2021-06-07 Reactive 🩸

“Reactive” is the result of the COVID antibody test performed by the Red Cross from my latest blood donation. It’s now standard for them to do the test on every donation.

The explanation for my reactive result is that I have antibodies consistent with a person who has had the COVID vaccine, but did not have those that indicate I was exposed to the virus.

It’s true. I hid from the world at large for over 12 months, emerging from my castle a few times a week to mask up and get supplies. According to my latest antibody test I was successful dodging that Coronavirus bullet. 

I never had a nasal swab or a reason to go get tested during the thick of it all, when the frenzy was a pool of hungry fish, bubbling up for any morsel. Starved of normalcy, deprived of human interaction. Such a strange time. 

Now it appears we are on the other side of it. The population is under control just enough. The masks have been discarded. The shelves at the store full once again with toilet paper, disinfectant, and little bottles of hand sanitizer. It’s cheap now. They can’t give it away.

It’s just going to sit there for eternity like those end caps with masks of every color—blue, black, pink, and grey stitched to suit any outfit or occasion. They will hang there in their little plastic packages until the next time the end-times knocks on the door of humanity.

I can’t recall who I was talking to about 2020 lately, about the riots and forest fires—a fresh hell delivered to our doorsteps every month. For some quite literally but for me just figuratively, via my morning news report. How many times did I have to tell Alexa to stop? How many times did I feel so desperate in my hiding? 

Yet here I am still, living to fight another day. And isn’t that just amazing. Isn’t it just the best gift to step outside and feel the sunshine on my unkissed skin. 

I think I might spend some time today, in the shade, reading a book. Keep it simple. 

The hiding was not so bad—is not so bad as long as the world at large doesn’t interfere too much.

I’m a lucky girl. Or blessed if you believe in that sort of thing.

Peace and love and peanut butter toast, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-06-06 All the Life that Wants to Live

My neighbor Dick has touched over a thousand people’s hearts. Literally. In his prime he was a cardiothoracic surgeon who performed thousands of procedures. I can’t imagine having the kind of skill, knowledge, and expertise required for such things. It’s got to be a bit surreal to think back over your life and know that you have saved hundreds of peoples lives, extended ten times that, and had a positive impact on thousands of family members falling over each other with unyielding gratitude. Not to mention the weight that must come with delivering the worst news to the spouse, daughter, or parent of a patient. Watching as they clutch whatever is in their arms and hands a little tighter, pain and anguish climbing inside of them bursting from their eyes. 

Dick is retired now and though his career is long behind him, he still comes out every day to check the mailbox at the end of his driveway and on Tuesday’s to wheel his trash cart to our shared curb. His hearing and eyesight are not so good so when he sees me, he always walks closer to the small green space that separates our driveways. 

His greeting is familiar now, “Shyla, is that you? I can’t see so good anymore.” He hobbles with his cane a little closer. His smile is soft and genuine. 

“Yes.” I reply, walking a little quicker toward him so he doesn’t have to come too far and also so I don’t have to raise my voice in an unnatural way like I’m talking to an elderly person who is hard of hearing. “How’s it going?”

“Oh, you know,” he says with a smile. And I’m not sure I know but think I might. 

Recently I was working to tease the weeds out of the lilac bushes that live in our shared strip of green space. I was on his property on my hands and knees pulling out little saplings and Creeping Jenny that have planted themselves there. You have to really get them up from the root otherwise they will stubbornly grow back.

All the life that wants to live.

It wasn’t Tuesday. The mail hadn’t been delivered yet. Yet here was Dick outside and making his way across his driveway.

He smiles and says hi and asks me what I’m doing. I stand so we can be eye to eye and I tell him I’m pulling weeds. We survey the bushes in silence for a second. They have been neglected for far too long and are in rough shape but still working all their lilac magic to produce those wonderfully smelling blooms. 

