2019-09-10 OR..91019!💃💃💃

What’s with the dancing you ask? Well.. my dear friend Michelle pointed out to me yesterday that we are rolling into a glorious 10 day stretch of dates that are PALINDROMES! Let me tell you that when she texted me that yesterday it made me grin from ear to ear, not only because I’m a numbers nerd, but more because I have people in my life who really get me. That’s the secret sauce you know, and it shouldn’t be a secret which is why I’m making that my Fall mantra. The statement “teamwork makes the dream work” is overdone, but there’s a reason for that.

Things that are true get a lot of reps. That stands for both repetition and reputation. This reminds me of a topic I’ve pondered lately because of a craft essay I recently read for school. It was An excerpt from Marge Percy’s “Midgame: Making It Better, Truer, Clearer, More Gorgeous” and one of the sections talks about trend and cliche. Anybody that has studied poetry for even a hot minute knows that you generally try to shy away from the cliche. Comparing something beautiful to a rose, saying something is as deep as the ocean, or referencing the moon (or really any thing that happens to exist in the realm of the celestial). I mean, there are no rules really but if something becomes cliche then that means it’s sort of exhausted itself in a literary sense. The essay speaks a little on why.

It has to do with universal understanding and trends to some degree. Every poetic era is slanted by the thing that all the cool kids are doing. Back in the day (when the Rose 🌹 found out its claim to fame) iambic pentameter was king. And so too, was the traditional sonnet form. But how many traditional sonnets do we see in contemporary poetry? Not a lot. Why? Because it’s payed out and been replaced by free verse.

There was a time that end rhyme was all the rage and that’s like death to a poet nowadays. I mean, I still do it, because it’s in my blood but none of those little nuggets of deliciousness will ever be published. It’s not cool. The landscape of the current poetic discourse has evolved into something else, in which the rhyme and form still have a place, but are changed.

In the essay she says that yesterday’s trend by the nature of the beast becomes the very thing that people avoid, almost detest “today”. So what’s the new cool kid on the block? Believe me, that is the question de jour.

My mind bends into this question and the answer snaps back from a couple different places… The first is from the exploration of contemporary poets. People who are being published today, winning prizes, being celebrated. What their work is IS the essence of the current landscape. Absorb that. Lean into imitation and you’re a third of the way there (the other two thirds come from instinct/individual voice and careful attention to craft).

The second part of the answer comes from the mouths of mentors and classroom professors and conductors of workshops and peers. Over and over again it’s “make it interesting”, “make it weird”, “make it different/unique”. There is so much poetry out there. Millions of poems and more being born every day. They exist, but to survive and persist they have to call attention to themselves. They have to have a hook, to get someone’s attention. That someone is a gate keeper that looks at hundreds of poems all day every day. They see ordinary, cliche, antiquated form and that poem goes right into the bit bucket, trash bin, or paper shredder. So today’s landscape is the anti-cliche.

Death to the Rose and Moon. So long slow sunset, fading away with your seven different luscious fruit flavors into to the void of yesterdays fame. Goodbye Ocean Tide, ocean swell, ocean magic. Isn’t it just tragic.

But.. here’s my dirty little secret. I don’t care. It’s a glorious feeling. It’s freeing really, that I can get my head around all of this and come to an understanding with it and let my inner voice reign supreme anyway. It too, will evolve with every poem and poet I’m touched by, and perhaps it will be altered naturally into what it is meant to be. I can remove “perhaps” from that statement because it’s already happened, and is happening — daily. The evidence is staring back at me every time I compare yesterday’s work with what I am writing today.

That’s why I don’t have a problem dismissing the notion that cliche is taboo. I embrace the bone white moon in all her glorious phases. I drink the sunrise and sunset. I feel Teamwork making the dream work pulsing in my veins. And I’m not afraid to say it!

If you made it this far, thanks for staying with me, it’s you I’m talking about! We have 10 days of magic starting today.. make them count!

Dance Dance Dance,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-10 Turn and Return To Center

It’s taco Tuesday again y’all. Let’s just be honest though, everyday is taco day. It’s just the way of things.. you know?

So here’s where my brain is at today, cuz that’s as good a place to start as any. Things have definitely leveled out since the major spin-out I had last week. This time last week I was circling certain doom. I forced myself to connect the dots with some important peeps and that helped tremendously. The weekend was very average and aside from a mini freak out Sunday/Monday about an assignment for class on Monday, all was well.

