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An update from our second Weekly Writing Workshop!

The Stone Soup Weekly Writing Workshop is open to all Stone Soup contributors and subscribers during the COVID-19-related school closures and shelter-in-place arrangements. Every Friday, we meet for one hour via Zoom to respond to a new writing challenge, write together in our virtual room, and then share what we have written with one another. At our session on Friday April 10, we introduced ourselves and discovered that besides Stone Soup team members calling in from Canada, the UK and the USA, we had workshop members from Canada and across the United States–Massachussetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and California were all represented!

This week, William Rubel, Stone Soup's founder, set the challenge for the group, suggesting that we write about COMFORT for 30 minutes before coming back together to read and discuss what we'd written.

The Writing Challenge: Write a story, poem, or other prose, on Comfort. Use the idea of comfort, not just the word: you can consider notions like comforting, comfortable.

The Participants:  Anya (13), Analise (9), Liam (12), Abhi (12), Vivian (11), Lucy (12), Mico (13), Silas (10), Georgia (11)

Our participants were inspired in different ways by this idea. The examples below touch on some recognisable themes of cosy fires, soothing cups of tea, and cool water on a beautiful day. Other contributions included a gripping story about a disappearing brother, challenging the idea that comfort is necessarily a good thing; and a thought experiment about the mysterious Miss Rose and her disappearing comfortable chair. Below you can read just a few examples of the great work that came out of the workshop.

The Little Cottage, by Anya G., 13

Rain lashed at the windows
Spraying them
Stinging them
With icy droplets of water
That streaked down the glass

The wind howled
Whipping around the little island
Chasing itself, over and over
Like a vacuum
Sucking soul from the world

And on the little island
Trees were bent, contorted
With every creak, every groan
To fall through the frozen air

But inside the little cottage
With its thatched roof
And smoke twirling merrily into the abyss of sky
Orange light glowed through windows
Commanding the dark to retreat

The air was warm in the cottage
Flushed with the aroma of baking bread
A scent that wrapped itself around you
Soothing, like a favorite blanket
On the coldest of nights

And a fire crackled cheerfully
Each pop and whiz writing a song
While the flames danced along
An uplifting tune
A reminder of the happiest of days

With mugs of steaming tea
With volumes of cherished books
Well-cared for in their old age
The little cottage sheltered
And cozily outwaited the storm

Untitled, by Anya G., 13

The water is cool, collected
It rolls over me
Submerging me in its underwater bliss
So faint now are the shouts of joy
As kids swim over my head

There is nothing here
And yet it is a rich nothing
An emptiness that resonates
Clear as a bell

I should be thankful
To be a part of this holy space
With its ripples of light
A crystal clear emptiness
Stretching on forever

Sunrise by Lucy Rados, 12

I sat on the bench,
Dew covering the ground,
Fog obstructing my view.
A mug of hot tea in my hand,
The steam rising as if tendrils of comfort are wrapping around me.
A blanket
Draped over my shoulders;
A shield to the chilly autumn air.
I look to the east
As a sliver of light
Pierces the mist.
The light rises
Spreading comfort through me.
Pink and orange
Flood the sky
Like a wave crashing over my head.
The whispers of wind
Throw my hair around.
I know I am safe
By the comfort around me,
By the sunrise to the east

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