I once heard something about plants that were nearing a rough patch or the end of their time. That they somehow put all their energy into producing whatever it is that will beget offspring. Like a pine tree producing twice the normal number of pine cones as its branches become brittle and brown. Or a flower blooming out of control before a bad winter it might not survive, somehow with a premonition of things to come. 

Dick breaks the silence and says the bushes look great. I don’t think we’re looking at the same bushes. They smell amazing though, and maybe with failing eyesight that’s what he’s basing his assessment on. 

I ask him how it’s going. He surprises me and says, “You know a person shouldn’t live past 90.” 

He’s 92. 

I’m not sure how to respond to that so I just smile and we stand there for another moment of silence. 

He reaches over his cane and grabs the tendril of a Creeping Jenny and yanks it away from the bush. It snaps, leaving the root of the weed intact. 

“I think I’ve got my work cut out for me,” I say. 

“You’re doing good.” He says. And then “I’ll leave you to it.” 

As he turns to walk back to his open garage door I can’t help but think that no matter how much good I do in my life, it will never amount to much.

All the life that wants to live.

I get back down on my knees and reach for another weed.

2021-05-25 What’s In the News… 🗞

Happy mask mandate expiry day! It’s been a while since I’ve walked/written/had time to think about the world at large. Life is that way sometimes I guess. 

The last time I checked in I was pouring over my stabilizing good mood and trying to decide what, exactly, it was that made the tide turn in my favor. I’m happy to report that my happy has continued to be consistent and I’m still waking up most days looking forward to the day. 

I’ve continued to not over-commit myself and have not volunteered to do anymore talks or workshops. I’m minimizing meet-ups and really digging in for quality time with those I have had. 

Last Friday I had a 4 hour happy hour session with my friend M and that was fabulous. This week I have two or three meetups mixed in with my deep dive into reading for the GLR contest (which I’m very behind on for nonfiction). It’s my priority this week and I have a LOT to read! 

I’ve finished a first pass at poetry and also scripts and am ready to discuss with other editors. The only category I’m not reading is fiction. It’s just too much. 

Anyhow, that’s what’s on the agenda today after this much needed walk. I’ve tried to get back into the cardio thing but finding it hard to get motivated. I think part of that is that something in me is still recovering from that stomach virus I had last week. Was that just last week? It’s already blurry (my memory). 

In any case, my stomach is still off and my energy is low. But.. the low energy thing has been chronic so I can hardly blame that virus. It may still be a contributing factor though. 

Good gravy!… I haven’t written for days and THIS is still all I have?!?! I guess that’s a good thing as no news is good news. Right?!!

What about the world at large??

Locally, our mask mandate expired today and I’m very curious how businesses around town will react. Since the mask thing became so political, it will be a statement when the business owners either continue to require masks or not. I think most locally owned places will quickly and happily remove the signs from their doors whereas many major chains such as wal-mart or Costco might continue to expect customers to comply with the company policy. 

Not that it will stop ass-hats from refusing to comply. Those folks will do what they want no matter what someone else says. I saw a lady rudely refuse to put on a mask going into a Walmart grocery last week. I wanted to follow her into the store and give her a piece of my mind. Why is it some people think the rules don’t apply to them?! Cwazy! 

Nationally? I heard a statistic that the last few months has been the worst in history for “personal” shootings and gun violence. Has this become so common place that each incident isn’t even enough to make the daily news? Or am I so desensitized that I don’t hear it? And how much do “we” have to endure before new laws can be passed. Then again, my position in this has not changed. 

No law can undo what’s already been done. And I’m not talking about the past shootings, I’m talking about the sale of semi-automatic weapons or lack of background checks attached to gun sales. No.. if you’re a criminal or have mental health problems, homicidal tendencies, or anger issues, you probably already have the guns you want. 

Rights to bear arms means you can have a gun, it shouldn’t mean you can have one that can kill dozens of people with one pass through a crowded room. That’s my stance and that has not changed. 

