A WordPress “Why-Not?” (To Alice)

I have written this letter in response to a recent conversation between Alphabetfiend (OK, myself) and Alice (a most beloved Cream Scene Carnival reader and new friend.) I have chosen to post it here because it was way too long for the comment box and also because I gave voice to some of the things about wordpress that have surprised and impressed me. Why not say them and let the words fall where they may. Consider this the wordy equivalent to blowing the fuzzy afro of a dandelion. It’s for Alice but hey, maybe it’s for you too?

If so, let me catch you up!


Do you have a wordpress, Alice? You should! Your writing, your sense of delish, it’d be AWESOME!


Oh my! I am swooning from your compliment, because I admire your work so much.

And no, I am not on WordPress, I will leave that up to you , and the other talented writers out there, for now.

I am still an eager student of the writerly craft;so thank you for your encouragement.

Here is a quote, describing how you make us all feel…..

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader–not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” E.L.Doctorow

Peace, Alice

OK, finally, after a long delay due to birthdays, babies & strep throat is my (pushy?) reply which hopefully makes sense considering it was written at 4am while drowsy & jacked up on cold meds.

Dearest Darling Alice —

If you’re interested in doing one of your own, you are certainly more than capable of kicking blogosphere butt. Maybe it doesn’t interest you and I totally get that. It can be a time-consuming and emotional process. Maybe it’s not for you but NOT because you’re not “ready” writing-wise.

I only came to wordpress because I’d started goofing off with this stupid myspace blog, putting time and effort into it. So the Robot urged me to move my efforts to wordpress — because it was “more prestigious” and “hooked up with google and other search engines” and “intended for blogging” therefore more user-friendly and more likely to build a real readership. I was actually getting some readers on myspace which was very cool but nothing close to what came my way on wordpress. The coolest part of wordpress for me, and what I so did not expect, was how easy it was to create something that was really pleasing to me aesthetically. I still pull it up sometimes and marvel at how “real” it looks, like something I’d run across on the web and totally dig y’know looks-wise. I never expected to have something so… nice & pretty & cool & circusy etc, something so like the little me-magazine of my dreams. The writing I could wrap my mind around but I assumed that a low-tech Luddite like myself would never be able to make the writing and the aesthetics match up. I honestly had no idea that wordpress would be so freaking easy to figure out and play with. I’m in love with that part of it and that once seemed so beyond my grasp.

As a reader, I’m sure you’ve figured out that wordpress users are as different as snowflakes. One of my favorite blogs never ever uses pictures or video and he’s still using the stupid winding road header that came with the theme. For him, it’s all about the psychological exploration and the journey his mind/heart is on. It’s just text and he never sullys his space with pop culture etc. I love it and have read every single post. I appreciate his approach very much (tho I’d love to hack into his account and change that generic header! hee hee) Then there’s other blogs that are just pretty pictures or cool stuff with only two or three sentences of text. Some are emotional & confessional while others are just odd or goofy or funny. Another blog that I follow is the packaging from vintage sewing patterns combined with brief musings. There’s a lot of difference too in the frequency of posts or even the perfectionism (grammar, typos etc.) Not everyone (barely anyone) is trying to “do it all” like I am, with big long-winded essays on every possible thing from tv to spirituality. My little mash-up is fairly unusual and no doubt alienates a lot of readers. In fact, all of the many books I’ve read on the subject of blogging strongly advise against such a broad and wavering approach. Suggesting instead that the writer pick one theme/idea and do that one thing really well with a fierce and thorough examination of the subject be it music, babies, sex or “creepy things in jars.” Those are the kinds of blogs that have seen commercial or critical success. I truly believe those books are 100% right. I’m completely convinced of the good sense in that. But it doesn’t change things for me or for Cream Scene Carnival cause I wanna do what I wanna do and so that self-indulgence must serve as the unifying theme for Cream Scene. 

Basically, anything goes and anything is possible.

I have no dog in this fight. Hell, I could be greedy and keep you all to myself, all witchy gingerbread-house style. *Guffaw* It’s really not my intention to pressure you into it cause what’s the point in that? I guess I just wanted to say that your writing and your ideas, your curiosity and generosity, are well-suited to a unique wordpress project of your own creation. What might that be? I dunno! But my mind marvels at the possibilities. Do it, don’t do it, doesn’t matter to me either way. I only know that you could do it but have no idea whether you should do it. I just want to say A) Hell yea you’re writing — and you’re mojo — is on par with anything anything on wordpress and B) If, like me, the whole idea of doing it to your satisfaction seems intimidating or impossible then I must bear witness to how surprisingly easy it is. As easy as signing up! If I can do it, so can you. Of that I am absolutely certain. So don’t let that influence you. Cause honestly if the Robot hadn’t pushed me into it and if it wasn’t so immediately satisfying and easy, I definitely would not be here. I was just too daunted by the process and my own perfectionism.

