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

2021-03-23 Radom Rant Tuesday 😒

What’s that saying again?..  If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. 

Yeah. That. 

In my own head I’m bitchy and constantly venting about all irritations, big and small. It’s everything and everyone and I’m not sure what I have to do to get myself out of this mood. Make no mistake, I get that nobody is going to be able to do it but me. I’m responsible, I know, but I’m just not sure what to do.

The problem is that I’m just on the edge and everything is setting me off. Not just other people, but also me, myself, and I. 

Yesterday morning I stepped on the scale and when I saw the number I pointed down at the display and called the scale an asshole. It’s probably the drinking. And eating too of course. I think I’m self medicating with food and alcohol. 

Every morning I resolve to make today different and better, but as the day rolls along all I can think about is what I want to eat for lunch and dinner and how good that glass of wine or vodka lemonade will be. Whatever.

Unfortunately the very nature of this blog being a stream of consciousness, what often comes out is all that negativity. Like the fact that my mom, who never did much for me in my life can’t even say “good morning” or even just “hi” before she reminds me she needs shoes and asks what time I’m going to be at the hospital. 

Her insistence and persistence and lack of gratitude or tact is really starting to get to me. I think about what it would be like if the situation were reversed and know that I would be extremely grateful for any one helping even to the smallest degree. And she has said “thank you” a few times but the lion’s share of the words coming out of her mouth are just so demanding.

Yesterday she was so put off by the fact that they did not bring her lemon for her iced tea on her lunch tray. And that’s all she could think about or talk about for 45 minutes. 

She’s driving me nuts. There I said it. Now can I just move on? 

No. Probably not. I mean.. it’s only going to get worse when she goes home and then we’re up against 6+ months of chemo and more surgery.

Yesterday I didn’t make it to my treadmill and didn’t get my steps and that makes me grumpy too. I’m taking trazodone to help me sleep and can’t seem to get the dose right. It’s either not enough and I still wake up and can’t sleep or it’s too much and I feel super groggy and don’t want to face the day. 

Today I felt groggy. And it’s super overcast and pouring rain so it’s really dark. When I got home from being mom taxi, I just wanted to go back to bed. But i knew if I did that, I wouldn’t have enough time to do all the tasks I didn’t get done yesterday like grocery shopping and dishes and laundry. 

Today I have the added task of putting together my reading for tonight and practicing at least once to make sure I hit the mark for the time limit. It’s a thing I want to do.. reading in public because I need the practice.. but my heart is just not in it. I have some new-ish poems that need more work before they will be ready to share or submit for publication and I have just had no desire to work on revision lately.

So the reading tonight is mostly (all) of what I’ve read before during my MFA program. And also mostly poems that have either been published or will be in my forthcoming book. Perhaps that seems like a good approach since I have confidence in those already. 

Mom indicated she was interested in tuning into the reading. We’ll see. I’ve got the link now and can share with anyone interested in hearing from 6 people giving readings. I’m last on the list. That makes me the “headliner” right??!! 🤣

In other poetry news.. I received the timeline for my book and that process apparently takes a long time. It won’t be ready for pre-sale/pre-release until November. I guess that will give me plenty of time to get my act together for self-promotion. Hell… I still need to get them a clean copy with all the extra stuff they need for production. Like pictures, bios, blurbs, inside and outside art. I should be all over that stuff but my heart’s not in that either.

See, there must be something wrong with me. Good grief. 

All I’m really looking forward to today is eating. I’m thinking about food all the time. Well.. and watching mindless TV sounds kind of appealing too. I kind of want to veg out on the couch with a pizza and watch the bachelorette. But I can’t. I’ve got work to do. 

And I’ve got to get started on all that right about now. 

I Don’t Want to Do Today, 😒

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-02 In Like a Lamb?!… 🐑🔜🦁

March.. I think the saying is supposed to be “In like a lion and out like a lamb.” 

