Recently, Christina Jagels and Margaret Smith very sweetly asked me, Pickett Street’s blog writer, to respond to a few questions introducing myself. To start—hello! my name is Ansley, I live and write in Colorado, but I grew up and spent most of my life in the Seattle area and hope to return soon. I work as a freelance writer and editor and teach undergraduate English classes at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Psst—since this blog is about my own thoughts, I’m hoping that means I get to recommend that you reach out to these brilliant professionals with all of your real estate questions and needs (firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 502-5397). I love how the team brings energy and authenticity to every single thing they do. (For the record, Pickett Street did not ask me to say this here—just offering my unsolicited opinion.)
Margaret: Are all of the stories you share from your life? like, real life?
Ansley: Haha. Yes! I always draw on my own experiences as much as possible in my writing, without making the whole blog post about me. Working for Pickett Street has led me to constantly listen for stories about real estate from my everyday life—what’s worrying people right now, what people want from their homes, etc.
However, I do often annoy my husband because, as he says, I exaggerate when I tell stories. Not just in my writing, but also when I’m recounting something that happened recently to our friends. He’ll typically insert an addendum and say, “Um, okay, it wasn’t that bad.”
I consume so much media these days, and I am always drawn to blogs and other social media marketing content that aren’t afraid to share raw stories and personal details—I find brands with formulaic content to be so boring.
Slight tangent here, but did you know that last year, Jeff Bezos banned PowerPoint presentations from Amazon meetings and now requires memos with narratives and complete sentences? Google also favors narrative over bullet points. Storytelling is everything!
A couple of my favorite blogs right now are Cup of Jo, Dinner: A Love Story, and because my husband and I have always lived in small spaces together, the home design blog A Small Life.
When did you start writing?
I can’t remember ever not writing! I literally started writing stories and diary entries when I first learned to write the alphabet in kindergarten or first grade.
When I was younger, I would write plays and make my brothers act in them. I was so bossy—I used to force them to play the exact parts and say the exact lines I wrote, even if they didn’t want to. Luckily for them, I now have other outlets for my writing.
Are you writing a book?
I am…I’m trying to, at least! I’m working on a collection of personal essays about my travels and my time living and teaching in France. I’m interested in how the Internet and advanced transportation technology are making the contemporary world both radically connected, and also politically and socioeconomically divided. Mostly, working on this book has only led to more questions, which I’m hoping is a good thing.
One of your favorite books?
Oh gosh. The hardest question for a writer. For nonfiction, I recently read and loved Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark, Tara Westover’s Educated, and Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime—if you’re looking for a hilarious (I was laughing out loud in a crowded coffee shop), poignant memoir, Born a Crime is the one.
My all-time favorite books are Elena Ferrante’s gorgeous Neapolitan novels and of course, Harry Potter.