Today is the anniversary of George Floyd’s death and while the fire of that still burns in the heart of many Americans, America as a whole is now doing what it does best… sweep history into the archives without doing anything to change things for the better. What will happen to the BLM movement? It will smolder until another event sparks the flame anew. And round and round we go, decade after decade. 

The global news feels very much the same (as in, hot topics coming and going as fast as people change their underwear). Not a squeak about Gaza or the Middle East; not an ounce about the Coronavirus, except that America is urging folks not to travel to Japan for the Olympics as Japan is way behind on vaccinations. The summer olympics? Is that still happening? Who the hell would want to go to that anyway on the heels of a global pandemic?! Good gravy!!

OK folks, that is probably enough for today. I’ve got to get on the productivity train. 

Peace, Love, and BBQ Lays,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-18 Music as Inspiration and Other Rando Crafty Thoughts…

I’ve had my new phone for over a week and finally.. FINALLY.. got my music library loaded. So now I’m officially down to using one device daily. 💃💃💃

This morning, instead of picking a playlist, I’m listening to the ultimate shuffle—all the songs that are in my library. Another advantage of my new phone is that it has space to hold all the music I’ve loaded onto iTunes on my laptop, which is a fraction of the songs I’ve acquired in my lifetime. I only load artists, albums, and songs that I want to hear so as to avoid spending time skipping a whole lot of garbage that I’m not into.

In any case, listening to the ultimate shuffle today began with Mrs. Potters Lullaby by Counting Crows. That’s a song I once got inspired to write a poem about. One of the few instances (besides my Fall Out Boy poem) where I remember the exact circumstance—where I was and when.

I was at the Panera Bread in Papillion on 72nd street and it was just after a meetup with my ex, Matt. I sat in a corner chair—one of the bigger lounge chairs that’s not at a cafe table. I had my laptop out and was writing when the song came up. I was immediately immersed in the song and stopped writing. I couldn’t remember hearing that one before and I’ve listened to a LOT of Counting Crows. 

After the song was over, I hit the back button to listen again. And then again as I began to compose a poem. I let the song influence the poem, both in meter and rhyme. Each time I listened I pulled a line or two out to mingle with my own thoughts and I repeated the song until I was satisfied that the first draft was complete.

I then closed my laptop and drove home. 

Months later I found it again, perusing my personal slush pile and worked on revising, with the limited knowledge I had at that point (still early in my MFA). I didn’t spend too much time on it though, dismissing it because of the heavy rhyme and all the lyrics I’d hijacked and twisted to suit my needs. I wondered if the poem was too much of the song. Would that be considered plagiarism? 

Fast forward about two years and I’m revisiting my slush pile again, hunting for something to submit to workshop for my final MFA residency. I had a lack of new material and really wanted to push the envelope with something I felt was good and worthy of workshop, but would spark conversation about rhyme and “stealing” lines. 

It did exactly that and I was pleased with the outcome, yet, I have not submitted that one for publication and as I write this, I’m questioning why not. 

Perhaps that should be one of the next poems on the agenda for revision and research. Research because sometimes it takes a little effort to find a place that the poem would be a good fit for. Many publications I research actually say that rhyming poems are a tough sell and honestly, the poem itself is lacking tension and that’s probably a problem.

But tension can come in many forms. The subject itself can be edgy, the writing can be such that it surprises, or the tension can be more subtle—hidden in the play between the fundamental elements of the poem. Interruptions in established meter or form, changes in diction, or juxtaposing simple colloquial speech with complex rhetoric can all be effective means to create tension. I just have to decide what my poem wants—what would work with what’s already there. 

But… it could be that this is just a learning experience and the poem isn’t meant to be out in the world. Many aren’t. 

Maybe the experience I can learn from happened years ago when I first composed the poem, leaning into a song for inspiration. Maybe the daily reading of poems for inspiration can be expanded to include whatever song I feel moves me the most. 

Right now I’m listening to a song by Justin Bieber and that’s NOT inspiring me to write anything. I like some of his songs but listening to the ultimate shuffle, I’m still left skipping through a lot of garbage. Ugh!

