Tattoo Tales!

If you follow me on Instagram (shameless plug), you’ll know that I just got a new tattoo last week that is basically the definition of my life.  And if you’re not following me on Instagram, what are you doing???  I post about books, cats, tea, and a lot of yoga, and my stories are usually just me rambling about whichever book I’m writing/reading at the time.

I only talk briefly on any of my social media platforms about my tattoos, though, and quite a few of them are bookish, so I thought it’d be fun to take this space to chat about them.  Let’s start at the beginning!

I am no longer a tattoo virgin! This is on my arm, and it’s the Marauders paw prints. In order: Padfoot, Prongs, Moony, and Wormtail.
Location: left upper arm
Date: November 2014
Studio: Salem Ink in Salem, MA by Ashlee

Has it really been over four years since my first tattoo???  Holy moly.  And not only was this my first tattoo, it was my first Harry Potter and my first bookish one.  They’re the Marauders’ footprints in my favorite order: Sirius, James, Remus, Peter.  Literally in the middle of the tattoo, I was like oh my god I need so many more this is amazing.  I remember how exhilarating it felt to look in the mirror and see it.  If only I knew what was coming.

From conception to beauty. Thank you so much, Loki. This is an incredible piece of art, and I am so amazed that it’s finally on my body. Thank you, thank you, thank you! @saleminkma
Location: right thigh
Date: April 2015
Studio & Artist: Salem Ink in Salem, MA by owner Loki

Wow, this was my second tattoo?  I totally just went hard on the second one, haha.  I’d had this idea for a while, getting the map of Rohan from Lord of the Rings, and I’m still so ecstatic with how it came out.  Eventually, I plan on getting more of the Middle Earth map, probably Arnor and Eriador, as well as a big LOTR one that I have planned for 2019.

Tattoo number three! I am so, so happy with how this turned out, and so excited that I have Sirius’s signature and Azkaban numbers next to his paw. (Next up for him, and the Harry Potter arm: the Grim.) Thank you, @alldayraytattoo and @sacredharp978!...
Location: front & back of left shoulder
Date: May 2015
Studio: Sacred Harp Tattoo in Salem, MA by Ray Young

Because of course I had to get something specific for my favorite HP character of all time.  I knew I wanted his Azkaban numbers, but I was so pleased when I came up with the idea to do his signature from the letters he sends to Harry, too.  He’s one of only two names on my body, and I distinctly remember my mom saying, “You’re going to get someone’s name?  What if you end up dating someone with that name?”  Guys, if I end up dating someone named Sirius, I’ve made it.

Mandala, meaning circle, is a spiritual symbol in Indian religions, in which it represents the universe. It represents the nature of the Pure Land, of the Enlightened mind. It is a symbol of unity and focus, of coming together. The lotus at the...
Location: right shoulder
Date: November 2015
Studio & Artist: Salem Ink in Salem, MA by Matt

This is my favorite piece of ink on my body, and the one that everyone says something about.  If I’m wearing no sleeves, I’m guaranteed to get several compliments, and it’s wonderful.  This took two and a half hours, and the way Matt blended together the three different mandalas I gave him is just mesmerizing.  I absolutely adore this piece.

“Seven stars and seven stones and one white tree.” Lord of the Rings: Return of the King #tattoo #lordoftherings #whitetree #whitetreeofgondor
Location: left thigh
Date: February 2015
Studio & Artist: Salem Ink in Salem, MA by Ashlee

Have I mentioned that I love Lord of the Rings?  I currently have four other LOTR-themed tattoos planned–the Evenstar, the horse from the vertical Rohan flag, Forth Eorlingas, Andúril, and one of the Hobbit holes.  I was so, so excited to get a little bit of Gondor, though, as it’s my second favorite city of Men and it needed some representation.  Plus, I just love line work so much, and I love how this came out.

There is nothing quite like the view of heaven at the summit of a mountain. #tattoo #mountain
Location: left foot
Date: February 2015
Studio & Artist: Salem Ink in Salem, MA by Ashlee

I got this and the White Tree of Gondor on the same day, and let me tell you, these mountains were one of the most painful moments of my life.  It was just thirty minutes of pure pain, and it was terrible, but it’s one of my favorite tattoos, and I can’t wait to get ocean waves on my other foot so they’re a matching pair.

The magic lives on. Thank you so much, @hec7688! I absolutely love them! 💕 #harrypotter #tattoo
Location: left wrist
Date: April 2016
Studio & Artist: Salem Ink in Salem, MA by Heather

This was a session full of four small tattoos, and this is also my last (for now) Harry Potter tattoo.  Don’t worry, I have at least two more planned–the Hogwarts crest and the little footprints that appear on the Marauders map.  These are Harry’s glasses and scar, obviously, and those are the three stars that appear at the top of every page.

This is, by far, my favorite moment in all of @maggie_stiefvater’s books. It doesn’t matter if I’m reading it for the first or seventh time, my heart stops. I am so happy to finally be able to hold Sam Roth with me forever. Thank you, @hec7688!...
Location: inside of right knee
Date: April 2016
Studio & Artist: Salem Ink, MA by Heather

This is the other name on my body, and is the main character of my all-time favorite novel, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, which I will be rereading for the eighth time this month.  It is, hands down, my favorite line in the entire series, and it has continued to destroy me every time I read this part.  I also have a rose petal pressed in the pages where this line appears.

