Tag Archives: books

December Writing Goals – NaNoWriMo Continues?

December is here. The New York Winter chill is upon us. NaNoWriMo 2020 is officially over. Or is it?

Even though I did not reach my word count goal this month, It’s fine, I still feel like a NaNo winner. No matter how many words you wrote, you should still feel like a winner. Any amount of progress is to be celebrated.

Frankly, National Novel Writing Month was a great experience for me. I’ve met some extraordinary writers here on WordPress and on Twitter. Seriously, you guys are incredibly talented. I love hearing about your story ideas as well as your experience as writers. We’re all in this writing community, we need to stick together and support one another.

I’ve actually added words to my WIP. For a long while, I wasn’t writing much. I felt stuck in my plot and completely unmotivated to fix it. The self doubt was heavy on my shoulders. NaNoWriMo pushed me to write. To write regularly, on an almost daily basis. Inspired me to add new scenes, to give my characters complexity and to be more creative. And the world needs creativity now more than ever.

So, to keep momentum going, I’m going to continue to write like it’s NaNoWriMo into December. And maybe even into the new year. I’m holding onto this newfound spark for all it’s worth. For my writing project,  I’m still hovering around the halfway mark, only a couple thousand away from my original goal of 20K. The finish line seems so far away, I’m still battling my fear of never completing my WIP.

Will 2021 be the year I finally finish and publish my novel? I really do hope so.

Thank you for the support and love, writer bees. Sending you all the positive writer vibes.


How was your NaNoWriMo experience? Did you reach your goal? How is your writer spirit feeling? Talk to me in the comments, I love to hear from you all. And check out this week’s writing prompt.

Stay safe and keep writing!

—-Lady Jabberwocky

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Celebrating 500 Followers!

Hello Writer bees!

Lady Jabberwocky has hit a big milestone. I’ve reached 500 followers on WordPress. That’s unbelievable, that’s halfway to 1000. My brain can’t compute those numbers right now. Thank you all so very much.

It’s been a long week for me. My new job has been a challenge. Life has been a challenge. But to know that you all are rallying behind me keeps me going. I’m lucky to have such wonderful followers.

In honor of reaching 500 followers, I’ll let you in on what plans I’ve been brainstorming for Lady Jabberwocky. Lately, I’ve been considering some new additions to the blog, ones I hope you all will appreciate.

First would be adding a tip jar to the end of my posts. If you want to be generous and throw this dog a bone, the option will be there. No pressure to you guys. It would really help support this writer.

Also, I’d like to start having a book of the week, a spotlight on great works of literature. It’d be my way of supporting and encouraging readers and authors alike. The plan is to have a link to a book recommendation at the end of each Friday post. These ideas are still be on the drawing board, but I might test them out in my upcoming posts. Keep your eyes open!

Thank you so much for your support and interest in my humble little blog. Seriously, Lady Jabberwocky would not be here without you lovely folks.

Stay safe out there and keep writing!

Love, Victoria (a.k.a. Lady Jabberwocky)

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Need a burst of inspiration? Try one of my writing prompts of the week. Interested in reading my recent dabbles in 100 word stories? Check out The Basil Sprites and Death by Dinner Conversation.

100 Word Book Blurb Writing Contest (Cash Prize)

Hello writer bees!

The lovely folks at QueryLetter.com told me about this awesome writing competition coming up, and I wanted to share it with you. Not your ordinary contest, they want book blurbs of non-existent novels. Sounds like a fun challenge. Here’s more on what their looking for.

Write and submit a back cover blurb of 100 words or fewer that sets the stage for a novel, establishes the characters, and raises the stakes in a way that makes readers want to find out more.

The top prize is $500. In the midst of the apocalypse, $500 can go a long way. Deadline is September 15, so hurry and submit your entry soon. Read more about the contest and it’s rules right here.

Aside from this competition, this site has some awesome posts about query letters and manuscript advice for aspiring authors. I recommend checking out their blog.


Interested in reading my recent dabbles in 100 word stories? Check out The Basil Sprites and Death by Dinner Conversation.

And for those entering the contest, best of luck!

