Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Appearances, and a farewell

It was my turn to blog at YA Outside the Lines, which I did here, on the topic of "Appearances: revealing and deceptive." It's about our characters' appearances, and when and why appearances matter. An excerpt: "When physical details are mentioned, I like them to matter to the theme, plot, or characterization."

I'm sad today about the loss of Nora Ephron, one of my favorite writers. I think I own every book of essays she ever published, as well as her novel, Heartburn. For many years I reread her books of essays from the '70s and '80s and wished she would write more. Instead, she was writing screenplays. And while I liked her movies, I've never been nearly as big a fan of movies as I am of books.

And then she did publish more short nonfiction, just as I'd hoped. I snatched up I Feel Bad About My Neck (2006) and I Remember Nothing (2010) as soon as they came out. The latter collection especially is about mortality; there are many pieces about getting older, about change and loss. She essentially wrote her own valedictory: the last two pieces in the book are simply lists, titled "What I Won't Miss" and "What I Will Miss." And still, the book is also sharp (as her writing always is) and often funny. For example, "The Six Stages of E-Mail" sums up, in just four pages, how the human relationship with technology often evolves (from "Wheeeee! I've got mail!" to "Help! I'm drowning. I have 112 unanswered e-mails").

From the list of what she will miss: Paris. Pride and Prejudice. Twinkle lights. Laughs. Thanksgiving dinner.
And pie.

No comments:

Post a Comment