Alayna-Renee Vilmont is the voice behind Jaded Elegance:The Uninhibited Adventures Of A Chic Web Geek. She is a professional freelance writer, artist, performer, and all-around Renaissance woman currently living in Atlanta, GA. Involved in the world of blogging since 1999, she’s had a love of the Internet since getting plugged in during her college years, and has been a firm believer in using technology to make connections, share ideas, and bring creativity to life for over a decade. During that time, she’s met hundreds of interesting and memorable people, some of whom have changed the course of her life tremendously, and has enjoyed living life as a virtual emotional exhibitionist. She is a fixture in the world of social media, and can be found pretty much anywhere you get Wi-Fi. In 2012, she published her first book, a poetic anthology entitled “Ophelia’s Wayward Muse”. She has been interviewed extensively about the book and working as an independent artist in an increasingly corporate world.
Alayna holds a degree in Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance, with a minor in Creative Writing. She began acting and singing professionally at the age of 6, an experience that helped her develop a love of music, the arts, self-expression, and travel. She also plays piano and violin, and is a trained dancer. Although currently calling Atlanta home, she’s also lived in New York City, London, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, and even aboard a cruise ship. Having traveled to over 30 countries and 25 states, Alayna loves seeing new places, meeting new people, and having amazing adventures she hopes to remember when she’s 90.
Jaded Elegance began as a personal website in late 1998, called *~ Lady Guenevere’s Enchanted Kingdom ~*. By 1999, she had made her first foray into blogging as a result of friends at Pyra Labs developing the original Blogger tool, with a journal originally published under the name Uninhibited. It was an extension of writings kept at LiveJournal, Diaryland, and Alayna’s cheesy personal website. It gained attention and notoriety due to not only friendships Alayna formed in the blogging community, spending time in chat rooms and on ICQ/AIM (the “social media” of the day), but appearing on a quirky blog-based spoof of reality television called SurvivorBlog.
In 2006, in the midst of a time of personal struggles and negative feedback from all sides about the wisdom of a life lived online, Jaded Elegance was officially taken offline in an attempt to live a more low-profile, less social-media oriented life. This proved to be a less than worthwhile choice, but sadly, the original JadedElegance.com domain was snatched up in the meantime. Unwilling to abandon blogging as a form of self-expression, even in the face of a newer era of communication brought about by Twitter and Facebook, Alayna continued blogging on a friends-only LiveJournal page that’s still in existence. During this time, she chose to build a presence on Facebook, Meetup, and Twitter rather than focusing on maintaining a blog. Jaded Elegance: The Uninhibited Adventures Of A Chic Web Geek was relaunched in full effect in 2010.
These days, Alayna works full-time as a professional freelance writer, is active in the Atlanta literary and social scenes, loves to travel and maintains friendships with people around the world, is an outspoken advocate of liberal causes (including marriage equality, feminism, polyamory, and encouraging a world where “thinking outside of the box” is not unique, but a way of life.), is in a long-term relationship, and shares her space with an affectionate 90-pound Lab/Beagle mix named Trixie. When not pursuing artistic endeavours, she is the organizer for a social group called The Atlanta New In Town Meetup(ANITM), a social group comprising 2100+ people looking to discover the Atlanta social scene. In her free time, she enjoys all things artistic and cultural, visiting new restaurants, swanky martini bars, reality TV, live music, politics and philosophy, reading, shopping, playing bar trivia, and having long and meaningful conversations with those nearest and dearest to her. She is still slightly addicted to chocolate, glitter, butterflies, *lol*, starting projects that aren’t ever quite finished, and Facebook. Some things never change.
Alayna is an event coordinator with the Atlanta Browncoats, helping to plan the annual screening of Serenity (as well as satellite fundraising events), in order to benefit two wonderful charities,Equality Now and The Atlanta Community Food Bank. She also assists in running registration at the well-reputed SIEGE Conference each October, where she is delighted to meet accomplished and creative people from all over the United States. Her face has been spotted at DragonCon, SXSW, and Burning Man, helping her to create an even more wonderfully diverse circle of friends.
Author’s Note: Although a few years overdue, it seemed time to bring this decade-long personal creation back to life, and to let the virtual world back in. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do.