Write Here, Write Now: The Kneeler by George Murray

In Season 2 of Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast, host Erica Wagner interviews winners of the Vocal+ Fiction Awards

By Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal PodcastPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 3 min read

Gambling, debt, and the sounds of Sinatra swirl with cigarette smoke in George Murray’s quiet action story “The Kneeler.” Follow one man’s journey in a casino bar from opera to loan sharks to deadly trouble.

What was the impetus for your winning story? Walk us through your initial act of creation.

I wrote this story about a year and a half ago, a few months after I graduated college directly into the Covid-19 pandemic. My friends and I were stuck at home with little hope of starting careers until the world started back up. With nothing else to do, we decided to take advantage of a fun exploit in the housing market of Southern Maine: Coastal rentals that usually go for exorbitant prices in the summer are dirt cheap in the winter when no one is thinking of vacation. So five of us moved north to a huge house in Scarborough, Maine where we could enjoy private beach access with only minimum wage jobs. It was a great house, and I loved my roommates, but cabin fever pretty quickly set in.

Also at the time I found about a phenomenon in the Phillipines called the 'My Way Killings,' where karaoke singers who sang Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' inadvertently spurred audience members to rise up and murder them. The reason for this phenomenon is still not known.

So I wrote 'The Kneeler' in about four days in September 2020, driven by the desperate isolation of living on the coast in the winter during a pandemic and the nagging mystery of the My Way Killings. It sat on my computer for more than a year before I discovered Vocal and posted it.

What does it take for a story to grab you? How do you grab your audience?

When it comes to stories I read, usually all it takes to grab is a good title-- which isn't great for me, because usually I can't think of a title for my own stories for the life of me. Beyond that there isn't really one thing that will hook me. As long as a story is written confidently and skillfully I'll read it through to the end. I have the same philosophy with my own stories- I don't usually think about how I'm going to grab readers, just how I can make a story as good as it could possibly be.

Who are your favorite writers and why? Do you have any favorite Vocal Creators?

I don't know if I have a favorite writer. In high school my biggest writing role models were Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and while I still consider them brilliant writers it feels weird to still call them my favorites, when so many others have moved me in similar ways. Currently the writers that I'm spending the most time with are Joyce Carol Oates and John Darnielle, but you can really pick any handful of the authors I've enjoyed and call them my 'favorite.'

How has sharing your writing in life and on Vocal affected you as a Creator?

I find sharing my writing incredibly fun and fulfilling. I know a lot of people who are terrified by it, and I totally understand feeling that way, but for me it's nothing but fun. I love when my friends read my work and come back with notes or observations, and I love doing the same for them. On Vocal it's a bit different because a stranger isn't usually going to give you notes, but it's still fun to go to the 'stats' tab and watch the number go up.

What advice do you have for other Creators?

I don't think I have any advice. I'm in my early twenties and winning this contest was my first professional success, so I think I need the advice as much as anyone else reading this. I guess the only thing I can offer  is 'try to win a short story contest.'

Stay tuned for new episodes of Write Here, Write Now Season 2 launching weekly.


About the Creator

Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast

Sex, death, relationships, nature, families... If you like to stop, think and consider things a little differently, join host Erica Wagner as she introduces a new Vocal creator’s story each week.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  4. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (6)

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  • Aniamalu Anthony 4 months ago

    This is absolutely beautiful

  • MARIE ODEMS 4 months ago

    GREAT WORK!!!!!!!!!!

  • Olivia george4 months ago

    NICE BTW check this i am a new creater plz support my passion https://vocal.media/criminal/heist-and-robberies

  • Asma Qamar4 months ago

    Very thoughtful

  • Asma Qamar4 months ago

    Like and subscribe mine to

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