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Category: Tarot

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Ah, another year is coming to a close.  It’s out with the old and in with the new, that weird old man is retiring and baby new year is bouncing onto the scene.  Side note: how does that baby age so much in one year?   Okay, back on track.  This is my last post for 2017 and I thought I’d talk about what most people are talking about at this time of year – goal setting.

Now, I use quite a few systems that I’ve learned over the past few years to plan out my goals.  I’ve gotten them from various webinars, books, courses, old planners, and online blog searching.   I have no idea who to attribute most of what I’m going to talk about to specifically because at this point it’s a hodgepodge of styles with my own added flair!

I like to start with a general brain dump of things I would like to get done, accomplish, get better at, finish, etc.  That list usually looks like a hot mess, but from there I’ll separate the do-able from the wishes, the first things first to maybe if I have time, and then I make a quarterly plan.  This year was easy, actually, because I know I want to launch my newsletter (with that freebie I keep hinting about) in February and my debut novel will be self-published on Amazon (more about that in 2018) in either March or April so my Quarter One goals were set.  I have a few things bulleted out for Q2, including writing the 1st draft of book #2 and researching blog guest posting, and then I just have a list called: ????  This is a maybe/future list that includes starting a YouTube channel, planning our August family vacation (we know we’d like to go somewhere this summer, but we’re not sure where we’re going this year yet so, for now, it’s on the ???? List), and when to publish/launch Book #2 – only because I have no clue how fast I’ll be able to write and edit since this current novel has taken me years!

I also added some health & wellness goals to my list, music and hobby goals (I want to start singing again and I think I’m getting a hand-me-down acoustic guitar and would like to learn that as well), and some overall family goals (like taking my little one to more museums, doing more things around Queens, and getting the rest of the apartment organized and finished).  My year is shaping up!  It’s all very exciting, shiny, and new.

I am definitely getting excited, especially after I did one final step of my yearly planning…the tarot cards!  I bought Biddy Tarot’s 2018 Planner this year but not to use as a plan-your-day type calendar (I’m still using my Erin Condren bullet journal hybrid), but to help with tarot study – it has monthly spreads, weekly cards, new moon and full moon intentions, quarterly reviews, and some fun journaling prompts along the way.  I did the big New Year’s Eve spread and that was nice, but then I went ahead and also did the Q1 Manifestation Spread (where you talk about your biggest goal for the quarter – mine was launching The Art of Lying) and baby, hold on to your socks – because this was a doozy of a spread.

You basically go through questions about where you are right now with your goal, what weaknesses and strengths you have surrounding the goal, what you need to let go of, what action steps you need to take, and what…overall…the next three months might look like.  These cards were totally speaking to me, they were extremely positive and point to the fact that I am on the right track to finishing Q1 strong!

I won’t bore you with the nitty-gritty details, but I will share with you what I wrote in the summation box of the planner:  This spread has shown me that I need to continue the New Year with hard work and expert planning.  I need to let the creative side celebrate her wins and much earned success, while my business side makes decisions based on knowledge, research, and gut intuition.  I need to stay true to myself, be authentic and human in my marketing and promotions, stay down to earth, but don’t neglect my health in striving for perfection!  If I do these things, keep up my confidence and courage, I should achieve my goal!!!

Now, I’ve done quite a bit of 2018 planning – last week’s Word of the Year and this week’s goal planning, but I’m not done yet.  The writing mastermind I am a part of is having a big Planning Party soon and my mentor will be sharing a workbook PDF that will have questions, prompts, and other goodies for us – now I doubt any of that will have me changing my plans much, but it might help solidify things for me – things I’m worried about, things I’m trying not to freak myself out about (like all the decisions that business side of me actually needs to make soon), and it might just help me narrow down my daily tasks and to-do’s better.  And, I love a good planning party.

