Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘travel

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

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Those of you who know me well, know how much I love shoes.  I have a nice collection of shoes and some great shoe stories.  I tend to buy at least one pair of shoes wherever I travel to and if I travel to Spain it is more like 3 pairs. I am also not very tall so I always wear heels to add some height.

I damaged my left ankle when I was in Spain this fall when I missed the bottom step at the apartment we were staying in.  When I returned home two weeks later, I had it x-rayed and discovered I had broken it on both sides. This required an operation to bolt it back together with 7 screws. I was in a plaster cast for 2 weeks and then an air cast (boot) for the past 8 weeks. I returned to work after the plaster cast was removed and  managed to do my book signings and presentations as planned.  The only thing is, I have only been able to wear a right shoe.  My husband thought it was very funny when I had only right shoes lined up ready to wear.  So he took a picture.

When we visited Fort Lauderdale a year ago, I found the perfect shoe in my size. Unfortunately the sales clerk couldn’t find the mate to the shoe. I even went back the next day to see if they found the other shoe but they hadn’t. I was heartbroken as I really wanted to buy that pair of shoes.  Since it was the right shoe on display, I wish I had purchased it as I would be able to wear it now!  (but who knew?)

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New sensible shoes

The orthopedic surgeon has informed me I can start wearing shoes on both feet again, but not heels, which is all I own.  So I had to invest in some sensible shoes. They are Ok but they don’t make me look or feel any taller.

I am happy to report that I am on the mend and hope to be back to normal by the new year.  In the meantime I have a few pairs of shoes  in which the right shoe is much more worn than the left. I could have worse problems, I know.

Do you have any funny shoe stories to share?

“A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”  Will Rogers

I set up my blog two years ago and I am so glad I did. I love blogging. The best thing about it for me,  is making new friends. Finding things in common with individuals from Newfoundland to New Zealand, West Virginia to Doha and everywhere in between has been an amazing experience. Blogging has shrunk the world for me and enriched my life. The downside is that I want to meet all these wonderful people who take the time to read my blog and make comments, and that is not always possible.

My dream of meeting a blogging buddy came true last weekend when I met Alison from See My Travels.  Alison is from Lincoln, England where she works as a journalist. She is also well travelled and blogs about her adventures. I first read her blog on A Hopeful Sign, where both of us have had articles published. I enjoyed her photographs and articles on England and Scotland very much. We soon decided to follow each other’s blogs, and when I read that she was planning a six-moth visit to Canada and the US, I got very excited. She arrived in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago and we arranged to meet for a coffee in Steveston.

 

Although we are from different countries and different generations, we found we had much in common and chatted away for two hours. It was so lovely to meet Alison in person. She is enjoying her visit to Canada very much and is blogging about it regularly. If you want to see some great pictures of my corner of the world visit http://www.seemytravels.com/2012/05/19/my-first-week-in-vancouver-why-i-love-this-city-already/

Alison left for Victoria, the capital of BC located on Vancouver Island, a few days later. I warned her she would fall in love with that city. Check here to see if she has.

I noticed A Hopeful Sign has recently posted another one of Alison’s articles. It is about the Medieval Bishops Place in Lincoln, her hometown. If you are like me, and love anything medieval, check it out.

Photo by Alison Sandilands

After meeting Alison, I hope to meet other blogging friends someday.

Would you like to meet the folks who follow your blog?

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!

 

Amanda Ross had a wonderful adventure in the United Arab Emirates. She will never forget the camel race, shopping at the souq, swimming in the Persian Gulf and riding a camel. When she came back to Canada and told her friends about her travels, some of them didn’t believe her but that was OK. She made a scrap book with the pictures she took and of the souvenirs she collected. She even had a picture of her and Ali Baba, the camel she treasured.

She kept in touch with Leah, the friend she had made when she was in the UAE, by email and Facebook. When Leah asked her to come to Spain to spend a holiday with her, Amanda jumped at the chance. She did extra chores at home, babysat and took on a paper route to save up money for the trip. Spain was wonderful and she got to see and do a lot. She visited Madrid, explored a mountain town with houses hanging on the edge of cliffs, stayed overnight in an old, spooky monastery, took part in a tomato fight and discovered the sights of Barcelona.

There was only one problem; a young girl, looking amazingly like a girl in a famous painting, kept showing up wherever Amanda and Leah happened to be.

Following her was an evil horse dealer who seemed determined to make life miserable for everyone. Could Amanda keep this sweet young girl, and her beloved pony, safe without bringing harm to herself and Leah?
Follow the adventures of Amanda at http://www.ireadiwrite.com/styled-4/styled/index.html

Dishing up adventure

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Tsawwassen resident Darlene Foster serves up an Arabian dish in theme with her new novel for youth, ‘Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask.’
Kristine Salzmann photo
Published: October 07, 2010 12:00 PM

A Tsawwassen author’s first published book takes young readers on an adventure to the United Arab Emirates.

It’s not a country often talked about nor a setting you’d expect in a novel about a 12-year-old girl, but Darlene Foster was enthralled by the locale when she traveled there to visit a friend 10 years ago.

“It was so fascinating and exciting. My girlfriend said I was just like a child because I was so enthusiastic.”

She wanted to translate that enthusiasm into an adventure story for young readers. Foster, an employment counsellor, created Amanda Ross, a 12-year-old who wishes for adventure and travel on her birthday and receives a plane ticket to the UAE where an aunt and uncle live.

All four of Foster’s grandchildren already have copies of Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask and she says they loved it, even her young grandson despite the bright pink cover.

Many of the adventures Amanda experiences are ones Foster did during her trip, such as attend a camel race, ride a camel, and watch the sun set over the dunes.

Foster says she also loved the food there. After returning from the UAE, she picked up Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & North Africa by Habeeb Salloum. It’s a cookbook she dips into weekly for recipes such as this rice flavoured with cardamom.

Both her readers and publishing company, ireadiwrite, are looking for Amanda to continue her travels. Foster received an email from a young girl who asked, “Where is Amanda going next, and what colour will it be?”

Amanda will continue to have adventures, says Foster.

Next, her protagonist will set off in search of excitement in Spain (and the cover will be red). Third in the series may be a trip to England. Both are places Foster has traveled.

“Amanda isn’t going anywhere without me,” she says.

Foster will hold a book signing at Black Bond Books (5251 Ladner Trunk Rd.) on Oct. 16, 1 to 3 p.m. and at the Guildford Town Centre in Surrey on Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. For more about the author and her writing, visit darlenefoster.ca.

Rice flavoured with cardamom

Ingredients

4 Tbsp. butter

1 ½ cups slivered almonds

1 cup rice, rinsed

¼ cup raisins or chopped dates

2 ½ cups water

½ teaspoon ground cardamom seeds

½ teaspoon cinnamon

salt to taste

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

Directions

Melt butter in a frying pan and sauté almonds until they begin to brown

Add rice and stir fry for another three minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients, except parsley, and bring to a boil

Cover and cook over medium low heat for 25 minutes

Turn off heat and allow to steam for 30 minutes

Stir, place on serving platter and garnish with parsley

Serves six.

I will hold a book signing at Blackbond Books in Ladner, Trenant Park Square on October 16 from 1 – 3:00 pm and in Surrey, Guildford Town Centre on October 30 starting at 1:00 pm. Drop by and say Hello if you are in the area on either of these dates. Ali Baba the camel will be making an appearance as well.

Black Bond Poster


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