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" Adolescence in our culture for a young woman, for a girl, is a hard road. "
" My mother's a very spiritual woman, and I think Pentecostal religion, Bible religion, was very important to her because it gave her a context for a very spiritual approach to life. "
" There are certain choices you make as a songwriter, based on vowel sounds and melody and chord changes. "
" I admired Mary's work very much. From the time someone gave me 'The Liars' Club,' I immediately went into a world where I grew up. And I remember, when I finished the book, I actually thought, 'You know what, I need to write songs with her.' "
" You start creating art through the people that are looking at you, trying to route it through their sensibilities or their eyes, and then it's not you anymore. "
" My father had a perfectly good drummer who he had an argument with. So one day, on a Tuesday, my father came in with a cheap pawn shop set of drums and said, 'Put your foot here, and you kick there, and you play this, and this is the high hat.' And Friday night, I was playing in a honky-tonk. "
" I don't know if I owned a toothbrush until I was 19, maybe. I didn't come from stock that placed any importance on the toothbrush. But a couple of girls I met changed that. And I would do anything to get a girl to pay attention to me long enough that I could feel good about myself. "
" I cannot say I'm a poet. That's for someone when they take in consideration where they can bestow 'poet' on. I can't do it. But I would be disingenuous if I didn't say that my intention is poetry. "
" Sometimes, the better writing comes when the song speaks through me and tells me what the song wants to say. "
" Poets, I think, are born. You can't teach it. It's genetic - the circumstances of how you were raised... and there's probably some Irish in your blood lines. "
" I wouldn't go as far to say that anything that I've done is timeless. "
" For me, my career has never been about what I've done. But it's been about becoming, achieving, and pushing myself further. "
" I never allowed writer's block to be a reality. I framed it up for myself early on. I said, 'OK, if I'm not writing, the well is just filling up. I'm going to be patient with this.' "
" Invariably, collaboration leads to new forms of self-expression and to the things that move you. "
" My father took me to see Hank Williams on December 14th, 1952. I was two years and four months of age. And I remember a little cool eddy of hair hitting my cheek, and I remember the smell of his hair oil, and I remember the mingling tonality of the small talk before the show started. Those are my memories. "
" The way I made 'Diamonds and Dirt,' which had all those hits in a row, was that I was just making a record. It was just the one that rolled up in my natural process, and it happened to be commercial. "
" Of course, you can't teach songwriting. You can only encourage people to do it and help them to sort out for themselves what they want to achieve, and get a list of exercises together that improves the craft and gives them more access to the craft of writing good songs. "
" My mother was apt to fall out on the floor and start speaking in tongues. Actually, it was a great performance... It was great theater. As a 5-year-old, I understood that, although it scared me and there was a little part of me going, 'I don't know about this. This seems over-the-top to me,' at the same time, I did understand that this was passion. "
" My family was very poor. Strangely, though, my father was an enigma in that he was always working. He was not a ne'er-do-well. He wasn't lazy. He just couldn't hold on to money. It just, it was an enigma for him. He just, his pockets were always empty. "
" As an artist, one of the ingredients to doing good work is self-awareness, and that's something I cultivate. "
" The more I'm dedicated to this work, the more I'm able to satisfy my deep need to create. And that's a pretty good thing. If you take half-decent care of yourself, that can propel you on into productive later years. "
" Because of my methodology and my sensibilities to write songs, I'm not very comfortable with the notion to rush in any creative endeavor. "
" Violence was very much a part of my mother's upbringing - a little less so with my father's, but my father was an angry man when he was young. He was angry and frustrated and had no idea how to channel anger. "
" In the 74 years and nearly four months marking her time on what she called this crooked old Earth, my mother rarely drew a healthy breath. Still, to say that life wasn't fair for this awkwardly glib, yet deeply religious woman, would fail to take into account her towering instinct for survival. "
" I was an only child. "