(This is a repost. I wanted to once again shine a spotlight on some wonderful literature celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. – Victoria)
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 LGBTQIA community.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
As writers, as readers, as humans, let’s expand our horizons and promote inclusivity in everything we do.
What’s your favorite LGBTQIA book? Lemme know in the comments.
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.
(Written 4/16/21 – Hey Writer Bugs! It’s been a stressful week for me. So I decided to repost this old short story I wrote back in fiction writing class, in 2016. Don’t judge, every writer starts somewhere. Appreciate your early work, they’re a representation of how far you’ve come as a storyteller. Keep writing my friends! – Love, Lady Jabberwocky. )
The knight commander was intimidating, over six feet tall with a thick beard and a scar on his forehead. Behind him was the kingdom of Eros’ flag, a deep purple with the emblem of a griffon, wings spread proudly. “I’m sure you have heard of the recent number of casualties out at sea, correct?” Many ships coming into port were either facing horrible storms or being sunken by unknown forces. Some in the village believed it to be a mermaid’s doing. “Take this message to the water’s edge tomorrow morning. Their messenger should meet you half way”The message was a scroll in a glass bottle, sealed tightly with a cork. “Is this…A declaration of war, sir?”
“Just negotiations,” The commander replied shortly, placing a large hand on by shoulder. “This will be a test, to prove if you are worthy of becoming a true knight someday,” He shooed me away with a wave of his hand. “Now, go attend to your other duties”.
I bowed and took my leave, examining the glass bottle in my hands. My brown leather boots shuffled along the dirt path that led to the stables. There were three large stallions, the noble steeds of the warriors of Eros. I began to brush one of the horse’s smooth coat. The sound of metal feet stomping towards me broke me from my daze. Sir Roger entered the stable, removing his helm. He ran a hand through his blonde hair, most likely returning from sparring.
“Have you finished with my sword?” Sir Roger approached me, removing his gauntlet. I nodded quickly. “With haste, mouse” He said impatiently. I dropped the brush and went to retrieve the knight’s sword. Yesterday, the blade was splattered with blood after a day’s quest. Now it shined like a sunbeam. I returned with the sword tucked into it’s leather sheath a moment later. “What do you have here?” He asked, examining the scroll in the glass bottle next to my satchel.
“A message I must deliver,” I informed “Tomorrow morning, to Crescent bay”.
“Well then you’re as good as dead, little mouse,” He laughed. “Have you ever seen a Mermaid before?”
Last week, I celebrated my 800th follower milestone, which I still can’t get believe. You guys are so amazing and supportive. Some of you were curious about my writer experience. So today, I’m sharing something new that makes me happy. With all the struggle going on in the world, it’s nice to be reminded of the small things in life that make us happy, right?
I started a new job back in August. A 9 to 5 cubicle job in an office. And as someone with no prior experience, being an assistant is tough work. The stress can be overwhelming sometimes. I’m managing as best I can. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were given the option of eating lunch at our desks. And the socially awkward introvert in me was thrilled by this. Don’t get me wrong, everyone working in the office is super nice. But, I like a little time to myself now and then. Translation: I like to hide from society now and then.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been working on my WIP during my lunch break. It’s like this quiet, hour long vacation, in the middle of a hectic day. Did I forget to mention eating while writing is my favorite combination? Seriously. What’s better than munching while making fiction happen? I absolutely love it. I look forward to this short lived writing time everyday. Maybe it’s the change of scenery, or me being away from home distractions, I actually get some writing done. Sure, it might only be 100 to 200 words a day. Still, I’m slowly creeping towards my goal of a finish novel.
Frankly speaking, I’m a night writer. Always have been. I prefer to write during the nighttime. To burn the midnight oil, as they say. My brain just feels more creative in the wee hours of the evening. Not sure why. And now, I can’t stay up as late as I used to when I was a freelance writer. However, writing during my lunch break has been a nice change of pace. I’ve fallen into a new routine. And I’m excited about it. This is a same small window of time, everyday, dedicated to writing and editing and outlining. Maybe that’s what I needed all along, to shake off my writer’s block.
