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

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january, 2021

writing

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.

reading

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.

Hahahahahaha…

…heh.

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

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE by JK Rowling

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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

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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*.)

Anyway.

books obtained

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaimon

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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

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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

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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)

community

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.

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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*

GOOD MORNING, 2021!: goals, aspirations, and just a pinch of pixie dust

good morning, cyberspace!

Well, folks, we made it. 2020 is finally over, and we’re standing bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the sparkling sunshine of a brand new year!

….lol, okay, so maybe that’s an over-exaggeration. To be quite honest with you, I stayed up a ridiculous amount of time on New Year’s Eve in order to A) finish this blog post, and B) finish my goodreads reading challenge for 2020. Which, since I still had 4 books to read before midnight, obviously means that I downloaded a bunch of children’s picture books off Libby to binge whilst eating jalapeño popper dip and watching my family work on a 3,000 piece Beatles puzzle. So to say that I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the first? Eh, no thanks. Red-eyed and cowlicked would probably have been a better descriptor. XD

But despite the fact that I’m more than a little sleep-deprived, I’m still extremely excited for this new year we’re in! I know it’s a little cliché and perhaps a bit annoying to some, but I LOVE the new year. To me, it really does feel like a fresh start. Or…as close to a fresh start as we can possibly get. *side-eyes skeletons in my closet warily*

And what better moment to start completely overriding how you perceive and challenge your goals than on the day when the rest of the world does the exact same thing! New Year, New Me, after all, amiright?

lolololololololol *distant sobbing*

Season 2 Phil GIF by CBS All Access

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GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS

Okay, okay, in all seriousness, while I don’t believe that your entire being can change with the simple twitch of a clock at midnight, I do believe that setting goals and aspirations for yourself at the start of a new year is a somewhat fun practice, and therefore that is precisely what we’re gonna do today!

Of course, if there’s one thing that 2020 taught me, it’s that Life has a way of completely switching everything up on you without a moment’s notice, so while I’m making these goals with the intent of accomplishing them, I’m definitely giving myself grace in the odds that I fail them, and will NOT be critical of myself if I don’t manage to complete them all.

A least, I’ll try very hard not to be critical of myself. That’s probably something I should set as a goal, to be honest. *nervous laughter*

WRITING

a.k.a my favorite goals to set!!! I have … quite a lot of writing projects I want to work on this year. Which means that either A) I will complete them all and be a very happy bean in one year’s time, or B) I will complete absolutely none of them and be a ball of absolute stress in about a month or so.

It’s naught but a coin toss as to which one we’ll end up with, but this is a risk I am willing to take, peasants.

live dangerously austin powers GIF

i. complete the first draft of PROJECT GOBLIN

You will most likely remember that the past two months have been spent in the epic failure of me trying to write the first draft of Project Goblin. First NaNoWriMo, in which I wrote a solid and respectable 10,000 words, and then my own personal project called NaNoWhyTho, in which I wrote … 2,000 words.

Yeah. That’s December, for you.

However, now that the holidays are behind us, I figure now’s as good a time as any to really start cranking out the words for Project Goblin! I’m currently a wee bit stuck plot-wise, but I’m sure it’s nothing a good brainstorming session can kick loose!

Of course, as any good task-completer will tell you, it’s always wise to create a deadline for yourself as to when you should complete your project or goal. But since I find that blurting all the gory details of my plans to the world then results in me not lifting a finger to COMPLETE said goal, I will be keeping my makeshift deadline a secret for the time being.

Y’all will know when I finish the book. When you hear the pterodactyl screeching in the distance, you shall know.

ii. read and revise the second draft of PROJECT SUNSET

Not gonna lie, Project Sunset was a super fun book to write.

It is also a massive garbage fire and I must burn it down completely before rebuilding it into something glorious. Thus the reason that I would REAAAAAALLY like to read through the first draft and then revise a second draft of Project Sunset this year! Of course, this might not actually happen, since it IS a rather large undertaking, AND it’s been quite a while since I’ve tackled a second draft. But I’m confident that I can at least start it, and that’s half the battle right there, is it not?

iii. outline and draft PUMPKALAGOO

…..okay, so literally no one has heard about this story yet, but LOOK, MA! I HAVE A NEW STORY SPROUT!

I’m not going to say TOO awful much about this project quite yet, but I CAN tell you that it’s A) a middle grade novel about a witch, and B) was greatly inspired about the weird poem about a king eating a raven in a pie.

…or something along that line, anyway. XD

iv. thorough readthrough and revision of EVERLOST

This one is going last because, in all honesty, this isn’t a SUPER big priority for me…..which obviously means this is a massive priority, and if I don’t get this done this year, I might cry.

Or throw a pitchfork and a tantrum, but I digress.

