Drama Free Tarot: Tarot for Writers

The amazing Stacey posted a shout-out for Tarot for Writers today! She’s a fascinating person to follow – she’s the  mother of five (yes, five) young girls with groovy names, and she writes ghost stories.

Drama Free Tarot: Tarot for Writers

When I’m not tripping the tarot cards fantastic, you can find me buried under books or writing them. I’m lucky enough to have found Tarot for Writers to help with some sticky plotlines. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNo for short) and this method of using the cards to help with plot, character development and challenges will be a great help!

Join me at my writing blog, Flibbity Gibbet, to track my progress or better yet, join me!

“Kinda surprised”

I like seeing reports like this one from Jason Heath:

So I have been doing alot of writing lately, and I am kinda surprised at how well the book  Tarot for Writers has helped me break some terrible writers block.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that the cards are supernatural or have “powers”.

Yeah, funny, the guy who writes horror and has studied Occult phenomena for over 2 decades doesn’t believe in magic.

But I do like writing about the imagery of the cards and the supernatural.

And it is a very good system for me so far.  I have studied alot of the “Hero’s Journey” and I find the cards fit the archetypes of the HJ very well. I am able to generate plots, character background, mood and tons of other things using Tarot Cards.

If you find yourself stuck with a nasty case of writers block, I say put your cards on the table and get this book.

Trading Places

I’m just getting ready for my weekly Tarot for Writers meetup. Today we’ll be moving characters from one card to another. The Queen of Cups could be filling in for the Hierophant. The Two of Pentacles juggler might switch places with the dogs from the Moon. You can try it, too. Pull two cards from your deck at random. What would happen if the figures traded places?

“An Amazing Resource”

I’ve been telling all my friends and relatives that they should buy my new book, Tarot for Writers — but now there’s an objective, outside expert who agrees with me!

Sheri Harshberger, the editor of the American Tarot Association’s Tarot Reflections, says the book is a “must have.” Her review appears in this month’s issue of the online magazine:

Tarot and writing seem to go perfectly together. Corrine Kenner’s new book, Tarot for Writers shows us techniques to help us all leverage our love of Tarot to help us become better writers… or to take a stab a writing.

This book is very timely. Tarot and writing seem to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds lately as well as in the news. Just this past year, the new National Poet Laurate, Kay Ryan, mentioned that she used a deck of Tarot cards to learn to write poetry. Many Tarot readers I know focus their talents on assisting writers who have creative blocks, or are looking for insight or inspiration for a writing project. The use of Tarot has expanded past its historical uses as a tool of fortunetelling into a tool of self-help, therapy and now creative inspiration.

This book very comprehensive, as are all Corrine Kenner’s books. It is not only for Tarot readers who write, but also for writers who have never used Tarot before and wish to explore it as a tool of creative inspiration. In the first section, Tarot 101, she provides a brief lesson on Tarot meanings, how to read the cards, classic spreads and examples of readings. If that weren’t enough, she also provides writing exercises with the spreads to get the reader started writing. I can’t think of a better way to teach a reader how to journal readings!

As if the first section weren’t enough to make this book an amazing resource for a Tarot reader, she has embedded throughout the book an unofficial “Creative Writing 101” in which she discusses subplots, characters, storylines, settings and descriptions, and more. She also includes techniques for breaking the dreaded writer’s block!

The last section of the book is devoted to descriptions and attributes of each Tarot card in a 78-card deck from a writer’s perspective, including lists of writing prompts. A glossary of Tarot terms and symbols is located in the back of the book.

This is a must have for any Tarotist interested in writing — from journaling for his or herself to writing a book, or any writer interested in using Tarot as a tool to unlock his or her imagination.

Tarot Fiction: A Genre in the Making?

Does The New York Times see a literary future in the cards? Apparently so:

In publishing, as in many fields, there are leaders and there are followers. Stephenie Meyer gives birth to legions of the undead. Marley begets Dewey who begets a pet shop in bookstore aisles. Among the authors on this month’s list, there are definite leaders, including J. K. Rowling and the forensic-thriller writer Patricia Cornwell — blame her for all those television shows with whooshing close-ups of scalpels slicing through dead flesh. The rest, well, there is a talking-dog book (going Almondine one better?). And not one, but two novels based in Florida in which tarot cards play a part. A genre in the making?

