Monday, November 06, 2006

Smart Bitches Day

I haven't done one in ages, due to the fact that I've lack any kind of originality and I haven't read anything too challenging for ages, just the Harry Potter series. So I was trawling about the internet slinging my hook for some ideas as to what to write.

I peeked in onto the nanowrimo website to feel guilty because I've not typed anything for a few days, but I have handwritten lots. I haven't a word count though, how anal would that be to word count whilst creating a story - UberNerd of the Savant calibre. So on the website, I read a minute snippet about a writer who is also a mystic. she gets story ideas by reading tarot cards. I said "Hey! I do that too!" and thought how neat it was that someone else did. I don't think I've ever mentioned that I can read tarot cards. Probably because if you are someone who can read tarot, but doesn't do it for a living, you become a target for tarot scroungers. Folks will ask you to parties and add "Oh, and bring your cards!" and at that point you are no longer an invited a guest, but part of the entertainment for the evening. Not fun.

But from a writing perspective, they really are a useful tool. Now let me just preface this all with: I do not believe that tarot cards allow someone to speak with the dead, I do not attribute them any kind of mystical, magical connection to the unseen universes and nor do I think they are instruments of evil. They are cards; paper and ink. They have a story attached to each card. When you line up a few cards together, the story unfolds into a longer story. You can have multiple characters, tragedies, excitements, sex, adventure, parenthood and travel all in there. The fact that when you read these card in front of someone and they see themselves in the storyline, really speaks volumes about where they feel they are in this world. I think tarot card reading is hogwash, and hoaxism. I like them for their storytelling.

I will usually do a simple three card spread, and try to find the hidden story between them: there is always one. This helps to keep the creative juices flowing, it also helps if I get stuck on a storyline or feel it's a bit dull. If I find the story has more to tell I'll add another card. I don't do any of these classic card spreads, but I could, I suppose to find personality elaborations. I find the cards open up my own ability to create. I'm the kind of person who gets bogged down on details and lose the flow of the story. This card reading kind of breaks the spell of repetitive spellchecking and grammar attacks.

I'll offer up an example three card spread. I'm using the The Quick and Easy deck because it has all of the descriptions on the cards - cheating, sure but it's quick and easy you see. I've just pulled out (Was going to say laid but I know what some of you would've thought - not that "pulled out" is much better) Strength(upside down), Knight of Swords, and The King of Wands. So what does this tell me. Well I simply read the cards first (literally, because the answers are written on them)...

Strength (usd) - You are tempted to abuse power and to take immoral actions. you are your own worst enemy. You have a weak character, and pessimistic attitude. Lack of courage causes lost opportunities. Personality flaws cause disaster in both love and business. Angry outbursts and lost composure compromises your reputation. Beware of a selfish woman.


Knight of Swords
- A man under forty is about to enter your life. Conceals his emotions. Has a military demeanor. Disciplined. Supremely confident. Has courage and a good heart. Responsible, shrewd and alert. Planner, engineer, designer, builder or architect.

King of Wands
- Denotes a handsome, charismatic and bold man over forty who has a commanding presence and strong convictions. Strong leadership skills. Attracts attention wherever he goes. Takes action and gets results. A creative, innovative man who is open to new concepts.

So now the fun begins. Strength is our heroine, and what a piece of work she sounds like. Hotheaded, selfish and immature. She lacks courage, so there must be a vulnerable, frightened part of her that she covers up with bark and bravado. She's had a hard life and some hard knocks have taught her not to trust anyone. Beware a selfish woman...who could that be? A sister? Her Mother? A highschool former BFF who was seriously cheesed off Stregth had the nerve to snog her Danny on prom night?! Perhaps this is the root of her distrust and bleak outlook on life. Sounds to me like she needs someone to help her. someone like...

Well look here we have two very good contenders for her heart don't we. One who is youthful, organised and earthy and another who is more show-offy and confident. Which one will suit her personality better? Which one will love her and respect her? Which one will try and control her and bend her to his will? Does she even want rescued? What if she is actually trying to get into business with the King and is using her seductive powers to achieve her ends, but his son, the Knight, can see through her ploys and tries to save the family business and somehow he finds this other woman who will be Strength's downfall. Yeah, he uses some his former military training to become a P.I. and investigates her background. So...now it's a mystery? Crime novel? OOoooo a murder mystery crime novel with a smidgeon of romance! Endless options.

This is how the stories start. The plotlines begin to jump out at you, you can almost see these people in your mind's eye already. They're not real people, or ghosties. They are fictional, and have been shone into existence by the amazing creativity of the card wielder(Oh yes I have ego troubles...as well you know). This is no different than using the phone book to find interesting character names.

The great part is, if you don't like how a story is playing out, just shuffle and try again. Shuffle away and then let a story come to you that needs to be told.

Smart Bitches Day is hosted by the beautiful and charming Beth, have something to say about books, writing or have a book review to share then post it up and let Beth know so you'll be added to list.

2 comments:

Chill Daddy said...

That's really cool. I could have a field day with these things if I wasn't a legalistic baptist. (you lucky demon-woman)

Maja said...

I like Tarot cards. My aunt Sigga has a knack for reading them. I do mine once a year. They just make you think about your life from a different perspective. It all comes from within yourself, for sure. I like to go back and check if my reading for the year came true, but I don't really think about what the cards said in terms of what to do in life.