A Victim At Midnight – (Short Horror Story)

“Poor kid. Didn’t stand a chance.”

There’s yellow police tape hanging across the doorway. Boot prints stained into the rug. Rain pounds against the windows. Sirens are flashing outside.

“What are you talking about?” I ask the detective. He looks through me, fishing for a cigar in his trench coat pocket instead. An entire department of police officers is surveying my living room. Furniture is toppled over. A discarded butcher knife on the floor. “You all need to leave. The landlord will kill me if….”

“Time of death?” The detective lights the cigar, takes a long drag. He stomps up the stairs, I follow. Feet barely touching the ground, as if I were floating. They don’t see me. None of them do.

“Around midnight,” A rookie cop supplies the answer, peering down at their notepad. “Friends say she insisted on walking home alone last night.”

“With a killer on the loose? Smart.”

Scratch marks on the wall leading to the bedroom. Picture frames with family photos are shattered.

“There’s been a mistake. I’m right here. Listen to me.” I plead with them, standing in their way. The detective passes right through me. “I’m here, I’m alive. I’m…”

A body –my body – is sprawled across the floor. A puddle of red soaks the carpet in the bedroom. Two puncture wounds in my neck. Anemic white skin. Eyes and mouth open, a face frozen in horror. I’m staring at my own corpse.

What happened to me? Think. I don’t remember much of last night. I don’t remember dying. But I remember fangs.

Her fangs.

Her claws.

Her voice.

I can’t breathe. Lungs emptied of oxygen. No pulse, only stillness. My chest is hollow. My skin is translucent rice paper. I begin to cry. Tears fall and I can’t feel them roll down my cheeks. I can’t feel anything. I am a wisp of air. A wandering soul trapped in Hell itself.

“P-Please. You have to help me!” I look the detective dead in the eye. “Please.” The lamp light flickers above us. Thunder rumbles.

“Think it’s the same one that killed the others? That’d be 5 deaths this week.”

The detective pulls a silver cross from around his neck. He nods. “Each one attacked around midnight. Each one drained of blood. Each one with lipstick on their face. It’s her, all right.”

They don’t hear me. I scream anyway. “It can’t end like this. My family, my friends, they need to know I’m okay. Tell them I’m okay.” The light flickers again. A chill enters the room.

“At least this kid put up a fight.” The detective remarks as they drape a sheet over my corpse.

The lights go out.


Hey Writer Bees! This week, I’m playing around with the horror genre. A genre I don’t have much experience writing in. But I do love a good challenge and a good ghost story. Let me know what you think of this short story in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and stay creative. (And watch out for vampires!)

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Pen Name VS. Real Name: The Great Author Debate (Repost)

Hello writer bugs!

(This is a repost. I’m busy getting ready for all spookiness coming in October. Hope you all understand. Also, I signed up for the Amazon Affiliates program again, because I completely failed the first time. Clicking the links helps support this blog. Thank you, writer bees! Stay safe and keep creative! – Love, Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky.)

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.

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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


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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.

When you publish a story, would you use a pen name or your real name? And what’s your opinion on nom de plumes? Talk to me in the comments!

Stay safe and keep writing!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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How to Consistently Create Content for Your Blog

Hey Writer Bees,

I received another great question from my Q&A, this one from dharkanein. They write:

Congrats dear. I just want to know how you keep yourself on track…of course of writing daily that too for such a long period. As I have gone much up and down through this journey and stop writing…and I too have completed my 4 years of blogging a week ago. So basically I want a tip for the consistency.

First off, congrats on your 4 years of blogging. That’s awesome!

Its a lot of pressure to create blog content consistently. Other bloggers will probably agree. Regularly pumping out content can be stressful sometimes. Here are three ways I keep myself on track and stay consistent.

Have a Schedule

Calendar GIFs | Tenor

Maintaining a posting schedule is super important. When you set yourself up with deadlines, you fall into a rhythm. Choose a specific “post day” and find a schedule that works best for you. For me, I post prompts on Monday and on Friday, I post writing tips and stories. That 2-posts-a-week routine fits my life. I try to stick to that plan as best I can, but things happen. And when they do, you can’t be too hard on yourself. Scheduling posts ahead of time helps manage that posting plan too. I have a couple weeks worth of prompts pre-scheduled for September. If you can’t write ahead of time, have a general idea of what you want to write about on posting day. Honestly, most of my Friday posts are written Thursday night. I’m a self-proclaimed procrastinator, but I’m a procrastinator with deadlines and those deadlines keeps me on track.

Knowing Your Voice

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In every post, I use the same tone and voice. When I started this blog, I wanted to write about writing in a candid, conversational way. I didn’t want to sound like a professor giving a lecture. I wanted content to sound fun and relaxed but also informative and honest. Readers should expect the same kind of content each time they read a post. When you write a post, remember who your audience is. Remember the tone you are going for. Keeping the overall vibe the same is a big part of being consistent as a blogger.