***

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the weather folklore stems from ancestral beliefs in balance, meaning if the weather at the start of the month was bad (like a roaring lion), the month should end with good weather (gentle, like a lamb).

***

But what happens when March marches onto the scene like a gentle lamb? It’s Nebraska round here people and let me just tell you, when there’s not a lot going on (and there is often not) we get giddy talking about the weather. The buzz around town right now is about the potential for the temperature to break into the 60s and I’m just as excited as the next person. The 10 day extended forecast looks balls-out amazing and it fills me with joy thinking about the opportunities to get outside. 

But Again I ask, what happens after that? If the old farmers almanac saying is about balance, does that mean we’re in for trouble toward the end of the month? And should we forget so quickly that our beloved (and sometimes hated) furry friend Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2nd securing the prediction of six more weeks of winter? 

Incidentally when I decided to get married on February 2nd. And mark my words… I am the one who decided and didn’t entertain much discussion about it. When I came up with that date, the fact that it was Groundhog Day (or the Super Bowl) didn’t even enter my mind. Now it’s a pretty good joke. I’m still happy with my decision even if that means I have to share my special day with a woodchuck with an over-inflated ego. I digress.

The change in the weather has the distinct ability to change people’s moods. I know I’m not alone in this. The drone of life through winter in the Midwest is long and boring. Endless strings of cold and overcast days can cause even the most positive and energetic human to feel as though hibernation is a good option. Though this might be good for Netflix and Hulu and Sling (Disney Plus, Apple TV, and Amazon.. good grief!).. it is NOT good for the human psyche and soul. 

The bright sunshine and it’s warmth are essential for fulfillment. I mean, obvi a person can survive without it, but it becomes tough to get to a place of positive energy and enlightenment. Seasonal depression is a real thing and there’s a reason Seattle, as hip as it is, is also kind of a depressing. 

I’ve visited Seattle twice and both times felt very “meh” about the town. And that’s after going to some really cool places! It just feels so monotone. Perhaps I was just there on grey days, but I think they have a lot of those.

***

I’m looking forward to today despite another 4:30am wake up. I said to Jim at the breakfast table this morning, “i don’t know what’s different between yesterday and today, but today just feels like it’s going to be good.” Can it really be the weather? 

As of right now everyone else is either at school or work and I have the house to myself. I’m finally catching up with myself in regards to the to-do list and don’t feel too pressed about deadlines. I received more feedback late yesterday from the publisher who will be publishing my debut chapbook. It wasn’t from my assigned editor so I think I must have submitted with the option to request feedback. 

Strange to get feedback after they’ve already accepted it. It was written as if the person wasn’t aware it had been accepted. Maybe this is just a larger publishing company and my manuscript is just being pushed around different channels based on how I submitted it. Who knows what happens behind the scenes?? 🤷‍♀️

I now also have the official contract in my hot little inbox just waiting for me to have the time to really read it thoroughly. I would like to give myself an hour where I will be completely free of distraction. Today would probably be the perfect day for that. It will also help me keep the positive mood going as thinking about this book is starting to really sink in and I’m over my anxiety and getting excited about it.

I still haven’t told too many folks about it. A handful really but I think after the contract goes through and it’s “official” I’ll begin being more public about it. Not that the money matters beans to me but the presale numbers dictate the percentage I’ll collect on the deal. I mean to say, money matters, but I never expected to make anything from “selling” poems or books. 

Thus far in my poetry career I’ve collected exactly $110 and that’s a fraction of what I’ve spent on submissions. If this poetry game we’re offered at a casino, the odds are so bad nobody would play. 😜

When I quit my job I had a few friends comment “now I could give my life to poetry.” How true.

I’m giving poetry my time, money, and effort (measured in brain cycles). Not to mention my heart and soul through the words on the page. When I said “take all of me poetry” it seems as though poetry was listening and decided to take me up on the offer. 

Ok. That’s enough of that. One more comment and then I have to git. 