Stay safe and keep writing, writer bees.

— Lady Jabberwocky

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A Crash Course in In Media Res

Hello Writer Bugs!

Today, I’m sharing with you a writing trick that will hook readers from the first sentence. Yes, you heard right. Grab the audience’s attention instantly with In Media Res.

Confused by this Latin phrase? Don’t worry, I’m simplifying this narrative technique. This is the crash course in In Media Res.

Short and Sweet Advice for Writers – Start in the Middle (In ...

What is In Media Res?

Glad you asked! The term In Media Res translates to “In the midst of things.” This means a story hits the ground running and begins in the middle of a scene. Forget about lengthy exposition or flowery description. Start in the middle a conversation or an action sequence. Later on, you can drip feed readers information and backstory through flashbacks and dialogue.

Why does this trick work? Because it piques the audience’s curiosity. And that’s any writer’s goal, to catch the reader’s interest. It makes them feel like they have to catch up with the plot to learn more about the characters and their world. Think Alice chasing after the white rabbit.

No Context? No Bueno.

Yes, there’s is a wrong way of applying this writing technique. If you start a story too late, and don’t give any bits of context on characters and setting, the audience will be lost and confused. They wont’ keep reading if they have no idea what’s going on.

Be smart about when and where you choose to start the opening scene. You want to hook readers while giving them enough context to keep their attention. A fine line on balance on, I know. However, when you use in media res right, it can turn your story into a page turner.

Stories that Start In Media Res

Want to see this technique in action? Check out some of these attention grabbing titles.


Hope you guys found this post helpful. In media res can be a powerful tool in your writer arsenal. And if done right, you’ll have your readers on the edge of their seats.

What are your favorite stories that jump right into the action? And what do you think of this writing technique? Have you used in media res before? Lemme know in the comments. As always, I’d love to hear from you guys.

And please click all the links, it helps support this blog.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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My Life in Books Tag

Hello Writer Bees!

Since I recently celebrated my 300th post and 400 followers, I figured I do something lighthearted this week. And I haven’t done a tag in quite a while. So, this is my life in books.

Shoutout to TinyNavajo for doing this tag. Be sure to check out their awesome book blog!

Find A Book For Each Of Your Initials

V – Vengeance is Mine! by Mickey Spillane

A – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

P The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain (featuring my favorite femme fatale.)

Count Your Age Along Your Bookshelf

I’m 27 years old and the 27th book on my shelf is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. It’s on my TBR list, I heard the play was amazing.

Pick A Book Set In Your City/Country

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’m from New York. I also have Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney and Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine. A proud New Yorker, if you couldn’t tell. And I can’t resist a good NYC story.

Pick A Book That Represents A Destination You’d Love To Travel To

The Jewel Box by Anna Davis. I’ve always wanted to travel to London, or the U.K. in general. I’d love to visit Doyle and Christie’s old stomping grounds.

Plus, I have a few Hemingway books, like the Sun Also Rises and the short stories collection. It’s a stretch, but I’d like to take my boyfriend to Key West someday, to visit Ernest Hemingway’s home and to get him a Cuban coffee.

Pick A Book That Has Your Favorite Color On It

Surprisingly, the only lavender on my shelf is the title text color for The Mirror of Merlin by T.A. Barron. Although, I do love the blush pink on Alex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz.

Which Book Do You Have The Fondest Memories Of?

When I was a kid, I hated reading. Ironic, really, since I later became a writer. One day, the Scholastic book fair came to my school. While searching through the books, I found Bone (Book One): Out from Boneville. Then and there, I fell in love with graphic novels and fantasy/adventure stories.

(P.s. – Am I the only one who remembers Scholastic book fairs? Or am I just old?)

Which Book Did You Have The Most Difficulty Reading?

The Museum of Extraordinary Things. I liked the premise, but pace wise, it was a little on the slow side. I’ll probably give it another shot, though.

Which Book On Your TBR Pile Will Give You The Most Achievement When You Finish It?

This extra-thick collection of Hercule Poirot stories, written by Agatha Christie. It has over 50 short stories. Eventually, I’ll read through the entire tome of mystery.

