2020-11-29 Rounding Up and Rounding Out

Every morning I get at least two new-to-me poems in my email in-box. About a week ago I decided that since I’m tired of writing about The same-old-same-old AND seem to be Most inspired to write Creatively after reading new material that I would use these little nuggets as a jumping off points for new musings. The first couple were (as shiny new things always are) starry successes. So much so that I decided that my next book length project would be a collection of these works, which I’m calling “flips.”

I proceeded to think of everything. Including using the word “flip” capitalizing on its multiple meanings— acrobatic acts, turning over, opposite sides, and fate. Perfection! The next word I had to decide on was the one to follow. Would it be “with” or “of” or “on”? Certainly not “over.” My intention to provide continuity of titles and at the same time nod to the poem or essay or story that inspired the flip.

A few more days and more contemplation about the concept later and I’m deciding not to post these flips to my blog… advice in my ear reminding me not to put potentials in the public domain. Some article I read about getting published. A succinct list of do’s and don’ts. Some publishers won’t publish your stuff if you’ve self published on a personal blog or website. Duly noted.

Heeding this warning led me to believe that I truly think I might be onto something. I mean, it stands to reason that if I didn’t think a poem had a chance in the real world I would not hesitate to post it. I mean, so what right?! I’ve been posting my poems for about 10 years now on my original blog, and rarely visit or post new stuff. What is there now I leave up. 1. I’ll probably never seek publishing any of these old poems as they are largely before my time in my MFA. 2. It’s nice to have a record of what my life and poetry were like before The Cataclysm.

The Cataclysm, so dramatic! But personally fitting for the event that led me to change my life. Look at me now!?! I’m not apologizing. Hurray!!

Anyway, so a few more days go by and I don’t get anything new from my attempts to flip. Probably because I got gobbled up with that Raccoon River Reading business. That kind of thing takes all my energy and attention.

Then it was Thanksgiving. And now I’m back at it, finding success again yesterday. Double hurray!!

Each day I open my email and know that poets.org posts in the early AM and Paris Review is later. Each day I have a little sliver of hope that today will be the day my poem “This” will appear on poets.org.

My acknowledgment earning poem, submitted to the American Academy of Poets contest through the University this year. As I understand it the poem will be posted on the site at some point, presumably sometime before the end of next years contest when they will have hundreds of new poems to choose from.

I’ve already exhausted almost all the happy dancing in me over this poem, but this one last nod would be a nice bow on the whole ordeal. Just don’t know when I’ll open my email and find that bow.

Today was not that day. It was also not a poem that particularly inspires me to write anything. So I quickly move on to the Paris Review. That one holds a little promise. A bite-size poem which is a perfect jumping off point. It’s got it all, brevity, deeper meaning, engaging language, and a title that requires research but is revealing and satisfying.

I really hate when something requires research and the research doesn’t reveal any more about the poem. I mean, it should. I need to remind myself of this when I think about including obscure references in my poems.

So “After Callimachus” is a possibility today but if it wasn’t, I have plenty of other options. A new book came in the mail yesterday and one the day before that and I barely scratched the surface of Rattle 69 and I’ve already received 70. Yeah.. at least I’m getting something for the $$$ I’m spending on submissions.

On that front I’m still holding steady in the low 70’s. Dipped down to 68 briefly this week with a few more rejections and then I had a submission surge one day this week and am back up to like 73. I think 75 is a nice round number to shoot for. Perhaps I’ll put together a few more as the month comes to a close. Hit my target and then cruise December. Perhaps.

With that, I think I’ll get off this treadmill and get on with my day. Lots planned for today. More decorating, meeting with Ed for final acceptances for the GLR, baking cookies. Hopefully I won’t be doing these things alone. We’ll see.

ICheers to Third Sunday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-28 The Clandestine Miss SugarCookie Miraculously Finds Five Hundred Followers

Loving this long weekend so far. Really letting myself get into all of this Christmas business and doing it all just the way I’d want to do it if I was alone on the island. Alone in the castle. Alone with only myself to please. But I’m still doing the dishes, to keep the natives distracted with normalcy.

