August, 2022 – The Month of Juggling

good morning, cyberspace!

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

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

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

Read More »

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

good morning, cyberspace!

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

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

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

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

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

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2021 Reviews & Reflections

good morning, cyberspace!

Today, as 2021 draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the multitudes of goals I created for myself at the start of the year. January held all the potential a new year can present, and it’s pretty obvious by my intentions for the year that I had… high hopes for how 2021 would progress. XD

Unfortunately, I also have a tendency to forget about these new goals about halfway through the year, but ya know. It’ll be fun to review them and see how many I actually managed to accomplish!

For anyone wanting to read the original post to get a sense of how horribly oblivious Past Kenzie was to the challenges this year would present, here’s a handy dandy hyper link for you to follow through the wormholes of the internet. However, if you’d rather just snatch the highlights and enjoy my PRESENT reactions to such goals as these, keep reading, sailor!

Read More »

CAMP NANOWRIMO, 2021: Recaps & Revisions

good morning, cyberspace!

And just like that–it’s August. Somehow I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that we’re 8 months into 2021, but I don’t think Time really cares about that. This summer has been quite possibly the strangest I’ve had in a great long while, but you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve had highs. I’ve had lows. I’ve made new friends and I’ve experienced new adventures. I’ve suffered injuries–both physical and emotional. I’ve watched fireworks. I wore a dress and wielded a sword and stood on the lawn of a castle. I’ve eaten ice cream for breakfast. I’ve risen to new levels and dropped off the face of the earth. And all the while, God has been working inside of me, showing me that He’s not even close to being finished with whatever this season of life is.

And I’m strangely okay with that.

This year more than ever I’ve begun to notice the subtle shifts in His plan for me. I’ve seen steps taken in the dark become more clear. I’ve watched His hand pulling strings to take me where I’m meant to go. And it’s beautiful. And it’s scary. And it’s exciting.

And I’m sitting here at the end of summer just basking in the fact that this crazy life I’ve been given really is something magical. I’m lucky, guys. I’m very, very lucky.

And also I failed NaNoWriMo miserably. So let’s talk about that, shall we? XD

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camp nanowrimo, 2021: recaps and revisions

The results are in, my dearest peasants. You might want to shield your eyes, though. The shame is exponential.

INITIAL WORD GOAL – 50,000
SECONDARY WORD GOAL – 33,000
FINAL WORD GOAL – 22,000
WORDS WRITTEN – 15,561
CHAPTERS COMPLETED – 8

Not gonna lie, when you stack the numbers up together, I feel pretty stinkin’ proud about my progress this month. Project Goblin has been a story YEARS in the making. I started it back in 2018, shelved it, and honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever get to a point where it could be written the way it deserved. It’s such a big, whimsical undertaking, and even now I’m not sure I’m writing it correctly. But I’m trying. And sometimes that’s all we can ask for.

The words I wrote this month aren’t anywhere close to perfect. But they’re mine, and they’re leading me one step closer to the story I see in my dreams. It feels monstrous at the moment–the editing process has already begun to stress me out–but it’s a journey that I’m willing and determined to take. I believe in this book. I believe in these characters. And I believe that this story is one that deserves to be written and read and loved. And for right now, that is more than enough to keep me moving forward.

I’ve also been continuously surprised by the turns this book has taken–both plot-wise and structurally. This story has taught me that it’s okay to let your process shift, that nothing is set in stone once written, and–most importantly in my humble opinion–that talking mimes most definitely wear socks. Never before have I had so much freedom with switching up major plot points midway through telling a story. Normally something as catastrophic as plopping entirely new cast members into the book halfway through would be cause for concern. Now, however, I’ve learned to just kinda shrug it off, test them out for a few scenes, and then scrap them later on if I change my mind.

…have I mentioned the fact that this first draft is a complete and utter mess? *sweats nervously*

Another interesting tidbit about this novel: the deadline (hard deadline, by the way. my soft deadline whipped by without a second thought.) for this book just so happened to be a couple days ago. I saw the notification pop up on my phone calendar, and I just kinda…swept it away. XD Because there wasn’t a way in this universe that I was going to meet it. BUT. I was much closer to hitting that goal than I’ve ever been to hitting ANY of my initial novel goals, and I feel pretty darn good about that, peasants. I may not have finished the book in July, but I’m getting closer to figuring out how to make reasonable deadlines for myself, and that is something I’m going to celebrate. (I’ve also taken this opportunity to make NEW deadlines, and EEP, that’s pretty exciting!)

Once the first draft of this book is officially done, however, I’m debating whether or not I should post some snippets. I know a lot of you expressed interest in meeting my talking mime named Martin, and honestly? I really really want you guys to meet him. Like immediately. XD But alas, we shall have to wait and see!

Overall, this month was a process of learning, conquering my writerly fears, living life to the fullest (both in and outside of the page), and taking the time needed to reprioritize my crazy, chaotic writerly existence. So while I may not have won Camp NaNoWriMo, I did win in SO many other aspects of my life, and for today, that’s enough.

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…and in OTHER news…

And in other, non-Camp related news, I have some very big things coming up within the next couple months!!!! And while I can’t tell you what they are exactly quite yet, I AM going to vaguely elude to them! Because I’m a monster. It’s fine.

THING NUMBER ONE – August 3rd!

This one is very exciting, because it’s not just a happy thing for ME, but it’s also a happy thing for YOU, and I’m so so so excited to reveal it to you all!! More information is coming in JUST TWO DAYS!!! So definitely swing back here on Tuesday to get all the juicy details on this most exhilarating surprise! (and if you think you know what this one is about, hit me up in the comments. I’m very eager to see if someone actually knows. XD)

THING NUMBER TWO – September

While I can’t give any specific dates for this one quite yet, I can tell you that I’m extremely excited to be a part of something very big, very exciting, and very very terrifying at the same time! I’ll be able to give more info soon, but for right now, all I can tell you is that this Thing is coming in September. *zips lips* THAT’S ALL I CAN SAY, PEASANTS. (don’t bribe me with cookies, I can’t stand that kind of pressure…)

THING NUMBER THREE — Unknown

This last thing happened literally just this last week, and I’m STILL reeling from the news of it. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to tell you all about it (hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all about it?), but rest assured that as soon as I get the okay, YOU’RE GONNA KNOW ABOUT IT. XD (also, to cut into the suspense, I did NOT get a book deal, literary agent, or am otherwise anywhere near publishing a novel at this point in time. but this is still a really huge step for me in a direction I’ve been wanting to go for–oh, I don’t know….MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE–so I’m just. You know. Chilling. Completely chill-like. it’s fine.)

