Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee



I have long been fascinated with the Tarot, not just as an oracle but also as a storytelling device. In her book The Tarot: History, Mystery, and Lore, Cynthia Giles writes:

“Fortune/telling brings the art of the story into a personal and particular context. In our own society today, fortune/telling serves much the same purpose it has long served in traditional cultures, offering a chance for dialogue, for sharing, for objectification, for hope and drama and revelation. As a way of telling our fortune, Tarot reading offers the opportunity to cultivate our natural narrative abilities and endow them with deeper resonances and broader meanings.”

As many of you have read in my ABNA excerpt, The Silence of Trees, Nadya goes to a voroshka to have her fortune told. The excerpt cuts off just before the Gypsy woman does Nadya’s reading. The voroshka uses a ten-card spread, and those ten cards become the ten chapters of my novel. The first card is The Lovers, which is the title of the opening chapter, and so on.

The ten cards in the spread are: The Lovers, Queen of Swords, The Star, The Emperor, Page of Clubs, The Devil, Seven of Cups, The Sun, The Falling Tower, Ten of Coins. (There is a visual representation on my Web site here).

The cards are not prescriptive for their corresponding chapters, rather they foreshadow the essence, or spirit, of each chapter. Exactly how is left for readers to discover and interpret if they wish.

Author: Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and STICKS & BONES, as well as the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Born and raised in Chicago, Valya received her degree in English at DePaul University and her MFA in Writing as part of the inaugural class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since receiving her MFA, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, co-producer of an independent feature film, and Goth cocktail waitress.


  1. Storytelling/Fortunetelling is a quite interesting post but quite difficult to understand for me –

  2. Valya,

    I loved the excerpt of ‘The Silence of Trees’. I find the Tarot deeply fascinating – A reading can mean so many different things and can be interpreted in so many ways. Combining it with fortune telling sounds a wonderful literary device. I am greatly looking forward to read your book.


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