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.


  1. Bravo D'Arcy. I saw Eat, Pray, Love and found it better than expected. Carry on!

  2. Fallon - you don't need no Gilbert pixie dust! Seriously, have you read "Eat Pray Love"? It's a whiny chick's diary, with a few fun phrases and experiences sprinkled in. Not sayin' she's famous for nothing...but it's pretty much glorified chick lit. My creative nonfiction professor here says Gilbert has said several times that if she knew EPL was going to get so huge she'd have written it far differently. So here's hoping you channel the '97 Gilbert :-) Or better yet, just the general Fallon mojo, of which I've always been an enthusiastic fan.

  3. Sara and Bobbi - Thank you for commenting! I did read EPL - read it like you scarf down a big bowl of ice cream - because of its voyeuristic thrill and because, well, doesn't everybody want to reinvent themselves. The book was OK, not great, just OK. Thank you for your encouragement. I woke up this morning meaning to change this blog, thinking I'd been "bad" for dissing Elizabeth Gilbert, but in the light of day, it's OK.