Four Weeks

Hell – if Cubeland Mystic can do it…

Way back when I was just a wee young alt-weekly hack (as opposed to the seasoned hack I have become), my editor, herself twice published, twice an NEA recipient, and at least once a Guggenheim fellow, suggested I apply for the NEA grant myself. “You have to get the NEA before they’ll even consider you for the Guggenheim,” she said, stoking the twin fires of both ego and ambition.

So, with all the sweet hope of youth, I applied. I submitted a piece I wrote for the Reader about spending a day with a butcher – the kind who will visit your farm, shoot your cow between the eyes, dress and quarter it on the spot with a chainsaw (after draining the blood), haul it back to his place, finish cutting it into chunks, hang it in his cooler, and eventually, carve it up with a bandsaw. It was a fun piece. It didn’t win, of course – but the rejection letter did include a handwritten addendum at the bottom: “I’m very sorry. Please apply again.” Huzzah!

So I applied again – this time, with a collection of the columns that eventually formed the backbone for the little book. Another rejection. No note this time. Ah, well.

But it’s a pretty sweet grant if you can get it, so try, try again. Deadline is March 1. Thinking of trying to work a section from the unpublished Book Two into something worth submitting. Here goes. Vaultless ambition; bottomless sloth!

Comments

  1. good luck to both of you…is it something that more than one person can get? i don’t know if you were implying that cube was going for the grant too, but if so, i hope you both get it. i agreed with cube, we do need a new generation of catholic writers AND the possibility of countering the culture with good art. the fear would be, that sooner or later, good art will go unrecognizable-especially if we bring U2 into the mass….(although….that may be better than ‘we are the champions’). anyway, the whole point of truly inspired art is to give us a glimpse of god. i’ll be praying for both you!

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    Many thanks.

  3. Cubeland Mystic says

    Thanks mcm.

  4. Notrelatedtoted says

    “…the kind who will visit your farm, shoot your cow between the eyes, dress and quarter it on the spot with a chainsaw (after draining the blood), haul it back to his place, finish cutting it into chunks, hang it in his cooler, and eventually, carve it up with a bandsaw.”

    How did this not win?

    Good luck! Third time is the charm, right?

  5. ernesto pinamonti says

    Isn’t bottomless sloth kryptonite to vaultless ambition?

  6. Notrelatedtoted says

    I think it’s more of a yin and yang thing.

  7. Dorian Speed says

    Vaultless ambition; bottomless sloth!

    Can I make this my personal motto? Anyone feel like translating it into Latin?

    I wish you both the best of luck and will be praying for your success! Thought I heard there was a graphic novel in the works, too…

  8. Adam DeVille says

    I echo Dorian Speed about that: a fine tag it is and it would fit very handsomely around the bottom of a shield on one’s personal arms.

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