Writing Prompt Weekend #5

What would your character’s new year’s resolution be?


Let me know in the comments below.

Hope you are all having a great holiday. Have a happy new year!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Best Books I’ve Bought for a Bargain

Some people might call me cheap, or stingy, or penny-pinching. This may be true, but I like to call it being frugal or thrifty. I go straight for the clearance section of a bookstore or library. I will search through the torn up books at the thrift store  to find the hidden literary gems. And if you’re like me, you know the feeling of finding a hard cover book, in decent condition, for a dollar, is amazing and your book nerd heart flutters in excitement.

Here’s a list, in order of greatness, of the books I have bought for less than $5.

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Go Set a Watchman

Now, when this book came out, I remember there being a bit of controversy surrounding it, like if it was genuinely written by Harper Lee and connected To Kill a Mockingbird.  By mere chance, I found this one in my public library, for a dollar, a couple of months after it’s release. Very lucky. It wasn’t the “sequel” to Mockingbird I was expecting, but I did enjoy reading about how those beloved characters grew and evolved into different stages of life.

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The Paris Wife

Really interesting find for $2. The story explores the entirety of Ernest Hemingway’s relationship with his first wife, written in her (fictional) perspective. Repeat; for $2.  What a steal! Definitely recommend this book.

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The Jewel  Box

In the clearance section of a Barnes and Noble was The Jewel Box. Great story. Takes place in the 1920s London. It’s romantic and had a fantastic representation of the time period. Bought it for like… 4 bucks?

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The Book Thief

Currently reading this book right now, as suggested by one of my lovely followers. It’s pretty great so far. The imagery is astounding, seriously. This was one of those literary gems found in a thrift store for 1.50.

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The Little Paris Bookshop

This book is actually one of my favorite books ever. And I got it for 50 cents! WHAT!? I have to make a post one day on how much I adore this book. It made me laugh, it made me cry (books rarely make me cry), it made me comfort myself by eating (many snack breaks).  This story is wonderful and so so relatable, I couldn’t believe how captivated I was with this novel.

You never know what book, whether 50 cents or $50,  is going to give you not only a great story to read but become something cherished on your bookshelf.


What was the best book you’ve ever bought for a cheap price? I want to hear stories of other book nerds rummaging through thrift stores.

Hope you guys had a great holiday.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

 

Writing Prompt Weekend #4

You open the gift and are unenthused. But you smile “I love it!” You lie. “Thank you so much!” You lie again, with an even bigger fake smile.

“I thought of you as soon as I saw it!”

Really? You take it out of the box. It’s a _______ …….


Made this one up myself, while I’m sick with a cold for Christmas. Happy Holidays Everyone!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Another Reason Why I Adore Lin-Manuel Miranda. His Creative Process.

Sorry I’ve been absent the past couple days, things have been hectic. I found this video of Lin-Manuel Miranda as he talks about the creative process. His words on songwriting and falling in love with an idea can be applied to fiction writing and story telling.

Running out to do more Christmas shopping, but I hope you guys find this video as interesting as I did. Happy holidays.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

“Is your Boyfriend a Jedi or a Sith Lord?” Excuse Me?

So, funny story.

While I was braving the mob of last-minute Christmas shoppers, I went into the Newbury Comics store in the mall. It’s like nerd central over there, I love it. They sell books and comics and other geeky trinkets. I was trying to find a present for my boyfriend, Micheal (Y’know, that guy you hear so much about on my blog). Thankfully, he’s a big nerd too.  So I found something in the store that led me to have this interesting conversation with the store clerk.

(This is a side note;  I try to be considerate and a freaking perfectionist when buying gifts. I consider myself a pretty good gift getter, most of the time. I pride myself on it. I put a lot of thought into the presents I get for people.)

(Another side note; I can’t say specifically what I bought, because my boyfriend will probably read this and I want his Christmas presents to be a surprise. I might have to censor myself. We’ll call it a Star Wars related item.)

Here’s how that conversation more or less went….

