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February 24, 2013: A Modest Proposal

Today I finished writing up my Rasmuson Grant Proposal. Tomorrow I will get it in the mail. I’m seeking funding for a year-long fellowship so that I might continue work on Material Matters, a memoir about composting and composing myself as a writer.

This is for a Mature Artist’s Fellowship. If they set aside funds for an Immature Artist’s Fellowship, I would have gotten it. I’m very good at whining, pouting, and the like, particularly when it comes to not getting what I think I deserve. Yes, I am at heart a spoiled four-year old.

Alys's coworkers

I feel good about this proposal. Proposal writing is not my forte. But this one is good. I think that after years of solving writing-related problems, that I put things together in this puppy in a big way.

The Rasmuson grant cycle is cyclical – the literary arts grants come up every two years. I applied for an arts grants the last time around. I knew then that that proposal wasn’t going to fly. I put in to write a book about Part 1 of our trip. I lacked an Alaska focus. And plain and simple, I didn’t put enough time into it.

But this proposal – it has thematic unity, a strong voice, a very well defined writerly stance. These attributes are indicative of the mind of a creative writer at work. Pete is the resident technical writer, and is very adept at writing proposals. Remember? He’s the guy who got a sabbatical after writing a proposal requesting for a year off in order to write a book about chain saw use. And he got what he asked for. The most impressive thing of all is that he convinced an academic audience that he had a worthy project.

So I knew that when I shared my proposal with Pete that he’d help me make it more audience specific. And indeed, he did. My wonderful proposal now has appropriate headers, and all the grantee’s questions have been answered in a very succinct fashion.

So, I obviously have high hopes. Now what if in June, I learn that I did not get this grant? Well, I’ll be bummed. The strange thing about such things is that I would not be bummed if I didn’t put in for this at all. This is the conundrum of the writer’s life.

Oh well, after many years of hard work, I pride myself on my day-to-day accomplishments. And I am pleased when I solve yet another writerly problem. The last two statements are total bullshit. Otherwise, I would not even have read the grant application. I want this, I deserve this, I hope I get it, and really, this is now all I have to say about this.

Next: 56. 2/25/13: Pony Grrrrl Deep In Thought