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Vocal Problems

And tons of pictures

By Peg LubyPublished 3 years ago 5 min read

I’ve gone Vocal. For how long? I don’t know.

I really like the idea of making money at something I already do and all you have to do is read it, something you do anyway.

“You already spend days on your letter blog,” my beautiful friend Jody pointed out. “Now it’s going to take up even more of your time.”

“No, it won’t. I’m going to keep doing it the way I’m doing it and just break it into smaller stories.”

How naïve of me. Jody’s right. It is costing me more time and I don’t know that Vocal has a place for me. I’m finding it hard to peg-hole my writings into a category, which they require me to pick. My style is to tell you about my week and that can run the gamut from meeting people, to going places, to crafts, to home improvement projects, to the antics of our critters. And talk about pictures! Road pictures, flower pictures, critter pictures. And pictures are where I ran into problems.

I started to write last week’s letter blog like I normally would. I got about two-thirds of the way through and thought I could break out one or two stories for you start on. Vocal not only wants a category, they also want both a title and a sub-title. I find this challenging since a title needs to be a hook. Something that’ll make people want to read your story. I never cared much about a title before.

I finished writing the section I called Patio Time and submitted it. And this presents another problem. Well, it’s not really a problem, not for me anyway, but all stories have to be approved before being published. Vocal staff only works Monday through Friday. That means no more Sunday blogs for you.

Patio Time was published. Catalpa Tree made it to publishing, too. But Macchiato was kicked back to me. Not enough words, came the reason. I knew, when I submitted my story about Fiskars scissors, that it had to be at least 600 words, I just didn’t realize all stories had to be 600 words or more. It says it, plain as day, but I either didn’t read it or didn’t remember.

Luckily, it was close. Macchiato came in at 545 words. It didn’t take this old jabberbox long to jack it up to 657 words, re-submit, and they published it.

Walkabout is still sitting in my drafts folder on the website. It was kicked back to me too. I don’t know what to do with it. It’s 355 words and 21 pictures of bugs, flowers, and one picture of Whiskers, the feral cat.

And Road Pictures never even made it to the draft stage. I didn’t think there was any use to submit another one that wouldn’t be wordy enough. There are 33 road pictures from last week waiting for your viewing pleasure.

This week, a couple of three possibilities came to mind. I can go back and elaborate on the flowers and bugs. That wouldn’t be too hard to do, but it wasn’t what I’d planned on doing.

I could combine Walkabout and Road Pictures and hope it’s enough words.

Or I could throw both of them away and not worry about it.

“Maybe they don’t care much about those kinds of pictures anyway,” Negative Nelly speaks up in my mind.

I took a survey. 100% of the respondents love those pictures, but will understand if I don’t include them anymore.

I’m thinking that with these 590+ words and 355 from Walkabout and Road Pictures, we’ll meet the word requirement and you’ll be all caught up!

Without further ado, here’s Walkabout.

Herb Robert is blooming. If you crush the leaves of this wildflower, it will smell like burnt rubber.


Whiskers, a feral, at the neighbor’s pond. I haven’t seen him at my house since that first time a couple of months ago. I thought he might’ve moved on.

Birdsfoot Trefoil.

A spittlebug. He’s hiding down in the foam, staying hydrated and hiding from critters that might want to eat him. There’s a leafhopper in the picture too.

A Tarnish Plant Bug on a daisy.

I love the daisies!

This little guy, hardly bigger than your thumbnail, is an Azure butterfly. I’m not sure which one because there are a lot of Azures.

The underside of their wings isn’t as colorful as the topside, but since they sit with their wings folded, the only way to get a picture is to get it in flight.

This is a Pearly Wood-Nymph Butterfly. He’s on the road and I’m afraid he’s dead. I took his picture and walked on.

Crown Vetch. It was originally used for ground cover and to help with soil erosion, but has become invasive. It’s even illegal to plant in some states.

This is Salsify or Oyster Plant. The root tastes like oyster — surprise! It used to be very popular and you could find it at road-side stands. It really deserves a place in your garden. It’s a superfood, rich in fiber as well as iron, vitamin C, thiamin, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous.

Salsify is in the dandelion family and that explains why it looks like a giant spent dandelion when it’s done flowering.

A young grasshopper.

Hairy Beardtongue.

I got two Admiral butterflies this week. A White Admiral...

And a Red-spotted Purple Admiral. There are red spots on his wings, it’s just kinda hard to see in my photo.

I don’t know what kind of moth this guy is but there were a lot of ‘em in the grass. Every step I took stirred up two or three.

“I can still see you,” I told this guy.

He took off and the next place he landed allowed me to get a picture of his colors.

Let’s move on to Road Pictures.

Mike slowed so I could get a picture of this handsome guy crossing the road.

This one makes a fabulous desktop picture. In fact, it is my desktop picture!

Mike waiting for me while I took pictures at the overlook.

A tree hit it maybe?

Road pictures never add many words to my letter blogs. Mostly because they are, well, road pictures! You can probably caption them better than I can.

Until next time, let’s call this one done!


About the Creator

Peg Luby

I've been chronicling the story of my life a week at a time for the past 23 years. I talk about the highs, the lows, and everything in between. After all, there are no secrets between friends, right?

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