Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Gaudi

Recently, a dear cousin happened to be in Barcelona for a day before she embarked on a cruise. I love to see family so took a quick trip to my favourite Spanish city to spend the day with her. We packed a lot in and had fun.

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Cousins at Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona

We managed to see quite a bit and catch up on family news. One place she really wanted to see was Gaudi’s Sagrada Família. Every time I visit this amazing work in progress, more parts of it have been completed. She was awestruck, as everyone is when they it.

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Happy to see La Sagrada Família

After a bus trip around the city and a delightful lunch on Passeig de Gràcia we visited another of Gaudi’s magical buildings, Casa Batlló, all decked out with roses.

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Casa Batlló dressed in roses

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Inside Casa Batlló

The roses were in honour of St. George’s Day or Día de San Jorge as it is known here in Spain. I loved all the references to roses and books scattered about the intriguing house.

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I found out later that Día de San Jorge is also known as the day of books and roses. A day where lovers exchange books and roses to honour the legend of St. George or San Jorge, who is the patron saint of Catalonia.

We ended the day by strolling along La Rambla and having dinner on this iconic street. This building covered in umbrellas with a dragon on the corner caught our attention.

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An umbrella building on La Rambla

I had the next morning to myself before flying back home so after a cafe con leche and a chocolate filled croissant across from Plaça Catalunya, I decided to walk to the Gothic Quarter which was nearby. I came upon the impressive Barcelona Cathedral built between the 13th and 15th centuries, the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. Beside it is the Gaudi Exhibition Museum. Since this had been a very Gaudi trip,  I went into the museum and had a good look around. The displays depicted items from the great man’s life and things that influenced his work.  It was very informative and I got to know more about Antoni Gaudi and how he came up with his unique ideas.

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The legend of St. George slaying the dragon influenced Gaudi’s work. In fact, the roof of Casa Batllo is meant to look like the back of a dragon with a sword through it.

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Gaudi’s workbench

The building housing the exhibition was incredible. It was built in the 12th century as a hospital for the poor. Gaudi himself was a patron and would often visit the sick. Remains of the old walls and frescos added to the experience. It was well worth the visit.

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And when I went back outside, a bride and groom were preparing for a photo shoot by the cathedral. How special.

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And an orchestra played music on the steps of the cathedral

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People in the audience joined hands and danced to the music.

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The sun shone, music played, people danced and I was overflowing with happiness. A perfect little getaway to a city that never ceases to amaze me and a chance to see a family member.

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Don’t you just love this outfit made of fresh flowers?

We are off on a driving holiday to France so I may be offline for a few days, but will respond to your comments as soon as possible.

A  rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it,  bearing within him the image of a cathedral.  Antoine de  Saint-Exupery

I am off to Spain in a few of days and most likely will not be posting on my blog for a couple of weeks. So I thought I would share a few pictures of one of the most amazing sights in Barcelona. It is Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. I was in awe when I came upon this cathedral. My husband did a wonderful job of capturing the many features of this work in progress, started in 1882 and estimated to be completed in 2030.  As you walk around the building you can see the style of construction appears somewhat different between the new and old parts.102_2530

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I can’t imagine I will ever see a sight more incredible than this cathedral.

Hasta pronto!

Being interviewed almost makes me feel like a celebrity of sorts!

Thoughtful Reflections
Hosted by Sylvia L. Ramsey. This blog is a potpourri of information about writing, presenting and authors.

