What Inspired My Short Stories (Part Three)

Hey Writer Bees!

You guys seem to really like when I talk about the inspiration behind some of my stories. And I love hearing what inspires all of you in your creative works. So today, I’m coming at you with part three.

If you are curious, be sure to check out PART ONE and PART TWO of this series.

Scrunchies and School Bells

When I wrote this short story, many were heading back to school. I’m a 90’s kid who loves nostalgia and at the time, I was watching the Saban Moon documentary. I found myself in the mood to write something lighthearted and silly, packed with nostalgic reverences. And maybe a bit of cringey, relatable vibes too. Because let’s face it, we were all losers in school. Creating a character who was unapologetically themselves was refreshing. Also, it was good practice for me as writer to focus on describing a character’s appearance. How a character presents themselves says a lot about them. In short, wacky 90s vibes inspired this short story.

Pixies and Paperwork

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my current cubicle job. It’s helping my partner and I save up for future plans, and I write during breaks. However, there are days when work is stressful and soul sucking. I’m sure a lot of other people out there feel the same way, no matter their career. When I wrote this piece, I was feeling down. And like I did with Sunny Day Towing Company story, I wrote out those gloomy feelings. I wanted to cheer up not only myself, but others who may feel the same as I do. To bring a little light and a little positivity into someone’s day.

The Cinnamon Witch

By far, one of my favorite short stories I’ve ever posted on the blog. And just in time for spooky season too! For me, I enjoy writing in low fantasy worlds. Stories like Gravity Falls and Kiki’s Delivery Service have always appealed to me. Taking a single detail of a story and twisting it around is super fun and keeps readers on their toes, that’s for sure. Experimenting in a genre I don’t normally write in, like horror, is good for the creative muscles. For example, in this piece, I considered what if those ingredients aren’t exactly sugary sweet and come from a horrifying source? From that question came came this short story.


Is there a story behind your stories? What has inspired your creative endeavors? Talk to me in the comments.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Pixies and Paperwork (100 Word Fantasy Story)

You are one cubicle worker in an office full of other cubicle workers. Here, everything is beige and bland. From the monotonous typing of keyboards to the crisp business suits to the hum of the water cooler.

At your desk, you open the metal drawer. On top of a stack of manila folders and forgotten files stands a pixie. Rosy cherub cheeks and pricked ears. Dragonfly wings. Rainbow dust twinkles around.

“D’you want to leave?” The pixie whispers, smiling up at you. “Someplace nicer?”

The phone rings. Computer screens lights up with emails. You nod, almost too quickly.

“Yes please.”


Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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How to Conquer Your Writer’s Doubt

Hello Writer Bees,

I had a completely different idea for this week’s post.

But I kept thinking about a writer buddy of mine, Jai Lynn. She’s this wonderful poet/writer and we often exchange positive writing vibes and love to one another. Couple weeks ago, she vented about feeling stressed and overwhelmed about her writing. And I know a lot of other writers, myself included, are in the same boat.

If you’ve struggled with self-doubt, anxiety and stress from being a writer, keep these three things in mind.

Be Okay Writing Trash

Most of us strive for perfection. To write the most perfect sentence in the most perfect plot. Unfortunately, perfection is impossible. Even if you think it’s garbage, just try to get the words on paper. The first drafts of a story aren’t meant to look pretty. That’s what editing and revisions are for. Every story starts somewhere, so accept the fact that you may write trash before you create an exceptional story.

Take a Break

Your mental health is important. If writing feels like a daunting task, take some time off. Focus on other things. Relax and recharge and eat some potato chips. Yes, it may seem counterproductive and that might make you feel a little anxious. And that’s alright. Make sure you take care of yourself. And trust that inspiration, ideas, and those good creative juices will return.

You Are Not Alone

Think about your favorite author. They too have probably struggled with writer’s doubt, felt uninspired or not good enough. Everyone faces those dark moments. But writers keep writing until they find the light at the end of the tunnel, until the story is told. So, if you’re experiencing writer hardships, remember, you are not alone. There is a whole community of other writers and creatives facing the same struggles. We need to support one another in our creative endeavors.


