Tag Archives: #writers

Month of Mystery Wrap Up!

Hello Writer Bees!

May of Mystery was awesome, in my opinion! Thank you all so much for stopping by and celebrating mystery fiction with me. All of your comments were wonderful. Felt like you guys really got into the spirit of detective fiction. In case you missed it, here is a wrap up of all the posts from May of Mystery.

Mystery Prompts of the Week

Main Friday Posts


Another Genre Themed Month?

This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for awhile now. May of Mystery was fun and all you amazing readers really seemed to enjoy it. If I do another month dedicated to a specific genre, what genre should I focus on? Fantasy? Horror? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Apologies for the short post this week. I’ve been feeling sick and exhausted, but I didn’t want to let you guys down. What do you want to see next on this blog? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Scream For Ice Cream and Murder (Mystery Short Story)

Hello Writer Bugs!

For this post, I’m sharing my response to one of the mystery prompts of the week, describe a crime scene. Here’s a short story, featuring the detective duo from my WIP. Let’s go back to the scene of the crime.

Warning: This scene may be disturbing for some readers. Contains blood and a dead person.


I’m not going to sugarcoat this. There was too much blood for an ice cream parlor. No pun intended.

The cops needed an extra hand on this one. It was a curious case. And curious cases in Coney Island tend to fall under Mister Barnaby’s territory.

As the detective and I entered, the little bell by the door jingled. It was what you’d expect from your classic ice cream corner shop. Squeaky linoleum floor. Squeaky red barstools. Buckets of dairy. Cash register full of dough. Dusty chalkboard that listed all their sweet treats.

I checked out the menu. “15 cents for a sundae? The crooks. Though a chocolate cone does sound pretty good.”

Oscar, now is not the time.” He sighed, eyes inspecting the shattered front window, glass shards on the porch steps. Thick eyebrows pinched together on his wrinkled face. “Someone broke this from the inside, not the outside.”

“What’s that mean?” I shoved my hands in my pockets and took a guess. “Someone was locked in?”

His shoulders shrugged. “Perhaps to make it appear as though there was a break in. Our culprit is none too bright. The world is full of imbeciles.” Leaning on his walking stick, the detective teetered towards the bar. Behind the counter, a trail of blood drippings. A red handprint stamped on the doorway leading to the backroom. The temperature plummeted. In the cluttered storage, jars of sprinkles and candies lined the shelves.

“Didn’t Officer Lester say the body was back here?”

More splashes on red on the floor. A path of drippings led to the ice locker. Strange, the walk-in fridge was locked from the inside. Like something out of a locked room mystery we’d listen to on the radio. It took some fiddling, but eventually, I heaved the heavy vault open.

Between tubs of cream and cake boxes, a round man – Sal Pellegrini – slouched on a chair, with an ice pick lodged in his neck. “Jesus Christ,” My stomach twisted into a knot. “Yikes, right in the jugular. What happened to you, big guy?” Apron splattered with red and brown mess. Skin turned blue. Dark purple fingernails. Frost lingered on his thinning hair. He smelled like vanilla and death. In his left fist, a crumpled piece of paper. A recipe card. I handed it to the old man. “Any ideas on this one, boss?”

His eyes flicked back and forth, like he was reading something. “I remember this. Newspaper article published on September 29th, 1921. Mr. Pellegrini’s family recipe was deemed the best Strawberry Shortcake in New York.” He teetered closer to the body, a shaky grip on his walking stick. “Well, everything make perfect sense now.”

“It does?”

“Of course. It would seem someone tried to steal the famous cake recipe. When Mr. Pellegrini refused to hand it over, his attacker stabbed him in the parlor room.” The detective hummed, glancing around. “Somehow, he fled from his attacker, but was losing too much blood.”

“You got all that from a blood trail and a crumpled piece of paper?”

“Certainly.” He pointed to the brick wall that Mr. Pellegrini’s back was leaning against. “Move that one.”

A single brick disconnected from the wall. When I pulled the loose brick out of its place, we found a hiding spot of more recipe cards. Chocolate fudge, Vienna cake, Lemon sponge cake. Old recipes passed from generation from generation. “He locked himself in, to protect his family’s heirlooms, I’d imagine. Hid his prized possessions in plain sight. Quite impressive.”

“Or absolutely insane.”

“Regardless, a killer is still out there. There is more work left to be done.”

