COVER REVEAL: IMPRINT by Madeline J. Rose

good morning, cyberspace!

Occasionally, something incredibly exciting happens in the blogging world which makes me feel so humbled and honored to be a part of this delightful community. Today is one of those things.

Today, I have received the unbelievable honor to help host a cover reveal for one of my OG blogging friends, Madeline J. Rose! Her book child, IMPRINT, is a wild roller coaster of fantasy and fiction, and I am so excited to finally have it available on shelves!

Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how exciting it is to see the careers of my blogging friends take off and sprout wings? Madeline is such a talented, beautiful human, and it feels so right for her to be publishing this book which she’s poured years of her life into crafting. I’m so proud of her and blessed to be a part of this little book’s adventure out into the great sea of literature!

So without further ado, on to the cover reveal! *throws confetti and cookies everywhere*

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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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The In-Between of Publishing

good morning, cyberspace!

Lately I’ve been suffering from a conundrum. Of course, you could probably say that I’m suffering from a conundrum every single day of my life–“what am I?” “what is the meaning of life?” *indefinite existential crisis*–but this particular conundrum is one that I’ve been suffering through for a while now, and therefore I no longer know the correct way to battle it.

So, because everything seems to become clearer when I put my fingers to the keys and type, I’ve decided to write a blog post about it. Because maybe then I can finally understand what is happening inside my head, you know?

The focus of this post may be a little bit messy. (apologies in advance for that. i know how much you guys love my totally professional blogging style. [*awkward cough*]). I’ll do my best to clean it up and form a concise theme once I’m done spewing out the first draft of whatever this turns into, but this is just your friendly neighborhood warning: here there be rambles.

Still with me? Wonderful. Tally ho, soldier.

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Summer Vibin’

good morning, cyberspace!

Am I completely ignoring my current manuscript so that I can write a silly blog post about summer and all of its many happy vibes?

Yes. Yes, I am.

And let me tell you what, peasants–I have no regrets. None.

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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…!

>>> <<<

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!

>>> <<<

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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The March Muchness Blog Tag!

good morning, cyberspace!

There’s quite a bit happening this month, my friends! What with March Muchness running all month long and Camp NaNoWriMo just around the corner, it seems like I have way too many blog ideas, and simply not enough time to write them! However, even though it’s once again an incredibly busy month for little old me, my hope remains to manage a blog post every week… even if it’s a few days late. Such as today. XD

But alas! Today’s post is a rather fun one, for I’m taking the March Muchness Blog Tag questions I helped reveal last week and answering them for myself! This tag was SO much fun to collaborate on, and I cannot wait to see everyone else’s answers as they pop up!

So let’s dive right in, shall we?

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March Muchness Blog Tag! — Introducing March Muchness!

good morning, cyberspace!

Friends! It is MARCH! And while my brain is still reeling trying to figure out how on EARTH we’re already three months into 2022, my heart is so incredibly full. And why is that, you might ask? Because, thanks to the beautiful and whimsical Christine, March officially means all things Wonderland!

Throughout the month of March, I–and a bunch of other bloggers/writers/Wonderland enthusiasts!–are celebrating a little something called March Muchness (as coined by my favorite Christine)! It is a celebration of all things Wonderland, and we are recruiting YOU to come help us celebrate! There are a couple “official” things going on throughout the internet this month to get the party started–such as the #marchmuchnessphotochallenge and the March Muchness Blog Tag, which I’m talking about today!–but as this is basically just a celebration of Lewis Carrol’s incredible story, the possibilities for participating are virtually limitless! Tea parties, book club reads, posts featuring your favorite retellings… anything to celebrate the world of Wonderland and the impact it has made on lives and hearts is welcome! If you do end up sharing your frabjous antics to the social media sphere, be sure to tag it with either #MarchMuchness or #MarchMuchness2022 so we can find it and celebrate with you! This is going to be a magical month filled with all sorts of whimsy, and I am so unbelievably honored to help host the fun!

Starting with… THE MARCH MUCHNESS BLOG TAG!

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In Which the YouTube Channel Lives and Dies

good morning, cyberspace!

So…. Hi again! It’s me, Mario, returned from the dead! The past two weeks have been extremely taxing (emotionally, physically, mentally, ect.), but holy guacamole and cheddar is it good to be on the other side of them now. The last time I was on the blogosphere, I told y’all that I was starting a YouTube Channel! And so I did. It feels wonderful to actually have just done it after thinking about it for so long, especially when the fear of failure was so extreme.

And let me tell ya, folks. The imposter syndrome is real on the YouTube. I can tell you that much.

Buuuuuut, as with all things, I have quickly discovered a downside to this lovely thing called vlogging. Actually a few downsides. And today I’d like to talk about them! Because… well… I’ve decided that–right now–being a part of the YouTube community just doesn’t float my boat.

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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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