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April 2017

Writer's Block Another Name for Lazy?

'Writer's block' is just a fancy way of saying 'I don't feel like doing any work today.'  -- Meagan Spooner

Ever see this quote posted by well-meaning authors, editors and writing coaches?

Yeah, me too.

I don't know who the hell Meagan Spooner is, but writerly denizens, lend me your ear...

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For years I agreed with this, snidely deriding anyone using "writer's block" as a lame excuse.

Then, last year, I was literally frozen with my 3rd traditionally published non-fiction book, Naked Tarot. It took me 4 years to write (so uncharacteristic). There were week and month-long stretches where nothing would come out.

Nothing. 

Ice block smallerAnd I'm a master brainstormer who always has "something to say", not to mention an AMZN Hall of Fame Reviewer with over 1,200 reviews to my name and multiple articles/reviews in print publications. In other words, "prolific" is my middle name. (Well, one of them, anyway...)

I think it was an emotional/existential "thing" tied to the book/topic/people I was writing for. But, no longer will I support this haughty position that all writer's block is laziness or lack of creativity...because it may very well be that something else is at play when a writer has a deep freeze.

Some books I've found helpful during emotional angsty writing times (that, sadly, didn't pull me out of my deep freeze):

Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemma's in the Writer's Life by Bonnie Friedman

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Writing from the Inside Out: Transforming Your Psychological Blocks to Release the Writer Within by Dennis Palumbo

The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path Through Depression by Dr. Eric Maisel

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

Affirmations for Artists by Dr. Eric Maisel

Life Purpose Boot Camp by Dr. Eric Maisel

This book, however, may very well have been key to thawing my writing freeze and helping me to get my mojo back in spades:

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Rory story cubes smallerFor actual "writer's blocks", may I suggest the awesome Rory's Story Cubes (I have all three).

What about you, fellow writers? Every get writer's block? Has your opinion on the topic changed after reading this? What writing or creativity books have you read that helped you sail past challenges into smoother scribbling waters?

-- Janet


Janet Boyer on the Tarot Insider Show

I'll be live on the brand new Tarot Insider radio show via ZOOM Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 at 2:30 PM EST as their very first guest! 

Tarot Insider Me

We'll be talking about my upcoming Naked Tarot, the collaborative Tarot Nerds Deck commemorating the very first International Tarot Day on July 8th, Coffee Tarot and more. 

I may even get a camera by that time--so you'll be able to see me as well as hear me. ;o) Click here for more information on how you can tune in and join the fun.

-- Janet


10 Questions for Tarotist Craig Conley

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 1. What’s your favorite breakfast food? Because I live on a 25-hour day and my waking time slowly rotates around the clock, my breakfast corresponds to the prevailing meal of the hours when I'm getting started. So, when I wake up around sunrise, I enjoy a vegetarian breakfast burrito. If I wake up around noon, I start my day with a Greek pizza. If I wake up around dinnertime, I begin with pesto linguini (extra garlic).

2. Book you’d like to give everyone (or wish they would read)? Wendy Walker's sublime novel The Secret Service, in which spies discover a Tibetan technique to transform themselves into inanimate objects.  But there are just so many books tied for first place. Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, for example (perhaps a favorite of all bibliophiles). Thomas Mann's magnificent The Magic Mountain. Norman Mailer's mesmerizing novel of reincarnation in Egypt, Ancient Evenings. Italo Calvino's mind-blowing If On a Winter's Night a Traveler. And one that no one reads but that is a priceless gem: The Attic Pretenders by Ernst Kreuder.  Another little-known favorite: James Stephens' novel of Irish folklore, The Crock of Gold.

3. What makes you laugh? British comedy, especially anything by comedians Harry Hill and the duo Reeves & Mortimer.

4. Song that never gets old: I was just remarking to a friend the other day how "Hold Me Now" by Thompson Twins is so perfectly crafted that it has a timeless quality.  But I have over 1700 songs in my iTunes playlist to which I've given 5 stars, so there are lots of tracks that never grow old for me.

5. Drink of choice: Iced tea, hold the ice.

6. Would you rather be hot or cold? It's complicated. (See above.) Ideal climate: Vancouver, British Columbia.

7. Mountain, beach, desert, or forest? Once again I'm a question ahead (blame that 25-hour schedule), but Vancouver again, for the mountains AND the beaches AND the old grove forests.

