Monday, November 30, 2015

"We have ideas yet that we haven't tried."

Big Magic is the name of Elizabeth Gilbert's (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) latest book. And it is magic.

Here's a small sample.
     Are you considering becoming a creative person? Too late, you already are one. To even call somebody "a creative person" is almost laughably redundant; creativity is the hallmark of our species. We have the senses for it; we have the curiosity for it; we have the opposable thumbs for it; we have the rhythm for it; we have the language and the excitement and the innate connection to divinity for it.
     If you're alive, you're a creative person. You and I and everyone you know are descended from tens of thousands of years of makers. Decorators, tinkerers, storytellers, dancers, explorers, fiddlers, drummers, builders, growers, problem-solvers, and embellishers - they are our common ancestors.
Gaian Tarot

Almost one hundred years earlier, Robert Frost was writing about the exact same thing - creativity - in this little poem titled Riders.

The surest thing there is is we are riders,
And though none too successful at it, guiders,
Through everything presented, land and tide
And now the very air, of what we ride.

What is this talked-of mystery of birth
But being mounted bareback on the earth?
We can just see the infant up astride,
His small fist buried in the bushy hide.

There is our wildest mount - a headless horse.
But though it runs unbridled off its course,
And all our blandishments would seem defied,
We have ideas yet that we haven't tried.
Druidcraft Tarot

Here's to flinging some creativity around!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Changing times and brushing teeth

In the Dark Ages, when I was little, 
and learning to brush my teeth, the routine went something like this.

Turn on the tap
     Pull toothbrush from holder and begin the process
          Hang up toothbrush
Turn off the tap

The water ran at a robust rate for 2-3 minutes (possibly more, if things weren't going smoothly).
Did anyone consider how much clean water was being used? Nope. No one gave it a thought.
Water was like air - abundant, clean, everpresent.

This is Emily, my granddaughter

Emily and I had two sleepovers last weekend, while her Mom and Dad were busy birthing and bringing home a new baby brother. I was struck by the difference in Emily's toothbrushing routine.

Turn on tap just a bit, to wet brush
     Put toothpaste onto brush
Turn off tap and continue
Turn on tap to rinse off toothbrush
     Rinse out mouth, but not too much because the toothpaste tastes like bubblegum
Turn off tap

Water running lightly for perhaps 30 seconds in all. Does this upcoming generation think about water as a precious resource? Definitely!

The times they are a-changin'!
The Fey Tarot

I hope all your playdates are fun, and none of your bubblegum sticks to your face.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oh! The Places You'll Go!

Oh, the places you'll see!
If you shuffle some cards
And come trav'lling with me.

Those lines above are not, of course, by Dr. Seuss, that most sublime rhymer,
Who knew that the meter
Was king of the hill.
If a real word don't scan,
He'll make up one that will.

Here's a tidbit from his story Oh! The Places You'll Go!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

Yes, I am that guy, and at 25,008 words into the 50,000 word NaNoWriMo challenge,
I am still following the adventures of this young woman.
AnnaK Tarot

Over the last week, she's wrenched this young girl and her parrot from the clutches of kidnappers in LA
StoryWorld, Legends of the Sea

with the help of this kick-ass lawyer,
Dark Goddess Tarot (trimmed)

 and is currently in Australia at this animal rescue sanctuary
The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards

wrestling with how to get this violent mutant trickster
The Heart of Faerie Oracle

to this woman, who can help.
Gaian Tarot

To quote more from Seuss, at this point I feel a bit like this:
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And as for how these two are going to figure in the story?
Wild Kuan Yin Oracle
Victorian Fairy Tarot

Keeping my fingers crossed!
The Raven's Prophesy Tarot

Regardless of whether or not this sort-of-novel I'm writing this month has any merit at all, the experience of arriving at my computer desk every day to find so many mini works of art waiting for me is a joyous one!
As Brian Goulet would say: Write on!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

NaNoWriMo: it's in the cards!

For the first time ever, I'm registered for National Novel Writing Month. And I'm so excited!

There is an idea that I've been wanting to try for a long time, and NaNoWriMo seemed the perfect vehicle to drive it. The perfect rack to hang it on. The perfect framework get the idea.

Corrine Kenner has written an interesting book, Tarot for Writers, which explores not only using tarot cards as character and plot prompts, but also contains a treasury of writing how-to's, some of which were new to me, others vaguely remembered from high school English classes. It made a great jumping-off point.

When one owns as many tarot and oracle decks as I do, and has a tantalizing stack of Caitlin and John Matthews' StoryWorld cards just languishing on the shelves, waiting to be put to work, choosing THE one-and-only deck to help with a novel's characters and travels is...well, silly, really. Not to mention impossible.

My protagonist just jumped into my head one day. She is someone who will relish some interesting times. Who can handle a challenge and love it. She's the Ace of Rods, from the AnnaK, and has just the chutzpah I need. I named her Sophie. But other than knowing this one thing, I didn't pre-plan anything, because I wanted this to be an adventure for me, as well as for Sophie.

So on Halloween night, the eve before which I was to begin this adventure, I roamed around the house choosing decks that seemed right. (They're all listed below, don't worry!)

Sunday, November 1st arrives! I can finally begin!
For the tarot decks, I shuffled and chose the top card. With the oracle decks, I looked through and picked the very first one that clicked. No thinking allowed, no second guessing.
Then on to the big beautiful StoryWorld cards. I have eight sets and chose two of them for this first round. And once again selected the very first one that grabbed my innards.

Drum roll, please! The Cast and Crew, round 1!

As of this writing, at 12,285 words, all the people and landscapes above are a part of the story.
Next challenge: how to fit in these remaining three cards. 
I'll find out tomorrow!

Decks featured above, beginning with the Ancestors, L to R, top to bottom.
1. The Halloween Oracle
2. Earth Magic Oracle Cards
3. All Hallows Tarot
4. Dark Goddess Tarot
5. Tea Leaf Fortune Cards (round)
6. StoryWorld: Tales from the Haunted House
7. Wild KuanYin Oracle
8. AnnaK Tarot (Ace of Cups,  this deck is trimmed)
9. Gaian Tarot
10. The Halloween Tarot
11. StoryWorld, basic set
12. The Raven's Prophecy Tarot

And then it's on to the Cast and Crew, round 2.
This is such a blast!