Small Stones Preserved In Ink

by Donna McLaughlin Schwender

“….a sun-soaked bed, draped with a furry duvet of solar panel cats…..”

That was the “small stone” I submitted yesterday for the first day of the month-long Mindful Writing Challenge 2013. Small stones? Writing? Oh yeah – THAT’S the type of challenge I want to be a part of! And no – it’s not too late for you to also be a part of it.

Described as “a simple observational writing tool…you don’t have to be a writer to write [small stones] – you just need to find a few minutes a day to pause and really pay attention to something (anything) and then write it down as accurately as you can. [It’s] a very simple way of engaging with the world around you, in all its richness and complexity and beauty…[It] will help you to acknowledge the ugly things (the slugs in the compost pile) as well as the pretty ones (a blackbird’s twirling song).” My apologies to slug lovers – I’m just quoting here.

Previously known as the River of Stones, you can learn more about the Mindful Writing Challenge and writing small stones by visiting the Writing Our Way Home website. For more insight and inspiration, treat yourself to reading How To Write Your Way Home, a free 64-page e-book.

Once you’re feeling a little more grounded about the concept of writing small stones, be brave (heck – fake it if need be) and create one of your own. Make some ripples in the writing world by then casting it out onto the Writing Our Way Home blog, your own blog/website, Facebook, or twitter (using #smallstone).

As a lover and collector of stones, I’d be overjoyed if you’d like to share your small stones here with me. Simply add them as a comment to any of my posts. Together we can craft a meandering stone wall of words.

If you’d prefer to keep your small stones close to your heart and in a special place for your own private viewing, perhaps you can carry a small pocket-sized notebook or a solitary index card to serve as a canvas to carve out your miniature masterpieces. By the end of the month, you’ll literally have a stone bouquet that will never wither or need watering.

Whatever you do, have fun searching for your daily small stone. Simply sit still, breathe, and begin to notice what comes into your line of focus. A sight. A sound. A smell. A sensation. Preserve it in ink, whisper it to the wind, and then savor the echo of the small touchstone you’ve just created.