Surprise, Bitch: I Bet You Thought You'd Seen The Last Of Me

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Photo: Watkins Glen International

Well, well, well. If it isn’t Elizabeth Blackstock, back again for another round of the weekend grind!

The last time I talked with y’all, it was back in February before this whole “pandemic” thing knocked the whole world into a hellish months-long tailspin. I left Jalopnik confident that I had cobbled together some sort of magical part-freelance, part-part-time schedule only for that to immediately fall to pieces because they were the kinds of positions a company immediately gets rid of in the wake of a global recession. You really do hate to see it!

But fear not, because I haven’t been idle while the rest of the world was put on hold. In fact, it turned out to be a pretty good time to:

  • Finish editing my first novel.
  • Start (and finish) writing a second novel.
  • Team up with the much-beloved Alanis King to sign with a literary agent regarding a Rich Energy project.
  • Channel the entirety of my energy into writing about nothing but IndyCar for a nifty little publication called Frontstretch.
  • Get ahead on both my graduate research thesis and my graduate classes (only forty pages and one more class are keeping me from that diploma, baby!).

I also had a lot of time to figure out what it was I really wanted to do with my work. Many folks were kind in the comments of my goodbye post, and a few others raised valid criticisms about my writing. I’m pretty open about the fact that I stumbled while I was at Jalopnik for my first go-round (it was my first public-facing writing job, after all!), and I’m always open to learning how I can improve. And I’m hoping that, with some time away to think critically about my skills, weaknesses, and passions, I’ve sorted out some of the issues that have held me back in the past.

Part of that comes down to our new EIC Rory Carroll, who has been really cool about being a sounding-board for the kind of work I aim to bring to the site in the very near future, along with how we can produce great writing as a team. And the weekends, with all their sweet sweet luscious race cars, seem like the perfect place for me to start.

Mainly, my focus is in two areas: motorsport and automotive culture. You all know I love my fast race cars, and I’m hoping to get really down and dirty with the folks who make the automotive world so special. I’ve spent my socially distanced summer dreaming up big ideas and putting into place the plans to enact them. Five months may not seem like a lot, but I’ve grown as a human, and I’ve grown as a writer. It’s time to see how those new skills play out in the big leagues.


And, yes, I’ve also missed you, dear readers. It has been far too long since someone other than my husband called me out on my shitty takes, and it’s time I inflict that pain on someone else! I look forward to the comments section keeping me honest and holding me to a level of journalistic integrity that I hope I’m a little better equipped to meet this time around. We’re all in this together, baby.

So, let’s get cracking, shall we?