Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category


I hope 2018 has started out well for everyone! As is my habit, I sat on my terrace in the sun, took out a pen and paper and scribbled down my goals for the coming year. I feel I need to share them with you. So here they are

Darlene’s Goals for 2018
1. Finish Amanda in Holland -Missing in Action
2. Publish an anthology of short stories about growing up on the Canadian prairies
3. Go on a driving holiday to Paris with Paul and Dot
4. Attend a Writer’s Conference in the UK
5. Have the house painted
6. Take some mini get-aways
7. Visit places I haven’t been before
8. Start Amanda in Malta
9. Find new markets for my books
10. Promote other authors
11. Help my daughter with her pottery business
12. Create more girlfriend time (I miss this from my life in Canada)
13. Hold more dinner parties
14. Be with mom on her 90th birthday

There you have it. Wish me luck!

My three words for this year are




I will leave you with a thought by Anne Lamott from her book “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” 

“Oh my God, what if you wake up someday, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”

and from the amazing Neil Gaiman

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” 

Have a surprising 2018 and thanks for following my blog, inspiring me and being my friend!



I am a very goal-oriented person and require goals to keep me on track. At the beginning of every year, I write down some goals as I believe writing them down cements them in my mind and helps me to meet them. As the year comes to a close, I like to look at the goals I set for myself and see how I did.

These are the 2017 goals I posted on my blog.

Prepare Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind for publication in the fall of 2017.

Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind was completed in January 2017 and after a number of edits and a few beta reads, it was published and launched October 1, 2017! This is book number six in the Amanda Travels series. I am so proud of this book. Thanks to everyone who assisted and supported me, bought this book and reviewed it. Launching a book is much like giving birth, hard work, painful but so worth it!

Return to Canada in October to promote the newest book

I returned to Canada in August and September for an awesome six-city book tour and wrote about it here. I moved the date up in order to accept an invitation to present a workshop for the Vancouver Public Library’s Writer’s Camp in mid-August. It was an incredible experience. The book tour was successful and I now have many more Amanda fans. I was also able to see many friends and family members while there. 

Write Amanda in Holland, book seven of the series

I started Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action and have written over fifty percent of it. I would have liked to have been further along by now though. 

Explore places in Spain we haven´t been to before.

I visited the amazing city of Cordoba with special out of town guests as well as other small towns and rural sites in Spain. Although I had visited Barcelona twice already, I explored parts I had not seen before. There is still so much to see and do in this fascinating country.

Return to England to visit family and friends

We travelled to York in January to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and visit some of Paul’s family. In October we travelled to Liverpool to meet friends. Both fascinating cities that reminded me of why I love England so much.

Go on at least one interesting trip outside of Spain

We spent a week in Malta and loved every minute. I wrote about that trip here.

Attend Pueblo Ingles or a similar program assisting Spanish-speaking individuals with their communication English

For some reason, this hasn’t worked out again this year but it is still on the list. 

Create a new up-to-date website

My clever brother created a swanky new website for me. I just love it and can’t thank him enough. www.darlenefoster.ca

Organize the files on my computer

I started this but need to work harder to get things organized better. 

Learn to use the new Samsung Tablet Santa delivered!

 I use my tablet daily and take it with me when I travel. It was such a great gift. It didn’t take long to figure most of it out.

Keep in touch with family and friends, including friends on social media.

I make a concerted effort to keep in touch with everyone. Social media has been a huge help with this. I even met some of my social media friends in person this year. I wrote about it here. 

Be kind, be strong and never stop being curious.

Yes, yes and yes.

In retrospect, 2017 was a very good year and I look forward to 2018.

I wish everyone who reads my blog a very Happy New Year!! 

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw.

My granddaughter has started a new venture and I am so proud of her. She has always loved animals and has worked with pets for some time now, most recently managing a boarding kennel and volunteering at a shelter. She has purchased, along with her husband, a chunk of property outside of Medicine Hat, Alberta and opened her own boarding kennel called Aunty’s Place Pet Boarding. I can assure you those pets will get so much care, attention and love. I was happy to spend some time with her during my recent visit. She had just opened for business and was already busy. She is working hard and I know she will do well.


There is a special place for cats at Aunty´s Place.



Oscar lives there but he doesn’t mind all the extra guests


Thumbelina making herself at home


Another happy guest

And tons of room for dogs of all shapes and sizes


Welcoming committee

aunty´s place

Dog guests having fun with neighbouring cows looking on.


An early morning run.