Did I mention that this month has been CRAZY? Because y’all. This month has been C R A Z Y. I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I feel to have this pocketful of secrets to share with you all soon. It honestly feels like all the loose strings in my life which I’ve been flapping around aimlessly for the past few months are finally–FINALLY–coming together. I truly hope that I’m able to do justice to the opportunities I’ve been blessed with, because if my intuition is telling me anything, it’s that this is going to be a year I’ll never forget.

talk to me, peasants!

And that’s everything for today, my friends! I’m honestly so excited for August. I’ve got so much that I want to do and write and live, and I have a peculiar feeling that this month is going to be magical. And obviously this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that this also happens to be my birth month. Nope. Not even a little bit. XD

But that’s quite enough about me! Let’s talk about you! For those of you who participated in NaNo: how did July go? were you able to meet all of your writing goals? what was your favorite writing memory from Camp NaNo?

And for my peeps who didn’t do Camp NaNo this time around: what kinds of adventures have you been undertaking this past month? do you have any end-of-summer book recs for Yours Truly? (I ended up reading quite a lot last month, and I’d really like to keep that momentum into August!) and–most importantly of all–do you have any guesses for my Super Secret Announcements coming soon???

Let’s talk about all of the things down in the comments below, and until next time….

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

Camp NaNoWriMo 2021 – Week 3 (?): lol, idk what’s happening at this point

good morning, cyberspace, and welcome to Kenzie has a slight mental breakdown but it’s fine because Camp NaNoWriMo is supposed to be FUN!

This is my favorite time of year, guys. Absolutely. Literally nothing has been going wrong the past two weeks and I am THRIVING! *nervous laughter intensifies*

Ahah…. Okay, let’s just get to the stats, shall we?

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CAMP NANOWRIMO WEEKS 3 — THE STATS

CURRENT WORD COUNT — 10,467
REVISED WORD GOAL — 33,000
WORDS BEHIND ORIGINAL GOAL — 39,533
WORDS BEHIND SECONDARY GOAL— 22,533
WORDS PER DAY TO CATCH UP — 3,756
PROBABILITY OF THIS HAPPENING — 0.002%

Ahem… Well. As you can see from the above statistics … it is highly unlikely that I’m going to win Camp NaNoWriMo with these goals. XD Which, you know, is kinda disappointing, I’ll admit. But I’ve made peace with the disappointment and have decided that, while I could choose to beat myself up over this most unfortunate circumstance, I’d rather embrace it, instead! Why? Because throughout this crazy month of complete and utter chaos, I’ve also rediscovered three invaluable truths about my creative process–truths which have provided more creative momentum for me in the past week than I’ve had in the past six months.

What are these truths, you may be wondering? I’m so glad you asked. XD

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KENZIE’S FIELD GUIDE TO CHAOTIC CREATIVITY

RULE ONE — goals are good. adjusting your goals once they become problematic is better.

I did this once already this month when I dropped my initial goal of 50,000 words down to 33,000. Obviously at the time I thought this would be sufficient enough, but it has since come to my attention that this is STILL too big of a chunk for this month. So, in the vein of acknowledging this season of writing I’m in and being kind to myself, I’ve decided to drop my goal once again to a grand total of 22,000 words!

(there actually is a solid reason for 22,000 words, but that will probably become more apparent next month. so. just go with it for now. XD)

Am I sad that I won’t be hitting 50k by the end of July? Yes. But am I going to consider myself a failure for not meeting it? Nope! This is a very strange, malleable time of life for me, and I’m choosing to enjoy the process rather than burn myself out over deadlines.

RULE TWO — words don’t get written unless you write them

This one sounds so blatantly obvious, but like … it’s true. XD I tend to think that procrastinating my writing till the very last dregs of the day is going to be enough for me to hit my word goals of 1,000 to 2,000 words, but trust me when I say that this RARELY. EVER. WORKS.

Writing takes time. Time takes dedication. Dedication means prioritizing, making a plan and sticking to it, and finding a writing routine that WORKS.

For the longest time, I didn’t have a writing routine. I just let myself write whenever I found a spare moment, which meant there was never much structure to the way I did things. I’ve always prided myself on my “chaotic energy”, but something I’ve learned this month? You can still be chaotic within structure. In fact, it’s 100% more fun to do it that way, because you actually get things DONE.

Which is, you know, more than I can say for the way I did things a month ago. XD

RULE THREE — it’s okay for your process to change

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t really like change all that much. It scares me. Makes me queasy. I like things to be easily understood and quickly accomplished, and anything that requires blind trust and shaky footsteps into the unknown is certain to make me scream. But just as I’m learning that it’s okay to give yourself grace when you fail, I’m also learning that change is a good thing. Change is progress.

Change is what makes us grow.

And though it TERRIFIES me that my writing process–and even my writing style?–has begun to change, I know that there is growth within the change. I’m learning. I’m experimenting. I’m creating. And that’s okay.

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At the end of the day, this session of Camp NaNoWriMo has–once more–gone nothing according to plan. My commitment wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, I chose to spend time away from the screen in favor of reading good books and spending time out in the real world, and while I know that’s a solid part of being a writer and prioritization, it still hurts to know that once again I’ve managed to put all my grandiose plans to flame. But you know what, friends? There’s always a gleaming light at the end of the tunnel, a glimmer of hope that says “there’s another chance to try again, my dear”. And that gleaming light, that glimmer of hope … it’s called November. *manic laughter intensiFIES*

Evil Laugh GIF

also yes this blog post is completely all over the place because I have a RESCUE MISSION TO WRITE, FRIENDS. brb gotta go bust a scarecrow, wizard, enchanted enchantress, and not one, but TWO little girls out of a goblin king’s castle. it’s fine. everything is fine.

talk to me, peasants!

for all my fellow NaNo participants out there: how is YOUR camp going? are you crushing your goals like the good little goal crusher that you are, or is the writing coming a little bit slower than you would have liked? either way, you are doing FANTASTICALLY and I have cookies for you over on the side-table. (grab one on the way out, won’t you?)

for those NOT doing NaNo: how has your month been so far? reading any good books? going on any fun adventures?

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

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

CAMP NANOWRIMO, WEEKS ONE & TWO: Adventures, Adjustments, & Whirlwinds

good morning, cyberspace!

