Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

We are almost there. Amanda in Holland – Missing in Action has been edited and edited and edited some more. How could I miss so many commas and how did all those ‘ly’ words sneak in? And what is with the word just? I just use it too often. However, I am very happy with this book and am pleased to announce it is available on NetGalley for a free e-version for those of you who would like to read an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) and possibly write a review. You can access the e-book here.

Amanda is in Holland to see the tulips with her best friend, Leah. She travels the canals of Amsterdam, visits Anne Frank House, checks out windmills and a wooden shoe factory, and takes pictures of the flowers of Keukenhof Gardens. She is keen to find out what happened to her great uncle who never returned from WWII and was declared missing in action. What she doesn’t expect to find and fall in love with is Joey, an abandoned puppy. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald. Follow Amanda around the charming country of Holland, filled with colourful tulips, windmills, and more bicycles than she could have imagined. Once again, intrepid traveller Amanda encounters danger and intrigue as she tries to solve more than one mystery in a foreign country.

Here is a short excerpt

They disembarked at the next stop in front of a shop with large wheels of cheese piled high outside the door. Once inside, the sour milk scent of cheese greeted them.

A cheerful girl in a pointy white hat with wings on each side handed out samples.

“Yum, this cheese is so good.” Amanda smacked her lips. “Let’s buy some for a snack later.”

Mr. Anderson took out his wallet. “Good idea. We’ll take a wedge of Gouda and one of that one we just sampled.” He pointed to the cheeses.

“You mean the Edam?” asked the sales clerk. “These are good choices.”

While Leah’s father paid for the purchase, the girls went outside. Amanda heard a whimpering sound. “Did you hear that?” she asked Leah.

“Did I hear what?”

“A sound like a baby or a baby animal. I think it came from over there.” Amanda pointed at a large garbage can across the road. “There it is again!” She stepped off the curb.

“Amanda, watch for bikes!” Leah shouted.

One whizzed past, barely missing Amanda. She didn’t even notice. She headed for a cardboard box sitting beside the smelly garbage. Bending over, she opened it. Curled up in the bottom, a brown and white puppy, with the biggest chocolate brown eyes she had ever seen, stared up at her.

The puppy whimpered and put his head between his front paws.

Amanda in Holland – Missing in Action will be released on September 1, 2019 and is available for pre-order.

An example of the gorgeous flowers Amanda sees while in Holland.

A nice surprise to see this blog from the past. CWILL BC is an amazing group to belong to and this was such a great event. I have been a member for the past nine years. Thanks, Sally for bringing it out of the archives.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Children’s author and travel writer Darlene Foster is a regular visitor to the blog and has shared some amazing posts.  She gave me permission to explore her archives in search of more treasure. The first post that I selected was from 2013….I have checked all the links and you can find current activities for the organisation by clicking through.

Group Rewards by Darlene Foster.

I have been a member of a wonderful organization, CWILL BC (Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC) for the past three years. This organization provides information and support to local children’s authors and assists in…

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I am delighted to be featured on Aurora Alexander’s blog once again.

Writer's Treasure Chest

It is a very special pleasure for me to welcome you back on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. In your former visits we learned about your writing, your writing process and asked for some advice. But there are so many more questions to ask!

Let’s see what you can tell us today:

1. Would you please describe your writer’s spot?

If you mean where I do my writing, it is usually in my office in my home in Spain. It’s the spare bedroom which we have turned into my office with a desk, computer and comfy office chair. I’m surrounded by books, magazines, a dictionary, thesaurus and other writer’s aids. Pictures of my family grace the walls. It is not a neat and tidy place but it works for me. I also hand write in the car (while hubby is driving, of course) on airplanes and sitting on my sunny terrace.

2…

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I was pleased to receive the Sunshine Blogger Award from Mary Smith of Mary Smith’s Place. Mary lives in Scotland and is a published author of No More Mulberries, a novel set in Afghanistan and a collection of short stories, Donkey Boy & Other Stories. Her non-fiction work includes a memoir of her time working in Afghanistan, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni and a couple of local history books: Dumfries Through Time and Castle Douglas Through Time. I wrote a review of her wonderful book, No More Mulberries here

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer appreciation award given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

Thank you, Mary!

The Rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.

Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award, and then give them 11 new questions – or cheat like I did and use the same questions 🙂

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog

Here are the questions I received and my answers:

What was the driving force behind the creation of your blog?

