2020-10-24 Saturday Schmatterday

Prolly gonna make quick work of this today since it’s Jim’s birthday and we gotta a whole lotta nothin that needs doing today.

When we woke up today I told Jim I ordered another overcast day so he could sleep in without the sun bugging us to get out of bed. The trade off? It’s like 21 degrees out. Brrrrrr. Coldest temp since last winter.

I remembered at 5am that I forgot to unplug the garden hose from the rain barrel and I hope it’s not ruined.

I’ve got a meeting today with my fellow MFA graduates and am challenging myself to just listen and not say a word. On one hand I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of things will be proposed and on the other hand I’m so over it. You know that whole saying “icing on the cake.”? This is like the opposite.

Yeah.. bad enough the whole residency is virtual. The graduation ceremony being virtual is just shit on top of a shit sandwich. I just gotta keep my damn mouth shut. Whatever.

What else? Did I mention I miss summer already. I really hate winter. I really really hate being cold. Wow. Really complain-y today and not very inspired.

One of the things on my agenda this weekend besides celebrating Jim’s birthday and putting together the biggest badass cat tower you have ever seen is reading all the poetry that’s come across my GLR desk this reading period thus far. Perhaps I’ll step into the fiction and non-fiction as well. Ed and I have both committed to reading everything to just see what different decisions we might make from our editors. It’s much more feasible to do that this session than last as the numbers of submissions is significantly less this time around.

And get this!!.. two days ago I got a notification of a new poetry submission from my ex husbands fiancé!!! Whoa. I didn’t even know she was a writer. I knew she was a photographer but I’m very interested to see what she’s written. I mean not interested enough to look at it yesterday, but for sure today. 🤣

I’m personally up to like 43 active subs now so we’ll on my way to hitting 50 by the end of October. Then I’ll turn my attention elsewhere and just let that ride for a while (I say as I conspire secretly to set a new goal of like 100.)

I think that’s gonna be it today. Gotta go make birthday breakfast. And coffee!!

Mmmmmm. Saturday!
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-19 Quick and Squeaky

It’s a new day and a new week. Another opportunity to get it all done.

Despite waking up with a pain in my neck at 5:10am, I’m in pretty good spirits. In large part thanks to the fact that I no longer have to figure out how to fit work in with all the other stuff I’ve got to do. And magically, the “stuff” always grows to fill the space.

Two exciting updates to share! Yesterday I submitted my first poetry manuscript to a contest for first or second book. It’s exciting to think that all that I’ve learned in the last three years might actually result in a published book. I mean, it’s still a pipe dream but it’s my pipe dream and it’s fun to daydream about the possibilities.

The second thing is that another one of my poems was accepted for publication in an online journal. Huzzah!!

It’s called “Open Window” and it originally came from a prompt I did when writing with my Tuesday writing group. I got feedback on it from my mentor, Stave Langan, in the 3rd semester of my MFA program. Steve helped me find the right form for the poem. Now it’s going to be in The Wild Roof Review in January. 💃💃💃

And that thing I mentioned last week? About keeping track of what’s been submitted since I’m sending so many of the same poems out to so many places? Yeah, well.. now I’ve got to withdrawn that poem from like 10 other publishers. Seems like a good time, eh? Ha!

Other than that, I’m excited this week to be celebrating Jim’s bday and also plan to kick my week off right by going to vote. I’m taking my daughter so she can vote too (her first time) and not be intimidated by the process or choices. Hopefully the line to vote will not be that long.

For me it’s a bit of a repeat from 4 years ago since I went in to vote early then too. I just prefer it, you know. But last time there was like nobody there voting early the day I went. I have a feeling today will be different. I think many people have the same idea.

The jury is still out on a potential road trip to Austin to be with my peeps on election night, also just like 4 years ago. Minus all the driving. Jim does not have time off work enough for that but I certainly do. It’s the kind of thing I would not have hesitated about when I was single. If I wanted to go, I’d just do it. Now I feel a tug of angst about it.