I picked up said Star War’s related item and looked mildly interested in it. This store clerk guy came over. Not gonna lie, he looked like a cute dork from a cartoon, with big glasses and a nervous laugh. Maybe he was still in high school, I don’t know.

“That’s a good [Star Wars Item]” He commented.

“Oh yeah? I’m trying to find something for my boyfriend and he’s a big fan of Star Wars.”

“Yeah, that one’s pretty popular.” Note; I think he was right about that, because there were only three of ‘said item’ in stock in the entire store and they all looked beat up. I tried to find the least damaged one. Back to story.

I told him while examining said item “I think he’d like it, he likes stuff like this”

Then he asked me, “Is your boyfriend a Jedi or a Sith Lord?”

“Excuse me?” I was genuinely unsure. Is that something you’re supposed to ask your significant other? Should I know that off the top of my head? I mean, we’ve been dating almost six years, shouldn’t I know if my boyfriend is a Jedi or a Sith Lord?

“Well…” I said, somewhat stunned by the question. How do I even answer that? “I’m not a huge Star Wars fan myself. But I know his favorite character is Kylo Ren.”

This poor store clerk. “Cool, he’s with the Sith. They’re the bad guys.” I may not be a big fan of Star Wars, but I know the Sith are the bad guys. Who doesn’t know that?

Then he said “Your boyfriend’s probably a Sith Lord” What? Are you calling my boyfriend a Sith Lord? Should I be insulted? He’s more of a turtle than a Sith Lord.

Me trying to change the subject back to the said Star Wars related item I was thinking of buying. “Yeah, I think he’ll like this because [reasons why my non Sith Lord boyfriend would like said gift]”

“Oh Yeah, and also because it has [more reasons why my non Sith Lord boyfriend would like said gift]” He was adorable, he was just as excited about the ‘item’and he actually did sell it to me. So points for being a good salesman, I guess.

I tried to wrap up the conversation because it was 30 degrees outside and I wore a bunch of layers, but inside the store it was 110 degrees and I was slowly melting in my sweater as I bought the thing.

Hopefully Michael likes said Star Wars thing. Cross your fingers when Christmas rolls around. What are you guys up to this holiday season? Getting carried away in the bustle of shopping? And just for reassurance, that’s a weird question to ask someone right? Or is it just me?

Write With Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

 

What to Research When Writing Historical Fiction.

Hello lovelies.

Since I’m working on a story that is skirting the line of being in the Historical Fiction genre, I’ve decided to talk about things to think about when your setting and characters belong to an era that’s not your own (like, right now, in the present). Research is very important when writing about another time period. It’s the little details that should bring the past to life. So, here’s a list of questions/suggestions that may help you dig deeper into a part of history your interested in.


  • Think about historical events from the exact year you’re writing about and the years prior. What event shaped your setting? What would the timeline look like?
  • Political leaders at the time? Give some political and social context of the period.
  • What kind of clothing did people wear? Was there a change in fashion? Was there some kind of dress code?
  • Were there any technological and medical advances at the time? What inventions were newly discovered/created?
  • Think about notable people of the time? Famous artists and actresses? Revolutionaries and musicians. Sport heroes and political villains?
  • Were there terms and slang used back then that we don’t really use today?

 


I know it sounds like a lot, we all want to strive for accuracy, especially when building a story in a time we have not lived in ourselves. Don’t sweat the small details (I’m still learning how to that myself). If you gotta fudge something, fudge something. Find reliable references books and primary sources from the time period you’re interested in writing about. Even watching movies and looking at artwork from another time in history can help you become familiar. I especially love looking at old photographs.

Anything I missed? (I probably did, I was just thinking off the top of my head here). Let me know in the comments. I also want to know about your stories and when they take place.

Write With Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Writing Prompt Weekend #1

“There are two kinds of people in this world,” my companion slurred, pausing to take another artless swig. “Those who ______ and those who _______.”


I’m gonna try and post one prompt every weekend from now on. This one comes from Writer’s Digest.

Don’t stress and don’t rush, just be creative.