8. Favorite color? The purple in very old stained glass windows.

9. Best movie line: "I can waltz in like Ozzie, or I can waltz in like Harriet, but I can't waltz in like Ozzie AND Harriet; it's simply too taxing." — Wallace Shawn in Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills.

10. Last thing you splurged on? Nine thousand dollars'-worth of pulverized pennies for a copper floor to restore my house after Hurricane Matthew destroyed it.

11. Bonus Q: What Tarot card’s energy do you need more of these days? I drew a card to reveal the answer, and it was the Queen of Swords.

Hexopedia— Craig Conley is author of The Young Wizard's Hexopedia, the Tarot of Portmeirion, HarperCollins' One-Letter Words: A Dictionary, Pomegranate's One Letter Words Knowledge Cards Deck, and Weiser Books' Magic Words: A Dictionary. He is co-author of New Star Books' Franzlations: A Guide to the Imaginary Parables.  He has published dozens of articles in such magazines as Verbatim, Pentacle, Mothering, and Magic. His work has been profiled in the New York Times, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News, Publishers Weekly, The Associated Press, and dozens of others.  His website is OneLetterWords.com.


International Tarot Day July 8, 2017

I'm excited to announce the very first International Tarot Day that will take place July 8, 2017!

Int Tarot Day

Nobody "owns" this. It's a decentralized effort--a gathering Tarot enthusiasts from all over the globe to celebrate the cards. If you'd like, you can find out more about the celebration on Facebook here. You can also post about it on your Facebook page, in groups, on Twitter, at Google+, on IG...wherever you hang out. We're using the hashtag #InternationalTarotDay for the occasion.

Shonna Hill has made some free graphics you can snag here. You can also snag the image in this blog post [↑points above↑] that was made by Dax Carlisle, President/Founder of The Tarot Guild. 

Bree Ferguson is organizing a massive Blog Hop for the event; you can find out more here. Woohoo!

I'm heading up a group collaborative deck--and half of the cards have already been spoken for. Amazing! You can read the FAQ here and check out the Card Assignments here. Come share your artistry to celebrate the cards with us! 

How will you celebrate International Tarot Day? Here are some ideas:

  • Create a Spread
  • Take Selfies with All Your Decks
  • Give Free Readings to Friends and Family--or at Your Local Senior Citizens Center
  • Pass Out Your Pro Reading Cards to Strangers while Exclaiming "Happy International Tarot Day!"
  • Make a Cake or Cupcakes to Share at Your Local Tarot Meet-Up
  • Host a Free Introductory Tarot Class at Your Local Library or Other Public Locale
  • Create a Bumper Sticker, Button, Decal or Magnet--and Display It Proudly!
  • Share This Post or the FB Link to Every Tarot Enthusiast and Group You Can Think of
  • Make a Blog Post July 8th and Proclaim Your Love for Tarot
  • Post Your Favorite Tarot Card/s Every Day During the Month of July
  • Host a Tarot Picnic at Your Local Park
  • Host a Tarot Reading Fundraising Event for Your Local Favorite Charity
  • Create a Digital Majors-Only Tarot Deck with Photos Taken by You
  • Tell a Tarot Author or Artist How Much Their Work Means to You
  • Post a Review of Your Favorite Tarot Books or Decks to AMZN, GoodReads or Your Blog

What about you, fellow Tarot enthusiasts? How will you be celebrating? Have some great ideas of your own? Please share them in the comments section here!

-- Janet


10 Questions for Tarotist Root (Kyle Jacobs)

Root

1. What’s your favorite breakfast food? These days, I wake up and have some Green Tea, alongside some eggs, kale and tomatoes. I tend to season my food with garlic, black pepper, turmeric, cumin and olive oil. I love cooking with caste iron, and if I get a chance to add a slice of Rye toast, I will — otherwise, I also use cauliflower and broccoli often.

2. Book you’d like to give everyone (or wish they would read)? Depends what you’re going through in your life at the time. Almost universally, if you’re a business person, or an artist, I would tell you to listen to Seth Godin: Linchpin. If you are someone who is struggling with addiction and gnostic disenchantment. I would recommend Phillip K Dick - A Scanner Darkly. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and The Art of War - Sun Tzu are also important.

