Okay, I had another harebrained idea, but I'm going to go with it. So here's how the story goes...
One of the things that I cannot do because of my compromised immune system is get a tattoo. I've been wanting to get a tattoo for a few years now. Every few years, I get a tattoo craving, but this one idea has been persisting for a while. I even had a story published about it in a book called "Chick Ink" (go to your library, check it out, read it. My story is the second one in the collection).
Basically, when I was pregnant with Chloe way back in 2003, and we were trying to figure out names, we were thinking of what would be a good Chinese-Vietnamese middle name. "Dao" is the name for the generation that Chloe and Mylo (and their cousins) belong to in the Yu lineage, and it means "the way." And we thought that "Phuong," which means phoenix, is a pretty name, plus Henry personally felt like Chloe's birth was symbolic of rising from the ashes of the loss of his beloved grandmother, Popo. So we decided that Chloe's Chinese-Vietnamese name would be "Dao-Phuong." We also thought it would make an awesome tattoo. Henry's a tattoo virgin; I, of course, am not. But we agreed that we'd commemorate her birth with a phoenix tattoo, with her name in Chinese and Vietnamese written with it.
When we were blessed soon after with Mylo's conception, we didn't hesitate to call him "Dao-Long," which means "the way of the dragon." In Chinese and Vietnamese cultures, the phoenix and dragon go together to represent good luck, prosperity, intelligence, courage, and just goodness all around.
We've been looking at artwork and sculptures and statues for the perfect phoenix and dragon images, but haven't come up with any so far. We are looking for something less ornate than the traditional depictions of the phoenix and dragon; more minimalist and simple, with clean lines.
Then I got it in my head this weekend that it would be so cool to get our tattoos on the TLC show, "LA Ink." We feel that the tattoos have come to represent more than just the birth of our children. With the death of Henry's brother George and my cancer diagnosis, the tattoos also symbolize overcoming struggles and challenges, and doing it together as a family. The tattoos also symbolize unity and strength.
So here's where the contest part comes in...Do you think you could draw a kick-ass phoenix and/or dragon image for our tats? If so, contact me to submit an image. The contest will go on indefinitely until we come up with a good image. The winner will receive a lifetime subscription to my quarterly poetry collection "podBrandy." And your art will hopefully be on LA Ink! And on our shoulders, as that's where the tats will go, when I'm done with all this cancer bullshit!