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Stories All Year Round

365 writing prompts/questions

All about you

Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you. Well the blog that you’re reading right now isn’t my main blog. I think it’s pretty clear what this sites title means and it’s also clear that it doesn’t mean more than that. The title of my main blog is Maxxinneverland. This one means more to me. A lot of people call me Maxx (yes, double x), not only because it’s shorter but mostly because sometimes it fits me better. This is because I don’t always feel like I’m a particular gender and the name Maxx is very unisex. The in Neverland part comes from my wish not to grow up in some ways. When I was younger I didn’t want to grow up at all. I got a bit wiser, just a little bit, and some growing up is required in life. Not only is it required, you make life a bit easier if you do. The parts of childhood I don’t want to lose though is wonder and contentment. I had a wonderful childhood and was never more content than during that time. I didn’t want more than my favorite toys, I had a favorite stuffed animal, a favorite book, a favorite everything. I didn’t want anything more really but maybe that’s also because I had everything. Still, I strive to be content with the things I have and the things I do now. I think you can’t really have a better teacher for that than a young child, they really can cherish something. My cousins for example cherish everything I give to them, not necessarily because of the object but because I gave it to them. They cherish it far more if I give it to them and tell them they deserved because they did something right or had a good grade or something like that. Just as me, they have everything they want, even more than they need. I think that that teaches kids the wrong things, having more than you need. When they want something, they ask for it, give them options but don’t spoil them. They don’t need everything you think they need material wise. They need love, an education and a chance to be content.

Burning down the house & Burnt

Because I’m behind on schedule I’ve decided combine these two in one post. Enjoy!

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab? 

Damn, only five items, that isn’t a lot but I guess it’s all you can carry when you’re trying to stay alive. Luckily I’ve got an fire exit that leads to the roof next to my room’s door, so I guess I will be fine.

The five items:

  1. buddhaMy laptop; almost all my pictures are on my laptop. Memories of people I’ve met and places I’ve visited. There are pictures of my family and my dog. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost those. So yeah, the first thing I’d grab is my laptop.
  2. Elven drawing; I’ve got a framed drawing of two elves that my grandmother drew for me. It’s the second thing I’d grab, naturally.
  3. Wooden buddha panels; My former roommate (and current friend) went to Thailand once,  she took back a beautiful piece of artwork. It consists of three wooden panels in which a buddha is carved. When she moved away she gave it to me. Sometimes I still can’t believe she did, it’s a very precious piece for me.
  4. Wooden carving of Che Guevara; my parents and sister gave this one to me. Che Guevara is one of my idols but I won’t take it with me because of that. I love it most because it was a beautiful gift.
  5. My pin-up board; It’s a corkboard on which I pinned a lot of memories. It got (birthday)cards, receipts, a poem, drawings etc. pinned to it. It’s kind of the same deal as with my laptop.

Remember yesterday, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

If I could I’d taken everything but if your house is on fire, there isn’t much opportunity to do so. There are a few things I wouldn’t have taken but also mean a lot to me. My camera for example. I love photography. I didn’t choose it because I know it’s replaceable. They aren’t cheap but I could buy them again if I wanted. Same goes for my books, I’ve got quite a library in my room but all of those I could buy again if I pleased. I also regret not taking my guns. Yes, I’ve got guns. They’re made of stone and are actually small vases. I like them a lot, they shoot flowers. There are countless other thing I would miss, my tiny globe, dreamcatcher, paintings bought in New York, drawings made by cousins, etc. etc. etc. Let’s just hope my house won’t be on fire okay?

Through the window

Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.

It’s 22:30 around here and it’s dark and cold outside. I live on the edge of the center of a medium sized city so I see the buildings twinkle in the distance. Quite an extraordinary sight actually. My street is usually pretty quiet at this time. There’s a lonely man walking at a fast pace, he looks like he’s cold and wants to get home. When he disappears around the corner, a relaxed biker makes it’s way into my line of sight. He rides fast but his posture tells me that he’s just happy and not in a hurry. Further down the street a driver tries to park it’s car, tries to but kind of fails. I’m a bit sorry to admit I always think it’s a woman if they fail. There’s so much space and the car is so small and still… I’m not that good at parking either actually. There isn’t a lot else going on. People are safely at home, maybe in bed already. I’m going to follow their example, Goodnight!

