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Press Room

Skipping Stones
Vol. 18, no. 5
November-December, 2006

ISSN: 0899-529X

Celebrating Light! * Hawai’ian Nature


  • Featured Artist: Sharad Sovani, India
  • Exercise My What ???
  • It Starts With a Thread
  • The Significance of Giving • Smile
  • My Childhood - Mi niñez • Rocky Climb
  • Hero on the Streets • Abridged Songs on America
  • Candles in Common
  • Lights in the Darkest of Nights
  • Purrfect Pets! Feature
  • Maternal Instinct • Friendship is...
  • Building Memories
  • Grandma’s Garden
  • The Love of a Parent • If
  • Nature, Hawai’ian Style
  • One Writer’s Journey • Cursor
  • Keeping Quiet • Ballad for Ntozake Shange
  • Lakisha Makes a Difference
  • Writing and Art Tips

Regular Departments

  • From the Editor
  • Dear Hanna
  • What’s On Your Mind?
  • Health Rocks!
  • Cultural Collage
  • Noteworthy N.E.W.S.
  • BookShelf
  • Poetry Page
  • For Parents and Teachers
  • Art by Sharad Sovani, India

© 2006 by Skipping Stones, Inc. Opinions expressed in these pages reflect views of the contributors, and not necessarily those of Skipping Stones, Inc.

The Maze of Magazine-Making

Do you ever wonder what the world looks like from behind the editor’s desk? Many of you have dreams of starting your own zines or e-zines. Some of you might even end up working as a reporter, writer or editor for a magazine!

How many persons does it take to make a magazine? Of course, it takes many: authors and artists, editors and interns, printers and postal workers. And, let’s not forget you—the readers, subscribers and supporters. Like the African proverb, "It takes a whole village to raise a child."

What do all these people bring to the table?

Multiple perspectives. New voices, perspectives and innovation are vital to retaining freshness. There are a dozen ways to address an issue; multiple perspectives make the presentations relevant and realistic.

Creativity. We need creative minds and creative hands as much as cool computers and desktop publishing programs to prepare presentable pages of poetry, prose, photos and paintings.

Experience. It’s true that experience counts. There is so much to magazine making (just like to life) that one can never say, "I know it all."

More than just black and white. People appreciate color. The world would be dull if it were just black and white. White spaces and the many shades of black make the magazine pages refreshing.

Filters. We try not to let the steady stream of e-mails clog our brains—we try to recycle junk mail, keeping only useful information.

Clutter creates confusion. Organization, processes and structures are useful, especially in an office with multi-tasking staff members. Summer months give us extra time to recycle and re-organize the office.

Flexibility. Accounts and action plans, rules and rulers, systems and style-sheets are great for organizing, but we may have to bend rules a little when needed.

Timely. As editors, we must take responsibility for our actions and try to work in a timely manner.

The World is cyclic. Every two months a new issue must be published. Editing, responding, layout, printing and mailing issues is continuous. Are you ready for our R’s? Reading and replying to submissions, recycling paper, reviewing books, researching resources for writing articles, reflecting on other editors’ opinions, rethinking issues, reprinting articles, sending renewal requests, and reaching out to more readers, ...

To err is editor; to forgive, friendship. No matter, how careful we are, we always notice a few things we wish we had put differently, after the issue is printed. When we see a big mistake, we try to mend it.

Resource use. A penny saved is more than a penny earned. With wiser use of what we have, we can achieve much more than we thought was possible. We reduce our resource use by reusing and recycling.

Frugality. We try to live within our means. Borrowing big bucks is like digging a deep hole that might drown us. Frugality helps us not go in the "red."

Values and mission. Our values and mission of promoting global awareness, appreciating nature, and being ecological give us a reason to publish the magazine. Life without a purpose has little meaning.

Gentleness. We try to be gentle with our human friends, the earth (and our computers). We treat ourselves to a tea-times or snack breaks. We find walking and bicycling to be beneficial to our brains and bodies.

