2021-04-01 Hello April! 🌷

Thank goodness that’s over! March… what an asshole!! 

And thank the Universe that the month didn’t go out like a lion and that our furry friend, Punxsutawney Phil, is wrong more than he is right. It IS Nebraska and there’s still a chance that Mother Nature will show some wrath, but my intuition doubts it. I think Spring has sprung and it will be smooth sailing right to those 90 degree days of Summer. 😏

I’m doing pretty good with regards to balance this week now that my sister is here and I have to savor the time as she will not be here for long. It will be interesting to see how my mom does after that. I’m certainly not going to drive to CB just to let her dog out to pee. Not when she has other options. 

I’m also not doing to clean her house or fix her meals. I have my own household to take care of and she should be to the point she’s capable of making her own food. This sounds cold, but sitting on the couch all day and napping and being waited on, hand and foot, is not going to speed her recovery. 

Enough of that! I don’t want to think or write about my mom anymore. Ugh!! 

How bout this… it’s April! National Poetry Month! Time to write a poem a day? Yes please!! It’s also time for me to get my booty in gear to put together that workshop that I’ll be facilitating on May 1st. I’ve got one short month to cobble together a hybrid craft / generative session on the topic of poem openings. 

Oh.. and did I mention that the third issue of my lit mag was supposed to be released yesterday but we’re behind schedule by about a week? 

Oh and did I mention that the “materials” for my forthcoming book are due in two short weeks and I really need to get my act together on that? Ugh!!!

Maybe I’m not doing as great as I thought with regards to balance. Either that or the inclination to procrastinate is rearing its ugly head. Typical! 

So March was kind of a Jerk. Let’s hope April is a kinder soul. 

Cheers to Beginning Again, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-23 Radom Rant Tuesday 😒

What’s that saying again?..  If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. 

Yeah. That. 

In my own head I’m bitchy and constantly venting about all irritations, big and small. It’s everything and everyone and I’m not sure what I have to do to get myself out of this mood. Make no mistake, I get that nobody is going to be able to do it but me. I’m responsible, I know, but I’m just not sure what to do.

The problem is that I’m just on the edge and everything is setting me off. Not just other people, but also me, myself, and I. 

Yesterday morning I stepped on the scale and when I saw the number I pointed down at the display and called the scale an asshole. It’s probably the drinking. And eating too of course. I think I’m self medicating with food and alcohol. 

Every morning I resolve to make today different and better, but as the day rolls along all I can think about is what I want to eat for lunch and dinner and how good that glass of wine or vodka lemonade will be. Whatever.

Unfortunately the very nature of this blog being a stream of consciousness, what often comes out is all that negativity. Like the fact that my mom, who never did much for me in my life can’t even say “good morning” or even just “hi” before she reminds me she needs shoes and asks what time I’m going to be at the hospital. 

Her insistence and persistence and lack of gratitude or tact is really starting to get to me. I think about what it would be like if the situation were reversed and know that I would be extremely grateful for any one helping even to the smallest degree. And she has said “thank you” a few times but the lion’s share of the words coming out of her mouth are just so demanding.

Yesterday she was so put off by the fact that they did not bring her lemon for her iced tea on her lunch tray. And that’s all she could think about or talk about for 45 minutes. 

She’s driving me nuts. There I said it. Now can I just move on? 

No. Probably not. I mean.. it’s only going to get worse when she goes home and then we’re up against 6+ months of chemo and more surgery.

Yesterday I didn’t make it to my treadmill and didn’t get my steps and that makes me grumpy too. I’m taking trazodone to help me sleep and can’t seem to get the dose right. It’s either not enough and I still wake up and can’t sleep or it’s too much and I feel super groggy and don’t want to face the day. 

Today I felt groggy. And it’s super overcast and pouring rain so it’s really dark. When I got home from being mom taxi, I just wanted to go back to bed. But i knew if I did that, I wouldn’t have enough time to do all the tasks I didn’t get done yesterday like grocery shopping and dishes and laundry. 

