Happy New Year, friends and fans of this blog.
Since Christmas I have felt and looked like something the dog dragged in.
Getting the flu will do that to you.
On doctors orders I don't go back to work until Friday.
That doesn't explain the lack of blogging since early December, though.
A heavy work schedule, the medical issues of my cat Elvira, and watching how she and the kitten, Sneakers, adapted to each other, kept my focus on the Opinionated Pussycat.
The start of this new year is a deja vu moment:
A year ago I had serious medical issues (my eyes), serious financial worries, and no job.
As 2014 begins I have a serious medical issue (flu) and, while I have a job (a temp job got in Sept., with Wal-Mart, has just become PT permanent), I still have very serious financial worries.
Life is difficult right now but I am going to do my best to keep the same sense of humor and optimism for the future that I had back then and what will allow be to do so will be all the good things that happened in 2013....
I was given a Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
I met the King of the Cat Blogosphere, Laurence Simon, a fellow Houstonian.
I participated in most of a Chap Book Challenge.
I had my very first guest blog post, on Sopphey Says.
I had my 2nd guest blog post on Going Veggie.
I wrote an essay celebrating how far I'd come since 1998.
I had successful Brachy Eye Cancer plaque insertion surgery, at MD Anderson.
My first long distance bike ride in Houston takes place.
I successfully take my laptop out to lunch, at a McDonald's, where we sampled Wi-Fi for the first time
I visit a friend in Spring, TX.
I attend the Blog Paws Pet Blogger and Social Media Conference, in Va., where I meet many other friends in blogging, including one I call a creative drill sergeant.
I participated in a daily gratitude writing challenge.
I had my first essay published in the Houston Chronicle and was promptly dissed by one of Houston's more offbeat activist personalities.
I was accepted for professional membership into the Cat Writers' Association of America.
I was given a Versatile Blogger Award.
I was given a Liebster Blog Award.
I team up with Hill's Pet Nutrition and prepare to be paid for my writing for the very first time via a series to be written on my cat blog.
I attended the first poetry workshop given by Houston's new and very first poet laureate.
I was profiled by the blog Write Nonfiction in November; My friend, Amanda Socci, wrote 45 detailed questions she has asked me and encouraged me to answer....I have not forgotten and will finally do so.
I witnessed the perfect Houston sunset and sunrise.
I celebrated 1 yr. in Houston by having dinner with a visiting blogger friend.
I am hired as a Cashier at a Houstion Wal-Mart on a Part Time Temp basis. My first job since the end of August 201o.
A story I submitted to a proposed cat rescue anthology, while rejected, was praised and included among a select number of back-ups to be considered if one of the chosen ends up not being included for some reason.
Dec. 28th: My Job at Wal-Mart becomes Permanent part time.
December 30th: My Facebook Writer Page is a year old.
Many inspirational essays, new poems and stories were written, and letters written responding to essays in the Houston Chronicle, were shared.
I have a similar list of accomplishments on The Opinionated Pussycat (2013 in Review: The Year of Nikita), the most important of which was a 3 month series for a major cat food manufacturer, for which I was actually paid to write.
Yes, I am living day to day, unsure of my ability to even pay my rent in February, but I have so much to be proud of and those things help keep my spirits up and hope alive.