I was doing research on something (yes, vague, I know) and stumbled upon an odd little website about botany and the movies. Seriously. And, just as seriously, it’s actually pretty interesting, as the author makes some good points about botanists and stereotypes, and this—this, which I actually hadn’t considered: As my eye for plants developed, I also noticed some botanical howlers. The Southern California oaks and chaparral out back of Los Angeles stood in for “the West” in countless westerns. I saw green clothespins holding on the bean leaves in The Milagro Beanfield Wars. The Last of the Mohicans featured tall shrubs of Rhododendron in what was supposed to be upstate New York. If you film in South Carolina, the botanists in the audience are going to figure it out.
I don’t often think about the foliage as I write, but yes, that is important. Especially if it’s the kind that eats you.
The prospect of all-female conception is a doozy: Scientists are seeking ethical permission to produce synthetic sperm cells from a woman’s bone marrow tissue after showing that it possible to produce rudimentary sperm cells from male bone-marrow tissue…Creating sperm from women would mean they would only be able to produce daughters because the Y chromosome of male sperm would still be needed to produce sons. The latest research brings the prospect of female-only conception a step closer.
Dude. Or maybe no dudes. Heck. I guess Y: The Last Man wouldn’t really be an apocalyptic scenario after all.
Terri Windling’s lovely gorgeous house in England is for sale. Honestly, I can’t imagine why she’s giving the place up, but wow. Talk about a dream home.
And for the Stargate fans, a fun note from actress Amanda Tapping about their filming in the Arctic.
TONY HILLERMAN MYSTERY PRIZE
NO ENTRY FEE. One manuscript per writer allowed. Unpublished manuscripts of book-length accepted (minimum 60,000 words) in English. Must contain murder or another serious crime, or crime is at the heart of the story, and emphasis is on the solution rather than the details of the crime. The setting must be in the Southwestern US including at least one of these states: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah. Winner chosen by St. Martin’s Press editors. Selected winner will be offered a standard contract with St. Martin’s Pressand an advance of $10,000. Deadline July 1, 2007.
HUNGER MOUNTAIN CREATIVE NONFICTION PRIZE
$15 ENTRY FEE
Deadline September 10, 2007. Submit one work of creative nonfiction, not to exceed 10,000 words. One $1,000 prize winner receives publication in the Spring 2008 Issue; two honorable mentions receive $100 each.
BRIMSTONE GRANT FOR APPLIED STORYTELLING
National Storytelling Network is pleased to invite applications for the fourth annual Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling–a grant of $5,000 for a project that will be completed in calendar year 2008. Preliminary proposals will be due by email no later than Monday, May 7, 2007, and finalists will be notified by email by June 11. The grant will support a model storytelling project that is service-oriented, based in a community or organization, and to some extent replicable in other places and situations. It is our hope that projects receiving this award will have impact beyond their own communities, organizations, or clients, inspiring excellence in applied storytelling work and communicating to new audiences the humanitarian possibilities of storytelling. Many different sorts of projects can be considered for the award, including community, organizational or institutional programs, curricular activities, short residencies, and projects combining complementary art forms. Projects may involve various kinds of stories, including traditional tales and myths as well as personal and ad hoc narratives. Applicants who are not members of the National Storytelling Network will pay an application fee of $60, which will include a one-year membership. There will be no fee for applicants who are already NSN members.
JJ RENEAUX STORYTELLING GRANTS
The J.J. Reneaux Emerging Artist Fund supports two different grant programs, both of which provide funds for activities to advance storytelling skills. The Emerging Artist Grant awards $1,000 to a storyteller of major and unique performing talent who has not yet received wide public recognition. The Mentorship Grant awards $750 for a gifted younger teller (18-30 years of age) to work with a seasoned teller as mentor.The Emerging Artist Grant and the Mentorship Grant are awarded in alternate years. The Mentorship Grant will be awarded for 2007 (applications due in 2006), the Emerging Artist Grant for 2008 (applications due in 2007), and so forth.
Target funds arts programs that bring the arts to schools or make it affordable for youth and families to participate in cultural experiences such as school touring programs, field trips, or artist residencies and workshops in schools. Grant must be through a school or nonprofit entity.