Today I have the added task of putting together my reading for tonight and practicing at least once to make sure I hit the mark for the time limit. It’s a thing I want to do.. reading in public because I need the practice.. but my heart is just not in it. I have some new-ish poems that need more work before they will be ready to share or submit for publication and I have just had no desire to work on revision lately.

So the reading tonight is mostly (all) of what I’ve read before during my MFA program. And also mostly poems that have either been published or will be in my forthcoming book. Perhaps that seems like a good approach since I have confidence in those already. 

Mom indicated she was interested in tuning into the reading. We’ll see. I’ve got the link now and can share with anyone interested in hearing from 6 people giving readings. I’m last on the list. That makes me the “headliner” right??!! 🤣

In other poetry news.. I received the timeline for my book and that process apparently takes a long time. It won’t be ready for pre-sale/pre-release until November. I guess that will give me plenty of time to get my act together for self-promotion. Hell… I still need to get them a clean copy with all the extra stuff they need for production. Like pictures, bios, blurbs, inside and outside art. I should be all over that stuff but my heart’s not in that either.

See, there must be something wrong with me. Good grief. 

All I’m really looking forward to today is eating. I’m thinking about food all the time. Well.. and watching mindless TV sounds kind of appealing too. I kind of want to veg out on the couch with a pizza and watch the bachelorette. But I can’t. I’ve got work to do. 

And I’ve got to get started on all that right about now. 

I Don’t Want to Do Today, 😒

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-02 In Like a Lamb?!… 🐑🔜🦁

March.. I think the saying is supposed to be “In like a lion and out like a lamb.” 

***

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the weather folklore stems from ancestral beliefs in balance, meaning if the weather at the start of the month was bad (like a roaring lion), the month should end with good weather (gentle, like a lamb).

***

But what happens when March marches onto the scene like a gentle lamb? It’s Nebraska round here people and let me just tell you, when there’s not a lot going on (and there is often not) we get giddy talking about the weather. The buzz around town right now is about the potential for the temperature to break into the 60s and I’m just as excited as the next person. The 10 day extended forecast looks balls-out amazing and it fills me with joy thinking about the opportunities to get outside. 

But Again I ask, what happens after that? If the old farmers almanac saying is about balance, does that mean we’re in for trouble toward the end of the month? And should we forget so quickly that our beloved (and sometimes hated) furry friend Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2nd securing the prediction of six more weeks of winter? 

Incidentally when I decided to get married on February 2nd. And mark my words… I am the one who decided and didn’t entertain much discussion about it. When I came up with that date, the fact that it was Groundhog Day (or the Super Bowl) didn’t even enter my mind. Now it’s a pretty good joke. I’m still happy with my decision even if that means I have to share my special day with a woodchuck with an over-inflated ego. I digress.

The change in the weather has the distinct ability to change people’s moods. I know I’m not alone in this. The drone of life through winter in the Midwest is long and boring. Endless strings of cold and overcast days can cause even the most positive and energetic human to feel as though hibernation is a good option. Though this might be good for Netflix and Hulu and Sling (Disney Plus, Apple TV, and Amazon.. good grief!).. it is NOT good for the human psyche and soul. 

The bright sunshine and it’s warmth are essential for fulfillment. I mean, obvi a person can survive without it, but it becomes tough to get to a place of positive energy and enlightenment. Seasonal depression is a real thing and there’s a reason Seattle, as hip as it is, is also kind of a depressing. 

I’ve visited Seattle twice and both times felt very “meh” about the town. And that’s after going to some really cool places! It just feels so monotone. Perhaps I was just there on grey days, but I think they have a lot of those.

***

I’m looking forward to today despite another 4:30am wake up. I said to Jim at the breakfast table this morning, “i don’t know what’s different between yesterday and today, but today just feels like it’s going to be good.” Can it really be the weather? 

As of right now everyone else is either at school or work and I have the house to myself. I’m finally catching up with myself in regards to the to-do list and don’t feel too pressed about deadlines. I received more feedback late yesterday from the publisher who will be publishing my debut chapbook. It wasn’t from my assigned editor so I think I must have submitted with the option to request feedback. 

