What Inspired My Short Stories (Part Three)

Hey Writer Bees!

You guys seem to really like when I talk about the inspiration behind some of my stories. And I love hearing what inspires all of you in your creative works. So today, I’m coming at you with part three.

If you are curious, be sure to check out PART ONE and PART TWO of this series.

Scrunchies and School Bells

When I wrote this short story, many were heading back to school. I’m a 90’s kid who loves nostalgia and at the time, I was watching the Saban Moon documentary. I found myself in the mood to write something lighthearted and silly, packed with nostalgic reverences. And maybe a bit of cringey, relatable vibes too. Because let’s face it, we were all losers in school. Creating a character who was unapologetically themselves was refreshing. Also, it was good practice for me as writer to focus on describing a character’s appearance. How a character presents themselves says a lot about them. In short, wacky 90s vibes inspired this short story.

Pixies and Paperwork

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my current cubicle job. It’s helping my partner and I save up for future plans, and I write during breaks. However, there are days when work is stressful and soul sucking. I’m sure a lot of other people out there feel the same way, no matter their career. When I wrote this piece, I was feeling down. And like I did with Sunny Day Towing Company story, I wrote out those gloomy feelings. I wanted to cheer up not only myself, but others who may feel the same as I do. To bring a little light and a little positivity into someone’s day.

The Cinnamon Witch

By far, one of my favorite short stories I’ve ever posted on the blog. And just in time for spooky season too! For me, I enjoy writing in low fantasy worlds. Stories like Gravity Falls and Kiki’s Delivery Service have always appealed to me. Taking a single detail of a story and twisting it around is super fun and keeps readers on their toes, that’s for sure. Experimenting in a genre I don’t normally write in, like horror, is good for the creative muscles. For example, in this piece, I considered what if those ingredients aren’t exactly sugary sweet and come from a horrifying source? From that question came came this short story.


Is there a story behind your stories? What has inspired your creative endeavors? Talk to me in the comments.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Do You Need a Writing Degree to Be a Real Writer? (Repost)

Hello writer bees!

(Summer is over! Since some of you have headed back to school recently, I wanted to repost this. Reignite the conversation. Tell me your thoughts in the comments. – Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky)

Today, I’m posing a possibly controversial question.

Do you need a degree in writing to be considered a “proper writer”?

To some, getting a college degree makes you a bonafide writer, or a better writer than most. Others feel they can be storytellers without the diploma to back them up. And some young writers have a hard time choosing what they want to study, and if a degree in writing is even worth it.

I want to share my experience. Hopefully, it can give younger writers a bit of insight. Goodness knows I needed some insight when I was just a fledgling. For those of you who don’t know, I graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English. What do you do with a B.A. in English? How did that experience impact my journey as a writer? I’ll be diving into everything, the good and the bad.

Why I Chose to Pursue an English Degree

Let’s backtrack first. When I was in high school, I discovered my love of writing. I had an amazing teacher who encouraged my artistic aspirations. Without her, I probably wouldn’t be a blogger or an aspiring author right now. As I decided what college major I would pursue, no other subject could compare to English and creative writing.

I had a lot of ideas for a potential novel. Writing stories in various genres really interested me. I loved fantasy and mystery and historical drama and everything in between. Ah, to be young and full of inspiration. Wanting to narrow down my focus and find my niche, I thought going for a English degree would help me find the genre I’d eventually publish in someday. Like “Congrats! Here is your diploma! Also, you are a mystery writer! Now go write a whodunit and be on your merry way.”

Earning my B.A. in English was a wonderful experience. It wasn’t easy. Lots of late nights, lots of reading material, lots of stress. And I don’t regret a single minute.

Writing Workshops

While in college, my fiction writing classes were full-on workshops. Gathering around with fellow writers, discussing each other’s stories. I learned how to constructively critique someone’s work and became more mindful of my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. We read each others short stories and offered feedback in a really safe and sensitive environment. Don’t get me wrong, I was so nervous letting others read my work. But once you realize we’re all in the same boat, it’s not so scary. That was my first taste of a greater writing community.

Also, the very first draft of my current WIP sprouted in that class. Sharing that story in particular with my classmates was like the ultimate test run for my work-in-progress novel. Let me know in the comments if you want to hear more about that particular workshop session.