So…what have you been planning for the new year?  Any goals you’re just itching to get started with?  Do you do the whole goal setting thing or resolutions?  I personally think both can work as long as you have a plan in place and not just a wish…like I wish I was 25 pounds lighter, but actually, say – I will work out three times a week, cut down to carbs at one meal per day, and meditate daily to help alleviate stress – now that would be a plan!  Also, that sounds very similar to my plan for health and wellness.  HA  So, share!  I’d love to hear what you’re working on next year and where we can maybe each other stay on track.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year,  and a Lovely 2018 to you and yours!!!

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Creating a 3-Act Structure with Tarot Cards

I’m back for part two of my writing exercises using the Tarot for Writers book and my tarot cards.  Last week I created a new character, named Leo, and this week I’m using an exercise on page 72 about creating a three-act structure with two plot points.  I did not pull a card for the climax (seen in the book example) because I’m not actually writing this whole book.  Have a look-see at what cards I pulled and what I came up with for my beginning, middle, and end.   At the end of this post, I’ll tell you my thoughts going forward and what I’m going to write based off this reading for you guys! 

Act I – King of Swords
Leo, under the thumb of his father – a former MLB player, has played baseball his entire life from little league on through High School.  It is just expected that he will either go pro or play during college.  His father left baseball because of an injury and then became a professional agent.  He is powerful, successful, and charming.  Women love him, men want to be him – he never married Leo’s mother, but they co-parent as a team fairly well.  Leo’s father has high expectations of him and demands perfection above all else.  Leo must be the best! 

Plot Point 1 – The Moon
Leo, unhappy with the choices his Dad has made for him, has a dream one night while camping with his buddies.  He wakes up and walks under the full moon to the nearby lake where a young woman sits on a rock.  They have an amazing conversation about life, love, and the journey one must take for themselves when starting college. 

Act II – Nine of Cups
A college orientation party finds Leo in new surroundings.  Here no one cares about his Dad or sports at all really, but higher pursuits – science, literature, religion.  Leo must stand on his own two feet, as it were.  He wants to enjoy his time away from family and old friends, especially as he pursues this new life, but he’s finding it hard to figure out exactly where he stands and what he stands for.  He can’t seem to make up his mind about a major and starts having panic attacks that cause him to break down, sometimes going through a major depression for days/weeks at a time.

Plot Point 2 – The Sun
Leo is having trouble making new friends and starts to wonder if he somehow screwed up his entire life by walking away from his Dad’s plans.  He decides to take a long walk one beautiful Sunday to a public park that’s close to campus, to get away from his troubles.  He sees a group of guys playing ball for fun – no jerseys, no real official teams, no coaches.  Just a group, playing with a ball and a bat, having fun.  He asks if he can join them, which they immediately welcome and he plays for hours.  Sweating from the hot sun, he grabs a water and starts talking to one of the young men who goes to his school.  During their conversation, he realizes what he wants to study and finds a hobby that he’s good at and can enjoy for life.  He and his new friend walk back to campus together. 

Act III – The Hanged Man
After his day of fun, Leo chooses a major, settles into college life and meets the young woman from camp at a dance.  She’s the daughter of the Dean and just graduated from college the year before. She’s only a few years older, very taken with our Leo and they start dating.  Leo finally feels like himself.  He feels confident and has the courage to call his father, who he hasn’t spoken to in months and they start hashing things out on their way to redemption and a better, more grown-up relationship.   Leo feels like he’s on the right path – he has a handle on his shiny object syndrome, knowing that he can read and study anything without losing focus and he has matured into a bright young adult. 

Here’s what I’m thinking – I love the scene where he’s camping and meets the young lady by the lake so I think I will write that scene (2-3 thousand words) and post on the blog in a few weeks – I will get this one done quicker than my last tarot short story, I promise.  Does that sound like a good deal?  Or…if you guys like another scene more, comment and I’ll decide in a few days (maybe…Mon or Tues next week).  Thanks!

What do you think?  Would you read this book? Does it sound interesting?  What kinds of things do you see in these cards – seriously, give me your ideas, I might incorporate them.  I enjoy these exercises, but I’m not sure if I would use tarot cards to plot out a full book – but who knows.  I’m working on a novella right now that I plan on giving away for free when I get my newsletter ready so maybe I’ll pull a few cards if I have issues or run into plot problems.

