The Back Story: 9/12/21

Welcome to a new FITS feature: The Back Story. 

After the relatively silent summer, Nora and I batted around ideas to fill in the gaps between book excerpts and discussions. 

All the outside sources that inspired posts of the past have dried up.  Nora’s taken fewer trips in the last year. Signings remain on hold until at least 2022.  

And honestly, while you all admire her adherence to routine, there’s only so many times Nora wants to write about work, workouts, cooking or the glamour of scooping poop (which is happening now as BW is away for a week).

So this feature could fill the gap.  Just small peeks into the past and the present. Some days it will be Nora centric. Others it may be Laura centric. We’ll just see how it goes.

In today’s back story, did you know Nora got a 4th tattoo just after spa week? * I’m not sure we shared that or a photo, so here you go. 

Word is this was the most painful yet. 

Do you have any tattoos? Or one you dream of? Share in the comments.


*the others are a Celtic knot on an ankle, Ohm on a shoulder and the five-fold symbol on a forearm.

97 thoughts on “The Back Story: 9/12/21”

    1. Love it!
      My daughter and I have matching Lotus tats behind our ears. I have one on my ankle, Winnie the Pooh riding a Scooter, and have an appointment for a Tree of Life with family names on it for November.

    2. I am old and blind. What is Nora’s tattoo and the meaning of it?
      I have a terrible tattoo I got from a guy with a bottle of ink, and a sewing needle.
      There is one I want to get of a skeleton on a bicycle (I love cycling), and hope to get in next few months.

      Hope you are having a good Fall.

        1. Thanks for the info. I really need to start reading her other books. 🤷‍♂️

  1. No tats for me. Don’t like needles. What is the symbol of the latest tattoo?

  2. What is the tattoo supposed to be? I can’t quite see it. (Is it the dragon from The Awakening?) I’ve had my eyebrows and eyes tattooed and I can tell you that the eye tattoes hurt like a mtf!

    1. I’ve had my eyebrows and eyeliner tattooed also…and you’re 100% right about the pain!☹
      But it was so worth it since I couldn’t see well enough without my glasses to apply the color myself.👍🙂
      I don’t wear any other make-up so it’s a case of washing my face, brushing my teeth, and I’m ready for whatever the day might bring.😉

  3. That looks like it would be painful! I had one done many moons ago in Vegas for my 40th birthday. It’s a flamingo on my ankle and it hurt like crazy. I’m a wimp that was the first and last tat for me.😂

    1. I love the tattoo of the dragon. I have thought about a yellow rose with a Texas flag. It would be for my mom who passed away 08/22/2016. She loved yellow roses and the state of Texas which gave her a new life.

  4. I have one butterfly tattoo. It was a family outing. My daughter, son-in-law and I all went together. I stuck with one, but they have moved on to multiple tats.

  5. It’s beautiful! It’s the Awakening dragon, correct? I have a few tattoos from when I was younger but my daughter and I are getting the Celtic family knot in a few months and I’m so excited for it!

  6. Yes for my 44th birthday I had a tattoo designed especially for me. 2 full blown roses with long thorny stems bent Into a heart with 3 small rose buds. The heart is partially colored. The two large roses symbolizes my biological daughter and my brother that I helped raise. The 3 small roses are for the 3 children my daughter had at the time. My brothers rose is black to symbolize my grief in his passing at 21. Each rose has a color specific to each person.

    I love Nora’s new tattoo.

  7. I have 3. Toe (flower), ear (flower) and inside my wrist (pink heart cancer survivor.)

  8. I have a 3D butterfly tattoo on my foot. It is in remembrance of a dear friend that passed away several years ago. Me, two other friends, and the daughter of our deceased friend, all got the same tattoo. I’ve never experienced so much physical pain in my life!! I’d like to get a tattoo that represents my parents that have passed. I just haven’t found anything I like yet.

  9. I have two. One on my right shoulder and one on my right ankle. That one hurt!!!!

  10. Tattoos over a bony surface hurt the worst. Those on nice, soft fat the least. Lol. Never heard about the eyelids but I can bet it did! Still tattoo free here.

  11. I have 3 and would really like one more. First was above my breast, very painful for me. Second a thigh piece on my right, a Redtail hawk, and finally a lovely fairy on the top of my left thigh. My daughter had a total of 34, each individual tats.

  12. I love it! Don’t know that I would have one there. Looks like it would be very painful! Lol. I have Pegasus on my upper left arm. I want to get a Union Jack on the inside of my left forearm with my maternal grandmother’s birthdate above and my Mother’s birthdate below. I would also like a Shamrock on my right forearm with my maternal grandfather’s birthdate.

