January, 2021

good morning, cyberspace!

It has come to my attention that I failed to write an update for the first month of 2021. And since one of my goals for the year is to become more involved on the blogosphere–and also lowkey keep better track of the months as they slowly slip through my fingers–I thought giving a recap on how January went for me was better late than never!

Honestly, not a whole lot happened during January. It was a rather unremarkable month. But being the first month of this brand new year, I still feel it’s worth acknowledging! This will most likely be a shorter blog post than we’re used to around here, but like … I’m not gonna say that’s a bad thing. XD

>>> <<<

january, 2021


First up, let’s talk writing statistics! As far as writing goes, January wasn’t all that great for me. I definitely did not write near as much as I wanted to, and I’m still relatively behind on my first drafting for PROJECT GOBLIN. However, winter is a pretty strange season for me in general, so productivity typically falls out the window during these colder months.

All that said, though, I definitely did write some words! And though it wasn’t as much as I might have wanted, I’m still proud of the progress I did achieve!

word goal — 15,000 words

total words written — 12,786 words

projects tracked — project goblin

best daily writing streak — 12 days in a row

My main goal for January was to work on PROJECT GOBLIN and get a solid headway into the story. This … did not happen, exactly? But I definitely did work on it, and 12.5k story words is nothing to sneeze at, if I do say so, myself. Of course, I would have LIKED to write that extra 2,300 words and hit my goal of 15k, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Life happens, and I’m learning to embrace the chaos, accept the end result, and give myself grace in the midst of disappointment.

However, all that being said, I’m definitely planning on having a comeback in February. Which is saying something, since we’re already 7 days in at the time of me writing this, and I most DEFINITELY have not had any sort of comeback at all yet. But there’s still time! I have 21 days, peasants! I CAN DO THIS.

*distant sobbing*

Ahem. Anyway.

I also blogged a little bit last month, but since I didn’t track those words, I can’t exactly tell you how much was put towards blogging and how much was put towards actual story work. However, I can tell you that February has seen much more intent towards blogging than it has actual writing, and that … probably is not a very good thing. But since it’s been a while since I’ve actually been serious about blogging, I’m trying to ride this wave for as long as it will carry me.

Hopefully I’ll start writing more story words soon, though. I kinda need that if I’m going to meet my self-inflicted deadline.


As described in my 2021 Goals & Aspirations post, I’ve kept up with my goal of reading books which are actually on my shelf, rather than obtaining more and … not reading them.

This, of course, comes with a wee bit of a caveat, because while I definitely read books on my shelf, they both also happened to be rereads… Which means I’m literally not any closer to narrowing down the list of books I own which I have yet to read.

But this is okay, because at least I haven’t been going out and obtaining new books, right? Haha.



OKAY, FINE. I went out and bought three new books, okay? But it’s not my fault. I take one step into a Barnes and Noble and suddenly I’m having an out-of-body experience in which I’m incapable of stopping myself from adopting at least one new child. It’s … it’s not good. But also I have NO SHAME, PEASANTS. NONE WHATSOEVER.

Awkward Season 4 GIF by The Office

Okay, I honestly have a problem. But it’s fine. I’m excited about the books I bought, and even more excited about my two rereads, so let’s just celebrate the bookishness that happened last month, yes?

Yes. Let’s do that.

books read


3. sy475

Technically I’m buddy-reading this one with Christine, and GUYS. First of all, this story is absolute whimsy on a page, and secondly–CHRISTINE IS LITERALLY ONE OF MY FAVORITE HUMANS EVER. After reading this book, we had a Zoom call and squealed about all things Harry Potter and life-ishness and writerly, and guys. It was magical. I adore this girl with my whole entire heart, I swear.

ENTWINED by Heather Dixon


This book, guys. It’s magic and romance and enchantment and whimsy and sisterhood and just…!!! This book has my heart, and it’s had it ever since I read it for the first time a few years ago. I think there’s a more detailed review of my first reading lurking somewhere on this blog, but I’m too lazy to find it, and I’m also a little too terrified to try. (my early reviewing days were … um … *distant screaming whilst my blog backlog goes up in flames*.)


books obtained



This is my first Gaimon, and GUYS! I am so so excited to read this one! I’ve been wanting to read The Graveyard Book ever since Phoebe told me my goblins (from PROJECT GOBLIN) sounded similar to some characters (ghouls, I think?) from this story. And I FINALLY found it at Barnes and Noble and it was like 10 bucks and I’m just!!!!! Over the moon thrilled is what I am, my friends.

READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Clime

12600138. sy475

This one was–not gonna lie–a severely impulsive buy. But I went to a Barnes and Noble with a new friend, and she told me she absolutely adored this book and thought I’d really like it, so … obviously I had to buy it. XD I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book, with the majority of it being positive, so I’m really eager to read it and form my own opinion!

Also I’ve just discovered that me, aforementioned friend, and yet another new friend might be starting our own little book club, with this being our first read, and I just???? This sounds adorable? I’m very excited about this, not gonna lie.

And finally, the book I’m probably MOST excited about right now…

AN ECHO OF THE FAE by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

54198875. sy475

I was part of the cover reveal for this story, as well as an arc reader (though I didn’t finish the book in time, and I wasn’t able to write a review like I’d wanted to for the blog tour), BUT. I hadn’t gotten my own copy of this book yet. However, it’s one that I knew I wanted to add to my collection this year (despite my self-inflicted book-buying ban), and just recently I saw that the hardcover had gone on sale for a limited time!

…you guys can probably piece the story together from here.

Technically, my copy of ECHO hasn’t arrived in the mail yet, but I’M STILL REALLY REALLY EXCITED FOR IT TO GET HERE…!!! I’m so excited, guys… Jenelle is one of my favorite humans ever, and her stories always have this element of whimsy and adventure within them that just speaks to my very soul. I know for a fact that once ECHO gets here, I’m probably going to bump it to the top of my TBR almost immediately.

(smol update: my copy of ECHO came!!! and as predicted, this is going to the top of my TBR. #oops)


So! In keeping with my goal of staying connected with the blogging community more this year, I’ve decided that I’m going to add a “community” section to each of my monthly recaps! (very smart. much wow.) This, of course, is a wee bit of an experiment at the moment, but I’m eager to see how it will change and grow over the course of the next few months!

Unfortunately, January was a bit of a “dead month” for me, so I once again wasn’t super active here on the blogosphere as I would have liked to be. BUT. I’m still going to highlight some of my favorite bloggers, because even though I haven’t been reading and interacting as much as I want to, I’ve definitely rediscovered some of my favorite blogs this past month, and I want to share them with you all today! (even though y’all are probably already following each other, but IT’S FINE. I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. MWAHAHAHAHA. #help)

i. Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

If you’re not following Jenelle yet, you are SERIOUSLY missing out. This girl is an absolute FAIRY. Her stories are magic and fairy dust, her blog posts are clever and incredibly insightful towards all things writing and indie publishing. She’s a wonderfully talented writer and an even greater friend, and I am so incredibly honored to have this beautiful human in my life.

Jenelle is also currently hosting something called Fantasy Month, so you should definitely hop on over to her blog and check it out before February ends!

ii. Sarah Seele

Sarah is one of the wittiest, cleverest (yes, it’s a word) bloggers I know. I don’t even remember how we stumbled across each other’s blogs, but I swear hers is one of my favorites to just binge on a rainy day when I’m hit with the sudden, inexplicable desire to just read some blog posts. She also has this really beautiful, almost magical way of writing, and I just *clutches heart*. She’s precious and I adore her and you NEED to go give her a follow if you haven’t already, okay? Okay.

iii. Christine Smith

For almost as long as I’ve been a part of the blogging community, Christine has been one of the sweetest, most encouraging voices. She is sunlight and kindness and I truly do not deserve to have her in my life. But oh my word, am I thankful for her. I literally cannot envision being a part of the blogging world without Christine. She makes every day brighter, and having her as a friend is legitimately one of the greatest things to have come from my time as a blogger.

Oh. And not to mention the fact that her blog posts are actually the most wonderful posts you will ever read in your whole entire life. (not even joking) Christine is one of those bloggers who I feel like everyone already knows, but GUYS. If you’re not following her already … please go follow her. She is actual sunshine in a bottle, and you need to read her posts.

>>> <<<

talk to me, peasants!

and that’s that for my January, 2021 recap! I … don’t exactly know how we’re already nearly halfway into February, but here we are. (are you scared? I’m scared.)

