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.

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Good Morning, June!: making goals and stickin’ to ’em

good morning, cyberspace!

* sorry about the lack of a post this past week, friends! the end of may was a wee bit chaotic, so I didn’t get anything drafted up to post. we’re back to our standard programming this week, however!

We are officially 6 months into the new year, peasants! Weirdly enough, I’m not freaking out. Usually I’d be all like “OH MY GOODNESS LSKDJFALSKFJSLDFKJ WHERE IS THIS YEAR GOING I THOUGHT IT WAS ONLY FEBRUARY WHAT”, but like…? This time around I’m just kinda “meh” about the whole thing. Which probably says more about my mental health than anything, but ya know. We good. XD

But! Since it’s technically halfway through the year and technically a new month, I’ve decided that there is no better time than the present to make some goals!

I outlined my overall goals for the year back in January in this post, but ever since then, I’ve kept rather quiet about what I’m working on and the progress I’ve been making. Half of this is because I haven’t been making much headway recently. But the other half is because… well, honestly I just don’t have any goals lately.

And that’s a pretty lame place to be, my friends.

So this June, we are making this a month of goals, aspirations, and otherwise dream-crushery! And, to say the least, I’m exceptionally excited.

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Good Morning, May!: recaps & what lies ahead

good morning, cyberspace!

It is officially May, my peasants! Goodness gracious, this year is tripping by fast. Camp NaNoWriMo, especially, slipped through my fingers before I could fully get a handle on it. But if I’m being honest, April was so refreshing. There was a restoration within it that I wasn’t expecting, but was oh so needed. I’m actually genuinely excited to see where this new month takes me, which was NOT how I was feeling about four months ago. XD

April was truly a blessing to me. May, on the other hand… well, we’ll get into that in a moment. *insert nervous laughter*

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Good Morning Month post ’round here, so please bear with me, friends! I have a feeling a lot of this is going to be slapped together with sticky tape and pixie dust, but the main goal is to give you all a brief little peak into what I’ve been doing, where I’ve been, where we’re going, and–most importantly–how Camp NaNoWriMo, 2022 went!

onwards and upwards…!

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CAMP NANOWRIMO: A BRIEF RECAP

PROJECT SUNSET – 30,000 WORDS

My goal for PROJECT SUNSET was 30,000 words for the month of May. This… unfortunately did not happen. Aha. However, I did manage to revise 11,000 words of the project! Which, personally, feels like a rather large accomplishment for me. Especially considering the fact that I’m doing a very deep, very gritty revision of this book. I’m sure other writers could whip through this much faster than I, but I’m trying to remind myself that in regards to revision and plot dynamic, I’m still a relatively green creature. Some things can only be learned through time and patience, and I am of the stout mind that revision–good revision–is one of these things.

Not gonna lie, even though I didn’t hit my word count for this book during the month of April, I still took a small break from writing after Camp. I had every intention of keeping the momentum moving between months, but–as we will discuss momentarily–May had other plans for me. *nervous laughter intensifies* I’m starting to ease myself back into it all, though, and though the chapter I’m currently working on is a hot mess and a half, I’m still very excited for where I know this story will eventually lead! I just need to grasp the enthusiasm for gritty revision first, I guess. XD

Oh! Abd I have also created a new deadline for this book since I’ve completely blown past the first three I’ve made, but we don’t talk about Bruno that.

THE WORST PROJECT – 5,000 WORDS

My second goal for the month was to work on THE WORST PROJECT. Unfortunately, due to conflicting schedules between me and my co-conspirator for this project, we weren’t able to work on it at all in April. However, I’m super hopeful that we’ll get to find the time to do so sometime soon! This project is going to be such a weird, quirky little thing to create. I can’t wait for y’all to see more of it!

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WHAT’S UP, MAY?

In a nutshell, Camp NaNoWriMo could have been a bigger success. There were definitely some days (and some nights!) where I could have chosen to write and didn’t. There were moments where I picked books and movies and less “brain-intense” methods of passing the time. But at the end of the day, I’d consider this yet another successful Camp in the books. It was fun. It was leisurely. And it was just the right dose of chaotic playfulness that I needed after the first few stress-intense months that 2022 threw my way! And at the end of it all, I have some happy, deeply revised words in my pockets!

I’m still nowhere near done with completing PROJECT SUNSET. There’s so much work ahead that sometimes, if I think about it for too long, it becomes slightly discouraging. But I knew this project would be an undertaking when I accepted it. I knew what lay ahead of me, and I’m not planning on backing down any time soon. Despite the frustration of plot holes and character development and all the beautiful things that happen in revision, despite the fact that deadlines have been pushed (and pushed again), despite my fear that I might be nothing more than twenty frauds in a trench coat, the hope still stands: I will complete this book. And it will be my beautiful, disastrous mess.

And oh, how I will love it.

That being said, the month of May will not be a strong writing month for me–however very desperately I would like it to be. The coffee shop is in a heavy hiring period right now as we prepare for summer, which means a heavy training period, which means a slightly exhausted Kenzie as she struggles to balance it all. But the more balls thrown at me, the more I learn how to juggle them, and at the end of the day, I think I’m doing okay!

