2020-07-31 Adios July.. Don’t Let the Door Git Ya!

Remember all that I was saying yesterday about riding out the hormonal storm until the crashing waves calm down? Yeah, just effff that. It really is easy to talk logic than to put it into practice sometimes.

Listen. Yesterday was a bitch. Work sucked. And at the end of the day I was on the couch, half laying into a stack of pillows watching some YouTube video Jim was playing for me. It’s a guy playing like a really old guitar. We’re talking made in the 1600’s old. And I just started to cry.

Was it that a guitar that old could still exist? That it could still be played, strummed by human hands and make such beautiful music? The mystical mastery of fingers picking the strings. That ‘we’ are capable of crafting an instrument out of wood and strings. And compose music. It was beautiful.

I told Jim it made me cry. He said it makes him want to take guitar lessons. I told him it makes me feel like I’m wasting my life. He just laughed.

He reminded me I’m working hard on my art, and that’s a good thing. He’s right, damnit, but ugh… the stress of trying to do too much is, well, too much.

Today is Friday and the last day of July. It is the last day that’s the window for submissions for the first issue of the good life review will be open. And midnight tonight the window will be closed. At midnight tonight the clock is going to start ticking down for reading, copy editing, author agreements, and all things required to publish that first issue. It’s going to be a lot of work. I need to quit my job.

I have been working hard on my art. The new lit mag is just one of the balls I have thrown into the air and I am trying to figure out how to catch without it falling on my head and cracking my skull open.

I’ve been revising poems and attempting to attend workshops to learn some new things. I haven’t really written a ton of new stuff, but the few things that I have written in 2020 seem like good candidate to continue working on in the future. You know sometimes you get a vibe about a piece of writing. Sometimes there is something in the core of it that remains so strong that you know that even if it looks like garbage on the surface, there could still be a diamond hidden underneath.

Either that or I’m just too emotionally attached to these precious few new poems in my virtual poetry pile. Someone told me once to set aside a new poem for at least six months. Let the emotional attachment fade. Then when you revisit, you can see with a fresh perspective if there’s something worth working on.

I mean I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that, but it does help me justify procrastinating revising new material. 😜

One final thought before I adjourn this session. On this day in history (not sure what year) my parents were married. When I think about that.. I can’t help but realize that if they never met or got married, I would not exist. Or if I did exist I would be a different person completely. Wild!!

Anyhow. That’s it.
Cheers to Friday,
~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

2020-05-25 The Sign on the Door Says “Beware of Dragons”…

… but I open it anyway.

I’m not even sure where to start today.

Should I begin with the 5am wake up and subsequent spin-brain keeping me from going back to sleep?

Perhaps I should start by reflecting on that conversation I had yesterday with my Texas Bestie where she said her new motto was “good enough”.

Maybe it’s important to note that I launched a new website yesterday and consequently a new online lit mag. Yeah, that’s probably the most relevant place to begin.

Or is it?

After lying awake for an hour I rolled over and looked at my phone. There was a notification from WordPress about a new like on yesterday’s blog post. It’s not surprising that in this new world of constant connection and attaching self-worth to “likes”, that I find that satisfying. I’m like a child craving attention from parents who are almost always otherwise occupied. I am not like a child.. I am a child.. craving attention.

I unlocked my connectivity device and scrolled through the top news stories that google has chosen to “serve” me. I’m half creeped out by the fact that google knows too much about me. But The other half of me is glad that google has already done the heavy lifting, weeding out all the crap in the world that I don’t care about. /shrug

I scroll until a headline/article catches my attention. Something about rejecting editors of literary publications. My first thought was “oh, of course this new job of mine will provide yet another source of rejection”. As if I haven’t had enough opportunity for that. Of course.

I sort of read the article, in my way. I read the first two paragraphs with great intent and then skimmed the rest for words supporting the intent of the article. I want the example. I want the personal story that proves the argument.

