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.


Lady Jabberwocky          

The Ultimate NaNoWriMo Survival Guide

(With Preptober and Nation Novel Writing Month right around the corner, I’m reposting these tips to help you survive this crazy writing challenge. Stay safe and stay creative, writer bugs! – Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky)

Hello Writer Bees,

Signing up for NaNoWriMo this year? You’re going to need all the help you can get.

This guide will help you survive National Novel Writing Month.

Find the Time 

To reach 50,000 words goal, you’ll need to write about 1,667 words a day. Come up with a plan, find the best time for you to write.  Make that time commitment. Schedule what part of your novel you will work on each day. Decide whether you are a day or night writer. Create a routine and stick to it as best you can. And don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day, it’ll happen to everyone.

Set Up Your Writing Space

Establish your writing space. A place to be organized and creative. A place where you can focus and write and hopefully not be disturbed. Dedicate a work area, with all your research and inspiration materials nearby. Make sure you have all your needed resources close at hand. Whether it’s at home, at the public library, or at the local coffee shop, find your cozy corner of the world.

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Keep Resources Close

This coincides with creating a great work space. Notes, historical sources, journals, character profiles, outlines. Everything.  Keep all research material organized and in reach, in case you need a reference.  Use time in October to gather information and prepare for the writing ahead. Because I’m writing a story set in a specific time period (1920s), I have bookmarked a couple of historical resources, just in case. I also have a book of photos of Brooklyn in the 1920s that I like to glance through for inspiration.

Writers Require Nourishment

Be prepared with all the snacks and beverages you’ll need to get through a month of writing. I’m talking leftover Halloween candy. I’m talking caffeine, and lots of it. I’m talking the comfort food that makes your heart happy. Also, I’ve heard some even meal prep ahead of time. IF you have time, consider prepping meals in advance and leaving them in the freezer. Look, some would suggest eating healthy, and while that is true, sometimes, you need a bag of salty potato chips. And no one will judge you for devouring the entire bag.

Goals and Rewards

Set smaller goals for yourself. 10k, 20k, 30k, etc. And when you reach them, reward yourself. Whether its with your favorite movie or favorite meal, celebrate those little milestones. During National Novel Writing Month, every word counts. So, treat yourself and do something special for you once you reach a certain word count. Whatever makes you happy and relaxed, do that. This will keep you motivated and encourage you to keep going.

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Whether you are a planner or a pantser, have a general idea for a story. Develop your characters. Establish some kind of plot line, even if its a vague idea. Note the key scenes of the plot. It’s important to have an outline. And remember, use the method that feels right to you. Every writer has their own way of planning a story. Do what works for you.

Have a Support System

We all need someone in our corner, supporting us. Find some writing buddies. Consider attending write-ins and writing events. Find the people in your life you trust, who you can talk openly to. A significant other, a friend, a teacher, a classmate. Have someone to express your worry or doubt or just iron out ideas with. Someone to cheer you on through the absolutely ridiculous journey that is NaNoWriMo.

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Surround yourself with other writers. And hey, feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo website. My username is LadyJabberwocky.

What’s a necessity in your NaNoWriMo survival kit? Let me know in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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To the Teacher Made Me a Writer

In the spirit of International Women’s day, I’ve decided to take a sentimental stroll down memory lane today. Let me tell you the story of the teacher who made me a writer and changed my life.

So Back in High School….

Let me give you an mental image of the kind of kid I was in school. An average B student. Definitely not one of the cool girls. I was awkward and lanky and a total mess. And I had no idea what I would do with the rest of my life.

In Freshman year, I wrote my first fictional story and discovered I actually liked writing. English was my favorite subject. Here was the problem. In my personal life, there was no one to encourage me to pursue my talent, nor acknowledgement that I even had a talent.

Until I Met this Teacher

For now, let’s call her Miss J. She was my English teacher in both my Freshman year and my Senior year. And she saw the potential in me that I didn’t even know existed.

Miss J was a kind and lovely person. She introduced me to literature that initially inspired me to write. Works like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Of Mice and Men’ And Greek Mythology. The first story I ever wrote was probably in her class.

Speaking of Mythology, towards the end of Freshman year, my high school wanted to remove Greek Mythology from the curriculum and planned on throw away a bunch of books away. The horror. Before they were tossed in the garbage, she gave me one of those books. Torn and tattered, it will always remain on my bookshelf.

Struggles with Self Esteem

This one time, we were assigned to write a scene inspired by Hamlet, the play we were reading at the time. I was so excited that I worked extra hard on this two page script. Even researched authentic Shakespearean language. After I handed it in, my teacher was genuinely impressed and asked if she could read it to the whole class. I told her ‘no’.

And even today, I still regret that decision. See, my confidence was under the floorboards at the time. I was incredibly self conscious, and felt like I was rubbing my great story in everyone’s face, and then everyone would hate me. “No, no, it isn’t that great. Surely, my work isn’t the best in the class.”