I’m working with a new set of metrics this week to measure how I’m doing with certain health goals. Sunday I busted my ass to get 30 minutes of cardio in on the bike and apparently my heart rate never reached the “cardio” threshold. I clocked a ton of time in the “fat burn” zone according to FitBit. What the hell??!! Thanks FitBit. 

So now I’m spending cycles figuring out what activities get me into that cardio zone (above 121 bpm). Yesterday it was walking really fast on the treadmill, which is slightly less like hell than jogging. I think Jazzercise would do it, but I’m not doing that yet. I’ve thought about classes at the gym. That would essentially be something I could do without shelling out loads of cash because classes are free with my membership, 

Anyhow. We’ll see how this week goes. 

Cheers to the anti-taco Tuesday,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-26 Dealing With Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde

I’ve been awake since before 3am. What time I don’t know because I’ve been told looking at the clock is waking up my brain. Ok. So the first time I looked at the clock was about 3:15am. It’s not the light of the clock waking up my brain. I’m pretty sure my brain does that all on its own.

I had a slight headache and think it might be the alcohol consumption from last night. That could have something to do with the not sleeping well. It’s not rocket science, but what came first? The drinking or the poor sleep? No matter.. these are not the thoughts that consume me at 3 and 4 and 5am. Nope.

What is it then? I had a brief conversation with Jim last night where I was lamenting about my thoughts always being consumed with something. In my margarita’d state I described a pac man that was chomping furiously through my mind perpetually consuming my thoughts. I’ve got a limited amount of dots, you know, on the screen everyday and the pac man is always navigating the map of my brain, searching and chomping.. rounding corner after corner, chomping and searching, and eventually all the thoughts have been eaten and the day ends.

What about the ghosts?? 

Yes.. Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde are there. They are there to drive the pac man’s decisions on which way to chomp next. 

Fun fact: Each of the four ghosts in the game has both Japanese and English names. In Japan they started as Fickle, Chaser, Ambusher and Stupid. In my case these alternate names seem more appropriate. Their current personas are defined further as follows… 

Fickle: Always something I can’t decide and am continuously analyzing and weighing options in. Currently this is the question of what to do about my title with the GLR? GLR stands for the Good Life Review and is the online lit mag I founded last year and am currently trying to keep afloat and moving in the right direction. When we first determined the masthead, I gladly accepted the title of “managing editor” and let Ed take the EIC title, but over time this had started to grate on me in ways I could not have predicted. My issues have do with perception, the division of responsibilities-who is doing the work, and traditional patriarchal roles, and also frankly the way Ed throws the title around as if it gives him more authority. Great guy, but I don’t care for that. 

The fickle thoughts I have gravitate between removing the titles completely, and all manner of variation in between. I can’t tell you how much brain power I’ve wasted on thinking about this. That alone drives me kind of batty. We’re still in our first year and have such a small fooorprint or following that it matters not. But it matters to me apparently. 🙄 

Chaser: The endless quest to lose 5 pounds and look better. This is often disguised as attempts to eat healthier or exercise more or detox. It’s an endless chase that never leads to success. Always failure. Always disappointment. And then forgiveness and then beginning again. 

Ambusher: This is the random thing on fire that seems to pop up out of nowhere to hijack my plans. It might be a sink that won’t drain, a car that won’t start, a kid with an F in English, or a show that demands to be binge-watched. They appear randomly and with varying degrees of severity. Whatever it is, it drives pac man in a different direction. 

Right now it’s a one-two-three combo of my sons school performance and feeling like I’m not pulling my weight here at the house PLUS my pending book contract. All will require a lot of effort to resolve or get through and any effort spent may not result in a solution. 

Stupid: Stupid is just stupid. 

No matter what I do, the pac man goes the way he goes. The ghosts pursue. The dots on the map get eaten and the sun goes down. The sun comes back up, there’s a fresh map full of new dots, and it starts again. 

Sometimes, like today, I get a new map before the sun comes up. There I am, lying in the dark and the pac man appears and immediately starts chomping. 

