Dancing with the Stars Tour

For Christmas, I received two tickets to the Dancing with the Stars tour at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, on New Year’s Eve for my mom and I.

I was so excited!!! I love watching the show, and honestly was completely surprised! My parent’s are not exactly known for thinking THAT much in advance in terms of presents XD But I was so glad that they did!

The only downside was that Derek Hough would not be there…

But I still had an awesome time! The Fox Theatre is GORGEOUS and we had awesome seats! Here are some pictures from it – sorry for the bad quality, the lighting didn’t really like my iPhone camera lol.

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The first picture, I believe, was a dance from the movie La, La Land (which I really want to see). It was so pretty! The second was of an argentine tango.

They sort of did the show in a way, that you learned more about the lives of the professional dancers on Dancing with the Stars. One little tidbit I didn’t realize, was that so many of the male dancers are from Russia! They also had Laurie from the Olympics – and who won the last season of DWTS – as part of the show.

And here was the opening number! SO GOOD. Loved it! (Sorry it’s not a live click video, it wouldn’t let me copy and paste it from Instagram).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOtMvv5liFswBnDu1Zu6NoZ6VsnVVHwbxTKO880/?taken-by=southern_dreamer4

~ Southern Dreamer

Journal Entry ~ Stars

Have you ever met a famous person? Well, for me, the answer to that is yes. To give a bit of context, I’ll start out by saying that my mom has a…knack for finding famous people. Or maybe I shouldn’t call it a knack, more of if she sees them, she’ll take the initiative when other people might be embarrassed. And, in all truthfulness, it can be a bit…embarrassing. Especially for my introverted self. However, the pros – in my opinion – out way the cons, so I’ll usually push through it.

For my thirteenth birthday, I went to the Dove Awards at the Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta. My parents, brother, and nana came along, of course! It was amazing – definitely something I’ll always remember. But one thing I recall quite specifically. As we walked in to the main area, there was almost a “red carpet” thing going on. Professionals were taking pictures of the singers and artists, and there was a clear point that normal people were not supposed to come too close.

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Kari Jobe and I! The lighting is weird, because our camera was messing up xD

Being my mom, of course, she found a small area where no one was standing by the roped off section. I walked over there with her (as my dad and brother were slightly mortified), and who came up? Mandisa! We chatted with her for a little bit; she was very sweet. Then, we saw Kari Jobe. Now, I had told myself a list of questions I wanted to ask her, if I had the opportunity to meet her. But when I did get to meet her, I completely forgot every single question I had planned on asking!

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Hollie Cavanagh and I!
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Joshua Ledet and I!
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Skylar Laine and I!

Another time I was able to meet a famous person, was at the American Idol tour. I loved watching American Idol, and was really sad when the TV show stopped recently. But before that, my mom and I drove to Nashville – one of the stops on the tour. I was so excited! The music was awesome, but it wasn’t completely over after! Tons of people, like my mom and I, gathered around an area where the top ten contestants of season eleven would come out to greet, sign, and take pictures with the fans. Definitely a memorable event!

 

There have been a few other occasions, but those are the ones that I was most excited about. Now…if I can only convince her to somehow get me to meet Taylor Swift…

 

Interview with Ginger Garrett

One day, when my family and I went into Lifeway, Ginger Garrett – a Christian author – was there signing books. I was really excited and pleased with this unsuspected occurrence. After purchasing my own copy and having her sign it, she was gracious enough to spend a few minutes with me answering some questions I had as an aspiring author.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

Not at all. I loved the theatre and majored in theatre arts in college. However, I realized I hated acting out other people’s stories and would much rather write my own.

2. What is the best advice you have been given that has helped you in your writing?

Read. Dissect a book. Using post-it notes, mark how chapters begin…with a new scene or continuing the previous one? A new character introduced? How does each chapter end? On a down note or a cliffhanger? Soon, you begin to see patterns that authors have. Most thriller writers, for example, have a VERY common pattern. Dissect a few thrillers and see if you can figure it out! And most young adult books launch the first chapter in the same way. It’s an important day, our hero is at a disadvantage…and see if you can find the rest of the common traits.

3. How has your writing grown and changed since your first book?

I’ve learned that writing requires years of learning the craft. Talent is given; excellence is earned. Someday I want to get there.

4. Do you find writing conferences are helpful and if so which ones do you recommend?

I attend every Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference that I can, at least two a year. I love them. I love being with my tribe, and learning from other pros.

5. What can you tell us about “The Last Monster”?

“You are a light in a dark world, Sofia. But do not trust the darkness. Monsters are not the only things that can find you.”

Thirteen-year-old Sofia is not only trying to survive middle-school cliques and first crushes, she’s in charge of protecting grotesquely beautiful, lonely monsters that have roamed the Earth for centuries. These monsters are magical, but they are not loved, they are feared. So greatly in fact, that one woman wants them forgotten. Drawn into a violent and unpredictable mystery, Sofia learns that loving outsiders has a cost.

THE LAST MONSTER is about love, fear, and the thrill of discovering who we were born to be. It’s about making peace with our insecurities and defending those who must hide what they really are.

  1. Who is the main character and how much of yourself did you write into he/she?

Sofia lost a leg to cancer and has given up her first love, running. I love Sofia and understand the grief of losing the ability to run. I didn’t struggle with cancer, but several friends have, and my beloved dog, a Great Pyrenees, had bone cancer in his leg as well that ended his life. Cancer is evil. I hope we stop fighting each other and start fighting cancer.

  1. Was there any difference in your approach to writing more of a fantasy/mythological fictional story than biblical fiction?

I could really let loose with THE LAST MONSTER. Biblical fiction is really quite restricting; I was never free to explore or express doubts or questions, or let my characters be fully human. Other writers however write biblical fiction beautifully and they love it. I didn’t so I left the genre. Plus, I’ve always loved old-fashioned monster tales, like the old black and white movie monster stories. When I was a kid, I pretended to host my tea parties at midnight so Dracula and the Wolfman could come. I felt sorry for them and wanted to be friends with them.

  1. For aspiring authors, what advice would you give?

Read. Dissect. Ignore your inner critic.

I really appreciate Ginger Garrett being willing and taking the time to answer my questions. Thank you so much!

I hope all of y’all will go and check out several of the wonderful books she’s written! Her latest one – The Last Monster –  will be coming out this April. I encourage all of y’all to pick up a copy when it’s released, I know I will.

~ Southern Dreamer