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Stone Soup, October 2017, Volume 45 #8.
Cover photograph: 'Scrapes of Light' by Delaney Slote, 10.

A note from William Rubel

Perhaps it was silly, and I'm sorry if you missed our regular Saturday Newsletter yesterday. But as today is October 1, and our latest issue is published today, I decided this week to make the Saturday Newsletter the Sunday—or Weekend—Newsletter plus new issue alert.

Stone Soup's new life is taking shape. We are producing more frequent issues (this is our second monthly issue) that are each a little shorter and also more focused than were the bi-monthly print editions. I can tell you that I have never been happier with the scale of the issues or the quality of what we are publishing than I am now. I encourage all of you to go to our website and check out the new October issue. Non-subscribers are entitled to several articles per month while our subscribers, of course, have full, unlimited access to everything.

I want you to hear from the editor, Emma Wood, to get a flavour of what to expect this month. In her Editor's Note she talks about the written work:

"Fear, anger, anxiety, the elements—in the stories and poems in this issue, the characters and speakers are all confronting something big and frightening. Time seems to slow down, and nearly stop altogether, in both “Game Time” and “Perfection,” as nerves take over. In “Facing the Hurricane,” the speaker faces not only a dangerous storm, but his own (mis)understanding of his father. Meanwhile, Evelyn faces her loneliness at the thought of her best friend Abigail moving to Korea in “Only an Ocean Away”. In the poem, “I Remember the Water and the Wind,” the speaker discovers her own strength while encountering a storm head-on, and in “Candlenut Tree,” the speaker faces down—and overcomes—her anger “like lava ready to explode into the air”.

If that isn't enough to get you clicking on the link to start reading, I'd like to call your attention to the art in the issue as well. This is now the second issue in which art is published for its own sake, rather than as an illustration to a story.  It's been a wonderful process to review submissions of work that both stands in its own right andas I hope you'll agreecomplements the writing in the magazine, starting with "Scrapes of Light", the striking and evocative cover image. You will find three other photographs in the issue, including a second but very different photograph taken through a rain-spattered window ("Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada"), that conveys a profound melancholy and stillness. "Girl Asleep", with its different sense of calm and gorgeous muted colour palette feels almost painterly in its framing, textures and timeless subject, while "The Look" gives us a portrait that stands for itself, popping out of its dark background and, at the same time, inviting a thousand questions abut what that look might mean. I'd also like to mention the exquisite and accomplished watercolor, "Mountain Quail." Whenever I look at it it makes me feel calm. It is a gentle but powerful work of art.

If you are interested in photographywhether you are a Stone Soup aged reader or a grownupI think you will find the photographs in this issue moving, and I hope they will inspire you to pick up a camera and go out into the world looking for images and ideas that engage you in some way. And if you are someone who loves art in any form, why not send us a review of an artwork or exhibit you have enjoyed recently?

Thank you so much to all our wonderful Stone Soup writers and artists. Great work.

Updates: Selfie Contest and December Food Issue

I just discovered that while I announced our second Selfie Contest last week I had not made the Selfie Contest submission category live on our site. My apologies. The category is now up, so if you had tried and failed to upload your selfie contribution, you can do so today. And, if you haven't entered the contest yet, please read the post on our website and start taking pictures!

The deadline for the December Food Issue is coming up. We have some great submissions—thank you. If you still have ideas for that issue that you haven't sent to us yet, there is still time—but don't leave it too long! And of course we welcome submissions any time on any topic that inspires you. Keep on sharing your creations with us!

Until next week,


Business Update

Well, I'm sure that all of you who have small businesses know that one often finds that everything takes longer to accomplish than you thought it would. It's been hard work managing our transition to digital by ourselves, and we're very happy to report that our transfer back to the fulfilment house that handled print subscriptions for Stone Soup when we were sending issues to your homes is now nearly complete. As soon as we have our new, improved, subscription form in place you will be able to renew, subscribe and select from all of our Stone Soup packages, including placing orders for our new print Annual. You will be able to choose between digital only, print Annual only, or (the best deal), a combined digital and print Annual subscription. I am pretty confident that next week I will be able to announce that we are back in business with a more industry standard subscription form. Our Newsletter readers will be the first to know!

Thank you, as always, for your support,


From Stone Soup
November/December 2005

A Wider World

By Christy Joy Frost, 13

Illustrated by Vivien Rubin, 13

Kayla dropped the laundry basket down by the washing machine. This was the last load to bring down. She was hot from running up and down the stairs all morning.

She rolled up her sleeves and looked around the basement. The unfinished cement walls looked bare and cold, brightened only by the dabs of paint she had splotched there when she was five.

She climbed the wooden stairs to the kitchen where her mother was writing a shopping list.

“How many guests do we have booked?” Kayla asked as she pushed her sandy hair out of her face. Having a B-and-B was a lot of work but it brought in extra income as her dad’s house-painting business didn’t bring in much.

Mom looked away from her shopping list. “I think we’ll have three rooms taken by tonight. Mrs. and Mr. Wosen will take one and then Charmaine, and a new lady is coming tonight. An author, I think.”

But Kayla didn’t care if she was an astronaut. There was no one her age. She was used to being the only person around under twenty, but she hated it.../more

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