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NaNoWriMo – The ultimate creative writing challenge

nanowrimo2015-design-by-eric-nyffeler

Fancy yourself a writer? Dreamed of writing that book…one day…well why wait!

It’s time for the ultimate creative writing challenge during National Novel Writing Month.

Are you ready for this?!

On 1 November people from all around the world will start with the goal of writing a 50000 word novel by midnight on 30 November.

That’s right! You get to be part of an international movement to get writers all around the world to do what they do best… write! Sounds like a lot of pressure but get this…you aren’t competing with anyone but yourself. You can make use of support groups and motivational resources as much as you want  and you don’t even have to show anyone your work. All you have to do is write!

Keen?! Well sign up on the Nanowrimo website by clicking here. What’s more…it’s FREE!

I will also be starting a Scribbles & Giggles NaNoWriMo support group where we can:

  • Share our ideas and get feedback
  • Organize fun writing sessions and explore the cafes of Prague
  • Share resources
  • Give and gain support

Anyone interested? Please sign up to the Scribbles & Giggles NaNoWriMo group in our Facebook group.

 

 

 

 

 

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40 minutes stories

40 minute story: ‘Cat’astrophic Events – Polly Story-Lebl

Note: This story was created in one of our writing sessions based on writing prompts.

 

Its hard to imagine the world before everything disappeared from all of the computers, phones, and internet. It was insane actually. One day people got up and there was nothing on the computer.  It didn’t even turn on. There was nothing on the phone, no numbers, no pictures. It was if it all just vanished into outer space.

 

How could this ever happen?  Who was responsible for this catastrophie? She knew. She had seen it coming for quite awhile. The internet had literally exploded all of the information on itself. She knew one day people would be so traumatized by the news that they would all log on to one cat video and it was just enough to trigger the shut down.

 

She wasn’t sure when she stumbled on to the feature.  Perhaps it was when she was stoned and had been watching hours of cat videos that she became aware that she was able to read the cats thoughts. Every cat video was telling her something. It was telling her that she should warn the people that ‘they’ didn’t like being made fun of. ‘They’ have finally masterminded a way to stop the insanity of people trying to find new ways to tease them just for the sake of filming.

 

The problem was, however, that every time she tried to warn someone about the cats, they would just laugh and show her another video. She also knew that a day would come soon that no one could stand to deal with life’s real issues and the only way they could feel better was to watch a cat video. She realized that this was the new addiction to calm people’s anxieties.

 

The days before the event that changed the world forever, she smoked a lot of pot. She didn’t want to watch them, but she had to figure out if there was something she could do to communicate with them. She even put on some cat ears and whiskers and filmed herself and posted it to you tube. She had a few views, but of course they were her friends and family. No cats.

 

One night, she thought maybe after getting high, that she could try to watch dog videos and see if they could help turn this impending doom around. Unfortunately, nothing came through. People just didn’t care that much about cute doggie videos enough to crash the internet.

 

The night before the world went crazy, she came across the cat video of the baby kitten sneezing and its arms would raise up above its head. It was so damn cute. She watched it a few more times and then she saw it. It was the number of views. It was not just increasing a few views at a time, but literally millions at a time. All at once, she realized it was the end of the world as she knew it. Her computer went blank. She picked up her ipad and it showed only an apple. Nothing more. Same with the phone.  She wasn’t sure how she would live. She wasn’t sure how anyone would live.

 

She felt sleepy, but at the same time couldn’t process reality. She didn’t even know how she would get up each day. She stared at the ceiling for hours. Trying to replay that cute kitty, but it was gone from her mind. Only emptiness remained.

 

When she began to wake up and make sense of her thoughts, she realized her kitten had been sleeping on her face. The sun made her sneeze and the kitten’s arms quickly went up.

 

Short Stories

This is Prague – Lucy Hadfield

It wasn’t long before I fell in love with Prague. It was fate that had brought me to this enigmatic city and like many others, I had stumbled upon this beautiful place unexpectedly and over time was finding myself becoming continuously attached to its slow paced, relaxed and in some ways, more backwards way of lifestyle that gives it that alluring, authentic and honest aura. Maybe it’s because of the history of this country, that its people are more compelled to lead a life that follows the mentality that ‘shit happens’ whereby ‘what you see is what you get’ and people don’t cut corners or find the time to be so judgemental in your style or way about life. Prague’s easy going and spontaneous rhythm of life style is one of its greatest characteristics that it effortlessly bestows, which had me captivated and has kept me fascinated.

