Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

My publisher reminded me that it has been ten years since we published my first book, Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask. Ten years!!

It made me think back to my first book launch at Albany Books in Tsawwassen, BC. I was so excited and so scared. What if no one came? What if no one bought my book? What if no one liked it? How many times had I gone to a book launch or book signing and dreamt of one day having my own? Thanks to Central Avenue Publishing my life-long dream came true.

My first book launch!
I brought Ali Baba along and he was a big hit.
And lots of people came
And bought many books.

I was over the moon with happiness. I had to pinch myself, to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

And the following year I had another book launch for Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting.

Even more people came, the bookstore was packed and I sold more books.

So I wrote another book, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, and launched it at Albany Books. No one could even tell I had a broken ankle.

I launched the next book, Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, wearing the appropriate hat.

My biggest supporter!
Amanda fans

Then I moved to Spain and wrote Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music, but returned to Albany Books for the launch.

I was so pleased that my daughter could attend this launch

Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind followed with another fun launch.

And then there was my recent launch of Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action. Well attended in spite of a rainy Vancouver day.

Friends and long time supporters
With my amazing publisher, Michelle Halket, who made all of this possible.
Nothing like seeing your books on the shelves of a bookstore
I’ve held all seven book launches at Albany Books, a wonderful independent bookstore with knowledgeable and super friendly staff.

Thank you to everyone who has attended my book launches over the past ten years, for buying my books and for spreading the word about them.

Thank you to Albany Books for hosting my book launches. Even though in lockdown, they are open for phone-in and online orders, with local curbside delivery and mail delivery otherwise. Please support your local bookstores at this time. https://www.albanybooks.com/

Thank you to Michelle Halket of Central Avenue Publishing for believing in me and my Amanda Travels series.

And thank you for coming along with me down memory lane. I wonder what the next ten years will bring. Stay strong, stay safe and stay home!

There are many things that make me happy, but as a writer, good reviews and happy readers just make my day. A super review for Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action was recently posted on Robbie Cheadle´s blog.

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/02/15/amanda-in-holland-missing-in-action-by-darlene-foster/

Darlene Foster has a lovely series of travel combined with mystery books for middle school readers. Amanda in Holland is the fourth book in this series I have read and it certainly did not disappoint me.

The book is action-packed and filled with interesting titbits of information about life in Holland, WWII and perseverance and determination in unraveling a mystery.

Amanda is a clever and kind girl who will appeal to middle school and young teenagers who will admire her pluck.

Read more about what she has to say here

Jacquie Biggar posted a great review of Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone on her blog https://jacqbiggar.com/2020/02/24/bookreview-amanda-in-alberta-by-darlene-foster-childrensmystery-supermegawoman/

Amanda in Alberta is a fun, page-turning mystery with interesting tidbits of indigenous history along with Alberta landmarks thrown in.

While geared toward the pre-teen age group, this book has something for every reader to enjoy.

I give Amanda in Alberta four lovely kisses- Traveling with Amanda is an adventure!

Read the rest of the review along with a couple of perfect pictures here

And a long time blogging friend and amazing photographer, Ruth Hendricks, https://rutheh.com/ sent me a great picture of her granddaughter, Maura, receiving Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting in the mail. She looks pretty happy.

These are the things that make the hard work of writing books worthwhile.

It’s been ten years since my first book, Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask was published. I never imagined I would have a series of seven books out there. A huge thank you to everyone who has read my books, written reviews, told friends, family, and teachers about my books, given them as gifts and sent me emails and pictures. It has been the huge support of so many that has made this dream of mine come true. I can’t thank you enough.

You can read more about my books on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

or on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Copyright © 2020 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved

I have been invited to be a guest on Krysten Lindsay Hager’s blog where I talk about daydreaming. I have known Krysten since we both started blogging all those years ago. She has since written eight delightful books for Children and Young Adults about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. You can find her books on Amazon 

We both agree that daydreaming can come in handy for a writer.

Here is the article:

https://www.krystenlindsay.com/blog/daydream-believer-a-guest-post-by-author-darlene-foster

Happy to have author Darlene Foster back on the blog today with a guest post. She writes the  Amanda Travels adventure series and today Darlene is here to talk about something I do so, so often–daydreaming! 

Daydream Believer by Darlene Foster

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

As long as I can remember I have been a daydreamer. Daydreaming has kept me from being bored, lonely and unhappy. It has also been responsible for me accomplishing many of my goals. Many of them started as a daydream.

Read the rest here

Do you still daydream? 

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I love the start of a new year. It´s an opportunity to re-evaluate my life and set goals for the next 12 months. They may not all be met, that’s OK, life gets in the way. But if there are no goals, nothing gets done and you just sit there. At least that´s how it is for me and I’ve got to keep on moving! 

“Even though you are on the right track – you will get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers

With that in mind, here are my goals for 2020.

