The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad: My 2018 NaNoWriMo Dare Squad Dares!

good morning, cyberspace!

For the past two years, I’ve run a little something during the month of November called The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad. For those of you who maybe don’t know what on earth this is, here’s the entire playlist of posts that may enlighten you to the gloriousness that the Dare Squad was. (though I highly recommend checking out the very first Dare Squad post if you’re trying to find information, because that one probably explains it pretty well. [lol, you actually think I’m going to read through it to see if it ACTUALLY explains what the dare squad is? nah, bruh.])

Now, due to an unholy amount of stress that I’ve been slowly working my way through, I will NOT be resurrecting the Dare Squad again this year. (trust me. this saddens me greatly, peasants.) BUT. Since a promise is a promise and I am–quite frankly–tired of not doing the things I say I’ll do, I am here today with MY dare from last year’s Dare Squad!Read More »

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad, Season Two — DARES ANNOUNCED!

good morning, cyberspace!

‘Tis I, the Kenzie, coming at you with the ONE POST we’ve been waiting for all month.

We’ve been writing. . .

We’ve been slaving. . .

We’ve been preparing ourselves

for this very moment.

And now, without further ado, it is finally time for me to announce the dares that you — you glorious, magnificent, beautiful writer-folk of the internet — have sent in for the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad.Read More »

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad: Your Death Awaits. . .

Happy Tuesday, Cyberspace, and welcome to the final day of NaNoWriMo!

Today is a day of endings. A day of celebration.

A day of death.

That is correct, dearest Cyberspace. At long, long last, the day is finally here. Today, we roll the dice, determine our fates, and potentially throw our fellow teammates who have supported us throughout this entire ordeal under the bus to be irrevocably mutilated by tires and gravel. (wait what.)Read More »

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad: The Final Pep Talk

Happy Tuesday, Cyberspace, and welcome to the final pep-talk for The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad!

I think I can honestly say that this has been — by far — the oddest NaNoWriMo I have ever experienced.

Sure, there was the Epic Fail of 2015, and the Peculiar Disappearance of the July Camper.

And, of course, let us not forget that one Camp NaNoWriMo wherein I tried tracking my progress via hours instead of words. *dramatically salutes my brain’s rather untimely demise*

But out of all the bizarre NaNoWriMo seasons I’ve gone through, I must say that November of 2017 really takes the cake.Read More »

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

Happy Tuesday, Cyberspace!

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

. . .

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

. . . 0.2 Minutes Later . . .

And we’re back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like really, really liked them.

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

And to that I must say–


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!

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

. . .

. . .you’ve probably failed at something.

. . .

. . .

. . .

This has been . . .

Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!

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

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

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

It ruins the mystery, see?

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

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

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

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

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

In nine days, our NaNoWriMo journey shall be over.

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

In nine days, we shall meet The End.


talk to me, peasants!

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

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

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

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

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

As always —

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*


Good morning, Cyberspace, and welcome to —

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad DARE REVEAL!

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

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

In short, we have done the impossible:

We have done the NaNo.Read More »

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad – Week Two: The Revival

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

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

I asked if u were ded.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

We need to write more.

We need to read more.

We need to blog more.

We need to be more productive.

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

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

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

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

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

In my head.

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

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

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

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

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

Writing is the air that you breathe.

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

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

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

Let’s look at it logically, shall we?

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

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

And they also help strengthen and improve us physically.

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

I was writing.

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

I was having fun.

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

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

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

And here’s why:

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

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

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

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

Seriously. 1:00 am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And if I fail, well. . .

Oh well.

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

I just have a smaller goal apart from that now.

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

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

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

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

Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!

I ate a snail once.

. . .

It tasted like a slug.

. . .

. . .

. . .

This has been. . .

Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!

I’m so good at pep-talks, guys, wow.

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

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

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

I know I would.

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

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

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

A month that had joy.

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

You’ve got this.

talk to me, peasants!

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

It totally did, what are you talking about.

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

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

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


*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

. . . because you are dead.

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


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

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


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

Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!

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

. . .

. . .

. . .

This has been. . .

Kenzie’s Weekly Pep-Talk!

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

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




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

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

user discretion is advised.


talk to me, peasants!

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


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

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

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

As always, until next time. . .

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad: Meet The Squad!

It is time, Cyberspace.

Today is Halloween.

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

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

Something far more frightening.

Something disastrous.

. . .

Your impending doom.Read More »

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

You know exactly what this is, Cyberspace. . .

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

Yet here you are.

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

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

But we shall not surrender.

We are. . .

• • • The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad • • •

Read More »