Anyway! Some questions for you all to ponder whilst I go have an existential crisis!

how did your january go? did you get any writing done? read any good books? have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned here, and–if so–what were your thoughts/opinions on them? and for all my fellow bloggers/readers of blogs out there (which is obviously you since you’re reading this), what are some of YOUR top favorite blogs to read?

Let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! And until next time…

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

Going Forward

good morning, cyberspace!

As you may have noticed, I unwittingly disappeared from the blogosphere yet again. Am I proud of this? lol, nope. But sometimes life likes to give you a nice little drop-kick to the spleen, and that, my dear beans, is what happened this summer.

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that 2020 has been the year of unpredictability, but as much as I want to blame my inconsistencies on this year and all the horrors it has flung at us, I can’t. The truth is, the only person I can blame for my horrible habit of falling off the face of the earth time and again is myself. I’m the one not putting my whole self into blogging and writing and staying consistent. I’m the one who doesn’t even try to get organized, and therefore doesn’t have anything to post when Tuesday rolls around. I’m the one who needs to make some changes to the way I do things, and therefore, that is what I’m trying to do.

I know I said I have some news for you all this week, and that post will be coming out in a day or so. But today is for clarifying something that’s been heavy on my mind for quite some time:

I don’t know where this blog is going.

Have I mentioned this before? Maybe. I honestly don’t even remember. But the fact remains that I no longer know the direction in which to take this. When I first started out, it felt easy. Almost natural. Like blogging was a part of me that I hadn’t realized I’d been missing until I had it. But lately, blogging has felt less like a part of me that I’ve been missing, and more like a past part of myself I’m trying to hold on to.

Smudged Thoughts means so much to me, guys. I’m not sure if I can fully describe the extent of it. This blog is where I found my voice, where I stepped out of my shell and created a thing I’m proud of. It’s where I met my friends and released the side of myself that I’d been holding back for so long. The Kenzie you see standing before you today is here because of Smudged Thoughts. Had she not taken a leap of faith nearly four years ago and created this smol little chaos corner, I might be an entirely different creature.

Possibly a goblin. Or a unicorn.

But despite how much I love and cherish and adore this blog, even a dreamer like me has to admit that we sometimes outgrow things. Sometimes we have to give things up in order to have greater, grander opportunities present themselves. And this has been my conundrum–not for the past three weeks of my absence–but for the past few months.

Lately it feels like I keep rehashing the same old things. It feels like nothing is new anymore, and every post I write feels like an old outline recycled. And as someone who thrives on the new and the exciting and the adventurous . . . I don’t like this feeling. So I’ve been pondering, stewing, thinking over ways to fix this, and all the while, I keep disappearing from the internet without so much as a word of warning. And I hate that. I hate disappearing. I hate not being present in this beautiful community. I hate not feeling like I have the time to be a part of it, because in all actuality, I do have the time. I’m just not making it a priority.

And admitting that is like stabbing myself in the shin.

So I’ve been considering my options. I’ve been tossing them back and forth for the past few days especially, trying to determine how I want to move forward. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, actually. A lot of decisions have been made in the course of so little time that I’m quite literally shocked by the pile of them I now have sitting in the corner. But even as I type this, the truth of what I know I want becomes clearer. It’s just a matter of doing it that frightens me. Because I know–I know–what I must do. And I know that I’m going to fall again.

And again.

And probably again until I eventually land on the perfect, golden formula of time-management which constantly eludes me. But the truth is, no matter how much I may think it’ll be easier just to give up blogging in its entirety, just to have the fear of failure no longer sweating over my back, I can’t. I love it too much. I love my corner of the internet too much. And I love this community too much, even if I haven’t been as big a part of it lately as I’ve wanted to be.

But what I said about outgrowing things is still true, which is why I’m taking the plunge and–with any luck–changing some things up around here. I want to talk about books more. Good books, especially. Which is why–in the coming months–you might be seeing more reviews from me. But I also want to talk about writing and life, as well. Because being a writer isn’t all there is to living. There are so many adventures to be had out in this great and crazy world, and I want to go out and seize them. And I want to share my journey into the writing and publishing world with you all.

So even though I’ve been disappearing, Smudged Thoughts is sticking around, even if I have the occasional slip-up. Who knows if I’ll fall off the face of the earth again, but if I do, know that I will keep coming back.

