What I Think I Thought


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!

Forecast: Stormy with a Chance of Wedding


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!

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!


Stories – Images – Crafting the Stories of Our Lives!

A friend, an incredible friend showed me a bench he made, a simple, yet eye-catching blend of curved lines, legs extending  inward, forming a eye-catching bench. I smiled at the quality of his workmanship, the ah in his eyes, a job well done.

His image, his pride, his success in his craft. Images flood my mind. So often in the role of storyteller, social worker, life living individual on the earth plane. How often I forget to take time to develop an image, a goal, a destination in my own life for the things I truly desire. So at the end, I too can uphold the end result in pride, quality of a job well done.

Thank you for the lessons of work well done, an image provided direction and a celebrated outcome.

What is the image you hold in your mind today? What project, idea or goal do you have and what image do you add as your desired outcome? What is your story today and the large story for tomorrow? Images are the key to stories, images are the key to shaping the stories of our lives.

Hum . . . to an imaged filled day with celebrated results!

Until next time . . . Let a Storyographers Journey Begin!

Poetry Spirations – Oral Tradition

nib-153747_1280Thank you Jerry Neal for your inspirational interview and insights!

I had the incredible opportunity to speak with Jerry, a local poet and author on the subject of oral tradition, the similarities and differences on how poets and storytellers craft their work and what inspires him.

Jerry, smiles, leaning slightly forward in his metal handled chair, recalling an instance when a poet, at a poetry reading, attempted to read a poem that he had not read in almost twenty years. The result was a flattening, lifeless experience for both writer and audience members alike! Shaking his head, Jerry wondered what the poet might have thought, feeling, imagining when they wrote this piece of poetry. He wondered how this poem touched that person’s life, their heart, and what inspired them to write it to begin with. He further talked about wondering what the impact of the poems phrases felt like when this person was writing the poem and how this again comes through in the reading of this poet’s work through the reader’s diction, rhythm and meter of their voice.

I too had to smile! Jerry’s words ignited my inner awareness, enthusiasm and reflections in the art of storytelling and the artistry of story development. How does the story touch me? What images are going through my mind’s eye as I retell this story? What feelings and emotions are part of the story, the characters and the reality of their lives? How is my voice, my jesters and other personal expressions reflect specific aspects of the story and its story-line? Why is it important to me to tell this story? How does this story benefit the audience? How do I benefit from telling this story?

In extended appreciation to Jerry Neal, local author and poet!

Jerry’s book; Collected Poems are found at:


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

Bringing Joy to the World! Karin Volo’s Inspirational Story!

Joy-to-Faith-Cover-200“Every day I had to make a conscious choice between love and fear. I chose love and it eventually won—as it always will.”  Karin Volo

http://inspiringyourverybest.com/       http://www.bringingjoytotheworld.com/

Karin Volo, a nationally and internationally known, acclaimed business developer, success coach, dedicated partner and Mother of two young children, ages 6 and 8, entered into the San Diego airport for a return flight home. Only one week prior to this, Karin’s wildest dreams rapidly unfolded in her life; moving into her dream home, watching the Law of Attraction movie “The Secrete”, preparing for the launch of her highly successful business across two more countries, now standing, with the man of her dreams and business partner, excitedly awaiting a flight back home to their family in Sweden. A tap of the shoulder from an US Marshall at the San Diego, CA airport in March of 2006 changed Karin’s and her family’s life forever.

Karin, being immediately placed under arrest, handcuffed, jailed, accused, yet never convicted or sentenced, for a crime she never committed, in a country that was not her own. This devastating, life altering news reached her family, without even a chance to hug her young children good-bye. Karin, now facing the horrifying uncertainty of living, locked down, in the seamlessly, never-ending, mind numbing lines, rows, and levels of iron bars encasing cement defined rooms. Her life now in ever wavering jeopardy, facing possible extradition to Mexico, strip searches, pat downs and head counts . . . Fear and terror threatening to over take her, determined, she enacted the law of attraction. Armed with the book “Yoga for Dummy’s” from the prison library and her courage, she served to meet the needs of herself, her family and fellow inmates for the next 1,342 days. During this time she led other women in powerful visualizations of their lives, outside iron bars, and cement walls. In these visualizations the women loving transported their children from one activity to another, celebrating their accomplishments, supporting them in their dreams, somehow embracing the knowledge, through faith, that today’s reality would never become tomorrow’s destiny.

Armed once again with books from the local prison’s library, Karin studied meditation and spirituality. During her now daily meditation sessions the image of a girl, named Joy, spoke to Karin. In the course of her communication with Joy, Karin authored 27 books relating the deep spiritual truths that she was learning in a manner that her children would understand. Joy grew illuminating Karin’s mind and her time. One by one, she wrote, illustrated and sent these Joy books to her family in Sweden. It was through Joy that Karin and her family embarked on a life transforming, Spiritual journey together.

Karin’s story so immeasurably touched me, by the incredible gift she gave her family, as during these tough times her books, her words, her presence, her Mothering stood so markedly strong and far-reaching. I am inspired by the strength of Karin’s love and parenting as she continued nourishing and nurturing her family and friends through her inspirational stories. While Karin could not be there in person, she was present in so many other ways. I could just see her children receiving one of these incredible gifts, the kind we all love to give our children. Sitting there with their Father, welling with excitement in anticipations of receiving and opening these immense treasures from their Mother. Through their now Father’s voice, hearing their Mother’s words read through a literary journey of hope, faith and love’s transforming power. Then the excitement of sharing it with their friends:  “Look at what my Mom . . .” The incredible gift of skills, tools, strength, self-worth and empowerment that Karin gave each member of her family. I can not image what Karin’s children thought or felt as they received these treasured gifts from their Mother. Then, 3 years and 10 months later, receiving the news that Mon was coming home.

Thank you Karin and Joy!