2020-07-12 Insults and Injuries and Finding the Bright Spots In-between

I’ve been in a funk for a few days now. Just frustrated, you know with progress trying to improve my health being so slow. And feeling like garbage every day. And then to have this injury on my foot preventing me from walking was like.. like adding injury to insult.

It’s totally taken me out of my routine and work has, of course not helped. Then yesterday I was like, well, I gotta snap out and look for ways to re-engage with life. I made a plan to participate in as much of summer residency as I could. I’m not enrolled but it’s all virtual because of the pandemic. Some is pre-recorded video which I may not have access to but some of it is zoom. So I highlighted all the things I could tune in for on the schedule. Yesterday was the first full day of content.

I jumped on the Zoom for two lectures and one of the faculty reading events plus the “Library Pub” meet-up after the faculty reading. It was satisfying in the way that I felt I was doing something and was with a group I felt I belonged to. Seeing all the tiny zoom squares with other students and faculty was nice. Sad that it can’t be in person but, you know, just familiar enough that I finally felt the funk start to fade a bit.

Then I checked my email. In it was not 1 but 3 messages from the program coordinator reminding me that the content was for current students and faculty only. One message to remind me, which was very tactful. A second message that provided some reasoning behind it which was kind of snarky (and in my opinion, just a bunch of BS). And a third message confirming what events are “off limits” and what events are ok to attend. Completely unnecessary.

Apparently the graduating student events are within the legal limits. So I guess that’s going to have to be enough for this go round. But it still irks me, you know. I mean what freaking difference does it make to have one more person join a meeting??! It’s not like I am taking advantage to the point where I’m trying to participate in student-only content like workshops or mentor introduction sessions. It’s just tuning in to watch someone give a lecture or do a reading.

If the residency was in person, there would be alumni and / or other folks who pop in to the session and sit and watch. Yes, it’s in sort of a remote location, but people in the local Omaha metro area are close enough to visit for a day or a session.

I dunno. Maybe I’m taking advantage of the system, but it’s not doing anyone any harm. After reading the emails, I felt a little bummed. It’s like.. like it added insult to injury.

These layers of insult and injury are frustrating. I’m literally trying to walk right now and the treadmill and a set at 2.5, slower than my usual pace. I’m limping along trying to walk in a way that does not involve the big toe of my right foot. It’s both ridiculous and annoying. Whatever.


It’s Sunday and the house is sleeping-in. I’ve probably got at least another hour before people start to emerge from their rooms. I need to put my energy into something and think I might return to poetry submissions in the spirit of focusing on my “writing life” in leu of not being able to participate in Res the way I’d like.

Today Z and I are going shopping for dorm room essentials. It’s one of the things she’s been looking forward to for quite a while now.

She’s enthusiastic about living on her own and getting to decorate that space, however tiny. And getting to do that with her is another bright spot that I can’t dismiss. She’s been showing me pictures from the internet with other people’s dorm rooms and we’ve been discussing color combinations and all the ways to make the space functional.

I’m excited for her and really embracing the sliver of hope that it can all happen as planned. I’m trying to push away the thought that this experience will be stolen from her as well. The damn pandemic can’t last forever. She’s got a world of experiences ahead of her and I need to help her focus on the positive.

If I could only give myself the same pep-talk. Ha!

Anyway. I’ve successfully limped my way through about an hour of music and musing about life. As it often does, it has made me feel better. And that is good.

Time to get to that poetry submission thing I said that I was going to try this morning.

Peace and love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-06-02 Introducing… The Good Life Review

I’ve sent some of my darlings out into the universe and it’s so tough to let them go when you know life is tough and people are critical and maybe they (my babies) are not wanted or needed and their message will land in the hands of someone too busy with chaos or wrapped up in their own confusion.

I open the door and let my toddling poems wobble out to these strangers in a strange land and I kiss them on the foreheads and wish them well and wave goodbye as they disappear out of sight.

I fear for them, that I haven’t prepared them enough for what it s next. Afraid that I myself am not prepared.

Someone, somewhere equated writing to having children. To babies. To little darlings. I understand this to my core. It echos inside of my body as I realize I gave them life in the same way I gave life to my actual children.

I probably should submit more of my writing but haven’t been very diligent about it. Still, there are a few out in the wild, wandering about the digital forest, looking for a home.

