2021-01-23 Up and Down, Round and Round

It’s been a strange week and I’m very much looking forward to shifting gears. The focus this weekend is on vacation prep. That’s right.. I said vacation. 

It’s still too sketch to fly so we basically put a pin in Omaha and did a radial circle around it with a driving distance of  10 hours max. Our first bit of research landed us in South Dakota and we’re both so hungry for getting away that it actually seemed like a viable option. We booked an air b n b near Deadwood. Two days later we had issues with the rental contract and both did a facepalm… South Dakota in January?!! WTF were we thinking??!! Who goes NORTH in Winter?? 🤦🏼‍♀️ 

We were able to get out of that deal without issue and quickly turned our attention to the opposite side of the circle—south to Oklahoma and Arkansas.

With our second attempt to zero in on a destination that would be “off the grid” enough to disconnect from normal life but still have comfort with amenities to get some good R and R, we landed on Broken Bow Oklahoma. Well, near Broken Bow anyhow. 

For 30 years of my life I’ve had to do all the vacation planning. Let me tell you, it’s really easy to get used to someone else taking control. It’s just one of the many reasons I love my husband. He’s incredible for a lot of reasons. The excellent vacation planning is just one thing. 

The vacation is partially to celebrate our one year anniversary. And what a year it has been. Natural disasters, the BLM movement hitting another climax, a nail-biting election cycle, and.. oh yeah.. a global pandemic bringing humanity to its knees. My friend Rebecca said if we weathered this ok in our first year, we can survive anything. I sure hope so. 

Other things on my agenda this weekend besides laundry and cleaning and packing include trying to catch up on my GLR tasks that always seem to be falling behind. With the strange week that has been very up and down and round and round, it seems that some of those tasks fell to the “I will do that tomorrow” list. I’m also in a holding pattern on a few things that have started to become sources of irritation. Namely the contest that we’ve been waiting to announce since the beginning of January. In truth, when we originally planned it, the window for submissions was supposed to open on December 15th.

Now it’s nearing the end of January and we still don’t have all the content needed on all four judges to round out the lineup. It would be strange to have bio and pictures for two of the judges and not the other two. I also have other growing concerns but nothing worth writing through right now. Or at least not on a Saturday before vacation.

In any case, lots to do today and no time like now to get on it! 

Cheers to Caturday! 🐱

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-15 The Friday that Thinks It’s a Saturday

Yesterday was a Thursday that felt like a Friday and apparently the Universe agrees with me because we got blasted with a blizzard overnight and today everything is closed. 

The solid run I was on with decent sleep got wrecked too. And with it my good mood. I’ve been feeling great all week and woke up today tired, and grumpy with cramps. I have to recognize, however, that as far as PMS goes, this round was nothing compared to what it has been lately. So I’m going to try and be grateful for that. 

I had some caffeine and am walking now, of course. I want to turn my frown upside down. I have to remember that I have the power to do that. I can choose to look on the bright sides. 

Today another publication released their latest and greatest issue which includes a poem from yours truly. I want to be happy about that. I mean, I am happy about it but when I followed the links from the email I read at 4am, I found that there is a typo of my name. Both on the website and on the listing of the book on Amazon. I let them know. But ugh. This is the second time recently this has happened. 

But at least I can say that. That it’s the second time recently. Looking on the bright side would be happy dancing because I’ve had 5 poems published in the last month. FIVE! Feels like something I should tweet about. Maybe I will, once they fix my name. 😜

Looking on the bright side also means having the whole day today to do whatever with my time and because I chunked through part of my to-do list at 4am, I have even more time. 

Ironically I have an appointment to have snow tires put on my daughters car. So that will be happening in just a bit. Hopefully her little Prius C can make it to the tire place in today’s winter mess. 

I would also normally have either laundry to do or vacuuming but Jim is home from work and that changes things. I was also going to binge watch the bachelor while working on my laptop but he HATES that show so that will be a no-go too.

As for my “one job” from yesterday (🚽🚽🚽🚽🚽🚽🚽)  it went like this…

🚽#1: Gung ho. Great work. Looks good. 

🚽#2: Pretty good. Running low on bowl cleaner. On to the next one. 

🚽#3: People are gross. Why is there pee on the outside of the bowl? Cleaner runs out. 

🚽#4: This is exhausting. There has to be a better way. Stupid boys and their stupid penises. 

🚽#5: Good enough. I’ll do better next time. 

🚽#6, 7, 8 & 9: Nope nope, nope & nope. 👎🏻 Next week. Maybe. 😜

In truth I never intended to go into bathroom 8 or 9 to begin with, for specific reasons. By the end of what I could stand I really did convince myself that once every two weeks was enough so if I did half of all that needs doing on the regular, that would mean 4 a week. I can handle that (If I have the right tools and cleaners which I clearly didn’t).

I know, I know. You were all dying to know how my first real attempt at “household engineering” with regards to the bathrooms of the castle turned out. 🏰 I can say for certain that I might not be cut out to be Cinderella. Can we cut to the part of the story where there’s no global pandemic and the princess convinces the prince to hire a maid?

I’ll need it if I entertain the idea of ANOTHER start up. Last night I had a flash of a brilliant idea. I mean, I had been drinking so I wasn’t sure if it was truly brilliant until I woke up today and had time to evaluate the merits of the idea. But it has promise. I think. 

One of the most important factors in start-ups is that the idea, product, or service either fills a need that’s not being filled already or is in someway better than the options available to potential consumers/customers. I’ll call that the “it” factor. And this idea of mine, I believe, has that. Unlike the lit mag which I now know there are gazillions out there with similar business models competing for business. Oh well oh well. 🤷‍♀️

Anyway. So a little more research will be required for that. In the meantime, I also have a 1 year anniversary coming up with my darling husband and have to get my act in gear for a gift. As a consummate procrastinator, time is running out for what I wanted to do for that. 

In any case. Lots to do today, including a second blog post to celebrate another special anniversary. Stay tuned for that hitting a WordPress reader near you soooooon!!

Peas and Carrots (ewwwww, gross), 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-12 On Being Smaug 🐉

I opened a book I got for Christmas; I was bound and determined to break out of the habit I’ve gotten myself into where I only read to learn things and can’t seem to read for fun or enjoyment. I remember those days. I remember reading the Hobbit in the bathtub when I was a kid. I loved that book and it has a water-swelled look that proves it. 

I swear I’ve lost the patience to read for no “productive reason”. I read two damn pages of my new book and had to set it aside. School broke me I think. Either that or I really don’t like what I was reading. What I need to do is figure out how to switch off the “learning” brain and just read something fun and adventurous or suspenseful. Perhaps a YA dystopian novel? 

Maybe deep down I really don’t like poetry. How cray would that be? A poet confessing that the only poetry she really loves is her own. I love all my babies. I think all my little darlings are precious gems and deserve good homes. Maybe the best home there is, is one I build myself? After a parade of rejections lately I’m starting to think more about that.

What can I do to unhinge my learning brain so I can just enjoy reading again? This diatribe about reading is a smoke-screen for what’s really bothering me.

Hinge and unhinge are buzz words. And the moon is still the biggest cliche that’s OK but not Ok.
Or I maybe I don’t care it’s Cliche. If the moon wants an appearance in my poem, who am I to refuse?

After all, it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

Yeah, it’s part of who I am. And my poetry is an extension of who I am.

I will keep working to make my writing better but won’t sacrifice my voice or preferred topics because who I am is not “marketable” or the “right fit.” (Nobody said I’m not marketable, but I’m not an idiot, the market has trends of interest).

I’m Smaug from the Hobbit, with all my gems and well armored against most assailants. Most. But last night felt stings from a well placed/well timed arrow. Right in a tender spot exposed in a weak moment.

There have been a number of rejections this week. I’m close to getting my period and that’s when I’m more emotional, more vulnerable and subject to injury. So far I’ve been pretty immune to the language of the thoughtless rejection form letter. The letter that’s says, out of the box, “thanks but no thanks.” What’s worse, when they send something like “not a good fit.” What’s a good fit is what I want to know. 