Again and again and again.

>>> <<<

talk to me, peasants!

Well, I’m back. This wasn’t exactly the post I’d planned to publish today, but then again, plans have never been my strong suit. XD I’m not really sure what to ask for questions, though, so we’ll just go with something random.

If there is one post you’d like to see from me in the future, what is it, and why?

I currently have a few posts already planned or in the works, so let’s see if I can actually keep my head this time around…

As always, let’s talk about ALL of the things in the comments below! And until next time–because there will be a next time…

FALLING DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE: reacting to my blog search histories

good morning, cyberspace!

Today’s post is one that I am v e r y excited about, my friends. Recently I read a post from my enviously talented friend, Kate, in which she went through her blog search histories and commented on all the weird and wacky searches that brought slightly grammatically challenged Googlers to her blog. As she said in her post, this is something that Cait from Paper Fury has done on numerous occasions in her monthly recaps, and something that I–inspired by Cait–have also done in the past. (I’m a pirate, what can I say. [although one could argue that it’s not true piracy when I blatantly admit that the idea is 100% not my own? but whatever. LET ME BE A PIRATE, PEASANTS!!!!])

Ahem. Moving on.

Today, as you could probably guess, I’m going to be reacting to my most recent search histories! I feel like a sufficient amount of time has passed for me to have some decent pileage to sift through, so without further ado, let’s crack open that Search Terms bar and find some things to comment on!

>>> <<<

— FALLING DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE: reacting to my blog search histories —

i. gif of wicked witch of the west saying curses

Um. . .? I’m not entirely sure why this particular search brought you to my blog, but I think I may know what you’re looking for.

Wizard Of Oz GIF

There you go. It’s always my goal to make sure my readers are taken care of.

ii. the pros and cons of the boy from wonder going to school // pros and cons of the book wonder // what were the cons and pros of august of wondergoing to school // strength and weakness of the book wonder // pros and cons of auggie going to school // what are some cons of auggie going to school

Fun Fact: I definitely don’t know what the pros and cons are for August Pullman going to school in the book Wonder. But I can definitely tell you some cons to writing a pro/con review of the book Wonder!

Con #1 – THIS.

iii. super villian cliches

Okay, so technically I wrote a whole post about Villain Cliches about three thousand years ago (it was initially going to be part of a series, but . . . lol. that has unfortunately not happened yet), but holy guacamole. I never even thought about doing supervillain cliches???

Someone get on this. I need this list in my life STAT.

iv. reviews of amazingflings.com

Uh . . . okay, so I have absolutely no clue what this website is, and honestly, I’m a little scared to look?

*one google search later*

Aha. Okay. So to save you the trouble of googling this and having it forever scarred in your search history (as it is now in mine), I’m just going to put it politely and say that it looks like a “dating app”. But since you’re apparently here for a review on this particular website, allow me to give you what you came for.


PROS none

CONS this site exists

OVERALL OPINIONS — Don’t use this website. It’s creepy and looks like something my great uncle Carl would use to try and find his next serial murder victim.

The end.

v. otp writing challenge

Yesssssss!!! This challenge was SO much fun to do! I highly recommend it to any writer out there looking for a fun, easy post to draft. Of course, my version of this tag was slightly weird because I *cough* don’t write romance, but you can still check it out right here if you’re interested!

vi. bookpub a scam

I believe we’re missing an important ‘is‘ in there, and the answer to that is YES. Anything with the word ‘pub’ in it sounds like a scam to me. (although this is coming from the girl who thought the NaNoWriMo site was going to give her a virus, so….?)

Now, if you were asking me about bookbub, on the other hand . . . then the answer to that is probably still a yes. I wouldn’t trust it.

Be safe, people. Scams are everywhere.

vi. an experiment is a beautiful thing it is an adventure

Oh my word, I wholeheartedly agree with your rather strangely worded and grammatically incorrect sentence! (there should be a semi-colon in there, friend.) But I digress. An experiment IS a beautiful thing, and it is most certainly an adventure. What a wonderful way to phrase that!

vii. am ia pile of disappointment

Well then. This is probably the saddest search term I have in my inbox.

