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 now I’ve got to withdrawn that poem from like 10 other publishers.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!

XOXOXO,
~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

2020-10-13 Pepperoni Pizza = Strange Dreams 🍕➡️😱

It’s been previously verified that if I eat pepperoni pizza too close to bed time, strange dreams will disturb my sleep.

Last night was no exception. Though I would hardly call the dreams strange or disturbing, it was certainly odd for so many men from my past to pay me a visit in the same night.

Saying “so many” makes it sound like a lot. And that’s just not the case. But when you’ve only “dated” a few people, more than half feels like a lot.

I mean, I married my first boyfriend when I was 19 and we were married for 17 years so that’s a healthy chunk of my life and also when most people are meeting lots of potential partners and sowing their wild oats.

Fast forward to about 6 months after my divorce was final and I got on Match. I went on a few dates with a few guys but had no idea who I was and what I was looking for. I ended up seeing this one guy for a hot minute (six months). It was my first friends with benefits relationship. But I thought we had a potential future together so it broke my heart when he found someone else. (Thanks for all the good times and poetry Vis 😋).

Then there was Matt. My “big love.” We were crazy for each other. Until the sun came out, and burned off all that god-dammed dewy-eyed newness (paraphrasing the only viable poem that came out of those 5 years). Yeah. 5 years. Good grief. 🙄

Then there was JTA, another good friend who I knew from the first time he told me we weren’t right for each other that there would never be an “us.” He’s one of those that visited me last night. Just before I woke up. Probably talking about moving away and how this town is not the right place for him. If you think I’m a broken record, talk to that guy for 10 years and realize that it could be much worse.

Still, I’ve got a special place in my heart for him and all the time we spent together. I would not say he helped me through my rough patch so much as he was just reliably there. More reliable than most people in my life at the time. So I’m grateful. 🥰

After that I got back in the dating game and went out in my fair share of first dates. Even a few second dates. I dabbled in a few one-time stands and even started seeing a guy pretty regularly, for about 5 months. Again I thought we had potential.. until I started to lose interest. The day I told him I wanted to call it quits was the day I found out “we” were also never really dating. WTF people??!!

Sprinkled in all that were a few good times with my friend HL. Again, according to my well established MO, I did have thoughts there could be something more there. The main limiting factor was the distance between us. He doesn’t live in Omaha so we only saw each other on trips elsewhere. He was another one of the dudes to show up in my pizza induced dreams last night.

Then I met Jim of course and that was that. The Universe help me, I hope that’s it. I really think it is. And he didn’t need to show up in my dreams last night cuz he was sleeping right beside me. 💕

Removing the “one and done” instances, that adds up to about 6 dudes I’ve had feelings for. I guess two out of 6 is not a lot after all. I stand corrected.

I suppose the most disturbing part of the dreams I had was the fact that Jim was absent. And I had this uneasy guilty feeling about hanging out with these other dudes, even though I have no recollection of the actual going’s-on.

Whelp.. I didn’t intend to rehash my entire (un) romantic history, but there you go.

It’s almost mid-month and I have once again not done all the things I said I was going to do in October.

What I did do (that was not a part of my plan) was spend time putting together a poetry manuscript for sending out to potential publishers. I ran across a familiar name in Submittable and the deadline is October 18. And I’d rather be working on my writing than almost anything else. So that happened.

A friend of mine agreed to give it a good once over for editing and I was able to send it to her last night.

Today my set list includes GLR catch up and other various house chores. Oh, and I promised to help my darling daughter with her photography homework. Which translates loosely to needing a shower so I can be photo ready.

What’s not in the cards for today is eating more pizza. Nope. Not because of the crazy dreams, mind you. But because it’s Taco Tuesday. 🌮🌮🌮

Peace and Love Ya’ll,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-06 Life as a Kitten Mama

This morning I had to take Gustav to the vet for shots and so I’m getting a strange late start to my day. These days it’s curbside appointments only. You pull up and call when you arrive and they check you in and come out to the car to get your pet. Then you wait in your car. Or if you’re me you make a quick trip to the Dunkin that’s in that same plaza for a medium hot latte with French vanilla swirl. Mmmmm.