The “it’s all about me” mentality doesn’t stop at stringing lights and dotting every I and crossing every T with the drippings of last years Christmas tree. Oh no. It extends into what’s coming out of the refrigerator and going into my mouth. Namely every leftover from the self-made feast I first laid eyes on last Thursday. Hurry. Before it all goes bad on the shelf.

And just like that, quietly in the night, my count of followers for this blog crosses over the threshold of 500. Can you just imagine?! 500 people and bots who have either clicked on a button to follow this SugarCookie or pre-programmed their loyal servants to auto-follow any blog with certain key words. But since I’ll never know the split, I celebrate with blissful indifference!

I happened to mention to Jim a few night ago, or last night, that I was a few clicks away from 500. His questions led me to want to divert the conversation to some other topic. I needlessly began to worry that he might try to find the blog and read it. He asked if someone googled me if they would find the blog. I know the answer is that it depends.

It Depends on what they google and what they know about me, if they know any of the aliases I use, or past Legal last names I’ve had. Truth is, since it’s all connected behind the scenes, it’s famously easy, but I’m banking on the fact that he won’t search and frankly, that most people who know me won’t either.

Yeah, I do, every once and a while drop a link someplace or tell someone about it, but again, I trust in the universe. That nobody’s got the time for my brand of repetitive bronchitis. It’s true. I don’t even have the time for it, but a girl’s got to treadmill and Multitasking on my phone,  typing away from the perspective of my favorite alias is a natural match.

So I’m almost 4 years in with this blog. Stats say I’ve posted 1099 times and have had 12,681 views from 7716 visitors over the course of all these long days and nights. Not bad.

Jim asked what I would do if suddenly overnight my number jumped to like 50 thousand. I told him I’d wonder what hacker hacked me—posted some video that went viral, electrons spinning the globe in seconds causing my stats to skyrocket out of control. Silly husband. Human beings don’t read anymore. They watch Tik Tok and YouTube and Facebook and Netflix.

Blog intermission: I apologize to all you real humans reading this Right now. I’m not talking about you, but I definitely feel like “we” are in the minority. It’s a sickness this short attention span society we’re allowing to proliferate before our very eyes, ears, and skin. As if we’ve no skin in the game. It’s a shame. 

In any case, as I said before I’ve already made my bet that Jim is not going to google me or find my blog and if he does, I hedge with the fact that he won’t read much if he does. That would be a tragedy. I mean, what would you do if you were seeing a therapist for like 4 years and suddenly they began making daily phone calls to your loved ones to dish your dirt. You’d probably have to find a new therapist. And I would too. Yes, tragedy indeed as I do believe that this particular alias is one of my favorites.

Donuts to dollars, I’m not bringing the topic of this blog up again. nope. From now on it’s all poetry above the fold. Well, certain poetry anyway. 😉

On that note, I’ve just acquired enough steps to satisfy my daily goal and must get back to the Christmas explosion upstairs. Aint nobody gonna decorate this castle but yours truly.

Pease, Love, and Caramel Apple Pie A La Mode,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-27 Save Room for Pie 🥧

Lots of folks lament about not being able to spend time with family for the holiday, or maybe lament isn’t the right word. We’re past lamenting and have arrived at heavy sigh. Truth is, though, I’m grateful for not having to go to some family gathering. I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.

How many people don’t care for that tradition? The big family get together or have people they would prefer not seeing or talking to. I’ve felt like an unwanted red-headed step child plenty in my life. All that’s quite literal. My sister, who also has red hair agrees with me. We’re just a couple of nugatory side dishes at a table over full of mains.

I had dinner for 4 ready at 4pm and the only thing that was missing was my son who is still in quarantine at his dads house. They are all doing fine.

Dinner at 4 and continuing my quest to throw my hands up in the air like I just don’t care, I had the first glass of the bottle of wine I would finish off by about 9pm.

Dinner at 4 with 4 traditional dishes—turkey, mash potatoes, stuffing (2 kinds!), and dinner rolls. Yeah, a very neat meat and potatoes sort of a meal. It was delicious!

Dinner at 4 with 2 of our 4 kids. We kept Z and N at the table long enough to force that moment where we pin them down about what they are grateful for. Of our 4 children, those are the two that could most use a lesson about gratitude. We pinned them with the spotlight until they each came out with about 3 things. This is a thing parents do, and then we reinforced the message by talking about what we are grateful for too. We all said family. And that’s Good.

