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The Big Five-Oh

Plus One

By Dana CrandellPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 4 min read
The Big Five-Oh
Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

Before you congratulate me on my birthday, let me assure you, I passed that particular milestone a very long time ago. This isn't about that.

“So what's this about?” I'm glad you asked!

This should have been my 50th published story on Vocal.

I was looking forward to writing something special or profound for number fifty. It might seem a very small thing to many of you, but 43 of the 49 I had chalked up were written in the past 3 months, after a very long pause, starting in February of 2022. For me, it's not quite as insignificant as it sounds.

So, getting back on track here, I was poised to write something great. Then, an idea came to me for the Microfiction challenge and I wrote and published it. Oops! So, here I am, writing number 51.

In retrospect, I think it's fitting that the milestone article wasn't a monumental undertaking or an overblown ego trip, for several reasons. (I'm not saying I don't have an ego. Like everyone else, I enjoy the responses when a piece clicks with the readers.)

I'm actually a pretty low-key person. I'm also not here on Vocal to prove myself. I earn money with my writing every day, and if you do business or shop online, there's a good chance you've read my stuff. You may even have found some of it credited to me. (By the way, if you think successful content writing is easy or doesn't require creativity, please, try it.) There's also a chance you've read books edited by me. So, here's low-key me, “blowing my own horn,” but the point is, I'm confident enough in my writing skills. I'm not here to validate them.

I'm still on Vocal because it's good for the writer inside me. More accurately, the creators on Vocal are good for him. I really do love reading what you write and I make time to read every day, even if I don't have time to write for myself that day. I read each and every story by those I subscribe to and I read the Top Stories, and those often add new names to my “subscribed” list. Challenge picks? Yes, I read them all. I comment. I honestly enjoy supporting other Creatives.

Now, you should know that I make some allowances when I read. If you're pushing an agenda, I'll probably read the piece anyway. I'm interested in your views, whether I agree with them or not. It gives me insight, and heck, I might even find some common ground. If I comment, I won't mention any of the points we don't agree on.

I will eventually be writing some material that I know will contain trigger points for some of my friends, especially when I continue with my Community series. I hope you'll return the courtesy I've outlined above. It's a little thing I like to call “mutual respect.” It's the same principle that keeps me from using terms like “woke.” On the other hand, if you're the kind of person that can take a joke, go ahead and call me “Boomer” and I'll find a label for you, too. (I hate labels, but I enjoy kidding around. I know a couple of Gen X'ers who might vouch for that.)

I'm going to leave that right there. I'll bear no grudge against anyone who unsubscribes.

So, Vocal is a community full of “my peeps” (I can't believe I just typed that.) and that's what keeps me here. There's another side to the platform that's a little more difficult for me to deal with, and that feeling is mutual. I've had some exchanges with the support team that were less than pleasant for both sides. I'm not the kind of person to use rude speech in those exchanges, but I do know how to get my point across. When it comes to customer support, I deliver it in my business and I expect the same. I also think that it's important to follow up on promises.

I don't think you'll be seeing my face in the “Creators We're Loving” section. I can understand that. After all, the people behind the scenes on the platform are people, too. I'm a crotchety old fart and probably too outspoken much of the time.

I manage to snag a Top Story now and then, but I think I can pretty much rest assured that I won't place in a challenge. That's okay.

I don't know if you'll see less content from me in the near future. I may stretch out on Medium again and see what happens. Sooner or later, I need to finish my books, too. What I do know is that I'm not going anywhere, at least for now. (Are you listening, Vocal?) I'll continue to submit to the challenges that interest me. It's good exercise, and I guess you just never know.

I do know that I'll continue to read what my friends write. It's literally the highlight of my day. I'll also continue to refer to you as my friends, regardless of any differences we may have.

Lastly, if this sounds like I'm just having myself a good whine, I'm okay with that assessment, too. I'm going to stop whining now and see how long it takes for a 50-story bonus to show up. My sincere thanks to all of you who have been so supportive.


Author's Note: As I was writing this, I was awarded a Top Story for a Microfiction piece, and read the winner's list that came in for a challenge. My name wasn't on it. Go figure.

Author's Note, the Sequel: I want to offer a sincere, "Thank you!" to the writer whose profile I've linked to below, for the reminder to provide a link to the first story of the series I mentioned in this article. Read her stories. You won't regret it:

Author's Note III, The Final(?) Chapter: I need to acknowledge one more writer, because he deserves recognition much more than me. The man has almost 1,300 published stories and shares some of the most valuable information on poetry & music I've found anywhere:


About the Creator

Dana Crandell

Dad, Stedpad, Grandpa, Husband, lover of Nature and dogs.

Poet, Writer, Editor, Photographer, Artist and Tech/Internet nerd. Content writer by trade. Vocal Creator by choice.

