The World According to Liz
(a.k.a. The WIP Dilemma)
Or….When in doubt. Organize.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Greetings and salutations. It’s NFC / AFC playoff weekend! For the last however many years I’ve been aware of professional football in any capacity, it’s been a weekend when I usually watch a bunch of Oscar nominated movies. Because in the History of Liz Giving a Crap About Pro Football, I have never cared about a single team still playing at this point. And now? A wealth of riches! I have not one but TWO fav teams still playing….and potentially playing each other if they get past this weekend.
For the record it’s the Baltimore Ravens, whom I love because “Lamar Jackson” and also I had a great time at an actual Ravens game this year (lovely venue, cool city); and the Detroit Lions because I lived 40 miles west of Detroit for almost 20 years and was a Lions fan by default for years. The Crowes wore the gear in a typical ironic way, waiting for a chance. And now, here we are! I want a Lions/Ravens Super Bowl so bad I can taste it.
In other news, I’m having some trouble focusing on what to write next, as I plan promotions for my first domestic suspense release in May. More on Cul-de-Sac at another time, (promise). I’m also attempting to organize my website (lizcrowe.com) into something that will better reflect the various genres I’ll be publishing in the coming months/years. So I figured it was high time I organized my Google Drive.
Who cares about an organized Google Drive, you ask? Just plug in a key word and the drive will spit out all the options and the one you want is in there somewhere.
But I maintain that organizing stuff is the most perfect procrastination tool as it makes you feel somewhat virtuous. No words? No problem! LOOK AT THIS JUNK DRAWER/LINEN CLOSET/GARAGE ORGANIZATION!
It’s been a real trip down writerly memory lane, I will tell you. I have folders that I shared with long-defunct promotional entities who happily took my money in exchange for nothing but a warm fuzzy satisfied feeling that I was “doing promo.” I found book trailers (ugh. never again), a boat load of expensive stock photos of dudes who are on, like, 1.5 million other romance covers, videos of me trying to be cool for TikToks/reels (gah), and plenty of evidence of writing attempts. i.e. “Wips” in something like half a dozen random “Wip” folders.
A couple of hours worth of deletions, consolidations, moan, groans, and “why did I think THAT would works” later, I have a nice and tidy Google drive. And now I’ll (be forced to) peruse my WIPs to see what looks
good worth the effort.
Coincidentally (or not, who knows (The universe is so random) I am re-listening to a book that I read when I was waaaaaaaaaaay too young for its content. The World According to Garp is, by some accounts, the worst or the best book about a writer’s life that has been yet written. If you don’t know it, it’s a John Irving book ergo it’s full of wrestling, trans characters, interpersonal trauma, and lots of sex, consensual or otherwise—something that can be said about pretty much every book he’s ever written. This one did not translate to the Big Screen as well as the one about abortion (yes, I said that), that was set in a New England orchard. Mainly because of the seminal, narrative bending scene involving two cars, a blow job, and a tragic accident in the driveway that’s a result of marital cheating. THAT said, the cast of the 1982 film is amazing. Fun Fact: it was Robin Williams’ first dramatic role post Mork and Mindy and he is spot on as the main character. It’s streamable on Apple tv + and Vudu. (All that said, The Cider House Rules was a better movie, IMO).
Bottom line: It’s not a book for a 13 year old. But I needed a break from Jean Auel’s cave man pleasures (take THAT Geico) and VA Andrews’ incest romances what can I say?
As I listen to it this time, instead of reading it, I realize why it made such an impact on me, blowjobs and rape scenes aside. Irving writes with a sort of concise-ness that reduces even the most horrific things his characters are doing to a sort of laundry list of actions. It’s the best way I know to explain it. I also realize that at least 2 of the scenes in it are ones that I have been mis-attributing to Stephen King, the other author I read too early in my reading life, so that was kind of weird.
In my opinion, Irving’s treatise on early feminism via Jenny, Garp’s mother translates better to these modern times than some give it credit for. But hey, we all have assholes and opinions, so that’s mine. And listening to it narrated very well by MacLeod Andrews with a telling introduction by the author himself to the 2018, 20th anniversary edition has reminded me how much I really like his style and the familiarity of his narrative repetitions (see: wrestlers, Trans people, New England reserve, New England reserve).
What I really appreciate is the way he presents horrific, familial tragedy in a way that is both at a distance via his narrative style and deeply personal. I honestly think it’s why I tend to toss in tragedy, be it familial or personal, in a lot of my books. Which is why they don’t always resonate with more traditional romance reader. Something I am 100% ok with. I get it. But Irving made me do it, ya’ll. And now that I’m breaking away from romance a bit, and re-calculating how I might reach an audience that won’t be traumatized by a book with both romance and tragedy (and the personal character growth arcs that occur from both), I think I might have to do a binge listen to a few more of my Irving favs.
Hat tip to our early-reader experiences and their imprint on us as future writers. And yeah, the Pleasures and the incest romance did too. Just not as much.
Happy Weekend and GO LIONS! GO RAVENS!