2020-10-27 My Days are Like the Weather in Nebraska

Being gung-ho one day is no problem. Having big plans and Ideas and goals is easy to do for a day or two but sticking with a plan, day in and day out, is not as easy. This is why taking on bite-sized improvements is important. I can count on my 10 fingers the things I committed to yesterday. And somehow I had energy and was inspired.

I also had all these other non-goal related thoughts about past relationships and memories and poems I wanted to write. A variable fever parade of ideas. Today, however, it’s all gone.

Rewind to last night when I was riding a wave of unusually high evening energy. I was attributing that to a boost in the protein I had to eat during the day. Like one day would make that much difference. But I was still awake at 10:30 which is super rare. Then when I did get to bed I began to have a headache. And a stomach ache. Both persisted through the night and that’s exactly how I woke up.

6:30am with an aching head and nausea. The light sensitivity made me conclude it was probably a migraine. My sleep was so poor the FitBit didn’t even calculate a score. Good grief.

It’s definitely not the way I wanted to start day 2 with all my new goals. And it’s not like I could have slept in to try and extend my night. Nope.

I had to get up and make breakfast and get my son Up too as he forgot to set his alarm clock. I drove him to school and when I got home I had to grab our new little kitten who had a vet appointment for the rest of his shots at 8:30.

I briefly considered canceling that because of my headache but powered through to get it over with. The good news is that Gus-Gus is doing great. He’s 9.4 pounds and very well adjusted for a 5 month old. The women at the clinic just love our little purrrr machine. They clipped his claws and say he did great. When it’s all said and done, I’m glad I went and can check that off my list.

When I got home, I gave myself like an hour to lay on the couch with my eyes closed. The ghost of my migraine still loitering about with Luigi on the right side of my head. But I knew I would feel worse if I lay around too long so I got up and took a caffeine and did the dishes.

Now I’m on the treadmill trying to get my steps. Yesterday I got 17K which is way above goal and also rare. Of the measures agreed upon I did good on 3 out of 4 yesterday. Sleep is the only one I didn’t hit goal on, but as I said yesterday the answer to that is mostly getting to bed at a descent time.

So now that I’m in a more “typical” state of mind, I can think clearly about what bite size goals looks like. Doing “everything” now is not realistic. I can reposition the needle, point at moderation in most cases.

Still, I wish I could get back the energy and all those ideas I had yesterday. I’d like to do some of that creative writing.. something new, anything. The amount of viable writing I have done this year is kind of pathetic, but it’s a pandemic so I can’t be too hard on myself.

I wish I had something more today. I think this is it though. Time to try and be productive. That trash is not going to take itself out. The litter boxes aren’t going to scoop themselves. My life is so exciting. 🙄

Wait a Day and It Will Change (again),
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-26 Goals and Accountability

Making progress is sometimes tough. But what IS progress anyway and who decides what success looks like? Like most things it’s not one size fits all. Each person has to decide for themselves what success means to them. Regardless, there has to be some measure and to measure something there has to be a value associated. Some way to set one instance next to another and say “that’s an improvement”, closer to a goal or farther away.

After talking with my friend Tre yesterday, I’m thinking more about not just my goals but the measurements I use to determine if I’m doing good (or slacking). I used to do accounting of my “stats” on a weekly basis. Comparing my sleep, steps, healthy eating (via weight—as flawed as that is) to what I had recorded in previous weeks, months, and yes, even years.

Then my life changed and I stopped doing that. I’d still look daily at the things recorded in my Fitbit app but wasn’t really paying that much attention or comparing one week to the next with some goal in mind.

Perhaps I felt it was futile or maybe that I had achieved what I wanted and was in a maintenance mode where goals were no longer necessary. Either way.. it seems as though I’m no longer hitting those original targets and in need of a reboot.

For sure there’s no better time to start again than today. Because .. why wait?! 

The first step is to look at my measures and redefine what realistic goals are. I struggle figuring out which things are the most important for helping me feel better (and I’ve felt like crap long enough now that it’s become the new normal).

I always think getting better sleep will have the biggest impact in how I feel each day. Not sure why that is. And my goal in Fitbit, has been 7.5 hours a night. How often do I hit that? Almost never. Vacations, weekends sometimes. I think I dismissed this stat / goal when I got my Alta HR which provided the ability for the device to collect heart rate and calculate my sleep score. The sleep score became the new measure, but what’s the goal?

