Several bloggers last week summarized the good and bad of their 2008s, inspiring me to do the same.
It was a revealing exercise. My father’s death in February cast a pall over the rest of the year, and I walked around with a dark cloud over my head like Joe Btfsplk in “Li’l Abner.” It didn’t help that Dulcinea had the frequent medical crises of an elderly cat and then died from one. 2008 felt like a terrible year.
When I made a list, these deaths were the only events in the “bad” column. Granted, they’re each the equivalent of several run-of-the-mill bad events. But overall, I had a wonderful year. Here’s a brief counting of my blessings:
•I made my first novel sale.
•Dave and I finally sold our house in New Orleans.
•Barack Obama won the presidency, and for the first time in years I’m optimistic about the country’s future.
•I had three short stories published and did a booksigning for the anthology one of them is in.
•I read books by many of my blog friends, and some of those were first books.
•I’ve always wanted an herb garden right outside my kitchen door, and now I have one.
•I started taking a bellydancing class and am having a blast.
•We found more people to play music with here in California.
•I went to Book Expo America in Los Angeles and the Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco. One of the highlights of both was reconnecting with old friends and meeting some friends in person for the first time.
•We got most of the boxes from our move here in 2007 unpacked.
•I’m still meeting with my wonderful New Orleans critique group through videoconferencing.
•I finally updated my nonfiction writing Web page, which I hadn’t touched since 2003. Prospective clients somehow still found me, even after we moved, but my information was embarrassingly out of date. My new page, still at http://www.ShaunaSRoberts.com, still needs some tweaks and fixes, but at least it’s up to date.
•Dave and I climbed to the top of a mountain on Fourth of July and watched fireworks from above, an incredible experience.
•I had a too-short but still great visit in Las Vegas with my sister, whom I rarely get to spend time with.
•My sister gave me a CD recorded from her telephone answering machine of my father singing “Happy Birthday” to her. Now I’ll have his voice forever.