Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Retreat Report

One goal of mine while here at C's is to return home with a work plan like the one developed during residency at Vermont College. So far so good. Thanks to late night talks and afternoon creative exercises, I've started a reading list, begun a list of potential projects, and kept notes so I can detail how I'll go about pursuing each project. I've even begun to rank my work projects so I know which ones to pursue first.

So far the week's been true to C's promise of play. We've colored with crayons. We've made sand castles at the beach. We've gone rock hunting. We've hiked along streams, and through virgins stands of pine forests, and loped through open fields ripe with wildflowers.

Vancouver Island is so wild and beautiful, filled with moss-covered boulders, virgin pine forests, and clear mountain streams. A couple of nights ago while walking back to the H's house from the red barn (where the retreat's being held), we startled a deer. It must have been grazing right next to the trail, but this place is so dark (read no street lights for miles) we didn't see the buck until we were upon it. As soon as we neared, it bounded off into the woods, a black crashing shape. Silent, heart pounding I clamped onto the nearest arm, and rushed to the H's front door.

To give you an idea of how untamed this place is we've been asked to hike with at least one partner and to take along a walking stick for protection. Fresh bear scat was found near the stream on Monday. And the neighbors sighted a cougar the day before we arrived.


Anonymous said...

Kim: My name is Jen Cullerton Johnson. I've been reading your blog for months. I'm part of SCBWI Chicago. And now that I have read you have reunited with your MFA pals, I thought, "Good for her. After this long, emotionally draining year, she deserves it!."
I thought I would write you and tell you how much I enjoy your blog. It is spot on!


Darius said...

Yeah, that can wake you up. Last time I was in Canada, ages ago, we were near a town (?) called "Forestville." We camped nearby and found bear tracks outside our tent next morning...