good morning, cyberspace!
So. . .I think there’s something we need to discuss, you guys.
Last week — as I’m sure you can all remember — I splatted your faces with some very interesting news.
I — the Smudgiest Thought, the Bean of All Beans, The Kenzie — am getting married.
Aha. Hahahahaha. HaHAhaHAhahahAHAHAHAHAhahahahAHAHA.
Nope. Not anymore, peasants. The Kenzie is officially single as a pringle.
And why am I as single as a pringle, you might ask?
. . .because I killed him.
Oops. . .?
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Okay okay okay. So I didn’t actually kill my betrothed.
I’m not that
skilled with a pitchfork yet heartless.
The truth is. . .I kind of sort of lied about being engaged to Steve?
Aha. Yeah. . . *insert awkward laughter here*
In all actuality, Steve never even existed in the first place. He’s a fake, guys. A fraud. A figment of my imagination. I’ve never been engaged in my life, and after this little stunt, well. . .let’s just say that this fact is not all that surprising. . .
But I have a VERY GOOD REASON FOR HAVING DONE THIS, YOU GUYS, I SWEAR. I’m not completely mental. I didn’t blatantly lie to all of your faces without reason.
However, before I dive straight into the “what’s” and “why’s” and “why on earth did you tell us you were getting engaged to an imaginary person’s” of this whole mess, I think there are some things you guys should. . .um. . .be made aware of when it comes to my precious Steve. . .
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
ACTUAL FACTS ABOUT STEVE (that are kind of embarrassing but okay.)
THING ONE . . . He’s Fake
Aha. Hahahaha. Oops?
THING TWO . . . He Was Designed After Steve From Blue’s Clues
The snail mail. . .the dog named blue. . .the fact that he’s obsessed with stripes. . .
I am seriously upset that no one actually caught the references, to be honest. I mean, all of the clues* were there, you guys. Seriously, now. Does no one here watch Blue’s Clues anymore?
. . .I definitely don’t watch Blue’s Clues anymore, what are you talking about.
(also I’d just like to give my mom a giant round of applause, here, because she was AMAZINGLY helpful in creating Steve. we brainstormed who I should marry over breakfast last February, and somehow we landed on Steve and yeah. that was the mere beginnings of my glorious relationship with my darling non-husband. and also my mom is super creative like what even.)
*HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! CLUES!!!!! DO YOU GET IT??? DO YOU GET IT?????????? . . .please tell me someone got it. . .
THING THREE . . . The Ring He Got Me Doesn’t Even Fit???
To anyone wondering why I wasn’t wearing the engagement ring in the photos I posted last week. . .IT IS BECAUSE THE RING DOESN’T ACTUALLY FIT, OKAY? Truth be told, I have sausage fingers, which means most rings typically do not fit me. However, you would think that my fictional fiancé would have taken this into account and had actually GOTTEN ME A RING THAT FIT.
This is a pain I shall never forgive him for. Curse you, Steve.
THING FOUR . . .
He’s Currently Rotting In The Trunk of My Car
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
All right. Now that we have the whole Steve Is A Fraud thing cleared up (and you hopefully haven’t stabbed your pitchforks through the screen yet. . .) I believe it’s time I told you guys the reason behind why he even had to exist in the first place.
After all, if I’ve never been engaged in my entire life, and Steve doesn’t even exist, why on earth would I write an entire post on how I was getting married? Why — in the name of all that is good and wonderful — would I spend an entire afternoon writing out a giant
lie fictional tale about how I met my non-existent future husband at a crummy little park covered in snow and ice?
Why on earth would I lie to all of your faces and string you along for an ENTIRE WEEK, pretending to be engaged when in all actuality I am more single than those sad little cookie packets that only hold four cookies?
The answer, my friends — as always — is because of a little thing called NaNoWriMo.
*initiate intense confusion*
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
THE EXPLANATION. . . a.k.a. why I decided to fake my own engagement for a solid week
oh yes that doesn’t sound extremely weird at ALL.
Okay, peasants. It’s time for me to come clean.