No, friend. You are most definitely NOT a pile of disappointment. And I sincerely hope that if this search term really and truly did bring you to my blog, that you come away from my posts with a smile on your face and the knowledge that you’re worth more than diamonds and rubies and the whole force of a dragon’s hoard.

Whatever made you google this, just know that it does get better eventually. Okay? Okay.

. . . and lastly, our final search term of the day. . .

viii. smudged thoughts

AHA!!! See??? At least someone knows what to put into Google to find some quality content.

Whoever did this, you’re my new favorite. <333

>>> <<<

talk to me, peasants!

And there you have it, friends! This post is rather short and sweet, I know, but there have been Things going on in my life–things to prepare for, things to do, things to REMEMBER–and I’ve just kinda been hiding from the internet like the scared little chameleon that I am. This is what happens when I get stressed out, apparently. I HIDE. (does anyone else do this? No? Just me? Okay then…)

But anyway! On to the questions!:

  • what is the weirdest search you’ve ever found in your history?
  • have you ever read the book Wonder? and if so, DO YOU KNOW THE PROS AND CONS OF HIM GOING TO SCHOOL? because I seriously get like eight of these every month, apparently.
  • have you ever tried bookpub (or even bookBUB), and is it a scam? the public needs to know.

And lastly, most important of all–


Because holy guacamole that would be so much fun to draft. . . *eyes messy drafts folder warily*

As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS! down in the comments below! And until next time. . .

The ‘You Made A Difference’ Tag! — Celebrating The Bloggers Who Brought Me Here

good morning, cyberspace!

Today, my dearest peasants, is a day of pure celebration. For today is the day in which I post Smudged Thoughts’ 200th blog post!

*internal screaming*

I honestly can’t believe we’ve made it this far, guys. Smudged Thoughts started out as just a smol little hobby of mine in 2016, but since then I feel as though it’s grown into so much more. It’s become my safe space, my tiny corner of the internet in which I can scream and rant and fangirl about all of the writerly/bookish things. And over the past 3+ years, I’ve found community here on the blogosphere. It’s been a wonderful, beautiful, magical ride, and I wouldn’t trade away these past three–almost four!–years for anything in the world.

So today, in honor of our 200th blog post and all the wonderful peeps I’ve met here on the blogosphere, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to do a tag!

But not just ANY tag, however. This tag in particular was created by the ever mischievous, forever enchanting Jem Jones, who just so happens to be one of my favorite humans on this whole entire earth. (hint: this means you definitely need to go follow her blog, peasants.) Secondly, it’s a tag about other bloggers–specifically the blogs and bloggers that influenced us in our blogging/creative journeys. And if THAT doesn’t sound like the perfect way to honor my life here on the blogosphere, then I don’t even know what is.

Unfortunately, I cannot, however, don my spare ski mask and eye-patch and become the thieving pirate burglar that I’ve always dreamed of for this tag, because Jem was an absolute dear and ACTUALLY TAGGED ME FOR THIS. So alas. I’m doing this, not under the guise of piracy, but with a gentle pat on the head and a soft, “Hey, Kenzie, you should totally do this tag!”

Very disgruntling, I can assure you.

But I digress. If you are reading this and find I did not tag you, BY ALL MEANS please tag yourself and go for it! This tag actually takes your answers and turns them into the taggees, which I find a very delicious concept.

Let’s begin!

Read More »

JANUARY WRAP UP — smol writing updates, Harry Potter, and other random life-ishness

good morning, cyberspace!

The first month of 2020 is over, and if I’m being completely honest, part of me feels like I was slightly jipped in the “New Year” department. On January 1st, I woke up with a cold. Then, just when I began to recover from that, I caught the flu.

Queue me sitting on the couch doing nothing for the next three days whilst feeling like death was about to come knocking on my door with his spindly, bony-white knuckles.

However, despite these minor setbacks in my health–which decidedly proved fatal to my productivity–the month of January was still, in it’s own strange, sick little way, a good month! So let’s talk about January!

Read More »

Good Morning, 2020! (feat. my super awesome mega goals for the new year!)

good morning, cyberspace!

Last week we talked about all of the things that happened in 2019. This week, seeing as though it’s the bright, shiny new start to a brand new year (and also a brand new DECADE, but let’s just ignore that horrible thought for a moment), we’re going to be talking all about my super awesome mega plans for 2020! And, though I don’t want to give away too many spoilers for what’s to unfold in this post, I will say that some of these plans may or may not include taking the next step in my publishing journey. So. There’s that.