Brainstorming Ideas

Brainstorm GIFs | Tenor

Easier said than done, but brainstorming posts ahead of time helps with consistency. Sometimes, post ideas happen when you least expect. I always keep a scrap of paper or notebook handy, just in case inspiration strikes. Lately, I’ve been daydreaming about blog ideas while brushing my teeth or doing the dishes. I’ll just stop for a second and think ‘huh, that’d be a good post for the blog’ then write it down. If you build up a stock pile of potential posts, ideas that suit your niche, you’ll have ideas ready for when you need them. And you won’t be scrambling to write a post last minute. Because, let’s be real, we’ve all been there.


Thank you for the awesome question. Hope you find these tips helpful.

To my fellow bloggers out there, how do you keep consistent with your blogging? How do you stay on track and manage it all? Share your experience in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

The 3 Ways I Beat Blogger’s Block

Hello Writer Bees!

Hope you all are staying safe and keeping creative.

Last week, I opened the floor for your questions, to celebrate 4 year blogging anniversary. The pessimist in me assumed no one would ask me anything, but thankfully I was wrong. You guys never cease to amaze me. I received some awesome questions from you guys.

One question came in from Raymond Oickle.

Congrats on your anniversary. As a fellow blogger, there are times the well goes dry… the dreaded “writers block”! Has this been a problem through your blogging years, and if so, what do you do when it happens?

Has writer’s block ever happened to me? No, never, I’m a constant a waterfall of inspiration.

Of course it has. It happens to everyone. And when it does happen, it’s important to not be hard on yourself. Everyone has crawled through that desert at some point.

How do I get through it? Here are three ways I get through blogger’s block.

Themed Months and Posts

Challenge yourself to a themed month of posts. They’re fun to do and if done right, will be well received by your readership. I’ve done this before with May of Mystery, a month dedicated to mystery themed posts. And between you and me, I’m already considering another themed month in the near future. Maybe stop by around Halloween to see what genre it is (wink wink).

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I’ll give you an example. A few weeks ago, I posted a writing prompt about a specific setting; The ocean. Since it was well liked, I decided to continue the theme and post setting-themed prompts the rest of this month. The city, the forest, outer space. That’s like 3 posts scheduled and ready to go right there. One post inspired a batch of other posts. Didn’t plan that ahead a time, it’s a theme that stumbled in and I just go.

When you give yourself a specific theme to play in, ideas happen. If you’ve stuck in writer’s block, try a themed set of posts related to your topic.

Take a Break

I just had a mental health break for this blog. Stepping away from blogging was pretty relaxing. Sometimes, your brain needs a rest from posting schedules and statistics. And since I wasn’t stressing about what to post on Friday – slowly, but surely – a creative flow returned. A couple of post ideas graced me with their presence. It doesn’t always need to be a full length vacation. Once in a while, I just do something else, something other than blog writing. Like take a walk, or watch a movie or bake vegan oatmeal cookies.

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From my perspective, there’s a ton of pressure on bloggers to consistently create content for their audience. That pressure can wear you down after awhile. It’s important to listen to your brain and take a break when you need to. Don’t worry, ideas will come back and the readers will stick around.

Remembering my Audience and my Purpose

Always, I keep in mind my readers and my reason for blogging; to encourage others in their creativity. So usually I ask myself questions tailored to that purpose. What tips would a writer find useful and how do I explain them in a conversational way? What would I want to know if I was starting out as a freelancer, or struggling with my creative work? Questions like that often lead to ideas for blog posts.

Go The Distance GIFs | Tenor

Also, some posts are about my journey as a writer. During my writer adventures, I scribble down things I’ve learned about writing. If I experience something while working my WIP, I wonder “Is it just me or do other writers go through this too?” And then I write a post about that part of the writer journey. I’m honest about the ups and downs of a writer’s life, and because of that, I can connect with fellow writers.

When brainstorming blog ideas, I remember what I want to give my audience, whether that’s a writing tip or a story or a laugh.

The Comments Section (Bonus!)

A bonus tip? What a surprise. Frankly, my readers are awesome. Some leave me these sweet, supportive comments that really make my day. And others, they leave questions. Writer working on their creative projects ask me for advice – which is flattering. I hardly see myself as some expert. I’m just a lowly writer trying to help others. I like to listen to what the audience is interested in learning about, what they’re struggling with. That’s how I go about creating content. Several posts, including this one, have been inspired by real queries asked by real aspiring authors.

When in doubt, check the comments.


Hope this answered your question about blogger’s block. For my fellow bloggers out there, how do you handle writer’s block? How do you come up with ideas for posts? Share your tips in the comments. I love to hear from you.

