Thursday, 30 December 2010

What does your lover smell of? (the fun begins the day after tomorrow)

(if this is your first visit, start here)

"Your lover, does he smell of cedar or pine, or lemon? Or tobacco? Have you ever washed an ashtray and wondered why it is so much more pungent when wet?"

This is Martha, telling her readers about our project. As she says, "...what started as a meditative process could well be a gold mine of writing prompts… or was it the other way round?". We hope some of you might find inspiration for longer pieces in your stones, and we'd love to see them when they're done.

Elaine has also signed up with her rather lovely blog - what peonies!

And Olivia wrote such a gorgeous piece, I'm going to share it all here. It heartened me because it describes exactly what I'm hoping for from this project. Do share your experiences of writing small stones with us.

And you know, it doesn't have to be small stones. That's just a label. Haiku, short stories, we're not fussy. Sketching, taking photographs... whatever. Just pay attention.


"I am going to be writing a ‘small stone’ each day in January – taking notice and observing and writing. On my way to the tube station today, I decide I need to practice. It is a 7 minute walk to the tube station, maybe 6 minutes today, as I run small parts of it, as I don’t want to miss my train. Even so, I notice – the wet, soft brown leaves, mushing on the pavement, concrete resisting their composting; the stump where there used to be a cherry tree that blossomed pink in the spring; the bright red wool hat and luminous yellow jacket of a council worker, giving out and attracting light on this gray day; the yellow lettering on the road in the bus stop bay worn away so that it now reads ‘us stop’; a baby in the warm clear bubble of his pram, incubated as he is perambulated, the father turning around to smile proudly at his – wife? - behind, catching me in the arc of his smile. And I smile back.

Until I am sat on the train, and start writing, and the sounds of words start bumping off of each other, I didn’t know that was how I saw those things – they were just leaves, a stump, a hat, worn-out road signs, a pram. In the writing, I appreciate what I have seen, and what I have been part of. I am confident now that I will be able to pick up and polish at least one small stone a day."


  1. I look forward to participating in this project, thankful for discovering you. Happy New Year.

  2. I am coming at this backwards- to see just how this little idea blossomed. I hope you are doing well and all the enthusiasm for collecting stones has not not overwhelmed you!

  3. Thanks -teri, not overwhelmed yet, and still planning on repeating the exercise next year!

    Thank you for thinking of us though...