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:

miranda

love

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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)

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.

Lucky Number – Day 358 – Number Identity Crisis

Today there is only a WEEK TO GO of the challenge. Thinking about this made me realise that my numbers weren’t matching up to my end date- it turned out that I had accidentally made a mistake around day 128… meaning every number after that was wrong. My “Day Numbers” were having an identity crisis… hence today’s story:

I used to be a two, but I got changed to a three. The other numbers laugh at me, they tell me I’m messy. They tell me I’m a mistake.

I remember when it happened, I’d only just been drawn into existence. I liked being a two. Two was a couple, it was even, I liked being a two. But then, without warning I was crudely changed to a three. It was an odd number, and it felt wrong. Two was solid, three was awkward.

For a while I thought I was a two trapped in the body of a three. But one day I met an 8 who used to be a zero, her round curves entranced me, they were more beautiful than any other number I’d ever seen.

Something switched that day and I realised I am lucky number. I get to have fun, sometimes I tell others I am a fancy five and other times I just let them guess. Now I know I am not a two or a three, I am whatever I want to be.

ALSO REMINDER: On the 30th of November I will be holding a picnic for you all- please come tell tales and eat food. I would love to meet you! Read more about the event by clicking here.

Learning to Speak – Day 353 – Xanthe

Xanthe wanted to give me a prompt today but didn’t get a chance to- I remember she said she’d like to give me a song to inspire me. I’ve seen Xanthe sing before and her voice almost seems like it isn’t coming from her. She is the closest person I know to an actual fairy. When she sings, even though she is young, she sounds more like an ancient wise being. So that idea is going to inspire me today. (Disclaimer – Xanthe is very articulate and intelligent whether speaking or singing).

People think the clouds are stupid. They mix up their words a lot, but people don’t realise that speaking is their second language. They’ve been singing since the big bang, but they only learnt to speak a few thousand years ago. The people don’t hear their singing over the sound of the rain, but it is there if you listen close. They sing their wisest tales and ideas during the heavy rains.

The Protectors – Day 351 – Carving from Sarah

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When I was little my cousin lived with us for a few years. She helped instill a love of characters and stories in me. This is a carving she did that sits in our garden.

Every house in the village has a gargoyle to protect them. Most are tall and fierce, but when we moved in, we could only afford a tiny one. We left our city to escape war. We shouldn’t really be here, but we couldn’t stay in our home country. No village really wants us.

Our gargoyle sits in the garden most days clutching his knees. Sometimes I offer for him to come inside but he always declines, so I bring out tea for him.

One day I hear reports of thugs heading toward the village. I am sure we will be first to be robbed. Why did we have to get the dud gargoyle? When they find we have nothing to steal they’ll turn us in to the officials for money.

“We’re going to be sent back and it’ll be all your fault,” I say to the gargoyle.

At dusk the thugs come. They try a few houses but their gargoyles roar and fight them stone to fist. Then they spot our house. They come right up to our gargoyle and laugh, trying to push him aside. But he doesn’t budge. In fact he’s rising, controlling the other stones in the garden and forming a huge barrier. The thugs begin to sink into the gravel path. Horrified they drag themselves out and run off weighed down by their stone encrusted feet.

We come out and the other villagers are trying to buy our gargoyle.

“I’m sorry I doubted you,” I say to him. “I’m so glad we got you.”

He looks back at the gaggle of villagers and says, “None of you would buy me before so I will not go with you now.”

The villagers threaten to have us sent back.

“Try and I’ll encase you in stone. I am 2000 years old, the only real gargoyle here. The others are not gargoyles, they are thugs from the first war. They tried to burn this city, but I gave them their lives. In return, they swore an oath to protect our people.”

He turns to me.

“Thank you,” I say, completely stunned.

“We are both leftovers we belong together,” he says.

Just One – Day 350 – 1 a day

People often ask if I sneakily write a few stories in a day and then post them. I don’t – to be honest I am too pooped after one story. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do more than one in a day after this challenge. 

Jasmine has one idea per day. She is told the other idea generators working in the Minds can have up to 10 in a day. She worries that she’ll lose her job and be kicked out of her Mind. But when she finally retires, the Mind sends her a card. They tell her she has generated more ideas than any other employee because the others always burn out and quit. She is the longest giving brain component they have ever had.