20 minutes later they call back and get your payment info and then bring your furry back to your car. Gus had his first round of shots today and will have to go back in a month for the follow up.

He’s worn his harness a few times now and outside of the drive from Michigan, he’s barely been in the car. Maybe like 4 rides total. But he did great. They say that in the first six months you should do everything you intend to do with the cat in their life to get them used to it. I’ve definitely not taken Gus for as many rides as I did with Kayla.

She was in the car with me a lot and I even took her to the badlands. Still, there was a long stretch after that that she was almost never in the car and I think she forgot all her conditioning. Now when we go she is very nervous and does a lot of mewing. It’s the only time I ever hear her talk.

Come to think of it, all our cats are pretty quiet. Wonder why that is.

When Gus talks he still has his baby-monkey voice sometimes. Like In the car today. I’ve heard him have a big-boy mew a few times but not a lot yet. I kind of wonder if that tiny, squeaky voice will stick around or if he’ll grow out of it completely. It’s really adorable. He’s adorable.

The vet said she had a tough time listening to him (his heartbeat I’m guessing), because he was purring so loud. He’s a purr machine! And it is loud and so cuddly. He’s 7 pounds 9 ounces now. A ball of energy that has two speeds, go-go-go and sleep. He definitely has the energy of a kitten and the other cats seem to like him ok, but sometimes lay there and watch him like “I used to have energy like that.”

Sometimes Gus Gus (not a typo, that’s one of his nicknames) provokes Doug cuz he likes to wrestle. Him and Doug go rounds of pounce and roll until Doug has had enough and tries to get away. Doug is like more than twice his size so it’s super adorable. You can tell that they are just playing and Gus is relentless for more.

Like an annoying little brother who just wants the attention of his big bro. With Kayla it’s a different story. She’s top Kitten here and wants to make sure the other cats know it. She chases and pounces too but it seems a little more aggressive and territorial. And after introducing Gus, the hierarchy was established and Gus doesn’t really challenge her anymore.

She definitely was not maternal like we had hoped. Maybe once she realizes he’s not a threat, she’ll be a better sister. We can hope anyway. 🤷‍♀️

As one of my first orders of business this week, I wanted to give the kittens all some better attention. Lots of pets and playing. And of course get lots of pics of all the cuteness that goes on. Which is a lot.

Another prime directive is to spend each day working on my personal endeavors. Yesterday I submitted to about 4 new places. I told Jim that sometimes I aim high and sometimes I aim low and sometimes I close my eyes and don’t aim at all. Which is to say that I just “discover” places through Submittable and don’t research them at all.

Probably not the best way to go about it but it is a lot of work doing the research. Sometimes I wander away to the websites to see what they have to offer and what they have published in the past. I would say that has caused me to rethink submitting a few times. Save my worlds and my $3 for someplace else.

Yesterday I took a different approach to aiming high. I opened a newly acquired poetry book by one of my MFA mentors Jim Peterson, and read the acknowledgements page. Then I went through that list of places and started looking them up, one by one, to see if they had open calls. About half so far have.

I’ve thought about submitting a full manuscript but I’m not quite there yet. Feel like maybe I should try to get more individual poems published first. Then again, sometimes I question the point of it all. Maybe that’s just the mood I’m in today. Which is that I-just-want-to-snuggle-kittens-all-day mood.

While I was sitting in the car at the vet this morning I read a new email from my MFA program coordinator relating info about the lecture topics for this coming residency. In an instant my blood pressure went up and I felt a knot form in my stomach. I just don’t wanna think about it at all.

The other lectures look extremely informative and well thought out and my one sentence description was very generic. I wrote it that way for a reason, like 6 months ago as I was supposed to give a lecture at Res this past summer.

