Happy New Year!
That’s a bit late, and so, by way of explanation, let me begin with P.G. Wodehouse’s Cocktail Time.
Told he must write another book, to build on the phenomenal success of his first, Sir Raymond (aka “Beefy”) Bastable responds,
“But I can’t, I tell you! It nearly killed me, writing Cocktail Time. You haven’t any conception what it means to sweat your way through one of these damned books. I daresay it’s all right for fellows who are used to it, but for somebody like myself…I’d much rather be torn to pieces with red-hot pincers.”
I’m here to tell you that even some of us who are used to it fully understand Beefy’s sentiments, although we may not be quite ready to be torn to pieces with red-hot pincers.
In short, as Wodehouse points out earlier in the book, “there is a lot more to this writing business than the casual observer would suppose.” I was comforted to learn that even he, who not only wrote hundreds of books but also screenplays, songs, magazine articles, short stories, and so on, at the rate of what seems to be 200 a day, did not write as effortlessly as his works would make it appear.
All of this is an overlong prelude to the question: When is the next book coming out?
Not being nearly as prolific as he was despite the difficulties he speaks of so poignantly, I am in the last stages of the Work-In-(snail-like) Progress. If I finish it within the next few weeks, it will be out in November of this year. I seem to have a prayer of accomplishing this. Please send as much positive thinking my way as you can. I am not ashamed to ask.
Images, from top: The Important Response, Florent Joseph Marie Willems, courtesy the Walters Art Museum; cover of Cocktail Time (scanned from my copy); telegram from Dorothy Parker to her editor, courtesy Letters of Note (with thanks to Susan Holloway Scott/Isabella Bradford, who first forwarded the telegram image to me).
Clicking on the image will enlarge it. Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.