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 »

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

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

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



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

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

Kenzie: . . . THE ENTIRE CAST OF EVERLOST!

*crowd cheering*

*babies screaming*

*one man dying*

Thao: We are not the entire cast.

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

Thao: Hey!

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

Thao: Okay, this is just uncalled for.

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

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

Adaline: *clasps hands together* I love games!

Thao: Wait–no, don’t–

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

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

Thao: Obviously.

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

Thao: *snorts like a donkey*

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

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

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

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

Bella: *scrunches back into the couch*

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

Peter: Excuse me?

Kenzie: You’re up, Adaline.

Adaline: Oh! My turn already?

Adaline: *wriggles forward in anticipation*

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

Kenzie: . . .

Peter: . . .

Bella: . . .

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

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

Thao: *shoves Adaline back*

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

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

Kenzie: . . .

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

Kenzie: *shuffles index cards*

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

Peter: I have a few assumptions, actually.

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

Adaline: Are you cancelling our story?

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

Thao: That actually doesn’t take much.

Kenzie: Something deadly.

Adaline: Onions?

Kenzie: No. Again.

Adaline: *sighs*

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

Kenzie: . . .NaNoWriMo.

Duhn

duhn

DUHN!!!

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

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

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

Thao: Joy.

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

Kenzie: *hastily tallies on fingers*

Kenzie: 14 days.

Thao: 14 DAYS?!

Peter: We’re doomed.

Adaline: I had pudding 14 days ago. . .

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

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

Peter: That’s what you always say.

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

Thao: Doubtful.

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

Thao: Let me guess. . .

Peter: Finishing our second draft?

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

Adaline: Eating candy. . .

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

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

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

Peter: And the month before that.

Adaline: And the month–

Kenzie: Okay, okay, I get it.

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

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

Peter: *sighs*

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

Kenzie: Because this time there’s incentive.

Peter: . . .

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

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

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

Kenzie: I want to shake things up a bit.

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

Thao: You know. Like last time.

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

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

Thao: If you win.

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

Peter: A game.

Kenzie: Precisely.

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

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

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

Adaline: Can you make them eat worms?

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

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

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

Kenzie: The audience gets to dare me.

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

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

Bella: She’s got a point there.

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

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

Adaline: Bears eat worms. . .

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

Peter: It’s your life, I suppose. . .

Kenzie: Exactly. And I control yours.

Peter: What?!

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

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

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

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

Adaline: Watermelons. . .

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: The writer.

Adaline: Oh.

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

Thao: Did you just. . .?

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

Peter: I’m slightly concerned about this.

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

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

Adaline: And sparkles. . .

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

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

Kenzie: *shuffles index cards*



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

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

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

Bella: Oh! Uh. . .okay.

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

Thao: The horror.

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

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

Thao: Yeah. Like you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenzie: Beautifully put. Adaline?

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

Thao: Of course it is.

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

Adaline: *clasps hands beneath chin*

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

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

Adaline: *eyes light up maniacally*

Thao: Wait, what?!

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

Thao: *scoots away from Adaline*

Thao: I’m excited for it to be over.

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

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

Peter: That was uncharacteristically poetic of you, Crowe.

Thao: Don’t get used to it.

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

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

Kenzie: Ahem. *points*

Thao: Er. . .what are you–?

Kenzie: *points pointedly towards back wall*

Thao: Is that. . .a teleprompter?

Kenzie: . . .

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

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

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

Kenzie: Peter?

Peter: M&M’s all the way.

Thao: Are you kidding me?!

Bella: Same!

Adaline: I love vanilla pudding. . . 

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

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

Thao: Okay, I never said that I–

Kenzie: Question three.

Thao: Of course.

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

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

Thao: Don’t you even dare, Glasses.

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

Peter: Drat.

Thao: Hallelujah.

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

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

Thao: Okay, WHAT?!

Adaline: The blood is very realistic.

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: How. . .lovely.

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

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

Bella: That never happened. . .

Thao: Shut it, cow-belle.

Kenzie: Hey, now.

