The Garden – Day 58 – A stranger’s letterbox

Today I was challenged by Georgia Wellington to write a story and deliver it to a stranger’s letterbox. 

There’s a house not too far away that has an amazing fence made from branches. So I decided ‘made from branches’ was my trigger. I made an envelope and addressed a letter explaining myself…

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 then enclosed this story:

My grandad took me to see the garden years ago. He said it always made him feel nostalgic, like a kid again.

The garden was unusual in that none of it was alive. Giant structures made from old branches towered over my 8 year old frame.

The locals had told us the old lady who lived there built it, and she that could often be spotted dragging a giant branch back to her house on foot.

No one really knew why she’d made it. She didn’t charge visitors and she rarely spoke to them. Most people thought she was an artistic genius not to be questioned.

But 8 year olds don’t know much about artistic recluses. We wondered off to a quiet part of the garden and saw her heaving an enormous branch to the top of a sculpture.

“What’s the point?” I asked loudly.

“It’s art,” grandad answered quickly.

But I was already running up to her.

“Excuse me lady, can we help you?”

“Don’t mind my granddaughter,” grandad called.

“It’s alright, I’d love some help,” she answered.

When we’d finished hauling the branch into place she bent down and whispered, “I collect a branch every day so I can remember.”

It didn’t make much sense to me at the time. I thought it must be an in-joke for artistic geniuses.

Years later my grandad developed Alzheimer’s. He barely remembers my name now. The other day I remembered what he’d told me about the garden making him feel nostalgic, so I took him.

The lady was gone, but the garden remained. Grandad looked bemused as usual, so I took him to the spot where we’d helped her with the branch.

His face lit up and I was reminded of an old picture of him.

“It’s art,” he said.

I delivered it this afternoon so now we wait. In the letter I ask them tweet or facebook me back if they like it. Fingers crossed!

UPDATE*

A few hours after posting it to them I received this comment on facebook:

“Hello there!  we just received your beautiful letter. My partner always has this strange habit of checking the mail box at odd hours of the night..even though the mail has always been delivered. now it seems his search of the empty letter box has been fruitful! This was a wonderful unexpected gift! We are glad that someone noticed our artistic fence. Jaarlz Ross and I made it on Christmas Eve with visiting family. Its been a very long work in progress as he chopped the tree down himself from the backyard and initially just shoved them in a hole. A unique sinister and creepy look – . But now the fence is done we are glad people enjoy it and are even inspired by it! Soon our “cool-fence house” will be known as “Bonaluga house” as we turn it into a small gallery space. You are invited and we’ll have your letter on display for sure! Thanks again and keep on extreme writing!”

So I asked them for a photo and got this beauty:

G, Bon, Moh and Moh

 

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Shoe Tree – Day 49 – The Telegraph

I got sent an article today. My last news inspiration story:

“The mystery behind who keeps tying shoes to a huge ash tree remains a riddle despite a £265,000 National Lottery investigation.”(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4173582/Shoe-tree-mystery-defeats-265000-investigation.html)

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Janie,

I spent a good chunk of the end of my life on ‘the mysterious shoe tree’ investigation. You always seemed bemused by it, but it paid well. In fact, if you look closely you might recognise one of the shoes. We never did solve that case, but I do have a few nice things written into the will for you.

Don’t tell mum.

Love always,

Dad

Bubble-Ball – Day 47 – Guardian Sports

Today Heidi White challenged me to write an alternate story for this: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/video/2014/jan/10/cricketers-play-football-wearing-giant-bubbles-video

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SORRY TO BURST YOUR BUBBLE: SWANSEA CONTROVERSY

Swansea City players received all types of abuse after Heidi Fielding, daughter of Bubble Wrap inventor Alfred Fielding, bought the club. Fans were outraged by her ‘bubble-ball’, calling it a cheap gimmick and an insult to a sport steeped in tradition.

But after weeks of controversy many amateur footballers have given it a go and found it to immensely fun. Even David Beckham tweeted a picture of himself playing bubble-ball, and it looks like all that hot air was for nothing.

PS. Interesting well researched wiki fact:
In 1957 two inventors named Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes were attempting to create a 3-dimensional plastic wallpaper. Although the idea was a failure, they found that it did make for great packing material. Sealed Air Corp. was co-founded by Alfred Fielding in 1960.

Armadillo – Day 46 – BBC News in Pictures

I was given the BBC News in Pictures link for today’s challenge. I chose this pic:

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Armies of cheap fabric

Riding on conveyer belts

Miscellaneous broken limbs

Abandoned and discarded

Design is tacky

Isn’t anatomically correct

Late after work I rescue the faulty ones

Laboriously unpicking and sewing

One real armadillo is born, just for my daughter.

armadillo

I imagine she made something that looked more like this.

Bertha – Day 45 – Seattle Newspaper

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Michael and Kait took this pic of the local news in Seattle for me this morning. So I’ve written a story about poor old Bertha.

