An Underwhelming Announcement

So over the last four or five years, I’ve had A LOT OF THOUGHTS as far as writing a book is concerned.

And of all those many thoughts, my most recurring one has been this: I don’t really have an imagination, and I’ve never had an idea for a book, so I’m pretty sure that book-writing is outside my wheelhouse.

Only I probably didn’t use the word “wheelhouse.” Because as far as I know that previous paragraph is the first time I’ve ever used it.

Anyway, writing fiction has never been a remote possibility for me since 1) the aforementioned lack-of-imagination thing and 2) just thinking about it makes me tired. I can barely keep up with the real people in my real life; quite frankly I’m just not that interested in creating some imaginary people and then being responsible for what happens to them. THAT IS A LOT OF WORK, Y’ALL.


About a year and a half ago I started writing every now and again for HomeLife magazine, and I found that I really enjoyed the longer essay format. Now granted, I still go way over the suggested article length EVERY SINGLE TIME, but it’s been fun – and I think it’s been good for me to stretch a little bit beyond the bloggy stuff that I typically post here.

(Because make no mistake: my usual brand of bloggy nonsense? IT IS MY COMFORT ZONE.)

(It’s ALL UP IN MY WHEELHOUSE, if you will.)

(And yes, that’s totally going to become my new favorite word.)

It was last summer, I guess, when I was cleaning my kitchen and minding my own business and OUT OF NOWHERE a book title popped in my head. I thought the title was sort of funny, so I told Melanie about it the next time we talked, and then we laughed about the fact that it was a shame to have a perfectly good title and no book to go with it. Then, a few months later, another title popped in my head. And then, a couple of months after that, Alex said something on the way to church one night that struck me as SO PROFOUND – and I thought Gosh, that would make a really neat book title.

But I still hadn’t had a single idea for a book. I couldn’t help but think that the whole random-thinking-of-book-titles thing was a little weird, so I started praying about WHAT, WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN back in January.

As a Christian I’ve wrestled a little bit about what kind of book I’d write if I ever, you know, wrote one. Since I don’t write devotional-y / Bible study stuff, I’ve always felt like there’s not really a place for me as far as books go. I mean, I don’t really have any perspective to offer anybody. I don’t have a lot of insight into the book of Habbakuk. I’ve never come up with any modern-day analogies that shed new light on the sinful heart of man. I don’t have any business trying to tell people how to be a better wife / be a more patient mama / run a more organized household / trim your grocery budget to $200 a month.

(I mean, I don’t know if you’ve picked up on this, but I’m just a little bit of a trainwreck.)

(In fact, I don’t have a system or a process for anything, really – except maybe for how to get some bacon off of a plate and INTO MY MOUTH.)

But back in February, through the combination of some prayer and a very odd scenario that involved about 15 or 20 birds walking down my driveway (oh, I am not kidding), I got a very loud and clear reminder that every once in awhile people just need to hear a cheerful voice. That reminder encouraged me more than I can tell you. And about a month ago – a couple of nights before the storms hit, in fact – one of those crazy, random book titles popped in my head. Within all of two minutes, I thought, Well, I believe there might be something I could do with that.

So I am.

This is not gonna be some big, major, official book-type production. AT ALL. I’m going to do an ebook – for several reasons. The first is that the prospect of writing a book proposal and query letters and all that stuff completely overwhelms me. Down the road I might not feel that way – but right now? YES. I feel that way. The second is that I would have to crawl under my bed and breathe into a paper sack if I thought any sort of self-promotion was going to be required of me (but I totally understand why self-promotion is necessary when you have a publisher and a contract and sales projections and all that – it’s part of the business).

The third is that there are some Deeply Southern stories that I’ve wanted to tell but haven’t because nobody really wants to read a 4,000-word blog post. The fourth is that I’ve never had a dream of seeing my name on a book cover – but the process of starting and FINISHING something longer than a blog post is very appealing to me. And the fifth is that – well, I don’t really have a fifth. But let’s all pretend that I do. And also smile.

I’ve been going back and forth about mentioning any of this on the blog, but when Melanie and I were talking about it the other day, she said, “I think you should say something – for accountability if nothing else.”

