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

2021-02-26 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

2021-02-09 Random Tuesday Musings

Most of the mischief I had planned for yesterday was managed. Wonder of wonders, what needs doing gets done. 

Right now it’s 5:28AM and I’m walking on my treadmill and thinking about the day ahead. 

I also just applied a clear topcoat to my fingernails to protect the polish I brushed on last night. If you thought walking and typing at the same time might be a challenge, believe me, this is next level. Especially considering I’m still operating on my first gen SE. It’s tiny but it fits my hands perfect and still works like a champ. 

I mean, every once and a while it runs out of space (like yesterday) and suddenly I have to fit the fix into my to-do list. The fix? To export all the pictures to my external hard drive. It actually was good timing as there was also yet another one of my favorite albums that I discovered was missing from my music library recently. So I had to remedy that as well. 

I might be stuck in 2009 with my tech and approach to listening to music, but I don’t care. I love it! 

Today I’ve got two meet-ups planned plus lunch with my sweetie at his office. I’ve also got to finish sending the latest round of declines for the lit mag. There are a few hundred to get through and it’s a pretty time consuming process because I read the comments from the editors and sometimes edit our “soft decline” with positive and encouraging feedback. 

Even without doing this, it probably takes a couple of dedicated work days to get through the stack, at least this reading period where we received an incredible number of subs. 

In any case, I’m hoping to balance my time today between GLR work, my meetups, and reading more of the craft book I’m on called “The Triggering Town.” It’s by Richard Hugo and it’s “full of excellent advice for beginning writers.” (Says so on the cover which I have propped up on my treadmill next to my paper planner).

Hold on to your shit for this next bit of info… I’m planning to conduct a workshop this spring for the Nebraska Poetry Society. Some of the concepts in the book will be things I’m working into the (hopefully) informative and generative session. 

I know… I KNOW… why the hell would I volunteer to run a workshop after making such a big-goddamn deal about that stupid lecture last December? I literally fretted over that for years, overthinking every angle of it day-in, and day-out in the weeks leading up to the presentation. 

Now here I am, offering to conduct a workshop. I mean.. they approached me as the managing editor of the lit mag and at the time I thought “what a great opportunity to promo the GLR.” Which it will be. So I said I would do it and that was that.

Right now, with the nebulous nature of it (plus the fact it’s a few months away) I’m not to worried yet. I’m already getting ideas from this book and formulating a plan in my head for how I want the session to go. 

I am also planning to attend the workshop they have scheduled in February and March to try to illuminate the possibility of duplicating any topic or approach. Matt Mason, the current Nebraska State poet, is conducting a workshop in April which is kind of intimidating but also encouraging.

In any case, I’m sure I’ll learn something and the experience will be good for me. The first step is getting through this book, which is pretty slim so it should be a snap. 

That’s it for today. Time to make the donuts. 🍩🍩🍩

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-06 What’s Got My Brain in a Bunch on a Saturday?

Spoiler alert. This post is a rant about social media. These are my opinions and I’m entitled to them. And I reserve the right to be flawed and change my mind. I’m only human and this could all just be coming from that special place in my brain that I get access to when I’m going cuckoo for coco puffs from lack of sleep.

I’ve got a solid streak of abysmal sleep going. 4 days straight of less than 6 hours and two of those were right around 4 hours total, including last night. 

Jim and Zoey kept me awake until midnight with the thought that perhaps staying up really late could work to force a long, deep sleep. Wrong. 

Good thing today is Saturday and the schedule is more relaxed. Yesterday I was hoping for more work days so I could have the house to myself while everyone else was away, but Saturday is good too. I mean, considering everyone else sleeps in, if I’m up at 5am I have a lot of alone time to do with what I please. 

Right now it’s just me and the cats. What’s in my mind today? Social Media. 

Or rather Social Fucking Media. 

Have I mentioned previously that I hate social media? I must have. It seems unlikely I’ve not had at least one or two raging rants about the evil platforms that have become irritatingly essential for communications on a grand scale. 

You want a little ego boost about your promotion, new relationship, or your kids’ good grades? Facebook has got you. 

You want to share that good hair day, fantastic looking vegan dinner, or your cat looking adorable for the thousandth time? Please consider instagram. 

You need to have a clandestine conversation or share some pictures your mom might not be super proud of? Snapchat is where it’s at.

How about that need to rant about something you feel super passionate about? Rage on in a string of 140 character tweets on Twitter. 

Is video more your style, You-tube it or if it’s under 30 seconds and really funny, maybe Tic-tok would be more appropriate. 

But you can’t just half-ass this. If you want the world to sit up and pay attention you have to grow your followers, curate your feed, and be on and ready to respond at all hours of the day and night. 

Watch out for the pitfalls. Rage on, but be prepared to defend your position. Don’t follow the wrong people or you could give people the wrong impression. And whatever you do, don’t ever appear weak or uncertain or vulnerable. People are interested in definitive options and desire taking sides and swinging dicks for comparison. 

This person has 348K followers so what they say must be treated as gospel, right? But wait.. this person disagrees and they have 779K followers so THEY must be right on. 

That’s enough of that. It’s all nonsense. 

Nonsense aside, if you want to promote something and don’t have a gazillion dollars to spend on ads, there are not a ANY other options. Last time I checked standing on a street corner or town square with a sign doesn’t really cut it anymore. Are there still town squares? Are there city squares? The most trafficked intersection in Omaha is 72nd and Dodge. Could that work? I digress. 

I see folks use social media for self promotion of all sorts all the time. It’s literally the concept Facebook (+ etc.) built their empires on. The Universe revolving around a single individual and spiraling out from one human connecting to dozens, hundreds, thousands, and good gravy millions of others.

The “all about me” sells. We’re so self centered and for love of cheese, so very vain. Humans are visual beings and it makes sense that pictures are better at getting people’s attention but the selfies are eye-roll enduring. Yes, I take them too. I post them too. I’m not special, I’m just saying I hate it. So why do it? 

Great question. I rarely post as I believe the less you post, the more weight/consideration people might give those posts. Like “Miss SugarCookie posted today.. that must be important.”

That’s a bad example because this blog is tweeted almost every day (automatically) but believe it or not, I’m banking on that one-dimensional approach being the reason people gloss over it. Like not noticing something because it’s so regular. For me, it’s just a door. An invitation, if you will, for people who want to read. I digress again. 

I obviously also rarely post because I hate social media. This week Jim and I went out to celebrate our anniversary. He doesn’t like social media either but interestingly enough asked me to post our little celebration to Facebook. I was like “whoa… ….Ok”.

Three days later I finally got around to posting. I posted in the afternoon and was disturbed by how much I checked my phone all afternoon and into the evening for likes and comments. I’m disturbed by my own obsession and also loathe the social etiquette that is paired with posting like this. Responding to every comment and liking them, thanking them. What a freaking time suck. You wanna know what I did for an hour this morning at 5am? By now you can guess. 

That led to looking at more posts and other people’s stuff and that’s one huge rabbit hole. Literally a time warp where I looked away and snap, just like that I’d lost at least an hour of my life. 

I see posts from people who I like and want to root for but it’s exhausting. I see people engaged in self promo for their forthcoming or published writing and think, “i should be doing that.” 

I’ve posted a few times this year about poems being published but mostly I haven’t. I had two more published this week at an online journal for their February issue. I’m pretty sure I haven’t told anyone about this. I promptly did the due diligence to add the details and link  to my personal website, but that was it. 

I’m still struggling with posting about it or not. I suppose that’s a small part of why this topic is on my mind today. Should I post?

The larger part is probably the fact that social media is make or break for the little lit mag I’m managing. And I hate that. If I’m truly committed to this endeavor, which I am, then I have to care, pay attention, and be involved. So that puts me between a rock and a hard place. I have to embrace utilizing something I hate. 

It does make me question why I hate it so much. Could it still be that one time I posted about my broken heart and poured my soul into a poem and that was “liked” by a handful of people. At the same time my little sister posted a picture of her pug wearing booties or some other such nonsense and had 70 likes. Probably each time I recount that story the situation is spun as just a little more dire, but it can’t possibly be just that. 

I think it’s way more likely that I hate Facebook and Twitter because of how easy it is to use and abuse the power of spreading content, including fake-news, misinformation, and hatred. How easy it is to divide people or make them pick sides. And even sicker than that is the algorithms behind the scenes that tailor your feed, collect your info and use that against you. Ads and promoted posts disgust me. And any ass-hat can spread lies and insight violence. Yeah… that’s it. 

There is a flip side and I forget this. This morning I also spent time on my @goodlifelitmag account following a list of good people and organizations. It’s a first step for being more engaged in the “conversation.” Whatever that conversation happens to be in any given moment. It’s also necessary to build an image, and begin shaping people’s perception about what The Good Life Review is.

This is essential and necessary. I know that.. I just don’t have to like it.

Ok.. I’ve been walking for an hour and a half and I have to cut here. Feels unfinished. I have more to say. This could go on and on and much like social media, I just don’t have time for that. 

Happy Caturday, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-05 Where’s Monday When You Need It?

After having slept for only 4 hours the previous night, I could not stay awake past 9pm last night. My sleep was unfortunately once again riddled with tossing and turning and congestion. At 4:30 this AM I gave up and got up (again). Sound familiar?

Despite that nonsense, I was in good spirits and looking forward to today. It only took all week to get to a point where it feels like all the mischief has been managed. Still.. I’m not ready for the weekend. At this point I’d like to have a few more weekdays with everyone else at school and work so I can continue to get stuff done without interruptions. While I love my peeps, they can sometimes be needy and nobody seems to care if the timing of their requests conflict with my own plans. Such is the life of a housewife I guess. 

I remember a conversation around a kitchen table with my then soon-to-be husband’s father who made a comment about my new job as a housewife. I remember how rubbed the wrong way I felt about the use of that term. It felt like an insult somehow. I’m not sure if it’s because the term is somewhat antiquated or perhaps that it implied a less important role. I’ve always been the head of the household, just not used to stepping into a role that’s primarily supportive. 

I’m still struggling with the transition. In some ways I’m happy to have more time to cook and clean, but in other ways this perception that it’s not as important still get to me. And the fact that my own personal endeavors can only get attention once my “primary” duties are taken care of is frustrating. 

This gets at the heart of what some of what’s been bothering me lately. Jim says he wants me to dedicate time each day to my writing but that does not jive with the amount of other things that need to be done. I mean, it’s one thing to say something supportive like that but when the rubber hits the road (and days and weeks pass with zero time spent on writing) it’s clear the words don’t match reality. 

Some of it is on me, for sure. I take on too much and literally filled the full time space I was spending at a regular day job with work on the lit mag before I even quit my job. I quit my job to relieve stress and have more time but somehow that extra time just evaporates each week. 

This week has been a particularly taxing week when it comes to the lit mag. We’re nearing the end of the current reading period and decisions need to made and there was a team meeting along with other intense conversations about how to do better with our mission. It’s all good, just taking a big chunk of time to be completely engaged and a bigger chunk of time to sort through my own thoughts and feelings. 

It’s all good, just time consuming and each day when the “work” day is over (like 3pm) I have to switch gears. Last night it was a provider meeting for Jim that was hosted at our house. That took all I had for about 4 straight hours. And I was exhausted! Then at 8pm, just as I sat down on the couch, my daughter comes down the stairs and asks (expects) me to cook her dinner. I wanted to scream. 

