Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

Today I am guest blogging over at T.B. Markinson’s blog Making My Mark

Inspired by Dreams of Travel by Darlene Foster

Posted on January 10, 2014by 

I recently met Darlene via her blog. Most of you know I love to travel, so when I discovered that her books were centered on traveling and introducing new people, places, and cultures to a younger audience I had to find out more. Darlene was kind enough to agree to guest post. I was inspired when I read her post and I hope you will be as well. And now here’s Darlene:

Read more:  http://tbmarkinson.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/inspired-by-dreams-of-travel-by-darlene-foster/

Drop by and make a comment.

While there, check out TB’s other blog site The 50 Year Project where she challenges herself to visit 192 countries, read 1,001 books, and watch the top 100 movies. I love this idea of listing places, books and movies one plans to experience in the next 50 years.

TB is also an author (boy do we have a lot in common!)

Check out her latest book Marionette

Marionette

Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog. I truly appreciate the time it takes to read blogs and to make comments. I feel honoured that you choose to read mine.  Your kind words have meant so much to me over the past year.


Credit: 2014 image via Shutterstock

Every January 1st for as long as I can remember, I have made a list of goals for the coming year. The habit of setting resolutions has gone out of favour but I tend to need to have goals to keep me anchored. It is always fun to revisit the past year’s goals and see how I did. Here  are my 2013 goals from last year’s blog.

1. Reduce the clutter. I will take a page from Lorna at Tea Room Delights where she has decided to get rid of one thing a day for the entire year, for a total of 365 things.  This may help me get this done! Today I got rid of the old calendars.

Check (somewhat): I did get rid of some clutter but not enough. I stopped counting so I don’t know if I got rid of 365 items or not. It was a good idea though.

2. Complete Amanda in Alberta-The Writing on the Stone and have it published before the end of the year.

Fail (somewhat): I did not finish Amanda in Alberta but have 13 chapters of a 20 chapter book completed. 

3. Take a trip to Alberta to do research for Amanda in Alberta with my eleven year old grandson.

Check: I had a great time doing research with GS 2 and came away with good ideas.

4.Ensure my foot returns to normal.

Check: I have looked after my foot well and, although there is still a bit of pain and I still can’t wear most of my heeled shoes, it is so much better.

5.Continue to look for more outlets for my writing.

Check: I have guest blogged for some great blog sites.

6. Write more travel articles.

Fail: I have not written many travel articles this past year.

7.Contact schools to do readings.

Check: I did a couple of readings at schools and a workshop at a Junior Author’s conference which was most enjoyable. Would love to do more.

8. Consider working part-time in order to spend more time on my writing.

Check: As of January 1, 2014, I have arranged with my employer to work 4 days a week, giving me one whole day to write. I’m so pleased this has worked out.

9. Take a nice holiday with Paul (without injuring myself)

Check: Paul and I had a fabulous holiday to Spain in May.  I returned with all body parts intact.

10. Practice kindness with everyone I meet, no matter how my day is going.

Check: I have been conscious of practising kindness in my daily life and recognizing that not everyone has a good day everyday. 

All in all I feel I did quite well with my 2013 goals.

Now for my 2014 goals:

1. Finish Amanda in Alberta -The Writing on the Stone for publication early spring by writing diligently and completing three chapters a month.

2. Get rid of unnecessary belongings, prepare the apartment for sale, sell the apartment.

3. Start new writing projects: a picture book, travel articles, another Amanda adventure.

4. Cut back working hours some more, possibly retiring.

5. Take an extended vacation to Spain or move to Spain by the end of the year.

6. Attend my grandson’s graduation in Alberta.

7. Spend quality time with friends and family.

8. Plan a few small holidays and/or getaways.

9. Continue going to yoga on a more regular basis.

10. Pay attention to the signs the universe is sending.

One of my Christmas gifts from my wonderful daughter was a 30 minute Tarot card reading and consultation. The cards indicated changes in the horizon and a warning to slow down. The three cards I chose at the end of my session were so amazing:

Break Free: Try different ventures and experiences as a way to grow and earn.

