Your Story 2017

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In 2014, I started a collaborative project called YOUR STORY. It’s exactly what it sounds like–it’s your stories, straight from your own hearts. It reflects the belief that life is truly the greatest adventure, and we are all the heroes of our own lives. Everyone has strength and courage and hope. I want to hear those stories. I want to celebrate that strength. I want you to see just how remarkable you are.

This is your opportunity to share your story, to put it somewhere where it will be recognized for its worth and importance. Everyone has different experiences, everyone has different struggles, but it takes courage to live, to endure difficult times, to pursue happiness.

This is your story. This is your strength.

The Story:

  • You can tell your story however you think is best (fiction or memoir are both accepted)
  • You can use any style (e.g. humorous vs. heartfelt, essay vs. poetry)
  • Wordcount is flexible (the longest story was 3000 words, the shortest was 150)
  • Keep the language rated PG, please and thank you

The Rights:

  • This story 100% belongs to you forever
  • My only rights are to post it on my blog, tweak some formatting, and run a spellcheck
  • You can post it anywhere you’d like without crediting me
  • You can ask me to take it down at any point in time if you change your mind

The Process:

  • I’m accepting submissions from now till March 1st
  • You can submit your story by emailing me at valourborn@gmail.com
    • it can be an attachment or pasted in the email itself
  • You can have it published anonymously or under your preferred name
    • you can also give me links to your blog/social media to include with the post
  • Please include links/files for any videos and pictures you want to include
  • You will have a chance to approve the post before it goes live
  • I’ll also send you a link in an email telling you when it’s posted

There’s no theme for this story. Any experience of strength or weakness, courage or fear, happiness or despair are welcome. It’s up to you what you’d like to share, it’s up to you which moments are important, and there’s really no right or wrong topic for your story. I’m not looking for a polished masterpiece, I just want you to share something honest and meaningful.

I do ask that you keep the subject matter more or less PG, just because of the nature of my blog. If you have any concerns, feel free to send me an email and we can talk about it. I want you to be able to share your story in the best way possible.

If you’d like some inspiration, I’d encourage you to read the previous story entries. Or if you’d like to try writing to a specific theme, I’d challenge you to write about hope. This past year has been difficult for lots of people, but the darkest times are when hope is most important. Let your story be a beacon cutting through the darkness.

I hope that I can share lots of stories in the next couple months and celebrate the incredible strength and spirit of ordinary heroes. Whether you consider yourself remarkable or not, your life is truly an adventure worth sharing.

You are all wonderful. Never forget it.

-Alex

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Your Story Is Incredible

Another year ended, another Your Story project completed. It was a little messier than last year, I didn’t do half as much for it as I would’ve liked (story of my life, I know), but it still happened. That’s the important part–it happened, and the stories that I got to share were so incredibly important.

Stories of love and loss, stories of depression and hardship, stories of struggle and sacrifice and strength and success. Real stories. Your stories.

It’s kind of incredible, sometimes, to hear someone talk about the most significant memories they have and understand something so… so deep about them. Like… the people you see on the street, the people you work with–people who you don’t know all that well–they all have stories upon stories kept safe in their memories. Whether they’re fifteen or fifty, there’s some story they have to tell that’s just… real. Real and raw and important. And doing this project, hearing your stories… sometimes it really hits me just how incredible that is.

You guys are amazing. Your stories are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing them with me. Thank you so much for letting me share them with others.

I’d like to keep up the tradition and do this again in the summer, and I look forward to reading the stories yet to come. Thank you again for sharing your adventures with me. Keep inspiring others with your light.

Your Story 2015

Your Story 2014

May your struggles bring you strength.

-Alex

TRIALS: .solo();

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[ABOUT YOUR STORY 2015]

Before I begin, I just want to say that I am still accepting entries. I know there are only eight days left, which isn’t a whole lot of time, but if you are able to come up with something, I’d be happy to share it. Otherwise, the project shall return again in the summer, so there’s always that. But for now, onwards to the next entry!

This entry comes from TS over at The PewPew Diaries. In it, he recalls the trials faced when trying to balance work, school, and relationships, and the sacrifices that come with it.

Enjoy.