  1. Edit Amanda in Malta:The Sleeping Lady and send it to the publisher
  2. Write Amanda in France
  3. Decide if I should continue writing Amanda stories or venture into something else.
  4. Write more short stories
  5. Write more travel articles
  6. Help others with their writing as many have helped me
  7. Work on my TBR list, read at least 40 books 
  8. Visit Venice
  9. Attend a family reunion in Alberta
  10. Travel to the UK and visit friends
  11. Organize my office
  12. Organize my computer files
  13. Learn more about writing and publishing a picture book
  14. Publish an anthology of short stories

My three words for 2020 are:

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.

My first goal of 2020 was to write this list and it´s done! I would love to hear about your goals and/or words for this year, the start of a new decade.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I better get writing!

 

As the sun sets on another year, it’s time for me to see how I did with the goals set out at the beginning of the year. All years have highs and lows, but upon reflection it wasn’t a bad year. 

2019 Goals

  1. Publish and promote Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action.                       I am happy to say that Amanda in Holland was released on September 2, 2019. I did a lot of on-line promotion before and after publication. 
  2. Return to Canada in the fall of 2019 to launch Amanda in Holland, organize readings and signings at bookstores, libraries, and schools.          I did return to Canada in October and visited many bookstores, schools and libraries. It was a successful tour.
  3. Finish writing Amanda in Malta-The Sleeping Lady.                          Amanda in Malta is finished, it just needs to be edited and beta read before sending it to the publisher. It should be published Spring 2021.
  4. Start Amanda in France.                                                                              Some rough notes have been made for this book but I haven’t started writing the story yet. 
  5. Do (at least) one thing every day to promote my writing.                           I do this automatically now. 
  6. Publish an anthology of short stories about growing up in rural Alberta.                                                                                                             This has been on the list for a couple of years and I still haven’t done it!
  7. Try writing a picture book.                                                                                 I have made some notes for a picture book but feel I need to learn more about this genre before I attempt it.
  8. Visit a part of Spain I haven’t been to before.                                                 I visited Tarragona, Reus, Lorca, Aledo and Montserrate for the first time. All fascinating places in Spain. 
  9. Attend a Moors and Christians Festival.                                                          I didn’t do this, but I did attend an amazing Easter parade in Lorca and a Candle Night Festival in Aledo. 
  10. Go on a cruise, visiting Venice, Rome or Greece perhaps.                     This didn’t happen.
  11. Read at least 30 books.                                                                                  This was my Goodreads Challenge and I did it. In fact I read 31 books!
  12. Take an online course.                                                                                         I didn’t do this but did learn some new things by reading informative blogs.
  13. Make new friends, online and in person, and stay in touch with longtime friends.                                                                                                   I have made some new friends, a few in person and many online. I have made a concerted effort to keep in touch with old friends as they are gold. Seeing many of them on my return trip to Canada was the best.
  14. Celebrate my birthday in style.                                                                           I had friends over for a sunny March afternoon tea on my terrace. Hubby purchased a special cake for me. A good time was had by all. 

I usually like to pick a word or three for the year. I decided on action, learn, listen for 2019. I believe I did listen better, which in turn enabled me to learn more and take appropriate action. I seldom look back at these words but having written them down, they seem to become imprinted in the back of my mind and affect how I live my life. Funny how that works.

I have just realized we have come to the end of the second decade of the 21st Century. Incredible. It would be worth reflecting on the past ten years. Perhaps in another post.

I wish all of you a fabulous New Year’s Eve, whether you go out and celebrate or have a quiet evening at home with a loved one or a good book. See you in 2020 with a new list of goals.

I am honoured to be a guest on Alethea’s Better World of Books where we talk about how Amanda never gives up trying to make the world a better place and my dream for a “Better World”. Hop on over and check it out. You know you need a break from Christmas preparations!

The Light Behind the Story

thDarlene Foster is a writer of children’s stories, a retired employment counsellor, an ESL tutor, a wife, mother and grandmother. Her grandson once gave her the nickname “super-mega-woman-supreme.” Darlene was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. Her book series for children follows the heroine Amanda Ross as she travels throughout the world and learns the history and culture of faraway places.

 Darlene, thank you so much for being a guest on “A Better World of Books!” Please tells us a little about the inspiration for your character Amanda Ross.

Amanda Ross is the twelve-year-old I would have liked to be. I had a wonderful rural upbringing but my world was limited and I was bored. My grade three teacher taught us about faraway places which sparked my interest in traveling the world and…

View original post 1,118 more words

I was invited to be a guest on a great blog called Loving The Fifty Something

Read what I have to say about getting older and check out Sam’s interesting blog where she features other over 50s. 

Amazing Over 50’s – Darlene Foster

Amazing over 50’s

I am inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride and open arms.

This month I’m happy to introduce Darlene Foster as my seventeenth guest.  Darlene is an author and blogger.

Welcome to Loving The Fifty Something, Darlene

Can I ask you to tell us a little about yourself  

Of course, you can, but you might be sorry. I’ll try to keep it to the Readers Digest version. I spent a lot of time daydreaming and making up stories as a child. I dreamt of becoming a teacher, writing books, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. But as the saying goes, life happens when you’re making other plans.