I deferred till winter in classic Miss. SugarCookie procrastinator form. The reading doesn’t bother me at all. It’s just reading. But giving a lecture is icky. Of course I’m terrified. Of course I’m unprepared. Of course I’m worried that I’ll bomb and people will find out I’m a big fraud. Of course, of course, of course. 🙄

I guess I’ll have to put some more effort into figuring out what exactly I’m going to talk about. /deep sigh 😔

But first…. kittens!! 🐱🧡💛

Time to get on with it.
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-02 Jump Into this Day From Yesterday’s Sin…

On October 21, 2010 (not a typo – ten years ago) I wrote my first post on my first blog: Day By Day.

It’s proof, that no one can predict what the future holds. No one can know what they are capable of. No one realizes the capacity of their cup.. until they begin to fill it up.

I’ve been filling my cup for 10 years… with whatever I can find that brings me joy and helps me feel satisfied. All that keeps me warm inside. I swirl around the contents, and peer into the concoction to see what magic I’ve collected.

I’ve had so many great experiences with people I’ve cared for. Friends and family. I’ve laughed and traveled and, of course, done the best I could with rotten situations too.

As I look back at all my blog posts, poems, and stories, I recognize that those tough times are often where the focus of my writing often goes. That’s the nature of the beast I guess. But that’s not a new revelation. I’ve known it my whole life.

I’ve joked before about it being ok if I get my heart broken, because at least there will be new poetry at the end of the road. A foolish joke which I believe the Universe used to teach me a valuable lesson (or two or three). Sobbing on the floor like wishing there was no tomorrow is not a pretty site. And there were no words that would save me from that agony.

Hella dramatic much?! Yes. But that’s how that felt.

See what I mean? I started writing this intending to swish through the warmth I’m feeling inside right now because of all the wonderful things in my life. But instead end up spiraling straight to a moment of heartache. Why??!!

Rubbish!!

Today the project I’ve been working on, the start up of a new literary journal, went live with its first issue. It’s a good day and I feel great. I feel grateful. I feel… like it’s a little unbelievable really. A few folks I care for dearly have put a ton of effort into publishing a beautiful, professional issue and of course, it doesn’t end there. There will be promotion and calls for submission for our next issue. It’s just the beginning but I don’t want to think about that right now.

I want to savor this day and what we’ve accomplished. I want to celebrate. I want to slow down this happy day and really just get all that I can from it. Pour it all into my cup. And then lay back and let myself be satisfied.

It’s Friday. Maybe I should pick up a book or see what the gods of poetry have to offer me today.

Or do what I said that I would yesterday, which is to lay down in corpse pose for a few days. Yes.. I read what I wrote yesterday which is often how I start. “Jump into this day from yesterday’s sin.” That’s what that little poem is about.

Ten years is a pretty good run. Who knows what the next ten will look like. I bet even the Universe doesn’t know. 😉

Wishing for peace on Earth,
~Miss SugarCookie

Day By Day

I read what I wrote and then start again,
Jump into this day from yesterday’s sin.
A bump in the road, a thing at the right,
Adding one, day by day, from morning ’till night.
Oh when will I get there and how will I know?
With a smile and a hand shake at the end of the show,
The only words that I heard were “Please play again.”
Adding one, day by day, from beginning ’till end.

2020-09-25 Tides Don’t Turn

They’re relentless rolling towards the shore where waves crash like an unforgiving Kublai Kan. Or the resulting opiate inspired vision in dream. Just a fragment. A sliver of the largest moon that ever pulled the tide up with such reliable gravity. Such a tragedy that the only words to linger after the last line are ones about broken hearts.

Today is a strange day. Yesterday at about this same time, when I was thinking about today all I could think about was the fact that it’s my brothers birthday and also the 25 year anniversary of the day I started my first job as professional adult. I actually thought about that for a while and considered writing about it but the end of the world seemed more important.

Plus, the anniversary is today so I figured it would make for a better fit for today anyhow. But now it’s not.

Get this. I have (had) 4 days left working at my current job (Same professional line of work— different gig) and my boss tells me yesterday late in the day to take Friday off. What?!? That’s does not happen.