  13. I don’t like needles, but aside from that I can’t think of anything I would like enough to put on my body permanently. I think of it as I do home decor…I like to repaint, even over murals I have put on our walks.

  14. No tattoos yet, although I’ve dreamed of getting a dragon on my right calf above the ankle. I don’t mind needles and can handle pain pretty well, but since I’ve lost a lot of weight, my skin is sort of extra shrivelled, so not sure a tat is a good idea any more. But I can still dream of one! Love Nora’s! 🙂

  15. What was the idea behind the placement? Oh, no tats for me. Just not my thing.

  16. I have 3 now so I can say given where Nora’s new tat is – ouch! Brave woman indeed. My first is a tropical fish, done about 15 years ago on the top of my right thigh. It really didn’t hurt cuz you know, a meaty area. The 2nd and 3rd ones I got last week and wow, they really hurt! One is a daisy on my left inside wrist to cover a 20 year old surgical scar from a broken arm. The other is a kitty combined with a heart on the outside of my lower left leg. I love them all but think I’m done decorating me now. 🙂

  17. I would love to get a back piece of a large tree of life with the roots in an intricate Celtic knot, the trunk of the tree be in the shape of the goddess and the branches be broken up by the four seasons, along with three butterflies above the tree top to symbolize my three children. But I hesitate as it would be my first. Thinking of getting the triple goddess symbol on my wrist just to be sure I can handle getting a tat. Anyhow, a girl can dream.

  18. I was just having that conversation with some of my neighbors, one already went and got one without us!! She got tired of waiting!! Want to position it so it won’t sag as I get older and the skin gets droopier…😁

  19. I have several tattoos, I’m slightly addicted. Got an HP lightening bolt with my friend last weekend. I’ve been looking for a NR tattoo design and decided the dragon from Awakening cover is perfect. Nevermind that the book made me cry! So I find her latest most excellent. I love bookish tattoos, 4 of mine are book inspired.

  20. No tattoos for me. But my kids want to do family tattoos— haven’t come up with a design yet. I’ll be up for it if we can find something we all like.

  21. Hi Nora,
    I love the idea about backstories. I love most of your stories and would love to know if any of the awesome trilogies would ever get Netflix or Amazon’s notice. In the meantime, The trilogy I would love to see the most and would love to get all of the details of backstories/ inspirations for are Chronicles Of The One series.

    1. It’s not going to be those kind of back stories, I’m afraid. It’s more little looks at life, books and such. ~Laura

  22. I won a $50 gift certificate to a tattoo parlor and I have a 13 year old granddaughter who designs tattoos. She offered and I declined. Much as I love her artwork, I’m not inclined to have it on my skin the rest of my life. I offered the gift certificate to my daughter, who has 3 tattoos and she’s …fussy…about who does her tattoos. She suggested I just get another hole in my ear… I think I might just donate it back to the fire department for their next raffle.

  23. I have 9 tattoos. The first one I got at age 45 after my husband passed.A rose with his initials woven in the stem. I have a peguses a spooky tree with my grands names a triquatra bam bam and a Robin. A heart with paw prints for my pup and I have two matching tats with my 2 besties. One a pair of dragons one a ladybug. I’m addicted lol

  24. I don’t have any but I would like a couple. One on the inside of my arm with my daughters initials date and time of birth and one of my moms hand writing. I have always toyed with getting some behind my ears of the volume control on iPhones with one line because of my hearing loss.

  25. None for me, don’t like needles. LOL My daughter has several. Nora, where are the other 3, and what are they?

  26. My first response when I see a tattoo is “Ouch!” They look like massive bruises to my eye sometimes, but I’ve had wonderful conversations with people about their tattoos, so I know why they get them, and why I don’t have any, yet. For the most part it was because I am fickle, and a tattoo is mighty permanent.

    Then I gained and lost 3 sweet foster grandkids – my daughter decided 3 little stars would represent them, and that will be my first tattoo.

  27. I have one tattoo. Four years ago after finishing chemotherapy for breast cancer my two besties and myself got matching tattoos of “faith love and charity”, to celebrate.

  28. I would like to get one on my ankle, something small, but I’m a little chicken. Thinking about getting one in the next couple of months, since I’ll be 60 in November.

  29. I have 4 tattoos, got the first at 60 years old. All the rest that year. My favorite is of a sea turtle on my leg. The others are a stack of books with a cup of tea on top and my grandchildren’s initials around the bottom. I also have a hibiscus flower with Ohana script as the stem. The fourth is a little palm tree, it was my first .