Simplify Your Life: Eliminate clutter from your home and work life to balance the flow of activities.

Divine Magic: Extra magical energy surrounds your situation right now. Expect miracles!

Wow, now I feel so ready for the coming year!

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”

-Gloria Steinem

Whether you set goals or not, I wish you all the best that the new year has to offer.  

I would like to introduce Joei Carlton, an amazing woman I met through the BC Association of Travel Writers. I know you will find what she has to say fascinating.

1.This blog is about following your dreams. Can you tell us about a dream or two you had as a young girl. Has this dream(s) come true for you?

 I have never been a believer in “The Bucket List.”  As soon as I wanted something I would work towards that goal.  As a child I dreamed of running away to exotic lands. When I finished high school and worked to earn money I left home. At 18 the only two places my parents allowed me to move to were either Florida (where I had an aunt and uncle) or California (where my sister Mona – five years older than I lived).  I moved to California. Can you imagine living in Hollywood during the 60’s. What fun.

 Another dream was working in law enforcement.  I spent 3 years working as a private investigator in various jobs from undercover work, store detective, divorce or child custody cases, and then Wackenhut where I was put on the airlines as an undercover agent. From 1968 to 1970 I was on the LA Police Department.

 When I returned to Canada I went from office worker to sales (my favorite) to owning my own very successful Wool and Needlecraft shop.  I definitely lived my own dream. I loved being in charge of my own life.

 2. What were some of your favourite books as a child?

 I came by my love of adventure in the all the books I read as a child. I read every Nancy Drew Mystery and Hardy Boys book I could get my hands on.  My love of horror books came from reading every horror comic book even if they gave me the most horrible nightmares.

 3. When did you start writing and what motivated you to write.

 My writing career was born out of the saddest part of my life. It had been my husband dream to go traveling. Willing to follow the love of my life anywhere he chose, we sold our home, sold my business while Paul quit his job and embarked on a life of adventure. We spent 2-1/2 years in a motorhome traveling through Great Britain, most of Europe, parts of northern Africa and continuing our adventure in the U.S and Canada.  On the 26th of June, 1992 Paul had a heart attack in a German campground and died before ever leaving the campground. I was devastated but decided almost immediately to visit all the places we had planned together.

 The year after he died I spent my summer working on 3 archaeological digs in England and a year later I spent 5 months overseas – a month in England selling my motorhome, 3 months in turkey traveling from Side in the south to Istanbul in the north and inland as far as Cappadoccia…..loving every minute of it.

 When I returned home it was to a pile of mail – and on top was a magazine called Modern Maturity – from AARP. The back of the magazine asked “Have you been someplace where the sun is always shining and the phone never rings.”  I set up my Smith Corona typewriter and pounded out a 3 page story that I sent off to the magazine.  Needless to say I heard nothing back and eventually showed the story to my neighbor.  She gushed over it – told me that the local newspaper called The Pelican Press would love it – so I repacked it and sent it.  The rest is history. My first story became a 2-page spread with 3 pictures in an award winning newspaper published 2 days before my 51st birthday on February 9, 1995. They even spelled my name right. 

 4. Your books are hilarious, have you always had such a great sense of humour?

 I have to say “yes.”  I have learned that “sense of humor” runs in families and almost everyone in my family cracks me up.  I have also maintained that you can’t live the way I do – 22 years as a solo RVer and 13 years as a full-time RVer – without seeing the funny side of life.

With titles like,  Morocco – Without a Pit to Hiss In and Stuck in Greece , your books will cheer any one up.

 5. You are a woman of many talents, besides keeping everyone amused with your books, you make exquisite bookmarks, spiders and tree of life pendants. What prompted you to start creating these items?

