StoriesHouse Top 10: StoriesHouse Articles
As some of you may or may not know, we at StoriesHouse just recently celebrated our first birthday. (That doesn’t make sense. Everybody may or may not know. Those are the only two options. You can’t may and may not know. Let’s start over.) As some of you may know, we at StoriesHouse just recently celebrated our first birthday. For one year, you’ve read through the never-ending barrage of my parenthetical corrections, Friends references and insistence on ending sets in threes. You’ve seen before your very eyes the little kid we used to know as Tyler Martin transform into Snake, well rather a were-Snake that only comes out when he imbibes. You’ve read profiles on that which Tyler Stern cares about, that which Hunter is inventing, and on Stephen’s excuses as for why he don’t need to none talk goodly. You were enthralled in the tales of Corneille Noire and even deeper entrenched in the mystery of who Sylas Wilcox, StoriesHouse’s only anonymous author, really is. And most importantly, you’ve stuck with us. Whether we as StoriesHouse’s staff have known you for a decade or just met you within the time the site has been up, you still read the posts. For that, we can’t thank you any more than we already have. And yes, you refuse to comment when we tell you to and almost never cooperate by following us on Facebook or Twitter and commenting about what you like there, but even the smallest of audiences is immensely important. But before we get to the meat and bones of this retrospective, let me offer one last plea: PLEASE, TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THIS SITE. WE BEG OF YOU!
Alright, I’m back. What’s that you say? I never left? In real time I just went on a 3-hour SNL clip binge and enjoyed it. That is your special inside treat as to how Nick writes for StoriesHouse: I get distracted and watch YouTube. Expect more nuggets of information like this throughout the rest of this “inside look” into StoriesHouse. (Is this starting to seem like a lame clip show/countdown where the host tries to tell bad jokes between the parts you actually care about? Good.) Anyway, as you can ascertain from the title, this article will be counting down my personal StoriesHouse Top 10 for the year that was. I’m going to try to be unbiased, and in a perfect world more people would vote on this than just one, but that being said, expect a lot of my articles. If you think that’s nepotism, than you don’t know the meaning of that word. If you think it’s narcissistic, it is. Before we start, let’s do some honorable mentions:
The honorable mentions for this article go to the readers. This may seem like pandering, but honestly, you guys need some shout-outs. First off, I’d like to give a StoriesHouse honorable mention to anyone who listened all the way through the second StoriesTime podcast. That crap was long. We went without a script and even trimmed off about 10 minutes of rambling and it still went for 90 minutes. If you sat through all of that, you’ll understand why we were never motivated to do that again. Yet. Secondly, for anyone who sat down and read through all of Football Calculus 5 deserves a massive honorable mention. Honestly, that article took me over eight days to write. Eight days. Do you understand how ridiculous that is? I don’t take eight days to work on projects for school or work sometimes. I hit 10,000 words on that post. And if you read all of it, that makes two of us. Let’s get to the countdown, shall we?
Starting the list off with one of my personal favorite posts from under the Anecdote tab, Stern took us deep into the slanted mind games he plays with himself in this post. Though some (READ: me) might consider this story derivative of a post found later on this countdown, others (READ: also me) think that this is one of the more interesting tales ever spun on the site. For one, it was one of the few stories that featured multiple story arcs interwoven through one another. The way Stern simply bounced from the story about his dream girl back to his fear of getting shanked and back again was masterful. And of course, what’s a Stern article without a Carl Sagan quote.
Before I start, let me say that any place that a sequel to a story or the first in a string of stories is posted, I mean it to represent the whole series. Such is true for my personal favorite of my Football Calculus saga – which will be returning this fall for the record – as I want you to think of Football Calculus 2 as the best of five articles, not the only good one. That being said, the latter may be true. The first is overly analytical, the third isn’t even about football, the fourth is so forgettable I don’t remember what it’s about and the fifth is, well, you know. The second one is good though. You can reread it. It’s worth it.
This one meant a lot more to me than it did to most of you. First off, it was my first true post directed solely for the purpose of being on StoriesHouse, so it has sentimental value. Secondly, it was the first time I actually went outside of my comfort zone, albeit that meant going down five floors and up five floors. Either way, I still cringe every time I ride an elevator and see someone press multiple buttons because of this, and I will never look at a fairy tale or a can of Monster Energy the same. But if there is a moral, remember to beware of basements.
Quick trivia question: what is the most visited story on this site? If you were to guess Why NASA Matters, you’d be correct, as going into today it was viewed 366 times, 33 more than the next most popular piece. For the record, I never got the appeal of this article, as Stern went so in depth at some points he went over my head. That being said, Stern won the prize for most views with this well crafted editorial directed at, I don’t know, someone. One of the most articulate pieces on StoriesHouse, this article is a must-read for any science buff you know, or anyone who hates using question marks.
