Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Niamh Clune

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In honour of all my Irish friends, and those who would like to be Irish, I thought I would write this post. I just happened to have finished reading a delightful book, lent to me by a good friend at work, called  McGillicuddy McGotham by Leonard  Wibberley  According to a review on Goodreadsit is a delightful tale of the first leprechaun to visit the United States. A quick, quaint read about a time when the world was a truly foreign place and local lore and legends were not universally understood.

I enjoyed this book immensely. It was written in the 1950’s but the wit of the author and ideas presented are timeless. A great book to read at the end of a long tough day. It will definitely make you laugh out loud. (notice I wrote that out in full!)

Niamh Clune has written a poignant story Children of Lir on her blog that is well worth reading 

http://ontheplumtree.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/for-st-patricks-day-the-children-of-lir-by-niamh-clune/

There are some great Irish quotes on The Secret Keeper’s site http://thesecretkeeper.net/2013/03/17/celebration-of-the-green-

This is one of them.

Shamrock Background

I hope you are all enjoying this special day whether you are Irish or not!

I have been having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year.  My broken ankle has stopped me from doing the many activities I do at this time of year.  My energy is low, a feeling I am unfamiliar with.  Then the terrible news from Friday made me wish there would be no Christmas at all this year.  My friend Niamh Clune wrote a meaningful poem in memory of those lives lost and posted it on her blog  To all those whose hearts are bleeding…  It says it all.

I felt like I was just going through the motions, that wonderful Christmas feeling just wasn’t there.  And I am a total Christmasy person.  My dear husband decorated my car with reindeer antlers and a Rudolf nose much to my delight.  My coworker came in early on her day off and decorated our shared office to cheer me. These things helped but I still wasn’t in the spirit I usually am at this time of year.

Then this morning I opened up a blog post from another blogging friend, Jennifer Kiley wishing everyone Happy Chanukah, with this delightful video by the Maccabeats telling the story of Hanukkah.

The Maccabeats – Candlelight – Hanukkah

And guess what? That wonderful Christmas feeling of love, joy and peace filled my heart.  The Maccabeats saved my Christmas.  Hope you enjoy them as well.

What does it take to get you in the holiday spirit?

Today I am participating in a month long blog hop called Self as Child promoting an exciting new concept called YouthTube!

What sparks a child’s dreams? Who encourages those dreams?  

My grandmother gave me a colouring book filled with pictures of children from around the world dressed in traditional garments.  I loved that book and dreamt of visiting those fascinating places one day as I coloured each page. Growing up on a farm in the Canadian prairies, we didn’t venture very far.  My grade three teacher taught us about exotic places like Mexico. She gave us Mexican names, brought sombreros and serapes into the classroom, played Mexican music and served Chilli Con Carne. This further wet my appetite for travel. Miss Roll also discovered my vivid imagination and encouraged me to write my stories down.

Life truly does happen while you are making other plans. I got married, had children, worked full time, took correspondence courses, attended the occasional workshop and dabbled in writing.  I filled a number of scribblers with short stories and ramblings over the years.  The thought of being published was a distant and almost impossible dream.  It didn’t look like I was going to see much of the world either.

But the dreams that were planted remained. I boarded a plane for the first time when my second husband took me to England to visit his family.  You can imagine my excitement when I finally found myself in another country. Over the years we traveled back to England a number of times as well as to other fascinating destinations, includingMexico. With every trip, I became as excited as the child who held that international children’s colouring book in her hands.

Ten years ago a friend took a job in the United Arab  Emirates and invited me for a visit.  I jumped at the chance.  What an amazing experience.  I discovered a totally different culture, unique scenery and so much history.  I fell in love with the place and the people. Returning home, I had many stories to tell.  Although I felt compelled to write these stories down, they just didn’t portray the excitement and feelings I had while there.

Then one sleepless night I started writing the story from the eyes of a twelve-year-old.  I based it on my experiences and added some colourful characters and an adventure.  It was fun to spin my story in a way that kids would enjoy at the same time as learning about another country.  My hope was that it would entice them to travel to other countries some day.  Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask was born and eventually published.  My dream of being published came true.

Miss Roll and me, grade three

Still pinching myself to believe I am a published author after all these years, I am so glad I followed my dream of travel, which led to a writing career.  I will forever be grateful to my grandmother and Miss Roll for planting the seeds, and for all the other people in my life who encouraged me to nurture and grow those dreams. As adults, we must all support the young people in our lives to follow their dreams and encourage their creativity.

Youth-Tube is a new enterprise of Plum Tree Books  for children 12 & under, that encourages early literacy and children’s creativity. We are offering a safe and constructive environment for children to share art, stories, favourite books, music, etc.     This is a great opportunity for children’s artwork to be showcased. All the relevant info can be found  HERE with details of submission guidelines. The submissions deadline has been extended past the original date of 15th May. So get your creative children or grandchildren on board!

Check out some of the other amazing blogs that have been taking part in the blog hop promoting Self as Child throughout the month of May.

Tues 1st May: launch on the event page:http://www.facebook.com/events/314596525276392/

and on http://www.facebook.com/PlumTreeBooks

Blog: http://ontheplumtree.wordpress.com/

Wed. 2nd – http://passionfind.wordpress.com Tonia Harris

Thurs. 3rd – http://thefairytaleasylum.wordpress.com/ Marta Pelrine-Bacon

Fri. 4th – http://www.shevata-cccole.blogspot.com C.C.Cole

Sat. 5th http://hiddenearthseries.blogspot.co.uk/ janet Young Beasley

Sun. 6th – http://thebumpyroadtopublishing.blogspot.com – Deb Hockenberry

Mon. 7th -http://ontheplumtree.wordpress.com – Niamh Clune

Tues. 8th – http://sooziebird.blogspot.com/ – Susie Bertie

Fri: 11th http://girlseeksplace.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/on-being-a-writer Brianna Soloski

Sat:12th http://optymyst.wordpress.com – JanCan / @OptyMyst – Not Quite Dead Yet

Mon. 14th – http://lorhainneeckhart.wordpress.com/ – Lorhainne Eckhart (The Choice of Giving)

Tues. 15th -http://www.Heartspoken.com -Elizabeth Cottrell

Wed 16th -http://loraneleavy.blogspot.co.uk/ Lorane Leavy

Thurs: 17th: http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/ This Kid Reviews Books

Friday: May 18th http://aprilthomasbooks.wordpress.com April Thomas

Sat. 19th -www.jontybabe.blogspot.com Jonty-Babe

Sun: 20th: http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/ Darlene Foster

Mon 21st – http://steepedinbooks.blogspot.com Georgia Saunders

Tues 22  http://marthamoravec.com/2012/05/too-fat-to-live/  Martha Moravec

Wed: 23rd May: http://tomdharris.wordpress.com/ Tom Harris

I am very happy to be part of Plum Tree Books and the YouthTube initiative.  Thanks Niamh Clune!

 


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