The Blogiversary: Part One

good morning, cyberspace!

Three years ago, a girl had an idea. A stupid idea, really. More of a whim than anything else. Yet out of all the ideas that floated around her sometimes psychotic brain, she snatched this particular one out from among the throng of thousands and held it tight, refusing to let it go even as it squirmed and wriggled in her grip.

That idea was to start a blog.

What she would write for this blog, our young protagonist had absolutely no clue. (and to be perfectly honest, sometimes I’m not sure she has a clue even now.) But a blog she was determined to start, and so with a touch of determination, a dash of madness, and a brief brainstorming session with her best friend (a.k.a. her absolutely amazing mom who is the epitome of creativity), the girl created a blog–a blog more commonly known as Smudged Thoughts.

And I–in case you’re still confused–am that girl.

harry potter book GIFRead More »

20 In 2 Days

good morning, cyberspace!

I’m turning 20 in 2 days, folks.

That is . . . very bizarre for me to type. Up until this point, my entire life has been split in two: childhood and teenagerdom. “20” was the proverbial age I would someday be–the age when I would finally be doing all of the adventurous, outlandish, sometimes preposterous things that I always dreamed of doing in my younger years.

“When I’m 20 I’ll know everything.”

“When I’m 20 I’ll travel the world.”

“When I’m 20 I’ll be a published author.”

(that last one, I’ll admit, kind of stings.)

Well, now I’m turning 20, and I still feel like I know nothing. I feel like I’ve done nothing. I feel like I’ve seen nothing. There’s this great, big, impossibly wondrous world right at my fingertips, and I feel like I’ve only poked my head into one tiny crevice of it.

But the truth is, after living for almost twenty years, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned how to write books. I’ve learned how to play the ukulele. I’ve learned math and science and discovered that no matter how hard I try, I will never be good at geography. I’ve learned that fondness is fickle, but love lasts forever. I’ve learned and forgotten how to speak French. I’ve made friends. I’ve lost friends. I’ve found friends again. When I stop to think about it, I really have seen and done and experienced so much, and all of that has been within the span of 19 years and 363 days.

I used to think my life was small, that for whatever reason, it wasn’t as big and beautiful and magical as everyone else’s. I used to think there was something missing, and I spent days upon days wondering what was wrong with me–why I wasn’t on the same track as everyone else my age. Why I felt so different.

It’s taken me almost twenty years, but I’ve finally realized that while we all may be running the exact same race in the end, each and every one of our tracks is different. Some are made of concrete and skyscrapers, and others of moss and dirt. Some are paved with obstacles and fiery hoops, while others appear to be smooth sailing (even though we all know they’re most definitely not). Some have trees and some have fireflies and some are swamped in moonlight. Some of us get head starts, and others are late bloomers. Some of us travel the world and see the stars from every angle, and some of us walk barefoot on our own land, planting our favorite flowers and drinking in the sunlight before the it falls in the exact same patterns all around us as we fall asleep each night.

19–nearly 20–years have passed, and I still don’t really know who I am yet. Part of me wants to travel the world (and part of me believes that I will one day, at least to an extent), and part of me wants to stay home with my books and my bird and let the world slip away outside my window unnoticed. Part of me wants to go out in search of adventure and magic, and part of me knows that I can create those things right here where I am already.

I have two days until I turn 20–practically one, really, seeing as though I’m writing this in the evening–and I most definitely do not have everything figured out. I haven’t traveled the world (though I have been to North Carolina), and I obviously have not published a book. In two days the death of my dream to be a published teenage author will arrive, and I will wake up and smile and eat a slice of cake in its remembrance. Because right now, it doesn’t matter that I’m not published. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t traveled the world yet. It doesn’t matter that there are a million things on my bucket list that I haven’t yet managed to check off. What matters is that every day I get up and take one little step closer towards the me I want to be tomorrow.

19 years and 363 days have brought me to this exact moment. And as I sit here in this chair, staring out the sun-stained window and finally acknowledging the beautiful, slightly messy, absolutely perfect life I’ve been blessed with, I can’t help but realize how so very lucky I am, after all.


What kinds of things have you learned in all the many years you’ve been alive? Do you want to travel the world someday (are you ALREADY traveling the world?) or would you rather stay home and read books and eat cake and listen to the sound of rain pattering down your windows? IS YOUR BIRTHDAY COMING SOON??? (or has it already passed like mine? we can commiserate together and eat stale cake. it’ll be great.)  And most importantly. . .


AHA. This is because I just recently got my first ever job and am now trying to find my groove. But it’s fine. Things are finally beginning to fall into place again, so I guess this post is me reentering the blogosphere. I hope y’all didn’t miss me too awful much. (and also–if everything goes according to plan–I’ve got a fun announcement coming soon, so keep your peepers peeled for that!)

As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS!!! down in the comments below! And until next time. . .

_flings cookies in the air and disappears_

100 DAYS OF SUNLIGHT: A Smol and Soft and Summery Read

good morning, cyberspace!

Today I’m gonna tell you all about a book.

It’s a good book. A soft book. A book of sadness and happiness and a million other emotions all jumbled and stuffed between two adorable yellow covers. It’s a book that tugged at my heartstrings, a book that made me laugh, and–coincidentally–a book that was written by none other than the marvelous Abbie Emmons. (who, if you don’t know [though I’m gonna take a wild stab in the dark here and say that you PROOOOOBABLY know who she is by now] is a blogger and YouTuber–AND can apparently write absolutely fantastic novels, as well. Kind of unfair how much talent this girl has, but I digress.)

I think I should probably mention this now–since I don’t want to go to jail for forgetting to mention it or something–but I was able to receive an e-arc of Abbie’s book, 100 Days Of Sunlight, through Netgalley. (a service which I have coincidentally never before used, and therefore will probably never use again because #terrifying) This means that while I might have been able to read the ARC* of this book for free, my thoughts and opinions and feelings towards this book are COMPLETELY my own, and are in no way, shape, or form altered by the fact that A) I love Abbie’s blog and YouTube channel, and B) I got to read the book for free. Yes, there will probably be a lot of gushing and squealing and references to “MY HEART!!!!” but I mean??? How is that different from any other of my posts, am I right?

Right. So now that we’ve got all that weird legally binding stuff out of the way, let’s jump right into the actual review!Read More »

I’m Back, Peasants!

good morning, cyberspace!

Well, well, well. What have we here? ’tis I! The Kenzie Bean! Returning from a long, prosperous hiatus that may or may not have been far more exhausting than if I hadn’t taken any hiatus at all.

tired my bed GIF
^^ this is literally me. always.

Can I just point out that doing five billion things in one single month is not, as a matter of fact, a very good idea. It’s actually rather exhausting. 10/10 do not recommend.

But today is not a day for me to rant about all of the many things I’ve been trying and failing to get accomplished. Today is a day for announcing. Because hoo boy, do I have some big announcements for you all today!

Two big announcements, actually, and the one we’re starting with is the one that is most exciting for you.Read More »

The Liebster Award! // oh, look, I’m doing this tag again!

good morning, cyberspace!

Fun Fact: I’ve recently received two nominations for this tag, which means this is NOT going to be the last Liebster Award you see from me in the weeks to come. I debated just squishing both the nominations together, but like . . . yeah. I’m tired and don’t want to answer 22 questions in one go. SO WE’RE JUST GONNA DO THIS TAG TWICE, FOLKS.

On separate days.

Because #lazy.

(and i mean this also gives me a get-out-of-post free card next month when I’m in the throes of VBS and am silently dying inside as Time slips away from me like the filthy mongrel he is.)

Ahem. ANYWAY. Our nomination today comes from the ever-wonderful Kinsey from Over The Withers, and I know I say this pretty much every time I receive a tag, but seriously, guys. You should 100% check out this bean’s blog. She’s so sweet and fun and I just love her to bits, okay? So go check her out, peasants.

or I might stab you with a rusty pitchfork. just a warning.

I’d also love to give a huge shout-out to Kinsey, because A) she was super sweet and tagged me for this?? And like I ADORE tags, so this was a very happy surprise, and B) SHE ASKED SOME OF THE MOST AWESOME QUESTIONS OF EVER. Like seriously, the creativity is off the scales with this one, folks. I’m really excited to get to answering these, so we’re just gonna skip over the awkward intros and dive right in.Read More »

Songs I’ve Been Listening To Recently(ish)

good morning, cyberspace!

this is a day late. oops?

All right, all right, fine. I’ll admit it: I didn’t actually write a blog post for today yesterday.

The past week has been . . . um . . . well, it’s been something, all right. XD And it wasn’t a very good week for writing. As you can probably tell by my lack of an existence in Cyberspace lately, I really haven’t been online very much. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing, I guess. Good, because I’ve been stepping away from the screen to actually do things with people and catch some fresh air instead of sitting holed up in my room all day, but bad because I miss my friends and I miss writing ALL OF THE WORDS and I’m almost laughably behind on the blogosphere. So. Yeah. Fun times we’re having over here.

But, instead of just letting this week slip past without any sort of blog post, I decided to do something simple and fun: MUSIC!

Because everyone listens to music, right?


So today I’m going to be bringing you 5 songs that I’ve been listening to recently-ish! One of them is from my everlost playlist (thus the ish) One is from my SK playlist. Two are songs that I’ve just randomly fallen in love with recently. And one has a vocalist that could literally be a dead ringer for one of my characters (*coughpotentiallyfromEVcough*). I’ll link all of them down below (in fact, you might be able to listen to them just from this page) but I will NOT be telling you which song is which.

Because apparently we’re turning this into a game now. (I’m so nice.)

So let’s get right into it, shall we? See if you can figure out which song comes from what. . .Read More »

5 Random Lessons I’ve Learned About Writing

good morning, cyberspace!

I’ve been a writer for quite a while now, and over the course of the many years in which I’ve labeled myself with that most auspicious title, I’ve learned a thing or two. Especially within the past few years, when I’ve really started to take my writing–and my writing career–seriously.

So today I thought I would share just a couple of these little lessons and tidbits with you all! Because that sounds fun, apparently.

no it doesn’t.Read More »