Many apologies for the no-show last week! It’s been a Time over here at Smudged Thoughts central, and while I’d had this post all drafted up and ready to go by the scheduled due date, I just kinda … forgot to post it …?

Aha. Anyway. We’re going to pretend like that didn’t happen and sally onwards anyway. XD Alsooo, since it’s already the end of week two by the time I’m writing this, I’ve decided to squish weeks one and two together into one post! That way we can just sorta squeeze by and pretend as though everything is normal and good and right with the world. (I’m so smart, oh my word.)

AHEM. MOVING ON.

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july 5, 2021

The first week of Camp NaNoWriMo is almost over—by the time this is posted, perhaps it has already passed us by—but for me, the adventure of writing 50,000 words by the end of the month has only just begun.

This past weekend has been a whirlwind. For many, the fourth of July meant fireworks, extra days off from work, and—if you’re a writer doing Camp NaNoWriMo—hopefully a word sprint or ten. But this year, Fourth Of July looked just a little bit different.

There was no writing. No sprinting till midnight to hit a certain word goal before calling it quits. But there were castles, toads, a very haunted looking gravestone, suspension bridges, dresses, and…

…swords.

Many, many swords.

Y’all. Words cannot even describe how insane the past two days have been. How insane this past year has been. I know we’re only six months into it, but just within the past four months, I’ve been graced with the extraordinary opportunity to meet five of my beautiful writer friends in the actual, wide-open plane of existence known as reality.

Phoebe. Kate. Ruby. Ally. Leona.

Five people who have impacted my life in ways I will never be able to comprehend. Five girls who have helped me grow not only as a writer, but as a friend. I will never forget the emotions felt when meeting each of them for the very first time. I will never forget what it felt like to tackle them in the biggest of hugs and refuse to let go. I will never forget the absolute chaos we get ourselves into when we’re together.

You live your life thinking nothing ever changes. You watch the sunsets fade and the seasons pass and you wonder whether or not the dreams in your heart will ever come to pass. And then something like this happens. Something as beautiful and wild as finally meeting the friends God has put into your life—though unfortunately not always in your state. And you realize that it’s not that nothing ever changes, but the things that change you happen so very little and so very far in between that you simply must cherish them when they do occur.

This weekend, I spent 24 hours with four members of my writing group. They are crazy. They are wild. They are real. And for the first time, I’m fully comprehending that they are mine.

Were words written this past week? Eh. Not exactly. But the moments we created were moments that will live inside my memory for the rest of my life. And that is so much more precious to me than 3,000 words.

However. It wouldn’t be a Camp NaNoWriMo update if I didn’t mention some of the writing adventures I’ve been getting into—and, trust me, the first two days of Camp NaNoWriMo were filled—so I suppose now is as good a time as any to add an awkward transition to the statistics portion of this weekly recap! XD

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THE STATS

DAYS 1-5

WORD GOAL: 8,065
WORDS WRITTEN: 3,119
WORDS BEHIND: 4,546

Okay, so looking at the stats, this isn’t very good progress, I’ll admit. XD Typically, I prefer my overall wordcount to be larger than the words I have yet to write. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be happening this month. (again, I’m not sorry in the slightest. just a little worried at this point. it’s fine. everything is fine.)

The word count may not be quite what I want, but the story that I have written so far has been an absolute BLAST. After working on some (minor) revisions before the start of Camp, I decided to start off right after my weird little cast broke into the Goblin King’s castle. There were some finer details which needed smoothing out—one of them being my mime.

Ah yes. My talking mime. His name is Martin, and he is—currently—my favorite character I’ve ever created. (at least for this story, though I’d go so far as to say he’s my favorite among all my stories, ever.) I honestly have no clue where the inspiration for this sad little man came from, and—if I’m being totally honest—where he came from in and of himself. He’s odd, slightly depressed, is missing his shoes, and is probably the most complexing character I’ve ever had the pleasure to write, simply because he’s so … odd.

I’d like to say that the entirety of Project Goblin is filled to the brim with odd, slightly terrifying creatures, and anyone who’s ever heard me talk about this story in incomprehensible snorts and squeals would probably agree with me on that. But despite the fact that reading through a chapter of this story would most likely give a small child nightmares, I have to admit that the weirdness is probably what’s making this book so much fun to write. There’s just something about dark, creepy forests and weird, slightly mutilated characters that makes my Tim Burton fangirl heart squeak with delight every time there’s a twist and bend in the plot line. And while I’m not entirely sure where this story is going (to be quite honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever know where this story is going until the end of it), I’m so incredibly excited to be the writer behind this project.

Aside from the talking mime and the invasion of the Goblin King’s castle, I’m also proud to announce that I’ve officially hit 30,000 words in this manuscript! I totally thought I’d hit this milestone like a week ago, but alas alack, apparently I lied. XD I’m currently at 33,811, which means I only have (insert awkward silence for math 46,189 words left until I hit my overall goal.

Which shall hopefully be enough words to wrap this book up and call it done. *grins awkwardly*

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july 11, 2021

I have officially lost my marbles. I mean, anyone who truly knows me knows that I’ve already lost my marbles (more than once, even), but this time … yep. They’re gone.

If you look at my progress this week strictly through the lens of word count, not a whole lot happened during this second week of Camp NaNoWriMo. If, however, you take a peek at the inner workings of my mind, you will see that there has been a major, almost terrifying shift.

My friends. Colleagues. Fellow scribes and poets.

I have officially become a scene skipper.

I’m not sure what, exactly, possessed me to do this. I’ve never scene skipped. In fact, I usually pride myself on my ability to slough through the chapters which truly bore me just so I can get to the ones I’m excited to write. But this past week I was staring at the blank page and thinking about how, if I could only just make it through this one scene, then I could finally write the fun stuff, and I just … snapped.

I snapped.

I clicked open a new document in my binder, titled it ‘chapter 16’, and started writing. Before I knew it, I had an entire chapter down and was heading into chapter 17–all within a single day.

And all without finishing off chapter 15.

It was a beautiful freedom, I must admit–albeit terrifying–but during this brief stint into insanity, I have discovered two things about my creative psyche:

  1. It is, in fact, possible for me to outline a book and enjoy it. Maybe it isn’t for EVERY book that I write, but it is certainly working for Project Goblin, and I’m definitely interested in plotting books in the future…
  2. If I’ve done enough plotting and am comfortable enough in the stability of my plot to know what happens multiple chapters in advance, I can successfully scene skip without any immediate issues.

