good afternoon, cyberspace!
In honor of my current leapfrog of original posts VS. tags, I decided that today would be yet another good day to do a taggish kind of post. I also realize that I’ve been doing a lot of tags lately, but it’s becoming rather apparent that first drafting a book–A.K.A. literally pulling a nonexistent story straight up out of my brain meats and smearing it across a page–requires quite a TON of inspiration and brain power. So when it finally comes time to draft a blog post, I just kind of . . . flail.
But don’t worry, guys. I’m working on some super fun blog posts as we speak!
and also I’m running out of tags to do. *weeps silently*
Anywho, the magical bean, Kinsey (<< LOOK, KINSEY! OUR NAMES ALMOST MATCH! [have I mentioned this before? I feel like I’ve mentioned this before…]) from over at Over The Withers recently tagged me for the Behind The Blogger Book tag, and since I’m far too exhausted from working on SK to even think about working on any of the multiple blog posts I’ve got cooking up in my drafts folder, I thought we’d take a stab at it!
SO! Let’s do another tag, folks!
— RULES —
- Thank the person who nominated you! . . . Thank you SO much, Kinsey!! I had an absolute blast answering these questions (yes, yes, I’m doing this out of order. XD)!
- Answer all the questions down below!
- Pingback to the creator of the tag . . . This would be Ellyn@AllonsyThornraxx, and since her name is clearly in part a Doctor Who reference, I love her already.
- Nominate 5+ bloggers who you’d like to know more about to do this tag! . . . this sounds a little bit stalkerish but okay. I promise I’m not stalking you guys. (*pulls out binoculars*)
— BEHIND THE BLOGGER BOOK TAG —
I. Why did you start blogging, and why have you kept blogging?
I honestly just love this, because it asks the question worth knowing–WHY DID YOU KEEP BLOGGING? Because clearly, if you know me at all, the fact that I’ve continued blogging for NEARLY THREE YEARS* is kind of an anomaly.
It’s a miracle, folks. Relish in the miracle that you are reading right now. RELISH IT!!!!
I honestly think the internet would much prefer it if this blog kicked the bucket but whatever. I’m here to stay, peasants.
Ahem. Moving on.
The story behind why I started my blog is a long, winding, tangent tale of discovery and heartache (*coughnotreallycough*), but to save you all the gory details, here’s the short version: I wanted a space in which to post and publish my very own short stories.
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
Do you hear that? That, my friend, is the lowly sound of a single cricket chirping.
Actually, you know what? Let’s take a poll. How many of you–by show of hands–have witnessed me posting a short story to this blog?
How many short stories or poems or any sort of fiction do you think I’ve published in the almost three years that I’ve been blogging?
HOW MANY PIECES OF FICTIONAL WORK HAVE I ACTUALLY POSTED TO THIS THING?
Because I don’t know about you, but it has been few. Basically my posts take on the forms of incoherent rambles about writing and being a writer and . . . other random stuff?
what even is this blog anymore
So. Back to the reason I started this blog. Smol Little Kenzie, who had never published a piece of fiction in her life, decided that it would be SO MUCH FUN!!! to start a blog of her very own so that she could share her short stories (that she didn’t write???) with the world. Wouldn’t that be fun????? That would be so fun.
Unfortunately for Smol Little Kenzie, however, she then discovered that Wattpad was a thing, and instead of creating a blog on which to post her
still nonexistent short stories, she decided that it would be easier and more efficient to post her first ever novella, Gretel–which was, coincidentally, inspired by a short story competition being hosted by Wattpad at the time–to Wattpad.
(Smol Little Kenzie would like to note that Gretel can still be read on Wattpad to this very day, though Current Kenzie can now be found waving her hands ferociously behind Smol Little Kenzie’s back whilst mouthing at you [she cannot scream, for that would alert Smol Little Kenzie to her position] quite ferociously that you should NOT, under any circumstance, try and find it.)
After publishing Gretel, however, Smol Little Kenzie still could not shake the desire to have a platform of her own–a place to share her thoughts on writing, to share her journey of books and storytelling with the world. Sure, Wattpad was great for easy, free publishing of short stories and novels and poetry, but there was something missing from the experience, a feeling that Smol Little Kenzie had been pushing aside for a while now, thinking she just couldn’t do the thing. . .
Smol Little Kenzie wanted a blog.
And thus–after deciding to take the plunge and brainstorming with her mom for the PERFECT ink-based blog name (thanks, mom <333)–Smudged Thoughts was born.
And though that answers the question of why Smol Little Kenzie–ahem. I—started this blog, that still doesn’t answer the question of why we’re still here today. But that can thankfully be answered by a very simple statement: I fell in love with blogging.