When I published my first book, Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask in 2010, my publisher suggested I get active on social media to help promote my book. She thought a blog would be a good idea. I had been thinking about starting one, so that was the push I needed. Nine years later I am still blogging and loving it!

What was your vision for your future in blogging/writing when you first started this blog? How has that vision evolved?

My vision for the blog was to create a place where I could write about dreams. Not just mine but other people’s as well. I like to feature people who have followed their dreams, writers, artists etc. Since I love to travel, and it is a dream come true for me, I enjoy sharing stories and pictures of my travels. I also feature posts about things I love like my family, my dog, food, books and my life in Spain. I think my vision of creating a place to share dreams has evolved into just that!

What age were you when you realized you loved writing?

I always loved to tell stories and write them down but when I was twelve I had a story published in a local newspaper. That was when I thought it would be fun to write stories for publication. It was very much later when I finally realized that dream.

How has your life changed as a result of the electronic age? Is it better/worse/the same?

It is much better. I never learned to type so using a typewriter to write stories took me forever. I really didn’t seriously consider writing for publication until we got a computer. Without technology, I would not have been able to move across the ocean to Spain. Because of social media, I can communicate with my family and friends as if we lived next door. I also love being able to connect with people from all over the world, many of whom have become wonderful friends.

What was the very last website you visited today?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

To attend university.

How would your life be different today if that one thing from your past were to change?

It would have given me more confidence and I would have met some amazing people.

If you have children, tell me…how did your parenting change from the time you had your first child until the time you had your last?

There are eight years between my two children so of course, I was more mature when I had my daughter. But I think my parenting was still the same. I loved my kids to bits but tried not to smother them. I gave them the independence they needed to be able to make it in the real world. I was also very busy so they had to do a lot of things for themselves, which didn’t hurt them.

Tell me about the funniest experience you’ve had in the past month.

I made a beef stew for hubby one evening. There was a little left so I put it in Dot’s dish on top of her kibbles. Next thing I knew she was busy sorting out her food. She made a pile of peas and a pile of carrots beside her bowl before she scarfed down the meat, gravy, and kibbles. Then she ate the peas, and then the carrots leaving the place spotless. It was so funny. I have seen kids separate their food but never a dog! She certainly keeps us entertained.

What do you have planned for the upcoming holiday season?

I plan to attend an Easter parade and festival here in Spain. Easter is a huge holiday here called Semana Santa (Holy Week) and is spread out over the full week. I wrote a post about it. https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/semana-santa-easter-in-spain/

I will also have an Easter egg hunt in my yard for our six-year-old neighbour. I just have to be sure Dot doesn’t get at them first.

If I nominate you and you have an award free blog, or if you have already been nominated for this award, please view the nomination as a compliment: you are under no obligation to respond.

My questions are the same as those posed to me.

My nominees of bloggers who spread sunshine and inspiration are 

Beth Ann Chiles at It´s Just Life https://itsjustlife.me/

Sue Slaught at Travel Tales of LIfe  https://traveltalesoflife.com/

Pam Wight at Rough Wighting https://roughwighting.net/

Molly Stevens at Shallow Reflections https://www.shallowreflections.com/

Jacquie Biggar at https://jacqbiggar.com/

Jennie Fitzkee at A Teacher´s Reflection https://jenniefitzkee.com/

Stevie Turner at https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Annika Perry at https://annikaperry.com/ 

Fatima Saysell at https://sayselltravels.com/

Joy Lennick at https://joylennick.wordpress.com/

Of course, anyone else who would like to join in is welcome. 

 

Today I’m helping authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi launch their new book, The Emotion Thesaurus (Second Edition)! I have already posted about this great writer’s resource here. And some of you have already ordered it. I love my copy and am already using it while writing Amanda in Malta-The Sleeping Lady.


You might know about The Emotion Thesaurus or even have it on your shelf. But chances are, you may not have known a second edition was in the works. Becca and Angela decided to keep it a surprise and only recently announced the book was releasing!

The Emotion Thesaurus is known for its powerful lists that help writers show (rather than tell) character emotion through body language, thoughts, visceral sensations, dialogue cues, and behavior. This second edition gives writers more of what they love: more emotions (55 more to be exact!) more teaching content, and more writing tips.
Here are three of the new entries: Euphoria, Vindicated, and Schadenfreude. This book is almost twice the size of the original, so it’s almost two books in one.
Anyway, if you’d like to check into it, Goodreads has some reviews up, and you can find more information here.