For now, I’m making the most out of this pocket of time and appreciating every second.
Moral of the story, find the time to write, no matter the time of day. Even if it’s only a half hour. Even if it’s only 100 or so words. Progress is progress. Little by little, we all reach our goals eventually.
What time of day do you write in? And be honest, do you sneaky work on your WIP at your day job? Talk to me in the comments!
On our first date, we found a fountain in the middle of New York City.
How lucky we were.
Tossed our coins in, made wishes. I wished for happiness.
Something even more wonderful happened.
We two individuals became us. Together.
Partners. Outliers. Player One and Player Two.
That was almost ten years ago.
We have shared laughter and tears and smiles.
Forged adventures in the mundane.
Made love in thunderstorms.
A comfortable kind of affection, like soft clouds to land on.
All from two characters in a story crossing paths at the right place, right time.
How lucky we are.
With Valentine’s day coming up, I wanted to write about love. Call me a hopeless romantic, or a sap, either one. Inspired by my wonderful boyfriend, Michael and our relationship. He has know idea I’m doing this (Surprise honey!). We will be spending the weekend ordering takeout and having a movie night at home. Sounds perfect to me.
How are you spending Valentine’s Day? Lemme know in the comments. I’m genuinely curious, what with a pandemic and all.
Congratulations, we have survived 2020. It’s been a crazy year, but we made it.
Looking back at my 2020 resolutions, I’m surprised at the goals I set before the pandemic. Yes, I’ve been writing more often, which is awesome. And I’ve been focusing on staying positive, even in the midst of all this chaos.
There’s this particular quote that’s giving me hope of this upcoming new year. After the plague, came the renaissance. I truly believe artists from all backgrounds will find inspiration and make the world beautiful again with art, music, dance and stories. I only wish to be a small piece of this renaissance.
So, without further ado, here are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2021.
Create New Content
While my new job is taking up a lot of my time, I still want to create content on this blog. I have some ideas brewing for future posts. In the comments, let me know what kind of content you want to see more of. Writing tips? Short stories? More on my writer experience? I’m curious about what you guys think. All I want to do is create engaging content for all of your readers. That’s a big goal for me this year.
Finish my WIP
Isn’t this my new year’s resolution every year? Yes, yes it is. I want to finally finish – and hopefully publish – my mystery WIP. Since NaNoWriMo, I’ve been working on my story a little bit everyday. In the chaos and depression of 2020, my motivation has its highs and lows. Despite that, I’ve actually been making progress on my WIP. Could this be the year? I really hope so.
This is just a general goal. Sometimes, I struggle with feeling anxious and insecure, and I want to find confidence in myself, in all that I do. In my work, in my writing, in my relationships, I want to learn how to keep my chin up and not be so hard on myself. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I think I’m starting this next chapter in my life, and I want to be braver. Brave enough to face what’s to come.
What are your goals for 2021? What do you hope to accomplish in the new year? Talk to me in the comments!
Curled up in their den, the mother watched her child and the snowfall. A forest of evergreen trees coated with a thick layer of shimmering white. The little one skirted the entrance of the cave, sticking his forked tongue out to catch snowflakes. Icicles hung like jagged teeth above them.
“Can I catch one someday?” Claws reached for the sky. Snowflakes instantly sizzled, melting against red scales. “And keep it until the springtime comes?”
The dragon mother smiled at her youngling, “Of course you can, dear heart.”
I’m currently buried under a pile of snow, thanks to the nor’easter that just hit New York. This story was inspired by that blizzard and from watching the snowflakes from my window.
Happy holidays everyone! Stay safe and keep writing!