Its aesthetic beauty gives it a dream-like and sentimental feel. The rich maroon red and orange rooftops clustered together against its mint green spires and turrets that stand disordered against the skyline, are constantly unveiled to the eye in the distance of every wide, hill-top road for which you stand. Dark outlines of its silhouettes stand out prominently, as if someone were to have withdrawn a black ink pen and traced a perfect line around the outlines of these gothic and baroque styled buildings against the blazing pink and orange sunset, that never fails to emerge at the end of a summers afternoon.

Its pastel colours of purple to pinks, to blues, greens and yellows spread themselves over the city, yet you always come to discover a difference between each building from the intricate hand painted décor, sculpture or statues, or its balconies occupied by its diverse inhabitants, each balcony exposing a trace of one of the intriguing characters lives that walks the cobbled streets below.

I see road workers, their hands as withered and as dry as a sanded desert head to toe in red work ovals; their long, wiry grey hair tied up behind their backs laying out cement on the newly made area of roads. They are pausing to have a break and seek shade, sitting along a wall next to one another, chatting, laughing sheltered by the trees, smoking cigarettes and drinking cans of beer.

I see elderly woman, sitting on street benches dressed in matching patterned skirts and blouses of vibrant patterns and colours, that look as if they were originally worn in the sixties. Clutching trollies of food shopping in one hand and sitting back watching the chaotic streets of rush hour that lie before them. There decrepit old faces are filled with nostalgia and resentment, looking confused and lost by the changing ways of life that surrounds them. You can see the frustration in those stubborn, beady eyes that dart across the array of passers by. Sometimes I would be on a tram returning from the centre of town and the same elderly characters would be found stationery in the exact same spot and two hours will have already passed.

I see the homeless hoarders, wondering the endless streets like lost souls. Pausing at every corner with their large, blue plastic bags, diving hungrily into bin after bin to dig out waste food, newspapers, clothes, books, blankets, kitchen appliances and later, I would spot these characters grazing in the blazing hot sun of Karlova Namesti Park. Lying beneath the patches of shade, their bodies curled up on their sides, clutching at their blue bags that behold all the possessions they own, guarding their life with their life whilst resting in the peaceful tranquillity of this space.

I see parks in every district I walk, beautifully preserved and looked after, with outstanding view points. Another effortless element this city adds to its charm.

I see groups of the youth, others that have just finished a long day’s work, runners, guitarists, ex-pats, groups of athletes and acrobat enthusiasts all gathered to take a beer, smoke a joint and watch the sun set against the viewpoint of the old city. Diverse crowds of people coming together to appreciate the beauty of this place as much as I.

And it is often happening, that I will find myself forgetting that Prague is a capital city which for me, is one of the most distinct and unique rareities it beholds.

Unlike any other capital city I have walked through, I don’t feel stressed by its people compared to other places where locals would barge past and hundreds of crowds of people will continue from morning to night to take up all the space upon the majority of the streets. One thing I observed that occurred to me during the first few months of my time here, was that the majority of the city was at its most emptiest and quietist on the weekends. This is because many shop owners and their families or partners will go spend their free time in their holiday houses elsewhere within the Czech Republic. As I have found myself walking through Zizkov or Vinohrady on a Saturday or Sunday, I was always curious as to why it was noticeably so much more quieter and subdued compared to weekdays, but after having asked a few locals, I soon understood why. This really put into perspective for me, how small this country of ten million is. Where would you find in any other capital city such a weekend as quiet as in Prague? The answer being, you wouldn’t.

The fact that this countries so undiscovered and low key and being in the very center of Europe fascinates me even more. It is still a hidden treasure for which I hope it shall remain to be. As locals inform me that Prague is continuing to expand in size, I am curious to see how or if it will change dramatically in years to come.

From its obscure, eccentric open minded people, to its well reserved outstandingly beautiful buildings both in the suburbs and inner city, to all the natural beauty in all of its parks and by the riverside, and to the creativity its inspired within me and that constantly surrounds me,

This is Prague.