These should, under normal circumstances, be cause for celebration. But as a writer who’s found peace with the fact that she’ll never be a massive plotter, I’m a wee bit worried about how this is going to affect all future endeavors of mine.

On the other hand, however, I’m extremely excited to see where this new inspiration takes me! Perhaps my next novel will have a 12k outline, complete with road signs and plot point maps. Who can say?

Certainly not me. XD

In other news, I’ve hardly done any writing this past week. XD We’re already heading into the tailend of Week Two, and I’m only at *checks word count* 5,000 words total for the month.

This is, of course, exceedingly mood-dampening, but I have faith, my friends! …faith in the fact that I’m dropping my word goal from 50,000 to 33,000. XD

Okay okay, so I know that dropping my word goal should probably make me feel ashamed and all that nonsense, but like…? I literally have no shame. I’ve discovered that the first draft of this book is going to be weirdly small (for a Kenzie Keene novel, that is XD) and I’m PREEEEEETTY sure that 33,000 words will be plenty for me to wrap this book up? According to my plot map, I have about 6-8 chapters left to write before this guy is complete. Which means that I…might…actually….???? finish this book before the end of July??????

I’m crossing all of my fingers and toes at this point, friends. I’m also VERY worried that I completely miscalculated, but lol whatever. It’ll be what it is and I’m excited. XD

(also 10/10 going to still shoot for 50k because why not so YEET. we shall see how this goes, peasants. XD)

Alas. If I’m to write 50k 33k before the end of July, I guess I should get cracking. It’s gonna be a LOOOOOONG month, my friends. XD

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talk to me, peasants!

how did the first two months of Camp NanoWriMo treat my fellow Campers out there? is anyone else egregiously behind on their word count? or are you blissfully ahead and can’t hear my distant sobbing through the intensity of your maniacal laughter? let’s talk about ALL of the Camp NaNoWriMo things down below, shall we? And until next time…

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

Camp NaNoWriMo 2021: Take Two (in which Kenzie writes a book)

good morning, cyberspace!

It’s no secret that I didn’t win April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Or the NaNoWriMo before that. Or, dare I say it, the NaNoWriMo before that. (actually, I might have won that one? It was during quarantine, and I’m pretty sure I won. but anyway, back to my obviously important point.) Lately it would seem as though my NaNoWriMo success rate has been anything less than resplendent, and it’s come to the point where I’m almost too scared to participate, because I know there is a very likely chance that I will not come through on the other side victorious.

However, despite the little voice in my head telling me I should think about simply skipping this year’s second session of Camp NaNoWriMo in pursuit of a simpler, less stressful time, I’ve decided to go full gung-ho and dive headfirst into a chaotic summer of epic disaster!

…aka, I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month, peasants!

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CAMP NANOWRIMO 2021: TAKE TWO (in which Kenzie writes a book)

I know I should probably be dreading this, seeing as though my last few attempts at doing the NaNo were rather sad. But I’m honestly just so excited to dive back into this community. There was a time in my life when I was a constant lurker in the NaNo forums, when any conversation pertaining to me was nary without the mention of NaNoWriMo at least once. Or twice. Or three times. Usually within a single sentence. XD

And as I grow older and my NaNo track record decreases, I’ve begun to wonder if maybe I’m just getting too old for NaNoWriMo. Perhaps I’ve become one of those writers who’s too “seasoned” to participate in something as frivolous as a crazy writing month filled with intense word counts and an even more intense sleep schedule. (or, should I say, nonexistent sleep schedule, amiright? Ah? Ah? distant sobbing) But then I take a closer look at where these thoughts are coming from, and I realize that it doesn’t have anything to do with age or skill at all—I’m simply not putting my all into it as I used to.

It’s not something anyone likes to admit, but I’m sitting here today and putting these words down because they need to be said: the past few times I’ve tried NaNoWriMo, I’ve allowed myself to be buffeted by all that life has to throw at me and have let my writing fall by the wayside.

And that’s not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing! Life is important, and obviously I want to experience as much of it as this world has to offer. But I also want to write my books and share them with the world, and the only way that’s ever going to happen is if I have the courage to sit down and put words to the page, no matter how scary that prospect may seem.

So today, I am throwing all caution to the wind and shouting into the grand void that I WILL be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month! And—yes, I’m going to say it—I’m going to win.

Obviously I wrote a whole blog post about how I was going to win April’s Camp back in March, but … yeah. That didn’t work out too well, did it. XD Ah well. This time around, I don’t have anything fancy to share with you all. No great tips or tricks for defeating writer’s block. No special hats or survival kits or playlists. This time, all I have is me, a notebook, a pen, my laptop, and a story that I desperately want to get written. And chances are, the draft I crank out over the next couple months will be nothing like the story I eventually want to share with you all. But I’m getting the skeleton down. I’m figuring it out the only way I know how—by experimentation—and that, my friends, is an exciting adventure in and of itself. Future Kenzie may have a beast of a time trying to edit this monster, but Present Kenzie is going to enjoy herself to the highest extreme during this drafting process!

THE GOAL

As of right now, Project Goblin is sitting at a very sad 30,000 words. I promised myself I wouldn’t share any of my deadline goals here on the blog (you know, since I’m absolute garbage at actually following them once written), but I will say that at this current word count, I’m very, very far behind on where I wanted to be in this draft. I had a very solid word goal established for the end of June, but due to some unprecedented events and one too many days I let slip by without even trying to put pen to paper, I’m sorry to admit that it will take nothing short of a miracle for me to catch up to my final deadline.

That is, unless I’m able to write 50,000 words next month.

Some might call it idiocy to try and reach this goal. Some might call it madness. I prefer to call it a dash of optimism with a touch of insanity.

Under normal circumstances, I would take a moment to stop and think about the fact that my day-job is about to get a little bit more complicated and demanding (yay, promotions!) and do I REALLY want to tackle such a large commitment right through the thick of that? I would also sit myself down and say, “Kenzie. You do realize that trying to pump 50,000 words out within a single month is going to drain you both creatively and mentally, right? You do realize this is going to be VERY BAD for your mental health…right?” But to be honest, I feel exceptionally good about this very abrupt change of plans. I’m excited to push myself (healthily!) and see where I end up. I’m eagerto test my limits and see just how far I can go without falling.

