Rock & Shell Contributors

…and it begins! We’re going to keep up with this as best we can…new rocks are coming in all the time; they are posted in the order they were mailed or received. This is wonderful! I’m hoping to get around to actually identifying them all. Go The Little Golden Guide to Rocks & Minerals!

Stacey Jason Rock

Jason & Stacey ~  CT ~ January 27, 2012
A rock from their yard.
Bride: We know them through the New England Horror Writers; Stacey is a writer and Jason is Director of Publicity for NEHW. Our first event together was the Zombie Walk in Enfield, CT. We’ve had many good times at their home, so it’s neat it came from their yard.

Trish's Rock

Trisha ~ MA ~ February 5, 2012
A rock from her Faerie Garden.
Bride: We met Trisha, a writer and editor, through New England Horror Writers. Our first event together was Rock and Shock in Worcester, MA. Trisha and I share a passion for magical things, so it’s significant this comes from her faerie garden.

Anonymous Rock

FL &  MA ~ February 12, 2012
Shells and Sea Glass from the beaches in West Palm and Provincetown.
Bride: These are from friends of mine who prefer to remain anonymous.

Helen Rock

Helen ~  NY ~ February 2, 2012
A rock from her yard.
Bride: Helen, a roller coaster and zoo enthusiast, and I met in 2002 as volunteers for the Bronx Zoo Festival of Lights. We still go to the zoo together whenever we can.

Emily Rocks

Emily ~ CA & NY ~ February 12, 2012
Conglomerate from Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara.
A rock from Garnet Mountain near Lake George in the Adirondacks, New York.
Bride: Emily, an editor and writer, and I met at the Writers’ Institute at Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL, in 2009.

NMWC Shell

The Norman Mailer Writers Colony ~ Provincetown, MA ~ February 14, 2012
Scallop shell from the beach below Norman Mailer’s back deck.
Bride: I picked this up on my most recent residency there this past winter.

Guy Rock

Guy ~  MA ~ February 14, 2012
A rock from Commercial Street.
Bride: I met Guy, a writer, at the Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony in 2010.

Claudia & Jerry's Rock

Jerry & Claudia ~ February 16, 2012
Claudia’s is in the small plastic bag and is from a rock wall in her wildflower garden that attracts hummingbirds. Jerry’s is the other one.
Bride: We know Jerry and Claudia, both writers, through the now-defunct Pencils! Writing Workshop, which ran from 2003-2009. We met them back in 2007.

Tony's Rock

Antony ~ VT ~ February 23, 2012
A rock from Burlington, VT.
Bride: Tony was my supervising professor and mentor at Burlington College, where I got her BA in Writing and Literature. Tony is a wonderful writer and artist, focusing on nature, the Hero’s Journey, and folklore.


Linda & Ralph ~ CT ~ March 4, 2012
A rock from Bethel, CT.
Bride: I have worked with Linda since 2000 (hard to believe 13 years have gone by!). Linda and Ralph love to hike and ride bikes and spend a lot of time in nature. Linda and I share a passion for geology and for rock scrambling. This shiny rock is part of one that she found years ago when she moved to Bethel. “It was laying on the side of the road, gleaming,” she said.


Anne-Marie Galasso ~ Howes Cave, NY ~ March 6, 2012
Rocks from the Howe Caverns Gift Shop, Howes Cave, NY
Bride: Are these cool or what? Anne-Marie is the Howe Caverns wedding coordinator and we couldn’t have gotten luckier. She’s got loads of spunk and she cuts to the chase. Our wedding was just about all final in the middle of March because of her.

A&M Rock Collecting 1

Al & MaryAnn ~ CT ~ March 9, 2012
Rocks from their firepit, Japanese, Wild flower and Manicure Gardens in Norwalk.
Bride: We met Al when he came to Pencils! Writing Workshop in 2004. He met MaryAnn and they were married in 2007. Al and MaryAnn’s house has been the sight of many parties and writing BS sessions; MaryAnn and I loved planning the Pencils! parties and events. It was like celebrating an extra holiday every year.


