ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES
– SEPTEMBER 21, 2004
Mother of two follows dream, marches to the strum of her guitar
By: Se Jeong Kim Staff Writer
Weaverville – In many cultures, when a woman becomes a mother, she automatically quits her job – or is forced to leave it – to stay home with her family. Her identity is tied to her role in the home.
Although the wave of modernism and westernization around the world has been paving the way for the working mother, many working women , both here and in other cultures, worry about the well-being of their children.
Kelly Land is one such mom, but she has managed to balance work and home in a unique way.
She is the mother of an 11-year old boy and a 3-year-old girl. Born in Indiana, she studied Radio-TV-Film in college. After graduation, she worked at a local radio station in Terre Haute – WBOW/WZZQ. But her husband's experience in CD/DVD manufacturing moved them to Weaverville nine years ago, when her husband got a job at Sonopress.
She revived her radio career with a job at WZLS, a classic rock station. “I loved that radio station,” she said. “You could go in and pull the music yourself and make up your own show. You picked the music, played the requests, and talked to the listeners.”
But the job ended after three years, when WZLS went off the air after a long battle over the frequency.
Land decided not to look for another job in radio and to stay home with her children.
“I didn't want to leave them. I wanted to stay home and do something else to make money,” she said. “Radio was changing anyway. It was all Clear Channel, monopolies. They'd put 200 songs in rotation and tell you what to say, what to play. That is NOT radio. No thanks.”
But that didn't mean she was going to forget about her interests and career permanently.
She decided to get a guitar and begin to teach herself, since she had developed a passion for music during her radio career and she wanted to keep it alive.
Eventually she began writing songs.
“By no means was I like Jimi Hendrix, but I could play enough….” she says, “I've got a decent voice….and I wanted to write songs. So I did it.”
Although she had no formal musical education, the chords she taught herself were enough to get her started.
She has written about 30 songs so far, and has three recordings. Her inspirations are varied.
A song called, “Coffee Shop” is about a girl who falls in love with a boy sitting in the coffee shop she hangs out at. It is a real story of one of her friends who saw a woman walking by in downtown Asheville every day. He told Land he thought this woman was the most beautiful he had ever seen, but he couldn't muster the courage to talk to her. So she took that storyline and wrote about it.
“I thought that I would just put myself in his position,” she said. Another song, “You” is for her husband ; and “Tomorrow is a New Day” is for her children. As she played more and more, she and her friend Barry Lee from WZLS, set up a little studio at home so they could record songs.
Her family provides enormous support.
“My husband is my biggest fan.” she said.
Her children dance to her music when she plays.
So far, her audiences have been small as she plays for neighbors and friends and at open mic nights locally, although she's still nervous in front of bigger groups.
She is in the process of recording a CD, which she plans to have out by December. She hopes this will make some money, but that's not her ultimate goal. She'll be happy if just one person is touched by her music.
“I don't have big ambitions,” she said. “I would just be happy with one person coming up to me saying that this song really spoke to me.”
To stay-at-home mothers, she has something to say: “Women get to be my age, being a mother, they feel like their dream has passed by or they are too old. Do something that fulfills you.”
In addition to her music, she helps mothers through her two websites. The first, www.MoneyMakingMommy.com, provides information about work at home jobs and employment, useful resources for being a businesswoman, and job-search and more. MoneyMakingMommy.com drew attentions when it was mentioned in the magazine “Woman's World” three years in a row as a valuable work at home resource.
“My goal with this site is to help other moms find a way to earn an income from home so that they can be with their kids, too,” she said.
Land's other website, www.ParentingHumor.com, aims to share the funny side of parenting.
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