Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thank you, Canada Council!

Spring is nearly here. The hyacinths and tulips are peeping through the soil in my garden. Snow piles are lone bergs among the dead leaves of fall past. And my horse is shedding his woolly coat with each love-pat he receives. It's been a long winter, especially long for us. We're ready for warmer nights and the clean smell that rolls over the barren hills. So what lingers ahead?

The lovely Canada Council has awarded me a Creative Writing grant for 2011! I got the good news just the other day. On my way to an appointment I stopped and withdrew the large white envelope in my mailbox. When I opened it I didn't realize the good news until I'd read the letter three times. For some reason I took for granted my proposal had been rejected and I was shuffling through the papers looking for 'something good'. When I read the successful bit I said, 'Oh my God.' My husband thought it must've been another large bill we had to pay. Needless to say he was ecstatic for me. No more distraction and worry over finances, I'm going to kill this novel and send it to the patient publishes kind enough to express interest in it.

This could not have come at a more needed time. Despite a recent Canadian blogger's sentiments, being a writer can be a difficult, isolating, often unrewarding career. Financial restraints often impede creativity and stifle production, luring writers into other professions that offer more stability. I understand those people. I almost became one of those people this year, after spending the last six years toiling away in isolation I was ready to get out of the house and make some money, reinstating a sense of general purpose. Alas, this is the other reason the grant is so vital to emerging writers especially. It gives us the confidence to endure the tougher times, that our peers have faith we'll produce work beneficial to our country. This is just as important as the financial reward the emerging writer  grant gifts to writers.

Now off to bed. There is lots to do in the days ahead and dreaming is a good way to start.