Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast

Sex, Relationships, Death, Global Warming, Racism: Vocal’s fiction and non-fiction Creators tackle them all. If you like to stop, think and consider things a little differently, join host Erica Wagner as she introduces a new Creator’s story each week. Listen and you’ll be inspired to share your own story on Vocal.media. And who knows, maybe you’ll be featured on the next season of Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast.

Society & Culture
Chop Chop
Grief and resentment coil around one another in this dark fantasy from AJ Nelson. “Chop Chop” luxuriates in language, transforming seemingly routine moments into a feast for the imagination. All of these familiar details add up to an ending that is anything but ordinary.
20 min
The Kneeler
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.
26 min
Fake Meat
In a new pandemic world, brain fog seems to be affecting us all. That phrase takes on a whole new meaning in Madoka Mori’s unnerving “Fake Meat.” Perception is a slippery beast for this protagonist, causing his world to swiftly unravel in a way that is humorous and eerie all at once.
17 min
Apartment Complex
There’s nothing quite like a mother’s love - but there’s nothing quite like her disapproval, either. Vivian R. McInerny’s “Apartment Complex” is a story that’s as comedic as it is relatable: life sure takes a different turn when Mom moves in.
23 min
"Pareidolia" is an intriguing tale that leans in paranoia and the paranormal. Conor Marko asks questions about the boundaries of obligation and addresses how we move forward from tragedy.
32 min
The spookiness of a dim, overcrowded antique shop packed to the brim with bric-a-brac can scarcely be denied. Add some malicious magic into the equation, and you’ve arrived at the setting of Patti Larsen’s “Lifted.” This is a curiosity shop best visited during daylight hours.
21 min
Kallista Kusumanegara constructs a singular vision out of flashes of many, lending new ideas to what comes after life. “Destination" calls for a letting-go, allowing us to surrender to the wash of words, visuals, and stories.
10 min
Heat Stress
Mirages. They can come from wistful thinking, from nostalgia, from the burning sun. In “Heat Stress,” Claire Ibarra immerses us in the mind of a mother running away from her past into the Moab desert. But what is she running toward?
27 min
The ballet - an art which embodies culture, beauty, and grace. But what of the people behind the performance? Elodie Hollant’s “Libellule” offers a glimpse into the personal world of one ballerina, following her as she moves from a childhood love of dance into the darker complexities of adulthood.
14 min
Fresh Off The Boat
“Fresh Off the Boat” provides a look at the present through the lens of a sobering vision of the future — a world darker, but not too different from our own. Kelson Hayes brings us to a dystopian Central Europe which may be just around the corner for all of us.
32 min
Burden of Proof
It's one of the hottest summers in recorded history and a couple are attempting to navigate their relationship to each other — and to the future of the Earth. In "Burden of Proof," Scott Hardy captures cycles of inner and outer conflict with a dark and biting wit.
29 min
The Envious Flood
A familiar scent is a surefire way to catapult the mind back into memory, to a particular moment in time. Decay, a sea breeze, wine. Three smells that tie this story together, and propel the protagonist down a west coast highway. Steve Hanson’s “The Envious Flood” resists the pull of nostalgia to level a clear-eyed gaze at the past.
20 min
There’s fear of the unknown - darkness, monsters, and the like - but sometimes the most terrifying are the things - and people - we think we know best. Jacqueline Garrahan’s “Bull” is a masterful look into the frigid, the cruel, and the disturbing, deep in the dead of a Maine night.
21 min
Going Fishing
Settle into the southern humidity with Lucas Díaz-Medina’s “Going Fishing.” A journey of introspection and self discovery unfolds as two boys mosey down a bayou back road. Family history and mythmaking collide when a passerby gives the boys a lift.
18 min
Mistress of the House of Books
Matthew Daniels puts a new spin on job interviews with “Mistress of the House of Books.” With a heavenly interviewee, the power dynamics are bound to be flipped. But there are some roles in this world that just can’t be reversed.
20 min
Girl Wants A Cigarette
A corporate team-building event is the unlikely setting for a compelling story; Sophia D'urso's sharp wit and close observation make "Girl Wants a Cigarette" into a memorably modern adventure.
26 min
Science fiction often gives a glimpse of “what could be,” but less often does it leave the reader with lingering feelings of “what could have been.” In " Searcher", Daniel D'Agustino creates an intergalactic cosmos where hard choices can change the path of history.
33 min
The Not-Deer
A remote destination to call your own...but what if you aren't really alone? Idyllic woods can quickly become the stuff of nightmares when fear takes over. Chelsea Catherine's "The Not-Deer" ushers us into a world that may be closer than you think.
28 min
Path of Least Resistance
Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming? What if you had the power to make those daydreams reality- would you? Bernard Bleske explores just those questions in “Path of Least Resistance.” Through river rafts, long lost loves, and cheap beers, Bleske weaves a story that reminds us to be careful what you wish for.
28 min
The Reunion
Swipe left, swipe right- it’s a match. Settle in at a wine bar back table for a Tinder date that’s doomed from the start. Meg Anderson’s take on a classic revenge tale won’t end quite the way you might expect. TW: this story deals with sexual assault.
18 min
Write Here, Write Now (Season 2 Trailer)
On Write Here, Write Now, host Erica Wagner explores the lives and imaginations of some of Vocal's creators. You'll hear real stories from real people; non fiction essays and fiction that will make you see your daily life in a new light. On Vocal, everyone is welcome. So take a listen, and who knows - maybe you’ll be inspired to create something yourself.
2 min
The Rarest of Human Qualities (If Cultivated) C...
Author Andy Murphy gives a new spin to age-old wisdom in an essay full of practical tips. In conversation afterwards, host Erica Wagner and Murphy go even deeper to explore the challenges — and satisfactions — of getting what you want.
26 min
The Lonely Funeral Project
Gabrielle Benna explores an unusual way to give meaning to the lives of those who die alone. After the reading, Benna and host Erica Wagner discuss how to search for the roots of optimism even during the most difficult periods of life.
29 min
I Swore I’d Never Get Married. Then I Had Ten W...
Dane Kuttler’s essay takes listeners on an unconventional journey of love and community. An interview with Kuttler follows the reading of the essay. Listen in as host Erica Wagner and Kuttler delve into the craft of writing, and finding the style to match the emotion.
29 min
What is Plant Blindness
Farmer Nick is well known across the internet for his inspiring calls to lead a greener life, but this episode gives a window into Nick’s writing. After a reading of his essay, “What is Plant Blindness,” Farmer Nick sits down with host Erica Wagner to get personal about how a life filled with plants has taught him how to be the person he wants to be.
29 min