Have you ever used the tarot cards for creative inspiration? Show me – I’m always trying to think of fun, new ways to use my cards.  

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Character Creation 1-2-3: A Tarot Exploration

I wanted to play around with another couple of exercises from Tarot for Writers by Corinne Kenner. I call this Character Creation 1-2-3 and it’s from the section of the book on simple tarot spreads. I’m using a one card spread to give me an overall view of the character, a two card spread to give me their best and worst qualities, and then a three card spread to give me the past, present, and future for my character. 

This is just part one though, next week I want to do another exercise using tarot cards to help me create a three-act structure using 5-6 cards. Then I’m going to use all of this info (and maybe a few more cards to create the other cast of characters I’ll need) to write another short story, with Leo – my character from below – as my main guy!  If the three act structure exercise gives me a huge story, I might just write part of the story – I’ll keep you posted on that as we go. 

If you have the book, Tarot for Writers, these exercises start on page 23. I love using my tarot cards to help come up with characters, plot ideas, location ideas, and overall story ideas because they are so rich in theme, character, elements, and symbolism that you can get all sorts of ideas from each card. 

One Card Spread 

8 of Cups 
A young man, turning his back on his present. Alone at night, the full moon watching over him as he walks away from everything. He seems to be certain of his past, as he does not look behind him to see what he’s leaving behind. He knows what lies ahead, both good and bad, and he’s certain he is on the right path for him. I see a senior in high school who has decided to leave the sports world behind to pursue an academic career. Going off to college without his old friends, and maybe without his parent’s support, as he leaves behind one life for the beginnings of another. The fact that the cups are arranged so neatly, but one is missing tells me this young man feels a void in his life that he’s hoping his new path will fill.

Two Card Spread 

Best Quality – King of Cups: Thoughtful, kind, intelligent. Interested in science and the arts. Good and honest young man.

Worst Quality – Ace of Pentacles: Lost in the clouds, sort of an absent-minded professor type. Can be easily distracted by shiny things, or the newest tech. Has so many interests, it’s hard to keep track of what the newest “thing” actually is for him at any given time.

Three Card Spread 

Past – 4 of Pentacles
Present – Ace of Wands
Future – The Chariot

Once upon a time, Leo had everything that makes a high school dude popular – good looks, money, material things, sports acumen, and the perfect girlfriend but he was missing something in his life. He wanted a change, something that spoke to his intelligence and multi-interests with science and art. He applied to a prestigious college, where he hoped to study philosophy and world religions, but this idea upset many people in his life. He leaves for school in a few weeks and although he has lost people along the way, he knows that the path he is on is the right one for him. He sees himself a winner, a hero, someone that will change the world for the better – for all people. He will be a champion of human rights and help those less fortunate than him. 

So, I have a basic idea of who this guy is, what he wants for his future and what might keep him from attaining his overall goal – the shiny object syndrome, he might have trouble sticking with something for very long, even college or a higher pursuit. I’m going to flip through the Tarot for Writers book and pick some more fun writing exercises to help me with my antagonist and other characters, and – of course – the main three act structure of my story. I’ll be back with part two in a few weeks. 

If you saw these cards, how would you interpret them?  What kind of character would you have created?  If you have a deck of Tarot cards, do you use them for creativity purposes?  Divination?  Guidance?  I’d love to know. 

A Journey through “Tarot for Writers” – Part 2 the Story

NOTE:  This is the short story I finally wrote based on the tarot cards I pulled during this post HERE – A Journey through “Tarot for Writers” – Part 1 the Exercises.  I enjoyed this process, sorry it took so long to actually finish it and get it posted.  If you enjoyed these two posts, let me know.  I can do more of these exercises from the book or I can show you how I’m using the cards in my actual writing projects.  Enjoy!

The Hanged Man
By Jennifer Gregson

“So, Mr., uh…” she flipped the folder open, using her long red fingernail to scan down the page, “Fundi.”

“Yes,” he said, coming fully into her office and shutting the door behind him.