Oh, but she knows me well. As my favorite English professor Dr. Dazey used to say: “Sophie, you are a person who NEEDS A DEADLINE.”

So there you have it. An ebook in the works – for what it’s worth. I’m hoping to finish the first round of the writing part by the end of July, so feel free to bombard me with indignant emails if I don’t. And in the meantime, I’ll be keeping you posted.

Have a great Memorial Day, y’all.

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  1. That’s wonderful…good for you! God have obviously given you a gift; can’t wait to see the results.

  2. Christy says:

    OH I CAN HARDLY WAIT!!!!! I’m anticipating lots of exclamation points and ALL CAPS :)

    Have a great weekend yourself.

  3. All I can say is: YAY!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to read it! (and for what its worth, I’d read a 4000 word blog post – if it was from you – it’d be a rip-snortin’ laugh fest!) You go girl! :)
    Amy in Austin, TX

  4. Good for you! We’ll keep you accountable. ;)

    A slap happy Erma Bombeck maybe? I don’t know why that came into my head. Sorry.

  5. Well, I just can’t tell you how happy that makes me. It does, really.

    You have a way about you, Sophie, you do.

    And I hope if I call you by your real name you don’t take offense.

  6. It’s totally in my wheelhouse to read a 4,000 word blog-post :-) Reading an e-book by you will be fabulous. I’m so pleased for you – and for us, your readers. God bless!

  7. Now this is good news!! Can’t wait to read it!

  8. Boomama! I can’t wait! Your blog makes me smile and laugh out loud pretty much everytime I read it. Your book is going to be amazing! But not just because of how well you write, but because you are being obedient. I’m praying for you and can’t wait!

  9. Yay! Can’t wait to read your happy writing!

  10. Stephanie says:

    Go, Sophie, go!

  11. I think that format is perfect for you. And, I ‘d happily read and roar and let my heart soften under it all… if you essays were 40, 000 words. Tell the stories that should be, maybe even, must be told.

    You are, in the fine southern tradition, and I may say calling, a Story- Teller. Tell the stories, BooMama. Gather them up with your heart and hands and I believe God will bring His breath.


  12. The Skeletons – they’s a-comin’ OUT!
    Let me know if you need a quote.

  13. Jeannie says:

    I can’t wait! Your humility and funny sense of humor goes a long way with me! Sign me up for an e-copy!!

  14. In a world filled with hurt, destruction, pain and unfunny things, a story or two (or 100) that makes us smile is so welcomed. I always choose a movie or book that lifts me up, that encourages. You, Sophie, have the gift of encouragement. I don’t know you, but I can tell in your writing. Being honest about your experiences in such a crazy, delightful way makes me smile; and, I suspect, makes lots of others smile too. So best wishes, and I can’t wait to read it!

  15. I. CANNOT. WAIT. I am just giddy.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I can’t wait to read it!

  17. I think this is awesome!

    Yes, we all need to hear a hear a cheerful voice from time to time. And I totally heard yours, or at least your voice as I hear it in my head, when my husband walked in yesterday afternoon with a full case of that Oscar Mayer pre-cooked bacon. TWENTY FOUR BOXES OF BACON! I die!

  18. Your Martha stories alone would be an incredible book! :) Can’t wait to read whatever you write! And I hope somewhere more on the 15-20 birds walking down your driveway will turn up.

  19. Yay!! I am so excited! Frankly, I know I am not the only one who wishes I could hear more than just a daily blog post of your take on life. So I can’t wait!

  20. OH MY! I am so excited! Well, don’t work too hard om Memorial Day weekend. Before you get started, you might want to take a break:)

  21. Kristi (Upside) Brown says:

    you KNOW this makes jump up and down and do my happy dance in the name of Soph, the e-book writer!!! Our conversations a couple of years back were seeds for you…SEEDS. And you know I can’t resist at this moment saying, “walk on fertile ground”, girl….To Walk on Fertile Ground! Go forth and write. You have a whole world waiting to be fed from your garden! Cheering you on all the way.

