Problem Drama – Story’s Sizzle


ship-1366926_640Drama Queens and Trauma Junkies UNITE! Problem drama’s struggles, scandals, catastrophes and gossip continue to engage, enthrall, and entice audiences of all ages. With the captivating scent and the juicy allure of socially deviant problems, socially propelled drama, high paced gossip and devilish deeds, a story’s story line comes alive. All capturing audience’s’ attention under the common theme or the questioning intrigue of: “What’s happening? . . . OR . . . Now what? . . . OR EVEN . . . Can you believe this! . . . Let me at them! I’ll teach em a lesson!”

The saga of our day-to-day lives would not be complete without generous portions of problem drama. This type of drama often taking the form of earth shattering news, murderous rampages, plummeting profit margins, raising inflation, workplace cover-ups, extra-curricular marital affairs, gastrointestinal turmoil, and the horrifying reality of daily gossip. Drama queens of all ages, sexes sizes and trans-cultural variety packs unit in the telling and retelling of their daily adventures. The persistently constant, vivid reality of problem drama, marks the events of our lives. Also, the lives of those around us as well as the lives of the characters within our stories. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, without the conflicting struggle of problem drama our world would be in serious danger of a complete communication blackout.

From here let’s revisit the reality of struggle in the story development process. Take a few minutes to catch the buzz on the latest workplace rumors, up to the minute social media epic sagas or the routine chatter and clatter of community gatherings. For it is here that we all find the familiar, yet creatively told and retold accredited validation of daily living’s problem induced sagas. Even in the story of Snow White, the evil Queen makes reference to her educational achievements in the field of black magic while she cleverly turns an apple into a lethal weapon on her continuing quest to permanently kill off the King’s only known offspring. The three little pigs are well noted for their architectural accomplishments the housing industry as well as their structural pitfalls when presented with the bellowing blows of a ravenously hungry, huffing and puffing wolf. Robin Hood’s witty charm, coupled with his legendary bow shooting and money hoisting skills gave hope to local peasants living under the oppressive reign of greedy King John; as their lives and conversations reflected the hardships of the Kingdom’s Revenue Collection Services, debtors’ prison and general economic decline.

So grab your story, a few key characters and step into the life reflecting realm of problem drama. Snatch up some of its alluring reality to soup up your stories, their characters and their turbulent journeys and scandalous life-styles.


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


Images of Slavery – Laura Smith Haviland

boat-151887_1280The power of images. Our minds think in images – not words, not ideas, but the visual images behind those words and ideas.

These past few months I have been meeting the challenge of crafting an original story out of historical research. One of these stories involves the life of Laura Smith Haviland, arriving as a young child in the Michigan territory in 1820. A women that mobilized people, changed institutional policy and forged ahead on her personal belief’s in her work on the underground railroad and participation in the Civil War.

Early in life, once her family moved to the Michigan Territories, no longer being able to attend school, she began to read everything she could, including the books of her parents. One book specially seems to have profoundly impacted the course of her life. A book written by John Woolsworth on the middle passages of the slaves.

Throughout her autobiography, Laura Haviland speaks of the images of slavery; the shackles that held humans together in terror, trauma and degradation. She talks of the sharks following the slave ships cleaning up the dead and dying that were being overboard. Though out her life’s work, the words and images from his book and the images within the stories of the freed slaves she risked her own life to assist further shaped the course and purpose of her life’s journey.

Another image impacting me is her vision. When she still lived on the her family’s farm, she opened a school. A school that was available to all children, including African-American children and Indian children. During this time in her life she was running the school as well as helping to raise their 8 or 9 children and actively working with members of the underground railroad. On night she had a vision. In this vision, she saw an angel riding a horse, then stopping in front of their barn. At the bottom of the Angel’s feet was a fresh grave. Her youngest child, approximately 1 1/2 years old, was standing on the edge of the grave. In her vision she cry’s out, fearing her youngest child will join the dead. The Angel spoke to her saying “Let the dead be buried, you have much work to do.”

Within two weeks Laura’s husband, Mother, Father, sister, oldest child, youngest child and another family member died. Still in the early stages of grieving, she somehow met the challenges of meeting the needs of escaping slaves and their unimaginable needs and escaping the bounty hunters who held a high price tag on her own life.

What images are impacting us as we develop our stories? Allow these images to come forward in your story’s story-line as they already have a great deal of meaning for you in why you choose this story or this story-line. Then allow other characters, adventures and the physical reality of the story’s location come in and round these main images or main points of view.

In story as in live, maybe too you might ask yourself: What images are impacting the life living reality of my life.


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