Why I'm Not Doing the Next Best Fiction Author Contest
Writing Quotes Backlash

Play That You May Be Serious

Craig 2Thrilled that author and fellow deck creator Craig Conley penned this sparkling Foreword for our Snowland Deck and the companion book:

Like the folkloric Snow Queen's invitation to creep inside her furs, the foreword of a book should open up a text and make the reader feel invited to snuggle up. So let's huddle close and step together into a sparkling realm where all is fresh and unusual, yet somehow familiar and comfortable. Like your own backyard after the season's first snowfall, behold a world you know instinctively but even so are seeing in a brand new way. 

The very name "Snowland" sealed my enthusiasm for this work. I immediately apprehended that Snowland has a genuine existence—that it's always somewhere, even if it's not necessarily in any one place at any given time. So convinced was I that the Boyers had a genuine insight and weren't simply dreaming it all up, I actually delved through hundreds of years' worth of old family magazines in search of antique windows into Snowland. I was looking for evidence of a realm that promised new beginnings (snowfall providing a clean slate, as it were) and unique adventures (tobogganing, anyone?), all the while requiring both a heightened vigilance (for thin ice, deep drifts, and slippery slopes) and a keen eye for archetypes at play. "Playful alertness" might describe the state of mind. 

My research proved fruitful, and I contributed to the Snowland Blog dozens of compatible illustrations going back to the early 1800s. Many of the images precisely capture the whimsical spirit of the Boyers' project, a favorite being a glorified Lovers card in which a mischievous boy and girl throw snowballs at a statue of Cupid. Yet none of these antiquated illustrations are mirrors of the Snowland cards. In other words, the Boyers are offering wholly original vistas into this magical landscape.

The cards of the Snowland deck are like snowflakes in that they invite close examination to reveal intricate details. They are also like snowflakes in that they combine to form beautiful scenes prime for playful exploration. The playfulness is crucial, if we are to follow the wisdom of the Scythian philosopher Anacharsis: "Play so that you may be serious." Finally, every excursion into the heart of Snowland inevitably turns inward. We're guided into profound contemplation, as cozy and illuminating as coming indoors after building a snowman and kneeling before the hearth to warm your frozen fingers back to life.

— Craig Conley, author of Magic Words: A Dictionary and creator of the Tarot of Portmeirion

I'll be adding his foreword to both the Smashwords and Kindle version of the Snowland Deck Companion. And should I decide to make the book available in print...there, too. Thanks so much, Craig!

-- Janet


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