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 its 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 unfolding. This new tale is now filled with fresh emotion, opportunity, terror, travesty, 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 and revel 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 t the e 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 up, pack them inside your imagination 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 might 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.

 

 

 

Story – Moving Beyond Word Encrusted Fossilization


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Every story, every idea, every dream, every reality begins with the image of an idea. Ideas and their images guide architects, business owners, choreographers, chefs and matchmakers into designing the reality of their skills.

But wait a minute. I’m a storyteller. The kind who digs up pre-printed, post-dated,
word-pressed stories. Rather like an archeologist digging up bodily-intact, non-fossilized,
post-living relics and specimens.  Yet, unearthing naturally preserved artifacts from ancient times, much like printing-pressed stories, are devoid of life. Pre-printed stories, while invaluable in their documentation are simply encrusted, fossilized relics of what they once were.  It’s you, the storyteller through the unique expression of your words, your experiences and your interaction with the story which makes this story come to life.

So grab, hail, nab or flag in the image of your idea.  An original story or a retelling of a traditional folk tale begins with an image. Hmm . . . well . . . maybe . . .

Puking wallabies’ in Australia
Fresh canned organic toast
Root blooming flowers
A frustrated prince’s search for Cinderella’s still missing foot.
A stepmother’s four accounts of attempted murder against her own seven-year-old
stepdaughter; Snow White.

Whatever the image of your idea is . . . have fun! Step into the image. Look around. Let it expand, shrink, melt, bloom, grow or spew in your mind’s eye. It’s perfect! What you start out with, may or may not be what you end up with.  Move beyond the words and move into the images of your story. Its images and their voice ignite in mind’s explosion of brain’s turbo fueled, creative engagement. Magically, as if coming out of nowhere, hidden dialogue, unexplored realities and un-circumvented, mind-hooking twists and turns leap into your conscious awareness. For it is here, where the reality of your story lies. A story which lies well beyond the printed-press documentation of someone else’s encrusted, fossilized words.

This leads us straight across the finish line. Yes! You are correct, the finish line; not the starting line. For any of us,  it’s hard to get there, or even get started, if we don’t know where we are going. So, for now, let’s start with the ending and end at the beginning.

As you have danced, fried, sautéed, scalped or otherwise romanced the image of your idea or main story point, ask yourself: Where I am going? Where or what is my destination? What would I like to see happen?

Then ask yourself: What do I like about where I am going?

Whether you are planning a family vacation, designing the latest in talking plant technology, writing up the analogs of life’s realities or working up your latest story; decide where you are going. See yourself, with the image of your idea, in its final stages. Moving forward allow the uniqueness of your voice, your experiences and your interaction with with the image of your idea and your story to propel you into it’s vibrant, non-fossilized, living reality.

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

 

 

Story’s – Heart to Heart


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Story – The place where life is as it is; Change Happens – A new normal unfolds.

Body’s hearts command, oxygenate, circulate, and pulsate life. They beat the beat and pump the blood. They fall madly in love and tragically out of love. Without them we are nothing more than abandoned houses and decomposing transportation.

Jumping into the heart of hearts, Valentines Day pumps up the beat of sizzling romance and dazzling escapades. Then behind piles of discarded cards, ill-fated floral arrangements, chewed-up chocolates and  intimate entanglements.

Hearts ignite love at first sight and love at first story. Now immersed in a cardiovascular sea of pulsing emotion and circulating oxygenation a new story beings. Beating uncontrollably, it springs to life. Story talks. People listen.

Through the wisdom of the ancients, Chinese Medicine sites the lips and the hands as heart’s external components. By extending a hand or a embarrassing a kiss, we say; from my heart to yours.

Story’s vivid realism and outrageous adventures are often as wildly zany and catastrophically unpredictable as any of us truly are. When grabbing a story, select one which excites your toenails, sparks your eyeballs and  ignites your brain cells. The more you love it, the more you become involved with it. The more you become involved with it, the more vivid and real it becomes.

If you love a story; tell it. If you like a story; let someone else tell it. Your words, through the vivid realism of story’s vibrant imagery, tells the tale of you and your story’s engaging courtship.

“People pay you to practice and to haul your equipment around, but at the moment you step out on stage, (pausing, his face lights up) this is your gift to the audience. I get paid to practice and haul equipment, but the performance I do for free.” Steve Seqavac, Midwest Musician

So, join us in extending a hand, embracing a kiss and/or sharing a story. A gift from our hearts to yours.

