2021-05-17 Back in the Game… ✍🏻💕✍🏻✍🏻

Last year I went on a submission spree, submitting my poetry to all levels and types of publishers, from the very brand new organizations to the big-name long shots—print, online, anthology, full manuscript, chapbook, daily, monthly, quarterly journals and reviews. I think I maxed out at 80-something open submissions sometime in November or December. Oh, and I spent some coin too as most of those journals operate much like my Good Life Review in that they rely on the submission fee to cover the cost of operations. 

In January I started fresh but vowed to only submit to free places that month. Then I sort of lost my motivation and promised myself I would wait out for what was currently open to be declined (or accepted).. until my open number dwindled to around 50. I told myself I would pick it back up then and maintain that 50, as a goal. 

50 came and went, I don’t know when, and then 40, then 35, and 30. About that time I decided I would try to maintain 25, when I got there. With the last decline  I received I think the open count was down around 22 so I was clearly lying to myself. Among all the declines have been a few acceptances, of which only one is set for future release—summer 2021. 

Of course I still have that chapbook that’s going to be published later this year. Sort of anti-climactic to have that come through and literally wait almost a whole year to announce anything about it. Though I’ve thought about making it public anyhow, just to boost my writer spirits. 

Anyhow.. not sure what my lack of motivation was from. I tried to look early last week for potential places to submit but quickly lost interest. Maybe it has something to do with my lack of new material. 

I read my standard two poems a day and that’s been uninspiring. I’m reading all the poetry submissions for my lit mag’s contest and am also uninspired by most of it. I think I’m just not in the mood to write anything new. I ask myself if that is ok or if it’s a problem to be solved.

Hmmm. 🤔 

***

Recently I wrote about how my mood has taken a turn for the better lately and that I think the lack of obligations has something to do with that. I wondered briefly if setting an expectation that I continue to press hard on the publishing thing wasn’t a contributing factor in the grand equation of expectations and a feeling of self-worth, or purpose. 

Last Friday I dipped my toe into submittable and confirmed what I thought to be true. Sure enough I was sitting at 22 open. I resolved myself to bringing that number up to 25. But oh my, am I sick of looking at the same poems (especially the ones that have been rejected over and over). So I opened some fresher material and got to work on revising and polishing them. 

And wouldn’t you know what happened next is like magic. I got lost in it. I was putting these newer poems through a series of tests—syntax, form, vocabulary choices, passive voice, cutting unnecessary words, lines, rewriting others conpletely, etc., etc. It felt glorious. With each pass, I felt better and better about each poem and, in general, I felt better too. 

I continued to edit and felt good enough about a couple to submit. Then I thoughtfully toggled between research, more revision, and submitting again until my count was up to 25. That was only 3 new submissions, but it was 3 more than I had had that morning and hitting my goal was satisfying. 

Wouldn’t you know, I woke up Saturday to a new decline in my email and I shrugged an got out my laptop to work some more. This time, exceeding my goal. Now I’m up to about 27. Maybe my new goal should be 30? 

This is how it starts. 😉

I suppose the point of all of this is that I had to force myself to do something I enjoy, but once I did, it was extremely satisfying and now I’m back in the game. 

Now… maybe THAT has more to do with my improved mood than anything. It could be that the spell of depression and unmotivated mood I had been going through had to do with BOTH external obligations and the lack of nourishment of my soul. The part of me that needs poetry and that thrill of producing art that I feel is beautiful and full of love. 

Love IS the right word. 

Today is Monday and I’m steadily making my way through my house chores—dishes, cleaning the kitchen (after a weekend with a houseful of teenagers), litter boxes, grocery shopping, and laundry. So far so good. And I’m not even bent about it. I feel great about it actually. What a flip!! 

My mom is coming over this afternoon and bringing her dog. We are actively trying to find a new home for her as my mom can’t handle her with her current health issues. It’s just not feasible. I’m hoping today’s meet-up will yield a positive outcome. It would be one less thing she has to worry about (and by proxy, one less thing I have to worry about). 

I think that’s it for today. 

Cheers to Being Back in the Game, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-30 Woe is the Melancholy Way

Today is the first day in 3 weeks I haven’t had to either go to the ER, the hospital, or my moms house. My sister is driving from Denver as I type this and I feel a weight lifting. 

Last night everyone at my house was otherwise occupied doing their own thing and I took the opportunity to drive out to Flannigan Lake to watch the sunset alone. No talking, walking, music, or writing. Just me and the sounds of nature as the sun slid behind the hill on the opposite side of the lake. 

The sunset was entirely unremarkable, but the moment was still emotional. It could have been a hormone surge or the release after holding my breath for three damn weeks or just a general sadness listening to the prairie birds’ song light up like a signal fire, one after the other, all around me. 

Their coded message traveled from across the lake through the grass field I was sitting criss-cross-applesauce on to the unplowed soybean and corn fields to the north. A trill tale that ended with the start of a response elsewhere. 

I watched one land on a tall reed shooting out of the lake. The reed swayed with the weight of the bird as it gripped the vertical stem. The silhouette of the scene stark with the setting sun behind it. At that moment I thought I should write a poem about it. 

One second later I thought myself out of the idea. Who cares anyway. What’s the point. It’s all just meaningless. That might be what made me want to cry. 

Later that night I had a talk with Jim. I didn’t mention the birds or have the sky looked after the sun had set or the meaningless feelings but I did tell him I felt sad and couldn’t explain why. He just said he understood, and that it made sense to him. 

I’m glad it makes sense to someone. 

I’m not sure where the last 90 minutes have gone. I’ve barely written anything and haven’t yet achieved my daily step goal. But it’s past 10am and I’ve got lots to catch up on so this is gonna be it today. 

Peace and love, 

~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

2021-03-15 This Room With a View is Not Helping My Mood

No walking on the treadmill for me today… I’m out of my element and typing on my laptop from a hospital room while my mom tries to take a nap. Though, I think sleep in this place is rare because of all the people coming and going. I’ve been here a few hours now and so far there has been a cleaning person, the nurses, the doctor’s main nurse, the physical therapist, and the “tech.” It’s a lot different than the last two days which have felt relatively calm and free from frequent “visitors.”

Today is the Ides again. I was thinking about that yesterday, that if anything, could they avoid making any changes or doing any kind of surgery today. The last thing we need is to tempt fate on this day which has historically been an ominous day for our family. I’m not very superstitious, but also don’t want to give the Universe a reason to throw wrenches. 

***

This morning I was in a bit of a mood. It might have started when the straw for my water bottle went missing or when I discovered that one of the kittens had peed on the clean clothes I had in a basket in the laundry room. I needlessly blamed my husband for both of these things (but didn’t say that out loud). He was just trying to be helpful by doing the dishes and laundry yesterday which I appreciate, but he doesn’t know what “not” to do so it ends up being more work. 

Really I think the anger is coming from a place deeper than small irritations. I’m a little exhausted, sure, but not terrible. I’m a little off in general because my daily routine has been turned sideways but it’s not that either. If I begin to describe my mom’s general disposition and attitude, I might get a little closer to the heart of the matter I think, but just like bronchitis, Aint nobody got time for that. 

***

It could be that typing while on the treadmill has ruined me completely for using a laptop. This feels so strange and to be fair, I’m in no mood to do it. That’s fine. It is what it is. 

More later…

or not. /shrug 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-24 Some Days Just Need to Be Forgotten

Yesterday was a doozie. I’m not sure what exactly what it was besides a series of random, unrelated events but it was a miracle nobody was murdered. Scratch that. I know exactly what it was that started it.. the incident with the trash cans. After that, there’s not a thing that could happen to fix the mood for the rest of the day. But there were several things that made it worse.

Said incident made me sooooooo angry, I really wanted to punch something. And that’s not like me. I might get emotional and sad and cry sometimes but I rarely get that angry and almost never angry enough to want to scream and throw things.

Talk about raw, honest and organic… what I’m about to write will not seem like that big of a deal, but that’s what makes it a big deal in my mind. There’s absolutely no reason I should have gotten as mad as I was. And not having time to work it out all damn day did not help. Everything else was just fuel for the fire. 

Here’s the short version of what happened that started it all… about 8:30am I’m doing chores and opening mail and realize the paper recycling is full so decide to swap out the grocery bag for a new one and put the full one in the big recycling bin in the garage. What I quickly discovered is that the bin was FULL. It should have been empty since they picked our recycling up last week (which they only do every other week). 