 

 

 

Ode to a playground

A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed, write a memorial. 

In a little place, not far from Rotterdam, there stood a weird rectangle shaped building. There were but a few windows at the bottom part of it ( which was ‘white’) but it had a lot windows at the top (which was blue and ribbed). The top actually gave you a hint to what was found inside. But not many people guessed what those four walls held, unless you were informed of it’s purpose ( mostly local (grand)parents and kids).

What was inside helped many kids survive in certain circumstances. It was also a place of joy and achievement and it kept you fit. Kids had to be brought there, stayed an hour, mostly with (grand)parents taking a seat somewhere. After the kids had their hour they had to dry and change their clothes. Sometimes their eyes were irritated and their hair was wet, but it was alright. They loved being there. The teachers were kind and the kids were rewarded with waterproof medals.

It was a swimming pool, not a big or a small one, a just right one.

21_woelwater
De woelwater

 

Sliced bread

Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread?

As a Dutchy I never heard from this saying but can imagine what it means (I’ve looked it up). So, first of all, I still think sliced bread is pretty awesome! Saves a lot of work dwhen you’re hungry (in the morning). I don’t think I will be able to think of One thing that I find the best thing since, so I’ll go for a short list (oh, I also looked up when sliced bread was first sold, which is in 1928);

  • Planes & air traffic, as we know it nowadays; I mean how damn awesome is it that we can hop on a plane, sit in it a few km above ground and then step out of it in a different place? It’s still a bit expensive sometimes but also totally worth it. I really love flying.
  • Mobile phone; even with all the social media invading your daily life a mobile phone still comes in handy now and then.
  • Tablets & Laptops; There are pictures of a very young me playing Freddie the fish (I was addicted to that game). So it’s save to say that I was also addicted to the computer and very happy when I could take my ‘computer’ with me every-freaking-where. A tablet is not as good as an laptop ( like a laptop still isn’t as good as a real computer) but easier to carry and take with me.
  • The internet; I don’t know what I’d do without you.

I guess I just love modern technology and yeah, it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Musical

What role does music play in your life?

A simple answer to a simple question: A big one. I don’t like silence that much I guess. The occasional moment of quiet and peace is okay, on these occasions I’m often reading. In general there’s some music playing in the background or there’s a movie or audiobook running (even when I’m sleeping). I don’t have a specific genre I like, but I do know I don’t like listening to some (for example metal or hardcore house).

Thereby, I recently started a streetjazz course. In my opinion dance is one of the most fun ways to exercise, and what is dance without music? Because of my newfound love for dancing I’m discovering some pop music in a new way. That is, concentrating more on the rhythm and beat of the music instead of the song as a whole. You can often find me rocking out on some song in my room. What’s your favorite song? You can leave a comment below!

P.s. I also like to rock out in the car. I don’t have a lot of conversations whilst driving because the music is a bit too loud. My fellow passengers are used to it though and often rock with me.

Dearly departed

Write your own eulogy.

First of all, I think this is a bit of a gruesome one. Plus I’m a bit superstitious I think because it feels like I’m playing with fate. There’s another problem too, I never written one and don’t really know if there are any rules. I suppose you just talk about someone’s life? The meaning of this day’s challenge is probably that you make up your future as well (I really hope so). So yeah, here we go, I guess;

Dear Maxine (gosh, this is weird),

You were born in Rotterdam on the 27th of August 1991 and looked like a little Chinese baby, yellow with dark hair and your eyes didn’t really open yet. You also had a point-shaped head because you needed some help getting out (I resisted with all my might). You grew up alright though, with lovely curls and a playful attitude (except for that time I cried days on end, we still don’t know what the problem was).

Around the time you turned ten (everything went to hell), you moved to Flakkee with your parents and sister. (Alright Stop, I don’t really think this is going to work, let’s start again).

