06/19/2013 05:02 pm ET Updated Aug 19, 2013

The Day Nora Ephron Inspired Me

My mom once gave me a hand-me-down copy of Ladies Home Journal. I deemed it far too matronly for me and stacked it with with some other "grown up" magazines in my living room. One day, when I had a few rare minutes of quiet time, I happened to pick it up and read the cover. Imagine my delight when I saw that it contained an essay from one of my favorite writers, Nora Ephron! How did I miss that? So I read it, of course.

She didn't disappoint. The article was titled "The Ex Factor" and if you can believe it, it was about divorce. She had me at the first line: "The most important thing about me, for a big chunk of my life, was that I was divorced."

At the time, I was smack dab in the middle of that big chunk. I wasn't Jenny, preschool teacher. Or Jenny, mother of four. I was Jenny, who was divorced. I'd be feeling good, feeling normal, and then *boom*, a reminder would fly out of left field: Don't forget! You're divorced! It could have been anything...a random piece of mail addressed to him, an old photograph, a handwritten note in one of my cookbooks: "Make this again! He loved it!". I stewed in it for a long time. Started a blog so I could vent and cry and cluck about being divorced. And so when I read more of Nora's words a bit farther down in the story, the bolt of inspiration hit me:

"And I survived. My religion is Get Over It. I turned it into a rollicking story. I wrote a novel. I bought a house with the money from the novel."

I decided to take Nora's advice, and I got over it. Oh, to be sure, the little reminders are still there. They will always be there. Only now, that's all they are: little, tiny, insignificant reminders. They don't sting as badly as they used to. They've lost most of their power. And me? I've just put the finishing touches on my very own book, a memoir called "What To Do When Your Husband Leaves You" and the search for an agent, or a publisher, is underway. Who knows? Maybe my rollicking story will inspire another woman...just as Nora Ephron's inspired me.