22 Search results

For the term "tarot".

July 2021: Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Welcome to Climate Change Summers! At least July’s going to cool off so that people here in the United States can set off fireworks and thereby terrify all kinds of wildlife and traumatize people’s pets. Ha! (Seriously, though, stay safe, and please don’t set the world on fire any more than it already is!) And, speaking of terror and trauma, here’s hoping this month’s tarot card reading is fiendishly inspiring to all you writers out there!

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Character(s): Page of Wands (Reversed). A young person who’s a thief, pickpocket, or part of some criminal enterprise. Smart and clever, and, of course, manipulative. This character’s motivations can be used to develop the plot, whether as an antihero to your main character, or a flawed character that finds themselves drawn into a situation where they risk getting in over their heads, or tempted by a downward spiral path that may prove difficult to extricate themselves from, until the stakes demand a price they aren’t willing, or able, to pay.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Theme/Development: Ten of Swords. A fatal mistake. Severe misjudgment. Heart-wrenching loss. A terrible price has been paid. Capture, physical/emotional injury, torture, confinement, and the threat of death/execution occurs because of the character(s)’s actions. Cunning has only taken the character so far, and now the character may find themselves on the run.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Setting: Six of Swords. Journey of exile or escape to a remote island, or other faraway location, possibly with an injured loved one, or to recuperate from their own injuries. Area could be populated by a previously unknown peoples, or the character could find themselves on their own.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Conflict/Climax: Queen of Wands (Reversed). The character encounters an opportunity to make a new life; whether it’s in the location (and with the people) they took refuge in, or an opportunity to start over in a new location with the aid of a companion. Instead they are tempted by the opportunity to seek revenge for their loss, or for the trauma they endured at the hands of their persecutors. There might also be a conflict as money needed to start over in new lands, there is debt incurred with a doctor, healer, or other medical individual, or new family/community ties the character wants to support. And, as a result, the character risks being drawn back into the same cycle they had escaped.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

 

June 2021: Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

June, already? Wasn’t it just…January? Anyway, if you’re missing the gloom and drear of winter, here’s this month’s “writer inspiration” tarot reading. While you’re hibernating in your dank cave, and instead of cursing the tweepy, tweety birds fluttering outside your window, you can work on your next macabre masterpiece!

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Character(s): Three of Rods. Character #1 has come up with a new business idea—one with great start-up potential—but they just need some financial backing. A professional partnership with an influential partner (Character #2) is formed, and fiscal support is provided. The backing/investment partner may seem to have have more business acumen and knowledge that they are willing to share with Character #2. The business “start-up” is launched after a period of negotiation and begins to show early signs of success.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Setting: Six of Cups. The two partners are soon able to reap the rewards of the venture. Rapid business growth creates an environment of ultimate attainment and security. Posh hotels, luxury travel trips, fine dining, new cars, homes, and the like, are at characters’ disposal. The two characters may develop a romantic connection as well as a professional one.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Theme/Development: The Moon. The rapid success of the business may be a little too perfect. Is there more to the success of the business than just a great start-up idea Character #1 had? The world that Character #1 now moves in seems like a dream from their former life; poverty, struggle, and, above all, loneliness. All that feels like it’s part of a distant, and painful, past the creator would rather forget. Every need of theirs is met, by Character #2. And they are never lonely. In fact, Character #1 is never alone. The two partners are always together. Their new lives together are like a dream come true, as improbable as it seems. And their luck seems to be holding, as the relationship grows between the two characters.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Conflict/Climax: Six of Pentacles (Reversed)/King of Rods (Reversed). Character #1 wakes up one morning to find Character #2 gone from their bed. There’s an eviction notice posted outside the condo. The company’s offices are empty and shuttered. The bank accounts have been cleaned out. Alone, penniless, abandoned, Character #1 takes shelter in a nearby bar until they can figure out what to do. On the TV screen above the bar, Character #1 sees Character #2, getting onto a plane. The news reporter refers to Character #2 by a different name, but, even though the hair and clothes are different, Character #1 recognizes them. And recognizes the logo on the place just before the screen flips back to the news room. Character #1 has an idea of where Character #2 is going. And that they would find a way to follow: to confront Character #2, to get revenge, to make sure they won’t be left alone, ever again.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

 

May 2021: Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Ah, May. Springtime, chirping birds, blooming flowers, bright sunshine, and sweet, sweet love! Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? If you’re still pining over the delightfully dismal days of winter, why not add a pinch of heartbreak and love-gone-wrong to your supernaturally spooky tales?

