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Cold, Bitter Truths

Step Nine Of Gary Ragnarsson's Challenge

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
An AI Wall Calendar From The Author


This is step nine of Gary Ragnarsson's Frosted Primrose Challenge. In this part, I write a letter to myself exploring the ups, downs, achievements, and missed opportunities of 2023. Put the year up for review, and publish my story in the ‘Journal’ community.

The music is the Sex Pistols/Earth Wind And Fire "God Save September" mash-up because I wanted something calendar related.

Read all about it here:

Cold, Bitter Truths

So was 2023 such a terrible year?

Look at it, it certainly wasn't, it was full of some amazing successes.

There is nothing cold or bitter that has left you feeling upset, disappointed, or down.

Of course, there were downs and failures, but what is a failure but a lesson learned?

You have renewed some amazing friendships and that has stretched into 2024. Although there are people who stepped so far over the line You will never have anything to do with them again, some friendships drifted and then came back with incredible vigour like this one with this Gary (another Gary was permanently shelved due to racism and misogynist attitudes, which are totally unacceptable).

You did not make two thousand posts on Vocal, which could have been done with senryū, haiku, and other short forms, but You do expect that to happen before the first of March this year. Without the work that you did in 2023 that would not happen in 2024 and this is part of reaching that milestone.

You had so many Top Stories on Vocal that you lost count but your friends and audience were impressed and supportive. Your main disappointment is that your poetry and fiction are seldom recognised by Vocal.

You discovered Guinness Zero which your friend Jon Raine says is so perfect it has no right to exist, and you agree. You gave up alcohol twenty years ago, with the odd half a Guinness each year but now you can have that gorgeous drink any time that you want.

You keep walking to maintain yourself for those who matter to you, and since being hit with Liver Cancer three years ago, you feel you have made a full recovery thanks to our brilliant National Health Service.

Another success is that You actually placed in a Vocal Challenge. You believe it was actually an AI Glitch that let you in, but whatever, You were happy to take the twenty-five dollars and have that monkey off your back. This was the story in the Writers Challenge (how ironic, you placing in a Vocal Writers Challenge).

Your Vocal audience has grown and you finally got your annoying clickbait piece replaced by a valid story which can be read here. This has 1450 reads and is now your most-read piece.

You also created a few more anthologies that you self-pushed on Amazon here:

Your top five most-read stories have four and a half thousand reads between them and none of them are Vocal Top Stories, in fact only three of your top ten made Vocal Top Stories.

You have helped the administrators of Vocal Social Society to grow the group and make it a welcoming and supportive place for Vocal Creators new and old.

Your successes in 2023 have set you up for an even more successful 2024. There are no Cold Bitter Truths for you only Warm, Sweet Truths.

Your holidays in Settle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Thirsk, and Whitby have provided much material for your Vocal work as do your almost daily meetings with your feline friends.

You have so many incredible friends, and a wonderful family, Fiona, Juliet, Kirsty, Alexis, Mark, and your dad just hit 89 and is going strong.

2023 has been an amazing year and, no doubt, 2024 is going to be even better.

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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

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Comments (4)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran3 months ago

    Yayyyy waiting for you to hit 2000 pieces! I enjoyed reading your letter!

  • Quite the year for you, Mike. May 2024 be even better.

  • John Cox3 months ago

    1,450 reads for a single story? Mike, that's epic. And 2,000 posts by March is mind boggling. I admire your ability to achieve such lofty goals and enjoy reading your posts, poetry and stories!

  • Gary Ragnarsson3 months ago

    I think you may have just made my list of five stories I’ve greatly enjoyed! Your successes over 2023 on Vocal have been wonderful watch play out, and you’ve been a rock to our community. I’m glad you look back with only warm, sweet truths to report 😊

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