Linda ~  NY ~ March 26, 2012
A rock from Orient Point, NY.
Bride: Linda and her husband Ralph (mentioned earlier) went on vacation for a week and brought this back from one of the many places they visited. Linda said it reminded her of a sugar cookie and I couldn’t agree more!

Pam ~ CT ~ March 31, 2012

Pam ~  CT ~ March 31, 2012
A rock from “the state of her birth.”
Bride: Pam is our friendly neighborhood pharmacist, and she not only sent us a rock, she wrote us a really clever poem to go with it (the poem contains a reference to the rock being from “the state of her birth”). Thank you, Pam, for being the most awesome pharmacist ever!

Maryanne Squeglia ~ CT ~ April 15, 2012

Maryanne ~  CT ~ April 15, 2012
Rocks and asphalt from the house where the Bride’s mother grew up and there were thousands of happy Sundays.
Bride: The rocks are from the backyard, where there used to be a great wooden screen house to which we escaped in summer. The asphalt is from a section of sidewalk that was poured by my grandfather.


Adam & Suzanne ~  CT ~ April 27, 2012
A rock from the yard of their newly-remodeled home.
Bride: I met Suzanne and Adam when I was volunteering at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk in 2001; at the time, Adam was a carpenter who installed exhibits. Suzanne is a nurse. We’ve always had a lot in common, including Sting and crazy partying, but Adam and Suzanne both own motorcycles, so there was plenty to have in common with Nathan once he came on the scene.

Rock Collecting Jill Klies 06

Jill ~ Las Vegas, NV ~ April 28, 2012
Rocks from around the area.
Bride: Jill is longtime, die-hard fan of The Ghostman & Demon Hunter Show, Extreme Paranormal, and also of my stories.


Steve Manzino ~  NY ~ May 2, 2012
A piece of field stone from his property.
Bride: Manzino and I met in 1995 at a cast party for a production of Annie at the Sherman Playhouse in Sherman, CT, in which I played a role. I was insanely active in community theatre between 1995 and 2001 and during that time appeared with Manzino in the plays Two Rooms and Educating Rita, though we always hung around together offstage.


Mark & Melissa ~ Ireland ~ May 19, 2012
A rock from the village of Fore, Ireland
Bride: I met Melissa and Mark, writers and artists, through my college friend Heather as part of the Newport (RI) Roundtable Writing Group. Mark is a successful and well-known science fiction author and graphic novelist. Melissa wrote the very popular Everything Guide to Ghost Hunting and interviewed Nathan, and that’s how they became friends. Melissa also designed the cover and handled the print production of my book Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole: Tales from Haunted Disney World. She is also the wedding’s photographer.


Heather ~  RI ~ May 20, 2012
Rock and Sea Glass from Newport Beaches
Bride: I met Heather 19 years ago in Daniel Pearlman’s Creative Writing class at the University of Rhode Island. Their first project together was in a play I wrote called Stranded on 93, which was based on a National Geographic article about the people who live along one of America’s most desolate highways; Heather played two roles. Almost two decades of crazy adventures later, Heather and I are still like sisters.


Scott ~ Greece ~ May 25, 2012
Rocks from Naxos, an island off the coast of Greece.
Bride: We met Scott, co-author of Shadows Over New England and Shadows Over Florida with his brother, Dave, and writer of many scary stories, through the New England Horror Writers. My favorite memory of Scott is when we had nothing to do, so he stood next to me pretending to be my bodyguard (it was a running joke about the Jackie O. sunglasses).


Dave ~  Scotland ~ May 27, 2012
A rock from the shores of Loch Ness, Scotland, carried back here from his trip in 1983.
Bride: We met Dave, co-author of Shadows Over New England and Shadows Over Florida with his brother, Scott, through the New England Horror Writers. What’s really cool about this is that at the time he took his trip I was fascinated with not only Loch Ness, but also Lake Champlain (which touts itself home to ‘Champ’). Of course, we didn’t know each other back then.