It was something about being rejected and then being nominated for a pushcart prize for the same piece of writing. It was about researching lit mags before you submit to 1. Validate your work fits with the other writing they publish and 2. Decide if they are worthy of your writing.

I agree with both these things, but have found that that process is exhausting. Not sure why. Oh I know, because I’m overcommitted in general to start with and don’t feel like I have the time and patience for the process.

I don’t have the time for that, Yet somehow I think I can run a lit mag. That’s just crazy talk. It’s insanity. But wait. There’s more. Are you ready for this??…

I’m not qualified and I have no idea what I’m doing. Oh, yeah, and I’m terrified. Did I mention I was terrified?

I’m like a kid who just wandered into a seedy neighborhood on accident and is asking directions from people hanging out by a chain link fence around a neglected city park.

Yes, I did just equate the literary community to a seedy neighborhood. That’s just how I feel right now. Hoping “this too shall pass.”

So I rolled the dice yesterday and now I’m in it whether I like it or not. I don’t know how many hours I spent working on the WordPress site that will be the platform for this lit mag, but it’s a goddamned lot. This morning I spent 1 hour cruising Submittable and looking at other sites and ended up feeling defeated. There is only so much one can do with a “personal” plan and free themes. I have done the best I can but have a hard time reminding myself that it’s “good enough.”

In the not too distant future, a potential submitter can read the words written by other people. Words that were bravely submitted, read by our editors and accepted. Words “we” chose to publish. They can decide for themselves if their words fit with what we’re all about. They can reject us and not submit based on that. And “we” are going to live or die by that decision.

Until then though, it’s just the words on our site right now that have been written and approved by Ed and I. No pressure.
it’s also the site itself (in my head anyway). Someone might see it and think it rudimentary or not professional enough and reject based on that. If that’s the case, I suppose, I’d be inclined to say, “fuck off.”

Yeah, maybe I could do that. Just tell someone straight out, we don’t have funding or a paid staff and are basically trying to give this a go during a Pandemic. Who does that. Who decides to start a lit mag in the midst of a global pandemic? We do!

It’s going to be a bumpy ride. I can feel it already. And despite my being terrified, I’m going to do it anyway because that is all I know how to do. What choice do I have? I had no choice in getting my MFA. My inner spark demanded it. I’m not sure if it’s good or evil (this ShySpark).. I’ve been on the fence about that for years.

Is this driving force leading me to a better life or simply keeping me in a state of perpetual discontent? WTF?!

My friend Rebecca said her new motto is “good enough”, and no matter how much I’d like to get on board, I don’t think I can. Instead, I decide I’m going to hunt submittable for places I can submit my poetry to. And spend hours reading about potential places and deciding where to put my money. Because I’m assuming my money is all they will accept. My words, no doubt, will be rejected. That’s just how it is until it isn’t, apparently.

My hour is up and it’s almost 9AM. It’s a holiday supposedly but I’ve got plans to get back to the job that pays me actual money and play catch-up on all that QA I’ve been putting off in order to get to the “launch” yesterday.

The door is open now. Bring on the Dragons.

Yours truly,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-12 No Rest for the Wicked Part 2

Yesterday came and went and it was a freaking blur. The deadline at work was met and the team pulled it off. Alpha version 0.0.1 was demonstrated and released to the customer. If that name doesn’t scream “early, early release” then I don’t know what does. In the end, I was left to sweep up the confetti that was left on the floor and make sure the gift bags were passed out. I was so blurry eyed at that point, I was afraid I was going to screw that up.

Half an hour later, we did an impromptu team huddle and our leaders gave praise for all the hard work and basically gave us a day off. One day this week of our choosing. It was intended to be today but a few people lobbied for Friday. Me? I think I’ll take both days and maybe Thursday too. 😜

Every day I steal from Peter to pay Paul. By now, Paul is a very rich man and I think he’s had enough. And Peter is pretty much lying in a gutter with his arm stretched out to me. It’s time for some rebalance in the force. Last night when I was finally released, the first thought I had was that I’ve been a shitty neglectful parent and I have to make that right.