Mister Barnaby turned to leave the ice cream parlor. As always, I followed him, like a shadow. But not before I helped myself to a chocolate ice cream cone, with extra sprinkles.


This is the last post for May of Mystery. Thank you all so much for sticking around. Hope you all enjoyed!

Stay safe and keep writing.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

What Its Really Like to Write Mystery Fiction: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Hello Writer Bees!

Over the years, I’ve received comments and questions about what writing my whodunit is like. Plenty of times, I’ve talked about my murder mystery WIP here on this blog. My main characters have even appeared in a short story or two. When I started this blog, I wanted to help encourage other writers in their creative endeavors. However, I also wanted to share my honest experience as a writer. The ups and downs that come with a writer’s journey to publication.

So, in the spirit of May of Mystery and sharing my writer life, here what’s its really like to write a mystery.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Why I Chose to Write a Murder Mystery

When I was in college, My interest in the mystery genre grew. I started reading detective fiction, like Holmes, Poirot, Marlowe, etc. Those books inspired me to imagine my own dynamic duo. At the time, I was writing an epic fantasy story – which didn’t get past chapter two – and the detective on the back burner kept nagging me, “write about us instead!”. Then, when I finally had the opportunity to give mystery writing a shot – in fiction writing class, no less – I fell in love with my sleuths and their sleuthing and the 1920s NYC setting.

Looking back, I’m not surprised I chose to write a mystery, based on my personal story preferences. Plot twists, complex characters and dialogue-heavy tales are a thrill to read. There’s something oddly satisfying about an extraordinary event happening then unraveling to reveal the truth. It’s like that feeling of fitting the last piece of the puzzle into place. That’s what a good mystery is, right? Something out-of-the-ordinary suddenly becomes a clear picture. It’s exciting, magical even.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Creating the characters is my favorite part. Suspects are awesome to craft, giving each character probable cause and motive to commit the crime. Nothing in this kind of story is black and white. Every character has their good and bad traits, and everyone has the potential for evil. You don’t know who to trust. That’s what makes suspect characters – and sleuthing protagonists – feel realistic.

Dropping clues can be fun too. Like I’m some Easter Bunny leaving presents behind. Let me just hide this bloody murder weapon behind this bush. Since my murder mystery is set in 1924, it’s an extra challenge. No modern technology is present and forensics is minimal. I really have to consider what would be evidence in a murder investigation for this specific time period.

And it sounds cliché to say, but I really do like my detective protagonist and his assistant. Detective Barnaby and Oscar Fitzgerald have this great banter that’s a pleasure to write. I enjoy writing about them investigating together. I wonder if Doyle felt the same way about writing Holmes and Watson’s relationship. When an audience is reading a mystery, they connect to the detective. They root for the hero(es) to unravel the mystery.

Tricky Business

For me, outlining and narrative pacing are my weakest points as a writer. Always have been. I’m working on it. Structuring the sequence of events in a mystery can be difficult sometimes. Timing is everything. When do the readers and the detective learn this piece of information? Is it too early in the plot? Too late? Does this timeline make sense for this investigation? I’m still learning how to perfect the perfect outline.

Also, I’ve been told my pacing is too fast. My narrator is a fast talking New Yorker, how could I not tell a story with some pep in its step? Finding the right tempo is tricky. I’m learning I don’t have to speed through things to keep readers engaged. It can’t all be drama filled and actioned packed. There needs to be moments of relief, a calm pause now and then, to break up all the excitement. All while maintaining the intrigue of a mystery.

What You’d Be Surprised About

With any genre, I’d imagine there’s some level of research involved. Some of it can be lovely, like researching 1920s fashion. Often times, the search history on my computer – or my wandering thoughts in general – can lead to pretty disturbing things. Most mysteries involve murder, so I have to consider all elements of death. Cause of death, details of a corpse, crime scenes, blood and guts. It’s not for the faint of heart. And when creating suspects, I have to highlight the worst in people. Does this make me a dark and twisted person? Probably.

Final Thoughts

Look, this is my first time writing a full length novel. I don’t have all the answers. Writing is a constant learning process. But I’m happy I have this blog to share my writer experience. Mystery writing is a challenge, it’s true. In the end, getting through these challenges will have been worth it, because I will have a complete murder mystery story to be proud of.