*eternal screaming*

shocked andrew scott GIF

Let’s dive right in, shall we?Read More »

The Blogiversary Giveaway — THE FINALE

good morning, cyberspace!!!

I am so, so, so, SO impossibly excited for today’s post, you guys! For the past three months, I’ve been taunting and teasing and poking you all with this smol little giveaway of mine, and finally–FINALLY!!!–I’m able to announce the winner!!!

And YES, I didn’t get all of the blogiversary things done like I wanted to (like that missing short story that I FINALLY FOUND only to throw in the garbage because it was a dumpster fire, or that blog post that revisits my very first smudge. [the beginning is finicky and I am #done with it at this point.]), but we’re just going to ignore all of my procrastinations and failures and focus on the CELEBRATION! On the prizes!! On the one lucky winner who will be selected to be the happy recipient of a glorious pen and notebook combo!

And since even I don’t know who the winner’s going to be at this point, this is bound to be a roller coaster of excitement for us all.

But before we get into the whole “who’s the winner???” bit of this, we first have some short stories to look at! Because HOLY GUACAMOLE, folks! You wrote some killer shorts for this giveaway!

and also I was going to write something, too, but then that completely failed, so whatever. we’re ignoring my failures right now, remember?Read More »

Eight Types of Creatives: A Very Non-Exhaustive List

good morning, cyberspace!

Are you a creator? Do you like making something out of nothing (or something new out of something old?) Do you find yourself looking at a pile of tin soda cans and thinking, “Huh. That could be a three-legged crab!”? Do you write books, paint pictures, or draw squibbles with crayons?

Well, then. You, my friend, might just be a creative.

But the question now remains–what KIND of a creative are you? It is my firm–and possibly false–belief that while there are millions of creatives out in the universe, there are also many different types of creatives. So today we shall splay all the many different creative types out on a thick foam slab and dissect them like a frog in biology class!

Let’s dive right in!Read More »

GOOD MORNING, OCTOBER!: ft. All About That Pitch Wars & My Plans For October!

good morning, October!

I mentioned very briefly in my last post (which you should DEFINITELY check into if you haven’t already, because there are PRIZES and a WRITING CONTEST and ME SCREAMING FEROCIOUSLY INTO THE VOID) that I was going to be entering Pitch Wars. So today I’m here to go into a little bit more detail regarding that. But just a forewarning, this is mostly me just ranting and squealing and ripping my hair out over the anxiety that is Pitch Wars. So if you’d like to hear about which story I entered, what I’m working on now, and my mediocre plans for October, read-on, my peasant!Read More »

Happy Blogiversary, Peasants!

good morning, cyberspace!

Oh my, this post is late.

alice in wonderland disney GIF

To be honest, I actually wrote this post up on the 13th of September–which is precisely the day when it was supposed to go live. Buuuut, since I am a complete and utter failure of a person, I wasn’t able to finish the giveaway prize until the 16th. And then life and work and a super secret project (more on that later) got in the way of me taking photos of the prize and polishing this blog post up and figuring out the minor details of the giveaway and . . . yeah. Here we are today. On the 22nd of September.


I guess this is the part where I should apologize and try to explain away my absence or whatever, but in all reality, I’m sure you guys know exactly how this is. Us bloggers are very fickle creatures. I’m not the only one who’s taken an unexplained hiatus, or disappeared from the blogosphere for an odd amount of time only to reappear weeks later with a bang and a clang and a handful of apology cookies. Disappearing during stressful life seasons is normal for bloggers, and I think it’s high time we started accepting that, rather than feeling guilty for not being as “involved” as we usually are.

SO. Even though I am very sorry for disappearing, I know you guys understand and love me anyway, so instead of rambling incessantly about all the reasons why I haven’t been on here, let’s hop right into why I’m very excited to be here today!


Dance Dancing GIF by The .GIFYS


As promised, today I shall be hosting my very first ever blogiversary giveaway! This is something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time now, so getting to do it for my third blogiversary feels a little bit surreal.

That, and the prize we’ll be giving away today is something that I never would have dreamed I’d be able to do. I always thought it would be something small–something not all that great, but still cool.

