As a six-year-old on a fishing trip with my dad and grandpa, I found an obsidian rock half buried in the mud, blunt on one end and pointed on the other, about the size of an adult fist. My grandpa, a lifelong rock hound, tried in vain to get it away from me. He begged, threatened and offered me money. He told me what a perfect addition it would make to his collection. But I refused to let it part from my fingers.
For some reason, I felt an immediate bond to that rock.
I took it home, washed it off and put it on the window ledge above my bed. (See photo below)
Decades later, I still keep that rock close by and often pick it up to feel the way it naturally fits the curve of my palm. I like to stare into its glassy surface and daydream about where it came from and the secrets it might hold.
It was on such a day, as I looked into my Stone, the seed of an idea took shape in my mind. Little by little, that idea grew and sprouted tentacles until it got such a hold on my brain that I was left with no choice but to start writing it down.
The result was four long books.
In a way, I think of the STONES novels as keeping a promise to my six-year-old self, a promise to always keep room in my heart for child-like wonder. A promise to stay who I am.
Here’s a picture of the rock I found: