Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Potluck – Making Annual Plans 2020- Darlene Foster

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021 – details of how you can participate are at the end of the post.

This is the first post from children’s author and travel blogger Darlene Foster and was published on January 1st 2021 and was a summary of Darlene’s goals and their achievement for 2020…Like most of us, Darlene met some stumbling blocks due to Covid but still did an amazing job of keeping on track.. Including publishing Amanda in Malta, a book that I can highly recommend.

How did I do in 2020?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is happy to see this year over. Here´s what the crew of Starship Enterprise felt about 2020.

For someone who loves to set goals and make plans, this has been a tough year. So many plans were ruined and goals not met. But we are safe and healthy and as we speak, our family is OK as well. That is really all that matters at the end of the day.

So, as painful as it is, here is my report on the goals I set a year ago, never imagining a global pandemic!

2020 Goals

  1. Edit Amanda in Malta:The Sleeping Lady, and send it to the publisher – Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady has been edited, beta-read and with the publisher. It is scheduled for release in May 2021 and is available for preorder. I am so excited about this book as it takes place in a unique country, with tons of history, action and fun. Fans will be pleased to know that Caleb is back too.
  2. Write Amanda in France – I am halfway through writing Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral. It is coming along slowly. Like many writers, I had trouble concentrating at the start of the lockdown. Amanda falls in love with Paris, Versailles and Giverny and gets to stay at a bookstore!
  3. Decide if I should continue writing Amanda stories or venture into something else. – I haven’t made that decision yet. I’ll see how the next two books do.
  4. Write more short stories – I did write new short stories and revisited and polished some old ones. Short stories were easier to focus on this year. My short story, Lockdown With Anne, was included in an anthology about the pandemic called, With Love, Comes Hope.
  5. Write more travel articles – I didn’t write many travel articles. The fact that we couldn’t travel, didn’t inspire me to write travel articles.
  6. Help others with their writing as many have helped me –This is something I did a lot of. I had the time, it could be done online and it made me feel useful. I did some editing as well which I enjoyed.
  7. Work on my TBR list, read at least 40 books – Another thing I had time to do and it took my mind off the situation. I read 40 books, many I had wanted to read for a long long time. They are listed on my Goodreads Reading Challenge page
  8. Visit Venice – We had planned to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday in Venice. All booked but sadly, cancelled due to a global pandemic.
  9. Attend a family reunion in Alberta – Cancelled as well. I was very dissapointed as I love to see my aunts, uncles and many wonderful cousins.
  10. Travel to the UK and visit friends – Also booked, plans set to meet up with a number of friends, but cancelled.
  11. Organize my office- I did some organizing but more needs to be done.
  12. Organize my computer files – Again, not as much as I should have. It´s not like I didn´t have the time!
  13. Learn more about writing and publishing a picture book. – Lost interest in this for some reason.
  14. Publish an anthology of short stories – I´m working on this.

What I did do was a lot of cooking and baking, walking the dog and connecting with friends and family through social media.

My three words for 2020 were:

support – Support others in whatever way I can, as so many have supported me over the years.

connect – Connect with people, stay in touch, facilitate connections.

motion – Keep moving, physically and mentally.

Little did I know how important these three words would become.

By supporting others, I was able to take my mind off of my concerns. Since I have learned a few things over the years of writing and publishing my books, it has been great to be able to share that knowledge. I enjoyed interviewing and featuring other authors on my blog and helping promote their books.

I connected with so many people, some I haven´t been in touch with for quite a while. These connections kept me sane. Connecting through social media has been a godsend. I Zoom with my writers’ groups here in Spain and in Canada, and video message and Skype with family members and friends near and far. Connecting through blogging has been my social life and I so appreciate those connections. So a huge thank you to all my blogging buddies!

Walking the dog three to four times a day has kept me moving and kept the baking off my hips. Walking has been good for my mental well being as well.

Although many of my goals were not met, it has still been an OK year.

I stole this from a writer/blogging friend, Janet Givens.  I love it.

Did you set goals for 2020 and how did you do?

©Darlene Foster 2021

About Darlene Foster

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dogs.

A selection of books by Darlene Foster

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Find out more about Darlene’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website/Blog: Darlene Foster WordPressGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @supermegawoman

My thanks to Darlene for allowing me to share posts from her archives… and I know she would be delighted to hear from you.

How you can feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (sally.cronin@moyhill.com)
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2021. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post.
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.

41 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Potluck – Making Annual Plans 2020- Darlene Foster

  1. I was happy, vicariously, to read about Darlene’s accomplishments and sad, empathetically, to read about her cancelled trips. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. I like her summary of support, connect and motion. If I don’t walk or bike somewhere during the day, I do not sleep as well at night. Hurrah for a dog to take on several walks per day! My main goal was releasing one song per month digitally (including all of the copyright office/ASCAP/Sound Exchange bureaucratic steps that one needs to do in order to get, very modestly, paid). Thanks for this new series of blog posts, Sally!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks so much for pulling out this from the start of the year and sharing it. 2020 in some ways seems so long ago, but it was only last year. So many things have changed. Hopefully some for the good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – 17th – 23rd October 2021 – Pink Floyd, Movies, Short Stories, Books, Reviews, Anti-Aging, Health and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  4. Congratulations to Darlene! I think she has not missed to much. I am fascinated by people who can plan a year completely from the start. This really is not given to me. Lol I fully agree with Debby! There are still a few days left in 2020. Let’s see what will. 😉 xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s reassuring to know that others had the same issues with the year as I did! I love the way the difficulties are balances by the positivity in those three words for 2020. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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