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Character(s): The Lovers. A whirlwind passion between two lovers. Underneath the transitory nature of their relationship lies a deeper connection between the two, and one that is not so easily put aside. It could be a mysterious secret from their past, or a self that they keep hidden from the rest of the world, that ties the two of them together. Whatever source that keeps bringing these two characters together, it seems to be full of portents, omens, and the will of some unknown fate(s), which they will have to discover, and face, together.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Setting: Eight of Rods. Opening setting: a vacation locale of some sorts. Could be ski resort, a location outside their home country, a chateau, a vineyard resort, a thriving urban city with a dynamic nightlife. Think night and shadows and glamour and intrigue over a bright and sunny tropical vacation. Professional relocation to another country for one, or both, resulting in the passionate encounter between the two lovers. And/or a chance re-acquaintance after their romantic interlude, of which fate plays a part, i.e. drawing them into close geographical contact again by means that seem like pure chance, but which might be orchestrated by a higher power.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Theme/Development: The High Priestess. Symbolic or actual force that brings these two together to fulfill their fate, and to achieve the outcome that this particular entity, deity, or elemental wants to have occur. Leader not of this world, with power not limited to the everyday world of humans. The deity is using these two individuals to further their own goals and visions for the world and its future evolutions/incarnations.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Conflict/Climax: The Sun. Under the harsh light of the sun, their budding relationship suffers. They may even find themselves in a situation where they are in competition with each other in regards to career or in a professional setting. Romance is easy in a moonlit setting, but is it more than that behind their struggle to resist their continued attraction for one another? Secrets are revealed about who they really are—magical talents, supernatural abilities, otherworldly/other-dimension lace of origin—and they realize they have a shared connection above and beyond their whirlwind passion. They might even have a (adventurous) fate they need to fulfill by virtue of that connection. Or their relationship may have to move past a romantic one into one that is more strategic and will ensure that they are able to fulfill the roles fate has determined for the both of them. They may try to resist the roles that fate has assigned to them, even though their transformation, and that of their world, is inevitable.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

March 2021: Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration

 

This month’s reading almost seems to pick up where the other left off and is almost similar, even though I used a completely different deck of Tarot Cards. Still, I hope you find this literary-style reading helpful as writing inspiration prompts!

 

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

 

Character: King of Wands. A ruler who is trying to protect their kingdom from an invading force. Fire and destruction follows, and the ruler must decide whether to continue to fight a losing battle against the invaders or flee to safety. The enemy behind the attacks reveals itself to be more powerful and menacing then they can hope to defeat, and the ruler escapes with the kingdom’s remaining survivors by means of the kingdom’s fleet of ships.

Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

 

Setting: Four of Coins. The kingdom had long been a place of prosperity and peace, and the ruler and the other royal officials had gotten complacent. The castle stronghold was rarely secured against any hostile forces. The wealth of the royal family and the kingdom had come from trade, as it controlled a deep-water port, and from agricultural goods and the kingdom’s local fishing industry. Thanks to the trade coming in and out of the port, the city had become a center of culture and knowledge, and the kingdom’s first university was in the stages of being built. These factors made this idyllic kingdom a prime target for invasion.

Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

 

Conflict/Climax: Nine of Swords/Death. The ruler is plagued with guilt over the destruction of the kingdom. Many of the kingdom’s inhabitants faced torture and death at the hands of the invading party, who sought mainly to plunder the kingdom’s riches. The king falls into a state of depression and becomes ill on the voyage to a religious/spiritual sanctuary where the royal court hopes to take refuge. When they arrive, the ailing ruler is carried into the refuge. The sanctuary’s healer is summoned to treat the ruler, but the ruler dies shortly after their arrival.

Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

 

Theme/Development: The Chariot. The ruler’s consort sends out a scouting party on a ship to report on the presence of the invaders. When the scouting party returns, they reveal the identity of the invaders and the state of the pillaged kingdom. The royal consort vows revenge, and swears an oath to rebuild the kingdom. When the royal officials object, the consort seizes the opportunity to rise to power, and claims the title of ruler and military leader. The consort begins to enlist the support of the kingdom’s allies to reclaim the kingdom, and prepares to go to war.

Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

 

WIHM: Using Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration

I often draw cards from one of my tarot decks for inspiration, and then assign and interpret them based on potential storylines and characters.