Dinner at 4 and then we let them go. The moment we could see them both peeking at their phones under the table was when we knew we could not hold them in the dining room any longer. I had had two glasses of wine by that time and said “fine.. just go.”

Dinner at 4 before we 2 retreated to our master bedroom, to slip between our sheets for dessert. Which was also delicious. Upon finishing I begin to daydream about this perfect new post Thanksgiving dinner tradition. You can have your football games and card playing and pie. And I’ll have mine.

Dinner at 4 quickly forgotten as we wind our time from the bedroom, to the the dollhouse, solarium, and finally arrive at the theatre to watch previews for a while. We try to find something worthy of committing a few hours to. I’m 3 or 4 glasses under by this time and embody the true spirit of not giving a damn.

Dinner at 4 fading fast into the past as we abandon the chosen movie and opt for A Jeep Ride around the neighborhood. A first look at all the Christmas lights. I’m amazed at these displays. We make bets about which were hired jobs and which were DIY. Bets we’ll never collect because we’ll never know. Completing the Linden circuit, we return home to ours. Which is, of course, is DIY. We’ve done a fine job.

Dinner at 4 and some 6 hours later I peel off my pants and slip into bed again. This time for sleep. I have no idea what time it is and I gloriously still don’t care. I Kind of regret not having any pie and promise myself I’ll have some for breakfast in the morning.

It was a good dinner and a good day. Let’s do that again next year! Scratch that. Why wait?! Let’s do that again today but this time with Pie!! 🥧

Peace, Love, and Satisfaction,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-26 Rock Out With Your Turkey Out

I’m cooking the traditional today, for the 3 or so other people who also live here and want to partake. 3 people with picky palates and tummies and are used to getting exactly what they want and when. Today.. at the Castle, I’m making it all about me. I’m cooking food that I like to eat and will serve it when I want to eat it. And I’m not doing any ducking dishes when I’m done. None!

Zip, zero, zilch!

And since we are having holiday dinner Miss SugarCookie style, there will be no salad, veggies, or casserole. Efffff that noise.

I mean, I love me a mean broccoli-cheese casserole or veg tray with a savory dill dip but why not skip it and make more room for pie. Yes, there are only 4 of us here today but I bought two pies. Pumpkin and apple. Hey, ho, let’s go.

Say Yo?! What’s up with the voice today? The tone, the attitude? Must be the caffeine. Oh yeah, and imma have coffee today too and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Say Yo?! Do you ever feel like you’re just walking along having a conversation with yourself? Heh. Me too. 😏

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Productive despite not getting exercise or eating right. My four stats, in case you’re the newest member of the team and don’t know yet, are sleep, Exercise, productivity/mood, and healthy eating. I was going to say that since keeping track again I’ve not yet hit a day where I “achieved” my goal in all four categories but I just flipped back through the book I’m using to keep track and there have actually been 3 days where I hit 4 out of 4. 💃💃💃💃

November 6, 16, and 23rd. Despite the really rotten days, this is actually encouraging. That’s why it’s good to keep track. It’s also good to have days that you just toss into the wind, throw your hands in the air and tell the world that you just don’t care.

Say Yo? Guess what else? Two nights ago I did my first real honest to goodness public poetry reading. For realz. Now for some people I can guess that this is no big deal but for this SugarCookie it’s a BIG DILL.

Blog intermission: There should be a pickle emoji. Why is there no pickle emoji? Somebody needs to get on that.

One of the poems I read was “Cake at the Castle” which has several layers of meaning (pun intended) but people would not understand the layers unless they know me. I mean really know me. I’d like to imagine a scenario where I’m surrounded by all my favorite people and I read that poem and it makes them all smile. Not just for the attitude, but because they get it. They get me.

On the surface, it’s a fun poem, lamenting about hating cake, which is true. I don’t care for cake and when folks made a good god damned big deal about the cake that would be served at my first wedding I did not have the words to explain how much I did not care about the cake. I also didn’t really care much for all the wedding and reception planning, decisions, decor, food, yadda-yadda. I just wanted to focus on finishing my associates degree so I could  run away to Vegas with my love, which is where he was stationed in the Air Force and where we would live for the first two years of our marriage.