  30. For my 50th birthday my daughter and I got matching tattoos on our inside ankles. She has since gone on to get 4 more. Lol

  31. Had a temporary tat done a few years ago. It was an owl, which has special meaning to me. Loved it! Too much of a coward to have it done permanently

  32. I don’t have a tattoo…yet. This might be the year that finally changes. I’ve wanted to get inked for some time. My plan is a beautiful dragonfly, that will have some significant dates woven into the wings. Plan is for the back of the neck, so I can put it on display when I want to.

  33. I don’t have any… but next year is a huge bday so thinking maybe a small one on my ankle????

  34. Gorgeous but ouch is right. *shudders* I don’t have any tattoos at all. Hate needles

  35. I have two. One with two angels on my upper right back and shoulder. The other is on my right calf. A rose inside a vine. I got them both when I was in my forties. Neither one hurt and I want more. I want one in remembrance of my deddy and one for my two grandchildren. I’d be covered in tattoos if they weren’t so expensive. I’d love to have one of a cancer ribbon because I’ve had three different kinds and am a survivor!!
    Just recently, I had a blood clot in my left arm and as they were doing the angiogram to dissolve the clot, I had a minor stroke. They had to surgically remove the blood clot instead. Thankfully I had a great group of Doctors and Nurses taking care of me and the only sign of the stroke, is pronouncing some words. Everything else is back to normal.
    That happened on Friday the 13th!!! I told everyone that I was going to get a shirt made that said “ I survived Friday the 13th, August 2021” I haven’t as of yet, but I am going to lol.
    (May have it tattooed instead)

  36. None for me. I never felt the need. Im not into needles or pain. I had no idea its done on the eyes. Can it be done as a permanent eyeliner? I’d consider it then.

    1. Yes it can. I have had both eyebrows and eyeliner tattooed; very painful but well worth it in my opinion.
      Just do a lot of research on your tattoo artist and make sure s/he is licensed and has excellent reviews for tattooing make-up.

  37. I have three… stork scissors on my inner elbow, a Celtic dragon on my shoulder and a Celtic knot with my husband and son’s names in “hobbit”. I am the knot that ties them together. Hokey, but I like it.

  38. Love the tat. I wanted to get one but kept putting it off (don’t like pain) and now I’m 90 and wrinkly, so can’t really find a place to put one. My youngest son has one on his arm, an anchor, since his son and wife are merchant marines; both grandsons and both granddaughters have tats. I always enjoy reading Fall Into The Story’s’ so keep writing, I’ll keep reading.

  39. I love my tattoos! I have 4 but my favorite is a hummingbird in memory of my mom with her handwriting under it saying “Love, Mom”’

  40. I got my first tattoo at age 50, a year and a half after weight loss surgery and the loss of 115 pounds. It is a butterfly with some paw prints around it, in memory of pets lost, on the outside of my left ankle. My second was on the inside of my left ankle and was copied from a mother and child necklace I have. I later had three tiny hearts put in the middle of it for the three pregnancies I lost before having my son. My third is a dog paw print on my back by my left shoulder. My fourth is a carnation in the upper middle of my back to cover a scar. I would love to get more, but my 64 year old old lady skin would probably not tolerate it well.

  41. No tats. 1) Needles for decorative purposes are a no for me. I don’t even have pierced ears. 2) Symbols just aren’t a thing for me. I don’t wear jewelry or logos or tee shirts with symbols or sayings either.

  42. I have 3 tattoos a red rose, a hummingbird in memory of my mom, and a Pegasus. I really like Nora’s tattoo.

  43. I have two tats, one on each inner wrist for my two dads that I list within two years of each other.
    I’ll be getting a third soon for my 1st granddaughter, she’s getting her eviction notice this Monday night.
    Morgan Elyse should be coming into the world 9/14/21

  44. I really like tattoo art, but am just a big baby , so none for me either, though I did like reading what others have and the reasons.
    I’m waiting for 2060’s temp tattoos; more my speed, mostly because I change my mind a lot.
    I like Nora’s but I also have to say “ow” or even better. “yikes!”
    One of my nieces has a few and my older brother has his dog tags on his arm. He might go for another.
    The people who get their entire neck done make me wonder if they asked to be knocked out when they get them. Nothing would even begin to let me think that I could do that.

  45. I’ve always wanted an owl tattoo…growing up most owls I saw had a book in their hands and I always had a book in mine. Plus…they could stay awake long into the night.

