One day, many years from now, you may find yourself feeling lonely and confused. Perhaps after a painful divorce or failed love affair.
Make the most of it. Look directly into the camera and ask:
Who am I? Just me, without some guy by my side?
You will realize that a year of exotic (and celibate!) travel is just the ticket for finding yourself; and, then, clever thing that you are, you will convince a book publisher to bankroll your heroic year of feminine self-discovery.
You go girl.
Now, nothing mends a broken heart faster than a best-selling book and a movie deal, so please do mold your experiences to meet the expectations of our projected demographic: a sizeable subsection of American society that I would prefer to leave unidentified. It’s a reliable market, reliably interested in itself.
We want to make this journey with you. We want gorgeous locations. We want quirky characters along the way, with funny accents and bad teeth.
Let’s have that scene where you struggle to fit into your skinny jeans, but, then, later in the book, you get your yoga body back. (This is “Rocky” for women!)
Shall we break it down a bit more? Three countries, three themes:
- Italy (Pasta-Pizza-Gelato Binge): It’s a well-established fact: Step one in any girl’s recovery from heartbreak is food, preferably ice cream. After a break-up, we retreat to our beds in fuzzy pajamas, a spoon and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in hand. Act I expands (and expands!) on this theme.
- India (Get thee to an Ashram!): Our target audience likes spirituality more than religion. Anyway, in the hierarchy of coolness of religions, this India stuff is way high. At the ashram, at first, you fear that your cocktail-party volubility will hold you back. Then, near the end of Act II, you have a real spiritual breakthrough, strains of Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” playing in the background. Your mind now liberated by meditation, your body liberated by yoga, let’s hit the beach!
- Bali (“Reader, I Married Him” or some variation on that line): Our focus groups have expressed interest in two possible plot resolutions in Act III: Either you realize contentment in single womanhood or you find true love. We like both. Could go either way. Except it can’t, because we’ve already seen the movie preview. Remember Chekhov’s rule of dramatic structure:
If there’s a Javier Bardem on the screen in the preview,
he must fire by the end of the show.
Voila: Happy Ending.
I tell you, this is a winner.
Next, while the iron is hot, write a book about your embrace of matrimony.
And, soon, we will be ready for your exploration of conception, pregnancy and childbirth.
Love, Eat, Pray
With deepest affection and entrepreneurial spirit,