RIP, Nora Ephron…

According to moviefone, Nora Ephron has passed away.

Ephron began her career as a reporter for the New York Post, and later went on to pen essays for Esquire and New York magazines. She would get her first taste at screenwriting in the mid-1970s, when she ended up rewriting William Goldman’s script for “All the President’s Men” (Ephron’s husband at the time was Carl Bernstein, whose Nixon Watergate scoop was the film’s inspiration). The screenplay never ended up being used, but, as Ephron later told the Guardian, “It was a great way to learn, because Goldman was such a great screenwriter that just typing his stage directions taught me a huge amount.”

I actually studied “All the President’s Men” in a film course in college and I never knew this.

And I loved “Julie and Julia.”

Here’s what Liz Smith said,

“[Nora] seemed never to want or expect anything, while always demanding the best from the rest of us. She was — always — right and somehow left the smartest, most ambitious and silliest of us in the dust at her feet.”

You can read more here.

RIP, Barbara Grier

Barbara Grier founded a publishing house that published books for and about lesbians. She was a pioneer when no one else was taking lesbian literature seriously. I have a fondness for all LGBT things that happened during this time because I was a child with a photographic memory and I remember them well.

Barbara Grier passed away recently. You can read more about it here.

I remember Naiad Press with fondness. When I first started submitting stories and novels to publishers and small presses there weren’t many choices for LGBT writers. This was before the Internet, before e-mail took off, long before snarky romance review blogs existed, and when we were still submitting in hard copy.

I once submitted a lesbian story to Naiad and they rejected me. I was very young, probably too young to have the audacity to write a novel let alone submit one to a publisher. The rejection letter I received was from Barbara Grier and she told me she liked the writing but thought I should focus on gay male fiction instead of lesbian fiction. It was probably the nicest rejection letter I ever received. And I took her advice.

Ms. Grier once said this, with regard to the books she published “about lesbians who love lesbians, where the girl is not just going through a phase.”

It’s been said Ms. Grier felt this way because all the lesbian themed romance novels she read growing up were focused on women who fooled around with other women, but always wound up with a man in the end…this, so publishers thought at the time, was the only way to achieve the happily-ever-after ending.

I love this, when someone has a serious, valid reason for doing what they do. It’s why I decided to write gay themed novels based loosely on storylines about straight lovers. I grew tired of reading and watching stories about straight people falling in love and living happily-ever-after, and just as tired of gay literature that was too artsy and ridden with dark, depressing storylines like “Brokeback Mountain.”

RIP, Ginger

I’ve been posting about my publishing friend who is in Key West right now for a couple of weeks. He’s been through hell this past year trying to get his twelve year old little scottie, Ginger, well again.

But I guess this time it was all just too much. She passed away last night, in his arms, after trying to rally back from kidney failure.

This, I swear, is the only hard part about owning a pet. They just don’t live long enough!