I’m in charge of the recycling and trash so nobody puts things in the big bins but me (strictly forbidden as I can’t stand when people carelessly put stuff in without rinsing clean or whatever and bins get sticky and gross). Instead, the recycling goes in the old short green and blue bins elsewhere. So finding the bin full was a shock.

But it was obvious to me it was because the recycling was not picked up last week. The items I had on top were still the same ones. I took the bin out to the curb myself.. which means that when Jim wheeled it back to the garage he didn’t look inside to see the recycling truck had not been down our street yet. What the hell??!!

The recycling is a mess at our house as it is. We always have too much than what will fit in the container every two weeks and that’s resulted in me breaking down the cardboard and driving it to another drop point. Now we have this full bin, and enough recycling to fill a second one and running out of places to put it. 

Goodness knows the recycling is a trigger point for me already because nobody cares but me. Despite repeated requests for members of this household to comply with some simple rules, it’s still a problem. I’ve got several bags of combined trash and recycling that needs sorting and the thought of going through the efffing sticky trash irritates me to no end.

Now this. This just pushed me over the edge. I went mental. I screamed out loud and stomped my feet like a three year old having a tantrum. It was absurd. 

I mean this is small potato’s people. Like have I become so spoiled that these small things need to be a big deal?? No. 

Well.. stuff kept happening all day and I never could pull myself away from that angry feeling. I literally carried it all the way to bed with me last night. And unfortunately took it out on Jim a little. It was a strange night and then I ended up moving to the spare bedroom In the middle of the night because of the snoring. 

I never really got good sleep and you know what? The sun came up and night turned into day anyway and I’m writing this thinking “what is there to complain about?” 

Nada. That’s what. 

So what if I have to make some more trips to an alternate recycling location. It’s not the end of the world. Good grief!! 

This is what I don’t get about life. Why is it one day something is such a damn big deal and the next it’s like ‘shrug’? 

One day I’m grumpy and the next it’s all good again. And I can’t even blame PMS this time. 

Anyway.. today everything seems fine and manageable again AND I can eat whatever I want. A friend of mine reminded me yesterday that my life is great right now. As if I should need a reminder. I should not, but there it was anyhow. Thanks Vis!

As for the rest of this day, I’m gonna do my best to keep the positive mood I have going into the afternoon and evening. I’ve got loads of lit mag stuff to take care of plus some planning for a future adventure. Planning almost always makes me happy, so that’s good. 

As for living in 2006.. it’s going about the same as the last two days and I can’t say I’ve got more to say about than that. Maybe I’ll have more as the week goes on but I’m still just feeling out what’s good and what’s really tough. 

I think that’s it for today. Time to get on that GLR train…. 

Peace and Love and Recycling, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-12-15 Smile and Wave

Apparently that all I have to offer today.

I woke up feeling pretty good and motivated to get lots of stuff done. I spent too much time yesterday being angry or sad and felt as though the 3+ hours I spent in CB were just hours that I could otherwise have been productive.

I’m over the Evernote issue. I’m using google docs now, which is free for me so it’s the bonus plan. Done and done! ✅ 

Ironically I got a response email this morning from said Elephant with lots of detail answering my questions (including the fact that I can’t get any money back). I could respond but it’s not worth my time. 

I’ve put together a list of matching orders for myself today so I can stay on track with what needs to get done. I’m having a friend over and going to try and tidy up the place. I’ve already done dishes and grocery shopping so.. so far so good. 

What a blah post. I’m sorry about that. I would say I wish I could get back the vibe I had yesterday but since that was fueled by negative emotion, maybe it’s for the best that there’s a spring in my step and I’ve got nothing to write about.

Why can’t I have both? 

Guess I’ll go read some poetry instead. 

Cheers, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-07-02 Between last night and today 🌙 … ☀️

Last night, as I neared the end of my day, my brain was full of all kinds of things to say. I felt happy and satisfied and looking forward to today and this holiday weekend and the rest of this summer. I should have gotten out my notebook and put pen to paper. I should have tried to capture the fine details of those moments. I didn’t.