What’s worse is when I can tell they really just leave the Submittable default decline letter be their rejection message. Being on the publishing side, I know what that is. And also that it takes just a few minutes to craft something more personal. We did that for the GLR and I revisit this sometimes. It’s an important part of our Public facing reputation. Each human interaction, even rejection (maybe especially rejection), is important. 

Sometimes I feel like everyone else is doing all the work on the lit mag, and my contribution isn’t important, but thinking about it now.. the fact that I care so much about being kind and treating people with respect and being sympathetic to their situation does have an impact because I want every interaction to be a positive one. I know there are improvements I can make and those changes will make a difference. 

I think being on the receiving end of messages from potential publishers has made me better suited for the work I’m doing. 

With each new rejection my confidence wanes. I was sitting in my bed and updating the spreadsheet I use to keep track of my submissions and there’s so much orange sherbet I feel a sting. I selected a pleasant shade of orange to indicate rejection instead of red because red is so harsh. The color of blood or stop or don’t isn’t conducive to keep trying again. 

Still, after a while, even the light orange is bothersome. At the same time I’m reviewing the status in submittable I’m texting with my friend T and we’re conversing about rejection and self publishing and the lit mag. We both agreed the wonderfully written rejection was something to treasure. 

I’m down about the numbers but not sure what to do about it. I recognize it is mostly out of my control. If my writing is not a good fit, there’s nothing I can do. Find a place it is a good fit I suppose. But I was too tired last night. Too tired to read, to write, to research, and decided to call it quits for the day. 

It was supposed to be a good day, a “me” day but my mood was rotten all day and I just couldn’t feel accomplished or productive no matter what I tried. 

Then.. just as I was closing my laptop, I checked my email one last time. A new message in my inbox was a lovely email from a former mentor of mine from the MFA program. It was so generously encouraging I just cried. How did he know that was exactly what I needed? That’s some serious intuition. 

He said I was “a real deal poet” and to keep working. After I read that I closed my laptop and set it aside. I slid down under my covers, and grabbed a tissue to wipe my eyes. How did he know? 

I have more thoughts about that, but have gone on too long already about rejection and about typically being immune to the sting of it, and also about how there’s a weak spot in my “armor”. 

I’m not Smaug. I may be wounded but I’m not gonna die from those poorly crafted steel arrows. I will survive to live another day, do good work, and make my own mark on this life.

With my mentors kind words I was able to fall asleep with those thoughts instead of the others. And I woke up this morning ready to take on the day.

What did I find in my email inbox?.. Another poem has been accepted for publication. Well played Universe!!

Cheers to being Smaug but not really being Smaug, 😉

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-01 Hurry Up and Wait ⏰

Or.. It’s About Time.

Two days ago I started writing about something that dissolved into a rant about titles and hierarchy and how disgruntled I felt after not being recognized for my contribution in an effort I’ve worked on and care deeply about. I ran out of time while writing and was subsequently told to let it go. (Clearly I have not yet).

One day ago I started writing and it quickly morphed into a statement of gratitude I wanted to include in my “letter from the editor” for the lit mag I’m managing editor for. Oh hey, this is directly related to the aforementioned endeavor. They are one and the same.

In the middle of writing I elected to switch gears and just write the letter instead of a journal entry. Or was past due anyhow. The part with the gratitude to specific folks on my team did not make it into the letter. If you are reading this, M or T, please know I wanted to but it was apparently too much like a repeat of the last letter and that part was cut. It was also not all me, it was E, who said we’d fit the recognition in somewhere else.

This is the complication I’m dealing with. 

E is the person who gets recognition instead of me, publiclally and privately and I’m really sick of it. I can externally let it go, but mark my words.. if it happens again I can’t predict what my response will be.

See I clearly can’t let it go. But there’s just not time to work through it right now. I have to hurry up on something else that’s important. I have to temporarily let go of what happened two days ago and yesterday and focus on today and tomorrow. 