***

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“Next time, train your employees better before sending them here,” she said to my mentor, with a smile and an affable tone. If you hadn’t heard her, you’d think we were exchanging pleasantries. Though it was hard to swallow, I deserved it… kinda.

————————

March, 2014.

I’m just 2 weeks into my job as a Support Technician, maintaining and upgrading workstations at a certain company. Pay is decent, job is somewhat fun if you love puzzle-solving, and you’re never overworked. Clock in at 9, lunch break at 12 – 2, knock off at 5. That’s usually the case if I don’t screw up.

Well, then there’s this particular occasion where a deceptively routine case was tasked to me. I almost destroyed a regional manager’s career that day. I was to migrate her workstation to another laptop, which normally just meant copying all the files over and reinstalling all the programs they are to have according to their clearance levels. Little did I know her laptop was a variant, and had relied on authentication to access her some of her most important files. Meaning to say she couldn’t access these files on another PC, even with her own user logged in; it has to be that one laptop, because even cloned systems based on the host would generate a different authentication key and be locked out of files previously secured on the host.

We’d normally have to call in upper management to bring in another guy from another company that provides the authentication software and do the paperwork.

If I had done things as-per-usual, I’d have created a huge mess for everyone. The original laptop would have been scrapped after the migration, and the regional manager would have no way to access the files unless we sent it down to decrypt, which takes quite a while. It’s all sensitive, confidential data, too.

The company (it’s a bank, if it makes things worse) is huge. I don’t know how many lives I could have potentially screwed up that day, but it’s probably a lot.

Fortunately, I ran into a few odd problems that alerted seniors on the company chatgroup, whom then checked with our office and realised I – a rookie, was working on that case. In the end, one of the senior engineers came down after 6 and we worked things out together. It didn’t help that our client was a master at passive-aggressiveness. She uses her words well; sopped in poison and tailored for harm. Confident and imposing in execution, from body language to tone of speech – her calm and steadiness belied a ruthless sea of anger and impatience.  

It was a nightmare being grilled under that pressure, and knowing that from a bystander’s viewpoint our client seems to be rather friendly. She suggested a few unpleasant things about me, and our line of work, but I let it slide because I know I can’t (and shouldn’t) fight back.

At about 9.30pm, we finally got it done. She sent us off with some creatively masked words and paradoxically kind gestures. I stepped out of the building to get a bit of fresh air after more than 12 hours at work. I haven’t eaten dinner, and home is more than an hour away. My brain and stomach hurts; every step I take towards the train station reverberated through my entire body in pangs of pain. I was halfway through dragging myself to the station when I felt my phone vibrate in my pants pocket.

…Oh my god what else could you possibly want, now?

I’m not religious, but in that instance I prayed to every god and deity I knew of to spare me from going back to the office again.

My prayers were answered when it’s revealed to be a Facebook notification, and not a message from the boss or anyone from the company.

It’s from a girl I’ve known for a few years. Let’s call her C.

C and I used to hang out frequently, but never had the chance when she started her school term. She’s good company, and I’m really glad we’re friends – we could talk about anything for an entire day.

I didn’t realise how much I missed C until that day.

Heh. It turned out to be a pretty good day afterall. I’m pretty sure I’m smiling for the rest of that week, too.

————————

All that happened more than a year ago, with a couple of months to spare. But no, this isn’t about to become a retelling of my summer love life. Nothing worth mentioning ever happened between the girl and I. And heck; it’s so warm around here all year round that pretty much everyday is summer. We have ‘monsoon seasons’ though, which just means more rain.

To some of my peers, I might have a problem.

I’m already 21 years old, with my next birthday coming in about a month. That number is also the number of years I’ve gone without a date. Yeah, don’t even talk about having a girlfriend –  I haven’t even gone on a single date (‘official ones’, anyway).

“So yeah, during the summer before we’re starting school, I kinda realised that there was something missing in my life.”

“Oh?”

“I got myself a longboard.”

“…huh? Dude, you… dude..”

In his defense, I probably should have phrased that whole thing better.

My lovelife is a barren wasteland. My mom doesn’t say anything about it – she doesn’t probe into the relationships of her sons. My friends, though, would occasionally raise the question, especially whenever we get together and talk about life – running from exploding creepers, fighting dragons and chasing skirts. Unfortunately only the latter happens in real life.

