Giveaways and Special Offers

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Yes! It’s on. There are five copies of Elyora to give away worldwide.

You can register here.

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Any readers and reviewers participating in The Australian Women Writers Challenge who buy a copy of Elyora, I’ll pop something extra into the post with the novella as a thank you. Just write ‘AWWC’ in the buyer’s notes when you pass through PayPal.

#tarotthursdaythree for 16.02.2017

Alaina of ExploringlyYours provided the questions for this round of the #tarotthursdaythree hosted by Spiral Sea Tarot.

How do you feel about the Raider-Waite-Smith pack (RWS)?

I’m ambivalent about it, to be honest. I am aware of the very important place it holds in tarot history and culture, how it’s a foundation for everything that came next in terms of modern tarot, but I’ve never been drawn to it personally as deck in and of itself.

 

What was your beginning deck?

I remember buying a generic deck (I still have it downstairs among my boxes of books, the cards have an incredible magenta backing) but I don’t remember when I bought the deck, who the deck is by or remember ever really using them.

I bought The Druidcraft deck to celebrate my first Mothers Day – drawn by the rich illustrations and a fledgling interest in paganism, earth-based religions and the like. All the artwork is painted with pigments set with egg yolk, as per traditional methods and they are sublime. The Lady in that pack remains one of my favourite cards. I can almost feel the green velvet of her dress when I bask in her abundance. I want her overflowing cornucopia to be mine. img_1364

My first oracle was Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle, until I accidentally set Yemanya (golden opportunities) on fire when the wind blew her into the votive I had burning on the altar in my bedroom. I was probably on the cusp of out growing the deck (as it didn’t have enough shadow cards) so it was possibly a timely burn.

 

Do all beginners need to start with RWS (or clone), in your opinion? Why/why not?

I’d say no, but like many people answering these questions, I’m no expert. I can only base this on my own experiences.

Start with a pack that has artwork that inspires, excites and interests you – whether that’s tarot or an oracle deck. Secondly, get a pack that aligns with a philosophy or an area of inquiry that interests you. Alongside the Druid pack I had a succession of Goddess cards (can’t have a goddess pack that doesn’t have Kali!).

A new deck is a little like a new friend. Choose one you really want to hang out and enjoy time with, grown alongside and learn from.

#tarotthursdaythree for 09.02.2017

On our last  call, my business accountability buddy, Emma, asked me if I was intending to blog about tarot. I said, at some point in the future, probably, but I didn’t see myself as being ready to talk about it here yet. And then less than a fortnight later – well, here I am.

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Hello, yes. Part of my deeper interest in narrative leans in the direction of tarot. I see it as a tool for digging into unearthed/hidden personal stories and as a deeper more intuitive lens to scrutinse life with. It’s a tool for reflection, connection and introspection. It allows you to look at who you are, how you got here, who you want to be and how to get there. It’s a roadmap, but at all time you have free will as to which direction you travel, the speed in which you go, where you stop along the way and who you take along for the ride.

I don’t believe tarot is a platform for revealing fortunes or futures. And I definitely don’t believe it is an instrument of evil. If you do, this is probably where our roads diverge and I wish you well.

Instagram and Tarot

I’ve stumbled into a divine and juicy community of tarot readers on Instagram (it’s yet another reason to be grateful for my continued absence on Facebook). And more recently, stumbled onto Spiral Sea Tarot’s #tarotthursdaythree. Three questions every week about tarot.

Thank you to Dianna and Alaina for leading me there. Thank you for leading tarot onto my blog.


#tarotthursdaythree for 9th February

1. Reversals or nah?

When I read with my Druid pack, I absolutely always read with reversals, but it was under the philosophy of Paul Fenton-Smith who said  reversals were a indication of a lesson unlearned, and to return to the lesson in the card before. I still really like that as a philosophical framework for reversals. However, my reading technique and style has changed vastly in the last year and reading intuitively from the card means that I don’t want to return to the card before in the pack, I’m taking information directly from the card in front of me. (This has sparked an idea for a reversals spread though!)

As a side note, several of the decks I work with  specifically state that they are not to be read in reverse.

2. If you could go back in time and give your novice self one piece of wisdom to fast track your tarot learning, what would it be?

Get the most basic understanding of the numbers and the suits THEN trust your intuition. Look at what’s actually going on in the card. Book learning (and worrying about being perfect) is an impediment to the story unfolding before you.

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3. What is your go-to spread?

For my clients, I’m very much drawn to the three card spread. It keeps it simple. I don’t like to create too complex a spread because I use the cards as a catalyst for a conversation as much as a conduit for sharing information. Having a focus of three allows me to combine packs and use shadowing quite a bit.

