I was fortunate to receive a Research and Creation grant from the Canada Council for the Arts last year, funding the past 8 months of dedicated writing time so I could draft a new teen novel. And today I drafted the final scene of the book. Hurrah!
There’s a ton of revision yet to do, but getting that first draft completed is the biggest hurdle for me. Or if not the biggest, the first. You don’t get anywhere until you’re over that one. So this is a huge milestone to celebrate.
The book is a love story between two young artists, one snug in school and one struggling to pay rent and raise a child. They inspire and delight each other until envy ruins everything and the student “borrows” the barista’s work and passes it off as her own. He wasn’t doing anything with it anyway and her own work lacked passion and her professor was demanding something original and – well, that’s one way to cause a breakup.
She doesn’t get away with her plagiarism. He finds out. The school finds out. Her parents find out. The world finds out. Her shame is public and unbearable. But one needs passion to make good art, and the root of passion is suffering (at least linguistically), and in the fiasco that follows, she finally finds something to say as an artist.
And him? Can he forgive her? Could you really forgive something like that? And does he even have time for a relationship, with a kid to raise and a GED to earn and newfound fame for his artwork, thanks to her public shaming?
To answer those questions, you’d need to know more about him, and this blog post is only so long, so you’ll just have to wait to read the book. But before that can happen, I have to revise the manuscript, and before I can do that I need to put it away for a while so I can see it fresh. So you might want to find a few other books to read in the meantime.
But this is definitely the time to say thank you to the Canada Council for the Arts for supporting me in writing this book. It’s a financial boon, of course, but it’s also a vote of confidence, and both were essential to complete the draft. This is my first attempt at a novel in verse (so there’s going to be a lot of revision!), so along with daily writing time these past months, I’ve been studying poetry. And I’m getting a little better at it. 🙂
Want to know more about the Canada Council for the Arts? Here goes:
The Canada Council for the Arts contributes to the vibrancy of a creative and diverse arts and literary scene and supports its presence across Canada and around the world. The Council is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to “foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts.” The Council’s grants, services, initiatives, prizes, and payments support Canadian artists, authors, and arts groups and organizations. This support allows them to pursue artistic expression, create works of art, and promote and disseminate the arts and literature. Through its arts funding, communications, research, and promotion activities, the Council fosters ever-growing engagement of Canadians and international audiences in the arts. The Council’s Public Lending Right (PLR) program makes annual payments to creators whose works are held in Canadian public libraries. The Council’s Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts through exhibition and outreach activities. The Council is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO to contribute to a future of peace, reconciliation, equity, and sustainable development.
Pretty awesome, huh? Thank you!