Know how your extended families would ask if you’re attached during festive occasions? It’s starting to get so weird for me that my friends’ families are asking me. I know that there’s no shame in failing or getting rejected; my problem is that I don’t even try. While I do have crushes and rarely – fleeting periods of limerence, but I’ve never acted on them.

There are times where I wished there was someone where I can share a moment with. And I think that eventually, I’d like to be partnered with, but it’s not a priority. And as it stands, in my current position I cannot afford the time to. There’s school, which I’m struggling to distinguish myself from the 50th percentile, plus there’s probably a part of it being a self-esteem issue, too.

I no longer remember whether, during all the times I’ve had with C, if I had ever loved her.

I just hope what I’m giving up today is all worth it.

-TS

TRIALS: Keeper of the Coins

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[ABOUT YOUR STORY 2015]

It’s been a while, but I’m back to posting Your Story entries again, starting with this one from Olivia Berrier over at Often Clueless, Always Shoeless. This is her take on the battle with depression and what it feels like to go through it.

Enjoy.

***

Keeper of the Coins

 I’ve spent a fair bit of time battling the depression monster.

It’s not an uncommon thing, but the very nature of it feels so isolating. Among all of the physical and emotional aches that come with depression, for me the worst one is the inability to communicate exactly how it feels.

I’ve tried. I’ve spent many hours with extremely patient friends throwing out metaphor after metaphor, as if I might somehow be cured if I could only find the right words.

I can’t say that writing about my depression cured me, but it definitely helped. I also don’t think that I ever found those perfect words, but I did find some words, and I’d like to share them.

I’d never say ‘this is what depression is,’ but this is what depression (or a small part of it) is to me. If this passage speaks to your particular struggle as well, then I hope having a metaphor will be armor for you like it was for me.

If this isn’t what your monster looks like, then I hope someday you’ll try to find some words of your own. Even if they aren’t perfect. An indirect light is infinitely brighter than total darkness.

 

My metaphor for the unpredictable daily fatigue of depression:

 

Every day she began with an energy allowance. The tiny silk purse was returned to her every morning, some days with few coins and some days with even fewer. But never more than that, and never as much as she wished she had to get through the day.

At first, she was guarded and sparing with her coins, trying to ration them out so she might not be completely broke by the day’s end. She only succeeded in this goal once or twice, and after that she decided it wasn’t worth the effort because the extra coin was never added to the next day’s purse. It was just lost forever, unspent.

Some activities cost more than others, and—as is always the way—the more expensive ones were the things she wanted most to do. Yes, she could exercise today, but only if she spent her entire purse on that one activity, and spend the rest of the day on the streets moaning and crying and waiting for the blessed daybreak when she would receive another allowance. And was it really worth it?

But at times, the alternative hardly seemed better. She could spread her coins out, choosing only low-cost activities so that she could buy enough to fill her day. She stayed off the dismal streets, but in the end that was her only accomplishment. The enjoyment from the cheaper activities was tepid, at best. And while tepidity was better than the cold, she longed for true, honest heat that only came from fulfilling usages of her time.

She tried using her money to make more, as biblical parables suggested would be prudent, but all of her investments failed her dismally. She would look at the empty purse at the end of the day, and lament that she had nothing to show for it, not even tepid memories of lackluster activities.

As she received her ration from the hooded, shadowy figure, she asked him what she might do to be worthy of a more substantial allowance. She asked in earnest, but the keeper of coins was either deaf, mute, or completely uninterested. He gave no reply, not even to her binary question of whether it was even possible to earn more coins.

Approaching the problem differently, she started keeping detailed notes on how much she received each day, and what activities she had done the day before. This act of recording cost her coins and gave her no happiness in return, but this was one investment that she felt sure would pay off in time.

One day, her purse was larger than usual, and she eagerly looked back through the book to see what her purchases on the previous day had been.

It had been an expensive item: talking on the phone with a friend. Ultimately, she had run out of coins early that day to balance the larger purchase of the morning, but maybe the coin keeper had liked that? Maybe it was waiting to see that she would spend her money on worthy activities, and when she did she would be rewarded.