Nanette & Don ~ NY ~ June 2, 2012
Fossils from their thirty-acre property in New York State
Bride: We met way back in 2004 when Nanette, then a reporter for the Norwalk Hour, attended a Pencils! Writing Workshop meeting—and kept coming back. Nanette writes fantasy and science fiction, holds degrees in publishing, and is currently an editor for Vagabondage Press Books. I didn’t meet Nanette’s fiancé Don until just recently. Don has a familiarity with the area of my summer cabin in upstate New York (including that people in towns up there liked to go to the dump on Monday nights and watch idiots tease the bears and then try to jump the fence before being mauled) and plays the French Cornet. Both Nanette and Don love New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz.


Jerry & Claudia ~ The Grand Canyon ~ June 8, 2012
Rocks from a recent visit to the Grand Canyon.
Bride: These arrived wrapped in pages torn out of a book of one of the worst writers to ever live; in fact, she’s so bad I’m not even going to mention her name, because there is no such thing as bad press. Jerry and I love to make fun of her really bad dialogue tags. “She’s terrible!” I shouted. “Why do they publish this stuff?” Jerry grunted. “I don’t know,” I wondered.

Rock from Woolwine, VA

Nathan’s Mom ~ VA ~ June 9, 2012
A rock she picked up while visiting friends in Woolwine, Virginia, which is in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Bride: Nathan’s Mom gave it to me after our dress shopping trip. It was like taking home a souvenir — especially since it’s so interesting. It’s almost like someone painted it!


Max & Laurel ~ The Chesapeake Bay ~ June 25, 2012
A fossil Otodus obliquus (extinct mackerel shark) tooth, found by Max in 1981 on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
Bride: We know Max & Laurel from the days when I (the Bride) volunteered at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk between 2001 and 2003. Max and Laurel took us to Boston–to the Aquarium and on our first whale watch–in October 2004, and Max baked us a cake for our first anniversary in 2005.

Rock from Brazil

Bracken MacLeod ~ Brazil ~ July 5, 2012
A rock from Brazil.
Bride: Bracken is a horror writer; we know him through the New England Horror Writers Association. This rock has special significance for Bracken. Ever the storyteller, he wrote in the letter accompanying it: “Although it is not that pretty, it has traveled far to help you celebrate. I picked up this rock outside the Mercado Modelo in the Cidade Baixa district of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. I’d bought a musical instrument called a berimbau and the merchant neglected to include a dobrao (basically, a guitar fret one holds between one’s fingers in order to play). This rock presented itself to fill that role and has served me on the (rare) occasion that I take my souvenir off the wall to play. I think it’d make a nicer addition to your collection.”

Ruggler's Mine Rocks New Hampshire

Michele ~ New Hampshire ~ July 8, 2012
Rocks from Ruggler’s Mica Mine, New Hampshire
Bride: Michele and I have worked in the same office for many years and have been close friends (she’s one of my two Mothers-of-the-Bride). She and Nathan share a passion for Dr. Who.

Rock from The Alamo

Heather R ~ The Alamo ~ July 19, 2012
A rock from The Alamo, Texas
Bride: Heather is a fan of the paranormal, so it’s natural we got to know each other better on Facebook–even if we have the same hometown in common!


Kristina ~ ME ~ July 19, 2012
A rock from Kettle Cove, on the coast of Maine.
Bride: I have known Kristina since Kindergarten. We both grew up on the shores of Candlewood Lake and I spent a lot of time at her house. She writes of the heart-shaped rock: “It was found on a day when the fog was thick, close in and ever changing, the sun obscured. The wind was damp, chilly, and overpowering with the scent of beach roses and salt air. It was low tide, and as you got closer to the beach you could smell the exposed seaweeds and dying creatures that didn’t recede with the water. It’s days like this that I stay here and live in Maine, for they feed my soul and renew me. It is this kind of day where I am walking in the edge of the still winter-cold water in early June when I see this rock. It is exactly what I wanted to find. A heart-shaped rock.
Heart-shaped rocks are a rarity, even on the rocky coast of Maine. People here look for them all the time. Pick them up and treasure them. Get mildly jealous when someone else finds one. Tell themselves it’s a lucky day. Take it as a sign when one is unexpectedly found on top of the snow. Tell the stories of how they were found. And sometimes they give them to others.
That is what I am giving you. A symbol of the most perfect day in Maine I can imagine and of where I am…Here is to little girls, big imaginations, never-ending friendships, and long-lasting love. Happy Wedding.”


