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

Popular Right Now

9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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