Christopher: So how is My Tool, My Treasure going?
Christopher: That bad, huh?
Me: No. It’s going. Each day I’ve made progress. I haven’t gotten stuck, well, not for long. It’s just not enough.
Christopher: You haven’t reached the halfway point?
Me: No. I’ve made it to over 21 K, but not 25,000 words. Other people have already hit 50,000 words.
Christopher: Aren’t you juggling other projects?
Me: Yes and I’ve got the rejection notes to show for it. They haven’t added to an overall sense of positivity.
Christopher: You’ve also gotten kudos from Archive of Our Own. Some readers appreciate your work.
Me: It just feels like too many people are unwilling to spend any money on it. (sighs) I thought I’d found the perfect place for some of my poems. I thought wrong. Those rejection are having a domino effect on my confidence. Everything I’ve submitted, everything I’m trying to work on, everything that’s happening in the world…I need a screaming tree. Only I hate to take my frustration out on a tree. Trees, plants…they’re among those that lift my spirits. Unless they’re giving me allergies, catching fire, burning my state down-
Christopher: Um, why don’t we concentrate on My Tool, My Treasure? What’s troubling you about your NaNoWriMo project?
Me: Each book…A Godling for Your Thoughts?; My Tool, My Treasure; Blades of Inspiration, and My Cusps Runneth Over is inspired by a suit in the Tarot deck.
Christopher: Except for Stealing Myself From Shadows and The Hand and the Eye of the Tower. You used imagery from the Greater Trumps to draw ideas for the setting, various scenes, encounters, and obstacles.
Me: I told you I’m somewhat confused about wands and swords, which is fire and which is air. I’m also confused about how the scenes even link to the progression of images in swords and/or wands.
Christopher: Only you’re basing the story very loosely on the images. When you first wrote Stealing Myself From Shadows, you tried to write about them in a literal sense. You couldn’t move the plot forward and I had trouble moving. Not to mention I was a dull character.
Me: Sorry about that. When I developed you more, your desires started to move the plot forward, shaping the images into forms which were obstacles and encounters tailored for you.
Christopher: You haven’t gotten away from what the characters want in My Tool, My Treasure.
Me: True. Only I worry I’m getting too far away from the Tarot imagery.
Christopher: Doesn’t the imagery alter itself to the characters’s perception?
Me: Definitely. Those pictures can mean a variety of things. This is why so many people can read Tarot cards, interpreting them in a way that’s personal to themselves.
Christopher: Maybe you’re interpreting them in a way that’s unique to your story, which was one of your goals in writing this series.
Christopher: Is that a problem? I’d think it would give you more freedom to write what you wish.
Me: True. Even the general descriptions on those cards are contested. Some of my sources about Tarot contradict themselves on what they mean. One argues that the sword suit is negative, sinister, ominous in general. Others see it in a more neutral light.
Christopher: What do you think?
Me: I think the notion of a dangerous, overpowering ideology, which slices through what you are is quite in the spirit of this story. At the same time, I don’t want the transformation the characters are going through to be completely negative.
Christopher: Are all the symbols associated with the sword suit negative or threatening?
Me: Well, no. A lot of them are, though, according to several sources.
Christopher: This story is inspired by the cards, though, right? It’s not literally about the cards.
Me: Well, yes.
Christopher: If so, don’t trouble yourself about it. Don’t worry about the word count either. Just keep telling the story, see where it takes you…along with the rest of us.
Me: I suppose that’s sound advice…thank you.
Christopher: Thank you by not being too cruel to Damian, Danyel, or Tayel.
Me: (mutters) I might have known he had an agenda for giving me a pep talk…