Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Indie Ink Runs Deep: Cynthia of Aqueous Books

I've been tossing around the idea of blogging a tattoo series for nearly a year now. I know there are websites and books out there that have been-there-done-that already, but I hadn't seen one with a specific focus on the authors and publishers of the small press community. 

After hoarding the photos and essays I've been collecting from these guys since July of 2012, and with the promise of spring peeking its deliciously sunny head out through all of this winter gloom, I decided there was no better time than now to finally unveil THE INDIE INK RUNS DEEP mini-series!

Our first human subject is Cynthia, publisher of Aqueous Books:

I'd intended for the tattoo shown on my arm to be quite a bit smaller--a few inches high, in fact. But due to the detail of the knotwork, this is as small as the tattoo artist could craft it. I first found the design in a book of celtic crosses, a small coffee table edition, actually--nothing momentous. The book included rubbings and photographs of crosses throughout the UK, including the one now on my arm, and also one that takes up a large space in the middle of my upper back. Both are from grave markers, and I wish I recalled the particulars regarding whose grave they're from and what the markings mean, but alas. Because the original stones are so ancient, some of the detail has been worn away by time and the elements, so I give hearty kudos to my tattoo artist (Scott Alvarez, formerly of Hula Moon studios in Pensacola, FL) for his painstaking reconstruction of those missing areas.

Why crosses? I'm asked this all the time. It's nothing mysterious, and is directly linked with my personal beliefs and spirituality. I've had a few close calls in my life, and I like to think of these as some sort of protection, as superficial and superstitious as it may seem to others. Also, I thought the knotwork was beautiful--something I could live with for a long time. It also hearkens to my British ancestry (I'm a mixture of heritages, but British is one). I do often wish the cross on my arm was smaller, and I find myself covering it for work and in the professional sphere. So it is really something that is more personal to me, rather than something I like to show off.

Cynthia Reeser is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Prick of the Spindle and Publisher of Aqueous Books. Her poetry, fiction, reviews, visual art, and articles can be found in a variety of print and online sources. Her books include Light and Trials of Light (Finishing Line Press, 2010), a nonfiction book on publishing for children from Atlantic Publishing, which was a finalist in its category in the 2010 Indie Book Awards, and a book on publishing for the Kindle (Atlantic Publishing). Her visual art and a full curriculum vitae can be found at www.cynthiareeser.com.


  1. I love the idea of an Indie Ink spotlight!!! I have zero tattoos and won't ever get one, but I love them!!! I watch all the tattoo shows!

  2. Nice! I love this idea :) My tattoo artist is working on my very bookish design right now!

  3. Jennifer, do tell! What are you having designed?