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February 18, 2018: Granted

This morning I dove into my next project, which is to write up a Rasmuson Grant. Every year the Rasmuson Foundation offers artistic grants. I have in the past applied for them and never gotten so much a cursory nod. And in past years I’ve vowed not to waste my time on this, since so many are applying.

What most bothers me is that they offer big chunks of change for established writers who have done well career-wise. But I’m back at it again. And this time I have a solid proposal idea – one that I feel will be well-received. I’m seeking funding for the Forks book. Now there are a number of questions that one must answer, two of these questions being,

“Why is it important to undertake this opportunity at this stage of your career?” And, “How will this proposal advance/enrich your career?”

I started answering the first question this morning, then went to the second. For a bit I was stymied because the questions seem like they are asking the same question. I finally hit upon what I still (four hours later) think is a brilliant idea, which in answering one question, write about how this grant will enable me to advance my career in terms of form, that is stylistically, with a focus being on exposition and narration. I am going to say that I have taken one path, which is focused on narration up until this point in time, but I now want to take another path, which is to diverge and focus on narration and exposition. This, then, will better enable me to contribute the ongoing scholarly conversation in creative nonfiction writing.

And I’ll write in the second question about how this grant will enable me to advance my career in terms of content, which is on the subject matter. The subject matter is recycling – I need funding in order to do out of state interviews, as I follow the path of recyclable goods. And down the road, or is it down the path, I want to see if I might do work with a Vermont-based project, one that’s focused on educating young people about the environment. I went to a talk on this on Friday night and was very impressed -- the two young speakers did a wonderful job in their presentation – what most intrigued me is that their focus is on teaching people to problem solve. Sad to say, our oceans are now so polluted that one, two, three groups would not ever be able to clean up the mess. We are going to need hundreds of groups, and they are going to need to find innovative ways of going about this.

I saw parallels with what this group is seeing and what those who have been involved with the local recycling effort are seeing – and this is that education-based efforts have to supersede cleanup efforts.

So, what I am getting at here is that I am going to answer these very similar questions by focusing on form in one, and content in the other. I feel very good about this. I am going to push the fork metaphor as far as I can. Then next, I’ll move on to chopsticks.

Next: 50. 2/19/18: The Horse Life: All those Little Inconsequential Things

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