"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser


In the second novel that I’m writing, I was inspired to have my characters, David and Desiree, deal a Tarot card spread. They’d just met in the Rome airport on the way to Venice, Italy, and Desiree is going to a Tarot Ball during Carnival. She produces a deck of Tarot cards, showing David her costume–a nearly naked lady called The World. The cards’ instruction booklet explains how to use them to answer questions. At this point, as yet unknown to the characters, I intended to map out a direction for these soon-to-be lovers. I shuffled then dealt the cards for them, asking David’s question about why he was driven on a quest to visit Venice during Carnival. I was blown away by how close the progression of cards came to the direction I felt the story was headed. But that was nothing compared to what happened last Saturday!

Weeks ago, while writing a scene, I needed an appropriate costume for 20-year-old David to wear to the Tarot Ball. I looked through my deck of Tarot cards and, on a whim, decided on the Page of Cups. The image of a youth in a blue and yellow striped tunic holding a golden cup with a fish sticking out the top somehow felt right.

Saturday, as I plotted out the next scenes, I decided it was time for David and Desiree, now becoming a romantic item, to do another Tarot spread. I asked their question: “What is the future for us?” and dealt the cards. The progression of the seven cards had warnings of foes pretending to be friends and dire obstacles ahead, perfectly synchronized with the story in my mind. AND the Final Outcome card was the Page of Cups.

Sometimes I feel like unseen forces are guiding my imagination. I think I know what I’m going to write then something entirely unexpected will end up on the page. I enjoy the surprise and marvel that it came from me. What fun!

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