I should have done this post last week and saved the NaNo update for the final day of the competition, but since when do I do things in the proper order?
Over the past week I’ve thought a lot about the things for which I’m thankful. Pretty much every aspect of my life has changed in the past year, almost all for the better, and I think I’ve finally closed the door on the chapter of my life that had dominated me for far too long.
In no particular order:
I adore my apartment. I’ve been in my place for almost six months and I absolutely love it. There’s a dog park for Owen, lots of trees, and soothing wall colors.
My new job is better than I could have hoped for. I’ve just started the actual work, but I love the atmosphere, the people, the perks… and the fact that it’s in Grand Rapids is icing on the paycheck.
I’ve gone public with my design business. Ink Slinger Designs is alive and kicking after YEARS of half-hearted freelance work. I’ve always known I wanted to specialize in something but couldn’t pinpoint my niche. Book covers feel like the perfect fit AND they’re fun to design.
The Book of Good is still going strong. I haven’t talked about here like I’d originally intended, but I’ve written in it just about every day this year. It’s a journal where I have to write at least three good things that happened each day. When things were especially difficult last winter, I decided that forcing myself to find even the tiniest good things would help me see past all the bad, and it’s really helped. I don’t allow myself to write anything negative (although I admit I’ve written “I didn’t kill so-and-so today” and “I survived today”), no matter how strong the urge. That’s what my regular journal is for.
My friends got agents, have been published, or are about to be! Including:
Stacey Graham – Girls’ Ghost Hunting Guide
June Kramin (as Ann T. Bugg) – Before Happily Ever After
Trish Stewart – Taking Lessons from Ernest
Jamie Mason – The Liar’s Margin
My mom gets to retire next summer. Her excitement is contagious.
I finally feel like I’m home and part of a community. When I first returned to the US, I didn’t have any intention of staying here. When I got divorced and signed a lease of my very own, I thought maybe I’d stick around for another year. Well I’m happy to report I’m slowly making real life friends (gasp!), I’ve joined activities away from the computer, and I’m looking forward to staying in west Michigan.
Writing. Unfortunately writing has fallen behind everything else going on, but I still consider myself a writer and have high hopes for my writing career in the next year.
This past year was just a warm-up.
Writing has dominated my posts lately (which is ironic considering I’ve barely written a word this year) but I’ve been busy doing other stuff, too. First, I have a new blog header! Y’all on readers, come take a peek. I hated the previous one because I flipped the picture and I could never get used to looking at my backwards self, but I’m very happy with this version.
I recently bought a new camera and it takes amazing photos and videos. While trying to download a couple movies of Owen, I ended up loading them into iMovie and making my very first movie. Ready for the fun?
Also, that’s my new place!
Finally, I have written a little bit. Here’s the opening line of what I’m hoping will work it’s way into the sequel for Flicker:
Before last month I never gave much thought to my school’s no-hats-allowed policy, but all that changed when Ramirez shaved my head.
What have you been up to?
Maybe it’s not the end of an era, but Owen is retiring from blogging. He has a lot more fun on Facebook where he has twice as many fans and people can post any time they want.
He wants to thank everyone for following along as he’s adapted from Mexico to Michigan, and hopes that if you haven’t already found him on Facebook, you’ll check him out now.
As for me, I’m sure I’ll find another way to keep busy.
Monday night was Owen’s first official obedience class.
Nah, he did really well. He made an effort to say hello to eeeeeeeeeeeeeveryone and most of them said hello back. I expected him to be noisy since he talks NON-STOP at home, but much like my friends who have rowdy kids and are shocked at how well they behave at school, Owen was relatively calm. He only whined when the other twelve dogs did and I don’t think he barked more than once.
Once he realized there was a never-ending supply of treats he was putty in my hand. He sat. He laid down. He sat.
Then we tried to heel.
