Today was the first time I applied knowledge I picked up from one source and applied it to another source. I want to say I've improved it, but I'm still not comfortable telling someone like John Carney that I'm improving his routine.

In Transplant, the requirement that the three be pre-loaded on the face of the deck bothered me from the first time I read it. It seemed unnecessary to me and the "happened to notice it" part never seems natural. If I turn the deck over to look for a card of the needed suit, why would I not notice the three there already. It's the first card I see when turning over the deck! Having the three there is suspicious.

So, I now bury the three in the deck and openly look for the card in the deck. When I find it, I implement a key card control technique from Royal Road as I cut the deck to maintain the deuce in the proper position for the final move. This has the added benefit of burying the four that kicked off the routine as well.

This is a simple modification to be sure, but for me, it made the routine much more satisfying. More than that, though, it felt more creative. Anyone can ape a method, but when my neurons start firing in a way that makes my magic feel more like my own, that's the start of something really cool for me.