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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forecast: Stormy with a Chance of Wedding


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Dementia is a cruel and unyielding player in the mind-full game of life. Yet for many of us it’s elusive powers fragment our memories from a time of ‘who knows when’. However, for this eighty plus year old woman, its diagnosed presence leaves a thundering trail of compelling stories at a local diner.

Accustomed to life at the country club and being side by side with the man she loves, this elderly woman meets the challenges of dementia, of widowhood and of the loss her two children; one girl and one boy at the ages of twenty and twenty-one. Her cherished memories now consist of outings to a local diner and talk of others getting married. Well, others, yes, but her primary focus was me.  Her weekly companion. A graduate student in her mid-twenties, single and quite without a boyfriend. The only dates I had were the edible kind: a preferred snack in-between classes, especially during exam week.

Joyously anticipating a study break, I leave for a dinner date at the local diner with my elderly friend. Sliding into the front seat of my bright orange Horizon we leave at once. The days previous sunny with a chance of clouds forecast was rapidly becoming stormy with a change of flooding. Racing into the restaurant only minutes before the thunderclouds boomed, we were seated at our favorite booth.  Smelling the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and freshly prepared meals steaming on their way to hunger customers; we placed our orders. Like the weather, our conversation went from clear and calm to windy with a chance of unexpected. Our discussion went from small talk on the storm front to my choice in clothing. I mean this is not the Ritz, the country club or any such state of the arts dining establishment; just a well-loved, local diner. I was dressed for a casual, yet enjoyable evening with a cherished friend. Or, at least I thought I was. Instead I found myself being chastised, however politely, for wearing blue jeans and athletic shoes to my rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsal dinner! I didn’t even have a date for the weekend, the next weekend or even the weekend after that, let alone an actual boyfriend.  It’s not like marriage would have been an option for a full-time graduate student working three part-time jobs. A social life or any life was already in question. Attempting to avoid the current, laser-focused topic of discussion, I decided it was a great time for a bathroom break. Excusing myself, I made my exit, hoping that, upon my return, the conversation would take a significant turn for the better.

Exiting the ladies room, I noticed empty tables were now filled and long lines of hungry guest standing in the entrance way. Outside winds howled. Rippling sounds of booming thunder and pounding rain echoed inside the diner.

Returning to our booth an overwhelming feeling of uneasiness passed through me. Looking across from me, my elderly friend possessed the type of smile which could either have generated enough power to light an entire city or gleefully devoured multiple, unsuspecting souls. A small, but steady stream of people began cloistering around us. A  group of concerned faces and their harrowing stories followed.

“My father’s got creamed. He was driving home from work in a storm just like this one. Lightning hit and split the tree in front of him. After he crashed, tt took them almost four hours to pry him out. Lucky he’s still alive. Just got out of intensive care the other day. . . Oh, and, by the way, congratulations on your wedding,” says one customer.

“Almost the same thing happened to my Brother. The house was fine but the winds got him. Standing in the front door he heard a roar. It was worse than a night at the movies. The wind whipped up on solid oak and crashed it through the roof of the car. Totaled it before the insurance company did. Lucky for him he was inside before it happened . . . Hey, congratulations on your wedding,” says another.

“Just last week my daughter totaled her car. Her first accident. It came out of nowhere. One of those freak storms just popped up. Don’t know if it was wind or lightning but a tree crashed. She got pinned in a car for a couple of hours. Came out a bit cut up, but no internal bleeding . . . ” Extending his hand, he says, “Congratulations on your wedding.”

Sitting quietly, her folded hands resting on the table, my friend beams.

A restaurant manager, formally dressed, briskly, yet solemnly approaches our table. “Excuse me, Mam, are you the owner of a bright orange Horizon, license plate number . . . ?”

Confused, yet hesitantly, I answer; yes.

He continues, “I am sorry to report damages to your car.”

My mind begins spinning as fast as the gale force winds still howling outside . . . The images of other customer’s stories still whirling inside my head. Blurting out I ask, “What? Damages . . . ? What kind of damage? Is it still drivable? Was anyone hurt?”

He continues, “The wind blew down one of our signs and it hit your car. I have been in contact with our insurance company . . .” Oh yes, and congratulations on your wedding. I hope you get your dress on time.”

Still sitting in the booth across from me, my friend holds the knowing smile of a story well told.

Years later, following her death, I find  myself standing alongside a dirt road wearing a
t-length wedding dress, holding a bouquet of flowers. Posing, surrounded by dappled light streaming in through the trees, a camera flashes. A camera flashes again. A trip down memory lane ensues. Looking up, smiling, I think of my friend. In a loud voice I cry out, “I got the dress!”

