Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why I Write What I Write

I've said in this forum and others that I wish I could write something "more meaningful" than light romance. This is a position I've slowly eased away from over the last two years as I realize that every writer has their niche and forcing anything else will land you with nothing more than forced prose. Yuck.

So, then I had to wonder--WHY do I write light romance? Considering that I've never dated, it's kind of an odd genre choice for me. Maybe I'm trying to fill some psychological desires, who knows? Then, the other night, my husband and I had an interchange in the kitchen that made me realize where my inspirations come from.

The scene: I'm in the kitchen, emptying the dishwasher, when my husband wanders in for a glass of water.

He presses his glass against the dispenser in the refrigerator door and gets the usual cacophony of the ice machine. Nothing falls in the glass.

"Huh, that's weird," he says.

Comprehension dawns, and I stifle a laugh. "I may have put another Popsicle in the ice chute."

(The important fact here is that I put a Popsicle in the ice chute the day before, which resulted in his receiving the plastic tube of partially eaten red juice along with a handful of ice cubes in his glass--an incident which confused him a great deal until I explained.)

His expression goes from confusion to annoyance in the span of a second. "Why did you--?"

I cut him off, "I won't do it anymore!"

He makes a huffing sound that would make a thirteen year old girl proud.

"Would it help if I flashed you?" I offer.

"It wouldn't hurt," he says, but he's not looking at me, because he thinks I'm lying.

So I flash him.

He catches the movement out of the corner of his eye and snaps his head around, grinning.

Then he opens the freezer door. The Popsicle has formed a dam (pretty damn impressive consider it's about a half inch thick) and all the undispensed ice is backed up behind it. Ice explodes out from the tray, rattling across the floor, and cracking him on the knuckle of one bare toe.

This time, I get the full stank eye.

"I said I won't do it again!" I protest.

Another Junior High huff. "I just hope it isn't broken."

"I highly doubt one Popsicle could break the whole ice machine."

But when he's got all the ice scooped out of the chute and the door closed again, the dispenser only churns, but doesn't drop a single cube in his glass. He glares at me.

So, I have to throw a Hail Mary. "Wanna see my boobs again?"

* * *

Romantic? Not really, but I can certainly imagine myself writing a similar scene in one of my books. So, I guess I'm writing what I know. With a heavy coating of imagining to fill out the rest.

I'm going to get the stank eye for writing this in my blog, I'm pretty sure. Luckily, boobs never seem to lose their charm.

Does your art imitate your life?

- Liz


Kristan said...

My art definitely imitates my life, and I think you're right, it's a way of writing what we know. That said, I don't think it necessarily "limits" us. I mean, Neil Gaiman didn't live in a cemetery, right? But I'm sure there are plenty of elements in his Graveyard Book that he "knows" about.

Also, lol, boys are so easy. Boobs make everything better.

MJ Heiser said...

Ahh, boobs. One of the elements of a great comedy scene (preceded only by farts and falling down badly).

And YES, I could totally see that scene, not only in my head, but in one of your books.

Honey, you write in your zone. Is there really a need to explain your zone? For our Justice League of Writers, there is none better to represent the genre. You are everything a light romance/chick lit writer SHOULD be.

Is the ice maker okay, after all?

Liz Czukas said...

@Kristan - so true. About writing and boys. LOL

@MJ - well, after dismantling the whole shebang and cleaning it, it's working again. I maintain it was not my fault. Simply coincidence.

Eleven Eleven said...

I get the stank eye over electric blue Trix yogurt in the carpet, or root beer in the car mats, but I've never clogged an ice chute. Doesn't mean I won't eventually. With my absent-minded professor brain, it's bound to happen someday.

I think you write what you do because you like sex and you like people, and you have a brilliant sense of humor about both. You make a relationship between a man and a woman look like fun.

I'm still intensely jealous of your lighthearted magic and mimic as often as I can get it to come off authentically.

Oh, and my I-am-a-real-person word should be included in the dictionary. Nersh: an exclamation of frustration used when a foam football gets stuck in a tree.