It was a rainy evening as Ellen wiped down the counter of her empty dumpling shop, thirty minutes before closing. Another slow night. Her son lay on his stomach behind the counter, drawing, where he always was during his mother’s evening shifts.
Magic Is All Around, For Those Who Believe
It was fortunate that I was walking that day with a defeated posture. Had I been looking up instead of down, I probably would have walked past it, dismissing it as so many had me, as it crunched, unnoticed and unappreciated, under the heel of my shoe. There I was, head down, eyes averted in every effort to avoid human contact, lurching through the park on my way home from yet another devastating job interview- and there it was, shining benignly up at me, faded black leather with a ringed binding.
Baby on Fire
I wasn't supposed to be in his office. Not now—not ever. That was the command. His command. First, it started with the office, now the basement. Soon it'd be the dining room, the guest bedroom—our bedroom, even. Nothing could shock me too much anymore, but let's just stay I was starting to grow impatient.
When It Rains
I miss you when it rains. Writers have a certain sadness, I think. The peculiar discipline of scooping into one’s own soul, to pour it onto a page requires complete honesty. To write is to imagine oneself living, if only vicariously, as another being. That sharing of a mind, soul and body is exhilarating, but too, exhausting. The knowledge that you can make yourself into anyone, anywhere, brings a certain sadness and the relentless question of “Am I who I’m supposed to be?”
Shakespeare Was Right About The Stars
My mom gave birth to me at 17 on 1st October 1998 at 2:38 AM. According to Astrosofa.com, this means I'm a zodiac sign Libra with a Leo Ascendant and a moon sign of Aquarius. I have no idea what any of this means.
My Father's House
I am standing in the house my father built. The rooms are cold, as they always were. The myth of California is that it’s always warm. Instead, the damp gets inside of you until your skin crawls. The heat was never turned on in my father’s house.
Where is console gaming going?
Gaming has come leaps and bounds in ever-increasingly shorter timescales. It only feels like yesterday that I was playing Spyro and Crash Bandicoot on the PS1, but even before that, there were older gaming consoles like the Sega Mega Drive, Nintendo N64, and even consoles like the Atari Pong.
Spectrum City is a music genealogy project that attempts to trace the ancestral influences of modern popular music. Music follows the same Darwinian principles as life. Natural selection ensures successful mutations are replicated and thrive, whereas sonically flawed mutations become extinct after a few generations.
At Long Last, I’m (Partially) Excited for Pokémon Again
Pokémon was a significant part of my childhood; as a kid, I was obsessed with the anime and would watch it as often as I could. I never really got into collecting the trading cards though, nor did I play the games released for the Game Boy Advance. I did want Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness for a brief time, but it wasn’t one of the top games on my wish list. However, in 2007, my parents gifted me a Nintendo DS Lite, and with it came an opportunity to finally snag some Pokémon games of my own. I knew that the newest generation of the games was releasing on the DS, and I was excited to finally try one out. It seemed that Pokémon as a whole was entering a new era, because the Diamond and Pearl anime also started to air around this time, and I found myself engrossed in the new characters and creatures the show introduced. I was obsessed with Pokémon, and I was eager to play Diamond and Pearl and have a complete blast traversing through the Sinnoh region. Unfortunately, it would be a while before I got my hands on the games. The opportunity never arose throughout 2007, and I moved to India in the first half of 2008, where the games hadn’t been stocked yet. By this time, I had gotten a chance to finally play some of the older games, and I was certain that I would end up enjoying the DS games. As fate would have it, my father traveled to the United States in the latter half of the year, and he came back with a brand new copy of Pokémon Pearl. It was a dream come true for 10 year old me, and from the moment I booted up the game, I was addicted.
Charles Wheatley pushes through the gas station doors for the one-hundred and thirty-first time this year. For five days a week he stops on his way home from work, legs exhausted, smelling like raw meat, to buy one Sprite and one lottery ticket. He doesn’t tell anyone, even his wife. To them, the lottery is a loser’s game, but he always wins. Perhaps he loses a few real dollars, but he gains so much potential. That’s what keeps him alive.
Little Black BookSupported By: Moleskine
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In the Stars
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Black in Business
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Creators We’re Loving
Meet the people in your communities creating extraordinary things.
Creator Spotlight: RJ
Raven Jantara, or RJ, is a bright 21-year-old writer and artist based out of Portland, Oregon. RJ is a Vocal+ Founding Member, which means she's been gracing our creator-driven platform with her articulate, multi-community content for a very long time. How long exactly? Well, long enough to have published over 60 stories and either win or place in a whopping six challenges.
Where We Are Going, Where We Have Been
The title of this edition of Verified may have been inspired by a Joyce Carol Oates story that has traumatized us since tenth grade, but we promise the theme will be very different.
Introducing Creator Bonuses on Vocal
Today we’re rolling out Vocal Creator Bonuses: a more direct way for the Vocal team to reward creators directly in their Wallet.
How To Edit Your Published Vocal Stories!
It happened again. You spent five hours writing the perfect Vocal article. You got so excited by the fact you finished, you accidentally hit "submit for review" before deleting any spelling or grammar mistakes. Or maybe you did check for mistakes, but you missed a couple in your editing session. If only the article wasn't locked while pending for review - you could take them out right now!
Creator Spotlight: Farmer Nick
Nick Cutsumpas, or "Farmer Nick," is an L.A.-based Plant Coach, Urban Farmer, and Environmentalist dedicated to creating inviting and informative content for plant parents and soon-to-be plant parents alike.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true, that even as we grieved, we grew, that even as we hurt, we hoped, that even as we tired, we tried, that we'll forever be tied together, victorious.