Owning Oneself ~ Anna Zabo: Outside the Margins

Join us as Anna Zabo goes Outside the Margins.

Last Saturday, I got my third tattoo. It’s an Art Deco style antique key I had put on my bicep.


Yes, it has a meaning. All my tattoos do. The phoenix on my calf is all about being reborn from my ashes and flying away with the key to my freedom and myself. (That’s a key it’s holding).


The wording on my arm is the last stanza of Ode 1.11 by Horace:


[Photo 3]

I spent a good portion of my twenties worried so much about the future that I forgot to enjoy the present. To say that I was unhappy is an understatement. It took me a long time to learn that while the future is important, don’t put all your hope there. Enjoy the here and now. It’s also a phrase that turns up in my first published novel, Close Quarter. Only Silas has a bit of a different reaction to it than I do.

And the key? Well, it’s alluded to in the phoenix explanation. If you see me at a convention, I’m probably wearing a key necklace of some kind. It comes from the first novel I wrote, where a key is used as a maker, a promise of a debt owed to the bearer. The key is my own, and I’ve made a promise to myself never, ever again to compromise who I am for someone else. I owe myself that.

So why tattoos?

One of the unexpected feelings I had when I got my first tattoo was the sudden sense of owning my own body. I had marked it. Not time, not accidents, not anyone else. Me. I claimed a piece of my very being and chose to mark it in a way pleasing to me.

That’s powerful, that feeling of possessing yourself. I think a lot of us feel owned by so much else. Family. Friends. Job. Society. But in the end, we inhabit our bodies and minds and belong first to ourselves. Yes, we share, but at the end of the day, when you close your eyes…you’re yourself. Whoever that is.

And that person is wonderful, by the way. Just saying.


~ Anna Zabo

About Anna Zabo

Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think. You can find her online at http://www.annazabo.com/ or more often on Twitter as @amergina.

If you’re looking for her books, you can find them here:


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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2 thoughts on “Owning Oneself ~ Anna Zabo: Outside the Margins

  1. That was wonderfully said. I don’t have tattoos or any plans to get one, but you’ve absolutely made me understand the power behind them. I love words so much that if I did get one, I’m surr it’d be text. Beautiful art, by the way!

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