Reading Everything

Remember when I said I was looking down to settle with one genre to write in? It didn’t quite work out as I expected. In college, I read everything. And I mean everything. Like I was reading Beowulf and Arthurian legend in the morning and Hemingway and Christie in the afternoon. Real talk? My narrator was born after reading an Edgar Allen Poe story. If anything, my horizon only expanded. Once I graduated, I was even more undecided about what genre I wanted to publish in. I really gained an appreciation for literature across all genres. By reading various genres and styles and time periods, a sturdy foundation was built under my feet. Maybe it’s strange to say, but I felt like I had a wealth of source material I could refer to and be inspired by. If that makes sense.

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, is it?

Hard to Find a Job

After I graduated, It was tough finding steady work. I applied for many publications and ended up with a pile of rejection letters. Apparently, a bachelors degree in English isn’t enough to prove you are good at writing. That was a newsflash to me. I wanted to make a living as a writer, and it just wasn’t happening. Frankly, It was a dark time for me. Finally, I fell into freelance work, starting out as an unpaid intern. Around the same time, I started this blog. Then, more freelance opportunities opened up. And today, even though I’m stuck in a cubicle at an office day job, the passion for writing has not ceased. I’m still working on my goal to write a novel, after office hours, of course.

Final Thoughts

The B.A. in English gave me a solid foundation. My brain thinks differently about literature and storytelling because of my time as an English major. It was a valuable, rewarding experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Well, maybe a finished novel.

Do you need a degree to be a proper writer?

In my opinion? No.

You know that quote from Ratatouille, Anyone can cook? I believe anyone can write. A degree doesn’t make me, or anyone else, a genuine writer. We all have imagination and creativity inside of us. Anyone can write a story and be considered a writer.


Do you think you need a degree to be considered a proper writer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you earned your degree in English/Creative writing, how has that experience impacted your journey as a writer? As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Pixies and Paperwork (100 Word Fantasy Story)

You are one cubicle worker in an office full of other cubicle workers. Here, everything is beige and bland. From the monotonous typing of keyboards to the crisp business suits to the hum of the water cooler.

At your desk, you open the metal drawer. On top of a stack of manila folders and forgotten files stands a pixie. Rosy cherub cheeks and pricked ears. Dragonfly wings. Rainbow dust twinkles around.

“D’you want to leave?” The pixie whispers, smiling up at you. “Someplace nicer?”

The phone rings. Computer screens lights up with emails. You nod, almost too quickly.

“Yes please.”


Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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How to Conquer Your Writer’s Doubt

Hello Writer Bees,

I had a completely different idea for this week’s post.

But I kept thinking about a writer buddy of mine, Jai Lynn. She’s this wonderful poet/writer and we often exchange positive writing vibes and love to one another. Couple weeks ago, she vented about feeling stressed and overwhelmed about her writing. And I know a lot of other writers, myself included, are in the same boat.

If you’ve struggled with self-doubt, anxiety and stress from being a writer, keep these three things in mind.

Be Okay Writing Trash

Most of us strive for perfection. To write the most perfect sentence in the most perfect plot. Unfortunately, perfection is impossible. Even if you think it’s garbage, just try to get the words on paper. The first drafts of a story aren’t meant to look pretty. That’s what editing and revisions are for. Every story starts somewhere, so accept the fact that you may write trash before you create an exceptional story.

Take a Break

Your mental health is important. If writing feels like a daunting task, take some time off. Focus on other things. Relax and recharge and eat some potato chips. Yes, it may seem counterproductive and that might make you feel a little anxious. And that’s alright. Make sure you take care of yourself. And trust that inspiration, ideas, and those good creative juices will return.

You Are Not Alone

Think about your favorite author. They too have probably struggled with writer’s doubt, felt uninspired or not good enough. Everyone faces those dark moments. But writers keep writing until they find the light at the end of the tunnel, until the story is told. So, if you’re experiencing writer hardships, remember, you are not alone. There is a whole community of other writers and creatives facing the same struggles. We need to support one another in our creative endeavors.