Did I mention it’s now 2021. Good gravy how can I possibly put thoughts about that on pause too? But I have too. Where are all these things when my mind is dry and I’ve nothing to say? Why do noteworthy events huddle so close together? Ugh!!! 

But I have to focus. 

Focus. 

Today my goal is to wrap the prep and practice for my reading. It’s the next big thing that’s in front of me. Yes, there’s more res today to attend to but that should be a snap. 

Unlike the lecture, the reading doesn’t make me as nervous. That’s kind of a puzzle but one that I’m happy I don’t have to solve because it’s a good thing. I’m actually thinking of sending invites to like everyone I know to tune in and watch. Though I doubt most people will be interested in hearing me talk and read poetry for 20 minutes. If you are reading this and interested, message me and I’ll send the zoom credentials. Ha!

It’s also my opportunity to say a few words, which I will not get to do for graduation because of the sheer number of folks graduating. The question for me becomes.. how much time of poems do I sacrifice to say other things? It’s supposed to be a poetry reading, but damn, I just have a lot to say. You know? 

I suppose that first bit of writing I made reference to earlier is connected. I have been invisible all my life, and that comes at a cost. But we often don’t know the cost until it’s too late. 

Cutting to the heart of the matter, I don’t want to get to the end of what I’ve been offered and feel as though I’ve wasted time. 

Seriosly. A set of my poems were workshopped this week and the mentor facilitating pointed out the theme of time that was in all of them, more prevalent in some than others, but a current flowing between them for sure. She also said she liked the poem about my divorce the best. Which was sort of eye opening. I felt it was the weakest. That fact proves that taste is so subjective. 

That poem will not be in my reading. At least one of the others will probably. But I still need to figure out which ones to cut because as it is now, there’s too much. 

The good news is that I talked myself out of including a few I felt were really important. In a way, the lecture on editing (from the other mentor whose comment referencing E and not me), helped me realize that the audience is important and not to be too in love with new writing. Which are both good points to remember.

So I’m sticking with poems I have high confidence in and are perhaps more universally understandable. Nothing too specific with divorce, castle, or my parents (who might be tuning in). There’s also no poems about my children and that’s interesting. 

Interesting in that I’ve written very few about them. Or patenting. I have one I could read but I don’t have any confidence in it and it’s not polished. So I won’t. I digress.

I’ve got a lot to get done today. I really want to climb up to my tower in the castle after this and work at it until I’ve got at least the reading set. Then move on to other things. 

When this Res is over and things settle down, there will be more time to write about everything else. We’ll see if it all remains pressing with the passage of time. 

Until then, peace and love and happy New Year!

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-30 Bow for November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not today. Not today. Not today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not today. Not today. Not today. 

Oh boy, I’m headed for trouble. 

Cheers to Taking Bows and Tying Bows,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-23 From Procrastination to Motivation and Beyond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ok. It’s been a hot minute.

Until next time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-11-18 Disappearing Acts

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

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

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

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

Am I knocking on wood? Hell yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020-11-09 Advantages of Overcast Day

Today I’m going to wear lounge clothes all day. Enjoy the darkness a rainy day brings. Sit on my couch doing all that needs done nestled with my favorite blanket and pillows.

I’ve got plenty to do there, until 3PM when I need to leave to pick my son up from school.

The weekend was good. The best I’ve had in a while and I think it’s partly because there’s a giant weight lifted off my shoulders. Off America’s shoulders. I know I’ve been on edge lately and I wasn’t really aware how much of that was due to the political climate. I mean, this year has been bad enough without that. So it stands to reason.

I’m late getting down to business today. Gathered those blankets and pillows early to snuggle in for an hour or so after Jim left for work. My cat curled up behind my knees. I needed to sleep off the meds I took at 3 am to help me get back to sleep. Some OTC antihistamine that causes drowsiness. Apparently no amount of weight lifted will allow for a full nights sleep.

As such, it’s almost brunch time. Part of my good weekend was allowing myself to eat whatever. I blew my calorie numbers up and crushed those 30% protein dreams. So today it’s back to the “plain.”