But it’s not her fault. I’m happy to cook. I like to. I was just so tired. I should have asked her to do it herself but I already carry so much guilt for saying no to so many things over the years. So many sacrifices because of my job and needing that stupid paycheck. “Sorry darlin, I cant right now because I have a meeting.” 

So I cooked. Then I sat with her while she ate. Then I went to bed. Like I said, 9pm. Such is life. 

***

It’s almost 9am now. I wrote most of that before 7am. Then I paused so I could wake the house and fix breakfast and get my son to school. 

I want to got my step goal now and beyond that, the only thing I can think of is going back to bed. I have so much to do but I’m trying very hard to sort out what needs done immediately and what can wait. My exhaustion is leading me to believe that everything can wait. Can that be right? 

Perhaps. 

On that note, I’m going to call it quits (For now? For the day? For the week?) who knows. 🤷‍♀️ 

With peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-04 A Good Day to Start (Again)

The update to yesterday’s “to be continued” question was answered last night at 9pm after 4 hours of discussion about the GLR lit mag (and after not having eaten a meal all day). 

In short, I didn’t care what it was.. I had to eat and ASAP so those left-over enchiladas were the best option. They were delicious. And oh, yeah, I forgot to mention yesterday with my post-anniversary update but the restaurant we went to was special for more than just the fact that it’s the first dine-in experience we’ve had together in 11 months.

It’s a Mexican restaurant called “Copal” which did not exist a year ago. A year ago, that location was an place called the Nuri Event Studio, which was used for business and groups to hold meetings and events.

The last event they had there before closing their doors and selling to the owners of Copal was a wedding. Our wedding.

That’s right. The place Jim and I got married has been transformed into a Mexican restaurant. 😜 🇲🇽 🍹🌮

At that dinner I pretty much declared that we would have to eat there every year on our anniversary. Like I wrote, the food was delicious and the house margs were a little too good If you know what I mean.

In any case. It was a special treat causing me to delay (or rather temporarily suspend) my February resolution for two days. I suppose I’m not super prepared for making big changes in my diet but promised myself that TODAY I would try again. 🤞

The “other” to be continued topic from yesterday was the communication situation. I had also promised myself to engage Jim in conversation last night but that too was derailed by the extended meetings. By the time the meetings were over I was hangry and frankly he was in a mood because he had been working at things around the house and I wasn’t there to help. 

He hadn’t eaten either and stormed through barely saying hi and professing he was going to bed early. His body language screaming, “don’t talk to me.” 

This set me off and fueled my need for conversation even more, and I know I said yesterday there’s never a “right” time for heavy conversations about feelings but this was really, really not the right time. I reheated my left-overs and resolved to use my amped state to power through some GLR items that came out of the meetings. As I passed through the bedroom to get my laptop he stopped me and I pounced on the opportunity to say a few things. 

It was mostly about wanting to talk more and realizing 9:30 pm just for bed was not ideal. All I really wanted was a commitment from him that we would talk, about our feelings, and soon. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the response.. but he said we would talk more soon so I let the rest go (externally but not internally of course). 

I let him get to sleep and I worked until 10:30. Though I was still amped.. I forced myself to go to bed. I could not fall asleep, which is super rare. Then I woke up at 3:30 am with my head swirling with all sorts of thoughts again that would not let me get back to sleep. 

I actually got up about 4 and have been up ever since. Whatever. 

Today I’ve got lots more GLR follow up and last minute prep for a provider meeting for Jim’s work which is here at the house after work today. They’ve all been vaccinated at this point so it’s the first indoor gathering at the house since the wedding welcome party last February. 

I’m also supposed to drive to CB to visit my dad but thinking to postpone that till tomorrow because of the latest snowstorm and really because I just need that time today. I’m also not sure hope long I can last today on just 4 hours of sleep. 

I think that’s gonna be it today. All the other shit I’m thinking about would be like opening trap doors to rabbit holes. Ain’t nobody got time for that (including me). 

Cheers to Today Being Another Good Day to Start (Again), 

~Miss SugarCookie

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