Fast forward 25 years and I’m getting married again and I STILL don’t care about cake. It’s just like it says the lines of the poem. But with this go round I had to make all the decisions and do all the planning because there was no future MIL who was going to do it all for me.

I literally waited till the last possible minute and ended up ordering from the grocery store down the block. I mean, I suppose I could have had pie, but in the end I realized I DID want that tall display and to stand beside my love, shoving a piece of stupid cake in his mouth. Oh for the love of a moment.

That’s what’s on the surface, of the poem. Dig deeper with some of the other lines though and one would have to know me and that one of my favorite bands is Cake. There was a time in my life where I crossed the line from fan to fanatic. I mean, as much as one can with a life of responsibility.

I traveled to watch them play live and collected stories about my failed attempts  to bring home a free tree to plant in my yard. I’d get drunk at parties and tell people all about how I had failed but was analyzing their selection process and figuring out how best to get their (the bands) attention the next time so I could win a free tree. 

I even participated in the music video experiment they orchestrated with fans around 2010/2011 for their song, “The Winter.” I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before. I’m in the video for a fraction of a second.

A fraction of a second of fame is all I’ll ever squeeze out of this life. But I’m satisfied.

But that’s just the middle layer of the poem. Going deeper requires an understanding of my connection to the Cake song referenced in the poem, “I Bombed Korea.” And here, my friends, is where the meaning is mired in the mind(s)—the intersection of my introspection and the interpretation by other interested minds peering in, drawing conclusions from their own experiences. Mysterious roads leading to mysterious places. So mysterious, in fact, that sometimes even I don’t know the deeper meaning of a poem I have written. Here are the full lyrics of the song: 

I bombed Korea every night.
My engine sang into the salty sky.
I didn’t know if I would live or die.
I bombed Korea every night.
I bombed Korea every night.
I bombed Korea every night.
Red flowers bursting down below us.
Those people didn’t even know us.
We didn’t know if we would live or die.
We didn’t know if it was wrong or right.
I bombed Korea every night.
And so I sit here at this bar.
I’m not a hero.
I’m not a movie star.
I’ve got my beer.
I’ve got my stories to tell,
But they won’t tell you what it’s like in hell.
Red flowers bursting down below us.
Those people didn’t even know us.
We didn’t know if we would live or die.
We didn’t know if it was wrong or right.
We didn’t know if we would live or die.
I bombed Korea every night.

I really dig that song. 

It never fails to amaze me, when I do this—Analyze one of my own poems and find some other meaning. Or return to one years later, reading with a fresh perspective and uncover a different spin on it. The deeper meaning hidden in “Cake at the Castle” shifts as my life shifts, though it has only been a year or so since it was born. I listen to the song today while walking the treadmill and am filled again with that “fuck yeah” feeling. Freedom. Don’t even get me started on not knowing if what you’re doing is wrong or right or being in the midst of life and just doing what it is you are “supposed” to do. Or telling stories about it, years later and knowing that the stories don’t do justice to the original experience in either meaning or implication. 

Kind of like me writing about setting up my camera and tripod at the kids’s elementary school park and shooting video of myself singing a few lines of the cake song, “The Winter” with the hope of making it into their music video. You just can’t know what that really meant to me. 

Say Yo?! So what’s a girl to do? I gush. I rush. I crush. And I mush and mash potatoes. Bake bread. Serve stuffing from the stove top. Yeah, that’s the only kind of Thanksgiving dinner I’ve cared for since I was just nineteen. 

Anyhow, that’s enough wandering for one day. Time now, to get that bird in the oven. 

With Peace an Gratitude,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-24 Aunt Jemima and Her Storied History

Among conversations I had two weeks ago during a session where Jim and I poured through some of my 30 year old poetry was a quick detour to google the soon-to-disappear figure of Aunt Jemima. Wikipedia offered us a fairly thorough history of the advertising beauty based on once easily accepted stereotypes. She was not alone, as it turns out, she had a family and— to add cringe to insult, stories followed her and her family which depicted her as the loyal cook for a Colonel on a plantation on the Mississippi River. All fiction based on reality in order to market and sell breakfast products. I’m not making this up. It’s on Wikipedia.

