New stories you’ll love, handpicked for you by our team and updated daily.
Creator Spotlight: Tom Bradbury (In Memoriam)
Tom Bradbury was everything we could have asked for in a Vocal creator. He was diligent and intentional with his craft—always putting every ounce of genuine effort into his stories. He was a knowledgeable and patient resource to others—always teaching and lending a helping hand to fellow creators. He was brilliantly himself—always an authentic glimmer in the greater spectrum of creators on Vocal.
The Witch, The Curse, and Time Traveler
“We’re going to watch her burn, right?” Brennan knew the man in the green suit was fidgety, eager to watch the trial proceed, but he kept his voice low and calm as he spoke to the huddled tourists. “In a moment, they will bring the accused woman out. While no one from this time can hear or see you, please accord your fellow travelers some respect and speak only when necessary.”
Getting Over My Fear Of Chucky
Fear is a fickle thing, there are several types of minor fears, major fears, and unfathomable fears. What I saw in 2004 on the outside of the Regal Cinemas wall of posters was a moment I wouldn't forget, because it was the second time in my life I saw something beyond my child comprehension, but the first time I felt fear to my core.
Donna stood among the leaves, counting the gargoyles that lined the castellated walls of the ancient building. When her Uncle Jeremy had begun to describe the castle, with all its oddly-angled turrets and its ancient iron border and its hillock of colonial gravestones and the lake behind it, Donna had become intrigued.
Philosopher Epictetus Thinks Being Clingy Is Not Worth It
Clinging to things out of our control only gives us pain, agony, and suffering but being content in controlling ourselves is the true mark of happiness. The outside world has no control over our happiness unless we allow the world to have it. This is what the famous Philosopher Epictetus believed.
Jupiter Turns Direct on October 17th: What Knowledge Have You Gained This Retrograde Cycle?
Jupiter is going Station Direct on the 17th of October, so after 4 long months, this Celestial body will be out of Retrograde. Planets in Retrograde slow down as they are about to move in either direction backward or forward; therefore, they are stationary.
Today I walked down 3rd Avenue--the street I grew up on and walked hundreds of times all those years ago. I thought about those walks home from school every day: watching and listening to birds fluttering through the canopies of trees above; looking to my right to see the big beautiful Rocky Mountains full of majesty and life; and taking in the clean, fresh air underneath the beautiful, clear, blue sky. But this time, it was different.
Stories I Loved: "Homecoming" Challenge Winners and Runners-Up
We recently wrapped up our Vocal+ exclusive Homecoming Challenge. The prompt was simple: Submit a poem telling us what home means to you.
20 Side Hustles That Are Actually Worth Your Time
What's a Side Hustle? A side hustle can be either a second or part-time employment that happens on the side of a regular, full-time job. Or it could be just something you do to make ends meet on top of what you're already doing (work, raising kids, college..), not necessarly a job.
20 Books That Terrified Me
Halloween is my favourite season not just because everything is scary and dark, but also because of the flavours. These include: ginger, pumpkin, dark chocolate, almond, apple and so many more. They are such delicious flavours and you can eat them warm. But in reality, everything is still scary and dark.
Chicken Soup for the Self-Motivated Soul
I gotta level with you people: I have always had a hard time with the idea of "self-care." In the mind of this type-A, self-motivated, has-to-be-productive-or-I've-wasted-my-LIFE gal, self-care often gets associated with weakness and indulgence. It's hard not to view "me-time" as nothing more than an excuse to do something selfish and pretend it's OK because it's serving my mental health.
Waistline: The Eternal Struggle
If you’re like me, you’re one of the millions of people who struggle with their weight. And, if you’re like me, you dread going to the doctor’s office because you know you’ll inevitably hear some variation of the message, “Hey, lose some weight, fat ass!”
