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1. Divination. 2. Inspection of entrails.

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Judith Berman
Born in Idaho; schooled in Vermont; homesick for British Columbia; residing in Philadelphia. Writer and sometime anthropologist, or, intermittently, the other way around.

My first novel Bear Daughter, published by Ace, is scheduled to hit bookstores September 6, 2005!

About the user and journal names: botanomancy was a classical Greek form of divination that involved writing words onto plant leaves and letting the wind blow them away. Phyllomancy would be divination by means of leaves or pieces of paper. I've altered the spelling so it doesn't seem so much like divination by means of Greek pastry. Botanomancy may be a somewhat pessimistic metaphor for a writer's fate, but I don't mean the Keatsian form of pessimism (though being writ on water may happen to all of us). I'm thinking of how you really don't have any control over what happens to your words once they pass before the reader's eyes. Your work is blown out of your hands and into the world. At least the image of wind in the leaves is a pleasing one.

And haruspicium: official Roman divination depended upon listening to or watching certain birds (auguries or auspices), which were considered to reveal the mind of Jove. These guys had their own collegium, and no important state undertaking was begun without them. Not official but also important were the entrails-readers, called haruspex. So haruspicium, what the haruspices did, means both divination and examination of the bloody and stinking guts. This also seems like a decent metaphor for writing, in this case for the process: the bipolar mess that is on the one hand, inspiration and the exaltation of creating, and on the other, editing, analysis of problems, and the laborious application of craft.

Re friends: I've read other people's policies or apologies as to why they haven't friended everyone they know. Here's mine. I'm trying to have a writing career, and I blog elsewhere (futurismic.com) on what's new in science and technology, and from time to time read and post to the SurLaLune fairytale board, and then there's home, family, the dishes and laundry. I'm sure my list will grow but I just don't have time or resources to keep up with everybody. I do browse widely and for varied reasons, and if someone's livejournal isn't listed here it's not because I don't ever read it.

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