Prior to class I knew heeling involved walking but I assumed it was the command to stop, when it’s actually the command to go. The dog is supposed to sit on your left, which he sort of did, then walk on your left until you stop, when they’re supposed to sit. On your left.
Well he sat, but directly in front of me — facing me — with that big dopey grin (see above) on his face. Someone pointed out that at least he was SITTING and it was only the first class, but I’m determined to correct this before next week.
Owen better realize now that I am a perfectionist and I will not fail.
Seems I didn’t have enough to do last weekend, what with finishing my edits and all. I decided to do a few things for Owen as well.
He’s now the proud owner of a Facebook Fan Page called Super Owen.
In keeping with that theme, I’ve also revamped his blog. Yeah, I know I changed his header a couple weeks ago, but I’ve been really tired of the whole What Am I Doing in Michigan? thing and decided it was time for a change. That’s now Super Owen as well. The blog address hasn’t changed — it’s still owenavila.blogspot.com — but the title has changed.
Now go check it out!
And, you know, follow and like him and stuff so I feel like my insanity is good for something.
I didn’t intend for this to be a series, but there’s been more snipping in my life. First, I believe I spoke too soon when I said that Owen was recovering well from his surgery last Friday. Wednesday morning he had to go back to the vet to have a suture restitched and now… you guessed it! He’s wearing a cone.
See his blog for pictures.
Next, I gave into an urge I’ve had for quite some time and finally chopped my hair. Five inches be gone!
I’m visiting my grandmother this weekend and I can’t wait to hear what she thinks!
I spent a lot of time this weekend fixing things. My wip, my closet, my dog… as well as a couple things that I’ll get into at another time. It’s nice being able to look around after a couple days and see the results of your efforts, don’t you agree?
First, my wip. Despite the fact that it was Coast Guard weekend (if you’re unfamiliar, it’s a BIG deal here), I managed to edit close to fifty pages in my wip. And I passed the halfway mark! Of course I joked on Facebook that it’s all downhill from here. I’m still happy with my progress and hope I can sustain my motivation for the next 148 pages.
Next, my closet. Early last Monday morning (we’re talking 4:30am) the portable wardrobe thing that holds my hanging clothes collapsed. On my bed. While I was sleeping in it. For the past week my clothes have been all over the place, and Sunday I finally bought a replacement. Yay for neat and organized belongings.
Finally, my dog. Owen’s surgery went very well. So well, in fact, that I was denied the one joy I’ve been looking forward to since we picked out a male puppy: the cone. He has no cone. Fer serious. I’m sorely tempted to fashion one out of things we have around the house just so I can watch him try to function with it. Yes I realize that’s wrong.
But seriously, Owen is doing well and aside from being groggy and wobbly Friday night, he’s been his normal self. Just a little lighter. (No joke. The vet told me his test…les (I’m not writing it out because I don’t want that spam) were HUGE! Way to go Owen!)
After a busy weekend I’m kinda looking forward to a regular week. And yes I realize I probably just jinxed myself.
By mid-day today, Owen will be less two round objects and sporting a cone. I’m a little nervous because he has to have actual surgery. Seems his little buggers didn’t want to drop, and now they have to cut him open.
I’m sure he’ll be fine, but feel free to share your animal-in-a-cone stories in the meantime. Pictures to come next week…
*rustling and crashing*
*sniffling and snuffling*
I can’t find my mama anywhere! Do you know where she is? Is she ever coming back?
I looked all over the place and I can’t find her.
Saturday I brought Owen to the vet for his one-year rabies shot (that’s right, he’s got a big day coming up) and I asked the vet about obedience classes. He knows basic commands but he’s STILL super excited all the time and I’d like him to greet people without climbing all over them.
(I know some people who greet others this way, but that’s a story for another post…)
Check this out for an example of what I’m talking about.
Despite all this, silly me thought it would be a good idea to stop by the church garage sale with Owen in tow. I managed to walk away with four glass tumblers intact, but I don’t think I’ll be stopping by there again anytime soon…