So instead of pontificating over the fact that my career is ending neatly at almost exactly 25 years to the day it started, I’m waking up to thoughts of writing poetry and beginning my journey catching up on stacks of books and lit magazines. With the day off, I also got a pass at getting up to make breakfast and ended up laying in bed with my laptop until like 9:30.

I revisited my spreadsheet of submissions and my Submittable account. I went through and marked all the recent rejections (I highlight them in light orange because it’s so much more pleasing than the red color that is oft associated with rejection). As I look through this spreadsheet I’m delighted by the few stripes of blue that have started to appear.

I colored in another row last week with that cornflower blue. I’ve got a poem that will be appearing in December in a journal that, like my beloved Good Life Review, is on its maiden voyage. The poems I had submitted there were one’s I had not submitted anywhere else and really, the whole process feels like a twisted crap shoot. The fact they picked up the one they did amazes me. Who knows what might appeal to someone or fit with what they are looking for? 🤷‍♀️

Oh to get into the heads of those editors!! 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

Still.. it gives rise to a warm fuzzy inside. Cozy like a cat stretched out by a crackling fireplace in the middle of winter.

So I had to send them a new bio and headshot. My headshot is not really a headshot, but it’s the best I’ve got right now. The new bio took me a bit as they wanted more words than I typically offer and just wasn’t sure how to beef it up.

Once that was done, I hunted for new places to submit. I took my time (still gloriously laying in bed) revising a few things for three different new places. That’s what delayed me by like 2 hours getting down to my treadmill. But I’ve got the day off so who cares!! 💃💃💃

And with that.. I’m now checking the weather and contemplating a bike ride and perhaps sitting out on the patio sipping an iced latte. Time to get down to figuring out what this jobless life is going to be like .. right!??!

Feels like it’s the perfect time to resurrect “First Draft Friday.” Again., it’s been so long since I’ve written anything new or worthy of sharing and I very much want to do that. The best place to start, of course, is by reading. That stack of books will be the perfect jumping off point. Yes??


My bro, the rocket scientist, is 49 today. He’s a brilliant person who is a good role model for what it looks like to live your best life. He’s nearly two years my senior but has never had much time for me. When we were kids he avoided me like the plague at school.

Now he makes stacks of cash working for Ball Aerospace on contracts for NASA and spends his free time hiking and climbing mountains near Boulder Colorado.

He’s never given me as much attention as he did that time I climbed a fourteener. I remember arriving back to the apartment I was staying at in CO after that climb and being exhausted out of my mind but not able to rest until I called him to tell him. We talked and talked and I was so pleased he was impressed with me. Guess I’d been waiting for a long time for that. Admiration from someone I’ve looked up to my whole life. Life is strange.

That saying.. “The tide is turning”.. where did that come from? Tides don’t turn do they. I mean they get larger and smaller but they don’t turn. Rivers never flow the opposite way. The toilet may flush down in the opposite direction, but only when you are in the opposite hemisphere. What gives?

Anyway. That’s it.. my hour is up.
Happy Birthday Bro,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-21 What’s the Truth Behind All the Drama

Last night I had a dream I could not shake. I mean.. I dreamt the dream and woke up multiple times and then fell back to sleep into the same scenario twice.

I’ve got a big assignment due for school. Something that’s going to take months of work and I’ve shown up to the scene empty-handed. I’ve procrastinated past the point of no return and have to ask for an extension. I ask for a day, when what I have to do can still not ever be done in a day.

I get a finger wag and stern talking to from my advisor. Her ass is on the line with this too somehow. I lie to her.

I tell her it’s almost done. That it just needs some polish. That I want it to be awesome and don’t want to wing it.

That last bit is true. I want the outcome to be a success. I really don’t want to wing it. It’s just not who I am. Or at least not who I want to be. Maybe that’s the issue my brain is struggling with. That I feel like I’m faking everything I’m at right now and not doing anything well. Ugh!