Wouldn’t that be something. A place where all the writing could congregate and the publishers would have to visit that place and convince the writing to come to their home. Flip the script so that the poem has a choice where it wants to live and.. AND go with the one it likes the best, where it feels like it fits in the most among the other poems. Ahhhh… aren’t daydreams satisfying?

You know what else is satisfying? Listening to Sara Bareilles singing “Sweet As Whole”. If you’re having a tough time trying to do good and frustrated with people who just insist on making your life more difficult, I highly recommend listening to this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IcqRbPk_bk If you are anything like me, I guarantee it will make you smile and also feel empowered to do what you want to and say what you want and write what you want. I won’t spoil it, but check it out and let me know what you think.

I’m going to avoid the elephant in the room for a moment to do some shameless self promotion. Self promotion is definitely not my strong suit. I’ve got well manicured Facebook and Twitter and instagram accounts out there and am not particularly active and frankly hate what these platforms have become and how they have destroyed real human connection and any hope we ever had for uncovering truth.

Still, the world has latched on to them as if it’s a lifeline. Like the blood running through their veins might cease if they don’t get their social media fix or find someone who will listen to what they say and agree with them with tiny like and love buttons. I’m only human, I’m susceptible as anyone to the pull of it all. I can get sucked in my some I m age or video or story and fall down the rabbit hole.

See that? Just there I got sideswiped by my own soapbox! Have you ever been hit in the head with your own soapbox? Incredible!

Anyway. Last week I launched a new website. It’s been about 5 months in the making and I’ve spent literally about 100 hours researching, doing setup for domains, securing accounts at various agencies and building the site. I’ve been organizing meetings, conducting meetings, trying hard to work through issues and solve problems. All of it leading up to the moment when the site was live.

I learned a ton about block editing on WordPress among other things and now have the opportunity to learn a lot about how the submission platform, Submittable, works.

There I was, sitting alone in my living room and hit that “launch” button. It would have been great to throw a party. Gather up all the people who have agreed to be a part of our team and raise a glass to the vision becoming a reality, but alas, that was not meant to be.

No. Instead there is a pandemic and riots and curfews and we’re all sitting in our little corners of the universe alone.

The good news, is that the evil social media beast is good for something and that’s advertising. The word is out and there are little thumbs up and hearts and even a few comments.

See how terrible I am at self promotion? I should have led with the links instead of closing with them. Here’s the shiny new website for the new online literary magazine for which I am the Managing Editor and frankly also playing Oz behind the curtain pushing all the buttons and working the levers and knobs.

Welcome to the Good Life!

If you are a fellow writer and, like me, looking for a good home for your babies or toddlers or teenagers or adult children who don’t seem to want to move out, send them our way. Submissions are now open for our inaugural issue!!

https://thegoodlifereview.submittable.com/submit

You can also check us out on FB (https://www.facebook.com/TheGoodLifeReview/) or Twitter (@goodlifelitmag) if that’s the kind of thing you are into. Kindly remember that we’re just getting started. But like most things in life, you gotta start somewhere or you won’t get anywhere.

OK, that’s it today folks.
Wishing you peace and love,
~Miss Sugarcookie

2020-06-01 What other choice do I have?

A friend of mine texted me out of the blue to ask how I was doing. I said I’m OK, but that I think it’s “the end of days” going on right now. I’m not sure if this hellfire of strangeness is biblical, but it sure feels like it.

It would be just like the Universe to send the Earth into an unrecoverable tailspin just when I finally get my life together and good things start happening. I mean I get married and look what happens. Good grief. (Of course I’m not that self centered but how else does one human being approach trying to make sense of madness and chaos).

2020 – The year a deadly virus travels the globe and threatens the health, safety, and well being of every person on the planet. Humanity is tested to the extreme by the global pandemic. Results are pending.

2020 – The year racial tensions escalated in a way I’ve never experienced in my lifetime. Protests erupt into violence and people are hurt and murdered. Curfews are put in place in my city. Human beings are pushed to the edge of what they can tolerate. A test wrapped snug inside the first test. Results still pending.

2020 – The year America launches people into space for the first time in decades in a venture that was privately funded. Proving to the world that not only are we making progress forward again, but are dedicated to continuing on that path, driven by a desire to explore new horizons and fueled by determination. But how on Earth do we celebrate this when any celebration feels dangerous and disrespectful.