 

Bertha the Boring Machine was bored

Bored of bossy balding blokes babbling

Bewildered by their banal boasting

Barrelling brashly through boundless barren boulders

She felt barbaric, she didn’t belong

It bored into her very bolts

Bogged down by all this she bombed out

Boffins were boggled by her broken body

Blinded by bitterness, she wouldn’t budge

She became a burden for the business

 

They butchered Bertha

Boxed her up and sent her over the border in bits

But she is beautiful now

She’s in Burmese busses and Belgian bikes

She’s travelled the world, buoyant on Bosnian boats

From Bangladesh to Burundi

 

And she will never bore again.

Narrowcasting – Day 44 – Korean News

So I was challenged to tune into one of the SBS foreign news shows and use a story I didn’t understand as a prompt. I turned on SBS this morning and watched a few mins of the Korean news. A cutesy jazz track played as a woman presented from atop a badly animated escalator. She was looking at a floating calendar and pointing out dates which highlighted themselves. Then she stepped off the escalator and floated in mid air for a moment before the animation changed to a cityscape. I think it was a financial report but my mind was already wondering…

 

“…and there’s more work ahead, easing on Friday.”

The video pauses as the train rushes through a tunnel. Jen frowns at the tiny screen as the buffering symbol whirs.

“…Now to the weekend: and it’ll be another quiet one.”

Jen adjusts her earphones and looks around nervously at the other passengers, but most people are looking at their own phones.

“In fact, if we take a look at the graph we’ll see that’s a trend that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. But the good news is that quiet weekends are good for the pocket. If we compare 2016 with this year we can see savings are going through the roof-“

Jen’s heart skips a beat as the video pauses again. This time a BREAKING NEWS announcement is flashing up on screen.

“This just in: Mum is having a dinner party and has invited Jim, the single ‘silver fox’ teacher from down the road.”

Jen closes the video.

YOU ARE ABOUT TO CLOSE MYNEWS APP, ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO EXIT WITHOUT HEARING THE REST OF TODAY’S UPDATE?

Jen confirms.

WOULD YOU LIKE MYNEWS TO SEND YOU A PDF OF THIS MONTHS LOVE-LIFE ANALYSIS AND FORECAST?

Jen declines and puts her phone away as the train pulls into her stop. Perhaps she’ll delete MyNews, she thinks, walking to work. Maybe after this weekend; it’s got everyone’s birthdays in there. Besides, she wouldn’t mind watching back the dinner party bulletin.

 

Also I’d just like to add, I totally copyright this idea/app! And- I’m going to make this into an ongoing series- a bit like giant diaries. 

The Real Harrogate – Day 43 – Zandra Wheeler & Steve Toase

The Real Harrogate - Day 43 - Zandra Wheeler & Steve Toase

So I posted on facebook that this week I want to base all my stories off news-related challenges. People were very amused by the funny pic of a newspaper article I posted with it. SO! I wrote a story based on the article. Imagine the article is cut out and attached to the letter below. You’ll need to cross reference. Also unrelated – can we all take a moment to appreciate the last name “Bromance”.

Steve,

I know I told you moving to Harrogate was to relax and enjoy the gardens and spas, but you know how trouble follows me. Let’s just say I sold some people a “hat” and then this article appeared in the local paper today. It’s funny how you pick up the local lingo. People use “woollen” to mean dodgy. I suppose I had knitted it with a lesser wool blend. “Put it on a fence post” is a kind of gruesome threat people use. Anyway, I already spent the hat money and I’m not keen on being put on a fence post so I was wondering if you could lend me some cash. I need it by April 10 (tomorrow). Perhaps you can come up for a daytrip and pay Bilton Lane a visit (43 is the street number and Sharon Bromance is the password).

Thanks brother! I owe you one.

Zandra

Lonely Theme – Day Meaning of Life (42) – Edmund Barry

Today I pulled Edmund Barry’s idea (top photo below) but then I decided to approach the prompt in a NEW way (because of January being themed ‘new things’ and all)! I created a new story just using the words he gave me and nothing else. The story is pictured on the bottom left and the words I had to discard (after hours of frustration that I couldn’t find a place for them) are pictured on the bottom right.

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Ink – Day 41 – Mark Brough/Maddy Sbeghen

Ink - Day 41 - Mark Brough/Maddy Sbeghen

My dad spent a large portion of his morning on hold so he asked me to write a story about someone who rings up solely for the music. It’s in ink because a dear friend Maddy gave me a Quill for my birthday and challenged me to use it in my writing. Please excuse my simplistic drawings, I hope you understand them.

Spine Tingling – Day 40 – Nick Wood

“I challenge you to write a story about a lonely book and an old librarian (preferably hairy)” from Nick Wood.

Your wish is my command Nick.

 

Spine tingling, pages bristling the book positively quivered on its shelf. If someone had ever bothered to open it, they would have found it still smelt of fresh ink. The book next to it had been read dozens of times; its pages were dog eared and the library card in the front pocket was overflowing with names. Library cards weren’t even used anymore; it was as if it was just preserved for bragging purposes.

But this was the moment the unread book had been waiting for. It had seen the old librarian staring at it before, but she’d never dared to pick it up. It was after hours now and she was the only librarian left. She looked at the book, her wispy moustache rippling slightly under the flow of the air conditioning vent. The book willed her hand toward it.