A satisfied customer

DSCN0213 (2)

The spacious house with the office in front.


Fabulous prairie view from the back deck


With helpers, a brother and daughter. A family run business.


Many lovely fir trees from BC had been planted in the yard. We’re standing by a gorgeous blue spruce we named appropriately, Bruce.


A very tidy office


Professional  business cards

Animals instinctively know this is a safe place. Recently a stray mother cat appeared on the doorstep with seven little ones in tow. They were fed of course and homes were found for them.

Through hard work and perseverance, my granddaughter’s dream has come true. I couldn’t be more proud of her and her family. The property is near where I grew up and, get this, my great-granddaughter is now attending the same school I did!

Check out the facebook page and like it. Be warned, cuteness alert. She posts pictures of her adorable guests. 




Remember, if you haven´t yet, there is still time to enter my giveaway








When I went back to Canada at the end of last year, I was pleased to be able to spend time at my favourite places – schools, libraries and bookstores, where I read from my latest book and spoke about my writing. It was a busy time but also a lot of fun. Here are a few pictures of my events and presentations.

I held the launch of Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music at Albany Books in Tsawwassen, BC. Ruth and the staff at this cosy, well-stocked bookstore have been so supportive of my books over the years. I was pleased to be back and to see so many of Amanda´s fans attend.


My daughter at the book launch as well as a dear friend.


Book launch at Albany Books, November 19 2016


With Suzanne de Montigny, another author, who I featured here on my blog

I visited a number of schools in the Vancouver area where I showed a PowerPoint presentation I created, read from the book and answered questions about the book, me and my writing. The children were so attentive and asked amazing questions. One girl asked if she could take notes!


At Charles Dickens Elementary


The children liked the visuals I created from my own photographs in the PowerPoint presentation.


Answering questions at Holly Elementary in Surrey, BC


I thought this was such a funny poster in the library.

I also visited Webster Niblock School in Medicine Hat, Alberta, my hometown.  I read to the grade one and two classes in the library and then to the grade three to six classes in the gym. It was the largest group I have ever spoken to.


The students loved the pictures of my dog Dot.



Lots of questions from the crowd.



The special thing about this visit was that it is the school my great granddaughter, Emma attends.

In Calgary, I spent a morning with the students at Red Deer Lake School in their magical library.




Because I was travelling, I couldn´t bring my props with me. Fortunately, friends lent me appropriate things for my displays, including a nutcracker, which is featured in the book.




I just love these school libraries.


The most special event for me was a presentation at The Medicine Hat Library. Although the original library  I visited as a child is no longer there, it was still a very nostalgic time for me. I took my children to this library and now my grandchildren and great grandchildren frequent it. Many friends, family and fans attended, some travelling long distances, which warmed my heart.


Six-year-old great granddaughter attending my presentation at the local library. Who would have thought this would ever happen??






Friends and family travelled far to attend my presentation.



It was a dream come true for me! Yes, you can go home again. Everyone made me feel so special. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

And thank you for travelling with me on my book tour.












It´s day 3 of the New Year and time to post my goals for 2017. We never know what´s in store for us as a new year begins but by setting some goals, I believe I can make it a good year.

First I want to share this great list of New Years Resolutions for Writers I found on Lynn Thaler´s blogsite.


Thanks, Lynn. These are perfect!! Check out Lynn´s blog as she writes some great posts, especially about her four dogs!

Over at  It´s Just Life, Beth Ann challenges her readers to chose 3 words to focus on this year. I decided my three words for 2017 will be: kindness, strength and curiosity. I feel they will help me achieve my goals.This month Beth Ann will donate five cents to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® for every comment made on her site. A cause after my own heart as our Dot was a rescue dog. Pop on over and make a comment or two. Her posts are fun and enlightening.

My goals for 2017!

  1. Prepare Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind for publication in the fall of 2017.
  2. Return to Canada in October to promote the newest book
  3. Write Amanda in Holland, book seven of the series
  4. Explore places in Spain we haven´t been to before.
  5. Return to England to visit family and friends
  6. Go on at least one interesting trip outside of Spain
  7. Attend Pueblo Ingles or a similar program assisting Spanish-speaking individuals with their communication English
  8. Create a new up-to-date website
  9. Organize the files on my computer
  10. Learn to use the new Samsung Tablet Santa delivered!
  11. Keep in touch with family and friends, including friends on social media.
  12. Be kind, be strong and never stop being curious

Wish me luck with these goals! I would love to read about yours.

