Keep On Keeping On
"Keep calm and carry on" is ubiquitous with surviving tough times. But for those of us born well after the second world war, we mainly know the expression for its lighter side, mostly from memes—like this one, which is free to download from Destination Craft.
"Ground Control to Major Tom," "Call Me Les, here!"
*This was for a personal challenge...so while I doubt it makes any sense to my readers...it did serve a purpose! * It's 9 a.m. My sun alarm has tried nudging me awake, failed and I'm now feeding the "hungry sheep" in my Alarm Mon app their hay. The insanely loud bleating noise of the sheep has awoken my mouthy calico cat, Savannah, who begins chiming in with the sound. She's still riding high from being named EmPAWyee of the month.
Call Me Les Interview Index
When co-creating the Vocal Creators Chronicle, I knew immediately that I wanted to dedicate my space to interviews. Inspired partly by Oprah, and partly by Humans of New York, I'm only beginning to tackle my goal of creating a cross-section of humanity. I started with my fellow creators while I awaited for various external subjects to complete their questionnaires.
If a story isn't happy, is it worth telling? If it doesn't contain triumphs over adversity or true love or virtue signalling or something else trendy and memorable, does it mean it shouldn't exist? Most people in this world aren't protagonists. They come. They suffer. If they're lucky they smile sincerely a few times. And then they are gone. Ashes to ashes, back to the elements of the stars from which we were all born. I remember the spring when I was five. There was an owl nest in the town park. People travelled from far and wide to photograph the barn owls. Perfect pictures for picture perfect Instagrams. The traffic got to be so heavy, the town put up a sign to protect the owls while they nested. You know what else nests in spring? The food the owls eat. Squirrels. Can you imagine being the squirrel? Being barred from backyard buffets because you aren't a bird? Knowing that people sometimes speed up just to hit you as you cross the street? Living a life where you are systematically exterminated, poked fun at, hated—simply for being born a squirrel. And then the supreme beings of the planet find a new way to push you down by protecting the creatures who feast upon you and your young. Do we tell the stories of the squirrels? Do they make it into legends or mythology? Rarely and certainly not memorably. It's an owl's world. Always has been. Always will be. Most people on the planet are squirrels. We scramble for food, we nurse and cradle our young, and if we're lucky we have a summer day where, for one short moment, our bellies are full enough to sit back and rest for a few hours. And we're told to savour that. Count our blessings. Be humble. All the while, the owls roam the skies, doing as they please and enjoying the privilege of humans putting up signs to protect their nests. Hadn't considered it that way, had you? Yeah. That's the thing. It's too depressing to tell the stories of the "squirrels" of this world. But they're there. I'm here.
Call Me Les Social Media Management Portfolio
I didn't come to Vocal with a vision of one day working in the social media industry. I came to create some fictions for fun with the side hope of promoting my book, Owl in a Towel. However, that mindset rapidly evolved as I was introduced to new people and ideas. It seems that before I knew it, I was giving all my free time outside of work to something related to Vocal. As much as this has taken me away from some of the things that I used to enjoy, writing for Vocal has given me much more back in the form of new opportunities, networking and relationships, not to mention filling the lonely hours of lockdown restrictions.
When Owls Play Foul
Vocal's biggest challenge of the New Year is worth $20,000. YES, that's right: 20 GRAND. So, of course, I and essentially every other Vocal writer who can type (plus their friends, nosy neighbours and grandmothers), are now furiously trying to hatch an original and captivating short story featuring a barn owl.