As I look back there were many movies that influenced me but this one movie changed my life. From the title and what the movie was about you wouldn’t think it could possibly do that. It was “Julie and Julia” written and directed by Nora Ephron. I always loved her movies, my favorite up to that point was “When Harry Met Sally”. The reason why you wouldn’t think Julie and Julia would change my life was I don’t cook. I love to eat andI was brought up with great food both from my Mom and Grandma, I also went out to eat a lot. Our parents took us out to the best restaurants in the world so we were spoiled. Even so I would not call myself a foodie. But I love good stories, I loved the all the actors in it and I love Nora’s sense of humor. So I was flipping through cable and decided to watch, I was home sick from work and I wanted something that would take my mind off my stuffed head and fever.
When I was a little girl in the sixties maybe 5 or 6 an early memory was watching Julia Child on PBS with my family, I didn’t really understand much about it except I thought she talked funny, and that she acted funny too, so I laughed. She made me smile. (I was a child, so I was allowed to think that way, besides other than smiling and giggling, I don’t think anyone knew what was going through my little 5-year-old mind.) And though I found that part of the story fun and fascinating and even romantic, it was not the part that changed my life. No, the part that changed everything for me, what made a light bulb go on in my head was when Julie Powell’s husband Eric helped her to start her blog. How easy it was. Julie was a writer who had not been published. Even if she was published she had no platform or followers, just like me. Other than an occasional short story in an anthology, and an article in newsletters no one knew me at all. I had written a poem that was published in a book of poems and I published my novel but after the initial flurry, mostly from my readers in fan fiction, my sales stopped dead in their tracks. And here in a movie was a women who had not even been published, who created a blog and became famous. Wow!
Now, I didn’t become famous, not even a little bit, but it gave me a platform that changed my life. My first blogs were about trying to get over the writer’s block from the loss of my beloved father. I wrote about movies and TV shows. I wrote about fan fiction. Pretty much what ever was happening to me and slowly, people started to respond. But what I didn’t expect was that I would develop a platform that would let me explore things that I thought was dormant inside me. (Actually not dormant, dead really.)
I wrote a second book (finally, after my Mom and brother said my Dad would be pissed that I would stop just because he passed away,) and I did things I never even tried before. I went after signings and panels and speaking engagements. I mean, I am actually shy, but I did it. It was from a spurt of confidence from my slowly building group of followers. And that added more followers and more. Then I tried to go on some radio shows to promote my second book, block, I tried to get on Blogtalk shows, no answers. I sat there and thought why is this such a brick wall? I kept doing it and I finally got an interview. The girl I was interviewed by, was actually not a great interviewer. Then I was supposed to go on a web-interview, and she flaked. And I thought, well this sucks I could do better than they do and at least I have a background from my days as an actress.
So I went to Blogtalk and started to interview people I knew from book groups and fandom. And boom, I had an even bigger following. Not just for my shows but for my writing and blogs and books…Wow! Then I had entered a contest for a play I had written a long time ago and won, the prize was a bit of money (needed of course,) and professional actors reading my play in library. And I said to myself, “Self, I can do this for other people as well as my own work and I already have a platform, Blogtalk.” And Sherri’s Playhouse was born. And from that, I have had opportunities to write plays and see them produced, Wow!
Why am I telling you all this now? Well I guess because I was watching a documentary by Jacob Bernstein about his mom, Nora Ephron called;”Everything Is Copy” . And as I watched it I realized that she was such an influence though I have never met her or was able to talk to her. She inspired me to do what I am now doing. I am so grateful. Thank you Nora, and thank you Jacob for reminding me.