  46. No tats for me. My sister has several, the last one being a beautiful cormorant on her arm.

    I can understand why this tat would be painful. I find needles in my head/face/neck area to be the most painful. I’ve had Mohs surgery on my face three times, and when I see the needle coming (to numb the area), I push myself back so hard I keep waiting for the chair to topple over.

  47. Unsurprisingly, Nora is waaaaaay cooler than I could ever be. I love it!

  48. Nice tattoo!! The top of my foot was probably my most painful tattoo. I typically fall asleep while getting a tattoo, but not with the one on my foot!!

    I have a handful of tattoos, but my favorite two are easy to pick out. One is a saying “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives”. My second favorite is a combination tattoo. I am a volunteer firefighter and a volunteer EMT. The tattoo is a blended image of the staff and serpent, and the Maltese cross. I’m working on designing one that has my families EKG strips ( heartbeat patterns) melted into their names!!

  49. Wanted to get a tattoo when I became 40, of the Celtic symbol for “female/woman/earth mother”. But the dermatologist put a hold to it ’cause I’m prone to skin cancer and even have to stay out of the sun. Ah, well

  50. I have 4 tattoos. One of which is a gauntlet around my entire forearm. I have a tattoo behind one ear and it was the least painful of all the ones I have gotten!

    The gauntlet was my retirement present to myself.

  51. No tattoos for me, I’m not one for body art, I have no trouble with others having them, and Nora’s obviously mean something to her.

  52. I have a Monarch Butterfly on my right ankle. My daughter got a Purple Cat the same time. Father/son tattoo artists worked on us, at the same time. We got them in celebration of her 30th birthday.
    I also have my daughter’s name..Kathleen and my granddaughter’s name..Raven, in Chinese glifs on my left shoulder. My late, ex-husband, my daughter’s father, was 1/2 Chinese. I had that done about a year after my granddaughter was born, as my daughter made it clear she wasn’t going to have any more children.

  53. I have a few tattoos, the most recent a book on my ankle as my daughter has a matching one on hers (her first) I also have Exodus 13:13 on my arm, a bracelet of roses, and an anklet of moons and stars with my daughters name.

    My daughter has all book related tattoos so far, The for mentioned one, A lion with “Courage Dear Heart” and a third with the words “Rattle the stars”

  54. My daughter and I have an appointment next month to get matching tattoos-my first and her fifth or sixth.

    It’s going to three flowers with intertwined stems
    A carnation, my mom’s favorite flower. A daffodil, my favorite flower. A buttercup, my daughter’s favorite flower.

    I can’t wait!

  55. I got a tattoo 31/2 years ago for my son who passed away his initials in a heart with a ladybug , his favorite. ❤🐞

  56. At 60, I rewarded myself with a tat of a moose (coz I love mooses). It’s Bullwinkle and I love it!

  57. No tattoos for me. Always wanted a small parrot on may ankle, too afraid to get one. Love Nora’s new one.

  58. No tattoos for me, I hate needles. Nora is fearless! Just finished reading Forgotten in Death. All I can say is Wow! This series continues to be brilliant!

  59. Love it!!! I have 3 tats, a cross with the words My Best Friend and the initials of my husband and two boys on my back, a treble clef on the inside of my right wrist, and a butterfly with music trailing behind it on my left foot. I’m pretty sure that I’m done, but you never know, lol. My husband and I go together to get them, so it’s a special thing for us. 😊

  60. I have 3, on my left wrist I have a medic alert bracelet, on my right arm is a band that represent my favor band and on my back is 2 dolphins.

  61. While I admire really good tattoo art, I’ve never been interested. What if I changed my mind later? Or wanted a different saying? I’m holding out until temp tattoos are a reality. Also, after going through chemo and subsequent treatments, I’ve already had enough needles, thank you. Still, I have seen some really nice work. That new one is pretty, Nora, and I can well believe that sucker hurt!

  62. Love the tat, Nora. I personally do not have a tattoo but my kids do. I enjoy the tats that have meaning or have a story behind them, but not for me.. It’s funny, my son keeps asking me if he could tat my name on his arm and my reply is, “what, do you plan on forgetting my name that you have to have inked as reminder?, LOL”


  63. Um. OUCH.

    Just seeing the placement tells me that hurt like hell!

    I’ve got two… a quill on the back of my shoulder, cuz writer. I got it after writing one book that was particularly…um, interesting.