“Please, have a seat, we need to chat.”

Eli sat down, adjusting his shirt, noticing that he had buttoned the bottom two buttons wrong and that’s why he was having issues all morning.  

“Mr. Fundi, HR will be here any minute.  Do you know why?”

He looked at his boss and then down at the floor.  Yes, he knew why but, he couldn’t say a word, he had promised.

“Don’t look at the floor, look at me,” she said, standing straight up in front of him.  Her gray wool suit and beige silk camisole, both very expensive, showed very little creasing.  He wondered if she had sat at all that day.   She was known to walk the hallways while thinking and talking to her assistant, Carol, who tried to keep up with her.  

“Elijah, I’m very disappointed in you.  You were well liked, well respected around here.  I never suspected you would steal from us.”

“What? No, I never. I didn’t,” he stammered.  He flexed his fingers.  Now what? He couldn’t turn on his friend.  Not now, not after what he told him last night. But they think he did this? Was he going to be fired?  Is that why HR was on its way?  To escort him out of the building with a box of his belongings in his hands?

“Well, you had access to the Harris Toy Company’s file.  You had access to all of the information.  Information that their competitors now have, and are using against them.  Using to create their own campaign.  Harris is ruined and they’re blaming us.”

Eli looked down again, this time at his fingers.  He started ticking off the reasons he’s keeping this secret.  AJ’s girlfriend just told him she was pregnant.  AJ’s mom is still very sick and needs to be moved to a better nursing home.  AJ has a record.  This will be three strikes.  AJ will go to jail.  That’s a definite.  Did he want his friend to suffer? His friend’s family?

“Mr. Fundi what are you doing? Are you mumbling to yourself?  Are you trying to confess?”

“No, ma’am.  Ms. Fields, I’m not.  I am very sorry.”

“You’re sorry?”

“Yes.  I made a huge mistake.  I let my mouth talk when it shouldn’t have.  I talked while drinking with my buddies and someone heard me.”  It seemed like a plausible enough lie, but that’s not what happened at all.  AJ sold that information, on purpose, for a boatload of cash.  

“I know you’re lying to me,” she said, sitting on the edge of the desk, her skirt hiking just slightly above her knee.

“No, I made a mistake.”

“Well, that’s definitely true. But that’s not what happened.  We know money exchanged hands.  We know it was a calculated issue.  We know ‘someone’ did this on purpose.”

Eli looked right up into her eyes.  He was always so nervous around her.  Patricia Fields – so polished, poised, and powerful.  And beautiful.  Her eyes were the prettiest blue he had ever seen, but they were sad.  Cloudy.  Too much coffee, not enough sleep.

Patricia looked back at him.  A lost puppy, that’s what she always thought about him.  But, not in this moment, he looked strong.  He looked like a grown up.  Ready to take on the day and the world.  He was definitely covering up for someone.  They would figure it out, with or without his help.  HR was coming and he would be escorted from the building.  She couldn’t help him from that without him talking.

As he walked back to his desk with HR and security, he hung his head, so as not to make eye contact with anyone.  He didn’t want his coworkers looking at him with shame in their eyes.   He boxed up the few things he kept at his desk, and followed the security guard and HR manager out the door, another security guard directly behind them.  At the front door, they collected his badge and handed him a letter.  Sealed.  He tossed it on the top of the box and walked toward his car in the parking lot.

After placing the box carefully in his car, he sat in the front seat and wondered aloud.   “What now, idiot?” 

A knock on the window made him jump.  AJ, looking nervous and damp, was looking in.   Eli didn’t want to talk to him. Not now, and especially not here.  I mean, was he the biggest moron ever?  He had to know they were watching him, didn’t he?

After a few, very long, seconds, Eli rolled down his window and just said, “Not now.  Meet me at the bar tonight, 6 pm, and you better….I lied for you, man.  Now go back to work.”

Eli nursed the beer he was drinking and checked his watch for the fifteenth time.  5:59 pm He glanced at the door, but still no AJ.  He better show up.  Alone.