Instead, I opted to just cruise through my evening enjoying the feeling. I opted to take a drive with Jim and watch a show and go to bed early.

And today I can’t remember what I was thinking. Whatever it was has dissolved into the abyss. I’m tired from not sleeping well and no longer excited about the day. My list already seems too long and unmanageable. I’ve got all day to get stuff done but just don’t want to do any of it.

Something happened between last night and today and isn’t that strange? Probably not.

My kids are at their Dad’s for the holiday and Jim is taking his boys camping for a few days too. So I’m going to be solo most of the next 48 hours. Last night I was inspired by the prospect of doing my own thing for a couple of days. And today, I’m already feeling kinda alone.

Maybe that’s the cause of my mood shift? Or maybe it’s the realization that even though I’m alone, I still have a ton of things to get done and will not really even have a choice of what to do.

It could also be this string of depressing songs that are coming up in my iPhone shuffle this morning. 🤷‍♀️

Life is strange and mysterious. And, that’s just about all I have to say about things today.

Peace,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-06 Funky Monkey Friday Cryday

I’m not terribly inspired today. I got my morning workout in and have been working on swapping out my spring and summer clothes for fall and winter. That’s only fun for a quick minute and then it’s just not. Spring and summer are my favorite seasons. Winter would probably be third with fall being last, unless we are in the middle of a stretch of negative degree days in which case, winter always falls to the bottom of the list. Snow is OK in my book, but there is something about fall that is just dreary and depressing. Even more so today because it has been raining for like four days now and everything is just soaked.

The Matchbox 20 concert was moved to an indoor venue because of the weather and though I have been listening to their tunes all week, I’m still sort of in a funk today and not super excited about it.

I was up at 4AM and did a few things and did not quickly go back to sleep and the sleep I did get was riddled with dreams. I had a dream with Matt in it and a dream with Josh in it and the dream that had Josh in it I was in a situation in which I was completely aware that Simon existed. He was not in the dream, but in my thoughts in the dream. Isn’t it super strange that I remember having thoughts in my dream? I didn’t even know you could have thoughts in a dream let alone remember them. Anyway, I did and it forced me to decide to try and remove myself from staying in the same place as Josh. If that isn’t telling then I don’t know what is.

It is perhaps the lack of good sleep that is keeping my mood subdued. I need to get motivated to do something else, but not sure what that would be on a lazy Friday afternoon. Maybe I will take a nap and see if that does not inspire me to accomplish something with the time I have left before getting ready to go out for a serious jam session with the boys in the band.

Time Will Tell,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-29 Don’t Question It, Just Enjoy

I’m really trying to make sense of the fact that I was in a better mood today. I should just enjoy it, but my brain is treating this like another puzzle to be solved. Why brain. Why?

All last week I was in a funky mood and if you are following along and read yesterday, I bottomed out over the weekend and was just not able to snap out of it. Yesterday the funk turned into more of an anger situation where I really had to try to keep my temper in check. Luckily, I wasn’t really around many people so I didn’t have to try that hard.

The closest I came to going-off was when I was at the gym getting some cardio in on the elliptical machine and every single one of the 6 machines that they have like the one I wanted to use had some sort of an issue. Every single one. I know there was something else about my time there that pissed me off, but it was so unimportant I can no longer remember what it was. I wanted to march up to the front desk and go-off on the person there, but I held back. The point is, I was just angry and it was largely unfounded.

I got irritated with Josh who was trying to cheer me up and I think most of my irritation came from the fact that I don’t think I wanted to be in a better mood. I wanted to be upset and nobody was going to tell me I couldn’t. Now how is that for stupid?

I ended up doing two Jazzercise classes back to back in the evening and exercise generally makes me feel better, but it didn’t. In fact, I got about 28K steps during the day and none of it made a difference on my mood.

Last night I took a Xanax to help me sleep. I really wanted to get a good night and not struggle with waking up unnecessarily. I have not been taking anything to help me sleep lately, but for some reason I felt like I might have an issue. I, of course, slept great.

Today I woke up a few times around 6 and 7 but rolled over and got more sleep and eventually woke up for good at 8. I felt good. The big difference for me between taking Xanax and other sleep aids that I have tried is that the other sleep aids tend to leave me feeling groggy in the morning, like my mind and my body want to sleep more. With the Xanax, I feel refreshed and ready to get up and get moving.

