Tuesday, January 22, 2013

NEA Application Time: Why Must We Suffer So?

Oh, sigh…it’s NEA grant application time for fiction/creative nonfiction.  Gird your loins.  I haven’t even seen an actual application form yet, but already I have had to:

--Register with the scary and bureaucratic-sounding grants.gov

--Use a different email address than I would like to because my preferred email address is already registered to the site from my last application.  God knows what that password might be or how to find out, so it seems easier to give a whole new email address. (Perhaps I can also invent a new publication record to go with this new person?)

--Try to download the application form.

--Be informed that I have the wrong version of Adobe Reader.

--Curse mildly.

--Look at the list of acceptable versions of Adobe, which is very, very long and contains every version of Adobe, except, apparently mine.

--Download another free version of Adobe to replace my current free version of Adobe.

--Be asked my operating system, which I know is XP, but which I don’t know if it’s XP 32bit, 64bit, or XP3.

--Guess that I have the worst one.

--Guess that 32bit is worse than 64bit.

--Guess correctly!

--Download my new version of Adobe Reader!  Yay!

--Or not.  I’m told a second time that I don’t have the correct version of Adobe Reader.

--Curse louder with naughtier words.

--Read on the NEA site that if I have the correct version of Adobe Reader and I still can’t download the program then perhaps I should use a different browser.

--So this is all my fault?

--Perhaps the grants.gov might hire better computer programmers?  Just a thought!  God knows I love the NEA!  J  But no one else ever asks me to try different browsers, and I apply for lots of things!  And doesn’t Google rule the world anyway? Is Internet Explorer really going to do a better job?

--Do I really want something that Google Chrome can’t handle?

--Actually, yes:  it’s $25K.

--OMG.  Reread at the list of acceptable Adobe Reader versions…my version is TOO NEW. 

--Look again.  Yes, TOO NEW.  (This is the version given to me without choice by the Adobe people.)

--9.5 vs. 9.4.  I’m off by .1. 

--Very colorful and lengthy cursing, complete with metaphor and simile and many, many action verbs.

--Buy lottery ticket for equal chance to win $25,000 and commence drinking.

The deadline is listed as February 28—but, actually, the site says to submit applications 10 days before this date, which might make it seem as though the deadline is really February 18.  Perhaps Adobe Reader will come up with another version by then.


(Holy crap...Internet Explorer seems to work.  You go, Bill Gates!)


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.