How do you get through writer’s doubt and stress? What’s your advice to struggling writers. Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys. Also, please send the lovely Jai Lynn some positive writing vibes. Us writers need to stick together.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

What Inspired My Short Stories (Part Two)

Hey Writer Bees!

So, this week, I tested positive for Covid. I’ve had a bad fever and chills and non-stop coughing. Not a fun time, I assure you. This is my first go-around testing positive with Covid. Don’t worry, I’ve been resting and working from home the past few days. And I’m looking forward to a three-day weekend staycation.

You guys loved my last story inspiration post, I decided to do a part two while I’m quarantining. Enjoy!

Remember The Crazy Times of 2020?

How fitting is it that I start off with this story, huh? While surrounded by blankets and used tissues? Right at the start of 2021, I wrote this 100-word story. We were all in the middle of the pandemic. I wanted to remember this crazy time and captured that in a short story. Because really, years from now, how will quarantine and covid be remembered? How will we talk about this moment in time? That idea inspired this piece. Also, it was an effort to spread some hope through humor. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunny Day Towing Company

Let’s keep the positivity train rolling, shall we? Frankly, this short was inspired by a bad day. I had a stressful and overwhelming couple of days, was in a bad headspace. My mental health was struggling. But the magical thing about creativity is that it can be used as an outlet. Using this blog as a safe space, I channeled all my sadness into writing a short story. I imagined my worries being towed away. And honestly, my heart felt a little lighter after writing this story. Lesson learned, sometimes, you have to write with heart and write what you are feeling. No shame in that game.

A Victim at Midnight

Before I wrote this story, I wrote 5 Subgenres of Horror Fiction Explained. One of the subgenres I talked about was psychological horror. While horror isn’t my favorite, I do enjoy a good ghost story. Taking inspiration from the psychological horror subgenre and my love of all things haunted and mystery, I wrote this story. Plus, I was able to mix in detective fiction elements too. Super happy with how this piece turned out. To challenge myself, I try writing in genres I don’t usually write in. It’s a great writing exercise, I highly recommend exploring other genres.


Is there a story behind your stories? What has inspired your creative endeavors? Talk to me in the comments.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Celebrating 500 Blog Posts!

Hello Writer Bees!

I’m back from vacation! My partner and I had such a fun trip. We left feeling relaxed, recharged and genuinely happy. And we mostly drank beer and ate fried food the entire weekend. So good times all around.

Something exciting happened since my last entry. The Lady Jabberwocky blog reached 500 posts!

That’s mindboggling to me. When I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure if I could consistently create content and handle the responsibility of a platform. I wasn’t even sure if anyone cared what I had to say. Now look, all this hard work paid off and has amounted to 500 posts. And I’m ready for 500 more.

A lesson for all the new bloggers, don’t give up. At first, It may seem like a daunting task, constantly coming up with ideas for your audience. If making content and blogging is what you love, keep going. Your readers will find you. For those who are considering blogging, or are just starting out, check out some of my helpful posts below.

Also, I believe my blog anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. It’ll be five years since I started blogging. How should we celebrate my blogaversary? Leave ideas in the comments.

Thanks for sticking around on my writing journey. You guys are the reason I write.


Take care of yourselves and each other.

Write with heart.

Love,

Victoria (aka Lady Jabberwocky)

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Out Of Office: This Lady is on Vacation!

Hello Writer Bees,

When this post is posted, my partner and I will be driving to upstate New York for a well needed weekend away. With work and life being hectic right now, both of us were overdue for a break, to recharge and to mind our mental health.

But I didn’t want to leave you guys empty handed this week. Blogger’s guilt is a real thing, you know. So below I’ve shared links to some of my previous posts. Check them out!

Writing Tips

15 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Pen Name VS. Real Name: The Great Writer Debate

How to Build Up Suspense in Any Genre

About This Lady Writer

The Inspiration Behind Naming my Blog

Do You Need a Writing Degree to Be a Real Writer?

The 3 Ways I Beat Blogger’s Block

100 Word Stories

Sunny Day Towing Company (100 Word Self Care Story)

The Basil Sprites (100 Word Fantasy Story)

Hamburgers and Horoscopes (100 Word Humor Story)


What do you want to see next on the blog? Do you have any questions about fiction writing, blogging or my writer journey? Let me know in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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What Inspired My Short Stories (Part One)

Hey Writer Bees!

