My Favorite Blog Moments from 2021

Hello Writer Bees,

Once in a while, it’s good to take a minute and reflect on your accomplishments. To be proud of yourself. Plus, with the year we’ve all had, I think we’ve deserved some positivity. Often times, I stress and put myself down, like nothing I ever do is enough. In an effort to improve my mental health and confidence, I’m reflecting on some of my favorite posts and moments from 2021. Come stroll down memory lane with me.


May of Mystery

Every May, I shine a spotlight on the mystery genre. Being an aspiring mystery writer myself, it was thrilling to write posts celebrating detective fiction. Check out my posts from May of Mystery.

Reaching 1,000+ Readers

For me, it has never been about gaining a mass of followers. I started this blog to connect with and encourage other writers. Honestly, I didn’t think anyone would be interested in what I had to say. And now, I’ve reached over 1,000 amazing, super supportive readers. In the span of 4 years, I might add. I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of the wonderful writing community.

Writing Advice

I’m no professor, just an ordinary writer who helps other writers. I try to share writing advice in a conversational, lighthearted tone. Here are some of my favorite writing tips posts from 2021.

Top Writing Blog Award from QueryLetter

Frankly, I’m still in shock over this one. How did a knucklehead like me earn a blogging award? I have no clue what I’m doing. Seriously though, this blog is a labor of love. For my humble little platform to be recognized in such a way is so special to me.

Very Short Stories

Apart from writing advice, I’ve also shared my dabbles of flash fiction. In 2021, I stepped outside my comfort zone and wrote in genres I don’t normally write it. It’s a fun challenge, I encourage all writers to try it sometime. Here are a few short stories I’ve written last year.


What did you accomplish in 2021? For fellow bloggers out there, what are your favorite posts from your own blog? Share your stuff in the comments.

Thank you all for the love and support over the years. Hope this year is even better.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Three Things I Learned About My Writing in 2021

Hello Writer Bees,

With the holidays and the new year fast approaching, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on 2021. More specifically, my writing journey and its ups and downs. Here are three things I’ve learned about myself as a writer this year.

Always Find Time to Write

When I started my 9 to 5 office job, I was grateful for the opportunity but also worried about not having time to write. Sometimes, it’s stressful for me to juggle a full-time job, a blog and a work of fiction. This year, I learned that there’s always time, I just need to look hard enough. Just because I can’t write until the wee hours anymore, like I used to, doesn’t mean I can’t get creative another time of day. Now, I write during my lunch break. And I write after hours and on weekends. Writing is important to me, therefore, I make sure I find those scraps of time.

Write Outside the Box

I’ve learned to be open to experimenting and taking chances with my writing. This year, I challenged myself to write outside my comfort zone and preferred genre. Even a mystery writer like myself can write outside the box and have fun with it. In doing so, I became more aware of my writing style and voice. Here on this blog, I’ve dabbled in other genres I don’t normally write in. And I wrote a few 100 words stories too. If you’re interested in reading, check out a few stories below!

Trust In My Writer Gut

During NaNoWriMo, I focused on editing my mystery WIP. Of course, with editing, comes making major and minor changes to the story. There were times I doubted myself. Am I fussing over nothing? Am I making unnecessary edits? This year, I learned to trust my gut. If my writer instinct is pulling the plot is a certain direction, or I need to change something, I should go for it. It’s my story to tell and I’m going to tell it the best I can. As a writer, I’m learning to be confident in my choices, even when others may disagree.


What have you learned about yourself and your writing this year? How have you grown as a writer? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from the writing community.

Head’s up, I’ll be taking the next few weeks off for the holidays. See you all in 2022!

Stay safe, stay creative and happy holidays everyone!

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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NaNoWriMo 2021: Week Four Update

Hello Writer Bees!

Hope you all are staying creative and staying safe during National Novel Writing Month.

Sorry for the late post. Between Thanksgiving and holiday shopping and family and friends, it’s been a bit hectic. Could they have planned National Novel Writing Month in any other month? Preferably one with less holidays. Still, us writers rise to the challenge. Hats off to all the fantastic writers out there putting their hearts into their creative endeavors, even in this holiday madness.

So, here’s an interesting thing I discovered while editing this week. This week, I focused on the clues of my murder mystery WIP. Frankly, I worried about being too obvious in the evidence. I want to leave breadcrumbs for readers (and detectives) to find, not loaves of bread. I want the grand finale to be grand and unexpected. Can’t be too easy or too hard to solve this mystery. During this editing process, I’m being mindful of when and how evidence is revealed in the story. I’ve been trimming away the more obvious hints from suspect interviews. That’s been my main focus in this final week of NaNoWriMo.