Photo from Canva.com

I’m sharing my February reading with you all. Perhaps you’ll find your own literary inspiration through my interpretations of the cards! [Feel free to build on any of these prompt ideas associated with the card(s) below.]

 

Photo from Canva.com

Character: Queen of Cups/Queen of Pentacles

Woman in her maturity, community/nation’s leader, possesses both academic and artistic/cultural knowledge and refinement as well as intuitive-based wisdom and insight in line with the nation’s spiritual belief system. Born into money inherited from one of the old trading families, she is philanthropic in nature by contrast. For this character, family is everything and the community/nation she leads is an extension of that family, which is under her protective wing and guidance. She has done much to revitalize the local economy and community after many years of cultural expropriation, tourism, and colonialism, and has established a history center to house cultural artifacts looted from the island, which are now being returned from museums and collections around the world. Many sacrifices made via this person’s dedication to her people and her family; giving, nurturing, caring are characteristics of this person.

 

 

Photo from Canva.com

Setting: Six of Swords

An island/maritime nation that has undergone a revolution and has recently liberated itself from the control of other nations. It is now at peace, and is undergoing the process of rebuilding not only society, but restoring the island to its former state after most of its natural resources have been stripped and the ecosystem contaminated with toxic chemicals. This sometime-in-the-future world is still in transition between the old consumerist world, and a fledging world based more on unity and balance and cooperation/respect for all lifeforms.

 

 

Photo from Canva.com

Conflict: Ten of Swords

Leader’s authority challenged by a party of  “old money” traditionalists, discovery of a new, valuable mineral during the island’s restoration process, greed, war, coup, outside nations attempting to seize control of the island. (Some things never change.) Madness in island’s inhabitants caused by long-term exposure to contaminated environment and water. Still dependent on trade goods from other nations while the island is being restored. Sudden impact of climate change: devastation caused by hurricanes, flooding, tsunami. Loss of family members, community supporters to tragic events beyond main character’s control. Remaining community point fingers of blame. Superstitions reawakened, and real-life monsters can also be awakened as the island is restored/changed. Wrath, bloodshed, death, and destruction widespread. Fleeing the island; journey, relocation, exile for main character/characters caused by the conflict.

 

 

Photo from Canva.com

Theme/Development: The Lone (Wo)Man

Liberation of self. Awakening into power; spiritually, culturally, politically. Trusting one’s instincts. Making hard decisions. Staring into “the abyss”. At a crossroads with one’s own beliefs with the situation at hand. Loss. Pain. Forced to act out of self-preservation. Exploring said selfishness as a tool of growth and personal development, and as a means of building one’s personal strength. The character finding, and maintaining, one’s true self; one’s core of being. Guidance from the natural world (plants, animals, trees), or even monsters/supernatural beings over that of other people. Connecting to the primal source of all things, instead of superficial elements. Defining what is really essential for a new world. Once this new sort of power is obtained, it spawns growth into a darker being; a new sort of monster; a leader of monsters and the primal. Rebirth into something new and unexpected after a period of isolation, solitude and reflection.

 

 

Willow Croft’s bio and social media links:

“Bringer of Nightmares and Storms.” Horror writer Willow Croft is usually lurking deep in the shadows of her writer cave, surrounded by formerly feral (but still fierce!) cats for company. Visit her here: http://willowcroft.blog.

Author Blog: https://willowcroft.blog

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16978140.Willow_Croft

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Willow-Croft/e/B073MM241D

An Interview with Willow Croft, “Bringer of Nightmares & Storms”

Interview with Willow Croft “Bringer of Nightmares & Storms”

By Angelique Fawns

 

Willow Croft can spin a delightfully devilish short story, and is a self-professed animal nut. Croft and I both had stories published in the most recent issue of Econoclash Review. The world of gritty pulp fiction tends to attract male authors, but as more and more of us women add our poison pens to the craft, it will be interesting to see how the genre will evolve. Though Willow and I live in completely different parts of the world, I am amazed by how much we have in common (she has actually met one of my number one musical idols!- more on this in the actual interview.)

Willow had some profound insights into the power of writing as a life raft, and how she finds inspiration in the act of creation. Even if she is creating words that echo in the realms of horror….