But let me tell you, folks, I am one severely lucky duckling–or rather, you could potentially be–because not only did I make something not very great for this giveaway, but my dad was kind enough to make something absolutely supremely awesome for me, and it is my absolute greatest honor to be able to share it with you all today.

(or one of you. . . one of you is going to get this. oops.)

But anyway. Enough chit-chatter about how amazing this prize is. I’m sure you’re all dying to actually see it (seeing as though I’ve kept it a secret for the past three thousand years). So without any further ado, it’s time for me to finally announce the giveaway prizes!!!!!!

excited clapping GIF by Cheezburger

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First up, we have this kinda funky looking notebook, crafted and loved by Yours Truly. I was initially going to do something a wee bit different (it was a whale, folks. I was painting a whale. [and also props to Jethan for figuring out those were watercolor pencils??? how did you do this???]), but as I mentioned in The Blogiversary Disaster, that kinda took a dump and I had to re-evaluate my options. BUT ANYWHO. We now have this sort of splotchy looking notebook with a happy little quote on the front, and obviously this is the perfect notebook for any creative looking to write–or draw!–magical and whimsical things. SO! You should 10/10 want this, right? Right.


AND LOOK! I drew an extremely pale and wobbly cookie on the back!!! Don’t you just adore it???? (*sweats nervously*)

All right, all right. So that is my contribution to the giveaway. But what, you might be wondering, is the prize that my wonderful father made? What is the icing on this already decadent cake of mediocre painting and calligraphy? Well, my dearest friends, it is something that any writer should be absolutely honored to have in their possession.

It is. . .

. . .a fountain pen!! A hand-turned, 100% magical, absolutely GORGEOUS fountain pen, perfect for slaying dragons or crafting anti-heroes or penning the world’s next literary masterpiece in honor of the authorial legends of yore.

I’m . . . kind of jealous of this portion of the prize, to be honest. Although, I’m not too jealous, because he made me one, too, and it’s blue and swirly and my favorite pen of ever, so. I’m appeased. XD

BUT ANYWAY. If you would like to win this magical fountain pen and add it to your treasure trove of writerly goodness, then read on, fellow creative! If, however, you no longer have any interest in this giveaway, go ahead and click off the page now.

Because I no longer have any interest in you, either. Ahahahahahahahahahahaha.


but not really.



“Okay, Kenzie,” you say, straightening your tie and sniffing dubiously. “So I’ve seen the prizes, and I’m pretty sure I want that. Now, how am I supposed to enter this contest, hm?”

Well, my dear, you have asked a very important question here. Entering the giveaway is simple, easy, and doesn’t even include signing away your firstborn son in goat’s blood on the eve of a full moon. (although this is definitely an option if you’d rather.) In fact, I’ve made it so simple that you might even be entered already . . . and you don’t even know it*.

In order to enter the Smudged Thoughts blogiversary giveaway, you must do the following:

  • have a valid mailing address . . . after tossing and turning and trying to figure out whether this giveaway should be international or not (*cough* horrendous shipping *cough*), I finally talked to my parents, and they agreed that since I have so many wonderful friends who DON’T live in the states (you guys know who you are. <333), we should make it international! (although, I clearly owe a huge thanks to them. they’re the most wonderful humans on the planet and offered to help pay the shipping cost, and I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. . . so.)
  • be following this blog (obviously)
  • comment down below and tell me your absolute favorite weird or quirky thing about yourself! (because not only do I want this to be a celebration of my blog, I want it to be a celebration of all of you, as well! and in order to do that, I’d love to know something about you guys. So! Tell me about yourself!)
  • ORRRRRR, tell me about your current WIP! (because that’s also interesting and I love talking about writing. So.)
    • kind of an add-on to the last bit, but make sure to include the WordPress username (or email, if you’re not a WordPress member and you followed me through email) you used to follow Smudged Thoughts in your comment, please! Because I WILL be checking to see who’s actually followed the rules, and knowing who’s who will make this process so much easier. . . 

And that’s literally it, folks! Three-ish steps, and you’ll be entered to win this gorgeous pen and notebook by Yours Truly and Yours Truly’s wood magician of a father.

. . .however, there is a slight catch.

