2019-09-14 Leaps and Bounds of Faith

I don’t have a religion. You might say I’m areligious the way an asexual has no need for sex or an aromantic has no need for romance. All three of those things are real words with definitions attached, I just checked.

But, just as an aromantic can still have and want and need love, I still have faith. Sometimes it wanes and changes the axis it rotates around, but it exists.

And that, my friends, is the most educative and creative way I can introduce the fact that in one week, I’ve Come face to face with this faith of mine, in not one or two, but three different ways. And like everything else in the universe, it’s all connected.

The first is an extension of yesterday’s post which was about making sense of nonsense. I have an assignment for my current poetry studio class which has three options with very specific requirements. I stared at the descriptions more times than I’d like to admit. Then, multiply the time I spent doing that and you have the number of minutes I spent thinking about them. Of course I wrote a little too, but it was a struggle and most of it had nothing to do with these assignments. It was just more free writing, you know, to get the machine running.

By Thursday I had a lot, but it wasn’t in the subject or form and didn’t have the requested lenses. I wound myself up about it (no surprise there), but deep down I knew it was there somewhere. I trusted that it would work itself out.

Then, on Friday morning I had a huge breakthrough. I pulled some notes from residency and used the details from a generative session about place/rivers/bodies of water and went with that. Once I started to put the pieces together, it all just floated into place. That was option 2. Then, miraculously I also found the connections for what I had written for options 1 and 3 as well. It was freaking amazing!

I spent almost all of Friday on all that and this morning did some final edits for turning them in. Of course these things are so new that my emotional attachment to them is strong, so it could still be garbage or nonsense to everyone else, but a little twinge in my gut says “naw, it’s good shit”.

That’s me having faith in myself and my abilities. It’s there. It hides sometimes and gets overshadowed in fears and doubts, but it’s there. It’s the part of me that won’t let me give up on these writing pursuits. That’s one of three. Are you still with me?

Number two came on Wednesday which also brought a storm of other events all happening at once. I was writing through the aforementioned assignments (there’s the connection), the meet and greet and reading for the students and faculty at UNO (for the folks in undergrad fine arts/writing programs) was at 4pm, it was the first meeting for a new local writing workshop group I’m participating in at 7pm, I had a meeting/conference call for work-Work at 3:30pm, walking campus at the same time to get my student ID, not to mention that it was also 9/11 which always has an impact on me.

Rewind to about 11am though, and what shows up on my freaking doorstep? A wedding dress. That’s right, I went wedding dress shopping a while back and that was an interesting experience, but I threw up in my mouth a little looking at the price tags of all those fabulous gowns. I ended up shopping online and found one that I really liked, with a price tag I could swallow. It’s atypical I know, and anticlimactic as hell, but whatever. At the end of the day, it’s just a dress.. right??

I opened it and put it on. It mostly fits, perhaps is a size to big, of course it’s too long and will have to be altered. I looked at myself in the mirror and it was like that moment.. it’s really happening. We have a date and a place and now we have a dress. Yowza!!!

Anyone who really knows me knows I have so many doubts about getting married again. At one point in my life I vowed to never do it again. Then I met Jim and in a whirlwind so much changed. But Gawd, I’m still unsure at times and terrified. This dress is proof that I do have faith that it’s right, that it’s going to be all right. I don’t think I would have pulled the trigger on ordering it if I didn’t have that faith. That’s proof number 2. Are you still with me, good Gawd there is still more.

Number three is so closely related to two, they are hard to separate but, selfishly, I want to write about it anyway. It’s not about the wedding but the marriage, and life after the big event that’s happening on 02022020.

Last Sunday I received an email from Z Publishing that the latest installment of their “Emerging Poets” series has been released, which includes 5 poems from yours truly. What’s that got to do with faith or my pending marriage? Well, to submit work and have it published you have to have a bio and, of course a name. I’ve written about this before. It’s a conundrum for me.

I’m a girl in transition. I don’t have a last name. I have a maiden name I haven’t used in 26 years. I haven’t been that girl for a very long time. I would still go with it to honor my grandfather but my relationship with my dad is so fractured, it wouldn’t feel right.

I just refuse to use my current, married name. That would be like looking back and staring when what I should be doing as looking at the future. That name led me to the place I am now, both the good and bad parts, but as I build my new life, I can’t use it. I don’t want to.

So that leaves me with what’s to come, my future name. My soon to be married name. I’ve written it, seen it on the copy for editing, and now.. it’s been released. Other people will see it. It’s out now even before it’s actually mine.

The book is available for sale on the Z website. My poems are in the 2019 Nebraska anthology, which includes work from 10 Nebraska based writers.

Z Publishing Featured Products and Collections

Submitting with a name that isn’t even mine yet was a huge leap of faith. Things could still go horribly wrong somehow. That doubt still lives in me too. I guess they are just buddies teaming up inside of me to wreak havoc.

I tell myself that if it all goes wrong, I can just say it was a thoughtful pen-name which I changed when I got real serious about all this writing business. Not that I’m not serious now, but I gotta have some exit strategy ready, you know?