How do you get through writer’s doubt and stress? What’s your advice to struggling writers. Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys. Also, please send the lovely Jai Lynn some positive writing vibes. Us writers need to stick together.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Celebrating 500 Blog Posts!

Hello Writer Bees!

I’m back from vacation! My partner and I had such a fun trip. We left feeling relaxed, recharged and genuinely happy. And we mostly drank beer and ate fried food the entire weekend. So good times all around.

Something exciting happened since my last entry. The Lady Jabberwocky blog reached 500 posts!

That’s mindboggling to me. When I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure if I could consistently create content and handle the responsibility of a platform. I wasn’t even sure if anyone cared what I had to say. Now look, all this hard work paid off and has amounted to 500 posts. And I’m ready for 500 more.

A lesson for all the new bloggers, don’t give up. At first, It may seem like a daunting task, constantly coming up with ideas for your audience. If making content and blogging is what you love, keep going. Your readers will find you. For those who are considering blogging, or are just starting out, check out some of my helpful posts below.

Also, I believe my blog anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. It’ll be five years since I started blogging. How should we celebrate my blogaversary? Leave ideas in the comments.

Thanks for sticking around on my writing journey. You guys are the reason I write.


Take care of yourselves and each other.

Write with heart.

Love,

Victoria (aka Lady Jabberwocky)

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Out Of Office: This Lady is on Vacation!

Hello Writer Bees,

When this post is posted, my partner and I will be driving to upstate New York for a well needed weekend away. With work and life being hectic right now, both of us were overdue for a break, to recharge and to mind our mental health.

But I didn’t want to leave you guys empty handed this week. Blogger’s guilt is a real thing, you know. So below I’ve shared links to some of my previous posts. Check them out!

Writing Tips

15 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Pen Name VS. Real Name: The Great Writer Debate

How to Build Up Suspense in Any Genre

About This Lady Writer

The Inspiration Behind Naming my Blog

Do You Need a Writing Degree to Be a Real Writer?

The 3 Ways I Beat Blogger’s Block

100 Word Stories

Sunny Day Towing Company (100 Word Self Care Story)

The Basil Sprites (100 Word Fantasy Story)

Hamburgers and Horoscopes (100 Word Humor Story)


What do you want to see next on the blog? Do you have any questions about fiction writing, blogging or my writer journey? Let me know in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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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.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky          

15 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block (Repost for Camp NaNoWriMo)

Hello Writer bees!

(With Camp NaNoWriMo starting next week, some may struggle with writer’s block during this writing challenge. Don’t fret! To help with that, I’m reposting these awesome tips for beating the block. Good luck to everyone participating! – Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky)

Hope you are are staying safe and writing wonderful work. And if you are feeling stuck with your writing, that’s alright too. Sometimes, it can be hard to get the words on the page. Don’t be discouraged. Writer’s block happens to everyone, myself included.

So today, I’m sharing some tips for beating the block and rekindling inspiration once again.

Be honest and ask yourself, “how do I break out of this funk I’m in?” and “What’s stopping me from writing?” Depending on what you need, there are three courses of action to take. Whatever route you choose, find what works for you.

See the source image

Push to Writing – the need to shake up you writing habits.

  1. Write in some place other from your usual spot. No need to chain yourself to your desk. Write in a different room of your home. Or outside. A new, quiet place.
  2. Freewriting: Write the first things that comes to mind, whatever it may be. Follow where the words take you. On a time crunch? Take a 5 minute writing sprint and write as fast as you can.
  3. Set deadlines and stick to them. Reach for a daily wordcount goal that’s achievable and works with your schedule. Even if it’s only a 100 words a day. You’ll be 100 words closer to your finished draft.
  4. Try writing exercises and prompts. They can be a fun, well-needed challenge for some writers and can get the brain working. But where can you find prompts? I post a Prompt of the Week every Monday. Check them out!
  5. Use a different writing tool. Instead of a keyboard, switch to paper or sticky notes or colorful markers.

Recharge – The need to step back from your writing endeavors.

