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A metaphor is a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect, thus highlighting the similarities between the two. (the dictionary definition) I remember learning about metaphors in school. I love them! We are advised, however, to use them sparingly in our writing as many of them are considered clichés. I once submitted a story to an anthology call out. To my delight, my story was chosen. The editor asked me to make a few changes including removing some of the numerous metaphors and similes. I thought I was being so clever, but once I removed a good chunk of them or reworded them, I realized the story read much better. By using metaphors in my rough draft though, I developed some great ideas.

In a newsletter sent out by Jan Moore she writes about how metaphors can be useful, not just in writing. She mentions that Creative people use metaphors automatically. It’s our natural mode of communication. I certainly agree with her on that point. I often get strange looks from my non writing friends and family when I use metaphors in my speech.

Jan Moore has written a book called Work on Your Own Terms:  Change Your Mind and Change Your Life in Midlife and Beyond which is worth checking out. Written by a former career counselor , Jan writes about how you can create meaningful work that nourishes the soul and sets you free, at any age.

Work On Your Own Terms

Jan also goes on to say: Metaphors can be powerful guides for living. Writers and artists use them and so can you. Playing with metaphors can help generate new ideas. Here are a few to play with:

  1. If your day was a colour, what colour would you paint it?
  2. If an obstacle was a mountain, how would you climb it?
  3. If two paths diverge in a wood, would you take the one less traveled?
  4. If a project was a baby, how would you nurture it?
  5. If your life was a song, what would you be singing?

What would your answers be to these questions? Put your answers in the comments if you wish. I would love to read them. 

From one of my favourite authors who passed away last year at age 92:

Words. Words. I play with words, hoping that some combination, even a chance combination, will say what I want.
…Doris Lessing

Doris lessing 20060312 (jha).jpg

photo from Wikipedia

It´s been a year since we launched Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. To celebrate I am a guest on the fabulous blog site Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Guest Post: Amanda in Alberta | Darlene Foster.

Book Description:

Amanda has travelled to some interesting places like the United Arab Emirates, Spain and England. She has always enjoyed herself, in spite of the dangerous situations she has found herself in. This time her BFF, Leah from England, is coming to visit her in Alberta. Will she be able to find enough fun things for them to do? After all it is only Alberta, her home province in Canada.

Read more about the book, a great review and a message from me here. Pop over to the site, make a comment and share if you wish, to help me celebrate.

Thanks so much for the support all of you have given me and Amanda over the past few years. 

Amanda in Alberta is born!

Amanda in Alberta is born!

Faithful supporters at the book launch July 2014

Faithful supporters at the book launch July 2014


My biggest fan and official photographer

My biggest fan and official photographer

Here is my picture for Day 3 of the 5 day challenge.

The Five Day Challenge is: Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.


 Darlene in the Desert

This is a picture of me in the desert of the United Arab Emirates. I visited a friend, a few years ago, who was working there at the time. I had such an amazing experience. When I returned home, I knew I had to write about it.  Six months later, I started a story about a twelve year old girl who travels to the UAE and has an adventure. This story eventually became Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, my first published novel. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In my case it turned out to be fifteen thousand words. Like me, Amanda has done more travelling since.

Now I would like to nominate Fatima Saysell at Welcome to My World  to do the 5 day challenge. Fatima was born and raised in Spain, lives in England and travels to France for holidays whenever she can. Hop on over to her blog where she shares great pictures and writes about her wonderful camping trips to France.

I am having fun with this challenge, hope you are enjoying the short daily posts.

These past six months have been quite crazy. Moving to another country is not for the faint of heart. There is so much to learn. Since travelling around for the first month, we have lived in three different places. It feels good to be in a more permanent place now. It goes without saying that my writing has taken a back seat. I´ve been working on the fifth book in the Amanda series, but it has been slow going.

However, I was fortunate to be introduced to Pablo Solares Acebal, from Ediciones Camelot, by Mary Barr, a fellow writer from Canada.  Pablo agreed to translate and publish my story, Pig on Trial, as a bi-lingual book called Cerdito a juicio. I am very pleased with the final result.


The book is written in English on one page and Spanish on the opposite page.


The Blurb:

What is Sebastian to do? The family pig, Frederick, is on trial and Sebastian can’t seem to do anything to save him from this injustice. He is, after all, only a child. Children and adults can read this exciting medieval tale in both English and Spanish. A great way for individuals to learn English or Spanish by reading the story in both languages, at the same time.

Don´t you just love the cover!


It is now available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cerdito-juicio-Spanish-Edition-Darlene/dp/8494369008

Please check it out.

I´m currently offering a give-away to one of my blog readers. All you need to do is make a comment and on June 12 I will pick one commenter of this blog post to receive a free copy of Cerdito a juicio.

So I haven´t been totally idle, lazing away in the sun as you thought. (well maybe a little)


A Winner!

Posted on: May 25, 2015

This was in my email box earlier today:


Congratulations ! ! ! Your book won Cover Wars and is now our Book Of The Week. We have begun sharing the wonderful news. Have a great week.


Author Shout

Thank you so much for your votes! I have an amazing support group. This was a fun contest and the competition was close. Amanda in Alberta is now Book of The Week!


I have entered a competition called Cover Wars. If I get the most votes, Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone will be featured as Book of The Week. Please vote for Amanda. You can vote once a day until next Sunday, May 24. Thanks heaps!!


Click here to vote  http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/

Children’s Book Week Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet Giveaway 2015

Enter to win a Kindle Fire 7″, Kids Edition Tablet + a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash (US) OR a $200 Amazon gift card (US) OR $200 PayPal cash (International). Open now. Ends May 31, 2015.
I am a sponsor for this giveaway on Mother and Daughter Book Reviews. Visit the site and enter to win!
There are many great author sponsors. Check out all the books listed. You may see an Amanda book there as well.
Good Luck!!
CBW 2015 Banner

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Pig on Trial

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Kid Lit Blog Hop

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