Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Eat, Pray, Love Writing Your Ass Off....
"All I want is to be a cowboy and wear my own pants." ~ From the movie "Destry Rides Again." Mischa Auer makes this comment to his wife after losing his clothes to Marlene Dietrich in a card game.
I am wearing my own pants but I'd like to try the cowboy thing. And I'm in good company. Guess who has been a resident at Ucross not once but twice?
Elizabeth Gilbert, who has practically owned the Nonfiction Best Seller Page of the New York Times for the past three years for her blockbuster memoir about eating pizza, kegeling, and schtupping across three continents. Bless her heart! Can we get an amen? No? Well, anyway...
She came here first to write "The Last American Man," which I thought was really good (although I think she and the guy she was writing about probably had sex even if she didn't cop to it in the book).
She came back a second time to write "Eat, Pray, Love."
Am I just a skosh jealous of La Gilbert's phenomenal success? Let me put it this way: Does Oprah wear Spanx?
Hell, yes, I'm jealous. I'm just praying that Liz left a little pixie dust on the sheets. Maybe I've even got "her" room.
The weird thing is I'm reading her very first book, a collection of short stories, "Pilgrims," and it is REALLY good. E. Annie Proulx (I wonder what the E. stands for) wet all over her knickers about this book and I can definitely see why. Here's what she wrote on the back of the dust jacket: "Elizabeth Gilbert is a young writer of incandescent talent. The stories in 'Pilgrims' flash like mirrors, cut like razors."
What I find interesting is "Pilgrims" (1997) is a lot like some of Proulx's Wyoming stories: pared down, funny, minimal, wry.
It's no coincidence that Proulx also did a residency here at Ucross and also served on the Board of Directors. I'm a huge fan of Proulx.
I can see that I've drifted from my earlier attitudes of nun-like gratitude about being here in Wyoming. (And I am! I am!) I should be getting more and more Zen-like, the longer I'm here but instead I've developed this potty mouth and a bit of an attitude. I put this down to a lack of alcohol, television, and small dogs I can cuddle with in bed.
For the record, I went back in Buck's cabin today and the vibe was a little mellower. Maybe learning he had a glass eye took the edge off things.
I've been working hard. Week two and I'm in the groove of things. Tomorrow night is a full moon.
Remember what Telly Savalas used to say on that TV show "Kojack"?
"Who loves ya, baby?"
Me. I do.