Haiku in The Hood

We are finishing fabricating 3 signs. Each one has a line from the featured haiku by Chiyo-ni, a classical Japanese woman poet.The translation was done by me and Isabel Winson-Sagan, metal work by Isabel and Tim Brown, and lettering from Paper Tiger. The sign below will go up at a height of 5-6 feet in my front yard–Friday is the projected date!
I’ll post more, and the other two signs will go up when finished and sites confirmed. Looks like we have enough front yards, but if you are interested, do drop me a note. It is likely we’ll do another set of 3 for spring, and possibly may offer a package of three for sale (your choice of haiku).

Haiku Conversation

The interesting website Carpe Diem gives haiku prompts–today’s is “conversation.” I’ve been working on a long range project of responding to my friend Elizabeth S. Lamb’s haiku with my own, a haiku conversation even though she is no longer living.

all these doctors–
it’s my own head
that helps ESL

getting blood drawn–
my reward
moon at sunrise MS

Adobe Walls Lit Mag is Back!


Just a note to let you know that I am bringing Adobe Walls back into being. The website is here: http://kpgurney.me/AdobeWalls/AdobeWalls.html

The reading period for submissions to AW #5 is Sept 2013 and the guidelines are on the website.

Also, there is a patron page for people who wish to contribute monetarily to make AW #5 a reality.


Kenneth P. Gurney

Building A Tiny House: Romance vs. Reality

Isabel Winson-Sagan reports:

Now, if we had followed the original plans, we probably would have ended up destroying this brand new trailer. Luckily I’m being helped by experienced metal workers/contractors, who pointed out that removing the side walls would wreck the structural integrity of the trailer. We could still remove the railings in the front and the ramps from underneath, just not the side walls. It seems possible that purchasing a new trailer, while safer in many respects than going with a used one, undermined us on this point because this model is newer than the one used for previous Tumbleweed tiny houses, and so the plans and the trailer do not match up. So the question became- how do we modify the plans in order to keep the original floor dimensions, without removing the sidewalls, in a safe manner?

To see the ongoing process of Isabel Winson-Sagan’s BabaBuilders, go to http://bababuilders.wix.com/babayagahouse


Iris Gersh on Creativity

Have you ever set specific creative goals for yourself? 
Such as?  I wanted to finish transcribing journals onto the computer after I got back from Greece in reparation (I meant preparation) for a memoir.  I did do that.  Then I tried to get into the Vermont College of Fine Arts post-graduation workshop, and I did do that.  It was such an affirmation of my work as a writer (and bringing my work out into the small world of six other writers and our top-notch mentor, Sue Silverman).  Since then, I have fotzed around with the book until the end of last year when I accepted I had to let it go and perhaps that was failure.
Did you “succeed” or “fail”?  Failure, not really so far as trusting the writing, but in finding a literary agent, and publishers, and bringing the work out.
How have these goals changed over time?
A couple months ago, I turned the focus on poetry and found a couple great venues for sharing and listening to other poets right here in Albuquerque.  I am also going to a DimeStories group once a month to share a three-minute story.  In a short time, I’ve connected with people who are welcoming; I was very fearful, and maybe just a little prejudiced about Albuquerque having a true writing presence, and found out gratefully so, wrong, wrong, wrong.
How successful have you been at publishing or showing your work?  So now I piece together a few excerpts from the book to share.  I do open mics.
In the past decade, have you been able to bring your work out into the world?  In the eighties, I submitted like a fiend, and probably had six pieces or so published in journals.
Are you satisfied with your ability to engage with new technology?   I spend too much time on facebook as it is, so have had to curb that, but I’ve created a group of friends that I enjoy and learn from.  Is there new technology?
Add any other thoughts you might have on the topic, too!  Instead of finding oh so much fault with my writing (such as I’m revising so much old poetry, shouldn’t I be blossoming with new stuff?), I encourage myself.  And I have always considered myself a bit of a fakir (faker) in the writing, but it hasn’t stopped me from observing and writing in my mind.  I also feel creative when I’m not writing, when I look at the mountains, when I gather inspiration, when I hang with the nieces, and when I cook something.  I find that exercising, especially walking, is helpful to my soul.

Iris Gersh, born in Kerhonkson, New York, lived in Boston and Florida, got an MFA in Creative Writing from FIU, lived in Greece eight years, and now live in Albuquerque. I teach online and sometimes in person, proofread, score tests, write articles for cruise ship magazines, and a hodge podge of mishmash.