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March 15, 2013: Marching Along

March is marching along – the sun, now that there’s daylight savings time, is setting around 8:30 p.m. In a few weeks I’ll no longer need to use the headlight to clean the horse pen at night. This is going to make this job a lot easier. No fun, rooting around for energy nodules by the orb of a dying headlight battery.

But I’m not out of the woods yet. It has been a rough week. First I hurt my knee falling forward, and then I hurt my wrist falling backwards. I was, for a while, doing things like carrying water in very small increments. This, in the wind. I decided a short while ago to go to town and get some groceries, and I discovered

Our truck on the Bay of Fundy--during its younger days

that the truck battery Is dead. I’m glad this didn’t happen a week ago because I can’t think of who I might ask to give me a jump. Pete will be home Sunday, and he’ll be able to assist me in taking care of this. I just don’t know what cable goes on what bolt. If I messed up – boom!

So, back to work, inside. I’ve begun putting together a book proposal for the University of Alaska Press Literary series. I’m using my Rasmuson Foundation grant proposal as my template. The latter now seems to me to be overly simplistic – I’m now dubious about my getting a fellowship. At least I won’t now fall hard when this does not happen.

But hope springs eternal, just like the crocuses down in America. I’m going into more depth this time around, and doing a better job with this second proposal. I’m really glad that I both know how to, and am willing to, revise. Some people haven’t a clue. Like our local community council members who thought that the draft of our area comprehensive plan was set in stone.

I taught students to revise when I taught college writing by having them cut their drafts into pieces and then rearrange them on butcher paper. They could then put comments on the side and in between, expand upon their ideas. I had them fasten their cut up paragraphs with rubber cement, so that if need be, they could later move copy around.

This was back in the days of wagon trains. I don’t know how, in our digital age, this would go over now. Hard to say. I would not be surprised if now it was met with some resistance.

Each time I did this exercise, the students at some point would all stop talking to one another. At that very moment, the air was heavy with thought. For sure, it was as though they were “seeing” what they were working on for the very first time.

Now only two or three of the sentences of the grant proposal remain, meaning that I’ve begun to advance my original idea. Material Matters (this is the proposed name of my book) is actually an advancement of ideas put forth in Raudi’s Story and Raising Raudi. Rather than focus exclusively on the horse and our story, I instead now attempt to make the connection inherent to writing essays and making compost.

All is well and good. In the meantime the truck sits in the driveway—the cloth shopping bags are on the seat. I guess it’s far better to think about what needs to be done, as opposed to that which I cannot seem to do.

Next: 75. 3/16/13: Dormant Truck Battery