This involves two things.. reconciling the grade book with my son who now has 28 missing assignments across his 7 classes. Plus a D In AP world history. We have a plan in place to get to work but the second I turn my back, he’s gaming again. That’s a work in progress. Always.

The second thing is some serious QT with my pudding pie. We talked and have a plan for that too. We’re going to Don our masks and make a trip to target today to restock makeup, shop for bras and underwear, and buy box hair dye to do something fun with our hair. She wants a haircut and that’s one of the mom things I know I can do well (with her). Her hair is just like mine so it’s easy.

We’ll probably grab some food while we are out today too. If you’re gonna bust out.. better make it a good one!!

I laid out the plan to Jim last night and he was leery of the target run and asked me about masks. That’s his way of trying to urge us to do the right thing. Such an interesting pickle we’re in right now. And when I say “we” I mean all of us here in Nebraska.

What are the rules is anybody’s guess and mostly it’s “on your honor”. So some times it seems like a free for all and some places you go there are signs that say masks are required. Not sure what will actually go down today. Z doesn’t want to wear a mask. And she said “if I have to, I’m going to make my own so it can at least be cute”. Haha!

All of that doesn’t necessarily make things “Wicked” as the title of this post might suggest. I guess that comes in with the 10 other things I’m putting off while I try to have a successful day parenting.

Lit mag meeting today with my co-eic and I’m no where near ready for that. I had to-dos to do and they are not done. We pushed the website launch from May 1 to May 15 and with the issues we’ve had (and a lack of time) it’s just not going to be ready. Thats 3 days from now.

Even if I busted my ass all day today and tomorrow. I think some things are not baked yet for content. And we kinda need one more team meeting to get actual feedback which was supposed to be live feedback, but that kinda got derailed. Long story. It’s just tough to navigate all the personalities. 🤷‍♀️

What else? I’ve been lacking specificity lately so here’s a very fucking specific list of other things I’m procrastinating:

  1. Dropping off or mailing my thesis. 📬
  2. Sending invites/announcements for Z’s graduation. 📩🎉
  3. Finishing getting my garden in.🌸🌱🌺
  4. Keeping in touch with people. 📞💗
  5. Getting the official paperwork done for the kids’ trusts. Nest accounts, and getting my direct deposit redirected to our new joint account. 📃🖊💰
  6. Follow up on the UNL stuff for Z. ✅✅✅
  7. Cleaning the toilets. 🚽 🧽
  8. Following up on my writing/submissions/rejections.📃❌👎🏻 And updating my own personal website.
  9. Opening and Filing my snail mail. 🐌 📭
  10. Fixing my poor eating behaviors. 😂😂🤣

Well friends. If you’re still reading, I’ll be sending you an official certificate verifying your sainthood. By the way, sending that out will be #34 on my actual list so don’t hold your breath. 😉

That’s my hour. Feels good to get a whole hour!

Peace and love,
~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

2020-04-14 A Few Words Can Make All the Difference

It’s amazing how one conversation can make all the difference. The impact a few words can have in changing your mood, your perspective, and your direction is incredible.

Yesterday did not go as planned (surprise, surprise), yet one conversation I had with a friend of mine, Miss Michelle, was all it took for me to feel better about some of the things I’m putting my time and effort in.

I want to shine a light on this idea. I mean, in the context of what I was dealing with, which was struggling to find my own purpose and meaning and value with regard to the starting of a new online literary magazine, her words did wonders. It has to do with support and encouragement and solidarity. She had such great input and it was clear, that we understood each other.

I definitely have a vision for what I want this platform for words to be. I want it to be inclusive and revealing. I want it to be compelling and provocative, but probably, above all, I want it to spark those conversations that make all the difference in a persons life. I want people to be moved at having their words find a home and I want the readers to be moved when reading them. Connecting writers and readers to elevate everyone who actively participates.