The Emotion Thesaurus 2nd Edition is available in Print, eBook, and PDF

One More Thing…Want to Attend a FREE Writing Conference?
Or a writing retreat? A workshop? Or even have your yearly membership to a professional writer’s organization suddenly paid for?
OF COURSE YOU DO!
Angela and Becca have a giveaway on right now to celebrate their release, and one lucky winner will get their choice of the above, up to a $500 US value. There are some conditions so check that out, but this is the giveaway of a lifetime, so hurry over to enter. And good luck!

You can enter this great giveaway HERE

So whether you write blogs, books, short stories, poems, newsletters or letters to your grandmother, or grandchildren, you need a copy of this book. It is also a great gift for the writers in your life!

 

https://writershelpingwriters.net/bookstore/

 

 

On my recent trip back to my home province of Alberta, I was fortunate to visit two schools where I did presentations, readings, and workshops. I may have mentioned before that doing school presentations is my favourite part of being a writer. These two visits were very special.

I was invited by a school in Airdrie, Alberta to visit as the Grade 4 classes are currently reading Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. I did four presentations to the grade four classes at Herons Crossing School the day after I landed in Calgary. The students were delightful and devoted Amanda Travels fans. Some had read all the books. They said they enjoyed the use of cliffhangers in the stories. I love that kind of feedback. They were all well behaved and asked very good questions.

Students eagerly listening while I read from Amanda in Alberta.

A few days later I visited Irvine School, just outside Medicine Hat, where I did a presentation in the library to about 70 grade 3 and 4 students. After the recess, I did a workshop with one of the Grade 4 classes.

This was a double special visit as I went to Irvine School myself many years ago and it is now the school my great-granddaughter attends. It is not the same building I attended as the original school burnt down in 1989 and has been replaced by a modern building. But it was a memorable visit for me. I brought along my old high school sweater and yearbook to show the children that I had once attended that very school.

Presentation in the library

Considering it was just a couple of days before the Christmas break, the students were very attentive and asked great questions. After sitting on the floor for quite some time, the teacher had them get up and do a few exercises.

After the presentation, many came up to ask more questions.

Later, I facilitated a workshop on using all the senses in writing. Using a photograph as a prompt, we brainstormed words describing the five senses. Everyone participated. Later they were given ten minutes to hand write something based on a picture, using as many of the senses as possible. Some shared their writing. I was amazed at how eager they were to do the assignment and how they produced such incredible work in a short time. A great example of how children still love to read and write.

Facilitating a workshop with eager participants is so much fun.

My oldest grandson was my driver, helper, and photographer. He was a huge help.

My grandson and his niece (my great-granddaughter)

I was so impressed with the school, the teachers and the staff. There was such a positive vibe in the place. Wonderful quotes decorated the hallway walls.

And look what I found on a door in the girl’s washroom!

Talk about positive reinforcement!

I went back to my old school and found that the future is in good hands. 

In December 2012 a good friend of mine gave me a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus – A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, as a Christmas gift. It was the best gift ever and has been a huge help to my writing over the past six years. Since then I have recommended this useful writer’s aid to many other writers.

For the last month, I’ve been part of a Street Team for Angela and Becca at Writers Helping Writers, who are launching their new writing book on February 19th. Because they are known for showing, not telling, they decided it would be fun to keep the thesaurus book’s topic a secret until the book cover reveal…WHICH IS TODAY!
It’s been hard keeping quiet about this, so I am thrilled I can finally announce that The Emotion Thesaurus Second Edition is coming!


Many of you writers know (and possibly use) the original Emotion Thesaurus. It released in 2012 and became a must-have resource for many because it contained lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75 emotions, making the difficult task of showing character emotion on the page much easier.

Over the years, people have asked Angela and Becca to add more emotions, so they decided to create a second edition. It contains 55 NEW entries, bringing the total to 130 emotions.
This book is almost DOUBLE IN SIZE and there’s a lot more new content, so I recommend checking it out. And you can. Right now.

Here is a sample writing tip for you.

To view a sample of the emotion vindicated click here  

and click here to see a full list of all the emotions listed in this amazing new addition.

Preorder Alert!
This book is available for preorder so you can find all the details about this new book’s contents by visiting Amazon, Print & KindleKobo, iBooks, and Indiebound, or swinging by Writers Helping Writers.

One last thing…Angela & Becca have a special gift for writers HERE. If you like free education, stop by and check it out. (It’s only available for a limited time!)

If you struggle with showing instead of telling or just need new ideas of how to express your character’s emotions, check this book out, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve preordered mine. 


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Pig on Trial

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