  1. Take a break! A real one. Relax. And don’t think about your story. A little separation from your WIP is fine. Sometimes, lightbulb moments happen when you least expect. I speak from experience.
  2. Go for a walk. Alone, with music, or with a dog. Walks are great. Socially distanced walks while wearing masks is even better.
  3. Get cozy and curl up with a good book. Fuzzy socks included. Let your mind unwind and dive into a whole new world.
  4. Drink some coffee/tea/alcoholic beverage of choice. And stuff your face with your favorite food. Writing is hard work. Treat yourself to that tub of ice cream or bag of potato chips. I won’t judge.
  5. Sleep it off, or just lounge around. Rest, physically and mentally. There are times when the best ideas can come right before you fall asleep. Keep a notepad on your nightstand ready, in case you need to jot down ideas.
See the source image

Getting motivated and inspired! – the need to get pumped to write again and find inspiration.

  1. Browse through photos; especially images that relate to your story’s genre. Create an aesthetic board featuring images that remind you of your story. If you are writing historical fiction, keep a folder of snapshots from that time period.
  2. Talk it out. Talking to another person, writer or non-writer, about your ideas can get those creative juices flowing. Find someone you feel safe with and who encourages you. Don’t waste your time with people who judge you harshly.
  3. Read some quotes from some famous authors. Gather inspiration from the authors who came before you.
  4. Connect with other writers. The writing community is a fantastic group of creatives. Make friends, chat about WIPs, support each other through those tough times. It’s nice to have someone in your corner, to have that support system.
  5. Be okay with writing trash. Not everything you write will be perfect. And that’s fine, that’s what editing is for. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for the story that future readers can connect with. That’s the real goal, isn’t it?

How do you get through writer’s block? What’s your advice to a writer who is struggling? Let me know if the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky.

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The Bechdel Test and It’s Impact on Fiction Writing

Hello Writer Bees,

In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite female creators, Alison Bechdel. But more importantly, the important test she invented and how it impacted the writing world.

Who is Alison Bechdel?

Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist best known for her 2006 graphic memoir, Fun Home. Originally, she was known for the long-running comic strip. In 2012, she released her second graphic memoir Are You My Mother? Two years later, she became a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award. As a figure in the LGBTQ community, her journey with her sexuality and gender non-conformity is at the heart of her work.

While in college, I read Fun Home and absolutely fell in love with Bechdel’s candor regarding her life. Highly recommend the book, Fun Home is a memoir like no other. And right now, I’m listening to the Fun Home Musical’s soundtrack as I write this post. (Yes, there was a musical!)

What is the Bechdel Test?

Sometimes referred to as the Bechdel Rule, the Bechdel-Wallace Test or the Mo Movie Measure. In short, the Bechdel Test is a test that measures female representation in fiction. And it can be applied to all mediums of fiction: Books, movies and T.V. shows. Now let’s be clear, failing these criteria does not mean it’s a poor representation of fictional women. However, the test does show the active presence of women in fiction, how involved they are in a story. If you are curious about what movies have passed and failed the Bechdel Test, check out bechdeltest.com, a database where users classify if a film meets the Bechdel Test criteria. To pass the test, a piece of fiction should follow this simple list of rules.

Bechdel Test Rules

  • The movie has to have at least two women in it,
  • who talk to each other,
  • about something besides a man
  • Bonus: Two women must be named.

Why is the Bechdel Test important?

While these rules sound easy enough to accomplish, you’d be surprised how many works of fiction fail this test. Underneath these simple guidelines is a deeper meaning. The Bechdel Test draws attention to gender inequality in fiction. Representation matters, writer bees. Women need stop being written off as sideline characters that revolve around the male characters. Women can take on the lead role and have an active presence in a plot. In truth, the Bechdel test raises important questions to all creators. How integral are the female characters in the plot line? Are their story arcs fleshed out and full of depth?

As a lady writer myself, the Bechdel Tests makes me look at my own female characters differently. To be more mindful about how women in any creative work are depicted. Personally, I take this test as a challenge and a standard to strive for.


What are your thoughts on the Bechdel Test? Do you think your work would pass the test? Who are some of your favorite female characters in fiction? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you!

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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The Brawn Man of Brooklyn (A Superpowered Short Story)

They called it an extraordinary phenomenon.

