Darlene Foster's Blog

How did I do in 2020?

Posted on: January 1, 2021

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is happy to see this year over. Here´s what the crew of Starship Enterprise felt about 2020.

For someone who loves to set goals and make plans, this has been a tough year. So many plans were ruined and goals not met. But we are safe and healthy and as we speak, our family is OK as well. That is really all that matters at the end of the day.

So, as painful as it is, here is my report on the goals I set a year ago, never imagining a global pandemic!

2020 Goals

  1. Edit Amanda in Malta:The Sleeping Lady, and send it to the publisher

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady has been edited, beta-read and with the publisher. It is scheduled for release in May 2021 and is available for preorder. I am so excited about this book as it takes place in a unique country, with tons of history, action and fun. Fans will be pleased to know that Caleb is back too.

2. Write Amanda in France

I am halfway through writing Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral. It is coming along slowly. Like many writers, I had trouble concentrating at the start of the lockdown. Amanda falls in love with Paris, Versailles and Giverny and gets to stay at a bookstore!

3. Decide if I should continue writing Amanda stories or venture into something else.

I haven’t made that decision yet. I’ll see how the next two books do.

4. Write more short stories

I did write new short stories and revisited and polished some old ones. Short stories were easier to focus on this year. My short story, Lockdown With Anne, was included in an anthology about the pandemic called, With Love, Comes Hope.

5. Write more travel articles

I didn’t write many travel articles. The fact that we couldn’t travel, didn’t inspire me to write travel articles.

6. Help others with their writing as many have helped me

This is something I did a lot of. I had the time, it could be done online and it made me feel useful. I did some editing as well which I enjoyed.

7. Work on my TBR list, read at least 40 books 

Another thing I had time to do and it took my mind off the situation. I read 40 books, many I had wanted to read for a long long time. They are listed on my Goodreads Reading Challenge page

8. Visit Venice

We had planned to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday in Venice. All booked but sadly, cancelled due to a global pandemic.

9. Attend a family reunion in Alberta

Cancelled as well. I was very dissapointed as I love to see my aunts, uncles and many wonderful cousins.

10. Travel to the UK and visit friends

Also booked, plans set to meet up with a number of friends, but cancelled.

11. Organize my office

I did some organizing but more needs to be done.

12. Organize my computer files

Again, not as much as I should have. It´s not like I didn´t have the time!

13. Learn more about writing and publishing a picture book.

Lost interest in this for some reason.

14. Publish an anthology of short stories

I´m working on this.

What I did do was a lot of cooking and baking, walking the dog and connecting with friends and family through social media.

My three words for 2020 were:

support – Support others in whatever way I can, as so many have supported me over the years.

connect – Connect with people, stay in touch, facilitate connections.

motion – Keep moving, physically and mentally.

Little did I know how important these three words would become.

By supporting others, I was able to take my mind off of my concerns. Since I have learned a few things over the years of writing and publishing my books, it has been great to be able to share that knowledge. I enjoyed interviewing and featuring other authors on my blog and helping promote their books.

I connected with so many people, some I haven´t been in touch with for quite a while. These connections kept me sane. Connecting through social media has been a godsend. I Zoom with my writers’ groups here in Spain and in Canada, and video message and Skype with family members and friends near and far. Connecting through blogging has been my social life and I so appreciate those connections. So a huge thank you to all my blogging buddies!

Walking the dog three to four times a day has kept me moving and kept the baking off my hips. Walking has been good for my mental well being as well.

Although many of my goals were not met, it has still been an OK year.

I stole this from a writer/blogging friend, Janet Givens. I love it.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Stay safe and well so that eventually we can all travel and meet up again soon.

66 Responses to "How did I do in 2020?"

I’m the complete opposite – I never set goals or make plans! I couldn’t stand the disappointment of failing at them, which is what would likely happen. I’m glad they work well for you, though, and hope they continue to do so in 2021. Happy New Year!

It´s a personality thing. I need something to focus on, so goals work for me. Happy New Year to you as well. Thanks for all the great tunes which have been so welcome this year.

I know it works well for some, but it would be boring if we were all the same! Thank you – I enjoy sharing music 😊

The bright side is that you still have to see Venice. A pleasure still to be enjoyed as many other. Let’s be optimistic and have a great year. 🙋🏼

So true! Thanks and Happy New Year!

It sounds like a good year! I wanted to do a few new things wilth on my first year of retirement, but like you, a lot of cancelled plans. And now we have to put a hold on plans for 2021. But I’m sure yours will be full and busy! Happy New Year!

It was like a year that wasn’t in a way. But as my dear old dad would say, It could have been worse. Hang n there, you will be able to enjoy that retirement soon. Happy New Year!

I say you did very well with achieving your goals. Of course there were some that simply weren’t possible with the pandemic. Looking forward to sharing your next Amanda book with Charlotte. She will be excited!

Wishing you another year of success, Darlene, and thank you for being so supportive to the writing community. You are a gem. ❤

Thank you. I think writers were lucky, as we had our writing to keep us busy and our characters to keep us company. We could even travel in our imagination! Meeting you all those years ago was a blessing. I love the writing community. xo

Congratulation on your accomplishments this past year, Darlene. You did very well – despite the odds. Thank you for sharing your year in books. Although I am also an avid reader, I haven’t yet read anything on your 2020 Reading List. I do have Anita Diamant’s ‘Good Harbour’ sitting on my bookshelf. Time for me to dust it off and give it a read.
Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

Thanks so much. I hope you find a few good reads from my list. Good Harbour isn’t as good as The Red Tent, but it’s still a good read. Happy New Yera to you and yours as well. xo

All in all it sounds like quite a productive year for you, Darlene and where it wasn’t then the circumstances were out of your control…Happy New Year 🙂 x

It was fairly productive but I did find it hard to focus at times. Having goals helped. Thanks for all the great recipes and tips over the year. Have a Happy New Year!!

I have also, Darlene but am guessing many others have also… this month for me is my worst as its annual visa renewal and never straight forward here… xx

I would say that you did very well with meeting your 2020 goals, all things considered!!

I did ok. I’m just used to doing better. Happy New Year, Liz.

I tend to be the same way, particularly as I’ve gotten older. Happy New Year to you as well, Darlene.

Like you, I’m a goal-setter, Darlene, but I seldom reach the number of aspirations as you do. Still, your output is awesome. One thing that stands out for me in your list last year is the quality of helping others. So, my dear, expect to reap more of the generosity you have sown.

You have much to look forward to in the new year, including travel to Venice and beyond! Thanks for your inspiration and sharing your aspirations too.

Thanks, Marian. I think we had to do an attitude adjustment and just accept that some things we couldn’t do last year. Hopefully soon. Happy New Year to you and your family. xo

Great post, Darlene. It was fun to read about your goals for the year and which ones you met and which ones you did not. You certainly have helped me a lot with my writing ambitions, which I appreciate very much!

Thanks, Nancy. Do I dare make a list of goals this year?

Darlene it seems to me that you did very well on your goals. Most of the ones not accomplished were due to circumstances you could not control. I smiled at the mention of you had the time but didn’t get as much organizing done as you would have liked. I can relate! As to travel articles we certainly find ourselves at a point where having a travel blog has become challenging.
Here’s to 2021 and hopefully that light we now see glimmering will help guide the way to a fulfilling and happy year ahead. Very best wishes to you Darlene.

Thanks, Sue. You have done a great job of posting articles about exploring places near your home and travel-related articles. Best wishes back to you and yours. xo

That Star Trek calendar is a riot, Darlene! Wishing you huge success. Happy New Year. Hugs on the wing!

Glad you enjoyed the Star Trek calendar. My husband is a huge Trekkie so we could relate. Happy New Year my dear! Hugs back.

Happy New Year, Darlene. Clearly, you accomplished quite a bit and your year was definitely productive. It will be interesting to see when you will be able to make travel plans again. I know several writers who are chomping at the bit to resume their travel goals. Hoping to see in 2021 with your new book!

Thanks, Debra. My biggest wish is to get back to Canada to see my family and friends. So I am hoping I can do that in May or June and do some presentations and signings at that time. HOpe to see you then. Have a great 2021.

Happy & Healthy New Year! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾

Your goals were practical, Darlene. Year 2020 made us learn to be flexible. We didn’t travel for sightseeing. We planned many trips to visit our granddaughters but cancelled four trips, so on and so forth.
Happy New Year to you and your family, Darlene.🎉

Thanks, Miriam. We certainly did learn to be flexible and to be thankful for what we have. Happy New Year. Xo

Exactly, Darlene. We can only avoid this monster for now. Happy New Year to you 🎉🥂.