  22. Angie W. says:

    Sophie, a cheerful voice is EXACTLY why I read your blog. I love a good laugh and knowledge that my craziness isn’t the only crazy out there while I’m in the middle of small childrenville. I don’t even own a TV (I know, HOW do we survive?!) but I love keeping up with AI thru you and your commenters. I easily can take life too seriously, demanding perfection of myself and others. You are a God-given reminder to me to see joy and humor in life’s happenings. Don’t underrated the worth of that! Can’t wait to read whatever you are led to write. And I hope there’s some Martha in it! :)

  23. Thank you so much for posting this and detailing your struggle with making the decision! It’s exactly what I needed to hear, and lends a little perspective to what’s going on in my world. So, regardless of how it all turns out, I’m taking some joy and happiness (and a slight kick in the pants for myself) out of just your decision to start and open yourself up to the possibility.

  24. I’m right there with you, sista. Or should I say, write. I’m committed to writing a novel before my 50th birthday (next May). Can’t wait to see what fun we’re going to have!

  25. Shannon Wilson says:

    I found your blog about 6 months ago. Since then, I have managed to read the whole thing! I think it’s THAT GOOD! I just finished reading all of it on Wednesday, and i celebrated my feat with Popeye’s chicken, since it has been referenced about 42,000 times on your blog. It was delicious, by the way. ;)
    Until today, I’ll admit I’ve been a lurker. But after reading this post, I had to comment and let you know that I just CLAPPED MY HANDS in front of my computer because I have been saying to myself for the last 6 months, “She needs to write a book”. I’m so excited for you!
    And since you’re coming to my fabulous city next month for Deeper Still, I’d be happy to take you to our Popeye’s and Steinmart(s) to celebrate. I will be praying for you as you are on this new journey in life!

  26. I think that’s great. I know I’d read it.

  27. [XOXO]

    Writing an ebook is totally in my smokehouse as well. I just need a title! Something to write about! Maybe I will go look out my window for a collection of birds.

  28. I am so excited! I can not wait to read your book. I laughed out loud to the point of tears from the BooCast. I’ll be praying God will guide you every step of the way along this process.

  29. That’s amazing, Sophie! I know you probably think your silly blog is not a big deal, but you’ve impacted me. I see how kind and funny and positive you are and it makes me strive to be a little more joyful. You love your boy with a passion that I can only hope my children feel from me. I’m proud to “know” you and I can’t wait to read.

  30. I, for one, am excited! Can’t wait to read the ebook! Good luck and happy writing =).

  31. Oh, I am so excited. Can’t wait to read the title! HURRY, HURRY!!

  32. big mama.


    you know. just wondering.


  33. Trish Kittrell says:

    I am over the moon happy for you and your readers as you begin to spin your delightful southern stories in e-book form! I will definitely be one of your readers as you make me smile, laugh out loud, and cry tears from laughing so hard as you share your precious self with us.

  34. I’m literally DYING!


  35. That’s wonderful, Sophie! I can’t wait to read your deeply southern stories. I am so tickled!

  36. OMW. How exciting???? Can’t wait to get it! :)

  37. Oh, I’m so excited! You, my dear, are the Southern Erma Bombeck if there ever was one!

  38. Love the idea of you writing a fun Southern book. Hoping you include some fun Southern sayings, like, “Just between you, me, and a fence post” and “This ain’t my first rodeo!”

    And on the subject of book titles…some years ago a friend of mine had a great idea for a book title: “If Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus, Who Are All These Guys From Uranus?” I was single at the time and laughed my head off. Truth be told, I’m still laughing.

  39. GOOD FOR YOU!!!! As much as I enjoy reading your blog, reading your ebook will be wonderful!! Can’t wait to read it.

  40. yay! Congrats for you – and I cant wait to read it! :-)

  41. Rutheee says:

    Sublime!!!!! At first I just wrote “Sublime.” But if anything calls for additional unnecessary punctuation it is this wonderful announcement!

  42. Shannon says:

    I am so very excited!! I was listening to your podcast the other day and when it finished I searched my ipod for any other podcasts and ended up listening to 3 BigBoo podcasts in a row during the course of my day! They made me smile and also want to try SunChips in all their various flavors. The idea of having a book that I could actually read with that same type of fun happy real life tone just makes me happier than I can say. Thank you for writing your blog, for doing the podcasts, and for just being you. You’re great!

