Posted in The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad: Week Three – Questions, Questions, Questions. . .

Happy Tuesday, Cyberspace!

Today is the 21st of November, which means that we only have another 9 days left to write.

. . .

Okay, so I honestly had not realized just how deep into November we were until this very moment, so please give me about 0.2 minutes to inwardly melt into a pile of burning terror.

. . . 0.2 Minutes Later . . .

And we’re back.

Now, since I’ve actually been keeping relatively up-to-date on all of your lovely comments in the past week, I’ve noticed a few little trends in the threads of progress when it comes to your NaNoWriMo stories:

Some of you, being the writing masters that you are, have already smashed and conquered your NaNoWriMo Goals.

Some of you haven’t quite hit your goals, but are right on track with where you need to be to fling yourself face-first into that finish line on November 30th.

And a handful of you — like me — are currently smiling through your tears whilst failing miserably.

But no matter which boat you happen to be paddling in — whether it is safely docked on the shoreline, or slowly sinking to the depths because of the thousands of holes you’ve accidentally punctured into the wooden beams — you are doing fantastically, my friend.

You’ve written words this month. You’ve developed characters, created worlds, and have begun the journey that most people have only dreamed of beginning.

You took your idea, and you made it a reality.

Sure, this newfound reality of yours might be a tiny bit sloppy and shredded at the moment, but it is yours. And that, dear beans, is all that matters.

Now, as some of you might recall, this past Sunday was the day when I swung back the golden curtains and revealed all of the deliciously terrifying dares that you — the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad — created. And despite every single fantasy I had of everyone screaming in terror and fleeing into the darkness. . .you guys actually liked them.

Like really, really liked them.

In fact, it got to the point where those who have already won NaNoWriMo were suddenly saddened by the thought that they would not be able to do a dare at the end of the month.

And to that I must say–

Hahahaha…haha…hahahahahahaha…

You obviously do not know which blog you are currently reading, sir.

Ah, yes, my dear friends. The fun is far from over, for I — the Great and Powerful Kenzie — sense a foul wind a-blowing from the East, bringing with it yet another delightful night-beastie known as. . .the Kenzie-Twist. . .

. . . a twist so foul, so deadly, so garish that it just might actually be fun.

“And what could this twist possibly be?” you might ask, nibbling on your stubbly fingernails in fear.

Well, now. What would be the fun in telling you that, sir? I would much rather sit here in devious silence and watch you squirm and squeal and question everything you’ve ever known whilst debating what possible travesties could potentially await you on November 30th.

And thus, I am wisely keeping my lips sealed on the matter.

However, as I am not entirely a ruthless villain, I can tell you one tiny piece of information regarding this glorious Kenzie-Twist:

. . . only those who have failed are safe . . .

And with that delightful bit of info rattling around in your ears, let us switch gears entirely and jump straight into the pep-talk that I know you’ve all been waiting for!!

So without any further ado, welcome one and all to yet another episode of —



Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!

If you ever feel like a failure, just remember this. . .

. . .

. . .you’ve probably failed at something.

. . .

. . .

. . .

This has been . . .

Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!



Now, I know you’ve all been dying to figure out which terrifyingly fun dare was sent in by each participant, but I think I might hold onto that information for just a teensy, tiny little bit longer.

if, of course, I don’t get trampled by an angry mob beforehand.

Honestly, I just feel like announcing who gave out which dare two days after revealing the anonymous list is just too soon.

It ruins the mystery, see?

And y’all know how much I love a good mystery.

or, you know. . .being the only one who knows the answers to said mystery.

So all of that information shalt be revealed next week, when NaNoWriMo comes to a victorious (and possibly rather bitter) end.

feel free to punch me in the face for being so cryptic.

But before you potentially knock out all of my teeth, allow me to personally assure you that each and every one of your questions will be answered in nine days’ time. In nine days, I shall name names and throw dice and reveal the terrible twist that is coming by the Easterly Wind.

In nine days, our NaNoWriMo journey shall be over.

In nine days, our fingers will stop typing and our pencils will stop writing.

In nine days, we shall meet The End.



 

talk to me, peasants!

Yes, yes, I am aware that this post literally did nothing to alleviate the mass confusion that has swarmed around your confuzzled brains, and has instead added even more confusion to the mix.

HOWEVER! You are excited, yes? The mystery and intrigue is much too great to ignore. Exciting things are happening, and no one — not even the victors — are safe.

But enough of that for now. How has Week Three of NaNo been treating you? Are you still alive, or did you lose your brain somewhere off in Week Two? sidenote: if you happen to find my brain flopping around along the beaten-down path of Week Two, I’d really appreciate it if you could send it back. possibly with a package of cookies. thanks. Have the words been coming like magic to your numb fingertips, or have you been stuffing your face with candy whilst hoping for the inspiration bunny to strike? Whatever your week has been like, let us discuss ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below!

As for me, I’m currently writing this blog post instead of writing my story, so please forgive me if this smudge is a little bit slapped together. I’m at an extremely fun part in the outline, and I am SUPER excited to get back to writing it.

So yeah. That’s all I’ve got to say. Here’s hoping to a beautiful and productive Week Four!

As always —

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

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Posted in The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad – THE DARES ARE REVEALED, MWAHAHAHAHAHA — HACK!

Good morning, Cyberspace, and welcome to —

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad DARE REVEAL!

I am literally so excited to share these dares with you guys.