Times up now anyhow. The taco Tuesday train is about to leave the station. All aboard! 🚂 

Peace, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-17 Back in the Game… ✍🏻💕✍🏻✍🏻

Last year I went on a submission spree, submitting my poetry to all levels and types of publishers, from the very brand new organizations to the big-name long shots—print, online, anthology, full manuscript, chapbook, daily, monthly, quarterly journals and reviews. I think I maxed out at 80-something open submissions sometime in November or December. Oh, and I spent some coin too as most of those journals operate much like my Good Life Review in that they rely on the submission fee to cover the cost of operations. 

In January I started fresh but vowed to only submit to free places that month. Then I sort of lost my motivation and promised myself I would wait out for what was currently open to be declined (or accepted).. until my open number dwindled to around 50. I told myself I would pick it back up then and maintain that 50, as a goal. 

50 came and went, I don’t know when, and then 40, then 35, and 30. About that time I decided I would try to maintain 25, when I got there. With the last decline  I received I think the open count was down around 22 so I was clearly lying to myself. Among all the declines have been a few acceptances, of which only one is set for future release—summer 2021. 

Of course I still have that chapbook that’s going to be published later this year. Sort of anti-climactic to have that come through and literally wait almost a whole year to announce anything about it. Though I’ve thought about making it public anyhow, just to boost my writer spirits. 

Anyhow.. not sure what my lack of motivation was from. I tried to look early last week for potential places to submit but quickly lost interest. Maybe it has something to do with my lack of new material. 

I read my standard two poems a day and that’s been uninspiring. I’m reading all the poetry submissions for my lit mag’s contest and am also uninspired by most of it. I think I’m just not in the mood to write anything new. I ask myself if that is ok or if it’s a problem to be solved.

Hmmm. 🤔 

***

Recently I wrote about how my mood has taken a turn for the better lately and that I think the lack of obligations has something to do with that. I wondered briefly if setting an expectation that I continue to press hard on the publishing thing wasn’t a contributing factor in the grand equation of expectations and a feeling of self-worth, or purpose. 

Last Friday I dipped my toe into submittable and confirmed what I thought to be true. Sure enough I was sitting at 22 open. I resolved myself to bringing that number up to 25. But oh my, am I sick of looking at the same poems (especially the ones that have been rejected over and over). So I opened some fresher material and got to work on revising and polishing them. 

And wouldn’t you know what happened next is like magic. I got lost in it. I was putting these newer poems through a series of tests—syntax, form, vocabulary choices, passive voice, cutting unnecessary words, lines, rewriting others conpletely, etc., etc. It felt glorious. With each pass, I felt better and better about each poem and, in general, I felt better too. 

I continued to edit and felt good enough about a couple to submit. Then I thoughtfully toggled between research, more revision, and submitting again until my count was up to 25. That was only 3 new submissions, but it was 3 more than I had had that morning and hitting my goal was satisfying. 

Wouldn’t you know, I woke up Saturday to a new decline in my email and I shrugged an got out my laptop to work some more. This time, exceeding my goal. Now I’m up to about 27. Maybe my new goal should be 30? 

This is how it starts. 😉

I suppose the point of all of this is that I had to force myself to do something I enjoy, but once I did, it was extremely satisfying and now I’m back in the game. 

Now… maybe THAT has more to do with my improved mood than anything. It could be that the spell of depression and unmotivated mood I had been going through had to do with BOTH external obligations and the lack of nourishment of my soul. The part of me that needs poetry and that thrill of producing art that I feel is beautiful and full of love. 

Love IS the right word. 

Today is Monday and I’m steadily making my way through my house chores—dishes, cleaning the kitchen (after a weekend with a houseful of teenagers), litter boxes, grocery shopping, and laundry. So far so good. And I’m not even bent about it. I feel great about it actually. What a flip!! 