Maybe, over the weekend, I’ll doing some writing sprints. Maybe some editing sprints too, if that’s a thing. I’m looking forward to working on this story well into December. This experience got me motivated to write and to edit. I really do feel like I’ve made progress on my WIP. Guess that’s the point of NaNoWriMo.

Hope everyone had a happy holiday and a happy National Novel Writing Month. And remember, no matter how many words you wrote this month, no matter what you worked on, celebrate yourself. No matter what, any amount of progress is a success in my book.


How’s your NaNoWriMo journey? Did you complete your goals? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and stay creative.

—Lady Jabberwocky

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NaNoWriMo 2021: Week Three Update

Hello Writer Bees!

Hope you all are staying creative and staying safe during National Novel Writing Month.

Week three has been pretty productive for me. I’ve been writing and editing a bunch. Lots of adding new content and deleting unnecessary sentences. The total word count is up and down, which is making me a little nervous. Guess that’s part of the revision and editing process. I’m still working, still writing, still keeping my head above water in NaNoWriMo land.

This week, I decided to finally tackle “the crater”. I brought this up in my NaNoWriMo plans. Basically, I have this empty section in the WIP’s plot. Think of it like the bridge between act two and act three is missing. I just need a scene or two to fill in the space and get readers ready for the finale. If that makes sense. For awhile, writer’s block had me stressed. I decided to use NaNoWriMo to deal with this looming, open lot of space. Instead of treating it like an inconvenience, I’m treating it like a blank canvas. Changing my frame of mind helped put words to paper and got me out of that funk.

Long story short, that empty space of story line – that dauting crater – is slowly being filled up and connecting to the overall narrative. What a sigh of relief.

Oh! Before I end this post, I might need your help, writer bees. I want to change one of my character’s names. The victim’s name for my murder mystery, actually. When I talked to my (non-writer) boyfriend about it, he thought I was freaking out over nothing. Which I do do, occasionally. But right now, this little change feels necessary. As much as I respect differing opinions, I think I need to trust my writer instinct on this one. Going with my gut here, I’m reaching out to you. If you have an idea for an early 20th century lady’s name, share your ideas in the comments. I’m open to suggestions, and currently checking baby name websites.


How’s your NaNoWriMo goals panning out? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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NaNoWriMo 2021: Week Two Update

Hello Writer Bees!

Can I just start off by saying I have the best readers in the world? Last week, I had a rough start to National Novel Writing Month. I felt overwhelmed and stressed and sad. But you wonderful people charged in! I received such lovely, supportive words from you all. Thank you all for cheering me on and lifting out of bad days. The writing community is truly amazing! I’m lucky to be a part of it.

Week two of NaNoWriMo was better than week one. I actually want to work on my WIP. That little glimmer of motivation has reappeared. The ball is starting to roll. Thank goodness for that. Editing hasn’t been a total bloodbath yet. Though, I am tackling a section of the story that needs a lot of work, editing wise. I actually had that moment every writer has, when they look at something they’ve written and say to themselves “All of its garbage. It’s a mess. How can I fix this?” But I’m chipping away at that part and the whole plot.

Also, this week, I’ve focused on extenuating the characters and their characteristics. Like instead of saying one character is ‘a jittery fellow’ or ‘an ice queen’, I’m letting their body language and their actions showcase those traits. Polishing up those descriptions is pretty fun, actually. In my opinion, it makes the cast of suspects feel more realistic. Those kinds of details bring characters to life.

Oh! And I’ve mentioned before about writing during my lunch break at the office. This week, I tried a writing sprint during my break, a half hour of writing whatever came to mind. No editing. Just off the cuff. I wrote like 300ish words of mostly dialogue. I call that progress. I haven’t done a writing sprint like that in forever, and I may try it again. It really helped get out of writer’s block and get those creative juices flowing.


How’s your NaNoWriMo adventure going? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you writer bees.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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NaNoWriMo 2021: Week One Update

Hello Writer Bees!

I wish I could say NaNoWriMo started off with a bang this year, full of optimism and inspiration and sunshine. But, I’ll be real with you. Think I tried to tackle too much this first week. I was stressing about everything I wanted to do for my WIP. I was stressing about new work responsibilities at the office. I have this bad habit of putting too much pressure on myself. It gets me in trouble sometimes. Towards the end of the week, I felt completely overwhelmed. Almost cried in a cubicle. Not a great start.

Notes to self: Slow down, Lady. You got a whole month. It’s not a race. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Trying to keep this in mind, for NaNoWriMo and for my mental health.