  43. Can’t wait to read it!

  44. So proud of you!
    Perhaps you can teach us fine midwesterners exact procedures for southern home-training just in case one of our little girls is in the top 3 for AI someday. I don’t want anybody to say she was not home-trained. How completely mortifying! I make them say “ma’am” & “sir” and “ms.” and “mr.” but I feel this is not sufficient.

    Can you do a whole chapter on dips too please? I haven’t had a dry cracker since I got off diapers, so my palette awaits some new recipes.

    Love ya!

  45. Oh, I am SO excited! I cannot get me enough BooMama writing! Shoot, I don’t think I can wait ’til July! Maybe I will start right away hounding you in June just to keep your accountable and get that book done for my reading pleasure. Or maybe even May? ;-)

  46. YESSSSS!!!! I CAN NOT WAIT to read it. I don’t care what it is, you make me smile and laugh and I love to read your stuff. Consider this your first request for a signed copy of the book. If you know, it was printed and all. Have fun writing!

  47. SOOO cool, Sophie-girl! Can’t wait to read it.. and I completely understand the deadline thing. I need them, too, even if they do stress me out immensely.
    Don’t forget us when you’re all famous and e’rythang. ;)

  48. I am OVERJOYED for you! This is a great first step and I cannot wait to buy your book because I know I will laugh my head off. (Bounce, Bounce.)

  49. Denice says:

    That’s awesome! I can’t wait to read your stories!

  50. BooMama~I am so excited! I love a good Southern story. We have so many stories to tell and I can’t wait to read yours. I have always loved your Martha stories and she alone could fill a whole book!

  51. ANDREA says:


  52. ANDREA says:


  53. ANDREA says:


  54. Tater and Tot says:

    I cannot even begin to tell you how stinkin’ excited I am. Can.Not.Wait.

  55. I can’t think of another book I would rather read. Your sense of humor inspires me & makes me laugh out loud. That makes me so happy in life, to laugh out loud!!
    Write on, my friend! It will be a hoot & I can’t wait!

  56. Hooray!! Good for you… and I’m so glad to hear you commit where we can all nag at you. I look forward to reading it!

  57. Brittany says:

    You are one of my favorite storytellers EVER! Cannot wait to read! Such good news to make me smile on a babies-not-sleeping and lots-of-housework-that’s-not-getting-done kind of day! :)

  58. kelli @ living in grace says:

    I do not know if you will even see my little comment in the midst of the other 784 encouraging ones that I on sure you will get here …. but!

    I am proud of you.
    You have been a huge point of Happy Voice in my Head for the last 5 years or so, so I know you have it in you to be that for others.

    There, that is all I have to say :)

  59. I’ll buy it!! I love your style of writing & hope you’ll add some Martha stories!!

  60. Mary Lou says:

    Can;t wait to read it..or them, which ever the case may be and girl friend you do have a way with words…you really do.

  61. yay Sophie! i can’t wait!! so exciting!

  62. Started reading this post and got big ol’ goosebumps at just the mere thought of a book written by you.

    Kept reading and got all teary with joy and delight at how you are so clearly following the talent that God has given you for chronicling all things southern.

    Seriously, the southern, I can’t get enough when it’s from your perspective. It resonates deep and true with this Carolina girl. Put you on a TV set with Paula Deen and might heart might explode from the sheer overload of joy at all the Y’ALL and BUTTER and OH MY WORD.

    I love it and I’ll be waiting with bated breath to hear more!!

  63. Jammie says:

    You are absolutely right about people just sometimes needing to hear a cheerful word. You are very gifted in that way and I am so glad you are going to do this! Best wishes and good thoughts coming your way.

  64. oooooh ! I am so happy to hear this ! I will have to go to the Stein-Marts, and find a kicky new outfit to wear when I read this book ! Cannot wait !!!
    I had a chapter published in a book a few years ago, and I can tell you, there is nothing like that feeling when you see your words in a real honest-to-goodness book.
    So happy for you and yours !!!

  65. And the people said AMEN!

  66. I am thrilled for you and encouraging you all the way! I have long loved your blog, and I love when “my Boo Mama” is in Home Life. :-) Prayed write now for your faithfulness and diligence as you head down the path of His calling.

  67. Can not wait!! Because your southern stories are my favorite and I cannot wait for 4000 word one!!!

  68. GOOD FOR YOU! And for us! I love that you said ‘every once in a while people need to hear a cheerful voice.’ Oh yes they do! I can’t wait.
    I love that you shared this – for the accountability. That’s a lot of accountability!! Because you’ve got so many of us who are now waiting eagerly for your ebook!

  69. Now THAT makes me smile!! YIPPEE!!

  70. Karen Hokanson says:

    I love your blog! I will TOTALLY read your book! How does one go about purchasing an e-book. I don’t have a Kindle thing. Anyway, I’m sure that’s all to come. Good luck – I think you have a lot of interesting/funny (hilarious really) things to say. So, hmmm. . . .a bunch of birds walking down your driveway. God does have a a sense of humor!

    Karen in CA

  71. Yea! Can’t wait to read it! You go! You can do it!

  72. Oh, I need a cheery word now. Write a four thousand word blog post whenever you are so inclined! I will be waiting to get your ebook!

    I am excited about one more thing, and since you live there, I’ll share. It’s a little more than a month until I’ll be making a month long visit to the ‘ham and other beloved Alabama and Florida destinations! The kiddles and I are beside ourselves with anticipation to see family and friends that we haven’t seen in ten months. I also can’t wait to eat some Southern cookin’ made by mom and aunts and cousins, and Cracker Barrell, and Nikki’s West……
    I guess you get the idea. Oh, yeah, and some real sweet tea!

  73. This makes me so happy….you just have not idea. Mostly because I can’t read ficition. I try, but it’s usually so, um, NOT REAL, that I feel like I’m wasting my time. I end up reading books written by preachers because I want what they talk about, but the reality is, often I have to put those books down because they just get too deep sometimes. Something in between, straight from the South with Boomama’s name on it is the kind of thing that would make me not want to miss a single one in the series. Yes, the series. Happy, happy, happy for you!!!

  74. Andi Hunter says:

    This is fabulous news! FAB-O-LOUS! Yay you! Love your way with words & your sense of humor & your humility. & Southern stories melt my texan heart. now that my 16 month old can actually occupy himself occasionally for 5 minutes or so I may be able to read a bit more often.

    formerly the Weevilmaw

  75. Oh, good gracious! I have never been so excited about an upcoming ebook before!!! Yay!

  76. Jennifer says:

    Often during my studies at State I would begin writing a research paper only after I had come up with what I thought was a good title. Then I’d start building the bulk of the paper based on a whole lot of nothing but my random ideas, and then I’d put together a thesis statement that worked with all of it. And they almost always turned out well. Who is to question the process? I think yours is a perfect one. (I’m eager to hear what those birds said to you.)

    If it makes you feel any less crazy, I have about five book titles in my pocket as well. I actually once told Jim, “If I ever get cancer, I already have a title for my book!” Sometimes I think God gives us those book titles as little directives to where our hearts would like to go as we grow up. I look forward to actually being the person who writes these books I’ve imagined. Of course, I obviously don’t want to get cancer, so maybe I should tear that one up. But you get the idea.

    Godspeed, Sophie!

  77. Well it’s about time :)
    You SO have books in you to be written and I for one can not wait to hear more than a wonderful blog post from you sweet southern girl!
    I would love to be a pre-reader if you need one.

  78. Well if that isn’t just DANDY, I don’t know what is!!!!

  79. JustBetty says:

    I am thrilled!

  80. Yaay!! : )

  81. JustBetty says:

    After mailing your blog posts to my Mama for months, I finally broke down and bought her a Presto printer. She likes your posts hot off the press – and
    the long distance interrogation was getting to me.
    [Yes ma’m, I mailed it. On Tuesday. Yes ma’m, before the 5:15 pick-up.]

    So, you’ve decided on an ebook.
    Guess we’ll be ‘running some cable’ and buying an iPad.
    [Write slowly, friend!]

  82. Kelly in Carrollton says:

    yes, yes, yes!!! we NEED this book, and we need it from YOU! sophie, you are dearly loved, and treasured most of all for your real-ness. thank you for answering the call, thank you in advance for this labor of love. i can not WAIT!!!!! woohoo!!!!!!

  83. Kelly in Carrollton says:

    ps…………. come on, make it a “real” book, and make it available on KINDLE, too!! : )

  84. Can’t WAIT to read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Seriously.

  85. SO. EXCITING. How happy we all are for you! Can’t wait to read it. Please forgive the probably obvious answer, but what is the difference between an ebook and a book? Length? That it’s online? Is it for like a Kindle or Nook? (I’m not all up in the know on these types of things) Also, I emailed you about Brook Hills (I’m going to Samford in the fall) a few months ago but I think I sent it to the wrong address! Could you tell me what your email is?

  86. I love everything on your blog. Whenever I need something to cheer me up I call to mind your story about making the cape for your little boy. It still makes me smile.

  87. That’s wonderful!!!! And I love Sister’s comment about the skeletons coming out!! I am sure there will be names made up to protect the innocent…..haha. Let me know if you need any MS names for anononimity….

  88. That’s great news! What an exciting adventure to take yourself on!

    I understand the idea of liking the challenge. You are smart to format it in a way that works for you, but still is something much more than your usual “wheelhouse.” I didn’t even know that word existed until now.

    I blog and write articles for newspapers so that I can challenge myself and there is extreme gratification in trying to accomplish something that makes me feel a little squirrelly. (Probably just mis-spelled that, but you get the idea.)

    Way to go and good luck! Can’t wait to read it!

  89. Deborah says:

    “A cheerful heart is good medicine” Proverbs 17:22
    Your stories already make me laugh! They are good medicine!

  90. Write on, Sophie. Write on. (Pardon, just could not help myself.)

  91. Write on, Sophie. Write on!

  92. Sophie–

    It’s the reason I come to your blog after several years of reading: because every day needs a little smiling, laughter, and happy- and undoubtedly, you bring that. I love your writing style, and I love that we get to enjoy the beautiful person you are through reading your words- it feels like a gift :) Please write a book, and- enjoy the beautiful, wonderful process of writing it. The world is blessed by Sophie, and your mark on it makes it better :) Blessings :)

  93. Sophie, I think it’s awesome that you are stepping out of your comfort zone with this work in the making. I’m looking forward to it. I love to write. I want to write. Yet, like you, fiction just seems like, well, NO. Just no. I love writing and want to write more but a book is INTIMIDATING. And I’m not, you know, a published writer. I’ve struggled for the past three years in the blog area. LOVE it. VERY much. But I’ve had things the Lord’s placed on my heart and I have really struggled with some of them. I’ve stepped out {well, at least once. ;) } and now I’m in the waiting room of the Lord.

    Anyway, that was rambling. But I’m so excited for you and I’m looking forward to this upcoming ebook.

    And I agree–people need a place to stop by and feel encouraged, have a laugh or twenty. I get that here. :)

  94. Boomama…………..have you missed the point that there are a GREAT MANY of your regular readers who have been waiting Quite Some Time for a 4000 word blog post about Southern Living ????
    My daughter has just married a man from Carolina (not sure if that counts) and as i am English I need all the info you can provide.

    I want a book !!!! with a hardcover !!! Don’t any publishers read your blog ?????

  95. JustBetty says:


    [ack! hope my typos didn’t make you twitch.]

  96. Well, look at this! I hope your wheelhouse runneth over with great encouragement. Because, SOPHIE! This is not underwhelming AT ALL. I am thrilled and grinning and elated at the thought of getting to read longer pieces from you.

    Also, this:

    1) I love the long essay format, too. I think it’s my favorite to read and definitely favorite to write.
    2) Self-promotion = hyperventilating under the bed = yes, totally.
    3) Totally get the need for the 5th (!) point.

    Congrats and mazel tov and best wishes and all GOOD THINGS to you as you work. Can’t wait!

  97. Wonderful! Just wonderful! The whole thing. And I totally love how 24 birds confirmed this is God’ good pleasure. YEA!

  98. Katherine says:

    i cannot wait for this!! It is just delightful to think about!! Many blessings to you as you climb this wordy mountain – you can DO IT!!! (We will love it – I’m positive)

  99. Yay! I could not be more excited! Please dontunderestimate the need for a little cheeriness in writing, especially amongst the Christian crowd!

  100. I am sure it will be great. A cheerful voice can go a long way and we can all enjoy a good story:)