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!

Story – Creative Lawlessness


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Through the power of story, political figureheads, tax regulators, law enforcers, socially perceived hierarchy, culturally-defined norms, bosses, supervisors, parental units and rigamortis impact the course of our life experiences. Story artists throughout the centuries have creatively conspired to orchestrate, direct, lead, dominate, choreograph and otherwise differentiate between the lawfully lawful and the law abiding lawlessness of story. Through the power of story cannibalism moves beyond its perceived cultural preferences, war-lording chiefs and individual menu planners. Questing, never thought they would make it, heroes’ embark on tantalizing bean-stalking, mirror-talking, troll-defying and glass-shoeing adventures. Acrobats death defying feats; athletes epic-sagas; noodle-heads’ rampaging insolence and individuals’ hilarious, gut-hugging escapades frequently challenge previously perceived, story-inspired, social norms and morays.

Scientific discoveries and inventors’ inventions become real through the image of story’s powerful impact. Story; a place where the world becomes round and the planet’s sun takes center stage. A place where jet propelled engines take flight and motorized vehicles storm roadways. A place where towered-connected cellular devises interface human connections. Story; the place where we go beyond the boundaries of what we thought we could do or what we thought was possible.

Stepping into your story’s story-line, experience and embrace the lawfully lawlessness and compelling intrigue of story’s creative inspirations. Step beyond the perceived boundaries of someone else’s words or where you think this story should go. Lawfully respect your audience’s values while lawlessly unleashing the uniqueness of your ideas, your inspiring voice and your breathlessly-intriguing, story-inspirations. Inspire, experience and enrich story’s powerfully, magnetic journey.

Take a quick review:

What first sparked your interest in this story?
What is the most important part or aspect of this story to you?
What do you love most about this story?
What else is possible?

Now reconnect with the images of your story’s story.

Would the story spark more or further dynamically impact audience members if it started at the end or ended in at the beginning?

What might happen if the story was told from another character’s voice or perspective?

Is the main character as strong, sassy, silly, introspective or insane as they appear or don’t appear to be?

Did it really happen this way . . . or maybe, just maybe . . . it happened; yet another way.

So dive, drive, fly, squeak, spurt, float, bob or belly-flop into your next story’s adventure. Remember, it’s your story to tell, in only the way you can. Enjoy, experience and soar into the journey of your story’s images. Boldly break into the lawfully lawlessness of story and the unprecedented uniqueness of your creative inspiration.

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

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.

 

 

 

Minotaur’s a-Maze-ing Labyrinth Part 1


 

Ancient societies and modern-day cultures have embraced the mystical, often spiritual power of labyrinths and mazes. Its ancient symbols are still found etched on cave walls, the sides of pottery and coins, on the floors of buildings and in the architectural design of gardens. Labyrinths have one opening where mazas are designed with an array of openings and dead ends, offering travelers a variety of choices throughout the course of their journey. Walking a labyrinth has been said to calm or quiet the mind as one engages in the seemingly, a directionless course of its journey.

During the Middle Ages Labyrinths represented the spiritually challenging road leading to God. Poor people, unable to make the spiritually esteemed pilgrimages to distant lands, walked local labyrinths. As Labyrinths too,  symbolize a path to God or to enlightenment.

Labyrinths mystical power and enchanting allure can also be found in various stories throughout history. One such story takes us to the Greek island of Crete. Due to some unusual circumstances following his son’s birth, King Minos commissioned a famed architect named Daedalus to build an intricately designed housing unit, also referred to as a labyrinth, for his son the Minotaur. Minotaur being half man and half bull, was not your average child. However, his unique form and birthing circumstances had more to do with Poseidon, the Greek god of the ocean, and his father than any genetic or medical abnormalities.

Actually the whole birth debacle had resulted in a breach of contract between King Minos and Poseidon. It all started with King Minos’s challenging relationship with his siblings. A who gets the throne sibling rivalry scenario. Instead of hiring a therapist, Minos asked Poseidon to lend a hand, or in this case, to lend him a magnificent white bull. The bull was to be a sign of blessing from the gods in favor of Minos taking over the throne. Poseidon agrees with one string attached. King Minos only gets the bull if he sacrifices it as an offering to back to Poseidon. A legal binding contract in the form of a verbal agreement was made.

True to his word, the Greek god of ocean waters, Poseidon, brings forth a great white bull. A bull far more superior than his land birthed cousins. Of course ocean bulls were far more superior and beautiful and than ordinary land bulls are and much harder to come by. Figuring that for the most part a bull was a bull, King Minos axed a bull of the ordinary land variety as a sacrificial offering back to Poseidon.  Poseidon didn’t react well to the breach of confidence regarding their contractual agreement. In a fit of rage, he whipped up a fresh batch of love potion. Then he gave an extra large dose to King Minos’s wife, Queen Pasiphae. As her newly prescribed fate and destiny would both have it, she fall madly in love with the great white beast.

Queen Pasiphae, in a moment of heated passion, commissioned Daedalus to build her a wooden, custom-made, form-fitting, bull suite. Following a hot date and an adulterous affair,  Queen Pasiphae gave birth to a uniquely featured half bull, half human baby boy. They named him Minotaur. Being a rather unusual child in his physical appearance, dietary needs and temperament, alternative living arrangements for him went to the top of the King’s to-do list. Fortunately for Daedalus’s and his retirement fund, he got the infamous housing contract of the century.