The origins of this character are part of history whether “we” remove the image of her from boxes and bottles being produced today for grocery stores across America.

That’s part of what I read when researching. That in 2020 the company that makes and distributes the pancake brand goods, Quaker Oats, announced they are rebranding this product line. I heave a sigh, and think to myself that this is a good thing. Another baby step in the right direction.

The acknowledgement is a good step, though it doesn’t take a genius to surmise that it should have been done a long time ago. It’s 2020 people!! I pay no mind when I’m at the grocery because I typically go for generic “Great Value” stuff. I had no idea this advertising slogan has survived so many decades without question.

Playing devils advocate though, this change doesn’t change much. A gesture really. For show? For press? To boost pancake sales? Or perhaps a feeble attempt to sweep more of our shameful past into a dust bin? Announce it, make the branding change, and then never speak of it again.

Directly pasting from the wiki article (admittedly without verification) .. “Descendants of Aunt Jemima models Lillian Richard and Anna Short Harrington objected to the change. Vera Harris, a family historian for Richard’s family, said “I wish we would take a breath and not just get rid of everything. Because good or bad, it is our history.”[31] Harrington’s great-grandson Larnell Evans said “This is an injustice for me and my family. This is part of my history.” Evans lost a lawsuit against Quaker Oats (and others) for billions of dollars in 2015.”

We can’t just remove branding and statues and call it a day when so much injustice persists. But what can we do?

I don’t have the answer. I’m just generally asking. Reading that article and others recently has been eye opening. I’m sometimes an ignorant person when it comes to history which is not an excuse but I didn’t even know about the enslaved “Mammy” archetype. And I still wouldn’t, had I not been perusing my childhood poetry where I uncovered what I thought was treasure. A poem about said character, among others, engaged in battle for humankind. I know, so dramatic!

When I read it to Jim, he’s the one who brought up the news about Quaker Oats changing the brand and that’s how we came to be reading about Aunt Jemima on a Friday night.

Like I said, that was A few weeks ago but what spun my brain up again on the topic was a poem in my in box today which is a part of the poem-a-day series: “Distracted from COVID-19, Attention Shifts to MIA Maiden from Land O’Lakes Butter Box” by Tiffany Midge.

It reads like an Ode, but slant, so the reader can squeeze their thoughts around the implications the author is suggesting. I mean, we all have our own interpretation based on our knowledge and experience and now that I’m a little more mindful, the poem reveals more of itself to me. And then, in the last few lines provides the reader with a solid punch to the gut.

It’s a fine poem and one I can’t flip with, so instead, I’ll pay my own respects by sharing the poem I wrote roughly between the years of 1988 and 1990 where the exact date could probably be pinpointed if I had time or inclination to search through the journal entries where most of my childhood poems originated. Remember, I was just a child. I still am, at heart. But it’s a part of my history. In the “story” Aunt Jemima is the hero and Mrs. Butterworth is the villain. 

So there I was cornered in my own kitchen
By that little glass witch, she was really bitchin
She was about to slash me with her ninja star waffles
I didn’t know what to do, it was horribly awful.

When out of the cupboard came an awesome sound
She shouted “Drop ‘em Butterworth” as she came around
It was my sweet Aunt Jemima with her fluffy hot cakes
She came to my rescue with her muffins and her flakes.

That’s the day when Jemima saved the world
Not just me but all the boys and girls
Because that Mrs. Butterworth, she was the leader of the group
Along with the Green Giant and the kids from Campbells soup.

They were filling a plot against the Wells Blue Bunny
And they wouldn’t give up and it wasn’t very funny
But now they are all inside the fridge just in time
Thanks to that dear sweet lady Aunt Jemima. 

It’s definitely a trip to travel back in time and read some of this silliness, but it’s also nice to close up those notebooks and put them back in the bin on a shelf in my closet. 

Someday, I may post “Seven Silly Slime Slugs” which is, to this day still one of my all time favorites. Jim calls it very “Seussian.” Who am I to disagree??

That’s it folks. Time now to take on taco Tuesday. Hope it’s a good one.
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-23 From Procrastination to Motivation and Beyond

Success so far today. And now I’m back on the treadmill because I can. I did something I’ve been procrastinating (sending GLR declines) and making a dent actually fueled me with motivation to move on a few other things as well.