Teamwork. As an editorial team, we value each other’s opinions. We learn from each other. Cooperation is the key. Self-respect and love for our work helps in making a good contribution to the human world!

As we look at the 80 plus issues we have published during the last 18 years, we know practice improves the product; there is always the next time to do a bit better.

Here is yet another issue for your consideration!


For my grandmother, Sanora Fujino

     If you are a dark cloud
I am the bright daylight that opens for you.

      If you are a ruby fire,
I am the sapphire rain that cools you down.

      If you are lost and afraid
I am the jeweled angel that guides you home.

      If you are the citron shore
I am the cerulean waves that bow down to you.

      If you are a poetic moon,
I am the writer who describes your divine beauty.

      If you are an onyx mountain,
I am the pearly cloud watching over you.

      If you are a sweet gift,
I am the person to treasure all that’s inside of you.

      If you are an emerald sea,
I am the one who will swim in your majestic waters.

      If you are sad and without hope,
I am the healer of your heart’s sorrow.

-- Jordan Fasi, 12

by Sharad Sovani

Featured Artist:
Sharad Sovani, India

When I was a child, my father used to take us to scenic spots near my hometown. I was amazed with the waterfalls, hills, clouds, rocks, trees and so on. I also visited museums and enjoyed seeing landscape paintings there. Both these things were instrumental to make me a landscape painter, in the initial stage of my career.

As an adult, I went to visit many ancient towns, where I found castles, temples, palaces. Naturally, I started using architectural motifs in my paintings.

There are thousands of villages in India, where people wear colorful costumes and maintain the ancient Indian way of life. Images of these village people have also entered my art. My aim while painting is to play and experiment with colors and forms—without restricting myself to a particular theme or style—with a mood of joy and wonder.

I wish my paintings to be enjoyable and worth viewing again and again. I like my art to be simple, easy to understand, and without any confusions of mind. When people look at my paintings, I would like them to conceive it in their own way, rather than imposing any thought, issue or an ideology on them. That is why I usually keep my paintings untitled. Titles and captions, I believe, distract the viewer from the aesthetic enjoyment of art.

Generally, I start a painting with harmoniously spread colors on canvas, and then start to "carve" shapes in them. I marvel at the faces, figures, and architectural motifs that start emerging from the colors. Sometimes I draw lines to define the shapes.

I like to work in oils, which gives richness and depth to the painting. It also allows me enough time to keep on working, until I am satisfied with the balance, movement and composition.

My current style has grown out of my prior work, which was both realistic and abstract. To me, the joyous act of painting is more important than the end result. My art reflects a synthesis of my personal feelings and my ideas about art. It is an expression of joy, enthusiasm, fulfillment and gratefulness in life.

Tips for Young Artists:
In addition to the conventional method of painting with brush and palette, experiment with as many mediums and methods as you can imagine. Use rollers, sponge, cloth, hand or whatever is available to apply paint to paper or canvas. Whenever you find time, draw something without bothering about the end result.

-- Sharad Sovani,
New Delhi, India.

Also see the cover art. Sharad enjoys Western
and Indian classical music, old Hindi film music,
reading, writing, traveling. You may contact him at:

Rocky Climb

The vast yellow sun pours down
On the massive boulders and trees,
As they watch us climb.
Higher and higher we climb,
Finally reaching the glacier covered peak.

Then comes a single raindrop,
Doesn’t worry us one bit,
But then comes the wind and lightning;
Our happiness nearly splits.
The thunder roars against the pouring rain.
Four miles to the car,
Four miles is so far.

As we sprint down the muddy trail
I watch the people lying low,
I wonder why we don’t also,
For we are getting drenched
Through our thin ponchos
That are blowing in the wind
As fast as we are running.

-- Bradley Robbins, 9,
New Hampshire, adds,
"This poem is about a beautiful but scary
climb on the Skyline Trail in Banff
or Yoho National Park in Canada."



Skipping Stones Magazine
P.O. Box 3939
Eugene, OR 97403 USA.
Telephone: (541) 342-4956