Sunday, 23 January 2011

Day 23 already, hellebores and manifestos

(start here if you're new)

Yesterday I visited Stroud with two friends. Caroline bought a tangle of golden wild mushrooms from a man who told us where the best cafe in the town was. In the best cafe in town we ate fresh chewy sourdough and shared a table with the wife of the owner, who told us where the farmer's market was. In the farmer's market we met a potter who'd emigrated from New Zealand many years ago and had a soft kind face. She was selling these luminous hellebores. I wish I'd bought them. 

small stones abounded. 

You are writing to tell us that this project is helping you to keep your senses open, and become more intimate with the world. It is helping you find moments of peace. Writing small stones is leading you gently back into writing after some time away, and helping your confidence. Your usual and your small stone blogs are merging into each other. As I've said before (but it needs re-saying) this makes us very happy.

Look at the blogroll on the right. The small stones keep coming.

I'm still working on my Writing as Spiritual Practice e-course, writing about the links between writing and faith, perseverance, clear-seeing and praise. I'm loving it. (It's full for March so let me know if you'd like to go on the 'interested' list for May or Sep.) When I've finished that, I'll be re-designing my sites and writing a 'manifesto' (inspired by the very wonderful Chris Guillebeau). Kaspa & I will be asking for submissions for the river of stones book in mid-Feb. And we're hoping some of you might join us in a July challenge - to write a small stone every day in July - which will give us a chance to pick up some sunny stones. All that, and more. The river is flowing.

Keep letting us know how you're getting on. It's a gift to know that many of you are out there in the world, pen in hand. 


  1. I am loving this daily challenge and will almost certainly join in during July (though holidays may get in the way). The more you look the more you find and I shall keep going in the meantime. Thank you for your inspiration.

  2. A small stone

    Do you believe ‘bunking off school’ is wrong? I did it only once; standing bare feet with trousers rolled up to my knees, ankle deep in a cold tributary stream. My friend and I took turns in lifting up small stones; on most occasions turning them over revealed nothing. On a handful of turns small fish would scatter to the shelter of other rocks, once I managed to lift a pool of water in my cupped hands and watch a silver green minnow stare back at me.

    I watched its small gills breath in and out and its tiny fins working overtime to stay afloat, waiting for an opportunity to escape. I wondered what it was thinking as it looked at me, if it thought at all. ‘I think therefore I am’ they tried to teach me in class 4b. How arrogant is mankind! Playing God I released it, perhaps learning more from a small fish than I did in a big school.

  3. if you have a garden, you could plant hellebores. I received two hellebore divisions and they are so fruitful that I've been able to give plants to friends, just three years later!

  4. Lovely to hear about your stone filled Saturday. I loved the way each thing led to the next, like a treasure hunt.

    I'll be interested to see how your manifesto develops. Writing a manifesto has been on my ongoing to-do list for years now.

  5. July challenge? Bring it on! :) I've been more creative with my small stones now. In fact, I just turned one of them (yesterday's) into a collage. I love seeing the transformation of my poetry. :)

  6. what a truly interesting project; best of luck

  7. I can't believe the month is nearly over - I'm hoping I can keep on doing the daily small stons, as it's been helpful in both seeing and saying.

  8. Actually, in July it will be winter here. It will be dark when I leave for work, and dark when I come home. That will make small stones a real challenge, given that the inside of my office is the same every day!
    I've tried not to obsess too much about the January stones, just to remember to look at things, and let the stones find me. It seems to be working so far (despite the sitting in an office most of the day)

  9. I'm on school summer holidays in Australia and wanted to spend my time indulging in as much creative writing as possible! So far, I have managed a stone per day on my blog AND maintained my usual posts AND submitted many separate stones(31 so far) to Twitter!

    Letting you know that I would love to join in July again, but that is the Australian winter period! So I hope that there is not just a focus on sunny summer stones!

    It's been a fun ride! Nearly there!


  10. Thanks all. And yes, it'll be lovely to have some wintry Australian stones - the main idea is that it'll give you a chance to open up to a different season...

  11. I'm delighted to find out about your work and projects. I came here through a Crafty Green Poet post. When you write your manifesto, if you have any interest in sharing it, I would love to include a version under 250 words on The blog is simply a collection of people's manifestos--mostly writers at this point, but I welcome manifestos on any theme. :) I look forward to writing some small stones of my own. Truly an inspiration! Thank you.

  12. I'm so glad I came across the River of Stones, and look forward to participating in July. It seemed like such a daunting commitment at first, but has been great, encouraging me to pause and reflect at various times during the day. As a non-writer, it has also been reassuring to have people drop by and encourage.

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