Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Special Challenge Participant Feature - Mary Aalgaard

During the A to Z Challenge, there were some awesome themes. Mary Aalgaard at Play off the Page selected something really unique: “The Quote of the Day that inspired my A to Z Challenge theme - A Word for the Day that takes on many meanings.” She’s here to tell you more, so please welcome my awesome blogger buddy, Mary!

What prompted you to select that theme?

The quote and wanting to keep my entries simple, and yet, have something interesting. It's great to examine words and their definitions and connotations.

What word was your favorite? What phrase was your favorite?

My favorite word is also my word for the year, Dare! My favorite phrase, "The definition of luck, where hard work meets opportunity." In my O post.
My favorite post was Y is for Yellow because it was the most spontaneous. I was on my way to the Children's Theatre in Minneapolis and we planned on a visit to the Minneapolis Institute of Art for the Art in Bloom display, and decided the theme for the day would be to find favorite photos with yellow as the main color. It was a perfect choice with all those gorgeous flowers on display.

Most people struggle by the time they get to Z, but you came up with something good! Tell us about the Zone…

Thank you. I think I knew what I wanted to do with Z fairly early in the challenge. Read my Z is for Zone post to see all the places where I feel like I'm in the Zone. I see athletes, musicians, artists of all kinds, and learners in the Zone and I find it fascinating. It's also a good excuse to be "zoned out" and daydream a while.

I was for Interesting - just what is interesting to you?

I find people and their art to be quite interesting and inspirational. I love watching people create their art, acting, cooking, making music, teaching, whatever fires them up.

Tell us a little about your Opportunity post.

We can make opportunity happen for us by saying Yes, by being available, by working hard, and being Open. I think Open will be my word for the year in 2013. I'm already feeling it speak to me.

Now the M word - Money!

Ah, the word of all words. The cause of great angst and relationship ruin. It is my least favorite topic. Our society places way too much emphasis on money. We are judged, by ourselves and others, by what we have, what we make, and what's in our bank account. As an artist, you have to shut those judgements out. Create for the sake of creating. I recently used a great quote on my blog from Bette Davis, To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.

D was for Dare. Did you ever accept the dare when playing Truth or Dare? Will you children hide in shame if you tell us about it?

I don't remember. Probably. My most recent Dare, to Jump on the Bike, changed my life.

What topic do you think you’ll tackle next year for the Challenge…?

Oh, boy, I wish I knew already. Last year, I started taking pictures for the April challenge in January and continued into the challenge. Let's see, if 2013 is challenging me with the word Open, maybe I'll use doors & windows and anything else that can be opened. Thanks for that question, it got me thinkin'!

Thanks, Alex. I love the April A to Z Challenge. It is a great way to boost my creativity, my writing, and connecting with others.

Thank YOU, Mary!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE


Empty Nest Insider said...

We first met during the challenge last April, so this post brings back lots of fond memories Mary! Your theme was so clever, and I look forward to seeing what doors you "open," in 2013! Great interview Alex! Julie

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, thanks again so much for answering my questions.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

This post has invigorated me for 2013 A-Z. Never tried iit before but you guys made it seem like a lot of fun. Nice interview. And if anyone remembers that 'luck' quote was by Oprah. I have a quote book.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Empty Nest, I enjoyed meeting you during the challenge. I hope to visit you more often, especially during April!

Thanks, Alex, your support and enthusiasm really keep the momentum going durin the challenge and beyond.

Sheena-Kay, I didn't know Oprah was given credit for that Luck quote. I think it's been around a while. DO the challenge. It is a blast.

Anonymous said...

I love the word DARE. We have to dare to be great! That's my motto. And even if we are not great but pretty darn good, then that's better than average.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Your posts sound awesome - I wish I hadn't miss them during the A to Z challenge . . .but I'll go looking for them now!

I'm already thinking up ideas for the challenge too. It is a great way to boost creativity.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Great interview, guys. Taking all the photos was a challenge in itself, I imagine?


Tina said...

Great interview, Alex and Mary. Looking forward to reading your 2013 entries. Open certainly is an open topic!
Tina @ Life is Good

M Pax said...

It was a great challenge idea, Mary.

Ella said...

I love what you did Mary!
And what a great quote by Bette Davis~
I do think I would like a bit more gravy ;D I'm working on it~

Happy Halloween~

Sherry Ellis said...

What a cool idea for the challenge! Very creative!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Stephen, the word Dare really gets you off the couch and out of your comfort zone.

Thanks, Tyrean, keep that creative energy going!

Teresa, the photos were both a challenge and a joy.

Tina, when you're called to be Open, the doors start flinging wide.

Thanks, M Pax!

Ella, More gravy would sweeten my plate as well.

Thanks, Sherry, write on!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephen, just don't dare to be stupid. Devo already tried.

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic interview, and what a cool idea. :)

Lynn Proctor said...

i love this--and the truth is always more interesting or should i say revealing :)

Lisa said...

I am feeling the challenge again. Time flies, supersonic.