May 2000 Archives

Researching and two new cards

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Unfortunately spent most of the weekend working on another project, but I do have a new Tower and Star ready to upload. I know I should work on those last few undone cards rather than redoing existing cards! But these two were the weakest trumps so it's good to have images I feel better about.


Valerie has agreed to write up Victoria's Chalice for the V/R book. It's wonderful of her to do this & I'm sure it will make the chapter on readings much more useful and interesting. The very idea of someone making a spread just for Victoria Regina (and a good one at that!) is a bit overwhelming.


I've been reading Your Dear Letter: Private Correspondence of Queen Victoria and the Crown Princess of Prussia 1865-1871. (the Crown Princess was Victoria's oldest daughter Vicky.) Apparently the two women wrote almost daily after Vicky married and left England, for the rest of their lives. Victoria's journals were heavily edited by her daughter Beatrice before historians could get a look at them. So these letters are an invaluable peek into Victoria's private thoughts. This is the third book in a series but the Duke library doesn't have the others. Oh well.


Found a great quote from Victoria, this description of herself: "If old Mama has a virtue it is that of truth and the absence of all flattery .... therefore if I do say this, you know it is exactly what I feel and what it is; and therefore I also sometimes say what may not be palatable from the same sense of truth." That speaks so well to the Queen of Swords.

Contracts and Victoria's Chalice

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Since this is the first entry, I feel like I should start at the beginning and get you all up to speed. But if I attempt that, I'll be here forever and this page will never get online. So here's a brief update:


Llewellyn has agreed to publish Victoria Regina Tarot as a 78 card deck/book set, (book to be cowritten by Georg Patterson and myself). The contract negotiations took longer than I expected, but I probably would have had different expectations if I'd ever done this before. Like most Tarot artists, I have no agent, but I did have the expert advice of a lawyer friend of mine, an agent friend of Georg's, and our invaluable Tarot friends Ken Genetti and Arnell Ando.


I don't know yet who our editor will be, when the deck will be released, or any of that fun stuff. I do know that the cards will be large (just over 3x5", the size of the Sacred Circle deck). The fine detail in the deck will show up better in larger reproductions, so I'm very happy about this.


I also know that Georg and I have four months from the date the contract is signed to turn in the completed art and manuscript. As of today, I have 8 cards left to do and the book is about 1/3 completed. Four months will be a push, but I don't think we'll have trouble meeting the deadline.


As for the date the contract is signed ... We signed it on the 3rd, and I mailed it on the 4th. Barbara (the excellent Barbara Wright, who is responsible for my being able to call Llewellyn my publisher) wrote on the 10th to tell me they had received it. She said she'd write again when Llewellyn's president has signed them and she puts our copies in the mail. I'm expecting him to sign them sometime this weekend. So our 4 month deadline probably begins today or tomorrow. Tick, tick, tick!


In other news, Valerie Sim-Behi, manager of the ComparativeTarot mailing list, has designed a spread for the deck called Victoria's Chalice. Georg and I used the spread to do our first ever reading with Victoria Regina. We shuffled with another deck -- Light and Shadow -- and once the cards were layed out replaced them with the appropriate cards from V/R. The spread is excellent! We read on the deck itself: now that the contract is signed, where do we stand, and how can we approach the project from now on for the best results. It was a powerful moment. I'm so grateful to Valerie for making it possible.

I've never been a journal keeper. I've tried many times; the stack of mostly-empty notebooks on my shelf, abandoned almost as soon as they were begun, is proof of that. Art journals, gardening journals, travel journals, project journals, and plain old diaries: I've tried them all.


I'm not sure why I have such trouble keeping a diary. Sometimes it seems like living my life takes up so much time, there's no time left for writing about it. Or maybe I just don't have the patience. Or the introspective nature. Or something.


So what makes me think this effort will be any different? Well for one thing, now that Victoria Regina Tarot has a publication contract, I have a good reason to keep a record of my progress. Two years from now I may have trouble remembering the specifics of the editing process, and it would be nice to be able to look it up. (Heck, I'm already fuzzy on the details of the contract negotiation, and that just happened a couple of weeks ago.)


The inexorable, contractual nature of the project may help too. My hope is that working on the project will help me keep up with the diary, and writing in the diary will help keep me working on the project. A symbiotic relationship of sorts. Or something like that.


So what makes me think anyone wants to read this? Chalk it up to sheer egotism if you like. Or more charitably, perhaps sharing my publication diary with you all puts more pressure on me to keep it going. Perhaps having it on a website for all to see will prevent it from becoming another one of those sad unused notebooks on my shelf. And maybe you all will find it interesting, possibly even useful if you are getting into publication yourself and want to avoid some of the countless mistakes I'm sure I'll make in the next couple of years.


By the way, a real page layout will come soon (as soon as I have time for that site redesign I've been wanting to do for the last year or so). In the meantime here we go.

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