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How-To Guide to Navigating Content on Vocal

By Christy MunsonPublished 3 months ago β€’ Updated 4 days ago β€’ 10 min read
12
Welcome!
Photo by Will van Wingerden on Unsplash

Most recent update: 05/21/2024.

Greetings and Salutations! πŸ‘‹πŸ»

I'm delighted you're here. Vocal is my place to write, and this Welcome article is geared to help you navigate my Vocal catalogue.

Everything I write has a kernel of truth and a vestige of varnish.

If you're into a particular Category (horror, fiction, poetry, etc.), Vocal's filters can help you sort through my online content. >>>Find filters on my page (just below my three pinned stories, just above the pictures) to filter through the Communities for which I write.

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*** My Vocal Challenge Placements ***

Vocal regularly sponsors Challenges for prize money and bragging rights. To date, I've have had two pieces selected Runners-Up by Vocal's curators:

  1. Mother Mine πŸ… for Vocal's Love Unravelled Challenge
  2. Penny Candy πŸ… for Vocal's Snacktime Sonata Challenge

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*** Top Stories ***

It's an honor any time Vocal curators select a writer's story to grace the front page. My Top Stories include:

  • Backyard Skulls πŸ₯³ Horror story ☠️ -- Not written for a Vocal Challenge. My first stab at the horror genre.
  • Creating: My Bliss πŸ₯³ This nonfiction essay features photos and stories about several of my hobbies (painting, wand craft, jewelry, photography, sewing...).
  • Effervescence πŸ₯³ Written for Vocal's The Dragon Beside Me Challenge, this poem is inspired by and written in honor of my grandmother.
  • Jax πŸ₯³ microfiction written as inspiration for my first-ever hosted unofficial challenge! (Concludes 31 May 2024 -- give it a go!)
  • Master's Piece πŸ₯³ This poem was written for Poppy's Prompt #5, May 2024
  • Reaching Out πŸ₯³ Written for Vocal's Just a Minute Challenge. A quick paced, heart-wrenching story.
  • She loves me πŸ₯³ microfiction written for Belle's unofficial challenge, Inside the Animal's Mind.
    • The Eye of the Beholder πŸ₯³ Written for Vocal's Inverse Poem Challenge. The poem is read top to bottom and then bottom to top (one line at a time). Such pieces require the reader to consider two perspectives in one poem.
    • Thursdays with Josh πŸ₯³ Nonfiction article -- not written for a Vocal challenge. This piece celebrates the writers' room.
    • When Pennies Rattle πŸ₯³ Written for Vocal's Just a Minute Challenge - chock full o' action! (Note: If you're inclined to know more about Pennies, read Lola after Pennies. Spoiler alerts apply if you read out of sequence.)

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*** Vocal Challenge Entries ***

Here are pieces I've written for Vocal Challenges organized by the Challenge:

Vocal's Poemosaurus Challenge

Vexed

Vocal's Travel Snaps Challenge

The Magic Bus - worth checking out if only for the pics and music videos

Vocal's In Eclipse Challenge

Vocals' Love Unravelled Challenge

Into The Woods | Intensive Care | Wet Signature | πŸ…Mother Mine (placed Runner's-Up)

Vocal's Whispering Woods Challenge

Origin | Sacrificial Limbs | On My Way πŸ’› (all three are strong pieces but my fav is On My Way)

Vocals's Snow Micro Challenge

    Twisted String πŸ’› (another personal fav - emotional writing here)

Vocals's Just a Minute Challenge

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*** Unofficial Challenges ***

The following section contains pieces I've written for unofficial challenges, meaning challenges not sponsored by Vocal, but instead issued by Vocal writers like me. For each unofficial challenge, the designer introduces a prompt (e.g., March Madness, a particular type of poem, fractured fairytales, poem retold in a short story, etc.).

Munson's Microfiction - My Tears Need a Minute (I'm sponsoring this one!)

Jax πŸ₯³ I wrote this piece to inspire others to participate in the first unofficial challenge I've hosted via Vocal! (concludes 31 May 2024 -- give it a go!)

Ask Me In December (sponsored by Babs Iverson)

Yours Forever (poem) πŸ₯‡ (first place winner!)

Never More (acrostic -- also see Until We Meet Again, the 15-minute read that expands the poem!) | Season of the Sneeze (lyrics) | Your Mission (Haiku)

Prompted #4 (sponsored by Randy Baker - poem converted into a fictional short story; only one enter per person permitted)

Until We Meet Again (15 min read - one of my all time favs πŸ€©πŸ’• also see Never More, the poem that inspired the fiction)

Unscrambled (sponsored by Heather Hubler)

The Story of Humanity (sponsored by Kayleigh Fraser)

F'd Up Fairytales (sponsored by L.C. SchΓ€fer)

Write Club (sponsored by RM Stockton)

The Butcher's Daughter πŸ… Selected as Top 10 - March 2024 (prompt: March Madness) | Good Boy

Lab Rat - April 2024 (prompt: Artificial Intelligence; one of my all-time favs πŸ’›)

We'z Walking on... Anything But Sunshine! (sponsored by Proud ViM Productions)

