Making Faces For Paperwork

making faces for beauty copyI am working on grant applications, oh joy, which must be why “Making Faces For Beauty,” a work from my digital magazine project, WöM appeals to me. The main part is from a 1938 magazine, and claims these facial stretches and exercises will make women more beautiful.

And waste their time when they could be thinking about politics and feminism.

Sure. Let’s everybody make a face.

As the years have gone by, grant applications become more and more complicated, more and more paperwork is requested, and more seems to be required of you to be a “real” writer rather than an “emerging,” beginner writer.

As I was compiling my list of publications – which one never used to need, and then, suddenly was needed, and now, suddenly requires not only the note of what magazine, when, and number of pages, but also the title and genre of the piece – I learned a few things about myself and my writing career;

I’m getting older; my chrysalis has dried up and blown away long ago. I emerged at the age of seventeen with a cartoon I drew and wrote and was published in the prairie’s classic farmers’ newspaper, the Western Producer. It had won a contest, and I got paid.

I’m getting older; I don’t actually even remember writing some of the poems I’ve written and published and gotten paid for – my rule was to never submit to anything that didn’t acknowledge my work and pay me, as if it really was work.

As I get older, my writing tools have changed enormously, from type, to word-process, to key-board, and now a magazine seems old fashioned if it still demands submissions by snail-mail.

I’m 47, and have actually had enough time to write a lot of stuff, and been very lucky to have most of it published.

And paid for.

But then, there’s my blog.

The literary world tends not to recognize combinations of the visual and the word. Magazines and publishers almost always say “We won’t do that,” if you ask to publish your art and words together, though I’ve been lucky, and my book publishers (except the French translation) have consented to my visual input.

My blog is nothing but the visual and the word arranged together. I call it an exhibition blog, because it’s more than just ekphrastic descriptions of the art of others. I’ve done all the work, and the work should be taken together. At the moment, I’m still engaged in hammering on the doors of literary magazines to break down the only visual or only words rules; even though they claim they want something original and surprising, most fail to make original or surprising editorial decisions with this particular form, and it makes me feel like they are willing to look at only half my face. Some of the work I’ve done for my blog has taken me and my thoughts in directions impossible without the combination of visual and literary, and the fact I’ve ben the author of both.

Am I going to have to invent my own magazine that publishes only visual-artist-writer’s exhibitions? I suppose it would have to be on-line from the financial colour-ink perspective.

And I would have to name it The Tyger, of course.

Back to the list of publications. Literary magazines have declared blogs self-published on line to be real publication, a use of “first North American serial rights” and won’t consider paying to publish them again, but what about the granting agencies? Are blogs real writing? Are they real writing if combined with a visual form? Real or not, the granting agencies have asked for a list of publications, and I’m giving it to them, blogs included.

But how many of the jury members will actually read the six page list — title, page numbers, and all?

I think I might just sit here and make a few horrible faces.

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This entry was posted in Digital Art, Feminism, The Writing Life, Uncategorized, Visual Art and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Making Faces For Paperwork

  1. doreenmierau says:

    This certainly triggered memories of my freelance writing days and selling poems and articles to The Western Producer. Enjoying your blog.

  2. Thanks Pam. I just noticed the world grant is similar to the word grunt.

  3. pam says:

    Emerged from the writing burrow today to find this in my inbox.
    So great to have company along the road.

    I shall make a face in solidarity!

    Good luck with the grant app.

    Go easy ~p

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