Work on Little, Big continues, and the gap to completion slowly closes; there have been some frustrating patches and, too, some exciting things brewing that I cannot yet discuss.
My work during the last three weeks of October was devoted to preparing a set of complex logistical and financial documents necessary to completing the Project. Some of those documents were finished; others were partially drafted and await the final readying of the book for the printer in order to complete. Not all of the hats sitting astride my head are entirely rakish.
November was mostly devoted to production work. On the 15th Crowley wrote of several Milton details, in particular a new one from Water Music, “There are times I wish I could have written some chapters with these pictures in mind, to enhance the connections.” Based on my own ruminations and the feedback from Crowley, Milton, and others, I settled on and annotated the art-related changes to September’s electronic galleys; over the last two weeks, John D. Berry implemented most of them. Those are pretty much the final changes. I know – you’d happily swear on a stack of ex-library copies of Engine Summer that I’ve said that before, and more than once, and you’d be right, more or less. But – with each pass, without exception, the number of further art changes has dwindled; with this last round, there is a palpable sense of final details settling smoothly and, sometimes, yes, with a small click, into their final places.
What remains now is completion of my present task, the collation of final text corrections, most annotated during my last production-related reading of the novel (completed over a year ago), the remainder coming from a final proof pass currently being wrapped up by an outside professional; and thence commencement of the final correction-and-lockdown pass through the book. When that’s done, we will decide the colors of the binding cloths for the various editions and their slipcases, design three distinctive, not-quite-identical dust jackets – the front cover art and back cover art are well worth another look – during which time we hope to have at least some fun with the flaps, and Wah-lah! Printer-ready book.
Best Wishes for All the Holy Days You Care to Count,