Tag Archives: life

5 LGBTQ Books to Read for Pride Month

Hey writer bees!

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

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

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

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

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

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

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson

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

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

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

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

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

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Proud Colors (LGBTQ Flash Fiction)

Red. Red is the color of romance and passion and successful first dates. This red did not cut it. Need a darker shade of red. Like glass of chilled Merlot red. Like matching his football jersey red. Makeup remover to the rescue. I viciously wiped Ruby Explosion off my lips. What else is there? Tickled Pink. Burnt Berry. Cherry Pop will have to do.

Mascara gives me eye lashes like Ramona Ortega from down the street. That girl has ridiculously long eyelashes. And curvature like no other. I’m built like a tall can of beer. Light beer. The kind women pretend to enjoy at Super Bowl parties. Mascara can’t give me curves like her.

Eyeliner is a game. Playing connect the dots with you eyelids. I always manage to draw outside the lines. “Al,” My sister stands in the doorway, folding her arms across her chest. There’s a constellation of freckles scattered across her nose. A smile curls onto her lips. This week, Pepper dyed her hair purple. Purple. The color of childhood dinosaurs and artists on the brink of insanity. Moody purple is tied into a top knot. “Need help?”

My hands brace against the granite counter. Doubt is grey, if you look at it close enough. Grey creeps along the shell of my ear. “Be honest, Pep. Do I look like a clown?” I ask because a clown was definitely staring back at me in the mirror. What if baby deer eyelashes isn’t enough to win him over? What if cherry red lipstick isn’t enough to earn a goodnight kiss?

She stands beside me, offering a simple shake of her head. “Are we going for beautiful or handsome tonight?” She asks as she skillfully traces my eyelid with the pen. Like an artist at her canvas.

A laugh hiccups in my chest. “Both, if I’m lucky.”

“Good. Because you look like both,” Pepper straightens my jacket and runs her fingers through my hair. An encouraging, motherly touch that came from my sister. Stew together yellow, orange and gold and you’ll end up with a bowl of encouragement and pride. “He is gonna fall head over heels for you. I mean, he’d have to. You’re the only guy crazy enough to wear a full face of makeup to a roller skating rink.” She adds as she finishes a near perfect cat eye with a flourish.

I face off against my reflection and dust the nerves off my shoulder. The doorbell rings. A kaleidoscope rattles in my brain. He’s early. With a playful wink, she pats me on the shoulder.

“Go get ’em, Albert.”


To everyone celebrating Pride Month, this one’s for you.

– Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Pick-Me-Up Gift Ideas for Struggling Writers

Hello writer bees,

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

Mugs, Glasses and Other Goblets of Victory

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

Desk Essentials

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

Aspiring Author Apparel

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

Weapons Against Writer’s Block

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

Buy More Books

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


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

Stay safe and keep writing, writer bees!

– Lady Jabberwocky

Things to Do Before ____: The Bucket List Tag

Hello writer bees.

It’s been a long week. And if I’m honest, I’ve feeling a little drained. It seems like everyone is struggling during this pandemic, both emotionally and health wise. Really reminds you how short life is, huh?

One of my goals for 2020 is to be more positive. I’m not a motivational speaker. I’m just a writer trying to keep her head above water. And the last time I was about to fall down the rabbit hole of deep depression, I started writing a list of things I hope to do in my life. It’s a note on my phone, titled ‘things to do before ____’. Before what? Before I turned 30? Before I die? It never felt right for me to fill in the blank, not sure why. Regardless, this ever growing list keeps my spirit up when I need it.

Then I stumbled on the Bucket List tag, where you write 10 things you want to do in your life. And now, here we are. This is my bucket list.

  • Write and publish a novel.
  • Get a bunch of tiny tattoos.
  • Go to Disney World and possibly Disneybound.
  • See a Ballet.
  • Mentor young writers.
  • Adopt a rescue dog or cat.
  • Travel to Baltimore.
  • Learn to cook healthy.
  • Visit a NYC Speakeasy.
  • Find a Blog Sponsor for Lady Jabberwocky. (wink wink)

Probably no one will be interested in this post, and that’s fine. But maybe, someone out there will start their own list and feel a little uplifted. I think we all need a pick me up right about now.

Share your bucket list on your own blog/social media or leave it in the comments here.

Stay well and stay safe, everyone.

– Lady Jabberwocky

The Top 5 Tips for Working at Home

Hello writer bees!

While it seems the entire world on lockdown, many folks have are now working from home. As a freelance writer, I was already remote working before it became the norm. Whether you are under quarantine or just don’t feel like trudging to the office, check out these helpful tips for working at home.

Create a Routine

Establish a schedule and work hours, like you would at your regular job. Some people just pretend they are in the office; That’s definitely one trick you can try. At the start of your day, plan out what needs to be done and what deadlines need to be met. Take off your pjs and bunny slippers and actually get dressed for success. It will ease you out of that “lazy day” headspace. And be sure to factor in break time too. Try to repeat the same routine each day and make working from home a habit.

Overcommunicate With Co-Workers

Communication is key in any field. With remote working, you and your co-workers should always be on the same page. There are plenty of chat room and virtual meeting applications to choose from, think about using one of them to connect with your team. No matter if it’s by email, phone call or video call, keep in touch with fellow employees frequently, even if it’s just a simple status update on a project.

Find a Work Space

Whether it’s at your desk, your kitchen table or your cozy bed, designate a productive, comfortable place to work in. Have everything you need within arms reach, like a computer or a notepad or a colorful assortment of pens. Is home a bit too noisy for you? Consider heading over to a local café or public library to do some work. Find the spot that works for you.