I’m ready to return to regular Friday posts again. I missed blogging. I just need to be more mindful of my stress level and mental health. Think we all do. Thank you for all the positive vibes and support during my break. I appreciate each and every single one of you.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Celebrating 4 Years Blogging with a Q & A

Hello Writer Bees,

Hope you all are doing well.

Recently, my little blog reached it’s 4 year anniversary here on WordPress. Even more recently, I hit the 1,000 follower mark. That’s crazy. The other day, I was looking through my first posts and talking to my boyfriend about it. We both couldn’t believe it’s been that long. Maybe this pandemic is messing with our concept of time.

Thanks for sticking around, writer bugs. This blog has kept me writing all these years. It’s also been a platform for me to help others in their creative endeavors. I genuinely don’t know where I’d be without Lady Jabberwocky.

To celebrate, I’d like to have a Q&A. Ask me anything you want, about my life, my WIP, my blogging experience. Whatever you want, I’m pretty much an open book. Never really done a Q&A before, part of me thinks no one will even responded, but why not give it a go? Leave your questions in the comments and maybe I’ll answer them in a future post.


Sorry Friday posts are still sporadic. Life has been… Life. I’m still figuring out the best schedule that works for me.

Thank you all again for the love and support over the years.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Thank you to 1,000 Followers!

Hello Writer Bees,

I honestly can’t believe I’m saying this.

My little blog has reached 1,000 followers.

Thank you very much for all the love and support and well wishes. I truly have the most wonderful readers out there, I’m so incredibly lucky. For me, it isn’t about views or follower counts. I just want to inspire and encourage others in their creative endeavors. Hope to get back to doing that soon.

I’m currently on a break. Still figuring out how to juggling everything – a blog, a day job, a WIP – while keeping my mental health in mind. Learning to not be so hard on myself. Maybe the world won’t come to an end if I need to occasionally miss a Friday post.

I’ve been taking the time to focus on my mystery WIP. Editing is a challenge, but it’s coming along. Who knows? Maybe someday it will be ready for an actual audience.

Oh! And next week, my boyfriend and I are going on a little weekend vacation. I think he’s been feeling burnt out lately too. We’re both overdue for a break. We’ll take some time for ourselves, to relax and to forget about real world responsibilities. Everybody needs that once in a while right?

Once again, thank you all for… Everything. Really, you guys are amazing. I’m grateful to have an outstanding readership of fellow creatives.


Got a question for me and my experience as a writer? Ask away! I’m an open book.

Got a problem with your WIP? I’m here to help!

Got a question about fiction writing or freelance writing? Lemme know in the comments!


Stay safe and keep writing!

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Taking a Break from Blogging (Mental Health Check)

Hello Writer Bees,

Ever feel like a candle burning at both ends?

Yeah, me too.

For some time now, I’ve being feeling stretched thin. Pushing myself and trying to everything until my battery depleted.

Keeping my mental health in mind, I need to take a step back from blogging. That might mean no Friday posts for awhile, or posting every other week, or reposting old posts. I’m not sure yet. Prompts of the Week will still be happening on Mondays though. The next few weeks will be up in the air. Sorry about that, I hope you guys understand.

This is such a hard post for me to write. I feel guilty. Creating content and encouraging other writers is my passion. I feel guilty about taking a break, like I’m letting you guys down. But when your head and heart need some time off, it’s not about when it’s convenient for others. It’s about taking care of yourself, so you can take care of others. Guess I’m still learning that.

I need to focus on life outside of the blog for a bit.

Thank you all for understanding and supporting my humble little blog. It means a lot to me.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Month of Mystery Wrap Up!

Hello Writer Bees!

May of Mystery was awesome, in my opinion! Thank you all so much for stopping by and celebrating mystery fiction with me. All of your comments were wonderful. Felt like you guys really got into the spirit of detective fiction. In case you missed it, here is a wrap up of all the posts from May of Mystery.

Mystery Prompts of the Week

Main Friday Posts


Another Genre Themed Month?

This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for awhile now. May of Mystery was fun and all you amazing readers really seemed to enjoy it. If I do another month dedicated to a specific genre, what genre should I focus on? Fantasy? Horror? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Apologies for the short post this week. I’ve been feeling sick and exhausted, but I didn’t want to let you guys down. What do you want to see next on this blog? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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5 Subgenres in Mystery Fiction Explained

Hello amateur sleuths,

The mystery genre is like ice cream.

Exciting. Delicious. And they both come in a variety of flavors.

Today, I’m breaking down some subgenres of mystery. Since some of these subcategories overlap with one another, I will try to focus on the 5 most notable subgenres in detective fiction.