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Tag! You’re It!

Well, this was fun. If you guys decide to do this tag, let me know. I’d love to hear what’s on your bookshelves. And please click the links, it really helps support this blog.

Stay safe and keep writing, writer bees!

Love, Lady Jabberwocky

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5 LGBTQ Books to Read for Pride Month

Hey writer bees!

Diversity in storytelling is so important. Every kind of person should be represented and represented well. No matter the story, the characters need to feel realistic. That includes their sexuality and gender identity.

In honor of Pride Month, I’m sharing some colorful books that celebrate the LGBTQ community.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the “Fun Home.” It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

I’ve read this book, and let me tell you, it’s an outstanding story. Alison Bechdel is an exceptional and brave writer. Full of humor and heartbreak, I couldn’t recommend this graphic memoir any higher. You don’t have to be queer to feel touched by her life story. Seriously, Fun Home is a must-have in your book collection.

Amazon.com: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic eBook: Bechdel, Alison ...

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

On the first day at his new school, Leo Denton has one goal: to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in his class is definitely not part of that plan–especially because Leo is a trans guy and isn’t out at his new school.

Written in first person narrative, Lisa Williamson tells the story of two transgender students who are navigating their gender identity. Based on reviews, it’s a great exploration of what it means to be transgender today. This one is definitely on my To-Be-Read list!

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson - review | Children's ...

Prince and Knight – Daniel Haack (Author), Stevie Lewis (Illustrator)

In this modern fairy tale, a noble prince and a brave knight come together to defeat a terrible monster and in the process find true love in a most unexpected place.

Not every prince is looking for a fair maiden. If you want to introduce the youngsters in your life to inclusivity and the LGBTQ community, look no further than this charming children’s book. This fairytale is colorful and magical and incredibly sweet. Frankly, I might buy this book for my nephew, so he can learn about acceptance and love in all forms.

Prince & Knight (Mini Bee Board Books): Haack, Daniel, Lewis ...

Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising that Changed America

On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, was raided by police. But instead of responding with the typical compliance the NYPD expected, patrons and a growing crowd decided to fight back. The five days of rioting that ensued changed forever the face of gay and lesbian life.

For all the history buffs out there, this is the book for you. A masterful, powerful retelling of the Stonewall Riots and the first gay rights march, written by historian Martin Duberman. With everything going on in the world right now, this piece of work is so relevant and on the pulse. Learning about our history is important, now more than ever.

Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBT Rights Uprising that Changed America by [Martin B.  Duberman]

This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

There’s a long-running joke that, after “coming out,” a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. THIS IS THAT INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You’re welcome.

Lighthearted and informative, this is the unofficial guide to being gay and/or curious. Inside, there’s candid answers to any and all LGBTQ related questions. No matter your sexual preference, this book makes for a great gift and an even greater addition to your bookshelf.

This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

As writers, as readers, as humans, let’s expand our horizons and promote inclusivity in everything we do.

What’s your favorite LGBTQ book? Lemme know in the comments.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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How to Choose a Read Worthy Book Title

Hello writer bees!

If there’s any silver lining to this chaotic time, it’s that writers are using their time to work on new projects. And with new projects comes a daunting task; Choosing the perfect title. It’s a huge question for any writer with a WIP. How do you create an interesting title that catches the readers attention and perfectly represents your story?

Today, I’m showing you what story elements can lead you to a read worthy title. Here are some ideas for where you can find the name of your book.

Character Inspired Titles

Image result for gatsby gif

If you have a character focused piece, pick a title that highlights the main character. Although it might be a simplistic option, a book named after a protagonist can be compelling to potential readers. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be the character’s name either. Think about the role the character plays in their world.

Examples

Setting Themed Titles

Consider naming the book after a prominent location featured in the story. Do the characters live in a specific town or residence? Or are they traveling to a certain destination? Settings transport the audience to a different time and place. Intrigue your readers with an invitation to a new world.

Examples

Memorable Line or Object

See the source image

Is the adventure centered around a coveted object? Or is there a sentence/phrase that sums up the entire novel? A memorable line or item featured in the story can become a great book title. Search through the text and find those stand out bits that you feel represent the entire novel well.

