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TALES OF FAILED MORTUARY MEN

Published October 14, 2014 by amoafowaa

Mum C writes

southport-mortury_2

Atia looked at Babatunde who seem drunk  and can’t believe his ears.

“So a corpse you kept sat down when the funeral workers touched her, and because of this you think you have seen it all? Baba, you really must be drunk. That you live a miserable life does not mean you have seen worse than us.”

Koto sat straight and looked at his peers and says:

“Guys cool down, what have you Atia seen that I have not seen?”

Atia sits straight and says “You really know how to push peoples buttons. Koto you think we do not know that you were sleeping with a fresh dead girl when she opened her eyes and the coward that you are, you took to your heels never going there again?”

Koto drinks all his hard liquor at a go and pulls long at his cigarette trying desperately to hide his face…

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THE PLAYED PLAYER; WHEN THE TABLES TURN

Published October 14, 2014 by amoafowaa

Mum C writes

Askimo sits on the wall dejected, what in God’s name just happened? Did Selina just sleep with him and sack him out of her house? He of all people? God’s gift to women like him? Considering the many women who will die to have him in their beds forever, he thinks back. All the women he had slept with, were grateful, some said he was huge, others just loved his manliness. Could it be that he is getting smaller? No, if anything, he should be bigger. Did he do anything to displease Selina? He sniffs his armpit, there is no foul smell. What could it be? I must ask what happened or I will not be able to get any sleep.

Could it be that Selina is a man eater? Talking about that, who is a man eater? Some way somehow, this lady has made him doubt himself for the…

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NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Published October 13, 2014 by amoafowaa

Mum C writes

sun

I

Once a boy from Africa saw

A white boy from America

He asked “hey boy why are you coy?”

The white boy said “I’m from America”

II

He couldn’t play because of heat

And felt so bad because of food

He ate only leaves and rice alone

The African thought he had many a mood

III

The white boy told him many things

In America there are many things

The snow which sacks mosquitoes

And the weather which is very cold

IV

The black boy wept and pleaded

Please take me to America

I want a place as cool as the sea

And that place is not Africa

V

The black boy went to America

And shivered so much he could not sit

He slept so much he could not play

He hated the weather which his mouth bit

VI

“What have I done? This is no place for…

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FEMINISTIC WAR (STACCATO)

Published October 12, 2014 by amoafowaa

Mum C writes

empowerment-tree

I

We need to pile our hope, to save our souls

We need to catch that rope, to help our souls

Get up! Get up! Be a book worm

And watch, learn, if you fall, don’t squirm

Wake, ye nations of procreation and love

Get up! Work hard minding not the stones above

II

We are like new sweet gums, chewed and thrown out

At first we’re wooed with hums, but end with shouts

Stand tall! Stand tall! We need freedom

We need freedom in this kingdom

The ropes of deception must be cut loose

Stand tall! We can never afford to lose

III

We’re now slaves in kitchens, washing machines

We’re now roosting chickens, from our six-teens

Be Stronger! Be stronger! Fight to finish

What we need is learn to catch the fish

Then we can stand at the finish clear line

Be stronger! We will work until we’re…

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Intro to Story Host – M.C. Simon

Published September 3, 2014 by M.C.Simon

1 – The name of the story and what excites me about it:

THE FUGITIVE GALACTIC CHILD

(Memories of an Arcturian)

This is a story based on a mix of personal experiences in my Earthen life and the parallel dimensions of my dreams. Which are the borders? Do strict borders exist between these worlds? To answer what excites me about this… these borders excite me the most.

2 – Something about the kind of stories I like to read, write, etc.:

Practically I love to read anything. I am a hard reader and I can approach any genre with the same pleasure.

My intention is to test my abilities reading as many genres as I can, to see what fits me best and to find my voice.

3 – Some random tidbit about myself, not related to storytelling to let the readers get to know who I am:

Please read the “short bio” bellow.

4 – Why you joined “Weave my Tale”:

Do you want a poetic answer? Let me be sincere. I’ll write the phases that I’ve crossed in subscribing to this project.

1 – When I first saw Jim’s announcement, I immediately checked the recommended website and somehow liked the idea finding it very provocative.

2 – In the first moment, I avoided focusing on the provocative side of the project and I told myself the subscription will provide me a good chance to meet new authors, writers and maybe new friends.

3 – While waiting on Jim’s answer to my first email, I checked again the website and suddenly I started to concentrate on the provocation, strongly feeling that in this project there is much more than just making new connections.

