Saturday Newsletter: August 4, 2018
To our adult readers and supporters…
In the eternal words of the song from Cabaret, “Money makes the world go around.” A pledge of the equivalent value of one cappuccino a month from each of you who read this Newsletter would be transformational for Stone Soup. Please join with us to support children’s creativity. Thank you.
Illustrator Alondra Paredes, 12, for ‘Last Summer at Camp’ by Eliza Edwards-Levin, 11. Published May/June 2011.
A note from William Rubel
Only one of you has so far sent me a photograph of your Summer Journal. Thank you Abhimanyu! To the rest of you – please don’t hold out on me! Take a photo of your journal and send it to me by replying to this Newsletter or submit into our blog category clearly labelled as Summer Journal.
We posted Abhi’s Summer Journal‘s opening pages on our blog last week, and we really look forward to reading more about his summer. What Abhi has given us is a very strong beginning that should be an inspiration to all of us who are not keeping journals to get started! Notice how much information is conveyed though his matter-of-fact voice. In perfect “show don’t tell” style, Abhi discloses that the maid’s social standing is low by mentioning that she sleeps on the floor, while everyone else sleeps in a bed. He conveys the information that the electrical grid is not perfect and the climate is hot by talking about the on-again off-again air conditioning, and conveys the tropical splendor of his Grandmother’s garden by talking about the fruits that he picks there.
Abhimanyu has the sense that nothing changes in India where his grandmother lives, and he conveys how comfortable and happy the family’s time there is. It can sometimes be difficult to see change, as it often occurs very slowly, but when you look back twenty years later you see just how how dfferent things actually are. I am sure that Abhi’s journal will make interesting reading in 2038. And so will your journals. Contemporaneous notes tend to have a freshness, level of detail, and level of accuracy that memoire writing doesn’t have.
Without a journal, what will you actually remember of your Summer 2018 in 2038? Speaking from experience, I’d say not much! It is still Summer vacation, so take up pen and paper and get to work. At the least, document every day for one week. Then, take stock of what you’ve written and decide whether to push on for another week. If you keep it up, then journal writing will become a habit. Keep it up for a lifetime and you will have created something of real value that might even make you famous!
Concrete Poetry Contest – nine days left to submit!
Don’t forget to enter our concrete poetry contest. The closing date 15th August, so you still have time to get your creative juices flowing! Read Editor Emma’s advice in our Submittable portal and who knows, you might submit one of the winning poems. Happy writing, and good luck.
Recipes for our Food Issue
If writing a summer journal isn’t your thing, maybe spending some time in the kitchen is. We are looking for your recipes to include in the Stone Soup Food Issue. For a chance to have your recipe included in our special December issue you’ll need to get it to us before September 15th. You can read some good advice on recipe writing in Submittable.
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!
Little Stories is a lovely set of drawings from Annalise Braddock, You can also hear her talking about them via a piece of audio we have loaded on the page. Don’t miss it!
In our review section, this week we have a movie review by Abhi Sukhdial, of The Breadwinner (readers of his journal will know that he watched quite a few movies on that long flight to India…).
From Stone Soup May/June 2011
By Eliza Edwards-Levin, 11 Illustrated by Alondra Paredes, 12
The boat thrummed, vibrated for a few seconds, then stopped completely. “All right! All right! Everybody out! Everybody out!” yelled the driver. The whole scene made me think of some classical book or movie. But I liked it. It made me think of how much I loved camp last year—how excited I’d been for months leading up to now to go back.
I shoved the little sliver of homesickness that was already crowding into my throat and grinned. Things were starting to look familiar.
There were hills covered in tiny dots of brownish-gray that would be our cabins. There was a colorful, big dining hall, big enough to feed eighty kids three times a day, with signs all over it that said Recycle or Camp Three Rivers 1990. And the counselors were lined up on the dock, ready to meet and greet us, ready to attempt to impress our parents. All of them wore T-shirts that said Camp Three Rivers on them in big blue block letters.
Counselors. Last year I’d had the perfect counselor. Pretty. Young. Sweet. Smart, but not nerdy. Cool, but not stereotypical. I hoped for her. I prayed for her, despite my not being religious. I…
“Zoe? Are… are you Zoe?” asked a voice, rapidly cutting off my stream of reminiscence. I looked up. It was a counselor. She was on the chubby side, smiling, and young. Looked nice. I nodded.
“I’m Lyla,” she smiled-said. You know what I mean. When people say something, but you could really tell what they’re saying even if they weren’t saying it. Only people with big smiles can do this. Definitely not me.
“It’s great to meet you,” Lyla said. “I’ll be your counselor this year!”
I had no idea what to say. It’s not like, in that moment, I really could’ve said anything. I managed a weak smile.
“Your cabin will be Heron Hill, and your junior counselor will be Emma,” she went on. “I’m so so glad to meet you! This’ll be the best session! Ever!”
The cabin—my cabin—was small. Really small. I eyed my bed—the only bed left unoccupied. I eyed the kids playing outside. I looked up at my parents, and suddenly what used to be only a sliver of homesickness became a small, heavy coin, pushing, pushing, pushing me to beg my parents to take me back home.
In five minutes, I thought, they’ll be gone. Gone—for twelve days! Twelve days with no Nicky to toss a ball with, no Dad to embarrass me in the supermarket, no Mom to brush my hair even when I don’t want her to…
After my bed had been set up, and the goodbyes had been said, and I’d seen with my own eyes my parents walking down the steps and onto the boat, I stood there, perplexed, almost. I sat on my bunk and waited for the dinner bell to ring. The food was one of the elements at Camp Three Rivers that could never fail. It was always the same delicious, kid-friendly, home-cooked food that even the pickiest of the picky eaters loved. I’d get to meet the rest of my cabin at dinner. I’d start to settle in. …/more
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.