2021-06-12 The Security Camera Saga: A Prequel 🎥

A prequel? Hmmmm… This is new. 

The briefest definition of “prequel” that I have found is a story or movie containing events that precede those of an existing work. And for sure I began writing this blog post several days ago with the intent to get into the weeds of the analysis I was doing at the time in order to come to a conclusion about what security camera system to replace our existing cameras with.

However, sometimes, when I begin to write, the words come out of nowhere and go in a completely different direction than I intend. It happens quite often actually and while I am sure it is all part of some grand plan, I’m left with little nuggets of treasure I don’t quite know what to do with. This one happens to be about writing bios. 

I’ve written and rewritten my bio dozens of times and included it in a hundred (plus) submissions. In the beginning a person really doesn’t know what to say about themselves. In 2017 I was at the beginning of a new chapter of my life and had just started rekindling my passion for writing. As such, I had nothing noteworthy as a writer to say about myself or my life. 

You can’t fake or fib experience and so all you really have to go on is your current status—Where you live, what you do, perhaps your personal familial situation or pursuits. My bio back then:  #ILikeTurtles. 😜

In 2018 I was tasked with writing my first bio by a publication that required it for their print poetry anthology. It was supposed to be about 50 words. I toiled over that because I didn’t have enough to reach the requirement. 

Now, after just a few short years, I have a tough time narrowing it down for those lit mags that have a 50 word max. I’m now faced with deciding what’s important or relevant to include and what I can let go of. It’s a nice  problem to have. 

For one, it means that I’ve been somewhat successful in my attempts to get my poems published. I now have a healthy list of publishers I can reference in the standard sentence that lots of folks include in their bio about recent work. It’s also good to have something about how a person is or has participated in the industry at large besides just being published. For me, that is my involvement with The Good Life Review. 

As I stated, I’ve now been through many versions of my bio and it hasn’t been just because of the aforementioned experience. It’s partly because my personal life has had a lot of big changes in the past couple of years too. Marriage, moving, and transitioning away from working at a traditional job to name a few. I feel like life has been a fast moving train since 2017 and is just now starting to slow down.  

Though my move was not THAT significant (same state and general metro area, just a different city), it did warrant a tweak to the bio. I also finished my MFA in writing AND had to up the kitten count from 3 to 4 when we got Gus Gus last year (yes, the number of cats I live with is important! 😂). 

Though there have been many iterations of my bio, the first bit about who I am and where I’m from has not changed much. I mean, those things are not going to change. I have shorter and longer starter sentences based on the word count requirement and have gone back and forth about the importance of folks knowing the state or the general area I grew up in. No matter the verbosity and specificity I’ve landed on calling myself an “analytical Virgo” and that’s just stuck in all the variations. 

Back when I was a practicing IT analyst, I didn’t have to include that detail but now that I no longer have a career where it’s inferred, I’m somewhat compelled to slip it in there. My analytical nature and affinity for left brain tasks are near and dear to my heart. It’s a double edged sword—the “thinkers curse.”

The big benefit is my ability (and passion) for digging into a task like researching options for replacing our security camera system here at the Castle. If you’ve ever looked into such things you know that it is less of a rabbit hole and more of a dragon cave! I don’t often use the word “Saga,” as I have done in this set of posts, and would never do so lightly. 

This is the part of the post where I was finally getting to my actual point, and was really super excited to document for all-time and perhaps even provide some helpful insight and value to individuals stumbling across my blog. Sadly, I ran out of time. Even more sad than that is that I thought about the best way to transition into that “real” topic and came up empty. But the saddest of all was that I actually started writing this on June 12th (it is now June 15). Life is a fast moving train indeed. 

I suppose the conclusion of this particular post (like a lot of prequels) is anti-climatic and doesn’t truly have much to say since the meat of the real story hasn’t actually been posted yet. And, if I were keeping true to the definition of the word “prequel,” those other posts would come first. But that’s not happening either. #fail 

Hopefully, though, all that noise will be ready soon.🤞 I for one am super excited about my new cameras!! Stay tuned to hear all about it. 😂

With Peace and Love and Bubblegum Bath Bombs,
~Miss SugarCookie

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

2021-04-11 Exhale and Release

Yesterday was a doozie. Hold up. This whole week has been kind of off the rails. I’m trying. I really am. And I’m truly doing the best I can. 

Yesterday the stress of the lit mag going live (and frankly being over a week behind the original release schedule) got to me and by the end of the afternoon, had triggered a migraine. It was terrible timing. 

