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!

Story Starters – Egg House 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 steel, 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 lead 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 Story – 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. And expects you to pay for the 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 now 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

Minotaur’s a-Maze-ing Labyrinth Part 1


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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, 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!

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!