6:03 pm, AJ stumbled into the bar, looking like he already had a few, but where?  He only got off work a little while ago.   AJ flopped down across from Eli.

“You are my hero!” he said, motioning to the bartender.

“For what?  Getting my ass fired?  Saving your ass from jail?”

“Well, yeah…that is a true friend.  Who got you that job anyways?  Me.  I saved you, you saved me.”

“But you cost me that job.  A job I was good at.  A job I was starting to really like. Now what?  I can’t get another paralegal job because of this so I’m back at square one.  Worse.  Because I have bills too and I need another job fast.”

“I can help with that.  I have more information. Good information and I need a go-between.”

“Are you insane?  Or just stupid?  You went to college right?  We were there together, right?”

“Yes, and I finished.”

“My father….” Eli trailed off.  He grabbed his beer and finished it, “If you really cared about me, AJ, if we were really friends you’d do the right thing.  You’d come forward, on your own and clear my name.”

“I can’t do that. The baby, my Mom. She’s not herself, and you know that.”

“Yes, and I have a mother too.”

“Not one with Alzheimer’s. I go visit her, she thinks I’m Dad or her older brother.”

“I get that.  You have problems.  Dude, I understand, but you know what?  I did my duty, I protected my friend.  You thanked me.  Great.”  Eli stood up, grabbed a ten from his wallet and threw it on the table.  “Beers on me, see you around. Maybe.”

AJ didn’t try to stop him.  Eli walked out into the early evening cool air and headed to his car.

The next day Eli realized he had nowhere to go and piles of laundry so he took them over to his Mom’s house to talk.

“Okay, so why are you here on a weekday?  What happened?”

Eli took a deep breath, “I got fired.”

“What?”  his Mom sat down next to him on the couch.

Without meaning to, Eli opened his mouth and the entire truth poured out of him.

“I did it to save my friend and now I feel like the biggest idiot in the world.  I thought I was doing the right thing, in the moment, but now I’m not so sure. I think I just ruined my life.”

Eli’s mom looked at him with a mixture of pride and sadness.

“What?” he asked her.

“I’m proud of you, but I have never liked that AJ boy, he got you into so much trouble in college and it just keeps happening.  Is there anything you can do?  Can you go back to your boss and confess?”

“I could, sure.  AJ is an idiot, but he’s my idiot.  I wish I could talk to him, make him understand, make him see the right thing, you know?  But he’s so caught up in his own, um, stuff to see that he’s throwing away 10 years of friendship.  I’m out.  I’m done.”

“Honey, you are old enough to say shit in this house.”

Eli smiled.

“Eli, you need to start thinking about you.  You and your happiness.  When was the last time you stopped and asked yourself if your life was making you happy?  That job was good, it was good money, but did it make you happy?  Has anything since the accident made you happy?”

Ugh, she had to go there.  He was a mechanic, a damn good one, until…the accident.  A small leak, gas most likely, caused his garage to blow up.  He was in the office doing paperwork when it happened, which saved his life, but after that, he couldn’t walk into another garage. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is what the doctor’s called it.  Scared was what he called it.  He couldn’t work for months.  AJ got him out of his funk and got him the job at the law firm. 

“No.”  The only thing Eli could say.  Nothing had made him happy in a long time.  But, seeing his boss every day made him smile.  She was so confident and sure of herself.  She was amazing.  Watching her think and work, watching her win at all costs was such a, well, turn on, I guess.  He didn’t want to think about her in that way, but she was stunning.

“Son, you need to stop worrying about everyone else.  You worry about me too much and you worry about your friends too much. Who worries about you?”

“You do.”

“Besides me,” she said with a smile, “Your friend is only thinking of himself.  You like working with your hands, right? So, maybe there’s something there – I mean, there are other jobs besides a mechanic that allows you to work with your hands.”

“So, what are you telling me to do Mom?”

“I’m not. That’s the thing.  You have to figure this out all by yourself.  The only thing I’m telling you, stop worrying about me.  Stop worrying about AJ.  Just think about you, for once.”

