What is Between a Rock and a Card Place?

As a wise person (a therapist) once told me, humans are meant to be in community. This word has come to mean a lot of different things over the years, but these days, it feels more important than ever.

Community is at the heart of this newsletter — a place for always-honest and often-vulnerable writing about relationships, jobs, fears, inspirations, frustrations, imposter syndrome, creativity, funny stories, and other assorted human stuff.

Every Sunday Letter includes an essay and a weekly tarot card. At least one full issue per month is free and accessible to all, while paid subscribers receive the full issue every week. (However, even those typically include a full essay above the paywall — I’ll never send a preview that doesn’t offer anything of substance!) They publish every Sunday evening (to help combat scaries), except on select holidays, when they may go out on Monday.

Paid subscribers receive an additional Wednesday Letter, featuring short interviews, recommendations, and other fun, thought-provoking, or uplifting things. They also receive access to the full archives, including hundreds of posts about everything from rejection to friendship to reasons to keep going to why age is but a number.

About Me

I’m Caroline, a writer who lives in Brooklyn. You may know me from the nearly decade I spent as an editor at Cup of Jo. I’ve also written for places like The Cut/New York Magazine, Elle, The Washington Post, Refinery29, and The Zoe Report.

I’m the author of Best Babysitters Ever, a middle grade book series about three girls who start a business inspired by The Baby-Sitters Club and get a whole lot more than they bargained for. I’ve also worked as a collaborator/ghostwriter on a handful of books by notable people. (If you’re curious about that process, you can check out this interview on Shondaland, where I talk more about it.)

Before becoming a full-time writer, I had a bunch of other jobs…at a fashion house, a record label, a corporate law office followed by a civil rights firm…Eventually, I landed in book publishing, working at a literary agency and then as an acquiring editor at Penguin Random House. All of which is to say, I understand that not all who wander are lost. (Though sometimes I still feel a bit lost, which I take as a sign that I’m alive.)

So, what’s with the whole tarot thing?

I first became acquainted with the tarot at ten years old, thanks to the New Age (since rebranded as “Self-Transformation”) section at my local Barnes & Noble.

Despite their reputation as a divination tool, most modern readers will tell you the tarot is NOT about fortunetelling — there is nothing to “believe in,” they are not associated with any religion, and our free will is always paramount. The cards are simply one path to reflection, a way of understanding ourselves through universal themes, symbols, and archetypes.

At the bottom of each Sunday newsletter, I share one card for the collective as well as some thoughts and prompts to carry into the week ahead. If it resonates with you, great! And if it doesn’t, don’t worry about it! Easy enough.

What if I want to subscribe, but I hate email?

Me too!

In a world full of brands trying to peddle you things, I hope this feels more like an email from a friend — something you’re glad to see and maybe even look forward to. But if you want to avoid cluttering your inbox, I completely understand.

You can always access the free posts directly via the website, if that’s more your speed. You can also subscribe and read via the Substack app, which lets you opt out of emails without missing the latest posts. (I’ve never been an app person, but find it’s a much better reading experience!)

If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas, feel free to drop me an email! I love hearing from you.

Thank you for reading.

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A place to be human, together.


Caroline Cala Donofrio 

Writer of books and other things. Greeter of dogs. Reader of tarot. Runner. Reluctant maximalist. Ardent believer in magic. NYC