So today's entry comes to you from the Cree Nation of Mistissini. I am writing to you from a computer at Voyageur Memorial School, where I'm working with photographer Thomas Kneubuhler on a project called Quebec Roots, sponsored by the Blue Metropolis Literary Foundation.
Thomas and I are working with a group of nine Grade Six students, all boys. Yesterday and again this morning, I told them a little about how I turned into a writer. My other goal was to get them to write a group poem. At first, the boys were not too keen -- this is a pretty macho crowd and I don't think writing poetry is on their list of favourite things to do! But once they decided that their chapter in this year's Quebec Roots book is going to be about hunting, things got livelier. The boys began demonstrating goose calls... and this led to a poem, full of beautiful goose calls! They told me how they hunt for geese. One detail I won't forget was how if they shoot a female goose, the male will circle round and round the hunter. So it turns out that even the most macho guys -- who hunt and play hockey -- can have a gift for poetry. And to help motivate the boys in the class, I let them in on a little secret: women like men who have a way with words!
Time to go. We're going outside now to take some photos with Thomas. After school, Brent, our students' enthusiastic teacher, is taking us for tea at his teepee. And guess what Thomas and I did on our break this morning? We went out to snowshoe on Lake Mistissini! Can you tell we're having fun?!!