Opportunity


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Opportunity brings with it the alluring scent of expansion into untapped adventures and uncharted territories. Opportunity rings a curious call summing only those who are willing to listen. Story too brings opportunity. Opportunity for the teller. Opportunity for it’s characters. Opportunity for its listeners. Opportunity for each one to go beyond the bounds of who they thought they were or what they thought they might possibly be, do or say.

Storytellers craft stories. Storytellers meeting a new story face choices, challenges and opportunities in bringing fresh breath and new life to its adventurous journey. A tale now filled with emotion, opportunity, terror, travasity, humor and romance. Each mixed with the teller’s unique and captivating allure of story’s unexpected twists, turns and fated or ill-fated outcomes. A story which challenges, engages and allows audience members to experience its journey. Storytellers embrace, delight, revel and marinate in the deliciously tantalizing reality of story’s infinite 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 this story uniquely yours.

Characters live life. Lives which represent us. Reflect our own life’s journey and the people along its way. Stereotypical character types become a universal language of images, events and familiarity. We all know them. We all love them. 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 and adventurous journeys invite us, tellers and listeners alike, into the realm of opportunity, possibility and  eye-awaking intrigue. Invite story’s characters into your inner circle. Dress them, pack them and encourage them before sending them off on the opportunity of their lifetime.

Listeners engage and interact. Receiving the opportunity of story’s invitation listeners enter into and emerge from a world, a reality as vivid as their day’s adventures. A completely unforgettable, non-duplicatable, and utterly unique experience in the course of their lives. One which may be challenge, ignite, expand or propel their awareness, beliefs, feelings, emotions, ideas, choices or even unexplored opportunities for change.

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

 

 

 

Minotaur’s a-Maz-ing Labyrinth Part 11


 

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For Athens and Crete dwellers alike, love and politics leave deceitful trails of revenge. Since our last visit to Crete, Minotaur is now adjusted to his father’s under the palace, housing accommodations as well as his annual supply of fresh, young Athenian blood.  This naturally places Minotaur at the bottom of the King’s to-do list. However, this is not the case for the erupting monarchy and outraged citizens of Athens.

Unfortunately for the folks in Athens, King Minos’s only fully human son, Androgeus (as opposed to his step-son Minotaur) entered the Panathenian games. Due to a freakish act of nature, or in this case, a humankind’s product of nature, he returned home in a coffin. Outraged, King Minos of Crete sentenced seven of Athens most beautiful maidens and young men to serve as an additional food source to his other, half bull, half man son, Minotaur. An extremely tasteless act as deemed by the Athenians.

Since the local oracle offered no assistance Theseus, son of King Aegeus and ruler of Athens, offers a hand. Setting up a private consultation with dad, Theseus assures pop he has the Minotaur situation well under control. So confident of his victorious return, he vows to replace the black funeral sails of their departure with the white sails of victory upon their return. Pop agrees. Theseus and the other thirteen sacrificial youth, soon to become dinner mates, set sail. Theseus, not knowing what to do or what might be done, figures he will wing it when he gets there.

Upon his fated or ill-fated arrival, Ariadne, King Minos’s daughter, proclaims love at first sight. Capitalizing on his good fortune, Theseus asks for her assistance. His plan becomes clear. Equipped a ball of yarn, and Ariadne’s explicit instructions, he ties one end to the opening of the labyrinth. Leading the way with the ball of yarn in hand, he and his other thirteen dinner mates enter the non-postal residence of Minotaur. Trailing the yarn behind him, his search ends in the untimely death of Minotaur. With the ball of yarn still in hand, retracing his steps, he and his former dinner mates emerge victorious.

While the tragedy of this story and its a-mazing and unwary characters continues, for now we end with the elopement of Theseus and Ariadne.

Minotaur’s a-Mazing-Labyrinth Part l

Until next time . . . Let your Storyographer’s journey begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Four Key Elements in the Art of Story Development


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Every story we hear, read or tell has a story. The place where story-based artistry begins. So, grab a chair, a stool, or a slice of floor and your favorite muse. Now join us for a brief collaboration in the four key elements of story development. For in story, as in life, its characters are as outlandishly adventurous, deviously mischievous and outrageously zany as any of us truly are.