I have no interest in hurting myself, of course, but if writing is something that I want to do full-time in the not-so-near future, then I have to take the baby steps to get there today. And those baby steps include fitting my writing life into my everyday living—not the other way around.

Of course, I’m not ignoring the fact that we are entering what is—by nature—one of the busiest months of summer (for me). But due to some unforeseen recent events (which I’m definitely not going to complain about), this month isn’t going to be near as busy as it normally is! Most of the events I participate in during the month of July have either been canceled or … I’m just not doing them. XD So aside from a road trip (more on that in the future, hopefully!), this month is wide open for ALL OF THE CREATIVE ENDEAVORS! And that is a very freeing sort of feeling, my friends.

THE PROJECT

I’ve already mentioned this above, but the project I’ll be working on this month is the first draft of Project Goblin! …..still. To be honest, I thought the first draft of this book would be finished by now, but alas. I guess my timeline was a little bit off.

I will say that while I’m definitely not trying to rush this drafting process, there are many other projects on my radar for 2021 which I’m very eager to get to (one of them being an editing project, which is extremely exciting!), and if I’m going to stay on track with my gameplan for those projects, Project Goblin’s gotta hurry up and get a move on. XD Normally I wouldn’t care so much, but the editing project has a very, very hard deadline, and I … well. Let’s just say that if I’m unable to complete the first draft of Project Goblin by August, it’s going to have to take a pause whether it likes it or not.

Also, I’m sure none of you are wondering this, but I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I want to try and blog during this crazy intense month of drafting. Every single time I participate in NaNo, I say that I’m going to blog through it. But then that sort of falls by the wayside (along with my project), and essentially I accomplish none of the things I said I wanted to accomplish. However, after much thought, I’ve decided to try this one more time.

As far as I’m able, I would really really like to blog during Camp NaNoWriMo! I’m not sure if it’s actually going to happen or not, but we shall see! It’s definitely on my radar of things I’d like to do, and even if it’s only weekly updates that take literally two seconds to slap together, I still want to maintain a presence during July. (you know. especially since I’ve been MIA for the past couple weeks. XD)

However, please do not be shocked if it turns out I’m unable to hold up to this. I have literally no clue what sorts of things July may hold, and because of that, I can’t promise that blogging is going to take a high priority. My first and foremost priority this month is drafting Project Goblin. After that … well, honestly I don’t really know. XD

But rest assured that whether or not I’m lurking around the blogosphere this month, there WILL be blog posts in August, and—if all goes according to plan—something very, VERY exciting happening that month, as well! (mwahahahahahahahahahaha!)

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talk to me, peasants!

Is anyone else participating in Camp NaNo next month??? If so, I’m actually using the website again this time around (I haven’t been using it previously, and the struggle is REAL), so please come and friend me! Also tell me what kind of project you’ll be working on, and whether or not you’ll be blogging during Camp! I want to hear about ALL of the fun creative things you’ve got planned this summer!

And as always, until next time …

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

Life & Other Disasters! – an update

good morning, cyberspace!

So! Some of you might have noticed that I have not posted for a couple weeks. This was in no way supposed to happen, and I am really quite sorry that it did. However, as I am sure you will come to see in the next few paragraphs, life has been a little funky lately, friends. XD It’s in no way a bad thing–actually, two out of the three major circumstances are really quite good! But as it is, sometimes life prevents us from doing the things which we love.

Fortunately, the things we love have a way of sticking around until we can make it back to them.

So! Today, in leu of the fact that I don’t currently have a super amazingly epic blog post lurking around my drafts folder waiting to be posted, I’d thought I’d give a smidgen of a writing/life update!

Because clearly y’all love hearing me ramble, yes?

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LIFE (and other disasters of similar quality)

Soo. Where have I been, you might be wondering? Where could I–the great and powerful Kenzie–have disappeared off to for two whole entire weeks? (the horror!)

The answer, my friends, is really quite wonderful:

I went on a writing retreat! And technically it was a virtual writing retreat, which … you know … means I didn’t even have to leave my couch. so the fact that this kept me from blogging is entirely irrelevant *cough* but I MUST POINT OUT that during this writing retreat, I was simultaneously having a series of the worst weeks of 2021! So like?? I feel like I should get some slack there, yes? It’s really difficult for me to be productive and creative when my IRL existence is in shambles and crumbling down around me, but I digress. Life moves on, I discovered some really amazing writing advice from the curators of the writing retreat, and here I am today to tell you all about my progress in both my WIP (project goblin, for those keeping score), and my real life! (more on both of these things below).

But first, I want to tell you guys the reason that I missed a post for this specific Tuesday. Because technically the writing retreat ended last weekend, so I should have had plenty enough time to draft something. But I sorta kinda completely blew off writing a blog post for Tuesday to … er … go to a trampoline park?

…and then I completely busted up my ankle. While bouncing on a trampoline. At said trampoline park.

I didn’t say I was proud of it, okay? XD

So Tuesday after work, instead of following my initial plan to sketch up a blog post and throw it onto the internet, I decided to spend the evening with a whole gang of coworkers and friends. It was a jolly, high-energy time which I’m SO thankful for, but then, towards the end of the night when we were all beginning to crave Chick-Fil-A, I took a leap of faith on one final trampoline, stumbled, tripped, and face-planted into a giant foam mattress that completely absorbed me into its comforting embrace.

And suddenly there was an intense burning sensation in my left ankle.

Fast forward to today (Friday night), and I’m sitting on the couch sporting a deliciously galaxy-like bruise and questioning not only my sanity, but the sanity of anyone who dares enter a trampoline park.

And yet? I have no regrets, my friends. Absolutely none at all. XD #noregerts (except, you know, for the GIANT BRUISE ON MY ANKLE. But like it’s fine. I had fun. 10/10 will not be going back.)

But yeah, that’s about it for the life update! There are some Other Things going on behind the scenes that I don’t feel quite comfortable talking about yet (nothing but good things, of course!), but to give a conclusion on that aforementioned terrible series of weeks I experienced recently, I’ve been on the receiving end of God’s grace and His everlasting kindness the past couple weeks, and everything that was piling up around me to the point of near-suffocation has–despite all odds–been completely flipped on its head. Life is good. My heart is full. My foot looks like the backdrop for a wormhole.

I’m happy, guys. I’m really, really happy.

And also slightly in pain.

And now, on to the writing update!