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (13)

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  • Paul Stewartabout a year ago

    Congrats on this great piece and reaching the 50...51 mark. I love your insights and always appreciate when you leave feedback and encouragement on my own pieces. I managed to do a big thing for 100th piece. So, I know the importance. I do see these little milestones as important, so think you definitely should be proud for that! I have my own problems with TS, challenges and stuff like that...but I shall not be a-moaning here. I like that you're not going anywhere, because, as Kristen and several others have said, you'd be sorely missed. But, dude..."peeps" - my face just did an involuntary cringe. hahaha From one Gen Xer to Boomer - well done again! I shall continue you to read your pieces, even the ones that may trigger me. I don't trigger easily though! And I love your attitude to showing appreciation for pieces, even if you don't necessarily agree with content. Anyway, thank you for being you and continuing to make Vocal an awesome place. And apologies for putting this comment in such a random order!

  • Testabout a year ago

    Everyone needs peeps Neat piece

  • ARCabout a year ago

    Dana, I read this yesterday and wanted to come back when I had had a moment to let your words sink in. I have a lot of respect for you and the way you handle yourself in the comments. It takes a very 'big' person to be able to separate content from structure and - even if you disagree with the content - still be able to identify the achievement of the structure. Thank You for being this way. You make our world a more understanding place with this effort. I also love your 'low-key' retrospective on your 50th piece. This feels very true-to-form with the spirit of your writing (at least, this reader's experience of it). This is one of the reasons I always look forward to your pieces. You have a definite voice, and I find it enjoyable and pleasant to spend time listening to it. Thanks for sharing this insightful piece. I enjoyed reading it!

  • Jay Kantorabout a year ago

    'Sup Grandpa ~ You always manage to "Peep" my curiosity! Jay

  • Kristen Balyeatabout a year ago

    Dana! Congratulations on your 51st Piece :)! I am SO happy you are here and I'm always excited when my notifications show a new piece from you. Thank you for sharing your writing with us- Vocal would not be the same experience if you were not on it! I consider you one of my peeps and one of my peeps ;). I absolutely loved this celebratory piece and am so grateful for your honesty and look forward to reading your community series! Cheers to you and to 50, well, 51! I HOPE to see you on the challenge winners list sooner than later- your writing certainly deserves it! Also, I had no idea they did a 50th-piece bonus! I never received one. Going to email them now:)

  • L.C. Schäferabout a year ago

    I don't even understand how they pick the "Creators we are loving". I thought it was just random haha

  • Congrats on the TS. Too bad about the challenge. I feel ya on the "Creator's We're Loving". I can be kind of crotchety, too. And I'm well known among some for my "inner Karen", lol. But please keep on writing for us. I love reading the things you have to say, even if I don't always agree. (Have I ever disagreed with you on something here? I don't remember.)

  • Dana Stewartabout a year ago

    Good on you for publishing 50 pieces! I kind of love that your testament piece is the one after, rounding out the number 51. That means your 50th was the Zombie one, right? It got Top Story! My 50th did too, which I thought was cool. Reading on Vocal is a highlight for me as well, especially your pieces. I’m at the age where I rather have people in my corner opposed to sitting diagonally across the ring from me. I definitely am friends with people of different views, so no worries there. If we all thought the same it’d be a boring world. Somewhere in the middle of all the ideals, there’s respect and peace. For everybody. Congratulations again on 50. By the way, I emailed customer service about mine , but I got the bonus. 🎉

  • Roy Stevensabout a year ago

    Well, congrats on your 51st piece Dana! 🍺 If ya can't celebrate that, what can ya celebrate? I'll continue to enjoy reading your offerings and I look forward to that day when you win, place or show on a challenge despite your curmudgeonly self! 😃

  • Brenton Fabout a year ago

    You keep writing and I'll keep reading (and add the occasional comment here and there).

  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsdenabout a year ago

    Looking forward to seeing what you do next

  • Naomi Goldabout a year ago

    Congrats on 50. I’ve got to admit, I will never be friends with people who don’t share my values, and that includes political. Friendship is sacred to me. But as far as being polite goes, I literally do that every single day on Vocal when I see the things people say that range from offensive to completely untrue. That’s just the nature of the internet. I will never meet these people, they will never change my mind, I will never change theirs, and life is what happens offline. I am very quick to unsubscribe, though. It’s how I keep my sanity. I also won’t put my political beliefs on Vocal. I would rather put them in a book that will outlive me, so the future generations can know I saw through the bullshit, and they can feel less alone if they too are visionaries ahead of their time. Because that’s a lonely thing to be. And stories on the internet get scrolled through, with a surface level read, then forgotten about within 48 hours. So what I put here is never what I want to be remembered for. That being said, I’m excited for you to continue your series on community, and I’m so grateful to have you be part of this community. I believe in listening to those who’ve been around longer than me, so I wish more Boomers were on Vocal sharing their wisdom and experiences. Cheers. A whiskey neat for you. 🥃

  • Kendall Defoe about a year ago

    Hope I am one of the peeps! Congrats, old man! ;)

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