Be the Story – Craft the Story – Tell the Story


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Be a Story

That can’t be about me … or is it?

Actually, it is. If you are telling a story it is about you.

But I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about someone else.

Still, it doesn’t matter. Stories are stories. We craft the story. We tell the story. We are the story. Our ideas and images come from somewhere. That somewhere is inside of us.

The stories we tell, tell us about ourselves. What we like or don’t like. What we would like to be or not to be. What we like to do or not do.

Yep, a bit repetitive but true. The truth is, we can’t hide. We can’t even behind one of those folktales or fairy tales we like to tell. Like everything else, our quirks and foibles show up here too.

This whole thing is making me feel a piece of plastic wrap instead of meat and bones.

OK, so we’re all a bit transparent. But hey, when it comes to you, you are the expert. So be you. Live it. Show it. Tell it. Artfully flaunt it. It’s the stuff your great stories are made of.

When you craft a story, you become the story. When you tell the story, be the story.  Because you are the best at being you, be you in your story. When you craft all those quirky, zany, eccentric, devious or outrageous characters, parts of them are you. Even the crazy or I never want to be seen with them, types people in your life become a part of your stories.

Craft a Story

When crafting a personal story or a folktale, remember you are the story.

Next, pick a story you are crafting or a folktale you love.

Take a few minutes and cast yourself in the leading role or another character’s role.
The stage is set …
The curtains raise …

Who are you?
Where are you?
Where is happening around you?
What is your story of why you are doing what you are doing?
How did you get to where you are in the story?

Who else in your story?
What do they think about you?
Where are you going?
What mischief, romance or quest are they on?
What do you do or hope to become?
What are you doing that you never thought you could do?
How is the ending of your story different from the beginning?

Tell a Story

So . . . What’s your story?

Grab some delighted listeners. Tell your story. Experience the ease in which the images and words of your story grow.

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

Listen to Tell – Folktale Part l


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“Tell! Tell! Do tell! Tell me a story!” These tradition honored words catapult storytellers into action. Spinning stories to life, the tellers immerse themselves in the living reality of story. A journey which takes the teller and the listeners into places they may or may not have been before!

Let’s begin. First, let’s listen, for it is the place all great storytellers begin. Listen to the day’s conversations. Listen to chatter of personal stories being told. Listen to professional storytellers tell from stages. Listen to their stories. Listen to their cantor and their words. See and experience their emotional expressions and experience how they craft their stories.

Entering into the magically alluring world of folklore, we join and unnamed storyteller in her adaptation and retelling of a traditional folktale entitled, The Well at the World’s End.

 

 

What did you like about it?

What inspired you?

What can you add to your storytelling skill set?

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laugh, Giggle, Guffaw – Adding Humor to Story


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A cruise down health and sanity’s Easy Street begins with the joy of laughing. From giggling to guffawing, experts hale laughter’s side-splitting benefits. Anything from a decrease in blood pressure and stress hormones; an increases in oxygen flow and creativity; and, ironically, to a great abdominal strengthening workout. Laughing is also a highly contagious mood elevator and a relationship icebreaker.  It can be done individually or as a group. It benefits everything and costs nothing.

Laughing also helps us to expand and enliven the images of our stories.

Story-size:

Pick a story or a folktale you love. So …

Why do you like it?
What makes you laugh?
Which part or parts are funny? Why?

Next, pick a funny part. Really focus on what makes you laugh. Then laugh. Or maybe giggle, cackle or guffaw, it doesn’t matter. Just let it go and get going. Laugh, then laugh some more. It may feel fake at first but keep on going. Remember, laughter increases creativity and enhances physical and emotional well-being. The better we feel the more fun we have. Naturally our creatively sours and our story grows. Enjoy experiencing the moment. Laugh in the feelings and emotions connected to this part of  your story. The more vividly alive and emotionally vibrant your story becomes, the easier it is to tell.

Now wipe away those tears. Take a few deep breaths to ease the abdominal muscles. Slog down a cup or two of water and revisit your story.

What did you like about the experience?
What changed during the experience?
What is so funny about what was funny?
What new ideas or refined images do you have now?
Are there any other parts of the story which pulls your attention in a humorous way or even a non-humorous way?
What new insights did this experience bring?

When it’s funny, we just have to laugh! Keep laughing. Keep experiencing and growing your story. Laugh, dance, snore, scream, cry … experience, enhance and enliven the images of your story. The more vivid the images, the more real your story becomes. The more vivid the images the easier it is to tell.

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

 

 

 

Goal Quest-ers to Story Seekers


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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!

Discover Story’s Opportunity


 

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Opportunity brings with it the alluring scent of expansion. Untapped adventures and uncharted territories. Opportunity calls to those who listen.

A story brings opportunity. Opportunity for the teller. Opportunity for its characters. Opportunity for its listeners. Beyond the bounds of what they thought they could be, do or say.

Story’s characters reflect ourselves and the people in our lives. Characters are people and creatures living in a world of quirk-erly familiar to our own. Stereotyping characters makes more real and memorable. This is because we already know them. We’ve already met them in books, movies and plays.

Other characters, not quite so stereotypical, add a sense of mystery, suspense and wonderment. Delving into your character’s innocent, mischievous or quirky personality traits make what is happening more real.

