If you polled blog readers and asked them to name the funniest Mom blogs, BooMama would certainly be among those named. Whether she’s describing how to pack for a trip, demonstrating how to make a yummy Southern dish, or telling a story about her son, Alex (aka Howard), she inspires laughter as she shares her perspective on life and on her faith.
Sophie is the charming hostess of the of annual Christmas Tour of Homes, a Soup-Tacular recipe carnival, and numerous giveaways. She also has a big heart and reaches out to the blog community when people need help and support. She will soon be traveling with other bloggers to Uganda with Compassion International.
Internets, grab yourself a snack (preferably one featuring cream cheese), and enjoy this fun Q&A with Sophie, my pretend BFF. Just be careful not to choke like I did when reading a recent witty BooMama post while eating my lunch!
Why did you begin blogging? Did you have any particular goals in mind when you started?
About two and half years ago I was reading all sorts of blogs written by people from all walks of life, and I found myself wondering where all the Southern people were on the web. Plus, I wanted to do something to better document our little boy’s life.
One night, sort of out of the blue, I thought, “Hey! I’m Southern! And I used to write stuff!” So I sat down and started a blog. No one is more surprised than I am that I’ve stuck with it.
And the notion that I had any goals whatsoever makes me laugh, because I am SO a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. For example, my goal for today is to take a shower. It may or may not happen.
So as you can see, I like to dream big.
You have a distinct writing voice on your blog. Has your focus or style and what you write about changed over time and as your readership has increased?
Anyone who knows me in real life will tell you that I write exactly like I talk. And that’s why I always laugh when people ask me if I’m going to write a book, because I really can’t think of anything more annoying than a novel where every single character SPEAKS IN ALL CAPS and OVERUSES EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!
As far as focus and style goes, I think I’m probably more relaxed style-wise than I used to be, but I’m still writing about mundane, everyday stuff: a crazy trip to Target, my obsession with Bermuda shorts, what in the sam hill I’m going to do with my hair, etc.
The increase in traffic has been business as usual for the most part. However, it has caused me to re-think how much personal stuff I share, and I think that’s probably a good thing. I’d say that maybe ten percent of what’s going on in my life makes its way to the blog. That other ninety percent stays in real-life land, and that seems to work pretty well for me.
You have great commenters, aka the internets. How do you encourage commenting and a sense of community at BooMama?
I DO have great commenters. I think they are way better than I deserve. For me, the best part of any post I write is the comment section. The internets crack me up.
As for “encouraging” comments – it’s never been anything intentional on my part. But I think the fact that my blog is pretty lighthearted pretty much guarantees that commenting is stress-free – we don’t have a whole lot of heated discussions at BooMama, The Blawg.
Bottom line: people love to laugh with other people. And I think that shared laughter creates an incredible sense of community.
What led you to start a podcast (The Big Boo Cast)? How does podcasting compare with blogging? What are some of your favorite podcasts?
Well, like everything else in my life, it was the result of absolutely no planning whatsoever.
One day last summer my husband was looking through a list of podcasts on iTunes and saw one that was hosted by a couple of mamas. He said, “Hey. You and Big Mama always laugh like crazy while y’all are on the phone – y’all should do a podcast!”
And then: “But I bet you’d never fool with something like that.”
To which I replied: “IS THAT A CHALLENGE?”
So Big Mama and I recorded a podcast the next week. We used to plan what we were going to talk about, but now we just turn on the microphones and talk about whatever. My favorite is probably the one where somehow we got sidetracked into talking about some animal rugs in Big Mama’s house – I think that was the point where we realized that the natural progression of a conversation is way better than anything we can outline ahead of time.
As for how it compares with blogging, they’re sort of opposite for me. Blogging can be difficult on the front end – the actual writing – and effortless on the back end, because there’s nothing to do after you write the post other than pressing the “publish” button.
Podcasting is effortless on the front end – you’re just talking and laughing – but trouble on the back end because of all the editing and file converting and whathaveyou. But it has been a ton of fun.
And I’m ashamed to admit this, but I don’t really listen to podcasts.
I know. I KNOW.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming trip with Compassion International to Africa and what you’ll be doing?
I’ll be going to Uganda in a couple of weeks with fourteen other bloggers. We’re going to get a pretty through overview of the work Compassion is doing over there, and then we’ll blog about what we see. Our hope and our prayer is that the trip will ultimately result in our readers jumping on board with the work Compassion is doing. You can sponsor a child for only $32 a month and change that child’s life forever – so being able to introduce our readers to those children is an incredible privilege.
We can’t wait to hear about your experiences on this life-changing trip!
-written by regular contributor Shauna Rumbaugh