Living in Dreams

On Saturday night, my sister and I attended one of the best concerts we will ever see.  Ed Sheeran came to Texas and we had floor tickets.  I’ve never had floor tickets before in my life, so I had no idea what to expect.

After spending more than seven hours on my feet in the stifling early September heat, I can tell you that I have mixed feelings on the whole floor crowd thing.

For one thing, like I said, it’s super hot.  Plus all the sweaty people literally surrounding you, running into you, and smelling like farm animals makes it like a million times worse.  I’m not sure if people in Texas smell like farm animals because… well… it’s TEXAS, but I swear, I smelled sheep and dogs and horses at that concert.  And pot.  There was definitely pot.

For another thing, people on the floor like to shove.  Everyone is vying for a better view.  I mean, I was too.  It’s very constrictive and if you have any sort of social anxiety or anxiety in general, I don’t recommend floor tickets.  There was also a lot of fainting due to heat and so many people.

Speaking from a perspective standpoint, however, floor tickets are AMAZING.  It was like being a part of the show itself.

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For those of you who’ve been to concerts, you’ll know that headliners often have opening acts.  Ed’s opening acts were a British guy whose name I didn’t catch but was very talented and… Christina Perri!

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Christina is a delight.  She is a great musical talent with a phenomenal voice and beautiful songs.  In between songs, she told us about her life spent singing songs and dreaming of performing and making music.  She spoke of the nay-sayers and the self-doubt and moments of feeling like she simply had nothing to write, nothing to sing about.  And yet, she fought through.

“You are living in my dream right now!” she exclaimed before diving into her hit song, Human.

Naturally, she ended her set with my absolute favorite of her songs: A Thousand Years.  And of course, as she sang and we all sang along, I couldn’t help but think of Twilight.  I know, I know, Twilight is lame, but hear me out.  When the books first came out, my sister and I read them all.  And I’ve got to be honest, I thought they were fun.  I thought they were kind of magical.  They were a great escape.

But you know, what I love about Twilight isn’t really the story or the characters.  It’s that it’s brought a lot of readers all over the world a lot of joy.  It isn’t a story that really makes you think or a great literary masterpiece by any means.  But it is a story that millions of readers all over the world love, and it inspired a beautiful, amazing, wonderful song.  I realized there, living inside Christina Perri’s dream, that that song inspired my dreams as well.  I would love to write the kind of stories that make readers happy, that connect and resonate with them.  I’ll never be a literary genius and my books are really just for fun.  They’re not very deep or profound.  They’re just fun.  I want my books to bring that same kind of joy.

Ed gave a similar performance of his song, I See Fire.  This is a song that has made me cry at least half a dozen times.  If Twilight is just a fun little escape, Middle Earth is a world that truly holds a special place in my heart.  It all began in middle school.  My friends and I were in love with the places and characters of Middle Earth.  Seeing it brought to life once again through The Hobbit movies was, in a way, like returning home.  Hearing Ed Sheeran sing his hit song live, however, with images of Smaug the Dragon flying and breathing fire in the background was nothing short of pure magic.  Music is powerful.  Books and stories are powerful.  They exist to transform and inspire.  They are proof that magic does exist.  That the human soul is something truly exquisite.  We are capable of creating these worlds and this music and… I just don’t even have words to describe how wonderful I think that is.

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I love you all.  Thank you for books.  Thank you for music.  Thank you for reading.

North Texas Book Festival

This past weekend, I attended the North Texas Book Festival for the first time.  I had an amazing time.  The location was incredible, the speakers phenomenal, and I met so many wonderful new friends and authors.  That’s my favorite part of these events, meeting new people and finding new books to read!

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To get there on time, I woke up at 4:30 in the morning.  For those who know me, that’s about the time I normally go to sleep.  I actually had my alarm set for about 5:15, but I was too excited to go back to sleep, so before sunrise, my books and I were in the car and ready to go.

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I was also incredibly excited for Boy Band to make it’s pre-release debut!

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The other displays were incredible.

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Perhaps best of all, the festival kept us incredibly well-fed: bagels, Cinnabon, fruit, cake, pizza, Schlotzsky’s… I don’t think I’ve ever been fed that much in my life!

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Thank you for everything, North Texas Book Festival!  I can’t wait until next year!

Oh, and because I know you were all wondering… MY SISTER AND I TOTALLY HAVE FLOOR TICKETS TO ED SHEERAN!!!!!!!!!!

Reasons Why My Sister and I Need to Go See Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran is coming to Dallas on September 5.  I am determined to go see him and, if at all possible, I am determined that my sister go with me.  The only reason that might be a problem is because she goes to school kind of far away and she might be involved in a musical production at that time.  But we’re going to hope for the best.

Tickets for some stadiums go on pre-sale on April 6, but I’m not sure if Dallas will be on that list or not.  If not, then the tickets will be on sale April 10.  I’m guessing that they’ll be a bit pricey.  It is Ed Sheeran, after all.  But I don’t care.  This is one of those concerts that’s like… I have to see it.  I just have to.  And I’ve comprised a list of reasons to justify this need.

1.  Ed Sheeran is a very, very talented musician.  He started out on the streets.  Now he’s one of the biggest artists in the world.  He deserves the support.

2.  He’s also a very good person.  He performed at a couple’s wedding recently after they’d struggled to finance it.  He’s just a good guy.  Again, we need to support him.

3.  I recently wrote a book about musicians and I need to go to this concert for research.

4.  My sister is a music major and it will be good for her to see a professional musician in action.

5.  I intend to marry Ed Sheeran one day and it might be awkward if, after he proposes to me, I have to confess that I haven’t been to any of his shows.

6.  This is a high-quality life experience, like drinking fine wine or seeing the ocean.  Life is short and I’ll regret it forever if I don’t take this opportunity.

7.  The “Thinking Out Loud” music video.

8.  I bet you anything Ed Sheeran would totally come to my book signing if he actually knew who I was.  He just seems to be a caring and generous person like that.

9.  I believe sharing this experience with my sister will make me a better person.  In fact, it will make both of us better people.  Ed Sheeran has that effect.

10.  He’s British.

You see?  I don’t really have a choice here.  I need to go to this concert.  I’m sure you all will agree with me.