I’m always interested to hear where other creators find their inspiration for their stories. What tiny seed of an idea grew into an amazing work of fiction. Today, I’m sharing what inspired some of the stories I’ve posted here on this blog. The story behind my stories, if you will. Hope you enjoy.

The Sleepless Queen

Funny story behind this story. Every Sunday, I play Dungeons and Dragons with friends. My DnD character, Poet the Tiefling Rogue, has made an appearance here once or twice. Character creating in DnD is super fun. Different races and classes have their own unique traits and set of guidelines. For example, Elves don’t need eight hours of sleep, they only need four. And that got me thinking. What happens if your partners does not require the same amount of sleep you do? Like do they just watch their lover sleep? Or do they go do their own thing? I’m speaking in a hypothetical fantasy setting, of course. This simple “What if…” question sparked the idea behind this fantasy piece. A Queen who never sleeps, watching over her king and her kingdom.

This is BEN-G567

This 100 word story is about a robot drifting in space. That’s all. Essentially, this was a writing exercise in quick sentences. Brief sentences reminded me of robot speech. That mechanical, stiff way of communicating. Short sentences paired with an 100 word limit pushed my imagination into overdrive. Also, sci-fi is not a genre I swim around in often. Most of the time, I’m writing fantasy or mystery. As writers, It’s important to experiment with different words and writing styles and genres. Those challenges expand our horizons and make us stronger writers and creatives.

Oh She’s Marvelous

This one is about a clairvoyant wizard who looks into the future of his unborn child. At the time of writing this story, my partner’s family was expecting a baby. My nephew was about to be born. You know, when someone in your close family is pregnant, everyone gets excited. I remember all of us in baby fever. That baby fever surrounding our nephew’s birth inspired this short story. Along with my love of Merlin, of course. If I’m honest, I don’t know yet if children will be in my future. Right now, my partner and I are content being the fun aunt and uncle. But, it’s nice to imagine what a little one’s life will become. That’s what this story is about. And now, I can’t believe that tiny peanut will be two years old in September! Time flies!


At the end of the day, inspiration is hiding where you least expect. Open your eyes and your brain to the stories around you. Is there a story behind your work? What has inspired your writing? Talk to me in the comments.

If you guys really enjoy this post, let me know. Maybe this could become a series on the blog.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Sunny Day Towing Company (Self Care 100 Word Story)

“Did you call for a tow?” A woman in dungaree overalls asked, stepping out the truck. Stitched named tag read ‘Sunny’.

Crying, he sat on the curb and nodded, clothes drenched from the rain.

Her eyes assessed the damage. “Yeah, that’s not looking good.”

“You’re telling me,” He choked a teary laugh. “Can’t seem to get myself out of this ditch,” No broken-down vehicle in sight, only a grey raincloud floating over his head. “Life’s been rough lately, y’know?”

Smiling, she attached the truck’s hook to the edge of the cloud. Thunder rumbled.

“Don’t get overwhelmed, I’m here to help.”          


Hello Writer Bees,

I’ve had a tough week for me. Changes at work have left me stressed. Had at least two breakdowns. It’s been difficult to write blog posts and my WIP when I’m in this bad head space. When hard things in life pile on like that, it can be overwhelming. I try to be a positive light and post content for you guys, but in this moment, my mental health is struggling.

I need some self care, to re-shift my focus and attitude. And from that need for self care came this little 100 word story. Feel like I poured my sad feelings into this piece. Now I’m a little lighter, dusting those heavy emotions off my chest and heart. From a challenging time came a simple sweet story. Writing isn’t just art, it’s an outlet. And I’m pretty lucky writing is my outlet and safe space.

And shoutout to Mister Jabberwocky for letting me ugly cry all week. He really is the sweetest, most supportive partner. Again, I’ve pretty lucky.

If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and talk to someone.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky          

5 LGBTQ+ Books to Read During Pride Month (Repost)

Hey Writer Bees!

Diversity in storytelling is so important. Every kind of person should be represented and represented well in all mediums. No matter the story, the characters need to feel realistic, and that includes in terms of 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 all that we do.

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

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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