Thursday, February 2, 2012

SDB Interviews: Vanessa of Little Gray Pixel

When you feel like the grass is greener on the other side of anything, I recommend hitting up the Little Gray Pixel blog.

There you will see that things are definitely a brighter shade of green in Vanessa's neck of the woods. Her blog is full of beautiful photos, stories about her fantastic family, and link after link of cute plus-sized clothes. And her love for the Beatles tips the fabulous scale—she even recently had a Beatles Week on her blog.

But instead of making you feel like an outsider looking in, Vanessa invites her readers with open arms into her world. The familiar tone of her writing lets you know that she is speaking right to you; her life is cool and accessible, but she thinks that you're cool too!

Here's a taste of what I mean. This is all about Vanessa in her own words:

Hi there. I'm Vanessa.
I was born and raised in the Midwest. I lived in Myrtle Beach for four years. And now I live in Los Angeles. I am a publication designer by trade.

My husband is H, martial artist extraordinaire. H and I have been married for 13 years. We finally added the baby carriage in January 2011, when we welcomed Baby Alexa. She is the apple of our collective eye.

Things I like: taking photographs, writing novels, baking, thrifting, watching really bad dance movies, fawning over fashion and pretty design, gelato ... to name a few.
I am a Vanessa mega-fan and I hope that you will become one as well. Here are a few questions I had for her that resulted in some pretty fascinating answers.

1. If you could only use alliteration to describe your blog, what letter would you choose and how would you use it?
V, because it's underused. Vanessa's vivid, vivacious voice. I also like the words vex and vicious, but they don't really apply in this case.

2. I grew up as a southern California girl and lived in the Midwest for a hot second. You grew up as a Midwestern girl and now live in Los Angeles. What are some pros and cons to each location, and which do you like the best (for now)?
Pros to living in the Midwest: lower cost of living and being near family
Cons to living in the Midwest: weather (it's super hot in the summer, brrr in the winter and windy year-round)
Pros to living in L.A.: weather (it's beautiful and mild year-round), the beach is RIGHT HERE
Cons to living in L.A.: higher cost of living, heavy traffic and being far away from family

If we could move all of our family out here, I would easily choose L.A.

3. Your 32 Before 33 list starts off with a mention of your novel. Please tell the world about your novel, your process of creating it, and how your goal of promoting your novel is going. 
My novel. It's been a work in progress for about 10 years, but as I've detailed in this post and this post, I only spent around six to seven months actively writing it. After my first stab at it I shopped it around to literary agents and didn't get a bite. I let it sit for seven years before I came back to it and gutted it like a fish. There are currently query letters "out there," waiting to be rejected or *PLEASE* picked up.

The book itself. Hmm. In a nutshell: The protagonist is a broke, drug-addicted, flunking college student whose future looks bleak. In a desperation move, she pins her hopes on stalking her favorite rock band. She believes that sleeping with the front man will lead to a seat on the tour bus and, natch, a better life.

Here's a book cover I designed if you're a visual person like me.

4. Your little Alexa is a dreamboat. How has her arrival been reflected in your blog, your social life, and even your day job?
Alexa has changed my life in ways I can't even describe. If you look at my blog before Alexa and my blog after Alexa, there's no comparison. Before Alexa my writing was largely external. I shared pretty things I liked. I talked about some things I was passionate about. But you never saw photos of me or my family before Alexa was born. Becoming a parent made me more at ease with myself. I feel less encumbered now. Life is too short to NOT put yourself out there, you know? I want my legacy to be out there, even on something as small as a blog, for Alexa to look at when she's older and say, "My mom wrote this."

On the other hand, my social life could use some CPR. We rarely do things without the little one, and date nights are few and far between. Our friends are lovely and babysit when we ask them to, but I'd like to hire a sitter soon so we can actually spend time with our friends! Go out for a beer. Gossip about movies.

Being a mom has made my day job seem less ... urgent. Does that make sense? The things that used to bother/excite me still do, just on a lesser scale. I find myself preoccupied with baby girl most of the day. It's hard to leave her in daycare. I see her in the morning because I work swing shift, and I wait on pins and needles until H sends me that text at 5 p.m. that says "Hi Mommy," accompanied by a photo of Miss Alexa.

5. As an edgy larger lady myself, I have been agog and inspired at how confident you come across in your blog. Is that confidence something that has been carefully, but purposefully built?   
Thank you for the compliment! I wish I had a magnificent answer for this, but the truth is that I can't remember a time when I wasn't confident. I was a chubby child but I do not recall being aware of it. The first time someone called me fat was in fourth grade, but I retorted pretty fast to that jerk. I always had a sharp tongue and quick wit. I was always loud and ambitious. I played softball and basketball and volleyball. I acted in school plays. I got straight A's. So there was that natural confidence. But above all, I had my parents' support. Weight never entered the equation. They were always the first to tell me how talented and smart and beautiful I was. I appreciate this even moreso now that I'm a mom. I hope to instill in Alexa the same unwavering confidence my parents cultivated in me.

Check Vanessa out on Twitter or Facebook and see her California scenery photography at her Etsy shop.

1 comment:

  1. I only recently found Vanessa's blog and now I am an avid follower. I love her unique voice and eye for detail!