This morning it was the GLR stuff. Not just the title, but also the next release, the social media issues, the website that I’ve failed to update all month, the contest, the promo effort (or lack thereof), the lawyer and nonprofit establishment. All the dots. All the dots. All the dots.

At 4:30am I worked in the GLR website and updated the home page, the masthead, and the sound bites page. I’m going to try EIC on for size and see if that makes me feel any better. Cuz.. you know it’s all about how I feel. 🙄😜

Other than that I was thinking about my lack of sleep and not sleeping because I’m thinking about not sleeping and well… that’s just stupid. Thanks Stupid. 

There you have it folks. My Friday morning in a nutshell.

Cheers to the Weekend,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-20 Why I’m Doubling Down Today

Yesterday, just as I was developing the inspiration to write about all the sexcapaids I’ve had in my life, life interjected and shut that down. 

Here’s how the conversation went (paraphrasing of course)…

Life:  “Here.. read this and get angry” (hands me an email).

Me: 😬😬😬 (deep breath). “No! Not today life. I’m not letting this shit get to me today. I’ve got other plans.” 

Life: “Ok then. Let’s just see about that.” 

Me: “I’m gonna write a poem instead.” 

Life: “Haha. That’s funny.” 

Me: “Whatever. Give me my trigger.” 

Life: (snickers) “Sure thing boss. Today’s topic is sex. Ha!!” 

(Life knows I’d rather poke my own eyes out than write a poem about sex.)

Me: “Challenge accepted!” I start to write about the sex poem but didn’t get very far before Life looked down at his wrist and tapped his watch. 

Life: “Times up. You’ve got to go.” 

Me: “Fuck. I was just getting started. No matter, I’ll finish later.” 

Life: “Fat chance.” 

Me: “Shut up. It’s Friday and I have all damn day.” 

Life: “That’s what you think.” 

Me: “Whatever Life. Go suck it.” 

Then I hurried out the door and drove to CB to visit my dad. Stopped at Little King to pick us up some sandwiches. While at my dad’s, we sat at the kitchen table, ate, and I listened to a few new stories. Turns out, by random chance my dad enrolled in college one week before receiving his draft notice, narrowly escaping being thrown into the war. His life could have gone very differently and if it had, I would not be here writing this. I digress. 

After that visit, I hurried home continuing to think on the topic of the day. At red lights I would open my phone and read where I left off and tried to think of what would be next. I had soooooo many thoughts. So many directions I could take the topic. But then the light would turn green and I had to go again. 

Arriving home it was immediately time to leave again. This time to take my darling daughter to get her second moderna shot. She missed her appointment in Iowa on Saturday because she was sick and so the only opportunity was this “open clinic” set up at a church here in Omaha for people needing the second shot. Open meaning no appointments. Open meaning a line of hundreds of people through the church, out the door, and down the block. And a cluster of parking a situation. 

She begged me to wait with her and of course I did. Did I mention this line was outside??!! Did I mention I hadn’t changed from my morning walk or that I wasn’t wearing a coat?! Did I mention it was only 20 degrees outside??! I must really love my daughter to freeze my ass off for 1.5 hours outside and 1 hour inside that church waiting with her. 

Every time she took her phone out to look at something I thought maybe I could write standing in line. I took my phone out of my pocket and then she’d look at me and ask “what are you doing? Talk to me.” Ok, fine. 

Three grueling and freezing hours later, we were done and headed to pick up my son. Arriving home (after securing some drive through dinner for them) I was frustrated and just wanted to sink into the couch. But not without some food and drink of my own. 

Enter stage left, R-Taco and homemade margs. One margarita, two margaritas, three and done. 

Somewhere in there I had the wherewithal to post all I had written in the morning… which was not much. 

As I pushed the “publish” button I heard a maniacal laugh and looked over my shoulder at Life. 

Life: “Told you so.”