Sky Walker (Haiku) | Blood Orange Zombie (microfiction) | Pour Art (microfiction) | CRUNCH (acrostic poem)

Villanelle (sponsored by Mike Singleton - Mikeydred)

May Queen

Strangely Art (sponsored by Kodah)

Lily Awarded first place! πŸ₯‡

Found Poems (PViM's Friday Challenge)

Whatever (my spin on Radiohead's Creep)

Poppy's Prompts #5, May 2024 (sponsored by Poppy)

Master's Piece - earned Top Story! πŸ₯³

Text Thoughts (sponsored by Belle)

The Plan

Gothic Stories (sponsored by Ken Penn)

Outside the Lines

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*** UnChallenged ***

This section highlights pieces I've shared for the love of writing. I write because it makes me happy. I've grouped these pieces by Duration, then Community, then Alphabetically.

Less than 1 minute reads

Poets Community

Poem Type: Fib (read more about this structure here)

Listen

Poem Type: Haiku

Beyond the Pale | Dogwood | melt with you | Not Here | Pi Day | Power of the gods | prey | Punks a series of Haikus. True stories, but not the whole story. Some things I'll take to the grave. | Rake | Spiders

Poem Type: Inverse

The Eye of the Beholder πŸ… Top Story February 2024

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1 minute reads

Poets Community

  • Apartment 10B Social commentary
  • A Remembrance of Willow's πŸ’” Haunting, rhyming poem on the devastation of Alzheimers. Innocent lines hide the tumultuous world the narrator endures.
  • Ballerina All she wants for Christmas
  • Broken Angel πŸ’” Heartbreaking. True story, but not my true story.
  • Cherry Blossoms Memories mixed with dreams
  • Concentric Circles Surreal poem about mental illness.
  • Did She Go A short, lightly sad poem for my late friend, Christine, who introduced me to the fine arts of wandering and letting go.
  • Fawn For my father. Written before Vocal allowed writers to add Warnings. Not suitable for all readers.
  • Final Act of Innocence Haunting, honest, tender, sweetly heartbreaking -- about the costs of aging.
  • Fire Shadows Me Magnet poetry!
  • Frog Dig the layers.
  • Human Are we not.
  • Jamaica A lyrical piece. My husband spurred me to write something "happy" -- this is the result. Me, completely out of my comfort zone.
  • Jenny not indulgent -- for a real child and the parent who sees her.
  • Last Christmas πŸ’” a haunting free style poem -- the narrator finds a hidden gem.
  • Lost Piper of Dirt Town free style poem that peers over the shoulder of a character who has been knocking at my door for a long while now.
  • Love's Wake πŸ’” A tale of love turns tragic. You won't see it coming, and neither does the narrator. Its impact won't soon leave you.
  • Mourning πŸ’” True story, but not my true story. For Tim, and the woman who loved him.
  • Sailors' Dream My first sonnet! Wrote this poem as a 9-year-old 4th grader. It earned an A+. Been hooked on poetry happily ever after. Inspired, sort of obviously, by Gordon Lightfoot's song, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. RIP.
  • Sounds of Boyhood The innocence of youth expressed through in sound.
  • Targeted Not suitable for all readers -- contains description of an assault.
  • The Dance Untamed short poem that spins its way into the reader's heart. It's dazzling if I say so myself.
  • The Great Barrier A surreal poem. Not suitable for all readers.
  • The Memory of Elephants Remembrance of African adventures. Not my adventures, yet, but one day.
  • (Unspoken) πŸ˜‡ 😒 ❀️ in honor of my late father-in-law, for whom no elegy suffices.
  • Waiting The narrator finally has something to say.
  • White Mountains πŸ’” The last night before news gets broken.
  • You Honoring all non-bio moms out there

Fiction Community

  • Rain One of my new favorites! β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️

2 minute reads

Poets Community

  • Precipice ☠️ Revenge fantasy -- happy reading! Yeah, maybe not suitable for all readers. ⚠️
  • Shimmy The narrator isn't me, but reminds me of my younger self. The "father" is loosely based on my father and his father.

Fiction Community

Horror Community

  • Pack Animals (technically posted to Fiction, but should have been posted to Horror...) ⚠️

    3 minute reads

Beat Community

  • My Life as a Roadie True story, but not the whole story because that would take a lifetime. RIP Tim.

Fiction Community

  • Foreclosure A haunting, fictional account of a mostly true story about the loss of so much more than the family farm.

    Wander Community

  • Adrift A breezy nod to sailors and the mermaids who love them. Includes a shout-out to the band Great Big Sea.

4 to 6 minute reads

Fiction Community

  • Even Assassins Get the Blues 4 min read. A fun piece that reminds us all that even assassins start somewhere. The title is inspired by Tom Robbins’ Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Thematically unrelated. Cuz nobody can do Tom Robbins but Tom Robbins.
  • Last Year's Cake 6 min read. Not so much about cake. Candy maybe... as in arm candy. Read to find out.
  • Limited Run 4 min read. Subtle nod to Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants. The reader has to tease out what's really going on. Can you see it?
  • Starting Line 5 min read. One of my all-time best. πŸ’•
  • Vulture ⚠️ 5 min read. Called "atmospheric," "nasty," and "visceral." I kinda dig this style of grunge. And the heroine is fascinating.

