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.