This is copy/pasted from Miriam Sagan's Blog, Miriam's Well, the original text of which you can find here: https://miriamswell.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/holly-baldwin-on-new-mexico/
Special Thanks to Miriam for taking the time to interview me.
My Darling Land of Enchantment,
You may be the only lover I’ll ever need. You get me. You fathom my unending quench for the sublime, for splendor, for the sensual nature of earth meeting heaven, and place me smack in the middle.
I never tire gazing at your immaculate beauty. The sky, reaching beyond my vision, the deepest azure that feels like the ocean has taken residence upside-down. Burnt soil rolling for miles, from cowboy kicked brown to brick red, punctuated by the verdant Juniper dotting your hills and lowlands. I love that you inhabit various forms over different miles, that your crags can become ebony as night followed by fields of sand as milky as the sun’s palest rays. You are a multitude of lands crisscrossing into one, much as I embody many women.
This is the opening of Baldwin’s piece in the new anthology from Z publishing house–New Mexico’s Emerging Writers.
And here is an interview with Holly Baldwin:
1. How long have you lived in New Mexico? Does it affect you creatively, as a writer, in terms of identity? Or?
I first moved here in August 2010, but moved to Pennsylvania for a year in February 2011 after a family crisis. Being away from New Mexico for a year was incredibly miserable, and it’s the only place I’ve ever really felt ‘home’, and I was elated to come back. As a writer, there is so much inspiration to draw from, and I love that there is such a huge appreciation for the arts in Santa Fe and the state as a whole. I love the solitary nature of the desert, but also how it moves people to form close knit communities. I also feel it’s a place to face your inner truths as a human and artist, and have the opportunity to become the person you were always meant to be. It’s not a place where you can hide from yourself. And I never get tired of the landscape, and it’s magnificence. It’s a constant source of creative and personal renewal for me.
2. I like the term “emerging” in that it implies the new, the fresh. But you have also published a lot, could be considered established as a writer and editor. So, what are you emerging into? What are your goals/visions for yourself these days?
Hopefully I’m emerging into a space where I can fashion a career from my writing, and earn a financial living from it. I am in the processing of obtaining my graduate degree, so that piece also feels like I am emerging into my credentials to teach, which I love. I’m not sure we are never not ’emerging’. Humans change and evolve, and our writing does as well, or it should.
My vision for myself is to be a paid writer and teacher. Ultimately, I would love to work in television development, but I don’t want to leave New Mexico. I have creative nonfiction work I am pursuing in novel length, and I have a blog that I have been maintaining (albeit a bit less due to my grad school intensity). One goal over the next year is to form my own nonprofit to house a literary magazine, and I am slowly putting the pieces together for that.
3. What is your favorite thing about writing? Least favorite?
I love the rhythm and pace of writing, and I love taking the pictures I see in my head and re-creating them with words. I work in the birth world, which writing parallels, and I am just in awe of my ability to create. There is a peace and solace writing brings me, as well as an ability to vocalize feelings and ideas that might be harder to express in conversation. And with dramatic writing, I love dialogue and creating conversations in my head, particular of things I would like to say out loud but have too much tact to do so.
I don’t think there is anything I don’t love about writing. My only issue is time. I’m a mother of four, and I have a boyfriend that I travel with frequently, so writing is not always front and center. But I know that won’t always be the case, and I don’t mind working in shorter spans until some of those circumstances evolve and change.
Reflections of a woman spawned in a cement cocoon...