Man, some days, I wish I had a time machine and could tell my younger self to not be afraid of showing my talent. That being awesome at something won’t belittle others. And honestly, I still struggle a little with that low self esteem logic today.

One of her many sweet notes.

Words of Encouragement

In my Senior year, Miss J asked us to write journal entries, which she would read. I was still nervous about others reading my writing. To break from that fear, I decided to just be funny. My journal was filled with my (embarrassing) humorous observations, kind of like what you see on the blog today. And she loved them.

So, I kept writing. She said I had a natural talent as a writer and that I had a quirky voice. Thank goodness for that quirkiness. I was amazed and humbled and happy. My silly scribbles made someone laugh. Nothing was more fulfilling. Miss J wrote me these encouraging notes, pushing me to pursue a career as a writer. I still have those notes. The most touching note from her is scrawled in my yearbook, hoping that the next time she hears my name, it’s because I’d have won the Pulitzer prize. (Insert tears here.)

Her note in my yearbook, from 2011.

To a wonderful teacher, I’d like to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for your encouragement. You inspired me to pursue creative writing and made me the writer I am today. And you also inspired me to start this blog, where my quirkiness has room to roam and where I can encourage other writers to write their story.

[This is a repost, but an important post, nonetheless.]

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

All is Magic and Bright (Fantasy/Humor)

Juniper dusted the snow off her cloak as she entered the claustrophobically small shop. Shelves full of trinkets and bobbles and bobbled trinkets. Potion bottles and feather tipped arrows too. And a leather glove with brass trimmings and a brightstone set in the center. The topaz yellow gem winked at her as she stared at it.

Gus, the shopkeeper, leaned over the counter. “Hello, hello. What can I help you with, little missy?”

“I need one Gauntlet of the Scorching Sun.” She dropped three gold pieces onto the counter. The earning from too many oddball quests.

Adjusting his spectacles, he eyed the coins, then the fairy girl with wings like a monarch butterfly. The gap in his teeth let out of long whistle. “No can do, little lady. That there doohickey is five gold.”

Her wings stiffed in agitation. “What? But I need that for a friend. It’s supposed to be a gift for the winter solstice celebration.”

Shoulders bounced. “Holiday inflation, you know. “

“You gots anything to trade? Adventurers always got things to trade.”

Her lips pressed into a thin line. Grumbling under her breath, she searched her bag, sifting through miscellaneous items acquired during their adventures.

“How about three gold coins, fifty silver pieces and two bubble potions.” Two vials of pink liquid were set on the counter. His head shook slowly. Thumb jabbed over his shoulder to an entire case of bubble potions. She dug deeper into her satchel and held up a bloody canine. “Annnddd a…. Goblin tooth?”

“That’s a troll tooth.”

“Same difference.” Juniper pushed her items closer before reaching out her hand to shake. “Do we got a deal or not?”

The door creaked open. Cecil flinched in surprise, a book tucked under his arm. A smile spread across his face. “Juniper! What… What are you doing here? I thought you were leaving to Mirinda already.” Those plans were still true. There were a bundle of fairies down south waiting to celebrate the solstice with her. Juniper offered the young wizard a poorly wrapped package.

“Oh, I’m on my way now.” She assured. “Couldn’t leave before delivering your present first, could I?” He gestured her inside the tiny cottage. The warmth of the fireplace embraced her. Frost melted from her wing tips. She gave a quick greeting to his mother and grandmother, who were preparing a small feast for the three of them.

“You s-sure you can make the flight in this weather?” Cecil ask as he unwrapped the gift. Snow and wind blustered outside.

“I’ll be fine. I still have bubble potions left.” Two potion bottles were holstered to her belt.

The wizard gasped, holding the gauntlet in his hands. “But how did you…?” A anxious look flashed through his face, worried about the cost of such an item.

“Don’t worry about it. Go on. Try it out. ” She nudged him as his fingers slipped into the glove. The golden gem shimmered. A glowing sphere appeared in his hands, hovering in the air. Watching her young wizard friend cradle a bright ball of light made it all worth it.

After the shopkeeper declined her deal, he was asking for roguish deviance. Juniper left the shop with a huff, claiming that she’d take her business elsewhere. In actuality, she snuck back in with the stealth of a true thief. Smoke bombed the cramped shop. Amidst the chaos, she swapped the gauntlet with 3 gold coins and a bloody troll tooth. Tis the season, after all.

Happy holidays everyone! Love, Lady Jabberwocky

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Fiction Friday: Fork in the Road (Short Story)

Image result for road through cornfield

“We are totally going to get murdered…”

“No, we are not.”

“By a psycho killer…”

“Cut it out, Molly.” At this point, I was completely exasperated.

“…Or an evil scarecrow.”

The sky burned golden orange, the only thing that was beautiful about the horrendous car ride.

“You watch too many horror movies,” I said, exhausted after five hours of driving. “And get your feet off the dashboard.” I scolded as I tapped her scuffed up sneakers. With a huff, she dropped her feet. Crossing her arms, Molly’s face pressed against the window. We drove in silence for a few more minutes.

