Discover Story’s Opportunity


 

confusion-311388_1280

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.

 

 

 

Minotaur’s a-Maz-ing Labyrinth Part 11


 

maze-2264_640

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


face-157398_640

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


block-chain-1224025_640

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 . . . !

 

 

 

Goal Questing – Story’s Adventurous Outcomes


todo-list-297195_640

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!

Down the Rabbit Hole – An Endless List of Possibly Impossible Things


animal-1234476_640

I absolutely love Timothy Buron’s Film production of Alice in Wonderland.

OK, let’s face it, the book is great. The movie is great. The movie about the book is great. The story is great. The characters are great. OK, it’s all great.

The entire intrigue of the story is being dumped down a rabbit’s hole. The finding yourself living in a serial world of talking creatures, drama queens and non-sensical characters.

Spinning into the major turning point of the story, Alice triumphantly meets the insanely crazy challenges of rabbit hole living. Changing her physical size, outwitting insane advocacies and organizing life-threating getaways.

Then it happens. Alice’s worst fear appears as a Jaberwalki. A gigantic, winged, creature with teeth half the size of her physical being.

She’s been told, she has to kill the Jaberwalki if she wants to go home. Through the encouragement of the Mad Hatter, Alice remembers her father’s words;  “6 impossible things before breakfast”.

Looking at the day, she realizes she’s already done 5 impossible things before breakfast. She fell down a and insanely large rabbit hole and lived. She ate pastry mix that made her grow instantly grow larger and smaller and lived. She discovered the key to the tiny room and go through; and lived …  She lists them off until she reaches the number 6 – killing a Jaberwalki.

Courageously, she raises her sword. During a daring claw to sword combat, she realizes its kill or be eaten. Not wanting to become someone else’s dinner, she stabs and kills the Jaberwalkie.

Collecting Jaberwalkie’s blood, she says her good-byes. Holding a vile of Jaberwalke’s blood, she spirals up the rabbit hole and returns home.

In the movie, returning home means meeting the social and financial pressures of a forced marriage proposal.

Dusty and dirty, yet filled with new found confidence, courage and determination Alice courageously says no to a marriage proposal from a man she never loved and a man who never loved her.

Seeing the confidence, vision and raw courage of this amazing young woman, her almost father-in-law forms a business partnership with her. He then adds a side note stating if her ideas had come from anyone else, he would have said no to them.

Alice’s story changed when she changed.

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!

Tiger – A Goat’s Identity Crisis


TigerIt happened, one of those strange tragic moments in life’s predator vs. prey cycle. A tiger, as hungry as she was filled with child. Spotting a herd of goats grazing in the distance she smells food. Capitalizing on a tiny grain of strength, she waits. She watches. She runs. She pounces. She collapses.

Terrified goats scatter in the direction they were grazing. Lying on the ground, the lioness heaves her last breath. With it she gives birth to her cub. In uncertain silence, her lifeless body lies, no longer a threat or a danger to the prey around her.

Knowing the fields are now safe, the goats return to their grazing land. Upon their return, they discover a larger than average, newly born stranger in their midst. Being community oriented and parental-ly inclined, the goats take it in. Together they raise this stripped, hornless creäture.

A few years later, another larger animal stalks the herd. Pouncing, the goats once again scatter in all direction they were grazing. Yes, the goats, not the tiger, for the tiger remains undisturbed, quietly munching on clumps of grass. The larger animal taking full responsibility for his herd scattering endeavors, introduces himself as tiger.

“A vegetarian,” bleats a reply from the other tiger embodied creäture.”

“Embarrassing,” roars the Tiger, watching the awkward slobbering and dirt spitting grazing habits of this misguided carnivore.

Perplexed and stunned, the Tiger turns to the grass feeding one and requests a brief conference at the water’s edge. It is agreed.

The Tiger looks at the grass-eating one, “You too are Tiger.

This grass eater pauses, uncertain on how to respond. Tiger takes its face and positions it over the unwavering, un-shimmering depths of water’s pure reflection. Then too he places his face next to the grass eater’s reflection.

Stunned, the grass eater has to admit that he looks nothing like the animals he surrounds himself with . Too, that while he resembles Tiger in stripes and fur, he does not have the same fullness of shape, development of muscles or vibrancy of color or language that Tiger possesses.

Tiger then takes the grass eater home with him. Entering his den, oozing with the freshness of today’s catch, he rips out a chunk of blood dripping flesh and shoves it into grass eater’s mouth.

Choking and sputtering, the grass eater bleats out, “But I am a vegetarian!”

No cries Tiger, you are a Tiger”

Still choking and sputtering as the richness of the meat’s abundance enters his body, grass eater begins to step into his true being. The new food seemingly to giving him a strength and a health he has not known until now. Using all the strength and courage within his being, the once fleeting bleat, sounds much more like a mini roar.

Thank you Joseph Campbell!

“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” Unknown

 

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