Without hesitation, she spent her entire large allowance on the most expensive purchases she could think of; things she hadn’t dared to attempt even on her best days, but it would be worth it. For the rest of the day, as she shivered on the streets with an empty purse, she reminded herself that it would be even fuller tomorrow than it was today. Curling up on the frozen sidewalk, she let that thought be her blanket as she drifted off to sleep.

Then morning came, and she stood in line to offer her purse again, proud and shaky from yesterday’s activities. She held her hand out with a smile, ready to receive the weighty purse back, but when the keeper of coins dropped it into her hand, it was horrifyingly light. Peering inside, she saw the smallest ration she had ever been given. Even with the blandest of activities, she would still be spending half the day or more in the elements.

“I don’t understand,” she said, looking at the faceless hood. “You rewarded me last time. Why would you punish me now for doing the same thing?”

The keeper stood there, unmoving, calmly waiting for the next dawn when he would fulfill his duty yet again.

“Just tell me what I have to do!” she cried at him, tears stinging her eyes. “Tell me how I can earn more coins and I’ll do it. I’ll do anything! Just tell me!”

But he only held out one skeletal hand, palm open, beckoning with his fingers. She was crying. Crying came with a price, and it was an expensive activity. With ice in her stomach, she opened the purse and took out almost all of the coins and handed them over, and then she shuffled off to find one more tepid activity before she would be banished back into the cold.

-Olivia

TRIALS: Rain Girl

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[ABOUT YOUR STORY 2015]

This next story comes from Fanny T. Crispin over at Written Things. It’s a raw and personal story about the struggles of overcoming depression and making it through to better days.

Enjoy.

***

Rain Girl

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I remember it rained a lot. But the rain was coming from my eyes, not the sky.

I never really believed in depression. I didn’t understand it and thought people were just being dramatic. I suppose I deserved karma’s lesson. I remember feeling so heavy and always in a fog. There were mornings I couldn’t climb out of bed. I watched the clock ticking, reminding me I would be late for work, and I would lie there and cry. I didn’t know what else to do. There’s shame involved with depression. You don’t want anyone to know. That’s why it’s so scary. Depression is the silent killer. There were times…I wanted to die.

‘Mom and Dad are getting a divorce,’ my sister murmured as I crawled into my bed. I laughed–scornful.

‘Yeah, like they haven’t said that before,’ I said.

‘Mom told us today,’ she said.

That stopped me cold. Mom never lied. She never gave empty threats. In the past, Dad had always presented us with the news, but then they would go to counseling and simply stop talking to each other. But Mom…if Mom said it, it was true. That night was when the rain started.

I should have been stronger. I was nineteen years old, after all, but for some reason it hit me really hard. Mom told me I was staying with Dad because I was already going to college in town. I didn’t have a choice. I felt like Mom abandoned me. I knew that was stupid to think, but I couldn’t help it. Dad is a hard man to live with. Mom finally had enough. Why did she think I would be all right there?

It started slowly. I cried a lot. I couldn’t sleep. I became incredibly tired–all the time. The fog became heavy and dense. Some days I couldn’t breathe. My friends knew I was struggling, but they didn’t know how bad. They didn’t know that every time I sat behind the wheel of a car, I imagined crashing into a tree, running off the road, harming myself. They didn’t know I cried myself to sleep and cried when I woke, slapped makeup on and went through my day. It would be three years before I admitted my condition. On retrospect, I laugh at myself, because there was a calender at work with the depression hotline and a list of 12 clues you might have depression. ‘That’s not me,’ I would think. ‘I’m not that bad. I’m just going through a phase.’

Some days I thought God had abandoned me. Most days I felt that. I thought he was ignoring me, or didn’t care, or maybe I had done something wrong, or I wasn’t good enough/didn’t have enough faith. What I didn’t realize was he was working hard to get me out. The calender at work, my friends who always had time to hear me cry, even my boss who recognized the signs and helped me get out of Dad’s house. It was poison living there, but I didn’t know it. It would be a few more years before I was out of the red zone, but God never left me–not really.