Another one of my posts – get used to it, half of the posts on the site are mine – and another one of my stories. Like another one of the posts I wrote which will be talked about later on, this really was about my coming of age that I perceived over a week. Now, any wise adult would tell you one does not grow up overnight, but I thought I did and I thought that Almost Famous was why. Additionally, there is nothing I’ve ever written that consistently makes me laugh like remembering the time I gave myself an afro and screamed the lyrics to “The Bitch is Back.” To toot my own horn, that’s some funny stuff.
I’m not going to pretend to say I understand any of the Corneille Noire saga. Frankly, I am more confused by the complexities of that story than by anything else I’ve read. I don’t know why then, in a series of stories that I can’t wrap my finger around, let alone my head, that this one stands out to me so much. If I were to pick one story for what I think the best written post on StoriesHouse was over the past year, it was definitely this one. Rereading it now that I know who the true author is makes me appreciate it even more. I would watch a movie just about Nikola’s backstory, if you want to write that Mr. Wilcox.
“Let’s get something straight right meow. I like to party.” Never before had two opening sentences hooked me as quickly in anything I’ve read on the site, or possibly elsewhere. I’m sorry I couldn’t include more of Martin’s quirky humor on the list, but I’m selfish and I need room for five of my posts in the worst form of self-promotion imaginable. The fact is, when Martin is conscious when he writes, he may be my favorite columnist to read on this site. This article was no exception. I was laughing from start to finish. I’m not sure if I was laughing because it was funny or because I now have to accept a world in which Tyler Martin is a ladykiller, but either way I was in stitches. I appreciated this post so much so…
… that I decided to respond. And as tongue in cheek as Martin’s post was, I took it even further. I’m very critical of my comedy; you may have noticed this is one of my only three comedy posts and the other two were either poems or just plain bad. But this one I’m proud of, and it got a good reception from readers as well. (For the record, with the exception of the Football Calculus article, every single one of my posts on this list I’ve heard good things from others about. I’m not just picking these blindly. I’m not that cocky. ) Also, don’t forget to try to use both of these methods in the upcoming school year as to gauge who is better. I’m betting it’s the one who isn’t me.
StoriesHouse’s most divisive, most commented, and frankly, worst, article clocks in here at number two just because of the conversation it started. I’ve been outward about how wrong Stephen is in this post, but boy do I appreciate the fact that he said it. To Austin and Lydia, non-contributors who both made great points about Stephen’s outlandish claim that the English language is unnecessary, I appreciate your input greatly. That being said, I’m pretty sure Austin took it a little too far in her last comment. Not because of what she said about my mama, that was “funny,” but it seemed to me she was showing off a bit. Really Austin? Vilification? We get it. You talk good. The rest of us ijits can’t say dem words. All joking aside though, this simple post by Stephen really was the biggest hit of the summer of 2013 on StoriesHouse and even if everyone who read it disagreed, a lot of people still read it.
I feel bad putting one of my own posts at number one as it seems to me like bragging, but I am genuinely proud of this article. After Why NASA Matters, it is the most visited article on the site and definitely the one I’ve received the most feedback from. Friends I hadn’t talked to in months texted me about this. Friends and family who I had no idea read the site came back to me with advice. Even in one instance, a complete stranger contacted me about reading the post. Seriously. Also, this story is a hit at parties. I have told this story more times than I can count now. To be completely honest, I don’t think I’ve ever written anything in my life that more people connected with or that I connected with as deeply. Just for some background information I didn’t give, I started writing that post a full two weeks before it actually happened. None of the narrative was set in stone, but the style was. The second I begrudgingly accepted the invitation to the date, the first phrase I thought was “So there I was.” From there I became encapsulated in the thought of going on my first date and changing my college experience forever. And because of this article, I gained more confidence about my writing ability and my general life than anything else had ever done for me. If even one person got a chuckle from this post, I am deeply pleased. But the fact that 333 people have been satiated by this story fills me with more happiness than I can explain.
So that’s my list. If I left your favorite post out or if you think the order should have been different, feel free to comment below. If you want to attack me personally for devoting half of the list to my own posts, go ahead, but I’ll say once more this wasn’t meant to brag. I really just wanted you as the readers to reflect on the best that StoriesHouse has to offer and I think that these are a good jumping off point. I am so proud that a year after we had this idea we have stuck with it and some of you still care. Here’s to a successful second year and the growth of the website moving forward. And to repeat myself one last time: PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THIS WEBSITE!