Hello, my name is Maddie, and I have a teeny tiny little rock addiction.
No. That’s not how it goes.
Hello, my name is Maddie, and I am a rockaholic.
I walk down a beach, and rocks just call out to me, begging for me to pick them up. Much to my husband’s shock, by the time I go home, much of the beach is heading off with me.
I have rocks that I’m passionate about: the heart-shaped purple one that looks as though it might have been manufactured in a heart-rock plant, it’s so perfectly formed–and then there are the perfectly round white ones that look as though they are miniature full moons. I also have one that resembles a rabbit’s head–ears, eyes, and wistful expression. And there’s the layered rock, with different slabs of colors all fused somehow together, as though on purpose. Surely nature didn’t mean for that one to go unadmired by being buried under gobs of sand. I have to bring it along with me, so I can be reminded of it every day. There’s a shiny black one, not truly very interesting until you pick it up and rub it, and then you see that it feels as though it’s already spent some time in a tumbler–perhaps the cosmic tumbler. I may need that one to stay in my pocket just to remind me that sometimes perfection is right there on the beach.
Naturally I’m always looking for a good writing rock, because I am constantly looking for muses everywhere–and who knows but a perfectly good muse might be located in a rock on the beach in Provincetown, which is where I happen to be right now. All the writers I know are like baseball players–we’re superstitious about just where the luck might be located. If we always sit in the same spot, put on our lucky T-shirt, and if we always win four games of Spider Solitaire without cheating before turning to our novel, and throw some salt in all the corners of our office, will we be visited by the Force?
The thing is, we do not know.
I once had a writing necklace, and–as you might have guessed–it was really a series of rocks tied up with string. I wore it whenever I sat down to write, and that year, I finished my book in record time, my characters all behaved according to my plan, and I thought of writing as a happy, fulfilling occupation more than 50% of the time. Unfortunately, though, the necklace, perhaps thinking that its work was done, disappeared soon after. It didn’t seem to grasp the idea that I was striving to be a CAREER NOVELIST, and would need lots and lots of help in the future.
Perhaps one of the buckets of rocks I have chosen this year will be The One. But just in case, at the swap meet in Wellfleet yesterday, I saw another possible writing necklace. It had just the right vibe: smooth, shiny rocks, flat and symmetrical.
I have to see if these new rocksknow what I should do with my recalcitrant characters, all of whom are currently ganging up on me. And if they don’t–well, then there’s always the bucket of rocks riding around in the trunk of my car.