2019-10-15 A Serious Lack of Motivation

The week is rolling now and there’s no time to waste. I’ve got another big packet due on the 20th and I’ve been doing that classic SugarCookie thing and procrastinating the parts I don’t want to do. It’s this big craft essay thing. It’s mostly done but the final section and conclusion and a pretty bow to tie it all together. I’ve been putting all my energy into the creative portion and revisions, which is necessary too. Arguably more important. But that’s almost done and there’s no putting off the other any longer.

I’ve also got work things creeping in on my time. But at least I’m making some $$ for that. Everyday living expenses are one thing but when it comes to special road trips to KC or some new shiny laptop, it’s different. I need my own funds for that and every hour I work makes me feel better about that.

I’ve been struggling with new writing lately including this blog. Like my poetry, sometimes I think “so what”. I don’t have anything truly important or impactful to say and I’ve got lots of other stuff to focus on so why put the effort in. I think I need some convincing and and most of the time I’m pretty good at self-talk but lately I’ve been needy for external validation.

I’m now participating in several writing/workshop groups which is great. Sometimes I get so sick of reading and working on my own stuff and so switching gears to read other people’s stuff is a welcome treat. Still, that doesn’t fix my motivation issue. Especially when it comes to this blog.

I used to write everyday and now it’s like every 2 or 3 or sometimes 4 days. There’s a direct correlation to my time on the treadmill which used to be an hour every morning and that’s spotty now too. I just haven’t had the push to make myself do it. Everyday there’s just other stuff that needs doing. I use the word “need” loosely. Some things are and some are just an excuse.

Right now I feel like I’m coming down with a cold and my energy is zapped. I’m trying to reduce my caffeine intake and now instead of feeling dead by 11am, I’m dead by like 9am. That’s seriously serious! I could/should do a whole post about the caffeine and the sleep and the energy, but that a perfect example of a road that leads to the /shrug and question why?

I think I’m going to need to try changing things up and do something completely different. Not sure what that would be but I’m open for suggestions.

Perhaps I’m just having a down morning and need to wait a few days for it to change.

Time to cut and run. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Be kind to each other,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-07 The Assignment

The assignment (I may have mentioned) was to select the most difficult time of your life and write about it. I tried to. I wrote some words and turned them in. It felt like a failed experiment. How do you put yourself back in a place you tried so hard to climb out of and forget. How do you find imaginative language to help you describe your pain?

The assignment, though well meaning, was just all wrong for me. I tried to follow the prompts but the heart and mind aren’t always compliant. It all just feels so far away and it would be nice to forget, you know?

A question on my mind happens to be about writing what comes when it does versus putting your mind into a frame where it’s got to produce something. What’s right? What’s better. I get all these exercises. I get the point, but I read the words from my peers and it just makes me feel unworthy. They wrote some really great stuff from those prompts. Mines just garbage.

Turning that rock over in my palm, the other stuff I’ve written this semester, sans prompts, has been better. Quite good, in my not so humble opinion. This is obviously leading me to a conclusion. But what of it? It is what it is.

It’s Monday again and I have class today and we’re doing workshop. Yay for more feedback. I really enjoy going to class and so far the reading assignments have been good. I’ll be interested in how workshop in class will differ from the MFA Res workshop.

I really don’t have a lot to muse about today. The kids are going to their dads house for a week and that always makes me a little grumpy. It’s 11:30am and I’m still off caffeine and feeling a bit eye dead. It seems when I’m tired my eyes feel it the most. They get sore and I have a hard time focusing. I’m on the treadmill and looking at myself in the mirror and they are red and I look like I’m on the verge of tears. Maybe I am. I dunno.

I think that’s all I have in me today. Just one of those days.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-01 Yo.. It’s October! 🧡🧡🧡

Wowza.. how the hand-baskets did we get HERE?!!

Hold up yo. Rewind. Yesterday was such a transition funk. I literally just sat there not knowing what to do with myself all day until people started arriving home and I had their needs to attend to.