When I talked to Tre I told her that anything below 70 is no good, 70-80 is fair, And anything above 80 is good. I didn’t say anything about above 90 cuz that feels like an unachievable target. One I’ve only had a few times and never without some sleep aid.

So if I’m going to start paying attention again and be accountable for reporting out my “stats” do I revert to duration? Reevaluate the goal? Or do I use the sleep score. Say anything above 75 is a star for the day.  That feels reasonable.

I also have to recognize that I’m never gonna hit my goal without actually making a change. I need to get to bed at good time. 10pm?? I need to try to do that. Which does not really mesh with Jim’s schedule. But I gotta try.

The other things under consideration are exercise, healthy eating, and general productivity/wellness.

I think I have ways to determine how I’m doing with exercise but how about productivity and general wellness? What’s the measure and the goal?

I told Tre that I feel very motivated in the mornings but the more the day drags on, the more I start to waiver. Make excuses why I can’t get stuff done and then just flat out give up. So what if I set myself like 2 or 3 tasks each day and if I do them, I get a star that day? This might require some planning.

Tre talked about meal planning on Sundays and then all you have to do is grocery shop for that and roughly follow the plan. Maybe I can do the same with my tasks? Write them out on Sunday and then just make sure that week, 2 get done each day. That could work.

Not sure about meal planning but I might start tracking my macronutrients again. After a conversation with Jim’s sister this weekend, I think I might not be getting enough protein in my diet. But you know I have no idea how much I should be getting. Time to do some research!

So that’s it. 4 measures, 4 goals and evaluating/reporting it out weekly. I can do this.

The accountability to another person will help I think. I’ve never had that before. Sort of an accountability partner. Someone to check in with who also has goals and cares. We all need more people in our lives that care like that. I’m excited to get started actually.

Today’s “tasks” aren’t well defined but I’m gonna try to get my GLR subs distributed AND hopefully make some progress on getting our Org established as a real entity in the eyes of the state so we can finally have that non-profit status. I’ve been procrastinating that and ain’t nobody gonna do it but me.

Of course there’s also my house chores and ain’t nobody got time for hearing more about that.

I think that’s enough for today. I still need more steps but I’m gonna do a bit of reading to pass the time.

Cheers to Rebooting my Health And Wellness!
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-25 Target Acquired

Today.. instead of walking this morning or getting my GLR submissions distributed I spent like 5 hours on my own poetry submissions. Research, editing, writing cover letters, etc. I even created a new chapbook to submit to a contest.

When they say writing is hard work, I’m pretty sure all of this has a lot to do with that. Sure, writing draft after draft is work. But this submission process is exhausting.

I’m happy to report I’ve hit my goal for October. I now have 51+ open submissions in Submittable (and elsewhere).

95% of what I’ve submitted in my life has been this year and so far the results, I believe, are promising. Setting previous years aside, my track record / stats are as follows:

52 open (from single poems to full manuscripts)
7 accepts (10 poems online and 1 in print)
26 subs declined Or “completed”.
And 1 withdrawn.

By my calculations, it appears I have about a 20% accept rate. Which is Pretty promising Right??!

We’ll see how things go with the 50 that are out in the wild right now.

As it happens, during the middle of my mad Sunday dash to let more loose, another rejection showed up in my in-box. I’ve maybe said this before, but at the end of the day it all feels a bit like gambling. Playing the odds as it were.

What gets accepted is just based on one or two or three peoples opinions, objectives, motives, experience, etc. A person can’t predict what the gatekeepers are looking for it what might pique their interest. Even if you are very diligent in your research, the folks at Ploughshares or Prairie Schooner are going to want what they want and like what they like.

So what is a girl to do? I mean, now that I’ve hit my goal for October, perhaps I let that ride for a bit and put my focus elsewhere. There’s only one place I submitted to which I paid extra to for additional feedback. I’m not inclined to do that on a regular basis because it’s not cost effective to get the opinion of one person. It would be much better if I had a regular workshop group. Perhaps that’s something I need to try and find (or start).

In any case, I’ve spent too much time sitting on Submittable today and it’s unlikely I’ll get those new subs distributed.
So I guess I’ll add that to the list of things to take care of Monday. Yeah, my new day job.

Prolly not going to make much more progress on my step goal today either. There’s always tomorrow. 😜

For now I’ll just try to be happy with what I’ve accomplished and enjoy a relaxing Sunday evening. Is that possible? Can I relax and just be happy with reaching a goal without thinking I could do more or setting the bar higher?


Maybe not. Ha!