Hope this post gave you a little insight into my experience as an mystery writer. If you want more posts on my personal writer journey, let me know in the comments.

For the mystery writers out there, what is your experience writing mysteries? For all creators, what is your biggest challenge crafting a story? What is your favorite part of writing? Talk to me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

5 Subgenres in Mystery Fiction Explained

Hello amateur sleuths,

The mystery genre is like ice cream.

Exciting. Delicious. And they both come in a variety of flavors.

Today, I’m breaking down some subgenres of mystery. Since some of these subcategories overlap with one another, I will try to focus on the 5 most notable subgenres in detective fiction.

Classic

A straight vanilla mystery right here. Everyone loves and respects a good classic done right, right? This has your traditional storyline where the investigator – who can either be a professional or a novice – solves a whodunit. A large chunk of the plot is centered around an inspector gathering clues and interacting with suspects. Depending on the sleuth and the target audience, the level of gore may vary. However, traditional mysteries tend to involve murder. In the end, the culprit is reveal and all loose strings are neatly tied in a bow. Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Nancy Drew are the prime examples of this mystery subgenre.

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Cozy

Looking for violence and sex and foul language? This is not the mystery subgenre for you. A cozy mystery is the kind of story you want to unwind with while wearing fuzzy socks. The tone is much lighter, and can even be considered wholesome and humorous. Book titles are pun-filled and corny. The crime is described in a less gruesome way. Typically, the sleuth is an amateur detective, nosy neighbor, or a knitter with some free time on their hands. Solving a mystery is like a fun hobby or satisfies their idle curiosity. These kinds of mysteries often include a fluffy companion, like a loyal canine or finicky feline. For a cozy mystery, solving the crime is all in good fun.

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Noir

Opposite of a cozy mystery. In noir fiction, like it’s film counterpart, the atmosphere is dark and gritty. The world is a cynical and hopeless place. Shadowy street corners. Femme Fatales a lighting cigarette. Hard-boiled detectives are flawed anti-heroes with ambiguous morals. Those are the common traits of noir. When it comes to what’s right and what’s wrong, the lines are blurry. Noir endings can often be open ended and open to interpretation. Is justice served? Is the detective a hero? All valid questions in noir.

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Police Procedural/Forensic

For readers who enjoy those CSI shows, this subgenre is for you. For this subgenre, the main focus is police investigation. And it’s as accurate to real life as possible. Think unsolved crime documentary. Usually, the main character’s occupation is in law enforcement, in some way. Whether that be a cop or a forensic scientist or a coroner. In this subgenre, a lot of time and detail is devoted to the forensic science side of a case. Autopsy reports, crime scenes and dead bodies are described in almost too vivid detail. Not exactly for the faint of heart. But hey, reading a story like this, you may actually learn something about police procedure in a realistic case.

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Supernatural

Need some spooky Halloween vibes? This mystery subgenre is centered around the paranormal, investigating things that go bump in the night. In a supernatural mystery, the story designed to startle and thrill readers, dipping its toe in fantasy and horror genres. Elements of the unknown, ghosts and mystical are mixed into the narrative. Haunted houses and misty graveyards would make an excellent setting, I’m sure. The supernatural mystery is a puzzle – for both the reader and the detective. Explaining the unexplainable is the main goal of the investigator. When the story concludes, there’s usually a logical explanation for the paranormal disturbances.

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What is your favorite mystery subgenre? And if you are writing/have written a mystery story, what subgenre would you categorize it under? Or what is your favorite mystery subgenre to read? Talk to me in the comments. I love to hear from you guys.

Hope you all are enjoying May of Mystery so far. If you have any ideas for future mystery posts, let me know!

Safe safe and keep writing!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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

Hello writer bees!

Today, I’m posing a possibly controversial question.

Do you need a degree in writing to be considered a “proper writer”?

To some, getting a college degree makes you a bonafide writer, or a better writer than most. Others feel they can be storytellers without the diploma to back them up. And some young writers have a hard time choosing what they want to study, and if a degree in writing is even worth it.

I want to share my experience. Hopefully, it can give younger writers a bit of insight. Goodness knows I needed some insight when I was just a fledgling. For those of you who don’t know, I graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English. What do you do with a B.A. in English? How did that experience impact my journey as a writer? I’ll be diving into everything, the good and the bad.