First I did this mad dash to get all the Monday things done and when that was over, I just sat down and sulked. Then I got mad at myself for wasting time I could have been exercising (kinda slipping off that wagon lately). But did I make a move to change it? No. Then I had this internal argument with myself about it being ok to be lazy sometimes. Seriously! Why is it I can’t just be lazy?

I checked my bank account and paid my credit card bill online. I resisted the other bookmarks, a depressing set of rabbit-holes. I downloaded a meditation app on my phone and did “lesson 1”. Even when trying to meditate my mind wanders to the question of productivity.

He said in a calm and pleasant voice “your mind has wandered away and that’s ok. When you notice this, bring it back and focus on your breathing”. THAT is easier said than done.

I’m like whoa! How did he know that? I know it’s because the human brain can be really predictable in this scenario. Especially an untrained one. Fast forward back to now.

October 1st and it sort of feels great to be out of September. It’s the stupid month everyone holds on a pedestal, toasting pumpkin spice lattes to autumn and fire pits and relief from the heat of summer. The reality is that September is just a poser. It’s tricks don’t fool me. It’s still summer, hot as balls outside and nothing has really changed.

But October.. is the real deal. Take a look at the extended forecast. Look at the natural shriveling of garden vines. The air outside smells of change and the winds are shifting. Notice the birds flying like nature’s arrows to a place they can call home while winter blankets the Midwest. Nature knows.

Today it’s going to be rainy and dark and I’m just gonna snuggle down. I’m going to let myself feel October sinking in my skin. And make a promise to not be too hard on myself when tomorrow comes and October 1st didn’t amount to anything. All I can do is try. Right?

On that note.. it’s time to lean into that thought and make it happen.

Cheers to the Real Deal, ☕️

~Miss PumpkinSpiceLatte

2019-09-26 The In-Between Place 🌍 ☀️ 💚

It’s no secret I don’t care for air travel, but something about a solitary journey through the sky changes my mind. Not about the flying, but a shift of thought, deeper, more clear. Brighter perhaps.

Lifting off the ground I’m physically detached from the me that exists on the ground. The mother, daughter, lover, friend, student ceases to exist. Suspended briefly in not existing. Unburdened. This freedom from ties to a life creates within me a space where other things bloom.

If I was on the ground, I might call this a daydream of sorts but here, in the air, the definition of it eludes me. I like not having a word which means how I feel right now. That too, is freedom. Freedom from words and definition and rules that govern language. It’s just me here with nonsense and it’s ok because there is no we or him or her or them or us, except us, in this in-between place.

I can wonder about the river, overflowing and how beautiful it looks from here and how magnificent it is to see whole cottonwood trees swallowed in it. From here it’s a child napping. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s a marvelous gift from Mother Nature. And I can wander around this, like the river and splay my mind in so many directions and it doesn’t have to mean anything. Tragedy doesn’t have to be tragedy. Pain and loss can be sweet cotton candy rolling across the sky.

There’s no consequence of thought in this suspended dimension. This existence is a wide angle lens. Here, I may even be able to admit that I do believe in God. Or not-God. Or the infinite formulations of atoms and sub-atomic particles that travel between God’s not-dimensions, like bees communicating in their bee language, beyond our comprehension. What secrets and predictions they must have.

And with this lens, I can see the earth from space, a tiny blue orb, tied to the sun, like I am tied to it by a man made word – gravity. And I can see her shine In the glow of the sun, with her cancer eradicated. In Remission for a time, let’s call it, a man-made ice age.

A beautiful planet, magnificent and overgrown with new life now that the human beings have all gone. The particles of their souls dispersed to other universes and so she turns. A pirouette around the sun that is no longer a sun because the language of man has been extinguished too.

The whales have their songs again and such joy in the freedom to roam. The birds, too, rejoice in song, and none lament the end of an era. The river swells and turns into another nameless ocean and in it, the most beautiful coral not-man has ever seen!