Cheers to Reaching Goals,
~Miss SugarCookie

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

2020-10-23 Just Another Friday Soapbox about the End Times

The biggest news of the day is the cold temps. 35 now and headed straight for a hard freeze over night tonight. On one hand that’s rotten as all the annuals including the veggies will be done done. But, I’m not too terribly upset, you know, having neglected that garden for so long this growing season already.

The hard freeze also means I’ll get some relief from my seasonal allergies which had a real hex on me this year. The “Jumanji” year, according to my daughter. On December 31st when the ball drops we’ll all say Jumanji 3 times and be released from this hazardous game. If only.

When she said that I had to admit I’ve never seen any of those movies. Neither the original nor the reboots. Might be something to add to my list. Yeah, that list of movies that people say “wow, you have to see that” and I just shrug. Who has time for that?! 🤷‍♀️

I guess all the variations of terrible occurrences that have been prevalent in 2020 are reminiscent of some twisted game people are stuck in. She didn’t go into a ton of detail explaining, but I get it. The world is in ruin. It’s every person for themselves.

What I did make time for to watch this week was the Netflix documentary “Social Dilemma” that’s a cross between explanation of what goes on behind the scenes at the big tech companies, interviews with people in the know, and a dramatization of a family torn by their addictions to their devices.

The whole thing was disturbing. It makes me want to delete all the apps off my phone. And I’m not even a big user of the social media apps. Neither are my kids thank goodness. C hates that crap and refuses to create accounts. Z has insta, and Snapchat and FB but does not use them much. She uses Discord mostly which is kind of a gamer platform. But all platforms are subject to the same issues.

The sick part of the underbelly of the internet is that it’s not just social media. Data is out there on everyone. Just googling something builds a profile on a person and the information you are “served” is tailored based on that and your geographic location among other things.

We can’t seem to get our act together on healthcare reform in this country enough to make small improvements yet we can feed people information enough to sway elections. That’s disturbing.

And it’s not just the US, it’s global. The real pandemic. More of a threat than any virus that threatens to decimate our population. The internet is destroying the fabric of our societies. Using our humanity against us. We’re reduced to being “users.” Pawns to be played to some agenda that’s not visible to us.

It’s bigger than serving up adds or click bait to get consumers to purchase goods. It’s feeding information that is tailored to keep you clicking. Like a mindless lemming.

I think back to a few months ago when I watched the Ted Kazinski documentary and can’t help but glean a connection. I can’t help but think that Ted’s not wrong. He may have been mad, and amoral but some of his ideas are spot on.

Then I think about that day in May when I was so beat down with bad news of the pandemic and heard a news story that with all the shut-downs and shelter in place orders, the emissions recorded had dropped to the lowest they had been in a long time. And that felt like a silver lining.

Humans can’t get their act together to turn things around with climate change so Mother Nature is doing it for us. Unleashing a pandemic on us.

Where’s Thanos when you need him?

Too far??!! Yeah. Probably.

In any case my brain can’t help but see these connections everywhere. And want to make some changes in my life. Starting with my electronic device. And my kids’ and also having more conversations with them about what the merits are of being a good human, and citizen, and understanding that moderation is key in a lot of indulgences.

Screen time and Participating in social media are just two things. There’s also a need to fact check and not blindly believe what you read.

Anyway. Enough of that soap box. I’m out of time and need to get on with my day and doing what needs doing before that hard freeze.

Good riddance seasonal allergies!

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-21 Tricky Pickles and Tip Toes Teetering in the Middle

I’m teetering on tip-toes between taking another day “off” like yesterday when I said “fuck it” to the universe and crawled inside myself and embracing today as a bedazzled opportunity to get a lot done.

I’m 9 submissions away from my goal for October. And technically I’ve got more poems out in the wild than are reported in my submittable stats as I’ve also been submitting to places with alternate platforms. I bet I can knock out two or three more today if I put my back into it.

It’s also 3 days from my husbands birthday. Which is already known to be a tricky pickle. Here’s a man who is generous and thoughtful AND has done an over-the-top job on celebrations for me, other people, and other events. Always. My birthday in August no exception.

S-cat-venger hunt, gifts, a new kitten, Clues— complete with quotes by famous authors about cats. How does one match that? The answer is they don’t.

That’s second base. First base is the fact that said person does not like to receive gifts or praise or special acknowledgment. It’s been a point of contention in our relationship. I Want to tell him how awesome he is, but he doesn’t want to hear it. He says he doesn’t like it. What’s a girl to do?