I want to be Moved to laugh, and cry, and have that voice inside that says “YES!!!” after reading. As I’ve discovered in my own study of poetry, the mark of a good poem is one that lingers in the mind of the reader and urges them to return to it to read again and again.

I don’t know yet how to articulate this in a succinct way, but in a few short weeks (and with that conversation yesterday), it’s clear that I don’t have to and I’m not alone. The others who are with me in this are just as passionate and have a lot to contribute. I’m seeing it developing before my eyes and I’m excited about that. It’s really going to happen!

The conversation I had last night inspired me to get back into Submittable and keep doing research. Both for ideas for the lit mag and also for homes for my own words.

It’s actually a time consuming process. I’m not in the habit of trolleying around the internet looking at online publications but that’s kind of the prerequisite for finding places to submit. There’s a lot of niche publications out there and the writing I find in a lot of places doesn’t mesh with the kinds of poems I’m currently writing.

I did end up finding a great website / publication that I think is a good fit and so I spent some time thinking about the poems I’d send and reading all over their site. One of the things that struck me besides the excellent writing was the beautiful format and well thought out supporting content. I was like “this is next level”. And I want our website to kick ass like that!

Anyway, I put together a cover letter with my bio and did the submit thing. Six more of my babies sent out into the Wild world. Can they make it? Can they survive? Will they thrive? We’ll see.

Today I’m re-energized. It’s exciting and even if I get rejection. I’m doing it!! I’d estimate it takes about 1-2 hours to do a thorough job when submitting. I’d like to up my goal to like 2 or 3 submissions per week. If I’m truly supposed to reduce my work hours, that should not be a problem.

Funny how my boss tells me to limit my hours to 15 a week and then my PM keeps me on the phone for like 5 hours yesterday. It’s the first day of the week and I’ve already used up a third of my hours. 🤷‍♀️

There is so much out of control In the world, a girl can only do the best she can. And if that means letting go of some things, I need to find peace in that. Perhaps letting go is not the right phrase. Perhaps it is the finding peace that’s the important part to focus on.

With that, it’s time for me to find whatever peace (and balance) this day has hiding in the hours to come.

With Much Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

I

2020-04-13 Accepting a New Way

For the first time ever I got a sleep score above 90. According to my FitBit the score for my sleep last night was 91 which equates to excellent. Wowza!

Last night I didn’t have much to think about in the way of what “has” to get done this week. My work hours have been reduced AND my thesis is essentially done and handed off to other folks for review. I’ve also been given the option to wait for the next in-person residency which is in December (instead of remotely in July) so that greatly reduces the stress of getting my lecture put together. If I put something together soon-ish, I can have my mentor help on it, which would be the only reason to want to do it before May gets here. Otherwise, I can just coast, you know, and put my focus elsewhere for now.

Today it’s back to work for Jim and the kids will not be home until this evening. So I have all day to work on anything I want. I told Jim at breakfast that it’s gonna be party time today. Just the cats and I free-wheeling. Of course I’ll get my steps and do the laundry and dishes but beyond that, all bets are off.

I might even hunt through some resources looking for lit mags to submit to. I had big goals in this area defined a few months back and all that just fell flat as work and school and Covid took over. Now, as I said yesterday, I have no excuses.

I’ve also made slow and steady progress with regard to the lit-mag Start-Up. With each conversation more needs to be done and if we’re gonna publish the site by May1st, those things need to get done sooner rather than later. What I’d like to do is put together a list of questions to survey folks for their opinions.

On one hand I’m in control of what content is there at the start and on the other hand, I want people to feel like their opinion matters and I don’t just want to be the “one” to decide things. If it were me doing this on my own, I’d certainly include more of my own weird ideas, but this is supposed to be collaborative. I also have a little friction with the person whose supposed to be my partner I’m this. He’s all talk, you know, and wants to be the top-cheese.