Going without Jim, skipping out on my responsibilities here, and driving all that way. To be fair, the drive does not bother me that much so it’s mostly going without Jim that’s holding me back. Still, it would be great to see my people again. It’s been since February when I got married but 2020 feels like the longest year in the history of years.

I’m gonna cut this short today cuz I gotta get down to business. Like I said, lots to do!

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-18 It’s Not the Poem’s Fault

It’s Sunday and my day is starting early. I woke before 6am and tried to go back to sleep but its futile. It’s almost 7 now so it’s not like I didn’t try to resist getting up. Hopefully Jim can get some extra rest with the absence of my tossing and turning. Hopefully he’ll text me when he does wake up so I can sneak back in and get some snuggles in. Hopefully the kids sleep in too.

So much hope.

My weather app is reporting snow showers. It’s already the coldest morning of fall yet with temps bottoming out at 34 degrees. Which means that if it is snowing, it won’t be for long. Another degree and that snow will turn to rain. And then the dusting we’ve gotten over night will be gone.

Kind of a bummer that I don’t have anything more exciting than that to talk about. Hey.. do you remember when I used to report on my stats every Sunday. Yeah, so I guess compared to that, talking about the weather is aaaallllll-right.

Yesterday I got my manuscript back from a friend whose helping me fine-tune it for submission. The original contest I was looking into for this has a deadline of today. This means most of my day will be spent on editing. And there’s a lot of comments and suggestions to get through.

Sometimes I think poems are never done. I used to ask this question when I attended workshops. “How do you know the poem is done?” Now I recognize the reason the question never seems to get answered.

The author talks a little bit about their process and evades any definitive answer. It’s because there isn’t one. The poem is never done. Stick with me here…

You write a poem. It comes from a combination of experience, state of mind, and knowledge. These shifting variables are how that line break ends up there and One word is chosen over another. Sometimes the poem writes itself and then you sit back and are like, “holy wow, there’s a poem.”

Then, if your like me, you’re making eyes at this new baby like it’s the best baby in the world. Why is it that each new poem feels brilliant? Because you’re still basically the same person (experience, mood, knowledge) as you were in that inspirational moment. But wait a hot minute.

State of mind is the fastest shape shifter. From one day to the next it can render a read of the poem with dramatically different outcomes. One day you love it. The next, you hate it. . Yeah, mood is pretty powerful. I’ve sat down to revise poems and end up throwing my hands up in the air because all the poems are terrible. I’d say, forget about it!!

Then, two days later I return again and things are softer. The words sneak back into my good graces. And I wonder why I had been so hard on myself (or the poem!).

But that’s just one factor. Experience and knowledge are others. As time has a habit of doing, it changes you. If you put that baby of a poem on a virtual shelf and don’t look at it for six months, donuts to dollars it WILL be different when you pull it off the shelf. But it’s not the poem, it’s the writer.

Perhaps in those six months you’ve fallen out of love with the person the poem is about. Maybe they cheated on you and broke your heart (that bastard!) and you read the poem with a new perspective. Is it better or worse? Are you still attached to it or over it? It’s so subjective.

And as for actually revising, each new thing you learn causes you to rethink a choice. I’ve taken the same poem and revised with like a dozen different techniques, tried and true methods, and personal experimental ones.

Again, it’s sometimes tough to sit back and be objective about the result. That’s why getting other eyes on it is so important. Other people can look at your work more objectively and perhaps point out something that’s better or different or more effective. Probably they will find something, and are not going to just tell you to toss it out as rubbish.

Back to the question at hand. When is it done done? When is enough enough? Don’t ask me.. I don’t know. 🤣

I thought for sure my answer would be, “once it’s published”, but now I’m revising poems that have already been published for a full length book and still finding ways to tighten and improve them. Swap this verb for that one and change the way the stanzas are arranged.

Yeah, three line stanzas for sure work better to enhance the unbalanced nature of the topic. Four line stanzas are structured and stable and confident. The speaker of that poem is definitely unbalanced and is teetering like a three legged table. Much more effective.

That’s something I learned at a workshop this summer. And now I can’t unlearn it. So if I’m revising, it’s now one of the things I’m thinking about. The difference between the one, two, three, and four line stanza. And what about five or six? What do each of those mean?

Where does the madness end?

Well, at some point you just have to be satisfied with it I guess. Which comes back to mood again. There are days when I still think some poem is the best thing since sliced bread and that’s the day I pull the trigger and send it out into the world to see if it can find a real home. Three days later I’ll look again with a facepalm wondering what I was thinking.

Today I don’t have time to think to much. And I certainly don’t have the luxury of waiting another day to see if my mood improves. Which is ok, since I’ve looked at the poems in this manuscript so many times and for so long, that I’m kinda over them. And I feel that makes me more objective than ever.

Accepting and rejecting suggestions and making edits like a boss! Today’s the day!!

Huh. And here I thought I had nothing to write about. Go figure!

It’s 8am now and my weather app is reporting the snow has stopped and has been replaced by fog but the temp is holding steady at 34. It’s the perfect day for a hot cup of cocoa and editing poetry. Time to get on it!

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-07 What Will It Become When Too Much Thought is Involved?

I’m dipping my toe into figuring out what my days look like now that I’m not working. I’m excited to have more time and my first order of business has been to increase my step goal. I changed the goal on my Fitbit from 12K steps a day to 15K. And I’m not limited walking in the AM anymore so it should be a snap.

I’m missing Jazzercise more already, which is a great cardio workout and also motivates me to do strength training. I haven’t been to a class since February because of the pandemic. I asked Jim yesterday about the possibility of going to a class or two. The answer was a resounding “hell no.”

He said that by the time the class is over you’ve basically breathed air from every other person there, no matter how small the class is, and it’s too risky. He’s right, but .. how different is that from my son going to public school five days a week? I know, it’s the masks. If I tried to do a workout with a mask on, I’d probably die. 😷

So no Jazzercise for me.. yet.

I’m also holding my breath about winter residency for my MFA. Which is to say that I’m hoping that they have figured out how to host an in person / part virtual experience. Live in person at the Lied lodge in Nebraska City for those who can make it, and virtual for those who can’t travel.

I mean, schools across the globe have had about 6 months now to figure this out. Get some good WiFi, put some computers and screens in the rooms, coordinate some zooms. It’s possible.

Though technology is not a strong suit of the Lodge. Seems like there’s always some difficulties. Even with something like a microphone setup. And I suppose all the extra hardware costs money and the university probably does not have the funds in the budget despite an MFA costing like 45 grand. 🤷‍♀️

So I guess we’ll see. It doesn’t really matter though. Yesterday’s inquiry about my lecture topic leads me to believe that I’ll not get another offer to defer like the last semester. I’d decided that even if they did, I’d still suck it up and just finish out virtually. It’s disappointing, for sure. But that’s life. Even without a pandemic, things often don’t meet our expectations. Or perhaps my expectations are always too high. 😉

In any case, one thing on my set list today is to revisit the notes I took with JP about my lecture topic to see if I can get over my fear of commitment and pick something to talk about.

One of the people whose lecture from summer just knocked it out of the park was Erin. She sent a group of us notes about the formula for a successful lecture (summarized from her convo with the program coordinator). I’m planning to revisit this today too.

One thing I recall is to be the expert and present as such.. so the trouble with that is that I don’t feel like an expert and might not ever. But.. despite the fact I’m already overthinking this.. I’ve technically already graduated so I need to use that to my advantage. Which is to say.. not worry about it so much. Still, how can I not?! Good grief! 🙄

I’m going to cut it there today cuz I need a shower and to get on with my day. Yeah, regular showers are another change I’m looking forward to now that I have more time. How sad is that??!!

Peace and love until next time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-06 Life as a Kitten Mama

This morning I had to take Gustav to the vet for shots and so I’m getting a strange late start to my day. These days it’s curbside appointments only. You pull up and call when you arrive and they check you in and come out to the car to get your pet. Then you wait in your car. Or if you’re me you make a quick trip to the Dunkin that’s in that same plaza for a medium hot latte with French vanilla swirl. Mmmmm.

20 minutes later they call back and get your payment info and then bring your furry back to your car. Gus had his first round of shots today and will have to go back in a month for the follow up.

He’s worn his harness a few times now and outside of the drive from Michigan, he’s barely been in the car. Maybe like 4 rides total. But he did great. They say that in the first six months you should do everything you intend to do with the cat in their life to get them used to it. I’ve definitely not taken Gus for as many rides as I did with Kayla.

She was in the car with me a lot and I even took her to the badlands. Still, there was a long stretch after that that she was almost never in the car and I think she forgot all her conditioning. Now when we go she is very nervous and does a lot of mewing. It’s the only time I ever hear her talk.

Come to think of it, all our cats are pretty quiet. Wonder why that is.

When Gus talks he still has his baby-monkey voice sometimes. Like In the car today. I’ve heard him have a big-boy mew a few times but not a lot yet. I kind of wonder if that tiny, squeaky voice will stick around or if he’ll grow out of it completely. It’s really adorable. He’s adorable.

The vet said she had a tough time listening to him (his heartbeat I’m guessing), because he was purring so loud. He’s a purr machine! And it is loud and so cuddly. He’s 7 pounds 9 ounces now. A ball of energy that has two speeds, go-go-go and sleep. He definitely has the energy of a kitten and the other cats seem to like him ok, but sometimes lay there and watch him like “I used to have energy like that.”

Sometimes Gus Gus (not a typo, that’s one of his nicknames) provokes Doug cuz he likes to wrestle. Him and Doug go rounds of pounce and roll until Doug has had enough and tries to get away. Doug is like more than twice his size so it’s super adorable. You can tell that they are just playing and Gus is relentless for more.

Like an annoying little brother who just wants the attention of his big bro. With Kayla it’s a different story. She’s top Kitten here and wants to make sure the other cats know it. She chases and pounces too but it seems a little more aggressive and territorial. And after introducing Gus, the hierarchy was established and Gus doesn’t really challenge her anymore.

She definitely was not maternal like we had hoped. Maybe once she realizes he’s not a threat, she’ll be a better sister. We can hope anyway. 🤷‍♀️

As one of my first orders of business this week, I wanted to give the kittens all some better attention. Lots of pets and playing. And of course get lots of pics of all the cuteness that goes on. Which is a lot.

Another prime directive is to spend each day working on my personal endeavors. Yesterday I submitted to about 4 new places. I told Jim that sometimes I aim high and sometimes I aim low and sometimes I close my eyes and don’t aim at all. Which is to say that I just “discover” places through Submittable and don’t research them at all.

Probably not the best way to go about it but it is a lot of work doing the research. Sometimes I wander away to the websites to see what they have to offer and what they have published in the past. I would say that has caused me to rethink submitting a few times. Save my worlds and my $3 for someplace else.

Yesterday I took a different approach to aiming high. I opened a newly acquired poetry book by one of my MFA mentors Jim Peterson, and read the acknowledgements page. Then I went through that list of places and started looking them up, one by one, to see if they had open calls. About half so far have.

I’ve thought about submitting a full manuscript but I’m not quite there yet. Feel like maybe I should try to get more individual poems published first. Then again, sometimes I question the point of it all. Maybe that’s just the mood I’m in today. Which is that I-just-want-to-snuggle-kittens-all-day mood.

While I was sitting in the car at the vet this morning I read a new email from my MFA program coordinator relating info about the lecture topics for this coming residency. In an instant my blood pressure went up and I felt a knot form in my stomach. I just don’t wanna think about it at all.

The other lectures look extremely informative and well thought out and my one sentence description was very generic. I wrote it that way for a reason, like 6 months ago as I was supposed to give a lecture at Res this past summer.

I deferred till winter in classic Miss. SugarCookie procrastinator form. The reading doesn’t bother me at all. It’s just reading. But giving a lecture is icky. Of course I’m terrified. Of course I’m unprepared. Of course I’m worried that I’ll bomb and people will find out I’m a big fraud. Of course, of course, of course. 🙄

I guess I’ll have to put some more effort into figuring out what exactly I’m going to talk about. /deep sigh 😔

But first…. kittens!! 🐱🧡💛

Time to get on with it.
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-01 The (Other) Letter From the Editor

I’ve been tucked in a cubby hole of time for a few days. I’ve tried to finish strong with my last few days of work without letting my apathy show through the zooms and emails. I’ve tried to hide the fact that my heart is already elsewhere. Ask me how I feel today on this day, the first day I’m not required to show up on the job. I’m all like “what job?”

Yes, friends, my heart wandered away from the Career Life years ago and so the only difference now is that I don’t have to dedicate so much of my precious time trying to stay in the game. Yes, I like and appreciate my job, and my team. But life has so much more to offer now and I have to let my heart take the lead. Even if I’m pretty sure it’s clueless most of the time about where it is and where it thinks it wants to go.

Yesterday I spent my treadmill time writing a “letter from the editor” instead of diving into my normal rhetoric. What I was writing will be unveiled tomorrow when we publish our first issue of The Good Life Review.

A letter from the editor? The editor?? Is that me? Holy shit, I did that. I’m doing that. This is real and this is really my life now. Unbelievable!

Anyway, I wrote some words, and it’s all legit and I mean every bit of what I said in the letter but there’s other sides to the story that just aren’t a good fit for the actual publication. Stuff people don’t talk about, you know. As we say in the software development business, the sausage making.

What the letter doesn’t say is that this entire process is exhausting. It’s hard work. My friend Sarah told me that. She said, “people don’t realize it unless they experience it for themselves.” #truth

From the word “go” it has been one challenge after another. Between getting the infrastructure in place to deciding on a name to engaging folks in the process to trying to keep everything organized and operating smoothly.. it’s been a wild ride.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a great learning opportunity, and for sure I’m coming out the other side of this first issue a wiser soul. It’s just that I truly had no idea how time consuming it would be. And the Universe knows how I have a tendency to be over-committed. What on EARTH was I thinking??!!

I know. I wasn’t thinking. I was letting my heart lead. And if Robert Creeley can do it, damnit, so can I!

He started the Divers Press and was also an editor with the Black Mountain Review for its first three years. Also, he wrote and published literally hundreds of poems across decades. A role model I will never get to meet.

If it sounds as though I’m aiming high. It’s likely because I am. “No limits but the Sky” baby!

But that’s probably the adrenaline of the treadmill working magic in my body.

When I woke up today I had a hell of a headache. It was compounded by last minute scrambles to get everything just right for pulling the trigger on our first issue. And trying to keep things smooth. A lot of folks are paying attention now and we have to do our best to keep our best front and center.

What I want, more than anything, is for the people who are involved to have a good experience. I want people to say, “The Good Life”, was good to them. I want people to think of us as kind, and thoughtful, and professional yet personable.

Keeping that in mind is key. In my letter I wrote about the “difficult” time we are all having this year. And therefore we could all use a little more leeway, love, and kindness. I certainly could use a little more.

I hit my migraine and nausea with all the meds I could get my hands on (sans Lorazepam). I had an English muffin and drank a bunch of water. I’m better now. Feeling like I can continue on this fast moving train for at least one more day. One more day.

It’s the final countdown folks. And after that?

After that I’m gonna lay down on the ground in corpse pose for about three days. Yeah. That seems like a good plan.

Ok, I think that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed the alternate version of my “letter from the editor.”

Peace, love, and tacos,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-15 Monday Colored Glasses

I could do without insomnia for a while. I could do without my mind spinning endlessly on things I can’t do anything about. I could use a day all by myself, no responsibilities, no work, no chores. What’s that called? A vacation? Perhaps soon.

I could also do without rejection greeting me first thing in the morning when I check my email in-box. Yes, it’s true, I shrug. But what other choice do I have? Yes, it’s their loss I suppose. But after a while there’s just a wearing down that happens. A loss of confidence. Thoughts of throwing in the towel creep in. That’s depressing.

Especially considering I didn’t even think about trying to publish before my MFA. That was never the point so why hang my hat on it now? How did that become a goal.. because someone else said so? Words echo in my mind “welcome to the rejection business.” Yeah. I suppose.

My Monday didn’t start or end well. And Tuesday has not seen any improvement yet. Not sure what it will take. I want to crawl under a rock, but don’t have time for that. And now I’m just being overly dramatic and that’s useless too. Good grief.

Peeking in at social media in the last week and I see several instances of fellow MFAers posting about their degrees showing up in the mail. Seeing that, all I could think was that that should be me right now too, but I was selfish and didn’t want to graduate with a virtual residency. I wanted the in-person experience as before and as it has been in my mind for 2.5 years since I started. Was that selfish? Should I have just sucked it up and recorded myself giving a lecture and reading and called it good?

I lamented a little internally about that. Thought about the fact that deferring until winter res was just delaying the inevitable. The pandemic won’t be under control in December. Nothing really will have changed and I’ll end up finishing out online anyhow. I’ll feel cheated and there’s nothing I can do about that.

Then.. two days ago a package came for me from the university. Upon opening I was shocked to pull out my diploma. Wait?! Hold up!!?? What the???!!! Hmmmmm….

So apparently I graduated already. I kind of thought that final residency was a requirement of graduation. It is. But it’s apparently not. I mean, the book on my thesis was closed last May and I know I’ve crossed all the “T”s and dotted all the “I”s Up to this point. So leaving this final requirement unfinished feels so wrong.

That’s what Jenna meant when she said they trust me. I didn’t get that until I opened that envelope. So what about this next res— the one I’m supposed to lecture at? It certainly does not leave me with a lot of motivation.

If I already have my degree, then who gives a fuck about doing well? I’ve got my 4.0 and that’s not going to change. I could get up and talk for 40 minutes about nonsense and nobody can say boo to me about it. And the pomp and circumstance of the reading and the graduation ceremony is minimized too. Again, who cares? (Of course I do, of course).

Probably I’m looking at all this with Monday colored glasses. I just need to snap out of this shiz. But how.

I need to snag a play from my friend Tre’s playbook and enjoy the small things that are aligned with my true north goals. I might start, as she said in her latest blog post, with a dose of gratitude.

I started walking/writing late this morning because of the rough night sleep and need to wrap now, but I think I may cut here and continue writing— in my mind—a list of things I’m grateful for.

I hope I can turn the shade of Monday I’m living today into something rosier.

Deep breaths,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-08-19 Miss SugarCookie Attempts to Answer the Question “What are you gonna do with your life?” 😉

Spoiler Alert… The answer is just Nothing.

I’m an all or nothin kind of girl. You know, I don’t have it in me to do things “half-ass.” I just don’t. Sometimes I wish I could, you know. Just do a thing and get as far as I get and say “good enough.” Believe me, I’ve tried.

That’s why this work-life balance puzzle has been so rough. I’m sure my company knows that. I’m positive that they know that if they ask for my involvement, I’ll be in it to win it through to the end. We can all look back and agree that what they asked for was “as much as I wanted to offer.” But the reality is that if I’m given a job to do, I’m never gonna say “I’ve worked my quota this week so the rest of this pile will just have to wait.”

