best of the year

There’s been a lot of stress and frustration over this last year, but in an effort to be positive & optimistic, here’s a few of the highlights of my 2009, the things that make me smile almost instantly when I think about them:

Creamsicle the cat…he actually came into our lives in the summer of 2008, as a crazy stray tom with matted dreadlocks of orange and white fur. But after keeping him safe through the snowpocalypse, he began to be part of the posse.

In March, we officially adopted him via a trip to the animal shelter — he was so ill-mannered in the cages that he was set to be killed — while he had a wound in his head from fighting, so bad that it had to have a tube put in it. We weren’t sure if it was going to work out, what with the fighting (not with ours, oddly enough), running away, spraying, etc., but wow! Neutering worked wonders. ­čÖé

His bad behavior gradually ended over the course of a few weeks, and with lots of love and attention he’s become a lovely friendly kitty, crazy about laps and treats. He’s the only cat I’ve ever had who sits on my lap in a way that allows me to keep typing, which I love. He still has a tendency to be “talkative” at night, but often if you just yell “hey” back at him that’s good enough to calm him down.

The Xtracycle, about which I have written several times: my awesome, awesome new bike this summer, the load-hauling machine.  Rides to the river, massive grocery trips, and plenty of commuting.

Working with Drupal — I converted my employer’s site this year, and so spent a lot of time playing with it, learning, and getting to know the delightful Drupal community. Even went to two (free!) events in Seattle this year, both of which were immensely helpful, even if the second one was cut short by C’s brush with the flu. I’m getting that feeling of mastery that’s so joyful (and a little addictive) — I feel like I could do wondrous things with Drupal.

And finally┬áNaNoWriMo, which gave me back confidence in my creativity. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve made a couple of unsuccessful attempts. I’ve also been stalled out on my writing for several years, stuck unable to finish the novel I’ve been puttering at since…um… 1994? NaNoWriMo gave me a chance to jump into something entirely new, and to commit to finishing it. I even tried some entirely new (to me) techniques, and discovered to my surprise that a little bit of planning ahead worked really, really well. (Snowflake method FTW!) Plus I found the fabulous Scrivener. I finished above the goal and before the deadline.

If you’re wondering, I’ve decided to continue with it, after some wonderful feedback from Paula, and after rereading it myself. I still like this story and its characters. I’ve already done some early editing, mostly continuity stuff. (There’s only one character whose name didn’t stay consistent, and he’s a pretty minor one at that!) I’m planning on getting through a complete second draft early in the new year. What happens after that I’ve no idea.

Which is how I feel about 2010 in general: I’ve no idea what happens now, really.