A Messy Good Time!!

Hi everyone! Sorry I’ve been gone so long. It’s not that I don’t want to keep up with my blog. I do. I really do. But I’ve been so busy. Busy with what? Kids, work, life.

But most recently, planning a weekend long birthday party for my daughter. She just turned 16. It was crazy!! We had a 3 tiered cake that about did me in, paint wars, a colored powder fight, and so much more. But instead of just telling you, why don’t I just show you? 😊

Lake Wedington, AR. The scene of our epic bday party.

We rented a cabin for the entire weekend.

It was small but cozy, air conditioned (although it didn’t work very well) and clean, and the beds were surprisingly comfortable. No tv-the kids didn’t like that. We brought board games, a karaoke machine, and marshmallows to roast.

First up: unpacking. We packed way too much stuff but I’d rather have too much than not enough. Clothes, party stuff, prizes, games, etc.

THE FIRST NIGHT:

Karaoke Time!!

My daughter and her best friend belted out tunes to an energetic audience of 3.

Not long after, the ‘crowd dispersed and hit the hay.

GOOD MORNING!!

The hubby woke everyone up by banging on pots and pans (This echoes inside a small cabin).

Delicious breakfast for a busy, busy day.

Next up, decorating the cabin for the party.

We all took to this with a smile on our face and a song or two blasting through the cabin.

Finally, We’re heading down to the lake for swimming and food! And a little music too.

CAKE AND ICE CREAM.

We had to keep the cake and ice cream at the cabin because they would have melted in a heartbeat. And I worked really hard on this cake. While it didn’t turn out as planned (I cried for a bit about that), my daughter was still pretty happy with it.

FUN AND GAMES!!

Game #1: Shake your booty. This game had everyone laughing so hard!!!

We actually had a couple more games to play but it was beginning to get late and the park gates closed at 8 pm so we moved on to the best part of the evening, the part all of the kids had been looking forward to.

PAINT SLIP N SLIDE:

How about a colored powder fight next? Shasta was the champion by the way. 😁

And perhaps the messiest and most fun, the paint war!!

Talk about a mess. But so much fun!! Afterward, everyone got sprayed down with the garden hose and showered. (Paint was still coming out of everyone’s hair even a day later.)

Then there was just us. The hubby had a headache so we had my daughter’s friend grill up some chicken for us.

A really good cook by the way.

Roasting marshmallows, ghost stories, and a light show ended the night. (At least for me. I crashed out at 1, the kids were up until the sun came up.)

All in all, I think my daughter had a great time and hopeful it will be one she will remember and cherish for many years.

Advertisements

Heartbreakingly Uplifting….

Anyone that has ever read my blog knows how much I enjoy a good movie. And ones I personally consider to be great, I do a post about. Well this one, the one I’m going to tell you about, blows any other movie I’ve watched in a long time completely out of the water. Out of the atmosphere.

The movie is:

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE

The inspiring and unknown true story behind MercyMe’s beloved, chart topping song that brings ultimate hope to so many is a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness.

I’m sure you’re heard the song at least once. After all, it is the #1 Christian song in America. Even of you aren’t particularly fond of Christian music, I have no doubt you have heard it somewhere. It has been played on nearly every radio station in the U.S.

And with 2.5 million copies sold, it is the best-selling Christian single of all time, having been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA. As of 2018, it is the only Christian song to reach that milestone.

Still not sure? Click this link to watch the official video:

Okay, so I’m not writing this about a song or to sing its praises. (No pun intended). I’m here to tell you about a movie. The movie that tells the true story behind such an awe inspiring song.

And believe me, the backstory is even more awe inspiring that the song. In fact, when I watched it in the theater, I was not the only one shedding tears. Sniffles could be heard throughout the darkened room. And more than a few people left the theater red eyed when the lights came back on.

PLOT:
Growing up in Greenville, Texas, Bart Millard suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father, Arthur. When Arthur becomes terminally ill, he finds redemption by embracing his faith and rediscovering his love for his son.

