Been on Vocal over two years. I have very little to show for all that time - and 127 posts. But, I do have a few things that could be considered “Milestones” here. And, what luck - most either have playlists embedded or I have a track in mind already. Last few hours of the challenge in mind, so let’s see how quick I can ruin this.
So, let’s take a look.
First off, here's the playlist for this piece.
1) First Post: “The Caregiver’s Routine”
I mention this one a lot; it was my first story here after all.
Based largely off my own experiences care-giving for my brother with many handicaps physical and otherwise.
However, the challenge it was for required that someone come into a large sum of money - as well as contain a little black book.
Punctuation was off around dialogue. Shoehorning the large sum of money in takes the story down to “kinda shit” territory.
But, being based off of my own life, it’s relatable. And it was my first story here. Brings me back to being all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about the platform.
2) First Top Story: “Mischief at the Barn”
The “Summer Fiction Series” was a series of 8 challenges released at once in 2021. Each challenge had their own requirement, but if you could find a way, you could fit in all 8 challenge requirements; one story could get into all of them.
And so it was with this somewhat humorous fiction piece; I was able to finish and submit it into all 8 before the first, requiring a barn, closed.
And it became my first Top Story. So far, to date, it stands as my most-viewed piece with 267 views. There’s one challenging for the spot, but it’s like 40 views behind - it’s gonna take a while.
The story is simple; a class reunion is held at the old barn - the old haunt. And some funny shit happens. An enjoyable read; it still stands as decent.
3) First Tip - $1 for “Happy Howl-oween”
Ah, my first tip!
Honestly, I don’t recall this tale much - never really read it since. I do know it was a playlist with like a story woven between the songs? Yeah.
Someone thought it was cool enough for a $1 tip - my first of 2!
Given the songs are in the story, I won’t link any here.
4) Personal Achievement: “Achievement Earned: Fifty Million Gold Earned on One Character Through Auctions”
While not a Vocal milestone, this is a piece detailing one that is important to me - making 50 million gold in World of Warcraft on my main.
It was a real labor of love. And time. And commitment. Like Vocal, but you can actually get something from World of Warcraft for your efforts. I mean pixels, but it’s still giving me more than Vocal (I knew things would be dismal here, but I didn’t expect absolute clown shoes).
Any case, it’s also one of - if not the longest - I’ve written here. Long history in the game, my main has, and it needed context.
5) Second Top Story: “Baker’s Dozen: YouTube Channels I Loved in 2021”
“Baker’s Dozen” lists are a play in my last name, and I typically offer a list of 13 things that I enjoy (typically being the keyword). While I think 4 total (we'll see soon) were Top Stories, I've written plenty that just didn't make the cut. Like, really; there's several with not a single read... oof.
In this one, I introduced readers to the YouTube channels I was digging in 2021. It was a fun piece, hot on the heels of family drama that has since left me estranged from my immediate family for the last few years, so the lighter topic was welcome. I even had some variety to it, unlike my piece on podcasts that... well, did not do well... Nothing new there.
I'm not sure what song could represent this collection of YouTube channels... Maybe "The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny" by Lemon Demon; even though there's not any mentioned in this list, I do enjoy commentaries on character arcs/fights, and those can get a little crazy...
6) Third Top Story: "Baker's Dozen: Cannabis Strains I Loved in 2021"
Don't worry - I only have six Top Stories at this time; it's not gonna be a much longer list.
This was another fun post - how could it not be when we're talking about getting high?
I listed strains that I smoked in 2020 and 2021 that stood out to me, personally. There's more on the how and why in the story.
7) Fourth Top Story: "Baker's Dozen: Comfort Shows in 2021"
Yep - I had a fair streak going on with "Baker's Dozen" lists getting Top Story at the end of 2021...
This time, I introduced folks to my line-up of comfort shows for the year. It's full of oldies - quite literally. I do love me some dino docs. I was having fun, the posts seemed to be doing okay...
I'm going to take from a more recently-liked artist and suggest, "Mastodon" by Paleowolf as an audio representative. Hard to find songs about dinosaurs that aren't kid songs, so we'll have to make due with tracks about prehistoric mammals.
8) Second Tip: $5 for "Unwise Gossip"
My second - and so far last - tip was $5 for the creepy fiction story, "Unwise Gossip", in which children are going missing and everyone suspects Mateo's wife, Luna. One night, their home is set ablaze, and Luna never returns. When Mateo begins seeing a new woman, he eagerly follows her to a cabin, hoping they are taking the relationship to the next step. Instead, he takes his last steps.
It was my only entry into the "Return of the Night Owl" challenge - and the first reader thought it was worth the read! Pity only 3 people have read it; was quite proud of it back in the day.
I enjoyed it - it was dark, and I kept thinking of new things to weave in last minute. Overall, a solid piece.
9) Started Therapy at "Go"
A personal piece, "Go" was the last of three ("Ready", "Set", and "Go") as I braced myself to start therapy. I'd been getting cold feet, but a bad flashback around the time made it clear that I needed to get help, because fuck all that shit with the flashbacks.
While not the piece that officially started my seeking therapy, it was the one right before I made the real commitment to start. Over a year in - and 70 sessions - and here we are; still fucked up, but maybe not as bad.
10) Fifth Top Story: "Baker's Dozen: 13 Perfumes I Enjoyed in 2022"
Arguably, one of my most elegant pieces on the site; I put in a lot of effort for this one! It paid off a little - it is a bit of a niche topic, so while it was a Top Story... it didn't do as well as the others that made Top Story from, say, Geeks.
In it, I showcase the 13 perfumes I liked most in 2022 - most with a story attached. I really like the piece - it's one even I will go re-read.
11) 100 Stories - "Baker's Dozen: 100 Post Edition"
While not the actual 100th post (101st), I chose to showcase this piece because it is a collection of my favorites and best in the first 100 posts.
I have the "Microfiction Magic" challenge to thank for allowing me to get to 100 posts so quickly. If my dialogue in a few recent posts hasn't given it away yet, I'm not really happy on the platform itself anymore, and I was really struggling to get posts out largely because of that.
Since then, though, I've gotten to 127 posts (128 with this one). The Microfiction challenge was fun - and simple.
"Seasons of Love" from the Rent soundtrack because I'm feeling ironic. Also to emphasize the time spent here. Also not listing that whole list of artists, sorry. They're listed online, on Spotify...etc.
12) Sixth Top Story: "Last Night We Said Goodbye Again"
Just when I thought my PTSD and triggers were going to be the worst things about 2023...
...My boyfriend's best friend was killed; robbery gone wrong basically.
I was kind of surprised this one was a Top Story, and I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that it is. I didn't include much in the way of personal items; I didn't share links, or images. I was kinda just writing it to write it; it wasn't meant to do anything.
How ironic - write something and hope it does anything, it does nothing. Write something that should do nothing, and it does things. I don't get that.
I dunno. It is my latest - maybe even my last - Top Story. I guess, at least, I got to spend a little quality time in my head with our friend. So there's that.
13) Personal Achievement: "I've Walked (Over) 10,000 Miles"
While it's not anything that'll do anything on the platform, I was a little excited to write this one.
I pace a lot - usually 3 hours or more in a day. Leftover habit from childhood, as it was the only time I'd get to myself without someone demanding something of me.
About 8 years ago, I got a fitness tracker, and the other day, I realized I hit 10,000 paced on it in that time.
And that's gonna do it I think!
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About the Creator
A fun spin on her last name, Baker enjoyed creating "Baker's Dozen" lists for various topics! She also wrote candidly about her mental health & a LOT of fiction. Discontinues writing on Vocal in December 2023.