For 19 days we have written like mad, squandered away our time on a story that we will probably look back upon in 300 days and wonder what in the world we were thinking, created characters and worlds with the mere tapping of our bloody fingertips and the scratching of our scrawny pencils, possibly died, squashed the iron shackles of twitter and Pinterest and YouTube that constantly wrap their scraggly arms around us like the chains of procrastination and certain death (hahahahahahaha well maybe next year).

In short, we have done the impossible:

We have done the NaNo. Continue reading “The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad – THE DARES ARE REVEALED, MWAHAHAHAHAHA — HACK!”

Posted in The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad, Uncategorized

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad – Week Two: The Revival

Good morning afternoon? evening? I don’t even know anymore because I’m writing this at 10:22 on Monday night, Cyberspace, and welcome to the end of NaNoWriMo, Week Two!

Last week, if you remember correctly, I asked you all a very important question. A question so deep and intricate that it probably blew your fragile little brain meats.

I asked if u were ded.

And the reason I asked this was — naturally — because I, myself, was ded.

and if you are not currently aware, ded is the new writerly slang for dead. obviously. (GET WITH THE TIMES, CHILLINS)

To be perfectly honest with all of you, I’m pretty sure I was dead by the fourth day of NaNoWriMo. I leapt into the month with the mindset that every. single. waking. minute. of every. single. November. day. I was going to be writing. And when I wasn’t writing, I would be working on Christmas presents. And when I wasn’t doing that, I would be writing some more.

With a little bit of extra writing on the side, naturally.

And somehow, in all of the excitement and anticipation and thrill of the month, I completely forgot about the one thing that every single person needs.

Rest.

That’s right, folks. I am apparently not a cyborg, because by day four (or whatever day it was [I can’t even remember the first week of NaNo, guys. {#help}]) I was completely and utterly burnt out. My creative well was dry, my mind was a foggy blur of stories and butterflies and possibly a hallucination or two, and I really just did not feel well. At all.

I’m not sure if you guys have ever suffered from writing burnout before, but I can tell you right now that it is draining, crippling, and honestly just makes you feel like a wadded up potato for about a week straight.

Not to mention the fact that any and all productivity takes a deep and downward spiral the minute the burnout hits.

And while I would love to think that my mind could handle non-stop writing for 30 days on end (#ALLOFTHEWORDS), it is my sad reality to finally discover that, alas. It cannot.

And let’s face it, my fellow marshmallow friends — nor should it.

The world has programmed us into believing that we need to be more.

We need to write more.

We need to read more.

We need to blog more.

We need to be more productive.

We need to do this and that and that other random thing we forgot about and more, more, MORE.

And when it comes down to NaNoWriMore, we need to write MORE WORDS. MORE STORIES. MORE EVERYTHING.

And I believed it. I believed that annoying little voice that told me I had to be more until, eventually, it got to the point where I felt guilty — literally guilty — for not doing something “productive”. Week One of NaNoWriMo speaks volumes on that head.

Last week was one of the absolute worst writing weeks I’ve ever had, and that, astonishingly, is not an exaggeration.

I don’t even remember half of it, but I can still taste it.

In my head.

(this sounds weird, but IT IS THE TRUTH, OKAY?? [also it is gaining on 11 o’clock pm, so HAHAHAHAHAHA — sleep-deprived metaphors, anyone???)

And while the first week of NaNoWriMo was quite literally one of the most terrible writing weeks I’ve ever had to suffer through, I now realize that it served to teach me a very important lesson.

A lesson that I, in my inspirational glory, shall now impart unto you:

If you’re like me, writing is your passion. Sure, you have a boatload of other things you love doing — flaying your fingers on the violin, reading good stories, playing Pokémon and Zelda and Mario — but writing. Writing is your dream. It is your drive. It’s the thing that makes your heart beat to a slightly disjointed and warped — yet perfectly unique — rhythm.

it is what sets your inspiration on fire and sends you spiraling downwards into a pit of swirling insanity hahahahahahahahahahahahaha–HACK

Writing is the air that you breathe.

But sometimes, it’s easy to forget that writing is also work.

And sure, perhaps you just love writing SO MUCH that it isn’t like work to you, and that’s absolutely wonderful! Keep doing you, Bob. But even if that is the case, there’s still the issue of how doing too much of any one thing can be extremely toxic to your mental health.

And there is such a thing as mental health, folks.

Let’s look at it logically, shall we?

Work, whether we like it or not, is good for us. Work helps us grow as individuals. It teaches us. Strengthens us. Makes us better and more knowledgeable humans.

Likewise, carrots are good for our physical health. Carrots are delicious. They are vegetable. They are yum.

And they also help strengthen and improve us physically.

Now, even though carrots are delicious and are technically “good for us” physically, if all we decided to eat for 30 40 3000 days straight were carrots, we would all turn into mushy orange alienesque beings that grow weird, feathery green things out of our scalps.

Basically it would just be a very unhealthy scenario, okay.

In the same way, if all we did for 30 40 5,000,000 days straight is write, our brains would squish into mushy potatoes and rotted brain cells and we would all eventually die.

probably.

HOWEVER.

If, in addition to our yummy carrots, we eat some broccoli and green beans and a couple burgers and possibly 3,000 cookies, we’ve suddenly adapted a healthy (#sohealthy) diet — one that works for us, instead of against us.

#logic

And so, taking into consideration this brand new epiphany, I changed up my writerly mindset during week two.

Yes, I wrote. I wrote every single day. I wrote as mush as I possibly could, whenever I possibly could. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, but I also took time to do other things. Things that I loved. Maybe I didn’t love these things as much as I love writing, but they were things that I still loved, all the same.