Anyway, then my advisor and I part ways and what do I do? I head straight to where the social action is instead of getting to work on my project. Why did I do that??! I was so anxious and nervous and still opted to procrastinate further.

Then I wake up and fall back asleep and it’s a day later and the stakes are higher. I’ve already asked for an extension and I can’t do that again. I’m so terrified of meeting with my advisor again who is basically one of the sweetest women I know. I’m banking on her using that sweetness to hold it together when I tell her I’m still not ready. It’s progressed past my having any control and I’m at the mercy of the Universe.

I’m crossing fingers that I’ve stacked up enough karma points to get me through this moment. My reputation is at stake and I’m positive I’m about to be called out as a fake.

After all, if you fake it till you make it, that’s what you are right??!! Just a fake?

Waking up to real life brought me some relief. I was released from any obligation to continue playing out that scene. Still, it left me laying there haunted. Why brain??… WTH??!!!


Today is my second to last Monday at my job. 8 days to go.

This morning as I was driving my son to school, which is about 50 minutes round trip. I was thinking about leaving my job and team and started to tear up. What is wrong with me? I should be happy, yet was overcome by sadness and fear of regret. This is what I want right?

I look over at my son, asleep in the passenger seat. Is he the project I’m failing at? Have I been Faking parenting him for 16 years and coming up hot at the end of his days at home and not ready.

Isn’t he the reason I’m quitting my job? And Jim and Z and our family life. Or is it so I can selfishly spend my days working on my fitness and my art. What will I choose to do with those extra hours in my day?

Will I check the Gradebook for Coop and be on his case when he starts to slip? We’re a month into school and I’ve only checked once. Epic fail.

Will I get down to work cleaning the toilets and scrubbing floors like a good Cinderella or will I just binge on Jazzercise and Electric Literature?

Time will tell.

As he got out of the car to go into the school, I felt another wave of sadness wash over me. He felt so distant as he said goodbye. I felt like I’d neglected him this weekend because we barely spoke and I was focused on work and prepping for a social gathering.

I pulled out of the parking lot and started to tear up again. Again, WTH?

Then I looked at my phone .. and tapped on my Fitbit app, swiped my finger down to refresh. Swiped my thumb up to scroll down. And there was the answer. It’s exactly 7 days till I get my period. That means prime time for the emotional swells. Mystery solved.

I continued my drive home thinking about poetry. How people won’t want my words because who wants to hear anything about spoiled white Cinderella in her broken castle? Made me think about my ex-husband, oddly enough. And the fact that he inadvertently gifted me books of material during our life together. If only I had a desire to visit that time in my life again.

But no. Like bronchitis.. ain’t nobody got time for that!

As my time today on the treadmill nears it’s end.. I toggle to my work app and see people wishing someone a happy birthday and I start to tear up again.

Yeah.. this ones gonna be a doozie!

On that note… my time is up.
Happy PMS Monday Ya’ll,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-08-25 Reading Past Repetition to Get to the Good Stuff

There’s no way I’m not going to not be tired today. That’s what less than four hours of sleep does to a person. 

Impossibly, it was not because of performance anxiety over the two hour training session I’m supposed to conduct today with a group of folks I’ve never met before. Incredibly I could not fall asleep in the first place, which has rarely been my problem. Impractical as it is, my issue was caused by my mind wandering around poetry. 

I was reading a lot of poetry before going to bed. Add that to the growing list of things I can’t do in the hour before going to bed. 🤷‍♀️

Thankfully that was all it was and had nothing to do with the results of the 3-D mammogram and breast ultrasound that occurred hours earlier. That mess had already been discussed and swept away. Thank the Universe, that topic was open and shut quickly. Grateful today to be lamenting sleep woes in classic SugarCookie broken record repetition style instead of thinking about how my life will never be the same. 

