Cards, cards, cards

I mentioned Naomi Epel’s cool deck of writing advice The Observation Deck the other day, which prompted Dustin Lacina to recommend Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies deck of creative prompts. It’s available in a nifty Widget, if you happen to be a Mac owner. If you’re not, I’m sorry about the series of bad decision that has led you to that state of affairs. The prompts are little moments from Eno’s creative process. Things like Water or Go Outside and Shut the Door. They work for me. I’ve been like a self-rewarding rodent ever since I installed it. My Sudoku Widget sits idle. I notice that all parts of the creative process aren’t included, only the punchy moments. Things like Get Drunk or Give Up or Start Over didn’t make the final cut. I’m reminded of a time when I was working on Circuit of Heaven and trying to get a handle on Justine, so I had her tarot cards read. Worked like a charm, as they say. I used to do a little tarot reading in Texas, though never for money. Fiction writing is good preparation. It’s a great workout for the unconscious. Unfortunately, people will believe you, so I quit, though I’ll occasionally do a reading for one of my characters if they ask. My favorite Anne Tyler novel is Searching for Caleb, about a card reader who always counsels the same thing: Change! Amen.

One thought on “Cards, cards, cards

  1. Things like Get Drunk or Give Up or Start Over didn’t make the final cut.

    Well, they’re oblique. But Eno does endorse radical movements such as those. If it wasn’t for a lowly recording tech, “Where The Streets Have No Name” wouldn’t exist because Eno attempted to destroy the master after he felt they were making no progress in the studio–Honest, I’m not a fanboy. I swear.

    I find the oblique strategies work a lot for me quite well, glad you’re enjoying them.

    Sometimes, though, you really do have to reach for a sledgehammer. But that’s more of a Nick Lowe approach, methinks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *