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  • Susan Stoderl

New Sophia and Pedro Short Story and Lesson Learned

Introducing my second short story "A Celebration of Cultures: Pedro's Special Three Kings Day." The stories expand on the characters found in my middle-grade series, Sophia of the Bright Red Sneakers. If you click on the picture it will take you to the story. Or you can click on this link:

This story is a lesson for a non-fluent Spanish writer trying to use Spanish phrases correctly. I asked my artist friend LisaMaria Maya Canellas in New York to check my Spanish phrases and she did not agree with what I put, which came from Google translate. (What other source of great wisdom?) She checked with her husband Luis, and they came up with a phrase that would work.

When it did not seem right to them, I decided to try several other translation apps online and came up with four other versions of the same phrase. I finally realized I had used a phrase that was native to English but not Spanish. Since it was a phrase not generally used in Spanish, there was no definitive answer. Each app gave a literal translation, but not something that would be native to Spanish. Lesson learned: need an editor fluent in languages I throw around. However, this is probably not happening for every blog, so I will have to prey on my friendships due to time constraints and dollars and hope to be forgiven!

I want my stories to be multicultural because that is my vision for the world. I feel it is necessary to be a just and functional world. People who are not born into a multicultural world, like I was not, often learn about different cultures by reading. As a writer, my job is to do my research to present it as accurately as I can. I lived in New York City for thirty-two years and thrived in its multicultural environment. When I write, I want to show the wonders of that world to others. There are many who are afraid of a multicultural environment and there is no need to be. It can be very enriching and fun.


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