In the morning, I went to a CAAP grant application meeting; we're planning on applying for $1000 for DesiLit -- $600 to cover the cost of incorporation and 501(c)3 application, and $400 for some aspect of the group, yet to be decided. :-) If you live in Chicago and are an individual artist (writer/dancer/etc.) or represent a non-profit arts foundation, especially if you/your org hasn't received a grant before, this is the perfect program for you. But you have to attend one of their mandatory workshops before applying, and the deadline for 2005 is December 10th, so act quick! And ask me if you have any questions. It's considered a stepping-stone grant, and 75% of applicants receive funding, so it's way less competitive than most grants!
And Susan -- I think this is the sort of thing that y'all should apply for for SH -- but I'm not sure where, given that SH is incorporated in Iowa. Maybe Iowa, maybe the Bay Area? Unclear to me. I need to figure that out for the SLF too at some point, but I think I can only manage one arts application at a time right now. This year, the Chicago app; next year, maybe Illinois Arts Council, if I (and/or DesiLit) are still here in Chicago.
After that, came home, got dressed up, and went to get my photo taken. It took about three hours, at least two hours of which was getting the background of sari fabric set up and figuring out the right light levels, with test polaroids and the like. Real photography is complicated! I wore a minty-green silver-embroidered/beaded Indian top with jeans, against an intense fuschia sari backdrop. Sort of like the colors of my book cover, now that I think about it, but more saturated. Oops -- I hope that's okay. I didn't think about it when choosing the top, and Suzette thought the fuschia worked best as a background, of the half-dozen saris I brought with. She took 48 photos with regular film and 12 with super-color film. I'm sure I blinked in at least three of them, but we can hope that of the rest, one of them will come out decent.
I came home from it and freaked out at Kevin. Y'all are familiar with the concept of 'girl-o-vision', yes? The idea that women can look at photos of themselves and see all kinds of flaws that are invisible to everybody else? I will refrain from listing all the things that looked fat or otherwise ugly about me in the test photos -- I was in super-critical mode. I didn't realize how tense I'd gotten about the whole thing until I was bawling on Kev's bewildered shoulder.
It's really Jhumpa Lahiri's fault -- I mean, it's bad enough that she won the Pulitzer, but did she have to be gorgeous too? Kev assures me that very few readers will decide whether to buy my book after comparing my author photo with Lahiri's in the bookstore. Bob asked me if the photo shoot was fun. It was supposed to be fun? It was super high stress, is what it was, and now we wait two weeks for the results. Argh.
Yes, I know I'm being obsessive, and that this behavior unhealthy, narcissistic, and far more unattractive than any photo of me is likely to be. I can't help it. I can only hope that once we pick a photo and are done with this madness, that I can go back to my normal barely-noticing-appearance self. Though there are job interviews (hopefully) in late December. Argh and argh again. I need an interview suit. And then I don't want to buy any more clothes for a year.
I did have a nice evening after that -- Thai food at Sweet Tamarind with Shannon and Julia and Angeli and Heather and Aaron, followed by a charming play version of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, by the San Sebastien players. I particularly liked the actor playing the Duke -- great job. And the actress playing Granny Weatherwax did a good job with an impossible-to-live-up-to role. :-)