Rita Hayworth and a Diffident Donkey
Posted by Anne Fleming
Should I make it public knowledge I stayed in the Rita Hayworth Suite at the fabulous Crown Mansion in Qualicum Beach, where Hayworth was once a guest? It has a giant claw-foot tub (with bubble jets) right smack in the middle of the big bay window and no one to look in at you as you bubble in the tubble. In my case, discretion prevailed and I drew the curtains anyway. Earlier in the evening, Alan Woo cottoned me on to Rita Hayworth is Staying Alive on youtube — worth a watch — while we snacked on apples and brie from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.
Campbell River treated us grandly, as noted by Alan in the previous post. Grade twelve English and Psychology students sitting in the back row at Timberline Secondary tipped their chairs back on cue at the same time as the character in the story I was reading tipped his back. No one was hurt. I continue to be inspired by the teachers and students I’m getting to meet. At Timberline, we talked about revision and collaboration with a poet, a screenwriter/filmmaker, and a rapper, amongst other students who didn’t declare their writerly tendencies, along with musing on boredom, creativity, agents and ten percent royalties.
Today brought us to Courtenay and Comox, where western grebes mad-scooted away from a swooping bald eagle in between the two towns, and a mule deer held us up en route to Highland Secondary. I got to visit a Creative Writing class and loved that in the confusion ensuing from trying to pass papers from one person to the next in a round of Exquisite Corpse (the Surrealist game wherein you write an article and adjective, fold the paper and pass, then a noun, fold and pass, then a verb, fold and pass, another article and adjective, fold and pass to the last person, who writes another noun, and then you read sentences like “The freaky shark buffed the diffident donkey”), teacher Jill Peacocke interrupted to say, “We can have these desks in a circle in no time flat.” So we did, and there we were in that beautiful creative writing circle, passing words around. So great.
Tonight it’s a reading at the Courtenay Public Library, 6.30 pm, with book sales by the superlative Laughing Oyster Books, where we poked our noses in to say hello this afternoon to a warm welcome.