Take Time to Be
"Everyone tells you to remember to stop and smell the flowers..."
Another fortnight has passed. You probably haven't heard "fortnight" used like this in a long time, but hey, it meant "two weeks" long before it meant "wildly addicting MMO game." Anyway, we're the moderation team at Vocal, and it's time for another roundup of stories that we loved!
There are a few heavy entries this week, as our creators thematize betrayal, heartbreak, and the long-suffering of humanity. We close out the roundup with hope, however, in the form of a poem, reminding us to take time for ourselves, and take time to just be.
Every week, we spotlight stories that stand out. We share stories that resonate — stories that represent a piece of the larger whole. We hope they speak to you too, and while you're reading, don't forget to leave your favorite authors a tip. If you're not already a creator, you can sign up here to get started today.
March 22nd, 2013. My Chemical Romance broke up. I remember reading about it on Tumblr...
Vocal creator Sprat vividly remembers the day their favorite band, well, disbanded. Many, if not most of us, have felt this pain.
It was a chilly fall day in 2012 when Jack's Mannequin, my favorite band, announced that their November performance would be their last. Like Sprat, I remember feeling betrayed, because in that moment, it felt like someone was breaking up with me. Of course that was irrational, because their music wasn't going to disappear from my iPod, but Sprat's story reminds us that those feelings, at times so powerful and overwhelming, are okay.
Simply put, sometimes it felt like I needed this band to survive. Ask almost any My Chem fan, and they will probably tell you something along the same lines. Gerard wrote lyrics that spoke volumes, and sang about things that made sense to us. He understood. As a teenager who was going through ‘a lot’, somehow knowing that a grown man felt the same way made everything feel just a little bit better.
What's Mine is His
I’m convinced [John and I] had the kind of relationship people immortalize in music and novels, the kind people might have waged war over back when we weren’t so distracted by the internet.
But, like many great love stories, all the while we loved, we burned.
Gifted storyteller Maggie Ross takes readers through a relationship postmortem in this, her sophomore Vocal story. Struggling to overcome an age difference of 10 years, as well as the possibility of being almost "too different" as individuals, Maggie eventually found herself at a crossroads that many reach in a relationship: to choose the relationship, and risk losing autonomy and identity, or to choose oneself.
I reach down under the counter for the tissues. I offer them at least once a day. I never thought for a minute that I would end up counselling people while working in a bank.
Lacey Dearie's first Vocal story is a fictionalization of the age-old platitude: "there's more to a person than meets the eye." On the surface, "The Queue" takes a look one by one at the clientele of a town bank, possibly during the era of COVID. Slowly, the seemingly random threads connect, pulling the reader into the story alongside a community of characters battling grief and despair, while learning together how to cope as one force of humanity.
If this isn't a COVID-era story, it could be. As we find ourselves fighting the same battles and learning the same lessons in 2020, Lacey's story serves as a reminder: there's always more to a person than meets the eye.
Is There A Best Way To Read A Book?
A lighter entry in this week's roundup, Frank Racioppi explores the state of the publishing industry while analyzing the many, many ways to consume media in the present age.
The world of print books had its decided advantages. When you visited people’s homes you could check out their bookshelves for insight into their true nature ... Today, of course, with ebooks, people can keep their copies of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy carefully hidden away in a digital file while proudly declaring that The Great Gatsby is their favorite novel.
Revitalizing a conversation started by Mortimer J. Adler in the 1940s self-help classic "How to Read a Book," Frank explores the transition from print to ePub to digital audiobooks, as well as the psychology of skimming, speed-reading, and more.
Taking the Time
Everyone tells you to remember to stop and smell the flowers...
Our current challenge, The Little Things, asks creators to celebrate the little things that make us smile every day. As inspiration, we invite participants to check out the work of feminist artist and Vocal partner Amber Vittoria.
Hannah B, a two-time Vocal challenge winner, was inspired to write a poem reminding us that those little things won't just fall into our lap. We have to take the time, and when we do, who knows what we will learn, discover, and create.
Our creators here at Vocal are so talented, and we love sharing their work with you. If you haven't already, we hope you'll sign up and start creating today!
Maybe we'll see your name in next week's roundup.