My mom is coming over this afternoon and bringing her dog. We are actively trying to find a new home for her as my mom can’t handle her with her current health issues. It’s just not feasible. I’m hoping today’s meet-up will yield a positive outcome. It would be one less thing she has to worry about (and by proxy, one less thing I have to worry about). 

I think that’s it for today. 

Cheers to Being Back in the Game, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-11 All of This Is True.. Or Is It? 😉

This morning I was listening to my “Gear Shifter” playlist—the one I curated with songs that are sure to pump me into a cardio machine mood. One of the songs that came up in the shuffle was Hoodie Allen’s “The Real Thing.” 

The end of the song is a clip I have to believe is an authentic message left in his voicemail. It’s some girl, presumably his girl friend telling him she knows he’s working hard on a new album but he needs to get his priorities straight and pay more attention to her. For real! 

When she left that message she probably had no idea that it would make its way into one of his songs that would eventually be distributed to thousands of adoring fans. What do I think when I hear her sharp tone and biting words? What a bitch. 

I was given advice once to always be careful what you say and write, always, lest some unsavory nugget make it out into the wide world. It’s a conundrum. We spend so much energy making our public profiles look exactly how we want people to perceive us. For better or worse, I suppose.

The flip side of this is the freedom of letting your freak flag fly and not giving two turtles what other people think. In my head it’s a balancing act. My hatred of social media helps tip the scales in favor of not posting anything, ever. However, Facebook and Twitter and Instagram are obviously not the only places I’m putting myself out there.

My biggest public facing platforms are my blogs—in various levels and colors of “findability.” My newest website which is less of a blog and more of space for self promotion is the place I’m thinking (hoping) people find me if/when they are looking. I was told that all writers should have a website to promote themself and their work. That it makes publishing their work more appealing to potential publishers.

That blog isn’t really a replacement for my original shyspark blog which I still post on a few times a year. That blog is home to first drafts of poetry and is also the archive of poems and musings from all the way back to the beginning of my poetry writing (which incidentally was when I was about 12 years old). In any case, it still serves a purpose.

Here’s me finally getting to my point…

A few weeks ago I posted to that original shyspark.com blog, which is connected to my Twitter account and posts automagically to Twitter. I had written a first draft of a prose poem. It was more of a musing than a poem, but I’m gonna call it a hybrid piece.

In the poem I had embellished some details of the situation I was writing about, letting the imagination in my fingers do the talking. I had an argument with myself about whether or not to post it, worried what people might think. I ended up posting it. 

Fast forward a few hours and whatever part of me won the argument about posting it waffled and I edited the post, rewriting the details of the lines to smooth over any content that might cause someone to question my character. Doing that made me feel so much better about the poem. 

Fast forward to the next day when it was brought to my attention that my husbands ex-wife had read the post AND brought it up with her son AND had him look at the post. 

They didn’t find the original lines. As timing had it, by the time she was pulling him in to read what I had written, the post had already been changed. I chalked it up to a lesson learned. But what was the lesson?

This question is one I’ve been struggling with since then. Here is what I’ve learned:

  1. Given the timing, it’s clear my husband’s ex-wife (who I’m thoughtfully calling whore number 1) is somewhat stalking me. To have seen that post in the short time it was in its original state, she is either following my blog, following me on Twitter, or just looking at all my shit on a regular basis. Any way you slice it, it’s creepy. If you are reading this, Jill, get a life!
  2. I still, after all these years, struggle with the thought of people actually reading what I write, worried about their perceptions of me. I’m a good person, but obviously have flaws and problems and make questionable decisions at times, that are not so pure of heart. Can I let that go and should I?
  3. Does the poem have to be true or are embellishments ok? If I twist the truth to shine a light on the deeper meaning I’m trying to come to terms with, is that being dishonest? I think most seasoned and learned writers would say it’s ok. Still, I write so much that’s nonfic, it’s tough to spin anything else when writing poems.

