A Tribute to Nora Ephron

Although we’ve never chatted over a cappuccino somewhere in Manhattan or exchanged friendly banter about where you can score the best tiramisu in the West Village since she was a major foodie, I’ve always thought that Nora Ephron and I could be great friends. You know, if we actually knew each other… See, in my book she’s right up there with Jane Austen and Judy Blume as a writer who has a particularly profound influence on me—and my own work. Not only does her quick wit, ear for dialogue, cultural observations and clever turns of phrase still make me insanely… Continue reading

What’s That Again?

Once upon a time in a land without iPhones and Words With Friends, there was a young girl from America’s Dairyland who loved to play Scrabble. In fact, any time she had an opportunity to throw down a bingo (the Scrabble term for using all your letters in a single play), it was a happy, happy moment. And since she lacked the finesse and coordination required to play any actual sports that involved, you know, throwing, kicking and the like, Scrabble was the perfect avenue for her fiercely competitive nature. On snowy, wintry days when she simply didn’t feel like… Continue reading

The Lost Art of Writing Letters

While packing for a big move is generally one giant hassle, I have to admit that I actually love getting rid of all the stuff I really don’t need. I’ve never been a pack rat by nature, and clutter drives me absolutely nuts, so any opportunity to streamline our stash (especially after four years in the same apartment) is always welcome. But in all my overzealous fits of throwing junk away over the years, I’ve always held on to an unobtrusive, medium-sized box of letters and cards that have really meant something to me. With Will starting his new job… Continue reading

Interviewing Nicholas Sparks

A couple of weeks ago I was in Santa Monica (I know, I know, tough job, but someone has to do it, right?) for a movie junket and had an opportunity to interview Nicholas Sparks, you know the guy who writes weepy love stories like The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe. This time around, he was talking about The Last Song, Miley Cyrus’ first big non-Hannah Montana role, not to mention a big first for him…his first screenplay. As a fellow author, I always love hearing how other writers make it all work, so I found what he had to… Continue reading