Examples

Bonus Tips for Book Titles

  • Represent the right genre: If you pick a title that sounds like a fantasy story but it’s really a murder mystery, reader will be confused. Choose a title that reflects the genre. Research book titles in your preferred genre before naming.
  • Understand the theme: What themes does the novel explore? Underlying themes can be transformed into thematic phrases. Theme inspired titles give a nod to the audience of what the story is about. (ex. Pride and Prejudice)
  • Look through bookshelf: Check out your bookshelf, or the shelves at a library or bookstore. As a reader, what kind of titles catch your attention? Novels from other writers may inspire a title for your own piece.

Bottom Line

When coming up with a book title, focus on the core elements of the story. A character, a setting or even a memorable line can become a read worthy title.

What is the title of your WIP/Novel and how did you choose it? What are some of your favorite book titles? Lemme know in the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Lady Jabberwocky

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Pick-Me-Up Gift Ideas for Struggling Writers

Hello writer bees,

With all the chaos in the world, some of us have a lot to say, and creating art is a great outlet. Now more than ever, an ounce of kindness goes a long way. Sending a small gift to a loved one says you are thinking of them, that you support them, and that you encourage their writing endeavors during this complicated time. Whether you want to spoil yourself or another writer in your life, check out these ideas of uplifting gifts for writers.

Mugs, Glasses and Other Goblets of Victory

It goes without saying, but I think we all need a comforting drink right about now. As cheesy as it sounds, a cute mug won’t go to waste in a writer’s home. And why not add these adorable literary tea bags? If the writer is in the editing process, maybe sending them a spiffy wine glass would be best. No matter coffee drinker, a tea drinker or a adult beverage drinker, raise a glass to the writer in your life.

Desk Essentials

Yes, you might be stuck at your desk, but you want to feel content and creative in that space. Consider purchasing some cute decorations or some useful office supplies. Like these hilarious scented candles that may or may no cure writer’s block. Also, note cards with words of encouragement would be nice too. I have this typewriter pencil holder on my desk that I absolutely adore. And trust me, I go through sticky notes like there’s no tomorrow. A thoughtful token for someone’s workspace is like a friendly reminder that there are loved ones out there cheering you on.

Aspiring Author Apparel

Let’s be honest, who wants to write their story wearing slacks, or a tie, or high heels? That’s right, nobody. Hoodies, t-shirts and socks, oh my! Some really enjoy wearing comfy clothing with a literary flair. Consider sending a fellow writer a cozy sweater to show off their bookworm pride. Even comfortable pajamas will do. Wearing something warm and snuggly is like a long distance hug they’ll be sure to appreciate. And with social distancing, I think we all need a long distance hug right now.

Weapons Against Writer’s Block

Many writers are struggling with writer’s block during lockdown. Myself included. Help get those creative juices flowing again. I’ve seen quite a few items online that help with fun writing prompts and exercises. This Writer’s Toolbox looks so fun. Also, journals can be used to plan out plots, jot down ideas or keep a WIP on track. And if they don’t use them, that’s fine. Plenty of writers out there with a unused journal collection. You know who you are.

Buy More Books

Sometimes, all we want is to escape reality and curl up with a good book. If you or another writer read or write a specific genre, buy a book from that genre. Or share a book that you are reading that made you think of them. One of my favorites is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s G’Morning, G’Night: Little Pep Talks for Me and You. I open that book anytime I’m feeling blue.


While my blog may be a small platform, I still want to do my part in encouraging and supporting writers during this chaotic time. To anyone reading this, spread a little love to all the creatives out there. We’re in this together. Let’s fight negativity with creativity.

Stay safe and keep writing, writer bees!

– Lady Jabberwocky

Pen Name VS. Real Name: The Great Writer Debate

Hello writer bees!

So, lately, I’ve noticed a heated debate within the writing community. When you finally publish a story, should you use your real name or a pen name? For aspiring authors, it’s a tough question. Have no fear, I’m here to help!