As a team, Jim, Z, and I made great forward progress on clearing out the room that is on the opposite side of the garage, intended to be a workshop/craft room but became a dumping ground for all things we didn’t know what to do with when we moved in. We sorted through stacked storage bins, furniture, and a whole bunch of random shit. It’s all out now and mostly moved to more appropriate places. There’s a little more prep work required, but we’re almost to painting. It’s a good thing for all us. More on that in the future. Perhaps a before and after post. I know Z took pics and she’s ga-ga for diy YouTube channels and Pinterest and all that stuff so we probably will end up with enough content for whatever we would want.

As far as today is concerned, there will be no tacos. I’ve literally got the whole day to work on house chores, writing, reading, and more work on that room if I get super motivated. The writing biz is blowing up now. I’m working on several projects for my Poetry Studio class which are very specific. For real. It’s all like.. here’s the subject and the form and also put a slant on it with this lenses/context in mind. I’m so used to free writing, fitting myself into a certain shape box is interesting. I’m still unsure how I feel about it, but I get the exercise. If I can do it, I’ll be a better writer for it.

I also need to make forward progress on the 3rd term craft paper which has me looking at other poets. Though I have permission from both my profs to cross the streams, it may not exactly work out that way because of timing.

Speaking of timing.. my time is up today and I need to jet.

Wash.. Rinse.. Repeat,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-07-01 Big Bites

A few days ago I got a present in the mail which I was super excited to receive.. my packet of materials for my MFA residency coming up this month. It feels a bit like Christmas morning, getting a first look at some really great material. I always love reading other peoples poems (reading mine revision after revision gets old).

Last night I did a first pass at my classmates submissions. It’s such a different mix of stuff each time, based on author of course. People definitely take on a certain style.. I think they refer to that as voice. I’m curios if when people read my stuff they pick up on a particular common voice or tone?

Last week in one of my posts I eluded to the fact that this next semester is beginning to look a little terrifying. That’s not for no reason as I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

Not only am I in my 3rd term and have all the standard requirements, which includes a 45 page craft paper, but I also am taking 7 additional credit hours in graduate level courses. The thought I had in mind was to be able to get the most out of these last two terms as possible, but I know once I start reading and writing full time AND get a grasp on what is involved with the two additional classes, I’ll be like “what the hell was I thinking?!”

The core graduate work will begin mid-July with residency in Nebraska City and the classes on campus will not start until August so I’m hoping to have enough done for the former when the second round hits. But you know what they say about the “best laid plans”… heh!!

In any case, I’ve got a few good weeks to think more about it and truly, the classes that start in the fall can be dropped in August if need be. So I guess I have time to simmer about it.

The next things on my to-do list for school involve coming up with a proposed reading list for the term and maybe a short list of possible topics for my craft paper. The more prepared I am going in, the more I will get out of it. Right?!

Of course I have big ideas and that’s what gets me into trouble. I’m sure as soon as I’m done posting this I’ll be onto the next thing (or the things I had in my list last week or last month that are still not done). That’s just part of the SugarCookie life. 🙃😉

Time to roll.

Peace Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-11-29 Aaaaand That’s a Wrap…

Last night I finished polishing all the documents required for my MFA final that is due this week. I haven’t yet got feedback from my mentor on my 4th packet, but that’s not really a requirement. That’s one more thing checked off my list for November and I feel great about it. ✅😊❤️

I’m a little sad to not be attending residency this winter but it was a necessary sacrifice for my family and my sanity. Having a semester break between my first and second years in the program makes so much sense for several reasons…

1. My focus needs to be on moving and selling my house and finishing all my current work projects. I want those experiences to be positive and I want to have time to do a fantastic job and not just half-ass things. 🕰⏳⏰

2. Financially I can maximize the tax benefit of contributing to a 529 for all 4 semesters (4 years of max contribution) which equates to 2000 extra bucks in my pocket at tax time (500 per semester). 💵💰💲

3. Once my house is sold I will have enough to cover the next two semesters without taking a student loan. Again important for my bank account as I will save in whatever that interest would have cost me. 🏠💶💃

4. I’m skipping a term that starts with a residency in the winter. Being in Nebraska City in winter over Christmas break and the new year holiday is not awesome. Doing it this way I will get two more summer residencies and only one more that is over NYE. ⛄️👎🏻🌨

5. I will have my graduating lecture and graduation in Summer term which is superior to winter and I’ll be graduating in a traditional spring term with a larger class. ☀️🌈🥂👍🏻

I’ll also be sad about not graduating with the people I started the program with but, the benefits of skipping a term outweigh the negative things. And by now, you should know me. I’m all about that balance. ⚖️

So today I will not only be submitting those final assignments and sending hard copies in the mail, but also turning my attention to the rest of my November checklist which there are only two more days to complete.

I’m so looking forward to everything in December. 😊🎄📦 However, I also want to not jump ahead to quickly. I need to take some time and have some celebration for this semesters success and accomplishment. 💃🎉🍾 🎈

Time for me to go get this Thursday party started and tie a nice little bow on my final submission.

So Much Awesome!

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-11-25 Spin that Sunday Status DJ

It’s been such a strange long holiday weekend that today hardly feels like a Sunday. Alas it is yet, it will continue to not feel like Sunday since I have to work on multiple projects including preparing for another release of software tomorrow. I also have the house decorating party with the kids today and if I’m feeling ambitious I will work on my final summaries for school. We’ll see.

Last night I fell asleep at around 8 and woke up after 9. Since I’m low on sleep right now it would have been great to just sleep right through to this morning but that didn’t happen. I ended up going back to sleep around midnight with a little help from my little blue friend, Doxylamine succinate (Unisom SleepTabs). It’s an OTC antihistamine like Benadryl. It knocked my ass out and I slept until nearly 9, which was glorious. That kind of stuff leaves me feeling groggy and I don’t like that so I try not to do it too often. Like I said, it felt necessary which is the perfect lead in for today’s status…

Sleep.. 6 hours and 23 minutes per night on average for the week. Well under goal caused by a few seriously short nights. What’s up with that Mr. DJ??!! That made my monthly and yearly averages go down and I’m now just below my overall goal of 7 hours. 🤔

Exercise.. 14.3K steps per day. At the moment I’m only getting exercise from gym time and not taking classes at all so that’s all coming from the elliptical and treadmill and yard work. I haven’t lifted for months and I’m afraid my arms have turned to flab. I’m thinking about starting Jazzercise again which would help with that. 😊 I’m sort of holding off on that until the semester is over so I don’t start using that as an excuse to procrastinate.

Healthy Eating… Nearing the end of the month and at the beginning of November I had such high hopes with my goals. I’m sad to report most of that went to shit. There was too much drinking and indulging and the only thing I would count as a success is my abstaining from coffee and sweet drinks like that. It’s probably the wrong way to look at things but.. there’s always next month. 🤷‍♀️

Work.. My hours are low due to the holiday and I haven’t yet added them up for the week. I’m going to give this one a double – 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

School.. Wrapping up the semester this next week. I spent a ton of time in the last week working on my 4th packet and finally pulled the trigger on sending that off yesterday (only 4 days late). Great success! ✅👍🏻✅. I also had a conversation with the coordinator of my MFA program letting her know I’m not enrolling this next term and will be returning in the fall. She understood and was overjoyed to hear about my engagement. Which leads right to my relationship status..

Happily Engaged! 💍 1 month out from celebrating our first Christmas together , 🎄, 2 months out from moving 🏰. These are crazy times. There’s nothing like getting everything you own out for decorating and packing at the same time. My house is likely to be a disaster for the next two months. Strangely, I’m ok with that. 😜

It feels like I’m forgetting something DJ?! What, oh what could that possibly be because I feel like I’ve already said too much.

Without further ado, It’s time now for me to switch gears and get back to enjoying my Sunday that’s not really a Sunday. 🎄✅😜👍🏻💍🤔🏰🤷‍♀️😊

12K and Climbing,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-10-21 The How-Is-It-Sunday-Again-Already Status

Remember a few short months ago when I was all like “I love Monday’s, Monday’s are great! Monday is one of my favorite days of the week!”?! Yeah, I hope you didn’t believe those lies. I guess the more you come to treasure your weekends, the more it seems to go too fast, the more you are totally bummed to spend your Sunday’s thinking about the fact that you’re not ready for Monday. That’s real life I guess. It was nice while it lasted though.

That’s the trick, to enjoy the current moment while it’s here and not think too much about how things will change or dwell needlessly on tomorrow.

