01 01 11

Happy New Year!

Let’s see if I can start the new year off with a blog post.Β After such a long time of blog silence it seems hard to begin again so I’ll just ramble a bit.

What’s been happening? The winter has been good to us thus far- solstice and christmas have come and gone with lots of friends and family and feasting.

And the week before Christmas we bought a house. It was almost by accident that we found the place, as it’s right next door to where we are renting now. It’s the first house we looked at and now it’s the place of our future. The house is lovely – with ridiculously beautiful gardens and a view to die for. I love walking down our driveway and seeing our new little home through the trees, it’s windows glowing with warmth and welcoming.

As I mentioned in my last blog post all that time ago, buying a house makes our island adventure a more permanent kind of situation. Right now I couldn’t be happier and we continue to be so grateful to be here. We get the keys in the first week of February when the hard work begins. Until I get some photos of my own, here are some glimpses from the real estate listing.

So you see it’s going to be a busy year. Apart from all the painting and the packing and then unpacking and settling in we will be doing, (oh and I should mention all the gardening!) I have finally settled on a creative focus – and that’s going to be writing. Lots of it.

Here’s my plan:

Firstly, to prevent myself from getting restless and tiring of the idea of writing altogether,Β I’m working on three different things. One is a romance (watch out Nora Roberts), one is a chapter book for kids and one involves zombies. I really like zombies. They scare the bejeezus out of me, so I’m going to do something about that. Three very distinct projects. I can flip between them depending on mood or motivation. The thought is that as long as I keep writing, some or all of these things will eventually get finished. My intention is to treat writing as a job, to do it even if I don’t feel like it, muse or no muse. That sounds possible, right?

That leads me to the other part of the ongoing plan.Β I am starting the new year with the intention of following the Jerry Seinfeld school of productivity (yes, Jerry Seinfeld…because why not?) with its catch phrase “Don’t Break The Chain”.

From Life Hacker:

“He [Jerry] told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

“Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.”

And the gardening will keep me fit. That’s the plan.

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49 Responses

  1. Francesca says:

    I love the Jerry Seinfeld school of productivity! I might just have to get myself a wall planner. Good luck with your chain!

  2. Wren says:

    Oh, wow!! The view alone makes me want to pull up stakes and find a view and start over somewhere besides the prairie. Congratulations!! I hope you blog more, I’m really enjoying hearing about your adventure.

  3. Prudence says:

    Wow. Wow wow wow! Amazing and beautiful! At first I was just jealous of your weather, but now that I see that it’s also your new house! Lovely.Happy new year!xoxo – Kelly

  4. Rosina says:

    Oh how absolutely wonderful. The house you purchased looks fabulous and those gardens and view are to die for πŸ™‚ What a great way to start the new year! Love the idea of ‘not breaking the chain’ and look forward to hearing more about your books and your new home :)Happy new year!

  5. tali says:

    Wowsers, that house looks amazing! what a view! Congrats!

  6. Felicity says:

    …and a great plan it is Claire!I love the concept of ‘not breaking the chain’ and think it has wonderful applications in any area of life that we are determined to create a new positive habit.

    Here’s to a wonderful year ahead,

    Felicity x

  7. Anna @ D16 says:

    Claire, those gardens are phenomenal!! I’m so happy for you and Phil and the girls. Happy 2011!

  8. Cassandra says:

    Happy New Year Claire! That house and garden and view are stunning! I am fascinated by the variety of your three writing projects. Look at you go! This move really suits you I think. All the best for 2011.x.c

  9. Tricia Bath says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve visited “loobylu” and am happy to hear of the new adventure for your family. Your posts are always inspirational; thanks for sharing. Love the “not breaking the chain” ideaI’m on a similar journey this year. Good luck!

  10. Zoya says:

    The house looks gorgeous and the views are amazing. Happy New Year to you and best of luck with writing.

  11. Jus says:

    c – love the house and live your book goal and I’m gonna grab a wall calendar today and do the chain thing! Look forward to readingall about your adventures in 2011. – j x

  12. mimi k says:

    Sounds like a great plan! I can’t wait to read the results. You can do it!

  13. Yvonne says:

    Happy New Year Claire and what a good start with this beautiful house and breathtaking views. I hope we get to see lots of it here.

  14. andi says:

    Sounds like a plan!!Love the new house already.Can’t wait to see what you do with it.Andi πŸ™‚

  15. Suzette says:

    Just lovely, Claire! I want to come and help you garden : )

  16. Kirsty says:

    It really freaking is an Anne house. The jealousy has gone way beyond pea green! I can’t wait for the move & the writings.Ah Jerry…a man after my own heart…I didn’t know the chain thing but I do chant that 21 days to make it 3 days to break it thing a LOT.

    So good to have you back in this space.

  17. Allison says:

    Hi Claire, what a great start to the NY, the house is so pretty, and that garden!! I hope your family will find a lot of happiness there.x

  18. Kate says:

    Happy New Year Claire.The house looks like it was meant in a fairytale which is fitting.

    Cannot WAIT for more news on the zombie book…love a good zombie read x

  19. Two Tuesdays says:

    I do love a good zombie book!

  20. Brenda says:

    I love that you have such a great plan ready for the year ahead! One to keep the mind busy ( 3 books ) and another to keep your body active ( the new garden ).Congratultions on the new house, it looks absolutely gorgeous………a total dream!!!!

  21. Maddy says:

    Happy New Year! Your new home looks perfect and the view is breathtaking, I’m totally jealous of your brave move. Good luck with your writing, I’m sure you will have a huge chain in no time at all. I think you should add “a photo a day of your new home and garden” so we can enjoy that view with you. Cheers.