It’s a strange thing battling with your mind. There are no visible wounds, no outward scars. But depression and stress rages through your body nonethless. It attacks where you’re weakest–for me, it was my stomach. I felt sick constantly. But it’s a marvelous thing when finally you can face the sunshine again. It didn’t happen right away. One of our clients, a psychiatrist, put it this way, ‘Depression is like being in a car crash. You have broken ribs, internal bleeding, and cuts and scratches. You have to give your body time to heal. Your emotions are no different.’

I am proud to say I don’t suffer from depression. I was scared for a long time because I thought I was weak when I kept slipping back. Now I know it was just taking awhile to heal. I don’t fear depression. I still get down, I still cry, but it’s normal. It’s not life-threatening. I never went to counseling, and I didn’t take medication. I don’t condone the absence of such remedies, because you have to get out of depression any way you can. But I’m fortunate. And I’m grateful. I’ve been able to stand up and talk about my journey. I think–I hope–I was able to help others with my testimony. Once you go through something, you have a greater propensity for empathy, and for that I am grateful.

-Fanny

TRIALS: Learning about Love through Loss

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[ABOUT YOUR STORY 2015]

This first story is from Heather over at yourhappyplaceblog. It’s an emotional story about the loss of a friend and the overwhelming love that can come from it.

[The original version of this post is here. She’s also written this great post about the trials that the composer of My Fair Lady went through.]

Enjoy.

***

Learning about Love through Loss

It all began last Thursday during a rain storm in Disneyland. My sweet friend who was taking care of our little dog, Buddy, called to let us know she was worried. My heart sank as every scenario went through my mind, maybe he is just missing us, maybe he has slept so much that his little legs are sore and he can barely walk, maybe…  I had so many emotions fill me: worry of what might happen, denial that he would leave me before I got home, sadness for my friend that she was even having to worry about the burden & situation she was in, frustration that I could not just blink myself home and be there for my little friend…  Within the hour my husband received another call, his face said everything. I was walking off the Pirates of the Caribbean ride when I knew my best friend had died. I began to sob outside. There were people everywhere, but my heart was broken. I looked over at my sweet daughter who never cries & has a hard time showing her emotions, but tears filled her eyes. I grabbed her and we just hugged.  We kept hugging as the rush of people passed by in usual Disney fashion.

My sweet friend continued conversing with my husband over the details of where to bury our little dog. My mind raced of what we could do, I just then realized her husband and oldest son had just left for Sturgis & my dear friend was six months pregnant. I felt immense sorrow that she was in this whole situation. That is where my lesson of love came from. To see my dear friend emotional at the whole situation handle everything with such genuine care was a true testament of unconditional love. She stepped right in and did all she could to not have us worry about anything while we were away. She did all she could to take away the sting of our loss. She was the greatest friend anyone could ask for.

Our trip continued on with my entire family, so we were not able to return home for a few days, but my anxiety began to set in as we got closer to home. I would have to face being home, seeing his bed, seeing the spot on the couch that was his, seeing his dog bowls empty, seeing the many places he would be, the doors he would scratch for my attention, the top of the stairs where we would do our yoga stretches together, his sun spots…but most of all I was worried about missing him as we walked through the door. I would miss his excitement that we were finally home, his loves, his kisses. As we pulled in I noticed his face wasn’t in the dog door, my heart began to sink with sadness. I walked through our garage door and before I could begin to cry, I began to see big, colorful hearts taped throughout our house. They were hand cut hearts that had words like JOY, LOVE, You are Loved, Happy… I smiled and felt the love of dear friends. Then I noticed a beautiful flower arrangement left on our table. My heart welled up with gratitude for such kindness. I looked down at Buddy’s little bed (the spot where he had peacefully died) and I wanted to go find the spot he was buried. We walked to the back of our yard and looked around. We couldn’t miss the spot because there was a handmade, beautifully stenciled name plate made out of a small cut of tree wood. On the top, the word BUDDY with little paw prints circling it. I couldn’t honestly believe the love that was so freely given to our family. I couldn’t believe how genuine kindness could be so lovingly shared. I instantly called my friend to give her my heartfelt thanks through the tears that wouldn’t stop from such a beautiful gift. My friend said, I knew you would miss your little dog when you got home, so we wanted to fill your home with love. It was so sweet and truly touching.

I truly learned such a beautiful lesson through our loss—LOVE is given freely, especially when you need it most.