Me: “Fine. You win….Today. But I’m doubling down on tomorrow.”

Life: (With a big smile) “Perfect!”

***

Doubling down for real! Life will NOT best me two days in a row. Nope!!

Today is the second day in a row I’ve spent time inside a church. Today I went to Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Cuz…. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again. I’m talking about donating blood.

Today’s donation was a success as my hemoglobin came through at 13.0 (second finger stick as the first was 12.3 .. booo). I haven’t donated for over a year and it feels good to be able to do it again. Next one will be in April. Guess what else is in April? My next vacation.

I’m in charge of planning this time and it’s gonna be amazing. Don’t know where yet but that don’t matter. Wherever we go will be famous!!

Where was I going with this again? 

Oh yeah, doubling down on the day. It’s now past 5pm and I don’t even have a topic and I’ve wasted all my time writing about what happened yesterday. 

I went to a virtual workshop this morning which was all about sonnets and at the point where we had to free write is where I got stuck. None of the starters that were offered triggered anything in my brain and I ended up writing a few lines about Princess Diana and a quote of hers I heard once about chasing chicken around a plate. 

So rando, I know, but that’s how the brain works sometimes. Alas I could not produce any good lines from that, let alone an entire Sonnet so I’m still at square zero. 

Still. The day isn’t over yet. 

Life: (Tapping his watch again) “Clock is ticking.” 

That guy is really starting to get on my nerves. 

Later gaters, 🐊

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-18 A Serious Need to Not Take Anything Too Seriously

Having another one of those days. You know.. where I just want to tell the world to efffff off. Not you darlings though. Nope. 

This mood has been a fairly regular thing these weeks, I’m finding. I was soooooo tired this morning and tired of being tired. Caffeine helps but then I feel bad about being addicted to caffeine. Then I tell myself there are much worse things to be addicted to and that I’m being to hard on myself and then I pop another pill. 🤷‍♀️

Often I go round and round about this, and the result is always the same so why do I keep doing this to myself when there are bigger fish to fry? 

All of everything that I am concerned with is small. I have to remind myself that it’s tiny, tiny potato’s. Not enough to make one single helping of mashed taters…. AND that I have to not take anything too seriously. If I can just go about my day, with this in mind, it would be better. 

So much has changed in my life yet it’s bizarre, like super strange, how much never changes. A few days ago I remembered a blog I started on Tumblr in like 2010. A little bit of writing I had missed as I was organizing and backing up all my files for a rainy-fucking day that will never come. 

I logged in and pulled all those posts to my laptop, next stop is the external hard drive. I digress. 

Last night I began to reread these posts for something to do before bed. Super unproductive but whatevs. Mind you all that was written 10 years ago, so finding some of the same “issues” I’m still dealing with is … well….. comical. I mean, how else can I look at it? 

Yeah, I’m still struggling with body image issues and obsessive about my weight. Yeah, I’m still trying to eat healthy and failing. I still hate social media. I still worry I’m a bad parent. I still get irritated by my ex and lament about wasting time. I still have trouble sleeping because I can’t shut my brain off. I am still too concerned about what other people think. And I’m still listening to the same music.!! 🤣

Right now? 

  • Listening to ‘Beercan’ by BECK. 
  • Messaging with darling daughter about how she can get her second vaccine shot because she missed her appointment last Saturday. 
  • Drinking strawberry ginseng fizz in water for more caffeine. 
  • Tried to donate blood today and failed cuz my iron was too low. 
  • Thinking about refusing to do any social media shit for GLR. Just flat out saying “I don’t care, someone else can do it.” 
  • Rescheduled 2 meetups this week cuz I didn’t wanna, including my dad today. Selfish, but I don’t care. 
  • Bought discount cut flowers at the grocery like a hypocritical BOSS.
  • Procrastinating calling a tow truck. 
  • Procrastinating cleaning toilets. 
  • Procrastinating <insert everything here>.
  • Put periods at the end of all my bullet points cuz that’s the way I am. Not sorry. 