***

Last night I had to send out lots of declines for the lit mag. I don’t like that part of my new gig. Turns out I dislike being the bearer of bad news more than I dislike receiving it. I’ve got declines rolling back to me now quite regularly and I open those emails and just kind of shrug. I update the spreadsheet I’m using to keep track of my submissions like it’s just a business transaction. I don’t feel the sting of rejection and I wonder why not. It’s curious. 

What’s even stranger than that is my reaction to instances I’ve opened my email and found an acceptance. “Congratulations,” they say. We want your words.

This from my most recent acceptance letter.. “What powerful pieces! We particularly loved ‘Mining the Gap’ and are thrilled to say that we are going to publish it…”

This makes me feel all warm inside for a blink or two and then my heart returns to its typical rhythm. Not quite as subtle as a shrug but also not the spinning on dance floors one might expect. Why is that?
Is there something wrong with me? Do I disbelieve what I read? Am I incapable of being moved? Or do I not trust the sources? “Powerful?” Really? No way.

Maybe it’s indifference because I intend to keep submitting my poems regardless of the outcome. Perhaps it’s similar to writing them in the first place. The feeling I get from writing is pretty satisfying. Then really working whatever that is over and over until it feels finished is next level. I get excited. I turn the music up and dance a jig in my underwear in the kitchen all by myself. I love it when I read one of my beautiful babies and get that same rush and tingle. 

This morning I was at it early, revising a poem to prepare it for the world at large. When I finished and read it through without stopping, I welled up with tears. I mean, the topics of my 20’s and 30’s are old news. How incredible is it that I can still get choked up like that? That’s the stuff. 

Perhaps publishing is not the goal, but part of the motivation to revise? Perhaps I get enough satisfaction from self-publishing and don’t really need more? Perhaps these are the things I tell myself to steel my mind— to prepare for all the inevitable rejection. 

In any case, here’s the latest SugarCookie poem which is currently on display at wonderful online publication called Prometheus Dreaming (Poetry Volume 2, Issue 2.5): Mining the Gap

I’m grateful to this publication for wanting my words and including them among so many other wonderful poems I’ve read there.

That’s gonna be it for today folks. Thanks for playing along. (Time to go take a nap now – ha!)

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020-07-04 Cheers to New Poetry and Spending Quality Time this 4th of July 🌟

I’m leading with the poem I wrote yesterday instead of including it as an afterthought at the end. The tag line? “Look Ma, it’s a Love Poem!!”

Driving Toward Sunset on July 2nd

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I had two good virtual catch up sessions with friends, I attended a poetry workshop where I learned something and wrote a poem, and also managed to not do a lot of work and focus on doing things that made me feel satisfied.

And I took a shower.. super bonus plan!!

Of the aforementioned things I would say that the most noteworthy was the poem. I can count on one hand the number of poems I’ve written since February. It was so satisfying to not only write it, but immediately apply what I learned in the workshop to find the right form.

The workshop was with Paul Tram and it was one of the more educational workshops I’ve attended. Many have great topics and prompts, but we actually evaluated a poem and he revealed all it had to offer. We then took that formula and wrote our own.

Even more noteworthy than that was the fact that I wrote a love poem!! I mean I’ve written hundreds of poems but love poems are rare among them. For whatever reason, being in love or loving someone does not inspire words within me typically. I’m more inclined to write about life when my heart is breaking, when I’m down and struggling (except in a pandemic when I apparently can’t put more than two stanzas together).

I’m extremely grateful for the workshop and the day off and.. not to be dismissed.. my love who has been on my mind quite a bit tough he’s only been “out of town” for about 36 hours. We’re planning to go on a bike ride today.

Now I’ve got quite a backstory about my history with 4th of July—too much to go into detail here, But I will say I’ve had my share of ups and downs and steps backwards and forwards in the last 10 to 12 years. I’m really looking forward to establishing new traditions and re-shaping old ones.

The poem probably says it best, though.

I’m going to close with that today. I was up early and am feeling hungry and ready to dive into my chores so the house is in good order for Jim’s return and for the activities we have planned for the day.

Wishing all a safe and satisfying day.
Thanks for reading,
~Miss SugarCookie