A Cure for Writer’s Block by Gabriel Flores Benard

Creative Writing recently went on a trip to the Botanical Gardens. Although the frigid winds and potential threats of torrents loomed over our shoulders, the Creative Writing class went to see the magnolias bloom. I dislike the rain, and I constantly noticed the clouds above. Puffy clouds peppered the skies as we left, clumps of cotton balls strewn together as they failed to cover the sun. As we arrived at Golden Gate Park, the clouds congealed and darkened, filled with water like an antsy child. I felt droplets kiss my face. 

By the time we entered the Botanical Gardens, the raindrops had faltered and stopped. The congealed clouds roamed close but allowed the sun to peek through. Heather took the Creative Writers along endless trails of flowers and other flora. Large, magenta petals littered the floor and poured over us. The trees grew in twisted ways, yet their branches wove intricate webs that diluted the sunlight. Heather stopped us along the trail to point out the coloration of the flowers, the sunlight peeking through the leaves, and the trees felled by strong winds. A few of my friends and I took pictures while others strung words together in their notebooks. My friend gave me her earbud, and we danced as the sun peered into our eyes; the clouds left us alone, and the wind left the trees to revel in the cold. 

The trip to the Botanical Gardens allowed the Creative Writers time to unwind. Fresh, virescent sights also inspire us writers before entering the next CW unit. Do not let anything stop you from relaxing, observing, and taking time to reignite your literary fire. The cold, sun, rain, wind, and flowers all have stories to tell. Take advantage of every sight and memory; you may find inspiration without trying.

Community Field Trips by Itzel Perez Alarcon

When entering Creative Writing you have to know what you’re getting into… and one of those things are the field trips we go on! I can’t tell you how much (and I think I’m speaking for everyone in the department when I say) fun we have on our field trips. When you first enter CW you’ve probably heard a little about annual trip to Kirby cove. Everyone looks forward to that. But before that, we spend time with our buddies at the Botanical Gardens (among other places) to give us a bit of an orientation. Heather give us a list of where we need to go in the garden, then off we go to write an inspired poem wherever the map took us.  It’s definitely a different experience when you’re with your buddy and walking around nature talking and pointing out very little details you notice while getting to know each other. Bonding is a huge priority in the Creative Writing department. And the Botanical Garden field trip was definitely a huge step forward into getting to know and learn more about my fellow writers. 

The following week was the field trip to the Faith Ringgold exhibit at the DeYoung Museum. Creative Writing will give you so many experiences to expand on your writing and getting inspiration is key to achieving that goal. Going to see Faith Ringgold’s work enticed my inspiration even more. And there is definitely more inspiration coming our way! And that’s not all. It’s barely the beginning. If there was a different meaning for the C in our department it would definitely be community.

Kirby Cove. My vocabulary cannot express how much I enjoyed Kirby Cove. Everything we did at Kirby Cove had something to do with bonding. Snuggling and cuddling in our sleeping bags to clumping up together when the fog comes down on us in the morning adds the right amount of getting to know each other. I definitely know Kirby Cove will become one of my favorite traditions. 

All of these field trips have loaded me with joy and bonding. The best part is it’s just the beginning of the year and I’m already so excited to get to know the people in the Creative Writing community even more!

In The Redwood Grove by Mykel Mogg

In the spirit of Doing What We Want (which is the name of our 3 day unit in which we explore a list of Things We Want To Do More Of In Creative Writing), we hopped on a bus and went to the botanical gardens. Magnolia leaf hats were worn, leaves were licked, and birds and airplanes were listened to.

We almost didn’t go because of the weather. It was damp and gray, and we were worried about getting cold. But we decided by popular vote to go anyways and get our butts wet. We went to the redwood grove, where there is a log podium and some benches. We took turns going up to the podium and standing on the wobbly stump to read short pieces we’d written.

I’ve recently been in a bit of a writing rut, but listening to the diversity of voices in our department riff on mysteriously similar themes never fails to inspire me. I filled up a page of my notebook with poetic odds and ends instead of the lists of facts/responsibilities that it’s been filled up with over the past few weeks.

Just as we confronted the cold to go out and have an adventure, a lot of us confronted feelings of inadequacy in order to step up to the podium and say, “Hey guys, this is my art. It’s worth your time and attention.”

I’m thinking about the how incredibly lucky we were to be somewhere damp today when our state is in the middle of a drought. And I wonder how that connects to the feelings we have to confront to share our art with each other. Anyways, I loved our non-judgemental sharing space. I leave you with these thoughts and an assertive moo, which is apparently how I express deep appreciation for writing now.