Monday, October 10, 2011Children’s Author, Darlene Foster’s Amanda Series Takes Children on World Adventures
I am a writer of children’s stories, an employment counselor, an ESL tutor, a wife, mother and grandmother. I love travel, reading, shoes, cooking, sewing, music, chocolate, walking on the beach and making new friends. My grandson calls me “super-mega-woman-supreme.” I was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where I dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. These dreams have all come true. I now live on the beautiful west coast of British Columbia with my husband Paul and our two black cats, Pumpkin and Monkey.
Tell us about the genre of your work.
I write travel adventure stories for children.
Why did you choose this genre?
I love children and telling stories to children. I read many children’s books myself, and I love to encourage children to read and to learn about the rest of the world, especially places they may not have a chance to visit. I am hoping my books will encourage them to visit these countries some day.
What are some of your books, stories that have been published?
I have had two books published, Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask and Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting. I have also had some short stories for adults published in anthologies.
What ages do you direct your books?
8 – 12 year olds, but some younger and some older readers have read them and enjoyed them.
Tell us about your books.
Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, ireadiwrite Publishing, 2010 ISBN 978-1-926760-36-0
Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting, ireadiwrite Publishing, 2011 ISBN 978-1-926760-55-1
Both books are available as e-books and in print and can be found on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Kobo, OmniLit, Smashwords, Sony Reader Store and other fine book stores.
Do your books have a teaching objective? If so, what is it?
If so, it is very subtle. The descriptions of the people and places may teach children about places outside their realm of familiarity. If that happens, it is a bonus. However, I mainly write for entertainment.
How do you come up with the names of places and characters in your books?
Amanda is the name of my second granddaughter who was 12 at the time I started writing the first book. The name just seemed to fit. Other names are ones I had come across in books, articles and in life, which seemed to work. Ali Baba, the camel, of course comes from the Tales of the Thousand and One Nights.
It has turned out to be a very good name, as the children just love Ali Baba. I bring a camel puppet with me when I do readings at bookstores and schools and he is very popular.
How did you develop the character/s of your in each of your books (If you have more that one)?
Amanda just evolved as I wrote and her character develops more with each book.

Is there a unique character or a recurring character if you have more than one published or to be published book?
Amanda and her friend Leah, who she meets in the first book, are both in the second book and will be in the third book (in progress). Part of the theme is their friendship and how it develops. They live in different countries, Amanda in Canada and Leah in England, so they only see each other on holidays in different parts of the world.
What is your favorite thing about your book/s?
My favorite thing about my books is that I get to relive my travel experiences through the eyes of a 12 year old.
Is your book illustrated? If so, would you tell us by whom, and if you worked with an illustrator, can you discuss that experience?
I chose not to have the book illustrated because I wanted the readers to imagine the scenes themselves and maybe look things up if they were curious enough.
How is writing in the genre you write, different than other genre?
You have to think, talk and act like a modern twelve year old, which is not very hard for me, as I have never really grown up and hang around with kids a lot.
Are there any problems in getting children’s’ books published?
It took me 5 years to get my first book Amanda in Arabia published. I sent it out to about two dozen traditional publishers who sent me very nice rejection letters. In fact, the letters got nicer all the time. I eventually decided to have the book e-published by a local e-publisher. I had some success with the e-book so my publisher decided to print publish it. My publisher, ireadiwritePublishing, has published the second book as well.
Why and when did you begin writing?
I had my first story published in The Winnipeg Free Press when I was twelve years old. I will not say how long ago that was but I have been writing ever since in one way or another. I did not get serious about it until about ten years ago when I returned from a trip from the United Arab Emirates and felt compelled to write a story about it.
What is your writing schedule?
I try to write two hours a night after I come home from work and have had dinner with my husband.
What projects are you working on now, or plan for the future?
I am working on Amanda in England- The Missing Novel, book three of the series. I am also working on a picture book called Pig on Trial, a medieval tale.
What kind of advice or tips to you have for someone who wants to write and get published?
Never give up. If you believe in your story, just keep writing and keep sending it out. Also, do not be afraid to try something new. I am so glad I decided to start with e-publishing. Finally – it is never too late to start writing. If you have a story itching to be told, just sit down and write it!
Are there any other comments, advice or tips that you would give to beginning writers?
The more you write the better you get at it. Enter contests, send submissions to anthologies, keep a blog etc. Just keep writing.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I work as a full time Facilitator and Coach for an Employment Program and I tutor English as a Second Language to school age children. I am also an avid reader myself. We are fortunate to live near a beach so I go for long walks on the beach, find a log, read for a while and walk back.
I get some good ideas while I am walking as well.
What “Made It” moments have you experienced in life?
I believe strongly in following your dreams and not letting roadblocks stand in your way. Every time a dream comes true is a “Made it“ moment for me. Of course having my first book published was a big one!

http://www.darlenefoster.ca
https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
http://www.ireadiwrite.com/styled-4/styled/index.html
http://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Arabia-Perfume-Darlene-Foster/dp/1926760360
http://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Spain-Painting-Darlene-Foster/dp/1926760557/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1

Casa Mila

Amanda isn’t the only one who traveled to Spain, Darlene did too.

Posted by Thoughtful Reflections

Darlene said…
Thank you Sylvia for interviewing me. It was fun! I look forward to reading about other authors on your blog.

copyright Sylvia L. Ramsey, February 26, 2011. All rights reserved..
http://wwwthouhtfulreflections.blogspot.com/2011/10/childrens-author-darlene-fosters-amanda.html


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