Classic

A straight vanilla mystery right here. Everyone loves and respects a good classic done right, right? This has your traditional storyline where the investigator – who can either be a professional or a novice – solves a whodunit. A large chunk of the plot is centered around an inspector gathering clues and interacting with suspects. Depending on the sleuth and the target audience, the level of gore may vary. However, traditional mysteries tend to involve murder. In the end, the culprit is reveal and all loose strings are neatly tied in a bow. Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Nancy Drew are the prime examples of this mystery subgenre.

Nancy Drew GIFs | Tenor

Cozy

Looking for violence and sex and foul language? This is not the mystery subgenre for you. A cozy mystery is the kind of story you want to unwind with while wearing fuzzy socks. The tone is much lighter, and can even be considered wholesome and humorous. Book titles are pun-filled and corny. The crime is described in a less gruesome way. Typically, the sleuth is an amateur detective, nosy neighbor, or a knitter with some free time on their hands. Solving a mystery is like a fun hobby or satisfies their idle curiosity. These kinds of mysteries often include a fluffy companion, like a loyal canine or finicky feline. For a cozy mystery, solving the crime is all in good fun.

Old lady knitting gif 1 » GIF Images Download

Noir

Opposite of a cozy mystery. In noir fiction, like it’s film counterpart, the atmosphere is dark and gritty. The world is a cynical and hopeless place. Shadowy street corners. Femme Fatales a lighting cigarette. Hard-boiled detectives are flawed anti-heroes with ambiguous morals. Those are the common traits of noir. When it comes to what’s right and what’s wrong, the lines are blurry. Noir endings can often be open ended and open to interpretation. Is justice served? Is the detective a hero? All valid questions in noir.

She Devoured Men The Way She Devoured Cigarettes | Movie stars, Bogart and  bacall, Humphrey bogart

Police Procedural/Forensic

For readers who enjoy those CSI shows, this subgenre is for you. For this subgenre, the main focus is police investigation. And it’s as accurate to real life as possible. Think unsolved crime documentary. Usually, the main character’s occupation is in law enforcement, in some way. Whether that be a cop or a forensic scientist or a coroner. In this subgenre, a lot of time and detail is devoted to the forensic science side of a case. Autopsy reports, crime scenes and dead bodies are described in almost too vivid detail. Not exactly for the faint of heart. But hey, reading a story like this, you may actually learn something about police procedure in a realistic case.

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Supernatural

Need some spooky Halloween vibes? This mystery subgenre is centered around the paranormal, investigating things that go bump in the night. In a supernatural mystery, the story designed to startle and thrill readers, dipping its toe in fantasy and horror genres. Elements of the unknown, ghosts and mystical are mixed into the narrative. Haunted houses and misty graveyards would make an excellent setting, I’m sure. The supernatural mystery is a puzzle – for both the reader and the detective. Explaining the unexplainable is the main goal of the investigator. When the story concludes, there’s usually a logical explanation for the paranormal disturbances.

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What is your favorite mystery subgenre? And if you are writing/have written a mystery story, what subgenre would you categorize it under? Or what is your favorite mystery subgenre to read? Talk to me in the comments. I love to hear from you guys.

Hope you all are enjoying May of Mystery so far. If you have any ideas for future mystery posts, let me know!

Safe safe and keep writing!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Thank You to 900 Followers!

Hello Writer Bees!

Exciting news! The Lady Jabberwocky blog just passed the 900 follower mark. Which means my humble little blog is nearing 1,000 followers. This is not a drill! Seriously, I never could’ve imagined so many of you tuning in every week to read my nonsense posts.

Thank you all so much for all the love and support.

Thank you for every like and comment.

Thank you for following my journey as a writer.

Frankly speaking, I’ve been feeling a bit burnt-out lately. Work is overwhelming sometimes. Dealing with writer’s block and self doubt can be overwhelming too. You have no idea how much I appreciate all the kind words and positive vibes from you amazing readers. If it’s alright with you guys, I’m going to keep this post short, curl up with a book and sleep. Some sleep sounds pretty nice. Haha.

But, I may need your help brainstorming something else. You guys are way smarter than I am. Recently, I’ve thought about creating some sort of virtual writing workshop / writers room. It’d be cool to have a space where writers could talk about their work, ask specific questions on their stories, gain some feedback and help each other. I want to reach more writers and encourage their creative endeavors. Not exactly sure how to go about that yet. Maybe a Discord? Maybe a Skype group space situation? Maybe an old-fashioned advice column? I don’t really know. Sorry if that doesn’t make sense, my brain is still trying to figure it out. Feel free to pitch your ideas.

Don’t forget! May of Mystery starts this Monday. I’m dedicating an entire month to writing mystery fiction. Prompts and posts with have a mystery spin to them. Detectives and femme fatales and clue hunting, perhaps a little murder. If you have any questions on detective fiction or any ideas for mystery themed posts, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Once again, thank you all so much for the support. You lovely readers keep me blogging. Hope you all enjoy your weekend. Stay safe and keep writing.

Onward to 1,000 followers!

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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