    Then there is a chain, kinda a bracelet on my left wrist, with a heart pierced by an arrow. The design was inspired by a piece of art my younger brother did and it’s a memorial piece of sorts. He died in 2017 and I got the tatt a year later.

  64. I have a butterfly on a flower from 1982 on my right outer thigh and a cosmic sun/moon design from 2019 on my left upper arm. My daughter (Leo) and I (Cancer) have matching sun/moon designs.

  65. I have two tattoos. One is a bleeding heart with an arrow on my left shoulder blade. The other is a rainbow flag circling just below my wrist with a smiley face on wrist side.

  66. I have 3 tattoos. My first was when I turned 50, my daughter and I got matching tattoos with each other’s handwriting as the focal point on our forearm. My daughter’s name is Saige, so my second is a sage bouquet on my leg. My third tattoo is an open book with a rose lifting off the page and the bookmark is a ribbon that flows like an L and a heart. It is on my forearm and I received it at Talon Studio in Boonsboro.

  67. Love it! I have a dolphin on my ankle and a chest piece with a dragon, unicorn, fairy, mermaid and another dolphin. Took 4 sessions and yes, very painful but numb master helped! Gift to myself after double mastectomy.

  68. I was just two weeks from getting my first tattoo in March 2020 when the world shut down! This was after thinking about it for years. I am sure I will eventually do it. It was going to be simple, just the words “things work out” in my dad’s handwriting. Essentially from a postcard he wrote me 30 year ago reassuring 20 something me that life was all good. He’s been gone since 2015.

    I still do not feel quite safe enough to get one yet. Someday! I have lots of friends who have gorgeous ones as does my 21 year old.

  69. Great ink!!! And kudos to her for being Warrior Queen about the pain…they would have heard me in outer space!

    I am still devastated about the fire at Vesta, and trust it will be up and running soon!!!

    Be well both of you…

  70. I have my mom’s signature on my forearm. I got it in 2019, a week after she died.

  71. I’m in my 50s and I’ve been tattoo every few years since the mid 80s. My favourite is my gorgeous mermaid. My tattoo artist is hugely talented and award winning. I wouldn’t let anyone else tattoo me now. My mermaid looks like a portrait. She’s on my left arm, shoulder to elbow. Very sexy, no shells on her breasts, all nude and natural. She took 8 hours. Total hours being tattooed must be heading close to 70 ish. Its an addiction. I love them. ❤️❤️

  72. I LOVE IT!!!!!
    I got my first tattoo after my dad died (I was 48) Its a Dragonfly and his birth date. My second I got when I turned 50 – A Capricorn Symbol and my favorite flower – purple Lily – my 3rd
    i got just this past summer – it’s the triple moon, with the words “And still I Rise” with the greek symbol for Journey and the Angelic symbol for Strength. I love my tattoos – and when people say be careful, it’s addicting – they mean it 🙂

  73. I don’t. I’ve had some spectacular temporary ones, both small and large ones. By the way, good skin, and excellent neck!🙌🏾


  74. I have two. The first one is on the outside of my left calf. It was part, “neener, neener” to my recent (at the time-2004) ex-husband as I had been wanting one for several years, so it was an “I’m free!” and a meaningful one to me – A hummingbird in flight drawing nectar from a flower.
    The second I had done years later and is located on my right outer calf. It’s about the size of one’s palm, a wolf’s head and shoulders. Below, in the neck area is the number “32.” The wolf has always been my spirit animal and “32” in honor and memory of my father who passed in 1997 – his hobby was racing stock cars and that was the number he used.

  75. I have 5 tattoos! They are 9 3/4, Avengers symbol with ” Love you 3000″ under it, My husbands name as my wedding band and a tattoo I got when I was 18 that I hate LOL. But the 9 3/4 is on my neck and OMG it hurt so bad! Love the new tat Nora ❤

  76. First, I totally respect anyone who gets a tattoo on their bod or elsewhere. Some of them look pretty good, and at times, too much. But that’s just my personal preference. Secondly and most important, I can never get one b/c I freak out about needles and I avoid pain whenever possible. I don’t even like the “pinch” when the nurse is drawing blood. But you folks have my admiration for being able to endure the pain!

  77. The Legacy tattoo is awesome. I have 10 – with my most recent being a stack of books on my forearm with 3 fave authors, one of them being Nora, on the book spines. I also have a behind the ear tattoo – my daughter and I got matching books. 3 of my others celebrate elephants.

  78. I have a wizard with lightening on shoulder, winged fairy on ankle, and a kind of copy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood scroll work with dagger on other shoulder that comes up and over go about armpit level in front

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