Writing and the Tarot

tarot cards for writers fortune-telling-2458920_960_720Everything old is new again, if you wait long enough. Every now and then, I run across an author on the internet who says, “I just had an amazing idea! I’m going to use Tarot cards in my next story! I bet nobody’s ever done that before!”

Um, well, actually, lots of people have. Goodreads even has a list of books in which a Tarot reading figures in the plot. And that list is hardly exhaustive. I can think of two books published in the late 1960s whose authors used Tarot, or a variation on Tarot, as a plot device. One is Samuel R. Delany’s Nova, in which the main character, a member of a spaceship crew, palms the Sun card so that a crucial reading cannot be finished – thereby jeopardizing the ship’s mission. The other is actually a series: Roger Zelazny’s Amber novels, in which the characters correspond to certain cards in a Tarot deck. Continue reading “Writing and the Tarot”

Essential Apps for Procrastinating Writers

apps-for-writers-woman-1446557_960_720Guest Post
by Ernest Mendozza

Someone once said, “Being a good writer is 3% talent 97% not being distracted by the internet.” Ain’t that the truth. Just while writing this introductory paragraph, I’ve checked my email three times, changed the music twice, and went to see when the next episode of Mr. Robot airs. And that’s not counting my Twitter habit.

When you get distracted constantly and easily, the quality of your writing suffers — that much is obvious. But how do you remain distraction-free when there’s just so much stuff to pay your attention to? Especially when checking your email counts as work, and making connections on Twitter furthers your career, it’s easy to make justifications for blowing off writing for even a minute or two. Continue reading “Essential Apps for Procrastinating Writers”

Some Alternatives to Keep You Writing Happily Despite an Injury

writer with a broken arm can't writeI have tendinitis in my wrists, which has made typing — shall we say — a tad difficult. No typing meant I couldn’t even dream of meeting my word count goal of 1,500 words per day towards my latest novel.

After a week of Netflix bingeing, my husband was like, “You need to do some writing.” To which I responded, “I can’t.” To which he replied, “Why don’t you dictate it?” Well, that’s when I decided to look into some ways to create that didn’t involve me sitting at my computer typing.

Obviously, if the limbs you use for writing are injured — tendinitis, a broken arm, carpal tunnel — the best alternative is to learn to type with your feet. Kidding. The best alternative is probably to speak what you would have written. If you want to do that, there are two options: speaking into a recording device and having it transcribed or using speech-to-text software. Continue reading “Some Alternatives to Keep You Writing Happily Despite an Injury”

Camp NaNoWriMo: Summer Camp for Writers

camp_nano_logoBy now, I trust you’ve heard of National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo – that self-imposed challenge to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.

The folks at the Office of Letters and Light have come up with another way to drag you away from friends and family for a month. They call it Camp NaNoWriMo, and they run it twice a year, in April and July.

Like the regular NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNo gives you a framework to formally declare your intention to pound out a manuscript in a foreshortened period of time. And it gives you access to a network of writing friends to socialize with, lean on, and complain to.

But there are some differences to the Camp NaNo experience. If you’ve balked at doing the regular NaNo, you may find Camp NaNo is a better fit for you. Here’s why. Continue reading “Camp NaNoWriMo: Summer Camp for Writers”