I had sent in my residency workshop materials but there were a few very new poems that I’ve continued tweaking. I never understand why the materials are due so far in advance of residency. I always want to make changes.

I’m notorious for showing up and asking to swap out one poem for another or a newer version. This time I just did it way earlier than the day we all show up in Nebraska city. Residency is virtual again this time anyway so there is no “showing up.” 

I did request my workshop packet to be mailed to me. I mean, they can send it virtually via email but I love to get mail addressed to me and the first time I got one it felt like Christmas morning and why would I cheat myself out of that when I’m already being cheated out of so much of the experience. It’s a bummer.

I’m quite happy about my poems this time. I’m always pleased with new stuff though and very interested in feedback considering this will be the last feedback I’ll ever get from this MFA workshop process. I mean, unless I ever pay for an enrichment Res or something.

I met Allison for coffee today and that was lovely. I’ll be getting some of her poems with my “Christmas morning” poetry packet. I always enjoy hers. She’s a semester from being done and already has her sights set on a doctorate. That one is gonna be a fantastic professor.

If I had done life differently, I might have gone that way too, Not to be a teacher mind you, but the idea of having a doctorate in creative writing sounds pretty bad-ass. No sense lamenting the path not taken though, so make like Elsa and “let it go.”

What else? I did my Turkey-Day grocery shop run. Which was all the normal weekly groceries plus a turkey and a few potatoes to mash. And pie. There may not be any family gathering save those who already live here but for the love of the Universe there will be pie!

In a hot minute I need to turn my attention to the poetry reading I’m giving and taking from tomorrow night. Gotta finalize my selection and practice. Message me if you want the link.

Thinking about it is already making me sweaty. Why, oh why, did I sign up to do this reading??!! 😱

Ok. It’s been a hot minute.

Until next time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-23 Flip with “Mad Pepper” by Eileen Myles

I found it in Paris wandering streets this AM. A flip on the typical aimless feet and I made it 3 quarters through the city before I discovered treasure: What we don’t know is a drop but poverty’s an ocean.  So much H20 but nary an ounce to drink. I walked the cobbled street, peered down every graffitied alley, past the hardware store with its junked our crew, the coffee shop, the parlor you stepped into for a haircut once and declared gender assignments for spices pretending to be spices.

I’m reading the streets like tea leaves, find truth but no answers. I found freedom in the line, I had to pee, but became distracted by a key to an open door, retraced my steps and wondered which way to go from there. I’m too lazy to search for meaning in names and too easily distracted to make it to the end of the sidewalk. I like short poems and vanilla cream in my coffee.
The streets could be cobbled with tanzanite and sapphire afire with the light of the sun and I’d still abandon these pursuits for the taste of sugar in my mouth. I’m a user wondering if I’ve earned rights to steal. Rename each city I walk. Remove green signs with white letters from welded on steel posts, brandish purple duct tape, cardboard, waft of permanent marker fresh in the air that surrounds me. Maybe I’m just high on it.. The walking, freedom, and beauty of being a nobody.

Monday November 23rd. I walked eight-thousand four-hundred, and eighty-eight steps so far. Some part of me is always quietly counting too.

I hope you enjoyed my first flip. It really is Monday. Time to get out there and conquer.

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-22 Flip to B Square

It’s been a good couple of days. I feel satisfied. I’m adding up my stats today, to report out to my accountability buddy how I did this week and it looks like a pretty “meh.” But still I feel ok. Ok is pretty good, you know, all things considered. 🤷‍♀️

I have to be kind to myself even when I haven’t made much progress on several fronts— healthy eating and sleep. And I have gone backwards on productivity, procrastinating things I should be doing. 🤷‍♀️

I thought I was making progress on sleep having three nights in a row with good numbers. Then I had three in a row that were rotten so I’m all like, whatever. 🤷‍♀️

Yeah, whatever.

Yesterday we moved my darling daughter out of the dorm at UNL. She has not been there for like 3 weeks anyhow. All her classes are online and are officially over this week. One semester done. I’m really hoping for her sake that next year will be more normal. I already know next semester will be all online too and she’s not going to live on campus. It’s better this way, to just live here at home and keep making progress as this Pandemic plays out.