***

That’s probably enough nonsense and not-thought for now. I will be returning soon, to the good ground and the reality of language and people and communication and, yes, responsibility. Though, I’m going to try my best not to worry about all those ties too much while I’m in Texas. I’ll exist, but I probably won’t be as tuned-in as I normally am.

Peace and love,

🌏🐝☀️💚🐳🌺

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-26 On the Move Again…

What’s this now? A bachelorette situation is about to go down in the town of Austin and I’m bout ready to get on a plane so I can be there with my Texas besties. More about that in a hot minute…

This week has been one crazy minute after another and I can barely keep up with what I am supposed to be doing hour by hour. Everything is off the rails – sleep, exercise, eating, qt with important people. The focus has been on school stuff, writing groups, assignments, a session with my mentor, and – a work project that is creeping on me like nobodies business. All the writing stuff is going great, and that is where the focus needs to be so I feel good (mostly) about the sacrifices I have made this week to keep all those balls in the air.

My biggest regret is not getting to spend hardly any QT with Jim this week, and now, I am about ready to get on a plane without him so that’s leaving me a little sad. At the same time, this weekend getaway is going to be amazing and I’m really looking forward to everything my bestie, Rebecca, has planned. She’s an amazing planner. I swear I should just hire her to plan my wedding and call it done.

Last night I participated in a new local writers workshop with a few of my MFA peeps and it was good. There were only 4 of us out of the potential 8 interested persons who went last night but it was still a great 2.5 hours of discussion. I don’t really know any of these people well enough to admit to my evening brain fuzz, and once we hit the 9PM hour, everything just started to blur together for me. I’m hoping that our meetings can be earlier in the evening in the future, but I don’t think that is the way it is going to go. We met at a coffee house and talked about next time meeting at a wine bar out west instead. Yay for out west, but the wine is a serious bad idea for me on a Wednesday night (not that I would have to drink anything I guess). But put a glass of wine in my hand after 8PM and the next stop for this SugarCookie is sleepy-ville. Just don’t expect me to contribute much to the discussion – ha!

The work thing might ramp up to more than I expect too because it sounds like the project is hot and ready to roll. I have to remind myself to be protective of my time and not agree to too much, even though it sounds super cool. I’m also secretly hoping my role is more behind the scenes and less PM, but I am getting the feeling that is not the case. I guess we’ll see what happens with that, but it also feels good to make a few bucks. I’m still adjusting to relying on someone else’s bank account and while I am sure that sounds great, it is still an adjustment none the less and every hour I work makes me feel like I can still do what needs to get done.

Anyway, I am getting ready to board a plane and have to wrap up. The rest of today is probably going to go fast and I’m going to try and relax on the plane and maybe read ahead on one of my school books.

Headed for Texas,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS… Photo credit to my love today. That snap was captured on his way to work this morning. An incredible sunrise!!

2019-09-23 Skiddle-de-Do

The assignment due today? Pour the worst time in your life into a poem and make it linguistically beautiful and tragic and don’t forget to turn all the abstraction to concrete image. It’s the toughest assignment I’ve ever had.

How do you turn all that black out drunk grief wailing near the top of the stairs because you don’t have enough left to take on one more step? How?

It started with writing 3-5 sentences of moments that had been burned into the brain, so deep, you can still conjure how your body felt. Then mold it to fit the tiny space of one piece of paper.

The last instruction.. end mid movement without a conclusion. Thank the universe, as I will never remember what happened after the black out. I mean, of course I remember parts of the next day, the next month, the next year, as I clawed my way, agonizingly, back to sanity. Most of it anyway.

Still, I find it a challenge to recall with clarity what visceral movements were involved with the end of 2016. It’s a distant memory tempered by time and the healing that comes with support from someone who wants to see you, know you, be with you.

And where does one start or stop anyway? Life is so complicated that it’s not ever one thing that’s involved with the downward spiral. How could I possibly explain that not only was I broken hearted, but also drowning at work, struggling as a parent, and hating the world for what it had become? And limit myself to one page? And make it all make sense? That’s the challenge. Reach the reader and pull them into the swirl.

Good Grief!

