2021-03-01 Welcome to New Beginnings…

Where was I at again? A new week? A new month? A fresh start? Oh yeah.. that. 

So far so good and pretty soon now both my kids will be home and all will be right with the world again. 

It was 2:45PM before I looked at what I was supposed to do today according to the almighty to-do list and no surprise that not a single one of those things has been done. I’m still working on my Sunday list and progress is slow. 

I also forgot about all my new metrics for the day.. sort of on purpose to see how I do naturally. I did go to bed “on time” last night so if all else fails, at least I have that. 

My whole day today has been a fast moving train of dirty dishes, grocery shopping, and really just putting away all the random things that end up all over the house in the wrong places. How can all that take 4 hours? Well.. let’s just say it can. But I’m not complaining, just saying that’s my job now. 

Something inside of me is still defending my decision to quit my “career” job to take care of my family and myself. Something inside me feels inadequate because I’m not making any money. I’ve been conditioned by society to equate my self worth with how much money I make and I’m here today to say that it’s a hard feeling to shake. 

It doesn’t matter how much I am able to help my kids, how much blood I donate to the Red Cross, how much time I spend “volunteering” for the lit mag, or how much I’m able to get done at the house. It just doesn’t. I still feel like I’m not doing enough.. and that’s fucked up. 

***

Well.. I did get my walking in but darling daughter came home from work and most of my treadmill time was spent catching up with her. 

I’ve got more to say, but there’s always tomorrow. 

Beginning at the Beginning Again and Again,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-18 Happy Blog-A-Versary!! 💃💃🎉

2017-01-15 –> Now. Four years (+ a few days).. Yo!.. That’s a good freaking run!! 

(Spoiler Alert, this recap could get long. If stats are your thing and you want to skip the drunk trainwreck intro, scroll to the end, but don’t forget to click “like” before you leave. 😉)

In January 2017 I decided to start posting my personal journey online. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t put a ton of thought into aesthetics, format, or the best way to approach doing what I wanted to do. Honestly, I didn’t even know what I wanted, or expected outside of wanted to find a way to live a happier, healthier life. 

If a person had asked me then what I thought would become of Miss SugarCookie in 4 years, I would not have had an answer. I wouldn’t have a clue. And there’s no possible way I could predict most of what has come to pass. 

Most of the time when I write, I’m writing in the moment. I’m writing for today. I’m writing for an audience of one. I’m trying to sort through what I’m thinking about and how I feel. I try to steer clear of hashing through old news that doesn’t concern me anymore. Most of the time, I try to do that. But sometimes, like now, it’s good to reflect. And it’s really good to see how far I’ve come. 

In January 2017 I was still very fresh off the end of my “big love” relationship. I was broken and closed and unhealthy, both mentally and physically. I was killing myself for a job that was never going to give me what I needed from life besides a paycheck. I was lost and confused and, after returning from my sister’s destination wedding in Mexico, I knew something had to change. 

I spent every other night in Mexico drinking until I couldn’t walk straight. I spent mornings after with blinds drawn, unable to eat any of the “all-inclusive” food that was available 24-7. One night I ended up stumbling drunk, laying on the grass next to the cart path that led to my single-occupancy room, sobbing. I begged the Universe for someone, anyone, to find me and want to help. I just wanted another human being, even if it was a complete stranger to care about my well being. 

I felt so alone. 

Other nights on that trip I wrote and tried to be social with the other 50 people who made the trip for my sister. I’m fairly certain there wasn’t another single person among them, besides my first cousin who I’ve never been close to and who (apparently) didn’t have trouble finding companionship on that trip. I wasn’t interested in a hookup though. I just wanted someone to talk to. 

I drunk texted people on FB messenger or iMessage from my room where there was WiFi. I don’t remember who, probably Josh and HL. I probably made confessions. I probably fell asleep mid-text. I had to write a maid-of-honor speech and sobered up to do that. 

I did a lot of wandering around the resort. I did an incredible amount of thinking. It’s probably then when the idea for posting my thoughts online came to me. I really don’t remember but it seems highly likely. 

Back in Nebraska a few short weeks later I was re-booting Miss SugarCookie who made her original debut in 2014 on Tumblr. But I’d become a solid WordPress fan and recognized the appeal of a versatile platform that was, at the time, the front runner for personal blogs (IMHO). 

I still remember one of my first posts, “The Riddle of the Middle” where I thought through the problem of starting something new, like I was, in the middle of the story. So much history, where does one begin to make it all make sense? The answer is.. to just begin. 

