the followers you have. Don’t be afraid to share your own personality. You can be consistent, but don’t forget to be real and to be nice. The golden rule should apply.”

–Amber, The Mortal Institute 

“There will always be petty drama. I don’t care what bloggers you deal with. Just ignore it, blow it off. It’s never going away. My advice; never respond to it nor let it show that it bothers you. If you do that the you’ve let them win and you’ll forever be miserable. Just do you and be you and eff everything else.

That doesn’t mean you can’t make friends. I’ve met 3 of my closest besties from this world but it’s not often that happens or that jealousy will get the best of them. Especially if you come up with a really stellar feature to do. It’ll kill them that they didn’t think of it first and some may even try to sabotage you and your blogging rep. The blogging world is very, very similar to high school drama which is crazy considering a lot of bloggers are at least in the late 20’s.

So. Have fun with it, don’t let anyone bring you down and you’re golden.”

–Amy, Lady Reader

“Seeing as I’m still new to the whole blogging thing I’d just say do it because you love it. If you love books so much and fangirl over characters then put those feelings out there, if you love a certain celebrity, then do a whole post about them. Don’t be afraid to show the real you.

Oh and the followers will come haha. Just because you only have 60 followers (me) and other people have love thousands, don’t let that put you off. Like everyone has been saying; it’s not a competition. It’ll soon lift off. Even if you don’t have a lot of followers, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. Be proud of it. Love it. Talk to your blog like you would talk to a friend.”

–Hayley, Geek and Book Nerd Site

“Do you. Love what you do. Do what you love because it’s what you truly enjoy and don’t do it for the recognition. There will always be people with more connections, even people who have less traffic will sometimes get better perks and it may feel sh*tty for a bit. Just…you have to have that passion for what you’re actually doing on your site. The perks are few and far between and you have to view them as a present. A thank you for all your work. The studios don’t owe you anything and as soon as you seem entitled to them, you’re done. Be kind, to a point. Be a hardass when protecting your reputation and brand – this is a must no matter how meek and kind you want to be (I feel like I am the epitome of meek and kind, this was a learning experience). If you view the perks as the be all end all you will go crazy and destroy your mental health (I’m saying this from experience).”

–Kimmy, Page to Premiere

“Do it because you love it. Don’t ever do it because you think it’ll get you perks. That’s completely the wrong reason to have a blog. Work hard, have a passion for it, love it, get involved. When you show how much you love it and how much you love the community that comes with it, the rest falls into place. The rest is just an added bonus to the fun that you have just writing your blog. I don’t get paid to run my blog, and yet I spend a TON of time, and money and effort on it. Why? Because I genuinely enjoy doing it. I enjoy the community that I’m a part of because of it, and I enjoy meeting people who are like me. I enjoy writing it, and I enjoy interacting with anyone who comes my way. The perks that came are just an added bonus and they are still so far and few between. Start a blog because you are passionate about something and you want to share that passion with others.”

–Sara, What A Nerd Girl Says 

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I hope you enjoyed watching the vlog and reading all of the fantastic and amazing advice from all these wonderful bloggers. I hope you’re able to check out each and every single one of them because they are all TRULY awesome!

And if you have a site, please definitely share in the comments because I would love to check it out!

And a HUGE good luck to all of you who hope to start one. I hope that we didn’t scare you off (haha!) and that you’ll be writing alongside us VERY soon!

Happy Blogging!

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