3. What makes you laugh? Usually the mixture of the absurd and reality, with a touch of philosophy or mysticism. I think our every day existence can be very mundane, and it’s nice when you catch a moment with someone where you question why things appear to be so mundane — then I laugh like a madman, and then go back to mundane reality.

4. Song that never gets old:

Destroying Angel - Bardo Pond
Harvest Moon - Neil Young
Maggot Brain - Parliament Funkadelic.
Harold Budd - La Bella Vista [Album]

5. Drink of choice: Earl Grey, or Decaf Chai with extra pepper.

6. Would you rather be hot or cold? Hot is kind of miserable. I grew up in Southern CA, and we got 100+ degree weather in the summers. That kind of hot is not pleasant. However, the cold is not too special either. Been living in Madison, WI now, and sub zero gets me every winter. I think I’ll answer this one as “50 to 80 degrees.” is a nice range. I can also enjoy some mist, fog, light rain, and patchy sunlight. Sounds beautiful, and very much like the Pacific Northwest meets the Central / North Coast of CA.

7. Mountain, beach, desert, or forest? Chaparral! — Seriously, there is this little hidden biome along the southern central coast of CA where you can get olive trees, and oak groves. It’s just desert enough to where you don’t get a lot of mosses or fungi, but just forest enough to where you get some neat oak trees, pepper trees, avocado trees etc — that just grow all by themselves in the hills. It’s a special place. I’m also a big fan of the Pacific Northwest, particularly the coast. Another unique biome up there with the Coastal Redwood Forests. Very satisfying to walk through.

8. Favorite color? Something earth-tone. I actually have really boring clothes. Brown, beige, green,grey. Most of my clothes also have paint stains on them, which is my own unique way of decorating them. I like to blend into the world around me, though I suspect that I don’t do as well as I imagine.

Best movie line: There are quite a few. I would have to go with a line from A Scanner Darkly – PKD “If I had known it was Harmless, I would have Killed it Myself.” The scene is a flashback to a situation where there was this woman who wanted to kill a mosquito hawk, and she was freaking out about it. The novel centers around these drug addicts who were visiting that woman, and scheming on how they wanted to try and have sex with her. Then, she says this phrase, and they all realize that they have to get out of her house as soon as possible. The comment is delineation between ‘Straight Society’ and ‘Counter Culture’.

The logic of the woman is that there is something frightening, and she wants it dead — but after it is explained to her that the thing is actually helpful, and kills off mosquitoes, which are more dangerous — it doesn’t connect with her that it might be a good idea to be graceful with the thing. Instead, she just assumes to follow through on murdering the thing. Kind of reminds me of the same logic that governs our current political processes economics and foreign policies. People can be frightening sometimes, and all you can really do is laugh, and try not to be part of the problem.

Last thing you splurged on? I buy supplements on a monthly basis to cope with stress and to support my body. I’ll list them out with details as to why I chose them:

Salmon Oil - Omega fatty acids, mood, joints, heart health.

B-Complex Stress - Nerve Health, Stress reduction, Includes Adaptogenic herbs as well.

Reishi - Hardcore adaptogen.

Lions Mane - Lions Mane is interesting because it is a nootropic, meaning it stimulates nerve growth and gets past the blood brain barrier. It can improve cognitive function, and also helps repair damaged nerve sheaths.

I see purchasing supplements as a way of preparing my body to undergo high stress environments. Maintaining a life as a father, a freelancer, an artist, a housemate in a cooperative, and a business person is hard work. I need to have all of my faculties available, and I need to offer my body the support it needs to get through those tasks. If I had to give a pitch here, I would say take a serious look at Paul Stamets’ products over at Fungi Perfecti. He does great work, and I love his products. That is the brand of the Reishi and Lions Mane I use.

Bonus Q: How do you work with the four sacred elements in your life? Fire is important to me because it destroys the things that clutter my consciousness. If something is bothering me, I just throw my attachments into the fire. I try to do this consciously and continuously. I feel it helps me to live in the moment. The symbolism here is the Refiners Fire, or the Sacred Heart.