Eventually all the backstory would be  revealed organically. I know that now, but didn’t then. So many things I know now that I didn’t know then. 

And, as I said, could never have predicted what would change in the 4 years to follow. 

I learned along the way my “big love” had started seeing someone new a hot minute after our 3rd and final breakup. That helped me put a nail in the coffin of my hope for a reconciliation. 

I entertained a friends with benefits relationship with a good friend. It was both helpful and hurtful I’m a way. 

I quit my fucking job of course, by the following summer and elected to use my savings to take a six month sabbatical. One of the best decisions of my life! 

In those 6 months I began eating healthier and working out more. I traveled with and without my kids and had some amazing adventures. It was during our trip to the Pacific Northwest that I decided to get more education for my passion, writing poetry. 

By then, I was already well on my way to writing from a treadmill or elliptical machine each day. Wait… did I really write from an elliptical machine? I could not possibly have done that as I’m not that coordinated. I must be remembering that wrong. 

In any case, I do remember clear as the clearest day being in an exercise room at the holiday inn express by the Portland airport when I decided to apply for an MFA program. 

The beauty of this is.. I don’t have to remember because it’s verifiably in the archives of this blog. That’s some bonafide bonus-plan shit! 

I also started dating again during that sabbatical. Hello Bumble! There was a string of posts about my dating experiences (the good, the bad, and the seriously ugly) and navigating new territory. I’m probably going to struggle here. 

-Blog Intermission- I was going to go into a ramble calling out every made up name for every noteworthy person I went out with. Then I checked it and decided not to wreck it. So NOT going to go off on that major tangent. -End Blog Intermission-

Fast forward 5 or 6 or 8 months to March 2018. That’s when I said “Buh-bye” to Bumble. And good riddance. Dating sucks unless you’re dating someone you know you have a future with (at least that’s how I feel about it). 

Of course I’m talking about dating Jim and falling in love with Jim and being proposed to on my birthday in August of 2018. If you’re dating THAT person, dating is amazing! 

We went on dates, road trips, full-fledged vacations, and planned to “merge” our two households in early 2019. Of all the things.. this turn of events in my life was the least expected. And it happened so, so fast (based on the pace of my last long term). 

In 2018 I came off my sabbatical and took a job with a company learning a bunch of new stuff, which was great but fairly unpredictable as far as number of hours per week goes and, like most places, they would take all they could get. 

In 2019 the kids and I moved in with Jim and his boys and life just would not slow down for anything. I had work, the kids, Jim, the house, and school to take care of. Not to mention all my other relationships with family and friends. I was overcommitted for sure and by summer I was throwing my hands up and requesting to leave the work project I was on. 

I think my employer knew I was right on with my assessments about the project and let me bow out gracefully to bring a more skilled SQL person to work on the ETL. That fall was fantastic as I had time to work on my writing, MFA, and take care of my home and family (and also plan a wedding). 

By the time 2020 arrived, the wedding became the top priority and it’s the kind of thing that takes over your life for a while. Thank goodness we married as early in the year as we did (02/02/2020) because chaos in the world was about to take over. And so it did. 

I still finished my last semester, had a honeymoon, and began working again. Two of those three were fantastic. Can you guess which one wasn’t? 

By late August I put in my notice at work. This time I was going to be done-done with no option for accepting future contracts. Another great decision. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t nod to 2020 as a train wreck of a year for many other reasons. Still, despite that, I finished my MFA, had a few road trips, managed to get my darling daughter off to an OK start for her freshman year, and oh, by the way, set my sights on starting a new online literary publication. Which I did. Obvi with lots of help from some great peeps. 

Yeah. That’s another thing that I could not have imagined 4 years ago. Little Miss SugarCookie Starting and managing a lit mag. Wild!! 

So today’s the day!! 4 years (and counting). AND.. This post would not be complete if I did not end it in classic Miss SugarCookie style.. with the rest of the stats:

1460 Days
1143 Posts
8336 Visitors
13,513 Views
6296 Likes and
599 Followers

That’s fantastic! This quick look back has been refreshing for me. Quite rejuvenating actually. Were there bumps in the road? Yes, but I feel like I am on the right track now and look forward to the future. Only time will tell what can happen in the next four years. On that note, I’m just going to keep riding this wave as long as I’m able. 

Cheers to Four Years..
Love Ya’ll Bunches and Bunches! 
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-30 Bow for November

My second full month in my new job is coming to a close. This morning I’m tasked with making breakfasts and lunches for my people and will of course get doing dishes and scooping litter boxes. And I’ll be working on the lit mag some. And hopefully finding time to read and write outside of this routine treadmill time.