I already had a website/blog when I created that Tumblr 10 years ago. The purpose was so that I could let loose all the random thoughts I had that were not exactly “blog” worthy. Or rather, all the shit I was thinking that I really didn’t want on my primary and publicly promoted site. Anything a little angry, or seedy, or jealous, or needy. 

It’s actually some funny stuff. Reading it I forget how much I enjoy my own sense of humor. And again, a good reminder not to take anything too seriously. 

The last post there was late 2016, when I hit rock bottom. Or like right before I hit rock bottom. Like a hot 10 seconds before I drank myself down a drain and hit my head on the concrete at the bottom of the sewer. 

Not sure how long I was out, but the day I woke up wet and covered in shit was the same day I decided to start this blog.

I haven’t needed that alternate blog because I have this! And I have you!! My oh my. What a day of epiphanies!!! Seriously!!!! 🤣

Why taking caffeine and saying “I don’t care” out loud makes me feel better, I don’t know. But I love it.  

Yours truly,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-17 Having an Out-of-Body Without Ever Leaving My Body

It’s another random ordinary Wednesday and there’s once again not a single noteworthy thing I have to contribute. Not a thought in my head worthy of writing about for the gazilllionth time. 

Late yesterday I ingested some citrus ginseng fizz I bought from a newish acquaintance of mine whose business is selling these Earth friendly health products. I’ve spent a fair bit of coin on protein powder, energy boosters, body washes and hair gels from her and this company. It’s part of my plan to try and live a healthier lifestyle and also be a better caretaker of our planet.

No matter, as that’s not relevant to my point. But this citrus ginseng powder which I mixed into water and drank about 6pm has caffeine. I think that’s what resulted in me being wide awake at 10pm.

At 10 Pm I was laying in my bed unable to fall asleep and thinking about all sorts of things including how much of a broken record I always am with my writing. I mean really thinking. 

Like I’m watching the needle on the track as it spins, a little swing arm with a tiny bit of metal digging into a groove on a piece of rotating black plastic. I zoomed in and saw the smallest wavering as the rectangular head holding the needle was moved by the imperfections of the spinning vinyl.

Round and round with each rotation ending in a small, almost imperceptible click and jump, back to the beginning of that same track. I zoomed in a little more to confirm what I was seeing. Sure enough, there it was, over and over. Click……..click…….click. How had I missed this before? Why did I think that the song had been changing? After all this time, it’s still the same song. I remember thinking it’s a good song but how can this be?

I thought about how to get to a new song. I mean, really get unstuck and find a new track, and that only led to a terrible scratching sound like fingernails across a chalkboard. Cliche I know! But that’s exactly the feeling. That sound and shiver you might do anything to avoid if you knew it was about to happen. All of a sudden I’m staring at a girl with pointy polished nails positioning her fingers precariously at the top of the blackboard. I say,“DONT.”

Turning my attention back to the record player, I balanced the swing arm on the tip of my index finger, not allowing it to move a centimeter in any direction, record spinning benieth it. I held it in place as I held my breath waiting for whatever was going to happen next.

This moment was one infantesimal moment in the grand orchestra of time. 

In a way I felt paralyzed by the math of it. For every possible move, an incalculable number of outcomes: actions, reactions, and ripples of consequence. In the biz we call this paralysis from over analysis which is something I’ve often been afflicted by.

An unseen amount of time passed as I sat there, hovering above the earth somewhere inexplicable. Where could I possibly be that neither the moon nor the sun were in view? The earth, a powder blue orb, was in front of me and a field of stars far behind. Defying the lack of gravity, my finger still balanced the swing arm of the record player. I would have asked (of no one) “how on Earth is this happening?” But I wasn’t on Earth anymore so the question seemed entirely irrelevant.

Is this a joke? I thought. Some sort of a test? Some survivor challenge I forgot I entered? Some random episode of Punkd? My finger began to cramp and suddenly the weight of the swing arm became a concern. How long could I hold this position? I’d have to decide what to do soon.

