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30 November 2005

Grant Application...

1. Discuss your style, subject matter and working process. Describe the compelling questions and issues that have informed your writing over the years and the direction in which you see your writing leading.

Style? Subject matter? Working process?

My process is my life. I've been writing since I found out that making certain marks— on whatever medium— could convey meaning, elicit a response from another person. Laughter, tears, anger, grief, hope, peace, comfort, fear, wonder, blueberry muffins. (I've got a great recipe. Would like a copy?)

Ditto, for subject matter. I write about life. The day by day slog. About not knowing why life is. About coping with the process of life. I try to put it all together, find the connections, understand what's happening, and writing is how I do that. I let other people read what I write, hoping that the ground work I've done will give them a leg up. I mean, seems to me that's something we owe each other, the sharing of experiences and giving a helping hand— or helping word where needed.

Life isn't easy. It hasn't been so for me, anyway. And arriving at middle age with no family, no children, no career, nothing to show for it, has been a real bitch. But, strangely enough, after having been put through the crucible of familial and cultural disparagement, all the dross has burned away and I am left with my true self. And for the first time in years, I feel hopeful. For now I know that becoming a creative, fruitful, nurturing person isn't achieved only through motherhood, but that, despite all the mythology, in truth, motherhood is one of the lesser creative processes. Animals can be mothers. I can be much, much more.

Style? I don't know. I've learned a lot in my lifetime. And I've tried to share what I've learned. By living example— good and bad. By writing. It would be nice to find out that what I am and what I do is valuable to people in general, not just to a few friends. It'd be nice...

Compelling issues? Well, I've learned that I can make dreams come true for myself and others. I can heal hearts and bodies. I can coax new, healthy growth from a barren soul. I can dispell fears, instill hope, inspire lasting courage. We all can— if we believe we can. If we try. If other people learn that this is true, maybe they'll begin to believe, and then maybe they'll try...

Where do I see my writing leading? It'd be nice to find out, someday, that my stories helped other people to believe in themselves and others, that my writing inpsired them to try to do their very best for themselves and others. Because that would mean I've made a positive difference in the world. Now that's something to shoot for, isn't it?


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