The truth is that all of us — all who have ever lived, all who are alive now, all who will ever live — we are, in each and every moment, in all places and at all times, both present and absent. This is in the very nature of things: presence and absence are infinitely intertwined, and the center of the universe is everywhere.
— Ron Drummond, letter to a friend, 22 July 2014
In the Project Update posted to this site on 21 December 2015, I made an implied commitment to a publishing timeline. In the interim, I failed to do the work necessary to fulfill that commitment. To John Crowley, Peter Milton, and all those who have actively supported this project for so long, I apologize for that failure, and ask for your forgiveness.
Between November 2015 and May 2016, four members of my circle of family and friends died, two of cancer; two more friends, still living, are battling cancer. During those months, I often found myself unable to concentrate effectively on my work. In December I was so upset over the first of those deaths (my mother’s) and the third of those cancer diagnoses (my best friend’s, who also happens to be one of the Project’s chief consultants), that I tried to force matters to a conclusion by publicly stating that the end of May 2016 was a hard deadline for commencing print production. (In the event, that proved not to be the case.)
On May 20, 2016, Rebecca Watterson, who long ago subscribed to our new edition of Little, Big and with whom I had become close friends, died of cervical cancer. Rebecca was among the finest people I’ve known. Her encouragement helped sustain me in my work on this edition. Too many have died too soon.
Today the work is on track, the tasks reasonably clear, though certain logistical hurdles remain. I had a long phone conference with John Crowley last week, strategizing with him on how best to get over those hurdles. As you might imagine, I’m under a lot of pressure to get this thing done, from John and others. Rest easy, if you can; you have many champions.
By dint of various agreements with those with whom I am working or to whom I am beholden, I am constrained in what I can say about certain aspects of what's currently happening with the Project. But I expect to be able to say more soon, and will be much relieved when that day comes.
Practically speaking, commencing print production before year’s end remains a viable possibility. I will do everything in my power to make that happen.