Exchanging stats with my friend on Sunday and hers are N out of 5, whereas mine are N out of 7. Mine I know are days and I’m not sure if hers are but if they are that means it’s probably the weekdays only. And maybe that’s the way to be. Perhaps I should always use weekends as more lenient days, within reason. 🤔

In other news, I had another poem accepted to a publication yesterday. One that looks like it’s more we’ll established than some that I’ve been accepted by. That’s exciting! It also means I have to withdraw that poem from the 15 other places I’ve submitted it. Which is part of what my “couch-time” is dedicated to today.

This business of trying to break into the publishing scene is definitely a process. And it’s definitely work. All the research, letter composition, and trying to keep track and stay organized. It’s work. It is interesting to see how other places operate and each time I get an acceptance, I’m introduced to some other nuanced way to approach the process with regards to how we do things at the GLR. It’s actually quite helpful.

Yesterday’s acceptance came with info about the “author agreement” which they handle 100% within submittable. For our first issue, we did this with a word document. Letting the agreement be housed in Submittable is an interesting idea. I wonder if we can do that with our plan. 🤔

My hour is not quite up yet, but I’m gonna cut here. Might try to get more steps later when Jim is doing his workout. We’ll see.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate,
~Miss SugarCookie

PS. Today’s featured image is my bike posing at the suspension bridge on trail 2 at Schramm State Park in Nebraska. A late day drive/ride which turned into a hike when my bike got a flat. Turns out, walking a bike on dirt trails in the woods is a good substitute for cardio and strength training at the gym. Plus it helped me get to my step count yesterday whereas just riding would not. My weekend combined two day step count… 35K!!!

2020-11-06 Flip that Script!

I had over 7 hours of sleep and a sleep score of 84 last night so of course I feel as though I can kick the worlds ass and take all the names. I believe we are on the cusp of some really great news and that’s a big contributing factor too.

If patience is a virtue then we’re all freaking saints for waiting for 4 years for a crumb of normalcy to be restored to our political system. I mean, the Turnip Circus has to end, let us breathe and get back to work on issues. Yes, I’m counting chickens but we’re so close. Today is the day!

The flip side, however, is that drama is unavoidable. Being cautious about how much “normal” is possible is well justified. The issues America faces far outweigh our resources and divided as we are, progress in the right direction is all but impossible.

Again, the individual is a microcosm of the country. Internally conflicted, overwhelmed with responsibility, and having limited time and energy means we often spin our wheels and don’t get anywhere. Who else feels like this? I’m raising my hand.

Today I’m going to try and capitalize on the extra energy and bounce in my spirit to make progress. All week I’ve been zombiing through my hours and days, just trying to keep up with the minimum required. I’m looking forward to flip side of that script.

Case in point, it’s just now 8am and I’ve already done the dishes, baked chicken for lunches and dinners, and am getting my steps in. The faster I can clear my daily chores, the faster I can get to my to-do list.

But what exactly does the to-do list look like these days?

Submissions are a given. I’m holding steady at around 60 outstanding, trying to stick to a plan of subbing when rejections and acceptances hit my in-box, plus work on the chapbook which is a slice of my manuscript and try to get that picked up by a reputable publication.

Then there’s that stupid lecture I have to give to complete the requirements for my MFA which I’ve already received. How messed up is that? And no wonder I’ve had no motivation to do this. It was weeks ago they asked for an expansion on the one sentence description I provided last March. I had a lovely little reminder in my email this week, so i have to at least figure out what I want my topic to be.

What else?

A growing list of stuff for the GLR. The business of starting an official nonprofit. That’s been in my court for weeks and I’ve just procrastinated the hell out of it. Today is the day!!

Plus.. it’s going to be another 70+ degree day outside which makes it perfect for that final garden cleanup that’s needed. This is the only task that I’ve made good progress on this week in the midst of anxiety and exhaustion. It’s my other form of therapy, being outside and digging in the dirt, and thankfully November has cooperated thus far.

That’s it. That’s enough. Time now to get on with it.

Cheers,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-30 All Hallows Eve Eve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers, 🎃
~Miss SugarCookie