The spiral wraps a little tighter. A coil compressed with so much pressure. What’s a girl to do?

Get involved? Volunteer? Wait out the surge in hiding? Engage in conversations? Actions speak louder than words, but actions have consequences.

2020 – The year I was supposed to get married and now that day is a distant daydream. I’d like to rewind the clock 4 months and hug my friends and parents and siblings again. How long will it be before I can hug you again.

2020 – The year my daughter was supposed to have her senior prom, graduate, and celebrate making it 13 years through school. Senior lock-in-night, prom, skip day, grad parties, and graduation all cancelled save for a 1 hour virtual video I sat alone and watched, crying for her and myself and the fact that like most things, this too will just pass and fade.

2020 – The year I was supposed to finish my MFA. Celebrate with my new crew on the back patio, taking turns saying “cheers” as the sun slides into the trees behind us. The vision of that moment dissolved into a perpetual winter with white noise on an 13 inch laptop screen that constantly reminds me that my “internet connection is unstable”. My hope is hanging on a thread I’ll get to see these folks in person in January. My thesis sits in a box on the floor.

2020 – A year that’s already in shreds and yet I push forward for the launch of a new online lit mag. I turn a blind eye and just do the next damn thing on the checklist because it’s all I can do. I mean, I could have put it on pause. Would that have been the right call? No, I don’t think so. I believe in our mission and the power of words. Maybe this is just what Omaha needs. Maybe our mission and lifting up certain voices will help us all inch forward.

2020 – Almost half way through the year and I can’t stop myself from crying and I don’t care. I’m human and I do as the humans do. It’s these private moments when I’m torn between gratitude and self-pity, between helplessness and empowerment. A yo-yo winding and unwinding on some invisible string.

Maybe it’s the end times, but I don’t think so. The only end times I really believe in is the sun going nova and that’s not supposed to happen for millions of years. I wonder if human beings will still be around when that happens? Probably not. Not if we keep going like we are right now.

It’s June 1st. A new day, a new week, and a new month. All we can really do is put pants on and try, once again, to retain our humanity and find something of the good life in the day.

Wishing You Peace My Friends,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-28 Hide and Seek

I start walking. I start writing. That’s my way. Lately I’ve felt like it’s all just the same shit on a different day. I’m inches away from getting my MFA in Poetry and I haven’t written anything worthy of a poem in months.

A few times when I took a class with the “Todfather”, I tried fashioning a poem from one of my blog posts and he called me on it. Just that it was all wordy. All I did was take the best parts of the post and put a bunch of line breaks in which is incredibly lazy.

A few other times I’ve done that and it takes a lot of revisions (and a healthy dose of mystical hand waving and reciting incantations to invoke the Poem spirit) to get something that resembles a poem.

But what is a poem? Can’t it just be what it is and not try to be something more or something better? Or something that meets someone else’s definition of a poem.

I can write iambic pentameter like a boss. My end rhyme skills are strong. But that’s no value in this century. I’m not saying I’m Robert Frost, but i believe I could emulate his style a lot easier than I could, say, Natalie Diaz or Ilya Kaminsky. As a poet, I feel like I was maybe born in the wrong century.

Then again, I’m a woman so I would have been screwed either way.

Some accomplished writers will advise you to write every day to keep your creative brain strong and fresh and active. I would say you should include doing revision in that. Some accomplished writers will tell you they don’t do either. They write when the writing comes to them and asks them to write. So there’s no right answer.

My point is. I want to write and haven’t been able to do that. Today I’m going to give myself an hour in isolation with a book of poetry my friend Michelle loaned me. I’m going to see if that stirs something inside me. I need it to.


In other news, my current work team is unraveling like a cheap sweater. Three developers have been kicked off the project (two were fired and one was moved to a different project). Another one quit with no notice and another is threatening to quit.

We’re replacing these people like changing a pair of underwear. But these people are not pieces of clothing, they are people.

And I don’t drink cool-aid anymore so I’m trying not to fit this fucking puzzle piece into something that can work. I’m trying to keep my distance, keep my head down, not insert my opinion or care, but the Universe help me, it’s quite impossible

One of these people, the dev that was moved to a different project, is a friend of mine. It makes my heart hurt. Now the PM is a long time friend of mine who I hold dear and she’s starting to crack. She’s a strong woman and listening to her for an hour last night was so tough. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard this woman break down in tears. I’m fact, I may never have heard her cry before. It fucking sucks.

