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Ephemeral Beauties

Should our old stories fade away?

By JD Pernoste and Anneliese DahlPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - May 2023

We are new to Vocal Media, Pernoste and I, still learning our way around.

There is a surprising amount to learn as newbies, for example:

  1. who we like to read
  2. what we prefer to read (poetry, fiction, blogs, etc)
  3. most importantly, what we like to write
  4. and then throw in Challenges, and that really gets the creativity pumping.

Along with this, we hope to learn what people like to read from us... (though honestly it may have little effect on us, for we are too hard-headed to write other than how we want to) . . . but still, when people read what we write, it is wonderful to get feedback, good or bad, in order to refine our craft.


It is amazing, the amount of writing talent on Vocal Media, just amazing. But we've discovered that, perhaps because there is so much good writing, that there is a small window of time in which a story will be seen. The older a story is, the more likely it fades from view. And it's quick, disturbingly quick, this fading.

Beauties lie sleeping

Exquisite poems should not be ephemeral,

not read once and lost to the world,

not victims of time’s disregard.

How many poems, immortal butterflies,

sleeping in forgotten archives,

contain timeless wisdoms,

tell countless pains,

narrate passionate loves,

only needing fresh eyes.

I hope this isn't the way the world is going... us all developing the attention spans of hummingbirds, flitting to the next brightest flower (no offense to the little hummingbirds intended). Is this what social media has done to us?

Maybe you remember it, perhaps not, but does anyone read (now) Harmony Kent's "Lifeboat Seven"? It won First Place in Ship of Dreams Challenge about a year ago. It's still a great story.

Of course it is easy to read the historical Top Stories and Challenge winners, as they are easy to find. Yet . . . they do not seem to be found or read much as far as we can tell (based on comments and likes). The life span of well-noticed stories may be a week or a month. But if your story is not noticed in that first week, it seems it never will be, and that is a shame.

Naturally we are all writers, and eager for feedback on our own works, looking for affirmation or guiding words to sustain us in our lust for telling stories or writing poems or talking about the things important to us. Nobody can write in a vacuum. But, we need to support each other as well, by reading and enjoying each other in this incredible forum.

It would be easy to blame the structure and rules of Vocal Media for this, however (to paraphrase Shakespeare) ....

"The fault, dear Vocalites, is not in our hosts, but in ourselves."

A possible solution, the one I am exploring, is to identify writers I like and try to take some little deep dives into their libraries to discover their gems, both past and present. Shakespeare's very first play appears to have been "The Taming of the Shrew" and one of his last, "The Tempest". What a shame if people had forgotten that earlier brilliant work.

So.... I've been browsing around through the archives of Vocal Media past, searching for some treasures, just a few because there are so many.

Here’s a very moving story from Donna Renee from 5 months ago, “One Last Time.”

… a lovely haiku from Naomi Gold from 2 months ago, “Divine Timing”.

… a story of passing seasons from 2 years ago by Lisa A Lachapelle “Golden Summer:

… “Unknown” from two years ago (by Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock) is a brilliant post-apocalyptic story with a dream-like quality.

… a profound philosophical poem from a year ago by Grz Colm, “Sacred Space”

… from a year ago by Mark Gagnon, a futuristic tale of love called “Revelation”

.. . a short and chilling horror story, “Down Where It’s Wet”, by Em Starr, from 7 months ago.

... and there are so many more, many of which were never Top Stories (as I'm sure the Vocal Team isn't even able to read them all), and most were not Challenge winners, though beautiful and profound or disturbing or funny nonetheless.

Don't forget our older stories. They don't need to be ephemeral if we read them.



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About the Creator

JD Pernoste and Anneliese Dahl

Pernoste & Dahl are a writing duo of poetry and fiction (serious or humorous). Check out our 5-Star sci fi dystopian verse novel "In the Minuses" on Amazon.

Instagram link: Authors_Pernoste.and.Dahl

Webpage link:

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Comments (20)

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  • Harmony Kent5 months ago

    So many wonderful shoutouts here, Anneliese. Thanks so much for linking to Lifeboat Seven! I couldn’t agree more about the amount of hidden gems here in the Vocal archives. Hugs 🤗💕🙂

  • Awww, this was just so nice of you to do! Thank you for sharing this ans congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Em Starr5 months ago

    This is so lovely of you! I feel honoured to be mentioned amongst such great storytellers. Thank you, Anneliese. 😊

  • Thank you for sharing this with us (& for the shout out). Just from the stories I've read, there are so many that are beyond incredible, most of which never see "Top Stories" much less win challenges.

  • Grz Colm5 months ago

    Thanks very much for including a link or my “Sacred Space” free verse poem. Very kind of you! I think this is a wonderful idea of yours.! I also occasionally share other people’s pieces in the vocal Facebook groups which I must do more of but that is usually something more recent I have read. Since becoming more active on vocal the last few months, I also sometimes look at members’ back catalogue but having older pieces ‘promoted’ could be good! 😊👍

  • Heather Lunsford5 months ago

    I loved this. How very generous of you to highlight other creators work. And you might be on to something connecting our disappearing attention spans to social media. I'm not an expert in any relevant field but I can tell you my grandfather born in 1910 had a high school education and in quiet moments he would recite poems, long beautiful poems lived in his head. My kids show me memes. I don't in any way mean to insult my kids generation or my kids who I think are super smart and wonderful but it does illustrate the difference a few generations has made.

