Change Happens

Books are a uniquely portable magic.
– Stephen King

My last post was over a year ago. I celebrated my mother, who taught me my love of reading and my quest for lifelong learning. She showed me what love and compassion look like. She set the example for perseverance and loyalty. If I can quote myself, “Everything about me that I love, I got from her.”

I miss her. I need her.

I had a life-changing 2016.

My youngest niece (whose wedding you may remember) had a son, my great-nephew. He was born the day after my birthday. It was the best birthday present ever.

I also suffered through the end of a 13 year relationship. The end came swiftly and unexpectedly. My whole life changed.

So

I took seven months to heal, cry, learn to breathe again, and find my purpose. I’m still a work in progress but I feel like I am taking my life back.

One constant through all the changes has been books. I love to read. It is healing. It provides much-needed escapism from my overly stressful life. It helped keep me sane.

That is why I am changing the face of Kudzu and Romance. When 2016 began, I had a goal to read 200 books. I read over 400. My reading list grew like kudzu! I love words. I love how different writers use them to evoke vastly different emotions and reactions. Words can be so healing. And they can be so hurtful. And I love them all.

I have set an even higher reading goal for 2017. I want to be more present as I read those books. I want to sip them like fine wine…or sweet tea. And then I want to share and discuss them with you.

My reading list for 2017 is quite diverse. I have some old friends I want to revisit. I want to educate myself more on social issues. And I will definitely wallow in my love of all things Stephen King.

I cannot wait to go on this journey with you.

(If you did not catch the reference, Stephen King refers to his readers as “Constant Readers”. I have tried to track the origin of this phrase. I know Dorothy Parker used it. Does anyone know who said it first?)

I am currently reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

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Hello there!

WHEW!

It has been one month since my sweet niece got married! I have SO much to tell you.

But

Not today.

I was going to tell you about it. I swear.

But

I got distracted.

I have been obsessed with audio books lately. At first, I felt like I was cheating. I mean really…I can’t read my own book?

Then I heard something from one of my favorite writers: Stephen King.

Stephen King is one of my heroes. But that’s another blog.

He suggested that by listening to a book, you actually hear/read

Every. Single. Word.

Think about when you read. Do you skim over some parts? Speed read? I know I do. I’ve caught myself going back and re-reading parts because I read over it so fast, I missed important parts.

When you listen to a book, you hear/read

Every. Single. Word.

So

I’m obsessed with audio books. Love them. I’ve listened to dozens in the past year.

Right now, I am listening to On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. The great thing about this book is that it is narrated by Stephen King himself…nasally Maine accent and all.

It’s an amazing conglomeration of autobiography, how-to book and “how I did it” book. And it is fascinating.

If I could have any talent in the world, I think I would want to be a writer. I mean, a real writer.  A great novelist. Like Stephen King. I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but he certainly is mine.

And that brings me to the topic of this blog.

In On Writing, King stresses that you must have a reader in mind when you write…your Ideal Reader (IR). You write for your IR and don’t worry about everyone else.

Because

If you please your IR, you will please your audience.

What an awesome concept. Don’t try to please everyone. Just please THE one. Or ones, in my case.

I started thinking about this blog and I started thinking about who my IR is.

I realized I have several, specific Ideal Readers.

My nieces.

My sisters.

And two of my great friends. We’ll call them

Candi.

And

Cherry.

‘Cause that’s their names.

So…when I write my blog, I have six Ideal Readers in mind. I feel like if I please them, then my target audience will be pleased.

These women are smart. And funny. And supportive. And tough. And I love them all dearly.

I know I will never be the

NEXT STEPHEN KING

That’s okay. He’s the only one we need. I would like to be a better writer, though, even if it’s just for my blog.

So

My goal for the next year or so is to become a better writer…to please my Ideal Readers.

How’d I do, ladies?

Oh yeah…

I also have set a goal to write at least 500 words a day. Today, I’m at about 515.

(Tomorrow, I will fill you in on “The Big Day” or “How I survived my niece’s wedding with a little moonshine and a lot of love”.)

Who is your favorite author? Leave me a comment!

(3/600. #110 on the list.)

I’ve been busy…

Busy as a Bee

Busy as a Bee

I know!

Excuses

Excuses

Excuses

I really have been busy, but I’ve also been a little stuck with what to blog about. When you start a blog, it seems so easy.

Then

reality shows up

And

you are starting a new business

And

doing research on your new business

And

you are busy planning your niece’s wedding

And

it is so much fun!

So

I got writer’s block

And

I got distracted.

I’m sorry.

To make it up, I’m making a new goal. I am going to write a blog on all 631 topics on

Kludgy Mom

Some of them don’t apply to me. I’ll try to change them to make them appropriate for this blog and my life.

Some I will just have to skip.

I figure it will take me two years.

Do you think I can do it?

I also plan on interjecting my own ideas as my brain (and my niece) come up with them.

I am setting a goal.

GREAT!

What next?

Goal setting involves establishing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-targeted (SMART) goals.

My goal

Write at least 600 blogs on the topics listed here by May 31, 2016.

Is it

Specific?

Yes

It covers all the bases: Who (me), What (write), Where (blog), When (2 years), Why (because I can!)

Measurable?

Yes

600 blogs, two years

Achievable?

Yes

because I can!

Realistic?

Yes

that’s less than one per day

Time-targeted?

Yes

Two years

Setting goals is important.

When I began this blog, I had a “goal” of blogging daily.

But

It wasn’t written down.

It wasn’t specific.

It wasn’t SMART.

Now that I have told you all about it, I have to do it.

Right?

I can already tell my creative juices are flowing.

Thanks, y’all!