His mom got up to put his laundry in the dryer.  Eli stared out the window. He knew he needed to do the right thing, even if it got AJ fired, even if he got him in trouble because AJ was acting like an idiot.  He thought he was being a good friend, but AJ was just going to make more deals, more mistakes and get himself fired….or worse.  He was going to throw away his life, then what would happen to his child and his mother? 

Once he got home, he pulled out a piece of paper and hand wrote a note to his ex-boss asking if it would be improper or illegal to meet out of the office for coffee, that he had some information, something that would help her figure things out.  He put her address on it and a stamp and put it in the mailbox.  That was it.  It was going out and there was nothing else to do now but wait.  

His leg wouldn’t stay still.  It had been three days since the letter went out before she called.  He had started wondering if she was going to just ignore the letter, ignore him.  He had sent the letter and then started creating a file of sorts, with information, but no outright names.  He wanted her to have the clues, but not the answer.  
“I don’t have time for games, Mr. Fundi,” she said as she chugged the hot coffee, steam rising up to meet her face.

“I know, but, I need to make things right.  I  just can’t tell you what’s going on, though I do have a folder with enough information that you should be able to know exactly who it is without me having to name names.  And there’s more than one name involved.  The fallout won’t be pretty.”

“Selling information goes up higher than just a paralegal?”

“Yes, the said paralegal in question had help. A lawyer dropped the file by accident, on purpose and they’re splitting the money.”

“What?  Are you positive?”  She looked up at him, he nodded.  “Why tell me now? Why didn’t you confess this the other day in my office?”

“Because I am an idiot.  I thought I was being a good friend, but I was wrong.”

He handed the folder to her and motioned for the waitress.  After ordering a slice of pie he sat back and watched her read the file.  She was wearing a dark red skirt and black sweater, it was casual Friday in the office.

“You can’t be serious?  He’s on his way to making partner…are you sure?” She looked up from the file,  “Why are you smiling?”

“You’re so smart.  I’m probably too stupid for thinking that information was going to be harder to gleam.”

“No, it’s just that I started looking into things myself.  You knew two other paralegals so we started there.  I just didn’t think to look any higher.   You’re sure?  100% sure?”

“Yes, ma’am. I didn’t want to believe it either, but apparently your ‘on his way to make partner’ lawyer has a gambling problem.”


They sat for a few minutes in silence while the waitress set Eli’s pie down and refilled the coffee mugs.  Eli took a bite and looked over at this smart woman trying to figure things out.

“You want to walk?”

“What?” she asked, clearly lost in her mind.

“In the office, I’ve never seen you sit this long.”

“I sit in court all day so when I get a chance to stand and move around, I do.”

“I’ve seen you come up with brilliant things while walking around the office.”

“How long did you work for us?”

“8 months.”

“That’s it?”

“Yes. I liked working there, but to be honest, I wasn’t happy there.”

She looked down at her coffee and stirred the cream in with a spoon.

“You were a hard worker though.”

“I always work hard, ma’am”

“Ugh, enough with the ma’am shit, okay.  Call me Patricia.”

“I can’t do that.”

“Why?  You don’t work for me anymore. I’ll call you….”

“Elijah or Eli.”

“Eli, I like that.”

They sat in silence again for a while.  Eli finished his pie and drank his coffee.

“What are you going to do with that information?” he asked her.

“I don’t know.  I know we need to take care of this, of both of them…but I’m wondering, have others done this?  Is it the first time?  And how do I get more proof?”

“I can’t help you with how many others, but…you have a big case coming up, correct?”


“And some of the information you have is critical and confidential to a certain large pharmaceutical company, correct?”

“Yes, and that lawyer is helping me.  He asked to help me.  I just thought it was because of him making partner, he wanted to look good for the higher ups, but….you’re saying….no, I still have a hard time believing this.”

“I know, and I’m sorry.  But it’s not just my paralegal friend.  Yes, he is in it and he might have started it, I’m not sure.  All I know is my friend and your lawyer both have money issues and need cash fast.  This is a way to do that.”

