I pulled three names out of the hat. Linda, Kima, and TerriO. So guys...email me at christie(at)christie(-)craig.com. Give me your address and your size. T-shirt runs small.
Quick question — how brave are you? Now, I don’t mean, would you go rushing into a burning building to save your neighbor’s cat. Nor do I mean, would you grab a flashlight and head off to the attic at the stroke of midnight when you hear some strange noises that could only mean one of two things — your attic is haunted or there’s a family of antisocial raccoons living up there. Nope. Both of those things require bravery but it’s not the kind I’m talking about. I’m talking about being brave enough to be true to yourself, even when it may result in other people’s disapproval. Brave enough to do what feels natural to you, even when everybody else may think your choices are weird.
Now, I come from a long line of Southern women who’ve displayed that kind of bravery. I think I told you guys about my great-grandmother Plummer Bronson, who was a healer and used to talk the burn out of people. This all happened a little before my time but I’m sure my great-granny experienced her share of stares from people who just didn’t understand. Not that it ever stopped her from doing what felt right to her. She had the kind of wisdom that only comes with age, with having lived a life to the fullest.
I admire those kinds of women — Women who are brave enough to follow their hearts and be true to themselves. Women who continue to nurture their spirits, who don’t stop growing, exploring. Living. If you’ve read any of my books, you’ve seen this type of women in my stories. Remember Nana in Don’t Mess With Texas? An older wise woman who spoke her mind and did things her way.
And that’s why today I’m going to tell you guys about a lady who exemplifies all of that and more. Her name is Pat Richardson. I met Pat through my writing career. She’s the Managing Reviews Editor for Fresh Fiction and she owns a bookstore. Just my kind of lady. But Pat’s more than just a lady, she’s a lady with spunk. And I like spunk. She’s also a great-grandmother. So what makes her so brave? Well, last summer, she marched herself into a tattoo parlor and got herself a tattoo. And as soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to interview her for our Killer Fiction readers. I mean, come on, how many great-grandmas do you know who just got their first tattoo?
CC: When did you get the tattoo?
PR: I got the tattoo in August. I’m attaching the picture. It was taken the same day so the leg is a little bit swollen around the edges.
CC: What inspired you to get it?
PR: I just decided it was a funky thing to do but it took two years to convince my husband, even though he has one. My kids could not understand why I had to have his permission, being the old lady that I am. I have an online bookstore called PatCat Books – http://www.patcat.net/ - so I had designed this in my head a long time ago. I wanted a book with a cat on top of it. Of course, my tattoo in my mind was a lot smaller than what I ended up getting. And I still look down and think, wow, I did this.
CC: How old were you when you got it? You are a great grandmother, right?
PR: I am 67 and, yes, I have 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
CC: Okay, I gotta ask this — Did people think you were crazy when you did it?
PR: Some did. It appeared on Facebook before I even had it done and one of my daughters just about had a fit, but the other one cheered me on. But of course, she has three tattoos of her own.
CC: Did you think you were crazy?
PR: LOL. After I got it done, I thought, Dear God, what did I do? But then, I thought, Yay me! I did something I never thought I would do.
CC: What are some funny anecdotes about getting it? I know one of your grandchildren thought you were mad at grandpa. Can you tell me about that and any other funny ones?
PR: As I said, the tattoo was on Facebook before I even had it finished. My family knew my hubby and I had been having a disagreement about something else and they didn’t know I had talked about it before I had it done so they thought it was a spur of the moment thing. Within ten minutes of my having it done, my oldest grandson called his momma and said "Boy, Mimi must be really pissed at Papa to do this." LOL. A half an hour later, everyone in my family knew about it and a whole lot of friends — both mine and the friends of my kids and grandkids — knew about it, too. The power of Facebook is really amazing.
One of my sisters thought I had totally lost my mind and the other one said, “You go, girl!” My husband had been up at our lake cabin when I did this and I never said a thing to him about it. After about three days, he finally asked if I was ever going to tell him. I said, “Nope.” I told him that if he didn't notice it on his own, I wasn't going to show him. My Momma didn't raise no dummy. LOL. The next day I went to our book club tea and it took about 15 minutes for everyone there to notice my tattoo. One of the ladies told me I was now a tat slut but if I got more than one, I would be a tat ho. Guess I will stay a slut because one is enough.
CC: Oh, that’s too funny! Have you had any reactions from strangers to your tattoo?
PR: A few weeks after I got it, I was at a thrift store looking at books when one of the workers said "Oh, look at the kitty." I immediately looked under the rack, hunting for a little kitty. I told her, I didn't see it and she said, “I meant the one on your leg.” Talk about feeling like a big dummy.
CC: Any regrets?
PR: No, not at all. I figured I am old enough to know my own mind and I also figured at my age what is going to droop has already done so, so at least the tat will not stretch out too far. I had one lady show me hers after I had mine done. It was a rose and she said after all these years it was now a long stem rose.
I told you guys Pat is an amazing woman, didn’t I? So what about you? Have you ever been as brave as Pat? Have you ever done anything that other people may have disapproved of, but you knew in your heart it was right for you? If so, I’d love for you to share your experiences. And today, in honor of Pat, I’m going to give away a Shadow Falls T-shirt to one lucky poster. So make sure you post your comments.
As for me, well, I don’t see a tattoo in my future, but I’m sure I’ll raise some eyebrows as I continue to write my books, with humor, heart and heat. Hey…I don’t think we ever grow too old to enjoy some romance.