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Every december I travel to my grandmother’s house in Peru for the holiday’s. Her house is located just outside of Lima, in a sleepy town nestled between the dusty boulder strewn mountains.  Luckily for me, December in Peru means summer: sunshine and warm breezes.

And while the zoo that ensues as family members from all corners of the planet congregate for two weeks can by no means be called peaceful and calm, I have somehow found myself sitting at the picnic table under a flowering Huarango tree writing. It is not a quiet spot. In fact, there is reggae booming from the speakers accompanied by cousin’s fiancee rhythmic bongo drum banging, people are jumping in and out of the pool, and a big goofy yellow lab is running in frantic circles, his frisbee hanging from his mouth, desperately attempting to lure anyone he can into throwing it into the pool for him.

I am not sure what it is about this spot – something about the yellow puffy flowers dropping onto the table and spiked caterpillars crawling across the keyboard makes my brain relax and the words flow.

Perhaps it is the sunshine, perhaps it is the fact that I have nothing else to worry about than whether or not I put on enough sunscreen on my face. Regardless, I seem to have unlocked what was bugging me about my opening scene and am working on creating a more robust version, now if only I could fix the transition into the next scene.

Except I keep getting distracted by the dog under the table who thinks licking my ankle is a great way to get me to throw the frisbee.

It may be time for a break… they are preparing gin and tonics…

All in all, a fantastic way to start my 2014 writing goals.