 I feel that my beading is a “guilty” pleasure.  My mother spent many hard years of her life working in a factory in Montreal beading hats for pennies. I do it mostly for pleasure and it occupies a different part of my creative brain. I love the feel and the shapes and the various sizes and especially the colors –  it satisfies every part of my creative mind. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel grateful that my eyes are in good shape and my hands are very steady. 

6. What would you say has been a defining moment in your life?

 Interesting question:  What is my defining moment? I never thought of any part of my life in defining moments. I try anything that looks interesting and fun.  I’m not a daredevil at all so I would immediately dismiss anything where I might get hurt physically or mentally but, as I approach my 70th birthday I’m starting to make different decisions about my travels and my writing and my career…….I’ll announce more when I know more…..but changes are acomin’. 

7. You are a woman who travels solo, what advice would you give a woman who is contemplating travelling on her own?

 What advice would I give a woman just starting out – your instincts will tell you when things are not right – leave when you don’t feel safe and never drive after dark. Find other travelers like yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously. A lot of fun to be found out here.

 8. What are you reading right now?

 For reading pleasure purposes I still love mysteries or family sagas or real-life adventure but what I’m reading now involves marketing my new e-books.  I spent all summer long converting all but one of my adventure-travel books to e-books. Everyone’s Dream Everyone’s Nightmare is being updated and re-edited and will become a memoir rather than a travel-adventure and will be converted to an e-book in 2014 or 2015. It’s my favorite and I want to keep it going.

 9. What advice would you give a young person with their entire life before them?

 Don’t concentrate so hard on what’s going on around you that you miss something coming at you out of the corner of your eye.  Passions change and always do something that you’re passionate about. 

 10. Any parting words?

I think I’ve said it all. Thanks for listening.

  Joei Carlton

http://joeicarlton.com/

Smashwords

Books

Sorry, WordPress won’t let me add pictures for some reason. Check out Joei’s website to see what she looks like.

This weekend I attended an art display featuring the work of  Lea Price and her students.  I have known Lea for over fifteen years and have always been impressed with her dedication to her art. She is seldom without a paint brush in her hand or an easel under her arm. She is another person whom I admire for not only following her dream, but sharing what she has learned with others. Lea has been a huge supporter and encourager of me and my creative efforts over the years.

Lea Price by one of her paintings called "Clouds"

Lea Price by one of her paintings called “Clouds”

This is her bio from her website where you can view more of her art http://www.leapriceartist.com/

Lea grew up in the United States, moving from the east coast to the west coast in mid 60’s. As an only child and being raised in an era of “children should be seen and not heard”, crayons, paper and pencils became her silent companions. Encouraged by both parents and teachers at school, she continued on her goal to become a productive, accomplished artist. Art Center College of Art and Design in Los Angeles attracted her based on its fine reputation and she majored in advertising illustration. After completing 3 years of study, Lea earned a Bachelor of Fine Art and headed north to Vancouver, BC, a place which she had visited during a holiday between semesters. Lea began working as a freelance illustrator and photographer mainly with advertising agencies and some notable personal clients including BC Forest Products and the UBC Botanical Gardens.

In the late eighties, Lea had the opportunity to further her studies and undertook three years at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, completing a Diploma of Fine Art with a concentration in ceramics, three dimensional work and mixed media. It also gave her the confidence to begin to let go of the commercial art field and move more towards fine art, sculpting and painting. Lea also began working and curating in galleries in Vancouver, Delta and White Rock, amercing herself totally in the art world and  observing the styles and techniques of other artists.

Today she is painting full time in-between teaching children and adults in both group and private lessons. She also volunteers with the South Delta Artists Guild, helping to strengthen the art community.

A few more pictures from the current exhibition at the Tsawwassen Longhouse Gallery which runs until September 29.

2013-09-21 15.03.09

2013-09-21 14.56.10 2013-09-21 15.02.15

Inspired by Monet

Inspired by Monet

Lea's husband serving the libations

Lea’s husband serving the libations

Lea is an avid gardener and an animal lover. Be sure to check out the “Friends” gallery on her website to see her whimsical animal portraits.

