The grant deadline is soon and it would be very useful to apply. I was wrong assuming a PhD gave you enough to live off of, it doesn’t, but this grant can make it work more easily. But just like misunderstanding the financial reality of a PhD, I didn’t understand the grant is contingent on having a research question and I don’t. My thesis has taken the form of a novel about a musician studying improvisation and how that discipline nurtures an understanding not only about the music but alters their relationship to other problems they face in life. I started writing it in the spring, it feels right, I like the various stories I can discuss within the premise, but I don’t have a question and you have to have a question for the grant. I wonder if there is a way to repurpose what I’m doing so it is interrogative like maybe I’m questioning why improvisation isn’t taught as a method of enlightenment? But I can’t keep a straight face each time I try. Might be best to forget about grants and just try squeezing through but it might also feel pretty stupid to not play along with the opportunity to offset the financial pot holes that are always there threatening the whole thing. the ordinary grants are just as weird, the ones from the canada council or the ontario arts council or the toronto arts council. it is amazing and awesome they exist but they presume the artist can explain in advance what they will generate which is a catch 22. the act of art making isn’t necessarily knowing in advance what you are creating. It is the act of improvising, playing and experimenting but in order to qualify the funders need you to explain what you’re planning to make. there isn’t room to apply and say just trust me. I guess it seems entitled or arrogant to say please just trust me but from another view it’s the most honest explanation I could offer. In an interview somewhere, Leonard Cohen replied his future songs were like making wine and letting it ferment some months and later we’ll uncork it and see if it’s any good. Guess that’s why he wrote Hey, That’s No Way To Say Apply.