Today I decided to skip the morning cardio and did a few things around the kitchen and look up some info on the internet instead. The rest of my morning routine was about the same. Around 10, I headed outside to capitalize on the beautiful weather and get started on my edging project. Slowly but surely I am making progress on that. If things go well this week, it will be done by Sunday. I pretty much worked on that all day taking breaks for water and food.

I finished the next stage, which was laying down all the pavers and making sure I had a nice clean line from one end of the yard to the other. That was no small task because there was lots of dirt movement, and leveling, and micro adjustments. I was done around 3:15 and filthy dirty and ready for a break. As I was working though, I noticed that my mood was just so much better than yesterday. Better than the whole last week. Very curious.

I was so filthy dirty from the yard work I had to shower before Jazzercise. I normally would not shower BEFORE taking an exercise class, but I was just covered in dirt. Then I proceeded to do another back to back session of classes. Again, I continued to be in a good mood throughout. I even felt like I had more energy to kick the cardio up a notch. Though I did drop 2lbs in weights for today’s classes due to the lifting heavy bricks all day long.

When that was over, I came back home and made myself some delicious food and just sat in my quiet house all alone contemplating my day. Why was today different? Was it the Xanax and the good night sleep? Was it a better balance of activity with other things? Was it the interactions with people (or lack thereof)? Was it because I felt like I made progress on my yard? Was it the text I got from Simon making plans for tomorrow? Was it due to the fact that I ate healthier and drank more water? Was it the amount of caffeine I had? I have to admit I really don’t know. There are too many variables to try and pin it down and even if I tried to force a “reenactment”, that never works.

I’m at the end of another day now though and hoping that my brain can just let this one go. As I sit here I am trying to decide whether or not I should take another Xanax for sleep tonight. I don’t think I need it, but I didn’t need it last night either. Tomorrow is Wednesday and outside of going for a bit of a bike ride and getting some sand for my pavers, I have no plan. I’m just hoping that despite not knowing why things have taken a turn for the better, it continues and I can just enjoy it.

Hugs and Kisses,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-15 Mid Month Moodiness

The last few days have been a struggle again. My emotions at work ran high yesterday and I have about a week left and I can’t quite figure out why I was letting things get to me. I woke up at 5AM yesterday and 5AM again today and something is stuck spinning in my brain. That has to be the reason I have not been able to fall back asleep, like I have been doing so well these last few weeks. In fact, until yesterday, my sleep was nearing the 8 hour average mark.

Yesterday I was ultra focussed on a few work items and alleviated the immediate pressure by scheduling a meeting with one of our executives.. the founder of the company and the person I have historically most often been coached by these past 5 years. He was one of those folks who was really tough to face when I resigned, but now that a few weeks have passed, I’ll be able to have a conversation and keep my composure.

I want to talk to him about the future state of the company and more specifically, my area and the roadmap of my product. I’m being very possessive, but that’s what happens after five years in the driver’s seat. I’m in a very odd position with an internal struggle between holding on and letting go. I think this conversation will help me. That’s going to happen next Monday. My last Monday working for a while.

Then there’s the Matt aspect (if you can call a person an aspect). Another struggle to let go. I believe the best thing for me would be not to communicate at all, but I am compelled to. I don’t pretend to understand my own behavior. Even in the last week, I’ve teared up a couple of times thinking about “us”, and then spontaneously texted two days ago with a question. I was really just wanting to say “hi”, but came up with a reason, so it would not seem so random. I don’t know why I can’t just let go.

I went to a show with my Friend Amy last night and after we went to Lot 2 for food and drinks. We both had a kale salad and split a cheeseburger That was a place Matt and I used to go to and split a cheeseburger. It made me happy and sad at the same time. The cheeseburger was not as good as I remember.

It is mid week, mid month, and mid life and I have to figure out how to snap out of this funk. It’s 7:15AM now and I’m already tired and wanting to go back to sleep. I’m wanting to go back to sleep and now is the time I should be waking up. That’s messed up.

Back to Bed?
~Miss SugarCookie

P.S. Today I am grateful for having events to look forward to in my future.