Strange to get feedback after they’ve already accepted it. It was written as if the person wasn’t aware it had been accepted. Maybe this is just a larger publishing company and my manuscript is just being pushed around different channels based on how I submitted it. Who knows what happens behind the scenes?? 🤷‍♀️

I now also have the official contract in my hot little inbox just waiting for me to have the time to really read it thoroughly. I would like to give myself an hour where I will be completely free of distraction. Today would probably be the perfect day for that. It will also help me keep the positive mood going as thinking about this book is starting to really sink in and I’m over my anxiety and getting excited about it.

I still haven’t told too many folks about it. A handful really but I think after the contract goes through and it’s “official” I’ll begin being more public about it. Not that the money matters beans to me but the presale numbers dictate the percentage I’ll collect on the deal. I mean to say, money matters, but I never expected to make anything from “selling” poems or books. 

Thus far in my poetry career I’ve collected exactly $110 and that’s a fraction of what I’ve spent on submissions. If this poetry game we’re offered at a casino, the odds are so bad nobody would play. 😜

When I quit my job I had a few friends comment “now I could give my life to poetry.” How true.

I’m giving poetry my time, money, and effort (measured in brain cycles). Not to mention my heart and soul through the words on the page. When I said “take all of me poetry” it seems as though poetry was listening and decided to take me up on the offer. 

Ok. That’s enough of that. One more comment and then I have to git. 

I’m working with a new set of metrics this week to measure how I’m doing with certain health goals. Sunday I busted my ass to get 30 minutes of cardio in on the bike and apparently my heart rate never reached the “cardio” threshold. I clocked a ton of time in the “fat burn” zone according to FitBit. What the hell??!! Thanks FitBit. 

So now I’m spending cycles figuring out what activities get me into that cardio zone (above 121 bpm). Yesterday it was walking really fast on the treadmill, which is slightly less like hell than jogging. I think Jazzercise would do it, but I’m not doing that yet. I’ve thought about classes at the gym. That would essentially be something I could do without shelling out loads of cash because classes are free with my membership, 

Anyhow. We’ll see how this week goes. 

Cheers to the anti-taco Tuesday,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-20 Why I’m Doubling Down Today

Yesterday, just as I was developing the inspiration to write about all the sexcapaids I’ve had in my life, life interjected and shut that down. 

Here’s how the conversation went (paraphrasing of course)…

Life:  “Here.. read this and get angry” (hands me an email).

Me: 😬😬😬 (deep breath). “No! Not today life. I’m not letting this shit get to me today. I’ve got other plans.” 

Life: “Ok then. Let’s just see about that.” 

Me: “I’m gonna write a poem instead.” 

Life: “Haha. That’s funny.” 

Me: “Whatever. Give me my trigger.” 

Life: (snickers) “Sure thing boss. Today’s topic is sex. Ha!!” 

(Life knows I’d rather poke my own eyes out than write a poem about sex.)

Me: “Challenge accepted!” I start to write about the sex poem but didn’t get very far before Life looked down at his wrist and tapped his watch. 

Life: “Times up. You’ve got to go.” 

Me: “Fuck. I was just getting started. No matter, I’ll finish later.” 

Life: “Fat chance.” 

Me: “Shut up. It’s Friday and I have all damn day.” 

Life: “That’s what you think.” 

Me: “Whatever Life. Go suck it.” 

Then I hurried out the door and drove to CB to visit my dad. Stopped at Little King to pick us up some sandwiches. While at my dad’s, we sat at the kitchen table, ate, and I listened to a few new stories. Turns out, by random chance my dad enrolled in college one week before receiving his draft notice, narrowly escaping being thrown into the war. His life could have gone very differently and if it had, I would not be here writing this. I digress. 

After that visit, I hurried home continuing to think on the topic of the day. At red lights I would open my phone and read where I left off and tried to think of what would be next. I had soooooo many thoughts. So many directions I could take the topic. But then the light would turn green and I had to go again. 

Arriving home it was immediately time to leave again. This time to take my darling daughter to get her second moderna shot. She missed her appointment in Iowa on Saturday because she was sick and so the only opportunity was this “open clinic” set up at a church here in Omaha for people needing the second shot. Open meaning no appointments. Open meaning a line of hundreds of people through the church, out the door, and down the block. And a cluster of parking a situation. 

She begged me to wait with her and of course I did. Did I mention this line was outside??!! Did I mention I hadn’t changed from my morning walk or that I wasn’t wearing a coat?! Did I mention it was only 20 degrees outside??! I must really love my daughter to freeze my ass off for 1.5 hours outside and 1 hour inside that church waiting with her. 

Every time she took her phone out to look at something I thought maybe I could write standing in line. I took my phone out of my pocket and then she’d look at me and ask “what are you doing? Talk to me.” Ok, fine. 

Three grueling and freezing hours later, we were done and headed to pick up my son. Arriving home (after securing some drive through dinner for them) I was frustrated and just wanted to sink into the couch. But not without some food and drink of my own. 

Enter stage left, R-Taco and homemade margs. One margarita, two margaritas, three and done. 

Somewhere in there I had the wherewithal to post all I had written in the morning… which was not much. 

As I pushed the “publish” button I heard a maniacal laugh and looked over my shoulder at Life. 

Life: “Told you so.”

Me: “Fine. You win….Today. But I’m doubling down on tomorrow.”

Life: (With a big smile) “Perfect!”

***

Doubling down for real! Life will NOT best me two days in a row. Nope!!

Today is the second day in a row I’ve spent time inside a church. Today I went to Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Cuz…. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again. I’m talking about donating blood.

Today’s donation was a success as my hemoglobin came through at 13.0 (second finger stick as the first was 12.3 .. booo). I haven’t donated for over a year and it feels good to be able to do it again. Next one will be in April. Guess what else is in April? My next vacation.

I’m in charge of planning this time and it’s gonna be amazing. Don’t know where yet but that don’t matter. Wherever we go will be famous!!

Where was I going with this again? 

Oh yeah, doubling down on the day. It’s now past 5pm and I don’t even have a topic and I’ve wasted all my time writing about what happened yesterday. 

I went to a virtual workshop this morning which was all about sonnets and at the point where we had to free write is where I got stuck. None of the starters that were offered triggered anything in my brain and I ended up writing a few lines about Princess Diana and a quote of hers I heard once about chasing chicken around a plate. 

So rando, I know, but that’s how the brain works sometimes. Alas I could not produce any good lines from that, let alone an entire Sonnet so I’m still at square zero. 

Still. The day isn’t over yet. 

Life: (Tapping his watch again) “Clock is ticking.” 

That guy is really starting to get on my nerves. 

Later gaters, 🐊

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-17 Having an Out-of-Body Without Ever Leaving My Body

It’s another random ordinary Wednesday and there’s once again not a single noteworthy thing I have to contribute. Not a thought in my head worthy of writing about for the gazilllionth time. 

Late yesterday I ingested some citrus ginseng fizz I bought from a newish acquaintance of mine whose business is selling these Earth friendly health products. I’ve spent a fair bit of coin on protein powder, energy boosters, body washes and hair gels from her and this company. It’s part of my plan to try and live a healthier lifestyle and also be a better caretaker of our planet.

No matter, as that’s not relevant to my point. But this citrus ginseng powder which I mixed into water and drank about 6pm has caffeine. I think that’s what resulted in me being wide awake at 10pm.

At 10 Pm I was laying in my bed unable to fall asleep and thinking about all sorts of things including how much of a broken record I always am with my writing. I mean really thinking. 

Like I’m watching the needle on the track as it spins, a little swing arm with a tiny bit of metal digging into a groove on a piece of rotating black plastic. I zoomed in and saw the smallest wavering as the rectangular head holding the needle was moved by the imperfections of the spinning vinyl.

Round and round with each rotation ending in a small, almost imperceptible click and jump, back to the beginning of that same track. I zoomed in a little more to confirm what I was seeing. Sure enough, there it was, over and over. Click……..click…….click. How had I missed this before? Why did I think that the song had been changing? After all this time, it’s still the same song. I remember thinking it’s a good song but how can this be?

I thought about how to get to a new song. I mean, really get unstuck and find a new track, and that only led to a terrible scratching sound like fingernails across a chalkboard. Cliche I know! But that’s exactly the feeling. That sound and shiver you might do anything to avoid if you knew it was about to happen. All of a sudden I’m staring at a girl with pointy polished nails positioning her fingers precariously at the top of the blackboard. I say,“DONT.”

Turning my attention back to the record player, I balanced the swing arm on the tip of my index finger, not allowing it to move a centimeter in any direction, record spinning benieth it. I held it in place as I held my breath waiting for whatever was going to happen next.

This moment was one infantesimal moment in the grand orchestra of time. 

In a way I felt paralyzed by the math of it. For every possible move, an incalculable number of outcomes: actions, reactions, and ripples of consequence. In the biz we call this paralysis from over analysis which is something I’ve often been afflicted by.

An unseen amount of time passed as I sat there, hovering above the earth somewhere inexplicable. Where could I possibly be that neither the moon nor the sun were in view? The earth, a powder blue orb, was in front of me and a field of stars far behind. Defying the lack of gravity, my finger still balanced the swing arm of the record player. I would have asked (of no one) “how on Earth is this happening?” But I wasn’t on Earth anymore so the question seemed entirely irrelevant.

Is this a joke? I thought. Some sort of a test? Some survivor challenge I forgot I entered? Some random episode of Punkd? My finger began to cramp and suddenly the weight of the swing arm became a concern. How long could I hold this position? I’d have to decide what to do soon.

As the muscles in my forearm began to tense and quiver I conjured a conductor. This moment, as small as it was in the grand scheme, was too big for me to navigate on my own. An invisible index finger slipped under my index finger, helping me hold the needle in place and I immediately felt relief.

The song that had never stopped playing returned to my ear. I didn’t move but the scene surrounding me was transformed back to the familiar room I sleep in. I stared at the record player, my finger miraculously still balancing the arm that held the needle that dug its pin point into that familiar groove. I slowly pulled my aching finger away, curled it back into my palm with my other fingers, and pressed my thumb around it. The song never missed a beat. 

***

This was all very strange, considering that I don’t even own a record player.

With peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-11 A Quick Trip on the Memory Train

I’m walking. I’m walking. I’ve got nothing today. A full set list of stuff to get done today while I’m stranded at home. Jeep won’t start again and is parked at Jim’s office. He took my car to work today. 

It’s ok because it’s the first day of my period (cuz I know you wanted to know that 😜) and typically the heaviest day and the cramping-est day and probably would veto running errands around town anyhow. Been there done that anyway so…. meh. 

It just means I have all day to get stuff done around the house. Does that mean I will? Prolly not. 🤷‍♀️

I told you I had nothing to say today. Why you still reading? 

Guess it’s time to check my email and see what’s going on in Paris this morning…

It just happens to be a ride on a train. Fascinating. 

***

What I can say is that from down here, among the abandoned strappy black heels and patent leather pumps, I’ll never know for certain who triumphed over whom, which depends strictly on the definition of the word triumph. 

At times, for her own amusement, the Universe leads our memories astray but the outcome remains the same. Regardless of city streets riddled with contradictions, the street sign replaced a hundred times still runs parallel to the horizon, where the sun continues to rise in snowflake fashion every single day. 

I might have been sitting across from an Afgani woman on the Eurostar that one time too. Based on the year it might have been the same woman. But the advice I had been given was to not make eye contact so I’ll never know for certain. 

I just stared down at my shoes, thinking about how my stupid American wardrobe made me stick out like a sore thumb and and a target for all those shifty pick-pockets loitering near the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and Notre Damme. I couldn’t have heard your conversation over the voices arguing about pairing a red trench coat with black leggings anyhow. I’d made so many mistakes.

Just then they rolled a cart of sweet treats by our train cabin and I was further distracted by chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, which hadn’t been invented yet. That was the moment the thread of the story fell to the ground and I went down on my hands and knees to hunt for it. 

***

I would say this would make more sense if a person read the triggering poem:

A Celebration

by Iman Mersal

Paris Review Issue no. 197 (Summer 2011)

But I doubt it.. as it doesn’t even help me decipher the message. And I’m the one who wrote it. Near as I can tell is that it’s an alternate take on the same subject as is in my poem, Left Brain Poet, with the references to memory and the flaws of our fragile human brains.

The actual details of my ride on the Eurostar are sadly long gone. The only solid memory is how incredibly different the French countryside appeared as we emerged from the Chunnel. Like I’d traveled through a portal of space AND time and ended up on a different planet. It was bright and beautiful and green which was so different than the dark, dreary greys and blues of London. 

I suppose the bit about the clothing is accurate too, though not a memory from the train. It actually pestered me enough for several days early on that trip that I spent half a day shopping on Oxford street. By the time my day-trip to Paris arrived, my “American-ness” was thoroughly camouflaged (as long as I didn’t open my mouth). 

Still hard to believe I went to England, Ireland, and Paris for two weeks all by myself in 2010. It was shortly after my divorce was final and I think I wanted to prove to everyone that I was finally free and could do whatever the fuck I wanted. That included visiting Stonehenge AND getting robbed in Dublin. Dublin.. don’t get me started on how much I hated Dublin. I mean, by then I was over traveling alone and let’s be real, once you see Paris and London, Dublin is a Dump.

I said don’t get me started didn’t I? Why are you still reading??!! 

In any case, my grand memories of that trip become even more grand as time passes and the truth of it all may be becoming mired by so many retellings. 

Maybe that’s the point and has nothing at all to do with what this morning’s poem from the Paris Review was all about. 🤷‍♀️ Such is the Way. In any case, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have lived those moments and to reminisce about them now. Thanks for reading.

With Much Love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-08 Why Was I Looking Forward to Monday?

It’s Monday and I’ve got my plans. I’ve got every single day of my week loaded up with to-do items. As this day begins, I’m evaluating all of it and (as I start adding more that’s already beaming like neon sign with priority) I think to myself how much of a miracle it will be to get it all done. 

No matter. What gets done and what the real priorities are will work themselves out. 

I’m kind of uninspired this morning. Or perhaps my thoughts are too scattered to pick any one thing to write about. My attention is divided. Then divided again and before I know it, the math has resulted in such small digits, there’s no one thing that emerges as large enough to amount to anything. 

I check the weather. -2 here in Omaha

I check email. Nothing new in the last 10 minutes. And I think briefly about the weekly Red Cross email begging for my O positive. I think briefly about that almost daily CVS email ad. I think briefly about 14,337 “unread” emails in my inboxes and how I should do something about that (but know I wont).

I check my FitBit. Only 7.2k steps so far. Damn. 

I check my text messages. I think more about the latest thread with my friend M, reread my response, and worry about my choice of words. 

Then I think about the calendar date. February 8. Now that it’s no longer my ex-husbands birthday, the door is open again to communicate about our son who is failing English. Just yesterday he basically ignored the consequence of losing his computer privileges because of the grade. He snuck his PC (yes, the whole tower, and all peripherals including the monitor) into his sisters car. His plan was obviously to take it to his dads house and the plan was thwarted by his sister who saw it, called me, and ratted him out. Needless to say he went to his dads without it. 

I need to communicate with his teachers, IEP person, and his father. None of which was originally on my agenda today. But it’s the priority now. 

See, I just needed to write to figure that out. 

Despite the short post today, I have actually been walking for an hour. That’s a testament to how much thinking and not writing I’ve been doing. 

In any case. There’s no rest for the wicked and I need to get on with my day. 

Not the Monday I was Looking For, 
~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-05 This One Time at Band Camp…

JK.. I never went to band camp. 

I did go to cheer camp like 4 times though. Sadly there are zero juicy stories from that. All I have to show for my four years of cheerleading in high school are a bunch of pictures of all my bad hair days, nightmares about perpetually being excluded by the other girls, and a couple of trophies for being the “most improved.” 

In a world where popularity and good looks were everything, getting the “good effort” award was like a serious gut punch. I did work my ass off to be a good cheerleader however and I suppose in the long run learning how to work hard to achieve something has served me better than any fragile friendships or being noticed for my looks. Though, damn, those would have been nice. 

These days, getting acknowledgement for my efforts from people I respect is so affirming. A few days ago we had a team meeting for the lit mag and one of our teammates threw some compliments my way and suggested introducing me to The Local Girls Gang which is a group of bad-ass women bosses and entrepreneurs. I was soooo flattered. Kind of speechless. One of my other team members spoke up and piled on. My oh my. 

Sometimes I’m just so unsure how I’m doing and what people’s perceptions are. And often I don’t know how to react to compliments. Some people deflect compliments or minimize them thereby coming across as very modest. The approach I typically take when I’m overwhelmed or dont know what else to say is just to respond with “thank you.” But I honestly don’t remember how I reacted or what I said. 

The zoom meeting was recorded and I’m still waiting on that being sent to the group so I could eventually play it back to find out. 

In other similar news, I recently contacted a professor of mine from a class I took at UNO in 2019 with a request to help spread the word about the lit mag and among the kind words he sent me in response was a comment about me being such a “hard charging dynamo.” Again I’m filled with pride. Sometimes it pays off to be the “most improved.” 

It reminds me that it’s ok to not know how to do something or to maybe not have a natural affinity for something and just work hard to be better.. I mean.. nobody knows how to do a thing until they try it. But if you work hard, you can get better and eventually people will notice. 

Statistically speaking, by this time in a blog post 99% of people have stopped reading. And sometimes that is the same amount of time it takes to get to my REAL topic. 

I suppose this might seem like a bad thing. I’ve lost all readers before I get to the point, but in this case (with this particular blog) it actually works to my advantage. I want to write about something I’m unsure of or worried what people might think. Why today’s REAL topic falls into this category is a mystery to me but it does. 

The same night as that team meeting I mentioned (which was incidentally also the day/night I was empty of energy and having concerns about my relationship) I found a message in my inbox just before I went to bed. It was a notification that a chapbook I submitted last year was accepted for publication. 

I’ve had individual poems published online, among a sea of other poets. I’ve had individual poems published in print anthologies with other poets/poems but this is new! This is an entire 30 page chapbook of poetry, just MY poetry that will be published in 2021!! 

Holy efffing shit people. This is such fantastic news I don’t quite even believe it. And I was so wrecked when I read that email that I don’t think i had the mental capacity to process the news. 

It was one of the things that kept me from sleeping that night however and was partially responsible for my getting up at 4am. I read it a few times to make sure I was sure about what it said. I subsequently updated my personal website with the news which isn’t much. I only know the publisher and since it had been a while since I researched them I mined their website again for more info. Publishing full length manuscripts and poetry chapbooks is their main thing. And they gave some recognizable names in their list of authors which makes me feel great. 

I have great respect for Terrance Hayes’s work and he has a book with them. Wowza!! 

So that was Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Now it’s Friday night and I have yet to tell another soul, save this blog. What the hell?? Why is that?? 

Now we’re getting to the REAL REAL topic. All thoughts converge on this question. 

As questions often do, it multiplies before it can be answered sufficiently -or- so it CAN be answered. 

Do I feel I don’t deserve this or that my poetry is not actually good enough? 

Am I just not sure how to react to this “success?”

Or am I worried about the other consequences if the poems being in print? That could be it. The focus/theme of the book is about relationships which is mostly benign however there’s a heavy emphasis in the second half on my new life at “the castle.” 

Besides the two mentors I had in the last two semesters of my MFA program, an friend who helped me edit, and my mom.. no one else has read most of these poems. 

I’ve not shared with workshop peeps, friends, or Jim. Especially not Jim. 

My 3rd semester mentor encouraged me to “give in to the destructiveness of a subject.”  I’m not sure I quite understood his point, until now. 

