Goal Quest-ers and Story Seekers


 

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The goals of our lives often masquerade themselves in the form of personal accolades, esteemed outcomes, alluring destinations and athletic’s teaming victories. The word goal is a four letter word for some. An, ‘I couldn’t make without them’ for others and a definite ‘must’ in the world of sports.

In reviewing the book, Crash Course in Storytelling by Kendal Haven, the word “goals” again appears in the multitude of letter-combining words and phrases on the pages in front of me. What! Goals? This is storytelling, not personal achievement, corporate conquest or athletic management; or so I alluded myself into thinking. But goals . . reading on, yes, of course goals, how simple! Stories are teaming with mischievous, magical, overachieving, dimwitted, crazed and deviant goal setters. The plot thickens with murderous intent; romantic conquest, riches unlimited; savory meals and hilarious, dim-witted drudgery. Goals spear a story forward into the eventful, how, where, when or why accolades of story’s unpredictable journey. Goals often comprise story’s navigational force and fortitude.

A trip down folktale lane sites a few infamous goal setting quest-ers and outcome adventurers:

The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Norwegian Folktale)

  • The grass is always greener across the bridge, if only that loud-mouthed goat-guzzling troll would step aside.

Little Snow-White (German Folktale)

  • Seriously, four accounts of attempted murder against your own seven year old child?
  • Wild boar organs with a dash of human never tasted so good.

The Emperor’s New Clothes (Denmark Literary Tale)

  • Royally paid, nameless tailors sell the king on their cutting-edge, custom-designed, fabric-less new cloths.
  • Less than royal street gawkers, wonder if they should enact legal precedence and have this royally acclaimed stripper arrested for inappropriate, flabby and pornographic  exposure.
  • The king’s choice to maintain his legally, royally approved presence while parading through town royally exposed.

Character’s goal setting and adventurous outcomes define story’s cankerous unfolding. Goals support listener navigation through the guided or misguided intentions of its outlandish characters.  They further help story seekers step into character’s devious, mischievous, dimwitted, outwitted goal spearing adventures which lie ahead. Story’s plot is then built around the struggle, humor, adventure and wisdom of our goal quest-er’s journey.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

What I Think I Thought


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The images of story tell the tales and mark the trails of story’s propelling journey. These images provide the land marks, the physical locations, the characters’ identities and the desired destination of story’s unfolding. They too spark listeners and ignite tellers in their perceptually engaging, delightfully entertaining duck-if-you-need-to; scream-if-you-want-to; laugh-if-you-have-to interactive moments story’s story-line.

While embarrassing the interactive power of story’s vivid images, one may wonder. One might even ask. Is what I thought was suppose to be happening or really what is happening?

In the Three Little Pigs, did the first pig really build his house out of straw? Or, due to the latest straw embargo, the first little pig was found sniffing around town in search of alternative building supplies. In a moment of un-flatulated wind, a scent crosses his snout. Trotting to the corner of 124th Ave and Huff-Stop Lane, stuffed behind a local dinner, he discovers mounds of discarded onion peels.

What is the real story behind the Three Billy Goat Gruffs? . . . A local press conference reveals numerous accusations and county-wide concerns regarding cases of reported goat-guzzling trolls and troll-butting goats. County officials, recently investigated for lacing city officials grass seed with Witchatill’s Weed Cropping Organic Seedlings, presents an unprecedented, legislative proposal. If signed into law, the proposal will ban all goat-guzzling and troll-butting. Henceforth, all goats will be required to remain on their side of the bridge. County official have also announced their generous donation of Witchatill’s Cropping of Organic Seedlings to replenish the goat’s previously eaten food supply.

When crafting your story, boldly step up into, out of, on to, over and/or under the images of your story’s story-line. Entice, delight, roll or otherwise spray, splat or splatter the image’s of your story’s story-line. Then extend a hand, an elbow or a toenail as you, the story-guide, lead audience members through the captivating realism of story’s mythical and magical journey.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

Vanity Reigns Supreme – Snow White and Others of Her Kind


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Vanity is truly one of human-kinds, age-old, most sought after quests. Yes, humans transfixed in the constant, pursuit of ageless beauty. Whether King, Queen, Prince, Princess . . . man, woman or child . . . each finds themselves imprisoned in the tormenting sagas of vanity’s treacherous deceit. OK, a bit dramatized, but hey, this reality is often the basic storyline found in many daily soap operas, night-time TV shows and the drama of daily life. Men in pursuit of younger women. Women in search of younger men. An aging parent’s alleged rival of a blossoming young child. One sibling being, or perceived as being, far more beautiful than the others. Multi-million dollar sales under the guise of “health and beauty aids”. . . A list which has gone on through the centuries of time. Yet, within this context lies the basis for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and other variants of her story’s storyline.

