good morning, Cyberspace,
and welcome back to yet another episode of Kenzie Waits Until Monday To Write Her Weekly Blog Post! WOOT WOOT!
You’d think that after nearly two years of blogging I’d figure out that there are actually seven days of a typical week, and therefore I could potentially utilize some of those days for blogging. But no. Nope, I prefer waiting until the very last minute, because apparently I’m still holding out hope that Armageddon is nigh and the world will spontaneously implode before Tuesday morning.
So here I am again, trying to figure out what to write for tomorrow’s post, and all I can think about is the fact that I should really be working on my novel. Because I love my novel. And I want to be a full-time novelist, not a full-time blogger,
(although admittedly that would be kinda fun? if only I didn’t have a thousand and one story ideas bubbling in my brain…) which means that, in order to achieve that ultimate goal, I actually need to work on my novel.
I know, right? WHO WOULDA THUNK.
But alas, it is true. And so in order to chunk out some time for me to spend in the world of everlost today (yesterday? I’m writing this on Monday, so….?), I’m going to be doing a simple post this week. A happy little post. A post about life.
Or rather, a post about MY life. Because my life is totally cool and hip and not at all boring.
So even though I loathe writing update posts (pretty sure we’ve been over this about ten times already…) there are some Things that have happened/will happen that I kind of want to talk to you guys about. So.
Here we go again.
Let’s Talk About Life, Yeah?
Thing One. . .Blogging
This particular Thing is kind of what sparked the idea for today’s smudge. Blogging. I love blogging. I am never going to quit blogging. I have made so many friends through blogging, and when asked what one of my absolute favorite ideas has been over the course of my smol existence, I will look you straight in the face holes and say, “BLOGGING.”
However, with that being said, Smudged Thoughts is going to be celebrating its two year anniversary* in August, which means that A) there shall hopefully be a giveaway, maybe???, and B) I’m beginning to grow restless. Not with blogging, of course, but with the look of my blog. And also with some of the content.
Let me explain.
Design. . . I love the happy cookies. They are my favorite. I shall keep the cookies on Smudged Thoughts forever. However, I kind of want to change the theme template of my blog. I’m not exactly sure which one I’m going to choose yet (or if I’m even going to change it), but I’d really like to give this blog a bit of a revamp — add a color scheme, some new designs, possibly a chibi caricature created by Yours Truly of me and Durachi and my pitchfork. . . You know. The things that’ll really make this blog POP. (consequentially, this sort of ties in with one of my blogging resolutions for this year? so A++ work there, Kenzie.)
Content. . . I’m sure we can all agree that Smudged Thoughts is a writing blog. Writing is my life, so therefore it only makes sense that all I ever talk about is, of course, writing. This shall never change. But alongside all the writing posts and tags and random things, I really want to start including some new features, as well. Such as the Villain School 101 series! I know I’ve only posted one of these so far, but I really enjoyed it, and am definitely going to be doing more of these in the future. Villain School, Hero School, Sidekick School. . .the possibilities are endless here, guys. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know everything there is to know about the writing craft –and in most cases, I probably know less than your average writer — but after really submerging myself in my writing over the past few years, I feel like I have discovered a few highly regurgitated tips and tricks that I could share with Cyberspace.
But the Villain School isn’t the only thing I want to start doing more of. The whole reason I started a blog is because I wanted a platform where I could share pieces of my writing, such as short stories and whatnot. (of course, I then discovered the totally not-popular thing known as Wattpad, but whatever. I know what I’m doing, here.) But even after I created this blog, I never actually did that. I guess it’s because after I wrote Gretel, I never really had a good short story idea that made me want to drop everything and write it. But now (thanks to some friends who shall go unnamed [y’all know who you are.]), I got an idea. A brilliant idea. A glorious idea. An idea so scrumptious and filled with death that you will have no choice but to gobble it up.
I call it. . .The Little Bookshop of Whimsy.
And here is the blurb!
There were six of us. We don’t know how we got here. We don’t remember anything from before. None of us remember. . .except for Carl.
Carl knew things. He said we were brought here. He said we were chosen. He said things were about to happen. Bad things. But none of us knew what he was talking about. None of us listened. And now it’s too late. We can’t ask him what to do. We can’t ask him why he never let us touch the books. We can’t ask him anything.
Because now Carl’s dead.
This blurb is, of course, still under development, but you get the basic idea. I haven’t begun outlining The Little Bookshop of Whimsy quite yet, but I’m hoping to get the first chapter up in August. (i’m still working full-time on EV, which means that for right now, all other story ideas, short and long, are on hold.) I’m super excited about this, though, because it’s been FOREVER since I’ve actually written a short story, and I’m confident that if I keep to a monthly posting schedule, I’ll be able to whip out both this short and a new novel at the same time. Hopefully.
Especially since both projects have the same sort of feel to them. (if i end up going with the Goblin King, that is…. aha. #help)
(*And I know that this is a very smol age for a blog, buT STILL. THIS IS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR ME, PEASANTS)
• • • • •
Thing Two. . .Writing
This kind of ties in with what I mentioned earlier about working full-time on everlost, but. . .I’m still working on everlost.
See, back when I actually finished the second draft, I did something really stupid. I sent it off to my betas without even reading through it in its entirety.
Now, this might not seem like the dumbest thing I could have done, but IT WAS STILL SEVERELY DUMB, OKAY?? My alpha (hi, mom! *waves*) is finding SOOOOOOOOOO many flaws with this book. AND DON’T GET ME WRONG!!! I love the fact that she’s found issues with it! This is a very, very good thing! This means that I can improve the story. This means that I have goals and standards and that when I’m done, this book is going to be so much better than it was initially. But if I had simply read through the book before sending it, some of the typos and glaring flaws could have been eradicated before she started reading.
But alas. I did not do this.
And, because I am a complete and utter nincompoop, I sort of did something even more stupid after she started giving me feedback.
I began fixing it. Immediately. And that, my friends, was literally the absolute worst thing I could ever have done.
To all you peeps out there planning on giving your stories out to betas, I 10/10 do NOT recommend doing what I’m doing. At all. Hold on to your sanity. Let the betas read the book in peace. Let them give you ALL OF THE CRITIQUES. And then — once you’ve gained about thirty years and are much wiser than I — then you can go back in and edit. It is going to be so much less painful than what I’m doing, I swear.
So yes. I’m still working on everlost, and in all honesty, I’m really okay with this. I love this story. I don’t want it to be just good; I want it to be the absolute best book it can possibly be. And the critiques I’m getting are helping me build towards that. This whole beta thing, while it is a GIANT learning curve for me (i’m still trying to figure out how to send chapters out on time??? aha. #failing), is severely helpful to the editing process. I can already see vast improvements in the core of the story — improvements that I would never have been able to pinpoint on my own.
But even though my primary focus is still on everlost for the time being, I’m still letting some new story ideas boil in the back of my mind. I’ve got two full-length novels in particular that are vying for my attention right now, and while I know that I probably won’t get to either of them for quite a while, I’m not sure which one I should work on first when that time comes.
The first is a story that is oddly close to my heart. It’s about creepy drawings and a lonely artist and a bird and an alternate universe and disturbing creatures of the mind.
The second is less personal, but still super fun, because it’s about (SPOILERS) and (SPOILERS) and SUPERHEROES. And who doesn’t like a good superheros story, am I right???
But as to which one of these I should write next. . .? I be clueless.
Also I won Camp NaNoWriMo! Which is great. Except I forgot to validate my hour count by the end of April 30th, which meant I had to send a desperate plea of help to the official NaNoWriMo people, so that was embarrassing.
BUT STILL I WON NANOWRIMO!!! WOOOOOOT! Next time I’m going to use the month of March to actually prepare for the month of insane writing, instead of having two insane months of writing in a row. . .
• • • • •
Thing Three. . .Reading
I pretty much wrote literally nothing all of last week. Why? I have no idea. I think I just kind of had a brain crash and needed a week of inhaling creative content in order to continue producing it. Which means that I read.
Well, I tried to read a lot. I really did. But in all honesty, I only completed one book. But HOLY GUACAMOLE that was a good book. And it was called —
. . .Entwined by Heather Dixon. . .
I’m not going to write a full-fledged review for it here, because this is just supposed to be a bit of an update post on what I’m working on and why I haven’t exactly been the best at blogging over the past couple weeks, but this book definitely deserved a mention.
I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. What with working on everlost pretty much nonstop (excluding last week, of course), and eating all of the cookies in between, I haven’t had much time for reading. And what little time I have put towards reading has been less than satisfactory. Books just haven’t been holding my attention lately.
But this book. . . This book was different.
I had no clue when starting out that this was a fairytale retelling, (i didn’t know there was even such a thing as The Twelve Dancing Princesses???), but even before I discovered this little nugget of happiness, I was completely hooked. This book was twisty and slightly creepy and beautiful and enchanting, and the characters!!! ASDFGHJKL THE CHARACTERS!! I absolutely loved Bramble. She is me. I am Bramble. I need a name change because I AM LITERALLY THE BRAMBLE, GUYS.
And also I loved Lord Teddie. Because he reminds me of Lord McDougal from The Peleg Chronicles. (who just so happens to be one of my ultimate favorite characters of all time. no biggie.)
But anyway. If you haven’t read this book yet. . .read it. Read it right now. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
(unless, you know. . .you don’t like fairytale retellings? and fun characters who make you laugh? and dancing??? and if that is the case, wow, how did you even find my blog, sir?)
Some other books I started, but didn’t finish due to #reasons were. . .
. . .Squashed by Joan Bauer. . .
I’m not sure why I didn’t finish this one. It’s a relatively short book, and I’m sure I could probably finish it in one day if I tried, but the writing felt a little. . .off to me? I don’t know. I loved the premise of it, though, so I might go back and try to finish it before my library loan ends?
. . .and. . .
. . .When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. . .
This was actually a super cute book in the beginning!!! I fell in love with the characters and the plot immediately and was super excited to keep reading, but then some “things” happen later on and uhm. . .yeah. I probably won’t go back and finish this one. You know. Just because.
. . .
Buuuuuut anyway. Secondly on my Readerly News — I WON AN ARC FOR A BOOK?????
I am so excited guys!!!! I’ve never won an arc before. I’ve never had an arc before. This is the first and probably also the last because I am a lame cucumber but ASDFGHJKL I WON AN ARC!!!! And not only does the story itself sound absolutely AMAZING, but the cover of this book is pure enchantment. LOOK AT THIS COVER, PEASANTS. LOOK AT IT.
My jaw literally dropped the first time I saw this, guys. I’m not even joking. I am SO beyond excited to read this, and also SO beyond grateful to the author for the arc!!! ACK!!!! (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, EMILY!!!!!)
Crowning Heaven actually comes out tomorrow, so you can probably guess what I’m going to be binge-ing tonight instead of sleeping. AHA.
(and also there will be a full review for this story once I finish it, so keep your eyes peeled for that! [like literally peeled. get a grape peeler and peel those eyeballs, guys.] I’m so excited to devour this book, you have no idea…)
• • • • •
And That’s Basically It. . .
That’s pretty much it for the major highlights of what’s been going on/what’s about to happen here on Smudged Thoughts, but, as always, I do have some honorable mentions that deserve a few fractured beams of spotlight. . .
- I’m currently learning how to drive in the city, and have officially received two birds and one mugshot by some crazy driver lady who thought I turned too slow at an intersection
- I’m absolutely loving the warmer weather and am quite possibly a sunflower because I keep pointing my face directly at the sun and am therefore now blind
- I’m playing the violin again! #fun And also I want to finish learning Roundtable Rival by Lindsey Stirling by August. Because that would be nice. . .
- I knit my mom a Jack Skellington for Mother’s Day and it actually looks like Voldemort. . .?
- WE PLANTED A TREE!!!! His name is Norman Bruce and he is a Norway Spruce and also the cutest tree in the whole entire world (but I don’t have any pictures yet because I’m actually an armless cucumber)
- Also we have this outdoor cat named Turtle and she recently had kittens and THEY ARE THE CUTEST LITTLE FLUFFS OF EVER ASDFGHJKL! (one is named Bilbo. there is a reason for this, but I feel like it would take too long to explain, so you shall just have to be content knowing we named a kitten Bilbo.)
And that’s pretty much everything! Or rather, that’s all I can think of right off the bat, so that’s what we’re gonna be rolling with.
And also I’m tired of writing this update post. So.
I’m such a great blogger, wow.
talk to me, peasants!
And that’s all I’ve got for today, folks! Once again, this is sort of a random, spontaneous kind of post, but there were some things I wanted to shoot by you before making any strange changes to Smudged Thoughts, so. . .? I think we can call this a success!
*insert awkward silence*
But anyway, let’s get to the questions, shall we? (yes. yes, we shall.)
What have you been up to for the past couple weeks? Have you written anything awesome? What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year? Do you enjoy fairytale retellings? Are you excited for some possible renovations to Smudged Thoughts, or does the idea of change send you curdling up into the fetal position in a lonely corner whilst sucking on your thumb? What book do you think I should work on next? Make sure to vote for Superheroes or The Goblin King down in the comments below! And also let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS. Because that’s pretty fun, too. XD
As always, until next time. . .
*flings cookies in the air and disappears*