As my son recently said, “Happy New Year. Another year to Chase Dreams and Achieve more Goals.”

2016 has started off well. We ate our twelve grapes at midnight for good luck, viewed fireworks from our terrace, and watched Bryan Adams bring in the New Year in London on television, while he played all my favourite songs. Then watched the amazing fireworks in London. It was a Spanish/English/Canadian New Year´s Eve for us.

DSCN3310 (2)

12 grapes each to be eaten at midnight for good luck. A Spanish tradition

To learn more about this tradition read about it on Glamour Granny Travels  http://www.glamourgrannytravels.com/2015/12/24/grapes-and-cava-a-spanish-new-years-eve-tradition/ 

On New Years day we went for lunch with my in-laws at a fabulous restaurant called La Herradura (The Horseshoe) where we enjoyed a delicious eight course meal and a Flamenco dance performance. A great start to the New Year.

La Herradura

La Herradura

Flamenco dancer

Flamenco dancer

With my mother-in-law

With my mother-in-law at La  Herradura


New Year´s Lunch with the in-laws

Now it´s time for me to look forward and set goals for 2016.

1.  Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music successfully launched
2. Finish Amanda in New Mexico – The Ghost Hotel
3. Do more promoting of all the Amanda books and Pig on Trial
4. Connect with local schools and book stores
5. Continue to explore Spain, attend cultural events and write about them
6. Travel to Holland, France and England
7. Work hard at making new friends in Spain
8. Attend Pueblo Ingles with friends
9. Take time to read more
10. Practice Spanish
11. Keep learning more about writing
12. Enjoy my more relaxed life style
13. Look after my health by eating better and exercising more
14. Keep in touch with family and friends back home via social media and mail

15. Help other writers meet their goals
16. Be thankful for at least three things every day.

By writing these goals down and sharing them with you, my wonderful readers, I will be more committed to reach them.

Thank all of you for your encouragement and support over the years. I truly do appreciate it. May all your dreams come true in 2016!!

If you can dream it, you can do it! Walt Disney

I´ll leave you with two short videos of the flamenco show.




Happy New Year 2016 replace 2015 concept on the sea beach

In ancient Roman myth, Janus was the god of gates, doors and beginnings. January, was named after Janus in 700 BC. Having two faces, one looking back into the past and one looking forward to the future, he was an appropriate deity to dedicate the first month of the New Year to.

As I look back over the past year I like to revisit the goals I set out on January 1 to see how I did, and share them with you. How did I do?

1. Sell the house in Canada

It took longer than we thought but the house in Canada sold on April 2, 2015

2. Get settled in Spain

We bought a place in Spain and feel quite settled.

3. Finish Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music

Amanda on the Danube -The Sounds of Music is completed and in the hands of the publisher! It should be out mid 2016.

4. Write more travel articles and find a market for them

I am working on this one, have found a couple of markets but need to find more.

5. See Pig on Trial published

I am pleased to say Pig on Trial has been published as a bi-lingual book for kids. 

6. Get connected with writers in Spain

I have met a couple of writers here in Spain but would like to connect with many more so will continue to work on this one.

7. Lean Spanish

Oh dear. I haven´t learned much Spanish at all. So many people in my area speak English including the Spanish folks. I have picked up some phrases but not enough to carry a conversation. Need to work harder on this one.

8. Join a walking group

Oops, didn´t do this.

9. Cut back the sugar intake

I did do this and feel so much better!

10. Explore Spain and write about it

 I did this too and have seen so many parts of this fascinating and diverse country. It is a great place to explore!

11. Make new friends and keep in touch with old friends

I´ve made a few new friends and hope to make many more. It takes time. I have been very diligent in keeping in touch with old friends. Thanks to social media this is easier than it used to be.

12. Go home to Canada for a visit

I was fortunate to be able to go back home twice last year to see family and friends!

13. Find a yoga studio

I didn´t join a yoga studio but have been doing yoga every morning at home, so I feel this is a yes.

14. Write everyday

I do write everyday. This has become a habit.

15. Embrace change and look for surprises!!

I believe I have embraced change this past year, and there has been plenty. Thank heaven I love surprises as there have been many of them too! You can´t move continents without experiencing changes and a multitude of surprises. It wasn´t always easy, but I learned so much and am glad I did it.


Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. - George Bernard Shaw

As this year comes to a close, I wish you all a very Happy New Year with many welcome surprises.

In the next post I will look forward.

click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

Click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

Pig on Trial

click to purchase

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,661 other followers



click to read review