I had previously committed myself to a social engagement which I did not want to miss. By 4 in the afternoon, after staring at a damn screen all day AND trying and failing to polish my “letter from the editor,” I developed a nasty headache and was worried it would prevent me from making the gathering. 

I hit the headache with all I had, ibuprofen, Tylenol, and sumatriptan. I would have tried to lay down for 15 minutes but there just wasn’t time. There wasn’t even time for me to shower, which was also quite undesirable. I basically only had time to change, put on some mascara and lipgloss and go. 

Normally I would also have a glass wine to calm my social anxiety, but that’s a big-bad idea with a migraine as it would definitely put me down with a quickness. 

The unfortunate set of circumstances put me in the corner at a far table with a group and of folks that I hadn’t met before. I did my best to be social as I suffered from my aching head.  Didn’t even have the spark to get feisty about the game we were playing. Normally the competitive board-gamer in me would override my social awkwardness but last night was not my night. 

The best I could do was make polite small talk, eat a little and drink a little, participate in the game (which was fun) and then say goodbye at the right moment. Like I said, I did the best I could. 

The same goes for the release of the third issue of The Good Life Review. I relied heavily on my friend, M, who is brilliant with web stuff, graphics, and design. I had previously spent hours and hours building the new issue 3 individual pages and the new home page but there’s just something about her special touch that nobody else can match. She’s a gift and I don’t know what I’d do without her. 

I did the best I could, but she really brought it all together. I was going to try to push the release live last night but just couldn’t do it. Instead I woke up this morning before 6am and pulled the trigger. Once I did, I immediately felt a sense of relief wash over me. Not sure what I could do differently with issue 4, but I would like to plan it out so that it’s not as stressful at the end. 

Here’s the result: https://thegoodlifereview.com

Today I would like to gift myself with a little bit of grace before letting my brain get twisted up with ALL the other things that I’ve been procrastinating. 

I don’t want to think about next week. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. Good gravy I don’t even want to think about the vacation I have coming up very soon. How sad is that??!! I just want to sink into the couch and veg. Watch some trash tv and maybe, if I’m feeling up to it, go to a yoga class or something. 

I know there is no rest for the wicked and the week ahead of me is going to kick my ass again, but I’m still gonna try really hard to NOT think about that today. 

Nope. Not today. 

On that not.. it’s time to make a coffee, drag my tired body to the couch, and find some nonsense to get lost in. 

Cheers to exhaling and finally having a lazy Sunday,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-26 Dealing With Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde

I’ve been awake since before 3am. What time I don’t know because I’ve been told looking at the clock is waking up my brain. Ok. So the first time I looked at the clock was about 3:15am. It’s not the light of the clock waking up my brain. I’m pretty sure my brain does that all on its own.

I had a slight headache and think it might be the alcohol consumption from last night. That could have something to do with the not sleeping well. It’s not rocket science, but what came first? The drinking or the poor sleep? No matter.. these are not the thoughts that consume me at 3 and 4 and 5am. Nope.

What is it then? I had a brief conversation with Jim last night where I was lamenting about my thoughts always being consumed with something. In my margarita’d state I described a pac man that was chomping furiously through my mind perpetually consuming my thoughts. I’ve got a limited amount of dots, you know, on the screen everyday and the pac man is always navigating the map of my brain, searching and chomping.. rounding corner after corner, chomping and searching, and eventually all the thoughts have been eaten and the day ends.

What about the ghosts?? 

Yes.. Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde are there. They are there to drive the pac man’s decisions on which way to chomp next. 

Fun fact: Each of the four ghosts in the game has both Japanese and English names. In Japan they started as Fickle, Chaser, Ambusher and Stupid. In my case these alternate names seem more appropriate. Their current personas are defined further as follows… 

Fickle: Always something I can’t decide and am continuously analyzing and weighing options in. Currently this is the question of what to do about my title with the GLR? GLR stands for the Good Life Review and is the online lit mag I founded last year and am currently trying to keep afloat and moving in the right direction. When we first determined the masthead, I gladly accepted the title of “managing editor” and let Ed take the EIC title, but over time this had started to grate on me in ways I could not have predicted. My issues have do with perception, the division of responsibilities-who is doing the work, and traditional patriarchal roles, and also frankly the way Ed throws the title around as if it gives him more authority. Great guy, but I don’t care for that. 

