the high price of friendship is all worth it

elizabeth gilbert got an advance from a publisher to finance a trip to italy, india and finally indonesia. she got a movie deal and found true love. oh, and probably enlightenment too!


americans don’t like to talk about money–how much or how little.  but some people have asked how i have financed this year of facebook friends.  and it’s pretty simple:  i saved a lot and i’ve tried to spend as little.  every parent with a kid getting a degree in film knows there’s going to have to be some “seed capital” as a graduation present.

“you’d want some creative input, wouldn’t you?”  joseph asked me when i offered him the money.

“well, yeah, a little, sure,”  i prevaricated.

i've published thirty three books and written two plays that have been performed in chicago. i can't help wanting to have some creative input. thank goodness i wasn't around when michelangelo was painting that stuff on the ceiling!


“then, no thanks, mom,”  joseph said. “i’m going to do something on my own.  no offense.”

and that’s when i realized i had just about enough to do this year of traveling and meeting every facebook friend.  i’ve also had help from friends and family, both those with facebook accounts and those who think facebook is a waste of time and an encroachment on their privacy.

i've also published under the name vivian leiber. sex scenes are actually harder to write than you'd imagine. i don't ever feel sexy afterwards.

last night, i went out with f2fb friend #254 jean huyler who used to work in a book store and also has worked in marketing.  she said “you have to think of this as a book”  and of course i do because, frankly, i’m not sure i know how to do anything else but write and play scrabble.  the market for scrabble players with no talent is rather limited. so i think i have to consider how to use this year to write a book–because i will most certainly be broke at the end of the year.  a high price, sure, but i’ve really had some remarkable experiences of friendship that could never have happened if i didn’t make that silly new years eve resolution!

jean is very relaxed, sitting with a glass of champagne in one hand. champagne is, after all, the reason God gave us two hands!


i told jean to find me a publisher.  actually, anybody reading this is encouraged to find me a publisher.  and diamonds.  you can look for diamonds for me, that’s okay.  any ideas, feel free to send them to me at or send a carrier pigeon.

jean and i went to the music theatre company founded by f2fb friend #255 jessica redish.  jessica has been in theater forever,but she hasn’t lost the ability to do other things.  founding a theater company means you learn to do a lot of things–fundraising, talent promotion, marketing.  we laughed when remembered that she had directed my younger son in the opera falsettos and his voice was changing.  luckily, james lapin and william finn used very modern music so you could hardly tell when eastman was offkey.  and when he croaked you just thought “wow, how very sondheim in a mahler kind of way!”

jessica would love to have you take a look at the music theatre company in highland park--just go to


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