Sachuest Beach ~ Middletown, RI ~ July 21, 2012
Bride: On July 21, my long-time friend Heather and I hit the beach. It was truly a special day—it was hot, but there was a breeze; the sky was the bluest I’d ever seen; there was no seaweed at all; best of all—the body surfing waves were PERFECT. We spent hours in the water.
Afterward, we went to get some booze (like we always do) to go to a bonfire (like we always do). On this day, I discovered my new drink: SKINNY GIRL PINA COLADAS! The rocks and shells I found make a great drink garnish, no?


Karen ~ Church’s Beach, Cuttyhunk Island, MA ~ July 28, 2012
Karen writes: “Of course I couldn’t pick just one, so I’m including two “lucky rocks” (with a sediment ring that goes all around), a “pudding stone” (one that is an amalgam of different smaller rocks attached to the denser mineral; these are only found in glacial moraines where everything got jumbled together and is also why all these rocks are fairly round and smooth) and a few others that you have to get wet to appreciate their colors. Hope your “Journey” is a fantastic one. Mazel Tov & here’s to your fabulous wedding! xo, Karen
Bride: I met Karen back in 2007 when we were trying to establish “Fairfield County, Connecticut” National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) meet-ups. We’ve been friends every since.


Suzi ~ Mystic, CT ~ August 6, 2012
Polished stones from Mystic, CT.
Bride: I have known Suzi since 1995, when I was in a production of Annie up at the Sherman Playhouse and the closing night cast party was at her home; Suzi is an actress, musician, and director. Summing up our friendship in just a few words would be hard, but I can tell you we have been through extreme highs and lows and everything in between (and I even trusted her enough to let her smash my hand with a dictionary; that’s an unbelievable story!). She has been like a mother to me over the years, but mostly, we do a lot of laughing!


The Adirondack Park ~ August 11, 2012
A rock from the shores of Canada Creek, which runs through the Bride’s childhood summer camp in Stratford, NY.
Bride: Our family owned the camp from 1979-1986. 1985 was our last summer there; Dad quietly sold it after Mom passed away. Over the years, it haunted me that I’d never gotten to formally say goodbye. A couple of times I vowed to make a weekend trip and stay in nearby Little Falls. Life got in the way, and I never went.
Recently, however, I was up at Howe Caverns, putting the finishing touches on plans for our wedding weekend. I suddenly thought, why not go driving and just find it already? Easier said than done. MapQuest could supply me with directions to the area (not very clear), but not directions to the actual camp (there’s now an address, but MapQuest doesn’t know it). I’d have to rely on actual maps and a little bit of memory to find it.
It took me three hours and lots of wrong turns, but eventually, I got there. Since I had taken loads of rocks from the creek as a kid, I thought one more from this last visit would make a nice addition to our collection.

Janet's Rocks 7

Janet ~ RI ~ August 18, 2012
A pebble from an East Greenwich, RI brook and a piece of hematite.
Bride: I met Janet, a writer who has just finished a draft of a paranormal novel, in Dr. Daniel Pearlman’s writing workshop at the University of Rhode Island in 2008. I’m still attending that monthly group today, although it’s been spotty sometimes due to other projects. Janet writes: “This is the pebble I found in our brook, and also the hematite, which, theoretically, will protect you from negative influences…if I don’t see you before, I hope your wedding is absolutely terrific. I wish you much happiness. Love, Janet.”


Yvonne ~ August 18, 2012
A photo of a piece of Rhodochrosite.
Bride: I met Yvonne, who is writing a novel about ecological espionage, in the Pencils! Writing Workshop in 2006. “I’d been looking for the perfect rock for awhile but I just hadn’t found anything, and then when I was going through some old books I found this is an old calendar and thought, this is Kaye’s rock!” She had this piece done for us at the Artist’s Market in Norwalk, Connecticut. The inscription, in part, reads: “Pictured are pieces of “banded,” “massive” and polished rhodochrosite (from the Greek Rhodon, pink). A very gentle healer, rhodocrosite is useful in working with emotional needs or imbalances. It has an effect similar to rose quartz—stimulating the heart chakra—but on a more subtle, deeper level.”