On the brightside, it hasn’t all been awful. Editing has begun. Which is daunting yet exciting. Lots of rearranging and deleting of sentences. A little bit of tweaking of small details for my characters. Some ironing out of my narrator’s backstory. I’m easing into editing, working on the small stuff first before handling the big stuff. That’s the plan for now, anyway.

Sorry for such a quick, sad post, my friends. Don’t worry about me, though. I’m using the weekend to rebound and recuperate and write my heart out. There’s nowhere to go but up, right?


How’s your NaNoWriMo journey going? What have you learned about writing during this crazy writing challenge? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you writer bees.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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The Hallotober Tag

Hello Writer Bugs,

Couple weeks ago, I was tagged by Literary Liza to do the Hallotober Tag. And since I’ve been busy getting into the Halloween spirit, I thought a festive tag would be the perfect way to start October. Thank you very much for tagging me, Liza! Peeps, head over to her super cute blog and give her some love.

Here are the rules!

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post 
  • Put the rules at the beginning or after introduction
  • Answer the 13 questions 
  • Tag 13 people to do the tag 
  • Delete Question 13, add a new number one question of your own
  • You are free to use the tag image somewhere in the post

What’s your favorite spooky book?

As a kid, I grew up reading the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. Those to me are the quintessential spooky stories. Never been to camp, but I’d imagine those are the kind of stories told at night around a campfire. As an adult, classic Edgar Allen Poe is my jam. Tell-Tale Heart is awesome. That’s the brand of spookiness I like. Those extraordinary situations that give me goosebumps on the back of my neck.

What’s your favorite thing about October?

Sweater weather, for sure. I love dressing in multiple cozy layers. Scarves on top of hoodies on top of flannel shirts on top of frumpy sweaters. We’ve had a hot summer, I’m ready for a chilly autumn full of crunchy leaves. There’s something satisfying about the sound of crunching leaves to my ears. Also, I’m looking forward to the fall foliage in New York. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Those beautiful warm golden colors. My boyfriend and I already planned a weekend trip upstate for mid-October, just to take a break from life and enjoy the season together.

 Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?

Autumn activities, like visiting a pumpkin patch or a haunted house, are always a blast. Fall fairs and festivals are wonderful too. Other than that, I don’t usually have a big celebration for Halloween. Usually, I stay home and watch a movie. If I feel like spoiling myself, maybe eat some sweets. Maybe send some sweets for my nieces and nephew. That’s about it.

What’s your favorite horror movie?

Does Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas count? I hope so. Gorey, jump-scare type movies aren’t my thing. I prefer fun spooky movies over blood-and-guts horror movies. Give me Scooby Doo on Zombie Island any day. Give me Alvin and the chipmunks meet the Wolfman. Give me Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch in Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Wholesome Halloween nostalgia over horror.

Would you rather a cozy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?

I’d choose a cozy night in. Sweatpants and fuzzy socks included. Cuddles included. Preferably with salty snacks and popcorn too. Props to you guys who have big nights out. I’m too introverted for that sort of thing.

Which has been your most favorite costume to date?

When I was about five years old, I dressed as a purple octopus. Really explains a lot about myself as a person today.

Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch?

Haven’t played either game, but if I had to pick, pin the hat on the witch.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

Usually, I stay home, with no plans. However, this year will be different. My boyfriend and I were invited to a costume party with some old college friends of ours. This is probably our first Halloween party as adults. Currently, we are searching for dorky costumes to wear. If you have any ideas for couples’ costumes, please let me know in the comments. We haven’t quite found the perfect outfits yet. 

What’s your least favorite horror?

The Ring. But let me explain. When I was little, I had that stereotypical teenager babysitter who watched R-rated movies. That scene where the girl is pushed down the well scared me for life. It was one of those moments when you are too terrified to look away. Yeah, I still cannot handle that movie.

Do you have a favorite trick or treating memory?

Growing up, I was the only girl in a friend group of boys. For the 90’s kids out there, I was always the Reggie Rocket of the gang. That being said, I have fond memories of trick-or-treating with the boys on a chilly night . My younger brother dressed like Yu-GI-Oh. The other kids dressed as ninjas and pirates. And me, in an orange tutu and butterfly wings. Then, at the end of the night, we sat around a pile of candy and traded pieces. “I’ll give you two Kit-Kats for a tootsie-pop.” “Deal!” Those were the days, huh?

What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?

The spooky vibes. The decorations. People in costumes. Pets in costumes.

Scary costume or silly costume?

Silly. I don’t do scary costumes. And I don’t do sexy costumes either, for that matter. Is it wrong to just like cute, comfortable costumes? Or better yet, regular clothes that look like a character’s outfit from a cartoon or T.V. show?

