The white thread is now separate from the black, so maybe we take a brief crepuscular moment here to look about, before the day becomes too bright too see. —Of the six, then, three are done; 47 of the 90 scenes 90 have been written. And if it’s taking longer than I’d hoped, well, the view when I look outside my window this morning is utterly different than the one I saw a year ago today, for all that the city is the same. (And also for all that the view of our bank accounts is unchanged. —There’s a moral in there, somewhere, perhaps, but it’s beyond me to go looking for it.)
Here’s the thing, though, or a thing, which has occasioned this thing: the end is nigh. I’ve actually got to bring this beast in for a landing. And while there’s a certain inevitability, an ineluctable gravity to what’s lined up and waiting, there’s still this vasty gulf ’twixt cup and lip; a vasty gulf, and only three chapbooks, or forty-five thousand words.
So I need to turn off the autopilot, run through the protocols, flip lots of switches and mutter half-heard snatches of instructions into the microphone that I hope will sound terribly important, as I make damn certain I can cover all the checks the seat of my pants has been writing all this time. —Which means, to a certain extent, Radio Free Silence for a bit. I need to hunker down and write out what’s left all the way to the end before I commit; which means, to a very real extent, a delay before no. 20, “Sun,” manages to rise.
What I’m hoping, what this’ll look like, is in six months’ time or so, that’s when “Sun” begins, along with the promotional work I’ll need to be doing for vol. 2, The Dazzle of Day, which drops a month or so after that. And then after it’s been around for a month or so, nos. 21 and 22, “Gallowglas” and “Maiestie,” will then finally put in their appearances here, the one right after the other.
Which means, yes: for a brief little while, if you want to read the end of it right away, without waiting, you’ll need to get your hands on the book. —Do I feel a little awkward, holding it hostage like that? —A little, yes. Sheepish, even. But the devil’s driving, as he usually is, and this seems like a way to let him drive some sales, yes, but also and more importantly interest, attention, even conversation. A book is an Event; a finished chapter is just another finished chapter.
Or so it is to be hoped, at the present moment, questions remain to be seen, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
—I’m sorry, you want to know when, exactly? —You see that “or so” up there? Much virtue in that, “or so.”
And after that? After all of that? I’ll probably sleep a bit, yes, but it’s not like I’m not sleeping now. —There’s more to come, of course; we’re just getting started! [cracks knuckles, winces at pain, essays a maniacal laugh, dissolves in coughing fit] —A re-design, for one thing, and a refit, which will take a little time, and somewhere in there I’ll start on the next bit, and then the one after that, and so on, and so forth, and they’ll make their way here, at least as long as the bees keep humming. —Let’s end on an ambiguously hopeful note, perhaps? I’ll copy out some notes I’d tell you I scribbled down on paper, except I typed them into a generic text editor instead, but here: some words that, from a long way off, might look like titles:
The Dazzle of Day
In the Reign of Good Queen Dick
Or Betty Martin
The Greene Chapel
No promises, mind. Subject to change. May settle during shipping. Void where prohibited.