Nora Ephron & Happy Accidents

I love Nora Ephron. I loved her even before I knew who she was. The movie, Heartburn, was an early introduction, followed by When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. But my favorite Nora Ephron is Julie & Julia. I know Julie Powell wrote the blog that sold the book. But to me, the movie was Nora’s love letter to writers.

Whenever I’m feeling blue about creating something from nothing which perhaps no one but me will ever love, I savor Meryl Streep’s infectious passion as Julia Child. And smile with nostalgia over young Julie Powell’s eager need to be a published author.

I love being a writer. I love writers. From our hearts and minds we pour life into the page. We help people understand in a way they may not be able to in their daily lives. Our writing, if done well, helps people feel less alone, more connected, and on rare occasion…inspired to act.

In her last book, "I Remember Nothing," Nora tells a funny story about happy accidents. Her father calls. A wealty relative is dying. He has left her and her sisters a big sum of cash. Mentally, Nora starts spending the inheritance. She thinks about landscaping the yard. She doesn't have a lot of extra cash. She's writing a script for-hire and can't get the story right. She doesn't see the project going anywhere. Once she receives the dough, she thinks, she'll dump the script. The inheritance consumes her thoughts. It makes her quarrel with her sisters. But each subsequent call from her father reveals a smaller amount of Ben Franklin's. Finally, Nora gets the check. The inheritage is not big enough to landscape the backyard or even quit the script. She has to finish the job.Thank goodness for tight wadded distant relatives, because When Harry Met Sally changed Nora Ephron's life forever.

I love this story. It changed the way I approach each assignment. Each piece of work has value. It is important. There are no little jobs. Every literary work deserves my one hundred percent.

There is no inheritance coming….we must finish the job.

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