The End – Day 365 – It’s Over

Today I answer that age old question: Can someone write a new story everyday for a year? 

The Answer: YES, I JUST DID IT! Over the course of this year I have written 46, 102 words in short stories! (That’s not including the blog part before each story)

I set out to become an “extreme writer” (the Bear Grylls of the literary world). Bear, what do you think?

bear

Now I want to talk directly to you readers: thank you for helping me. This project would never exist without you- your ideas are what made this work. You have been generous, imaginative and silly- I hope in return I have entertained you. 

People keep asking me how I feel. I’m not really sure how I yet- but I think these GIFs give you an idea:

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love

frodo

For my last story I decided I needed to meet some very important folk. (Scroll over the words if you’d like to know more about any of them)

The line stretches as far as I can see, I’ve never met these people but they seem familiar.

“Why are we in line?” I ask a giant and his dog in front of me.

“Giant heard Imaginer is here,” he says.

“Imaginer?” I ask.

“She made us all up,” says the dog.

“Even me,” says a little poo next to the dog.

A small creature somewhere between a crab and a hat tugs on my jeans behind me.

“You look a bit like her,” he says.

“Mun,” I gasp. I’m starting to piece things together.

“How’d you know my name?” the crab-hat asks.

“Never mind, why do you want to meet the imaginer?” I ask him.

“We’re protesting,” he replies.

“She’s going to stop imagining,” pipes up a warrior. “We have to stand up for ourselves like we did when the spirits were upon us.”

Her army cheer.

“If she stops imagining we’ll all be gone,” says a man dressed entirely in teal. “I’m not losing my family!”

Another cheer. I start to feel anxious.

“She isn’t going to stop imagining,” I shout. “This isn’t the end!”

“How do you know?” asks a Dinosaur.

“I’m Freya, I made you up,” I say. “Your name is Dara, I named you after a comedian I like.”

“Yeah right,” says a teenage girl. “Just because you look like her doesn’t mean anything, she imagined herself loads of times.”

The girl looks just like I did when I was younger.

“Fine, I’ll prove it,” I say. “If this is my story, I can have a dragon for a best friend.”

“Don’t let them bother you,” says a rumbling voice.

I turn to see a dragon with a long beard. Everyone gasps.

“You are her!” says a flying eye.

“Then, we’re going to be okay?” a stone statue asks.

“Yes,” I say. “I won’t be writing new stories for a little while, but I will never stop imagining. You guys are in my mind forever, and I hope you will live on in a few other minds too.”

“Come on then,” Giant shouts. “Party at Giant and Rupert’s!”

I clamber up the dragon’s beard and fly off to Giant’s cave.

And that is The End – a 365 word story to end my 365 Day Challenge. I hope you’ll help me keep some of these folk alive- see you at the celebration picnic if you can make it! (Find the details here)

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It Was All A Dream – Day 364 – Niall and Karl Stefanovic

I was having trouble coming up with a challenge for the second last story of the year- so I did a call out and got this response from Niall:

Someone experiences some very strange and unusual events but in the end IT WAS ALL A DREAM.
You can keep that one.

I have experienced some very unusual events during this challenge. FLASHBACK TO: getting a secret from a stranger, doing a TEDx talk and making up a new language with the audience, and writing a story on people’s hands in a pub.

And then I had a thought…

Karl Stefanovic just finished a year long challenge of his own. He wore the same suit for a year without anyone noticing to highlight sexism. 

What if…

Here’s my story:

She’d been having these strange dreams that she was a breakfast show host. At first it only happened every few months but now it was happening every night. She dreamt crazy things like that she was interviewing a grumpy cat

slapping a man with pizza

The 34 Most Karl Stefanovic Things To Ever Happen

and pretending to be a peacock.

One night whilst chasing pigeons on national TV, she never woke up.

She lived the rest of her life as that breakfast show host, and when she was asleep, she dreamt that she was writing stories.

P.S. If you want to read more Karlfic, I have written one more story about him during my 24 Hour Challenge – you can read it below.

The Karl State – Inspired by Georgia

Rosie was just 16 when she crossed the wall to QLD. She’d heard there was work there. She remembered being terrified. Rumour had it that if you didn’t answer the phone with ‘I wake up with Today’ you could be evicted from your home and that if you failed to salute the Today T at work you’d be fired.

When she finally got to the capital, Karlsville, she found that if you could deal with Karl’s face staring at you from coins, posters and art galleries it really was Australia’s best kept secret. Most of the rumours had been put out by Queenslanders trying to keep people away from the party state. In a bizarre twist Queensland had become a very progressive nation since its breakaway. Laws became publicly driven through reality television shows and a strong artistic culture was born because of Karl’s entertainment obsession. Rosie was now a people smuggler, smuggling alternative Australians into QLD. She hoped she’d never get caught or she would have to face a sentence of 10 years of insanity by dad jokes.