Thank you Rasband family for lovingly giving so freely in a time of genuine need. You are all a beautiful example of what we all can give, be, do. Love you so. Thanks for being there for us.

Big LOVES to all, especially my sweet Buddy. Peace to you my Soul Buddy. Love you.

-Heather

Your Story 2015: The Project That Almost Didn’t Happen

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[ABOUT YOUR STORY 2015]

I doubt the title of this post is very surprising. Considering I planned to launch this project on July 11th, and it’s now September 13th, I imagine there was a lot of doubt as to whether or not this thing was really happening. Believe me, there were times when I didn’t think I was going to go through with it. I didn’t have the time or energy to do what I wanted, I was slow to advertise, I was disorganized, I wanted to give up. I nearly did. There were a couple times when I started to write out an apology post explaining why I wasn’t doing it this year.

But the same reason I wanted to give up on it was the same reason I needed it to happen.

I know I’ve griped and groaned about the factory job enough on this blog. It’s a nightmare that’s fortunately behind me now, and while I’m very very glad that it is… it doesn’t feel like it’s over. I’m back in school now, I’ve had a few classes, I’m getting into a better routine, I’m looking forward to autumn, my life is getting much better. But…

I still feel tired all the time. I still feel like I have no focus. I still struggle to keep up with daily life. I still cry a lot. I still have anxiety attacks. I still give up on myself easily. I still have days where I feel utterly hopeless.

I’m still depressed.

I still have depression.

Some of you reading this know a bit about the situation, though some of you may not. But yeah. Working at the factory wasn’t the reason I became depressed, but it was bad enough that it made my depression a thousand times worse than it should have been. Coupled with the anxiety that I’ve had for as long as I can remember… it’s been a bit of a battle over here, I’m sorry to say. Because even though I’m out of the factory, I’m not out of the depression mindset. It’s something I have to struggle with for a while longer, to truly overcome it. Hence why I’ve been an organizational disaster here on WordPress.

It’s not something I intend to talk that much about on my blog, not for a while anyways, but know that it is something I’m addressing and seeking help for. I want Valourbörn to be a bit of an escape for me, and while I think talking about my depression here will be good and useful at one point, I don’t know how useful it will be right now.

But one thing that I know is definitely useful right now is Your Story.

The very point of Your Story, especially the Trials aspect of it, is to inspire others with your stories of heroism and strength. To share your light with the world and give others a little bit of hope. To prove that trials can be overcome. Where I am now, I can see just how important hope and inspiration are. And I know I’m not the only one who needs it.

So Your Story is happening. I have a couple entries to put up hopefully this week, but I would love more. If you’re working on something already, thank you so much, keep on writing. If you’re on the fence, here’s your friendly little nudge to go for it. And if any of you would be so inclined to share the project on WordPress or Facebook or Twitter or go bug your friends to do it or just somehow spread the word, I would be enormously grateful. I haven’t advertised it the way I want to and I could use a bit of help.

I’m even thinking about extending the deadline to the end of the year. So tell your friends that I’m a pushover and they don’t need to feel pressured to get it done in the next two weeks.

That’s all for now. Consider this the official start of Your Story, complete with streamers and confetti and fanfare. I hope to hear from many of you soon.

Take care.

-Alex

September Struggles

Three more days of work guys. Three more days and then I’ll be free.

But wow. It’s September 2nd. I’m going to cheat and pretend it’s still the 1st because I haven’t gone to bed yet (not my fault I’m on night shift) so that I can say that there is officially one month left to submit stories for the Your Story project.

I know, I’ve been such crap at advertising and I think I emailed like… two people? I’ve been a-slackin’. But Your Story is happening this September. No matter what, it’s happening. I’ve already gotten some entries and would love some more. Flood me with stories! Give me more stories than I can beat back with a stick! Tell your friends! Your spouse! That random dude at the bus stop!

I’m also pre-emptively working on Villain Awareness Month stuff, so that should hopefully be good. I kind of want to do something in December but we shall see. It’s always something of a busy time of year.

Anyways. This post was really just me feeling bad that I haven’t said anything about Your Story. But it’s happening. I wanna read and share your stories. You have till the end of September. Guidelines are here. Tell everyone you know (pretty please?). Yes. Good.

