Writer’s Ink: Luther Siler

Normally when I blatantly steal an idea for a post from an author, it’s Scalzi– in fact, some of my highest traffic posts in the history of this blog have been topics I got from him.  So I’m proud to announce that this particular blatantly stolen topic has Jim C. Hines as its originator instead.  I have never read a word of Hines’ fiction, and I do not have any idea why, because I feel like I’ve been following him on Twitter and through other means (which, mysteriously, I can’t recall) forever, and he entertains me, so what the hell, man, go buy some of his books.

Anyway.  He’s been doing this series called Writer’s Ink, which are short interview posts where he interviews a writer about their tattoos.  Jim C. Hines has never met me!  He’s never heard of me, either!  Which makes it unlikely that he’s going to be interviewing me about my tattoos.  But I’m a writer!  And I have tattoos!  So I’m posting about them, because I’m pretty sure posting pictures of my Great Hairy Pastiness is something that I’ve not done around here yet.  And, as it works out, nearly all of my tattoos are book related.  

So, working more or less chronologically:



That is, and have fun wrapping your head around it, my right leg on the left and my left leg on the right.  The tattoo on the left is the first tattoo I ever got, and it’s a Bible verse: Genesis 4:9, to be specific.  It says “Am I my brother’s keeper,” which is what Cain famously says to God when God asks him what happened to Abel.  Why I got it is a post in itself; needless to say I used to be a biblicist in a former life and I find this particular phrase specifically as well as this story in general endlessly fascinating.

If you don’t recognize the other tattoo, we can’t be friends anymore.  It wraps completely around the leg.  



This is my only hand-drawn tattoo; I drew it myself, which is kinda fun.  It’s an ibis, the Egyptian symbol for the god Thoth.  (For the record: I read Hebrew, so I know that one was right.  This tattoo I had checked out by a buddy of mine who is a literal Egyptologist.  So this ain’t like me showing you a Chinese letter that is actually the character for dim sum and saying it means “Strength” or “Honor” or some shit like that.  Never tattoo yourself in a language you or someone you trust can’t read.)

Why Thoth?  Thoth taught the Egyptians language and mathematics.



El-Ahrairah, from Watership Down, which you should read if you haven’t yet.  This image is directly from the film version of the book, and if you’ve seen it you know it’s from riiiight around the time he pisses God off, which always entertained me.  Watership Down is one of my favorite books ever.

There’s also a tattoo on my left wrist, which I won’t be reproducing here because it incorporates part of my name.  It’s in backlight ink!  It’s really cool!  Sorry.  🙂

I feel like I should be tagging somebody.  Other people!  Tell me of your tattoos!

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

7 thoughts on “Writer’s Ink: Luther Siler

  1. El-Ahrairah FTW. Twenty years ago, I was in a quandary as to what tattoo to get that wouldn’t embarrass me later on. Why didn’t I think of ‘The Prince with the Swift Warning’?


  2. I have 5 tattoos, 2 of which are dragonflies which speaks to my tendency to live in my head too much; one is of a warring angel representing my nephew; one of a gecko and finally of a turtle-ladybug combo. None are related to books, just personal references. I love tattoos and if I my body was able to handle more, I would.


  3. I love hearing the stories behind someone’s tattoo. Thanks for sharing!

    As for me, I have three. On the calf of my right leg I have the Cheshire Cat from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. I love the stories and the movie. The Cat was my favorite part from the stories.

    On my left calf I have Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service(if you haven’t done so, wach it). Again, a movie and character I love. For some reason I love little black cats with large eyes. The red bow was a plus.

    My most recent tattoo, as in two months ago was when the color was finished, is on my left shoulder/bicep area. It is of Odin’s ravens, both carrying an eye, with Yggdrasil and the setting sun behind them. The ravens have been something I’ve been wanting for some time. The artist went above and beyond my expectations, reading up on some of the Norse mythology to get things right. Expresses my love of the mythology and deities.


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