Answers to questions!

Day 21 of the month-long make one mark a day art project. Each day, I do one thing. It’s fun to decide what to do and what colors to choose.

And now…

your questions!!!

The first question comes from Martha. She asks: “I love all your imagination and different forms of art you do! You always make my smile with your stories, drawings, and photos. I’m wondering what is your favorite form art?”

Alice: It’s probably stained glass. I’ve done a little bit of it, but not a whole lot. Would love to try more of it. There’s a place that I’ve gone to which provides instruction in stained glass. I was told that I could bring in a picture and they would help me design a stained glass version of it. I was thinking that the picture should be relatively simple so that it would more easily translate into a stained glass project that a beginner could do. After that, I guess my next favorite would be paper making. In the past, I’ve posted about Janna Willoughby-Lohr, who has a business called Papercraft Miracles. And it’s the right name. She does magic with paper. She’s made seed paper, filled with wildflower seeds, that you can plant. She makes bouquets that look like real flowers, but they are paper. If it can be done with paper, Janna can do it.

Janna in her magical studio.

The next question comes from Kate, who asks: Did you make your bee costume?

Alice: Yes, I did. I crocheted it, and I added guazy material for the wings!!! At one time, I had antennae, but I seem to have lost those.

This question comes from Tamara: Your post makes me smile because of the comment you left over on my blog that speaks of your vivid imagination and how you learned to become more expressive. So my question is: what helped you in that process of opening up?

One of the things that helped me to open up has been theater. When I was a kid and even afterward, I was very shy. I really am still shy, but it’s not quite so obvious, unless I am doing things that are way out of my comfort zone, such as going door to door, campaigning for candidates. And that’s really far out of my comfort zone. But I digress. Performing in plays, operas, and with choral groups has helped me to open up. When you’re in a play, you don’t feel as exposed as you would if you were making a speech (public speaking (yuck) may be a future topic!). For one thing, you’re a character, not you. It’s so much easier to roleplay than to have to be yourself in front of people. Operas are pure fun. Lots of people complain about operas because the characters sing loudly and the stories are melodramatic and in a foreign language. Quite honestly, operas are far better as a participation sport than as a spectator sport. When you’re in an opera (and I was in the chorus), you get to run around the stage, sing at the top of your lungs, and overact to your heart’s content. That’s about as good as it gets. How can you not open up when you’re belting out a high C (fortunately, individual voices don’t stuck out) while on your knees?

Could you feed me some quackers? Oh… wait…

Paul asks: Great pics today! Here is my question – you have been actively blogging for MANY years! What got you started? What was the catalyst to get you to write as well as keep writing for so long?

I have written stories since I was about nine years old. Before that point, I found the act of writing to be a struggle so I preferred to tell my stories. I still like telling stories and making them up as I go along.

When I first heard of blogging, I was not especially impressed. I was told that a blog was an online journal. I didn’t see any value in that when I had a perfectly good diary to write in. Why would I want to share my innermost thoughts with I didn’t know who? By 2006, I was curious enough about blogging to start one. My earliest blog posts were just things that popped into my head. They were stories without pictures. No graphics. Nothing. Just words. And hardly anyone read my blog posts because I didn’t know how to advertise them.

Over time, my blog posts have changed and have become the blog that I have now, with stories and pictures and interviews. It’s sort of an Alice magazine. I enjoy sharing my stories and my artwork with people online. It’s been a growth process for me. Having challenges, such as the Ultimate Blogging Challenge, has helped me to focus my thoughts and to organize and advertise my blog posts in different ways.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve had this blog for more than 15 years. I really did not anticipate that would happen. I also did not anticipate having a group of readers who would eagerly look forward to my posts. The blog has become a place for me to do what I expected to do as a journalist, which is to record history as it happens. In the newspaper, I do that, but it’s my responsible to be objective, to tell the story without my personal biases creeping in. That is, however, almost impossible, just because being human prevents that from happening. Everything I write goes through a filter of my world view and my experiences, and, as hard as I try to be objective, it’s impossible to make that a reality. Because I can’t be as objective as a machine, I can see the day when I will be replaced by the more objective artificial intelligence, such as chatGPT. In today’s economy, as the number of journalism jobs becomes smaller and smaller, replacing reporters with AI is probably something that is coming.

With the blog, it’s different. The blog is more personal, more about openly sharing stories from my perspective. In it, I talk about my own reality, as opposed to presenting the facts. Which is more truthful: the factual journalist or the expressive storyteller? I don’t know if truth and facts are synonymous. I would say no, that truth is a higher standard than facts, but I don’t really know for sure.

The last question comes from Vivian. She asks: Ok so where does all the silliness come from?

Who? What? Silly? Oh, no. I am very serious. All of the time. I am serious 24/7. As you can see from the above picture, I have the look of extreme seriousness on my face. Oh. Um. Okay. Maybe a little silly. Maybe a lot silly. The silliness could come from:

  • feverish imagination (that was the term that my advisor in journalism school used to describe my imagination)
  • a bit of undigested beef. Scrooge said that the ghost of Jacob Marley was the product of an overworked digestive system.
  • objects and people who just seem to be curiouser and curiouser. Oh, wait, we can describe that as reading too many books. It was said that Don Quixote became mad and believed himself to be a heroic knight because his brain was addled by reading too many books of chivalry.
  • music. There is this old saying that sopranos have resonence where everyone else has brains. But I sang alto for many years, so switching to soprano only encouraged the silliness to flower. Or maybe, all along, I had nothing in my head but a bunch of high notes. There is certainly enough room in my head for both high notes and the sillies to share space.

I think that I will stop here. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the conversation featured in today’s blog post. Feel free to comment, either here or on facebook!

5 thoughts on “Answers to questions!”

  1. When we have question and answer blogs, it gives us a chance to learn more about people. It was fun reading your replies and learning more about you! I love when the sun shines through stain glass, I’ll be waiting to see your first project!

    1. Thank you, Martha! I am looking forward to doing a stained glass project. I think that I have a nice picture to use, one that isn’t too complicated and, I think, will look good in stained glass!

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