Today I’m writing from the conference of the Courtyart Mariott during the Writers’ Union AGM lunch break. On the way here, as it was close, I delivered a grant application to Ontario Arts Council.
It’s a sweaty process. From
finding the correct box in which to mail five copies of 40 pages, to deciding whether your manuscript is (tick the box off) Literature or Young Adult. Also I’m confused by the instructions to “Not Photocopy” certain pages What if I do? I’m supposed
to keep a complete copy of the application afterall. How would “they” know. It’s like removing the White Material tag from a stuffed animal.
We’re supposed to use a 12 pt font, put name and address on one title page and use a header with the title of the work exactly as it appears on the application form (the one you can’t photocopy) AND use both sides of the page. That was a new one on me. Too late. I think it’s an environmental move so redoing the 200 pages to comply would be counter productive.
No matter. At least I delivered it by hand. I almost hope for a postal strike so mine will be one of only a few applications. Then they won’t throw me away over the photocopying issue or the one side of the page usage.
It takes a lot to pry writers from their offices but once a year I make the trek to Marilyn Helmer’s in Bellwood for a potluck lunch. The drive involves a winding country road with lots of horses gamboling on the side in the fields. The food is delicious as this gang (Marilyn, myself, Deb Loughead, Liane Goodall, and Gisela Sherman are all great cooks. We enjoyed cranberry meatballs, grilled vegetable orzo salad, smoked salmon carrot souflee, wild leek and potato casserole and a coleslaw with brocolli and walnuts that defies the very label. Plus we had great conversation, discussing the dilemma of how much of our time should be spent blogging, twittering, face booking and creating book trailers when we’d rather be writing…or eating for that matter. We decided that some minimal public effort needed to be made for the publisher’s viewing but after that it was whatever we enjoyed because who knows if anything really works. Writing the best book we know how is what we’re really in it for. Problems solved for another year we drove home.
It takes a lot to pry me from my office but once a year a few kids’ writers meet for potluck at Marilyn Helmer’s in Bellwood. It’s a drive with lots of horses gambolling in fields next to the road– my favourite kind. These writers are foodies so there was a carrot souffle with smoked salmon, cranberries meatballs, wild leek casserole, grilled vegetable confetti salad , coleslaw with walnuts and broccoli and locally made brownies and butter tarts. But it’s the conversation that’s really the best. Should we blog,twitter facebook create movie trailers for our books. Or can we just get away with writing the best story we can? Or should we just take a big long break…and eat? One of our conclusions is that some of our publicity efforts are largely to satisfy the publishers who need to see we are publicly making an effort. For this year, we’ve solved the problems of the world–and had some pretty fine food too.