Post your stories and ideas in the comments, I’d love to read them.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

 

The Brawn Man of Brooklyn (A Short Story)

They called it an extraordinary phenomenon.

A regular Hercules, Dr.Robinowitz on 3rd street claimed. Their son, Frank, was born with the capabilities of lifting objects 100 times heavier than his body weight. Super strength, the kids would say. His mother said Hail Mary in Italian ten times a day and cried, as if he son was some kind of devil. She constantly scolded him out of fear of his destructiveness. “Don’t touch that!” and “Don’t touch anything!” or “Don’t you dare touch the baby!”

He was a toddler. And his strength was something unexplainable, something that should remain a secret. If he pressed his hand into wall too hard, the wall would crack. Toys, if not handled gently, would be crushed or broken into pieces. Even the metal handle of his bicycle would be indented by his fingertips. He couldn’t control this, even as he got older, his power grew more dangerous. On the kindergarten playground, he pushed a kid out of the sandbox and cracked his rib. When he was seven years old, he threw a baseball and it landed three blocks away and through a car windshield.

He couldn’t touch anything. He wasn’t safe.

Frank would hold his small hands and peek into his sister Camilla’s crib when she was an infant. He was afraid of breaking her too.

His father owned a deli under the train tracks, Berardi’s Deli. Behind it was a dead patch of grass they called a backyard. And above it was a shoe box apartment they called a home. His father wore a filthy apron as he sat on the sidewalk’s edge, smelling like fennel seed and sweat. He smoked a cigarette and watched the kids in the street play. Frank, a small boy with small hands, sat beside him.

“Pops, why can’t I play with them?” The boy said “I promise I’ll be good. I won’t hit so hard. Honest.” He watched as the kids played stick ball.
His father gave him a side glance, taking a long drag and rubbing his stubbled chin. “Last time, you knocked a kid out.”

He looked down at his hands, discouraged “I-I didn’t mean to, Pops, he was….”

“Your mother with have a heart attack if she finds out you hurt someone else with your…” Trailing off, he stood up and stomped his cigarette out. The few remaining embers in the curb fizzled into the cement. “Don’t let nobody see you doing that. You hear me?” He warned. Frank’s eyes wandered to the window to the apartment above the deli, where his mother, with tired eyes, looked out.


“I don’t know if it’s a good idea, Camilla.” He said, looking down at his feet as they walked home from high school one crisp autumn afternoon. His black hair fell into a perfect greased curl.

“Sure it is,” His sister grinned, holding her biology textbook in her arms. “You love baseball.”

“Watchin’ baseball, sure. Not playin’ it,” He shrugged, still unsure “Pop’s will be mad. And Ma’s gonna be in hysterics if she finds out.”

She nudged him with her elbow. Her long wool skirt matched her mint green sweater. “Come on, don’t worry about that stuff, Frankie, you’d be amazing and you know it.”

Frank sighed, shoving his hands in his Letterman jacket. A chill blew between them. A police siren blared in the distance. The sun was setting, burning orange and gold.

“What if I hurt someone?”

“What if you only hit home runs?”

“I’m serious, Camilla,” He grabbed her arm lightly, as if he was holding a feather. They stood on the street corner across from their family’s deli. “I can’t control this. Someone’s gonna get hurt.”

“You can control it. You don’t have to be scared. You’re strong… super strong, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can do something good with it.” The sirens grew louder.

As they crossed the street, a car screeched around the corner, being tailed by red and blue flashing lights. A police chase. Frank was in the middle of the street, frozen for a moment. Camilla screamed, pulling at his hand. “Frankie, move!” He wouldn’t budge. He didn’t want to be scared anymore. The car was barreling towards him. He pushed his sister out of the way, and braced for impact, with an arched back and outstretched arms.

The car slammed into Frank, metal crushed against his chest, pushing him back a couple of feet. His sneakers skid against the pavement. The vehicle was stopped completely, with three bewildered robbers wearing ski masks sitting inside. The headline in the newspaper the next day dubbed him “The Brawn Man of Brooklyn”.