So about Melissa’s “decorated deck” in the story…

Back when I still thought I had all the time in the world to not only write for NaNoWriMo but also edit the daily updates and make a cutesy header image for each post, I used the following image for Chapter 2 of the story:

A pile of mail with a small, thin, brown wrapped package on top. The package has a customs declaration sticker on it that shows it was sent via Korea Post. However, the sticker is ripped and folded onto itself, so that the handwritten words "Tarot Deck" is partially obscured and the receipient's address is completely hidden. The side of the package has been cut open to preserve the wrapping as a protective covering of the contents.
That pizza place makes the best damn pizzas.

That’s my couch. That’s my junk mail. (That’s the best hole-in-the-wall pizza place ever.) That’s my utility bill. But most importantly, that’s my copy of a particular tarot deck, still kept in the same wrapping that it arrived in four years ago. (I find it interesting that the uncovered paper has faded while the paper sealed by tape has not.)

This is the deck that inspired “Sounding The Current“. For the entire month of writing, it did not rest in silence in the wrapping, but as I wrote each chapter, the card of that chapter was propped up on my table to remind me and help me focus.

I did not identify it in the story the way I had identified Rebecca’s use of Lee Bradford’s Sweeney Tarot because a driver of the plot was Melissa’s initial repulsion of the deck. After all, she was expecting something well recognized like Pamela Coleman’s Smith’s cards, or some pleasant and artful clone of them. The deck that the story describes in Chapter 3: “Worldview” turns her stomach and her reaction is much more visceral than intellectual.

It is also a nearly accurate description of the cards comprising the deck nestled in the pictured package.

Those who have the physical deck will recognize it immediately as a limited edition deck originally available through a successful Kickstarter and then later available for public purchase. It is a deck that as of the morning of this post, is sold out.

And now I confess my fault: Where I was quick to contact Lee Bradford for permission to identify their Sweeney Tarot by name in the story as Rebecca’s choice of weapon, I did not do the same for the author of the tarot deck that is the core of the story. The deck represents the author’s personal lore, and I was concerned that my descriptions of Melissa’s unease with the deck would be taken as a personal offense and a rejection of the author as a person.

So I described the cards enough so that those who knew the deck would recognize it, but not enough that those who did not know the physical deck would be able to find it based on the descriptions alone.

And in doing so I have done the deck author a grave disservice.

Since the story was completed, I have received many requests for the identity of Melissa’s “decorated deck”. Those asking expressed an interest in obtaining the deck for themselves, not to mock or belittle, but because the images as described were launchpoints for their own imagination and tarot investigation.

I had hoped to get the deck author’s opinion of the use of their deck in the story. There was an initial conversation, but the topic was not followed through. This placed me in a quandary. I responded that I hadn’t obtained a follow-up from the deck author yet, and I didn’t want to release the name of the deck if they didn’t want to be associated with the story.

Last Thursday I received a message about the story. It humbled me in many ways and made me glad to have written “Sounding The Current”. The descriptions of Melissa’s “decorated deck” pulled at the reader in positive ways. There was no revulsion or mockery. There was interest and inquiry. And I realized that I had an error to undo and an apology to make.

So it is at the end of this loquacious explanation that I apologize to Misun Kim, aka “puppyShaker”, who is the creator and artist of the Acacia Tarot, for withholding her name, authorship, and art in undue silence and improper fear for the past seven months. And while the Acacia Tarot has long been sold out, she has other art available through her storefront here: http://puppyshaker.storenvy.com/

Spread of Acacia Tarot by Misun Kim. In the forefront is the Tower card, Misun Kim's author card, and the KickStarter Thank You Card. Under that are the 22 cards of the deck spread in a fan pattern. In the background is the card boxes, bubble wrap, and shipping envelope.
Keri’s copy of the KickStarter reward set for Misun Kim’s Acacia Tarot. The inspiration and guiding deck for the story “Sounding The Current”.

I have edited the endnotes of the story to declare that Melissa’s “decorated deck” is the Acacia Tarot. Work continues turning the raw draft that is publicly posted into an actual (e)book. I will work the name of the deck into the third chapter when Melissa receives the deck she ordered sight unseen and opens the package for the first time.

Go all now in peace.