It’s Monday and the last day of the month and I’m not missing my old job one bit. I had the best weekend and now get to start a new week full of promise and poetry.

I’ve got a fair bit to get done today as it’s the last day of the month—tasks I’ve been procrastinating that are due today. Mostly stuff for the GLR and I need to try and stay focused on that and not log into my personal Submittable account because that will inevitably lead to hours of research, revision, letter writing and I just don’t have time for that today. I need to stay focussed.

I should be satisfied with November. I mean, I am satisfied. I managed to bump myself up to 75 open subs despite the rejections and as I said yesterday, can cruise through December holding that line.

Amidst those rejections are a few more acceptances. Gyroscope Review, Local Honey, and Vital Sparks to name a few. Plus, my poem “Covid Sunset” was in the top 10 for a contest put on by Wingless Dreamer for their “Fruits of our Quarantine” collection. That’s awesome sauce. That’s an actual printed book which I somehow appreciate more than the bits and bytes that are online only. Even though Kate says online is where it’s at now, I like having a physical book I can hold, thumb through, dog-ear, and see on my shelf.

So far my experience with these publications leads me to believe that the GLR is doing a good job with communication. To be fair, most places that are accepting my work are just as new. Gyroscope Review might be the exception to that rule, but a few seem so new that there’s not a lot to see on their websites. Vital Sparks appears to be a basic placeholder for future content. With no info and no aesthetic, it makes me wonder what I was thinking sending my baby there.

And not just any baby but one of my favorites. Perhaps it’s for the best. As it is one of my favorites, I have no idea if it’s a good poem or not. More than a year, and 10 revisions old now and I still can’t tell. I’ve offered this baby to lots of places and this brand new lit mag was the one that snatched it up. How will they present my baby to the world? It remains to be seen.

I wonder if I should Pay more attention to social media. Maybe this is where the action is happening—the promo, the big-news. I might need to spend some time researching that. But not today.

Not today. Not today. Not today.

I have to keep telling myself this so I don’t get distracted. I have other work to do.

Yes, I seem to be taking nicely to my new role. I enjoy tending to my healthy household and look forward to my son returning this week from his quarantine. I’ll have all the Christmas decorations out of storage by then and we’ll be set for a bit of a traditional tree-trimming party next weekend. This would normally be the weekend after thanksgiving but the Covid kind of effffed that up too.

Pretty soon now we’ll have a vaccine but I’m still not making any plans. Not booking airline tickets or entertaining ideas about field trips or road trips or one-year anniversary vacations. Other people are doing this for me as I refuse to hope for one more damn thing.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Nope. I’m setting my expectations dangerously low and that way I can’t be disappointed. I’ll just keep trucking with all these semi-isolated days, enjoying all the good things that I have right here in the comfort of my own home.

Like walking on my treadmill, cooking for my crew, and scheming about how to protect our outside guests from the brutality a Nebraska winter, which appears to have arrived overnight.

We woke today to a bitter 18 degrees and both black cats were creeping the back yard. Puffy was clearly hungry and though he/she ran away when I went to fill the food dish, she/he came right back and had a really healthy snack. That’s when the topic of constructing some sort of shelter came up again. Nothing store bought mind you as we’ve spend enough money on the inside cats. 

No, we’re talking cardboard, leftover insulation and plastic. Jim even mentioned tubing that could be constructed to funnel vent heat into whatever shelter we decide upon. All with no guarantee that these strays will be interested in such a home. Heck, they probably already have several homes. But it does get really cold and if there is something we can do to help protect them, we want to do that. But not today. 

Not today. Not today. Not today. 

Oh boy, I’m headed for trouble. 

Cheers to Taking Bows and Tying Bows,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-14 Doing the Math ➖➗➕

Broke my streak yesterday. Worked on my workshop submission both fine tuning the lines and deciding which poems were worthy of such rare attention. It’s really a confidence game at this point.  I was tired and had an unusual day that went astray from my normal routine.

With my dauber down, not a poem in the bunch felt good enough. Might have possibly been the three rejections that I had received in the previous 24 hours. Yes, three. I dunno. I don’t need them chumps anyhow.

It wasn’t until I ingested a healthy amount of caffeine that I started to feel better, and more like editing. I swear caffeine sometimes has magical properties.

Right about 5pm the  poems started to appear viable, even good. And I kept editing through the evening into the next day until I was satisfied, putting them aside only to eat and hang out with Jim and the kids, and sleep. Though I did not get much sleep again.

