In a little tribute to the endlessly talented Nora Ephron, who passed away this week at the young age of 71, I wanted to write up a post about words. Words and images. Words and images that make us feel things. Things like love, hate, want, anger, jealousy, anxiety and embarrassment. But mostly love.
Nora understood the power of words as she used hers to propel a successful career as a woman, writer, director, author, blogger and more in a world that was not ever quite ready enough for her kind. She climbed into a reporter position at the New York Post in the 60's and rubbed elbows with the likes of John F. Kennedy, Bob Dylan and Gloria Steinem along the way. She took control of her destiny as she ignited the scene of storytelling, news-breaking and magazine writing. She is famous for a few political flare-ups and more than a few box office hits , but I'll let you look those up on your own time. Trust me, her story is one worth reading.
The ironic thing is that Nora was a great writer in a world where writing does not count. It's odd like that, but the great writers of our time have had to do so much more than write in order to really make writing count. We call it a trade, because it certainly is. The trade is that your life is writing and writing becomes your life. A good writer is one that becomes the subject matter they write about. What other profession has you learning new professions every day just so you can paint an image for other people, in hopes that at the end of the day your readers will have an emotional connection with your words? It's a helluva conundrum, but for writer's like Nora, it's worth it.
The cool thing about Nora was that not only was she a great people's writer, but she had insight and vision into what it would take to capture our collective interests now and in the future. While she may have started as a soldier dedicated to the plight of prose, her career eventually catapulted thanks to her understanding of the power of the pose. The image, that is, is where people will make the deepest connection. Nora knew that and she labored her whole life to grow and nurture a satisfying story in order to really connect with her audience; be it in words or as a filmmaker, she always over delivered. Now may she rest in peace.