Phreak Show Ink – Twiggy


Twiggy

Twiggy the Blubber Girl

Twiggy - Wink, cupcake & all

Twiggy – Wink, cupcake & all

It took two weeks to get her image just right, but Twiggy [I feel] is gorgeous. I had a very strong concept in my mind. And, for some reason, I feel like I owe Twiggy a perfect execution of that vision. Don’t ask me why I feel so possessive of her. I just do, and can’t exactly explain it.

Right now, she and Jamie are battling for the top spot of Phavorite Phreak Tattoo.

Until now, the phreaks have been kind of scattered, spread in a pre-ordained layout to make room for them all. With the proximity of the images coming together, it’s actually starting to feel like the beginnings of a sleeve. Over the next couple weeks, the individuals will continue to interact with the ones who have come before them. The gaps will fill, the images will play off one another.

My experiments to either write or edit while getting inked? Both failed. Too much physical sensation to go to the mental place needed for those tasks. But I’ve found I can read easily enough [between conversations]. Last week, I just so happened to be reading a scene which talked about the three kinds of people who get tattoos. In my own words:
– One timers
– I have one and might get another
– The addicts

Wouldn’t say I’m an addict, but I’m definitely a fan of immortalizing ideas & images worth immortalizing.

Twiggy Excerpt

Twiggy was, as usual, sitting on her bed shoving food in her mouth. “How’d it go?” she asked.

I squeezed out my hair. “We damn near got struck by lightning.”

“I hate the thunder. And I eat when I’m scared. Want a chip?”

You eat all the time.

“I don’t think my stomach can handle food right now.”

I caught a whiff of pungent stank. Was it Twiggy’s rank chips? Oh gods. No. It was my skanky armpits, the oniony b.o. rejuvenated by the sweat and the rain. I really needed to slough off the week-old funk clinging to my crevices. I had my backpack, but my clothes and hygiene bag were still in my car. Miles away. Out of gas. But, damn, I needed to get clean. A saying I’d once heard—maybe at school, or online—flashed in my head. All things being equal, fat people use more soap.

“Do you have any soap?” I asked my hefty host.

She wrinkled her nose. “Well, yeah. Tons of it.”

“Can I borrow some?”

“For…?”

“The rain. I’m so in need of a shower. You don’t even want to know,” I said.

Twiggy pinched her nose closed. “Oh, I know,” she said with a smile. “We have showers, silly.” She brushed sour cream and onion crumbs off her boobs. “We may be phreaks, but we’re not slobs.”

Confession: I DO know why Twiggy’s image is even more important to me than the MC Tera’s or the love interest Niko’s. Many readers have identified with Twiggy’s struggle. I feel an obligation to them to get her right. Maybe obligation isn’t the right word. How about, I have the desire to do right by Twiggy and—by extension—to those who identify with her.

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Phreak Show Ink – Millie


Millie  {a.k.a. Mama Snow}

Millie {a.k.a. Mama Snow}

Millie's stencil laid in
Millie’s stencil placement in relation to her phreaky friends
Tattoo - Millie 2

Millicent Cocteau – Mother of the Phreak Show

We had a little plot twist in the tattoo session today. I give Joe pretty free reign on creating the tat images. I start him off with source images & we discuss their physical & emotional characteristics & roles in the story. He then infuses his own style and artistry into the final tat.

Today’s plan was to immortalize Twiggy. But I have a VERY specific image in my melon of what I want her to look like. Thus, we’re taking more time to tweak her and get her just right.

So Millie moved up in the queue.

I have been challenging Joe with my tat requests. Jamie was his first one-eyed baby portrait. Millie was his first albino portrait. Obviously, she can’t be just pure white, so he had to work in slightly darker tones of pale peach and pale gray-blue. And white eyelashes? Also a challenge.

Some skin doesn’t take white ink very well, but mine rather enjoys and holds on to it. Even still, from a practical perspective for the artist, tinting/shading with mainly white is difficult. [SQUEAMISH ALERT] The blood mixes with the white, tinting it pink. Also, the inflamed & irritated skin makes it difficult to discern what is pink ink vs tender flesh.

Pro Tip: After soaking into the skin for 10 minutes, Lanacane spray reduces ALL the redness to show a true picture of the coloring.

Wow. Never would have guessed that one. But it totally worked & Joe was able to see the true coloration. The Lanacane also numbed Millie for the last 20 minutes as he finalized her. That was weird. Like, I couldn’t even feel the needle. AT ALL. Which seems like cheating and just…odd.

Millie is an albino. So she will be radiantly glowing on my skin. And part of how that will work is by hammering in a dark, contrasting background to push her forward. I have to wait for that…

Through this whole process of working towards a finished sleeve, SO MANY ANALOGIES for the writing process are pinging in my head. I’m scribbling them down. So, of course, once this is all completed, I will have that juicy overarching post to sum everything up.

Phreak Show Ink – Jamie


Tattoo - Jamie 1

Adorbs cyclopean Jamie

Tattoo - Jamie 2

Adorbs cyclopean Jamie

Awww…I think Jamie is so cute. He’s on my tender, fishbelly forearm just like on his big sister Tera.
Only she was expecting a perfect, beautiful memorial to her baby brother. Not a phreakified, one-eyed version…

This was (surprise!) the first cyclops baby Joe has ever inked.

OFFER OF REP! (and why, this time, I said yes)


The Phortune Cookie

The Phortune Cookie’s Phortune

UPDATE 4/6/15 – The story below is an amazing one! For an update on my current agent status, this post will help clarify: https://lucashargis.com/2015/04/03/querying-in-a-surreal-sort-of-way/ And please feel free to contact me if further clarification is needed.

