In my novel I have a character named LaDonna who is a tea-leaf reading gypsy. Oh sure I know my LaDonna sounds stereotypical, but tea leaf reading interests me. Writers get to be selfish. Sitting all by my lonesome and writing has to come with some benefit. When I worked for a newspaper, I was required to report upon school board and chamber of commerce meetings. For me, tedious and often downright sleep inducing, but I got a pay check which was nice. Now I get to write whatever I want to write. For free, but at least it's for me. That's even better, perhaps not for the checkbook, but for my soul.
Of course, I want to entertain readers, too. All fiction writers want their readers to join them in the world he or she has imagined and written about in the pages of an engaging book. In my novel, I want you to come with me on a play date that includes a gypsy who will tell you your future in a tea cup. The dishes, the dog that needs walked and the taxes that must get done, can wait. I promise no one says on his or her death bed they wished they had kept a cleaner house or had a nicer front lawn.
One can't sit in a room alone day after day and just write. Alright I admit some writers do, but I get antsy. Many writers travel, or take classes, do all sorts of fun stuff so they can write with authority on subjects. Leaving the keyboard and joining the real world can be beneficial. So when the opportunity to take a tea leaf reading class, right in my own neighborhood, of course I had to attend. Here we are pondering our tea cups. There were about 20 women in the class, and there were tasty sweets, too! I never turn down sugar. My dentist thanks me for that. Keeps him busy.
I'm still learning, and have since even bought a tea leaf reading book to understand the symbols. I don't intend to become LaDonna, trade writing for reading tea leaves. One basic thing to know, though, is you must use a cup with a wide bottom. No mugs. Preferably white. Loose leaf tea is another requirement, and some understanding of what the symbols can mean. Intuition is as important as the tea. And there are other rituals, but I can't give away all my secrets.
What do you see? The woman teaching the class said she saw a man on the left walking and on the right, a figure, perhaps God, or other protective spirit, slightly above watching over the man. Or maybe you see something else. I liked the teacher's interpretation.
I saw a fish tail in this clump of tea. Do you see the tail on the upper right? Maybe you just see a clump. The teacher said it looked like a bush which can mean new friends. A fish symbolizes good fortune and success. I like both takes.
I learned you don't have to dress up like this gal to be a tea leaf reader to be credible. Though I have to admit that is one cool hat she has on. Right? Writers usually have an idea of what characters look like and then search for words to describe that image. I'm still struggling with describing my La Donna but getting closer. I like to think of her like the woman pictured below. Or maybe not. I guess I'm waiting for her to come to me. Writers get to say odd things like that. I can't wait forever, though, so for now I'll just write.
I've always thought it would be great to have red hair. I'll never look this glamorous, or have such lovely skin, but it's fun to create a character who might. Another perk of writing. We get to inhabit the bodies and minds of people we will never get to be in real life. That's okay.
I've got a cute cabbage tea pot (thanks Linda!), and when I'm needing a break from writing, I'm ready to practice tea leaf reading. Once I finish this novel, maybe I will make a character a scuba diver. I'd like to see that fish jump out of my tea cup and meet it eye to eye deep in the ocean blue.