For me, the go to is a daily draw of a single card. At the moment I’m drawing from the Shadowscapes deck and the SoulFlower oracle.

But my real go to – is whatever spread Alaina has created for the new moon or full moon. I am getting SO much out of these spreads.

Welcome to Elyora

cover-finalTo celebrate today’s launch of Elyora I’ve compiled a list of facts about the novella, the writing it and other associated tidbits.

#1 Elyora began as a dream featuring a misshapen house, a woman and sirens in the river.

#2 Elyora was the name of the woman in my dream, not the town. It’s pronounced el-yor-ah.

#3 The first draft of Elyora was written during a June 2012 Rabbit Hole event run by the Queensland Writers Centre – 30,000 words in 30 hours.

#4 The original sex scene was written as a word count filler and was intended to be edited out of the final draft. The ending precluded that from happening.

#5 Elyora was edited by Lesley Halm (for Review of Australian Fiction) and if it weren’t for her commitment to the story she saw in the rough, it might never have been finished, much less published.

#6 Elyora was short listed in the Aurealias short horror category in 2012 – two days after the contract was signed to sell it as River of Bones to Endeavour Press.

#7 The a cappella scene was intended to have Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner at the centre of it but words failed to bring it to life at the time. The new edition features Vega’s classic.

#8 The 2nd draft was almost complete before I knew what the menace in the river was. It was an accidental find after months of dedicated searching.

#9 Knowing what was in the river, and its folk history, added a new layer to the story, a new iteration of claustrophobia and fleshed out the backstory of Eleanor and Ethan Lazarus.

#10 Brigadoon, the town that appears for one day every hundred years, was one of the inspirations for Elyora, though my partner, insisted it sounded more like the town in Peter Weir’s The Cars That Ate Paris.

#10 Elyora is not based on the township of Ben Lomond. Ben Lomond has 3 churches and is on the wrong side of the road.

#11 FaunaBate almost hailed from Sydney. The Hume Highway between Melbourne and City was the intended setting. But a road trip in 2011 discounted it.

#12 It was only after Elyora was published that I visited Hal and Jo’s hometowns of Woolomin and Nundle. GoogleEarth was my friend prior to that.

#13 Sometimes it’s okay to read reviews! The new edition has small alternations to the flora and fauna based on Chris-from-Ben-Lomond’s Goodread’s review.

#14 Elyora was my first attempt at horror and I wanted to write something that would scare me stupid. My son managed to accidentally jump-scare me during a late editing session of the final garage scene.

#15 The hardest scene to write was the conversation between Ethan and Stanley. Nailing Stanley’s vernacular and articulation pushed my skills to their limits.

#16 In addition to the dream, two strong visuals components were musts for incorporation: the cars in the back of the garage and the tow hook on the old dodge truck.

#17 One reviewer said she would never again take a bath after reading Elyora. #sorrynotsorry

#18 Petrol actually was 13c/l in 1974. It was one of the facts I collected as part of my research. I also read the original research paper from the FBI Body Farm.

#19 Searching >Elyora< on Spotify will bring up the play list of songs mentioned in the novella. There’s 16 of them.

#20 The number of plays  logged for Yacht Club DJ’s ‘The mostly come at night, mostly’ hour-long mixtape – 82. It was on almost perpetual loop during Elyora’s writing and editing.

#21 Lesley’s original editorial stated that Elyora could be the lovechild of Gaiman and King, consequently, when it was first released, I told no one it had been published.

#22 River of Bones languished in relative obscurity until an Australia Day promo pushed it to #1 on the Amazon (Aus) horror charts and into the general Top 20.

#23 Most of the quirky details, from dashboard adornments to tattoos, were based on suggestions from The Elyora Brains Trust on Facebook during the 2nd draft.

#24 The third edition of Elyora (the 2nd by its intended name) is the only paperback edition. Only one was intended to be printed (as a reference for writing a script) but the idea of a worldwide paperback release refused to be ignore.


When Jo, Hal and Benny arrive in Elyora the absence of takeaway coffee is the least of their problems. At each other’s throats and without transportation, phone service or somewhere to stay, they accept the hospitality of the enigmatic Lazarus at the original Elyora homestead.

As day turns to night, the sanctuary of the rambling house becomes a terrifying alternate reality of memories peeling back onto themselves to expose secrets and paranoia dating back to 1942.

To escape Elyora and return to 2012, Jo must remember who she is and find Benny and Hal before they succumb to  the same fate as those who came before them.

 

Haven’t got a copy of Elyora yet – no stress. Just click here.

Want to add it to Goodreads. Easy! Just click here.

Coming on 20th February – a Goodreads giveaway. More closer to the date.