As the muscles in my forearm began to tense and quiver I conjured a conductor. This moment, as small as it was in the grand scheme, was too big for me to navigate on my own. An invisible index finger slipped under my index finger, helping me hold the needle in place and I immediately felt relief.

The song that had never stopped playing returned to my ear. I didn’t move but the scene surrounding me was transformed back to the familiar room I sleep in. I stared at the record player, my finger miraculously still balancing the arm that held the needle that dug its pin point into that familiar groove. I slowly pulled my aching finger away, curled it back into my palm with my other fingers, and pressed my thumb around it. The song never missed a beat. 

***

This was all very strange, considering that I don’t even own a record player.

With peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-15 Good Gravy!

Earlier today I was processing the pile of declines in my stack and finally at the end, turned my attention to the maybe pile. I can tell you I don’t read all the writing that gets declined, but I do read all the comments. I can also tell you that if one of our editors feels strong enough to “maybe” something, I read every word. 

And reading delightfully almost always leads to writing for me. I started feeling inspired by everything at about 2 in the afternoon, just about the same time I had to git up and out of the house. 

I tried voice to text for one idea but didn’t get very far. Later, returning to my “virtual” notebook, my effort to begin again was thwarted by my beloved Mario* and his desire to hammer my notebook into a new organizational structure. So I spent about an hour renaming files and creating some folders to sort more easily through the “slush and fluff.”

*Mario, if you want to know, is what I call my left brain. Well meaning but bossy as hell. And most often the side of my head that gets a pounding headache.

I have it on good authority that once a poem is written, you should leave it alone for a certain amount of time before returning to it. What’s the right amount of time? Dunno. I’m gonna say 3 months. This makes the origination date important. After that, the next most important thing is potential (this is perceived potential of course) which can’t be determined until that 3 month mark. 

Durning my thesis semester in my MFA program I devised a number/letter combo system. First character is a number 1 to 4 (Highest to lowest potential) followed by a letter, D for done, R for revision needed. This helped me to figure out what poems to include in my first draft of my thesis. 

Good gravy. Nobody cares about this nonsense. 

Where was I going with all that? What the hell? 

I suppose the point is that I never did write anything new and now I’m kind of bent about it because I lost it. The inspiration to write.. I lost it. Now all I can think about is organizing my google drive. Stupid cloud. Stupid Mario. 

Other than that not much else has changed. I still feel mostly like garbage and it’s still cold as fuck outside (currently -14 headed for -20). Good gravy!!

Before I went to bed last night, I was thinking about this blog. I was thinking about how, no matter what a person does if they are posting things on the intenet, it is done with some measure of filter based on the perceived audience. 

I mean, though I don’t really think anyone but one or two or five actual humans are reading this, there is still the seed of thought that there could be random trolling from who knows where. This little fact, as benign as it is, keeps me from being too revealing. In some cases this is good but in others, there are things that get stuck in my head I have a hard time working out. 

It’s absolutely fact that writing this blog all the time is my therapy. It’s not free, but it is a whole hell of a lot cheaper than an actual therapist. Right now, at this very moment, I have two issues itching my brain repeatedly and I have no way to scratch. Might just try to talk to Jim about both tonight, if I can get a little of his time. 

Good gravy. Why is it so hard for me to get QT with my husband? Strangely that’s not one of the itches that need scratching. Even stranger is that if it was bothering me, I’d have no problem writing about it here as he’s 1) Not one of the people reading and 2) Would understand. I mean, I suppose as long as things remain as they are now which is mostly newlywed-ish.

So last night I was considering a reboot of my tumblr. My black diary that held the secret thoughts I would not allow on my more public facing platforms. I got so far as downloading the app and resetting my password (haven’t logged in since late 2016). 