4 – Jim’s first reply came and while reading the received material, my excitation about this project started to grow. It seemed to be something very serious. And… I love serious and well organized things. I also have a diploma as a Project Manager so it was easy for me to see behind the appearances.

5 – After a new exchange of emails with questions and answers the decision was taken from the depth of my heart: I am in!

6 – The final reason for joining “Weave my Tale” is the feeling that I am in front of a locked gate that will soon open for me and behind it, a treasured new world that expects to be collected.

7 – My name is Mirela and… here I am!


 

M.C. Simon

The very short Bio 🙂

(The longer version… but not the complete one… here)

 

Writer, translator, researcher, engineer, proud mother, beloved wife… and much more. What else can I ask for? 🙂

“If you insist to believe that only swimming is possible, you will never learn to fly” says one of my favorite quotes.

Yes, that’s me. I believe in the boundless possibilities which are our birth gifts that we forgot about; and I believe that we are the only ones who are blocking these gifts; blocking them due to our induced beliefs.

I have breathed on this planet since January 29, 1967, being born in a country which I always liked, in a city crossed by the Danube river, where my mother was in a short holiday before she was to deliver her first child.

Giving me a musical name, my parents planned out my life since the first days of my existence here. One thing my parents didn’t know about was my stubbornness. Instead of using my voice to build my life, I chose to use my technical abilities and became an engineer; a good one in my field of interest. I’m still an engineer as my main activity and for sure I love my job.

In my bio there’s something which needs to be mentioned. I recently decided that I am also a writer. This writer started to ask for her freedom and I intend to set her free. So, the first move was to choose a Pen Name… like any writer who has a reason to choose one. What’s my reason? Only one: intending to write only in the English language, my real name would be hard to spell; but loving too much my name, I simply couldn’t get rid of it and decided to only cut out the last few letters.

Now… being a writer… I have to write, don’t I? So, I just finished my first book (non-fiction) which is in the publishing process. I am also working on my first novel that will be a mix between romance, fantasy, normal and paranormal; and most of all… behind each written line will be a hidden meaning that will be felt by the readers accordingly with their spiritual attainment.

 “Everything is based on contrasts. You can read these lines only because there is enough contrast between the letters and the background”.

Yes, that’s me also. Fire and ice, sweet and bitter, warm and cold… I will not continue anymore here; I am sure you caught the main idea.

And I am wondering now… can the letters which I will choose bring out enough contrast on the paper to keep your attention awakened?

Website: http://www.mcsimonwrites.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MCSimonWrites
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+MCSimonWrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MC-Simon/526773840785287

New Story Host – Tippy Felzenstein

Published September 2, 2014 by Tippy Talk

1.  The name of my story is 2112, I love this story because it is the first time that I am writing a science fiction that takes place in the year 2112, where the world looks completely different than anything we know today. The funny thing is that when I started writing this story in 2010, I had no clue that in a few years there would be a bloody uprising in the middle east, that may very well end in the kind of world that I wrote about when I first got the idea for this story. ( I sure hope not)

2. I love science fiction and horror books. Stephen King used to be one of my favorite authors, But I dont love it as much as I used to because now I love to read books that show you scientifically how to make a better life for yourself and a better world for everyone. I love reading about other dimensions and parallel worlds, and mind games.

  • Some random tidbit about yourself:
    • I have traveled to hell and back quiet a few times, I know the road too well for comfort, and I plan on staying as far away from it as possible. I also traveled for ten years, all over the world, and enjoyed exploring the mountains and valleys of far away places. Like  Japan, Hawaii, France, Italy, England, Israel, Holland, Panama, and all of South America from Mexico all the way to Panama, like Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa rica etc..and much more. I love traveling and meeting all kinds of people and seeing all kinds of places, but at the end of the road, it is very true what they say, “There is nothing better than home” I also drove across the United states from the East Coast of New York all the way across to the west coast of California at least 20 to 25 times, I lost count after the tenth time, and we live in an amazing country that has everything to offer right here at home. I love coaching people and spend much time working with all kinds of personal development issues, that aim to just make life simpler and better.
  • What you hope to get out of Weave My Tale.
    • I hope to complete this story that has been sitting patiently waiting for completion. I love to write, and I am excited to be able to put this story on this blog so that everyone can enjoy as much as I do. I hope to receive honest healthy feedback, although it may be difificult to hear sometimes,. I hope to make new friends, and learn new ways to tell a story, because I love to write

 

Reviving Kurt Vonnegut’s “Shapes of Stories”

Published August 23, 2014 by James Lyons

This weekend I was tooling around on the internet and found this video of Kurt Vonnegut drawing out what he called the “Shapes of Stories.” It’s a funny little piece that you should watch–after you read my blog of course. But it got me thinking about the shapes of stories in general and if one chart could be developed that incorporated all the story theories I teach. To make sure I wasn’t wasting my time, I did some more searching on the internet and low and behold nothing met my criteria. There are some amazing charts that have been created, including Mr. Vonnegut’s, but they all seemed to be missing something. So I decided to give it a shot–oh I do love a challenge!