Snow White’s riveting tale is filled with murderous intent, waking the sleeping dead, glass coffins and pre-pubescent dwarfs.  All of this wrapped into a thickening plot line where vanity reigns supreme. In meeting the challenges of Snow White’s dark, yet riveting story I became enthralled and fascinated with other tale type variants. Steven Swann Jones in his book, The New Comparative Method: Structural and Symbolic Analysis of the Allo Motifs of “Snow White”, states there is over 400 recorded variants of Snow White documented throughout parts of Africa, Europe, Asia Minor and the Americas.

People in the United States are most familiar with Walt Disney’s film version, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the Grimm Brother’s second literary version of Little Snow-White. Yet other variants of Snow White’s story can be found as: A Young Slave (Italy) Blanca Rosa and the Forty Thieves (Chile),  Myrsina (Greece), Silver-Tree and Gold-Tree (Scotland); The Woman and the Sun (Morocco), and Udea and Her Seven Brothers (Libya).

Author’s Note: Little Snow-White and others of her kind are a  Aarne-Thompson-Uther 709 Classification of Folk Tales (ATU Tale Types)

For additional suggestions on Snow White type tales you can go to:  http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0709.html.

And http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/sevendwarfs/other.html

For this author’s adaptation and retelling of Silver-Tree and Gold-Tree a Scottish variant of Snow White you can go to: https://gracewolbrink.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/silver-tree-and-gold-tree-a-scottish-snow-white-variant-part-1/

And https://gracewolbrink.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/silver-tree-and-gold-tree-a-scottish-snow-white-variant-part-2/

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin.

Goal Questing – Story’s Adventurous Outcomes


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The goals of our lives often masquerade themselves in the form of personal accolades, esteemed outcomes, alluring destinations and athletic’s teaming victories. The word goal is a four letter word for some. An, ‘I couldn’t make without them’ for others and a definite ‘must’ in the world of sports.

In reviewing the book, Crash Course in Storytelling by Kendal Haven, the word “goals” again appears in the multitude of letter-combining words and phrases on the pages in front of me. What! Goals? This is storytelling, not personal achievement, corporate conquest or athletic management; or so I alluded myself into thinking. But goals . . reading on, yes, of course goals, how simple! Stories are teaming with mischievous, magical, overachieving, dimwitted, crazed and deviant goal setters. The plot thickens with murderous intent; romantic conquest, riches unlimited; savory meals and hilarious, dim-witted drudgery. Goals spear a story forward into the eventful, how, where, when or why accolades of story’s unpredictable journey. Goals often comprise story’s navigational force and fortitude.

A trip down folktale lane sites a few infamous goal setting quest-ers and outcome adventurers:

The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Norwegian Folktale)

  • The grass is always greener across the bridge, if only that loud-mouthed goat-guzzling troll would step aside.

Little Snow-White (German Folktale)

  • Seriously, four accounts of attempted murder against your own seven year old child?
  • Wild boar organs with a dash of human never tasted so good.

The Emperor’s New Clothes (Denmark Literary Tale)

  • Royally paid, nameless tailors sell the king on their cutting-edge, custom-designed, fabric-less new cloths.
  • Less than royal street gawkers, wonder if they should enact legal precedence and have this royally acclaimed stripper arrested for inappropriate, flabby and pornographic  exposure.
  • The king’s choice to maintain his legally, royally approved presence while parading through town royally exposed.

