Before last Friday a lot of writers were watching the inbox on their computers or even their regular snailmail box for a notice about the status of their Canada Council Grants. I couldn’t get a picture of anyone of them looking this hopeful. But Mortie trains his eye every day on some birds nesting in a cross tube on the baseball fence in Brant Hills Park. He became their metaphor. Mortie must know he’s likely not to nab one of those birds but he goes through this exercise every day. I know writers don’t apply for grants as often. But they slog away at stories that may or may not be published, lauded or appreciated.
I don’t know what Mortie will do if he every catches his elusive prize. I had a list for my grant funds. The money is supposed to be used for “subsistence” but what ever cash you normally use for mortgage and food can be channeled into VISA payments, dental work, computer upgrades, tickets to, say, War Horse.
But I didn’t win the lotto this time. It was lovely to receive the verdict “Highly recommended but we ran out of funds.” It

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reminded me of how sniffing close I sometimes come to the bird.

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