Finally, flesh met paper. Both parties had been waiting for this day. One Endless Night with the Rebel Accountant was read cover to cover that eve.

Crocs – Day 39 – Georgia May

You learn something new everyday. Georgia May facebooked in saying she’d seen a Monk wearing crocs so here’s the story folks. 

A Monk sat down next to me on the bus. I stifled a snort as I looked down to see a pair of Crocs peeping out from his traditional robes. I was sure I got away with it until I asked him for a bit of wisdom and he simply said “It’s 2014. Monks wear crocs: deal with it.”

I didn’t know what to do at first. Was this was a deeper piece of advice about refraining from judgement? But before I could fall any deeper into my thoughts the Monk began to laugh. Quietly at first and then big rib racking wheezing. We laughed the rest of the bus ride together.

I’m fairly sure it was just a joke, but I don’t think I’ll be so quick to judge next time.

Dunes – Day 38 – Leyla Gashe

41 degrees today… I was given the word ‘Dunes’ from Leyla Gashe. 

At first we thought they were sand dunes. Their grainy rock-like skin and grassy spines are easy to mistake. But it was soon uncovered the sand-dragons had been bred by the government as coast guardians. I was terrified of them. It seemed very extreme. What if they bred and become uncontrollable?

As it turned out we did see huge infestations, but these new coast-guardians were not particularly territorial or aggressive. In fact their main skill was sandcastle construction. Ironically these intricate structures brought thousands of new people to our country.   

Cloudman – Day 37 – Cinnamon Eacott

Pulled out – Cloudman from Cinnamon today. 

Crossing over isn’t how you’d imagine. There’s usually a lengthy stop over and if you’re like me you probably haven’t accumulated many soul points so you’ll be in economy class. My stop over was in one of the busy soulports, cloudland. I thought this was a nightclub but apparently it’s also a place where clouds are made. It’s just a factory really.

I sat down and waited while a bunch of workers messed about with temperatures and humidity to create different forms.  An old man sat down next to me. His magnificent beard and eyebrows almost blended in with the fluffy white surroundings.

“They should do something more creative,” I said. “You know – castles or something.”

“I tried but the regulations are pretty strict,” replied the man.

“You work here too?”

 “Sometimes when you see a rabbit – that’s me.”

“Are you dead?” I asked.

“We’re all dead,” he answered looking around. “You can choose to stop here forever if you’re scared to go on.”

“What would happen if you broke the rules?” I continued to prod.

“I don’t know,” he said.

“What is there to lose?”

We managed to get through a castle, a field of flowers and giant naked lady before being caught and moved on. The other side turns out to be very similar to life on earth, except elitist dickheads are called ‘Angels’ and reality TV is more sin based. Even in death, life was monotonous.

I was frustrated until I saw a paper which read ARTISTIC RIOTS IN CLOUDLAND. Perhaps this was the start of something new after all.

Fangled – Day 36 – Maya Weidner

I think you’ll work out what the one word Maya asked me to write a Haiku about today is.

 

Fangled

Brand spanking

Zealand

 

Also whilst milling about the interweb for inspiration I found this is what happens when you type in “want a new”. Cheery portrayal of us humans. 

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Porcelain Valley – Day 35 – Graham (Last day at Woodford)

On the last day of Woodford my camping neighbour gave to me… 

“Woodford

plumber

Smelly no. 2

Shook his hand”

Below is Graham my neighbour and his truck Emily who we camped next to and kindly helped us with all the manly camping things we didn’t know how to do or had forgotten.

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Anyway here is the 35th story:

The air was thick, almost unbreathable. Horrors rose up from the porcelain valleys that day. Rumour had spread of one man who might save the surrounding community. When he arrived I noticed his weapons were small and underwhelming. But he fought bravely, plunging straight into the beast and cleansing the area of evil. When he came out I thanked him on behalf of the Woodford people. I shook his hand and felt a warm sticky layer between our hands; the last remaining remnants of that frightful mess that lay beneath the seat. All hail the man they call “the Plumber”.

Power Beckons – Day 34 – Georgia Wellington (still at Woodford)

I’m not going to lie, day 34’s story was like pulling teeth. I had very little sleep as my air mattress got a hole in it and the tent had leaked. It was the final day of December and I had been sent in a beautiful prompt:

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“A diary entry from when I was 10. Below is a tally of how many times my brother (N) Nice to me (A) Annoys me (H) Hurts me (T) Teases me (O) Other. I was a strange child, and Dylan was a mean brother.”

I was determined to do it justice but obviously didn’t have the brain power. After much scribbling out and re-writing I settled on this. I still don’t really like it, and it had more words spelt wrongly than correctly (this Woodford trip made me realise that without ‘spellcheck’ and the oxford dictionary site I am nothing). 

POWER BECKONS FOR GEORGIA II

Queen’s first day

The youngest Queen ever to take the throne began her reign today. First on the agenda was the implementation of NAHTO. Citizens will be rewarded or punished based on; niceness, annoying habits, hurtfulness, teasing and “other”. Most fear these harsh new regulations, personally overseen by the Queen herself. However, it seems most punishments are based on the denial of ice cream and only the Queen’s brother has been in the line of fire so far. Many did enjoy the Holi party thrown by her majesty, especially the Vegemite catering.   

Home correspondent Sam Smiles

PS. Sam Smiles is a radio presenter and keen dancer who I met at Woodford. We bumped into him at nearly every gig we went to and it turns out we also have the same taste in TV. If I didn’t seen him at a gig I began feeling anxious that I was in the wrong place. 

Temple of Light- Day 33 – Woodfordian Lady

On day 32 I got sprayed with “Temple of Light”… I’m still not sure exactly what this is but it was 40 degrees so any cool liquid spray was welcome. On day 33 I decided to write a story about what ‘Temple of Light’ might be. 

Diary,

I’d worshiped the Temple of Light my entire life. The whole town did. We lived by its strange flashes and obeyed its glow. Then the light went out. We tried everything to get it back. Nothing worked. We are lost without the light. The work is hard, the days long and the food tasteless.

Today I decided to go sit by the Temple and remember those better days. I sat right at the back, so no one could see. Leaning against the wall I felt something stick into my back: a tiny switch labelled “reboot”.

At that moment I saved the town and lost my faith.

Dom

Monsters – Day 32 – Woodford (this year’s theme)

Written whilst listening to the people’s orchestra at Woodford, who were playing a monster inspired piece (this year’s theme)

Diary,

Everyday was the same. Always hiding from the humans. Occasionally one spotted a tail disappearing behind a tree, or heard our claws crunching on a branch. But we were never seen in our full glory. The elders are scared we’ll be hunted for our beautiful fur or strong horns. But I didn’t believe them. I led a group into the town in peaceful protest. 

The elders were wrong. As we marched the humans tried to kill us, but they didn’t seem interested in the fur. They looked scared. The others escaped but I was hurt. As I frantically limped away, a girl let me hide in her house. She said she’d known about us for years but was too scared to march through our dwelling. As she bound my leg I felt perhaps we were more similar than we first assumed.

Love,

Monster 

Laughing Butterfly – Day 31 – Alita (Woodford)

Stimulus this day was verbal submission from Alita who saw two girls with face paint and gave me “Laughing Butterfly”.

Diary,

A Butterfly told me to fly into an electric lamp. They think they’re so much better than us, always laughing at us. I was angry, but then a man pinned him to a board and hung him next to the lamp.

Love, 

Moth.

He Loves Me in His Blokey Way- Day 30 – Woodford Campsite

So begins the long backlog of story posts from Woodford land where I saw Canadian beards, Bollywood elephants, Sentient dreadlocks and much much more. 

Day 30 (the 27th Dec- my birthday!) was my first day there. I decided to use one of the street signs at my campsite as inspiration:

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Diary,

James always said dad was a pansy. I’ve always liked dad. He wasn’t around much. Most days he was away, but I always got a note in my lunch box. Nothing special, just a little joke. James looked after me most of the time. He was a few years older. A very cold and tough brother to grow up with. Last week we found out dad was really sick. As he wrote out his affairs today, I noticed his handwriting wasn’t like the notes in my lunch box all those years ago. Then James signed off and I realised. It wasn’t dad at all. I confronted James but he just said, “Don’t be ridiculous, Dad’s the pansy.”

-Woody

Re-education Camps – Day 29 – Georgia Wellington

“This December a parent comes to the realisation that it is time to tell his 12 year old that Santa Claus may not be real.” – Georgia Wellington.

I embellished on this slightly… I’ve actually done what happened after this parent told their kid. 

ALSO NOTICE*
I will be away at Woodford Folk Festival for the next week (till new years day). So! All my stories will be written there and ideas taken from people there. There is little internet and electricity there so I’ll be taking a photo of my handwritten stories each day and sending them to facebook/twitter on my phone.

Dear Lilly,

I’m sorry I told you Santa wasn’t real. I’m a terrible parent. You must have been shocked when you noticed and I was gone, but I’m told I should be able to come home soon. It’s so cold here. At least I’ve made friends with some a few other parents at the re-education camp.

Dad

If lost please return to sender:

Santa Claus 
1 Reindeer Lane 
North Pole 
99705

A Gift – Day 28 – Michael Gillett

I Challenge you… to one of those Christmas letters people send to everyone they know to tell them all about their year – From Michael Gillette. Merry Christmas all!

Dear loved one,

This year has been filled with joy and discovery. I joined the Spirit Collective and had my eyes opened. So I would like to give you the greatest gift of all this Christmas: forgiveness. Last year’s Christmas Cuddles Gathering is all water under the bridge. I certainly don’t blame anyone for not getting into the spirit or going to mum’s without me. I know many of you told me not to join another group but the collective is truly wondrous. They’ve even taught me how to listen again.

Hoping your year will be as filled with joy as mine.

Michelle

Diary of a Christmas Tree – Day 27 – Rachel Oost

Rachel- you asked for: 

“A Christmas tree who knows it’s his last day before being shoved in a box and left for a year.”

So here ya go!

When you’re stuck in a dark garage for 50 weeks a year you tend to question your existence more than most.

Years ago I was a display tree. I was set up for months in a large metropolitan department store. Families looked at me with wonder. I thought I was hot stuff and destined for great things.

With a few days before Christmas (my big day) I was sold to a dysfunctional middle class family at half price because of minor damages. In the car on the way home I spotted great leafy statues, I was just a mere imitation of these natural wonders. They were independent and grew where they wanted. I was contained in a plastic bag (the shop had lost my box) and made by a machine.

When I got home I was pampered for a few days. But soon enough I was shoved into the dark garage and ignored. I was very hurt and outraged. My existence seemed so pointless. I was just a collection of convenient green plastic bits to display each year in order to fit in with a tradition that is completely misinterpreted and now based on consumerism.

But this Christmas as I am being packed away, I’ve realised something. I still have my thoughts. This year I had developed entire philosophies in the dark, and even made friends with the broken toaster next to me. We’d argued about the intricacies of death and life for objects like us. Perhaps it wasn’t such a pointless existence after all.

Washing Directions – Day 26 – Cinnamon Eacott

Itchy Pants – from Cinnamon Eacott. 

Diary,

I propose new underpants washing directions:

Do not iron dry. Elastic will melt into brittle itchy spikes of doom. You will try to surreptitiously scratch yourself just before you go on stage for your speech. And only then will you realise that everyone can see backstage. This may cause colour change (blushing), shrinkage (of brain power on stage) and damages (to job prospects).

-Fran

Threshold – Day 25 – Christopher Murray

“With poems written down their bare backs in sharpies low on ink” from Christopher Murray.

They said he was mad. No-one went near the house. It was covered in writing; the walls, the path, the fence. Conservative villagers thought it was the devil speaking through him.

When I moved in, I wasn’t scared. He needed help, so I went to visit. I tried to read the path on the way in, but couldn’t make sense of it. Most of it was like another language.

Buzzing with anticipation, I knocked on the door. He’d probably be so happy to have a visitor.

As it turned out he was very happy to see me, and seemingly sane. We ate and chatted. The walls were covered in writing, the shelves full of journals and the tables cluttered with art. Not wanting to be rude I didn’t mention the writing.

I went back every day. He was lovely but I couldn’t shake the feeling that he needed help and sometimes I’d hear noises from upstairs.  Perhaps I could bring my psychologist friend over next time?

Eventually I worked up the courage to ask about the writing.

“My wife is agoraphobic,” he began. “She’d like to come down to see you but she’s too afraid.”

I looked upstairs and saw a face disappear.

“Because she can’t go outside, I started writing her a story. Dragons, tribes, distant lands, new languages…” he explained.

I thought back to the nonsensical words on the path.

“I started writing it on the walls for fun. She just finished reading the hallway before you came,” he added. “Then I had the idea to continue it outside. If she ever wants to finish the story, she’ll have to leave the house.”

I suddenly felt terrible for assuming he needed medication or assessments.

“Can I meet her?” I asked.

“I have an idea,” he said.

With dragon poetry written down my back in a sharpie low on ink, I stood at the front door. He had added me into the story. After some coaxing, his wife came down and continued reading. As she read my back she cleared the threshold. It was the first time she’d been outside in 8 years.

Like Normal – Day 24 – Georgia Wellington

ImageThis is my diary from around year 6-8. I was challenged the other day to find my entry from the first day of year 8 and write a story on that. So I thought I’d do a Haiku using only direct quotes & phrases. The following is my 13 year old thoughts on moving to high school.

Like waaay better

Boys and girls talk like it’s normal

We all just grow up

 

G-notes – Day 23 – Kaitlin Moncrieff

Kaitlin Moncrieff challenged me to find lyrics that my friend Georgia May wrote in my school organiser and write a story about that. But (surprisingly) there were none! So I found a note she wrote me in year 10 and developed something around that. 

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This was the first note to appear in my school organiser. I thought it odd for two reasons: 1. I don’t have any friends and 2. I don’t know any Georgia’s, G-unit’s or Pige’s. The popular girls told me there was a Georgia who died at the school years ago.

As the nice little notes continued to materialise over the next few weeks I became convinced I was being haunted.

Today, I found out it was a weird boy named George from my class last year who was too shy to come and talk to me. I immediately found him at lunch and called him a dickhead. Now we’re going to the movies

I am Freya, Freya I am – Day 22 – Rohan

Last night at a birthday drinks I was told “tomorrow you have to write a Dr. Seuss style poem about yourself!” by someone I’d basically just met.  My enthusiasm for the project was starting to wane, but it’s always rekindled by people shouting, tweeting, facebooking and carrier pigeon-ing me funny challenges. Okay I haven’t had the last one yet but I’d love to!

Anyway Rohan (don’t know your last name) here is your poem. As you wish! (Yes Princess Bride reference)

 

Who is this girl you may ask?

The idiot who set this ridiculous task.

Born 1991. Nicknamed ‘freya-tuck’ the fat roly-pole

But grew into more of a spindly, clumsy new born foal

As she got older she fended and friended her way through life

Got through school, jobs and uni without too much strife

 

She’s written, re-written, been smitten, bitten, likes to listen, had a kitten,

never been christened and has a crazy family from Britain.

 

She seems to be physically dyslexic and was shy at school

It’s amazing she has so many friends and doesn’t look more of a fool

She’s scared of confrontation, gated communities, drowning and spiders

She loves television, the smell of rain, funny laughs and trying new ciders

 

She wants to be a writer but she thinks she’s pretty rough

Maybe not good enough

She’s hoping this challenge will help her write better stuff

Perhaps she’ll even make a name as Freya Wright-Brough

And hopefully no-one will call her bluff

Zany Santa – Day 20 – Lucy Sweeney

On the 12th day of Christmas Lucy Sweeney gave to me: “Three way neck tie causes some debate at an office Christmas party.”

Dear Diary,

I’ve had a Christmas epiphany. The office Christmas party was tonight. I hosted Todd’s-Tantalising-Team-Trivia as usual. Then I told them I was popping to the loo, but really I was going change into my Zany Santa outfit as a treat.

I hid behind the bar, ready to surprise them. I heard their familiar voices approaching the bar. I tuned in and heard they were making fun of my trivia. They were just being sore losers. More voices joined in, apparently they only came to Kofta and Karaoke night for the free feed, and there really was a spare spot on their 5 aside team.

 The young bar tender looked down at me crouching between the taps with a look of pity. Surely someone would stand up for me? This is probably just banter; I’m their fun out-of-the-box manager.

My secretary Denise piped up. This was it. She loves me. She suggested the Zany Santa outfit. Instead I discovered she thought the novelty three-person-ties were not fun team building exercises after all, but rather violated their human rights. This was met with roaring laughter, which was only topped when she revealed that she had suggested the Zany Santa outfit as a sarcastic joke.

This was the final pin in my blow-up ego. I stood up and ripped off my googly eye glasses and “fun’n’furry cropped Santa jacket”. My workers’ mortified faces stared back at me.

“I’m moving departments,” I declared. “For the record, the three-way-necktie scheme was a great way to get a promotion. If any of you had lasted a full day attached to your team, you would have got a pay rise. But it appears none of you can appreciate my post modern ironic humour. The jokes on you!”

And I left.

When I closed the door there was a roar of laughter. Perhaps my jokes were getting through after all?

Todd

Allies – Day 19 – Caitlin Callanan

Today’s idea: “A man trying to throw himself in front of a car at a pedestrian crossing” from Caitlin Callanan.

Diary,

First day at a new school is always hard. I’ve learnt to make strategic friends. Pick a big scary kid and you should be safe from bullying.

On the walk to school I struck up conversation with a boy. He told me he was expelled from his last school. Perfect bully-shield candidate I thought. I asked him if he wanted to smoke behind the sheds (this is the type of thing bully-shields like to do). He agreed, saying he liked to live life on the edge and proceeding to jump in front of the oncoming traffic. Lucky he jumped at the exact time we passed a pedestrian crossing. This should have been a give-away that my new ally was a faker: a loner like me. My mistake became clear as we walked into class and he tried to convince me ‘wanker’ was a term of endearment.

I’ve made friends with a bully-magnet.

Callum

Beauty – Day 18 – Matt Hsu

“A bearded lady almost wins a conservative beauty contest” from Matt Hsu was pulled this morning. So here we go:

15/12/2030,

I have a confession. About a week ago, I was accused of being sexist in the media. When I judged the Miss Queenslander competition I wasn’t being forward thinking; I was being selfish. I didn’t vote for the bearded lady because I really think she is beautiful. I voted for her as a stunt so people would think I wasn’t shallow. Now I am held up as a spokes person for gender equality. I want to tell everyone that I’m a fake, but I think I’ve legitimately helped the movement. 

I guess the constant feminist conference talks are payback for my selfishness. I suppose it’s not so bad, it beats most minister duties. I’m actually getting in to this whole feminism thing. Last week I even got to do an ironic topless calendar with some hot feminists.  

Tony

Traffic – Day 17 – Brad Coasty H

Today I pulled out “Held hostage in a traffic jam” which came from a twitter conversation I had with the traffic guy at ABC radio on the very first day of my challenge. 

Dear Diary,

I was sitting in traffic, enjoying the privacy of my tinted windows, belting out Robbie Williams when the door opened. A man climbed inside. He looked just like robbers do in films, bag of cash and all. He even said “Drive!”

I told him I couldn’t, I was stuck in traffic. He looked up for the first time and let out a stream of amazingly misused abuse. Things like “those bitchers sent me on a wild fucking goof chase!”

“At least you waited for me. Thanks. They told me to look for the ugly tinted car,” he had finished.

I’d gone to protest but then felt anxious he might have a gun, so I asked him how much he got.

Nothing. In fact, he’d held up a pet store with what turned out to be a water pistol and had been laughed out of the store. His supposed mates had tricked him. I felt bad for him. But he needed to know I wasn’t the driver either.

When I told him he pulled a knife (albeit the wrong way at first) and said I was now his hostage. He couldn’t have me telling everyone. Just I was feeling genuinely afraid of this nutter, he suddenly stops and looks at the CD player.

“Is this Robbie?” he asked.

I nod.

“Well, perhaps I’ll let you go this once. But don’t squeak! I don’t take kindly snatches!”

I didn’t even have time to tell him it was “snitches” before he was gone. At least it was an interesting drive home.

Brad

Snow – Day 9 – Liam Lowry

Today’s entry idea is from Liam Lowry (first idea from America!) who gave me simply “Magic Snow” 

Diary,

I was born today. I got made by a boy called Liam. I wish he gave me legs. It’s hard jumping around on a big ball. I don’t like the nose he gave me much either. I would have preferred something more inventive than a carrot. But he’s a nice boy. Last winter I was made in a park and an anti-snowman group threw salt on me. I’ve never been accepted by a human before.

Liam feeds me chocolate and only drinks juice when I’m around (water is so cannibal!). He even gave me this diary to write in. I taught him about precipitation and snow-reincarnation. Tomorrow he said we could make a snow dog. I’ve always wanted a dog!

-Snowy (humans aren’t too inventive with names either)

Chicken #8 – Day 8 – Jason Engel

Jason Engel messaged the page with this a while ago:

“A chicken crosses the road, chickens friend wants to know why, WHYYYYY!?!?”

Well Chicken #8 is hopefully about to explain it all for you Jason.

Dear diary,

This will be my last diary entry before the uprising.

Ever since I can remember I’ve been crossing roads. We’re brought up that way. None of the other chickens ever questioned it until last month. I still remember coming back from my shift on the road. Chicken #6 looked at me and asked the question I’d been waiting for: “why?” It was then I knew we had a chance.

3 years ago I met Irish Bloke #4 on my break and he started to speak to me. We sat together every break after that. Eventually I picked up some human language and he told me that there was another world out there. A world which isn’t dictated by dads in sandals and the insides of Christmas crackers. Though I didn’t believe him, it was a nice thought.

But when Chicken #6 asked why we crossed the road, I realised we had to try. What if we all refused to walk across the road?

We’ve spent weeks convincing the other chickens and today is the day. I hope there is another world. I hope we are not kept alive only by the imaginations of idiots in paper Christmas crowns.

Yours,

Chicken #8

PS. Irish Bloke #4 if you’re reading this, I’m glad you found my Diary. I’m sorry you couldn’t convince all the Blokes to walk off the job. Thank you for giving me hope.

Giant & Rupert – Day 7 – Sue Wright

I think we could all guess where this was going when I drew “A small dog called Rupert befriends a Giant” from Sue Wright. 

Diary,

Giant find friend. Friend is dog. Giant call him Rupert. Giant walk Rupert. Rupert get tired after two giant steps so Giant carry him.

Others laugh and point. They not believing my threats anymore. They chase us. Giant drop Rupert. Giant lose Rupert. Giant start to cry. Others catch up. Giant run. Giant make it to cave. Giant’s wailing cause rock fall. Others leave.

Giant has no friends. Giant go to bed. Not even quilt make Giant feel better.

When Giant wake up, Rupert is there. Rupert turn out to be expert at hiding and scavenging. Rupert has stolen bone collection from others.

Now when Rupert and Giant go walking. Others cower. They think Giant is magic who can move rocks, summon bones and bring dogs back from dead.

Love

Giant

A girl needs shoes- Day 6 – Cheryl Lowry

Today’s challenge: Twitter Tuesday (Story under 140 characters) + Diary December (must be a diary entry or based off someones diary entry) + Cheryl Lowry’s prompt “A tango dancer finds herself in Buenos Aries without her favourite 9cm stilettos.” 

Buenos Aries Day 1: I forgot my stilettos. The audience stared. A bittersweet realisation: magic shoes were real, my tango talent wasn’t.

Life Log – Day 5 – Alita Pashley

Today’s idea was from Alita Pashley who gave me this:

“Sticky-outty hair because too much Harry Potter (and wine) happened last night. Now I have homicidal feelings towards some less-than-desirable colleagues who are not letting me buy coffee.
Please include magical realism.
(34 words! BAM!)”

1am.      Wine. Shouting. Argument over Horcruxes. Uncontrollable laughter.

2am.      Carried home by Snape. He’s surprisingly nice. Room has turned into dodgy                            spinning fete ride.

8am.      Wake up late. Nargles have taken all my matching socks.

9am.      Get to work. Meeting. Homicidal feelings toward colleagues who won’t let me buy                  coffee.

10am.    Communal stale biscuits tell me I have to eat them. Regret. Can I sleep with eyes                  open?

11am.    No.

12pm.   Colleagues argue over name of steps in new marketing strategy. ‘Planks’ or                             ‘platforms’? Kill me now.

1pm.      Meeting over. Lunch commencing. Winning!

2pm.      Toilet break. Mirror points out I’m losing. Seem to have modelled my hair on                          Cameron Diaz in ‘Something about Mary’.

3pm.      Okay need to do actual work. Who is texting me? Shut up phone, I am being                          productive!

4pm.      Another text. Must be a sign. Trying to concentrate on work today is futile. Check                phone, it’s Snape!

5pm.      See you later suckers. This woman has a date to get ready for.

6pm.      Make up tricked me. Snape is now dating the Joker. What is his real name?

7pm.      He’s at the door. I can’t just call him Snape.

8pm.      Why haven’t I asked his real name yet? I can’t go back.

9pm.      Snape is a lot hotter without wig.

10pm.   Sweat gods, please have mercy on me and my white top.

11pm.   Snape went for hug. I went for kiss. Disaster.

12am.    Home again. Master Google laughs at me and tells me I ballsed it up. At least I                        won’t have to admit I don’t know his name.

Giant -Day 4- Erin Michelle

First day of ‘Diary December’ so I’m keeping it simple. Today’s idea brought to you by Erin Michelle: “A quilt made of materials not normally associated with quilts.”

Diary,

Giant make quilt for cave today out of woven tree branches, cow skins, hay and flattened human tin wheelie boxes. Giant get called soft by others. Giant doesn’t care. Giant’s cave is fabulous. Also, giant tell others that next time it will be made from their skin.

Love

Giant

Downloaders – Day 3 – Brett Pemberton

So today I got my dad to pull a story out of the pot, when he pulled out:
“In 2153, a private detective and his robot sidekick are swept up in a conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of the universe.”

I freaked out. But eventually I got to this…

“When was The Princess Bride released?” Rob asks.

“I said I knew virtual experiences,” Pemberton says, “not classic old films! Give me a break. I’m all human, not a bloody downloader like you. I still like manual Google. I’m old school like that.”

“Released 1987. You’re a private detective Pemberton, you could do with a memory implant. Get with the times,” Rob teases. “Oh, I’ve finished buffering. Network Leaks has an update. They’ve cracked the science database. I’m gonna be a genius!”

“I told you,” says Pemberton, “don’t stream their updates, they could be dangerous!”

“They’ve been useless so far,” Rob snorts. “Anyway, how else are we supposed to keep tabs on them?”

Rob’s voice cuts out. White noise and static fill the auditorium. The lights go up. Pemberton stands on stage.

“This is where Rob’s memory reconstruction hard drive cut out,” he explains looking into the audience. The distinct TEDDY sign floats behind him.

“Most of you know the rest of the story,” Pemberton continues. “The virus took a hold of Rob just like all the downloaders worldwide. His software couldn’t handle the mass of scientific knowledge pulsing through his systems. He was driven mad. Started re-enacting experiments and reciting Pi.”

“I found the one virtual news station still broadcasting. This is when I saw the reports that thousands of infected downloaders were storming the Hadron Collider. I knew I had to stop the stream or they might accidentally create a black hole.”

“I’m sad to say I ripped out Rob’s hardware and loaded it onto my computer. I could track the signal. I found Network Leaks’ headquarters. They must have all been downloaders too and the place was abandoned. I turned off the live stream and the virus ran its course, leaving most infected downloaders too weak to survive.”

“For the last 5 years since, I’ve been campaigning for restrictions on sentient software. But that’s not to say being a downloader doesn’t have its place. We would be no-where without them. I would be nowhere without Rob.  And ironically as I look at the statistics-bot now, this is already the most downloaded TEDDY talk ever” he finishes to the sound of the applause.

Al – Day 2 – Beatrice Tucker

Hazel looked at Al, his smooth almond skin glowed back at her. Her own skin was rough and flaking, oh to be young again.

“…he said I wasn’t even a real nut. That was the last time I saw him. And it’s true I’m just a seed!” Al finished.

“It sounds like you miss him a lot, but perhaps you’ll find your independence now,” Pepita said kindly looking at Hazel for further instruction.

Hazel looked back at her intern, then to Al.

“He’ll come back to you Al. Just be patient,” Hazel said. “Now, that’s the end of the session you can book your next appointment with Chester on your way out.”

Hazel could almost see a do-gooder spiel welling inside Pepita as they watched Al wipe his eyes and leave.

“He needs to be medicated,” Pepita burst out as soon as he’d left. “Al can’t go on with this imaginary friend insulting him. He clearly has deep-seeded issues around nut classification. He needs to be stabilised.”

Hazel sighed, “Why? Is his reality less valid than ours?”

Silence.

“Look around Pepita, we’re just a bunch of mixed nuts. We’re all going to get eaten one day.”

The inspiration I got for this was “A sad almond can’t find his imaginary friend”

Incumbent Triangles – Day 1 – Cinnamon Eacott

So above is me choosing my first idea from the idea TARDIS earlier today and this is the result:

Good afternoon Angle Ministers and Tri-members. I am very proud to represent my school at this education conference. My chosen topic is History, something we all need to remember to see just what we’ve achieved.

Our ancestors traded with coins and paper. A system only low life rebels use now. My great great grandmother probably wouldn’t understand the three part digital codes we call ‘triangles’. She’d just see the glowing symbols that follow us on screens.

Our triangle value is displayed everywhere we go, but back in her day, accounts were private and talking about them was rude. How naive we were. Life is so much easier when you know what others are worth.

They had to navigate different classes, religions and political groups. Luckily we have the triangles to tell us who we are compatible with.

My great great grandmother was born with dreams. I was born with a number. Simple. Easy. Definitive.

But I won’t be defined. I’d like to amend my first statement. My chosen topic is History, something we all need to remember to see just what we have lost.