Frost wrote of cleaning a spring and tending to a new calf—“You come too”—with the promise that it wouldn’t take long, that hint of the over-busy world to which we all belong.
Now I’m asking you, my able and loyal readers, to “come too” as I head into yet another revision of my biography, Doris Duke: The Invention of the New Woman. Originally set to be published in 2016, it is now delayed till October, 2018, which will make this a seven and a half year labor, two and a half years of that time spent dealing with my editor’s deletions and questions.
I plan to furnish you with some of the paragraphs I may have to delete—I will try my best to hold onto them, but it may simply not be possible. As all of us writers know, the big publishers hold all the cards, avoiding accepting a manuscript they’ve commissioned, formally, which means the second installment of my advance will not be paid for another two years—and the first installment came through more than five years ago and is, of course, long since spent.
This is one of the reasons writers can’t survive, economically and, it sometimes seems, spiritually.
Also, because this length of time between books is too long for my readers to have any sense of continuity, or to know that I am always writing, with new short stories hot off the griddle, I’m going to begin to publish one of these unpublished works here on my blog, in the hope that it will furnish all of you with a little sustenance during this long wait.
I am fortunate to have a publisher at all. I am blessed to have readers who will, perhaps, wait till the fall of 2018 to read the book they’ve been hearing about for a long time.
So—“You come too.”