*massive explosions in the background*

Please ignore that.

So what is the plan for May, you ask? Honestly, other than simply surviving, I’m not entirely sure there’s much of a plan. As we teeter on the precipice of summer, I feel the best thing for both myself and this story is to just take it slow and steady. It may not be a wild burst of productivity every day, but I can easily write 300 words! And after a month of consistent 300 word chunks, perhaps June will see some actual progress. *crosses fingers and eyes and toes*

So yeah! That’s my plan for May! Survive. Have fun. Read good books and write good words. Take tiny adventures here and there. I just want to enjoy this summer, you know? This is the only May this year will ever have, and I want to make it a good one.

>>> <<<

talk to me, peasants!

So tell me!: what are YOUR plans for May? Are you writing anything special? Finishing school? Discovering any new favorite authors? Tell me all the many things you’ve been up to, friends! And also your plans. Because those are also fun. XD

As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down below! And until next time…

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2022 – In Which I Will Most Certainly Regret This

good morning, cyberspace!

Camp NaNoWriMo is back, peasants!

I’m a sucker for a good April Camp NaNoWriMo session, and I could not be more excited for the projects I’ve decided to tackle next month! It’s going to be a highly chaotic adventure filled with words and characters and ALL of the storytelling goodness, and I am very very excited to bring you all along for the ride! I will also most certainly regret biting off this much, but ya know. It’s all part of the journey, right? XD

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Behind The Scenes of Project Sunset – Writing is Rewriting is Rewriting is Rewriting…

good evening, cyberspace!

*cough cough* Please excuse the construction dust around here, friends! I’ve been reformatting some of this blog’s old pages and behind-the-scenes features, so while things might not look too awful different… there are definitely some new things happening here at the Smudged Thoughts headquarters…

One of which being the revival of the writing update series that I created approximately 3,000 years ago and then promptly forgot about! As one does, naturally.

look, I never said I was perfect, okay XD *kicks the amount of times I’ve called myself flawless under the carpet*

Anyway, back when this series first aired, I named it WIP It–a title I have since come to deeply regret. XD I’m still not sure exactly what I’d like to call this series–or how often I’ll even update this–but for right now I’m calling it “Behind The Scenes”. Because it’s… behind the scenes… of the book I’m writing… aha….

(by now it must be obvious that I have no clue what I’m doing.)

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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!

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NANOWRIMO, 2021: The Final Stretch

good morning, cyberspace!

Well, friends, we made it! it’s officially December, and NaNoWriMo is behind us once and for all. In case you didn’t notice, I kind of disappeared halfway through the month, but this was less because I didn’t feel mentally capable of writing blog posts, and more the fact that every spare moment I had to write, I was working on my book.

Because by golly, my friends, I was determined to win this NaNoWriMo. Sometimes, however, things don’t go accordingly to plan. Like here. Or right here. Or… ya know, in 2020 when I also failed NaNoWriMo but was wise enough to not document the crippling disappointment. I feel like a constant theme in my life lately is God stabbing a stick of dynamite into my plans before whispering, “Wait. I have something even better planned.”

Except I’m still not sure what that ‘something better’ is, and–though I truly believe He’s right with my whole heart–it’s starting to feel a little bit like clickbait. XD

So when I started off on this NaNoWriMo 2021 journey, I wasn’t holding out that much hope. 15 revised chapters in 30 days certainly seemed like an achievable goal. It sounded easy. But not everything that sounds easy is easy, and nothing is truly quite how it seems.

Which is why I wanted to take this first post of December to recap on what, exactly, happened during those final two weeks of NaNoWriMo.

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NaNoWriMo, 2021 – Week Two

good evening, cyberspace!

It’s currently the evening of Monday the 15th, and I’m sitting here trying to type up an accurate summary of the past week with an insane amount of difficulty.

The goal? Get this post drafted and posted by the end of the night.

The struggle? This week was a blur and I don’t even know what timeline I’m living in anymore, let alone what happened within the past seven days.

But alas! We are officially entering the third week of NaNoWriMo, and I must not let it slip past without acknowledging the week that came before it! So Week Two Recap, here we come!

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Know The Novel – Part Two: Within Project Sunset

good morning, cyberspace!

And we are back with another episode of Know The Novel!–the monthly writer’s linkup hosted by the inimitable Christine Smith! Last month, I talked about the (non-spoilery) details surrounding my current WIP, Project Sunset. This month, we’re going to take a deeper look into the process behind the writing!

If you’re a writer participating in NaNoWriMo–or even just a writer working on a book–I would highly recommend checking out this linkup. You can find the questions to Part One here, and Part Two right here! This linkup is such a fun way to connect with other writers, as well as a much-needed gentle reprieve from the absolute chaos that is writing a book in one of the craziest months of the year, so if you’re not participating already (or if you’ve never read Christine’s blog before), do yourself a favor and check both of them out immediately.

Or, ya know, after you finish reading this post. Because I’m also cool, apparently. XD

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