Santa’s Resignation – Day 363 – Explanations & Kate

One of my favourite aspects of this entire challenge is that often people pitch challenges to me – in order to have things explained. For example: What do vegetarian zombies eat? What happened to my wallet? And today: “Why does Kate have Santa boots?
I love these explanation stories – not only because they feel more like puzzles – but because I think we tell stories to create meaning out of meaningless.

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Santa gave her his boots.
“What are these for?” she asked, her voice distorted by the torrential tears falling from her eyes.
“Let me tell you a story. When I was 16, my name was Alan. I used to dress up as Santa for the other kids in the street. Our neighbourhood was pretty poor so most kids didn’t get presents. I made the suit out of an old towel. One day Santa came and asked if I wanted his job, he said he’d been watching me for some time and I was a natural. I didn’t believe him but then he gave me his boots. When I tried them on, I could feel time slow. That was the day my name changed to Santa. Today I think it’s time to go back to Alan. Santa is a title, anyone can earn it. The boots have been handed down for thousands of years, and give you the power to slow time.”
“But I don’t want to be Santa,” she said, her tears had now slowed to a light drizzle.
“I know,” he said. “But Santa can only slow time for one helper. If you take the title and the boots you could have more time with your sister. The doctor said weeks right? You could stretch that to years and travel all across the world together while the normal world has only lived a day. All you need to do is a find a new Santa when you have had enough time.”
The girl’s face lit up.
“Thank you Alan,” she said, “nice to meet you, my name is Santa.”
And so the sisters lived many years together. When the time came, they found a lovely young woman named Kate to take the job. She had a great laugh that suited the job perfectly.

Surprises – Day 362 – Almost Done

When we first found out that he was a the god of colour, he would spend his time trying to find the perfect shade for everything. But it never worked out, there were no perfect colours. So now he changes the world’s colour everyday. It made me feel confused and even ill at first when the sky was gold and the leaves purple. It was so unexpected and some days it really didn’t work out. But now I go to sleep comforted that tomorrow will be different, and perhaps the most beautiful colours yet.

There are only a 3 stories to go, at the start I remember being overwhelmed with the idea of fitting writing into my days, and terrified about having to come up with new things everyday. Everything would be so unexpected and sometimes it might not work out. Now I can’t imagine a day without writing- whether it works or not- I like the surprises. 

1 Wack – Day 361 – Ear Wax

I just remembered that when I was little I thought ear wax were creatures called ear wacks that lived in your ear. 

It’s lonely but it’s home. Occasionally they send in a big white fluffy cleaner, but if I go deep enough I can avoid the evictions.
It can be hard being an ear wack, no one seems to like our parties. Whenever there are too many of us they force us out of our homes with jets of water. All I want is to feel close, to find my kin. So till we find a way to live without persecution, we’ll just have to keep ear hopping.  

Invisible – Day 360 – Jo

Today Jo was saying that perhaps extinct animals are not actually dead they just adapted to be invisible. I asked if I could use this for today’s story so here we are:

People were never kind to me, so I hung out in the forest a lot. I never saw any animals but it always felt like I had friends there.

One day I was so badly bullied I just wanted to dissapear. So I went to the forest and I did.

When I got there, the forest was teeming with animals. Animals I’d only seen in books, animals I thought were extinct. They sat by me as I calmed down.

I didn’t know it then but I had adapted. If you are bullied for long enough by people, you have to learn to become invisible.

Ghost Icecream – Day 359 – Mysterious Jingle

There is a school near my house which plays a jingle that sounds like an icecream van, as their school bell. I’ve only just figured out this mystery because I thought it was an icecream van that I’d just never seen… a sort of ghost icecream van.

The icecream had gotten rat poisoning in it and all the children died. At least that’s the story most people believed to explain the mysterious icecream van song that could be heard on the street sometimes. But I was too little to understand that yet. I followed the noise all the way down to the creek.

There, I would play with the ghostly icecream lady and eat icecream all afternoon (no calories is a perk of ghost icecream). She told me there was never any rat poison in fact her icecream was the best in town.

The children had eaten so much they had become hyperactive zombies. So she filled the icecream with sour lemons to stop them, but they had pushed her and her van into the creek.

The next day though the children returned to normal and the details were hazy. She doesn’t mind that no one knows the truth, she is just glad that noone can ever be effected by her icecream again.