Blow up some balloons and hang some decor and wrap a set of thoughtful gifts of course. And cross my fingers that it can all be received with an open heart and positive spirit.

Spoiler alert for any young people reading this… it’s not as easy to blow up balloons with your own breath when you reach your forties. #truth

The real gifts that I need to work I’m in the next few days are “acts of service” type things which I believe are his primary language of love. This means, it will mean more to him if I take care of the car registration and replace the thermostat in our living room and get an appointment on the books for car maintenance. Or figure out the spice of that new drip from the ceiling behind me as I walk on the treadmill. That’s new today. Fun!

Yeah.. that adulting crap that is like my primary contribution to household operations now. Should be a snap right?

I’d better get my tip-toes in gear and get to work. I can’t have another day like yesterday. I just cant.

2020-10-20 I Just Can’t Today

I stare down at the glow of the screen of my SE, Evernote open with the date typed into the title. Just the date. I’ve been told I’m a good titler. Yeah, lots of years of practice. But today I’m at a loss. How on earth does one sum up the aching heart that comes from a child that’s hurting who you can’t help.

My Z called me late last night. Late like 1am. She’s crying and needs to talk. Again. She’s depressed, and feeling lost and alone. She’s burdened by the isolation she’s been in, for a lot longer than this pandemic and it’s getting worse. One by one her lifelines have been cut.

Her HS friends broke her heart by abandoning her. Throwing away her friendship like it meant nothing. And she does not have many friends and is so shy she doesn’t make new friends easily. She literally has no one her age to talk to, to laugh with, to love.

With the lack of school friends, she turned to the internet and found a few kindred spirits there. Believe me, as a parent I’m leery of this, but I’ve been watching and know for a fact these girls are legit. I also know she needed these people. People need people.

Her best friend is Alex who lives in California. The other two are in North Carolina and Australia. Yeah, that’s the power of the internet. But the two edges of that sword are that it is easy to communicate but also easy to stop. Alex was her lifeline when her best friend in real life dumped her. Z was devastated and Alex was there, all night long and in the weeks to follow, keeping her company. Day and night.

Now Alex is starting to become unavailable. Being unresponsive on discord and there’s no explanation.

We moved Z into the dorm at UNL in August and found pretty quickly that she was better off here. She’s been coming home every Friday and staying through Tuesday or Wednesday the following week. She does all her coursework online and has a rare in-person interaction for her classes.

The isolation there is worse. There are no clubs or activities (far as I’m aware) and no meetups in the dorms. It’s all shut down because of the pandemic, There are literally no opportunities there to meet people. And not a lot here at home either.

It’s heartbreaking to hear her cry at 1am (she spent the night at her dads house) and know I can’t comfort her outside of being there to listen. I told her she can come home today. We can spend some more time together, and then I pulled up a blanket in the recliner I had snuck off to to take her call, and we talked for an hour.

I let her know I was here for her and listening. And lamented with her about how this pandemic has just fucked everything up. All our plans. Our vacations and graduations and her freshman year.

And as if that was not enough, she also drops a bomb.. her dads parents, her grandparents have the virus. This is devastating news. They are already high risk because of their age (in their 70s) but it’s worse because they are also both diabetic and her grandpa has a long history with heart disease.

She said her dad told them at dinner and that they were not doing well. They are apparently still at home, resisting going to get help. Not sure why that would be. If it’s true (which is a terrible thing for me to say) this could be the event that breaks both of my children.

Hell, it just might break me too. They were my mom and dad for 18 years of my life. That whole family was a sacrifice I had to make to get out of a bad situation. But now is not the time for that. Now is a time I need to be strong for my children. At the very least be there for them if bad turns into worse.

I just texted my ex. And I’m just walking and crying. How on earth can we get through this? The Universe help me. I’m feeling pretty lost too.

I’m just tired, you know, of trying to smooth everything over and keep on being reliable and responsible. Thank goodness that I am done working or I might just go seriously off the rails. But I gotta keep it together for Z and C and Jim. Just put all my energy into them and myself. You know, secure your own oxygen mask first.

I took Z to vote yesterday and to renew her drivers license. My main motivation for voting early, besides avoiding the crowds on November 2nd, was so I could maybe drive to Austin for Election Day. Another getaway for my sanity I suppose. And because I miss my people. Now Z and I are conspiring to go together. Which I believe she needs as much as I do.

But we’ll be in a holding pattern until we know her grandparents are going to be ok. Which they might not be and I would not want us to be 1000 miles away when bad news falls.

