Ep. 234: Lori Orlinsky – Turning a Negative Into a Dream

You are in for a treat with today’s guest and her unique story of resilience. Even though it took many years to make her childhood dreams come true, she found a way to make it happen despite overwhelming odds that were against her. She’s now enjoying success that she never saw coming–and the best is yet to come! Join us to learn more!

Lori Orlinsky is a multi-award-winning author who lives in Chicago. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. An author with Mascot Books, Lori writes rhyming, lesson-based picture books that naturally lead to a discussion about important topics, such as bullying prevention and honesty. At just over five feet tall, she wishes her first book Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All) was around while she was growing up.

Fulfilling a lifelong dream

How long would you chase your dream before giving up? Lori knew as a young child that she wanted to write books. Even as a kid, she crafted construction paper “books” to tell her stories. She later prepared for the journey to writing children’s books by going to journalism school and writing in different capacities whenever she found opportunities. Her inspiration came from a specific incident with her oldest daughter being singled out as the shortest in her class. When Lori looked for children’s books about being small, she couldn’t find a single one! This was her inspiration to write Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All). Lori calls this event her “Aha moment” in the journey to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer. This is what it took to realize her dream was finding the personal passion for writing about a topic that impacted her family, along with realizing that the need existed for a book like hers. Lori’s book is for kids who feel singled out and slighted because of their small size, but it’s a book about bullying prevention at its core.

TWEET: Lori realized her dream was finding the personal passion for writing about a topic that impacted her family. @loriorlinskyauthor #chasingdreams

Continuing on the journey

How many “No’s” would it take to make you give up on your dream? Lori would give a big number to that question. After writing her book, it took about 200 tries to get it published, but she never gave up. Lori’s second book, The Tooth Fairy’s Tummyache, was written in response to her struggle to teach her daughters the value of honesty. The story, with a main character named for her youngest daughter, concludes with an admonition to be honest and always tell the truth. The book has the fun silliness of a story with rhymes, but it teaches an important lesson in honesty, too. Lori believes that a fun story that teaches kids a valuable lesson is better than sitting down to have those difficult conversations about their behavior. Lori’s third book, Balloons for Tiger, is about the love we have for our pets and will be out in May 2021.

TWEET: It took Lori 200 tries to get her first book published. @loriorlinskyauthor #chasingdreams

The epitome of a dream chaser

Does your dream chase inspire others? You don’t have to look hard at Lori’s story to be inspired by her resilience. She NEVER gave up on her dream. She waited for inspiration to strike and the need to arise for each book she has written. She says, “The best books come out of the times in which we live and the things that we experience.” Her first book is still in demand, it’s still being reprinted, and she’s still connecting with parents and teachers about it–even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether writing or just being a mom, Lori is passionate about teaching kids to focus on the positive moments in life and not let negative moments define them.

TWEET: Lor waited for inspiration to strike and the need to arise for each book she has written. @loriorlinskyauthor #chasingdreams

Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take–”Go back to your childhood. Find that one thing you’ve always wanted to do and make your original dreams come true.”


  • [:08] Young Lori’s dreams
  • [4:28] The reception to Lori’s first book
  • [8:15] What happened after she wrote her first book
  • [11:07] Having resilience to keep going
  • [15:59] Lori’s next book: Balloons for Tiger
  • [19:08] No time limit on our dreams
  • [20:35] Lori’s kids’ reactions to her book
  • [22:09] Lori’s daughter’s fundraising endeavor
  • [27:08] Planting the seeds for a dream
  • [28:19] Lessons for kids
  • [30:24] ONE action for a dream chaser


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Lori’s Website

Lori's Store – Chasing Dreams discount code through 12/31/2020: “chasingdreams”

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My book is not just for short people, but for anyone who is bullied or singled out for a physical feature. @loriorlinskyauthor #chasingdreams

I needed a passion to write about something that was impacting my family. @loriorlinskyauthor #chasingdreams

The things that make us different are the things that make us special. @loriorlinskyauthor #chasingdreams

I wanted my two daughters to see me follow through and not quit. @loriorlinskyauthor #chasingdreams

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