My week and weekend is almost over and I’ve only crossed off like two things from my list and have about 10 more to try and tackle today. The procrastination is REAL and I honestly wonder what I’ve actually done. Perhaps today’s status report will reveal the truth? Let’s find out…

Sleep.. 7 hours and 35 minutes average sleep per night. Ok so I slept more. That explains a little. It’s sort of misleading though since I was sick for most of the week. Being heavily medicated will do that to a person, plus I had a few serious naps which is factored in on the FitBit calculation. Last Sunday I collectively slept for 10 hours. Wow.

Exercise/Steps.. 16K steps per day and that’s more than it has been in a while. I spent considerable time in the gym on the treadmill and doing yard work. When I don’t feel well and my brain can’t focus, I can still move my body. It’s really one of the only things I can do to not feel terrible about not accomplishing much else.

Food/Healthy Eating.. Forget about it.

School.. I met with my mentor on Tuesday despite having the longest day in the history of the world and she extended my next deadline to next Wednesday. I’m therefore deep in the weeds of trying to get that done. Seriously contemplating taking a semester off. I’m in it to win it, I just want to take my time. I want to learn.

Work.. I only worked about 25 hours this past week. Whatever. The good news is that I was mostly doing things that I enjoy. This week coming up will also be a short one too. I’ve got two PTO days planned for different reasons and will not be working the weekend at all.

Relationship Status.. Engaged and loving life. Looking forward to an amazing life together.

What else? Oh, a few months ago I included a new status about what show I’m watching. I’ve really not kept up with reporting on that. Jim and I finished watching the Colony series and I highly recommend that for any fellow sci-fi, dystopian fiction nerds. It was awesome.

We’ve just started a new show called “Maniac”. We’re just two episodes in and it’s too early to make a judgement call on it. So far very interesting and weird. Really weird.

I would also share what books I’m reading but it’s all poetry and “ain’t nobody got time for that”.. including me apparently. /sigh

That’s it for this week. Peace, ☮️

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-08-17 French-Toast Friday

A few days ago my darling daughter initiated a game called “get to know you better”. In the game we take turns asking each other questions that reveal more about our character and through doing that we get to know each other better. There are two amazing things about this..

1. She’s 16 and most mothers of teenage girls might tell you that at this stage of the game the relationship is strained and it’s a struggle to get any positive conversation going. I’ve heard horror stories about fights and weeks going by without a kind word.

2. She’s the one who initiated this game which speaks volumes about her maturity and desire to have deeper connections with the people in her life.

We played for about an hour and took turns asking each other things. It was everything from specific favorite color (which led to us googling the difference between turquoise and teal and aqua) and what facial features about ourselves that we would change. I learned that she wants to go back to SanDiego and would also like to go to Disney World.

Fun fact: she looks a lot like me and has many of the same features as I do. When discussing our facial features, we had polar opposite thoughts. She loves her long eye lashes and would change the bump in her nose. I love the bump in my nose and wish my eyelashes were longer. For me, that bump represents something different and interesting which adds to my character and my eyelashes are ok, but that’s me just wanting something ok to be a little bit better. So probably a little selfish. Her not liking her nose just means she hasn’t come to terms with accepting her own flaws. I hope my expressing my liking my nose sent a message that she’s beautiful too, just the way she is. I hope.

Later that day we were sitting at the kitchen table and C was there too so I tried to start it back up engaging him in the conversation too. He wasn’t as enthusiastic about the game as Z was and most answers were “I don’t know”. That’s a more typical teenage response and I didn’t press him. The one question, however, that we went on a tangent about was “what’s your favorite alternate swear word”. They both said “fudge”. (I’ve noticed Z saying the original a lot lately). /shrug

After that we started naming as many as we could think of that we regularly use.. shut the front door, son of a buiscuit, schnikey, cheese and crackers, holy hand grenades, and my personal favorite.. “French Toast”, which often comes out as “Mother French Toast”. 😜

This whole long blog intro is actually an explanation for the title. Why is it French roast Friday? Because I’m now in full on panic mode about school. T minus 6 days until that first assignment is due and I have to crank out two critical essays for which I don’t even have topics yet. 😱

A more appropriate title would be “Mother French-Toast Friday”. And on that not it’s time to stop writing and start reading!! I’m probably going AWOL for a few days so I can crank this one out. I hope the Universe is on my side.

Crossing Fingers and Toes,

~Miss SugarCookie