The fickle thoughts I have gravitate between removing the titles completely, and all manner of variation in between. I can’t tell you how much brain power I’ve wasted on thinking about this. That alone drives me kind of batty. We’re still in our first year and have such a small fooorprint or following that it matters not. But it matters to me apparently. 🙄 

Chaser: The endless quest to lose 5 pounds and look better. This is often disguised as attempts to eat healthier or exercise more or detox. It’s an endless chase that never leads to success. Always failure. Always disappointment. And then forgiveness and then beginning again. 

Ambusher: This is the random thing on fire that seems to pop up out of nowhere to hijack my plans. It might be a sink that won’t drain, a car that won’t start, a kid with an F in English, or a show that demands to be binge-watched. They appear randomly and with varying degrees of severity. Whatever it is, it drives pac man in a different direction. 

Right now it’s a one-two-three combo of my sons school performance and feeling like I’m not pulling my weight here at the house PLUS my pending book contract. All will require a lot of effort to resolve or get through and any effort spent may not result in a solution. 

Stupid: Stupid is just stupid. 

No matter what I do, the pac man goes the way he goes. The ghosts pursue. The dots on the map get eaten and the sun goes down. The sun comes back up, there’s a fresh map full of new dots, and it starts again. 

Sometimes, like today, I get a new map before the sun comes up. There I am, lying in the dark and the pac man appears and immediately starts chomping. 

This morning it was the GLR stuff. Not just the title, but also the next release, the social media issues, the website that I’ve failed to update all month, the contest, the promo effort (or lack thereof), the lawyer and nonprofit establishment. All the dots. All the dots. All the dots.

At 4:30am I worked in the GLR website and updated the home page, the masthead, and the sound bites page. I’m going to try EIC on for size and see if that makes me feel any better. Cuz.. you know it’s all about how I feel. 🙄😜

Other than that I was thinking about my lack of sleep and not sleeping because I’m thinking about not sleeping and well… that’s just stupid. Thanks Stupid. 

There you have it folks. My Friday morning in a nutshell.

Cheers to the Weekend,

~Miss SugarCookie

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

JK.. I never went to band camp. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I digress. Sorry bout that. 

“Girl, Stop Apologizing” 

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

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

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

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

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

Staying Frosty, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-05 Where’s Monday When You Need It?

After having slept for only 4 hours the previous night, I could not stay awake past 9pm last night. My sleep was unfortunately once again riddled with tossing and turning and congestion. At 4:30 this AM I gave up and got up (again). Sound familiar?

Despite that nonsense, I was in good spirits and looking forward to today. It only took all week to get to a point where it feels like all the mischief has been managed. Still.. I’m not ready for the weekend. At this point I’d like to have a few more weekdays with everyone else at school and work so I can continue to get stuff done without interruptions. While I love my peeps, they can sometimes be needy and nobody seems to care if the timing of their requests conflict with my own plans. Such is the life of a housewife I guess. 

I remember a conversation around a kitchen table with my then soon-to-be husband’s father who made a comment about my new job as a housewife. I remember how rubbed the wrong way I felt about the use of that term. It felt like an insult somehow. I’m not sure if it’s because the term is somewhat antiquated or perhaps that it implied a less important role. I’ve always been the head of the household, just not used to stepping into a role that’s primarily supportive. 

I’m still struggling with the transition. In some ways I’m happy to have more time to cook and clean, but in other ways this perception that it’s not as important still get to me. And the fact that my own personal endeavors can only get attention once my “primary” duties are taken care of is frustrating. 

This gets at the heart of what some of what’s been bothering me lately. Jim says he wants me to dedicate time each day to my writing but that does not jive with the amount of other things that need to be done. I mean, it’s one thing to say something supportive like that but when the rubber hits the road (and days and weeks pass with zero time spent on writing) it’s clear the words don’t match reality. 

Some of it is on me, for sure. I take on too much and literally filled the full time space I was spending at a regular day job with work on the lit mag before I even quit my job. I quit my job to relieve stress and have more time but somehow that extra time just evaporates each week. 

This week has been a particularly taxing week when it comes to the lit mag. We’re nearing the end of the current reading period and decisions need to made and there was a team meeting along with other intense conversations about how to do better with our mission. It’s all good, just taking a big chunk of time to be completely engaged and a bigger chunk of time to sort through my own thoughts and feelings. 

It’s all good, just time consuming and each day when the “work” day is over (like 3pm) I have to switch gears. Last night it was a provider meeting for Jim that was hosted at our house. That took all I had for about 4 straight hours. And I was exhausted! Then at 8pm, just as I sat down on the couch, my daughter comes down the stairs and asks (expects) me to cook her dinner. I wanted to scream. 

But it’s not her fault. I’m happy to cook. I like to. I was just so tired. I should have asked her to do it herself but I already carry so much guilt for saying no to so many things over the years. So many sacrifices because of my job and needing that stupid paycheck. “Sorry darlin, I cant right now because I have a meeting.” 

So I cooked. Then I sat with her while she ate. Then I went to bed. Like I said, 9pm. Such is life. 

***

It’s almost 9am now. I wrote most of that before 7am. Then I paused so I could wake the house and fix breakfast and get my son to school. 

I want to got my step goal now and beyond that, the only thing I can think of is going back to bed. I have so much to do but I’m trying very hard to sort out what needs done immediately and what can wait. My exhaustion is leading me to believe that everything can wait. Can that be right? 

Perhaps. 

On that note, I’m going to call it quits (For now? For the day? For the week?) who knows. 🤷‍♀️ 

With peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-04 A Good Day to Start (Again)

The update to yesterday’s “to be continued” question was answered last night at 9pm after 4 hours of discussion about the GLR lit mag (and after not having eaten a meal all day). 

In short, I didn’t care what it was.. I had to eat and ASAP so those left-over enchiladas were the best option. They were delicious. And oh, yeah, I forgot to mention yesterday with my post-anniversary update but the restaurant we went to was special for more than just the fact that it’s the first dine-in experience we’ve had together in 11 months.

It’s a Mexican restaurant called “Copal” which did not exist a year ago. A year ago, that location was an place called the Nuri Event Studio, which was used for business and groups to hold meetings and events.

The last event they had there before closing their doors and selling to the owners of Copal was a wedding. Our wedding.

That’s right. The place Jim and I got married has been transformed into a Mexican restaurant. 😜 🇲🇽 🍹🌮

At that dinner I pretty much declared that we would have to eat there every year on our anniversary. Like I wrote, the food was delicious and the house margs were a little too good If you know what I mean.

In any case. It was a special treat causing me to delay (or rather temporarily suspend) my February resolution for two days. I suppose I’m not super prepared for making big changes in my diet but promised myself that TODAY I would try again. 🤞

The “other” to be continued topic from yesterday was the communication situation. I had also promised myself to engage Jim in conversation last night but that too was derailed by the extended meetings. By the time the meetings were over I was hangry and frankly he was in a mood because he had been working at things around the house and I wasn’t there to help. 

He hadn’t eaten either and stormed through barely saying hi and professing he was going to bed early. His body language screaming, “don’t talk to me.” 

This set me off and fueled my need for conversation even more, and I know I said yesterday there’s never a “right” time for heavy conversations about feelings but this was really, really not the right time. I reheated my left-overs and resolved to use my amped state to power through some GLR items that came out of the meetings. As I passed through the bedroom to get my laptop he stopped me and I pounced on the opportunity to say a few things. 

It was mostly about wanting to talk more and realizing 9:30 pm just for bed was not ideal. All I really wanted was a commitment from him that we would talk, about our feelings, and soon. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the response.. but he said we would talk more soon so I let the rest go (externally but not internally of course). 

I let him get to sleep and I worked until 10:30. Though I was still amped.. I forced myself to go to bed. I could not fall asleep, which is super rare. Then I woke up at 3:30 am with my head swirling with all sorts of thoughts again that would not let me get back to sleep. 

I actually got up about 4 and have been up ever since. Whatever. 

Today I’ve got lots more GLR follow up and last minute prep for a provider meeting for Jim’s work which is here at the house after work today. They’ve all been vaccinated at this point so it’s the first indoor gathering at the house since the wedding welcome party last February. 

I’m also supposed to drive to CB to visit my dad but thinking to postpone that till tomorrow because of the latest snowstorm and really because I just need that time today. I’m also not sure hope long I can last today on just 4 hours of sleep. 

I think that’s gonna be it today. All the other shit I’m thinking about would be like opening trap doors to rabbit holes. Ain’t nobody got time for that (including me). 

Cheers to Today Being Another Good Day to Start (Again), 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-23 Up and Down, Round and Round

It’s been a strange week and I’m very much looking forward to shifting gears. The focus this weekend is on vacation prep. That’s right.. I said vacation. 

It’s still too sketch to fly so we basically put a pin in Omaha and did a radial circle around it with a driving distance of  10 hours max. Our first bit of research landed us in South Dakota and we’re both so hungry for getting away that it actually seemed like a viable option. We booked an air b n b near Deadwood. Two days later we had issues with the rental contract and both did a facepalm… South Dakota in January?!! WTF were we thinking??!! Who goes NORTH in Winter?? 🤦🏼‍♀️ 

We were able to get out of that deal without issue and quickly turned our attention to the opposite side of the circle—south to Oklahoma and Arkansas.

With our second attempt to zero in on a destination that would be “off the grid” enough to disconnect from normal life but still have comfort with amenities to get some good R and R, we landed on Broken Bow Oklahoma. Well, near Broken Bow anyhow. 

For 30 years of my life I’ve had to do all the vacation planning. Let me tell you, it’s really easy to get used to someone else taking control. It’s just one of the many reasons I love my husband. He’s incredible for a lot of reasons. The excellent vacation planning is just one thing. 

The vacation is partially to celebrate our one year anniversary. And what a year it has been. Natural disasters, the BLM movement hitting another climax, a nail-biting election cycle, and.. oh yeah.. a global pandemic bringing humanity to its knees. My friend Rebecca said if we weathered this ok in our first year, we can survive anything. I sure hope so. 

Other things on my agenda this weekend besides laundry and cleaning and packing include trying to catch up on my GLR tasks that always seem to be falling behind. With the strange week that has been very up and down and round and round, it seems that some of those tasks fell to the “I will do that tomorrow” list. I’m also in a holding pattern on a few things that have started to become sources of irritation. Namely the contest that we’ve been waiting to announce since the beginning of January. In truth, when we originally planned it, the window for submissions was supposed to open on December 15th.

Now it’s nearing the end of January and we still don’t have all the content needed on all four judges to round out the lineup. It would be strange to have bio and pictures for two of the judges and not the other two. I also have other growing concerns but nothing worth writing through right now. Or at least not on a Saturday before vacation.

In any case, lots to do today and no time like now to get on it! 

Cheers to Caturday! 🐱

~Miss SugarCookie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later gaters, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-20 Take Two

I kinda told the whole world to fuck off today. I mean, within reason. 

I cancelled the appointment I had with my financial advisor. I really don’t see the need to talk to him unless I need something or he needs something. Feels like a waste of time. He’s got my business, my money is in his hands, I trust him, he’s a good guy. But we really have no reason to chat. 

His company must require it though as he wanted to reschedule. So I kicked that can till Friday and continued to host my own personal pity party from my living room couch. 

I cancelled lunch with my dad too. Bad daughter but I just couldn’t. I just didn’t want to. Prolly try to Friday on that too. 

Then I put my darling daughter off too. Bad mom. In order to pull that off I had to promise tomorrow. I’m hopeful tomorrow will be less of an existential shit show. 

At 2:15 today I slid back under the covers for a 30 minute rest. That helped me regain the energy needed to get through the afternoon. 

I picked up my son from school, had a chat with my sister on the way, met with some folks about lit mag business, and then cooked dinner for a few peeps. Might have had a glass of wine with dinner. Might have eaten too much. Might be walking off that “too much” feeling now. 

I punched my subs back up to 75 today. Going the free route for most of it and and aiming low with batches of poems from my thesis that are still unpublished. New strategy is to mix up the batches though. A few old and a few new. Never know what’s going to appeal to a reader. It’s just all a gamble anyhow. 

I also sent like 30 declines for the GLR which I have decided makes me grumpy by default. Partially because I hate being the bearer of bad news (even if it’s largely anonymous) but also partially because it forces me to see just how careless most people are with their work. Why put so much time into the crafting of the poems and then completely ignore submission guidelines, formatting, requests to de-identify the manuscript. It makes me lose a little bit of respect. (Or a lot). 

I want people to have a good experience but good grief!! What is so damn difficult about making the title of your submission match the title of your attachment. IT IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!! 

My lit mag meeting today was with Kate Gale, owner of Red Hen Press and LA Review. Yeah, she’s big time. All my questions are about funding and trying to run a sustainable business. But it’s been a long time since she was where we are, at the beginning. She’s operating on a million dollar budget and talks about donations and getting thousands of subs, and those being the two top revenue streams. We ain’t got none of that going on. We just small potatoes. 

The way I figure it, we will be operating in the red until we can get the paperwork for the non-profit status in order. I dunno. It’s a lot of work. And $$$. 

It’s now past 8. I’m so done with this day. Hoping to head to the couch for some serious veg time soon. 

Thanks for hanging out, anyhow. Have a great night. 

Yours truly, 

~Miss SugarCookie