The first thing you need to know about me is that I love detail and have a tendency to pile details on top of details. I do this so I can see the entire picture at once, which if you have a lousy memory, like I do, is an absolute necessity; however, it can be confusing for others when I throw out all the concepts at once.  And since I really appreciate everyone who reads this blog, I’m going to save you the pleasure of looking at something like that, right off the bat. Instead I’m going to simplify my approach by breaking down my complex Story Chart into smaller, and simpler, chunks. Then I will slowly present one chunk at a time adding layer upon layer.

So where do we start? How about the simple (and familiar) like I promised?

The chart below is an outline of the Four Act structure. Most people call it Three Act structure, but as you can see there are four equally sized acts. Aristotle came up with the idea of Three Acts a very long time ago, and then a couple thousand years later Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces brilliantly outlined what happens to a Hero within each of those acts.  I’m not going to discuss Campbell’s story chart specifically, because his ideas can be difficult to grasp at first. Instead I’m going to be using simpler interpretations of Campbell’s theories, which can be found in the following books: Larry Brooks, Story Engineering;  Christopher Vogler, The Writers Journey; Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting.

 

Acts One through Four

Acts One through Four

 

We begin with a simple graph. The four acts above are labeled to identify the role of a Hero (or protagonist) in each act.  Placing the acts on the X-axis above, which represents Time, we are then able to show how the Tension of a Story, measured by the Y-axis, changes over time. The first and fourth acts occur when a hero is in his “Ordinary World”, and the second and third acts occur in a “Special World” of adventure. The acts are also described using these descriptions, for clarity: “Introduction to the Hero”, “Hero as Wanderer”, “Hero as Warrior”, and “Hero as Martyr”. If you think about the way we deal with adversaries or solve problems in our own lives, the chronological order of these descriptions makes sense: First we are introduced to an adversary, then wander around and gather information to defeat the adversary, next attack the adversary, and if that doesn’t work we pull out all the stops and sacrifice something important to us to defeat the adversary.

On the chart below I have added some additional labels to the X-axis. People call them different things, but I prefer the name “Story Milestones” that Larry Brooks uses.  Notice that there is a story milestone at the end of each act and in the middle of each act. Some of these milestones carry more weight than others, and if you want to learn more about them, Mr. Brooks does a fine job explaining each milestone’s purpose in Story Engineering.

 

Story Milestones

Story Milestones

The next pair of concepts I’ve layered into our graph below are Premise and Theme. These are two terms that have some holes in how they are viewed by story theorists. Let’s first start with Premise. In James N. Frey’s book  How to Write a Damn Good Novel, he states, “’Premise’ comes from two Latin words, meaning to put before. The premise is the foundation of your story-that single core statement, of what happens to the characters as a result of the actions of a story.” Then a second author, Lajos Egri, in his book The Art of Dramatic Writing, describes how to develop a premise: “every good premise — is composed of three parts, each of which is essential to a good play. Let us examine ‘Frugality leads to waste.’ The first part of this premise suggests character — a frugal character. The second part, ‘leads to,’ suggests conflict, and the third part, ‘waste,’ suggests the end of the play.”

What’s interesting about both of these descriptions is they are specific about every part of a story except for the ending. The word “foundation” is usually understood to describe something that comes first, upon which all other things are built. Then Lajos’ statement that Premise “suggests the end of the play,” is saying the Premise only gives some clues about the ending, not that it nails it. Is it possible that  something else, which they didn’t mention specifically, points to the end of the story, or am I just reading into it?