Dear Maxine (still weird),

During your life you tried to be good (but often failed) to everyone you met. You didn’t understand cruelty and tried to help the ones who suffered from it (I really don’t like all this sweet talk either, last try)

Dear everyone who took the time to visit my descend to hell (better),

I hope you don’t miss me too horribly and if you do, just go do something else. Life is short and you mustn’t waste it on people who are dead and gone. I’m waving to you from down below! Take this gathering as an opportunity to say only nice and semi meaningful things to each other. But most of all, celebrate my life and dance.

Thank you all & Lots of love,

Maxine

Ready, set, go

Set a timer for ten minutes. Open a new post. Start the timer, and start writing. When the timer goes off, publish.

So, first of all, I think today’s challenge is a tricky one, but fun. I had to do this once before in art class on a piece of paper. Our teacher gave us one piece of paper and five minutes. We just had to put our pencils down and not stop writing until the five minutes were over. You don’t really have time to think about writing, you just write. Gradually you got stuck in a sort of trance. Just writing your thoughts down the instant they got into your head. This challenge is more difficult though, for one, I’m typing it, which is a totally different experience. Two, I’m typing in English, not my native language, I have to think in english now too and don’t really have time to translate.

I’m thinking about summer now, It’s awfully cold here in the Netherlands and most of the time I’m sort of stuck inside ( translation, it’s too cold to go out in my opinion). It’s not that bad, I skype with my friend Sam and read and study a lot more. But I long for the long summer days. Just being outside, have a picknick or bbq in the park. I miss the short roadtrips too. My mom has a convertible and sometimes she lets me drive it with friends. I think there’s almost nothing more relaxing than just driving around or going to the beach/restaurants with the wind in your hairs and the sun beaming down on you. It’s warm but not too hot because of the movement.

Shipwreck

Read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley. Is what Dudley did defensible? What would you have done?

For the ones who don’t know the story I’ll give a short summary first; A crew of four embarks on a 15,000-mile voyage to Sydney. The crew consists of Tom Dudley, the captain; Edwin Stephens; Edmund Brooks; and Richard parker; a 17 year old inexperienced cabin boy. They use a small vessel. At one point the captain decides to slow the boat down so the crew can have a goodnights sleep. During this time the boat gets damaged and sinks, the crew leaves the ship in a lifeboat.

They flee in the lifeboat at the fifth of July and still aren’t saved at the 24th of July. During this time they’re just trying to survive, they catch a turtle and eat turnips. They try to make sure they don’t drink seawater but despite their efforts Stephens and Parker get sick because of it. By this time there also has been some discussions about killing a member of the crew to save the rest. With Parker in a coma and probably dying Stephens and Dudley decide to kill him and feed on him. They get saved on the 27th of july.

Now for the questions; I think that, as someone who hasn’t consciously been through something life threatening, I can’t judge if what Dudley did was an alright thing to do in the given circumstances. I guess most people agree though that killing a person in any given situation is not really the way to go unless it’s an ‘ultimum remedium’. I myself agree with this point of view, I’d try to find other ways to stay alive first. But I’m a law student as well, as such I need to be able to defend actions I don’t necessarily morally agree with.

In this case I’d defend Dudley by pleading ‘overmacht’. It’s a Dutch legal term which means that someone can be exonerated from punishment if it’s proven that he or she couldn’t act otherwise in his or her situation. Most of the time the person in question is in such a state of distress that he or she couldn’t think properly. A few facts might make it difficult to prove this though.  The discussions beforehand for instance. The crew discussed the matter of killing someone a few times before they actually killed Parker. The fact that they considered that Parker might die eventually of sickness doesn’t really contribute either. On the other hand, Parker was already sick and dying a few days before they killed him. Also, one could plead that they ‘lost it’ in a moment of distress because they weren’t rescued yet and there was no prospect of rescue.

In conclusion, I’d try and find other means of survival, catch another turtle for example, and just wait or die. But then again I really don’t know how I would react, maybe I’ll become a bloodthirsty monster. I could defend Dudley though from a legal point of view.

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