Darlene Foster's Blog

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Posted on: March 2, 2019

I was pleased to receive the Sunshine Blogger Award from Mary Smith of Mary Smith’s Place. Mary lives in Scotland and is a published author of No More Mulberries, a novel set in Afghanistan and a collection of short stories, Donkey Boy & Other Stories. Her non-fiction work includes a memoir of her time working in Afghanistan, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni and a couple of local history books: Dumfries Through Time and Castle Douglas Through Time. I wrote a review of her wonderful book, No More Mulberries here

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer appreciation award given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

Thank you, Mary!

The Rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.

Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award, and then give them 11 new questions – or cheat like I did and use the same questions 🙂

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog

Here are the questions I received and my answers:

What was the driving force behind the creation of your blog?

When I published my first book, Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask in 2010, my publisher suggested I get active on social media to help promote my book. She thought a blog would be a good idea. I had been thinking about starting one, so that was the push I needed. Nine years later I am still blogging and loving it!

What was your vision for your future in blogging/writing when you first started this blog? How has that vision evolved?

My vision for the blog was to create a place where I could write about dreams. Not just mine but other people’s as well. I like to feature people who have followed their dreams, writers, artists etc. Since I love to travel, and it is a dream come true for me, I enjoy sharing stories and pictures of my travels. I also feature posts about things I love like my family, my dog, food, books and my life in Spain. I think my vision of creating a place to share dreams has evolved into just that!

What age were you when you realized you loved writing?

I always loved to tell stories and write them down but when I was twelve I had a story published in a local newspaper. That was when I thought it would be fun to write stories for publication. It was very much later when I finally realized that dream.

How has your life changed as a result of the electronic age? Is it better/worse/the same?

It is much better. I never learned to type so using a typewriter to write stories took me forever. I really didn’t seriously consider writing for publication until we got a computer. Without technology, I would not have been able to move across the ocean to Spain. Because of social media, I can communicate with my family and friends as if we lived next door. I also love being able to connect with people from all over the world, many of whom have become wonderful friends.

What was the very last website you visited today?


If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

To attend university.

How would your life be different today if that one thing from your past were to change?

It would have given me more confidence and I would have met some amazing people.

If you have children, tell me…how did your parenting change from the time you had your first child until the time you had your last?

There are eight years between my two children so of course, I was more mature when I had my daughter. But I think my parenting was still the same. I loved my kids to bits but tried not to smother them. I gave them the independence they needed to be able to make it in the real world. I was also very busy so they had to do a lot of things for themselves, which didn’t hurt them.

Tell me about the funniest experience you’ve had in the past month.

I made a beef stew for hubby one evening. There was a little left so I put it in Dot’s dish on top of her kibbles. Next thing I knew she was busy sorting out her food. She made a pile of peas and a pile of carrots beside her bowl before she scarfed down the meat, gravy, and kibbles. Then she ate the peas, and then the carrots leaving the place spotless. It was so funny. I have seen kids separate their food but never a dog! She certainly keeps us entertained.

What do you have planned for the upcoming holiday season?

I plan to attend an Easter parade and festival here in Spain. Easter is a huge holiday here called Semana Santa (Holy Week) and is spread out over the full week. I wrote a post about it. https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/semana-santa-easter-in-spain/

I will also have an Easter egg hunt in my yard for our six-year-old neighbour. I just have to be sure Dot doesn’t get at them first.

If I nominate you and you have an award free blog, or if you have already been nominated for this award, please view the nomination as a compliment: you are under no obligation to respond.

My questions are the same as those posed to me.

My nominees of bloggers who spread sunshine and inspiration are 

Beth Ann Chiles at It´s Just Life https://itsjustlife.me/

Sue Slaught at Travel Tales of LIfe  https://traveltalesoflife.com/

Pam Wight at Rough Wighting https://roughwighting.net/

Molly Stevens at Shallow Reflections https://www.shallowreflections.com/

Jacquie Biggar at https://jacqbiggar.com/

Jennie Fitzkee at A Teacher´s Reflection https://jenniefitzkee.com/

Stevie Turner at https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Annika Perry at https://annikaperry.com/ 

Fatima Saysell at https://sayselltravels.com/

Joy Lennick at https://joylennick.wordpress.com/

Of course, anyone else who would like to join in is welcome. 


56 Responses to "The Sunshine Blogger Award"

Like you, Darlene, I’d love to have gone to university. Thanks for the nomination – I’ll have a think about the answers.

Thanks, Stevie. I look forward to reading your answers to the questions.

Congrats on the sunshine award!

Loved the questions and your answers. I wonder how many authors learned to type via the computer. I took typing in junior high and was so glad I did, because I could type my reports/papers in school and at college. For me, typing is like playing the piano.