Avoid Distraction

I understand this is a tall order. Between social media and life responsibilities, it’s difficult to avoid distractions. Try to maintain focus as much as you can. Steer clear of the kitchen to avoid grazing on snacks throughout the day. Maybe invest in noise cancelling headphones or a ‘do not disturb’ sign. If possible, ask loved ones in your life to respect your work mode and give you some well deserved peace and quiet.

Take Care of Yourself

Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Have a break when needed. Walk around and strech your legs. Decompress when you are feeling stressed. If you’re feeling under the weather, don’t feel guilty about taking a sick day. Your physical and mental wellness is important, especially in times like this.


How are you all holding up during this pandemic? What’s working at home look like to you? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe out there, writer bees.

– Lady Jabberwocky

Pen Name VS. Real Name: The Great Writer Debate

Hello writer bees!

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

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

See the source image

Pros of a Pen Name

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

Cons of a Pen Name

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

Authors That Used Pen Names

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

See the source image

Pros of Using Your Real Name

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

Cons of Using Your Real Name

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

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

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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

How to Find Your First Freelancing Gig

Hello writer bees!

When I posted about the pros and cons of freelance writing, a lot of writers reached out to me, asking for advice on where to start. Well, this post is for you up-and-coming freelancers. How does one start out as a freelancer? Where are all the gigs?

Today, we’ll talk about the secrets behind finding that first freelance job and what you need to succeed in the freelancing world.

Before The Search

Before you begin your freelancing quest, compile writing samples. You can write a mock article about a topic you are passionate about. Or you can start a blog and post regularly. OR you can use those old essays from school (wink wink). Any written example that showcases your unique tone, voice and perspective.

Take it from me, starting out was tough. It took some time until I found any writing job. You’d think a Bachelor’s Degree in English would be enough. Nope. Part of the reason I created the Lady Jabberwocky blog was to build up a writing portfolio. And it did lead me to my first couple freelance jobs.

Check out Job Boards

Look, I found my first freelance gig on Indeed. And at the time, I wasn’t even specifically looking for a freelance job. I was (desperately) looking for any writer opportunity. So check out general job sites and search key words like “writing” “blogging” or “remote” and see what you find.

However, there are job boards dedicated to freelancing. Sites like All Freelance Writing and BloggingPro share both freelance and contract jobs for writers of all skill levels. Now, I haven’t personally tried these websites, but I’ve heard of other writers using them. Just be weary of those “make cash fast writing” schemes and research companies beforehand.

The Freelance Factories

Try Fiverr or Upwork. I’ve heard mixed reviews of these sites from other freelancers. While these websites help freelancers connect to customers and opportunities, these companies do take a cut of all earnings. Keep that in mind.

I was on Fiverr for a few months. It was a platform where I offered my services and set my own rates. Did I find freelance work? Yes. Did I find recurring clients? Yes. Were my earnings equivalent to the work? I don’t think so.

Pitch Perfectly

Sometimes, you have to be brave, pitch your talents and see what happens. Pitching is all about selling yourself to potential buyers. There’s no harm in shooting your ideas out there. What’s the worse that can happen?

Is there a publication you are interest in being a part of? Check if they have a submissions page detailing their pay rates and what kind of articles they ae looking for. Consider sending them an email with your pitch idea and writing samples attached. And don’t be discouraged if you get rejected or no response. Keep at it and a door will open eventually.


For all the freelancers out there, how did you find your first gig? What kind of job was it? And what advice would you give to beginner freelancers? Share your experience in the comments.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

3 Tips on Writing the Love Interest

Happy Valentine’s Day, Writer Bees and Bugs!

Love is in the air, even in fiction. No matter the genre, a love interest can add complexity and conflict to any story. If your MC is feeling the love, then check out these helpful tips on creating a character’s sweetheart.

Experiment with Chemistry

Love at first sight doesn’t make for an interesting story. Maybe attraction at first sight, sure. For the most part, feelings must develop gradually, not instantly. No matter what stage in the relationship, take the time to build up and explore that chemistry. A great lover could become an even greater foil for another character.

See the source image

Also, keep in mind the kind of relationships your characters would pursue. What’s their sexual preference? Are they interested in one night stands and flings? Or are they looking for a serious relationship? OR are they even looking for love in the first place? These factors will dictate how their romantic relationship lives and breathes over the course of the story.

Flaws, Glorious Flaws

Look, how many hot billionaires with six packs are there in the world? Seriously? Don’t create a character that is the ideal partner. Give them flaws. Real flaws. Consider physical and/or personality quirks. Are they short and stubborn? Are they pessimistic with a crooked nose? Be creative but be careful making a completely unlikeable character. Find that balance.

See the source image

A romantic interest shouldn’t just be a cookie cutter person. They must be able to stand on their own, as a complete character. Their entire world cannot revolve around another person. Whether the love interest is a main character or a side character, at the end of the day, readers want complex, relatable characters.

The Big Bad Conflict

No romance is perfect. Every couple has their struggles. With an internal or external battle, conflict is needed so things aren’t so lovey-dovey. Maybe one is afraid of commitment? Or are outside forces (society, race, war etc.) are straining their bond? Give the couple obstacles that they can (or cannot) overcome together.

Try tying the their conflict to the overall plot line, that way, the relationship won’t seem forced or out of place. Set the stakes high to ensure the problem is meaningful enough to the characters. Like a problem bigger than leaving the toilet seat up.

Bottom line, love isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, and that’s a good thing. Embrace those imperfections and write a real romance.


How do you guys write love interests? Any tips? Talk to me in the comments. And Happy Valentine’s day everybody!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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