A tarot spread for honouring creative time and space.

This spread saved, with gratitude, from an interview conducted by TypeWriter Tarot.

Honouring Your Creative Time and Space.

  1. How can I detach from other life activities when it’s time to create?
  2. How can I invoke the creative spirit when I set out to create?
  3. How can I honour my work before I enter the world again?

The interview was a really nice one, and I recommend TypeWriter Tarot. I subscribe to the newsletter, thus I get notifications of new interviews.

This was from Cosmic Rescue Episode 3, an interview by Cecily Sailer(founder of TypeWriter Tarot) with Claire Campbell.

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To apply this spread to myself, I’m using my Slow Tarot, created by Lacey Bryant. It’s not a deck I use often, but as a reminder to myself to slow down (I love to pile up the Monday tasks), I dug it out today, and all over again, I’m astonished by the beautiful, detailed artwork.

I took Claire Campbell’s example and opened my writing session today with a tarot pull. 5 of Cups. I am slowly going through all my old unpublished stories, the unfinished ones, the ones that have little more than a few notes, and seeing what I can apply my mind, sewing scissors, and patches to. In the card, a small boy crouches on the floor, crying over several broken teacups. Two whole teacups sit on the table behind him. A mirror reflects a closed door. The scene beyond the window is hazy, almost as if it’s raining, but there appears to be a figure in a cloak and top hat outside. A black cat washes its paw in the corner. Was it the one who knocked the cups over, and the boy believes he will get the blame? The cat is looking pretty smug: “Yeah, I did that, so what?”

I’ve been pretty sad over the years at the amount of first drafts, unfinished stories, bare bones ideas, and stuff I never followed through on that are in my writing files. I only had to look into Writing: Fiction: Short Stories, and get to the A’s before I found the first old, old story that I’d never rewritten or done anything with.

No use crying over what’s past, the broken cups. There’s still 2 full cups. It’s up to me how I sell the situation to myself. I can continue to bend over the broken stuff, or I can say: “The fucking cat did it”, point to the whole cups, and say: “But look at these whole ones. There’s still good stuff here.”

I’m not at the stage of allowing this fiction out into the public yet. It’s still pretty smelly stuff, that needs cleaning up. But that possibility, of the public seeing what I’ve written, is out there beyond the window. Hazy, but there.

So that was my solace to myself as I opened today’s writing session.

Now to the 3 card spread.

  1. How can I detach from other life activities when it’s time to create? 8 of Cups. Walk away and shut the door. A figure walking away from stacked tea cups. 8 geese flying overhead against the full moon. A long road ahead, but the decision is made. Walk away. I did this just today for the first time – announced to my daughter and husband that I was starting work at 1.30pm, and wouldn’t be available again until after 3.30pm.
  2. How can I invoke the creative spirit when I set out to create? Queen of Cups. Go with my emotions and intuition. I feel like this one says ‘make a water offering to the female creative Goddess of your choice’. Well, that’s what sense I can make of this. The shell is very Aphrodite, but She is not a Goddess to whom I would make devotions when it comes to creativity. Love and lust, yes. Brigid is a Goddess of poetry, but she is a Fire Goddess. And this is definitely a Queen, not a King or Knight, so I’m not feeling Apollo here. My instinct, looking at the face of the Queen of Cups, is Saraswati. She is someone I have worked with in the past.
  3. How can I honour my work before I enter the world again? 6 of Swords. Safe haven. The journey across the sea to the lighthouse. The sea isn’t calm, but it’s not threatening yet. The cloudy sky indicates challenging times ahead. Well, I don’t switch well from creative world to mundane world, so yes, it’s always a challenge to pull my head out of the well of creativity, in whatever form I’m playing with, and turn back to the ‘real’ world. How can I honour my work? A moment to recognise that I went deep, and moving to quiet, pleasurable, safe activity to ease my way back in. The last thing my anxiety needs is me wildly swinging my consciousness about, as I am wont to do. Gentle retreat, and a slow journey back to ‘reality’.

Claire Campbell also finishes her creative sessions with another card pull to close the session off, using a question like ‘what have I learned”?

So, what have I learned from today’s creative session (which was doing a quick and dirty rewrite of an old 1000 word story, and then blogging here).