I didn’t learn to type in school because I was in the matriculation program and typing was only offered in the businees program. I took two typing classes after as an adult but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. In fact, I could never manage the piano either. Perhaps that part of my brain is missing!! So I have typed all of my books with two fingers. But with the computer, it’s ok as mistakes are easily fixed

Thanks so much for accepting the award and answering the questions, Darlene. Great answers and I loved the story of Dot sorting out her food. My cat sometimes sorts things but only so she can eat the jelly bits and leave the rest.

It was so funny to see. She doesn’t care much for carrots so ate them last. But at least she did eat everything and left no mess.

Congrats! I’m an award-free blog but do love reading these personal secrets!

I love that Dot separates her food – that’s hilarious! And congrats on the award, Darlene!

She is one funny dog. Thanks!

I never heard of a dog so fastidious!

Well, you wouldn’t want your peas touching your carrots, would you?

Congratulations, Darlene! That’s wonderful acknowledgement of your amazing contribution to bloggers, the blogging communities, writers, and artists. I’m so impressed!!!

Congrats Darlene, great answers. I too lacked confidence when I was younger, and would change that if I could. I always try to encourage my kids to be more confident, but sometimes I guess that’s who we are, and over time and as we get older our confidence does grow too.
Have a great weekend lovely 🙂

Thanks. There are good things about getting older!

Absolutely Darlene. 🙂

Many congratulations, well deserved 😊

You are always a ray of sunshine, Darlene. Congratulations!

Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
Darlene Foster responds to her Sunshine Blogger Award that she was nominated for by Mary Smith.. and great answers to the question and you will love the one about Dot her dog…

Thanks for reblogging!!

Great answers, Darlene and congratulations you deserve it..Loved hearing about Dot and her food ..Mine sorts his carrots but leaves them yet he eats chillies but he is Thai…haha

Thanks, Carol. Carrots are not her favourite so she eats them last. Dogs are the best entertainment!!

They certainly are and love you come what may as well, Darlene 🙂 x


Thanks for dropping by my blog and for the congrats!!

The story about your dog is hysterical, Darlene. I have also never heard of a dog separating its food.

I know. She is one unique pooch!

[…] been nominated again!  Thanks to Darlene  Foster at https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/the-sunshine-blogger-award/  for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger  Award.  The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer […]

Congratulations, Darlene and very well deserved! I loved learning more about you, your writing, blogging. I’m laughing at Dot and her eating of the stew – clever dog! I wish you a fantastic Easter and can’t believe how soon it is upon us.

Thank you so much for the nomination; that is so kind of you and I would love to answer these questions and will do so soon. I really appreciate the thought.

Have a great week, my friend! ❤️

I look forward to your answers. No rush of course. It is a nice way of learning things about each other. That Dot is a clever pooch!!

Congrats on the sunshine award Darlene. Love the concept and enjoyed the questions and answers. It was interesting to learn more about you and of course I loved your dog story. It did remind me of me as a kid, separating all the foods, but a dog?!? Smart guy.


Thanks, Peta. It was fun to answer the questions. That dog sure does keep us laughing. Love her to bits!!

Oh my goodness aren’t you lovely to add me to your list Darlene. If anyone spreads sunshine in this blogging world it is you!
I was interested to read about your regret as it is the same as mine.

Thanks, Sue. We do have a few things in common.

I read this a few days ago and loved loved loved your answers. And then I realized I was one of your Sunshine recipients! I’m honored and blushing and declining, because my blog is award-free because I can’t keep up with it as it is. 😦 And then I feel guilty. Of course, a writer always feels guilty when she’s not …. writing…anyway. See? I’m already going on and on. So back to your interview. TERRIFIC. Interesting how several bloggers who have been interviewed mentioned they’d wished they’d had more self-confidence when they were younger, and I realize I feel the same way. But maybe that’s just one of the advantages of being, um, less young. We finally believe more in ourselves.
As far as Dot – she’s got the personality of a fabulous, well-loved, happy dog. No surprise, there. ❤

Thanks, glad you enjoyed the answers and Dot’s funny moment. No problem, as I mentioned, if you have an award free blog, just consider it a compliment!!

[…] I love these types of posts, you always get to know a little more about the blogger via The Sunshine Blogger Award […]

Thanks so much for the nomination, Darlene. I am so honored to be in such a fantastic line up of blogs. I don’t do awards so I won’t be participating but like Pam I feel a bit guilty. Your story about Dot separating her food cracked me up! So funny. I love reading about your life in Spain – a little vicarious foreign travel for me. Your books are on my TBR list as I know I’d love them.

No problem, Molly. That Dot sure keeps us amused! Hope you enjoy Amanda’s adventures! Thanks.

Congrats on this award, Darlene! Very well deserved!

Thanks, Carol Anne.

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