  • Kristen Balyeat5 months ago

    I absolutely LOVE this and am so grateful that you brought this up. I agree, so much heart poured into each writing, so sad when they collect dust. I'm really looking forward to this reading list you provided and love this idea! Beautifully written, Anneliese! Also, I thought I had subscribed, but somehow I was not! I have fixed that!!!

  • Melissa Ingoldsby5 months ago

    You acknowledged so many talented writers! I appreciate your support for these great people, as I know many of them and they are very thoughtful and brilliant minds. Excellent work here. Brilliant top story!

  • Dana Stewart5 months ago

    Absolutely love this piece, your poem and that you lifted other creators up. I agree, good work is good work - in this on demand society, why put an expiration date to appreciate it?

  • Heather Hubler5 months ago

    I appreciate that you've highlighted these thoughts and showcased others. It's so hard writing with passion and intent to find it only takes days to no longer be relevant. Most of my works from my first year have very little attention. But it still feels good to have the pieces out there. I look forward to reading more from you both. Thank you for this reminder!

  • Naomi Gold5 months ago

    I love that you shared this list, and not just because I’m on it. I do the same thing, going through the older stories of the people I enjoy. In fact I just did that the other day, and discovered a story that is now in my Top 3 favorites. I think both are important—acknowledging the fresh stories people just wrote, even if they don’t get Top Story, and going through their older work if you really love their voice. It’s like when I hear a song I like by an artist I’m unfamiliar with. I want to hear their discography. Thank you for writing this.

  • Dana Crandell5 months ago

    Thanks for this! I've developed a habit of going through the "archives" of any writer I subscribe to, and I usually subscribe to at least one or two new writers every week. It takes time to get through them all, but it feels like time well spent. I've enjoyed yours and will continue to enjoy them!

  • What wonderful observations and encouragement. I appreciate your time sharing and digging into the works of fellow writers! Bravo. We need that connection and affirmation from one another. You’re right, there are so many exquisite stories collecting dust, that we have never experienced. Thank you for reminding us and introducing us to new adventures. Look forward to following your journey. ❤️ and subscribed

  • Alexander McEvoy5 months ago

    This was a moving piece :) Deep in the archives, treasure lies hidden for those brave enough to venture down... down through the days and months and years to the ancient and forgotten glory of stories forgotten perhaps by even the author who wrote them.

  • KJ Aartila5 months ago

    Well done! And thank you high-lighting a few. There is so much talent here that gets missed - it's refreshing to know some make the effort to search it out. :)

  • Kendall Defoe 5 months ago

    Thank you for this piece. It does take some time to figure out what will spark with readers, and we all need to be careful and not chase after Top Story laurels, Contest prizes and praise in the here and now. What will be popular in the future? What will last when we do not? No one can say. I will give those links a try... ;)

  • Mark Gagnon5 months ago

    I’ll start with a big thank you for liking one of my stories enough to include it on your list. Watching work disappear into the Vocal void is frustrating and a bit disheartening but that’s how life works. As we’ve discussed, I’m not a fan of poetry but your work and a few others have made me rethink my position somewhat. What I value the most is the camaraderie that some of us have developed through our writing. Thanks for posting this!

  • Donna Renee5 months ago

    Thanks for the mention, my friends! I went back and looked at some of your early postings here- I think I encountered you pretty early in your Vocal days! It is odd how quickly stories disappear from view here. Even top stories! After 48 hours or so, or after a few more stories have been selected on the top stories page, I rarely get any additional views or comments on a Top Story . That’s also because by that point all of the people who usually read my stuff have seen it though haha. It feels to me like some of my favorite things that I have written just languish on the deepest pages of my Vocal profile. That’s my fault because I don’t share the links in any groups or pin them on my page but maybe that could help a bit actually, the pinning part? Rambling now haha, sorry friends! What about rotating your pinned stories every week or so and highlighting the ones that haven’t been seen? I may try that, I don’t bother changing the pinned stories much myself 🤔🤔. Also, I have seen in some of the Facebook groups where people will post an unloved (by vocal) story of theirs and ask for people to comment their own links to stories that they feel did not get enough eyes on them when written… so it seems like this is a problem many of us encounter! 🤷🏼‍♀️ I’ve gone on some deep dives myself and had a lot of fun doing so! ❤️. You really get a feel for the writer more by reading a lot of their work in a short time, I feel! I enjoy going through older challenge pages too and finding entries there that didn’t place but that were still amazing work. Oh to your question/point about what people like to read from you- I love your work, as you know! I do feel that it is deeper and more layered than a lot of poetry that I read (and write!) so when I read your pieces, I know I need to have time and strong focus in order to do so. That means that a lot of times, I see a notification and think “oh, yay! a new one from them! Ahh I can’t process it right now.” and then I forget to come back! Compared to what I usually go ahead and read immediately when I see it and open it- short fiction pieces or lighter poetry which I can enjoy and digest more quickly in the time I have between tasks in my day. I’m not saying to change your work though as it is who you are and it is wonderful 🥰🥰 Ok, I’ll stop now haha. I enjoyed this piece ❤️

  • F. Leonora Solomon5 months ago

    this is why i am glad i found you both! still looking for more writers because of their brilliant writing but also for their ability to share what inspires them and to name stories they love. i cannot wait to read some of the ones you recommended! definitely want to explore your library rabbit hole!🐰

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