Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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April 18, 2012

When Hobbies Creep Into Your Writing Life

by Fae Rowen

Okay, Jenny Hansen is blog mistress this month, which means that things get a little wild sometimes here at WITS.

I have to admit that I freaked out when I saw my next blog assignment:

Tarot and conference.

"Is Jenny crazy?  She want's me to write about what?"

I fire off an e-mail.  "You mean the RWA National Conference in Anaheim in July?!"


My mind spirals off into another galaxy - far, far from my everyday life....

Here's what I fear:

Me sitting in the bar (which I hate to do--I'm no good at socializing) holding a deck of tarot cards.  Jenny working the crowd, pulling in victims writers from all over. Lines snaking around the lobby.

In this horror flick, I look like a deer caught in the headlights, waiting for someone to approach me.  I feel like a Class A-WooWoo-Weirdo.  What if some editor or agent wants a reading...?  CUT!

Very few people know I read tarot cards.

And runes.  And the I Ching.

I've been reading since I was sixteen, but just for trusted friends.  Occasionally.  (Ok, rarely these days.)  After all, can you imagine the looks I'd get at work if they knew the mathematician participated in a non-provable activity?  An occult proceeding?  Can you say SCORN?

Well, they will now if they read this blog.  (Which, thank goodness, they won't.) Or if Jenny has her way in getting my "WooWoo" out of the closet. She wants a post on crystals too...says writers need to know these things for their "research."

My experience in mixing my private hobbies with my everyday life:

Years ago, as a wedding present I reluctantly agreed to be one of the reception "activities" at a friend's wedding.  This friend was in a circle outside my usual acquaintances, or I never would have considered his request.

I sat at a table and read at the reception.  For three solid hours.  I'd never done anything like that before.  Never read for strangers and never so many people.  You would have thought I was giving away free money by looking at the constant line of people chatting and waiting.

I never saw the buffet table.  I didn't even get a piece of cake.  In fact, when I finished with the last person, I looked around and the space was already cleaned up.   And I had thought no one would visit my little table.

For months people I didn't know would come up to me in the grocery store, in a parking lot, in the mall--and want to talk about their reading.  I didn't know these people!  And I certainly didn't remember what their cards had said.

Is Jenny really suggesting I do readings at Conference??

My brain is sufficiently spasmed by the e-mail that I need verbal communication. I call Jenny.

"Yes, I need two blogs from you."

"Just blogs? Two?  Right now?"

"No, one in May and one in June."

"About what?"

"Didn't you get the e-mail?  One about WooWoo in May -- tarot, crystals, whatever you want -- and one about you and conference in June."

My brain begins the long journey back from that far, far away galaxy.

I hear Jenny buzzing in my ear: "Fae, are you there?  Can you write them?"

You bet'cha.  Two separate posts? Nothing about Tarot in the conference post?  Whoopee!  I feel like a pardoned prisoner on death row.

But I have to admit.  As I consider sitting at the bar in the Marriott this summer, it wouldn't hurt to have a deck, or two, in my pocket.  It might even be fun.  I'd certainly meet more people this way than my usual seventh-grade wallflower routine. Trouble is, I wouldn't remember anything afterwards.

That's why Jenny, Laura, and Sharla would need to sit at the table with me.  I'll just need to find a good wig and sunglasses.  And borrow someone else's nametag.

In the meantime, I'll write something about reading Tarot for May and my previous conference experiences for June.

If you attend the RWA National Conference in Anaheim this July and see me in the bar, act like you never read this post.

Has someone ever asked you to write something that made you terrified? Like you were hanging the naked you out for the world to see? Did you write it? (And you survived??) Do you have out-of-the-way talents that creep into your writing? What are they?

0 comments on “When Hobbies Creep Into Your Writing Life”

  1. What an amazing and fun way to start the day. I can't attend the conference but if I could I would do all in my power to find Jenny and her little Woo-Woo table in the lobby, bar, hall, or at valet parking. It would be worth it . . .

    1. Well, Winona, Jenny may be at that table, but I know she'll be hanging out there more than I will be. We'll be blogging about conference, so we'll try to give you some of the "magic" that way.

  2. I'm a Reiki master, and I've developed some interesting psychic skills. I also do angel card readings, and have dabbled with Tarot. While I consider Reiki a part of my everyday life, many people consider it "woo-woo." I find myself being careful about how it creeps into blog posts, etc., but I'm making a concerted effort to make it a vivid part of one of my WIPs. Eek! 🙂

    1. I know just where you are, Ellen. My first book, a fantasy medieval, was about a woman who healed by touch. I wrote it long before I knew anything about energy healing. I'm a Reiki master, too, as well as a graduate of The Barbara Brennan School of Healing. Much more respectable, than saying I read cards, though. Keep up with your angel card readings--they bring people important messages.

  3. Oh Fae, so glad you 'outed' yourself here. I've had the incredible experience of having my cards read by you -- and can highly recommend it -- escpecially since all my cards read, "MONEY!!!"

    Just didn't say when.

    Cute post!

  4. I wish I could attend the conference. Sounds like so much fun. And Tarot has always fascinated me. I think you should keep a deck close:)

    1. I think you're right, Stacy. I'm not going to advertise it, though. We're planning to give you conference posts with the flavor of the conference, and we always have some fun stuff happen. Jenny's "making" write about Tarot next month.