Here are the two books they’re talking about:

By Nick Stone
560 pages. Harper. $25.99.

Nick Stone’s second novel starring Max Mingus opens the morning after election day in 1980. When a body turns up at Primate Park in Miami, Detective Sergeant Mingus and his partner, Joe Liston, are called in to investigate. There’s a tarot card — the King of Swords — in the dead man’s stomach, and it leads the partners to a shadowy Haitian underground. Their boss at the Miami Task Force is looking to close the case — regardless of the truth. Mingus, in his own description, is “a cop who drank too much, slept too little and really couldn’t remember when exactly he’d crossed the line,” but this time he vows to do the right thing. The book is a prequel to Mr. Stone’s “Mr. Clarinet,” which was published last year.

By Lila Shaara
436 pages. Ballantine Books. $25.

Once a hotshot newspaper reporter, Harry Sterling has retreated to the campus of a small college in Florida to teach and to lick his wounds. (There are many: his brother was murdered by a man who’d been looking to kill Harry; shortly afterward his wife divorced him and took their son to live with her in Orlando; he has a bad relationship with alcohol.) But he can’t resist a good story, and one night he hears one: A local tarot card reader named Madame Dupree claims that the inventor of something called the Ziegart effect (it involves supercooling metals in order to make them conduct electricity better) actually stole the idea. Chasing down the tale, Harry becomes involved with the enigmatic Maggie Roth, who shares a double-wide trailer with Dupree. As the novel progresses, his pursuit of Maggie and the truth about Ziegart converge.

A Meetup Write-Up

Here’s a neat first-person account of yesterday’s Tarot for Writers meetup, from one of our new members, Michelle. She’s closing in on her goal of 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month.

I had a Tarot for Writers online meetup this morning, after getting to 30k. It’s about an hour long, once a week, and it’s meeting in a chatroom, which is great because people from all over can do it. The point is to use Tarot cards and readings to help figure out what character development (which we did today), plot, theme, etc. Anything that relates to writing. Today was my second time doing this, and I’m looking forward to more in the future.

The first thing we did was a two card reading: one card is the character’s best trait, second card is the worst trait. Emily’s cards were The Empress (she is the mother, very good in that role) and the 10 of swords (she has had a lot of pain in the recent past, and is stagnant in her grief). The 10 of swords came up in her past/present/future reading I did last week, in the past position. So that was an interesting connection.

After two more exercises, we went back to the first two cards. Challenge: how can the character use the first trait to overcome the second? This made me realize that Emily’s mother-in-law can help her get over the death of Lily, since Jan (mother-in-law) knows what it’s like to lose a… omg, a HUSBAND AND a child! I forgot until just now that her husband got killed off last night, as a “happened way before this story” event. Wow. That is amazing. These women have lots of parallels in their lives for me to explore, and that’s going to help me write the last 20k.

NaNoWriMo Planning Tip #11: Location, Location, Location

Here’s another quick tip to help you prepare for National Novel Writing Month.

Use tarot cards to develop settings for your stories. Pull scenic details from a single card, or layer specific elements from several cards.

You can find all of my NaNoWriMo planning tips on the Tarot for Writers Group message board.

Image source: Historical Maps Online, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne

NaNoWriMo Planning Tip #10: Forget Everything You Know

Here’s one of my favorite tips for National Novel Writing Month.

When you’re using tarot cards as a writing tool, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Don’t limit yourself by sticking too closely to definitions you’ve memorized or interpretations you’ve learned from books. Let the cards play with you for a change! Let your mind wander when you look through your tarot deck, and feel free to break the “rules.”

You can find all of my NaNoWriMo planning tips on the Tarot for Writers Group message board.

NaNoWriMo Planning Tip #9: Three-Card Spreads

This tip for National Novel Writing Month is so basic that it can almost go unsaid. Even so, I feel compelled to say it.

Three-card spreads are a mainstay among tarot readers, and a three-card spread is a good, basic way to initiate a storyline, too. Simply shuffle your tarot deck and lay any three cards at random.

The first card will represent the beginning of your story — the setup and the exposition. The second card will depict the middle — which typically incorporates a series of complications that leads to a climax. And the third card will reveal the end of your tale — the resolution, conclusion, and denouement.

You can find all of my NaNoWriMo planning tips on the Tarot for Writers Group message board.