Before I started Smudged Thoughts, I considered myself a writer. I told myself I was a writer. I wrote things, but I never really wrote books. Before I started Smudged Thoughts, I had written one complete book, one complete short story, and one complete novella. And that’s not a whole lot to have under your belt if you’re tooting the horn of being a serious writer**.
Before Smudged Thoughts, I “wrote” things, but all the stories I started got shelved mere chapters after beginning them. I was like the Professor Calamitous of writing: I never finished anything.
But after Smudged Thoughts–once I started putting my thoughts to the page and actually committing to a schedule–it was as if something in my head finally clicked. Writing was what I wanted to do, 100%. A writer was what I wanted to be. I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to write books that set my heart on fire. And by golly, I wanted to finish them. So that’s what I did. Blogging about my works-in-progress holds me accountable. Telling Cyberspace that I’m working on a book keeps me excited. Without even knowing it, all you readers out there are unconsciously holding me accountable to my goals, and I could not be more thankful for that.
But falling in love with blogging is only one side of the coin when it comes to why I’ve stayed on the blogosphere. I’ve also made friends here. I never could have fathomed in a million years that blogging would bring me to such a wonderful, kind, Christ-centered friend group, yet somehow that is exactly what happened. Somehow I was lucky enough to get shuffled into one of the coolest writing groups known to man (even though we still don’t have a name. XD), and through that writing group, I’ve made some amazing friends who I cherish dearly.
So yeah. That’s the short story of why I started blogging and why I stayed. I’m sure absolutely none of you are snoring your eyes out right now.
*I’m kind of freaking out that I’ve almost been blogging for three years now??? I feel like we should do something to celebrate come August. . . **UNLESS, of course, you just started out and haven’t been writing for YEARS like I had been. And even if you have been seriously writing for years, if you’ve only completed one book and a handful of short stuff, THAT IS PERFECTLY OKAY!!! I just wasn’t satisfied with tossing out story after story because I kept growing bored of them, and though I claimed to be a serious writer, I . . . wasn’t really a serious writer. Ahem.
II. What is your favorite type of blog post to write?
Ooh, this one’s a toughie. There are so many types of blog posts that I love to write! I’m not sure I can pick just one. . . There are the Storytime With Kenzie!’s (which I’m sure we can all agree are some of the most famous ’round here.) character interviews, writing pep talks (I love these!!!) monthly wrap-ups. . . I just love so many kinds of posts, and I’m sure anyone who reads this blog can attest that there’s a pretty wide smattering of topics that get talked about on here. (although, admittedly, they all link back to writing in some odd way.)
One of my absolute favorite types of post to write, though, is anything dealing with Writing Craft. I don’t actually write a whole lot of these, which is a shame, but it’s mostly because I don’t feel qualified enough to write them. I mean, who am I to tell other writers how to write? Most of the information I’ve gleaned over the years has been picked up through various YouTube videos, blog posts, and writing craft books. But if there’s one thing I’d like to write more of in the future, it’s these. I guess I’ve been waiting to become more experienced, but if we’re being honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be as experienced as I want to be. So I guess I should probably just start acting like I know what I’m talking about, and then I will know what I’m talking about.
Oh! Oh! I also really love doing tags! Which you can proooobably tell by all the tags I’ve been doing lately. But there’s something just so FUN about answering questions and getting to read other bloggers’ answers to the same questions and I don’t know. It’s just fun for me.
Honestly, I could probably go on and on about all the many kinds of posts I like to write, so I’ll just stop right now while I’m ahead.
III. What are your top 3 favorite blog posts?
Okay, these questions are literally cutting into the fabric of my soul right now. HOW ON EARTH AM I SUPPOSED TO ANSWER THIS?? It’s like you’re asking me to choose between all my precious babies. I just can’t do this, okay?
. . .buuuuuuuut I guess I have to try. So here are just some of my favorite blog posts. This list could very well change tomorrow, and they are by no means my absolute top 3 favorite blog posts:
Shh. This definitely counts as one post. Stop staring at me like that.
Also, while I feel like The Day I Nearly Died was written better than the first, The $60 Skeleton Scandal still holds a very special place in my heart, and I love it most dearly. I mean, where else on the internet are you going to find a story about a pooping skeleton? Not many places, I can assure you.
. . . Beautiful Books 2016: Introducing Ever Lost . . .
So this post probably deserves a bit of an explanation. (and also can we just take a moment to admire how I used to spell Ever Lost? AHA. WHAT A LOSER I WAS.)
Anyway. Moving on.
There are multiple things about this post that rank it in the very top slots of my favorite posts. At first glance, it might seem a little weird that this is a favorite–because clearly the writing is a little stilted and past Kenzie had a tendency to sound like a rabid chipmunk drugged up on too much pixie stix–but when you look deeper, it’s easy to see why this post means so much to me.