I was up In the library with my laptop at 5:30am. By 1:30 Friday I did the final math and the conclusion was that they were as done as they were going to be. I proceeded to download and submit to our MFA program coordinator.  ✅

The trick now is to forget about it. It’s out of my hands now anyway so no reason to keep thinking about it. I need to learn to do that with a lot of things. I’m sure it’s the reason I can’t go back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night.

Later Friday I picked up some CBD drops that are supposed to help with that—getting a more restful sleep by helping the mind relax. Last night was the first trial and the math on it isn’t very conclusive. One point of data does not make a point. You need more points of data to draw a line that leads to a conclusion. Tomorrow there will for sure be some more math about that. I had half a dropper and might up to a full ml tonight. We’ll see.

Last night I also had. a virtual HH with a friend in San Diego. She was also the PM on my last project with the company I quit in September. We were friends from way back and before we both signed on at that company. She just started this year but has made quick work being elevated among leadership. She was promoted to my boss (without anyone letting me know) as a part of her engagement plan.

Of course I’m happy for her but it has made me privy to some info that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. She’s told me things in confidence and I can’t I know these things. So when she initiated a conversation about me coming back for part time work, I had to try very hard to listen and find positive things to say.

The truth is, she gave me a heads up she was going to ask so I had already done the math. I started with the X amount of dollars I was making an hour before. Which has not been increased after 2 years at the company. I’m not factoring in my excellent performance and dedication. I’m only positing that at the very least I should have had a 4% increase both years for inflation. That brings me to the lowball figure that would be an insult.

Now consider that I’m an employee that does not need benefits. So the company isn’t out of their own pocket for 401k or healthcare or life insurance on my behalf.

Now add the value factor. This is subjective, but if I’m as awesome as they always tell me I am, then why would they not come with a solid number. When it came to that part of the discussion she basically said that she could not remember our previous conversation but whatever it was I asked for, they could do that.

Listen, people, I DO remember that conversation as it was important to me. My life and my livelihood. And to say you don’t remember means it wasn’t that important. The status of our relationship aside, that hurts. Of course, when we had that conversation I didn’t ask for enough which I regretted. But herein lies the rub..

IT DOES NOT MATTER anymore. Say it was X * 16%. So what? That’s not enough. X * 50% is not enough. X * 861% is not enough.

Because can’t put a price on time.
Time is priceless. 

I told her I’d have to think about it and talk to Jim. She pressed me for a timeframe and I promised her by Monday.

I don’t need to think about it anymore except whether or not to be open and direct about my reasons. About the way I feel. And the mistakes I feel have been made. But then I have to ask myself, does that matter either? The conclusion?

THAT DOES NOT MATTER either. In the grand scheme, my feelings don’t matter. That folks, is a solid reality of life.

Your feelings matter to you. And they should matter to the people you hold near and dear, but outside that circle, no one else is going to care.

That’s why we need to be good to our circles of love and friendship. And to ourselves.

One of the poems I found enough merit in to edit further and submit to workshop is called “A Love Letter for Today.” I’m not typically inclined toward love poems, so this one feels important. Special. A good little poem.

Time to turn my attention elsewhere.
Where, I dunno.

Add It Up,
~Miss SugarCookie

~

2020-11-10 Freezing Rain, Memory, and Poetry

A freezing rain greets me as I accompany the trash carts to the end of the driveway. It tears my attention away from what I don’t remember. It feels good to feel the rain on my skin and how it forces me to move faster, look forward to being back inside, strip down to dry.

Yesterday I wrote a poem. I can count on two hands the number of poems I’ve written this year. A sad story compared to the sixty I wrote last year. Years from now when I look back on this moment, what will I think?

Not about the rain, or daylight savings ruining my morning drive, or how responsible my daughter is on this day.. her first at an office job. Or all these thoughts and steps and words. Or the numbers on a scale. Please, let it not be the numbers.

If I were patient and kind I might find that what I remember is how we held on tight to each other in 2020 when the world pressed down on us, compressing our lives softening boundaries, making them more easily punctured.

Maybe I won’t remember anything about today other than the fact that it was wholly unremarkable next to all the other unremarkable days. Which is why I need to be here, in this moment today, and just enjoy the rain.


Yesterday the week was kicked off with a good start. I felt fairly productive and In a fair mood. Today I’m hoping to keep things  fair and balanced. I’d love to write another poem, that felt great. Of course I’ve got a full set list of chores and work I’d like to get through. Though having made my list on Sunday I can’t recall at the moment what’s on the agenda for today.