Read more here https://lovingthefiftysomething.com/2019/07/25/amazing-over-50s-darlene-foster/

I’d be interested to learn your feelings about being over 50 if you are, and how you feel about becoming a 50 plus person if you aren’t.

I wrote about my amazing granddaughter’s venture in pet boarding here. I am pleased to announce her business is doing very well. The Medicine Hat News is holding it’s Best of 2019 competition based on votes. Dear readers, would you please take a minute of your time to vote for Aunty’s Place. It is quick and easy. You can vote once a day until Feb 23. It’s easy, just click on the site, scroll down and vote.

https://heritage.secondstreetapp.com/Medicine-Hat-2019/gallery/140745088?fbclid=IwAR196gEdQbN_VZTdaVIHQPa5-N0n5fXCWjrUUGCJM3i25xAh2pEPMt-QnA8

And to show you some of the happy campers that visit Aunty’s place, here are just a few pictures.

 

They come in all shapes and sizes and Aunty loves them all!

Please share the love and help Aunty’s Place be the Best Pet Boarding of 2019.

Thanks so much!!

It’s that time of year again, the beginning! 

Time to write down and share my goals for this year. If I don’t write them down and share them, nothing will get done. It seems this is the only way it works for me.

I´m a bit late with this post but better late than never as my dad would say. So here they are…

  1. Publish and promote Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action
  2. Return to Canada in the fall of 2019 to launch Amanda in Holland, organize readings and signings at bookstores, libraries, and schools.
  3. Finish writing Amanda in Malta-The Sleeping Lady
  4. Start Amanda in France
  5. Do (at least) one thing every day to promote my writing.
  6. Publish an anthology of short stories about growing up in rural Alberta
  7. Try writing a picture book.
  8. Visit a part of Spain I haven’t been to before
  9. Attend a Moors and Christians Festival
  10. Go on a cruise, visiting Venice, Rome or Greece perhaps
  11. Read at least 30 books
  12. Take an online course
  13. Make new friends, online and in person, and stay in touch with longtime friends
  14. Celebrate my birthday in style.

I usually like to pick a word or three for the year. I decided on action, learn, listen for 2019

I´ve read some of your goals already and they are all doable! Wish me luck and share yours if you feel like it.

 

I am a bit late with this as I have been away over Christmas and New Years. There will be more about that later. I always like to look at my list of goals from the year before and see how I did. So here it goes…

Darlene’s Goals for 2018

1. Finish Amanda in Holland -Missing in Action

I completed Amanda in Holland – Missing in Action and sent it off to the publisher. Due to her busy schedule, it will be published in September of 2019. I am excited about this book as I love how it all came together and I know the readers will enjoy it. I will be revealing the amazing cover soon.

2. Publish an anthology of short stories about growing up on the Canadian prairies

This didn’t happen and will be put on next year’s list.

3. Go on a driving holiday to Paris with Paul and Dot

This did happen, in May, and we had a fabulous time. I wrote a number of posts about this amazing trip. here, here, here and here

4. Attend a Writer’s Conference in the UK

I attended the Winchester Writers Conference in June and had a wonderful time. 

5. Have the house painted

I am pleased to say the house has been painted inside and out. It looks great! 

6. Take some mini get-aways

We took a few mini get-aways but not as many as I would have liked. I went to Barcelona to meet a cousin one weekend which was so much fun. 

7. Visit places I haven’t been before

I hadn’t been to Paris before! We also saw some cool places I hadn’t seen before along the way.

8. Start Amanda in Malta

I just completed chapter 10 of Amanda in Malta-The Sleeping Lady. Halfway there. Having fun with this one. 

9. Find new markets for my books

I have been interviewed and featured as a guest on a number of blogs and magazines this year. I visited an international school in Spain and did a presentation to four classes. The response was very positive. I also had a very successful book signing at a local cake shop. 

10. Promote other authors

I have invited authors to be guests on my blog, joined writers’ groups where we promote each other and have shared other writer’s news on social media. I also write a review for most books I read and enjoy. 

11. Help my daughter with her pottery business

I have helped from afar by promoting her website and her pottery. I wish I could do more. 

12. Create more girlfriend time (I miss this from my life in Canada)

I still need to work on this. I’ve made some new friends and stayed in touch with friends from Canada and other countries. I met another blogging friend in person here in Spain, which was great. 

13. Hold more dinner parties

I didn’t even remember I put this on the list. I held a couple of great barbeques but no dinner parties. Didn’t even do Christmas dinner because I was away. 

14. Be with mom on her 90th birthday

This was the most important one and I did it! Mom turned 90 on Christmas day and I was there. I also made a party for her on December 23. 48 friends and family stopped by to wish her Happy Birthday. She couldn’t stop smiling. I am so lucky to still have this remarkable woman. 

Mom at her 90th birthday party with one of the many teddy bears she got as gifts.

All in all, I think I did OK with meeting my goals. Now to set some new ones for 2019.

A belated Happy New Year to all my readers. Thanks for all your support over the past year. You make it all worthwhile!


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