As I traveled home from New Orleans Saturday night, on the Mississippi Public Radio I listened to Jill Conner Brown of Sweet Potato fame give a short speech in Oxford. This was the first time I had heard her speak, and I’ve never read anything she’s written. I was surprised to find that she is a skillful and motivating speaker, and one with a wonderful sense of humor. It may be a little unmanly for me to say, but the speech was so well delivered that it made me want to read some of her books. It really changed my perspective of her. I died laughing in the truck when I heard what she said was the Sweet Potato Queens motto: “Never wear Panties to a party.” There were many other lines that I would have written down if only I had not been driving on the Interstate in the rain.
She ended her program with a saying that truly stirred my heart: “Life is too short and too long to spend it doing anything that does not make your heart sing…” As I grow older, I’m feeling the ephemeral nature of life and my own mortality more and more. I also realized that I did the right thing in deciding to promote my writing on a full-time basis, as my writing is what really makes my heart sing.