Sorry for my absence last Friday. My boyfriend (Mister Jabberwocky) and I had a weekend getaway to upstate New York. It’s absolutely gorgeous this time of year and we had a wonderful trip. We even went to Sleepy Hollow to search for the headless horseman. No luck, though. Still, what an adventure it was.
Speaking of Adventures….
You know what I miss? I miss playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends. During the Covid crisis, getting the adventure party together has been a challenge. Everyone is trying to stay safe, which is completely understandable. I’m just sitting on a DnD character that won’t see the light of day anytime soon.
Speaking of Dungeons and Dragons….
There’s this talented creator, Ginny Di, who does all this amazing cosplay and nerdy content on YouTube. If you’re interested in Dungeons and Dragons, I highly recommend her content. She’s even got a Patreon. Anyway, she recently began a series of POV videos aimed towards character building and roleplay practice. Check out the video right here!
Basically, your role-play character is having their wounds treated. While tending to your injuries, the healer is asking you a bunch of questions. Her video inspired me to give this writing prompt a shot. This is my take on this conversation, featuring my DnD character, Poet the Tiefling Rogue. Enjoy!
Have you been dead before?
“Sure. Once or twice.” Straining to sit up, a shooting pain stopped her movement. An arrow was lodged in her abdomen. She winced and laid back down on the bed. “That doesn’t look good.”
What’s your name?
“Poet.” No last name was offered. “And no, I don’t know any good poems. Try the bard I came in with.”
Where are you from?
“Originally, from way up North. Like off the map North.”
Do you miss it?
“Do I miss the ten feet of snow and the smell of dead fish? No, I’m happy to get away from that place. The people there are just as unpleasant.” She scoffed as she surveyed the blood and dirt covering her body.
Ever plan on going back?
“Maybe. I might have some unfinished business with the lighthouse keeper up there. I’m in no rush. My gang and I have some other stops to make first before we head North.”
Do you have any nicknames?
“Other than ‘damn charlatan’ and ‘devil spawn’?” Poet donned a wolfish grin. “Friends call me Poe, for short.”
Tell me your favorite animal.
Poet tilted her head to the side in contemplation, staring at the leak stained ceiling. “Cats. I like how nimble and mischievous they are.” “This might be strange to say, but I think cats and tieflings are similar, if you think about it.“
Do you have a lot more clothes at home, or is this kinda… it?
”I’ve got more clothes in the wagon. Sometimes, I need to change my appearance quickly.” Her fingers touched the torn coat beside her, the fabric embroidered with various constellations. “This one was my favorite though. I should get this patched up.”
How’d you get that scar?
A red scar swiped across the side of her ribcage, standing out against her lavender skin. “Run in with an angry mob. I’m not well liked in some circles. Hard to believe, I know.”
Are you a jokester, or more of a serious type?
“A sense of humor is never a bad thing.“ Despite the pain, she snorted a short laugh. “Serious people are such wet blankets, aren’t they?”
Tell me about the last great meal you had.
“My companions and I roasted a whole pig over a campfire the other night. You ever have crispy pork skin? Delicious.” Like a content feline, her tail swished at the memory. “We were right by the beach. Sharing stories and drinking leftover rum. It was… A real treat.”
What’s your favorite food?
“Love a warm beef pastry. Or that cinnamon apple pastry from Dorbinshire. Basically anything wrapped around flaky dough that you can hold in your hand is my favorite. But a hearty rabbit stew is nice from time to time too.” Tongue trailed across her fangs. “Oh and rum. Lots of it. With lime juice.”
Are you a picky eater, or will you just kinda eat anything?
“Willing to try anything once.” Her shoulders bounced as she smiled. “That’s the best part of traveling from place to place. You’ll always find a decent meal, no matter where you go.”
How well do you deal with pain normally?
“Terrible. I tap out at the first bit of pain,” At that moment, the healer removed the arrow sticking out of her body. Poet clenched her fist, resisting the urge to scream. “You little bitch,” She cursed, then reluctantly apologized to the healer. “Sorry, force of habit.”