Character’s goal setting and adventurous outcomes define story’s cankerous unfolding. Goals support listener navigation through the guided or misguided intentions of its outlandish characters.  They further help us step into character’s devious, mischievous, dimwitted, outwitted goal spearing adventures which lie ahead. Story’s plot is then built around the struggle, humor, adventure and wisdom of our goal quest-er’s journey.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

Fortuneteller – An Eastern European Folktale


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As adapted, retold and written by storyteller Grace Wolbrink; all rights reserved 2008

Hey donkey, “cries a man clinging to a branch on top of an aging fruit tree. I found it! I found some lunch if only I can reach it.

“Hee Haw! Hee Haw!” echoes donkey’s frantic cries.

Coming closer, walks a woman on her way to market. Looking up, shocked and stunned, she sees a young man creeping along a branch less than half the size of his wrist.

“Hey you!” cries the woman. “Seriously! Stop! Don’t move!  Breath only if you have to!”

Looking down, the young man waves. Turning his attention back to his still dangling meal, he creeps forward.

“Noooooooo!” she cries. “You won’t make it! Go back!”

“What,” he cries.

“Creek” groans the tree.

“Hurry! Get back! You’re going to fall!” screams the woman.

“Crrrra-a-a-ack!” snaps the tree. 

“Noooooo!” she cries.

Bam. He hits the ground.

“O00-0-0uch!” he cries.

“Are you ok?” she asks.

“Wow! You were right! I fell!”, he exclaims rubbing his elbows.

“How did you know?” he asks, returning to his feet.

She shakes her head. “Are you ok?” she asks.

Ignoring her, he continues; “I know, you are a fortuneteller! I’ve heard all about people like you! Please, please tell me my fortune! I want to hear another fortune!”

“No! I am not a fortuneteller,” she sputters. “Anyone could see that the branch was too thin for a man your size. Now please, go away. I have things to do.”

“No really, you are amazing. You are the best . . . and, well only. . .  but still the best fortuneteller I have ever met. Please! Please! Really, please, tell me my fortune!”

Realizing that he was not going away anytime soon, she devises a plan.

“Ok. When your donkey takes his third drink of water, you will die,” she replies.

Without saying good-bye, she turns. She leaves.

“Thank you . . . ” he calls after her.

Ignoring him, she walks on down the road.

“Oh my!” he cries. “I am going to die. That’s it. It’s all over with. As soon as my donkey takes three drinks of water, I’m dead.”

Realizing he now has microscopically little time he has left; he decides to enjoy it.

Then idea hits him, rather like the ground only minutes before.

“Wait!” he cries to himself. “She said I will die when my donkey takes his third drink of water.  She is brilliant! She just told me how I can live forever! I got it! If my donkey only takes two drinks of water, and not the third, I can do it! I can live forever!” he exclaims.

Smiling, he and his donkey walk on down the road.

“Ouch!” he cries, touching the back of his neck, “I’ve been stung by the sun.”

Seeing a small pond surrounded by a grove of trees, he challenges his donkey to a race.

“On your mark! Get set! Go!” cries the young man.

Splash! He and his donkey tumble into the water. Shaking themselves off, they find a soft pile of moss under a nearby shade tree. Lying down they fall asleep.

Waking up, the young man and the donkey take another drink of water.

“Oh no!” cries the young man. “He took another drink. This is his second one! There is no more water for either one of us. This means I am going to live forever!”

Walking along the road they come to the edge of a river. Thirsty from the afternoon’s walk, the young man and the donkey take another drink of water.

“Oh no!” cries the young man! “This is it! It’s all over with! This is his third drink of water. I’m dead. Only I’ve never died before. No one told me how to do it.”

Pausing, he scratches his head. Another idea hits him, much like the ground did earlier in the day.

“I know!” he cries. “I will lie down, fold my arms across my check and close my eyes. Rather like Aunt Merna did before they dropped her into the ground.”

The donkey shook his head.

Finding a soft spot alongside the road, he lies down. He folds his arms across his chest. He closes his eyes.

A short time later, two men come walking along. Seeing someone lying in the road they stop to see if they can be of assistance. Looking down, they see a young man lying down with his eyes closed, his arms folded.

Glancing at each other, one looks to the other. “He must be dead,” says one man.

“He has to be dead,” comments the other man.

“Of course he is dead. His arms are folded across his chest,” says the first.

“True,” comments the other man.

“A coffin! We need a coffin,” cries the first man.

“Who has a coffin?” asks the other man.

“It’s an emergency, we need a coffin!” they both cry.