Part of my job has been to introduce new people to the project and onboard them. She introduces me to them by saying some great things about me and with two new people this week she said I was “the glue that holds the team together”.

No pressure there though right?!

The whole thing is so fucked up.

I was brought on to help out. To bridge the PM gap until she started. To offer documentation support behind the scenes. To take notes and do data entry and do other admin things like coordinate meetings. 10-15 hours a week. Now I’m working more that twice that and last week, with so much personal shit going on, I started to become unraveled too.

I’m nearing the end of my hour in this treadmill and really need to wrap anyway so I can dive into that mess.

By the way, there’s no poetry in all this mess. I mean, there is, but not 21st century poetry that utilizes images and juxtaposition to convey a feeling AND meets the current acceptable standard for what a poem is. Or is there? 🤔

Fuck it!
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-21 Mother / Daughter Stuff

I’ve got some venting to do but I can predict the future so I’m not going there today. If you live long enough, you too will be able to predict the future. The disclaimer on that is that it all comes from experience. Ride that record right round enough times and there’s no question what the next song will be.

All that to say, I’m skipping the vent session and writing about a relationship topic instead. Not my love, or my kids, or friends who I’m tethered to by responsibility and dedication and love. I’m writing about my mom who has always been a person In my life, albeit not in the forefront, ever.

There’s not enough time or motivation to trudge through all the backstory of why our relationship is the way it is. You know, but it’s always colored by the fact that human beings are mostly self-centered and when it comes to parent / child relationships I sort of feel that the parent should be more selfless but it’s not in my moms nature.

Don’t get me wrong, she always does those things that in her head are requirements of the job… remembers birthdays and sends a card. She reaches out every so often to see how we are doing. She makes a big deal about getting together sometimes. And in the flipside she also expects these things in return.

That being said, outside of one other person, she’s the only one who wanted to talk to me about my Thesis. She genuinely wanted to read it and was happy for me getting my degree and my 4.0. I have a small group of people I’ve met in the MFA that are wonderful and we chat about all things MFA of course, but my mom is the only one outside of that that goes deeper than skin deep in conversation about it.

As I said, she asked for my thesis so she could read it, and I made a few edits and sent it to her. All 138 pages. Within a day she had read through all the poems and sent me back a long text with her feedback. She took the time to really evaluate some of them with her experience in mind and let me know her favorites and why.

She also let me know that reading the “Castle” poems made her sad for me. I’m not exactly painting a pretty picture of my new life here. She’s concerned for me and I told her we could meet up to talk about. It’s too much to text and I’m not one for phone calls. I guess we could do a call but I feel like any week now I’ll be able to see her in person.

Her husband has Parkinson’s and his condition has deteriorated enough in the past year that she’s had to employ help. All his medical stuff is handled by the VA as he served in the Vietnam war and there’s been a direct connection made with his issues and his exposure to Agent Orange. There’s not enough time now for me to elaborate on how absolutely Fucked Up that all is. But you can guess.

So she’s about to start getting weekly visits from a care person because she’s not physically able to do some of what is required. She’s been under tremendous stress with all of it for a while now so the help is a huge relief to her. It also means she can actually leave the house while the care person is there and so she’s looking forward to resuming our lunch meetups. I am too.

People need people yo! I miss all my meetups!

Anyway. It was so wonderful to me that she read my words and she said she’s proud of me. It means a great deal to hear those words from a parent. Inside I’m still that tentative, shy girl who just wants a little recognition from the people who are important. No matter how old I get I’m still seeking approval and hoping to loose my invisibility cloak, even if it is for short little bursts.

I love my mom. Things I write might focus more on the negative side of life, because that’s in my writer’s nature. It’s not often I bust out a happy poem or a positive one, though I’ve written a few of those over the years. I don’t know why I don’t think they are as interesting. It’s the opposite problem of my “poor me” tendencies. It’s too self-congratulatory or boastful or feels too much like bragging. I have to solve that puzzle too.

Anyway, maybe next week my mom can get away. She doesn’t want me to come to her house because she really wants to get out of the house and away. She’ll probably come to my house which Jim has given the OK on and I’ll make us some lunch. I’m looking forward to that.

