I can't remember a time when I didn't love to write. When I was seven, I wrote a series of baby stories on the now defunct word program Creative Writer that I printed out and handed to all of my family members at my brother's birthday party. A few years later I wrote my first fanfiction with my neighbor, in which we met actors Jake Lloyd and Jonathan Jackson and proceeded to go on rollicking adventures involving the cast of General Hospital. From there I embarked on countless stories. Some of them were completed while others remain in that half-baked world of fragmented characters and unfinished story lines.
Growing up, I looked up to writers because I recognized myself in them. We shared a geeky sort of undercurrent that I just couldn't find in the hottest It girl or It guy. A few weeks back I wrote a post about writers that I admired. Yesterday, we lost one of those writers.
The first Nora Ephron film that I saw was When Harry Met Sally... staring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. I was a freshman in college and went to one of those movie parties where a bunch of half-friends meet up to watch a movie instead of actually embarking on the task of getting to know each other. Luckily, this meant no one spoke over the dialogue. I loved Sally Albright's neuroses and Harry Burns' bleakness. They were characters that were truly flesh and blood. They weren't cardboard stereotypes spouting out equally cardboard and stereotypical lines. They acted how people really act; talked how people really talk.
After that movie, I went and delved into the other Nora Ephron penned films. I then went on to read Heartburn and all of Ephron's books of essays. I even read her play Imaginary Friends, a piece about the turbulent relationship between writers Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy that largely went over my head, but I enjoyed regardless. She had a way of stringing together words that were genuinely amusing, even if you didn't always get the joke.
This year I took a fiction writing class, and when asked who my favorite writer was, I responded without hesitation that it was Nora Ephron. Her passing affects me more than I think the passing of a complete stranger should. I've never met her. Never spoken to her. I admittedly haven't even read all of her works, but I found myself particularly moved yesterday when I first heard the news of her death.
I take comfort in the fact, though, that although she may be gone her works are still here and far from being forgotten. Who can hear the name Katz Delicatessen without thinking, "I'll have what she's having" or see the Empire State building without thinking of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks finally seeing each other for the first time after dozens of just-missed-you moments? I know I can't hear or see either of those without thinking immediately of Ephron's films.
So, lovely readers, any of you have a favorite Nora Ephron film or writing. As cliched as it is, mine will always be When Harry Met Sally. That's one of those movies that I never tire of!