Years later, Bart’s troubled childhood and mended relationship with his dad inspires him to write the hit song “I Can Only Imagine” as singer of the Christian band MercyMe.

There are a couple of big names starring in this movie but even if there weren’t, I know it would not detract from the movie. I’m not sure anything could.

DENNIS QUAID

American actor who has starred in many movies including:

The Parent Trap

A Dog’s Purpose

The Rookie

The Day After Tomorrow

CLORIS LEACHMAN

An American actress who has had many starring roles and appeared in several shows including:

The Beverly Hillbillies

The Last Picture Show

The Longest Yard

Raising Hope

TRACE ADKINS

An American songwriter, singer, and actor, he has topped many country music charts with his amazing musical ability.

Here’s a few memorable quotes from the movie:

Brickell: Let me ask you something Bart, what are you running from?

Bart: My dad. He, uh, he…

Brickell: …he beat you, didn’t he? Ya ain’t got no poker face kid.

Bart: I carry that. I have to live with that, you know. I always will.

Brickell: Then write about it. Stop running from it. Let that pain become your inspiration.

******

Memaw: Imagine what he is seeing up there, just imagine!

Brickell: What is the name of your band again?

Bart: It is “Mercy Me”. Because when I told my Memaw that we were starting a band, she was like “Mercy me, get a real job!” And I was like: “Oh, Memaw.”

******

Bart: And the guys were like “Did she really say that?” and I was like “Yeah, we have to name the band mercy me”. So we called it.

******

Brickell: [to Bart] You got talent, you got potential, you can sing, but I don’t think you found your song, found your soul.

******

Arthur: Dreams don’t pay the bills. Nothing good comes from them. All it does is keeping you from knowing what is real.

******

Brickell: [to Bart] Son, the sheer volume of words that comes out of your mouth is exhausting. You are not ready. That’s what I think.

Here is the official movie trailer if you would like to get a sneak peek:

This is one movie you do not want to miss. Just be sure to keep a box of tissues handy because you will definitely need them.

ENJOY!!

Summertime is here again…

Good morning everyone! Wow, what a day. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and the birds are chirping. At least they are where I live. Good ‘ol Arkansas. With weather like this, it makes me think about the upcoming summer months and how much fun it used to be for us when we were kids. And being a writer, one good thought leads to another and another and another and so on…

As my brain drifted from one thing to another, it occurred to me that as summer is approaching, it is time to get our children going on some favorite activities. No, not what most kids nowadays consider fun–sleeping in, playing video games, staying indoors watching movies, streaming music, and surfing the web. I’m talking about REAL summer fun.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here, let me remind you.

CATCHING FIREFLIES:

firefly

CAMPING IN THE BACKYARD:

backyard camping

PLAYING IN THE CREEK:

children-playing-in-creek

ROASTING MARSHMELLOWS:

roastingMarshmallows-01

STAR GAZING:

star_gazing_by_krossfire

PICKING BERRIES:

berries

MAKING HOMEMADE ICE CREAM:

2512-Kids_Making_Ice_Cream

SWIMMING WITH YOUR FRIENDS:

kids-swimming-lake-_pd_

BIKE RIDING:

tweens-riding-bikes

BLOWING BUBBLES:

kids-blowing-bubbles

FISHING:

all rights JIM GALLOP

PICKING WILDFLOWERS:

picking flowers

HAVING A  PICNIC:

picnic

RUNNING THROUGH THE SPRINKLER:

Kids in the Sprinklers

These are the type of summer activities I was talking about. Simple, fun, and everlasting. So this summer, put the tablet, phone, pager, laptop away and take a few moments to relive the real meaning of summer. Drag your family along with you. They may grumble a bit but in the end, they will thank you. Enjoy!!

Here to tantalize us…

Hi everybody! Today I have Crystal Firsdon and her book, Almost Wrecked, The Song Wreckers, Book 1.
image

image

Good morning Crystal. Now you told me that this is the first book in a series. How exciting. Can you give us a taste of what it’s about?

1 creep. 2 bodyguards. 3 men who change Molly’s life forever. 

