The World that Nearly Didn’t Exist – Day 317 – Nearlyology

Across the other side of the world (in the UK) there is a Nearlyologist (that is someone who writes about things that nearly happened). He also invites people to send in their own Nearly stories. Check out the site here.

I thought it would be a nice way to reflect on this project, because I nearly didn’t do it. If I hadn’t entered the National Young Writers Festival on a last minute whim with my idea of writing for 24 hours straight, I never would have done this project.

My world as I know it now wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have a direction, wouldn’t have done honours, wouldn’t have improved my writing, wouldn’t have met my partner, wouldn’t know any cool writing people. Clicking that “enter” button on the submission form was probably the one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

So here is my nearly story:

She wondered if it was worth it. Building a whole new world would be hard, maybe impossible. Would anyone even want to live in it?

First she made the trees (that grew from the sky), then she crafted the ground (bouncy and soft).

When she moved in it was hard to get used to. She had to invent everything herself, and it was hard work. Bouncing and tree climbing kept her entertained for a while, but soon she was lonely. So she created a portal connecting to the mainworld. At first only a few of her friends would come to visit.

But then strangers began exploring as well. They loved the upsidedown trees with their roots sucking the nutrients from the sky. They loved to bounce high into the branches. And soon they were inventing things too.

Giant paper cranes flitted around the roots and clouds, people rode around giant rabbits that swam through the air and ate chocolate drops when it rained.

Sometimes she wondered if she could ever survive in the mainworld again. What would have happened if she hadn’t planted that first tree in clouds?

PS. Here is a doodle I did of the world.



Magnify Me – Day 288 – Laura’s Drawing

Laura answered my call for doodles! I can’t magnify it to make it bigger but it is none the less a magnificent drawing!

We used to argue. I’d tell you to stand back, look at the bigger picture, notice the patterns. But you’d just continue analysing your life in microscopic detail. I was scared it would hurt you, that you’d miss something important. One day I saw you doodling in your notebook. You ripped it out and gave it to me. It was labelled it “patterns from my microscope.” And I realised in that moment that I was missing things too. I was missing the smaller picture, and just because it was small, didn’t mean it was insignificant. 

Genetic Code – Day 111 – Simon Groth

Me and Simon laughing at the difficulties of selfies with huge height differences. (Simon is stooping... a lot)
Me and Simon laughing at the difficulties of selfies with huge height differences. (Simon is stooping… a lot)

Last year, before I began my writing challenge, I saw Simon Groth present a speech about writing a book in 24 hours (Willow Pattern). Simon is the manager of if:book Australia, which explores new forms of digital literature and the changing connections between writers and readers. I’d never heard of if:books before, but I loved their experimental and interactive projects! I thought they sounded a bit like mine- but better thought out and funded.

 I decided he would be a great person to talk to about my project. I remember getting sweaty palms as he finished his speech and sat down. Was I actually going to go up there and tell this professional author my half baked idea? 

I looked down and my feet were already carrying me up the aisle to the front row where he was sitting. Thank you feet… 

Simon turned out to be incredibly approachable and helpful. Since then he’s linked me to amazing sites & people, and even swapped war stories about writing for 24 hours with me on his podcast.

So I met up with him this week for Mentor March and found out a whole bunch of cool things about him. For instance, he has a saying “park your arse” – basically quit your jibber jabber, sit down and just write (everyday at that). 

I asked him what he was good at that he could pass on to me. He told me he’s always had good feedback about his dialogue, suggesting I try to write dialogue with deep subtext as much as possible.

Lastly he told me not to be afraid to be influenced by other artists. It doesn’t muddy individual voice, it will ultimately make it stronger. 

I then asked for a story prompt, he answered simply. “Codes”


Hey Dad,

I know you haven’t been able to move around too well lately. The days must be so slow- they probably feel like time is going backwards. So I’ve left you a code to crack for the day:

teas rouy rednu stiucsib dih I.




I usually love getting your call to say you’ve cracked the day’s code, but today I’m hoping you don’t get it. I guess I’m an even closer reflection of you than we thought.

yɿɒƚibɘɿɘʜ ƨ’ƚi ,yɒboƚ bɘƨonǫɒib ƨɒw I



Surprise Award Attack!

Last night I was watching Never Mind the Buzzcocks when a tweet came through saying I’d won an award at the 2013 Express Media Awards for my 24 Hour Writing Challenge. I still have no idea how that happened but I’m very chuffed! In fact I had to scroll through the live feed to find out what I’d won (Most innovative new project or work by young person or young people). I am now left feeling sheepish, as I didn’t know the Awards were on, and grateful that the National Young Writers Fest let me do that crazy challenge as a legit event!

Congratulations to all the other winners- particularly Geoff Orton who ran the Younger Young Writer’s Program and came to visit me (and give me ginger bread men) during the challenge. Be sure to check it out next year AND his other project

If you are a young writer you probably already know but check out and their awesome publication!

If you made it to the end of this post here is a bonus David Mitchell pic!

david mitchell important

Lazy Writer Get Back to Work (Cal and Tony)

Last story for the 24 hours- I got the inspiration from Cal Wilson and Tony Johnson

You get to preview all your dreams now. It’s amazing, skip out on all the nightmares. Play your favourites on repeat for a good night’s sleep. But the best thing is, I can use my subconscious to write my fiction for me. I play it over and over and just transcribe it. 

~ Unknown Lucky Writer from the Future.

Final part to the tree inheritance waterfall story- Laine and Matt

As Matthew thought about all these stories he felt something brush his arm. The sprout which was closed moments before, had now opened. He looked at it, it was just like all the other stories in the book but this one was new and green it read. It started ‘Perhaps it happened at cocktail night…’ Matthew remembered a line, a line these trees must have written. They were tall, willowy and very quiet; always writing, always listening. They never left their posts. It all made sense. They seemed to record what they see and what they sense is in your imagination. Matthew decided to take cuttings off the trees to protect them from extinction and then displayed the collection as historical artifacts.

That didn’t wrap up in the neat tie it all together way that I thought would magically happen but who wants to build a tree with story leaves with me? Matt Hsu!? Madelaine Spina? Practical way to publish right?

One of those bosses- Lou LaBelle

I got “segway and segue” from the great Lou!

Jason is one of those bosses. He rides a segway around the design office just so he can make the joke ‘segue from the segway.’ He makes it every day. He has his own signature handshake which no-one has ever bothered to learn and he loves the words platform and teams. Despite assumptions however, he is very popular when he gets home. The boss act is simply because he feels he already has enough friends to be getting on with.

And Finally I can wrap up the Chinese Zodiac Thread

  • 21:00 – 22:59: 亥 Pig before 11 Done
  • 23:00 – 00:59: 子 Rat – before 1 Done.
  • 01:00 – 02:59: 丑 Ox – Before 3 Done
  • 03:00 – 04:59: 寅 Tiger – Before 5 Done
  • 05:00 – 06:59: 卯 Rabbit – before 7 Done
  • 07:00 – 08:59: 辰 Dragon – Before 9 Done
  • 09:00 – 10:59: 巳 Snake – Before 11 Done
  • 11:00 – 12:59: 午 Horse – Before 1pm Done
  • 13:00 – 14:59: 未 Goat – Before 3 Done
  • 15:00 – 16:59: 申 Monkey – Before 5 Done
  • 17:00 – 18:59: 酉 Rooster – Before 7 Done
  • 19:00 – 20:59: 戌 Dog – before 9 Done