The one stat that seems to get better as the others waiver is my exercise. Lots of steps. 16553 average per day last week and that’s counting yesterday when I only had like 6K. And I enjoy walking but really seriously running out of things to write about. Somehow I cant just walk. I’ve gotta feel like I’m making more of the time somehow, because just walking and thinking makes me crazy after a while. I get so irritated being alone with my brain. If I’m writing, my thoughts slow down enough for me to type them.

I’ve never had that thought before. That I like writing and walking at the same time cuz it forces my brain to slow down. 🤔

Anyway, I’m laying in bed this morning and contemplating getting up and starting my day and getting down to the treadmill, but dreading this. Yes, THIS, what I’m doing right now. Going around like the same broken record about stats and life and the stupid pandemic for the gazillionth time.

Then I think about the fact that new poetry books and lit mags are now showing up at my door quite regularly. And with all this new content, there are endless things to read. It occurs to me that I could read instead of write. So that’s it. That’s the flip that’s happening this week.

When I thought about this “flip” I wrote the title “flip to be square,” because it seemed so familiar. Where have I heard that? So I googled it. One slight tweak and you have “hip to be square” that is a song by Hewey Lewis and the News. Yeah, I’m old enough to remember that song.

I clicked on the video and watched for like 60 seconds, which is all I could take. So terrible. There is very little I find redeemable about the 80’s. This song (and video) are no exception.

I digress.

Today I’m going to dive into the latest book I received in the mail. A book published by “High Shelf Press.” They rejected my poetry but I got a copy of one of their issues out of the deal. That’s how some of these presses operate.

Part of you submission fee includes a subscription or book selection. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount on submissions this year and it’s nice to get something out of the deal. Hopefully it’s good stuff.

In any case, I’m really hoping this “flip” leads to more interesting posts. Or better yet, inspiration to write which has sadly been in short supply lately. We shall see.

That’s it for now. Time to flip!

Cheers to Being Square,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-19 And Just Like Snap…

Nothing like getting news that wrecks the day. That was 1pm yesterday. I ignored a call from my ex-husband in the AM. One call gets dismissed automatically, because of conditioned behavior. I’ve learned that whatever that first call is, wait, and it could resolve itself, or simmer down, or be a possible a mistake/butt dial or something. A text that follows means it’s more urgent, but still don’t dial back.

I’m not playing games. I’m just hip to the way he operates. I forgot about the text and call, finished my errands, and made it back home. The phone rings again. A second ring, so soon after the first? This could be something important. I answer.

He makes quick work telling me his fiancé has tested positive. Within about two seconds I connect the dots and realize that means my son, who went to their house Monday (And is still there) has been exposed. Two more seconds and I arrived at the fact that he now can’t come home, or go to school. In less than five seconds flat I’ve processed the primary implications.

Still, I only talked with Brian a few more minutes and then told him I needed to process and that I’d call him back. Adding that I Hope Jessie feels better soon and isn’t hit to hard.

My ex thinks I’m immune to Covid because I have O+ blood. His fiancé’s daughter who tested negative is also O+. He is A- and therefore the most susceptible blood type. Naturally he assumes he will get it next. He claims to have read medical journals that validate his statements. But he’s also been known to spin yarn before so I just have to get off the phone any way I can.

I called the school and they excused my son to leave right away and calked back after they talked to the “infected household” to let me know the duration. A standard 14 days unless he shows symptoms and also ends up testing positive. Then they reevaluate.

The good news is that there is no school next week anyhow so the missed coursework will be minimal. The bad news is that he’s already behind and catching up from home is a challenge. It’s why last semester of last year was such a disaster.

I sure hope they have the common sense to keep distanced at that house. They should be doing every thing they can to keep him from getting exposed. But alas, this is all out of my control.

And like I said, while in quarantine I don’t get to see him either so that’s a serous bummer. I can try to face time everyday or something. That’s what I will do.

Deep breaths. Not the worst news, but it does kind of derail me and my trains of thought and break the streak I was having with regard to good sleep.

Yeah. The maker of dreams served up doozie after doozie last night and when I woke up just after 5, it was clear that my subconscious had had enough. I was wide awake.