Glancing nervously at each other, they realize no one is around to hear them.

“But wait,” cries the first man. “We can go back to the town we just passed and find a coffin there.”

“Yes!” agrees the other man.

It was decided. They turned around and headed for town. When they arrived, they got a coffin and returned to the young man alongside the road. Loading him in to the coffin they remembered a burial ground just before the next town. Lifting the coffin high upon their shoulders they traveled on down the road.

Coming to a fork in the road on man turned right while the other one turned left.

Traveling behind them the donkey stops. The donkey shakes his head.

“No, no! The graveyard is this way!” cried the first man.

“No! It’s that way,” cries the second man.

“No! I am sure it is this way!” cried the first man.

“No!” cried the second man.

With all the arguing, enough was enough; living or not.

Lifting the lid of the coffin, the young man sits up. “No! You’re both wrong. You already passed the road to the graveyard! It’s back there about a quarter of a mile,” he cries.

Having never encountered the talking dead, the two men, started and frightened, drop the coffin. Without a word or a glance between them or behind them, the two men race down the road.

While no one really knows, one often wonders if the second bump to his head helped straighten it out a bit. One can only hope he returned home a bit wiser than he was when his journey began.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

 

The Impossible Things List


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Going into the under the soil reality of Alice’s wonderland, in Timothy Burton’s film production, we find her at one of life’s uncertain crossroads.  Here she learns she must face dreaded jaberwalki; a huge, winged, creature with teeth half the size of her physical being.  Through the encouragement of the Mad Hatter, Alice remembers her father’s words;  six impossible things before breakfast. Yes, six seemingly impossible things, which became possible, all before breakfast. She recounts her list thus far;  falling down a rabbit hole, finding pastry mix that made her grow instantly grow larger and smaller, discovering the key to the tiny room . . . listing them off one at a time until she reaches number 6 – killing a jaberwalki. Seconds later the jaberwalki takes a near fatal swing at her. Gathering her courage she affirms number six on her list – number six, kill a jaberwalki. Now the only impossible task on her list. Facing her fears and standing in reality of her courage, Alice kills the jaberwalki before breakfast.

Using the power of the jaberwalki’s  blood, she is able to go back home through the rabbit hole. Dusty and dirty, yet filled with new found confidence, courage and determination she tactfully declined the marriage proposal from one she never loved and one who never loved her. She continues on in her new found strength of self assurance and renewed life purpose and further addresses the other bullies, ruling lords and want a be’s in her world.

Standing in her almost former, now never to be, father-in-law’s office, she proposes a business transaction involving trading with China. Something which had never been done or even considered before. Seeing the confidence, vision and raw courage of this amazing young woman, this man agrees. Then makes a side note stating if this idea had been spoken from the lips of anyone else, he would surely have said no.

So what is number six on your list of impossible things to be accomplished before breakfast? Now here is a great story to tell!

Until next time . . . Let Your  Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

The Hero’s Journey


I love the Hero’s Journey! Filled with the fascination of a new adventure, a new life path – one never before entered, traveled or contemplated! Yes, the Hero’s Journey, filled with its victory enhancing obstacles,  those moments of seeming uncertainty and the triumphal celebration at Journey’s end. The Hero’s Journey filled with unseen helpers, the prevailing force winds that make us as kits fly higher than ever expected, and the personal transformation that happens from beginning to end. Life at the end never even being close to that at the beginning.

What new step on life’s next journey are you ready to take? What adventures, dream or goal is springing up inside, calling out to you, beckoning you to embark on this next life changing course in your precious life’s journey?

Climbing higher than Stand Cow Dividends!

The Hero’s Adventure, taking the risk of “falling forward” through the uncertain outcomes of the experiments that lie ahead. Believing in the unseen helps that lovingly join you on this magnificent journey. A Journey, once started, that will end in an life exhilarating, life enhancing destination!

“I will do today what others won’t, so I can live tomorrow like others can’t.” Unknown

When life gives you a cow – It’s makes me think about a choice: standard market value vs cloud top dividends. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to dust off those magic beans and experience the wonder, adventure and life’s golden treasures stemming from a one of a kind, top of the stalk, life living journey! Now there is a story to tell!

Until next time . . . Let a Storyographer’s Journey Begin!