A regular Hercules, Dr. Rabinowitz on 3rd street claimed. Frankie was born with the capabilities of lifting objects 100 times heavier than his body weight. Super strength, as the kids would say. His mother said Hail Mary in Italian ten times a day and cried, as if her son was some kind of devil. She constantly scolded him out of fear of his destructiveness. “Don’t touch that!” and “Don’t touch anything!” and “Don’t you dare touch the baby!”

He was a toddler. And his strength was something unexplainable, something that should remain a secret. If he pressed his hand into wall too hard, the wall would crack. Toys, if not handled gently, would be crushed or broken into pieces. Even the metal handle of his bicycle was indented with his fingertips. He couldn’t control this, even as he got older, his power grew more dangerous. On the kindergarten playground, he pushed a kid out of the sandbox and cracked his rib. When he was seven years old, he threw a baseball and it landed three blocks away and through a car windshield.

He couldn’t touch anything. He wasn’t safe.

When his sister, Camilla, was an infant, Frankie would hold his small hands behind his back and peek into her crib. He was afraid of breaking her too.

His father owned a deli under the train tracks, Berardi’s Deli. Behind it was a dead patch of grass they called a backyard. And above it was a shoe box apartment they called a home. His father wore a stained apron as he sat on the sidewalk’s edge, smelling like fennel seed and sweat. He smoked a cigarette and watched the kids in the street play. Frankie, now a small boy with small hands, sat beside him.

“Pops, why can’t I play with them?” The boy asked, watching the kids play stickball. “I promise I’ll be good. I won’t hit so hard. Honest.”

His father gave him a side glance, taking a long drag and rubbing his stubbled chin. “Last time, you knocked a kid out.”

He looked down at his small hands, discouraged “I-I didn’t mean to, Pops, he was….”

“Your mother with have a heart attack if she finds out you hurt someone else with your…” Trailing off, he stood up and stomped his cigarette out. The few remaining embers in the curb fizzled into the cement. “Don’t let nobody see you doing that. You hear me?” He warned. Frankie’s eyes wandered to the window to the apartment above the deli, where his mother, with tired eyes, looked out.


“I don’t think it’s a good idea, Camilla.” He said, looking down at his feet as they walked home from high school one crisp autumn afternoon. His black hair fell into a perfect greased curl.

“Sure it is,” His sister grinned, holding her biology textbook in her arms. “You love baseball.”

“Watchin’ baseball, sure. Not playin’ it,” He shrugged, still unsure “Pop’s will be mad. And Ma’s gonna be in hysterics if she finds out.”

She nudged him with her elbow. Her long wool skirt matched her mint green sweater. “Come on, don’t worry about that stuff, Frankie, you’d be amazing and you know it.”

Frankie sighed, shoving his hands in his Letterman jacket. A chill blew between them. A police siren blared in the distance. The sun was setting, burning orange and gold.

“What if I hurt someone?”

“What if you only hit home runs?” She countered with a laugh.

“I’m serious, Camilla,” He grabbed her arm lightly, as if he was holding a feather. They stood on the street corner across from their family’s deli. “I can’t control this. Someone’s gonna get hurt.”

“You can control it. You don’t have to be scared. You’re strong… super strong, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can do something good with it.” The sirens grew louder.

As they crossed the street, a car screeched around the corner, being tailed by red and blue flashing lights. A police chase. Frankie was in the middle of the street, frozen for a moment. Camilla screamed, pulling at his hand. “Frankie, move!” He wouldn’t budge. He didn’t want to be scared anymore. The car barreled towards him. He pushed his sister out of the way, and braced for impact, with an arched back and outstretched arms.

The car slammed into Frankie, metal crushed against his chest, pushing him back a couple of feet. His sneakers skid against the pavement. The vehicle was stopped completely, with three bewildered robbers wearing ski masks sitting inside. The next day, the headline in the newspaper dubbed him “The Brawn Man of Brooklyn”.


Hello Writer bees! I’ve been feeling gross this week. For the record, it’s not COVID. While I’ve been under the weather, the Mister and I have been on a nostalgia trip, revisiting shows and movies from our childhoods. High School Musical One and Two were involved. Since I love that nostalgia feeling, it seemed fitting to share this short story I wrote back in 2017. Back when I was a newbie writer. Hope you enjoy!

—Lady Jabberwocky

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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