The photo shoot is now complete; another modeling job well done. Still standing beneath the leafy-shade of the trees, I question. I wonder. I wonder when and where I might meet the perfect bride’s groom.

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

Egg Hatching Demolition


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In the beginning, there was the chicken and there was the egg. After the beginning, there were chickens and there were eggs.  The two, once melded into one, range in variety, size, shape and color. Their destination predominantly lies between the thermostats of incubation and refrigeration; often leading to some type of incineration. Throughout centuries intellectual thought and philosophical debate collide in their attempts to answer one of life’s most sought after questions: Who or what came first; the chicken or the egg?

Questions ignite images. Images ignite questions. From inception to completion, images become story’s vehicle. We can either begin or end with an egg; one of nature’s perfect, metaphorically designed, housing units. Inside it’s universally recognized structure, local residents are deposited, encapsulated in a shell, as opposed to steal, brick, wood or mortar. A highly crackable shell containing a mixture of two-toned, globular masses of stringy ooze. External climate control largely determines its fated or ill-fated destiny; often ranging from procreation to culinary delight. If this residential unit is kept precisely at mother nature’s recommended temperature, the kind suggested for incubation vs refrigeration, this two-toned masses of gobbler ooze begins their metaphoric journey into realms of chicken-dom. Along the way, their ooze glopping mass begins acquiring a uniquely designed collection of feathers, beaks, eyes, legs, claws and one of two stamps indicating gender-identity.

Having survived their climate-controlled, incubation and shape-shifting process, home demolition begins; one peck and scratch at a time.  Immediately following the home demolition phase of shell shocking reality, this young shell hatching resident prepares for chicken-hood. A journey and a career path often leading to the procreation of egg hatchery or one leading to being the invited guest of honor at a local, backyard, grill.

Overtaken in a moment of insane insanity, you find yourself frantically peeking through and scratching holes into your now fragmented home. The only residence you’ve ever known. It’s not only your home being shattered; one peck at a time, but your previously perceived reality, your essence and your identity. The final shell falls. Looking back is no longer an option. Gathering your courage and securing an imprint-able guide, you forge ahead. You forge ahead into a world, a land and a frontier you never knew existed, until now. The existence which has become your new reality.

Story-Spirations!

  • You are mysteriously transported from one local to another; immobilized in mass of two-toned, glopping ooze . . .
  • Trapped without visible connection to an external reality, you have nowhere to go, except, where you have never been before . . .
  • Escape plan, not knowing what lies on the other side . . .
  • Once you arrive, needing, but not knowing who or what will be there to guide you . . . now showing you what are you likely to gain, to learn or to lose.
  • How is the end of this journey different from the beginning?
  • What has changed through the course of this journey?
  • What was the best part?
  • What was the worst part?
  • What has been gained, learned or lost through this process?

Feel and experience the reality of the image(s). Allow these new images, emotions and feelings to emerge. Briefly record this image-filled journey of a story and enjoy the basis of your next, image-filled, story oozing with all its engaging unsuspecting crazy, zany, terrifying, creepy and mysterious tips and turns. The best part? It is your story, so tell it or crack it like it is; in only the way you can!

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

Bombshell – Haircut or Hairicy?


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Haircut or Hairicy!

Have you ever walked into and out of a beauty shop or barber shop and felt like someone unleashed a bombshell on top of your head? It wasn’t exactly what you were expecting. It isn’t exactly what you wanted. Yet, somehow, it happened. How it happened, you’re still not quite sure. As to where it came from, you think might have had something to do with this seemingly, charming person you first met behind the counter. The same one who just handed you the bill. Actually the same one who actually expects you to pay for the services rendered on this now explosive mass of folic-ally challenged residue called hair. The very appendages, which less than an hour ago gleefully hung in neat rows adorning your head. Looking in the mirror you now find yourself wearing the fragmented shrapnel of some unidentifiable, desecrated, hair-raising remains of what? No one really knows. Downcast you saunter out the door. Your head’s few remaining hairs desperately clinging to your scalp.

What makes things worse . . . if this could even be possible, is that this very person  actually, not only attended, but graduated from an accredited institution of higher learning. A place where they were educated, discharged and licensed to utilize their board certified skills and their near-lethal, non-registered tools of mass hair destruction on your head. The one you wish was no longer attached to your neck or in any way identifiable or traceable to your specific body. Bombshell – Haircut or Hairicy.

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