Two poems in my in-box each morning bring me something old and something new which are, more or less, mirrors of each other. The language and rhetoric of 2020 run together until they can’t be separated. It gives me a good sense of what is currently sought after. Unfortunately it’s not what I currently have to offer. Which only means I have more work to do.

When I mention work now, that’s what I mean. I’m more than a month out of the old kind of work. The kind my daughter just started at today. The scheduled hours, direct deposits, and doing something for someone else instead of yourself. It’s not that I don’t believe in that life, but now rather i start to come to terms with its Reason and value.

I’m now one month in with doing things for myself and my loved ones. It’s definitely a better life. I don’t miss “work” like some people said I would and am approaching the answer to that question.
You know the one I hated for years. “So what do you do?”

Instead of the monotone explanation of my job which leaves trails of glassed over eyes in my wake at parties, I can begin to describe how I work at being a better writer.

I can imagine the new scene at parties, the question, the chuckle, the follow up Sarcastic question, “how much does THAT pay?”

Me: It’s priceless.

Mic drop and walk away.


I’m currently studying the life and poetry of Adrienne Rich. She’s going to be one of the main persons discussed as a part of the lecture I’m giving during residency in December. As an added bonus, she’s a stellar role model for breaking out of a mould. I suppose that’s what makes her such a great candidate for my lecture.

When I wrote my craft paper in 3rd semester, the topic was the journey of the poetic voice but the paper was really focused more on the qualities of voice without a lot of definitive evidence about the actual journey in question. To be sure 3 out of the 4 poets I studied we’re not good candidates as they were still mostly at the beginning. Creeley was the only one that had lived his whole life where the body of work could be analyzed in full context of the events of his life and the world.

As I was only scratching the surface with that paper, I now must put in more work to learn what my lecture has to teach me. If I’m to be the expert, which is the expectation, then I’d better get down to business. I’m close to letting go of using anything from Creely or Merwin as I think focusing on female poets is key to getting me to a more impactful conclusion.

I’ve more to say on this topic, but I need to get on with my day. I’m definitely getting into the right zone though. Cheers to that.

And Cheers to Living in the Moment,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-30 All Hallows Eve Eve

This morning I woke up at 4:45 AM from a dream about my recent ex-employer. The business had become a smashing success and they had just opened their brand new building which was a really neat New-tech high-rise situated among a neighborhood of 1 story buildings. A Sim city anomaly.

There were appearances from two of the three founders of the company and my role was something akin to being a sort of building Vanna White, showing off all the cool features and talking about security. But at the same time both Greg and Brian were trying to convince me to come back to work for them again. So a fairly mixed message from the maker of dreams this morning. Either way, I’m saying “no way” to that noise.

I did not fall back asleep. I woke up feeling well rested and did not have a headache which has been the norm these days. Instead of laying there, I decided to capitalize on the extra time by sneaking off to my office to update the GLR website. Each week we (actually our media manager and podcast creator) publishes a new episode of a podcast with content from Interviews with our contributing artists. So each week on Friday I update our landing page and sound bites page with related teaser language, an image of the author, and links.

This morning I also did a little more work/research into the CLMP firecracker awards. We’re putting in for best debut lit mag in 2020. I really think we’ve got a good shot at winning. I mean, the competition is pretty stiff, considering that we are among about 50 other publishers (yes really that many). 😱

Any publisher that was started in 2018, 2019, and 2020 is eligible and according to my calculations there’s about 8 new sites opening each quarter. These stats have not been verified, but I do have it on good authority that there are currently about 7000 publishers in the United States alone. E-gads!

In any case, I’ll be finishing our “Submission” for that award today. I mean, submissions have become my new thing. I pulled the trigger on two new ones yesterday. One of which included a brand new poem. The place I was submitting to had a theme and I took an old poem (one that I wrote in 2018 at my first MFA residency) and revised it to something shiny and new.

It’s not even the same poem. The controlling metaphor, rhetoric, and most of the lines were modified. Come to think of it, I’m not sure a single bit of it remained the same. That took a lot of my time yesterday, but was very satisfying. And I came away from that with some new ideas for other poems, which is great (and really something that’s been sorely lacking as of late).

Listening to the GLR podcast this Morning also made me feel better about the “Rut” I’ve been in with new writing. Author James Penha describes writing about the same things again and again as a theme and not a rut. I’m down with that!

From my perspective, as writers we are told too often to write everyday and always push for good steady habits and this sometimes leads to unrealistic expectations. And unrealistic expectations often leads to a feeling of failure when those expectations are not achieved. It’s a difficult time and we need to be kind To ourselves.