Her students are lucky to be able to learn from her and I consider myself fortunate to call this talented woman my friend.

 

 

I was invited to guest blog on Donna Martin’s On The Write Track site. Every Wednesday her theme is Writerly Wisdom. Today I wrote about not giving up on your dream to be a published writer. I hope you enjoy it.

Never Too Late To Become A Writer
Darlene Foster

A goal without a plan is just a dream.

Many of us dream of being a writer. After all we have tons of ideas. We spend years talking about it, fantasize signing our books, and envision people saying, “I read your book and loved it.” But there is always an excuse. We are too busy working, raising kids, keeping a house, volunteering, looking after grandchildren or aging parents; the list goes on. Then one day there is a bit more time and we say, “Now I’m too old to write a book. If only I had started years ago. It’s too late.” I have heard this many times.

I was one of those people. I had so many excuses for not sitting down and writing a book. I took writing courses and attended seminars, wrote a few short stories and submitted to the occasional contest, but the idea of writing a book was too daunting and I often felt I left it too late.

Read more………

http://donasdays.blogspot.ca/2013/01/writerly-wisdom_30.html

 

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

 

Flat Ruthie and I had an amazing time this weekend. We attended Cirque du Soleil with my dear husband on Saturday evening.  It was amazing. From the moment we saw the big tent we got excited.  The performance was incredible, the costumes remarkable  and the music astounding.  We were transported into another world, one of magic, suspense, colour and incredible acts of human talent.

DSC02972

The performance we saw was Amaluna, based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  To see some video clips, visit the website http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/amaluna/tickets/vancouver.aspx This will give you a glimpse of what we experienced.

DSC02969

The entire evening was a lot of fun. We took the sky train downtown and then walked to the site. After the show we walked back to the station. Lady Gaga was in town for a performance and the streets were full of Gaga fans all dressed up. It was wonderful to be amongst them and to feel the energy. I stopped to compliment a couple of young girls dressed for the show. We picked up fish and chips on the way home to complete the evening.  The tickets were a Christmas gift from me to my husband.  It turned out to be a perfect gift as he thoroughly enjoyed the performance as well as the company of me and Flat Ruthie!

DSC02971 (2)

We don’t do things like this very often so it made it very special.

Is there anything you do once in a while that is extra special?

A wonderful blogging friend of mine, Chris King over at Bridges Burning has featured me in her Friday FITFS post and I feel so honoured.  Check out her blog and see what she has to say about little old me and many other things. Her posts are always interesting and fun to read.

FITFS Following in the Footsteps of Darlene Foster Supermegawoman

by Chris King

“Never let a day go by without a dream” Darlene Foster

My favorite series is the FITFS – that is Following in the FootSteps of my blogging heroes. These are all people I admire and in some way or really in many ways and would like to emulate them.

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a Supermegawoman at least according to her grandson -”My grandson calls me “super-mega-woman-supreme” and finding out just a little about this amazing lady confirms the moniker is accurate.  Read the rest…. http://bridgesburning.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/fitfs-following-in-the-footsteps-of-darlene-foster-supermegawoman/

What a wonderful world of blogging this is. Thanks so much Chris!

Happy New Year to all my readers.  Thank you so much for your readership, likes, comments  and most of all, your friendship. You have been so encouraging over the past year, I could not have done it without you.

DSC02962

We celebrated the New Year by attending a dinner party at a friend’s house. Flat Ruthie came with us and had a great time. She was the life of the party.  She enjoyed the appetizers a lot!

DSC02959

As it is the end of another year, it is time to see how I did with the goals I set last year at this time. I posted them for all to see on my blog http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/a-new-year-a-new-list/

1.Finish writing Amanda in England-The Missing Novel for publication this summer by writing a chapter a week for the next three months.