Why I Chose to Pursue an English Degree

Let’s backtrack first. When I was in high school, I discovered my love of writing. I had an amazing teacher who encouraged my artistic aspirations. Without her, I probably wouldn’t be a blogger or an aspiring author right now. As I decided what college major I would pursue, no other subject could compare to English and creative writing.

I had a lot of ideas for a potential novel. Writing stories in various genres really interested me. I loved fantasy and mystery and historical drama and everything in between. Ah, to be young and full of inspiration. Wanting to narrow down my focus and find my niche, I thought going for a English degree would help me find the genre I’d eventually publish in someday. Like “Congrats! Here is your diploma! Also, you are a mystery writer! Now go write a whodunit and be on your merry way.”

Earning my B.A. in English was a wonderful experience. It wasn’t easy. Lots of late nights, lots of reading material, lots of stress. And I don’t regret a single minute.

Writing Workshops

While in college, my fiction writing classes were full-on workshops. Gathering around with fellow writers, discussing each other’s stories. I learned how to constructively critique someone’s work and became more mindful of my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. We read each others short stories and offered feedback in a really safe and sensitive environment. Don’t get me wrong, I was so nervous letting others read my work. But once you realize we’re all in the same boat, it’s not so scary. That was my first taste of a greater writing community.

Also, the very first draft of my current WIP sprouted in that class. Sharing that story in particular with my classmates was like the ultimate test run for my work-in-progress novel. Let me know in the comments if you want to hear more about that particular workshop session.

Reading Everything

Remember when I said I was looking down to settle with one genre to write in? It didn’t quite work out as I expected. In college, I read everything. And I mean everything. Like I was reading Beowulf and Arthurian legend in the morning and Hemingway and Christie in the afternoon. Real talk? My narrator was born after reading an Edgar Allen Poe story. If anything, my horizon only expanded. Once I graduated, I was even more undecided about what genre I wanted to publish in. I really gained an appreciation for literature across all genres. By reading various genres and styles and time periods, a sturdy foundation was built under my feet. Maybe it’s strange to say, but I felt like I had a wealth of source material I could refer to and be inspired by. If that makes sense.

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, is it?

Hard to Find a Job

After I graduated, It was tough finding steady work. I applied for many publications and ended up with a pile of rejection letters. Apparently, a bachelors degree in English isn’t enough to prove you are good at writing. That was a newsflash to me. I wanted to make a living as a writer, and it just wasn’t happening. Frankly, It was a dark time for me. Finally, I fell into freelance work, starting out as an unpaid intern. Around the same time, I started this blog. Then, more freelance opportunities opened up. And today, even though I’m stuck in a cubicle at an office day job, the passion for writing has not ceased. I’m still working on my goal to write a novel, after office hours, of course.

Final Thoughts

The B.A. in English gave me a solid foundation. My brain thinks differently about literature and storytelling because of my time as an English major. It was a valuable, rewarding experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Well, maybe a finished novel.

Do you need a degree to be a proper writer?

In my opinion? No.

You know that quote from Ratatouille, Anyone can cook? I believe anyone can write. A degree doesn’t make me, or anyone else, a genuine writer. We all have imagination and creativity inside of us. Anyone can write a story and be considered a writer.


Do you think you need a degree to be considered a proper writer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you earned your degree in English/Creative writing, how has that experience impacted your journey as a writer? As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Also, get your magnifying glasses ready! May of Mystery is right around the corner, less that 2 weeks!

Stay safe and keep writing,

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

3 Easy Ways to Gain Your First Blog Followers

Hello Writer Bees!

Hope all is well in your world.

You know what question I’ve been asked a bunch of times in the comments lately? How do you gain a following on your blog? Some of you seem genuinely interested in building an audience, which is great! Part of the fun of having a blog is growing a readership. I’m happy to help as best I can.

Bear in mind, in no way do I consider myself a professional blogger. I’m just a lady with a blog, who writes posts every week and likes to connect with the writing community. But If my personal experience enlightens you, then I’m willing to share what I know and what I’ve experienced. So today, I’m talking about some easy ways to increase your blog follower count.