Truly we should be this way even in good times. I say this to myself as much as I’m saying it here. Too often, I’m too hard on myself. The podcast reinforced that “ok” right now is pretty good. It was a great interview. We’re doing good and my intentions are to keep moving forward with new ideas, contests, and potentially using the platform to support some good causes. Yeah, I’ve got big plans.

It’s not going to happen without some more effort though. I have a full set of stuff to get done today including finishing that firecracker award sub, putting together a proposal for our first contest, and speaking with an advisor on running a non-profit. Yeah. Sorry Greg and Brian but this volunteer side-gig is my new full time project.

In other news (for folks that are still with me) is that yesterday was satisfying for more than just one reason. Mid-day I received an email letting me know that the print book containing one of my poems has been released on Amazon. The digital/Kindle version of Verses from the Plains: A Poetry Collection, published by the Nebraska Writers Guild is now available and the print book will be up in a few days. That’s pretty exciting!

These publishing processes take sooooo loooonnnggg. I’ve been waiting since the acceptable came in summer. I suppose in the grand scheme it’s not that long, but it sure feels like it was forever ago. Despite my distaste for social media, it’s probably worth a post and a link. Might even update my profile pic today in anticipation of the announcement.

Aaaaannnnd… as if that wasn’t enough, I also got an acceptance yesterday from another print publication, Wingless Dreamer, who is putting out a book that is “Covid” themed. I have written exactly one poem about the pandemic. Submitted that and “waaaalaaa!” Sweet sauce!!

That publisher operates mostly through contests, and only one person wins the contest (which includes a cash prize), but all the accepted artists pieces are included in the collection. They are announcing the winner on November 2nd. Squeeeeee.

In light of ALL that, I’m pretty pumped today. And need to capitalize on the feeling and motivation to carry me through this Friday and the weekend— Halloween, Samhain (which I just learned about yesterday), the full moon, and having a house full of teenagers!

Cheers, 🎃
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-03 Thanks for the Reminder

It’s been a wild week. Lots of drama with the end of my time as an employee (at long last) and finally getting to pull the trigger on the first issue of The Good Life Review. It took till about 6PM yesterday before I entered into that corpse pose phase I’ve been talking about for a few days now.

After the social media frenzy of the morning I still had an initial meeting with a couple folks interested in hopping on our little GLR bus as script writing editors. Which went really well. Sometimes I think I lead better when I don’t have to accommodate my co-leader in the endeavor.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good guy and has the best intentions but I think I do better facilitating and operating without another person to defer to. I dunno, maybe I just secretly like to be in control and call all the shots.

In any case, he dipped on the meeting due to work issues (for the umpteenth tine) and so I flew solo talking to Jake and Joe. It was great! They are both enthusiastic about being on the team and so we are all systems go with adding (more) “drama” to the setlist of what we’re about. Yay!! 🤸🏼‍♀️

After that I started to slide into weekend mode. I’m talkin bout a REAL weekend without working or worrying about work. Without fretting about deadlines and what is next. Without any real responsibility aside from the things that should be a priority. Loving my people up and preparing meals and watching a few shows and enjoying a last swim of the season. Not to mention possibly sneaking away to be alone and spending some QT with a few books.

Reading books? What’s that like??!! 😜

I think I’ll get a fair bit of that tomorrow with my trip to participate in another “Shack Simple” with Jack. So today’s gonna be all about the Fam. And Jim. I mean, we’re still newlyweds after all.

Last night as we were retreating early to find a good nights sleep, I did one last scan of email (bad habit, I know) and read the subject of a spam email from Wedding Wire. A site I probably subscribed to when I was searching for a vendor or something during our wedding planning.

The subject said “Toasting to Eight Months.” And I looked at the calendar and was like, ha! Indeed it was our eight month anniversary and was completely overlooked by both of us (Thanks for the reminder wedding wire). That real life folks. I mentioned this to Jim who was also looking at his phone.

He said, that’s tomorrow right? We both laughed. He kissed me and said happy anniversary. Then we turned the last bedside lights off and both assumed our usual “fall asleep” positions. In the dark he says, “we can make out tomorrow.”

I said, “yup. Tomorrow.”

Yeah.. real life.

Now it’s tomorrow and we’re in the workout room. I’m doing that treadmill thing I do and he’s lifting with his son. After this I’ll make breakfast for us. Then we’ll see what else this responsibility-free Saturday has to offer.

On that note. My time is up.

Happy Caturday to All!
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-01 The (Other) Letter From the Editor

I’ve been tucked in a cubby hole of time for a few days. I’ve tried to finish strong with my last few days of work without letting my apathy show through the zooms and emails. I’ve tried to hide the fact that my heart is already elsewhere. Ask me how I feel today on this day, the first day I’m not required to show up on the job. I’m all like “what job?”