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WRITING (Behind The Scenes of Project Goblin)

Okay, so this is something that I’m EXTREMELY excited to talk about, guys! I don’t have a whole lot to share right now (bummer), but I do have a lot of excitement for this story and where it’s headed!

I think the last substantial update I gave for The Girl and The Goblin King had something to do with my revelation/breakthrough, in which I discovered that this story had a slight Wizard of Oz vibe to it. Now, a month or so and 12 chapters later, I’ve finally reached a spot in this novel that I had yet to reach.

My friends, lords and ladies, children and hobgoblins–we have officially reached the hall of the goblin king.

I’ve been waiting for this moment for YEARS now. Never in all my rewrites, in all of my drafts, in all of my half-finished NaNo’s, have I gotten to the goblin king’s castle. Never. Not even once.

And yet….here we are. Technically I haven’t exactly stepped foot into the castle yet, but rest assured that this will be happening tonight. I have a wee bit of writer’s block at the moment from this being such a momentous occasion in the drafting of this novel, but the good news is that since I know the cause (MOMENTOUS OCCASION, YEET!), I know exactly how to fix it.

…just keep writing.

And since I’ve got a bum leg and a Saturday of doing nothing before me, I have a vaguely good feeling about what I’m going to be working on over the weekend. XD

Aside from the fact that we have now entered the hall of the goblin king, I’d also like to mention that my main terror child, Annalora, has decided to completely shut me out. She won’t talk to me–or even look at me, for that matter–but this is all fine and dandy since Todd has decided to become my new best friend. He’s a nervous mess, and apparently becoming a nervous mess about potential death and hallucinatory nightmares is enough to crack him open and get him talking? To be honest, I’ll take it. Annalora I can fix in a later draft. Todd is the man carrying this story at the moment, and I kinda need my leading guy to develop some sort of a personality within the first draft.

But I digress. Of more notable quality, Todd’s sanity is slowly whirlpooling down the drain, my walking tree got left behind because he couldn’t fit inside a tiny secret passage, and WE HAVE FINALLY DISCOVERED MY CREEPY TRIPLET BOYS!!

I’m probably most excited about that, quite frankly. My triplets are some of the most disturbing creatures I’ve ever dreamed up, and getting to flesh them out further on the page has been an experience. I’m not sure they’re quite up to par with the vision living inside my head, but you know what? This is a first draft. It’s allowed to be a little subpar every now and then!

As far as wordcount goes, I am very, very behind on my goals for June, but my progress through the story has been so substantial recently that I can’t bring myself to be disappointed. Currently, I’m deciding to focus on scenes rather than wordcounts. It seems a little less harsh on my mentality towards writing, and though I may not be progressing as quickly as I want to be, I know that I’m filling out these chapters in a way that feels right. Every book is different, I guess, and for right now, slow and steady is how this book is demanding to be written.

I do–as I might have mentioned previously–have a hard deadline for this book, but as of right now I’m not going to be sharing it anywhere on cyberspace. It’s not only a protection for my own sanity, but also to keep me from stressing about breaking yet another goal deadline in front of everyone on the internet. XD But rest assured that you will all know the moment the first draft of this book is completed! I am extremely excited to have the first draft of Project Goblin FINALLY under my belt, and though it might take a little longer than initially expected, I’m pushing forward with everything I have, and am determined to complete this manuscript before the year is out…!

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talk to me, peasants!

And that, my friends, about sums up my life update for today! Personal injuries, fun writing plans, and a whole slew of messy life-ish-ness… I gotta say, this year is really shaping up to be quite the whirlwind. But that’s quite enough about me! Tell me something about YOU!

Have you ever blown off writing priorities to spend a night with friends? Are you working on anything special during the beginning of these glorious summer months? What is the WORST injury you’ve ever sustained as a human? (not gonna lie–this one is ranking uip there)

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

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*

You Might Be Reading A Kenzie Keene Book If….

good morning, cyberspace!

A long, long time ago, I saw something floating around the blogosphere in which bloggers were spilling all their dirty secrets and revealing common themes found within their manuscripts. I wish with all my heart that I could find those original posts again, but for the life of me I’m unable to track any of them down. (although I DO believe that Christine Smith did one of them?? I just??? cannot seem to find it????? *much confusion*) I think it was started as an original blog concept and then turned into a sort-of-tag, but to be perfectly frank with you all, I honestly have no clue what the origins of said posts were. I just know that it looked like fun, and when I had the idea for this post a few weeks ago, I realized that I’d seen it somewhere before. That, unfortunately, was as far as my brain would take me, for I’ve since been unable to find someone to credit the idea with.

But I digress. If you remember seeing these posts–or even have links to said posts–please feel free to shoot them at me so I can properly credit whoever came up with this concept! For the time being, however, I guess we’re moving on. XD

Ahem.

I’ve been in the writing industry for *quickly counts on fingertips* 10 years now. Ish. My first novel was completed at the tender age of 12, and many, many scribblings had been scribbled and typed before that. During all this time, it would make sense that I’d start to notice patterns within my manuscripts–certain little similarities which make me pause and think, “huh… sure seems like I’ve seen that before…” before prattling on aimlessly as I always do. And I would absolutely be lying if I said I haven’t–on more than one occasion–realized I’d used a particular plot thread or theme or character archetype in a previous book before inserting it yet again into my newest WIP.

I can’t help it, folks. There are just certain things that make my heart squish with all the writerly feels, and I’ll be darned if I don’t continuously find ways to incorporate them into my stories.

So today, I figured I’d make a list of just a few of these common threads in order to bring you all an inexhaustive list of what it takes to write a Kenzie Keene Original!

Because who doesn’t want to emulate my writing style? That’s what I’d like to know.

No Idea Idk GIF by SomeGoodNews

UPDATE!: As I’d hoped, some of my lovely friends found where this thing originated! Supposedly it started as a twitter tag (which???? HOW DID I MISS THE TWITTER TAG. That sounds so fun??), #HowYouKnowIWroteIt, and was eventually brought over to the blogs!! Thank you SO much to Jenelle and Christine for finding this, and you can read both of THEIR blog posts of a similar nature by clicking on their names!!! (you guys are the best and I love you so dearly)

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YOU MIGHT BE READING A KENZIE KEENE BOOK IF…

  • there’s death and/or mutilation within the first 3 chapters

Or, in the case of everlost, within the first chapter. Because clearly this sets a tone that readers will find comforting and acceptable and will 100% not scare them off at all.