This post–in nutshell–is the very beginnings of my precious everlost. This is the very first blog post (that I know of) that talks about this story, these characters, what the book is about. It’s an introduction into everlost’s core, and it was written well before I had even started writing the book. It’s so much fun to read through this post and find all the little pieces that have stuck throughout the story’s four drafts, and which bits got scrapped almost immediately.
(and the whole butterfly thing? yeah. those stuck. a LOT.)
Also sitting amongst the smol baby character profiles I created for Peter, Adaline, and Thao was this funny little gem >> “Anyway, I usually like to do some basic outlining and research before November. This usually includes figuring out my main characters (and some sidekicks if I’m feeling adventurous), plotting out the bare bones of the book, and basically doing any research into things that I need to know.” << and I just??? HA. HAHAHA. HA.
This is literally coming from a smol child bean who attempted NaNoWriMo ONCE in the previous year and LOST. Nice one, past Kenzie. Just pretend like you know what you’re talking about. I’m sure your ignorance isn’t as plain as the eyebrows on your face.
. . . Villain School 101 — The One About Cliches . . .
This post originally started out as the first in a series of blog posts about villains, but–unfortunately–it was a series I never finished. Because having only finished two books (this was after everlost, for those still trying to keep track of things) I didn’t feel like I was experienced enough to give other writers advice on writing villains. But even though the series remains unfinished to this day, I still REALLY enjoyed how this post turned out, and I had an absolute blast writing it. It’s posts like these that I’d love to make more of someday–someday, I hope, in the very near future.
— RUNNER’S UP —
Some runner’s up for this question include my VBS post from last year, the Project Inspire tag, and all the many character interviews I’ve done over the years. Honestly, I love way too many of the posts I’ve written for this blog. It’s kind of awkward.
IV. What are some of your favorite things to do to relax?
I’m kind of quoting half of Kinsey’s answer over here, but I REALLY love reading, writing, watercolor painting/crafting, and playing my ukulele, Watson.
Although writing can sometimes be stressful, I’ve also found that stepping away from the project I’m supposed to be working on (*coughSKcough*) and writing something completely off-the-wall and different has this almost cathartic effect, and it really helps me unwind from a stressful day.
As for watercolor painting and crafting, I basically enjoy anything that lets me make a huge mess in the name of art. I’m a naturally messy person (I know. shocking.) but allowing myself to embrace the chaos and create something out of it? It’s just a very happy experience, my friends. And also sometimes more stress-INDUCING than stress-relieving and relaxing, but I digress.
V. What are your three favorite things?
Oddly enough, this question isn’t near as difficult as I thought it would be. My three favorite things are my family, my bird, books–both writing and reading them–colors, mismatching socks, blogging, cookies, music, singing, BBC’s Sherlock and Doctor Who, not following the rules on blog tags. . .
VI. What are your proudest blogging moments?
Okay, now this question is difficult. I’m not sure exactly what my proudest moments are, but I think one of the times that I felt SUPER proud was the very first time I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Smol Little Kenzie had no clue that this was basically a tag, and felt very special and honored to have received such a prominent acknowledgement.
She then received the award like fifty-billion times after that, which kind of nailed in the fact that it was more of a tag than anything else, but still. It was fun to feel special for just a little bit.
(^^ also, FUN FACT: this was the very first tag that I was ever tagged to do, so that was probably where all the excitement came from. . .)
Another really proud moment (that later turned into my biggest blogging disappointment) was when I was asked by NaNoWriMo to write a blog post for Camp in July of 2017. I was so beyond excited for that post, and though the whole thing backfired into my face like a busted exhaust pipe, I’m still really honored to have gotten the chance to write for an organization that I love and want to support.
I’m also still very bitter, but whatever.
VII. What are your hobbies outside of blogging?
UHHHHHHHHHHHHH. DOES WRITING BOOKS COUNT?
I’m pretty sure writing books does not count.
Okay, so a few of these were already mentioned earlier, but some of my hobbies that have literally nothing to do with blogging or writing are: reading, playing my ukulele and violin, watercolor painting, knitting, and stabbing small men with pitchforks.
That last one’s a very time consuming hobby, tbh.
VIII. Describe your personality in three words!
I’m noticing a theme of threes here. . .
All right! My personality in three words. Here we go:
Chaotic, creative, quirky. << that’s me in a nutshell, folks.
IX. What are your top three pet peeves?
*squints at the abundance of threes*
Okay, so I know for a fact that I have many pet peeves, but now that I’m supposed to list them, my brain is conveniently drawing a blank.
Well, let’s see what we can randomly come up with here. . .
- When I work REALLY. HARD. to paint my nails a pretty color, wait approximately 30 years for them to dry (and even stick them in a bowl of ice water/a freezer to HELP them dry) and then, in a split second of pure accidental neglect, I gently swipe a finger across the tip of one of my nails with all the delicacy of an angel’s garlic-scented breath and my fingerprint SmUdGeS aLl OvEr My NaIl !!!!! << I hate this. I HATE it. It’s annoying, and I am peeved.
- When a book has a super interesting premise–and I mean, a REALLY interesting premise. Like it promises the most original and ingenious idea of EVER–but then decides to throw that entire premise onto the backburner so that it can dissolve into a ROMANCE. Like. . .? No!!! Give me this super cool premise you promised me on the back cover with a side of romance, but DON’T YOU DARE IGNORE THE WHOLE POINT OF THE NOVEL FOR A ROMANCE. NO. DON’T DO IT. (I can think of two books right off the bat that did this, but for the sake of reigning in my bitter self, I shall remain silent on the subject.)
- When I sharpen a pencil and the entire tip of now-sharpened lead decides to fall out instead. << okay so you can probably tell I’m really grasping at straws here, but COME ON. THIS ONE IS SO ANNOYING, GUYS. DON’T EVEN TRY TO DENY IT.
- OOH. OOH. Or how about when you’re trying to open a brand new package of computer paper, and you’re just sitting there clawing at the plastic like a rabid wildabeast because it JUST. WON’T. OPEN !!!!!
- Or how about those bags that claim to have a perforated rip top, and you rip it off only to find out that the bag STILL isn’t open so you have to go grab scissors instead?
- OR HOW ABOUT WHEN YOU BUY A BRAND NEW BOOK AND THE STORE SLAPPED A STICKER ON THE FRONT COVER FOR NO APPARENT REASON OTHER THAN THEY WANTED TO SEE YOU CRY AND YOU TRY TO PEEL IT OFF ONLY TO HAVE IT RIP AND PEEL AND LEAVE A STICKY GOO ON THE COVER OF YOUR PRECIOUS BOOK BABY AND I JUST??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
. . .
Okay. So apparently I do have some pet peeves. Moving on.
EDIT FROM FUTURE KENZIE: Oh my goodness. Guys. I completely forgot my absolute WORST pet peeve.
I cannot–and I mean CANNOT–stand it when people spell my name wrong. I know it’s stupid, and I know it’s probably really selfish to think that someone’s going to get your name right every single time, but like. . .??? MY NAME IS NOT MacKenzie. OR McKenzie. I AM NOT A MCDONALD’S HAPPY MEAL, PEOPLE!!!!! (<< although in all fairness, I only seethe inwardly when people get my name wrong. I’m far too worried they’ll hate me for correcting them to verbally express this to their face. XD)
All right. Now we’re moving on.
X. What’s something your followers don’t know about you?
Just the fact that this question implies that I have followers is very disturbing.
*stares at you awkwardly* . . .hi.
SO. Something you guys don’t know about me. Get ready to have your minds blown, my
I really really really really really really really REALLY hate Root Beer.
I know. You can throw your rusted pitchforks at me if you’d like.
See, I think this deep-seeded hatred roots back to the day I went with my siblings and our neighbors to go see a movie up town. I got popcorn and a root beer (at the time I apparently drank the stuff? who knows.) and there was this GIANT BLOCK of ice in the bottom of my cup that made it impossible to put my straw in, so I just kept ramming my straw into the ice chunk until my straw broke through both the ice and the Styrofoam bottom of the cup. I, as well as my poor green coat which was stuffed haphazardly on the floor beside me, was then drenched in the foul smelling liquid, and then I had to spend the rest of that movie smelling like root beer and seething anger.
So yes. Root beer = disgusting, and I am most definitely not sorry. I’ve also developed an unnatural talent for smelling the stuff from a mile away, so apparently I’m like a superhero or something now? I think I need an alias.
— TAG! YOU’RE IT! —
All right! Time to tag some of you peeps! For this most prestigious tag, I’m gonna be tagging. . .
- literally anyone else who wants to do this tag!
As always, if your name doesn’t pop up on this list, but you really wanna take a shot at this tag, go right ahead and do it anyway! You have my full permission, and I’ll even leave some eye-patches by the door for you.
See? Being a pirate is super easy, guys.
TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!
And that was the Behind The Blogger Book Tag, folks! Thank you SO MUCH for tagging me, Kinsey! I always have a lot of fun doing tags like this, and I cannot thank you enough for thinking of me. <333
In other news, seeing as though I don’t have many more tags up my sleeve, this is probably going to be my last tag post for a while. I know. It’s horrible.
But anyway, let’s get to the questions, shall we?: Are you a blogger? And if so, why–and when!–did you decide to start blogging? What made you stay? Do you have a favorite blog post that you’ve written? (leave a link to it down in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out!) If you had three words to describe your personality, what would they be? and most importantly. . .
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE??
(please tell me I’m not alone in the whole opening computer paper thing. I’m not weird, I swear.)
As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS! down in the comments below! And until next time. . .