My moms reaction after reading was to be worried I’m not happy with my new life. I assured her things were fine. Still, I have elected not to share with my husband, who is my biggest fan and always wants me to read my poems to him, especially now the ones being published. 

It could be that I’m worried what he will think. That he will also take to heart the sentiments and that will throw a wrench into our relationship. 

To be fair, three years ago when we met I told him my passion was writing and that I was pursuing an MFA in poetry. His response was frankly that he never wanted me to alter my art or have our relationship cause me to change what I was writing about or how I was writing. I interpret that as “keep writing what is in your heart no matter what.” 

At that time I never dreamed we would get married or that I would be living this life of a doctors wife. I never dreamed that I would be compelled to write so much about my current circumstance. However, I could have predicted that whatever I would write about, it would not be the rainbows and butterflies. That’s just not my style. 

And thank the universe as rainbows and butterflies are not in fashion this century. “Today” poetry is all about free-verse with lots of tension and surprise. This pending chapbook (submitted under the working title “Unsuspecting Cinderella”) is all about tension and surprise and suggests that the house I live is inhabited by a dark force that gets into the heads of anyone living there and changes them (and not in a good way).

I do worry living the charmed life that’s virtually worry free financially will change me (and my children). The poems in no way implicate the owner of the house, but it’s not a large leap to get there. 

There’s actually very little mention of Jim. And maybe there’s something about that which is also concerning. Or maybe I just don’t know how to write a love poem. I have written a love poem about Jim and even took that to the MFA workshop. “Lack of tension” was one persons comment. Another said they didn’t quite believe the speaker and thought the poem was actually about the speaker missing being single. If that’s not proof I can’t write a love poem, then I don’t know what is. Good gravy!! 😜

I digress. Sorry bout that. 

“Girl, Stop Apologizing” 

So yeah, I’ve officially got a book coming out. That’s what’s up!!

Bringing this full circle.. I did work my ass off on those poems, revising relentlessly and arranging and rearranging tirelessly until the order in the book was “perfect” and working diligently to get the individual poems placed (which is key in the process/decision for a publisher in selection, I think). I might not get the extra-most-bestest award, but I certainly feel like I deserve an “A” for effort.

In this case, I’m pleased as punch with the result.

Now I just have to figure out how to navigate telling people. I suppose posting this blog is the first step. Haha! 

Statistically speaking, Friday nights are the lowest traffic time for this blog so it’s perfect!! 😜

Staying Frosty, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-22 Good News in My Inbox is Bad News for the Litter Box

It was a short night for me but the sleep I had was good. Yesterday ended ok and I felt ok about what I was able to accomplish. No surprise though that some unfinished business is stacking up. I’m really going to have to bust my booty today to get it all done. 

Not that anyone needs to know, but the litter box situation has become dire. My cats are starting to give me serious questionable looks. Two of the four of them have followed me here to the gym and are patiently waiting for me to finish. 

I dare say I won’t be walking long.. as it’s 6:40am and I’ll have to shuffle myself into the morning routine about 7, chef and chauffeur hats waiting for me.

I often feel like the jack of all trades here at the castle. A sentiment expressed in the first stanza of a poem I wrote about a year and a half ago. One of the longer castle poems I’ve written. One that I learned (when I checked my email at 5:30am) will be published in an online lit mag in February. Hooray for that.

This one was the fastest turnaround I’ve had on an acceptance yet. Less than a week but they publish an issue a month so I suppose they have to have quick turnaround. Either that or it was a matter of good timing.

In any case, it’s great news and frankly not something I can fall back asleep after reading. Shame on me for checking email at 5:30am. But I was already wide awake so it doesn’t matter. 

It also means I have to spend some time this morning withdrawing those poems (oh yeah, they accepted more than just that one) from other places I’ve submitteed. Sorry kittens, your litter boxes will just have to wait a little longer. 

On that note… I gotta head back upstairs and find my chef hat. 👩‍🍳 

Later gaters, 

~Miss SugarCookie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peas and Carrots (ewwwww, gross), 

~Miss SugarCookie