Do you have beliefs you don’t really commit to, yet can’t really rule out as false? As in: I don’t know…aliens & ghosts & magic & sasquatches & such might be real…I’m not totally convinced, but I’m fine to not pass judgment either way. Well, I feel that way about a lot of things. [Post-modern? Trait of Gen X? Whatever.]  One such ?belief? is the concept of phate. And separate from that ideaI definitely believe in synchronicity—a kind of interconnectedness that can’t be explained by empirical or scientific means. This story is filled with [eph it! I’ll say it!] hints of magic & phate synchronicity. Like, I Skype-interviewed one of my agent’s clients about fire-breathing for some scenes in Phreak Show. And, FTR, that was before @ChristinaFerko was her client. And there was this day where this agent rejected offering me rep, only to have a phortune cookie reignite her love for the phreaks, ping her with regret, and cause this cool phoenix-from-the-ashes thing to happen. Then there was a bottle of nail polish. One of the agent’s assistants ordered a blind grab-bag of nail polishes from her favorite website. When it arrived, she eagerly unwrapped the polishes to check out her goodies. One of the polishes is pictured below. She emailed her agent-boss immediately and said: “I don’t know if you made your decision already, but if you didn’t, I think the universe is trying to tell us something… ”

Nail polish

“Freak Show” nail polish
[Obviously, they spelled it wrong]

FLASHBACK: I drafted PHREAK SHOW,  my third novel, during last year’s NaNoWriMo. Before the manuscript was fully edited & ready for querying, I created a page for it on this blog. Well, on January 9th of this year, an agent stopped by and left this comment:

This sounds great. One of my interns sent me this link. Please keep me in mind when your manuscript is polished and you are ready to submit to agents. ~Louise Fury

You can imagine the ridiculousness that popped and sparked inside me. (Yes?) AN AGENT COMMENTED ON MY BLOG! SHE approached ME about my premise! AND SHE’S ON MY SHORTLIST, BUT CLOSED TO SUBMISSIONS. HOLY $^*$%@<%^%?%$@#&&^*#+=?^&&!!! CRAP. NOW I NEED TO FINISH THESE EDITS. I’m an organized dude with color-coded spreadsheets, timelines of queries and all agent contact, feedback, and whatnot. I could lay out a twisting roadmap of every single email, phone conversation, DM, revision step, length of waiting between interactions, etc. But I’ll spare you, and condense it all down to a few, key elements. And what I hope you’ll take away from this is the diligence, persistence, and patience involved. – 1/9/13 – Blog comment expressing interest – 3/17/13 – Query – 3/18/13 – 5 chapter request – 3/22/13 – Full request – 4/6/13 – Phone call [But not THE call. Damn it.] – 4/11/13 – Submitted R&R #1 – 4/12/13 through 9/9/13 – Sporadic conversation, chat via email. ~~~w.a.i.t.i.n.g.~~~ – 9/19/13 – Sent email alerting to an Offer of Rep [Note: 6 months after Full sent] – 9/28/13 – MORNING: Declined to offer [And I wish I could post this whole email for you. Because awesome.] – 9/28/13 – EVENING: The Great Twitter Phortune Cookie Phreak Out Phenomenon of 2013. Followed by a series of DMs. – 10/12/13 – DM “The cookie has spoken. Let’s talk.” – 10/13/13 – Phone call. [REALLY! AGAIN!? NO OFFER!? ANOTHER MINOR R&R!? Fine, but this is my last one. I’m done after  this if there’s no offer. PUT A RING ON IT!] – 10/13/13 – 10/16/13 – Worked my ass off on rewrites of Chapter 1: CP’s, betas, the whole deal. [Thank you, people!] – 10/16/13 – Submitted R&R #2. This one was all or nothing. Phingers crossed. – 11/2/13 – A nudge… – 12/3/13 – Another nudge… And a response! “I am glad you emailed. Let’s talk today and wrap this up?” Now, I had no idea which way this “wrap up” would twist around me. But, honestly, I was straight chuffed to finally have some sort of closure either way. This process turned into a long, emotional one, and there were moments where the pendulum swung from  I HATE FURY! to OMG, I LOVE HER! with a lot of WHY THE HELL IS IT TAKING SO LONG? in between. There were multiple times when friends and loved ones talked me down from the cliff, kept me sane, prevented me from: nudging too soon (or too often), venting online, or sending some sort of ultimatum email I’d regret. Patience (damn the blasted thing) was key. Hard, but essential. Obviously, you know how it wrapped up. This past Monday, 12/3/13, Louise Fury, Phreak Show’s agent, phinally put a ring on it. But I still need to answer the why part of why I chose to accept. Because Louise loves the phreaks, their story, my words. She gets it. (And, I believe, she gets me.) She also has a vision for the phreaks—one that’s gonna suck like mad to bring about, but is going to end with Phreak Show being the best it can possibly be. I love her today. I might hate her in a month. And she might hate me back. But then we’ll circle back around, and look at our rings, and be all like: Awww! We made it! Look at our Phreaky baby on a shelf, in the hearts and hands of readers, which is the whole point. I said “yes”, because I believe Phury, her amazing team, and I share a common love for the phreaks and can work together to share their story with the world. And, come on! Synchronicity involving phire-breathing clients, a phortune cookie, and nail polish!?!? I’m pretty sure that’s, like, magic or some shit.