Tiny but Mighty: The Choker
I grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I scrunched my hair and straightened my bangs. I accessorized with bouncy butterfly clips, white eyeshadow, and flavored lip-gloss. I wore scrunchies on my wrist. I wrapped flannel shirts around my waist and danced in frayed wide leg jeans to Brittney. I begged my mom to let me bedazzle my bellybutton with stick-on rhinestones like Christina. (Looking back, thank God she said no.) It was grungy, it was tacky, and it was wonderful. As the fads of the 90’s and early 2000’s come trickling back into present day trends, the nostalgia washes over me and wraps me into the warm hug of childhood memories. As I happily embrace the comeback of bellbottoms and flannel, there has been one thing that just gets me giddy: the choker. Easily my favorite item from the time, wearing a choker always made me feel like the coolest kid in the room. They made me feel pretty, and there was something about them that felt so mature, like wearing one made me older and edgier than I was. As an adult, wearing a choker evokes the same kind of confidence; I feel sexy, spunky, and there’s something about them that now feels so sophisticated. It’s such a tiny accessory, and yet it stirs up so much emotion and so quickly bumps my self-esteem up a few notches. Looking back through the choker’s history, it turns out that I am not the only one that the piece has this type of effect on. It’s been a look for thousands of years and has held power in many ways over the centuries.
Beyond The Lens: Interview with Untamed Photographer's Tony Rath
Tony Rath is a distinguished photojournalist and wildlife photographer who has spent the last 30+ years exploring and documenting the peaks and depths of Belize, a Caribbean country in Central America. Through his skills as a photographer and writer, Tony contributes to the efforts of many Belizean Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in pursuit of charity, wildlife conservation, and environmental protection.
Sometimes Life is Literal Poop
Sometimes Life is Full of Literal Poop I paused at the end of the long winding gravel driveway contemplating the farm I had chosen for the first night of camping in this new phase of my life. Due to a change in circumstance two years ago, I made the decision to camp across North America full time. I planned my new adventure over two years with budgeting, travel apps, and memberships, trial run rental campers, a few weeks here and a few weeks there. Today was the first day of my newly chosen lifestyle. I finagled a spot at a sheep farm in rural Maryland using my new Harvest Host membership which allows for free camping on farms, wineries, breweries, and museums. The driveway wound up a long sloping hill through several paddocks of fluffy white sheep. It looked perfect. And safe.
The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Is Officially Extinct
The Fish and Wildlife Service has called the game. The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is extinct. Well, my friends, the referee’s whistle has been a long time coming. The slow-rolling deliberate killing of this bird in the 1930s and ’40s is a terrible story of human greed — and a very well-documented one.
Self Love For 'Devalued' Kids
It's no secret that the early years of our lives shape who we become as adults. Isn't it frightening how so much of our childhood is out of our hands? A devalued kid is someone raised with little to no praise, validation, positivity, or acceptance. The result is things like poor self-esteem, passive-aggressive or avoidance behavior, and people-pleasing personalities. Such behaviors may have begun as survival or coping mechanisms. As grown-ups, it feels as if we left our parents' house and packed the wrong baggage. We've held onto the baggage for so long we don't how else to live. We don't know where or how to start building the right tools we need to let ourselves grow into our potential. Omar Hameed describes The Devalued Self in The Devalued Self: Childhood Emotional Abandonment, Devaluation of the Self, and Anxiety:
WTF?: Weird Games For Halloween
Hi, and welcome back to Silver Linings where I spotlight the maligned, the forgotten, and even stuff that leaves people scratching their heads.
‘Maid’ Challenged Everything I Thought I Knew About Domestic Violence
I know I’m not the only one who has been of the mindset that people who stay in abusive relationships need to somehow “snap out of it” and just leave.
Sexy People Eat Sardines
I have never been able to tolerate canned tuna fish - the smell, the squelching sound it makes while it’s being mixed with anything else, the very concept of consuming it. The fact that this pulp fit only for animals is so frequently combined with my food nemesis - mayonnaise - only served to entrench this bias more deeply. While I still draw a line at eating shredded, watery meat from an aluminum can, I have made progress: today it is a symbolic boundary. I do regularly incorporate related sources of protein into my diet. And you might be surprised to learn that my gateway shelf-stable seafood was not the ubiquitous albacore, nor even canned or smoked salmon. It was whole sardines.