I’ll keep putting in the hours until it’s done and done right. And then my husband will come home from work and ask what I did that day. And it includes just work and more work and nothing he’s asked me to do. I know it’s bad when I hear the garage door go up and I rush downstairs to take the trash out or unload the dishwasher or fold the towels so it appears I’ve done an ounce of something supportive of our household.

In truth, I’m just not very domestic. I’d rather work than do house chores. I might complain at times but I almost always enjoy my job. That’s why quitting was such a tough decision to make. But I did it.

If it has to be too much or nothing, I’m gonna try nothing on for size for a while. I’ve told a few folks. People ask “what are you gonna do now?” The truth is, I don’t know. Be a better wife and mother. Try to be a writer for real. Or something else? 🤷‍♀️

Will I be busy or bored? I know when I took time off in 2017, it was fantastic. I worked on myself and my health like a boss and it was great. I was happy and took my kids on some seriously wicked good vacations. And I re-discovered how much satisfaction I get from making art.

I started dating again and enrolled in an MFA program. Toward the end of that 6 months I re-engaged with society and figured out what I wanted from a job. Figured out that what I wanted was a job and not a career. And I was picky about it. It was going to be the right job accepted on my terms. That’s exactly what I found.

That was at the end of 2017 and the company I was hired on at was the same one I quit from this week (though I of course Agreed to stay on through soft-launch at the end of September).

In the past 2.5 years with them, I’ve learned a lot about myself and probably also more about how corporate culture works no matter how small the company is. In the past 2 years my life has also been altered in some pretty significant ways.

When I took that “part time, 25 hour a week gig”, I could not have imagined I would be meeting my future husband. Or moving or getting married or having step-children. Nope. There’s no crystal ball folks and life is so very unpredictable.

Now it’s almost 3 years later and I’m almost done with that MFA program and looking forward to the future.

Perhaps I’m still trying to convince myself that my decision to quit is still solid, and that’s the reason for this post. I mean, the horse has been beat dead for a while now where this blog is concerned. Why am I still writing about it? There has to be a reason.


It’s Wednesday and I’m taking the day off. Cuz, like I said it’s all or nothing and today I’m choosing nothing.

Which is, of course, not really nothing.

Instead I’m going to a doctors appointment and lunch with my mom and drive my son to and from school. I’m gonna catch up on some correspondence and have a friend over for a backyard happy hour this afternoon. And then hopefully roll into the evening with a bit more vim and vigor than I usually have. Sounds pretty great right?!

Anyway. My hour is up. Time to get on doing all that nothing. 😜

Cheers to Hump-Day!
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-07-16 Thursday’s Train Schedule 🚂

Today I have my follow up appointment with my doctor. It’s at 7am. I’ve been awake since 4:41 (Earlier really). It’s 5:16 now. I just can’t lie in bed awake anymore. Did I try hard enough to meditate and focus on my breathing and the mundane to fall asleep again. Hard enough to give up. 🤷‍♀️

I’m up now anyhow and now that things are rolling, there’s no stopping the train. It’s gonna be full speed before long.

I figure my appointment will be over by 7:30 and I’ll be headed back home.

8AM As soon as I get home I’ll have to leave again to take new tires we got for the car to the shop it’s at for maintenance.

9AM I’ll be home again. I’ll need to do the rest of my house chores then. How much of that can there be? The answer to that is enough. Dishes, pool maintenance, paperwork, calling the insurance company. All the adulting that comes with having a house and cars.

10AM. Time for work. QA testing and the daily team meeting at 10:30.

11AM. MFA grad student lecture on creating characters with quiet courage.

12Noon. MFA student readings.

1PM. Back to work. More QA testing and an API spec meeting and a HIPAA compliance meeting and my one on one with my project manager. All that will go until about 5.

5:15PM. MFA grad student reading.

5:45PM. Date night begins! Something we’ve both been looking forward to all week. It holds the promise of tacos and time together, just the two of us!

That will carry me into the evening and all the way to bedtime. Like I said, a stop train.

It’s 6AM now. Time to get ready to go.

All aboard!
~Miss SugarCookie

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