My romance with stones began in a driveway filled with river rocks. When I wasn't cracking rocks in the driveway, I was digging my way to China. (Mom gave me designated portals that were not in her garden.) I never reached China, but I did find some interesting buttons.
I was ten when my parents introduced me to a lapidary show. Incredulous about seeing raw garnets and sapphires, I wandered through the stands in rock-world-heaven. The show had billion-year-old fossils and stones mined from the ground in every color of the rainbow. Like a Labrador Retriever, I dug deeper once I got home with my trusty, folding WWII Army shovel. Through field guides, I learned to name those rocks.
One summer, my family drove to Sanibel Island, which I dubbed Cannibal Island because the mosquitoes almost ate me alive. While I took refuge in the car, scratching bites, my family gathered beautiful sea shells. After graduating from U.S.C., I taught students to identify sea shells during an outdoor education program.
I passed my passion for rocks to my younger daughter who placed in the state level Science Olympiad competition's rock, mineral, and fossil identification division. The rocks continue to call to me, especially the opaque ones. Trial and error taught me to wrap stones; the wire wrapping class convinced me I needed a third hand. In 2012, I began selling my rock creations on etsy.
When I'm not gluing my fingers together or shopping for rocks and beads, I write paranormal thrillers and suspense. My paranormal thriller (not vampire or werewolves), Bone Pendant Girls will be published by CamCat March 12, 2024. The Banshee's Wail, an Irish suspense that takes place in 1968 hasn't found a publishing house yet. Two of my short stories were published in Death Knell IV and V anthologies, available in Kindle format. I co-edited Death Knell V with two Sisters in Crime members.
Because they're my rock and shell babies, they all have names. Some are easy to create. Others are problem children. I love working with colored beads and metals, but my greatest satisfaction is using a rock or shell face as a canvas for whatever flowers spring to life.
I hope my creations earn the wearers many compliments. Beware. People in grocery stores have been known to come a little bit closer to study my jewelry.