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Beginning the beginning

Jul 01,2013
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 Hi. Very happy to be here with you on the inside of the inside of a dog (hope I don’t give you indigestion, Inky!).

I plan to spend my time here talking about books and words and reading and writing and poetry and things and stuff, but I thought I’d begin by talking about beginnings.

File 15462 I’m not very sentimental when it comes to physical things. (Notable exception: books. But they’re in a whole special category of exception, right?). I’m not a minimalist, but I do try and travel light-ish, and don’t get too cut up if I have to leave things behind.

One of the exceptions to this is the stone you see in the picture there. I call it ‘the beginning stone’. It has no value whatsoever to anybody else.

I keep it on my desk, and if I’m stuck on a story or a poem, I pick it up. It’s beautifully smooth. Fits so nicely in my palm.

I have no idea what kind of stone it is. All I know is that it’s small and it’s smooth and I picked it up on the side of the road on the day I started hitchhiking around the UK. I was eighteen, I’d spent the year after high school working in a petrol station to save the money for this trip, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I was about to stick my thumb out and see what happened.

And that’s why I keep this stone. It’s a symbol of both how much the universe can provide for you, if you ask (I made it halfway to Edinburgh that day!), and how much you can find within yourself. If you ask.

I wrote a lot, that trip. Nothing good, but it was the beginning of the beginning.

So now I want to ask you: do you have any special significant object, or turning point in your life? Any beginning you’d like to share?

Jul 05,2013

Hi Daydreamer - and your beginning stories are HUGE - books! You know, travelling's all very well, but books take you EVERYWHERE! 

Jul 04,2013

Hi Tim, and welcome. :) I love the little stone and its symbolism. I think I always want things to have a certain symbolism, but it doesn't really work that way. I guess I can remember a few firsts in terms of writing/reading. The Little Prince and The Giving Tree are two books I remember reading as a child and loving, and HP was the one that somehow confirmed my love for reading. In terms of writing, I remember the first poem I wrote with a friend (I gave up on poems a while ago), and the first story I posted on the same writing site as ambivalence mentioned. But I guess whether I can really call all that a 'beginning' depends on where I go with it in the future.

And also:  "I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I was about to stick my thumb out and see what happened." That pretty much sums up my life right now. Minus sticking my thumb out because my mother would personally drag me back home by the ear if I tried.

Jul 03,2013

Hi Ambivalence - thanks for the comment, and what an excellent beginning story yours is! And what an excellent friend! Probably should dedicate your first book to her :)

Jul 02,2013

Hola, pleasure to meet you, Tim Sinclair :) And that's such a pretty stone - it's so absolutely perfectly smooth. And you went hitchhiking around the UK? It sounds like a dream! :/ I'd love to do that, hitchhike around somewhere.

As for significant things that emphasise a beginning... well, I have a whole bunch of random stuff that may or may not mean something important to me, but I can't think of one off the top of my head that represents a beginning. I know what it was for writing... well, it wasn't an It, but a Her. My friend, Lin, convinced me some many years ago to join this story writing website, at a time when I actually had no inclination to really take creative writing seriously. But then, SHABOOM, zee passion was born. Awesome girl, she is :)

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