My horse, "All About Me"
You have to write when people tell you secrets, especially when they say you can tell those secrets, but not mention their real names.
My material here in Montana was too good to leave in a notebook. I began to form my fictional plot when I moved to Montana and had nothing to do but go to parties and luncheons with the “Transient Dolls,” overly privileged wives who summered in their ranch-estates here in Paradise Valley, Montana. I started taking notes in the midst of these functions. Then I decided it was rude and stopped. Surprisingly they noticed and asked why I wasn’t writing.
As a former career person, it was a world that I had not experienced. Like the Dolls, I had time on my hands. I wasn’t fighting traffic and I wasn’t meeting deadlines.
I had thought I’d come to the “Last Best Place on Earth” to fish, ride my horse, and ski. Although there is plenty of time to enjoy sport in the wilderness here, I was surprised to find the lives of my new uber-wealthy social set weren’t focused on outdoor recreation perhaps because they stayed inside their personal turmoil, which was as surprisingly unpredictable as the erratic weather in the Rockies.
Then there was an accidental death. Except her longtime girlfriend, my friend also, knew it wasn’t an unfortunate mishap. Plus, I was constantly receiving late-night phone calls from Dolls who were overly medicated and or intoxicated, revealing the intimate details of their lives with their husbands and lovers which I could easily pump up into TMZ headlines and subplots.
The irony is that most of my friends came here to escape crowds and the public eye, but even in these wide-open spaces under our big sky, they can’t escape from drama and deceit. Welcome to the unexpected dangers of this new Wild West.
Fishing along the Yellowstone River