“Anna, we are beyond lost.” She said. Reluctantly, I slowed the car to a stop and exhaled heavily.

“I must’ve just… taken a wrong turn somewhere,” I explained, fiddling with the gps map while trying to keep my eyes on the, albeit empty, road. I pushed all the buttons in frustration, with no response on the screen. “I think this thing is broken.” I concluded, giving up on the device. Technology and I never got along anyway.

I peered over at the young girl riding shotgun. Molly, my obnoxious and wonderful teenage sister. I remembered the day she was born almost too vividly. My mother’s water broke the day after my twelfth birthday. Then, it was a whole day of labor, Molly was stubborn even in the womb.

She stuffed her hands into the pockets of her red Power Rangers hoodie, feeling the autumn chill that seeped into the car. Her teal hair was braided loosely, a habit when she was bored.

“Sis, look out your window,”

I did. Nothing but corn stalks. Tall, green chutes that seemed to go on for miles.

“Now look out my window,” She gestured to the right.

More corn stalks. More nothing.

“Seriously. We’re freaking screwed.”

That hopeless lost feeling was starting to sink into my chest. And the dramatics of my sister, the city child, didn’t help either. Slouching in the leather seat, I faced forward. A single strip of road cut through the cornfields, seemingly going on forever. Maybe Molly was right, maybe this was like a scene in a horror film, where the murderer would appear through the thick corn fields, and we were sitting ducks.

“I can’t believe Brandon actually lives here. Actually, maybe I can, a boring accountant from the middle of nowhere. Sounds about right.” To Molly, he didn’t strike her as exciting or interesting. And honestly? I felt that way about him too, occasionally. If it was up to her, she would date some artsy guy with a garage band and a tattoo.

An image of Brandon flashed through my mind, with his floppy blonde hair and his morning coffee scent.  The other day, while visiting his parents in Pennsylvania, he called me, suggesting I drive down to see them. ”They really want to meet you.’’ His voice sounded so eager over the phone, like a golden retriever waiting for a walk.

“He doesn’t live here, his parents do. He… wanted me to meet them,” I explained, not realizing how tense the last part sounded, then added. I recalled his directions. Drive through Dutch country, then drive fifty miles west to get to Gettysburg. “And you, baby sister, get to be my well behaved wingman.” I tossed her a smile, despite the ball of anxiousness at the pit of my stomach. My fingernails were chewed to the nubs. An unsettling pressure to fulfill certain expectations weighed on my shoulders.

We kept driving until the road was no longer straight, just left and right. The path divided into a perfect ‘T’.

“Fork in the road. Great.” I muttered to myself, stopping the car then running a hand through my shoulder length, chestnut brown hair. “Any luck with the map?” In her lap, there was a large paper map that had been collecting dust in my glove compartment. Paper maps were far more reliable to me, although she looked like she couldn’t make head or tails of it.

As we tried to figure out our location, the sound of hooves clopping against the pavement caught our attention. An older gentleman in a silver buggy with thin wheels held the reigns to an black stallion. He wore a sweat drenched shirt, leather suspenders, and a wide brimmed hat. The man gave us a sideways glance, which looked more like a nasty scowl. Even the horse seemed to scowl at us as they rode on by.

“Did he just glare at us?” I pondered out loud, raising an eyebrow.

“I don’t know. All I know is I’m adding creepy farmer guy to my list of possible murderers.” She joked, giggling. Her laughter was contagious, I couldn’t help but laugh.

Molly leans the side of her head against my shoulder. I needed to her the real reason for all of this, even if it was at a fork in the road, in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. “Brandon asked me to marry him.”

She lifted her head to look at me. Her hazel eyes grew wide. “What?” She asked, in total disbelief.

I bit my lip, trying to amend my phrasing. “Well, he asked what I thought about getting married.” It didn’t sound any better.

“Wait, wait, wait.” Her hands held up, her brow pinched. “You guys have only been dating for like a year, not even.” I had to give her credit for wise teenage logic. Somehow, Molly always managed to say exactly what someone needed to hear.

I sighed, cradling my face in my hands. “I know. That’s what I told him.” He said he was ready to take that next step. But was I? Were we ready, as a couple? Was I really ready to be someone’s wife? Was this what this whole trip to meet his parents was all about? To get their approval or something?  

Molly looked up at me with big curious eyes. “I don’t know, Moll, with Mom and Dad’s divorce being finalized… And me moving out… And Brandon, he’s…He’s so….” I couldn’t find the right words to finish that sentence.

“Not the one?” Molly offered, tilting her head.

My sister and I sat in the car, at a fork in the road, amongst corn fields in the middle of nowhere. We were lost, unbelievably lost.

Fun fact: This story was originally written in 2015, tweaked in 2019. Inspired by the writing prompt “fish out of water” from Fiction Writing class. See what stories can come from a simple writing exercise?

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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