Friday, 10 October 2014

Daydream Believer, Darlene Foster

Hello readers of March House Books. I am delighted to be a guest author on one of my favourite blog sites!

For as long as I can remember, I have needed to be around people. They energize and inspire me. When there are no people around; I simply make some up. It all started when I was a young child living on a ranch in the Canadian prairies. Surrounded by never ending sunshine, a huge blue sky and tons of wide open spaces to wander around, I lacked someone to converse with. My parents were busy working hard, and who wants to talk to little brothers. I named my teddy bears, gave them personalities and created adventures for Ted, Teddy, Toostie and Elvis, in my head. It wasn't long until I began to make up other imaginary characters and situations. My parents called me a daydreamer, and I guess I was. 

Elvis, Ted, Teddy, & Tootsie

Once I learned to read, I felt like I had reached nirvana. In between the pages of a book lived entire worlds of people for me to meet. I read everything I could get my hands on. I would beg my hardworking dad to stop what he was doing and take me to the library in the city, thirty miles away, to get more books.

Darlene on her dad's truck

My grade three teacher, Miss Roll, recognized my thirst for travel and adventure, and my ability to make up stories. She encouraged me to read at higher levels, to write my story ideas down and to travel to other countries someday. She read to us from The Bobbsey Twins adventure books and I loved them. I so wanted to be like the Bobbsey Twins and travel all over the world. She presented me with a copy of The Bobbsey Twins in Mexico at the end of the school year for being an outstanding student. I treasured that book and still have it!


         Darlene and Miss Roll                        Bobbsey Twins (Darlene's original copy)

Not surprising, years later, I traveled to interesting places and eventually wrote down some of my stories. My writing took me back to my early days wandering around my dad’s ranch, sitting on a large stone in the middle of the prairies, making up characters in my head and giving them problems to solve and adventures to experience. I thought I had a boring life back then, but now I realize those where the seeds planted that eventually helped me become a published author. The opportunity to daydream was a gift.

The lonely prairies

Do I believe in daydreams? You bet! I don’t think anything has changed. Kids (and adults) still need time to daydream in order to exercise their mind and create. And they need to be surrounded by books, lots of books. My hope is some will read my books and become inspired.

Neil Gaiman said, As an author, I’ve never forgotten how to daydream.

Darlene Foster is a writer of children’s stories, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, reading, shoes, cooking, music, chocolate, walking on the beach and making new friends.  Her grandson calls her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.  She was brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Canada, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people.  She lives on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada with her husband Paul and their black cat Monkey. She has authored a series of travel-adventure books, Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain – The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England – The Missing Novel and most recently Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. Readers from seven to seventy enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. Darlene still daydreams!

Her books are available on Amazon







Blog: http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/










Thank you so much Darlene, this was such an enjoyable read, and I loved seeing all your photographs. I’m sure readers of my blog will enjoy this every bit as much as I did. Barbara 

Darlene's New Book Cerdito a juicio is now available at

51 comments:

  1. Amanda, it is wonderful to find you here in Barbara's "Bookshop" where I love to peruse the aisles of my childhood.

    Like you, I had a curious mind (still do) and as a child, I not only dressed my dolls, but I made EPICS out of their "lives" and when I saw that the other children I played with only dressed their dolls, I wondered, "What's wrong with me?" But now I know. I always had a desire to invent stories and make books, and I am on my way to organizing my life so more of my writing can become published.

    Bravo to you, for never losing your dream and being who you really are.

    HI BARBARA!

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    1. Thanks so much. I do believe there are a few more of us out there. Good luck on your writing goals!

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  2. Good morning Barbara! Much love to you and thank you for sharing your bookshop space with others! What an inspiration. Now to go off to school and teach French with laryngitis!!!

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    1. Hello Anita, I’m always surprised that anyone would want to share this space. How lucky am I to have such lovely blogging friends? So sorry to hear about the laryngitis, drink lots of fluid, keep warm and don’t try to talk – not sure how you will do that and teach, but you know what I mean. Get well soon. xxxxx

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    2. I appreciate Barb sharing this space with me. I hope you have your voice back. It's hard to teach without a voice.

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    3. It was my pleasure Darlene, thank you for spending some time here. Barbara

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  3. What a lovely post. A day dreamer who named all of her teddy bears and dreamed of living in shop in the little house on the prairie I can relate to much of what Darlene had to say.

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    1. I didn't appreciate living the "little house on the prairie" lifestyle as a young girl but I see now how it was a huge benefit and how it shaped who I am today.

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  4. So wonderful to get to know Darlene here today!

    I love how her 3rs grade teacher helped inspire her! Like Darlene, I was (and am) a daydreamer. I loved imagining different places and storylines all around me. :)

    Darlene's books sound great! Wishing her the best of luck. :)

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    1. Thanks Stephanie. I will always be grateful to my Grade 3 teacher. I was able to locate her and thank her in person a couple of years ago.

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  5. Thank you so much Barbara for featuring me on your lovely blog. I'm so glad we found each other in blogland.

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    1. It was my pleasure Darlene, thank you for taking the time and trouble to write such a lovely post. Barbara.

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  6. Super to read about your early life and inspiration, Darlene. It's so important to keep one little bit of yourself that never grows up. It's sweet that you still have your teddies - I've still got mine, too, but don't tell anyone! ;)

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    1. I was so pleased when I opened a box in my storage locker and found I still had them . I promise not to tell anyone if you don't!

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    1. I think so. She had the name when we got her so we kept it.