  5. Fae, yet another reason I am sad to miss the conference. I think I've told you before. I have had the I Ching with me for ... well no matter ... it's been a long time. Things that frighten me or writing something I didn't think I could do? I can relate. Some of us are "closet" introverts and work better when we are left in a back room somewhere. There were two times I was pushed to stage center: once to write a feature for a small newspaper and once to take on the role of the director of a program for children. I didn't know that added to writing contracts, proposals and budgets, I would also be expected to attend political functions, meetings with local officials, join community and school boards and ... well you know the feeling. The stint with the newspaper was the best training for what I do now ... the role of director ... pushed me out of the closet and eventually gave me the courage to sing my first solo ... or actually ... write my first book. Oh, how I would love to have you read for me ... or just to have a drink ... I'll meet you and Laura and the rest of this wonderful group another year ... in the mean time I will enjoy what you are all planning 🙂

    1. Lots more conferences. I actually used to teach my math students the I Ching hexagrams to introduce "base two" years ago. Of course, they didn't know what they were for--ha ha! I did numerology with them, too, just for fun. A lot more personal than just dozens of rote problems. Anyway, yep, I'm out of my little woowoo closet now. Still feels a little creepy...

  6. Hey, I'm a skeptic about all this kind of stuff (not a naysayer, but a skeptic), and I still would have been in that card-reading line. It's curious, fascinating, and why not?! Just don't pull out that death card on me. (There is a death card, right? Everything I know about Tarot comes from James Bond's Live and Let Die, so I don't really know what I'm talking about.) Looking forward to May's Woo-Woo post!

    1. Skeptic is my middle name, Julie. If I hadn't gotten "proof" and confirmation about this "woowoo" stuff I would never have read for anyone. Ten years ago I met a woman who said she was an animal communicator. Yeh, I thought. But when she "talked" to my cat I had to become a believer. She was in Kentucky and never visited my home in California, but when I asked what was my cat's favorite place in the house, she described my guest bedroom down to the pattern on the bedspread. She is truly amazing and has become a wonderful friend. And, yes, I loved Jane Seymour as the virgin Tarot reader, too. There is a Death card in a traditional deck, but it's not necessarily literal, it's more about rebirth, regeneration, renewal and a change of consciousness, so it's a really good card to get if you're working on getting rid of old habits. It does look a little scary, though, I admit. If you're ever in my *imaginary* line, I'll use a different deck for you.

      1. I'm a mathematician, too, turned massage therapist/writer, and I'm even more skeptical than you, yet I do occasional tarot readings for myself and they can be scary in their accuracy. I pulled the death card about a relationship, right before he broke up with me, and I had no idea the end was near. I tried to interpret it to be more about giving up ideas about myself, but no, it was quite literal. And I feel energy all of the time from my clients.

        1. I'm so sorry about your relationship, Ann.
          I don't usually read for myself. I think it's kind of like a surgeon trying to operate on herself. I've learned that there are many things I don't really want the answer to, However, I often will pull a card in the morning to set the energy for the day--to be aware of possibilities with my time.
          You're a healer because you are atuned to other people's energy. Your hands will go right to where they're needed because of that.
          Isn't it amazing that we come to this point in life through such rigorous, proof-filled training?
          Best of luck to you.

  7. Fae, had my cards reads years ago and was told that I would never marry again, but would have two romantic encounters. One hot and steamy that would not last and one with less passion but would. Have to say that neither have knock on my door. I did ask if I would publish a book and the answer was NO. Now, I can deal with not having the romantic encounters, but not publishing a book - no way. Would love to have my cards read again. Really enjoyed reading your post today..

    1. A reading gives you the potential for what can happen, Jan, so as we change, our energy changes. If that reading was "years ago" it's definitely time for a new reading. Okay, when you and Barb come over for the safari picture lunch--yes, I'll get the pictures in some kind of "show" soon--I'll read for both of you. We'll do it this summer before conference.
      (Uh, last time I looked, you weren't six feet under, so don't discount that hot romance. The universe doesn't work on our timeline!)

    1. Oh, Ella, I wish I had any skill with astrology. I have a friend who has studied with some fabulous teachers and she does a chart for me every year, but do I understand any of that ascending sign, ninth house, planetary business? Uh, no. But I have a chart that I can carry with me and you can explain it to me again. I'll read yours if you read mine!

  8. Loved your post. Read me! Read me!! Plus, I'll be tapping into your knowledge of crystals for my current WIP.

    1. When you come over for the safari pictures you can put your hand into my 132-pound amethyst geode. Most impressive crystal I have, though I have much, much smaller ones that are pretty good, too. I've acquired too many for all of them to fit on the window sill of my healing room. Another thing I was skeptical of, but, all of our cells vibrate--known scientific fact. Decades ago my friend's husband patented the quartz crystal--with it's specific vibrations--for watches. Makes sense that vibrations around us affect our cells. The Beach Boys had it right. Good vibrations!

  9. I love woo woo stuf and have had the cards read for me a couple times, some amazingly detailed and right on. I think whether a person believes or not, this is a very fun thing to have done.

  10. Don't worry, a bunch of us out here are actually interested in woo-woo! 🙂 I myself read 'The Destiny Cards' (for a small fee) but sssshhh don't tell anyone!! In answer to your question yes, just recently in fact, another blog I visit asked us to write a short story on Redemption and it could me non-fiction. The first thought that popped in to my head was a series of what you might call woo-woo events that happened to me in my life, that I felt were extraordinary enough to be interesting to other people. So I wrote it and exactly as you described it, I felt as if my soul had been hung out to dry. I didn't win the competition, and only got one response to my story however I did survive it!!!! So I felt proud of myself for being brave. And that is something 🙂
    Yvette Carol

    1. Thanks for your comments, Yvette. You were brave to share your experiences in your story. These days it's not always that good to be "different"--although I think everybody has "gifts"--they just don't pay attention to them. It is indeed scary to know what you have no reason to know. But maybe that's why paranormal is selling so well; people have something inside that connects to the woo-woo.

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