Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year, New Home, Same Old Goals

My holiday blogging break has ended and so apparently have many others of the blogs I like to read. I always enjoy reading first of the year posts, seeing what you're all planning and dealing with as the new year begins.

As for me, I just want to get back to the writing. After publishing Afraid of Everything, I took a break for travel and it ended up being a two month hiatus due to house-hunting. We came back from our trip to learn the landlord had sold the one we were living in.

At first it was bad news, since we were settled there and thought we liked it. But now that we are in our new place, a larger home filled with light and open space, we realize the other house was dark, dreary and depressing in comparison. Plus it had a wooden loft type ceiling, which housed all kinds of critters: birds and squirrels nesting in it, not to mention the horrid termites.

Since we're out, I wonder how we stood it for as long as we did. Not like there were squirrels and birds inside the house, but we often heard the pitter patter of little feet above us like upstairs tenants.

We now live behind this gate:


The lane leading into our property with the house on the right, an orange tree on the left. The garden has an orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, banana and coffee tree. Clearly, someone was thinking breakfast when they designed it.

I am checking out the closets. You wouldn't believe how many of the houses we looked at had no closets.

This outdoor thatched patio is ideal for big parties, probably wasted on us without our family. Otherwise, it would be used every weekend for bbq's and birthday parties. There's another one just like it in another corner, that my husband wants to use as a workshop. Only thing is, he got rid of all his tools when we left the States. I guess he can sit in it, relax and dream about what he'd do if only he had the tools.

We were relieved to hear this place is not for sale. We'd like to make it our permanent home in Guatemala, not leaving until we move back to the States, whenever that will be. As I begin the new year in a new home, I reflect on a fresh start and new goals, except they're the same ones I had when we moved to Guatemala last year:

Get fluent in Spanish
Walk daily and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
Write a novel

What are your goals for the new year?

28 comments:

  1. Karen, I love the pics of your new home. It is quite lovely. I, too, love to read the first posts of the new year. It's a good catching up time.

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  2. Congrats on your new home, Karen. What a beautiful environment! I wonder if you could turn that thatched patio into a writing space? I love your goals and wish you the best in achieving them. All the best to you in 2015 as you continue your adventure in Guatemala!

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  3. So happy you found a new home and one free of critters. No closets in some? That would be so weird.

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  4. Glad it turned out well. The house is really spacious. The closet space would be a selling point for me. :)

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  5. Hi Karen - it sounds like the best deal ... as it all turned out. I'm so pleased you found somewhere suitable, especially with breakfast on tap!! Love the thought of the thatched gazebos .. and yes a writing area ... a tool-dreamer's shed ... such is life ... but I'm sure you'll find uses for them.

    Good luck with the Spanish and then the fresh fruits and veggie and writing that novel .. 2015 sounds like a good year .. cheers Hilary

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  6. Your new home is glorious, Karen. You give hope to all who think they are their house. Onwards!

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  7. I love your new home. I wish I lived there with those fruit trees right outside my door. Great goals.

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  8. Congrats on your new home it looks lovely and you have nice goals too. I hope you are able to achieve them in 2015 :)

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  9. Congratulations on the new home! I like the BBQ area. That would be a lot of fun for parties.

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  10. What a wonderful new home - enjoy!!

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  11. Lovely new place and light is a wonderful thing! I could see sitting in that BBQ area writing. :) Hey, we share 2 out of 3 goals!

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  12. Moving is always stressful and you moved when it is a tough time in other ways (Christmas). How can one not have closets?? They are musts but I understand as I have few closets in my home. This place looks so pretty and welcoming. I hope to make many cards this year and i want to organize things and get rid of somethings(without my hubby knowing)

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  13. Looks lovely. I agree that BBQ area would be a great place to sit and write...

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  14. Glad you found someplace you love. So you might move back to the states one day? I guess I figured this was a forever move, but then is anything forever? :)

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  15. Hi, Karen!

    YAY for your new house!!!! Looks wonderful and I love that fact that you have all those wonderful fruit trees and a COFFEE TREE! OH,how I would LOVE THAT!

    ALL the best to you and your hubby in your new home.I hope it's everything you want it to be!

    Wishing you all the best for 2015!!!!!

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  16. Happy New House! hehehe Looks like you've found a wonderful spot to fulfill your 2015 goals.

    All the best, Jenny

    My goal this year… do a 15 minute free write daily… so far, so good.

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  17. What a big move! It's BEAUTIFUL there. I love that your goals are the same, despite your new location. Goes to show life goes on no matter where you live. :)

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  18. What a fabulous new home; I love those yellow gates! Can't believe you have orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, banana and coffee trees in the garden; we have apple, greengage and damson - nowhere near as exotic! Hope you enjoy living there; I'm sure you will :o)

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  19. Such an awesome home! You will accomplish your goals, I am sure.

    My own goals? Purge all the "stuff" we've collected and pare down everything.

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  20. thank you for sharing your new digs with us! love that patio! you can still have some fun there. and i like your goals. moving takes a lot out of a person - just keep those goals in mind and you'll get to them.

    happy new year and more!

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  21. Thank you for stopping by my site to visit for IWSG day! I wish I could limit myself to an hour or two a few times a week to the Internet. Once I sign on, the hours fly by.

    Your story about moving is interesting. Odd how we sometimes don't fully realize the negatives of a situation while we are in it. Human nature has a way of accepting things, for better or worse. Glad to hear you are very happy with your new home. Happy New Year.

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  22. What a great new space you have. I'm not sure I understand? You renting? Or did you buy? Either way, what a great space.

    Happy 2015 & Boogie Boogie :-)

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  23. Mucha suerte con el espanol.
    Que linda casa!

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  24. No goals for me, except to begin each day with a prayer of gratitude and a smile! I am so happy that you found a beautiful home with such riches in the garden. I know all fruit tastes better right off the tree, but there's nothing like oranges picked fresh.

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  25. Your new place looks amazing! My goal is to write three more books, but mostly to market. I've really got to get myself out there.

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  26. Happy New Year Karen!
    You've been there for quite a while now and it still sounds like an awesome adventure. The new place looks fantastic and part of the adventure.

    I did make a goal for this year. It is to spend more time in the wilderness, doing and looking for the things I love. Even if I have to sometime go to those places by myself. What I really want to do, is to move to one of these places. My wife loves the places we we go to, but really doesn't want to live there, because of how remote they are. She has no problem, if I go by myself though. She knows that I'm comfortable and competent in the hinterlands by myself. So my goal for this year is spend time doing exactly that. Sorry, that was a long answer for a short question...

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  27. Wow, it looks like a great new home! Glad you're settling in. Moving can be so crazy!

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