Congratulations, for all you’ve accomplished. In any given year, we often don’t see all our goals happen. 2020 was no different. Happy New Year, Darlene. Another trip around the sun has begun.

Thanks, Diane. Happy New Year to you as well. xo

Congratulations, Darlene, for making so much progress despite the difficulties of 2020. I wish you a wonderful 2021. Thanks for your support. -Rebecca

Thanks, Rebecca! Happy New Year to you as well. xo

I imagine not many of us achieved our goals last year, but hey, 2021 looks better! What part of the UK were you travelling to?

We were meeting friends in Nottingham and Andover. Hopefully, we can see them this year. We have friends in Felixstowe but they were meeting us in Nottingham for a military reunion.

Ah, we are about 45 mins drive from Felixstowe. If you’re ever our way again… ?

I thought so. Should we ever find ourselves nearby we will have to meet for a coffee.

An excellent analytical approach to your 2020 accomplishments. You hit many, rearranged a few, and let some go. Nice job. That shows constant refocus and alignment with the world around you.

Good luck in 2021! Happy New Year! 🙂

Thanks, James. We had to be flexible this year and go with the flow. But having the goals set out, kept me on track. Otherwise, I would have floundered. (OK I did some floundering but was able to get back on track.) All the best in 2021!!

Floundering sometimes helps you figure out the path to success!

I’d say that you had quite a successful year and managed to accomplish much despite the situation. Here’s hoping for a better year ahead. Happy new year!

Thank you so much, Wendy. When I look back I feel like I did OK, in spite of the situation. Happy New Year to you and yours!!

Good goals. You’re inspiring me to look back on my 2020 goals. It’ll be interesting to see your decision on the Amanda series. I can’t imagine it stopping with so many countries to visit.

Thanks! I guess I better get started on setting some goals for 2021.

Darlene, I love your approach to summing up your year. It’s a wonderful peek into the life of an author and fellow traveler, giving even more insight into you. Thanks so much for sharing this, and congrats on all you accomplished. Wishing you a fabulous 2021. 🙂 Terri & James

Thanks so much, Terri and James. What stories we will all share years later when we talk of the 2020 Pandemic! Wishing you a wonderful 2021 as well.

Isn’t it interesting how we set benchmarks for ourselves that seem so very important at the time, only to lose their relevance when we see the reality of our vibrant experiences that happened simply because we were open to the possibilities awaiting us from the sidelines. 2020 disrupted our lives and challenged us to embrace uncertainty with enthusiasm and humour. We are on a new journey – I’m glad that we are entering 2021 together. Happy New Year!

So true. It’s like that old saying, “We make plans and the universe laughs.” This year proved that! Happy New Year to you as well. Let’s see what the universe sends us this year!

Darlene I am just so impressed that you have so many very lofty goals… for just one year! But then again you are clearly a productive and creative type so I hope for you that you get to achieve at least the majority or perhaps some of your goals. Hopefully 2021 will be an easier year globally and I am hopeful about this. Love what you write about the importance of connections and I think that 2020 was really a year where I focused on that as well….

Seems like Amanda is well beloved so why not keep a good thing going? I will be watching to see how that all evolves.. I know sometimes my once passionate interest can shift to something else.

Happy new year to you.

I think 2021 will be a better year because we will be better prepared. We were caught off guard last year! Thankfully as humans, we are adaptable. As for Amanda, I´m concerned I will run out of ideas, (not places, there are many more of those) but ideas for the mystery/adventure. I don´t want the books to sound repetitious. Mind you there were 32 Nancy Drew books…
All the best in 2021! I look forward to reading more of your adventures, which are always entertaining and exciting. You are an adult Amanda!!! Sending many hugs. xo

I hope 2021 makes up for what was missing in 2020, Darlene. Have a good one!

Thanks, Norah. I think we will enter 2021 cautiously but better prepared. All the best!!

And come out the other end in a better position. 🙂

You made great progress in such a year. Love the Star Trek calendar and the three words. Happy New Year, Darlene!

Thanks, Jennie. I did Ok in spite of it all. Glad you love the Star Trek calendar. I thought it was great.

Yes, you did! You need to send that calendar to Dan Antion!

look on the bright side, you met quite a lot of your goals! Well done be proud! 😀

Thanks, Carol Anne. I did meet some goals. As my dad would ave said, It could have been worse. Happy 2021!!

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