After this elaborate seventh wonder of the world type architectural structure had been built, only one additional external problem remained. It had to do with King Minos’s defeat of the city of Athens. King Minos’s Internal Revenue Collections Agency required city officials to annually cough up seven maidens and seven young men from inside their city limits. Possessing a one-way ticket into the labyrinth, these unfortunate few sacrificially meet their ill-fated, untimely demise by being disemboweled inside the jowls of the famed Minotaur.

King Minos figured he had the whole situation under control until another ill-fated love affair once again turned the tide of certain uncertainty.

Minotaur’s a-Mazing-Labyrinth Part ll

Until next time and part 11 . . . Let your Storyographer’s journey begin!

Stuck in Story – Unsticking Ideas


 

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In-movable, trapped, nowhere to go, no visible escape route, going nowhere fast . . . there you; stuck. The kind of stuckness you can’t even google our way out of. Stuck in the quirky quagmire of life-sucking relationships; wallet stripping finances; vein stabbing illness or ideal-less creativity. Whatever the wheel spinning reality; it sucks to be stuck. Now what?

Everything we do is an expression of who we are. Our work, our wardrobe, our homes, our speech, our stories . . . all are expressions of who we are as exceptionally unique individuals. When we feel stuck we are actually stuck in the story of what we think is happening in our lives or a story we feel most comfortable in. Remember the one about deciding to wear pink stripped under attire when you know it was a blue polka-dotted day? Yes, it is true, if only we would have worn the correct under attire on the correct day we could have avoided the whole miserable ordeal. We just should have listened to the smaller inner voice of underwearing apparel wisdom.

OK, a bit exaggerated, but really, is it all that far out? How often have we gotten this story in our heads about someone or something only to find out we were completely wrong. My fingers and toes have been recounted more times than I can count on this one.

While the feeling of stuckness is real, the reality of actually being stuck is questionable. So where in your life or your life’s story did you get stuck?

Then take a moment and ask yourself:

What about this story or this stuckness works for me? What about this isn’t working for me? Go back and forth. When you ideas run out, ask yourself: What’s another choice? Where would I like be? Now, instead of focusing on being stuck, focus on where you would rather be.

Focus on the outcome of our goals. Then, every day, begin looking for and writing down things which are moving you in this direction or things which are getting easier. It is easy for us to prove why we are stuck, now let’s go out and prove that we’re not. It is here where we change the story of stuckness to one of stuckness.

When developing your stories, remember the feeling of stuckness in your character development.When they face the impossible, the impractical, the bizarre, the horrific; what is this like? What thoughts, feelings, mind chatter comes forward? Lead you audience members into the feelings of entrapment and stuck-]ness before you guide them into the realm of possibility.

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.

Mirror Images – Little Snow-White


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Snow White’s story, filled with its rich imagery, villainous plot and magical interlacing captured my attention and ignited my pen. Following her plot line from Little Snow-White’s first publication by the Grimm’s Brothers in 1812; their second publication of Little Snow-White in 1957; and on through Walt Disney’s animated film version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, my journey began.  Definitely a dark tale which keeps story enthusiasts of many ages engaged and riveted far into the tale’s murderous unfolding.

I mean really, one’s own Mother being brought up on four accounts of attempted murder; all against her own seven-year old daughter! Her excuse? Some misguided direction from her self-appointed beauty consultant and weasel-y snitch of a talking mirror. Even the Prince had a hard time believing this one. The one about a wooden framed piece of reflective glass being equipped with language capabilities and prophetic insights. All prior to the invention of audio recording devices.

Now, fast forwarding to the end of the story, we find Snow White, a not quite so blushing bride, passively endorsing her own mother’s public, torturous execution; death by dance in flaming hot, metallic shoes. Even the newly emerging German culture of the early 1800’s was having a hard time stomaching this one. As a result, the Grimm’s Brothers revisited their storyboards and brought to the forefront a few revisions for their second edition of Little Snow-White published in 1857. These revisions resulting in increased sales from more socially approving audiences. In the end, it was great for centuries of audience members to come. Thanks to the Grimms Brothers perceptive awareness and
pen-fully correct altercations, North American audiences have been enthusiastically experiencing Hollywood’s current trend of Snow White inspired movies.

So what changed on the story front? In part, Europe’s high maternal death rates. Mothers dying in childbirth resulted in the increased reality of blended families and the rise of step-motherhood. Coupled with economic tensions, the perception of stepmothers being “evil” dominated the social scene. So here you have it; biological mom being brought up on four accounts of attempted murder of her only child is a bit harsh, but if it’s her stepmom being brought up on these same charges, this becomes a whole new, adventurous tale to tell.

Walt Disney’s groundbreaking animated film version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the 1930’s literally exploded US box offices. The Grimm’s Brother’s second version of Little Snow-White, provided Walt Disney with basis of his inspiration.  In retelling Little Snow-White, Walt Disney too met the challenges of audience-induced, story-adaptations. One was meeting North American and European cultural standards of what a socially acceptable marrying age is or should be. Legal sex at the age of seven wasn’t going to make it by today’s standards. The former, publicly torturous death by dance got artfully
re-crafted into death by nature via a one way ticket over a mountainous cliff fueled by a striking touch of lightning. Walt Disney also added his infamous signature adaptation of the Prince’s magical kiss used to awaken Snow White, his soon to be bride, from an enchanted sleep. A touch of romance surpassing Grimm’s rendition of an angry servant carelessly slamming the glass coffin; intentionally or unintentionally.

What is your favorite telling or re-telling (oral, written or filmed) version of Snow White’s infamous adventures? Why? What sets it apart, for you, from others of its kind?

 

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