“But they have to know we’re looking into things, right?  I mean, after firing you, we’ll be on high alert.”

“Do they?  Or do they think they got away with it?  People get cocky. They slip up, make mistakes.”

She closed the folder and put the notes in her bag.  She finished her coffee and sat back.  She looked at me for a really long time, before a smile crept across her lips.

“What?” Eli asked.

“You are smart.  Too smart for your own good I think.”

“That’s what my Mother says.”  Eli smiled too.

“What can I do to help you?  You didn’t deserve to be fired.  I can help you find another job, talk to someone, let them know the inside scoop, as it were.”

“No, I’m done with the legal field.  I miss working with my hands.  I used to be a mechanic.”

She smiled even wider. 

“What?” he asked. 

“I can’t picture you in dirty coveralls, covered in oil.”  

He laughed and looked down at his khakis and a button up shirt, “Well, that was me and I liked it and I was really good at it, but…well, it’s difficult right now to do that work.  My past…it’s just….well, I’m actually going tomorrow to talk to a construction firm about a job opportunity.”

“Construction.  I think you’ll be good at that.  I have a feeling you’ll be the boss soon.”

“I don’t aspire to anything that big, but…maybe I should huh?”

She threw down $50 and got ready to leave.

“Don’t you want to wait for your change?”

“No, give her everything.  I come in here a lot and I know she just lost her husband, and they have two kids.”

He smiled at her.

“What?” she asked.

“You are very different out of the office…” he wanted to go on but stopped himself. He knew she’d never say yes.

“Can I contact you again, for more, information if need be?” she asked.

“Of course, you have my phone number.”

She smiled.  He smiled.  She walked out and he watched her.  Maybe he didn’t do the right thing right away, but he felt good.  He was going to lose his friend, that was a guarantee.  But growing up sometimes meant leaving people behind. 

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A Journey through “Tarot for Writers” – Part 1 the Exercises