In the end, I felt like I wanted to write about this incident because it upset me but suppressed the urge, in favor of trying to just let it go. Clearly I haven’t let it go because as I began to write about that voicemail clip in the Hoodie song, it’s exactly the incident my mind zeroed in on. I didn’t plan this.. it just happened. 

If I was more brazen, I would tell you what kind of person is semi-stalking me. I would tell you that I call her whore number 1 because in an email to my husband she called me whore number 3. She wrote it and sent it and she’s never even met me.

Yes, I am my husbands third wife, but if I’m whore number 3, that makes her whore number 1. Good gravy!! 

(Oops.. I guess I’m more brazen than I thought!) 

If I was bolder than that I would tell you all kinds of other horrible things this woman has said and done and written. But not today. I’ve already satisfied my need to vent about this situation and her and it would really serve no purpose. I guess that means I’m done. 

And it’s about time.. I’ve definitely gone way beyond my allotted time for walking today. 

Cheers to Getting Shit off Your Chest(Finally), 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-05-03 Thinking About What’s Got Me Down is Like Having Bronchitis

It may not be the same for everyone, but the struggle is real. It’s a popular saying for a reason. 

I’m constantly having internal conversations with myself that I can’t seem to quit having. There’s no resolution that I can see or feel and it puts my brain on spin cycle and it’s wearing me down. Like a rock in a rock tumblr. 

In a way I wish I could just turn it off. But there’s no off button for that except the ultimate off button and I’m not ready for that. I’m thinking of a Cake song.. “End of the Movie”. 

***

People you love

Will turn their backs on you

You’ll lose your hair

Your teeth

Your knife will fall out of its sheath

But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie

People you hate will get their hooks into you

They’ll pull you down

You’ll frown

They’ll tar you and drag you through town

But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie

No, you still don’t like to leave before the end of the show

People you hate will get their hooks into you

They’ll pull you down

You’ll frown

They’ll tar you and drag you through town

But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie

No, you still don’t like to leave before the end of the show

***

I recognize I’m responsible for my own happiness, and my own sorrow but I don’t know how to handle myself. I’ve been self medicating with certain indulgences—eating and drinking mostly. These temporarily soothe but once the moment has passed, I’m left with regret and deciding to “start new tomorrow,” with a cleaner way of living. 

I don’t find joy in the the things I like to do or in trying new things. My tried and true go-to set list is not working. Music, exercise, planning future activities, gardening. Typically writing all about how I’m feeling, here and now, from my beloved treadmill would improve my mood or at least help me get to the point where something makes sense. 

When do I write the lines that spark the lightbulb above my head and I get the answers I’m searching for? I guess not yet. 

Repeating lines inside my head:

  • It’s just a funk and I’ll snap out of it naturally. 
  • It’s just hormones and I’ll snap out of it naturally. 
  • Tomorrow will be different. 
  • If I get better sleep I’ll feel better. 
  • I should cut out alcohol.
  • Remember last year at this time when I was working full time and miserable and had a problem taking lorazepam and was feeling really horrible? Life is way better now so what gives? 
  • I’m being too hard on myself. 
  • I’m not doing enough with my life. 
  • I’m a failure parenting my kids. 
  • I’m a bad wife. 
  • I just want to lose 10 pounds. 
  • I’m struggling with my dependence on another person. 
  • Why can’t I just enjoy my life? 
  • I’ve got everything I ever wanted.. why aren’t I happy? 
  • I should talk to my husband about how I’m feeling. But he’s got more important things to attend to. 
  • Who else can I talk to? Maybe I need a counselor or therapist. 
  • What should I do now?