On the flip side, I think about my daughter and our relationship and I’ve tried hard to make sure she knows she’s number 1 in my book. Her and her brother are tied for number 1. She texted me after midnight last night (she’s at her dads house) and said she needed to talk about something important. No clue what it was about.

She wants me to come get her for lunch today. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Nothing could be more important. Not work, not Jim, not school or writing or anything. About 12:30 I’m gonna cut my day in half and just let go of anything that needs doing. We’ll see how it plays out.

I did confirm with her that it’s not a health issue. So that’s a relief.

That’s it for today. Can’t believe it’s Thursday already. There’s never enough time. Why is that?

With Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-29 Mathematics and Other Tragedies

I could draw myself into a spiral. I could pretend to be a straight line or paint my life as an isosceles triangle in perpetual motion. The faster it spins, the more the points blur into circles that create borders that can’t be penetrated.

If I was reborn as a star, would I have five points or six? Or Seven!?? Would I be a better poet if I was a broken heart, or the zig-zag white space between the two separate halves.

Hearts don’t ever break in half. It’s never an equitable split. Most are fragments shattered like that round dish that was dropped on accident or because it was too hot to touch. And there are never any answers for that. Just possible explanations and plausible deniability and revisionist history. What geometric shapes are those? It must be a chapter I haven’t gotten to yet.

I’ve spent so much time with my face on the the floor because of gravity.

I’ve spent so much time enduring air travel trying to escape gravety.

I’ve spent so much time trying to learn how to finish this geometry so I can finally move on to algebra 2.

I fear there’s a long way to go before gravity will start making sense.

So many apples. So little time.


You’re welcome for that nonsense. You know a lot of the poetry I write is sort of nonsense. Or based on little connections in my brain and sparks of thought where one thing just leads to another. I think the closer I get to finishing this mfa program, the more my brain will feel the freedom of writing what I want to write again for me, and my sanity.

I’ve spent so long studying craft that it’s altered my perception of reality. It’s hijacked my creative instincts in some way. Or perhaps it’s that my life is just good now so I have less to muse about.

Here’s a secret (spoiler alert, some “poor me” might slip in here). Once upon a time I was in love with a guy. And having been previously conditioned to have a fear of commitment, I was unable to go all-in. Right up to the day that I realized that’s all that was left for us. So I tried it.

I convinced myself with this little nugget of logic .. if my heart gets broken, then I’ll just have so much good poetry. Yes, I actually told myself that. That was me bargaining with myself to tip the scales in the favor of the “all-in” option. It worked.

Then, wouldn’t you know it all fell apart after that and my heart got crushed. And then you know what happened? There was no fucking poetry. I just cried all the time and couldn’t write a single line of a single poem. I wrote a lot of journal entries (mostly because I didn’t have close friends to talk to), but the empty space where those poems were supposed to be crushed me even more.

I had trusted myself, and was betrayed. So I said “I’ll never do that again”.

Yeah, so that’s that melodramatic charm of mine coming through again.

Fast forward 4 years and I’ve finally found a few lines and arranged them into a poem and it was such a clinical process that I actually learned something about myself and also about the art of making poetry. That was the point I guess. It passed the JP test and made it into my thesis manuscript.

I’m attached to the idea of it more than the poem itself.

After my heart was broken in 2016 I turned to a guy friend for comfort. I thought I loved him too. Which is a blurry line.

I loved the idea of being in love with him.

I loved the way he spent so much time with me and listened to me and held me when I cried.

He was always clear with me “we” could never be, so it was safe. I didn’t have to worry about the unknown quantity in the air after I said “I love you”. I knew the response and that was in some fucked up way, really comforting.

If you tell someone you love them, the Tough part is in having their response be unexpected.

What have I learned? That I really loved Matt, and that I really loved Josh but for different reasons, and Vis, and of course Brian. Stitch all that together and the picture becomes more complete. It’s a complicated shape. Still a bit above my current geometrical comprehension, but I’m nothing if not a diligent student.

What other option do I have anyway? That’s life.

Thanks for hanging in with what was not intended to be a rehash of my broken heart again. But, I will take all I can get.