  22. D says:

    Hi Claire!Just found you via Pia, so glad! Happy New Year from Toronto, & a belated welcome to Canada!

    Looking forward to following your lovely SSI adventures! We almost moved out there for a wee while last summer, but alas something else popped up so now it’s on hold. I’ve been for a very short but sweet visit, & always wondered about moving to that ‘island paradise’ for a longer adventure, curious bears, earthquakes and all. We spent a year in rural Nova Scotia, & yes, curious bears & hurricanes abound there as well πŸ˜‰

    What a lovely site, will be following via Edinburgh these next few months …Kind regards from a fellow Moomin fan :)D

  23. Georgia says:

    *Gasp!* Stunning views! I would be spending all my time sitting on that bench gazing into the distance. :-)Please add designing some more embroidery patterns to to 2011 plans!

  24. Kate says:

    Woo hoo, the garden of the house looks divine!How terribly exciting.Happy, happy new year to you and your gang. X

  25. Tania says:

    Sounds like a mighty plan to me. I knew Jerry was one clever cookie. Happiest of new years to you!

  26. Maggie says:

    Oh my! those photos are gorgeous, looks like a dream. What a great new year you’ll have in your new home. Congratulations, and good luck with the chain.

  27. Yvette says:

    I love the house, it fits the surroundings so well. And that view! WOW I would be found on the bench just looking at the view, reading a little and watching some more.It is a lovely beginning to 2011 and your new Canadian life.Have the best year ever.

  28. MeganK says:

    Wow! When you put your mind to something you don’t do things by halves do you?!Congratulations on your new home – it looks so wonderful.Three books eh? I have no doubt you’ll achieve your goals Claire, no doubts at all.I really like the chain idea – writing everyday (on my own special project seperate from blog and newspaper) is my #1 goal for 2011 too.

    Happy New Year to you!x

  29. tammie says:

    wow! those gardens and the house are gorgeous! congratulations!and i love the “don’t break the chain” – i’ve got to find a wall calendar like that. good luck – and i love all 3 ideas for your books-in-progress!

  30. Nic says:

    Gorgeous! What an amazing view you will have. It looks like something from a magazine – congratulations! Happy new year too!

  31. looks gorgeous!!!!! congratulations on the purchase of your new home. By the way check out the pop cap game Plants vs Zombies Im completely addicted to it its on my lapto as well as my iphone. There is nothing better than blowing u a zombie with a potato land mine!

  32. Kirsty says:

    Great house, good plan. Bring on 2011!

  33. Katie says:

    That’s super exciting! I hope you have a great 2011 πŸ™‚

  34. victoria says:

    Congratulations, it’s beautiful and can’t wait to see inside. Your poor mum and dad though, what does it say about me that I worry about them?!

  35. tara says:

    Such a beautiful house. I love the writing idea with three such distinct projects. Zombies also scare the crap out of me. Best wishes for the new year!

  36. kathreen says:

    congratulations – looks amazing

  37. Fran says:

    Speechless. That view&garden = paradise.

  38. What a beeeautiful home!!! Good luck to you this year πŸ™‚

  39. innerpickle says:

    AWESOME PLAN! And oh my goodness that house!!! Happy New Year Claire. Hope it rocks.

  40. Hi there and Happy New Year!Your plans are gorgeous! My congrats to the beautiful new house. I’m sure, it is a fabulous place to live and be creative. I’m looking forward to read about your projects – and the results.All the best wishes and a whole bunch of greetings from Germany!

    Mara Zeitspieler

  41. Melissa G says:

    Oh my! Oh my! I can hardly believe how beautiful those photos are. I swear, you are truly are living the dream.Keep on writing.

  42. Monica says:

    There’s a Feist song that I used to listen to called Mushaboom, with lyrics that suggested a city girl’s imagining of a happy little family living in a beautiful place. I used to wish that i could be living those lyrics one day. It seems that you already are! Please post more pictures and musings so I can live vicariously through you. πŸ˜‰ Your new house really is something out of a dream. It’s stunning! Congratulations to you and your family, Claire!

  43. Christie says:

    Claire that house looks magical. Congratulations on putting down roots, looking forward to seeing more pics when you move in & make it your own.Love the idea of not breaking the chain- I need a wall calendar!!

  44. Andrea says:

    I was just reading a post on my old blog from about 8 years ago – about your blog. Didn’t realise that i was reading you back then. So glad you are still around. πŸ™‚

  45. Lynn says:

    Hi Claire, What a lovely house, it looks like the perfect place to bring up children. Happy New Year.

  46. Zita Selke says:

    Happy New Year and congratulations on your new home. What a garden and the views!! It look absolutely fantastic Claire.

  47. Rosemary Rattan says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog as a link from the Whipup blog. I was dumbstruck by one of the photos from your new home. The bench overlooking the Strait of Georgia is my “go to” place for creative meditation way down here in Texas. I glimpsed this view from a bus to Nanaimo while visiting the island 10 years ago. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  48. I just found your blog and I’ve been reading through some older posts and I just gotta say how inspirational your story is. I also think Jerry Seinfeld is wise and funny! I am definitely taking this tip. I’m also from Vancouver, so I know how beautiful it is where you are.Thank you.

  49. A says:

    You know, I get the whole worrying aobut copyright and everything, but you should at least give a lasting salutation of goodbye to your many faithful readers. I keep checking back all the time in hope… only to find you away. p-lease state your reasons and let us goooooooooooooo.

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