I wrote a poem last week, the first I’ve written in a while. I had to go to an accountant to sign my taxes. Maybe my problem today (and all damn weekend) has to do with a tangentially related happenstance. Probably. Everything is related. Here’s a link to the poem: https://shyspark.com/2021/04/30/before-i-sign-my-2020-taxes/

I have a ton of stuff to get done today and can’t simmer on any of this anymore. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

Until tomorrow,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-04-30 When they Ask What Superpower You Want, Don’t Be Too Hasty

I daydream sometimes about what it would be like if I could control time. That’s not exactly right. It’s not a daydream of control. It’s not a daydream at all actually. It’s a longing for time to slow down enough for me to enjoy things at my own pace. My own pace is apparently slow.. like a desert cactus growing a new arm. 

Returning from vacation I found myself feverishly rushing to write all about it, remember all the details, sort through pictures to pick my favorites and document it all. And for what? So I can never look at any of it ever again? To forget it as the reality of daily life comes back into focus and the “next thing” screams for my attention. 

It’s predictable. I have two more blog posts I wanted to write about vacation but that’s so five days ago. A world of experiences has occurred since then and now trying to return to those final moments of vacation feels like a pipe dream. 

Then there’s the conundrum of chronology to contend with. I have this unhealthy desire for trying to create order in the chaos. It’s unacceptable for me to write this, and stick it in the middle of a lovely flow of wonderful posts about vacation, and then somehow unnaturally return to finish out that series.

Years from now I won’t look back at these days at all and it will not matter, yet I can’t seem to figure out how to just do it. Except to maybe just do it and try to forget it. It’s like a puzzle with no solution but to burn the puzzle beyond recognition. 

I have so much to say. 

And I don’t have enough time to explore it all. Not in the way I would prefer anyway. 

Tell me again when I will arrive at the place where I can enjoy the life that’s been handed to me? This semi-charmed life? 

I’ve been working on a PowerPoint presentation for a workshop I’ve agreed to facilitate, which is happening tomorrow. I’m a little nervous about it, as these things go, my social and presentation anxiety get the better of me. But I seem to be getting better at just not thinking about it too much and focusing on other details. 

I admitted to the woman who teaches the body pump and body flow classes at the fitness center I’m now going to that I was terrified of presenting. It’s true. It’s definitely not in my wheelhouse but as these things go, I agreed to do it because it’s an opportunity to promote my lit mag and make some human connections. So, selfishly I agreed to lead a workshop. 

The teacher of these exercise classes said that if you are scared, it’s a good thing because it means you are pushing yourself and it’s an opportinity to learn and grow. That’s such a positive way to look at the situation and I appreciate that. She’s a good person. 

As I write this, I still have one big toe that is grounded in that vacation space and won’t let go. The rest of me has moved on. The rest of me is looking forward. The rest of me doesn’t seem to even have enough time to brain dump about every damn big thing that happened this week. 

My moms first chemo treatment. Our household finally being fully vaccinated. The drug interaction that caused me to feel as if I was at death’s door (not related to the vaccine).The visit I had with my dad yesterday. The Johnny Carson scholarship that my daughter earned that she didn’t even apply for. The old friend (30 years have passed since we were friends) that called me out of the blue. The other old friend that texted me out of the blue, who I haven’t seen since my wedding. So much is happening yet there is not enough time for me to mentally process it all.

I just want time to slow down. When asked what superpower I wanted, I should have paused. Thought about it a little longer before blurting out, “invisibility.” If only I had a time machine to go back and fix that. 😜

I may not be able to control time, but I do have complete authority of the chronology of my words. Which is why this might not get posted until I’m damn satisfied with my vacation series. 

Take THAT Universe! 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-04-11 Exhale and Release

Yesterday was a doozie. Hold up. This whole week has been kind of off the rails. I’m trying. I really am. And I’m truly doing the best I can. 

Yesterday the stress of the lit mag going live (and frankly being over a week behind the original release schedule) got to me and by the end of the afternoon, had triggered a migraine. It was terrible timing. 

I had previously committed myself to a social engagement which I did not want to miss. By 4 in the afternoon, after staring at a damn screen all day AND trying and failing to polish my “letter from the editor,” I developed a nasty headache and was worried it would prevent me from making the gathering. 

