Time once again for a check in.
I have only accomplished a mere two thousand words on my current projects in the last ten days. I could make excuses (the stomach virus going around school hit me hard, and I ended up in bed for four days, followed by a dreadful week at work), but I’m not going to do that. Excuses don’t really get the writing done, and the writing is the point.
This week, it is time to get back onto the horse and just write.
I do have some work done on Super School, just a few scenes. I am still working on fleshing out the middle of second and third year, along with the ending. Why is her skill important? What is it that makes her a super hero, and not others. There are muse bombs all over the place in what I have written so far, and I want to find out! My villain suddenly became two, and it is exciting to see it all take shape.
I have also worked on a few background pieces for The Finder: the first time she finds a body (and the police officer who finds her), and how she tries to figure out where she fits in with all the other psychics by going to a psychic fair, and meeting the woman who later becomes one of her mentors. Enjoy.
The Beauty of the Cards
Isabella Maynard wasn’t sure what she thought she would find at the psychic fair, but it wasn’t what she saw in front of her. She paused as she held out her ticket to the bored man at the door, staring at the ball room, awash in crystals and bejeweled perfumed women. Everyone she saw seemed to be desperately seeking something, some meaning, some way of justifying the value of their frantic lives. She was searching for some way to understand why she heard those voices calling her, pleading with her to find them. Sighing, she moved off the heavily traveled walkway, and just stared up and down the aisles.
Here were jewels, and stones, and dragon statues. Here were collections of tarot, sold by jeweled and exotically draped women with low and mesmerizing voices. Here were the astrologers, promising easy futures with fortune and love if you just did the right thing on the right day, and serious faced men selling angel statues, and promising divine help with the right choice of picture or figurine. Here were the palm readers, and the jeweled daughters of gypsies, seeking silver for blessings.
Nothing she saw, from the crystal ball reader to the tarot card vendor, seemed to have anything to do with the voices or connected to that overwhelming sense of the awe and wonder of the creator and the connected intersections of the people around her. The fair around her seemed mercenary, frantic, restless, unconnected.
“Fun, isn’t it?” a voice said to her side, and she turned to look at the dark haired middle aged woman, in the dark pants and bright shirt with a quiet, sensible, pair of shoes on her feet. “All this panoply.”
Isabelle shrugged her thin shoulders and stuffed her hands into the back pocket of her worn jeans. “I guess.”
The woman looked at her for a very long time, seeming to see beyond the teenager to the questions she hid, and then nodded, still smiling. “Not into angel guides and crystal channeling, are you?”
She shrugged again, not wanting to hurt the feelings of this stranger if she was into it. “Not…really,” was all she said.
“Why don’t you and I have a cup of coffee at the cafe there, and you tell me what you are looking for, then. Sometimes I have a bit of luck with that. Finding what people are looking for, I mean.”
Isabella wasn’t sure why she followed the woman off to the side of the room where the bored women in orange and brown polyester chatted in Spanish as they poured hot water and coffee. Somehow, coffee seemed like a neutral idea. She couldn’t imagine something important happening in the brightly lit cafe sectioned off by blue nylon curtains. The excited chattering women in front of them took hot water for their Celestial Seasonings teas, and started enthusiastically showing off their tarot card collections.
Mona smiled as she carried her cup of coffee and orange over to an empty table. “I like the tarot cards myself,” she said after introducing herself. “The art is usually so beautiful. But the power isn’t in the cards, and not everyone understands that.”
Cradling her coffee as she sat down, Isabella just sighed. “Sometimes, I think that people who use the cards want the easy way, the way that gives them what they want but doesn’t change them, not inside. Real power doesn’t work like that.”
“No,” agreed Mona, sipping her coffee. “It doesn’t. It isn’t that easy, but it can be beautiful. It helps when the seeker is grounded, and centered. You need to understand and respect your own boundaries, and to know and to deal with your own pains and hurts first. Otherwise, you project the things you don’t accept about yourself onto others, and do harm. The first rule, the one all of us with power must learn, is to do no harm.”
“But, is it important–all this stuff? The crystals, the tarot, the knives and herbs and spells and stuff, I mean? Does all this stuff help make the power make sense?” Her voice was hesitant as she asked, carefully cradling her cup of coffee between her hands.
Mona smiled. “For the right person, the tools can be a useful focus point, a way to understand and organize their universe and explain how their world differs from the way others see it.” She looked around. “Just like wearing symbols like the pentagon, or the cross, are symbols for others to see and understand that these are people who don’t organize their world the way others expect.”
“What about the ones who …. don’t need .. or want the … toys? Where do they fit in all of this? Or, do they fit?” And Mona nodded slowly, hearing the question that the girl with the dark blue eyes wasn’t asking.
Mona smiled, and the girl sensed that this woman understood the power in a very practical way, and had experienced the touch of the divine. “Each of us finds our own way.” Then, Mona grinned as she looked around the room. “We come and sift through all of this to find that one connection that called us here. It helps to not take it all so seriously.” She peeled her orange, offering a small piece to Isabella. “To remember the joy in the connections between us, and the holy that calls us together, no matter what name we give it. It helps, too, not to take it all so seriously. And to remember, sometimes, that the whole point can be the beauty in the art on the cards.”