Yes, friends, my heart wandered away from the Career Life years ago and so the only difference now is that I don’t have to dedicate so much of my precious time trying to stay in the game. Yes, I like and appreciate my job, and my team. But life has so much more to offer now and I have to let my heart take the lead. Even if I’m pretty sure it’s clueless most of the time about where it is and where it thinks it wants to go.

Yesterday I spent my treadmill time writing a “letter from the editor” instead of diving into my normal rhetoric. What I was writing will be unveiled tomorrow when we publish our first issue of The Good Life Review.

A letter from the editor? The editor?? Is that me? Holy shit, I did that. I’m doing that. This is real and this is really my life now. Unbelievable!

Anyway, I wrote some words, and it’s all legit and I mean every bit of what I said in the letter but there’s other sides to the story that just aren’t a good fit for the actual publication. Stuff people don’t talk about, you know. As we say in the software development business, the sausage making.

What the letter doesn’t say is that this entire process is exhausting. It’s hard work. My friend Sarah told me that. She said, “people don’t realize it unless they experience it for themselves.” #truth

From the word “go” it has been one challenge after another. Between getting the infrastructure in place to deciding on a name to engaging folks in the process to trying to keep everything organized and operating smoothly.. it’s been a wild ride.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a great learning opportunity, and for sure I’m coming out the other side of this first issue a wiser soul. It’s just that I truly had no idea how time consuming it would be. And the Universe knows how I have a tendency to be over-committed. What on EARTH was I thinking??!!

I know. I wasn’t thinking. I was letting my heart lead. And if Robert Creeley can do it, damnit, so can I!

He started the Divers Press and was also an editor with the Black Mountain Review for its first three years. Also, he wrote and published literally hundreds of poems across decades. A role model I will never get to meet.

If it sounds as though I’m aiming high. It’s likely because I am. “No limits but the Sky” baby!

But that’s probably the adrenaline of the treadmill working magic in my body.

When I woke up today I had a hell of a headache. It was compounded by last minute scrambles to get everything just right for pulling the trigger on our first issue. And trying to keep things smooth. A lot of folks are paying attention now and we have to do our best to keep our best front and center.

What I want, more than anything, is for the people who are involved to have a good experience. I want people to say, “The Good Life”, was good to them. I want people to think of us as kind, and thoughtful, and professional yet personable.

Keeping that in mind is key. In my letter I wrote about the “difficult” time we are all having this year. And therefore we could all use a little more leeway, love, and kindness. I certainly could use a little more.

I hit my migraine and nausea with all the meds I could get my hands on (sans Lorazepam). I had an English muffin and drank a bunch of water. I’m better now. Feeling like I can continue on this fast moving train for at least one more day. One more day.

It’s the final countdown folks. And after that?

After that I’m gonna lay down on the ground in corpse pose for about three days. Yeah. That seems like a good plan.

Ok, I think that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed the alternate version of my “letter from the editor.”

Peace, love, and tacos,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-28 Staring Down the Barrel of a Loaded…

… Dishwasher. 🤣

I didn’t hear the alarm go off this morning and when I heard the shower turn on I seriously thought about pretending to still be asleep through the morning routine. Allergies are kicking me in the ass this year and the 2am flair up that causes me to wake up with severe congestion and watering eyes has got to take a hike. I didn’t want to get out of bed.

But I did.

It’s my last Monday at my day job. That’s worth doing a happy dance over right? I suppose, if I could only get into that groove. I think I need caffeine.

This past weekend was pretty good. But I’m not in any mood to look back. Yesterday is yesterday’s news. The better plan would be to look forward… to the good, good life that’s unfurling before me.

3 more days of work and I’m piecing out on that gig. ☮️

There are also 3 more days left before the first issue of The Good Life Review lit mag goes live (if we can make it on time). I’m going to be a busy bee today loading content into pages. I’ll celebrate when that’s done. I’ve also been (in classic Miss SugarCookie form) procrastinating writing our “letter from the editor,” so that’s gotta make its way onto my daily to-do list pretty soon now.

Looking past this week, we wasted no time planning a bit of a post-employment getaway. We’re still in a pandemic, of course, so we can’t fly anywhere and Jim doesn’t have any more time off scheduled anytime soon, so we’re just going on a mini road-trip over a weekend in October.