COMMUNITY

OOOH, LOOK! A new one! Usually I do Writing, Reading, and Life, but this year I wanted to switch it up a bit and make some writing community goals, as well! Especially since we all know I need some accountability when it comes to being present in the community… *nervous sweating*

i. post to blog 1 time a week (excepting any hiatuses I might feel convicted to take)

This is a big one for me. If all else fails, I’d really, REALLY like to start blogging again. This community has helped me grow so much as a person and as a writer, and it’s through blogging that I’ve found some of my closest, most deepest of friendships.

So to say that I’d like to keep up with blogging this year is a massive understatement. I need to do this. This is my community, and when I’m away from it, I don’t really feel very much like myself at all. So 2021…please let this be the year that I dig my roots in deep and thrive.

ii. post to instagram 3x weekly

As I’ve continued to dip my toes into the depths of Instagram, I’ve realized that this is another platform I’d really like to get involved with! For the longest time I used Twitter as my means of outside communication with the writing community, but–if I’m being perfectly honest–the negativity on there is rather astounding. So I’m switching gears (for now) and focusing more of my intent onto Instagram, where I can share aesthetically pleasing photos and write captions that are longer than 150 characters. XD

While posting three times a week is definitely a goal that I have, I’m not going to kill myself over it. Blog posts and my personal writings are going to be my main focus this year, and social media is just going to be a side project for the time being.

(however, if you’d LIKE to follow my instagram, it’s @thesmudgedthoughts *hint-hint*)

iii. become more involved with the writing/blogging community as a whole

THIS. This right here is something that I’ve been wanting to do for FOREVER. But somehow I just keep…failing? There are so many wonderful blogs that I’m following and want to support, and yet???? For some reason I keep getting in this rut where if I haven’t read ALL of the posts on someone’s blog, I …. shouldn’t read the new ones? And honestly this is a very toxic way of thinking, and I’m KICKING THAT OUT in 2021. So if you’ve seen me poking around your blogs more … this is probably why. I sincerely apologize for not being as supportive and involved as I should have been the past year or so, but I hope that this year I’m finally able to become a part of this beautiful community in the way that I’ve always wanted to–which is by supporting everyone else’s blogs in the way y’all have continued to support mine. <33

READING

As per tradition, I’m going to keep up with my goal of reading as many books as the new year suggests, which is–in the year of our Lord, 2021–21 books!

Last year (lol) I barely finished my goal by reading 4 picture books before the clock struck midnight on the 31st, so like….that was fun. But this year, I’m planning on doing some things a little bit differently. (lol, lies)

i. read 21 books

This is relatively self-explanatory. Moving on.

ii. read mostly from the books that are currently on my shelves

Ahem. I have a lot of books. This is good, of course–I’m very blessed to have the books I have! But like….I tend to collect them rather than read them, and, my friends, this should not be so! So this year, I’d love to start reading from my personal collection … which has started seeping into every room of our house. (it’s fine. i’m not worried, or anything. [someone please send help, the books are taking over my life])

iii. READ. MORE. INDIE.

Notice how this goal is in caps, whereas the rest of my goals have been lowercase? THIS IS TO MARK HOW IMPORTANT THIS GOAL IS TO ME.

Guys. Seriously. I need to start reading more Indie. There are SO. MANY. Indie Authors who I want to support, and like??? Why am I not doing this???? (i mean obviously it’s because i have very limited funds to spend towards books, but PSSSH WHAT IS MONEY IF NOT TO BE USED FOR BOOKS, AMIRIGHT [*weeps softly*]) I definitely have some ideas as to how I can start to fix this, but I think my first step is to read and review the indie books I already have on my shelves! (hello, goal #2!) Authors always talk about how much a simple review will do for the visibility of their books, and guys … I still don’t think I review enough books, especially indie ones. Trad authors have a lot of visibility, I feel like, but sometimes I think Indies get overlooked in the excitement for larger, more well-known titles. AND, MY FRIENDS *slams fist on table* THIS. SHOULD. NOT. BE.

So! I’m going to try and read and review more books this year, but mostly books by indie authors. Because they deserve credit for the amazing things they’re doing, and–not gonna lie here–some indie books are LEVELS above traditionally published fiction.

Y’all know it’s true.

WORDS & QUOTES OF THE YEAR

Every year, I like to choose a word for myself–a word which helps symbolize what I want to truly focus on in the year to come. Last year, I chose “whimsy” and “enchanting” (I may or may not have stolen that second one from my mom. the debate is still out, however, and I’ve hired a very good lawyer. XD) Suffice to say, I can’t say as though last year was either enchanting or whimsical. At least, not so much in the way I had imagined. But even so, I still found whimsy and enchantment in the little things, and I think maybe that’s more worthwhile than anything I could have dreamt up.

