The Writer's Block Chronicles: The Perfect Pebble

The Writer's Block Chronicles: The Perfect Pebble

It wasn’t until I got older that I understood why it meant so much. It’s not the pebble itself but the effort.

Welcome to The Writer's Block Chronicles – a collective writing effort using a single photo for inspiration. Each writer received the same image as a creative reference for a short story or poem. The goal of this challenge is to help develop the writers' skills by having them step outside of their comfort zones.

Listed below are the four participants who accepted this challenge. Feel free to comment and let us know what you think!

-O, Silhouetto Man A Poem by Lauren Edith
-Stolen A Poem by Angela Barbaro
-House Full Of Them A Short Story by Claudia Motley
-The Perfect Pebble A Short Story by Christopher Corapi

I never thought of myself as a romantic but I do understand romance, or at least I thought I did. I vividly remember watching a video as a child about the arctic. There is one species of penguin that will travel all over in an effort to find the perfect pebble for his mate. I found that to be so silly. I could hardly see a difference between each so how could a penguin possible toss it to the side as if it was not worthy.

I see the fury in her eyes as her hand slams onto the table. If it were possible, her tongue would have spit fire but instead just words flared out.

“Why are you like this? I just don't understand.”

“Why am I like this? You know exactly why I am like this. Each time we fight over the same few things. There are only so many times I can entertain this argument.”

“Entertain this? I am telling you this because this is how I feel. These are my feelings, not entertainment.”

“I have admitted to my wrongs time and time again. You keep telling me that I don't understand how you feel but I do.”

“You don’t. If you did then you would understand me.”

“I am tired of this. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I don’t understand you. I have tried everything to make up for what I have done.”

“I am tired of what you consider to be an effort. You don’t treat me like you should. You don't seem to care anymore.”

“I don’t know if I do. Why should I bother? What’s the point? You don’t seem to appreciate anything I do. It’s like I’m wasting my time.”

It wasn’t until I got older that I understood why it meant so much. It’s not the pebble itself but the effort. He spent countless hours digging and searching until he came across the right one. But one wasn’t enough. He left again in search of another perfect pebble. This was done over and over each time the pebbled was placed on top of the last. Slowly turning a pile of pebbles into a nest. A home. A life.

I’m tired of explaining how relationships work”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you not understand what you said and how you said it came off very hurtful?”

“I am just telling you the truth. I am not going to stand here and lie to you”

“You need to learn what it means to be a boyfriend”

“What do you mean I need to learn to be a boyfriend. I do everything I am supposed to.”

“No, you don’t. You think you do, but you don’t. I can always tell when you’re not trying”

As romantic as this may sound it is not as innocent as it seems. I remember watching pebbles be denied by their mate. I always felt for those penguins. It’s hard to watch your effort go unappreciated. This tension bred fights amongst themselves and with others. Some robbed in order to build their home. Others put in only half an effort with the goal of just getting by. Slowly building their home with perfect and imperfect pebbles thinking everything will work out in the end.

“Why are you always playing these games? Why can’t you just tell me how you feel. This isn’t a guessing game. This is our relationship.”

“I am not making this into a game. You just don't understand how detached you are. How any other boyfriend would not act this way. I just want a normal relationship.”

“You just expect too much of people. You expect everyone else put in the effort to change but yourself.

“I have changed. You know this. I am not the same person I used to be.”

“You think that, but I still see the same old you.”

“Maybe that’s part of the problem."

I think what made this story stand out to me was the woes of one penguin. After he gracefully placed the last pebble, his home was finished. With pride he called to his mate, flapping his wings in excitement. She arrived carefully examining their new home. As she made her way in the unthinkable happened. It collapsed. In slow motion, I watched a section of pebbles crash into the snow. It is now obvious to me what happened.

“You love me but don’t seem to like me”

“I don’t know if I do anymore. You’re not the same person I once fell for.”

“You used to try a lot harder. You used to care about me. I felt it diminish and it’s not okay.”

“I don’t know what to tell you. I really don’t. I stopped giving a damn because I am tired of trying. Day in and day out I try to be a better person, to be the person you want me to be. That's not me. I can't do it anymore.”

“I’m breaking up with you. We are over. You’re not happy and you pointed that out. I haven't changed and you don't seem to like who I am. I'm tired of apologizing for that. My heart already hurts. Please stop. Just leave.”

So here I am. Outside my nest. Slowly realizing that the pebbles I chose were not enough. That not every effort I made was what it should have been. I may not have admitted it then but I can see it now. Watching in slow motion as the home I built with perfect and imperfect pebbles collapsed around me...

Cover Image Credit: Turkukhano

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!


I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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