What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

Gummy bears or gummy lifesavers are my favorite. Gummy anything really. I’m allergic to dairy, so I had to steer clear from most chocolate candies. Although I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, honorable mentions for favorite candy would be Jolly Ranchers and Starbursts. 


My Questions

  1. What’s your favorite spooky book?
  2. What’s your favorite thing about October?
  3.  Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?
  4. What’s your favorite horror movie?
  5. Would you rather a cozy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?
  6. Which has been your most favorite costume to date?
  7. Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch?
  8. How do you celebrate Halloween?
  9. What’s your least favorite horror?
  10. Do you have a favorite trick or treating memory?
  11. What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?
  12. Scary costume or silly costume?
  13. Have you every had a ghostly encounter?

I tag my blogger buddy and poet extraordinaire Jai Lynn to do this tag. And anyone else who wants to participate in this tag. Have fun!

Stay safe and stay creative!

— Lady Jabberwocky

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

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.

See the source image

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.

See the source image

Outline

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.

See the source image

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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Should a Writer be the Same Race & Gender as Their Narrator?

Hello Writer Bees!

So, the other day, I was scrolling through Twitter when a post caught my attention. It was a #WritingQ. The question was: Does a writer need to be the same race or gender as their narrator?

As a female writer with a male narrator, I felt the need to dip my toes into these controversial waters. Let’s talk about this for a second.

My Opinion.

Does an author need to be the same gender, race or sexuality as their narrator? In my opinion? No. That’s part of creative writing. We use our imaginations to create realistic characters, even if they’re much different than us. A narrator doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of the writer. And a writer doesn’t have to limit themselves and write only in a box. Don’t be afraid to write out of your comfort zone. When we do create characters outside of our own experience, it’s important to do them justice. Here are some quick tips for writing a character from a different background.

  • Be aware of stereotypes. Step above the stereotypes. If it comes off as cliché, a character will lose their authenticity. Also, if it’s not done properly, a character could come off as offensive.
  • Do your research.  – When a character comes from a different cultural background, research that culture. What names are common in that ethnicity? What are some typical meals? Do they have certain habits, rules, or traditions? Dig deep, you may actually learn something.
  • Be open to writing a character unlike yourself. Challenge yourself and stay open minded. The fun part about writing is stepping into someone else’s shoes – someone else’s brain – and telling their story.

My Experience

As many of you know, I’ve been writing my murder mystery WIP for quite some time. Many times, my main characters have made appearances on this blog. On paper, my narrator and I are completely different.

  • My narrator – Oscar Fitzgerald – is a young Irish man living in the 1920s. He/him pronouns. Attracted to women.
  • I’m a Puerto-Rican-Italian millennial. She/her pronouns. Attracted to… Mister Jabberwocky.

And maybe some readers will be put off by that stark difference. How can a woman writer do a man justice? Impossible!  I can understand why some readers feel that way. I’ve seen some men poorly portray women in fiction. Truth is, choosing a male narrator was barely a thought to me. I honestly thought nothing of it.  When I began crafting my detective duo and their dynamic, both characters being men fell into place naturally. If it works, it works. Why fix it?

How do I go about writing in male perspective? Frankly, I don’t set out to. That’s the secret. When I sit down to write, I don’t go “Okay, let me pretend I’m a dude now.” For me, gender isn’t often considered. Usually, I focus more on the character’s personality more than anything else. I keep our similarities and our differences in mind at all times. That mindset guides me through writing a male narrator. And look, I’m not perfect. I’m sure I’m missing some nuances of being a guy, especially one from the 1920s. But I do my best, that’s all anyone can do.


I want to hear from you. How do you go about writing a character from a different background? How are you similar to your narrator or main character? How are you different? Let me know in the comments.

I understand this can be a touchy, controversial subject for some people. Everyone has their own opinion. Please be respectful in the comments. I’d appreciate it.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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Hamburgers and Horoscopes (100 Word Humor Fiction)

In a pink sunset, the girl with thunderclouds on her thighs pulls into the drive thru. Sunglasses raise to her forehead. A muffled voice comes from the speakerbox. 

“Yeah, hi,” She eyes the menu. “My horoscope told me to indulge in life’s simplest pleasures. So lemme get two cheeseburgers, easy on the lettuce, heavy on the cheese. Lemonade, no ice. Large fries, extra ketchup packets. And for dessert,” She licks her glossy lips. “One of those fudgy brownie things. You know the kind.”

She pays and receives a greasy paper bag. BTS blasts through the car radio. “Thank you, astrology.”


Haven’t written flash fiction in a long time, figured I should this week. I was in the mood to write a fun, lighthearted 100 word story. Hope you all enjoy!

Anyone want to take a guess as to what her astrological sign is? Also, what’s your go-to fast food order? Talk to me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky