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.

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Fenlan and the Warriors – Day 313 – Lawrence Leung

I went to see one of my favourite comedians, Lawrence Leung, at the National Young Writers Festival this weekend. He ran a great workshop about creative practice. Above is a picture of me being awkwardly star struck. I asked him what I should do after my 365 Day Challenge. His answer was simple, elegant and embarrassingly obvious for me. “Ask your followers.”

Suddenly I was aware that everything I have built during this challenge was my own doing (my connections, my skills and you guys reading!) I won’t lose it once it’s over. I’m not alone. So to anyone who follows this blog- please let me know if you have an idea for my next project or where I should take my writing next. 

Here’s my story:

Fenlan made the jagged rocks of the mountain her home for a year. People came from all around to learn to be fine warriors. Most came from warring villages but learnt side by side, for peace is always kept amongst the clouds.

Fenlan was the Queen’s daughter and when she came of age, she would have to fight off the evil spirits who terrorised the region. It was said only a royal daughter was strong enough to defeat them. Unfortunately no daughter had ever managed the task.

She had become a strong agile fighter, but her greatest strength had been making friends. She had even brought some of the feuding warriors together.

On the last night she cried. The thought of fighting the spirits alone scared her. She was used to fighting with her fellow warriors and couldn’t bear the thought of them going back to their homes only to fight with each other.

The next morning, on her birthday, she realised she didn’t have to face the spirits alone, it was always just assumed. So she rallied the warriors. It wasn’t easy convincing them to work together, but even the master agreed.

“I have been waiting for a daughter like you, one who realises their true strength,” she told Fenlan.

So they marched from the mountain. Many people laughed when they saw Fenlan wasn’t alone.

“Only a daughter can defeat the spirits!” they shouted.

Fenlan blocked them out as the spirits came swiftly, gnashing their teeth.

“What do you want? We have killed many daughters like you, what makes you think you special?”

Fenlan introduced herself and the other warriors.

“We have found you a new home in the mountains where peace is always kept,” she said, “and if you do not go, you will face us all.”

“Those warriors are from feuding villages,” the spirits said, “does that mean you are united?”

“Yes,” the warriors answered.

“We are happy to accept,” said the spirits. “We are spirits of war, only when the villages are united can we rest. Thank you.”

The mountains are now home to the spirits and it is no longer a training camp, for there is no need for warriors.

Og – Day 311 – NYWF & Critical Animals

I’m headed to the National Young Writers Festival and Critical Animals in Newcastle today to enjoy the festivities. Perhaps a small part of being a writer is entering that community and being accepted?

Og carve rocks.

Alone in cave.

Og carve friends.

Deer.

Bird.

Even Lion.

But Og still lonely.

Og search for new rocks.

Og will make more

Till Og is happy.

Og find purple rock.

Og run hand over rock.

But rock has soft bit.

A hand.

Og’s eyes follow hand.

Arm.

Shoulder.

Neck.

Face.

Says his name is Ug.

Ug carve rocks too.