Our styles are very different and I’m like “well we need to have a mission statement because it’s in the membership form for CLMP and will be displayed on their site” and he’s all like “this is something we don’t need right away and it will evolve organically over time”.

I’m all for it developing organically over time, which it will. But to start a website you have to say something about what you are trying to do. Your about page has to say what you are about and if you want people to submit, you have to have a page that has specific guidelines and, ummmmm, a platform for them to submit.

I think this we’ll be the week for me to get those ducks in a row. I hope. I’m probably overthinking it cuz that’s my Way.

If this whole thing goes off the rails, I’m thinking I’ll just start my own thing. In some ways, that’s a comforting thought. I guess my angst comes from wanting to be at the forefront of the effort and at the same time having no clue what I’m doing. We want to appear legit, but it all just feels nebulous.

That’s enough of that. I think it will all work out and I just need to go with the flow. Do what I can and at the end of the day focus on me and what I need. Sounds selfish, but I have to stop worrying over stuff that out of my control.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from Covid, it’s that Mother Nature IS a force to be reckoned with and none of us have as much control as we’d like. It’s perhaps a little nudge toward a life where a person learns to just exist and be ok with whatever happens. And be grateful for what they have instead of always wanting more. You know?

Anyway, it’s time to get on with the day.
Thanks for reading.
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-09 Naturally Nervous

It doesn’t matter if I’ve known you my whole life or if we’ve just met. I’ll be nervous thinking about getting together. I’ll spend too much time thinking about it, worrying, wondering how it will go. It doesn’t matter if I’ve conducted a hundred meetings, each next one is a challenge. I’m naturally nervous.

We had our first team meeting last night for the online lit mag we’re starting up. The night before I was fussing about it big-time and I’m sure that was evident when I spoke to my “co-founder”. His style is very go with the flow and I tend to be very exacting. Gawd I wish I could be more go with the flow. He said “I lost my nervous gene years ago”.

In my head, I’m like, hmmmm, I thought a person was stuck with the genes they inherited from their parents (which makes his comment a poor metaphor), but that’s exactly it! I get stuck on logistics and specifics. And I want to present things in and organized and polished fashion, because I want to establish legitimacy and trust.

If you can show people you know what you’re talking about then they will begin to trust in you and once people believe in it, they can get behind it and believe in it too. I guess my approach sometimes comes across as controlling. In my line of work, people love it. They want order and control, so my nervous, perfectionist tendencies are valued.

I’m still figuring out how that translates to a group of super smart creative people who want to be a part of our little lit mag party. I’m sure Ed is already annoyed with me.

Anyway, the meeting went great, I thought, and everyone was engaged and enthusiastic. Afterwards I was so relieved! Today, at this moment I have less angst about the one on Friday but give it a day, you know, I have no doubt that anxiety will climb again.

Today I have other fish to fry anyway. The clock is ticking and my entire thesis is due soon. I’m turning a blind eye to the pandemic and marching forward as as if nothing has changed (so much has changed). I have had some serious misgivings about my writing lately and the negativity piling up around my these was not helping.

I broke down yesterday and reached out to my mentor about it. He responded right away with an email that left me in tears (tears of happy relief) and followed that up with a phone call to reinforce what his email said. Then we talked through some of his recent feedback and he helped with edits while on two poems. It was a good conversation. I’m glad I reached out and I’m glad he was receptive.

I’m a tough cookie sometimes, but still super soft in the middle. 😉

I’ve now got the motivation now to dive back in and keep on it. I have to use that feeling while it’s hot.

I also used the spark from yesterday’s conversation to finally submit to the Universities Annual poetry contest. It’s a nationwide contest that starts at the MFA level (I think) with universities across the country choosing one winner and runner up to represent their school. So I sent off 3 poems and now my fingers are crossed.

What else? It’s almost Friday and Jim is off tomorrow so he has a three day weekend. I still have lots of work today and tomorrow and the sooner I start, The quicker I can get to more important stuff! 😉

That’s it for today, ya’ll time for this nervous Nellie to get to work.

With Goodwill,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-04 Much Needed Relief

Somehow yesterday, even as I was lamenting the shit show my week had been, I knew that relief was on the way. I’m not sure if I had this notion because I knew it was Friday AND my period just had to start or if it was just that after several days of rotten strung together like bad sausage, there was bound to be a good one. You know, balance and all that.

Right now, today, it doesn’t matter. It’s Saturday and I’m in my happy place again. The house is still sleeping and I’m getting some steps in.

But I don’t want to dismiss yesterday so quickly, you know, give credit where credit is due. Yes, I finally had day 1 of my cycle and it was like a huge hormone shift. Whether it was the stress of waiting that was lifted or an actual chemical re-balance, I felt the actual shift in my body and mind.

I also had a friend reach out to check in on me randomly. It’s a person who I see maybe once a quarter for a lunch and they just opened a conversation with “hi”. We ended up doing a video chat and it was nice to see a friendly face. He had some good advice about happiness too which was something I know in my heart to be true, but had forgotten while mired in my own self-pitying mood.

It was about paying it forward and remembering that Even if I can’t help millions of people who are suffering, I can help a few and I just need to focus on them. Do one thing to brighten someone else’s day or volunteer in some way and it will make me feel better. It is with that spirit that I say “Thanks Vis, it was great to see you! I appreciate you and your words and kindness”

If you’re following along you might know that Alexa has nothing but bad news these days (unless you ask her for good news), but yesterday there was an encouraging story about how CO2 emissions of the planet are lower now than they have been in a long time. And while we know this will likely be short-lived, scientists are gathering data. It’s evidence that we need to make changes for alternate energy sources (which we already knew) but some people refuse to believe. We can make changes that make a difference for the environment. We can!! It’s hopeful.

Yes, the global economy is in the toilet, but once this pandemic is over we will have gathered enough proof to perhaps convince those nay-sayers to support change. It could be a pipe dream you know. I know that. The almighty dollar is loud and will climb back on its throne again when this is all over. The people who stand for that will still publicly refuse to back alternate energy (and other planet saving efforts). But a girl can dream you know.

Anyway, it was good news yesterday instead of bad. That was a sign.

By yesterday afternoon, I was wrapping up my work week and can now see the rebalance happening there too. I’m shifting into a supporting role. Finally. Next week there are lots of discussions I’m in but I don’t have to facilitate. I just have to bring my brain and my note taking and documentation abilities.

For school, my thesis is finally in good shape. The preface is done and feedback on part of the manuscript is still pending but somehow I feel better about that too. I should get that this weekend and be able to make changes for the April 12 deadline for my 4th and final packet of the semester. Which is also my final packet In the program. Yeah, that’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see it. I can feel the light of it warm my skin.

And spring is right around the corner too. The early daffodils are up and the iris are all busting through the earth. The flowers don’t care about a pandemic. They will not be denied their day in the sun!

What else? Oh the lit-mag saga. I had my undies in a bunch about several frustrating occurrences this week and last night I think I came to some internal resolution on how to handle the situation. The conversation that needs to happen with my “co-founder” is scheduled for Tuesday and I just need to pump myself up to say what I need to say. I admit some of my angst is self imposed. I get paranoid and irritated and there’s a part of that which comes from my own insecurities. I realize that.

Some of it, however, is real and those are the things I need to address. It’s a roles and responsibilities thing. It’s a funny money thing, but with titles. That’s all I’m gonna say until next Tuesday when I hope it all gets sorted and finalized.

Again, I recognize that part of my resolution and relief comes from internal factors. I’ve found a kind of peace with myself on several fronts and that’s key. Now I’m not saying it won’t turn on a dime and grow fangs again, because that’s human nature. But whatever good feeling I’m having, I will take it today.

and with that, my hour is up. I’ve got to get this Saturday party started. Lots to do and it feels good to be feeling good about it!

Cheers to the a Weekend,

~Miss SugarCookie