I flayed my fingers a bit on my violin. I learned both parts to the Euros and Sherlock duet from Season Four of BBC’s Sherlock. (yes, yes, I am obsessed.) I popped in some earbuds and listened to music that inspired specific scenes in my novel, and before I knew it. . .

I was writing.

But I wasn’t just writing. No no, I was doing something much, much more than that.

I was having fun.

It has been a long, LONG time since I’ve had fun while writing, Cyberspace. Yes, I love it. Yes, it is my passion. Yes, it is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.

But to have fun while writing is a feeling that’s gradually grown foreign to me over the months. Writing has become like a job to me, almost a chore. And while I would love for my full-time job to be writing someday, I still want to have fun doing it.

And so, after talking it through with one of my absolute FAVORITE people in this entire universe, (hi, mom! *waves*) I’ve decided that I’m not going to stress about finishing the entire second half of this draft in one month.

And here’s why:

My favorite thing — my absolute, tippity top favorite thing — about writing is it’s constant, unexpected ability to surprise you.

Plot holes snap together like puzzle pieces without the slightest struggle, characters begin to live and breathe on the page after days of trying to fit them into a stuffy little box, worlds expand before your very eyes as your fingers fly across the keys.

And the best surprise of all — the one that gives me tangible thrills of excitement — is when the story is finally, and quite unexpectedly, finished.

The first draft of everlost was completed at 1:00 in the morning on a Sunday.

Seriously. 1:00 am.

And there are literally no words to describe the excitement and nervousness and elation that I felt at that very moment whilst sitting hunched on my little bottom bunk in the pitch blackness.

Sure, I had known that night that I was going to stay up as long as it took to finish the draft, but I hadn’t set a date as to when I needed to finish it. I just. . .knew.

And I want that to be the same with the second draft, as well.

(also, quick shoutout to my amazing and wonderful and beautiful friends who stayed up with me through that entire night just to cheer me on through the finish. Y’all know who you are, and I love you guys. Seriously. You da best.)

And so, I have decided to change up my goal a bit.

But before you go squealing in detestation and throwing your rusty pitchforks at me, no. I will not be changing it on the actual Dare Squad board.

That would not be fair to those of you who are eagerly awaiting my epic and certain failure.

(not to mention the fact that I kind of want to try all of these dares, hahahahahaha…ha…?)

Instead, it’s just sort of a head-goal. A goal that I’ve set in place in my mind, simply for my own personal use. I haven’t told a single soul what it is, and I’m not going to say it now. This goal is for me, and me alone, and if I actually manage to hit it — YAY! We shall all squeal and eat cookies together.

And if I fail, well. . .

Oh well.

But as far as anyone outside of my head knows, my ULTIMATE SUPER SUPREME goal is to hit the end of this draft by November 30th. And in a way, that’s still my main goal.

I just have a smaller goal apart from that now.

One that I might actually manage to hit by November 30th.

Basically, this November, I’m returning to the joy of writing. I’m returning to the excitement and the thrill and the stardust days. I’m returning to when I actually had fun while writing, and, guys. . .it feels really good.

But alas. That’s enough blechy information about me. You didn’t come here to listen to me rant and rave over my past week. You came here to talk about your stories and your progress and ALL of the lovely things you’ve done in Week Two of NaNo!

However, before we dive into all of that delicious discussion, there’s just one thing that I know you all literally cannot survive without. And that one thing is —


Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!

I ate a snail once.

. . .

It tasted like a slug.

. . .

. . .

. . .

This has been. . .

Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!


I’m so good at pep-talks, guys, wow.

In all honestly, though, my fellow Squadians, I think my words of inspiration for this week would be to just have fun this month.

Sure, you might look back on the words you’ve written in the past 30 days and think. . . Wow. This is really quite terrible. #oops.”

But just think about that for a moment. Wouldn’t you rather have a page full of terrible words that you wrote while having immense amounts of fun, than a page full of terrible words that were written with loathing and sleep-deprivation and burnout? Wouldn’t you rather have fun with your story than slug through every single sentence?

I know I would.

It’s completely your choice, Cyberspace. This is your November. Not anyone else’s. How you live through the days is entirely up to you, but I sincerely hope that you join me on this path of returning to what we love about writing.

To those of you who are completely crushing your NaNo goals, you guys are totally ROCKING it!! Keep going, my smol beans! You’re fantastic and amazing and deserve ALL OF THE COOKIES!

And to those of you who, like me, might be a smidge behind (or perhaps a thousand leagues behind, but whatever) don’t you ever give up. You might not hit your goal, but if you try your best, and you simply have fun, and you write as much as you can and as much as is healthy for you, I promise that you’ll be able to look back on this month, not as an epic fail, but as a month that had sunshine. A month that had miracles.

A month that had joy.

You’re doing amazing, my friend. I promise.

You’ve got this.



talk to me, peasants!

That’s all I’ve got for today, Cyberspace! How has Week Two of NaNoWriMo been treating you? Have you written ALL OF THE WORDS, or are you stumbling just a little bit behind today? Are you feeling discouraged? Did KENZIE’S WEEKLY PEP-TALK give you mass amounts of inspiration?

It totally did, what are you talking about.

What are some of YOUR Week Two epiphanies? Have you crushed or created any plot holes in the past seven days? HAVE YOU BEEN EATING YOUR COOKIES??? (I’m looking right at you, Jethan) Whatever your second week of NaNoWriMo has looked like, let us talk and discuss and cheer each other on about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! I haven’t been as active on here as I’d like to be as of late, but I’m definitely reading and responding to all of you guys’s discussions. (It’s just taking me a while. Hahahaha…haha…#oops. [I’VE BEEN WRITING, DON’T JUDGE ME.]) You Squadians are seriously making this NaNo a true month to remember. Y’all are the best.

Oh! And before I officially sign off, there is just one teensy tiny little update I wanted to mention! A couple of you have said that you — like me — have changed your goals slightly. WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, by the way! Don’t you restrict yourself in any way, sir! However, I wanted you guys to have the option of having your NEW goal posted onto the Dare Squad board! Because it’s super fun to see your goal on a board, just saying.

So whether it’s increasing your goal, or just switching up your project a bit, if you would like your new, OFFICIAL goal posted onto the finalized board this Sunday (November 19th, aka DARE TIME, WHOOO!) then go ahead and simply tell me your new goal down in the comments below! I’ll be sure to have everything sorted out and fixed on the board by this Sunday! And don’t forget to come back on the 19th to check out the dares! You shall not be disappointed…

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

Posted in The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad: Week One — r u ded?

Good morning, Cyberspace, and welcome to the Week One Sign-In for the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad!

That’s right, folks. We have officially conquered an entire week of the monstrous beast known to many as. . .The NaNo.

Duhn

duhn

DUHN!!!!

For some of you, you have been riding the crimson tidal wave of inspiration ever since day one, and are currently revving up your writerly engines to dive right back into Week Two with a grin and a sparkle in your slightly twitching left eye.

For others, you are slogging through each day like it could potentially be your last, slurping caffeine like it is fuel for your third lung and possibly developing a nervous tick somewhere off in your right kneecap.

And for the fair few like me, you are doing absolutely none of the above, and are instead resting your heavy head on a soft, floofy pillow, your arms crossed delicately over your chest as you peacefully recover from all of the glorious sleep you’ve regrettably missed out on over the past 3,000 years. . .

. . . whilst trapped in weirdly shaped rectangular box . . .

. . . 6-feet below ground level . . .

. . . because you are dead.

But no matter which group you happen to belong to, I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say that this past week has been home to glorious triumphs, painful horrors, and many brutal tears that have been used to salt our slightly bland mashed potatoes.

DO NOT QUESTION MY BRILLIANCE, SIR. I AM EXHAUSTED.

And this, my fellow Squadians, is the place where we talk about it all. From whining and complaining about completely failing your goal by day two (hahahahahahahahahaha–me) discussing delicious cookie recipes that ‘totally’ help with writer’s block, to pointing and gloating at all of the losers from the top of your word count celebrating a milestone in your NaNoWriMo adventure, your fellow teammates are here to help you through and cheer you on.

And also fling cookies at your face. Because cookies are delicious, and you cannot NaNo without cookies.

#fact

But before we begin the festivities, here is a much sleep-deprived and slightly burnt out pep talk, brought to you by Yours Truly. . .


Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!

Whoo. Yeah. Write those words. You can do it. Whoo. *cheers mediocrely*

. . .

. . .

. . .

This has been. . .

Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!


And there you go, Cyberspace! A pep-talk to get you through Week Two. But before you dive back into those stories once again, make sure to take a moment and sign in down below to tell us all what you’ve been up to!

Because let’s be honest, sometimes talking about our stories is much more fun than actually writing the story, am I right???

Ah?

Ah???

#procrastination

And who knows! Perhaps talking through your story problems will actually aid you in solving them, rather than just screaming frantically at your screen in the dim hope that the plot holes will run away from you in fear.

although there have been precisely three separate recordings of the latter solution actually working. 10/10 recommend.

user discretion is advised.



 

talk to me, peasants!

wow. this post was extremely slapped together and short. #oops

ANYWAY.

Hello, my fellow Squadians! How has the writing been going? Have you triumphantly punched your goal in its gappy face yet, or is your word count continually stabbing you in the toe with a rusty pitchfork? What are some of the victories and horrors you’ve encountered throughout this beautiful week? Any milestones? Are you staying hydrated (HYDRATION DOES NOT EQUAL COFFEE, PEOPLE) or are you just content with being a limp raisin at this point? (like me)

Whatever your week has been like, let us talk about ALL OF THE NANO THINGS down in the comments below!

And while you’re at it, are you making sure to consume your daily percentage of cookies? Because if not I shall SLAP YOU IN THE FACE WITH A SLOPPY TOWEL, SIR.

As always, until next time. . .

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

Posted in The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad: Meet The Squad!

It is time, Cyberspace.

Today is Halloween.

For normal people, this is the day of candy. The day of admiring the mutilated flesh of once joyful pumpkins rotting and molding out on our front stoops. Of freely giving away our carefully stashed candy to tiny little peasants who come up to our doors like chocolate-obsessed lunatics dressed in bizarre clothing.

But today, as you begin to stuff your chipmunk face full of all the chocolate and candy and popcorn balls (BLECH) that you refuse to give away to the three hundred Captain America’s walking down your leaf-strewn street, you might find your slightly warped brain meats preoccupied by something far less appetizing than how many marshmallows you can fit into your cheeks without choking.

Something far more frightening.

Something disastrous.

. . .

Your impending doom. Continue reading “The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad: Meet The Squad!”

Posted in Writing Tags

The Writer’s Halloween Tag (MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA–HACK!)

Good morning, Cyberspace!

Today, I realized that miracles do, in fact, exist. . . Continue reading “The Writer’s Halloween Tag (MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA–HACK!)”

Posted in The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad, Uncategorized

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad – Are YOU Up For The Challenge?

You know exactly what this is, Cyberspace. . .

If you read Tuesday’s smudge, you know precisely what is happening. You are already well aware of the dangers that await you within these pages, of the horrors that lurk in the shadows, haunting your every step.

Yet here you are.

November is quickly approaching. It calls to us. Taunts us. Tries to destroy us with its promises of greatness and creativity, of a month spent in the blissful surrender of words and stories.

We all know what NaNoWriMo is. It is a journey. An adventure. It is a steep and unrelenting descent into the abyss known as The Void. It is pain, and it is death, and it is torture.

But we shall not surrender.

We are. . .

• • • The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad • • •

Continue reading “The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad – Are YOU Up For The Challenge?”

Posted in Character Interviews

Let’s Chat! – NaNoWriMo Approaches (feat. the cast of everlost)

This episode of Let’s Chat! is sponsored by Yogurt Pretzels.

Yogurt Pretzels. The delicious Yum Yum that makes writing Fun Fun!



Kenzie: Good afternoon, Cyberspace, and welcome back to Let’s Chat!–your go-to channel to get the latest scoop on all things writerly! Today I happen to have some very special guests with me, who I’m sure are super duper excited to be here this afternoon.

Kenzie: Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, cookies and cake crumbs, please put your hands together for. . .

Kenzie: . . . THE ENTIRE CAST OF EVERLOST!

*crowd cheering*

*babies screaming*

*one man dying*

Thao: We are not the entire cast.

Kenzie: Last time on Let’s Chat!, we interviewed Thao Crowe, the broody, over-the-top doctor from the Locket–

Thao: Hey!

Kenzie: –who loves Jar Jar Binks and has a fetish for fish sticks.

Thao: Okay, this is just uncalled for.

Kenzie: It was during this particular interview that I asked all of you which two cast members you would like to see appear side-by-side for the next character inquiry, and finally, after weeks of procrastination waiting, I have in my very hands the results we have all been waiting for.

Kenzie: But we’ll get to all of that later. First, allow me first to introduce our lovely cast members! Why don’t we start off by going down the couch and having each of you say something special about yourself? Sort of like a little ‘get to know you’ type of game, yeah? Sound good?

Adaline: *clasps hands together* I love games!

Thao: Wait–no, don’t–

Kenzie: Lovely! Let us begin! Peter, you’re up first.

Peter: Oh. Okay, well, my name is Peter

Thao: Obviously.

Peter: I’m 19 years old, and I’ve been renowned as something of a computer and science whiz for. . .well, my entire life, really.

Thao: *snorts like a donkey*

Thao: Wait a minute. . . Okay, NO. I am not putting up with this again! Get that stenographer out of here right this instant, chipmunk, or I swear I’ll–

Kenzie: Thank you so much for your input, Peter! Bella?

Thao: *falls back into couch cushions whilst grumbling profusely*

Bella: Um. . . Hi. My name is. . .er. . .Bella. I’m. . .well, there’s really nothing that great about me, to be honest. I don’t necessarily like talking about myself, so. . .yeah.

Bella: *scrunches back into the couch*

Kenzie: That is perfectly fine, Bella. I’m sure we can weedle more out of you later.

Peter: Excuse me?

Kenzie: You’re up, Adaline.

Adaline: Oh! My turn already?

Adaline: *wriggles forward in anticipation*

Adaline: Hello! My name is Adaline. I like butterflies and pudding and squishy guts that look like pumpkin paste.

Kenzie: . . .

Peter: . . .

Bella: . . .

Thao: Well, isn’t this going to be fun.

Kenzie: Adaline, would you possibly like to clarify on that–

Thao: *shoves Adaline back*

Thao: No, actually, she really wouldn’t. My turn, isn’t it?

Thao: Hello, folks. My name is Thao, and you already know more about me than what I’m sure any sane person would be comfortable with, so if you could just leave me alone and let me suffer through my feeble existence in peace, that’d be great. Thanks.

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: Okay. I think that wraps up our getting to know you session. Thank you all for your input.

Kenzie: *shuffles index cards*

Kenzie: Now, I’m sure you’re all extremely curious as to why I’ve called you here.

Peter: I have a few assumptions, actually.

Thao: Let me guess–we’re all going to die.

Adaline: Are you cancelling our story?

Kenzie: Er. . .no. I have actually gathered you here today to talk about something that involves each and every one of you. . .and me. Something terrifying. Something so frightening it is enough to give a grown man nightmares.

Thao: That actually doesn’t take much.

Kenzie: Something deadly.

Adaline: Onions?

Kenzie: No. Again.

Adaline: *sighs*

Kenzie: I have summoned each of you here today to talk about. . .

Kenzie: . . .NaNoWriMo.

Duhn

duhn

DUHN!!!

Thao: Where in the world did the creepy sound effects come from?

Peter: The title kind of gave it away, didn’t it?

Bella: Oh, I love NaNoWriMo! It’s where we all met!

Thao: Joy.

Kenzie: Now, now, settle down, everyone, settle down. As I’m sure you’re all aware, NaNoWriMo is in precisely–

Kenzie: *hastily tallies on fingers*

Kenzie: 14 days.

Thao: 14 DAYS?!

Peter: We’re doomed.

Adaline: I had pudding 14 days ago. . .

Bella: I thought we were going to plan this year!!!

Kenzie: Guys! Please! I know what I’m doing, here, okay?

Peter: That’s what you always say.

Kenzie: Yeah, well, this time I mean it.

Thao: Doubtful.

Kenzie: Oh, please, you don’t even know what I’m doing for this year’s NaNo yet.

Thao: Let me guess. . .

Peter: Finishing our second draft?

Thao: Rebelling against everything you’ve ever known and editing instead of writing 50,000 words of utter nonsense?

Adaline: Eating candy. . .

Kenzie: I. . .how did you. . .?

Peter: It’s kind of what you say every month. Like when you said you were going to finish our second draft back in September.

Adaline: And the month before that, too. . .

Peter: And the month before that.

Adaline: And the month–

Kenzie: Okay, okay, I get it.

Thao: I’m still not over the prune juice.

Kenzie: But this time things are going to be different.

Peter: *sighs*

Peter: Kenzie, I’m sorry. Truly, I am. But you’ve said this so many times before. How can things possibly be different this time around?

Kenzie: Because this time there’s incentive.

Peter: . . .

Thao: And what is that supposed to mean, exactly?

Peter: I thought finishing a book would be incentive enough for you. . .

Kenzie: Of course it is. But with NaNoWriMo approaching, and my rebellion quickly appearing on the horizon, well. . .

Kenzie: I want to shake things up a bit.

Thao: Isn’t being a NaNo Rebel shaking things up a little too much, already? I’d really rather not have everything we’ve worked for implode like a fizzy soda can at the end of the month.

Thao: You know. Like last time.

Kenzie: That. . .isn’t going to happen.

Kenzie: All that I’m saying is, since I can’t necessarily validate my win this year–

Thao: If you win.

Kenzie: —due to being a rebel, I’m going to turn next month into a game of sorts. A way for us to connect with our fellow audience.

Peter: A game.

Kenzie: Precisely.

Kenzie: At the end of the month, if I’ve completed my goal of finishing the second draft of everlost, I get to give the audience a fun, bloggerly dare. Something that they can all do on their own blogs. Something fun. . .embarrassing. Whatever my little heart desires.

Peter: . . . That actually doesn’t sound half-bad.

Bella: It sounds fun! . . .sort of.

Adaline: Can you make them eat worms?

Thao: *elbows past Adaline to lock eyes with Kenzie*

Thao: And might I ask what happens when you lose? Because I’m pretty sure we can all attest to the fact that you will.

Kenzie: Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence, Thao. However, if it really does all boil down to that, well. . .

Kenzie: The audience gets to dare me.

Peter: Okay. I can understand why this could provide some incentive for actually finishing, but are you seriously going to take bets on whether you win or lose? You do realize that you have half the story to go through, right? What makes you think that you can do in one month what you’ve failed to do in half a year?

Kenzie: Because this is NaNoWriMo, Peter. All things are possible in NaNoWriMo.

Bella: She’s got a point there.

Kenzie: Besides, this will all depend on whether the audience is up for such a challenge, anyway.

Thao: *mutters* Right. Because I’m sure absolutely no one in Cyberspace would like to see you eat a worm.

Adaline: Bears eat worms. . .

Kenzie: If no one in the audience is willing to participate, we won’t have to worry about me getting any weird dares, now will we?

Peter: It’s your life, I suppose. . .

Kenzie: Exactly. And I control yours.

Peter: What?!

Kenzie: But anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? Today isn’t about setting up dares and whatnot, but interviewing you guys about NaNoWriMo!

Thao: What could you possibly have to interview us about with NaNoWriMo?

Kenzie: Why, I am so glad you asked, Thao!

Kenzie: Everyone knows to expect the usual flooding of NaNoWriMo posts to swamp their newsfeeds a few weeks prior to November 1st, and while those posts are some of my absolute favorites to read, they are also all about one major thing.

Adaline: Watermelons. . .

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: The writer.

Adaline: Oh.

Kenzie: So this time around, I wanted to do something a little bit different. Instead of asking myself what I’m most looking forward to when it comes to NaNo, I thought I would take into consideration the lives that I shall be mutilating embellishing.

Thao: Did you just. . .?

Kenzie: So I decided to ask my lovely cast members what their thoughts and opinions on NaNoWriMo were!

Peter: I’m slightly concerned about this.

Kenzie: Not at all, not at all. This will be fun, I promise.

Thao: Don’t believe her. She’s full of lies.

Adaline: And sparkles. . .

Bella: Go ahead, Kenzie. We’ll do our best to answer your questions.

Kenzie: Wonderful! Let’s begin, shall we?

Kenzie: *shuffles index cards*



Let’s Chat! – NaNoWriMo Approaches (feat. the cast of everlost)

Kenzie: Ah. Here we are. Question one. ‘What are you most excited about for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

Kenzie: Bella, since you appear to be the most on board with this idea, we’ll start with you.

Bella: Oh! Uh. . .okay.

Bella: I think I’m most excited to simply continue the adventure. I know you’ve already finished the first draft, but there’s just something so. . .new about a second draft, you know? It’s like we get to live everything all over again.

Thao: The horror.

Bella: And there have been some major additions and cuts this time around, so I’m really eager to see how everything pans out in the end.

Peter: Some of the characters could use some major development revamps, however.

Thao: Yeah. Like you.

Kenzie: All right, boys, settle down. Thank you, Bella. That was a wonderful answer. Peter, would you like to go next?

Peter: I’m rather eager to see how Crowe’s character arc turns out. Personally, I think you have a long way to go with it, but then again, I’m not the author. . .

Thao: That’s it, Glasses! At least I’m not some stuck-up, spoiled rotten nobody who–

Peter: You call being a puppet to your grandfather spoiled?!

Kenzie: Children, please! We’re on live TV. Peter, is that your final answer?

Peter: *casts sideways scowl at Thao, who is muttering under his breath like some strange guttural monkey*

Peter: I guess I’m also rather fond of the NaNoWriMo feeling. The rush and exhilaration of creation. I like the strange mix of isolation and community. The excitement is contagious.

Kenzie: Beautifully put. Adaline?

Adaline: I love eating the pudding. It’s my favorite part.

Thao: Of course it is.

Adaline: And I can’t wait to spend more time with my friends.

Adaline: *clasps hands beneath chin*

Adaline: Especially the bear. He’s my favorite.

Kenzie: Aw. How adorable. And as the author, I can personally assure you that there is plenty of you and bear time in the future, Adaline.

Adaline: *eyes light up maniacally*

Thao: Wait, what?!

Kenzie: Ah, yes. What are you most excited for, Thao?

Thao: *scoots away from Adaline*

Thao: I’m excited for it to be over.

Kenzie: Seriously? It hasn’t even officially begun!!!

Thao: The way I look at it, NaNoWriMo is what started all of this. It’s only right that NaNoWriMo will end it.

Peter: That was uncharacteristically poetic of you, Crowe.

Thao: Don’t get used to it.

Kenzie: Okay. Let’s move on to question two: ‘What snacks do you prefer to consume whilst working, procrastinating, adventuring, ect.?

Thao: Well, that’s easy. Low calorie snacks are usually my go-to, but I have to make sure they’re small enough to stuff into the oversized pockets of this lab coat, because technically I’m not allowed to snack on the job, but–

Kenzie: Ahem. *points*

Thao: Er. . .what are you–?

Kenzie: *points pointedly towards back wall*

Thao: Is that. . .a teleprompter?

Kenzie: . . .

Thao: Yogurt. . .pretzels. Why does that screen say yogurt pretzels?

Kenzie: Yogurt pretzels are a delicious snack, Thao. What a lovely choice.

Thao: Wait a minute, that’s not what I–

Kenzie: Peter?

Peter: M&M’s all the way.

Thao: Are you kidding me?!

Bella: Same!

Adaline: I love vanilla pudding. . . 

Thao: Really, Loony? We never would have guessed.

Kenzie: Hush, Thao. No one picked on you for liking yogurt pretzels.

Thao: Okay, I never said that I–

Kenzie: Question three.

Thao: Of course.

Kenzie: This one pertains more to the story creation elements of NaNoWriMo, but I’m quite eager to hear your input: ‘What scenes are you most looking forward to reenacting this November?

Peter: The Prune Juice Fiasco was always a personal favorite of mine, actually. . .

Thao: Don’t you even dare, Glasses.

Bella: They actually had to cut that one out this time around, remember? They couldn’t get the timelines to match up.

Peter: Drat.

Thao: Hallelujah.

Kenzie: How about you, Adaline? Any scenes in the second half that you’re looking forward to?

Adaline: I always liked the part where the bear murders a man. . .

Thao: Okay, WHAT?!

Adaline: The blood is very realistic.

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: How. . .lovely.

Kenzie: Does anyone have anything else they’d like to add? Something that doesn’t deal with death and gore, perhaps?

Thao: How about the scene where I get off this blasted island and never return?

Bella: That never happened. . .

Thao: Shut it, cow-belle.

Kenzie: Hey, now.

Thao: Or how about that lovely little bit where I strangle Glasses’ neck with a piece of rope? That scene is largely overdue, in my humble opinion.

Kenzie: I think we’ll just move on to question four now. . .

Peter: That might be for the best.

Thao: Or the one where Loony starts singing that creepy song under her breath in the elevator? That was always a favorite. Really freaked out the children.

Kenzie: *flips index cards*

Kenzie: Question four: ‘If you could trade roles with any one of your cast members, which would you pick and why?

Thao: Geoff.

Peter: But he’s dead.

Thao: . . .

Thao: Exactly.

Bella: I don’t know as if I’d want to trade places with any of my castmates, actually. I like who and where and how I am. My past might have been. . .difficult. . .but the things that I’ve gone through have only made me stronger. I like being me.

Peter: Agreed.

Kenzie: Adaline?

Adaline: *tilts head* I would switch with Rose. She likes to come out and play sometimes, you know.

Thao: *groans*

Thao: Does switching roles with a castmate automatically change your current physical location, because I would literally switch with anyone on this entire planet to get away from this filthy, cramped sofa of lunacy.

Kenzie: Hey! I just had that sofa cleaned yesterday.

Kenzie: The cat vomited on it, so it was a necessity, you see.

Thao: . . .

Thao: On second thought, dead Geoff really does sound like a delightful option at the moment.

Kenzie: *sighs*

Kenzie: All right. This next question is one that I’m hoping you will all take very seriously, as it is one that–if answered properly–has the potential to help out both NaNoWriMo characters and their writers.

Kenzie: And we all know that us NaNoers can use all the help we can get, amiright?

Thao: How many more questions are there?

Kenzie: Question 5: What is your best possible survival advice for a character who is preparing to undergo their very first NaNoWriMo?

Peter: Technically, a character should only undergo a NaNoWriMo session once, as their story should be completed within the course of a single month.

Kenzie: Yes, well. . . *coughs* That’s not the case in this current situation, now is it?

Thao: That’s never the case when it comes to you. What is this? Our. . .what? Third NaNoWriMo?

Peter: Fourth, actually. There was the July session, too.

Thao: *shudders* Right.

Kenzie: All right, all right, I think we get the picture. You guys have undergone many NaNoWriMo’s. Just answer the question, will you? Please.

Bella: I’ll go first, if you want.

Kenzie: Thank you, Bella.

Bella: *stares down at folded hands* I think my advice to any new characters would be to trust your writer. . .and also vice-versa. A story is a relationship between both writer and character. If there’s no trust on either side, the fabric of the entire tale will crumble. Trust is essential to a good story, to a creative world. . .and to a successful NaNoWriMo.

Thao: That’s ridiculous. You seriously expect me to trust this chipmunk? She’s mental.

Peter: Thus the Prune Juice Fiasco of chapter 26.

Thao: . . .

Peter: My personal recommendation for new characters would be to get a lot of sleep and drink a lot of water. You’re going to be doing extreme amounts of action these next few weeks–tons of line-learning and choreography. It’s going to wear out both your muscles and your mind faster than you could ever anticipate. People say that caffeine helps with the mental fatigue, but I’ve found that water hydrates a lot better than coffee when it comes to a parched mouth after giving a three-page monologue in Act Two.

Peter: And as for sleep, what with all of the excitement and fast-paced drama, there’s going to be very little time for rest. So get as much as you can whenever you can. Your story can wait, but your mental health can’t.

Thao: And to think I was about to deny the fact that you were capable of delivering a three-page monologue.

Peter: *scowls*

Kenzie: How about you, Adaline? You seem awfully quiet over there.

Adaline: Oh. They should follow the butterflies. The butterflies always know where to go.

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: Right. Thao?

Thao: Get out. Get out as fast as you can and never turn back. Believe me, absolutely nothing good waits ahead.

Peter: That is literally the worst advice you could have given them, Crowe. They’re most likely frightened enough, as it is.

Thao: Exactly. They deserve to know the truth.

Kenzie: *claps hands together* All right, folks, I think it’s time we began wrapping this episode up.

Thao: Finally.

Kenzie: Our final question is. . . ‘In a single word, describe what NaNoWriMo is to you.

Adaline: I don’t think that was a question. . .

Bella: Exciting.

Peter: Different.

Adaline: Magical!

Thao: Pain.

Thao: Death.

Thao: Torture.

Kenzie: I said one word.

Thao: I’m a rule-breaker.

Peter: You’re a lot of things.

Kenzie: Okay, then! Well, folks, that does it for our everlost interview. I hope you enjoyed our lovely guests’ answers to some rather spontaneous questions. I know I sure did.

Kenzie: But before we officially sign off for this afternoon, I have some very exciting news to share with all of you!

Kenzie: I have–right here in my very palm–the poll results we have all been waiting for. And so, without further ado, allow me to present to you the names of our next interviewees. . .

Kenzie: *slits open envelope*

Kenzie: And the next interview pair to appear on Let’s Chat! will be. . .

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: THAO AND ADALINE!!!

*crowds cheering*

Adaline: *squeaks in delight*

Thao: *face pales to the shade of a ghostly ghoul*

Thao: What?! NO!!!!

Thao: *lunges out of seat*

Thao: GIVE IT TO ME!! GIVE IT TO ME RIGHT NOW, CHIPMUNK! HAND IT OVER RIGHT THIS INSTANT OR–

Peter: Can we have some security in here, please?

Kenzie: And that, folks, officially wraps up this week’s episode of Let’s Chat! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful time getting better acquainted with our cast members.

*men in uniforms enter stage-left and begin carting the squealing man away*

Kenzie: I know I’ve sure made some interesting discoveries.

Kenzie: As always, until next time. . .

Thao (somewhere off stage): I am NOT doing this again! She can’t make me! Not with that. . .that THING!

Peter: I’ll go help them knock him out.

Bella: Peter!

Adaline: *waves* Bye!

Kenzie: *flings cookies in the air and disappears*

the end.



talk to me, peasants!

Well, then. That was quite different.

So what do you think, Cyberspace? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, are you planning on joining the rebellion, or being a traditionalist? What are your top tips for surviving NaNoWriMo? Can YOU describe the NaNoWriMo experience in one word? (or LESS?!)

Let us talk about ALL OF THE NANOWRIMO THINGS in the comments below!

And don’t forget to watch out for a special petition coming at you on Thursday, in which I begin taking signatures for the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad!

Are YOU up for the challenge?

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

 

 

 

 

Posted in The Smudged Thoughts PictoPrompter

The Smudged Thoughts PictoPrompter: Episode III

Good afternoon, Cyberspace, and welcome to yet another glorious episode of The Smudged Thoughts PictoPrompter!!!

Now, I was planning on having this particular episode be the first-ever Smudged Thoughts PictoPrompter PLUS!, in which one random writer wins a one-of-a-kindly-hand-crafted prize by yours truly, but alas, that requires a despicable thing known as planning. And with both NaNoWriMo and Christmas fast approaching in one hob-gobbled mess that is currently threatening to strangle me with its gnarly fingers, well… Continue reading “The Smudged Thoughts PictoPrompter: Episode III”

Posted in StoryTime With Kenzie!

StoryTime With Kenzie! – The $60 Skeleton Scandal

(WARNING: absolutely no exaggerations have been implemented in the transferral of this severely real event into a fictitious tale. some material not appropriate for ages over 60. reader discretion is advised. . .)

It all began in Meijer . . .

Continue reading “StoryTime With Kenzie! – The $60 Skeleton Scandal”