Post Regularly

Have a schedule and be consistent with it. If your posts are unpredictable, readers won’t know when to stop by your blog. They won’t know when to hop on the bus if the bus arrives at different times. Construct a timetable that works best for you. Whether it’s once a week or everyday at noon, commit to posting on a specific day and creating content on a regular basis. That way, readers will know when to tune in and can rely on you for consistent content. And overtime, the audience will gravitate towards your chosen “post day”. Another quick tip, consider having themed days. I’ve seen a lot of creators do “fiction Fridays” or “speed build Sundays”. It may seem a bit gimmicky, but those can also draw a crowd.

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Blogging schedules are also great for bloggers too, not just the audience. They help get you in the routine of blogging. No need to be incredibly strict with it. Schedule’s can be changed and be flexible. Life happens. When I first started out, I posted whenever I felt like it. Not many folks checked out my blog. Soon enough, I realized this sporadic schedule wasn’t working for me or potential readers. I had to make a change and really think about a proper schedule for the Lady Jabberwocky blog. How often do I want to post? Twice a week was a good fit for my content. I do my best to get a post out every Monday and Friday. And that works for me and my readers.

Stick with a Subject

I dedicated an entire post to finding you blogging niche for a reason. When your blog topic is unfocused or covers varying subjects, it may be difficult to grow an audience. However, if the topic is too specific, you won’t gain much traction either. Balance is the key. When you are clear and concise with the blog’s subject matter, readers with notice. No matter your blogging niche, there is a target audience who’d really enjoy your content. Tags are super important, by the way. They help wandering readers find posts they’re interested in. When you write a blog post, make sure there are a bunch of tags attached. Honestly, the more, the merrier. You can really grab an audience’s attention with the right tags. Tags are a way for readers to find you and your content.

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I write about creative writing. Some days, I’ll share my personal journey as a fiction writer and freelance writer. Some days, I’ll share writing advice and words of encouragement for fellow creators. Some days, I’ll share a story. All of these different bubbles are all covered under the umbrella of ‘creative writing’. And in every one of my posts, there’s at least a dozen tags. Sure, some words may seem silly or repetitive, but I think of it as tossing a wide net. Whatever draws readers in, am I right?

Connect with the Community

Connect with others in your online community. On WordPress, search tags and words that are relevant to your niche. See what other bloggers are writing about. Make sure to like, comment and share their posts. Find and follow blogs centered around your blog’s topic. It’s a good way of meet and connect with bloggers swimming in the same waters as you. When you subscribe to another blog, they might subscribe back to yours. I don’t want it to sound like an ulterior motive, but it has worked for me. ‘Follow for follow’ tactics do work, especially when you are starting out.

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Also, consider joining other social media platforms. Spreading your blog on multiple platforms means more eyes are looking, which means more potential readers. And it’s easier to connect with people that have similar interests to you on social sites. If I knew then what I know now, I would have joined Twitter when I started this blog. It wasn’t a big mistake, in the grand scheme of things. Frankly, I sometimes wonder if my follower count would be different if I have expanded to other social media platforms sooner. Just some food for thought. Hindsight is 2020.


At the end of the day, it’s not about how many followers you have, it’s about creating awesome content. Don’t start a blog with hopes of becoming some famous influencer. Start a blog because you have something to say, because you have something you love and want to share with the world.

I started this blog to share my writer experience and to encourage others in their creative endeavors. That motive keeps me blogging. And for the record, I wrote this post during my lunch break. And I’m quite pleased with it. See? Make the most out of your time.

Shout outs are in order. Thanks to thereallydimoo and Faye Arcand for reaching out and asking about building a following. Hope I answered your question. I did my best.

Stay safe and keep writing, writer bees.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Things I Miss (And Don’t Miss) About Freelancing

Hello writer bees!

Hope you all are staying safe and creating some beautiful work.

As many of you know, I started my new job a few months ago. Left freelancing behind for a cubicle job in insurance. What a life changing experience it’s been, I’ve learned so much. The other day, when I had to work from home, it reminded me of the good ol’ days of being a freelance writer. Now, I’ve written about the pros and cons of freelancing before. Today, I’m sharing what I miss and don’t miss about freelancing. To give you guy some insight on my time as a freelance writer.

Please note; This is solely based on my experience as a Freelance Writer. Freelancing is different for everyone. And it is possible to have a full time livelihood as a freelancer.

