It’s November and I’m deep into National Novel Writing Month with over 15,000 words written
on Diana’s Story the first week. Last year I wrote the first draft of Elizabeth’s story finishing
60,000+ words in November and finishing the story before Winter Solstice. I love writing these stories. I love sitting at the computer, my fingers flying (usually) over the keys, the story unfolding before my eyes. While I know these women, the over-arcing issues, and the form of their spirituality that will support them in their stories, there is always something that comes up somewhere along the line that wasn’t even a glimmer of an idea when I began.
What can stop the fingers from flying is the research.
For Lily I had to find out exactly what the physical therapy regime would be for someone with Lily’s injuries. For Elizabeth I had to learn Irish/Gaelic names for animals and places. However, for Diana, I had to learn The Tarot.
I bought books and scanned them. I bought the Llewellyn deck because the pictures spoke to me (they still do). As the first of November drew closer I knew there was something more I needed to do to get ready.
I was shopping for a maiden’s necklace for my youngest granddaughter in a shop new to me. The proprietress, a warm and welcoming woman, showed me a whole catalogue of Tarot Card decks and books. I picked out two of them, ordered, and a week before NaNo started stopped by the shop and picked them up.
October 25, 2009 I sat with my new deck of ‘starter cards’. The meaning is printed right on the front of the card. The instructions showed the Celtic Cross Spread. I asked the question I’d often asked as I shuffled the cards and laid them out. “Am I going in the right direction with my writing?”
I continued to follow the directions, reading the first six cards before moving on to the last four. When I had finished I’d easily read the spread, written my thoughts and interpretations into a Journal, and felt satisfied I’d found a deck to work with while I wrote Diana’s story.
The first test came on November 2nd. I was at the first point in Diana’s Story where she turns to The Tarot to help her make a decision about her marriage.
Should I stay in my loveless, soul-stifling marriage or leave?
I got up that morning, showered, dressed, and put on makeup. I fixed myself a cup of tea. I repeated to myself that I was Diana. I referred to myself as Diana in my mutterings as I gathered my Journal, cards, and cleared a space on the table. I took a few minutes to breathe and center myself, repeating “I am Diana” three times before I opened the box, took out the cards, and repeated the question she asks.
“I want a loving, respectful marriage to a man who will listen when I speak, hear what I am saying, and share his heart and life with me. Show me the way....”
I shuffled the cards three times, repeating “Show me the way” with each ruffle of the cards. I cut the deck into three piles, taking the middle pile of the deck up, the end pile next and the top last. Following the directions I laid out the Celtic Cross Spread.
When I’d finished the read, written in my Journal, I knew I had the bones for Chapter Two.
Sitting down at my computer the words flowed through the keys onto the screen. I did have to refer to my journal as I wrote the spread into the chapter. Other than that, the chapter wrote itself. That’s what writing Diana’s story has been to this point: a flowing of words from my mind, through my fingers, on to the computer screen, almost effortless.
This past weekend my women’s circle met. The other three women are familiar with The Tarot, do their own readings, and have done readings for others. They know The Tarot well enough that they don’t have to refer to the book or have the words printed on the card. I read them the first two chapters. I wanted to know if my reading for Diana’s Story was “right”. My question was answered with smiles and nods.
It’s time to get back to Diana’s story. Her life has turned upside down at this point. It’s time for her to turn again to The Tarot.
Update: I’ve completed the second draft of Diana’s story and am waiting for my reader’s feedback before one final go through. While I do not use The Tarot daily or even weekly, I am comfortable with it and see it as a good resource for me. Diana certainly found it of great value as she sorted through her past, assessed her present, and took charge of her future. So might you.
Update: How does time slip by so fast? I don’t know the answer, I only know it does. I’ve one more editing session with Diana’s story. My writing skills have increased and what I once saw as “well done” no longer has the same impact on me – which is why I’m going through this manuscript again.
You will find Diana along with Lily and Elizabeth at your favorite e-book retailer.