Anyway, I wrote some words and they are getting turned in today and then I’m turning my attention to packet 2 feedback which was received incredibly less than 36 hours after the packet was submitted last Friday. I have an in-person meeting with my mentor for this semester tomorrow and I have to be prepared. I need to show up to class, be on-point with my peers there and then continue to ride that wave through tomorrow.

This one calls for purple hair I think. I’m feeling all right right now despite the fact that today was day 1 of my cycle. Funny thing I didn’t have any noteworthy PMS this time. Perhaps my left ovary has been taken over by apathy and every other month I’ll get a break from the usual drama (a girl can dream).

I’ve only got a short bit before I’ve got to get ready to go. I need to jet. Yeah, that’s my Monday

Peace In and Peace Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-18 Words.. The Lost and Found Edition

When I was at residency I had a flood of words to work with. It’s always an interesting experiment in immersion and the impulse of spontaneous thought lingers for a while after I return home. This time around I was given an extra push and had some strong emotion to propel me forward and keep the words coming.

Now, miles away from that and approaching the halfway point in the term (yes already), the impulse is gone, the topic seems to have exhausted itself and though I know I have a few more in me, they just won’t come. It’s been blurred with all the assignments with the other class I’m taking which is moving way too fast for my taste.

Yesterday I did some reading and some critical writing, but it was all starts and stops and so slow going. I also tried to free write but got nada. One line. Ok, I got one damn line. (Btw I don’t think one line is a poem.. perhaps a title.)

I tried to build on that one line and it just never materialized. I mean, you have to have a message or what’s the point? What’s my message? What’s so urgent? Problem is, there’s not a lot that feels urgent right now. Urgent in the sense that I get sometimes when something in me wants out. The post on Monday was a giant shrug and that seems to be the theme for my week.

I guess I’ll just press on, with Mario at the wheel, reading and critical thinking and attempting these assignments. What else is a girl to do?

In other related news, we did an exercise in class where we were put in groups and told to behave like we were editors of a new literary publication. We had to choose our genre/theme and the title of our mag and then review poems anonymously submitted by our classmates. We had to choose the one that was a good fit for our genre, the one we would accept. It was an interesting exercise that consumed a lot of class time.

One of the groups came up with the name “Pumpkin Spice Confessions” which was advertised as “basic bitch” poetry appealing to the masses. They chose my poem. Ha!! I mean, an acceptance is still an acceptance no matter what the pub is right?! And believe me, I know my poetry is pretty basic.

I’ll never be like any of these great writers I’m reading. Just now I wrote “I don’t have a traumatic childhood”, then erased it because, well, yes I do. I would say I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, but I have. I might confess that I’m just a layer of motz cheese on top of a pizza with nothing underneath, but yo! I got spicy pepperoni and artichoke hearts and red onions and some savory tomato sauce. Yeah. That.

Or maybe I’m just hungry because I’m starving myself to fit into a heavy white dress. It’s not white though.. it’s ivory because you really only get one shot at white and that was wasted, because I was already wasted at 19.

I was already rehearsing lines of white pages, a script handed to me before I could read. I toddling tot with my baton in a purple sequin leotard, with matching skirt.

My mom pierced my ears before I could talk. It was a botched job by a family friend that left me with puss filled ears my entire childhood. And you know that line in the script, “if at first you don’t succeed”, when I was finally healed we tried again.

On my wedding day I wore pearl white earrings that belonged to my paternal great-grandmother. Something old.

I followed all the instructions in the brigade handbook, a recipe book with clear descriptions of ingredients and exact measurements. Recommended Process and procedure for best results.

36-24-36

I checked again this morning, my numbers haven’t changed.

***

Ok.. that went somewhere weird. But, that’s just Luigi stretching and flexing.

I really need to do Jazzercise today.. I haven’t gotten to it at all yet this week. And for clarification, it’s not needed for the aforementioned numbers, but is needed to get my heart pumping, and because dance, and also… the current theory is that the free-weights and activity are helping with my tennis elbow situation.

More on that soon I hope. Until then..

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie