Moving Day!

good morning, cyberspace!

Well. It’s finally here. Moving day! This is the last post that will ever be written for Smudged Thoughts; from here on out, you’ll find me over on my new blog, FeatherWick Press!

The emotions we’re currently feeling are excitement, terror, apprehension, and a wee touch of whimsy. I’m incredibly excited to keep going on this beautiful blogging adventure, but oh-so sad to let Smudged Thoughts go. As promised, Smudged Thoughts will not be leaving cyberspace, however! You can find any and all of this blog’s archives forevermore right here, since I’m far too much of a sentimental squash to get rid of this blog entirely. So even though all new content will be posted over on FeatherWick, rest assured that you will never lose original Smudged Thoughts content! (which is more for me than anyone else, I believe, but it’s still nice to know.)

If you’re following me on Instagram under Smudged Thoughts, make sure you switch over to my featherwickpress account! This is where I post behind-the-scenes content about my life and blog and writing, as well as some occasional extras…

To all the friends I’ve made through this blog: thank you. Thank you for sticking with me along this wild ride! Thank you for your support and comments and all the many stories we’ve made together! I sincerely hope that you’ll come along with me to FeatherWick Press!

Last, but never the least, here is the link to our brand new blog! Posts will be published weekly on Fridays, so keep your eyes peeled for next week, when we talk all about goal-setting–perfect for the start of a new year, amiright?

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TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!

I don’t even know what questions to ask here! With Christmas fast approaching, I feel like everything is turning turtle. So go ahead and tell me your plans for this final week of December! Are you spending time with family? Sitting curled up on the couch with a good book and a mug of tea while you watch the winter storms roll through? Are you–like me–planning world domination?

Whatever your plans, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! And as always, until next time…

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

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TODAY IS THE DAY!

Eep! Today is the day, my friends! I’m going to keep this post extremely short and sweet, but IT’S OFFICIALLY HERE! I, Kenzie Keene, am a published writer!

am I hyperventilating? Why yes, yes I am

My flash fiction piece, I Am Not A-Muse-d, is published on Havok’s website RIGHT NOW! So if you’d like to go and take a peekety peek at it….it would legit make this little writer’s whole month.

I don’t even have enough words to say everything I’m feeling right now. This whole writing journey has been and is the craziest, most fulfilling, most splendorific thing I could ever have dreamed of. But there’s no way I’d be here right now if it weren’t for the people beside me. My heart is so, so unbelievably full today.

So thank you. To the people who have stood by my side throughout everything (you know who you are), this little story was made possible because of you.

(and specifically my mom, who is my biggest source of inspiration and the best brainstorming buddy this girl could hope for. 💛)

-kenzie:)

wow, i really did keep something short and sweet for once. Be proud of me, Carl. XD

Exciting Announcement!: I’m Getting Published, Peasants!

good morning, cyberspace!

Well, friends, I’m ridiculously awful at keeping secrets, as the title of this post clearly states, but OH MY GOODNESS. THE DAY HAS FINALLY ARRIVED AND I CAN SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!!!

I’M GETTING PUBLISHED!

EEP! Okay, okay, I can barely contain my excitement even as I type these words, but I’m going to try and hold myself down so that I’m at least somewhat coherent for this. XD

About three months ago, I decided to strike out on a limb and write a flash fiction piece for one of Havok Publishing’s monthly themes. I was fed up with writing and needed something quick, painless, and quirky to get myself moving again. One dining table brainstorming session with my mom (is this where all the best ideas come from? absolutely) and 1,000 words later, and I had a teeny tiny story about a grumpy muse and his nuisance of a writer. I took many pieces of my own daily delusions experiences and wove them into this story, and I can honestly say that the end product is one that I was extremely proud of.

One month, one birthday, one new job orientation, and many many screams of delight later–my story was accepted at Havok.

My dearest peasants. You are now looking at the author of a Wacky Wednesday Flash Fiction. And my teeny tiny story is set to release this Wednesday. October 12th! Yep. That’s right. In two days.

TWO. DAYS.

I’m not screaming, you’re screaming. So, naturally, I’m going to do what every good writer does and ask, if you happen to have a moment on October 12th, please consider popping on over to Havok’s website to read my smol bby story! It’s only available to non-Havok members the day it is published, so if you don’t have a membership with Havok, you’ll need to read it on publication day! Non-Members and Members alike can comment, though, so if you like the story, I’d be forever grateful if you commented on it, as well… it would legit make this little writer’s whole year, I swear. XD

Y’all I don’t even have words to explain how giddy this whole process has made me. I got to sign a contract. I went through the whole editor feedback thing… It’s honestly made me so excited and beyond ready to have a book published someday, though I know a project like that will take a lot more time to get out there. But this process has been such a dream, and the fact that I can tell people I’m a real and true published author here in a couple days is more than I could have ever dreamed of during this wildly chaotic time. I could never have done it without the wild amount of support and kindness I’ve received over the years–from my family, from my writing group (cabinnettes, yeet!), from you guys… The journey is long, yes, but I can finally say in truth and not just conjecture–the waiting and the hoping and the dreaming and the working is so, so worth it. So thank you to everyone who has stuck through it with me (and continues to stick through it) to this point. You guys make this all so much more than just a hobby or a pipedream. You make it a blessing and an honor, and I cannot wait to keep sharing stories with you all.

See you Wednesday, my friends! <3

– kenzie:)

In Which Autumn Brings Much To Think About…

good morning, cyberspace!

With the chaos of the Silmaril Awards taking up the majority of my blogging time over the past few weeks, I’ve had difficulty finding the right time to squeeze an update post in. A lot of these have been rather update-y lately, and for that I sincerely apologize (goodness knows I’m getting sick of them, too, lol!), but it is my hope–and goal!–that this will be the last one for a while. For… multiple reasons, aha. Unfortunately, since we’re trying to get ALL of the updates out of the way today, this might be a bit of a topsy turvy kind of post. Lots to cover, little time and all that. So sit tight, friends, and enjoy (maybe?) the ride. It’s gonna be a bumpy one. XD

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August, 2022 – The Month of Juggling

good morning, cyberspace!

And just like that, we’ve entered August. I’ve put a lot of time and consideration into how I want to go about this month. There’s so much that needs done, so much I want to accomplish, and so much that’s simply happening in my little corner of the universe–most of which is unfortunately outside my realm of control–that I’ve debated whether or not to just give up on blogging entirely, shave my head bald, and become a lowly goat herder out in the Himalayas. The other side of the debate is rather convinced that we’re entering a midlife crisis, and therefore I have kept my locks and haven’t yet packed up my things for the big move.

So alas. I’m still here, still thriving, and finally sitting down to write a blog post about August. It’s taken some time, but I’ve narrowed my lengthy list of To-Do’s down to three main creative projects for the month, as well as cushioned the rest of my time with “work” work. We’re entering a heavy training period at the coffee shop, which means it’s an all-hands-on-deck sort of situation all month long. And since I’m the Director of Training, my hands are going to be on that deck a lot.

I’m excited, though. This will be a good season. I’m determined for it to be, lol.

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The In-Between of Publishing

good morning, cyberspace!

Lately I’ve been suffering from a conundrum. Of course, you could probably say that I’m suffering from a conundrum every single day of my life–“what am I?” “what is the meaning of life?” *indefinite existential crisis*–but this particular conundrum is one that I’ve been suffering through for a while now, and therefore I no longer know the correct way to battle it.

So, because everything seems to become clearer when I put my fingers to the keys and type, I’ve decided to write a blog post about it. Because maybe then I can finally understand what is happening inside my head, you know?

The focus of this post may be a little bit messy. (apologies in advance for that. i know how much you guys love my totally professional blogging style. [*awkward cough*]). I’ll do my best to clean it up and form a concise theme once I’m done spewing out the first draft of whatever this turns into, but this is just your friendly neighborhood warning: here there be rambles.

Still with me? Wonderful. Tally ho, soldier.

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Good Morning, May!: recaps & what lies ahead

good morning, cyberspace!

It is officially May, my peasants! Goodness gracious, this year is tripping by fast. Camp NaNoWriMo, especially, slipped through my fingers before I could fully get a handle on it. But if I’m being honest, April was so refreshing. There was a restoration within it that I wasn’t expecting, but was oh so needed. I’m actually genuinely excited to see where this new month takes me, which was NOT how I was feeling about four months ago. XD

April was truly a blessing to me. May, on the other hand… well, we’ll get into that in a moment. *insert nervous laughter*

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Good Morning Month post ’round here, so please bear with me, friends! I have a feeling a lot of this is going to be slapped together with sticky tape and pixie dust, but the main goal is to give you all a brief little peak into what I’ve been doing, where I’ve been, where we’re going, and–most importantly–how Camp NaNoWriMo, 2022 went!

onwards and upwards…!: Good Morning, May!: recaps & what lies ahead

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CAMP NANOWRIMO: A BRIEF RECAP

PROJECT SUNSET – 30,000 WORDS

My goal for PROJECT SUNSET was 30,000 words for the month of May. This… unfortunately did not happen. Aha. However, I did manage to revise 11,000 words of the project! Which, personally, feels like a rather large accomplishment for me. Especially considering the fact that I’m doing a very deep, very gritty revision of this book. I’m sure other writers could whip through this much faster than I, but I’m trying to remind myself that in regards to revision and plot dynamic, I’m still a relatively green creature. Some things can only be learned through time and patience, and I am of the stout mind that revision–good revision–is one of these things.

Not gonna lie, even though I didn’t hit my word count for this book during the month of April, I still took a small break from writing after Camp. I had every intention of keeping the momentum moving between months, but–as we will discuss momentarily–May had other plans for me. *nervous laughter intensifies* I’m starting to ease myself back into it all, though, and though the chapter I’m currently working on is a hot mess and a half, I’m still very excited for where I know this story will eventually lead! I just need to grasp the enthusiasm for gritty revision first, I guess. XD

Oh! Abd I have also created a new deadline for this book since I’ve completely blown past the first three I’ve made, but we don’t talk about Bruno that.

THE WORST PROJECT – 5,000 WORDS

My second goal for the month was to work on THE WORST PROJECT. Unfortunately, due to conflicting schedules between me and my co-conspirator for this project, we weren’t able to work on it at all in April. However, I’m super hopeful that we’ll get to find the time to do so sometime soon! This project is going to be such a weird, quirky little thing to create. I can’t wait for y’all to see more of it!

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WHAT’S UP, MAY?

In a nutshell, Camp NaNoWriMo could have been a bigger success. There were definitely some days (and some nights!) where I could have chosen to write and didn’t. There were moments where I picked books and movies and less “brain-intense” methods of passing the time. But at the end of the day, I’d consider this yet another successful Camp in the books. It was fun. It was leisurely. And it was just the right dose of chaotic playfulness that I needed after the first few stress-intense months that 2022 threw my way! And at the end of it all, I have some happy, deeply revised words in my pockets!

I’m still nowhere near done with completing PROJECT SUNSET. There’s so much work ahead that sometimes, if I think about it for too long, it becomes slightly discouraging. But I knew this project would be an undertaking when I accepted it. I knew what lay ahead of me, and I’m not planning on backing down any time soon. Despite the frustration of plot holes and character development and all the beautiful things that happen in revision, despite the fact that deadlines have been pushed (and pushed again), despite my fear that I might be nothing more than twenty frauds in a trench coat, the hope still stands: I will complete this book. And it will be my beautiful, disastrous mess.

And oh, how I will love it.

That being said, the month of May will not be a strong writing month for me–however very desperately I would like it to be. The coffee shop is in a heavy hiring period right now as we prepare for summer, which means a heavy training period, which means a slightly exhausted Kenzie as she struggles to balance it all. But the more balls thrown at me, the more I learn how to juggle them, and at the end of the day, I think I’m doing okay!

*massive explosions in the background*

Please ignore that.

So what is the plan for May, you ask? Honestly, other than simply surviving, I’m not entirely sure there’s much of a plan. As we teeter on the precipice of summer, I feel the best thing for both myself and this story is to just take it slow and steady. It may not be a wild burst of productivity every day, but I can easily write 300 words! And after a month of consistent 300 word chunks, perhaps June will see some actual progress. *crosses fingers and eyes and toes*

So yeah! That’s my plan for May! Survive. Have fun. Read good books and write good words. Take tiny adventures here and there. I just want to enjoy this summer, you know? This is the only May this year will ever have, and I want to make it a good one.

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talk to me, peasants!

So tell me!: what are YOUR plans for May? Are you writing anything special? Finishing school? Discovering any new favorite authors? Tell me all the many things you’ve been up to, friends! And also your plans. Because those are also fun. XD

As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down below! And until next time…

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2022 – In Which I Will Most Certainly Regret This

good morning, cyberspace!

Camp NaNoWriMo is back, peasants!

I’m a sucker for a good April Camp NaNoWriMo session, and I could not be more excited for the projects I’ve decided to tackle next month! It’s going to be a highly chaotic adventure filled with words and characters and ALL of the storytelling goodness, and I am very very excited to bring you all along for the ride! I will also most certainly regret biting off this much, but ya know. It’s all part of the journey, right? XD

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Behind The Scenes of Project Sunset – Writing is Rewriting is Rewriting is Rewriting…

good evening, cyberspace!

*cough cough* Please excuse the construction dust around here, friends! I’ve been reformatting some of this blog’s old pages and behind-the-scenes features, so while things might not look too awful different… there are definitely some new things happening here at the Smudged Thoughts headquarters…

One of which being the revival of the writing update series that I created approximately 3,000 years ago and then promptly forgot about! As one does, naturally.

look, I never said I was perfect, okay XD *kicks the amount of times I’ve called myself flawless under the carpet*

Anyway, back when this series first aired, I named it WIP It–a title I have since come to deeply regret. XD I’m still not sure exactly what I’d like to call this series–or how often I’ll even update this–but for right now I’m calling it “Behind The Scenes”. Because it’s… behind the scenes… of the book I’m writing… aha….

(by now it must be obvious that I have no clue what I’m doing.)

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good morning, 2022 – my plans and plots for the new year!

good morning, cyberspace!

Happy New Year, my friends! I can’t believe it’s already 2022–or January, for that matter–but here we are on the cusp of another shiny new year, hoping (I think) that perhaps this one will be just a little less terrifying than the past couple have been…

To be honest, I don’t think ANYONE expected the 20’s to be… whatever it is the 20’s have been lately. But hey! We’re making the most of it! And what better way to focus on the good than by thinking about plans and plots for the oncoming year? and simultaneously kicking all terrible things that have happened underneath the rug, ne’er to be seen again. this is fine. Specifically, of course, ones in regards to writing, reading, and any otherwise creative pursuits!

Goal creation is one of my favorite things, especially at the start of a new year. Not only is it new and exciting–the very fuel this chaotic creative thrives on–but it also helps hold me accountable to the very many things I want to accomplish within a calendar year. At least, it should hold me accountable. As we discovered last week, sometimes I’m not very good about staying true to the goals I’ve set for myself. XD But! That’s all part of the learning experience, amiright?

So this morning, for our very first post of 2022, I’m going to pull back the curtains of my mind and show you all a sneakety peakety of what I’m planning for this year!

What will I be writing within the coming months? Are there any new stories in the works? Do I have a publishing plan(lol wut)? What about secret projects? Are there any of those? (trick question. there are ALWAYS secret projects in the pipeline.) There’s so much to be excited about in the coming months–some of which I’m not even covering in today’s post–so let’s dive right in and take a look!

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