XOXOXO 😘
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-27 Today’s Big News Top 5 List

It’s Monday again but not just any Monday. Lots of big things to report on. Perfect for a top 5 List:

  1. Thesis = Done (I’ve said that about 4 other times, but I think this is it. Yes, I still have to print copies and send to the university by snail mail, but I’m not planning on touching it anymore). 💃💃💃
  2. It’s officially spring. I’m putting my money on no more freezing temps. It will be 80 today and I really don’t think we’ll see those low temps again since it’s so close to May. 🌷🌷🌷
  3. This week is my darling daughters last day of high school. May 1st is her official last day and then that’s it. Kind of feels anti-climatic, but I’m gonna do my best to make her feel special this week. It’s a big deal and just because her last semester and graduation has been hijacked by a pandemic is no reason not to do a happy dance and do something fun. 🎉🎉🎉
  4. It’s also Jim and my 3 month anniversary this week. Doesn’t even feel like we ever got married since the world went to shit after that. Things are going well. It’s nice to know we can work together through such a stressful time. Wonder what married life is like when there’s not a life threatening virus in play? 💕💕💕
  5. I took a shower yesterday. Normally that wouldn’t be news, but in these desperate times, we have to take all we can get. 😂😂😂

In other news, I seem to have some sort of mood swing thing going on. One minute I feel so happy and content and like the I’ve got the whole world in the palm of my hand. And the next I’m full of anxiety and sadness, triggered by the smallest stuff.

I woke up at 12:22am. My mind was wrecked with worry about lit mag stuff and I couldn’t fall back asleep.

Rewind to yesterday in the garden when I was listening to my tunes and digging in the dirt. I was inspired with so many great thoughts and ideas. I actually had strange heart palpitations and felt like I had taken a double shot of espresso or something. It was euphoric.

Two hours after that I saw a Facebook post that led to deep contemplation about my strained relationship with my father and it led me to the edge of tears. (The answer is to stop looking at FB ) and I guess do what Jim suggests and just treat the situation how I would counsel my children to do when they are adults. It’s good advice. He’s a keeper.

Anyway. You get the point. How is one supposed to focus with all this noise going on inside? 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

I think that’s gonna have to be it today. I need to get to work.

Cheers to the last week of April,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-26 Sunday Un-Status

Well.. today is the actual deadline for getting my thesis submitted for a formal format check but since I sent that off last week, I’ve already got my reply.

There are changes I have to make because it’s an official university document. Some of the choices I made for section headers for the 5 sections of the manuscript and images for those section separating pages just have to be removed. It’s a bummer. I was so proud of how those images fit perfectly with my theme.

I was reminded that it’s not an actual book so even though it’s common for poetry manuscripts these days to have images, mine have to go. Ok.

I was also told the left margin has to be 1.5 and though I have not gone back into word, I know that’s going to seriously mess with my table of contents. Each of my 60+ poems has to have its own line item and it’s all gonna probably shift. Fixing all that is one of the items on my to-do list today.

More work in my garden is another. It’s going to be a lovely Nebraska day out there and I’m looking forward to spring. The garden on the northwest side corner of the back yard is one of the places I feel I actually own where this house is concerned.

It might be a big house, but the room decor and furnishings were all established before I moved in. It’s all super cool, but I would not have decorated in the same ways. In fact, that’s been a tough part of my adjustment process. I went from being the person who made all the decisions and being really independent to really not having any say.

Of course, that’s not an absolute and it certainly doesn’t provide a complete picture. We completely re-did the room that is my daughters before we moved in, among a few other changes since then. On the whole, though, there’s not been a ton of changes or decisions. Except the garden.

I’m the consummate gardener in the house and as such, I’ve got free reign over what goes in the garden. It’s my happy place and I’m rolling into my second year figuring out the space. It’s a great space to work with and I’ve got the former owners to thank. Gardening was one of their pastimes too so there’s already three garden beds encompassed by railroad ties with the rest of the pathway set with brick pavers.

Wood does what wood does when it’s exposed to the elements and so the railroad ties are starting to rot. Still, they will last for a few more years. My focus is deciding what arrangement of flowers and veg is best and perhaps how I might finally be successful with herbs like cilantro and dill and whatever else we might use in our summer cooking.

Anyway, there’s some of that in my future today and that makes me happy. This weekend has brought a lot of happiness and contentment thus far. My kids are at their dads and though I miss them and am looking forward to their return tomorrow, I’m still grateful for the time I’ve had both alone and with Jim this weekend.