Mr Bean Thumbs Up GIF
  • one of the main characters is a young child (typically a girl) with a penchant for murder destruction

Adaline, Annalora, Shelby…

From my three main novels come three young girls who will 10/10 destroy an entire city block in order to protect those they love. Or, in Annalora’s case (The Girl and The Goblin King, for those wondering where this particular child hails from) an entire universe.

Aha… This story is a fun one to write, guys.

  • the main character–or one of–is male. and also severely snarky and/or clueless

I have so many of these, guys. XD In fact, I don’t think it would be a Kenzie book at this point if it didn’t include an entirely clueless, snarky, and potentially unreliable male narrator. Probably the most well-known of these is Thao from everlost, but I also have Ed and Fitz (Project Sunset), Todd (The Girl and The Goblin King), Peter (everlost again), and Finnigan (N/A).

  • there are multiple points-of-view

Sometimes–very infrequently, but sometimes–people ask me how I write such large books. “Why are your novels hundreds of thousands of words long, Kenzie?” they ask, their eyes round and innocent and completely oblivious to the true horror of watching your manuscript grow to the size of a small rhinoceros. And every time I sort of flail awkwardly, not truly knowing how to answer. But I think I’ve finally hit on the reason for it all, and that, my friends, is the above bullet point.

I have too many POV’s per book. everlost, which is 150k+ words, had four unique POV’s, and within each one I tried to create a personal character arc and storyline. It was a beautiful chaotic mess, and I have since come to the conclusion that in future stories–to rid myself of horrifying word counts–to cut points-of-view down to two at the most. Maybe three if I’m feeling particularly auspicious.

Project Sunset had two POV’s, and the first draft of that novel came out at around 120k–still large, but far more acceptable. The Girl and The Goblin King has exactly one, and I’m shooting for a goal of 90,000 words.

Actually, speaking of large word counts…

  • it has 150k+ words

*points dejectedly towards above checkpoint*

  • there’s light romance (read: none)

I’m not huge on writing romance (which is strange, coming from a hopeless romantic, but I digress). I understand that this is something that makes the publishing industry–and even the movie industry–go round and round and round, but to be honest, I find it far more fun to write other things. Things like goblins and fairies and death shadowy creatures with big teeth. I prefer to focus on the adventure aspect of story, and if I have any romance whatsoever, it typically comes in the form of–

  • a random Scottish man is pining after a prim Englishwoman

Most people are probably like ????? right about now. After all, this seems like a very specific thing to write into one’s stories. But after two stories organically producing characters built upon this precise metric, I feel like it’s a little too coincidental not to note it down.

And also can someone please help me figure out where all the Scotts are coming from, because they’re getting a wee bit out of hand and I’m frightened.

  • the mentor dies

I’m sure this is less a “Kenzie thing”, and more a “fantasy genre” thing, but I still feel it’s worth noting. Mentors die. No one likes it. No one looks forward to it (unless it’s a really idiotic mentor, which … that’s a whole thing in and of itself). But it happens and it’s there and it’s a wonderful motivator for the final act of a story. And so, to become the cliche I’ve always been destined to become, I tend to milk this particular trope for all it’s worth.

You just can’t dodge the facts, friends.

  • found family/fierce friendships

I’m a sucker for a good found family, okay? There’s just something so wholesome and pure about a group of complete strangers coming together and saving the world and–GASP–learning to love each other like the weird little family that they are.

everlost, Project Sunset, and The Girl and The Goblin King all use this particular thread (albeit differently) and I’m not sorry about it in the SLIGHTEST. It’s one of my favorites, and it will continue to be one of my favorites until the day that I stop obsessing over Jim Moriarty.

(i.e. this will never happen #yeet)

  • bromance

Yeah…. Unashamedly, I tend to write some stellar bromances into my novels. Peter and Thao, Ed and Fitz, Sam and Eugene… Fierce bro friendships make me uncannily happy, guys. I cannot explain it. XD

  • fairytale elements & retellings

I feel like I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say it until the day I die: I adore fairytales and fairytale retellings. I simply cannot get enough of them! And, more specifically, I love writing fairytales and fairytale retellings.

I’ve often said that The Girl and The Goblin King is a fairytale of my own making, and *cough cough* I may or may not have written a secret fairytale retelling in the past. Fairytales are something I’m just so passionate about: the magic, the whimsy, the forests filled with secrets and twinkly twilight atmosphere. Whimsical stories will always have my heart, and I’d be extremely disappointed in myself if someday I discovered that I didn’t love them as deeply as I do now.

  • villains you love to hate
Proud Starz GIF by Outlander

This one’s a wee bit newer. (for anyone who’s read everlost, you will probably know I struggled a wee bit with the antagonist) But within my more recent manuscripts, I feel as though I’ve locked in on my own particular brand of villain.

I’m especially excited for the villain of The Girl and The Goblin King. I technically haven’t even written him yet, but–with any luck–that will soon change. And I am SO. EXCITED. to finally get to meet this guy! He’s so creepy and weird and charming and 10/10 will murder your uncle for a piece of chocolate cake.

  • themes of brokenness, forgiveness, and redemption

And last but not least, we have reached our final point for what it takes to write a Kenzie book!

I think, more often than not, writers often infuse their stories with the themes they’ve experienced personally. As for me, I’ve had many instances in which I’ve dealt with the three themes above, and I think it shows in the stories I create. I love writing about how broken things can still shine–how their brokenness can actually make them shine brighter. I love themes of forgiveness, of finding yourself after you thought you were broken beyond repair and would never return to the you that you were Before. I love redemption arcs.

I love stories which show the cracks of human nature and the all-encompassing forgiveness of God.

And I think, in the end, that’s why I write these books. Because I’ve experienced the failure, the collapse, the darkness which grows in your heart when you feel the furthest from grace that you’ve ever felt. And I’ve felt the release, the understanding that there is Hope in a world which is nothing but darkness and shadow. I’ve been broken and forgiven. I’ve fallen and have been helped up. And it’s a beautiful wonderful magical thing–something I want to share with everyone who reads my words.

And while I understand that you can’t write the same theme into every story, I also know that there’s hardly a day that goes by in which God doesn’t show me His grace through even the smallest of things. And if He can continue to find new ways to show me His love, why can’t I do the same in my novels?

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talk to me, peasants!