And finally, in honor of #theravenking, these are @maggie_stiefvater’s ley lines. I am hopelessly enamored with Richard Gansey III, and now he’s with me forever. Thank you for a (mostly) painless adventure tonight, @hec7688! #theravenking...
Location: around that bone at the top of your spine
Date: April 2016
Studio & Artist: Salem Ink, MA by Heather

My second, and definitely not last, Maggie Stiefvater tattoo.  This one is from The Raven Cycle, and is the symbol of ley lines that appears in the books.  My third Stiefvater tattoo will be from The Scorpio Races, and will be the line the sky, the sea, the sand, and Corr, which will also be my third name, and I didn’t even realize that.  My favorite thing ever was when I was in BAM in Bangor, ME once and an employee walked up to me to say, “Oh my god, I’m sorry to interrupt you, but IS THAT A RAVEN BOYS TATTOO?  GUYS COME LOOK!”  And then flagged down his fellow coworkers.  It was amazing.

Which!  Hey!  If ever you like someone’s tattoo, TELL THEM.  We love it so much.

This honestly makes me so happy. I love my inked skin. #tattoo

Oh look, one of the few color pictures I have of my tattoos!  All of them are black, grey, and sometimes white, so that’s how I usually filter the pictures.  This is what my legs currently look like, though not for long.  I’m coming for you legs in 2019!

These were my first tattoos at Good Mojo, and subsequently the beginning of a love affair.  They’re now exclusively the only studio that I go to, and pretty soon you’ll meet my current, and hopefully forever, artist in a few tattoos.  These were a long time coming, though the placement evaded me for a long time.  The left is the mantra in Sanskrit that I use during literally all times of my life–om mani padme hum.  I use it when I’m anxious, when I need to pray, when I can’t focus, when I just need some divine guidance.  And the right is the word Namaste, which pretty much speaks for itself.

“Climb the mountains, and get their good tidings.” - John Muir In honor of accomplishing a dream I never, in a million years, thought was possible, here is a tree for Mt Washington. You are every joyous and terrifying moment I have ever had wrapped...
Location: back of left calf
Date: November 2016
Studio & Artist: Good Mojo Tattoos in Beverly, MA by Lisa Inkwitch

I swear, I didn’t realize the next tattoo was my first one with Lisa.  She currently does all of my tattoos, and I’ve linked her Instagram there.  She’s pretty much a mindreader, and it all started with this tattoo.  I said, “I want a mountain tree.  They’ve got weird, skinny trunks and a lot of spindly branches on top.”  Not much to go on, but then she came out with this, and I was in awe.  She’s pretty much done that with every one of mine, but the best one is the space one that we’ll get to in a bit.  This tree was my reward for successfully climbing Mt. Washington, and I adore it.

Look, it’s a matching sibling tattoo!  I got this for my brother and sister for their 2016 Christmas present, and we all have it in the same spot.  The flower is the lotus, which grows through mud, and so it’s a representation that we’ve grown up into beautiful adults even after struggling through the bullshit that is being a teenager.  The three dots signify our age, so since I’m the oldest, I have the top one.

This was easily one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received.  Not only did my best friend, Jen, take me out for high tea, she bought me a tattoo.  Come Sail Away is my favorite Styx song, and it has seen me through some of the toughest moments in my life.  This is Gospel is my favorite Panic! at the Disco song, who also happen to be my all-time favorite band.

This space tattoo is not finished yet, and I realized that you can’t really see the sun, but it’s the part I still have to work on, so it’s fine.  This has been an ongoing project, and what I have left is to put a quote around the sun (how rare and beautiful it is to even exist from my favorite Sleeping at Last song, Saturn) and pull in the space dust toward the sun a little.  Lisa was great with this one.  We started with the line drawing of Neil Armstrong and line drawings of all nine planets.  After that, I said, “I want space dust, but I don’t know how to describe it other than that.”  And she said, “So some squiggly edges and some beep boops inside?”  Sure!  And this was the result.  It’s absolutely stunning.

Location: left forearm
Date: November 2018
Studio & Artist: Good Mojo Tattoos in Beverly, MA by Lisa Inkwitch

And this is my most recent one!  If you looked up Mary Drover in the dictionary, this image would show up.  Because, come on, a stack of books and a tea mug?  That’s 100000% me.  This is also the last one for 2018.  (Everyone keeps pointing out that there’s only one month left in 2018, but whateverrrr, I’ve got major tattoo plans for 2019.  LEGS!)  I’ve also been asked approximately one million times why I didn’t put book titles on them.  Guys, seriously?  How the hell would I ever choose?

So that’s me!  Not a lot of these get to see the light of day all that often, so it’s fun to get to talk about them.  What do you think?  Do you have any tattoos, bookish or otherwise?  Let me know in the comments below!

4 responses to “Tattoo Tales!”

  1. Shantall Elizabeth Avatar
    Shantall Elizabeth

    My first tattoo took two years. I designed it and then went on the hunt for a tattoo artist who clicked and vibed with me into bringing it to life. It’s very personal to me and represents my mom it tooks up most of my left arm. I am planning on getting more soon, it is addicting. Now that I got my first one of the way I’m like planning a million more I want.


    1. marydrover Avatar

      It is SO addicting! I have a million ideas in my head, and my biggest struggle is deciding which one is next.


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