As an eager student of writing as a craft (that rocks btw, people don’t necessarily view writing as a craft anymore or appreciate it as art) there is something to be said for playing around with words on a regular basis and blogging can be a place for that. One of many! Perhaps not the right one for you. You’re a purist and a perfectionist. I get that. I love that. Just don’t let that hold you back. (Sez the pot to the kettle, “Yer black!”) I support you whatever you decide. If you do it, I’ll read it and link to it. If not, I’ll be glad to be greedy and keep yer pretty words all to myself. My Alice. *Smirk.Shrug.Grin*

Lastly, I must thank you HUGELY for supporting me in my own endeavors, for reading Cream Scene and for commenting. Every time I see an Alice comment on the dash I get giddy and gooey. Thank you especially for that E.L. Doctorow quote. To say you feel that way about my work… wow, that’s enormously kind and it is fuel for the soul in terms of forging ahead and fighting the literary plague of self-doubt. 

I feel honored to have attracted you into this here rabbit hole.

I just ADORE you. Thank you, thank you, a million thank yous.

I look forward to more Alice-ness. Alice-ness is a wondrous and goof-blessed thing. Damn! Is it ever!

All my love,

Dia VanGunten aka “The Alphabetfiend.”

16 Responses to “A WordPress “Why-Not?” (To Alice)”

  1. Life cannot defeat a writer who is in love with writing – for life itself is a writer’s love until death.
    – Edna Ferber
    I found this quote today after feverishly trying to send you some version of chicken soup, my “get well wish” for you and Robot, which failed miserably, but perhaps this is more appropriate anyway.
    I loved the post and your encouragement, as always. And yes, my life is all about the experience, exploration, discovery, unconditional acceptance of another human being, and putting pen to paper. Not many people understand nor perhaps view me as a writer, thankfully, you do. That my friend,means so much, I can tell ya!
    I am wrestling with the blog idea, but feel, like water coming to a boil, some bubbles are forming, and I may be at 211 degrees, hot, but not quite 212, yeah know?
    Thought of this analogy after your quote:
    “Sez the pot to the kettle, “Yer black!”
    So for now, I will take up residence, if you don’t mind, with the Spooky Kabuki in the “witchy gingerbread style house”. I will be cooking up a cauldron or two of some alphabet soup– serving it up every once and awhile, to you and your avid– but quite fans.

    ” Hey, we know your out there! ” she quietly whispers…(Spooky Kabuki is sleeping at the moment)
    Peace & Love

  2. Oh damn, meant “quiet fans” ………see that took the “steam” out of the entire post, 211 , not 212, now you can see what I mean. A

  3. gammaword Says:

    You know, D, you could probably hack into my account and change that header and I wouldn’t even notice. M has made major decorating changes (like painting a room, putting up very dramatic paintings, etc.) without my noticing, so it wouldn’t be the first time. So maybe I should just send you the password…yeah, graphics and me, I dunno…old school, what can I say.

    So I just want to reiterate what D is saying, Alice — I’d say that blogging is about following your heart around, with words in tow. The words go in the back, heart up front, as it were. I think you’ve got plenty of heart for this enterprise. If you like to write even a little (and I think you do), one thing you can do is to get an account and write some bits and just let them ripen before you publish. Or just never publish them. (I have dozens of drafts, some of which are slowly ripening, others are just rotten to the core but even those — well, there’s the compost pile to consider).

  4. alphabetfiend Says:

    Hahha I was wondering if you’d know I was referring to you! I meant to link and was just too sick by the time I finished.

  5. Well, so happy that you chimed in Gammaword, that was very helpful, thought filled , and encouraging advise indeed. Thank you.

    BTW I really like your imagery “blogging is about following your heart with words in tow.”

    It reminds me of the wooden brightly colored alphabet blocks, yeah know, the ones we had when we were all children? Held together with a string,clutched in our tiny hands, clattering against the ground, behind us as we walked. I dunno–does that makes sense to either of you or not?
    (words in tow?)

    Hopefully, my heart can overcome some fear & self doubt looming out there enough to sit down, eat, drink , and be merry with you both at the MadHatters table.

    Here is a quote I would like to share;

    “if I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense,nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t, and contrary wise: what it is -it wouldn’t be. and what it wouldn’t be-it would, you see?”
    ~Alice in Wonderland

    A*fiend, which one of our table mates is Gammaword, I picture him as the “white rabbit”, what ya think?

  6. alphabetfiend Says:

    Yes, Alice, I suspect you are right about G*Word, he is the white rabbit. I knew this for sure while rereading a recent comment he made:

    “Maybe my world has gotten too small lately, I dunno. Certainly too much of it is underground. Not to mention that the place that I can write is underground (in the basement).
    And I have no effing time for anything. Already it’s 2:15 am and I feel like I have 20 more things to do”

    So then I sez to him:

    Hahahaha This strikes me as funny and apt given Alice’s suggestion today that you are The White Rabbit at our tea-party table.
    Oh, poor rabbit, always in such a hurry and so torn between his alliance with Alice and his responibilities to the Queen. So spread thin, what with social engagements so varied as a Mad Hatter’s tea party and a game of crouqet at the palace. A watch in one hand and a pink flamingo cum croquet mallot in the other. And then there’s the keeping of his house, which is an underground place of magic for this white-earred Agent of Change, decorated with tables displaying drink-me bottles and eat-me cakes.

    So yes Alice you hit that one on the head. And I do so love my friend which is funny too cause I have always loved the White Rabbit.

    Obviously, you are the heroine, and now G is the white rabbit which has me wondering “who am I” Am I the nutto mystic, the Mad Hatter? Or the mysterious & lunar Cheshire Cat? Or perhaps I am the hookah-smoking caterpillar blowing smoke up everyone’s asses with my prolonged paragraphs? I love all three but which one is me?

  7. Well, after much thought, the Mad Hatter is not you b/c he is always stuck at 6:00 tea time, you would be too bored with that, I imagine. Although, the Smokin’ Caterpillar turns into a butterfly in the end, Alice didn’t like the Caterpillar in the beginning, not you again, because I liked you right away.

    So, I think you are the Cheshire Cat, you are mystical, magical, and a grin floats through each and every word you write. Also, you direct Alice (me) in a good way, but also could get her to make a little mischief–hee hee Plus, who wouldn’t love a cat? ( had another word in mind– but the Good Alice prevailed)

    Found this quote, sounds like how you described your friend, G*word or rather how he described himself? I dunno.

    The white rabbit represents curiosity – always in a hurry and just out of
    reach. He is a moving mystery. His backwards watch annoys him into constant running. The race for knowledge and experience leads Alice to recognition of the absurd. The rabbit/curiosity leads – we follow.

    -Grace Slick


  8. A little Friday the 13th giftee!

  9. t

    Hope this works now.

  10. Oh forget it, sorry, hope you can delete these last bleeping comments. Tried to post a video. ugh.

  11. alphabetfiend Says:

    You know, Alice, I think you may have solved one of the great mysteries of my life. I may have mentioned (I must’ve) that I have a life-long Alice obsession and impressive collection of Wonderland books in all shapes & sizes, different illustrators etc. Flip books, pop ups, etc etc. I’ve always felt the lure of those three characters (somehow I always knew that I wasn’t Alice, even after learning that she was originally a brunette… or the rabbit either, G*) One halloween, I went as a corseted Mad Hatter with flapping shirt cuffs, plaid trousers & platform heels. I’m in love with a particular illustration of the caterpillar to which I may designate a rather large portion of my flesh. But the cat…. yes, it’s the cat. I think deep down I was hoping you’d decide on that damn smirky cat. But the best part? The part that spun my heart like a top?

    “Mystical, magical, and a grin floats through each and every word you

    Those grinning words! O my!

    In one sentence I think you voiced something I’ve always wanted my words to have — especially when it comes to the mystical & the magical. Cause really why does talk of the spirit have to either be so solemn or else so dopey/flaccid? So I am so pleased, so satisfied, to hear that the grin is coming across. I am proud to have been dubbed the Cheshire Cat, by Alice herself no less! I am starting to feel the secret contours of this tea party and I rather like it.

  12. alphabetfiend Says:

    Did ya catch that Cheshire grin moon tonight, Alice?

  13. No, it must have been hiding behind all those billowy, dense white clouds.
    Hope you enjoyed it, though.

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