Do you enjoy being part of a group?
“Depends on the group.” She hummed. “For years, it was just my partner and I, out on the open road. Now, things are different. My current allies aren’t so bad. A bunch of knuckleheads, if you know what I mean, but not bad at all.”
Any party member in particular that you worry about?
“My partner, Endymion. He took a hard hit during the fight. I didn’t think he was going to make it.” The next part of her answer came with some hesitance. She smiled despite herself. “He has been my closet companion for the longest time. I’d be dead in a ditch if it wasn’t for him.”
Are you keeping any secrets from your party?
Poet’s silver coin eyes glanced at a nearby mirror. Within the reflection, a hazy silhouette of a spector haunted her. A chill tumbled down her spine. Her body tensed, hearing the sound of faint cackling in the air. “Yes.” A simple, tight-lipped answer.
Do you like traveling all the time, or do you just put up with it?
The conversation moving towards travel let her muscles relax. “Yeah, I enjoy waking up in a new town every couple weeks. I can’t stay in the same place for too long, or I start to feel antsy.”
Are you an insomniac, or one of those lucky bastards who can fall asleep anywhere?
“Haven’t had a full night’s sleep in quite awhile. Most often enough, I’m staring at the ceiling, praying for a couple measly hours of shut-eye. Being a light sleeper doesn’t help much either.”
How old are you?
Old enough to know a lady never reveals her age.” Poet propped herself up on her elbows. “Also old enough to drink. You wouldn’t happen to have any booze around, would you?”
Are you worried about how things will change when you’re older?
“Never really thought about that before.” Her face pinched in contemplation. A cozy retirement didn’t quite feel her speed. What would the Tiefling do when her bones gave up on her?
You have a five year plan, or are you just taking it day by day?
“Day by day.” Poet watched as the healer finished up with the stitches. “Life is unpredictable. I’m not the type that makes a fuss about future endeavors.”
You have any special talents or fun hobbies you could pay the bills with if you sheathed your sword for good?
“I can read your fortune, if you’d like. I got cards in my pack. And I brew potions too. Want to buy some? I’ll give you the family discount. 100 gold a pop.” She gestured to the three glass bottles full of sunset orange liquid.
Is there somebody you’d trust to help you take out your stitches, or are you more of a do-it-yourself kinda person?
“I can take care of them myself. Don’t have much medical experience but I’ll figure it out. I always do.” Carefully, Poet rose from the bed and began collecting her belongings. “Endymion says I’m stubborn and never ask for help. I refuse to be some damsel in distress.”
Hope you enjoyed getting to know Poet the Tiefling a little better. With NaNoWriMo right around the corner, I think a lot of writers will find a character building exercise helpful. Whether you play dungeons and dragons or not, anyone could use this prompt to workshop their characters.
To all my DnD players out there, how are you keeping your DnD spirit alive during quarantine? And for the NaNoWriMo participants, how are you prepping for National Novel Writing Month? Talk to me in the comments, I love to hear from you guys.
Stay safe and keep writing!
— Lady Jabberwocky
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“Please… Tell me what you see.” The expectant mother pleaded.
Hesitant, the seer conceded and placed his hands carefully on her swollen stomach.
Visions overtook his sight. He saw a mewling newborn, clutched to her mother’s chest. He saw a little girl wearing a flower crown in springtime. He saw a valiant knight of the realm, charging into battle. He saw a final breath, with someone holding a hand.
Tears welled in his eyes. Her fingertips caressed his cheek.
“Love, what is it? Is the baby…?”
He pressed a grateful kiss onto her globe of a belly. “Oh, she’s marvelous.”
I’ll be honest, writer bees. In recent months, baby fever has taken over my life. My boyfriend and I are expecting a nephew any day now. We are excitedly waiting for his arrival. This short story was inspired by this upcoming delivery. Sorry in advance if the next post or two is baby themed.