From Rolling Stone to Touchstones

Man, a million ideas have occurred to me in the past few days.  Nothing related to the story at hand, though.  Of course. 

So this is why I do writing exercises…trying to force my way back into the story I am trying to finish.  I also have a lot of terrible “in a minute” habits to ramp myself up into a night of writing.  This, unfortunately, when I am serious and when I have the funds, means I gravitate toward the stereotypical vices of writers…smokes and drinks.  I don’t know why.  I’ve never been a “smoker,” but I do enjoy a good cigar every now and then.  So, last night was cigar night, followed by a cocktail.  It seemed especially appropo, considering my story takes place at a strip club.

Anyway, while I puffed away under the almost full moon, I couldn’t help but notice the stones (rocks, pebbles, whatever you want to call them), shining in the moonlight.  And I thought about picking up one or two for keeping.  And I thought about how many of us, across all sorts of cultures, probably collected rocks at some point in our life.  A friend once gave me a book called “The Finding Stone” about the sacred specialness of finding a particular stone.  I have moved with boxes of rocks.  I have a rock on my window sill right now that I kept as a memento from where I buried one of my dogs. 

I imagine that we overlook something as simple as a rock perhaps twenty times a day.  Sometimes you might absently kick one along for a while as you walk down the street or in a parking lot somewhere.   Should you find yourself at the edge of some water, you might find yourself skipping stones on the water, or just chunking them in to hear the kerplunk or test your throwing distance.  Maybe you have cursed a stone for cracking your windshield.  Or maybe like me, you have thanked that mystery stone you feared might hit your windshield, but by avoiding it, you avoided certain catastrophe.  I even wrote a story entitled “Pretty Stones” for my Master’s thesis.

So, I figured it might be a decent excercise to have an exercise featuring a stone.  You could have a character pick one up for whatever reason.  You could have a stone become a plot point ( a la windshield cracker).  You could have a character go in search of a particular kind of stone, or merely find one in the pocket of an old coat.  The options are limitless.  All you have to do is place the stone…

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