Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

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.

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

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Book launch at Albany Books, November 19 2016

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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!

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At Charles Dickens Elementary

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

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Answering questions at Holly Elementary in Surrey, BC

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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.

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The students loved the pictures of my dog Dot.

 

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Lots of questions from the crowd.

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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

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Friends and family travelled far to attend my presentation.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

https://youtu.be/pSnI7MbZCf0

https://youtu.be/82DPk99wm4g

 

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.

If you would like to know what sparked my dreams as a child, read my guest post at March of Time Books, the new blog site of my dear English blogging friend Barbara Fisher.

What sparks a child’s dreams?

Guest post by Darlene Foster dreamer of dreams, teller of tales.

When I was little, my dear grandmother gave me a colouring book filled with pictures of children from around the world dressed in traditional garments. I loved that book and while colouring each page, dreamt of visiting those fascinating places. Growing up on a farm in the Canadian prairies, we didn’t venture far.

Read the rest of the article here  Pop over to Barbara´s blog and you might see me in a sombrero!

What sparked your dreams as a child? I would love to know.

 

Today I have the pleasure of being a guest on Jan Moore´s blog, Work on Your Own Terms, where I talk about my decision to move to Spain.

Following the Dream, by Darlene Foster

I met Darlene on Gabriola Island when she was visiting her daughter, just before she and her husband moved from Canada to Spain. I’ll let Darlene tell you about her new lifestyle in her own words. Her travels inspire the children’s books she writes. See how happy they look in Spain. She just might convince you to follow your own dreams.

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“I’ve got to follow that dream wherever that dream may lead.” Elvis Presley

“Why Spain?” was the question asked of me often when I made the decision to move to another country. “Why not?” was often my answer.

I could have said, because of the warm, sunny weather, the fabulous Mediterranean food, the medieval markets, the rich history, the castles, the fiestas, the warm and friendly locals, the laid back life style etc. The truth is, I wasn´t really sure. I just knew I wanted to try living in another country, preferably a warm country.

Click here to read the rest of the article:   http://workonyourownterms.com/followingthedream/

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And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.

Rainer Maria Rilke

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I hope everyone had a fabulous New Year. We enjoyed our first New Year in Spain by watching fireworks from our balcony at midnight. On New Year´s Day we had a lovely lunch on the deck of the Nautilus Restaurant with new friends, before watching the Santa Claus swim at La Zenia Beach. A great way to start the year in a new country.

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Last year had so many changes for us we are eager to get 2015 started. For me that means writing a list of goals. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Sell the house in Canada

2. Get settled in Spain

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

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

5. See Pig on Trial published

6. Get connected with writers in Spain

7. Lean Spanish

8. Join a walking group

9. Cut back the sugar intake

10. Explore Spain and write about it

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

12. Go home to Canada for a visit

13. Find a yoga studio

14. Write everyday

15. Embrace change and look for surprises!!

There you are. I always feel better having written them down and sharing with my readers.

Thank you all so much for reading my blog and encouraging me along the way. All the best for a wonderful 2015 full of things that have never been!

 


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