What is story? Isn’t everything we see, hear and talk about a story?

Story: The place where it all begins: Life is as it is . . .
Change happens . . . Now what? . . .
Life as it has been will never again be the same. A new normal unfolds . . .
The place where the beginning is never the same as the ending.

Story: The narrative and the meaning we attach to the events of our lives.

Storytelling: An interactive art form where storytellers, though their voice and gesture, invite people to join them on a guided tour of vivid imagery.

Destination: Ending’s New Beginning

  • What do you love about the story? I mean really, love about it. If you don’t love it, don’t tell it. By its nature, what we love, naturally grows.
  • What is the ending? It is much easier to get there if you know where you are going! A few short words, phrases or movements guides your story’s journey securely into its destination.
  • Memorizing the ending helps insure you and your listeners arrive at their targeted destination; especially when meeting the challenges of unexpected interruptions, brain farts and cosmic disturbances.

Captivation: Love at First Sight!

  • Besides the story itself, what are some key parts or aspects of this story’s storyline which captures your attention? Why?
  • What do you love, hate, regurgitate or scream about the main characters and their antics? Why?

Engagement: The Meet and Greet of Team Building!

  • Take a few minutes to meet and greet your story’s characters. Who are they? What are they like to hang around with?
  • Revisit the key images in your story – this is correct, not the words of your story, but the images inside your story. Step inside each one of them. Who is there? What is happening around you and/or them?
  • What are the dominate feelings and emotions that you and/or your characters are experiencing?

Listen: Story’s Interactive Unfolding

Supportive, or responsive listeners help us grow our stories. Supportive listeners also allow you, the teller, to see what audience members are hearing. Storytelling is an interactive art form. Responsive listeners support storytellers in naturally bring out unexpected and unrehearsed bits of humor; spontaneous internal dialog; insightful moments of awareness; or newly inspired story-line twists and turns.

Select a few supportive; non-critical, non-critiquing, non-judgmental listeners or consult the services of an experienced storytelling coach. Listeners, per your direction, can either:

  • Listen without comment.
  • Listen and offer what they appreciated about the experience and/or the story.
  • Listen and offer bother appreciations about the experience and/or the story and offer any questions they might have.
  • When working with a professional storytelling coach you may also want to add some suggestions regarding the more technical and artistic aspects of storytelling and story development.

Celebration: A gift from my heart to yours . . . Story’s Story Continues . . .

Your story is a gift to your audiences. Like any gift, it is given from the heart. Invite your audience members to join with you on an interactive journey into the enchanting realm of story’s vivid realism and adventurous journey.

Remember: It’s your story to tell, so tell it like it is; in only the way you can! Let your story be the one long remembered after the performance or presentation is done.

                                                                                     

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

 

 

 

Skip the Movie – Live the Part!


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“So often life is every bit as good, if not better, than the wonderful make-believe movies we love to watch. It is all the same joy and sorrow, mystery and suspense, adventure and excitement, love and emotion, except it is real. Live your life as if it were a great movie—complete with the happy ending.” Excerpt taken from: “The Art of Acting” by Stella Adler, a book written by a man named Kissel.

Stories tell us and others about us. The  find their way into the stories we tell. The stories we tell, as in the lives we live, are about us; our beliefs, our perceptions and the role we cast ourselves into. Even the quirky, zany, eccentric, oblivious, weasley and outrageous aspects of ourselves and others we know show up in the stories we tell. Whether or not we are developing a personal story or a folktale, we are the story. A story which reflects aspects of our own lives.

What is your favorite folktale, story or movie? How does it touch or inspire you? Take a few minutes and cast yourself in the leading role. The stage is set. The curtains open:

Who are you?
Where are you?
What’s your story?
Who’s in your story?
What do they think of you?
Where are you going?
What do you do or hope to become?
What are you doing that you never thought you could do before?
How is the ending different from the beginning?

Now, what about, just maybe putting ourselves, yourself, into the leading role in our own life story?

Who are we right now?
What decisions are you making?
Who are the main people in your life?
What are your goals?
What is your bigger vision or dreams – the ones bigger than what you’ve ever accomplished before?
What is the next step?

So . . . What’s your story?

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!

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!