This year, however, it took me a few days to land on the word I wanted to focus on this year–or rather, the quote I want to focus on. Because apparently 2021 is so immense and unpredictable that I can’t choose a single word for it:

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

– Alice

I love this quote. The minute I saw it for the first time–or rather, truly noticed it for the first time–I knew that it was one to tuck away inside my pocket. And now, months later, I’m finally able to pull it out again.

I am no longer the person I was a year ago. I’m no longer the person I was yesterday. Yesterday Kenzie made mistakes and wrong turns and had more than a few mishaps, but it’s no use going back to then, because who I am today is a little older and wiser than who I was before. It’s fun to look at where we’ve been and see how much we’ve grown, but we can’t continue to live there, wishing for things to be the way they were or fretting over the situations we could have handled differently. We have to accept the fact that yesterday is gone, and today is only here for a moment.

I have to learn to live more in the present, and let the past go.

And this is something that I’d like to intentionally focus on this year. Whether or not it actually happens remains to be seen, but I have every hope that this year will be one filled with making memories in all the many today’s to come.

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And those, my friends, are my (current) goals for the year! Obviously I’m anticipating on failing in a lot of these, but as far as Januaries go, this year has been off to a rather decent start! I’m excited to see where it leads me, and I’m eager to keep moving forward and writing ALL OF THE THINGS. 2021 is going to be one wild year, but with a little faith, trust, and pixie dust, I anticipate it’s going to be one of my favorite years yet. <333

talk to me, peasants!

what sorts of things are YOU planning on doing in this new year? do you typically make goals for the new year, or do you just go with the flow and knock things out as you feel like it? (knowing my track record with goals, I should really do this. XD) do you have multiple projects you’re hoping to complete this year? and if so, what sorts of methods do you use to track and accomplish them all? i’m still relatively new to the world of project juggling, and i could use all the help i can find. XD

And most importantly…

do you have any indie book recommendations?

I’d love any and all recs you guys are able to throw my way!!

As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS in the comments down 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…

Kenzie’s Chaotic Return To The Blogosphere!: Ft. Where I’ve Been & What’s To Come

good morning, cyberspace!

*crashes through brick wall*

*skids to a halt*

*whips pitchfork onto the sofa*

I’M BACK, PEASANTS! Didja miss me? Didja not even notice I was gone? Do you wish that I would stay away for the next three thousand years and ne’er return because I am an amorphic blob of a mess who needs continual emotional support?

actually, don’t answer that.

Anyway, anyway. I am officially back, and it feels so so so SO good to finally be posting again! I mean, I realize I was only gone for a total of two weeks, but this past two weeks has been interesting, my friends. I broke a ukulele string (the horror), had a pre-midlife-crisis, and also started drafting a super secret project which I’m super secretly excited about! (shhhhh. it’s a secret. [but also more on this in a moment.])

I’m also still in quarantine. Which–I’ll be honest–is kind of making me lose my mind at this point. I COULD go over to the calendar and count how many days I’ve been in quarantine–I vividly remember my last normal day outside–but I’m pretty sure in doing so I will literally lose my mind. SO. We shall refrain from counting the days and instead focus on the fact that–with any luck–quarantine for my state will soon be over.

Hopefully.

Probably.

Please get me out of here. . . .

. . .moving on.

Seeing as though we are now halfway through May (excuse me, yes, I would like a refund on the year 2020, please. . .), I thought it would be fun to not only look back and reflect on the past two weeks of my absence, but also on the past four months.

If y’all remember, I made a list at the beginning of the year of all my super mega awesome goals for 2020. This post–alongside a giant, totally-doable timetable, also outlined a step-by-step plan that I fondly called The Four Month Fandangle Fantastic.

i am also beginning to deeply regret this name, so let’s just ignore that for now. XD

This plan was to ensure that I kept my aforementioned “totally doable” goals within check all throughout the year, and since we’ve just stepped across that first four-month threshold, I think now is the perfect time to take a peek back at that list and see how we’re doing!

And also make some much-needed revisions, because goodness knows we’re gonna need it.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 »

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 »

20 In 2 Days

good morning, cyberspace!

I’m turning 20 in 2 days, folks.

That is . . . very bizarre for me to type. Up until this point, my entire life has been split in two: childhood and teenagerdom. “20” was the proverbial age I would someday be–the age when I would finally be doing all of the adventurous, outlandish, sometimes preposterous things that I always dreamed of doing in my younger years.

“When I’m 20 I’ll know everything.”

“When I’m 20 I’ll travel the world.”

“When I’m 20 I’ll be a published author.”

(that last one, I’ll admit, kind of stings.)

Well, now I’m turning 20, and I still feel like I know nothing. I feel like I’ve done nothing. I feel like I’ve seen nothing. There’s this great, big, impossibly wondrous world right at my fingertips, and I feel like I’ve only poked my head into one tiny crevice of it.