It’s like 2 hours later. I had to take a call from my ex which turned into a long conversation. About Z and C and his parents. It was an ok chat, which is the best I can hope for with that one. He thinks Z needs to see a counselor and or be on meds for depression. Maybe.

What she needs first is a job and some activities and people to keep her busy. I mean, what she really needs is for the pandemic to end but it’s a waste to wish for that kind of change in the world.

Her grandma is doing ok. She’s a tough woman and a fighter. And her grandpa is a fighter too, but he’s been fighting diabetes for 60 years and CHF for over ten. And that’s not good.

My ex tells me they were told not to come to the hospital unless they could not breathe. There are no ICU beds. Beds and vents are in short supply. They are in Iowa, across the river. But I hear that’s happening here in Omaha too.

They think they picked up the virus at a funeral. For someone who died from Covid. And someone at the funeral was positive. Now a bunch of the family has it. Aunts, uncles. My ex did not go because he was feeling ill himself that day and felt it would be irresponsible to go. The most reasonable thing I’ve heard him say in a long time.

He thought about not telling the kids. But decided that if the outcome is not good, they would be really mad if he had not told them sooner. That was another good call. People need time to process information.

I need time too.

Anyway. I’m just worn thin and wonder how today will play out and tomorrow.
And the day after that.

Maybe I need a counselor too.

I guess that’s enough doom and gloom for one day.

Taking it one damn minute at a time,
~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

2020-10-16 My Morning Commute 🌅

My daily morning drive is less of a commute than it is a taxi service. I know some people think that my son (16 years old since last May) should have his license by now. And perhaps be driving himself to school. That it would be less of a burden on me or time I could be doing other things. It’s about 1 hour round trip, twice each school day.

That adds up to ten hours a week. And yeah, I suppose I could be doing other things, but I rather enjoy the break. It’s an easy cruise and the traffic in Omaha is not that bad. Sometimes I even get the opportunity to chat with my son, just the two of us. Which is valuable. It’s tough for a mom to connect with her teenage son. Can I get a thumbs up on that one??

Most of the time, however, he’s using the drive to get into his own zone of relaxation. In the mornings I think he sometimes even falls back asleep. That’s ok. I like to have quiet time for reflection too.

The bonus plan these days is that the timing for sunrise coincides exactly with our morning drive. A few days this week it’s been almost completely dark when I leave. And when I arrive home the sun is up and the sky is bright. What I find, in between, is different each day.

Today the sunrise was the most intense I’ve witnessed in a while. Deep pink laced with orange as the light of the sun, not yet showing itself on the horizon lit up a sky full of clouds. So much definition and dimension that the pictures I captured look almost 3D. Amazing!

The view of the sky transformed with lighter shades of those same hues as I made my way to the school. From the entrance ramp for West Dodge Expressway, to the on-ramp of 680, to the big curve as the interstate turns into I-80 east, the it was a kaleidoscope of dazzling color changes.

During the long stretch on southbound 84th street is when the sun finally appeared. The horizon on that part of the drive isn’t really visible, but I could still see the color through the houses, businesses, and trees.

By the time I got to the school, the color had all but been replaced by the hues of blue and white that will likely persist all day.

I go different routes to get home all the time. Today was 84th to Q Street West, which I did on purpose cuz it’s Friday and I was in the mood to treat myself with a vanilla latte from Dunkin’. Large today as I was redeeming my free beverage reward earned from moneys spent on past lattes.

That sweet treat is now waiting for me on the kitchen counter. Gotta get my treadmill time in before I can truly enjoy that reward.

It’s fascinating how some days I’m so down on myself for not being productive enough and other days I feel great about what I’ve accomplished. Makes me think that every fleeting feeling is just a mirage in the desert sands of time.

Fleeting as the colors of the sunrise.

In 6 short hours I’ll make the return trip to pick my son up from school and I look forward to that.

Just as I also look forward to our Friday night, and the weekend. We don’t have
a ton of plans and that’s a nice contrast to the long drives we did last weekend.

Perhaps I’ll crack one of the books in my ever growing stack. Perhaps I’ll be inspired and do some creating. Perhaps I’ll finally get around to opening the mail and paying my bills. Or not. 😜

That’s just my MO. Always pushing the envelope on how long I can procrastinate the adulting.

On that note, my time is up.

Peace, love, and vanilla lattes,
~Miss SugarCookie

PS. Yes, I did take these pictures while I was driving. Yes, probably not the smartest thing to do. But just look!! Can you blame me??!