As for an official report of my status, I’m sort of feeling very “so what” about it. My steps are down, my weight is up, my sleep is sub-par, and oh.. by the way.. I’m healthy and don’t have a life threatening virus. How’s that for a Status?

Now that my thesis is pretty much wrapped up, I turn my attention this week to the lit mag startup and developing the forms for Submittable: somehow we went from 3, maybe 4 genres to like 8 different sections. It’s pretty ambitious. And since the content will be online only and not formatted in an actual book (which is what I wanted to do), I guess it doesn’t matter as much how many pages the whole thing collectively would be. I might lobby again for an actual “pdf” of each issue, and if we do that, the volume might become more important. I’m probably overthinking this.

I’m encouraged by the enthusiasm of the people who have graciously volunteered their time and effort to this project. I hope we can keep that energy up as we get closer to “going live”. It feels like each time I start working on something new it leads to uncovering more tasks that need done.

Hopefully the Submittable thing won’t be like that. Perhaps I’ll dip my toe in that today and see if I can figure it out. I have to remind myself.. one thing at a time. “Stay focused!”

That’s it today. My hour is up and I need to go make some coffee.

With Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-23 Dance of the Mid Life Crisis

This has been a long week and I’m happy to be nearing the end. I gave myself a goal to finish my Thesis before Friday so I could just let go for the weekend. The format check by the program coordinator and thumbs up from the second reader are the only other hurdles before it’s a done deal.

Deadline for getting those electronic copies out is Sunday. I sent mine yesterday (the format check anyway). My second reader has had the preface and creative portion for a week+ now and I’m just going to guess that if I hear nothing back, it’s a pass from him.

I spoke to my thesis mentor yesterday who gave me the all clear on it and also some lovely words of praise on the work I’ve done this semesters. After that conversation and just hitting send on that email, a weight was lifted off. I’ve done it. I’ve really done it! Feels so good! 💃

The reality hasn’t really sunk in yet. There’s more boxes to check in order to officially graduate, but I’m a huge jump closer. Even if I have to wait until the global crisis is over, I’ll be getting my masters. A journey that began about 3 years ago as a result of a mid-life crisis is finally going to come to a close.

I’ve never once, until today, referred to what I went through as a mid life crisis. I mean, I was in the middle of my life (which we kind of all are, right) and it was a crisis. I guess instead of buying a sports car or doing wild and crazy stuff, I opted to get a masters in fine arts.

Not like anyone’s counting, but it’s probably the second mid-life crisis I’ve had. The first one ended with the divorce from my first husband (of 19 years) and that was in 2009/2010. Part of pulling myself through that Involved my claiming my independence. I built my kids and I a house and, yes, I also bought myself a fun little sporty car. I went to Europe and did some stupid stuff (but not too stupid). I guess since I did all that already, this go-round was bound to be different.

And now look what I’ve gone and done. Gotten myself married again. I’m following that same ole recipe for success. I suppose the difference is that now I have better ingredients to work with now. 😉 #truth

So the thesis is done-done and today I’m turning my attention back to work which I’ve been neglecting for about 3 days. I’ve gotta play catch up and that’s ok. I realize after my brief departure that the team really needs me. Yesterday I opted to skip morning call for that conversation with my mentor. Nobody took notes. Not that the notes are that important, but if action items and decisions need to captured, there’s value in that. (It is good to have the notes for searching later).

I was about to get on my notes soapbox and then I’m like.. FULL STOP. Nobody cares. Haha!

If there was no pandemic, Jim and I would be jumping in the car after work to go to Minnesota. I little weekend road trip planned around an appointment in Minneapolis to do our Global Entry interviews. I’m sad about not getting to go, but happy that I get him all to myself for a long weekend.

It’s just as well that the appointments have all been cancelled as I attempted to do the name change thing with my passport and that’s now somewhere lost in the Covid void. I started to change my name at a bunch of agencies shortly after getting married and just about the time I got to doing my passport, the risk was on the rise.

The US passport office is pretty slow anyhow, but I’m pretty sure with the pandemic, I’ll still be waiting for a while. 🤷‍♀️
Who knows how long it will be before international travel opens again. Could be months. Could also be years.

