Nora Ephron on her uncle Hal, an inheritance, and working on a famous screenplay:

“My husband and I had recently bought a house in East Hampton, and the renovation had cost much more than we’d ever dreamed. There was nothing left for landscaping. I went outside and walked around the house. I mentally planted several trees. I ripped out the scraggly lawn and imagined the huge trucks of sod I would now be able to pay for. I considered a trip to the nursery to look at hydrangeas. My heart was racing. I pulled my husband away from his work, and we had a conversation about what kind of trees we wanted. A dogwood, definitely. A great big dogwood. It would cost a small fortune, and now we were about to have one.

“I went upstairs and looked at the script I’d been writing. I would never have to work on it again. I was just doing it for the money and, face it, it was never going to get made, and, besides, it was really hard. I switched off the computer. I lay down on the bed to think about other ways to spend Uncle Hal’s money. It crossed my mind that we needed a new headboard.

“Thus, in fifteen minutes, did I pass through the first two stages of inherited wealth: Glee and Sloth.”