Rob & Jen ~ CT ~ August 20, 2012
A River Stone, found in their yard.
The rock was chosen because of its weight (it’s very heavy), its unusual reddish-brown mottling—and another characteristic: it’s obviously been eroded to its current shape by rushing water. “What’s odd about this rock,” notes Jen, “is that there is no water anywhere near our home. We can’t figure out how a river stone would be on our lawn unless someone brought it there.”
Bride: I have known Rob since childhood, because our parents were members of the United Methodist Church in New Milford, CT. We were both in the 1989 NMHS production of South Pacific, and since then have been in a few different writing groups together. Rob and I are co-editors of the magazine Read Short Fiction. Rob got engaged to Jen on our 2008 trip to Walt Disney World (yes—in front of Cinderella Castle!) and Nathan and I were part of Rob & Jen’s bridal party in August, 2009.


Nathan ~ NJ ~ August 20, 2012
A piece from the rock wall that he and his father used to walk every spring to check the fence line of the approximate 75-acre farm on which he grew up.
Bride: Nathan adds his own piece of history to our collection—a rock from the working farm on which he grew up. His family owned and worked the farm, raising goats, chickens, cows, pigs, geese, turkeys, and growing corn in the small town of Newton, NJ, for several decades. Our short story “Deconstructing Fireflies” is inspired by many of his experiences there; “Deconstructing Fireflies” is available in Tyrannosaurus Press’ Beacons of Tomorrow: Second Collection and can be purchased here:


Lisa S ~ Sedona, AZ ~ August 24, 2012
These rocks are a wonderful addition to the collection. First of all, they smell like the desert—just like the smell that was in the air when I was visiting Austin, Texas. They also have the unique quality of coming from a place long held as a center of energy vortexes.
I know Lisa through work. She picked up these rocks on a visit to Sedona about four years ago (2008). She got them at the Red Rock Crossing/Cathedral Rock Vortex, the energy at which “strengthens the things you normally think of as feminine, such as kindness, compassion, patience, and the ability to let others need you and depend on you. And it strengthens the ability to anticipate the impact of your actions before you act, which is what considerateness is all about.” (Citation: John and Micki’s Metaphysical Site. “Sedona’s Energy Vortexes.” Accessed August 24, 2012.

07 ToniRockZoya7

Toni ~ NY ~ August 28, 2012
A milky quartz infused with gray granite from her yard.
Bride: Toni and I met at the Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony in 2010—only to find out we lived half an hour from each other back home! In the winter of 2011, we were both up there at the same time and were neighbors—and it was a lucky thing, since there was a pretty wicked Nor’easter that knocked out our heat and power, necessitating a “sleepover” as we waited out the storm. On that same trip, we saw Black Swan together.

10 CapeMayDiamonds

Lisa S ~ Cape May, NJ ~ September 6, 2012
Cape May Diamonds. On the right, pieces in their natural state; on the left, pieces which have been polished and are sold in gift shops.
Bride: I know Lisa through work.

11 Art Rocks

Heather S ~ Newport, RI ~ September 8, 2012
Bride: This isn’t really a rock, but our friend Heather thought it was interesting that this was the cover of Newport’s The Mercury—a local publication that lists all the city’s events and bar/club line-ups—the week of our wedding, Friday, September 7-Thursday, September 13, 2012. In fact, when we went clubbing on Sept. 8, this was the issue we used to plan our outing.

13 MelissaQuartzCrystal

Melissa ~ Unknown Location ~ September 8, 2012
Bride: Melissa “has had this piece in my collection for probably twenty years,” but doesn’t recall where she got it. She gave it to me on a (kind of) “Bachelorette Weekend” in Newport, RI on September 8, 2012—along with some jewelry that just happened to match the dress I was wearing!

17 BlockIslandRocks

Beth & Chick ~ Block Island ~ September 11, 2012
Bride: I know Beth from Lee Farm Corporate Park; she works with a long-time friend of our family, Donna, at another office in the building. Beth and I both love Newport and Florida, so we have a lot to talk about (cheers to the 10 o’clock people, who never seem to run out of things to talk about!).






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