It’s only right that as Stephen Colbert enters the final weeks of his glorious, ground-breaking, brilliant show, Better Know a Blogger shall too come to an end (see the origins here if you’re curious). Now and forever, I stand in solidarity with The Colbert Report (I love you, Stephen!) But fret not my fellow bloggers. This is not a time to be sad (ok, it is), but it’s also a time to rejoice in all that we shared together and the myriad fond memories we shall cherish for a lifetime.
Plus, today we are going out with a bang. I have for you the very funny and extremely fecund (look it up or just click on the link if you’re lazy because I defined it for you in Word to Your Motha) Tara of Love Morning Wood. But that’s not what it sounds like. Or maybe it is. I don’t know. Tara claims she titled her blog as such because she wrote early in the morning and because her last name is Wood. And she wanted everyone to love it. The name has nothing to do with loving the other morning wood, ok? Although it does bring in a lot of strange internet searches usually resulting in disappointment for the searchers.
Tara is a southern girl with lots of kids she calls the Woodchips. Isn’t that cute? At first I was like what the hell are these woodchips she’s talking about? Then I got it. Because I’m smart like that. She’s a blogger and freelance writer from Augusta, Georgia who lives in a perpetual state of blissful exhaustion caring for her 6 children (make that 7 when her husband is sick). She enjoys sitting down occasionally and long walks, all alone, in Target. The first piece of Tara’s that I read was Zero Shits to Give, and I instantly fell in love. Go, ahead, read it. But first read this.
1. Why did you decide to start your blog, and did you have any idea what you were getting yourself into?
I started my blog to shut up my friend Steve, honestly. He bullied me into committing to write something every day. I thought I’d keep it up for maybe 3 days.
OFM: Funny, no one in my life has ever encouraged my writing.
LMW: After the first week, I looked forward to getting up at 4:30am to write.
LMW: I had no idea that anyone other than my family and a few friends would read it. I was even more surprised at how much I enjoyed the process. It was new and terrifying and brutal.
OFM: I hear you.
LMW: I can’t remember life before writing now.
2. Do you have a blogging schedule? If so, what is it? Does it help? Does it change? Do you want to stomp on it, and tell people to go away – you have enough to do?
My first post was early November of 2013. It was originally just a community page on Facebook. I started a “proper” blog on WordPress once I hit 1,000 readers. I still post shorter entries on Facebook and link the longer WordPress posts there as well.
When I first started writing, I’d wake up crazy early – while everyone else in the house was still asleep for hours. I had no idea what I was doing or even what that day’s post would be about. I spent many mornings just staring at the screen for half an hour until the words came. I had to do it that way, though. I had to be alone and not distracted any of my 6 kids or hot husband. I don’t wake up extra early anymore and I don’t feel guilty if I don’t post something everyday. Life happens, and sometimes I just don’t have jack-shit to say.
OFM: I know, right? Sometimes I’m just plumb out. I can’t be funny all the time. Sometimes I’d just rather be miserable.
3. Tell us a little bit about your background. What did you do in your previous life or still do in addition to blogging? I guess what I’m getting at here is what uniquely qualifies you to be a blogger other than a dollar and a dream?
I have no background in writing or blogging whatsoever. No journalism school, no degree in creative writing – nothing. I feel pretty insecure about that. I make grammatical errors and missteps all the time. I constantly second guess my words and my hand still shakes before I hit the ‘publish’ button. That’s part of what makes it fun, though. Also, when people point out my mistakes I just tell the truth – “I have no idea what I’m doing.” Being clueless can be a gift.
4. Do you have any kids, how many and why? Why would you do that to yourself?
My husband and I have 6 kids. Their ages range from 2-13 years old. All the same parents, too! It’s very loud, sometimes contentious and never boring. I love it, actually. People think we’re nuts, but I wouldn’t change a single thing. Plus, my husband and I figure that with so many kids, surely one of them will take us in when we’re old and shitting ourselves.
OFM: Which one’s your favorite? And, more importantly, how many bathrooms do you have?
5. What other wild animals, if any, do you have in your home?
In addition to the 6 kids, we also have 2 dogs, 2 fish, 2 cats and an African pygmy frog. Sometimes I feed a raccoon on our mudroom porch so I’ll mention him, too. His name is George Cooney, and he doesn’t seem to be rabid. He’s way too cute to be rabid.
OFM: Like the real George Clooney.
6. Which of the following statements (and this could have major implications for our relationship going forward) would you be more likely to agree with: Yes, people can have granddogs. Or, No, it’s physically impossible for people to have grandpets of any kind. This question is based on a bumper sticker I once saw, and I’m just trying to tell who among us is crazy. The answer will give us all the information we need.
I suppose if someone is lonely enough they could have grandpets. Why wouldn’t they just play shuffleboard or learn to ballroom dance or something?
OFM: That’s what I’m sayin. Or do volunteer work or call bingo numbers or be a mentor or something. There’s about a thousand things you could do to be more fulfilled or useful. I’m not saying you can’t love your pet or, in this case, somebody else’s pet, but grandog is just taking it a little too far.
LMW: Hell, if there are any lonely/bored Grandpetparents out there, holla at me. I’ve got some babysitting you can do, and I won’t even pay you! We all win.
OFM: Real fake grandkids right there.
7. What is your social media platform of choice? What social media or tech thingy should be wiped off the face of the earth?
I use Facebook, mostly, for social media stuff. I do occasionally check out Instagram, but then I remember I have to feed people and that I’ve been pinning stuff for 12 hours straight – it’s hard to get out of there.
OFM: Tell me about it.
LMW: One of my goals for 2015 is to get better a Twitter. I’m not a great tweeter. It intimidates me a bit. I feel like a Grandma at her first rave or something.
8. What is one pet peeve of yours that no one should ever do in your presence if they know what’s good for them?
Sweet Merciful Jesus…when I can hear people swallow I instantly feel homicidal. I don’t even like to hear myself swallow. Don’t eat or drink around me, just to be safe.
OFM: Will do, but I have to ask how do you make it through a meal at your house? I’m assuming your kids do swallow their food. Do they have to go into another room for that?
9. What is one of your hidden talents if you have one?
I’m pretty good at putting my hair in a bun. I don’t even need a mirror, and I can usually keep it bump-free. Top that.
OFM: I can’t.
10. And – this was a question on a Facebook post going around – but I find it amusing and fun so let’s do it here. What are 3 movies you’ve seen more than 3 times?
I don’t think I’ve seen a single movie more than 3 times. I can barely sit through a movie once. I have shit to do.
11. Finally, Steven Colbert: Great fake news anchor or greatest fake news anchor of all time?
Don’t make me decide between Colbert and Jon Stewart! That’s like Sophie’s Choice! So mean!
OFM: I ask the tough questions.
Bonus question, what is your favorite book or books?
Anything David Sedaris has written is my favorite. He’s golden – a national treasure.
Read more of Tara’s words on her blog, Love Morning Wood, like this little gem, Just When I Needed You Most, another one of my favorites. Of course, you can always find her on Facebook and Twitter, where she promises to be better.
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