Blegh. Can’t wait till I’m in a better schedule. Three more days. I can do it.

Take care :)

-Alex

Your Story: Trials and Free World

Hello, dear readers. As promised, I have returned with more information and guidelines about this year’s Your Story!

The below is just a run-down of what I’m looking for and how the process works. I’m sure I’ll miss something, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

The Basics:

  • You can enter a story into one or both categories, Trials or Free World
    • Trials is memoir, about your life specifically
    • Free World is fiction, a story coming from your heart
  • You can use any style (e.g. humorous vs. heartfelt, essay vs. poetry)
  • Wordcount is pretty flexible; last year’s longest was almost 3000 words, while the shortest was 150 words
  • Keep the language rated PG and we’re good to go

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • This story 100% belongs to you forever
  • My only rights are to post it on my blog, tweak some formatting, and run a spellcheck
  • You can post it anywhere you’d like without crediting me
  • You can ask me to take it down at any point in time if you change your mind

The When and How:

  • I’m accepting submissions from now till the end of September
  • The project will go live on July 11th and run till the end of September
  • You can submit your story by emailing me at valourborn@gmail.com
    • it can be an attachment or written straight in the email
  • You can have it published anonymously or under your preferred name
    • you can also give me links to your blog/social media to put with the post
  • Please include links to any videos and pictures you might want to include
    • or, if you have your own, please send me the link/file
  • I’ll contact you prior to publishing so that you can check the post over before it goes live
  • I’ll then send you a link in an email telling you when it’s posted

I think that about covers it, from what I can think of. Again, questions are welcome! And I encourage you to consider participating if there’s any story at all that you’d like to tell. I’m happy to help you out if I can–I’m not asking you to be a master writer, I’m just asking you to tell a story :)

If you’d like to share on social media, bug your friends to join, or give it a try yourself, I would be enormously grateful. I love reading your stories, I honestly do, and I’d love to be able to help share them with the world.

And if you need a little inspiration, you can always check out last year’s entries here. Go on, read them. They’re well worth it!

Take care, everyone. I hope to be hearing from you soon!

(Or you’ll be hearing from me, because I’m going to be bugging you via emails, oh yes.)

-Alex

Your Story 2015

What time is it?

SUMMERTIME!

Oh yes, I’m from that generation (the nostalgia trip listening to the above song was incredible). Haha but do you realize what month it is? May! Wait, no–I think I forgot to change my calendar (haha you think I’m joking). It’s actually June, which means next month will be July, which means summertime! Yay!

And what does summertime mean? My annual collaborative project, that’s what! I enjoyed the Your Story project last year a heck of a lot, so I’m bringing it back. But this time it’s gonna be even bigger, oh yes.

As before, Your Story is all about telling your story. Sharing a piece of your life in which you have been heroic, inspiring, and brave. This year, however, it’s not just going to be about your true heroic life. It’s also going to be about your creative heroic minds.

This year, I’m splitting Your Story into two parts: Trials and Free World.

Trials is all about you. Your life experiences. Your hardships. The struggles you have had to overcome that made you stronger and molded you into who you are today. In your heroic journey, these trials are your dragons. Beat them and you’ve won the hoard of gold. Whether humorous, tragic, or uplifting, your perseverance and fortitude are so inspiring.

Free World is also about you, but it’s not really about you. While Trials is memoir, Free World is fiction. These stories are ones that you create. The heroes, the dragons, the quests–they’re all from your imagination, but you can bet there will be pieces of your heart and soul slipping through. Through the story that you tell, you are sharing a part of yourself.

Now, truth be told, I am not entirely prepared to launch this project at this present moment. I still have to work out some guidelines and scheduling and whatnot, but I plan to have those things out on the weekend. I just wanted to give you all a sneak peek of what’s to come so you can start thinking about the stories you’d like to tell. You can write something for one or both and how you choose to interpret the theme is up to you.

Like last year, I’ll be sending out emails to fellow bloggers with invites and information, but do feel free to contact me first if this is something that interests you! Emails or comments work just fine :)

Anyways, I think that’s all I have to say for now. But I will be back soon with further details. Happy Friday everyone!

-Alex