Guitar player Molly Davis is taunted with disturbing gifts by some creep she hopes like heck is a harmless, misguided fan. The owner of the bar where her band plays isn’t taking any chances, however, and hires Gabe Cooper and Caleb “Ram” Ramsey to stand guard over Molly and the rest of the band. 

Cooper is all business and doesn’t mess with Molly’s emotions. She can handle that. Ram is a different story. He’s gorgeous, has a good heart, and is sometimes infuriating. He doesn’t take Molly’s crap, giving him the potential to be the first man to shove his way through her stubbornness and into her life. But a violent attack proves the creep isn’t going away. And that almost wrecks everything.

Wow. That sounds so intriguing. And Ram sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read it. Do you have a soundtrack for your book? Something that keeps your creative juices going?

With the exception of my Christmas novelette, my other 2 books are music oriented, so of course I have a soundtrack to them. Miranda Lambert, Gretchen Wilson, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Pink, Joey + Rory, The Jane Dear Girls, The Band Perry, Adele. Those are the main artists. There are a few boys in there as well, but my main inspirations were the ladies.

While I’m mostly into rock music, I love all of those as well thanks to my hubby. 😌 With all of those great names, I have to ask: What was your VERY first concert? And who would you love to see now?

My very first concert was . . . wait for it . . . Menudo! Remember those guys? As soon as they reached a certain age they were kicked out of the group and replaced with someone younger. They were performing at the same outdoor fair as my dad’s band. I remember getting their autographs.

Now I’d love to see Miranda Lambert. I love twangy girl country. Many of her songs were on the soundtrack I made for my books.

I’ve heard of Menudo but I’ve never listened to them. I was born in 1977 and my first concert was Color Me Badd. 😄 That is a far cry from Miranda Lambert. Speaking of differences, are they any different genres you have thought about writing?

Yes! I have a paranormal romance trilogy mapped out, and another paranormal romance in the very beginning stages.

That is so awesome. I love it When authors venture out of their safe zone. I have a kids’ book in it’s early stages as well. So for anyone that is aspiring to be a writer, what kind of advice can you Give them?

Sit down behind your f***ing keyboard and write. Don’t worry that it sucks. All first, and sometimes second and third, drafts are awful. You can fix it later. Just get the ideas out of your head.

Well said. 😄 I hate to go but my family is going to be wanting breakfast soon.  Speaking of which, do you cook? Is there something special you make?

I cook dinner for the family just about every night, but I don’t consider myself a real cook. My specialty is anything with 5 ingredients or less for the most part. I love the crock pot. Just a few weeks ago my younger son asked me why I’m going back to school to become a teacher again. After my answer he looked at me dead serious, and said, “Mom, you could be a cook in a restaurant.” I told him that only him, his brother, and their dad likes my cooking. He said, “No, Mom. I’m serious. You should be a cook.” I’m still laughing at that one.

LOL. Well my family will never accuse me of being a great cook. Its a wonder they haven’t had food poisoning yet. Just kidding but I’m not a chef. But before you go, can you Give us a short rundown on your life?

Sure. Let me see… Well I’m a former high school teacher turned stay-at-home mom turned part-time substitute teacher and school volunteer. I’m currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan-Dearborn to earn my Master of Arts in Education. Hopefully soon I’ll be back in the classroom teaching.

Wow, that is great. Teachers are super important. A lot of times I don’t think they get the recognition they deserve. What else can you tell us about yourself?

I love the romance genre, and can’t decide whether it’s better to read it or write it. With a long background in physical fitness, I include exercise in all of my heroines’ lives. Lately, regular exercise is quite difficult, but hey, I’m trying.
I live in Michigan with my husband and children where the weather makes it impossible for my naturally curly hair to behave most days. You’ll almost always catch me sporting a messy bun and several bobby pins.

HA HA. I have to day I have really enjoyed having you on my blog today. One last question. Where can readers find you?

No problem. They can find me at one of the links below.