 

AF: Why do you call yourself the “Bringer of Nightmares & Storms?”
(more…)

Trembling With Fear 02/21/21

It’s raining as I write this and where I live, I feel as though it’s been raining forever. Wherever we go for a walk there’s mud, lot’s of it – there’s a song isn’t there for children? Mud, mud, glorious mud. I think I’ll leave that for the kids, nothing glorious about the stuff, except perhaps as inspiration for a story, a Mud Monster. Anyone care to send in a drabble featuring the dreaded ooze?

TWF efforts last week saw the creation of the TWF anthologies for Year 4, More Tales from the Tree and Serial Killers. They’re all formatted up and almost ready to go. A final close read through to check for glaring errors and make sure we haven’t missed any – there’s hundreds of stories overall – and a cover sorted and they’ll hopefully be ready in the not too distant future.

As I pulled in the stories, I noticed again the tendency to use spaces and tabs rather than the first line indent feature of the paragraph style. Some would also use spaces to centre a title rather than simply select alignment. Please avoid this! Also avoid adding lines between paragraphs.

Bios – I am still not always receiving bios with submissions and I am no longer going to hold files of biographies as the sheer number of authors submitting makes this difficult to maintain. It was a good idea at the time but has outlived its usefulness. If you do not send a bio in with your submission, you will receive a request for one on acceptance – I’m changing the message associated with the contract to reflect this. 

Saturday saw the Book Birthday of Daughters of Darkness, an anthology featuring four writers (me, Theresa Derwin, Alyson Faye and Ruschelle Dillon). It’s the first book from Black Angel Press, a women-centric project, which Aly and I hope to use as a vehicle to help newer writers (as well as established writers) get their out there. This project is intended to help level the playing field for women in an industry where there is still, sadly, a degree of bias against us in terms of opportunity. It is changing and I’m hopeful that in the very near future, initiatives such as WIHM etc will no longer be needed. I regard Horror Tree and TWF by the way, as somewhere that has been nothing but inclusive in all aspects and Stuart should receive a huge round of applause for this. HT is not Sisterhood or Brotherhood, just Family.

From the high of launching the book, I received a short story rejection the following day but my absolute highlight last week was discovering Jonathan Maberry had read my novel The Five Turns of the Wheel and regarded it as ‘superb’. Knowing someone at the top of the writing tree has actually read something of mine was a boost – and a shock. I will admit to taking a screenshot of that and I will use it to help me through those moments of rejection which I know will continue to come. I think a writer’s life could clearly be imagined as the peaks and troughs of readings on a life-support machine but better that than flatlining!

If you’re looking for any WIHM reads by the way, I would recommend Jennifer Soucy’s Clementine’s Awakening, Beverley Lee’s The Ruin of Delicate Things and for poetry, Sara Tantlinger’s Cradleland of Parasites. I’ve read all three recently. Fantastic reads.

And as to the house move, we’ve had an offer on ours and are looking at houses this week. One has a lovely view of the cemetery next door. Appropriate or what?! As a point of reassurance, house viewing etc is still permitted during lockdown, provided you’ve had a serious offer, and strict covid measures are observed.

We start this week’s Trembling with Fear with Samsara by E.C. Hanson. The main character is most definitely unlikeable but you find yourself drawn along by the countdown to opening time as she fights her desperation for a drink. An element of paranoia filters in alongside this obsession with time and you see her fall apart as the past comes back to haunt her.

Bloom by Patrick Winters is a beautiful horror when the body turns on itself and destroys. Patrick is a writer I know who always delivers on quality.

Surprise for the Date by Radar DeBoard delivers its surprise at the end, although the reader is let in on the secret beforehand.

The Ghost Train by K.A. Williams reminds me of a time I actually stayed in a converted railway station! Luckily it wasn’t haunted, like this one. If something’s cheap, there’s usually a reason and it’s better to check out why first!

 

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

We’re going into the final week of Women in Horror Month and the amazing posts have been stacking up! I hope that you’ve all been enjoying reading them as much as our staff has. Please, be sure to comment on and share the ones which you’ve been enjoying!

As to what the Horror Tree staff has been up to? Steph and I are making giant strides (mostly Steph. I’d like to stress, mostly Steph) on putting together this year’s anthology releases! On top of that, I’ve been starting to go over my portion of it and am sketching out some rough draft ideas on how we’re looking into changing up the site in our next iteration of Horror Tree. Working on getting it up in a test environment and I will bounce the preview off our staff and Patreons once it is ready for official viewing and initial feedback!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

(more…)