Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Unexpected Perks of Being a Writer

Recently I had the pleasure of editing author Judy Hall’s new book, 101 Power Crystals. Judy is one of the world’s most respected crystal workers and authors, so you may be familiar with her best-selling books, including The Crystal Bible and The Encyclopedia of Crystals. Along the way, Judy mentioned she wanted to acquire specimens of a unique stone known as Llanite and a particular pink-colored granite that she’d seen years ago while visiting the Gulf Coast of Texas. Now Judy lives in England’s beautiful Dorset––but neither of these stones do. As synchonicity would have it, however, both Llanite and Texas Pink can be found in Llano, Texas, about sixty miles from where I live.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Llanite (and hey, who outside Texas is?), here’s what Judy has to say about it: “With this stone, you truly create your own reality.” Pretty powerful stuff, right? (She discusses it more fully, but you’ll have to get her new book to discover all its properties.)
Immediately I thought: Road trip. So in the name of publishing excellence and disseminating knowledge, I coerced two girlfriends into taking the day off to come rock-hunting with me. On a gorgeous, sunny March day, we drove to lovely Llano in the heart of the Texas Hill Country and like prospectors of old, began our search along the Llano River.

Before long, we’d filled our bucket with dozens of pieces of rose-colored Texas Pink, but alas, no Llanite. So we stopped at a local granite company that specializes in tombstones––ironically called Living Granite––where we were gifted with a chunk of Llanite and a polished slice of Texas Pink. Then we visited Enchanted Rocks and Jewelry, a local gem shop, to have a look around. (Actually, we’d tried twice before, and finally on the third attempt caught proprietor Frank Rowell in residence.) There we found lots of smooth, tumbled pieces of Llanite––even a Llanite lazy susan––along with other assorted crystals, gemstones, and jewelry.
At the end of an altogether delightful day, we came home with a trunk full of rocks and a treasure trove of happy memories, which included meeting lots of friendly and generous people, a private tour of the local nineteenth-century jail conducted by Frank and his friend Steve Roberts, and a delicious lunch of barbecued ribs at Cooper’s. Such are the myriad joys of being a writer! Seek and ye shall find.

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