12 months ago — right around this very time of the year — I made an extremely horrible decision.
I decided, in my entirely deluded and naïve state of mind, that for the first time in my life, I wanted to be a NaNoWriMo Rebel. Not just any old NaNo Rebel, of course. Oh no. I wanted to rebel against everything humanity stands for and create a game for all the other NaNoers on the blogosphere to participate in, as well.
Because a rebellion is SO much more fun with friends, obviously.
So instead of hiding myself away in my smol little cave where naught but the bats and goatherders could find me, I decided to try and bring everyone on the blogosphere together — regardless of whether they were rebelling or going the traditional route — through the one thing every mortal writer can literally never resist.
It was a rebellious game, my friends. A game of wit and luck and chance. A game full of twists and turns and possibly a few severed eyeballs along the way.
A game fondly dubbed The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad.
And thus, in 2017, a small
yet considerably larger than I had initially expected group of bloggers joined up for the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad. The rules were simple — your monthly goal could be literally anything, from writing the typical 50k, to finishing your current WIP, to rewriting your entire manuscript in a single month. (that last one was my goal and lolololol it was probably the biggest fail I’ve ever had. excluding March Hare Madness, of course. #neveragain)
However, because I am nothing if not extremely cruel and sometimes sort of brilliant, there was a bit of a twist to the typical “let’s spend an entire month writing together!” ordeal of the NaNo: every single person who signed up to participate in the Dare Squad had to send in a carefully cultivated dare of their choosing. These dares could range from anything between letting a sibling/friend you ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY DID NOT want in control of your blog write a post for you, to writing a short story with very specific details you MUST include, to drawing and/or describing your dream crush, to. . .oh, you know. . .announcing your fake engagement to the whole of cyberspace*.
Each dare was then compiled anonymously onto a Dare Board, complete with a number attached to it to make for easy randomization.
At the end of November, all of the “dead” participants — a.k.a those who didn’t quite reach their monthly writing goal — were then forced to roll a pair of dice to decide which dare they were allotted, and then — once all the dares were tallied up in the comments and everyone had their assigned form of torment — . . .they had to perform the dare on their blog.
Ah yes, my friends. That was the entire point of the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad — to embarrass yourself in front of the entirety of Cyberspace.
And I’m sure that at this point you can all guess exactly what happened to me during the month of November last year. . .
I failed my goal quite miserably.
And, as if to add salt to the proverbial wound, the dice I later rolled had the audacity to land on a seven.
A. SEVEN. Which, as any previous Dare Squadian would know, was the absolute worst dare possible to receive.
And for those of you currently scratching your heads and wondering — “Wait. . . What was Dare Number Seven???” — please allow me to enlighten you. . .
DARE NUMBER SEVEN — Thou Must Pretend To Have Become Engaged And Announce This Engagement On Thine Blog For All The World To See And Thou Shalt Not Delete The Post Or Admit To It’s Being False For At Least A Week Or I Shall Roast You. The end. — Submitted By Kate Marie
I surely hope things are beginning to click for you guys now.
As you can see, I was quite literally forced to tell you guys that I was getting engaged. And not only that, but I couldn’t even tell you all that it was fake for a WEEK.
Thus the reason I am posting this particular post today. Rather than having told you guys it was all a big hoax last week.
Now, to all those who had absolutely no clue that the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad even existed, I feel like I owe you guys an extremely big apology. Some of you posted such sweet and amazing comments and I just??? It broke my heart responding to them, because I’M NOT ACTUALLY GETTING MARRIED AND I FELT HORRIBLE. (which is why I kind of tried to evade the entire topic. aha.
PLEASE FORGIVE ME I AM SO SORRY)
And to those of you who knew about the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad and forgot. . .you guys literally made this whole experience like 500 times better, oh my word. Like, I was hoping that by posting this so long after the Dare Squad actually took place you would all forget, but like. . .I wasn’t actually expecting you to. And while I feel absolutely horrible that you guys forgot (and even worse when I got some majorly excited messages from a couple of you). . .I’M STILL KIND OF LAUGHING AT THE WHOLE THING, I’M SO SORRY PLEASE FORGIVE ME. (I know you two know who I’m talking about, too, so just know that I love you and please don’t hate me because it was so hilarious. . . [and to the one who called me a brat. . .unfortunately you are very correct. XD XD XD ])
And to those of you who knew all along what I was doing with last week’s post and yet didn’t give anything away in your comments, I would just like to say that I literally have no clue who you guys are. You did such a marvelous job concealing the fact that you knew I was making the whole thing up as I went along that I honestly can’t tell who was in on the joke, and who was completely baffled. So if you’re one of the peeps who knew what was going on the minute you opened up the post, I would greatly appreciate it if you mentioned it down in the comments, because OH MY WORD you guys are fantastic at keeping a secret.
And lastly, to my grandmother. . .I am so very sorry you believed the whole thing was real and had to call me to clarify. I can personally assure you that if I ever do get engaged (this actually will never happen, but I mean? maybe there’s hope.
[there isn’t any hope, guys]), you will most definitely hear it from my face, and not from some severely sketchy blog post.
So yes. To everyone I hoodwinked, to everyone I confused, to everyone who thought I’ve been disguising the fact that I was getting engaged for a whopping nine months. . .I am very sorry, and it
probably will never happen again.
However, I cannot actually promise you this because. . .well. . .as the title of this smudge proudly proclaims. . .
THE NANOWRIMO DARE SQUAD IS RETURNING FOR 2018, PEASANTS!!!
*initiate everyone who decided not to abandon me to my lying misery letting loose a resounding OHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh. . .
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Now that you’ve seen the absolute horrors that this game can create, I think it’s pretty obvious that you’re just dying to participate this year, am I right?
*is trying very hard to pretend like I haven’t been lying to you all for a solid week*
Of course I’m right. I’m always right, Joe.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to re-launch the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad again this year. I just have so much on my plate for the upcoming months, and I really didn’t want to stack on yet another blog thing that would ultimately fail.
But after writing up my engagement to Steve, and after reading through some of the old Dare Squad posts and seeing all of the comments and laughter and boards full of dares, I just. . .The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad has to return, guys. It just has to.
It was too much fun not to do again.
And this year, I’m hoping to get even more people on board than before. So while I don’t have all of the details worked up for Season Two quite yet (I still need to work out a few kinks in the blog graphics and boards, and also some of the plot twists) I can promise you that there will be a post chock-full of ALL OF THE DARE SQUAD THINGS waiting for you next week.
However, since I want to try and recruit some of you even before that post goes up, here’s a little extra info as to why you should join me for a crazy month of writing and embarrassment next month. . .
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
WHY SHOULD YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE NANOWRIMO DARE SQUAD?
Reason One . . . It’s Fun!
OBVIOUSLY. I mean, did you even read what I wrote last week? That was so much fun, guys. So much fun.
It wasn’t embarrassing or weird in any way whatsoever. Absolutely not.
Such fun. Much wow.
But in all seriousness, guys, last November was one of the most fun NaNo months I’ve ever had, and I’m pretty sure it had absolutely everything to do with the fact that I got to spend NaNoWriMo with you guys. I have never before in my life seen a random group of strangers band together so beautifully. All I have to do is read through the comment sections of last year’s Dare Squad posts and I’ll immediately be filled with the warm fuzzies, because it was like we had our own little writing community just writing and growing together. Everyone was replying to other participants’ comments. We were talking and laughing and just having an overall amazing time, and I will never forget that for the rest of my life.
And also I mean the dare I got was quite literally the most embarrassing one available so I mean? You might even get a special dose of humility out of it, too!
And who doesn’t want to be publicly shamed and humiliated for all to see? I know I sure do.
Reason Two . . . Freedom to NaNo How You Want to NaNo
Okay, so I know that technically you can do this already, and that technically there’s an entire forum right on the NaNo site devoted to rebels coming together to take down the societal norms of writing 50k in 30 days, but like. . .? WOULDN’T IT BE SO MUCH FUN TO PLAY A SUPER EMBARRASSING GAME WITH THE REST OF THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY WHILST YOU REBEL DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER?
And obviously you don’t have to be a rebel to participate. I’m going to be striving for the typical 50k myself this year. But if you find yourself looking at this November and thinking — “Man. I wish I could participate, but I just don’t think I have the time to write 50,000 words in 30 days…” — or — “Man. I wish I could participate, but I’d rather write a biography on my great great great great great great grandfather’s pet hippopotamus instead of a fictional tale…” — then I am here to tell you that this is perfectly okay.
You can literally write whatever it is you’d like to write during November, and you can still join in on the daring fun. As long as you’ve got a solid goal you’d like to complete by the end of the month, you’re good.
And finally. . .
Reason Three . . . Motivation and Commitment to Finish Your Goals
Unfortunately, as I’m sure anyone from last year’s Dare Squad can attest, winning NaNoWriMo DEFINITELY does not guarantee you 100% safety against the power of the dares.
HOWEVER. Knowing that you’re absolutely, positively, 100% going to have to announce your fake engagement to the whole of
time and space cyberspace if you don’t complete your goal by the end of the month is — dare I say it — an extremely powerful motivator.
And also I mean it’s super fun to watch everyone else squirm against having to do a particularly uncomfortable dare.
Like me. Everyone was laughing at me, guys.
But anyway. Joining in on the Dare Squad not only means you’re going to have a bunch of other friendly writers cheering you on whilst secretly hoping you’ll fail (unless it’s just me and you who join. then it’s going to be a friendly writer cheering you on whilst secretly hoping you fail), but it also means you’ll be committing yourself to writing this novel not just to your own lonesome self, but to an entire BLOGOSPHERE of writers, as well.
And there’s really no greater inspiration to keep yourself writing when the days get tough than to have an entire army of
pitchforked madmen writers at your back and a looming promise of a very embarrassing dare staring you in the face lest you fail.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
All right. So now that I’ve provided you with some exceedingly tempting incentive to join (as I mentioned before, there will be more information on the who’s and what’s and how’s of the whole game next week), you’re probably curious as to how to join.
Because unfortunately that is something that I have failed to cover in this giant blog post filled with plot twists and lies and the fact that I just murdered my future husband. Aha.
sheesh being engaged is hard work. . .
However, today is your lucky day, my friend, because signing up for the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad is about as easy as slapping butter on a biscuit!
unless you’re very particular about your butter to biscuit ratio? because I mean there are people out there and I don’t want to exclude anyone, of course.
But seriously. It’s really easy. All it takes is four simple steps. . .
STEP ONE . . . Decide on what your NaNoWriMo Goal is going to be for the month of November
Whether it’s writing a journal entry or a poem every single day, tapping out the normal 50k, or penning that tale about how a hippopotamus saved your life, your goal can be literally anything you want it to be.
As long as it’s writerly related, of course. That’s kind of the whole point, anyway.
STEP TWO . . . Come up with a writerly dare that can be performed on a mortal man’s blog
This is probably the most confusing and difficult step (there was a bit of confusion last year, but I’m pretty sure it’s just because I explain things so poorly. aha.) so I’m going to give you guys some examples as to what on earth I’m talking about here.
Examples of Writerly Dares That Will Be Accepted Include, But Are DEFINITELY NOT Limited To. . .
- Write a short story that includes a lawyer with a peg leg, a parrot named Sally, and three apricots that may or may not be poisonous.
- Write a poem using the words “apple”, “cranberry”, and “pumpkin pie” in every single line.
- The dared being must write a sappy ode of adoration about said being’s least favorite food — Submitted by Gail in 2017
- Publish at least one chapter (or section) of the most embarrassing novel you’ve ever written — Submitted by Kirsten in 2017
Examples of Writerly Dares That Cannot Be Accepted Include, But Are Also Not Limited To. . .
- Read the absolute WEIRDEST book you can possibly find at your local library
- Run a 500 mile marathon
(is that even possible…..)
- Fling 15 cookies at your neighbor’s face and then run away screaming with limbs flapping akimbo
Now, the reason why the above examples I’ve just given you are technically considered “bad” is because every single one of them is absolutely impossible to document on a blog. And that’s basically the whole point of the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad. You want the person you’re daring to suffer through having to post something relatively embarrassing to their blog.
And while the second two dares I listed up there are essentially able to be caught on camera, not every participant is going to be willing to post a video of themselves onto the great and terrible cyberspace for all to see.
However. Let’s take a closer look at that first bad example, shall we? While it is technically “impossible” to document the fact that you read a severely weird book from your library on your blog, what if we changed the core of the dare just a little bit? What if we could switch it up a bit and make it into something embarrassing to do on your blog? Something a little along the lines of —
- Read the absolute WEIRDEST book you can possibly find at your local library and write a raving five star review about it entirely in Pig Latin
Now that, my friend, is an acceptable dare. Not only are you giving the person you’re unwittingly daring something fun to do — read a really weird book from the library — but you’re also making it an experience that they can document for all of posterity on their blogs!
So in conclusion, when you’re trying to create your dare, think of it along the lines of, “is this something that can be documented in words? And if not, how can I make it documented in words?”
I know, I know. It’s really confusing. Hopefully I’ll find a better way of explaining it by next Tuesday. Aha.
Anyhoo, let’s move onto Step Three, shall we?
STEP THREE . . . Fill out the form below!
And there you have it, folks! You’re all done. It’s as easy as Snap, Crackle, Pop — BUTTERED BISCUITS. After you fill out the form and send it in, you should receive an email very shortly that verifies I’ve received your dare and goal and will have it all ready to go by the time the Dare Squad boards are created.
If you don’t receive an email from me stating I’ve received your form (and probably squealing over your dare, mind you) within a couple days, please feel free to send another form, or just pop on over to the Suggestion Desk and fill out the contact form over there to ask me if I’m still alive. Hopefully the answer will be yes, but I mean ??? you never know in this day and age.
But anyway, that’s pretty much all I have to say about the Dare Squad for right now! If you’re still seriously confused about the whole thing, or just have any questions in general about the whole ordeal, please please PLEASE feel free to shoot me an email (follow the link to the Suggestion Desk) and ask me any and all questions about the NaNo Dare Squad! If I get a ton of questions because everyone’s super confused, I’ll probably do a FAQ in Tuesday’s blog post — which will hopefully have even more information concerning the rules and whatnot — to try and clear some stuff up. But until then, I think this is about all I can say.
So there you go, folks! The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad has officially returned!
Are YOU up for the challenge?
TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!
Whoo. That post was a whirlwind. First we discovered that I am basically a pathological liar bent on destroying my own future with lies about how I’m engaged to my future not-husband, and then we found out that this was all a giant hoax concocted by none other than The Kate, and then, to slam-dunk the finishing cherry on top — I word-vomited on all of you about how you should totally join me next month for an intense month of writing and plot twists so that you can potentially be forced to announce your fake engagement, as well.
So yeah. Let’s hear from you guys now, shall we? I’m sure you have. . .um. . .a lot to say to me. Here are some questions to get your ranting started. . .
Are you going to hate me forever because I lied about getting engaged to the non-extistent Steve? Did you laugh? Did you cry? ARE YOU GOING TO MURDER ME IN MY SLEEP??? (Kate made me do it, you guys, I swear. . .) What do you think of the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad? Does it look like fun? Does it look terrifying? (the correct answer is obviously that it looks terrifying. but in a fun and interactive way, of course! *sweats nervously*) Are you participating in The NaNo this year, and if so, are you going traditional, or are you going to rebel against society and write a memoir about a hippo? (also can you please send me this memoir because I need. . .) Are you going to join the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad? (please say yes because I will be very lonely next month if you don’t. aha. #guilttrip) and most importantly. . . . . .
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA PLEASE DON’T BE MAD ABOUT STEVE. . .
As always, until next time. . .
*flings cookies at your face and disappears before you can throw pitchforks at me for murdering Steve*