Friday, June 17, 2022

You asked, now let's see if these are good answers

On June 13, I wrote about queriers who sent things without any hint of their name
, or through a third party, asked me to sign an NDA in order to read the query.
EM Goldsmith asked

Just curious, these queriers that want NDAs, do they claim any reason? Celebrity? Whistle blower? Spy?

The ones I've seen have been celebrity tell-alls, or whistle-blowers from what little I could glean.
Under the best of circumstances (the book is about Idris Elba) these aren't things I'd take on.  The idea that you'd work for someone and then write a tell-all book does not sit well with me. Same with cashing in on being friends with a celebrity. Or an ex-spouse.
Whistle blowers are another matter.
For those you want articles before the book. (Example: Ronan Farrow)
But for a spy, I just might sign!
Leslie asked
If an agent signs an NDA, does that mean he or she cannot send it to publishers?
I can understand some writers using pseudonyms (I would've had to do so a long time, if I'd written a certain book I thought about writing, but was stupidly talked out of doing), even where only the agent knows. But doesn't a real name have to be on the publishing contract (if not the agent representation one)?

Each NDA is worded differently and requires non-disclosure within specific parameters, related to the case at hand.
I've asked work-for-hire writers to sign NDAs.
I've had clients sign NDAs for books they ghost write.
But NONE of this was part of a cold query in the slush pile.
Karen McCoy asked
Are these people writing nonfiction? If so, why not write under a pseudonym?

I think part of the attraction of the book is that it's verifiably written by someone in the know.
And of course, it didn't take long before you asked about the really important stuff: the cat under the afghan.
Kitty asked
Btw, is that a new couch or did you slip-cover the snot green one?
Oh Kitty, you have eagle-eyes! That's the tail of Her Grace and Sleekness the Duchess of Yowl. She's nosing her way under the afghan on her real mother's couch.
The snot green couch lives in my apartment.
Well, lives isn't really the right word.
Hospice has been called in.
And in one of those "only in NYC" moments, I have to wait to get a new couch until the detritus from a remodeled apartment is removed from the hallway.  It's only been there a month. Fingers crossed that it's gone by the end of summer.
LynnRodz asked
What I want to know, however, do I need new glasses or are there three cats in this photo?
Time to call the optometrist! There is only one sleek beast on that couch.
Well two, if you count me.
On Wednesday I wrote about a memento I kept on my desk that reminded me of a seminal moment in my life.  Reading about the things you guyz keep on your desk was quite lovely.
I really responded to this one:

Mary said
I have a small replica of the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail, which I have hiked in its entirety. It's there to remind me that I can do hard things.

John Davis Frain said
"It's where my beloved ex, now sadly gone ahead, changed my life forever."

Well, there are multiple options for where the next line would take this story, and they include opposite directions. 

Someone can change your life forever by showing up ... or by leaving. The basis of all stories, right -- someone goes on a journey or someone new comes to town.

Color me curious, but I don't expect an answer.

Too bad, you're getting one.
My first apartment in NYC came with a roommate who was a nice enough guy. I'd known him for a few years by the time I arrived in the city.
But then it took a turn for the terrifying.
First roommate wasn't psycho or drunk, or angry. He just thought playing with guns was fun. And by playing with, I mean pointing them at people in the kitchen.
When I told my soon to be beloved about this, he gave me a look I would come to know well and said I would move in with him.
That night at the Biennial, standing in the stairwell, he told me if his landlord would not allow me to move in to his apartment, he would give notice and leave.
Which is what happened.

I don't know if he saved my life but it felt like it. Still does.
I still live in the apartment we found.
I still hear him at odd times, even though I know for an iron clad fact that he has gone on ahead.
So yes, he changed my life then, and last year he changed it again when he left.
There's a line in LA Story, the wonderful Steve Martin movie: "The weather will change your life...twice." that I think of a lot these days.


nightsmusic said...

Well, you made me cry this morning. You've managed through my time reading this to make me laugh, cringe, question, wonder and a host of myriad things, but this...I truly am sorry. But I'm glad you still hear him. You might be a shark, but you're still...human. *hug*

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Wonderful Friday post. Thank you. And I do think all of Jeff Somers' cats are spies that are all writing tell-alls.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

The story about the Biennial, how your beloved changed your life, and that you still live in the same apt - teary-eyed here.

BJ Muntain said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. That is such a lovely story - my friend is writing a romance, but your story feels more romantic. <3

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic for NYC now, although I've only visited a few times. Not sure when I'll be able to visit again.

When you get caught between the moon and New York City...

JanR said...

I'm a lurker at heart, but Janet, you've made me get up off the poppy red couch and find the blogger password (and the kleenex).

I've been missing my Dad so much and feeling lonely in it. Thank you for sharing, 'cos it's easy to forget we're not alone walking this path of grief. Means a lot to read your moving reminder that amazing people, like your beloved, were and are shining in this world.

french sojourn said...

As I finished reading this wonderful post, with my daughter's cat Moxie resting in my lap, I wondered.

"Why on God's green earth does this cat have onion scented perfume?" lingers on.

CynthiaMc said...

I am blessedly on vacation and playing catch up. I'm so glad I did. Beautiful story, Janet. Sometimes our guardian angels send earthly ones as well.

Theresa said...

What a lovely story about saving a life.

Barbara Etlin said...

Beautiful story. Hugs.

John Davis Frain said...

It doesn't surprise me that you still hear him. What a fitting tribute and a wonderful ending to that story. There are times I regret never having lived in NYC, and this is one of them.

But one can't let regrets take a foothold. Thank you for sharing. Didn't want to pry, but that had the markings of a great story behind it.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

After reading this I now know what I have been missing these past three years and why.
Hello Janet, you are superb.
You still scare the shit out of me though.

LynnRodz said...

Once again, Janet, you've touched my heart. It sounds like your beloved was such a blessing in your life and it seems he's still watching over you. How wonderful!

(Btw, I made an appointment with my optometrist.)

Leslie said...

What a heart-achingly poignant story! Thank you for sharing that with us. This is going to stay with me for some time.

And now I'm tearing up and going to blame my red eyes on allergies

Brigid said...

Thank you for telling us about him. It is such a treasure to hear more about you and the people you love. May his memory be eternal.