Monday, August 19th, 2013

Empress — Tarot of the Absurd

A few people have asked me what’s up with the crazy hat on the Empress. The Empress is an early card, one of the first ones I illustrated. This was, like, 14 years ago, back when I was still experimenting with which medium I’d draw the deck in, and I didn’t even know there were more than 22 important cards. Anyhow, the truth is, I just like drawing fancy hats on silhouettes.

 

My love of fancy hats stems from early childhood. Did you ever read the “I Can Read” book “Go Dog, Go!” ? There’s this one lady dog who keeps asking a guy dog, “Do you like my hat?” and he keeps saying, “I do not.” Until the end, when her hat is so fancy, and he says, “I do I do! I like that hat!” Or something to that extent. I haven’t read the book in 30 years or so, but it’s a classic. And then there’s the book “Mother, Mother I Feel Sick, Send for the Doctor, Quick Quick, Quick” which was highly influential in my illustration style and not without a fancy hat (Have you seen my hat?), and of course there were Arthur Rackham’s elegant silhouetted hats, and “The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins,” all of which I found delightful. My artistic influences did not stretch much beyond what I saw in children’s book illustration. In the end, this keeps the deck light-hearted and fun.

 

But about the Empress’ hat, really, I was just putting fancy hats and crazy hair on people. Most of the fancy hats disappeared and the crazy hair became quite tame. The Kings, the last cards to be illustrated, do not have a hair out of place. The Empress kept her crazy hat and her children kept their crazy hair. It’s a very important hat.

Empress

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Two of Blades — Tarot of the Absurd

2blade

The Two of Blades is a simple image depicting two balanced forces. Balanced forces may be opposites, or they may be partners. They may work together, or they may oppose each other. Balanced forces working in conjunction with one another may accomplish great things. Balanced forces at odds with one another go no where. It is important to notice the aim of your force in relation to surrounding energies.

 

I equally want to sleep and want to get things accomplished while my baby naps. (Hooray!) In the middle of these balanced forces, I get tiny crumbs of action accomplished that never seem to amount to anything and I am chronically low on sleep. Horrid compromise! How can I change it so that all my energy works toward the same goal?

 

Clarify my goals

Have fewer goals

Outline the steps needed to attain my goals

Organize my time better

Don’t have any fun (wot???)

 

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Tarot of the Absurd for sale on AMAZON!

The Tarot of the Absurd is now for sale on Amazon!

(Tho why anyone would buy it there instead of here is beyond me.)

 

It is pretty straight-forward to list a product on Amazon,

if they already carry it.

If they don’t carry it, it’s another story.

I couldn’t figure how to list the deck properly,

so I put it in the “everything else” category,

which, it turns out, is against Amazon policy.

I needed assistance.

 

I invited over a babysitter, then dialed.

HOLD (10 minutes.)

He answered.

I told my story.

He said:

I couldn’t change the category; I’d have to make a new listing.

It is against Amazon policy to list in the “everything else” category.

I’d have to put it in “children’s toys & games.”

I said:

It’s not a children’s toy: it’s targeted to neither boys nor girls nor unisex children!

He said:

Call the feeds department and wait on hold.

HOLD (infinite)

 

INTERLUDE while on hold:

After 35 minutes of hold time,

I called Amazon on another line with another phone,

waited on hold, then spoke to a representative.

She said:

Hold times are very long.

Then we were disconnected.

I called back, was put on hold,

then got the same representative.

I told her the issue & my current hold time with the feeds department.

We were disconnected.

Five minutes later, she called me back through the original phone

(somehow, you see, because I was still on hold, over 40 minutes now) & said:

The feeds department would be of no use to you.

They will not be able to change the category

unless you update your Amazon seller account

to a PRIME seller account at $39.99 per month.

Would you like to update your account now?

I said:

I will not even sell forty bucks of stuff per month!

I have ONE item.

She said:

She said, well, too bad.

(pause)

She said:

Do you want to talk to the feeds department anyhow?

They won’t do anything for you.

I said:

I’ve been on hold over 40 minutes! OF COURSE I want to talk to them!

She said:

Okay, I’ll contact you with the feeds department.

 

During the intervening NEXT 15 minutes of hold,

I decide to fill in a review of Amazon

about how my interaction went

and whether I’d tell others to sell on Amazon based on my experience.

 

You can imagine I did not write a glowing review.

 

Eventually, the feeds department answered.

I asked:

Why are the hold times are so long?

They said:

There are a lot of people calling the feeds department.

I asked:

But what IS the feeds department?

They said:

We control the spreadsheets.

I decided it was not important that I understand. I said:

Okay, I need my item in the proper category.

After which there was a lot of discussion, which boiled down to this:

There are some categories that are off-limits

to people who do not pay the $39.99 monthly prime seller fee,

and would you like to upgrade your account now?

I said:

Look. I’m not even going to sell $40 of stuff each month.

It is against Amazon policy to have my item listed as it is listed now,

it is not a toy or game aimed at boys and girls,

and I have one item.

They said:

Too bad for you!

(ha-ha!)

 

 

I think at this point someone noticed the

less-than-glowing review I just sent in.

After ten minutes of chatter they let me know:

they were doing me a huge favor

by changing the feed so my item would be in the correct category

which is really off limits to me unless I pay for it

but they are doing me a special favor

and they certainly won’t do it again (they informed me)

so please wait on hold for two minutes

which really turned out to be fifteen

but at the end of that fifteen minutes the category was changed

corrected I think

as it stands now

it should be right.

 

One hour twenty minutes on the phone,

most of it on hold. Just to change the category.

Maybe someday I’ll sell a deck on Amazon!!!

 

Anyone out there who has purchased a deck,

I would be most grateful

if you would be willing to write a nice review on Amazon.

You do not have to say much: just a few words of what you like.

I’ll post on my blog when I sell my first deck there.

Please do not hold your breath…