Balance: “Equity, harmony, executive decision, liminal times, impartial perspective, ritual.” “The world is only in balance because everything is always in flux. What this card demands is for the Seeker to acknowledge the external forces arrayed against them and to react in a dispassionate, measured and deliberate way.” Today, I planned my working session. I didn’t drift into it, without telling family and friends that I was going to be working. Thus, I wasn’t disturbed. I asked my creative buddies to co-work via zoom with me, so I showed up, and was accountable. Thankyou UnicornGirl, and….dammit, I’ve forgotten what I’ve dubbed my other friend. AmericanScatter will do today. I set up my doors, shut them, and invoked the space in which I would create. I knew I’d be doing this today, because it was on the calendar, so my mind was ready to work. I drew a tarot card to invoke the session, and in I went. I thought I’d be spending the whole time on one story, but the rewrite was quick, so I could bring in some of that ‘flux’ by shifting to blogging instead, which is still writing, or writing-adjacent. The girl stands in what looks like a wheat or corn field. She is holding a chalice and a candle. there are glowing sigils on the haystacks. Above her flies the raven, messenger from the beyond. The card is painted in yellows – the colour of Air, the element of the mind.

Science Fiction Conventions: the weird

Because I couldn’t think of what to write today, I asked my Facebook crew to come up with topics. HypnoCat wanted to know my weirdest science fiction convention experience. We know each other through Star Trek fandom, dating back to the 1980’s.

I attended sf cons, mostly media cons, back in the 80’s, and a little into the 90’s, when Aussie conventions were small affairs – a committee of locals throwing a three-day convention with maybe 200 attendees coming in from all over Australia. The Guest of Honour was usually an overseas tv star or writer. However, there were times when monies were not to be had to import a GOH, so we made do with local talent, or simply a Fan Guest of Honour, some local Big Name Fan who was shoved up on stage to talk about their role in fandom, and whenever their Good Old Days were/are.

However, my weirdest experience….. hmmm, some would say the very fact that I attended sf cons is weird. So be it. I got my start as a writer in Star Trek fanzines, got nominated for several fan writing awards, won one, and was a…well, not a BNF, but a Medium Name Fan.

I have two incidents for you, both from Denvention, the 2008 World Science Fiction Convention, and the first con I’d attended in many years, and my first time ever outside Australia.

Picture the first day of the convention. I’ve registered, and am now at a loose end. I know exactly 3 people at the con, and they’ve all fucked off to do their own things. GodzillaMan and MothraBabe are at the art show. My room-mate, RatMother, is doing whatever she’s got planned. I’m at a loose end, so I decide the best thing to do is volunteer. I get on the escalator, heading upstairs to where Volunteering is. I idly look up. There is a large, and I mean very wide, short, hefty in a Stonehenge sort of way about 12 steps ahead of me. He has long white hair and a long white beard. He is wearing a kilt. He is not wearing anything under his kilt. It takes me about 20 seconds to register what it is I’m seeing. A very broad, white arse, with hair on both butt cheeks, and his dangly bits featured in shadow. His legs are wide. I know it’s hot in Denver in summer (I experienced it as a nice late Spring), but wow, put your legs together, man. Thirteen years later, it’s still emblazoned on my memory.

And from the same convention:

How about my first Denvention room party, where I’m talking to an American man who, seriously, has a sort of lurex shirt on, open to the waist, and a fucking gold chain with medallion on it nestling amongst his chest hair. He’s not even wearing it ironically. I can scarcely contain my excitement that this sort of cliche actually exists.

He’s telling me all about himself, and everything is hugely hilarious to me, but I don’t show it. I sit there, looking interested, which, to my delight, only encourages him. He tells me that he wants to get out of America, and Australia sounds all right to him. His plan now is to marry an Australian woman and, as he seems to only work part time, be mostly supported by her. What a catch! I tell him that it could be challenging for him, because all Australian women are mated from birth. The government chooses our mates for us by lottery. And he actually believes this. I sigh and say that because my first marriage ended in divorce, I am now awaiting the divorcee lottery, and be assigned my new husband in October 2008. Thus, I was having a last few months as a single woman before being remarried. I didn’t tell him that at this point, I’d been divorced since 1995, and that I hadn’t remarried in that time. He didn’t need to know that.

He was disappointed, and asked if I had any girlfriends who might be interested. I said I had my doubts. He gave me his contact details, and said he’d be grateful if I asked around.

I suggested that he come to Australia for the Sydney Mardi Gras (a huge gay pride event). That it was a chance for those few who were single to perhaps find a mate whose name they could suggest to the government. I said: “Someone will see you right.”

I’m sure some nice man would.

*****

There you go, HypnoCat, are they weird enough? I’m afraid cPTSD has rendered quite a few of my early convention memories in a very mixed light, not accessible, or very ordinary compared to later experiences.

Next topic, please.

Neil Diamond, why didn’t you marry me?

Dear Neil:

I’ve had a crush on you since I was ten years old. You’re now 80, and I’m 57. Which would have made the lyrics to ‘Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon’ all too uncomfortably real. Perhaps I could have stopped you writing those lyrics.

“Girl, you’ll be a woman soon
Please, come take my hand
Girl, you’ll be a woman soon
Soon, you’ll need a man.”

Babe, Neil, darling. There’s a 23 year age gap between us, and you wrote this song in 1967. I probably could not have stopped you writing it, because I was three years old. Even so… Recently, I was playing Rather A Lot of your songs in the car. I’ve had cause to do a fair bit of driving these past few months. And on came That Song. Okay, a Romeo and Juliet song, a West Side Story song.

But it’s the chorus, Neil. The chorus. Why are you singing to a girl. Now, in 60’s parlance, you could be singing to any girl over the age of menarche up to….what would we call womanhood? Age 25? That’s when the teenage brain finally matures. Which is why our teenage loves rarely last past our mid-twenties. We aren’t the same person.

But here you are, a grown man, singing to a girl. A girl, Neil. Admittedly, not three year old me. But a girl is anywhere between about 12 and 25. And you’re how old in 1967. You were born in 1941, so about 26. Even a 26 year old telling a girl she’ll need a man soon is pretty yuck, Neil. If she’s under 18, it’s fucking illegal Neil.

I needed to stop you writing this. You know how, during 2020, you came out with rewritten lyrics to ‘Sweet Caroline’ so that no one’s touching hands or anything else? Please rewrite This Song. Don’t be that guy who is creeping on girls, Neil. Don’t be.

I know, I know different times. Still, that song’s still out there, and is on The Essential Neil Diamond double album. A girl who will be a woman soon doesn’t need a man. She needs career guidance, her own drill kit, tax advice, and a superannuation fund. A man? No. Maybe she’s gay, maybe she’s ace, maybe she’s bi. “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon, come take my tax advice. Girl, you’ll be a woman soon, there’s no problem with wanting everyone or no one.”

It’s taking time out of my life, Neil, to pull over to the side of the road and shout at the stereo in the car. “She doesn’t need a man, Neil! What were you thinking? She needs a chat with the Women’s Investment Network.”

Look, you know I still love you. And if I wasn’t married, I’d be writing you a letter saying: “Neil, come on over.” However, my husband wouldn’t take kindly to this, so I’ll just say that I believe in you, Neil. I’m a believer. I think you could rewrite the song so I don’t have to shout at the stereo. If you can change ‘Sweet Caroline’, you can change ‘Girl, You’ll Be A Woman, Soon’.

Neil, prove me right. I’m a believer. Please don’t take to the red, red wine.

Sciencing The Shit Out Of It

This was the morning where PizzaBoy said he was going to ‘science the shit’ out of my posting from my computer problem. As I was spelling out my password to this site, it occurred to me that I hadn’t tried accessing my blog from any browser but Microsoft Edge. That perhaps I should try it from Firefox.

And lo, PizzaBoy showed me a posting page and said: “Look.”

I looked. And there was a blank page, ready for me to begin. and lo, he used Firefox. So, I’m back, people. Did you miss me? What’s been happening?

Yesterday I went to a craft expo in Pakenham. I know, I know. One of my few days off from driving to Narre Warren for TMS, and I decide to drive an extra 22km to Pakenham to check out craft stuff, and meet up with UnicornGirl, who was art therapising down that way.

The expo was washi tape, journals, planners, stickers, Dylusions sprays, ink pads, alcohol inks, paper, ribbon, fancy shit that I knew not wot. I’m a baby crafter, sporadic in an art practice at best. Nevertheless, I bought washi tape until my bag runneth over. What do I need all that washi tape for? Well, I put bits on letters I write. I’ve done exactly one art page that started with a base of washi (which is going to be the name of my rock band when I start one). And I fondle it.

I honestly thought I’d broken the having for the sake of having habit. Nope. It’s just changed focus. Ah well, work in progress and all that. This week for sure, I will do at least one art page using washi tape, and some of the fuck tonne of stamps I’ve acquired.

An interesting predilection of mine is to go for minimalism when I create art. Yet, I desire big, luscious, multi-layered stuff. So, here’s to me being too much this week.

Loaves And Fishes Principle – E-SQUARED

Start: 7/5/21

Finish: 9/5/21

Pastel sunset. I tasted the flavour of chocolate, despite my meds. Bright red autumn leaf on wet bitumen. 4 Gang-gang cockatoos. Penpal letters arrived. The sound of rain when I was snug in bed. Some of my grevilleas have flowered. The pink rose Bush is still pushing out enormous blooms. A lovely walk with Dance Gothique. Feeling into tap dance more intuitively. Practicing hand floreos. Binge watching WHY WOMEN KILL. Starting to differentiate being sad and being tired. Access to a covid vaccine. Time and space to rest. Magpies warbling. A rose scented candle. Writing my full moon spell. Chocolate covered raspberries. Another piece in the health jigsaw.