Adding Premise and Theme

Adding Premise and Theme

Of course not. In Story Engineering, Larry Brooks writes that Theme “is the essence of what a story means” as defined by the end of the story and is connected to the beginning of the play by the Character Arc. He doesn’t say what guides the meaning of the story from the beginning to the climax, just that theme is linked to the beginning by the Character Arc, or emotional growth of the character (I consider meaning different from Character Arc, which is more plot based). The problem with this is readers need to have a grasp on what the story is about from the very beginning, from the first word. So if you want to figure out what the meaning of a story is do you have to wait until the ending? Seems like a bit of head scratcher. Why didn’t Mr. Brooks mention anything about the foundation of a story like Lajos Egri did? I’m not clairvoyant, but my assumption is that Mr. Brooks comes from the world of film, and this was exactly the same thing I was taught in film school. The film world works off of the idea that theme defines the meaning from the end of the story, and perhaps the worlds of literature and theater prefer to focus on premise. I’m sure there are politics and ego involved, which usually leaves us with a head scratcher.

Despite the various interpretations, I felt there was enough there to move forward. If James Frey and Lajos Egri suggest that Premise starts at the beginning of the story and runs throughout the story, but isn’t directly connected to the end ,and Larry Brooks and my film school teachers believe that Theme is ultimately determined by the end of the story, maybe there is an easy solution that makes sense. Hey I know! What if Premise is the foundation of a story and runs from the beginning to the Climax, and Theme is what Premise turns into after the Climax?

I know this is a bit of “he said, she said”, but it makes sense if you think about how great stories work–especially those with strong endings. They go along convincing us that the story is about one thing, and we follow like sheep because the story is so convincing, but when the story reaches the climax, they surprise us with an ending that we didn’t expect (e.g., The Sixth Sense). The surprise ending works great, but it doesn’t give me an idea of how to organize this shift in perspective to ensure that everything fits together. I mean which do you focus on and when, premise or theme? I admit this confused me for a long time, until I read a third approach to storytelling that is based upon what happens in an argument.

… O.K., if you have lasted this long with me, I applaud you. You either really like story theory or you are a sucker for charts and graphs. I promise we are almost there.

To tie it all together, I’m going to share with you a very practical approach to storytelling that was developed sometime around 5th Century BC in Ancient Greece. It was originally developed as a method of argument in which an original opinion (Theses) is countered by an opposing opinion (Antitheses) to reach a conclusion where the Antitheses is incorporated into the Theses resulting in an overall change to the Theses. This change is known as Synthesis. Hugh?

Thesis & Antithesis become Synthesis

Thesis & Antithesis become Synthesis

Let’s think about it terms of storytelling. The first view, Theses is that held by the Protagonist. It is a naive view, based upon the types of things that we are taught to believe in childhood (e.g., the “shoulds” and “oughts”), and you could say is childlike. Only after this view is challenged by a second view, the Antitheses, does the Theses begin to mature through the acceptance of some of the Antitheses. Finally, by the time we reach the Climax of the story, the Theses incorporates the Antitheses and becomes a Synthesized view, or a Heroic view. If you look at the chart above, this corresponds to the view of a Martyr, a person more concerned with their community’s wellbeing than their own wants and needs.

If the Theses is the view held by the protagonist, then the Antitheses must be the opposing view held by the antagonist. And the stronger the Antitheses opposes the Theses, the better. This back and forth opposition between the Theses and the Antitheses is conflict, the lifeblood of storytelling.

An effective method for showing the growth of the protagonist is for her to internalize this oppositional point of view, which tells us that the protagonist requires the point of view of the antagonist to achieve personal growth. This is key, because in order for the protagonist’s view to  mature into a heroic view, they must accept part of what the antagonist stands for.  If it wasn’t for the antagonist the Protagonist would never leave their comfy home that is relatively tension free.

As you can see in the graph above, the Theses argument drives tension down, whereas the Antitheses argument drives tension up. After each major Story Milestone, both sides take a breather, and the protagonist drives the Tension back down. It may come as a shock, but until the Protagonist reaches the Climax, they are always trying to return to that point in the story where they experienced the least amount of tension. Why? Because stories reflect the human condition, and people want things to be easy and to feel as good as possible. We also don’t want our idyllic childlike view of the world to change and accept the realities that we don’t always live in a nice, safe world. In order for the protagonist to reach that heroic state, where he is more concerned with the needs of others over himself, he needs the Antagonist to drive him up there.

Then finally at the climax, the protagonist realizes that the only way to defeat the Antagonist, and to save the community, is to fully  integrate the opposing views of the Antitheses, which is the death of the Theses. It is also the death of the Antitheses, and often the antagonist. This isn’t because the Theses or Antitheses go away, but they are Synthesized within the protagonist to form a whole other mature point of view that is completely owned by the protagonist. This moment is referred to as Synthesis. It is also the moment when Premise converts to Theme–when the Antitheses is no longer needed because the protagonist has fully incorporated it into his psyche.

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