And just now as I write this I realize I’ve just this past week spent time organizing and archiving all my writing and forgot about Tumblr. Have I ever archived that? Ohhhhhh noooo! 😱

Guess I know what’s going on the Tuesday to-do list. 😜 Wait for it…. ….

….

GOOD GRAVY!!!! 

That’s enough gravy for one night. 

Stay warm ya’ll, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-11 A Quick Trip on the Memory Train

I’m walking. I’m walking. I’ve got nothing today. A full set list of stuff to get done today while I’m stranded at home. Jeep won’t start again and is parked at Jim’s office. He took my car to work today. 

It’s ok because it’s the first day of my period (cuz I know you wanted to know that 😜) and typically the heaviest day and the cramping-est day and probably would veto running errands around town anyhow. Been there done that anyway so…. meh. 

It just means I have all day to get stuff done around the house. Does that mean I will? Prolly not. 🤷‍♀️

I told you I had nothing to say today. Why you still reading? 

Guess it’s time to check my email and see what’s going on in Paris this morning…

It just happens to be a ride on a train. Fascinating. 

***

What I can say is that from down here, among the abandoned strappy black heels and patent leather pumps, I’ll never know for certain who triumphed over whom, which depends strictly on the definition of the word triumph. 

At times, for her own amusement, the Universe leads our memories astray but the outcome remains the same. Regardless of city streets riddled with contradictions, the street sign replaced a hundred times still runs parallel to the horizon, where the sun continues to rise in snowflake fashion every single day. 

I might have been sitting across from an Afgani woman on the Eurostar that one time too. Based on the year it might have been the same woman. But the advice I had been given was to not make eye contact so I’ll never know for certain. 

I just stared down at my shoes, thinking about how my stupid American wardrobe made me stick out like a sore thumb and and a target for all those shifty pick-pockets loitering near the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and Notre Damme. I couldn’t have heard your conversation over the voices arguing about pairing a red trench coat with black leggings anyhow. I’d made so many mistakes.

Just then they rolled a cart of sweet treats by our train cabin and I was further distracted by chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, which hadn’t been invented yet. That was the moment the thread of the story fell to the ground and I went down on my hands and knees to hunt for it. 

***

I would say this would make more sense if a person read the triggering poem:

A Celebration

by Iman Mersal

Paris Review Issue no. 197 (Summer 2011)

But I doubt it.. as it doesn’t even help me decipher the message. And I’m the one who wrote it. Near as I can tell is that it’s an alternate take on the same subject as is in my poem, Left Brain Poet, with the references to memory and the flaws of our fragile human brains.

The actual details of my ride on the Eurostar are sadly long gone. The only solid memory is how incredibly different the French countryside appeared as we emerged from the Chunnel. Like I’d traveled through a portal of space AND time and ended up on a different planet. It was bright and beautiful and green which was so different than the dark, dreary greys and blues of London. 

I suppose the bit about the clothing is accurate too, though not a memory from the train. It actually pestered me enough for several days early on that trip that I spent half a day shopping on Oxford street. By the time my day-trip to Paris arrived, my “American-ness” was thoroughly camouflaged (as long as I didn’t open my mouth). 

Still hard to believe I went to England, Ireland, and Paris for two weeks all by myself in 2010. It was shortly after my divorce was final and I think I wanted to prove to everyone that I was finally free and could do whatever the fuck I wanted. That included visiting Stonehenge AND getting robbed in Dublin. Dublin.. don’t get me started on how much I hated Dublin. I mean, by then I was over traveling alone and let’s be real, once you see Paris and London, Dublin is a Dump.

I said don’t get me started didn’t I? Why are you still reading??!! 

In any case, my grand memories of that trip become even more grand as time passes and the truth of it all may be becoming mired by so many retellings. 

Maybe that’s the point and has nothing at all to do with what this morning’s poem from the Paris Review was all about. 🤷‍♀️ Such is the Way. In any case, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have lived those moments and to reminisce about them now. Thanks for reading.

With Much Love, 

~Miss SugarCookie