Monday, February 8, 2010

fade to black

The Aaron Sorkin and the Facebook Movie page is gone. Don't try to look for it.

I came to the "Questions for me" discussion board about a year ago when I found out that Aaron Sorkin had a Facebook page. My first post was to tell him that I had included him in my acknowledgments for Faking It. Oh yeah, and I also asked him a question. Something really stupid in which I was trying way too hard to impress him.

He replied to my post. Said he was flattered to be included, and asked for a copy of my book.

Imagine being a musician and Paul McCartney asking for a copy of your album. Yeah, it's a little like that.

Every now and then, I think the regulars who returned to that discussion board day after day occasionally wondered if it really was Aaron Sorkin answering our questions. It wasn't so much cynicism as just wondering if life really was this good. If we were being deluded, then we were more than happy to be part of the hoax. Because it wasn't just the thrill of getting a response from our favorite writer, a man who has given us hours and hours of nourishment to make up for The Bachelor. He gave us writing advice. He gave us moral support. He joined our banter, made us laugh, made us think, and told us the best behind-the-scenes stories ever.

He let us play in his sandbox.

But here's the real gift that came out of it. "Questions for me" became "Conversations among friends." Or perhaps more like a happy, albeit occasionally dysfunctional family. When we weren't asking Aaron questions, and when he was busy attending to important matters, we carried on the conversation without him. Whether it was a spirited discussion about cake, or a debate about language, health care, or religion, we all talked. And we listened. And we agreed and disagreed. And we became friends. And we supported one another. We bought each other's books. We watched each other's shows. We offered support, comfort, and encouragement when needed.

We understood that all good things must pass; we just wish it didn't have to pass so soon.

On the final night, we all stayed together in the forum, as long as we could, waiting for the ship to go down. We kept talking, joking, asking questions, telling stories. But we mostly thanked Aaron Sorkin for being so gracious, such a good host for the last 18 months. It was only then that we had no words at all.

Once again, Aaron Sorkin touched me with his words. One of the last things he said, directed at the writers, was "I expect great things from you."

I just hope I don't let you down.


Elspeth Antonelli said...

That was a magic night. I had tears in my eyes at the same time as I was laughing at some of the comments.

I'm taking his words to heart; I may never actually meet the man, but I'd like to make him proud.

Hugs from;


Heather said...

You won't let any of us down, Elisa.

Thanks for this, it's beautiful.

It was a magical night. I used the ship metaphor when talking about it, too. We really did hang on didn't we?!

That ship is at the bottom of the Cybersea now, but the treasure is buried forever in our hearts and minds and will infuse our writing.



Anonymous said...

You guys are so great. Everyone their accepted this lurker with open arms & made me a part of the family. It was such a special night.

Does anyone know the final count of posts?

Pam Purtle

Jan said...

I held in the tears until reading this beautiful tribute. Thanks for so eloquently putting into words what we are feeling.

Aaron's expectations will forever be in my thoughts as I continue my writing journey.

So glad we have all found one another.


Fionnuala said...

Elisa, Thank you. Who says writing is a lonely business? Probably the same people who think the internet is not the place to make great friends. Thanks again for making it such a special place.

Elisa said...

Thank you, all.

Pam, when I signed off I think we were over page 670, and the post count well exceeded 20,000.

Beth, more and more I find all of our AS friends (and you, of course) as well as Aaron in mind when I write, picturing you all reading my novels.

And thanks all for stopping by the blog and leaving a comment, too!

Dana Friedman said...


That was a great post. And your picture on here is terrific. I miss that board, and hope AS resurfaces somewhere we can say hi again...and "see" each other online.

Elisa said...

Dana, thanks so much. I miss it (and him) too, and I hope as you do.

(and not to be conceited, but it is one of the better photos of me...)

Heather Greene said...

You summed up the ethos of the board.
It was a privilege to be part of that group, a historical one-off.
Thanks for your tribute to Aaron's generosity of spirit, so exemplified in the board, as in his work.

Elisa said...

Thank you, Heather Greene! You said that better than I ever could have.

I so appreciate that you took the time to post a comment here.