Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's With the All These Rocks Anyway??!!

At the top left of my blog, you see a picture of a bunch of rocks and above it, it says, "I Love Rocks!" Have I written about rocks? Created an ode to rocks? Made any indication that rocks are important to me? No, so what's this thing about rocks? Good question for you and me.

As a child, I remember collecting rocks from everywhere and being fascinated by them. What I did with them after I found them as a child, I don't remember. I just enjoyed finding rocks. I looked for smaller rocks as a rule and in all shapes, colors, and textures. I also remembered I had to "buy" a rock collection for the earth science course I took in college. I carried that collection wherever I went after college.

I got married and my oldest son found out that he liked rocks, too, and also asked for a rock polisher--I wasn't into that part, but he was. When we moved the family to another area, the college rocks were thrown into a drawer in the basement. My brother even collected rocks. What?

As I got older and settled down, my fascination started all over. I looked for smaller rocks as a rule and in all shapes. Some rocks reminded me of other objects or animals and people even--what would they say if they could talk? I finally just started putting them and my "college" collection in one area of our backyard near the bird bath and herb garden. Those college rocks finally found their way back home, at last--out in the elements.

I've caught my grandchildren playing with my rocks. They put them in pails, on the deck, and of course, would like to throw them. At first, I didn't want them to touch them--silly me. It was great they were playing with them!! At least they now had a purpose! Of course, they always had to put them back where they found them.

I went for a walk with 4 year old granddaughter Lilly a couple of weeks ago, and she started collecting rocks in her pocket. When she got home, she put them in a tupperware container that I got down for her, and she quietly took them up to her room. I just told her to tell her dad that she did this.

"Okay," I said, "These rocks have a story to tell." I have read books on the different types of rocks--not interested in the nonfiction angle. I have collected the rocks from different places, but that's not the point I want to talk about either. I've read If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christain and other stories--nothing spoke to me.

Rocks are unique and have a story. I've tried to write a short story with rocks as a focal point of a young boy--the story's not going anywhere. Okay, no short story. How about a picture book? This is where I am--about a bunch of rocks, a boy or girl, and the uniqueness of rocks, uniqueness of the boy/girl? There's a real possibility.

As I write this post and look back at this year's writers notebook, I see notes from a fellow teacher/writer (the other Ruth, I do believe) I meet with sometimes, and she suggested that these rocks could be the strand in the story of my life............ I am discovering there is a strand here. Will this be my angle? (Thanks, Ruth, I'm seeing more of that.)

Can I ask for more ideas? Should I forget the idea since I can't settle with one, or wait until I figure it out eventually? These rocks have to go somewhere!!!


  1. My first & only idea now is that you just told a story, of the rocks threading through your life, & that of the rest of the family. Maybe each page could tell a story of you or someone close to you at the time they collected the rocks. Maybe it's the rocks that collect the stories? Best of wishes; I bet it'll be good, whatever you choose.

  2. Hey--you finally posted about rocks! Love how you laid the groundwork here for some future writing and can't wait until the just-right idea comes to you. It looks like your granddaughter may be continuing the tradition of the rock-finders in your family.
    Glad too if any of my comments spurred some thinking! :)

  3. Interesting connection to rocks. On my recent trip, there was a person who picked up a rock (or two) from every city we visited. She has a small rock garden in the backyard. Now she can remember where she's been by looking at her rocks.

  4. Interesting connection to rocks. On my recent trip, there was a person who picked up a rock (or two) from every city we visited. She has a small rock garden in the backyard. Now she can remember where she's been by looking at her rocks.

  5. Tammy, I don't really have ideas, but I collect rocks too from different places and because my husband won't let me take them in the house I have them in different places around my landscaping. I find it interesting that you collect them too. I love to look for unusual, pretty, different, special, shaped etc. rocks and from special palces I have been. I like your idea about the story of your life. I know you'll come up with an idea! You always do! Don't force it, it will come when you least expect it! Happy Writing!

  6. Tammy - I collect rocks too. Can I think of a story for you? No, but here's what I do with my rocks. I have some unusual shaped ones clear glass containers. I have lots in there scattered in various places throughout the house. All gathered from trips I've taken or houses I've lived in. Then there are ones from the Rocky Mtns. around some of my houseplants. I don't know why I keep those separate - I just do. Step outside and you see my big rocks around the entire yard, garden, house from Indiana. And I have boxes of rocks in the attic left over from my son's collection when he was a boy. Just waiting for the right time to pass them on to his son. I know where all my rocks come from - it's my hobby. At the beach I collect seashells - kind of like a rock. I think the draw is that no matter what happens in the environment these rocks and shells are ever changing and beautiful pieces of Earth. What about a story about a little boy whose love for rocks and collecting grew from one he picked up on a walk when he was little. Just a thought. Alice

  7. Yeah, a post about your rocks. I like the thought, "Some rocks reminded me of other objects or animals and people even--what would they say if they could talk?" Your memories and stories will flow from the rocks. Have thought about holding one of your rocks, looking at it and talking to it questions? Maybe by "talking" to it, you'll get bits and pieces of something to write about. Keep trying. You are going to get it.

  8. I don't know if this works for you but this is why I keep picking up rocks. It's not the rocks. They are just bookmarks. Where was I, who was I with, why was I there, what did I do when I was there, when did I get them? Looking at the pile makes me happy-even if I can't remember all the details I know they were places/people/times to remember. For me-hiking w/my dogs, driving back from Texas with Dad seeing the Mississippi meet the Ohio River, England with my cousins/Uncle, hikes with my nieces/nephews wondering what they will remember/who they will be, fishing/kayaking/camping w/my brothers, my best vacations. Write about the stories the rocks bookmark for you-not a story about the rocks! (Clay Fragments are rocks yet to be formed after all!!!)

  9. I have been toying with a rock post, too! I need to write something meaningful about rocks...maybe tomorrow it will be there

  10. I'm a rock nut too - as you may remember from one of my SOL challenge entries! But what I didn't say is that my dog is a rock hound too - she'll fetch a ball and a frisbee but what she really loves most of all is to fetch a rock and bring it back into the house.
    Maybe the rocks aren't the story but more about what they mean to you. What are you thinking about when you are looking for rocks?

  11. Another rock and writer here. I would recommend a children's book - Everybody Needs a Rock. I look forward to more rock reflections and connections.

  12. I just wanted to let you know that both Lilly and Lucas pick up rocks wherever they go! I find them in their pockets or they hand them to me like I am suppose to know where they go? I guess I will actually have to start collecting the rocks they hand me now...and I think I will fill a small vase with them! Thanks for the thought...and also reminding me that I should be paying more attention to these little details!