Website: 
http:crystalfirsdon.com/

Facebook: 
http://on.fb.me 1mRBOfe

Find me on Goodreads.
And Facebook.

​Crystal Firsdon
Author of Romantic Women’s Fiction
www.crystalfirsdon.com

Almost Wrecked, The Song Wreckers, Book 1
Almost Ordinary, The Song Wreckers, Book 2 coming February 2016
Sizzle in the Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection

Ode to a Computer…

Hi everyone. Today is a sad and terrible day for me. I just list a very old, very good friend. My laptop.

‘Ol Red and I have been through a lot together.

From the first day I held it in my arms 9 years ago, I felt something special. And I had such high hopes for it. I just knew it would do wonders. When it needed energy, I plugged it in. When it was sick, I took it to the doctor. I took care of ‘Ol Red.

And it did! It connected me to my family that lived far away, it played games and music and it entertained my kids and I for many years. It kept my secrets, my pictures and videos, my memories safe. It showed us the world.  But that’s not all.

‘Ol Red helped me achieve my dream to become a published author. Yes, with Red by my side, we wrote not one but two wonderful stories together.

‘Ol Red was there for me and I was there for it. When it needed energy, I plugged it in. When it was sick, I took it to the doctor. We made a great team.

But lately ‘Ol Red’s health has been steadily going down hill. First, it began to lose energy quickly and had to be plugged in more often. Then eventually, it was able to wake up on it’s own without a shot of electricity. We went on that way for a long time until today when it’s life force, the cord giving it energy, gave up the fight.

So sadly, today, January 7, 2016, I have to say goodbye to ‘ Ol Red. We’ve been through a lot together and I will never forget you. You were my first laptop and you will live in my memory forever.

Goodbye old friend….

image

image

Vigilantes Anyone? Part Two…The Songs

Hello everyone. I’m back with the second part of my earlier post revealing where I get the ideas for my books, namely The Perfect Order series of which I am currently working on book 2 entitled Stone Cold Angel. The first In the series, Angel in the Shadows, is on sale now on Amazon for only $2.99.
In the first post, I cited the movies that most inspire me. Today I am going to give you all a top 10 list of the songs which motivate my creative juices.  Some are darker and slower than the others but each one is super powerful and speaks to my soul. Most of you have probably heard of some, if not all, of these songs. But in case you haven’t or you just want to listen to them, I am including a YouTube link for each song. The videos are not necessarily the drive for my inspiration. It is the words of the songs that stuck with me. They are not in any particular order of my favorite or even follow the way each book loves but every one of them plays a part in every book plot. Enjoy!!

1. Iris by Goo Goo Dolls
When I hear this song, I think of my hero is realizing that he’s in love with the girl and he’s considering giving everything up for her…

2. Better Than Me by Hinder
With this one, I envision my hero being in love with the girl and realizing that she deserves a better man than he is but that he still wants her…

3. I’d Come For You by Nickelback
I can so totally see my hero walking away from the woman he loves but realizing he made a mistake and vows that he will come to her rescue no matter what…

4. Good Man by Devour the Day
I love this song because the guy knows that there is a part of him that is good. He just has trouble keeping the “bad”side at bay…

5. Bliss by Hinder
This song makes me see that to my heros, ignorance of emotions is truely bliss.  To be without someone they really care about is Hell and they will do whatever it takes to get through without them…

6. Poison by Alice Cooper
In this one, my hero doesn’t want to fall for the woman he’s trying to protect but he can’t help but want her. She’s in his veins….

7. Animal by Three Days Grace
This is another song where the hero is battling the darkness inside him. He needs help and only one special woman can do it….

8. Hate Me by Blue October
Here the guy wants to make the girl hate him because he feels it’s better for her…

9. All I Want by Staind
This song is perfect to illustrate the longing that the hero feels for the heroine and that he doesn’t want to be without her…

10. Reckless by Papa Roach
The guy in this song realized it will take a very special woman to put up with the man he is…

There you go–my top ten songs of inspiration. I hope you liked this post. Feel free to leave a comment if you would like. Thank  you for stopping by!