Saturday, May 20, 2006


I have a confession to make. I really have a soft spot. I cry at movies and I cry when I hear really inspiring stories. I cry when I hear a speaker that really strikes a chord in me and makes me feel something inside.

I felt that way when I saw Lori McKenna on Oprah a while back. I think I wrote about her back then when I saw her but since that time I’ve bought one of her CDs and I’ve heard more of her music.

The Oprah show chose to take the “dreams come true” angle. This woman is a song writer and they sent some of her songs to Faith Hill. Faith Hill had just finished recording her album and after she heard Lori McKenna’s music she stopped everything and decided to record three of the songs for the album. Not just that. She named made the title song of the album one of Lori’s songs, “Fireflies.”

It was a nice show and it did make the point that dreams do come true. Lori McKenna is a mother of five, she’s been married since she was really young, and she writes songs. They showed Lori and Faith meeting for the first time and Faith sang “Fireflies,” a beautiful song!

At one point Oprah talks to Lori McKenna about one song in particular that she wrote after watching Ruby Bridges on her show. Ruby Bridges ( was the first Black child to integrate an elementary in New Orleans. It is such a wonderful song and Lori sang it. She has a beautiful voice. (To learn more about Ruby Bridges go to her website. Amazing story!)

What Oprah didn’t point out was that Lori McKenna has been writing for a while (I can’t remember how many years) and that she has a band and she plays in public. When I Googled Lori McKenna I found all this out. I also found out that I could order some of her CDs. I recently did just that. I ordered “Paper Wings & Halo” because it has “Ruby’s Shoes” on it. It’s a great CD! Beautiful soulful songs!

Lori has a journal (or blog) on her site ( that she updates periodically and recently I read something that really hit me. She writes about writing songs with her co-writer Liz Rose for a week and how they did this with children around them. This is straight from her website.

“We had the babies with us the whole time - which always makes for an interesting experience. Liz mastered the art of entertaining a 23-month old while spitting out killer lyrics. I’m pretty sure that only another mom would put up with this kind of torture. The baby also (as I may have mentioned in the past) has a great arm and will throw ANYTHING and everything - usually at your head. We almost had to leave the Olive Garden during lunch because of all the bread sticks he threw across the restaurant. Regardless, we wrote 5 songs in 4 days.” –

Isn’t that amazing? Women writing songs, creating art, with babies around them? And then I think of myself and my excuses. I say I can’t write unless I have quiet or unless I have one writing day a week when I can go away by myself. Yet I write essays and blog with all the chaos around me. So am I just making excuses for myself?

JK Rowling started writing in a cafĂ© with her baby in a stroller next to her because she was so poor she couldn’t afford to heat her flat. I know of single mothers who are raising their children, yet they write. They find the time and the energy to go their day jobs and then to come home and write.

Yanier Franklin Donald Moore (Blak) an African American writer started writing while still dealing drugs. He would sit and write and would stop to sell and then would go back to writing. Yet he wrote! And of course he stopped dealing drugs once he became a published writer.

People are always doing extraordinary things despite obstacles. They are my inspiration. I know I can do this. I know I can finish my novel.

1 comment:

~^^~Elsie~^^~ said...

Hi Loida! OMG - I am JUST LIKE U! I get all teary-eyed with inspiriation, and I'll have to start wiping the corners of my eyes before the tears smear the mascara. Yeah, I feel ya on making excuses about the writing. I have so many pieces just swimming around in my laptop; yeah, I agree about inspiriation. Also, like I always tell myself and other people, "who does motivation begin with? ourselves!" I love this entry!