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

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

Peter: That might be for the best.

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

Kenzie: *flips index cards*

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

Thao: Geoff.

Peter: But he’s dead.

Thao: . . .

Thao: Exactly.

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

Peter: Agreed.

Kenzie: Adaline?

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

Thao: *groans*

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

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

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

Thao: . . .

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

Kenzie: *sighs*

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

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

Thao: How many more questions are there?

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

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

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

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

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

Thao: *shudders* Right.

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

Bella: I’ll go first, if you want.

Kenzie: Thank you, Bella.

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

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

Peter: Thus the Prune Juice Fiasco of chapter 26.

Thao: . . .

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

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

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

Peter: *scowls*

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

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

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: Right. Thao?

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

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

Thao: Exactly. They deserve to know the truth.

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

Thao: Finally.

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

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

Bella: Exciting.

Peter: Different.

Adaline: Magical!

Thao: Pain.

Thao: Death.

Thao: Torture.

Kenzie: I said one word.

Thao: I’m a rule-breaker.

Peter: You’re a lot of things.

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

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

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

Kenzie: *slits open envelope*

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

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: . . .

Kenzie: THAO AND ADALINE!!!

*crowds cheering*

Adaline: *squeaks in delight*

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

Thao: What?! NO!!!!

Thao: *lunges out of seat*

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

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

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

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

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

Kenzie: As always, until next time. . .

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

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

Bella: Peter!

Adaline: *waves* Bye!

Kenzie: *flings cookies in the air and disappears*

the end.



talk to me, peasants!

Well, then. That was quite different.

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

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

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

Are YOU up for the challenge?

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

 

 

 

 

7 Websites I Initially Thought Were Scams (but will not, apparently, hack into your computer and rob you blind)

Happy Friday, Cyberspace!

Remember last Tuesday when I said that I wasn’t going to just randomly disappear into thin air? Well, guess who just randomly disappeared into thin air this past week?

That’s right. This cookie right here.

But never you fear, my smol crumb, for I have returned to you with a thousand and one excuses as to my absence that I shall not be naming because A) they’re extremely lame and not at all worthy of my absence, and B) I only have like three excuses.

HOWEVER! I have not been completely MIA, as I actually wrote a guest post over on the wonderful Alex’s blog, Lord Of The Trekkies, which was posted yesterday! So technically I still posted something this week? Just…not on my own blog.

Yeah.

Read More »

Seven Things That Were NOT Supposed To Happen: Ever Lost Edition

Good Morning, Cyberspace! Happy Thursday!

Wow. It’s already December 1st. Can you believe it? It feels like just yesterday I was leaping out of bed to start my NaNoWriMo journey, and now…

December.

There are many things I like about December. There’s Christmas, New Years, snowball fights, snowmen, all the pretty lights, and that wonderful sense of friendship and community wherever you go.

And there’s also the biting cold and icy roads and scowling faces of angry shoppers that apparently didn’t get the thrill of running someone over with a shopping cart during Black Friday.

#stressreliever

Read More »

NaNoWriMo Wrap Up: The End

Happy Tuesday, Cyberspace! Rise and shine! How are you this morning? What is the weather like? Is it sunny? Is it raining? Is it snowing?

I wouldn’t know. I’m writing this on Monday night.

#bloghacks

Read More »

NaNoWriMo Week 4: Rivalries, Pears, and That Random Dude Who Just Appeared…

Good morning, Cyberspace! It is Tuesday once again, so let us pause for a moment in our busy schedules and just take a relaxing breath of fresh air…

Read More »

NaNoWriMo Week 3: Glass Floors, More Death, and Steampunk

Good morning, Cyberspace blah blah blah and all that nonsense–

I HAVE NEWS!!!!

Read More »

NaNoWriMo Week 2: Murders, Impending Death, and Vanilla Pudding

Good afternoon, Cyberspace! Sorry for the late post this week, but yowzers. NaNoWriMo week one has been a roller coaster of emotion for me. It’s been phenomenal. Really.Read More »