Futurism Community

  • The Pairing 6 min read. Published to Futurism years ago. Were I to post it today, I'd post it to Fiction. Might not be suitable for all readers. ⚠️

7+ minute reads

Fiction Community

  • Bookbinder's Bag 12 min read. (a Six Sisters' Legend--a planned series in the works! Stay tuned.) Fun fantasy fiction featuring a wizard and a spot of magic, maybe.
  • Lola 11 min read. Continues When Pennies Rattle (5 min read). ⚠️ If you plan to read Pennies and Lola, to avoid spoilers, start with Pennies and then read Lola.

Horror Community πŸ’€

  • Backyard Skulls 7 min read. That this one is posted to the Horror Community should be your first clue. Not for the faint hearted. Rather proud of this gem.
  • Old Fear 12 min read. Reader discretion strongly advised! This one is Pure horror, and I don't say that lightly. ☠️ One of my finest, if I say so myself. ⚠️
  • Rack 'em up 8 min read. Terrible title but I was exhausted when I posted it. I'd change it to "Racked" if I could. But Vocal doesn't allow it. Another dark horror short fiction. ☠️ Horror lovers, you're welcome! ⚠️

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*** Recommended Vocal Creators ***

The following writers inspire, uplift, inform, and thrill. Enjoy!

Alex H Mittelman | Alyssa Nicole | Anna | Barb Dukeman |

Caroline Craven | Caroline Jane | Cathy Holmes | Conor Marko |

Dana Crandell | Dharrsheena Raja Segarran | D. J. Reddall |

Donna Renee | ema | F. Cade Swanson | Gargie S Anand | Hannah Moore |

JBaz | Joe O'Connor | John Cox | Josiah Nwoko | J. S. Wade |

Kay Husnick | Kayleigh Fraser | KB | Kendall Defoe | L.C. SchΓ€fer |

Matthew Fromm | Mike Singleton - Mikeydred | Naveed |

Patrick M. Ohana | Paul Stewart | Phil Flannery | Randy Baker |

Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock | ROCK | Rowan Finley | sleepy drafts |

Stephen A. Roddewig | Suze Kay | zulfi bux

🀩 Top Recommendations:

  1. John Cox has written two exceptional must-read series: Last Daughter of the Gods and Sins of the Reaper. Tremendous, thought-provoking writing.
  2. Suze Kay has written an exceptional series Women Who Stay. Block time on your schedule now. Cozy up with a warm mug of yum. Get to it. You're welcome.

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*** Supporting Writing & Writers ***

If you enjoy what you read, please click the ❀️ . Gives the writer such joy! When you read, like, comment, subscribe, tip, and or pledge support, you make a Vocal writer's day, week, month, or year! And you bring fractions of a penny their way, and I promise you, every bit counts.

I also recommend checking out older posts on writers' pages. Take a risk. Dig a little. Tons of great writing awaits you!

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*** Social Media ***

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*** Shout Out ***

I offer thank-you's to the Vocal writers who inspired my Welcome article:

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*** Final Thoughts ***

Thank you for reading! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

I reciprocate with Comments on other Vocal writers' work as often as I can. Should I read but not comment and or ❀️ your piece, please know that life is super busy and in no way reflects the quality of your content.

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Copyright Β© 04/25/2024 by Christy Munson. All rights reserved.

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About the Creator

Christy Munson

My words expose what I find real and worth exploring.

Top Stories: πŸ₯³

MAY | MAY | MAY | MAY

APR | APR | MAR | MAR | MAR

FEB | JUN

Unofficial Challenge Winners:

Ask Me in December | Story of Humanity | Strangely Art

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  4. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

Add your insights

Comments (5)

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  • Stephen A. Roddewigabout a month ago

    Wow, what a collection. What a journey, really. And to see myself included at the end was the icing on the cake 😁 And I appreciate the attempt to add context to what's going on within your profile, because the UI doesn't exactly make it easy to scan and quickly determine the type of content you'd get in any one piece. And that's coming from an experienced Vocal user; imagine how it would be for a random passerby who found your profile!

  • Farhat Naseem2 months ago

    Informative

  • Randy Baker3 months ago

    Aww, thanks for including me in that list of worthy writers. It is really quite a kind encouragement. I will have to go through and read more of your work with this post as my guide. But...I already know you're a fine writer. Keep up the good work!

  • Awww, thank you so much for including me here! That's so kind of you! πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° I'll bookmark this piece so that I can drop by to read some pieces that I've missed!

  • I am new to your page, and I see many titles on your profile that definitely intrigue me. I am looking forward to reading them! Thank you for the kind words about Write Club! Great to have you on board, Christy. Finally, I just wanted to compliment you on your fine choice of music. I often listen to Lucas King's incredible work while I am writing. What a talent he is! (In fact, there is a link to one of his pieces on the March Madness Prompt!)

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