I took Sally Ito's creative writing class at the Canadian Mennonite University on a rather buggy/mucky walk in Assiniboine Forest yesterday.
(I wore my new suede shoes. I drowned my new suede shoes. Which is only really me being punished for my must-look-like-a-writer vanity...so I can't complain.)
At various points, I stopped and 'fed' them information of various types - species lists, newspaper articles, the field guide entry for trembling aspen, gossipy stories about the forest perv, the sound of the forest itself - and then had them write for a minute or so.
Then we marched on. Sometimes I pointed out mushrooms or how the wild roses had gone scarlet in the meadow at the end of our walk.
Writing to this built-by-forest-ruining-delinquents tree-fort wasn't part of my plan, but when I peeked inside, I couldn't NOT have them write to what I found inside.
Thanks to Sally for inviting me to walk the forest, talking poetry, for money (!).
Thanks too to the 18 students in her class who played along and swatted and wrote and laughed at my naked-man stories.
And DEEP appreciation to the two students who went barefoot and handed the rest of their classmates across a slippery log in the middle of a puddle, mid-forest.