I told my mentor yesterday that I was opting for December residency so I could have that “in-person” experience. He cautioned that things could die down and then flair back up again and December could be worse. I shouldn’t put all my eggs in that basket (my words not his). I get it. But I just wanna have some hope, you know.

I’m really missing planning for the future and everything in limbo is getting to me. I swear that whatever happens, I’m gonna drive out to Kearney to hang with my friend Tre as she graduates. I also want to pin down a date for my daughters graduation party. When is it going to be ok to do that?

Soon I hope.

I’ve gotta get to work before I lose motivation for it.

Cheers to a three day weekend! 🍸
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-21 Longest Day EVER!

There I go being overly dramatic again. If you ask me how I feel about my dramatic tendencies, my answer will depend on my mood. Today I’m feeling plucky so I’ll just say, it’s part of my charm.

It was a long day though. And quite an atypical one compared to most of the SugarCookie days lately.

I skipped my morning walk/cardio because I wanted to go to the grocery store and just go early and get that over with. We tried to stock up on stuff before the shut-down, but it’s a healthy household and there’s only so much in perishable goods one can keep in fridge and not be wasteful. So yesterday was my day.

The whole thing makes me nervous. Good gawd one should not have this amount of anxiety about making a trip to the store. Yes, I have a mask. And no, I’m not afraid of getting the virus. So what is it that gave me such pause? Who knows. But I really had to give myself a pep-talk as I pulled out of my garage and down the street.

I actually went to two stores as supplies are low with regard to the lactose-free milk and protein. In between stores I checked my email and received a bit of good news that literally brought me to tears.

I’ve kinda been on an emotional edge lately (not unlike a lot of people) and just let the tears come. I was actually standing in my kitchen alone and didn’t even know what to do with myself for a few minutes. And this was from GOOD news. The Universe help me if I get bad news during this strange time!!

Anyway, I needed to go to the other store so I got myself back together and did that. When I arrived home I put the groceries away and got online for my morning work call. That 30 minutes was the extent of my work day yesterday, which was so odd.

Instead, I dove into the arduous task of packaging my thesis in Word, with all the sections and table of contents and formatting. It should not have taken me all damn day, but part of the thesis is the craft paper I did last semester and I could not just paste it in at the end and forget it. It was a flipping mess.

I’m actually embarrassed that it’s what I turned in last term. For one thing, I was using a google doc which does not do as good of a job as Word at flagging mistakes. But the bigger issues have to do with mistakes I’ve been making all along with grammar and punctuation. All the things I learned about this semester were glaring at me from the screen.

Not such a big deal fixing a few pages but this is a 45 page document. It literally took me all day to go through paragraph by paragraph, page by page and fix them all.

Now I’m certain that I make these mistakes habitually in my daily writing, and I’ve resolved to try and catch those if I can, but ok if some slip through. That craft paper, however, is a part of my masters thesis and mistakes are just unacceptable. So I needed to spend that time.

At this point I’m close to being done but not quite there yet. The formatting blips with copy and paste from gdoc to word are also troublesome and the whole document is going to be about 140 pages which is a lot to go through with a fine-toothed comb. I’d like to get back to it today but I’ve got a busy day stacked up ahead and it’s not likely.

Anyway, after I closed down Word for the day yesterday I had 2.5 hours of lit mag business to attend to, including 2 hours on a zoom which was super draining. What on earth have I gotten myself into??!

It’s going to be good, I just know it, but we’re not there yet. I’m still trying to figure out all the personalities on the team and super sensitive to potential issues. I’m probably over thinking things as is my way, but I feel like I’m already in damage control mode and we’re just trying to get started.

By the time that was all done last night it was 8pm and I hadn’t eaten or said boo to the kids or Jim since like noon. I ate some comfort food (for me that’s like 3 pieces of toast) and vegetated on the couch. We watch a bit of TV and talked for a while and then I shuffled myself to the bedroom and just let the long day sink out of me horizontally and into my bed.


(Hours later)

I had to scoot my booty off the treadmill and up to my office for work real quick like and did not have time to finish. But, as it turns out, I have no more to say about yesterday anyway. Nothing worth writing about anyhow.

As it is, I really don’t have a ton of time today and already had to defer one meeting for another so there’s no rest for the wicked (or the plucky) I guess.

Cheers to Taco Tuesday,
~Miss SugarCookie