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In her story “The Bright Yellow,” Ella Kate Starzyk describes a character whose world has turned completely yellow: people, food, streets, and stores—all yellow. Her mother takes her to the eye doctor: “After the eye exam, the doctor said I was colorblind, and the only color I could see was yellow. I had a yellow life after that.” It is a bizarre premise, and yet a perfect metaphor for the way perspective can alter, and determine, our experiences. When you wake up in a certain mood, suddenly everything you see is “colored” by that mood.

This issue of Stone Soup explores perspective and asks: How does our perception shape our experience? The characters in these stories all undergo at least one perspective shift—and it is this shift that drives the action in these stories. These stories serve as a reminder that we are in control of our own narratives, not others. We get to decide whether to think of ourselves as “unique” or “weird,” whether to be a victim or an agent, happy or sad. It is an empowering but also scary thought; sometimes it’s easier to blame what’s out there in the world for our weaknesses than to take responsibility for them.

These stories also remind us: Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t let others steal your joy! Be yourself, unapologetically. And write a story, poem, or personal narrative about what that’s like.

Happy reading!