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A Lonely Girl
"A Lonely Girl" by Sloka Ganne, 9 (Overland Park, KS) Published in Stone Soup October 2019 Illustrating "The Ghost of the Forest" by Carmen Flax, 10 (Liechhardt, Australia)


A note from William

Thanks to all of you have already started pre-ordering our new magnificent blank journals and sketch books! These make great gifts for students as well as for adults, perfect for your stock of last minute gifts. Order these, along with the Book Contest novels, poetry, and our annual anthologies from our Stone Soup Store. Thank you.

I know. It is Halloween! And yet, it isn't. Like the girl in the illustration for "The Ghost of the Forest," we are all looking into the Great Unknown! Somehow, Halloween got swallowed by the Fates.

Halloween is a time when "spooky" is in. It is the "spooky" holiday. I put "spooky" in quotes because, really, how often is one actually frightened by anything you see on Halloween? There is a house in my neighborhood where the people go to great efforts to create frightening effects -- and some years they do succeed in making us jump. For example, one year they had a blow up snake jump out at us from behind a bush. But, there as no real danger and the context was fun.

Horror! This last Saturday, in the Stone Soup Saturday Writing Workshop, we worked on horror.  What makes horror different from spooky?  One answer is the context. Horror is scary things happening within a context of fear. Horror is being forced to go the house with a super smart aggressive snake that is out to get you -- AND YOU CANNOT GET AWAY!

I'd like to share with you today some of the writing from last week's class: Horror Stories from the Stone Soup Saturday Writing Workshop.

This weekend's writing project is to write a horror story. A ride on a roller coaster is scary. The drawing, "A Lonely Girl" suggests to me the kind of context in which horror takes place. "The Ghost of the Forest," below, opens with this evocative sentence: The woods glowed that mildewy night in October as the transparent, lilac-colored figure hovered eerily between dense thickets of elegant dark green pine trees, whose rich aroma curled through the forest." Give your horror story context that includes how things look, how they feel, and how they smell -- all with the purpose of tightening tension so that when your character is confronted with danger we, the reader, feel fear.

How to start? Read Carmen Flax' fabulously evocative ghost story, below. And also, read through the stories posted from last Saturday's Horror writing workshop. And then, when you have some time to write, set your scene, and go for it! Scary can be a one-off adventure. Horror chills you to your core.

As always, if you like what you write, please go to the Stone Soup website and submit it to Stone Soup.

Blogging for Stone Soup. Welcome to Sita, one of our newest Stone Soup Bloggers! Sita has just posted a book review of books by Kate Mitford. Sita writes about the way in which the more Mitford books you read, the more real her fictitious world becomes. A well thought out piece. Thank you, Sita. If any of you are thinking you might like to blog for Stone Soup, which can include posting book reviews, contact Sarah at sarah@stonesoup.com.

Until next week,


Highlights from the past week online

Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!

What would the pandemic look like to a bottle of Purell? Emily, 9, takes the perspective of the inanimate object in her story "Defeating COVID-19 Together."

Check out all the spooky, unsettling and sometimes terrifying work created at last week's Writing Workshop, the theme of which was horror. Perfect Halloween reading material!

One of our newer bloggers, Sita, writes about how much she enjoys the shared worlds of author Kate Milford's books.

Mia, 13, reviews Chirp by Kate Messner. Read about why she "thoroughly enjoyed" the story about crickets, family, and speaking up.


From Stone Soup
October 2019

The Ghost of the Forest

By Carmen Flax, 10 (Liechhardt, Australia)
Illustrated by Sloka Ganne, 9, (Overland Park, KS)

The woods glowed that mildewy night in October as the transparent, lilac-colored figure hovered eerily between dense thickets of elegant dark green pine trees, whose rich aroma curled through the forest. The lady waded through roaring black-colored rivers, tearing through the determined barriers of water. She stopped, but only to lean against an ancient, knobbly tree, and let out a choked cry that rears up in your ears only to come rolling into your heart and leave it weeping the purest and most tender of tears for the lost caller. The pale being looked up at the luminous, pearly white moon and flinched, as if something so bright and hopeful had wounded her permanently and forced her to live in such darkness and be so helpless. Suddenly, the figure stood up and slunk away into the shadows where all strange things are called.

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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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