I don’t remember much but I was at a wedding with a bunch of my original crew and sat the entire reception, which was at a Mexican restaurant, looking at the menu without being able to decide what I wanted. As everyone around me ate and drank and talked and laughed, I combed the menu trying to decide. I remember I had a drink and when the bill came, Amy and Mike told me they put my drink on their bill since that was all I had. How nice.

There were slivers if other moments that seem familiar or were connected somehow: me in a wedding dress, people helping me with getting the other dress I was wearing clean, which I laughed at saying that they should not go to any trouble as the dress only cost me like 3 dollars in the first place.

But all of that slipped away as real life took control of my brain. Funny the way that is.

Right now it’s early. 6am and today promises to be an odd duck.

It’s going to be above 70 degrees and I’ve got big plans to put up more lights outside if I can get my act together. I’m also going to be oddly tethered to my cell service after 8am as we’re supposed to have folks coming to measure to replace some carpet. There are certain places in my house I don’t get cell service and I don’t want to miss their “We’re on our way” call.

I also have a GLR meeting at 10:30. Not really looking forward to that. Whatever. Meh.

As long as I can keep scooting my way to Friday which promises a meetup, with Coffee and maybe a muffin and a walk. It’s the Sam all things yo.

With that, it is our early day and so it’s time to cook breakfast. The day unfolds whether we like it or not.

Doing it,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-18 Disappearing Acts

Another day alive is another day to try to get it right. All-in-all, I feel pretty good about how yesterday turned out despite some frustrating parenting moments.

I don’t want to bore droning on about sleep, yadda-yadda-woof-woof, but three nights in a row of good sleep can’t be a fluke right? The CBD thing could be legit.

You know what also happens when a person gets better sleep? They start to become human again. My mood has improved and I’m starting to look forward to “things” again. Things being all kinds of goings-on from trips to the grocery to evenings watching a show, to conversations with other people. That’s something.

I’m a bit of a travel junkie at times and though Covid has put a damper on most of that, this morning Jim and I were talking about a road trip south for our 1 year anniversary in February. Instead of secretly dreading the thought of going anywhere I found myself actually a touch excited about it. That’s how I know I might truly be on my way to being back to my best self.

Am I knocking on wood? Hell yes.

Of course it’s still early in the day. And goodness knows that life has a way of throwing wrenches. I just have to enjoy it while it lasts.

In other news, I proclaimed yesterday after having a good day and a glass of wine that I was considering going “off the grid“ for a while. But what does that mean? Really?

A few weeks ago I watched a documentary called Social Dilemma, and it made me want to dump social media completely. But how does one even do that? I mean, without dumping accounts and / or being a hypocrite. Can I keep my accounts active and just be absent from active participation? I mean, of course I can.

But, herein lies the rub: I’m engaged in several endeavors where social media is a key aspect of promotion. Sad but true. It’s truly essential as it’s the very best (well, easiest) platform for self-promo as well as supporting the lit mag.

As far as the Good Life Review goes, I suppose that instead of relying so much on FB and Twitter, I can research other avenues. All of them are still going to be internet based but removing the purely “social” platforms might make me feel like I’m contributing a worthwhile effort to the cause. Somehow no matter what I do, it never feels like enough.

I really don’t participate in FB or twitter or insta that much anyhow, so backing off more and disappearing completely for a while Isn’t a big change.

I’d also like to be less tethered to my phone. Pay more attention to my screen time. Leave it on the charger for most of the day. But when making changes I also want to be realistic; do some serious thinking about what I need and what I need it for.

It’s a slippery slope and easy to slide right back in if one is not careful and diligent and determined.

It’s also easier if you have supporting g people in your life. Jim is also wanting to be less tethered to his phone, so we can do this together and support each other. He does not do the social media thing, so he’s ahead on that game already.

In other, other news. As I prepare to disappear I’m also preparing materials for a poetry/prose reading that is open to the public. Ironic no? Yesterday I finished selecting my materials and worked on timing. The event is called The Raccoon River Reading series and it’s happening next Tuesday at 7pm via Zoom. I’ll share the link when I have it.

That’s all I got for today ya’ll. That’s enough right?! Time to jam.

Cheers to peace, love, and invisibility,
~Miss SugarCookie