Tattoos, Mothers, and Twitter

My friend and I were talking about tattoos. We both want one, but what if our mothers find out? We may not fear God, but we both fear the wrath of our mothers. My mother keeps me more grounded than religion ever could. There are some decisions I don’t dare to make because of my mother, such as permanently inking my skin. There’s also the issue of marriage. It’s not that I don’t want to get married, because I do. But how much of that wanting to get married is because I personally want to, or because my mother wants me to?

She asked me what kind of tattoo I want to get. For a while now, I’ve wanted to ink the sentence “the enemy’s gate is down” from Ender’s Game across my collar bones. I imagine it will hurt badly, so let’s reconsider the placement of the tattoo later. Not to mention it would be very big and visible there. But I want those words on my skin. It’ll be an homage to my favorite book. It’ll also be a reminder of optimism, strategy, and victory.

All of a sudden, I thought of another tattoo I want to get. A tesseract tattoo. Or ‘warping’ for Trekkies. Check this out:

An excerpt from Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" regarding tesseract.

An excerpt from Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” regarding tesseract.

I want a tattoo of an ant, tesseracting from my forearm to my bicep. The tattoo won’t have to be big. I can have a small ant on top of a thin line or a small dot on my forearm. Then the end of the line or the other small dot would be on my bicep. To show the ant tesseracting, I just have to fold my arm and voila! Damn it, now I want that tattoo badly.

It’ll be another homage to my favorite book ♥ and at the same time, it’ll say a lot about me, summarized in a group of tiny pictures. It’ll tell my love for SFF, my muse of and neverending hope in science, and my faith that we’ll travel the stars one day. That we will reach far beyond our eyes can see. It’ll be great to pair it up with the Ender’s Game tattoo.

As for my friend, she wants a tattoo of a cage and a bird. I joked about it being a bird out of its cage and she got mad lol the interesting part is, she wants a silhoutte of a bird as a symbol for many things. I didn’t expect one of them to be Twitter.

I think all millenials would agree that Twitter has not only changed our lives, but it has become a part of our lives. I can’t imagine not having a Twitter. I have retired most of my Twitter accounts, but I don’t delete them. Twitter is a part of my identity, and it’s one of my streams of self-expression. It doesn’t show a full picture of me, but it still shows a lot. It is there where I make and interact with a lot of friends. It’s my number one source of lightning news update. It’s a constant pool of discussion and debates. And you get to share your piece with the rest of the world, through different communities. Twitter is a social magic. It is how we connect these days. It also serves as a micro diary as well as a personal announcement platform. Out of all of my social media accounts, Twitter is the only one I have consistently maintained. It’s not an overstatement to say that it has shaped me into the person I am today, and I believe I’ll still be using it in decades to come.

My future biographer would have a hell lot of material from my Twitter alone.

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I like YA stories more tbh

I often discuss books with my friends and during those times, I’ll always realize how different my reading list is compared to them. I’m a big fantasy reader, especially in the science fiction sub-genre, and mostly that’s all I read, with occasionally classics and mainstreams in between. I’ve never really been the ‘literary’ type. I’ve always known what I want to read, and I simply don’t read the ‘literature’ (‘sastra’ in Indonesian), even though they change the face of society and I know that I should read more of them.

However, the fantasy genre… I’m just drawn to them, I can’t even explain it. Usually, when people ask, I’ll tell them why would I read about real life when I’m living one? Just to avoid explaining the inexplicable to them. I want to experience the magic and escape real life drama through it. There’s something about exploring your imagination that leads you to a limitless possibilities. Everything goes.

By now my friends already know that anything fantasy and/or science fiction will definitely attracts my interest haha

There’s one more thing though. I like young adult stories more than the ‘adult’ ones. Sure, when I was younger, those coming-of-age stories were amazing, and as I grow older, they become more elementary in my eyes, but hey, they haven’t stopped being relevant. I read books for older readers too and sometimes I can’t help wondering why I’m not as interested in them as I am in young adult books. It’s just that… in young adult books and age, that’s where the magic happens. Maybe it’s in the way the plot is ‘simplistic’ to facilitate the young readers better, but behind those ‘simple’ words lies a depth of meaning that adults find it difficult to grasp. But not to children or teenagers.

Naturally, the stories I write revolve mostly around the fantasy genre in a young adult style, because that’s who I imagine my main readers are. And you know what? Writing for young adult readers is very hard and easy at the same time. Hard because I can’t be patronizing, cos kids are not stupid. Easy cos I can convey a complicated topic/theme in a simple manner and I know the kids will catch what I mean, cos again, kids are not stupid.

Dwelling in this pool pushes my creativity all the time. The possibility is endless. I feel like my brain never goes idle and it makes me feel alive. It saddens me that fantasy/science fiction is still a ‘foreign’ genre in Indonesia, except for translated fantasies (Harry Potter, Twilight, etc). Why the apathy for Indonesian writers? Our fantasy literature is just as good and I really hope more people will read them. I want to make this happen. I have faith. Fantasy enthusiasts I’ve come across are awesome people and we can do this, I’m sure of it.

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