So, I just picked up Tarot For Writers by Corrine Kenner from the library (amazon link) and I already love it – seriously, it’s going on the To Buy list. 
I got Tarot cards this past Christmas and started learning all about the cards and how they were organized, Major vs. Minor Arcana and the different suits – Wands, Pentacles, Swords, and Cups. I started pulling cards in the morning and journaling. I started doing simple 3 card spreads for various questions I was thinking about in my life. This book though, takes the tarot cards and my creative life, to a whole new level.
The book is divided into three parts. Part one is about how the cards are organized and how to read them (simply and quickly). Part two is the writing exercises dealing with character, plot, settings, descriptions, and beating writer’s block. Part three is a guide to the cards with keywords, writing prompts, and things to think about for each card in a standard deck.
For fun, I thought I would go through two of the exercises – Character Creation and a 3-card spread for Beginning, Middle, and End. I’ll show you the cards I pull, what I write for each answer, and any other insights that come up. Then I will take what I write during these two exercises and I’ll compose a short story (1000-1500 words) and post that in a few days.  Okay, it sounds like fun to me. Lol  
Exercise 1: Character Creation (page 40 in the book)
Use the cards to answer the following questions. You can pull as many as you like to determine the answers. Note, I’m going to pull one card per question and I’m going to create a protagonist and an antagonist. If I need any further characters after doing Exercise 2 (the plot portion) then I’ll go back and do that on my own. Also…I named the characters after I pulled the cards, but put it at the top for easier ID.
PROTAGONIST – Elijah, goes by Eli
1. Is your character a man or a woman?
Card – Four of Swords
Notes – Man
2. How old is your character?
Card – Seven of Wands
Notes – 27 years old
3. What does your character look like?
Card – Ten of Cups
Notes – Medium height, brown hair, brown eyes, likes colorful clothing – oranges, blues, reds
4. What does your character do for a living?
Card – Ten of Swords
Notes – He was just fired, over a suspicion of wrong doing – the company he had just started working for says he stole proprietary information, he didn’t do it but he knows who did – but wouldn’t snitch
5. How does your character spend his or her free time?
Card – The Hanged Man
Notes – Carpentry, using his hands building things – it’s his passion
6. Does your character have a spouse, children, or a pet?
Card – Five of Wands
Notes – No, but he has a very tight-knit group of guys that have been friends since grade school
7. What are your character’s hopes and dreams?
Card – Two of Cups
Notes – A loving relationship, marriage even. Security and companionship.
8. What does your character fear most?
Card – Queen of Pentacles
Notes – Disappointing his mother and lack of money, he grew up poor and his Mom worked two jobs to make sure he got what he needed throughout his childhood. 
ANTAGONIST – Pansy was her given name but she changed it to Patricia to sound more lawyer-like
1. Is your character a man or a woman?
Card – Queen of Wands
Notes – Woman
2. How old is your character?
Card – Four of Cups
Notes –  40s-50s
3. What does your character look like?
Card –  Six of Cups
Notes – Younger than her years suggest, most people assume she’s 30 but she’s pushing 50. Bright colors look good on her, pale skin, blonde hair.
4. What does your character do for a living?
Card – Ace of Swords
Notes – Lawyer, Eli’s old boss, the one who accused him of stealing
5. How does your character spend his or her free time?
Card – The Chariot
Notes –  She secretly loves car races, like the Indy 500 and Nascar. She always wanted to be a race car driver, but her father wouldn’t hear of it – it was too dangerous for his only child. She was smart and her father knew she could go places with an education and a career.
6. Does your character have a spouse, children, or a pet?
Card – Ace of Cups
Notes –  Had. Past tense, now divorced. He slipped through her fingers. She was working all the time and they were too young to really appreciate what they had. He has since remarried and has children with his new wife.
7. What are your character’s hopes and dreams?
Card –  Knight of Cups
Notes –  State Supreme Court Justice…for now
8. What does your character fear most?
Card –  Two of Swords
Notes – Dying alone, never feeling love again – having to choose between love and her career again
Exercise 2 – Beginning, Middle, and End (page 69 in the book)
Just lay a card for the beginning, middle, and end of your story. Note, I laid all three as if in a regular 3-card spread with Beginning on the Left, Middle in the middle, and Ending on the Right – as shown below in the picture. Also, I used what I had gathered from the above Character creation exercise…meaning, this is the beginning, middle, and end of their story – not just a random plot. Okay, then here we go.
Card – The Devil
Notes – The day Eli gets fired. We see him being grilled by his boss, Patricia about the stolen information and although he didn’t do the deed, he knows who did and he won’t budge. She uses all of her lawyer tricks on him, thinking since he’s just a lowly paralegal he’ll crack. Although she’s pissed off that he won’t tell her what she needs, she’s oddly attracted to his reserve. Eli confronts his friend, the one that got him the job, the one who is actually stealing information and begs him to come forward for his own sake.
Card – Judgement
Notes – Eli can’t convince his friend and starts to pull away from his group of friends. While visiting his mother he accidentally lets it slip that he lost his job and why. His Mom is both proud and saddened by his actions, and gives him some advice: do what’s right for his friend. Tell the truth. But will Eli just give up 20 years of friendship that fast, even when he feels betrayed?  Will he have to think outside the box and come up with a different alternative to help himself and his friend and his ex-boss out?
Card – Page of Cups
Notes – Our young hero has decided and with it has totally turned his whole world upside down. He is on his own for the first time in forever and must learn to fend for himself. He must decide what’s best for him and him alone without worrying about his Mom or his friends. He has to realize that his needs are just as important and how he feels about himself needs to come first. He talks to his ex-boss, Patricia – gives her just enough information to figure out the pieces for herself and decides to look into carpentry type jobs instead of corporate money-making opportunities.

Final notes from me….in all honesty, this was fun but I’m nervous. This is not something I would normally write about – which is some ways is exactly what I need, but in other ways I feel completely out of my element. I hope I haven’t given myself too much information for a short story. Right now, I have a lot of interesting ideas about how to proceed and how to write this story.  I’m going to jump in, like the Fool card might do, and just start – shitty first draft and then clean up a bit before I post. Part 2 coming soon!!!
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