I’m making my grad students write pitches. It gets them to draw on research skills they have acquired, and it prepares them for the lucrative freelance lifestyle.

At the same time, I just finished a pitch of my own. Michael, Mark, and I have built a proposal for the Jewish vet memorial. We kicked ass, and we’ll submit it Friday in the hope of taking names later. We have a good mix of talent. Michael handles the business, Mark handles the film, and I impressed them both with my writing.

I was brought on board to handle research primarily. Neither Michael nor Mark had seen anything I’ve written, but I may have carved out a new niche.

Bonus booty:

My fascinating sister-in-law found a woman on the Mountain View, Calif. Freecycle who was giving away three “gorgeous” colour photos of a B-24 and a B-17 in flight, “Warplanes” (WW I to 1989) and “Ghosts of the Sky” (WW II) videotapes, and a U.S. Army Air Force Flying Goggle Kit with eight lenses.

She asked me if she should pick them up for me, and I told her to HURRY!

I should have them next week, when she comes to visit. We’ll have to convince her and her friend to come out dancing. It’s be awesome walking into a place with three women towering over me.

Fallen through the cracks

I received word today that the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) has denied me a travel grant to attend our book launch for “Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service” in Anaheim in August. My work was judged insufficiently literary.

I expected this, although the CCA agent who would present my grant application told me it was worth a shot.

The problem is that our book is straight history. All grant programs in history work at the academic level and are meant for students and full-time faculty. The CCA is the only agency that would consider funding a work of non-fiction outside universities. There’s no workaround – my efforts fall through the cracks of nearly overlapping sources of funding. And I can’t afford the $1,000 or so it would cost to fly down and stay a couple of days.

I will look into holding an event at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, perhaps as part of Jewish Book Month (November). And I want to find out what I could do at Toronto’s Jewish Book Fair that same month.

At the very least, I hope this book will qualify as a first book for funding requests for further work. Pyrrhic, yes, but that would be a victory nonetheless.

Back to working on the template for our documentary….

Bonus searches:

Three particularly noteworthy Google searches brought surfers to my pages recently.

1) “dilaudid in ass”: That one’s self-explanatory, and might depend on the individual’s pronunciation of “analgesic”. I think “Scrubs” used that joke.

2) “cell phone got wet in tent camping”: Thanks to the past tense, what springs to mind is that a camper’s cell phone got wet and the searcher wants to know if the phone can be saved, but that doesn’t explain why the location is important. This search is only a teaser for the next, though.

3) “how to unlock a minivan with the keys in side”: Marvelous! There’s three kinds of foolish there. The simplest is the unnecessary space that divides the word “inside”. The next grade of foolishness is the inciting event: locking your keys inside your van. Yeah, we’ve all done it, and, yeah, we’ve all felt silly about it, but commonality is not a mitigating factor. The foolishness teased by the previous comment is the specification of the location of the keys. Would this search turn up more useful results than “how to unlock a minivan with the keys in sewer” or “how to unlock a minivan after neighbour’s okapi ate keys”?