You may have noticed, but the prizes for this giveaway are sliiiiightly writer-oriented. You know. Just slightly. And this, my friends, is because this blog is–in case you did not know–a writing blog. Where writers congregate to talk about the joys and woes of writing.

Now, this is not to say that I don’t think non-writers should enter!!! If you’re a non-writer and you’ve been following my blog and want to enter the giveaway, that is 100% perfect and I would never tell you not to enter for the world. HOWEVER. Because the prizes are–for the most part–intended to be used for a writer, I think it’s only fair to make the giveaway a little bit writer specific, as well.

SO! The best way I’ve thought to do this is by giving the writers out there a little bit of an edge on the competition! (or perhaps this will serve to convert the non-writers???) Basically, anyone can enter the giveaway, but if you want to get 13 EXTRA ENTRIES towards your name, you need to write a story.

short story, specifically–a short story that is anywhere between 300-750 words, and includes one of the following words/topics: cookies, bean, pitchfork(s).

(These word choices were absolutely random and have nothing to do with me or my weird obsessions/nicknames. Aha.)

This short story, once written, can then be sent to me–the glorious, most magnificent of Kenzie’s–to be read and squealed over and stashed away in my super secret email folder until October, when I will announce the winner of the giveaway and post ALL of the entries here on the blog. (though they can definitely remain anonymous if that is something you’d prefer!!!)

And you might be thinking . . . “Kenzie . . . why on earth would you post all of the entries? Shouldn’t you just do the actual winner?”

To which I say . . . “No.”

Because here’s the thing: the winner of the giveaway is going to be random no matter what. I won’t be judging story entries–I’m just going to give those who write a story more entries, which will give them a better chance of winning this writing-centered prize–and my personal view for this giveaway is that it doesn’t matter what level of writing you’re currently at. What matters is that you have the passion and drive and desire to write, and no matter what, that love for writing is going to shine through in your work. (otherwise it will look like you just slapped something together to get more entries, and believe me, folks, I WILL KNOW.) So whether you’re a novice or a beginner or one of the great masters themselves, you have just as much a chance of winning as anyone else.

HOWEVER. If you truly do not want your work seen by anyone (other than me, of course), then just put a note at the top of your entry that says something along the lines of >> IF YOU SHOW THIS TO ANYONE I SHALL CURSE YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY WITH THE PLAGUE OF A DISEASED SWINE << and I shall know by this polite, simple gesture that you do not want me posting your entry along with everyone else’s in the winner announcement post.

(even though I would absolutely love to post it, but whatever. it’s your work, my friend.)


  • absolutely NO swearing/profanity or explicit content of any kind — this is a family friendly place, folks, and I don’t want to have to filter all that junk out of the writing entries. Keep your stories clean and polite, please. that is literally all I ask.
  • no really. that is literally all I ask of you.
  • oh wait. but also use this form to send me your short stories, if you don’t mind. . . *points down*


  • THIS GIVEAWAY IS OPEN UNTIL MIDNIGHT ON THE 13TH OF OCTOBER. Short story entries MUST be submitted by this date.
  • Winners will be announced on the 23rd of October.
  • The prize will be shipped as soon as the winners are announced and a shipping address is retrieved through email correspondence.

And that, my friends, is pretty much everything! I am so beyond excited for this giveaway, and I really hope you guys are, too. I know you’ve waited FAR too long for me to finally get to this, but I can assure you that it was not for lack of trying, and–hopefully–now that this giveaway prize conundrum is finally out of the way, we can start settling back into our regularly scheduled programming.

Or perhaps NOT, because as you will learn in my next post . . . I’M ENTERING PITCH WARS, PEASANTS!!!!!

scared boy meets world GIF


All righty, folks! Hopefully I made this giveaway thing easy to understand, but if you have ANY questions at all, feel free to drop me a comment down below! I’m going to start going backwards through my comment list, so hopefully I’ll get to all these beautiful comments I’ve been missing in my inbox.

And as always, thank you all SO MUCH for all of your kindness and support over the years. You guys are the absolute best, and I would never be where I am today without you. <333

And now, without further ado, go ahead and drop a comment down below and tell me a weird fact about yourself or your WIP! Whether you’re writing a story about pirates, or you, yourself, are a pirate king, I’d love to know a little bit more about you and the stuff you write.

Until next time. . .

_flings cookies in the air and disappears_