Water is important to me because of my astrological sign, and my pre-occupation with the sub-conscious. I feel like it is important for me to be brave enough to plunge into the darkest parts of the sub-conscious without fear of what is there. I feel like after confronting death down there — I find a kind of liberation. A realization that the fear has its limits, and that consciousness continues beyond that. Idealistically, I also believe that water is adaptive. So, In terms of being adaptive, and responsive to the environment I’m in at the time — water is useful.

“Be water my friend,” - Bruce Lee. Air, I have to say, I’m not terribly connected with. I enjoy faeries, and I enjoy rationality. I practice Qi Gong, and I feel like there is some Etheric movement that happens there. So, if you could place “Spirit” in with Air, then I would say it is important for me to not stagnate in my energy. I need to clean myself and the spaces I occupy frequently throughout the day. Stretching, Qi Gong, going for walks in the fresh air, and organizing my living space are all crucial for maintaining a fresh perspective throughout the day.

Earth is important in the sense that I pay a lot of attention to my health, my nutrition, and to the impact that I have on my environment. I am also preoccupied with business frequently, which is a very earthly concern. I want to build a business that is mutually beneficial for myself and others. I want to create something that sustains me and my loved ones, while providing value to others. I also have a strong pull to the sensual, and the beauty of nature. For me, that is where earth energy is in my life.

.:.

I just want to say thanks to Janet for inviting me; answering these questions was enjoyable.

Visit Kyle online at RootDraws.com


7 of Coins Tarot Card – Time for Inspection

The 7 of Coins encourages you to evaluate the physical realm, noting what’s working…and what’s not. This card also points to inspecting any aspect of the material plane for the purpose of improving, upgrading or scrapping: property, house, crops, investments, vehicles, furniture, clothes, decorations, flowerbeds, recipes, exteriors, hairstyle—you get the picture. What’s in dire need of a tune-up? What’s clogging up the flow of abundance (or your arteries)? What weeds are crowding out perfectly good vegetation? What might you plant, uproot, harvest—or raze altogether? – From Naked Tarot: Sassy, Stripped-Down Advice

Yesterday, I took enormous pleasure in the warm spring day, white fluffy clouds scuttling swiftly through the bright blue sky—cherry tree blossoms, purple hyacinth and yellow daffodil in full bloom around Chez Boyer.

Spring Montage

After repeated days-long cold spells, I couldn’t resist getting outside to do some yard work. Noah and I began picking up branches and twigs from the lawn. We pulled aggressive monkey vines from the pine tree. I snapped some dead branches from some of the larger bushes.

Then we, started work on the Hostas.

From April to October, Hostas are gorgeous: long, wide, vibrant green leaves spill out like a fountain. In the summer, tall, slender stalks erupt with delicate lavender flowers.

After winter, though, they leave quite a mess as you can see:

Hostas Before

Despite how it looks, the Hostas beds are easy to clean: just sweep your hand over the wilted leaves and pull. Dried stems uproot easily for the most part, but the stubborn ones get clipped by a hand shear.

This spring ritual is important to me, because the longer last year’s detritus covers the eager-to-emerge sprouts—the later the hostas bloom in full force. The dead leaves cover the early green shoots, preventing sunshine from penetrating and encouraging growth.

Not only that, leaves could become stunted and deformed.

But once you do the easy-peasy clean-up—behold! The robust green shoots are ready to greet the world—fully exposed to the sun.

Hostas After

As I worked, the 7 of Coins came to mind: I inspected our yard and decided what needed to stay—and go. Someone who tired of years of Hostas may decide to dig up the bulbs and throw them away (perish the thought!)—or perhaps give them away to another plant lover. Or, like me, they love seeing the Hostas come back every single year—bigger, badder and lovelier.

Likewise, when the 7 of Coins Tarot card comes up in our daily draws or readings, we’re being asked to evaluate some aspect of the physical realm—our eating habits, man-made structures, yard, clothing, hygiene, appearance, finances—to thoughtfully consider what is working…and what is not.

Today, ask yourself: What needs cleared out? Disposed of? Refurbished? Pruned? Planted? Cleansed? Rebooted? Any time Mercury goes Retrograde, the 7 of Coins (aka the 7 of Pentacles Tarot card), is a fantastic image and energy to focus on and cultivate. (In April 2017, Mercury goes retrograde on the 9th/10th).

-- Janet


Root (Kyle Jacobs) Interviews Janet Boyer About Naked Tarot

Root, aka Kyle Jacobs, sent me the most thought-provoking interview questions I've ever been asked.

Naked Tarot Large NEW 400

What a pleasure to read, and answer, them! He asked me fascinating questions about my upcoming Naked Tarot--and who inspires me in the Tarot world. You can read the entire interview on his blog here.

 

-- Janet


Teaching Tarot at Dr. Lillian Ronzio's School of Holistic Health - Approved Tarot Reader Certification

I'm thrilled to be teaching Tarot at the esteemed Dr. Lillian Ronzio School of Holistic Health in southwestern Pennsylvania November 2-5, 2017!

Ronzio Banner 600

The Fool. Magician. Wheel of Fortune. Justice. The Moon. For hundreds of years, the 78 cards known as Tarot have been shrouded in mystery...and misunderstanding. Now, author and deck creator Janet Boyer dispels the myths, teaching students how they can easily read Tarot once they recognize and learn the familiar archetypes contained within the cards.

What you will receive:

* Each student will be given a Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck, as well as a signed copy of Janet’s first book Back in Time Tarot (her BIT Method will be one of the approaches taught in this class).

* Written test and personal, private reading test will be given to each student.

* Certification as an Approved Tarot Reader

Ronzio Tarot 600

**CLASS ONE – November 2, 2017

11 AM - 2 PM – Intro to Tarot: Basic Tarot Structure, How People "Read" Tarot and Popular Myths

2 PM - 3 PM: Lunch

3 PM - 6 PM – Major Arcana I: Fool - Justice

**CLASS TWO – November 3, 2017

11 AM – 2 PM – Major Arcana II: Hanged Man - World

2 PM – 3 PM Lunch

3 PM - 6 PM – Minor Arcana I: Swords and Wands Suits

**CLASS THREE – November 4, 2017

11 AM – 2 PM – Minor Arcana II: Cups and Coins Suits

2 PM – 3 PM Lunch

3 PM - 6 PM – Court Cards: Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings

**CLASS FOUR – November 5, 2017

11 AM – 2 PM – Putting It All Together: Tarot Spreads and Practice Readings

2 PM – 3 PM Lunch

3 PM – 6 PM – Practice Readings and Testing (Written + Actual Reading)

Total Cost: $300 
-- Save $50 if you register before August 1st
-- Save $25 if you register before Oct 1st

Please make checks out to Janet Boyer. 

SEND CHECKS TO:

The Dr. Lillian Ronzio School of Holistic Health
275 Pleasant Valley Road
Connellsville, PA 15425
Attn: Tarot Class

More information on Dr. Lillian Ronzio's School of Holistic Health Facebook page at this link.

Hope to see you there!

-- Janet


Boyer Creations Patreon Art Drawing

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March Giveaway Painting

How would you like to get Tarot Readings--AND be entered to win original art by Ron--for as little as $5 a month? You can via our Patreon page here! :) This is March's painting (butterfly with purple morning glory). Below are some close-ups.

Butterfly 600

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-- Janet


Experiment on Seeing the Future

A crazy experiment in intuition happened yesterday. As usual, The Boyers were trying to figure out where to go to eat for our planned outing.

Longhorn seat 600

As I was putting on makeup, Ron said to me "Visualize where we'll eat. What do you see?" I said that I saw a highly polished dark wood table with yellow lighting spilling on it. Only two restaurants that we know fill that bill: LongHorn Steakhouse and Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen. Cheddar's was a no-go because their food has went downhill. Longhorn was out of the question because no one was in the mood for steak.

So we picked Cici's. Guess what? Halfway there, a sudden craving for steak (and Longhorn) hit me. I said "How about we go there?" Noah exclaims from the back seat "That would have been in my top 3 picks for restaurants!"

We go to Longhorn...and where I sat looked EXACTLY like I saw in my mind. (Ron said "OK, what numbers do you see?" HAHAHA!)

What about your, Dear Reader? Ever have an uncanny glimpse into the future?

-- Janet

P.S. Did you know? I have monthly Tarot Reading tiers that includes a FREE original art drawing, for as little as $5, on Patreon here.