Let’s talk common themes! What sorts of things do you find reoccurring within your stories? Are you a writer who tends to write the same–or similar–themes into your novels, or do you prefer a fresh start with each and every WIP? Are you a fan of Found Family? Bromance? CHARMING VILLAINS??? 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*

featured photo by Fang-Wei Lin on Unsplash

CAMP NANOWRIMO 2021 – The Results

good morning, cyberspace!

The end of April is nigh upon us, and I have–once again–gone the whole month without any sort of update on the going’s on of Camp NaNoWriMo. I would love to say that this is because I have been writing myself into oblivion, diving deep into the heart of the stories which I so proudly claimed I’d be working on this month until my well of creativity simply burst with all the excitement and inspiration of which drafting a goblin book should produce.

This, however, would be a lie. Like many people, I undergo ruts of creative dryness. It’s something I try very hard to push through, and, in doing so, usually tend to scrape myself so dry that the time needed to recover thus inflates dramatically. And I think, my dear peasants, that this is what happened last month.

And potentially the first four months of 2021. Lololololol.

It’s been a slow period for my writing so far. According to my writing tracker, I’ve written 40,336 words this whole year–which, looking at as one complete sum, doesn’t seem like a grand total one should turn their nose at. But behind those words have been truly painful moments of confusion, wondering if I’m really cut out for this whole thing, and swatting at the little voices inside of my head which tell me I should simply give up, shave my head bald, and become a goat herder in northern Italy.

(for reference: my google search history now has “does italy have goat herders” plastered to it, and I’m pretty sure my personal FBI agent is wondering if I’m okay. [answer: no, bob. i am not okay.])

But I find that no matter how many creative ruts I may go through–no matter how many times I may need to step away from the world and reevaluate what’s important in my life–it seems that I always come back to the same conclusion: this is what I want to be doing. Despite how many words I write in a month. Despite how many times I fall short. Despite how many experiments and events and ideas fall through the cracks, I am a writer, and it’s pushing through those dark days which prove it. Because if I didn’t love writing, if this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing with my life, if this was just some passing phase for me, I wouldn’t keep coming back to it. I would have given up by now. I would simply disappear in a cloud of smoke and maniacal laughter and become a used car salesman.

And the fact that this has not yet happened is a testament to the fact that this–no matter how badly I failed Camp NaNoWrimo–is where I’m supposed to be.

And so, my friends, it is with mild shame and more than a few “I should have seen this coming”s that I tell you last month did not go accordingly to plan. And I realize that I technically had two plans for how April should have gone, but alas. Neither of these happened.

…at all.

Oh, I tried to follow the plan, of course. I think we can agree that I always try. But like with many of my grand ideas, things happen, Life hits, and suddenly I’m swept off my feet down a swiftly moving river towards who even knows where, only to end up deposited right back at square one three weeks later.

And this is where I am today.

But I can’t say as though I’m horribly disappointed with my progress this past month. Sure, it isn’t anywhere near the 30k I had initially planned on, but I can’t say that the whole month was a total waste. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that I’m pleased with the direction this Camp took, because it has led me to things far greater than a heavy word count ever could.

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CAMP NANOWRIMO 2021 – THE RESULTS

i. the girl and the goblin king

As of the moment I’m writing this (April 26th, 11:06 AM, for anyone weird enough to wonder that), my current word count for Apirl is 12,994 words. This puts me 17,006 words away from my 30k goal, which is lowkey disappointing, not gonna lie. At this point, I would have to write about 4.2k every single day till the end of camp to catch up. And since I’ve just started to gently rekindle the spark of my creativity, I’m not even considering trying this. In life, there are some things we must simply give up on.

Today, I’m choosing to give up on Camp NaNoWriMo.

bill murray comedy GIF

But not completely! I may not be able to hit my first goal of 30k, but 15k is looking preeeeeetty charming right about now. And since–as anyone who read my last post will know–I started rewriting this story right at the end of March, having 15k down during the first month of drafting is not something to sneeze at. (actually, please don’t sneeze at anything in today’s day and age.)

So my new, unofficial goal since it’s too late to change my goal on the website for Camp NaNoWriMo is 15,000 words towards Project Goblin. I only have to write 2,006 words in four days in order to hit it, and if I somehow manage to mess this up before May, you have my permission to slap me in the face with a fish.

A rotting fish, specifically, as I find those are most suitable for proving a point.

ii. project sunset

i did absolutely nothing towards this goal for the entire month of April, and I have no shame since I am not quite ready to jump back into this story quite yet

The Girl and The Goblin King decided to take up all of my story brainpower this month, and while I’m disappointed that I couldn’t reenter the world of Shelby and Ed as quickly as I’d have liked, I’m extremely excited for the twists which TGaTGK has taken, and look forward to reading through my trash draft of Project Sunset in the future.

Also read as: ASDFGHJKL THIS MONTH WAS A MESS LOL

in conclusion…

…April’s Camp NaNoWriMo wasn’t the 30-day creativity-filled writing retreat which I had planned on it being. Instead, it was a bumpy, messy, “holy guacamole, what’s happening” kind of time, and while I’m extraordinarily thankful for all that it has taught me and all the many things I’ve discovered along the way, I can’t shake the slight disappointment within me that says I should have–could have–done better.

And maybe you’re a bit like me. Maybe your April wasn’t quite what you’d expected, either. Maybe your plans were stacked so high that the weight of them crashing down nearly crushed you. But the truth is, if given the chance, I wouldn’t go back and change anything about the past month. Yes, it was chaotic. Yes, it was messy. Yes, I made wrong decisions and mistakes and should have chosen different paths than what I did at the time. But the fact remains that all those left turns and obstacles brought me to this moment right here, where I can honestly look you in the webcam eye and say, “I wrote 13,000 words this month. I have 13,000 more words in my pockets than I did 26 days ago, and I am proud of those words, because I know I poured every bit of my heart and soul into them.” And while it isn’t 30k, it is 7 chapters of a novel which I’m excited to be writing. It is 13k that I didn’t write just because, but which I wrote with intention and passion.

So could I have done better? Maybe. But I know for a fact that what I did do is work that I’m proud of, and my wish is that, at the end of this crazy month, you can look at the work you’ve done–however big or small that may be–and say the same.

talk to me, peasants!

to all the ones who participated in NaNoWrimo: how did your month go? were you able to write all of the words, or did you, like me, learn valuable life lessons instead? XD

to those who didn’t participate in NaNo: what sorts of adventures–or non-adventures–did you get up to during the month of April? have you been reading good books? journeying to new places? discovering new hobbies?

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

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*