Vonnegut’s Shape of Storytelling – Man in Hole or Cinderella?


Ongoing mind-map of the scope of this work party of one –
Slow is in there because I thought of
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

From my mind-mapped attempt to get organized

I whined last time about my to-do overload and compulsive DIY tendencies. Shortly after posting, I learned how to properly or more attractively include my links. After a whole mess of research, I went back to edit it. My cart-before-the-horse approach might produce flawed ramblings, but it’s intentional. I will procrastinate putting anything out there otherwise–because it’s mine, and that’s a different way of taking ownership.

I’ve been brave. My bravery doesn’t seem to cover written performance. Reflecting on this makes me want to apologize to my courageous friends who’ve been putting their work out there for years. I’m guessing I wasn’t truly aware of any struggles they may have had.

A tremendous friend and sterling actress/dancer, Megan, exemplified that kind of courage. She took this wild leap and went off with a Belgian performing arts company that had been playing in Seattle at On The Boards. She was performing with them in Europe about the same time I went back to school to finish a degree. To me, she was showing more moxie, taking more of a risk than I was. She’s still brave like that, working with her team, producing independent films and performance art. They write, act, dance, and manage it all themselves.

Oddly, this is where Kurt Vonnegut comes into play, roundabout. It also correlates with getting sidetracked while planning, researching, and implementing my personal business goals–where that’s not so much an issue for me with other people’s work. Curious.

Here’s his basic grid idea done quickly in Google Jamboard. I don’t know why I have Jamboard. I didn’t pay for Google Suite. Anyway, It’s great to see him show the idea in this video from 2010. Watch him nut-shell-it. Where writing’s concerned, I’m sort of Cinderella, maybe.


Here’s his basic grid idea done quickly in Google Jamboard.
It’s great to see him show the idea in this video from 2010. Watch him nut-shell-it.

My kindergarten teacher sent me up to the six-grade class to recite a favorite children’s tale. Scary, but not traumatic, I did okay. It felt a little weird. No big. In contrast, my second-grade teacher knew my family was artsy and urged me to submit a poster for a Keep Washington Green contest. Total blank-didn’t want to do it. She was a kind teacher though, so I gave it a shot. The images were easy enough; I balked at the slogan. In the end, I placed 2nd statewide and got $20. So lucky.

I should have drawn those story shapes, in case you haven’t already heard about the shapes or linked to the video.

So regarding those two aspects of performing, I guess one counts as Man in Hole. That would be the public speaking, choir, and, you know, showing with my physical self what someone’s already written. I got a good start there, and the hole comes in because, although I loved it, I gave it up. How that’ll take an upswing, I’m unsure. That’s a cliffhanger for me. Writing? I doubt the happily-ever-after part of the Cinderella story will turn out, but I’m confident I can overcome my nerves with practice.

In that mind-mapping, Kurt Vonnegut factored in when I researched blogging, copywriting, and writing fiction. My sister found that and pointed it out to me. I’ve been pinning my search results to a private Pinterest board to keep a bread-crumb trail for later. Lists are good. I’m adding to at least one daily. This is a procrastination technique which, when used well, helps me do other things I’m not so comfortable with before I sit down to write. I’ve evaluated project management tools, contract and proposal programs, and which social media fits me best.

I’m supposed to know myself and who I want to serve. I don’t have myself ironed out yet – maybe when I’m 60. I do know that I want to work with people who enjoy exploring their creativity and ideas, lifelong learners, and courageous folks sharing what they know. In considering the work I need to do in this space for building something, I remember Megan, whom I praised earlier. She and her team made this film posted on Vimeo.

I’m Working on a Building

35mm Film commissioned by the Philip Glass Ensemble for “Philip on Film.” Directed by Gregg Lachow

Well, my story’s not finished and has more than one shape. It’s typical of how I think. Many interconnected ideas, branching out and circling back. My quirky method works well when I’m doing some brainstorming or creating or editing on someone else’s behalf. Being my own project is tougher.

I did find good tools over the last few days. Social media and I are getting along better, but there’s a steep learning curve. Study outcome goals remain to be determined. I got around to attending to my note-to-self on sourcing organizers. While I was stewing over that, I tried out a couple of graphics programs recommended to me and made these.

Oh. Yeah. Nader Khalili. He’s on the mind-map. Ah. It’s related to my goals for growth.

“Midway in my life I stopped racing with others. I picked up my dreams and started a gentle walk…
I touched my dreams in reality by racing and competing with no one but myself.”Nader Khalili

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