Check. I finished the book and it was published in August!

2.Find ways to make more money with my writing by setting up readings, writing magazine articles and entering contests.
Check. I did do some readings and wrote magazine articles as well as entered contests. I would like to do more of this though.

3.Blog at least once a week and double my subscribers

Check. I wrote 72 posts this year and went from 30 to 130 subscribers!!  I had 10,000 views from 107 different countries. I am very happy with this result.

4.Learn to manage my social networking by improving technical skills

Check. I have learned some new things about social networking but would like to learn more.

5.Reduce the clutter in my house, computer and mind
Fail. I have not only failed to reduce clutter I have added more.

6.Spend as much time with Mom as possible in person and on the phone

Check. I call Mom at least twice a week and went to visit her in Alberta three times in one year.

7.Find a reasonable cleaning service

Check. I had to break my ankle to get a cleaning service but I now have one.

8.Meet other authors to share knowledge and support

Check. I have become active in a couple of local writer’s groups and met some amazing authors, three of whom have become mentors. I have also met many wonderful authors through my blog and other social networking sites.  It is all good!
9.Take a trip to Europe

Check. Had took trip of the lifetime which included in Spain, Germany, Austria and Hungary as well as scenes along the Danube River.

10.Take time to breathe

Check. I was forced to take time to breath as I recovered from my broken ankle.

All in all, I am very pleased with how I met my goals from last year. OK, now for 2013 goals:

1. Reduce the clutter. I will take a page from Lorna at Tea Room Delights where she has decided to get rid of one thing a day for the entire year, for a total of 365 things.  This may help me get this done! Today I got rid of the old calendars.

2. Complete Amanda in Alberta-The Writing on the Stone and have it published before the end of the year.

3. Take a trip to Alberta to do research for Amanda in Alberta with my eleven year old grandson.

4.Ensure my foot returns to normal.

5.Continue to look for more outlets for my writing.

6. Write more travel articles.

7.Contact schools to do readings.

8. Consider working part-time in order to spend more time on my writing.

9. Take a nice holiday with Paul (without injuring myself)

10. Practice kindness with everyone I meet, no matter how my day is going.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
– Edith Lovejoy Pierce

602854_470849689638198_1813653358_n

I wish all of you a wonderful New Year with many accomplishments no matter how small. Just getting up in the morning or smiling at a stranger is considered an accomplishment in my book.

 

In my last post I shared some interesting (or not) facts about me.  I happened to mention that I was a Jane Austen groupie and dressed up as Jane Austen for Halloween sometimes.  Here I am dressed as one of my favourite people.

 

I also recently had an article published in travelsthruhistory about a time when I visited Jane Austen’s house in Chawton.  Another one of my dreams come true.

 

 

 

VISITING JANE AUSTEN ON A MOTORBIKE
England
By Darlene Foster


Our delightful visit to England included Yorkshire and North Wales. Viewing the countryside with its stone hedges and ancient castles was made even more enjoyable as we hurtled down narrow roads on a motorcycle.

We had one thing left to do before flying back to Canada; deliver the motorbike to its new owner in London. We travelled down from York, stopped for lunch at a pub in Cambridge overlooking the Thames and watched the rowers practice. As we rode towards London, I was puzzled when we didn’t turn off the M1 taking us into Guildford, but turned east. Soon I recognized signs for Alton, Strawberry Hill, Steventon and Chawton. We were on our way to visit my hero, Jane Austen! My dear husband had planned this as a surprise for me.

 Read more:  http://www.travelthruhistory.com/html/art58.html

Here is a question often asked at job interviews: If you could have lunch with anyone, alive or not, who would that be? I would answer Jane Austen of course.  What would your answer be?

Budapest, Hungary

Coffee in Budapest

Village along the Danube

More to come!


click to purchase

click to purchase

Click to purchase

Join me on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,809 other followers

Archives

Goodreads

click to read review

Super Sweet Award

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,809 other followers