Friend Friday on a Monday

I have so many writer friends and not enough Fridays so this special guest post from one of my favorite poets, Laura Purdie Salas is running today. I met Laura when her book A Leaf Can Be won a Golden Kite honor and we were lucky enough to share a table at the gala luncheon. She is upbeat, kind and one heck of a good writer. Welcome back, Laura, as we celebrate your newest book!

Rock-Solid Connections

My latest book, A Rock Can Be…, just came out March 1. But that wasn’t the most exciting part of my month. My husband, Randy, picked up our younger daughter, Maddie. She just finished 6 months in Scotland and India doing missionary training and work, and the three of us spent two fantastic weeks in Scotland and Ireland together. Not much can overshadow a brand new book for me, but reconnecting with Maddie was top priority.



But I wanted to celebrate my book, so I posted daily pictures, pairing rocks with words donated by students and teachers. My crazy rock scavenger hunt led to lots of great and funny moments, like when we met a dog who is “a rock collector, just like you, Mom.” As I looked for rocks to illustrate words like “snazzlicious,” “wishy-washy,” and “nasty,” I was blown away by rocks’ capacity to make me FEEL. Rocks are mostly ancient, but also constantly recycled. They are everywhere, but unique. And they are great receptacles of stories—both ours and our planet’s. Here are a few favorite rocks from our trip and what they made me feel:

west kilbride beach

Love. The beach at West Kilbride, Scotland, where Maddie jogged often. I wondered if we stepped on some of the very same rocks.



Edinburgh Castle


Admiration. Building a castle centuries ago on top of a volcanic rock flow… can’t imagine the skills and planning that took.

st giles cathedral

St. Giles Cathedral


Content. St. Giles Cathedral, built in the 1300s, is formal and imposing. But inside, the ancient, rough rocks and the fabulous sermon and welcome from the minister, made us feel included and connected and… home, somehow.


Victorious. After slogging around the muddy Greyfriars Cemetery at dusk, we finally found the grave that inspired J.K. Rowling’s Voldemort. It was like a treasure hunt for us, and graves always make me thrilled to be alive.


Charmed. In Ireland, at Ballyseede Castle, we met Einstein (above), a canine rock collector. He carries them in his mouth and wants you to throw the rocks for him to fetch. If he can’t find them all, he knows how many are missing. Throwing drooly rocks for a dog was a new experience for me:>)

stone walls

Amazed. All over Ireland were stacked-rock walls with no mortar. Some are decades old. Some are centuries old. They divide pastures with neat perforated lines and usually enclose a whole lot of sheep!

cliffs of moher

Awe and fear. The Cliffs of Moher. In some spots, people can and do stand right near the edge of these 650-700-foot cliffs without any barrier. Hello…eroding cliffs? Still, one of the most beautiful sights from our trip.

poulnabrone dolmen

Humbled and human. The Poulnabrone Dolmen is a portal grave that is 6500 years old. 6500. Years. Twenty-three people were buried there. Feeling such a direct connection to long ago people was a powerful thing.

glacial erratic

Small. A glacial erratic near Poulnabrone Dolmen. The conveyor belt action of glaciers means they leave occasional huge boulders in their wake, in the same way I might track a bit of sand grit into the house. Amazing.

rock can be

More info about Laura and her books:

Info and teaching materials here

E-letter for educators here

Laura’s Rock the Blog posts pairing rock pictures and donated words can be found here.

Connect with Laura:

At her website








No Responses to “Friend Friday on a Monday”

  1. Jessica Bigi

    your new book is wonderful Laura I learned from it that some birds swallow rocks to held them digest their
    food I also love the are in your book what a wonderful story about your trip and pic thank you for sharing your story with us

  2. Linda Andersen

    Kirby, thanks for hosting Laura Purdie Salas. I certainly enjoyed sharing her month-long launch. Visiting Scotland and Ireland through her photographs was a great experience for those of us who don’t travel quite so far.

    Laura, great job. So glad your daughter had this wonderful mission training experience in Scotland and you got to visit her there. Keep writing those great books!

    Kirby, I’m off to explore your site some more. It’s always fun to meet more authors.

  3. Connie Currie

    There are many ways to enjoy a trip, I went to England looking for British mystery backgrounds and historical sites. I spent doing just that with the Smithsonian and had a great time. Learned a lot too. Your search for rocks opens still another wonderful view of a country and its past.

  4. Jane Heitman Healy

    Laura, thanks for the virtual field trip and your reflections on rocks! It’s amazing what nature can teach us. Kirby, thanks for hosting Laura!

  5. Jessica Bigi

    your new book is wonderful Laura I learned from it that some birds swallow rocks to held them digest their
    food I also love the art in your book what a wonderful story about your trip and pic thank you for sharing your story with us

    • Laura Purdie Salas

      Thanks so much, Rosi, Cindyb, Jessica, Jane, Connie, and Linda. I’m glad you liked the photos–it was such an amazing trip! And Connie, THAT sounds like a wonderful trip! My secret desire is to write mysteries–they’re what I love to read. So I’m always finding great settings for mystery stories–I’m just no good at writing the books to go along with the settings:>(

      Kirby, thanks for sharing my story/book on your blog. I admire you so much, both your writing and, more importantly, your kindness:>)