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"Mirrored" (iPhone 11 Pro) by Sabrina Lu, 12 (Ashburn, VA), published in the January 2022 issue of Stone Soup

A note from William

Dear Stone Soup Friends,

It is a gorgeous end of January where I live in California. I went on a bike ride today along a path with the Pacific Ocean on one side of the path, and wildflowers blooming along the other side. Acacia trees are in bloom, clusters of bright yellow flowers filling the air with sweet perfume. I don't know how those of who live where it snows do it!

Stone Soup site licenses! Thanks to all of you generous donors, all of us at Stone Soup—with the help of Naomi at the Society of Young Inklings—are busy working on curriculum to help teachers use Stone Soup in their classroom, and on improving our website so that it is easier to navigate and, we hope, looks better.

Shortly, we are going to be sending out thousands of emails to find teachers willing to sign up for a FREE school-wide license as beta testers. When we started Stone Soup almost 50 years ago there was no Internet! So, right now we are really rethinking Stone Soup magazine, the website, and the Stone Soup creative writing project for the modern classroom.

After beta testers have given us feedback so we can fine tune the project, we will then start offering the site licenses for sale.

Getting Stone Soup into the classroom is crucial for the long-term success of the magazine. We've made it 50 years; we need schools to adopt our online platform to make it another 50 years.

We need your help to succeed. Here is what you can do. Please talk to teachers you know who teach creative writing in the classroom. This is through eighth grade. If the teacher doesn't know about Stone Soup, then please show them the website and share your enthusiasm.

If the teacher might be interested in a site license, then please, with their permission, send us the teacher's name, grade, and email address. You can write to us at education@stonesoup.com. We will then write your teacher friend to confirm their interest, and then start getting them set up so every classroom in the school can access the website without logging in, and every student and teacher can log into the website from home using the school email address.

Our goal in 2022 is to begin growing again! Thank you for your help. If you have marketing suggestions, and/or are good at marketing and think you might be able to help us, then please write to us at education@stonesoup.com.

Now, business aside, just look at that photograph by Sabrina Lu.

What can I say but, "wow!"? I know it's not a very articulate thing to say about the work of art, but that is the first word that came to my mind when I looked at Sabrina Lu's photograph, Mirrored. Brilliant is too weak a word to describe this masterful photograph. Imaginary forest. Real forest. Real sky. Reflected sky. Reflected sky as water so the snow ball becomes an island in the middle of a lake reflected by still waters. And there is so much more! Stare at the ball, and dream!

Based on Sabrina's photograph, the weekend project is simple: take a photograph, or write a scene that describes Mirrored.

If you want to work in photography then I want you to work with reflections. Reflections in windows, in mirrors on polished table tops, polished cars, puddles, lakes, streams, maybe even a sink. Reflections are about repeated images, sometimes clear, sometimes distorted. If you can add something into the reflection, as Sabrina did, then so much the better.

If you want to write about this scene you will be writing what is called a vignette. There is no story. No plot. You can describe this with the voice of an omniscient narrator—meaning a voice that knows all and sees all—or you can write your story so that we see this scene through the eyes of a character. Read the poem, below, "One Day a Blizzard Came," by Rainer Paska for one approach to writing about this piece. In Rainer's poem, the character, the protagonist may live inside the globe!

Until next week,

Rainer Pasca
Rainer Pasca, 14 (Bay Shore, NY)

From Stone Soup
January 2022

One Day a Blizzard Came

By Rainer Pasca, 14 (Bay Shore, NY)

I live in a snow globe.
A little lamp shines in on me.

I talk to the lamp,
maybe it’s lonely. A door

opens. My brain
is full of water, but I am

not alone.
Johnni, Adrian and Oliver are here.

Johnni says,
Look out, everyone!

It’s a blizzard.
Oliver counts five pieces

of snow on his nose and Adrian jumps
like glitter. Everyone stares

for a second.
Then, their lungs remember

to breathe

Continue reading the January 2022 isue here...

Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.

Stone Soup's advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

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