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  8. Hi Barbara,

    Lovely to read about Darlene and her interesting life and thanks for sharing. The bears are all so sweet and enjoyed seeing the great photos.
    I too loved reading the Bobbsey twins when I was young. Darlene's books all look wonderful.
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. Hello Carolyn, I’m having a super weekend, thank you, hope you are too. I missed out on the Bobbsey twins when I was young, but I’ve made up for it since.
      I love the photo of the bears, how lucky that Darlene found them safe and well after all this time.
      Thanks for calling in, Barbara x

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    2. So pleased you enjoyed the post and pictures. I am finding a number of former Bobbsey Twin fans lately.

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  9. I used to feel a little awkward about carrying so many fantasies in my head so much, but reading Darlene's post has made me prouder of my daydreaming skills. To me, the plains look magnificent and really good for hours of wandering about. Love the pictures, especially the ones with young Darlene on her father's truck and her photo with Miss Roll. We all need a teacher like that, don't we?

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    1. You never said a truer word Claudine! My headmaster's motto was "spare the rod and spoil the child" corporal punishment was not only allowed but actively encouraged. How different it could have been if Miss. Roll had been in charge.

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    2. Thanks Claudine. Here's to all the daydreamers! The world does need more Miss Roll's out there.

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  10. You were so cute. Love teachers who recognize a child's passion and encourages it! I remember trucks like that. You left the prairies (love those blue skies and picture clouds) traveled and wrote. Now you will be living your dream of moving to Spain. Great post. Loved the photos.

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    1. Awe, thanks Patricia. I was indeed fortunate to have a teacher like Miss Roll

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  11. I really enjoyed reading this, and it sounds like Ms. Roll was a wonderful teacher. I've never had a teacher like that, and now that I'm older I wish that I had!

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    1. Miss Roll was indeed an excellent teacher and one of a kind.

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  12. Thank you Barbara once again for introducing another wonderful author. Darlene I can relate to a lot with what you wrote. Wonderful post!

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    1. Hi Shashi, it was my absolute pleasure, and I agree about it being a wonderful post. Barbara

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    2. Thanks Shasi. I think many of us were (and are\0 daydreamers!

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  13. That's a wonderful read.. Thanks for sharing the post Barbara ..Love..:)

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    1. Happy to know you enjoyed it Nagini, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Barbara.

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  14. Wonderful post, thanks for sharing!

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    1. It was a joy to share, thanks for calling in. Barbara

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  15. Really enjoyed the blog (and all the comments). Photo's are lovely.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the blog and pictures.

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  16. Oh, how lovely. The teddies remind me of the ones I have kept in my loft for my son, although I doubt if he will want them now, his house is so ultra Ueber tidy and stylish for old teddies.

    Love the old Step Sider? Is that what it is? I see a couple of trucks like this at classic car shows, where we spend a few Sundays all through the Summer months. Husband would love one!

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    1. I'm not sure what the truck was called. We just called it our farm truck. It would be a collector's item now for sure. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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    2. I don’t know what the truck is called either Anne Marie but Stepsider sounds like a great name for a vehicle with a running board, so you could easily be right. Dad’s old cars used to have running boards, they always fascinated me because I could picture someone with one foot on the running board and the other on the road scooting the car along – in fact, I even tried to do that myself a few times! :-)

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  17. Daydreaming is definitely an important part of being an author. I spent most of my youth daydreaming...so it's good I put it to great use! I love those little bears!

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    1. Those bears are finding a new following after all those years in a box at the back of the storage space. They will be coming with me to Spain! Let's keep daydreaming.

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  18. What a great story! I definitely believe in day dreams. Some of my most vivid day dreams came true, NO LIE, immediately after I day dreamed them. It was freaky, but wonderful!

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    1. How exciting Allyn! I don’t think I do enough day dreaming; maybe I should change that right now. Thanks for calling in, Barbara.

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    2. Daydreaming can be powerful. So glad it works for you Allyn.

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  19. Good evening, Barbara! How great that you have come to visit and to "sit" in my home for a bit! Home is a great place to be and I was off yesterday and today and all of us (students and teachers) needed the time away.

    The wind is gusting and I LOVE IT. The leaves are blowing everywhere in gold and red and orange and the season is finally here.

    Enjoy YOUR weekend my friend!

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    1. Thank you for inviting me into your home Anita, it’s so cosy I never want to leave!
      Have a wonderful weekend. xxx

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  20. I've always enjoyed daydreaming myself! Have a wonderful weekend Barbara! I've been away too long!

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    1. Hello Diane, welcome back! I hope this means you have a new post on your blog. I will be over as soon as I’ve left this reply. I hope your weekend is going well. xx

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  21. Its a beautiful post Darlene ..
    And thanks to you Barbara for this opportunity to get this insight into a life ,as inspiring as Darlene's. Inspiring as it tells to follow your dreams and mould the obstacles into opportunities.. My affection and respect to Miss Roll, who spots the talent and possibilities in a seed and egg it and nurture it to bloom . Thanks Darlene for all the beautiful pics and of-course books :)
    Love,
    Kokila.

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    1. Thank you Kokila, I know Darlene will enjoy your comment. She is in the middle of moving from one country to another at the moment so I’m just leaving a quick reply on her behalf. Darlene has decided to follow her dream, and I’m full of admiration for her.

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  22. I feel the same for her ..Thanks Barbara :)

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    1. Hello Kokila, you are most welcome! :-)

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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