#52sparks: Illustrate your favorite song

She Used to Be Mine

Who’ll be reckless, just enough
Who’ll get hurt, but who learns how to toughen up
When she’s bruised and gets used by a man who can’t love
And then she’ll get stuck
And be scared of the life that’s inside her
Growing stronger each day ’til it finally reminds her
To fight just a little, to bring back the fire in her eyes
That’s been gone, but used to be mine
Used to be mine

Sometimes a song is exactly what you need, when you need.  When I saw the Facebook update that my favorite singer (Sara Bareilles) was going be part of an all female-creative team (a first for Broadway) to bring songs to my favorite movie (Waitress), I put the soundtrack onto my Amazon wishlist immediately and set up a Google alert for “Waitress + musical + Portland.”  When the first song finally hit cyberspace months later, I listened over and over again, often while staring into my own mirror and wondering who I was, who I had been, and who I was becoming.  The song came out at the beginning of a challenging season in my life, one that I would say is now calmed but definitely not resolved.  When the soundtrack finally came out, it was on repeat in my car for over a month as different songs hit just the needs I was having.

  • A Soft Place to Land – the need for having someone or somewhere safe to be real
  • Bad Idea – sometimes bad life choices have to be made
  • I Didn’t Plan It – and then those choices have to be owned and rocked
  • I Love You Like a Table – the awkward potential of true love
  • You Matter to Me – to be known and accepted is freaking everything

While the songs played in the car, I got to read through the inspiration for these and other songs through Sara’s book.  In a happy accident, I was in downtown Portland the same day as her book signing at Powells.  I totally fangirled.


Its been about three years since it was announced that this musical would be coming to Broadway.  And two years and one day since that first Broadway show.  I have watched the video and listened to the song dozens of times since then (heck, even a few times this morning).  I am so excited that this fall, as my graduation present from me to me, I’ll be hearing it live in Portland.

Sometimes a song is exactly what you need, when you need.

#52sparks is my year-long writing series based on an art prompt challenge.  The title is inspired by a quote from Star Wars: The Last Jedi: “We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down” (Poe Dameron).  The spark that lights a fire to toast a marshmallow or to ravage a forest begins in the space of an inch.  So just imagine what hundreds of inches and words can do.

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