Usually, I interview people with some sort of relationship to divination, and Ursula Vernon has like a pinky toe connecting her to that Universe. She has been one of my favorite artists for at least a decade and It’s enough for me. It’s good to be the owner of the blog. Ursula has released a few tarot images, but most of her work is non-tarot related. Well, kind of. I think that you have to be a little…different…to read cards. Different life, different perspective, different ways of knowing.
Ursula Vernon’s art lives in a place that’s a little different. I see her gift the same way I see the novels of Charles deLint and Stephen King. She’s a world creator. In her world, Wombats populate the tarot, turnips lurk around dark corners, and turtles named Balthazar are ever suspicious of sketchy lemons. (for good reason). She has children’s books – published under Ursula Vernon – and adult books published under the pseudonym T. Kingfisher. She has a wonderful crew of curvy women, anthropomorphic heroes and my favorite, Lurking Sock Puppet.
Even though Ursula doesn’t plan to finish the Wombat Tarot in its current incarnation (she has grown! Her art has grown!) she does plan to do a tarot deck in the future, which I will be waiting for with baited breath.
Ursula filled out the LFT Questionnaire and was so patient with my fangirling. Thanks for your patience, dear. 🙂
1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.
I have ridiculously talented and absurdly kind friends. I am always astonished that that they let me hang out with them. And they let me go on about random horrible nature facts at the drop of a hat, which you
learn to appreciate.
2. Your idea of happiness.
I’d like to have plenty of projects to work on, but not crushing deadlines, and enough money that I didn’t have to worry about money. Unfortunately it seems like you can have one or the other, but not both!
Still, I’m generally pretty happy, even though I’d like to spend more time at home than I’m able to right now.
3. Your idea of misery.
Boredom and poverty. I’ve been there. I’d rather not go back.
4. Where would you like to live?
You know, I’m never really sure! I’ve moved so often in my life that I’ve pretty much adapted to wherever I am. I’m happy here in rural North Carolina at the moment, though I wouldn’t mind living in the Sonoran
desert, or down by Tucson. But the water situation is pretty dire out there, so I’m not making plans to move any time soon.
5. Your favorite colors and flowers.
Color: Purple. I’m a fan of purple. Green’s also got a lot to recommend it.
Flower: Oh dear, there’s so many, and I love them all in different seasons! I grow a great many types of sage, and the desert sages have small, brilliant flowers. But I think my favorite is actually squash blossoms. They’re these big orange and yellow trumpets and they’re
gigantic and if you’re lucky, they grow into squash, too!
6. Your favorite poets.
I like Rumi and Basho. “O snail, climb Mt. Fuji, but slowly, slowly!”
7/8. Your favorite heroes/heroines in fiction.
I am a sucker for Number Ten Ox in Hughart’s Bridge of Birds, because I love a polite hero. For heroines…oh, Aerin from McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown was always my inspiration.
9/10. Your heroes/heroines in real life.
Dear me…Heroines first: Sarah Stein, who wrote “Noah’s Garden” was a great advocate for plants when it wasn’t yet popular. Jane Goodall. My grandmother, who was less of a heroine and more like the avatar of a
particularly charismatic goddess. For heroes…Sir David Attenborough, the garden writer Henry Mitchell, and I am a real sucker for Patrick Stewart.
11. What is your present state of mind?
OH GOD I HAVE TWO WEEKS UNTIL THE NEXT CON I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH ART AND ALSO I SHOULD FINISH THIS BOOK WHY IS THIS BOOK NOT FINISHED…ahem.
12. What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
Honestly, counting crows. One for sorrow, two for joy…if I see one, I look around for a second, just in case. Seeing two gives me a little bit of a lift that things are gonna be all right.
For tarot decks, I always thought the Alice in Wonderland deck with the suits of peppermills and flamingoes was awesome.
13. Your favorite songs?
Oh lord! Well, there’s a bunch of them…”Rattling Bones” by Crooked Still. “Rain Dogs” by Tom Waits. “Dark Days Indeed” by Firewater. I like a kind of weird dark Americana, not really country but kind of it’s goth cousin.
14. What is your favorite word?
15. What is your least favorite word?
Tummy. Hate it. Cringe when I hear it.
16. What sound or noise do you love?
Whippoorwills in the woods at night.
17. What sound or noise do you hate?
The music of Rush. (omg same – LFT)
18. What turns you on?
I hope we mean in an abstract intellectual sense! Native plants, ecology, interesting bugs.
19. What turns you off?
Being proud of ignorance.
20. What is your favorite curse word?
I say “crudmonkies” a lot, when not using something much stronger.
21. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?