On her bio page, Shell says:
I can tell you that I’m an artist. The pencil/pen/paintbrush/canvas kind of artist. I don’t remember a time I didn’t draw or paint. When I talk to clients & friends, wait in airports & doctors’ offices, make plans & even keep a diary, I do it in images.
…And artist she is. Shell sometimes uses t-shirts as a billboard, or her neighbor’s eggs as a canvas, or WikiAnswers question as an open space to paint the perfect answer. With whatever she does, she displays her dedication to helping people as vividly as she does her artwork.
But more about Shell’s artwork (and James’ eggs!) next week… For now, a word (or more) with ThatwouldBme:
How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?
My next-door neighbour came over for coffee one morning and said he’d encountered a Paganism question on the new site he was visiting. He admitted it was something a bit more than he felt qualified to answer and asked my input. After a lengthy conversation he suggested I log on and check out the site…
I did, with the intention of answering one or two questions and then just fading away. But the question was complex, and while working on it I found another question that although it had a simple enough Pagan answer, had been “bashed” by someone whose opinions differed widely from my own. I got involved with that one, then another, and another, and finally did my first dispute resolution before I even got my Super Powers.
After that, as they say, “the rest was history…”
Explain your .
My parents are snowbirds, have been for 20+ years. I don’t get down to Florida to visit them as often as my sisters. They have the added incentive of Canadian winters to make the trip down. I lived 10 years in Arizona so my winters were wonderful, which translates out to… I visited them in Canada during Arizona‘s crazy hot summers.
My folks have long-standing neighbours and friends in their winter home, and they have all heard about me, but very few have ever met me. This past winter Daddy bought himself a little sports car, claims he only wanted it because of the gas mileage, but I have my suspicions otherwise. Bringing a car through the American/Canadian customs is not exactly a stroll in the park, and as I’d done it before, (when I returned to Canada five years ago) they asked me to come along and make sure everything went smoothly.
That put me in Florida for two weeks, and in a position to meet an awful lot of people who knew me, or at least knew of me. Seemed every time I met someone they would say, “So you’re the artist daughter.” or “So you’re the daughter from Arizona” or “Oh, so you’re the oldest girl…” My standard answer became, “That would be me.”
It sort of stuck.
What motivates you to volunteer your time to the WikiAnswers community?
The dissemination of information is a grand ambition and a personal passion for me. I hate to admit it, but what initially drew me to this was finding a “loop hole” in a gees placed on me by my shaman when I was in my teens.
As with most teens, convinced they know it all, I was so sure of my path I spent a lot of time arguing theology with very nearly anyone I encountered. To bring me back to practicing as opposed to preaching, he told me I was not allowed to give anyone answers unless and until they asked.
Now, I give one afternoon a week and an hour every night I can to answering what questions I can.
I grew up looking for my answers in libraries and obscure books and at the knees of wise men and women wherever I could find them. The whole e-universe is still a wonder and a challenge for me. But now I can put my years of gathering facts and notes and bit of information to a use that transcends my little 500 book library in my small corner of the world.
What are your areas of expertise?
Being a Leo, I can honestly say I don’t do anything I don’t do well. Now before you go considering me the most arrogant person you have ever met, you need to understand, that also means there are things I don’t do at all. The best motto for a Leo is: “If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence you ever tried.”
That said, I’m a self taught artist who learned everything the hard way (trial & error). I have worked in construction, in one form or another, since before it had a place for women. I learned my pagan path from a Native American Shaman, and my Scottish-Celtic grandmother at a very tender age. Then put it to use first in my solitary practice and eventually with my eclectic circle in Arizona, and now I total over 50 years of accumulated learning and teaching of a spiritual way.
I love to cook, garden, read, write, tell tall tales, and if I have one thing I do better than anything else, I make a fantastic friend, because I accept everyone exactly as they are, and never try to turn them into someone else.
What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?
The bio pages. I get a glimpse into what others want me to know about themselves.
Sometimes I get a picture to go with a name, sometimes I get an insight into the mind behind the answers. Even a blank page tells me something. I always come away from a bio page knowing something I didn’t when I got there.
What has been your funniest question/experience on WikiAnswers?
Since I have become a Supervisor, I have been spending WikiWednesdays with my neighbour, mentor and really good friend, James of Jade Acres. He works with his head in a closet (that’s a whole other story) and I work at the dining room table on my lap top. On any given Wednesday we will usually bump into one another on the WikiAnswers page repeatedly, it has come to the point where we advise one another where we are going to be so that we don’t keep stepping on one another’s toes.
However, the funniest experience I can think of was a couple of weeks ago, James and I were so busy working on a collaborative effort at WikiAnswers that we lost track of the time. In the door walked WikiWidow (James’ wife, Deb). She walked over to him, placed a large coffee next to him, said “Hi, Hon,” and kissed him on the top of the head, then turned around, put a large tea next to me, kissed me on the top of the head and said, “Hi, Other Hon,” and went on into the kitchen.
I swear it took James and I a full minute to realise what she’d done, and the odd thing… I was half way through typing a message on his board about it before it dawned on me I could simply speak to him, he was sitting six feet away.
Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.
I debated this one a long time, couldn’t make up my mind if I should tell you that I have been struck by two cars (once walking across the street in Ottawa and once when I was on the back of a friend’s motorcycle). Both were major accidents, both times the car actually struck me (not a vehicle I was in or on) and I survived both, more or less intact.
…Or if I should tell you I have moved diagonally across the continent of North America twice. Once moving from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to Apache Junction Arizona, USA and then, ten years later, back from Apache Junction, Arizona USA to Camden East, Ontario, Canada. Both trips were done in a car, with my husband, Galad (Quicksilver11), my most prized material possessions and our cat (Foley, he was five years old on the way down and 15 on the way back). And I arrived at both destinations more or less sane. (You try five days in a moving vehicle with an unrepentant old hippie and 15 pounds of grumpy cat, and see how your sanity does!)
…But I settled on telling you that Galad and I bought the house and property we now call Snugglefoot Hollow (after Miss Snugglefoot, a pet name Galad used to call me) while we were still living in Arizona.
We did it, sight unseen, (we did get a dozen photos via e-mail) on the advice of my parents and with an electronic handshake.
Papers weren’t drawn up until the old owners had built a new house and we had moved into this one. Which goes to show you there are still some trusting and honourable people in this world.
Stay tuned for next week, when we explore the third part of the series, a tale of two neighbors.
Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.