Grab a folktale you love or an original story idea. Seize the opportunity to make it scream. Make it roar. Make it insanely funny. Make it earth quakingly terrifying. Or even heart throbbing inspirational.

Identify and I\invite your story’s characters into your inner circle. Spend time with them. Take them out to dinner, a park or the races. Talk to them. Listen.  Dress them up. Encourage them.  Listen to them some more. Then send them out into an opportunity of their lifetime.

Make your story one which challenges, engages and allows audience members to experience its journey. Ham it, can it, ban it, expand it or rubber band it. Whatever you do, take the opportunity to add a touch of you in making your story uniquely you.

Stories invite listeners into a world or a reality as vivid as their day’s adventures. An experience which is completely unforgettable, non-duplicatable, and unique. One which challenges, ignites. expands or propels them into discovering opportunities for themselves.

Opportunities which open all of us to infinite possibilities.
Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin.

 

 

 

Silver-Tree and Gold-Tree: A Scottish Snow White Variant – Part 1


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Troutie, a multi-lingual trout, lives in the well at the edge of the glen. Exactly how many languages and which ones he knows, is currently unknown. However, one thing is known. Troutie speaks fluent trout and at least one or two human dialects.

Bordering on the lower west side of Troutie’s glen is Silver-Tree, her husband the king, and their daughter Gold-Tree’s kingdom.  The family palace of residence is located on the upper north east side near the ocean. Over the course of a few decades, Silver-Tree has cultivated a strong relationship with Troutie.

Standing beside Troutie’s well, Silver-Tree cries;

“Troutie. Oh Troutie, my bonny little Troutie, am I not the most beautiful queen in all the world?”

Glowing, Silver-Tree breathless awaits her favorite response;

“Of course it’s you! You are the most  beautifully gorgeous and spectacularly stunning of all reigning Queens!”

Upon hearing it, Silver-Tree blushes. Silver-Tree gushes. Silver-Tree confidently steps forward into yet another year’s worth of beauty reigning, kingdom success.

The following year, leading the way, Silver-Tree arrives at the well on their pre-designated, pre-appointed date and time, with Gold-Tree following close behind.

Standing alongside Troutie’s well, Silver-Tree peers inside. Looking down, she cries;

“Troutie. Oh Troutie, my bonny little Troutie, am I not the most beautiful queen in all the world?”

Glowing, Silver-Tree breathless awaits her favored response.

“This year it’s definitely not you but you’re welcome to come back next year and try again,” exclaims Troutie.

“What!” cries Silver-Tree angrily. “This has never happened before. Who is it?”

“Your daughter, Gold-Tree,” Troutie replies.

Going home in a near state of semi-explosive, rage-induced lava, Silver-Tree returns home. Vowing her revenge, she collaps. Bedridden, teetering on the edge between worlds, hubby asks what is wrong. She isn’t real clear on a diagnosis, just on the medicinal cure: the heart and liver of her only child Gold-Tree.

Really, what’s a poor old dad to do? I mean his wife is lying there dying right before his very eyes, smitten with an almost incurable disease. Fortunately for him, a King in a faraway land has just asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Dispensing with the traditional formalities, grand announcements and wedding hoopla, he agrees. Wishing Gold-Tree well, he says his good-byes. He then puts Gold-Tree and her husband to be on a ship back to her husband’s homeland.

Problem solved. Well almost. Putting great faith in the placebo effect, he sends a mere lad out to slay a he-goat, trusting that most internal organs between the male and female species are the same, as in identical. Thankfully for him mom took the placebo, ate the organs and miraculously came into a full recovery.

You would think that everyone could now live in peace. Ha! This could have been the peaceful end to a near tragic tale, but no. A year later, on a certain day of days, Silver Tree makes her annual visit to the fairy glen to meet with her bonnie little friend, Mr. Talkative or Troutie, the trout who lives in the well which stands in the fairy glen.

Not only did that sniveling little well-dwelling trout have to once again, proclaim Gold-Tree as the most beautiful queen of all; but he also felt the need to rat out Golden Tree’s whereabouts and spill the beans on the whole he-goat organ conspiracy.

Returning home, Silver-Tree runs to hubby and talks him into getting her a ship so she can see her long-lost daughter – the one she misses terribly. Hubby agrees and off she goes. Gold-Tree recognizes her father’s ships and alerts the servants that her mother is really an unpaid professional hit-woman in disguise. Her target, none other than her only daughter Gold-Tree. The servants hide Golden-Tree in a locked room. Down on shore Mom pitches a motherly fit complete with piercing wails as she expressively expresses her undying love for her only child. The servants buy into the heart-wrenching drama of her story. They personally escort Silver-Tree to her daughter’s locked quarters. Talking through the locked door mom requests a touch between fingers before she returns home. Gold-Tree sticks out her finger. Mom spears it with a poisonous stab. Hearing the thump on the floor, Silver-Tree joyously returns to the ship leaving her daughter for dead.

Silver Tree euphorically arrives home safe and secure in the knowledge that her only daughter and sole competitor in the life and times of a true beauty queen is now dead, yet again. As for her husband, Gold Tree’s father, who knows? All anyone knows is that wife is happy, making life on the home front tolerable at worst or best; no one really knows.

Part ll continued on next post.

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