I hit the headache with all I had, ibuprofen, Tylenol, and sumatriptan. I would have tried to lay down for 15 minutes but there just wasn’t time. There wasn’t even time for me to shower, which was also quite undesirable. I basically only had time to change, put on some mascara and lipgloss and go. 

Normally I would also have a glass wine to calm my social anxiety, but that’s a big-bad idea with a migraine as it would definitely put me down with a quickness. 

The unfortunate set of circumstances put me in the corner at a far table with a group and of folks that I hadn’t met before. I did my best to be social as I suffered from my aching head.  Didn’t even have the spark to get feisty about the game we were playing. Normally the competitive board-gamer in me would override my social awkwardness but last night was not my night. 

The best I could do was make polite small talk, eat a little and drink a little, participate in the game (which was fun) and then say goodbye at the right moment. Like I said, I did the best I could. 

The same goes for the release of the third issue of The Good Life Review. I relied heavily on my friend, M, who is brilliant with web stuff, graphics, and design. I had previously spent hours and hours building the new issue 3 individual pages and the new home page but there’s just something about her special touch that nobody else can match. She’s a gift and I don’t know what I’d do without her. 

I did the best I could, but she really brought it all together. I was going to try to push the release live last night but just couldn’t do it. Instead I woke up this morning before 6am and pulled the trigger. Once I did, I immediately felt a sense of relief wash over me. Not sure what I could do differently with issue 4, but I would like to plan it out so that it’s not as stressful at the end. 

Here’s the result: https://thegoodlifereview.com

Today I would like to gift myself with a little bit of grace before letting my brain get twisted up with ALL the other things that I’ve been procrastinating. 

I don’t want to think about next week. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. Good gravy I don’t even want to think about the vacation I have coming up very soon. How sad is that??!! I just want to sink into the couch and veg. Watch some trash tv and maybe, if I’m feeling up to it, go to a yoga class or something. 

I know there is no rest for the wicked and the week ahead of me is going to kick my ass again, but I’m still gonna try really hard to NOT think about that today. 

Nope. Not today. 

On that not.. it’s time to make a coffee, drag my tired body to the couch, and find some nonsense to get lost in. 

Cheers to exhaling and finally having a lazy Sunday,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-04-01 Hello April! 🌷

Thank goodness that’s over! March… what an asshole!! 

And thank the Universe that the month didn’t go out like a lion and that our furry friend, Punxsutawney Phil, is wrong more than he is right. It IS Nebraska and there’s still a chance that Mother Nature will show some wrath, but my intuition doubts it. I think Spring has sprung and it will be smooth sailing right to those 90 degree days of Summer. 😏

I’m doing pretty good with regards to balance this week now that my sister is here and I have to savor the time as she will not be here for long. It will be interesting to see how my mom does after that. I’m certainly not going to drive to CB just to let her dog out to pee. Not when she has other options. 

I’m also not doing to clean her house or fix her meals. I have my own household to take care of and she should be to the point she’s capable of making her own food. This sounds cold, but sitting on the couch all day and napping and being waited on, hand and foot, is not going to speed her recovery. 

Enough of that! I don’t want to think or write about my mom anymore. Ugh!! 

How bout this… it’s April! National Poetry Month! Time to write a poem a day? Yes please!! It’s also time for me to get my booty in gear to put together that workshop that I’ll be facilitating on May 1st. I’ve got one short month to cobble together a hybrid craft / generative session on the topic of poem openings. 

Oh.. and did I mention that the third issue of my lit mag was supposed to be released yesterday but we’re behind schedule by about a week? 

Oh and did I mention that the “materials” for my forthcoming book are due in two short weeks and I really need to get my act together on that? Ugh!!!

Maybe I’m not doing as great as I thought with regards to balance. Either that or the inclination to procrastinate is rearing its ugly head. Typical! 

So March was kind of a Jerk. Let’s hope April is a kinder soul. 

Cheers to Beginning Again, 

~Miss SugarCookie