He had a “staycation” not that long ago, but for me a staycation does not cut it because the house is really my job and if I can’t get away from that, I’m not going to get any real R & R. Plus, his son also decided to stay over all week and my daughter was here most of the week too. Which leads to messes and sinks full of dishes. Nope. I need to get away from the house to truly get away.

What else? October!! 🍁 The temps are dropping and the mums and pumpkins have made their ways to all the front porches. The trees are turning and leaves have started to fall. Though Autumn can be beautiful, it’s my second to last favorite season. Probably mostly because the beauty is so short lived and there’s always some random freeze reminding me that winter is just around the corner. Winter being, of course, my least favorite season. ❄️

Good gravy.. I’m feeling so brain mushy today. I think I just really need coffee.

Slow Playing the Day Away,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-25 Tides Don’t Turn

They’re relentless rolling towards the shore where waves crash like an unforgiving Kublai Kan. Or the resulting opiate inspired vision in dream. Just a fragment. A sliver of the largest moon that ever pulled the tide up with such reliable gravity. Such a tragedy that the only words to linger after the last line are ones about broken hearts.

Today is a strange day. Yesterday at about this same time, when I was thinking about today all I could think about was the fact that it’s my brothers birthday and also the 25 year anniversary of the day I started my first job as professional adult. I actually thought about that for a while and considered writing about it but the end of the world seemed more important.

Plus, the anniversary is today so I figured it would make for a better fit for today anyhow. But now it’s not.

Get this. I have (had) 4 days left working at my current job (Same professional line of work— different gig) and my boss tells me yesterday late in the day to take Friday off. What?!? That’s does not happen.

So instead of pontificating over the fact that my career is ending neatly at almost exactly 25 years to the day it started, I’m waking up to thoughts of writing poetry and beginning my journey catching up on stacks of books and lit magazines. With the day off, I also got a pass at getting up to make breakfast and ended up laying in bed with my laptop until like 9:30.

I revisited my spreadsheet of submissions and my Submittable account. I went through and marked all the recent rejections (I highlight them in light orange because it’s so much more pleasing than the red color that is oft associated with rejection). As I look through this spreadsheet I’m delighted by the few stripes of blue that have started to appear.

I colored in another row last week with that cornflower blue. I’ve got a poem that will be appearing in December in a journal that, like my beloved Good Life Review, is on its maiden voyage. The poems I had submitted there were one’s I had not submitted anywhere else and really, the whole process feels like a twisted crap shoot. The fact they picked up the one they did amazes me. Who knows what might appeal to someone or fit with what they are looking for? 🤷‍♀️

Oh to get into the heads of those editors!! 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

Still.. it gives rise to a warm fuzzy inside. Cozy like a cat stretched out by a crackling fireplace in the middle of winter.

So I had to send them a new bio and headshot. My headshot is not really a headshot, but it’s the best I’ve got right now. The new bio took me a bit as they wanted more words than I typically offer and just wasn’t sure how to beef it up.

Once that was done, I hunted for new places to submit. I took my time (still gloriously laying in bed) revising a few things for three different new places. That’s what delayed me by like 2 hours getting down to my treadmill. But I’ve got the day off so who cares!! 💃💃💃

And with that.. I’m now checking the weather and contemplating a bike ride and perhaps sitting out on the patio sipping an iced latte. Time to get down to figuring out what this jobless life is going to be like .. right!??!

Feels like it’s the perfect time to resurrect “First Draft Friday.” Again., it’s been so long since I’ve written anything new or worthy of sharing and I very much want to do that. The best place to start, of course, is by reading. That stack of books will be the perfect jumping off point. Yes??


My bro, the rocket scientist, is 49 today. He’s a brilliant person who is a good role model for what it looks like to live your best life. He’s nearly two years my senior but has never had much time for me. When we were kids he avoided me like the plague at school.

Now he makes stacks of cash working for Ball Aerospace on contracts for NASA and spends his free time hiking and climbing mountains near Boulder Colorado.

He’s never given me as much attention as he did that time I climbed a fourteener. I remember arriving back to the apartment I was staying at in CO after that climb and being exhausted out of my mind but not able to rest until I called him to tell him. We talked and talked and I was so pleased he was impressed with me. Guess I’d been waiting for a long time for that. Admiration from someone I’ve looked up to my whole life. Life is strange.

That saying.. “The tide is turning”.. where did that come from? Tides don’t turn do they. I mean they get larger and smaller but they don’t turn. Rivers never flow the opposite way. The toilet may flush down in the opposite direction, but only when you are in the opposite hemisphere. What gives?

Anyway. That’s it.. my hour is up.
Happy Birthday Bro,
~Miss SugarCookie