That’s it. One two three, easy peasy (10 pages later).

It’s Saturday now and I’ve exhausted my hour on the treadmill and have to get down to some other business.

Ciao for now,
~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-04 Lost in Doubt

I’m just so unsure. I’m so filled with doubt and anxiety and I’ve gone round after round with what’s wrong with me. It’s a trick of the mind but that’s what’s in the middle, what’s been cut. “The thought payout is at the end.” These piles of images are authentic. Truth is stranger than fiction and there’s a goldmine in the darkness. And none of it adds up to anything that makes sense and I have no more thoughts for the end.

I’m working on too many things at once and I want to throw it all away. Pulling out the stitches and re-using them in something else is too much and I’m tired. I’m trying to de-code the message I wrote to myself three weeks ago. “Just go”..

Go where? And from where? Physically? Mentally? What? What is that thought payout supposed to be? What does it mean? If I can’t figure it out, I’m just stuck.

I feel stuck.

Listen.. I know I’m not making any sense. I know it and yet this is what’s in my head right now that wants out. Perhaps tomorrow I can explain. Rewind and make it make sense. I don’t know though. No promises I guess.

Lost Today,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-06-11 It’s all in my Head

I’m having a quaint get-together with co-workers at my house this evening and I’m having some serious anxiety about it. I don’t know what is wrong with me. Why can’t I just relax like everyone else and enjoy dinner with some really great people? Why can’t I? I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? Where does the needless worry come from anyway? This stupid social anxiety is all in my head. It’s real, don’t get me wrong, but it’s really just silliness.good grief!

As if one mental crisis were not enough.. I’ve finally pulled the trigger on submitting some poetry to a publisher today. I’m about two or three days past the deadline I set for myself on this one even though the deadline to submit isn’t until early August. I’m afraid filling out the info on the submission form, attaching a document, and hitting “send” is a set of actions that will also never get easier. There’s just so much second guessing. Are these the right poems? Are they good enough? I’m putting my heart out there you know and that’s a risk. I literally just sat at the computer for like an hour and a half going over the form fields and of course, the bio.

This publisher requires a bio written in 3rd person, which is to be 50 words or less. I have found that writing something like this will make one question their entire existence. I mean.. what can you say about yourself that is worth putting in a bio? Where you were born and where you live are easy cuz that’s just the facts. Then what? What is your whole life about?

What do you do? Gawd there’s not a question in the Universe I hate more than that. Do you say what you’ve done, what you like to to, what you aspire to do, or what your hopes and dreams are? I’m having an identity crisis, so Imma be like the magic 8 ball and say “ask again later”. I’m not sure they would accept that though.

And how about that pen name thing? I don’t even have a name I can use. Of course I have a name but in my current state of transition I’m torn. I can’t use my maiden name as I have not been that person since I was 19. I’ve had my married name for a very long time but that’s not who I am either. I mean, it is who I am but not who I’m going to be. Which begs the question.. who am I going to be?

When/if I get married I will most certainly take his last name. But I can’t think about that more now or my head will certainly explode. I just can’t even get into the whole marriage thing again now. By the way, that name may be great one day, as it is a kick-ass poets name, but I haven’t quite lived in that skin long enough to make it fit.

Do I use my Moniker/social media handle. “Shyspark”? I’ve had that since like 2010 and I suppose if one googled that they would find all roads lead to some blog post written by yours truly. Seriously though.. I’ve got like 4 WordPress blogs I have started throughout the years, 1 tumblr account, 1 blogspot account, facebook, instagram, Snapchat, and a few twitters. I’m clearly not bothered by throwing fluff out into the Wild. But “real” publishing is very intimidating.

Print is effing serious and I’ve just got so much doubt about who it is I want to be when I grow up. Print is like a permanent tattoo. It’s easier to have a constant identity crisis if you are not on public display. This is all in my head too, of course. On some level.. some rational, logical plane of existence, it doesn’t really matter. Life is what you make of it and what other peoples perceptions are should not hinder forward progress on whatever that is (unless you are a nefarious evil-doer). One could say “no risk, no reward”, but that’s not quite right anymore either is it?

There is NO risk because there is NO reward. “Reward” implies gaining something you want but if you don’t know what that is, then you’re not even halfway there. But isn’t that ok too? Because it’s about the journey right? I can travel twice as far and still not be halfway there. Wherever “there” is.

This is me trying to put rungs on a ladder in order to try and climb out of my own head. All this internal crisis management is exhausting. If you boil it down I suppose the essence is just a lot of doubt.

I am not this house and this house is not me. I’m not an extension of the house and it is not an extension of me. I’m not my fiancé or my children and they are not me. I’m not the jobs I’ve had or degrees I’ve earned or places I have traveled or people I’ve met and they are not me. I’m just me, doing the best I can with life, you know, and if i don’t know what the future looks like that’s ok. People will think what they think and that’s ok and people will like my poems or they won’t and that’s ok too. It’s all going to be OK.

That’s enough for today’s rambling on about what’s making me twitchy.

Until we meet again,

~Miss SugarCookie