Much Awaited November Book Releases

November 1

Underneath The Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste

Room to Breathe by Liz Talley

November 5

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Leave Me Breathless by Jodi Ellen Mapas

Tell Me Everything by Amy Hatvany

Stealing Her by Rachel Van Dyken

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis

November 8

Captain Dreamboat by Tawna Fenske

November 12

The Light We See by J. Lynn Bailey

November 19

Inexpressible Island by Paullina Simons

Demise of a Self-Center Playboy by Piper Rayne

November 26

Where Winter Finds You by JR Ward

The Ring by Jillian Dodd

Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian

Spy by Danielle Steel

November 28

Ophelia by Tara Brown

 

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Short Story Tarot Spread

Welcome back!

It has been a bit since I wrote a blog about using tarot for writing. We’ve done a few easy spreads to help create a quite plot outline and to discover traits about our characters. Today we will do a tarot spread to help you write a short story.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you read my first to blogs and check out my videos about tarot for writing:

https://fahuffman.com/2018/10/29/4-tarot-writing-plots/

https://fahuffman.com/2018/10/02/tarot-as-a-writing-aid/

In other news, let’s get down to what we really came here for.

While I really want to talk about the Celtic Cross spread, it is a more advanced spread. Instead of jumping into something that might be difficult to use, I figured I would cover some easier spreads first. Today, we are going to look at an easy 9 card spread to help to create a short story.

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To start you spread, shuffle you tarot cards until you feel like that they have been shuffled enough. While you are shuffle, think about the reason why you are shuffling. Let the cards and the Universe know that you want to get a layout for a short story.

Then lay each of the cards out in the pattern shown above. You can place them face down and flip each over as you get to it, or you can lay it out face up, whichever works best for you.

Card 1: This card tells you who your narrator is. This could mean anything that you want it to be. Maybe you want to know if it’s an omniscient being is watching the story unfold or it could be the protagonist. Who knows, it could be the antagonist.

Card 2: This card tells you the outer persona of your protagonist. This is how they present themselves to the world. This may not correlate with how they truly feel.

Card 3: This card tells you the inner persona of your protagonist. This is how they actually feel. This is their inside and true self.

Card 4: This card tells you how the story will start. This is your beginning.

Card 5: This card tells you about the middle of the story. This is the middle.

Card 6: This card tells you how the story will end.

Card 7 & 8: These cards tell you about two minor characters. You can also pull more cards if you want more minor characters. These characters can end up helping or hindering your protagonist.

Card 9: This card tells you about the main theme of the story.

That’s it. The hardest part is interpreting the cards, but it doesn’t have to be. Practice interpreting the cards before you ever do you first spread. (Easier said than done)

Most tarot cards come with a book that explains the cards, but you can also find information online. The more you do these spreads the easier they will become.

“It’s said that the shuffling of the cards is the earth, and the pattering of the cards is the rain, and the beating of the cards is the wind, and the pointing of the cards is the fire. That’s of the four suits. But the Greater Trumps, it’s said, are the meaning of all process and the measure of the everlasting dance.”
― Charles Williams

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. Make sure you keep an eye on Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles. You never know what kind of sale you might find.

Series of Unfortunate Events – My Thoughts

I’ve not done a post about a book in a while, so to make up for it, this book will talk about all 13 books in the Series of Unfortunate Events book series. Don’t worry, this won’t be a long post, but there may be spoilers.

Now, I had read these books when I was younger. When Netflix came out with their series for the books, I decided to re-read them so that I could refresh my memory. I didn’t allow myself to watch the series until I had finished reading the books, so that was fun.

For those who are not familiar, these books are aimed towards younger/middle age children. I don’t typically care what age group books are aimed at. I read what I want.

The first book, The Bad Beginning, starts out with the three Baudelaire children being told by Mr. Poe that their parents had perished in a deadly fire. This is just the start of the children’s unfortunate lives.

One thing you will quickly notice about the books is that Lemony Snicket enjoys alliteration. He also tries very hard in every book to convince the reader to stop reading the books, or to turn their attention to something different.

In The Grim Grotto, which is the 11th book, he repeats information about the water cycle. While it may sound like these diversions from the main story would be annoying, it really isn’t. (At least not to me) To me, I think they are fun and make Lemony a character. It is meant to be a retelling of a story, so it makes sense that Lemony would get to have his own attitude.

Book after book, the children have to face Count Olaf. Each time they discover who he is right off the bat, yet no other adult in the books ever recognize him. It becomes frustrating at how dense the adults are.

If anybody reading these books ever think that maybe things will change for the Baudelaire and that they will get to live a happy life, you are sadly mistaken. Lemony Snicket even assures you that nothing is going to change for them.

Guardian after guardian is killed by Count Olaf. They get accused of murder. They have to run around the hinterlands and hitchhike with strangers. Sleep in an unfinished hospital wing. Sail in a broken down submarine. Get separated from each other. And almost thrown down a mountain. Those aren’t even the worse things that happen to them.

But, finally, you make it to The End. A small glimmer of hope shines inside of you. “Maybe,” you think to yourself, “Things will change for the Baudelaire children.”

Well…

You wouldn’t be completely wrong, but you won’t be right either. Count Olaf is there and some dumb adults that don’t think for themselves. The island turns out to be a safe place for the children. They believe them about Count Olaf. They even lock him in a cage on the coastal shelf.

Yet, something is fishy about the island and Ishmael, and it’s not just the ceviche.

Ish turns out to know everything about the children and he claims that everything he does is to “protect” the villagers. The children could stay as long as they “don’t rock the boat,” but they are Baudelaires and they can’t stand injustice. So, of course, they rock the boat.

They get themselves isolated on the coastal shelf with Olaf and stranded Kit Snicket.

Oalf manages to enact one more crazy plan and releases a deadly poison on the island. The children find out that the apple tree on the island can help, but they can’t get all of the others to believe them. Instead, they ship out with Ish.

I won’t go into any more detail. I will say, the exact outcome of the Baudelaires or any of the other characters that didn’t die aren’t shared. You’re left to wonder how things worked out for them. If they were about to go back into the world without being chased by the police. Or if they joined VFD. Of if they found the Quagmire triplets.

This seems to be a problem for some people. I update my Goodreads when I finish a book. When I added The End, I noticed there were a few people who didn’t like how he ended the series. They didn’t like the mystery that was left. They wanted it wrapped up in a pretty little bow, and that the kids lived happily ever after.

I get that, but, I also understand why it was wrapped up the way it was.

Lemony Snicket never hid the fact that the Baudelaires’ story would be a series of unfortunate events. (It’s the name of the books.) Plus, the books are supposed to be written by a person sharing what he has learned. I feel the way the last book wraps things up fits in with the whole premise of the books. Diaries and journals are rarely wrapped up into pretty little bows, and that’s basically what these books are supposed to be.

I love these books. I always have and always will. When I have children, they will read these books. They may seem morbid to some, but I think they also teach a lot of valuable lessons for adults and children alike.

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. Make sure you keep an eye on Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles. You never know what kind of sale you might find.