Today, I’m taking a look at the pros and cons of both sides of the argument, to help you decide what name will be printed on your book cover.

See the source image

Pros of a Pen Name

  • The power on anonymity: Some people find freedom in using a new moniker. And If you are sharing a personal life story, you can keep it private. Your boss and your church friends won’t have any idea.
  • Choose a more ‘writerly’ name: Create a memorable, eye catching name that suits the genre you are writing in. Pen names give you a chance to give yourself the name you’ve always wanted.
  • Dip your toe in multiple genres. Be fluid and experiment in various genres with multiple personas. And if you fail to sell enough books, simply reinvent yourself.

Cons of a Pen Name

  • Difficult Marketing: It’s harder to spread the word on your book under a nom de plume. Keeping your true identity a secret may hurt your book promoting process.
  • Struggle with building an author-reader connection. And it takes some time for the name to gain recognition.
  • Establishing a brand new persona. With a pen name, you may have to balance a double life. That might mean managing multiple social media accounts and writer websites etc.

Authors That Used Pen Names

  • J.K. Rowling (Joanne Rowling)
  • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Lewis Carrol (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
  • Dr. Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel)
  • Stan Lee ( Stanley Martin Lieber)

See the source image

Pros of Using Your Real Name

  • Pride: That’s your name on the cover of the book. Sweet success belongs to you. Some writers dream about seeing their name in a bookstore. It’s a major accomplishment.
  • Easier to promote your work with your real name. Friends, family members, neighbors etc. will know it’s you. And you can do more local promos as well.
  • One name, one identity. No need to manage multiple social media accounts or author websites. Also, forget the hassle or confusion of a fake moniker. Readers and business associates know how to address you.

Cons of Using Your Real Name

  • Your name may sound similar to another famous name. That might cause confusion to readers.
  • You may have a forgettable or fairly common name. (Shout out to the John Smiths of the world.)
  • You are writing within a genre where books written by the opposite gender sell better. Unfortunately, sexism against authors is real.

Would you use a pen name or your real name when you publish a book? And what’s your take on nom de plumes? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

What’s in a Name?: Tips on Naming Characters

Hello hello writer bugs!

I don’t know about you guys, but for me, naming a character is like naming a child.

Whether it’s for a main character or a background character, the names you choose should be significant. Names can tie characters to the setting, to their roots, or just hold a greater symbolic meaning. How do you find the perfect name for a character? I’ve got some tips that are sure to help.

Baby Naming Websites

Baby naming websites for mommies-to-be are actually really helpful. Check out the extensive lists and dredge up some ideas for names. If you are looking for a name that begins with a certain letter or a specific cultural origin, you’ll be able to search names that fit your criteria.

A Name with Meaning

Sometimes, names have a deeper root meaning. And those meanings can fit into a character’s personality. You’d be surprised what some names translate into. Not every reader is going to make those connections, however, you, as the author, will know. A meaningful name may influence a character’s identity.

For my MC, his first name is Graham, which means ‘grey home’. That image really connects with his gloomy and mysterious personality.

Historical Context 

If your story takes place in another time period, keep in mind the historical context. Names that are common today may not have been 100 years ago. Find out what names were common at the time. If you Google something like ‘names from 1920s’, a list of popular names from the 1920s will probably pop up.

Also, check the Social Security Administration website for ranked list of common names of the decade. It’s pretty useful, and it’ll give you a feel for the time period and what inspired names during that era.

Sound it Out

When in doubt, sound it out. Say the name out loud. If it doesn’t sound right, or its difficult to pronounce, or just sounds like a mouthful, then something’s off. Keep trying. Once you’ve found a name that suits your character, it should just click. Like, “huh, that one sounds right.”

Consider the Entire Cast

Try not to have characters’ names sound similar, or readers may be confused. Think about your fictional crew as a whole and note if names sound too alike. By differentiating characters, readers will have an easier time following the story and connecting with individual characters.

One time, in fiction writing class, a classmate had two characters named Flip and Clip. Unironically. Don’t have a Flip and Clip in your story. I’m still confused about it.


How do you go about naming your characters? Lemme know in the comments!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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