But the truth is, after living for almost twenty years, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned how to write books. I’ve learned how to play the ukulele. I’ve learned math and science and discovered that no matter how hard I try, I will never be good at geography. I’ve learned that fondness is fickle, but love lasts forever. I’ve learned and forgotten how to speak French. I’ve made friends. I’ve lost friends. I’ve found friends again. When I stop to think about it, I really have seen and done and experienced so much, and all of that has been within the span of 19 years and 363 days.

I used to think my life was small, that for whatever reason, it wasn’t as big and beautiful and magical as everyone else’s. I used to think there was something missing, and I spent days upon days wondering what was wrong with me–why I wasn’t on the same track as everyone else my age. Why I felt so different.

It’s taken me almost twenty years, but I’ve finally realized that while we all may be running the exact same race in the end, each and every one of our tracks is different. Some are made of concrete and skyscrapers, and others of moss and dirt. Some are paved with obstacles and fiery hoops, while others appear to be smooth sailing (even though we all know they’re most definitely not). Some have trees and some have fireflies and some are swamped in moonlight. Some of us get head starts, and others are late bloomers. Some of us travel the world and see the stars from every angle, and some of us walk barefoot on our own land, planting our favorite flowers and drinking in the sunlight before the it falls in the exact same patterns all around us as we fall asleep each night.

19–nearly 20–years have passed, and I still don’t really know who I am yet. Part of me wants to travel the world (and part of me believes that I will one day, at least to an extent), and part of me wants to stay home with my books and my bird and let the world slip away outside my window unnoticed. Part of me wants to go out in search of adventure and magic, and part of me knows that I can create those things right here where I am already.

I have two days until I turn 20–practically one, really, seeing as though I’m writing this in the evening–and I most definitely do not have everything figured out. I haven’t traveled the world (though I have been to North Carolina), and I obviously have not published a book. In two days the death of my dream to be a published teenage author will arrive, and I will wake up and smile and eat a slice of cake in its remembrance. Because right now, it doesn’t matter that I’m not published. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t traveled the world yet. It doesn’t matter that there are a million things on my bucket list that I haven’t yet managed to check off. What matters is that every day I get up and take one little step closer towards the me I want to be tomorrow.

19 years and 363 days have brought me to this exact moment. And as I sit here in this chair, staring out the sun-stained window and finally acknowledging the beautiful, slightly messy, absolutely perfect life I’ve been blessed with, I can’t help but realize how so very lucky I am, after all.



TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!

What kinds of things have you learned in all the many years you’ve been alive? Do you want to travel the world someday (are you ALREADY traveling the world?) or would you rather stay home and read books and eat cake and listen to the sound of rain pattering down your windows? IS YOUR BIRTHDAY COMING SOON??? (or has it already passed like mine? we can commiserate together and eat stale cake. it’ll be great.)  And most importantly. . .

HAVE YOU NOTICED I’VE BEEN COMPLETELY AWOL THE PAST FEW WEEKS?????

AHA. This is because I just recently got my first ever job and am now trying to find my groove. But it’s fine. Things are finally beginning to fall into place again, so I guess this post is me reentering the blogosphere. I hope y’all didn’t miss me too awful much. (and also–if everything goes according to plan–I’ve got a fun announcement coming soon, so keep your peepers peeled for that!)

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

_flings cookies in the air and disappears_

All The Many Things I Have Learned From Preschoolers

good morning, cyberspace!

Today’s post is a little bit shorter than usual, folks. In fact, I have a feeling that a lot of my near-future posts are going to be slightly shorter than usual, which, if I’m being honest, is kind of depressing. I thought that once July ended, my proverbial plate would get a little lighter, but due to some very idiotic decisions* and a thirst for storytelling**, this has not come to pass.

you shall not pass lord of the rings GIF

However, because I am nothing if not a DO ALL OF THE THINGS! kind of peasant, I have decided that even though it would be remarkably nice to go on a Hiatus during the month of August, I am not going to.

In fact, I completely and irrevocably refuse to. Because I just got off an? Hiatus. Obviously.

So while all my posts in the near-future might be looking a little less than (and possibly a little late ahahahahahahaha….hahaha…ha [blame my siblings, folks. they coerced me into playing Hello Neighbor yesterday. they’re evil. {jk. i love you, butts}]), I am still going to continue blogging through this slightly stressful time. I’m not going to promise that I’ll have a post out every week, because quite frankly, I’m not sure if that is going to happen. But I can promise that there will be a post at least every two weeks. I’ll shoot for every, but if all else fails. . .at least you’ll know I’ll be coming ’round the mountain eventually, amiright?

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HA.

. . .

Now let’s move on to the actual meat of this post.

*more details on this are coming soon

**please see above.Read More »