It's my birthday month, and I'm turning 40 and my life is nothing like I planned it to be.... That sentence sat lonely in an otherwise blank Word document for hours until I could work out where to go to from there. It's not that there isn't an answer but it seemed like a fool's errand to even try. So I'm going to write about something other than my birthday - it's Nora Ephron.The truth is, Nora Ephron is a woman who impacted my life more than any other writer has. In 2012, when my own world was falling apart, she passed away. I was devastated. I was (am) her biggest fan and I know that my love for writing and reading was inspired by her work, and in particular the "Shop around the Corner". I have a red carpet's worth of her one-line luminaries, my favourite of which is "Everything is copy". I didn't really understand what that quote meant until I read this gorgous book on her last interview, which I picked up from the Whileaway Bookstore and Cafe in Port Douglas. It means that if something bad happened, or someone did something to hurt her feelings "Everything is copy" reminded her to "remember this, and one day you'll use it."
My fellow Nora Ephron fans will relish the "Everything Is Copy's" jaunt through her life. She experienced many big lessons, of which included divorce (twice and third time lucky), ageing, love, bliss, and bitterness: and whether it was the simple indignity of a bad outfit, a life-changing moment such as a marriage or even divorce, that was Nora's essence of Everything Is Copy. She used the good, the bad and the very bad lessons of life as her springboard. She must have been a dazzling person to be around, having directed, sreenwritten and produced so many wonderful, self-effacing, sharp and remarkable movies, such as Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail and Julia & Julia (a love letter to her greatest passions: New York, Paris, food, writing, her sister, and her husband.) I'm sad she's gone, and I read this biography with a lump in my throat.I think at the end of my Nora's life she believed the things we want to keep and the people we love are not copy. Copy is the stuff we lose, are willing to give away or that have been taken from us. She saw everything is copy as a means of controlling the story - hmmm, I can relate to that.
Well, after a lifetime of learning things about myself from Nora Ephron this book gave a clue to how she lived and loved. It showed that it was her ability as a stranger to write in a voice that befriended me, that is perhaps the greatest lesson of all.
"Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss." - Nora Ephron
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