What I Miss

Freedom

With freelance, you really can be your own boss. If I wanted to wear pajamas and sleep in and work in the wee hours of night, I could. Also, I had the opportunity to control my workflow and to choose flexible hours. I miss the freedom to work on what I want, when I want. Sure, the structure of a 9 to 5 is probably better for me. I like the routine of an office job. But once in a while, I yearn for the luxury of sleeping in and wearing sweatpants all day.

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The Creativity

I miss the innovative side of being a freelancer. Like outlining a post or editing material for a customer. Starting from scratch and building something worth reading. And when you finish a creative project and the client loves it, oof, that’s such a satisfying feeling. In the insurance world, the language used is so formal and specific. Nothing lighthearted about it. Thankfully, I have the Lady Jabberwocky blog and my WIP mystery novel, where I can write how I please. I don’t know where I’d be without those projects in my life. Creating engaging, fun content for readers just makes my heart happy. And I do really miss that part of being a freelance writer.

What I Don’t Miss

The Uncertainty

As a freelance writer, I had my dark and scary moments. Not knowing how much work I’d have in a week. Not knowing how much pay I’d make in a week. The stress crushed me. Often, I worried about if freelancing could support me and be a real career. Yes, I know there are amazing freelance writers out there making a good living. For me, it was difficult. Job security, benefits, a steady salary, all those things were uncertain for me. I feel so incredibly lucky right now just to receive a paycheck every other week. Some aren’t so lucky.

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Loneliness

In freelance, you are basically a one person operation. Just you and your workspace. I rarely left the house. It got pretty lonely. Sure, you’ll get requests from clients, but emails aren’t enough. Don’t get me wrong, I like my solitude every now and then. I’m a shy introvert to the core. However, It’s nice to interact and collaborate and learn from other people. Being social and working with a team of really fantastic folks is a gift.


As overwhelming as it can be sometimes, this cubicle job is like my golden opportunity. It helps get my boyfriend and I closer to our goal of one day living together. And I can still manage on my WIP and this blog while still working a 9 to 5. It’s an ‘only for now’ kind of gig. Who knows, maybe one day I can make a real living as a writer.

What do you do for a living, when you’re not writing? Have you ever freelanced before? What do you like about freelancing, or what do you miss about it? Talk to me in the comments! I love hearing from you.

Stay safe and keep writing.

— Lady Jabberwocky

Remember the Crazy Times of 2020? (Humor 100 Word Story)

Sometime after the pandemic….

“Hey, look what I found.” She pulls out a crumpled mask from the bottom on her purse. “Remember those days?”

“How could I forget?” She cringes, inspecting her face in the mirror. “The mask acne.”

“The struggle to find toilet paper?”

“The orange president?” They laugh together.

“And all that hand sanitizer.”

She gasps. “So much hand sanitizer.”

“I’m still trying to lose that quarantine fifteen. During lockdown, I ate nothing but cereal and pizza pockets.”

“Those were crazy times, huh?”

“Crazy doesn’t cut it.”

“But we got through.”

Linking arms, they return to a crowded party.


Is this a great short story? Probably not. But it is a reminder, that eventually, this pandemic will end. And when we get through these crazy times, who knows, maybe we’ll laugh about it someday.

For now, stay safe. Wear a mask. Social distance. Take care about one another.

Keep writing, writer bees!

— Lady Jabberwocky

Celebrating 600 Followers – Excerpt from Mystery WIP

Hello Writer Bees!

It looks like I’ve reached 600 Followers on WordPress! What a great present!

Thank you for all of your kindness and support. Every sweet comment makes me smile. Between my new job, preparing for the holidays, writing a novel and updating this blog, I’ve been juggling a lot lately. Knowing I have such wonderful readers out there keeps me afloat.

So, to celebrate this milestone, I’m doing something I rarely do. I’m sharing an excerpt from my WIP, as terrifying as that sounds. Usually, I don’t like others reading my unfinished drafts, but tis the season for exceptions. You’ve all been so lovely to me, I wanted to share a piece of my NaNoWriMo project with you all. Be gentle, I’m still drafting. Enjoy!


 This is my story just as much as it is his story. Fifty-fifty. And I’m going to tell it to you straight.

If he didn’t have his morning paper and cup of coffee by eight o’clock sharp, then he claimed to have a headache for the rest of the day. This meant that I too would have a headache for the rest of the day.

As I left our shoebox apartments, a brick of humidity hit me square in the chest. The Summer of 1924 was unbearably hot. A gift, perhaps, to make up for the blizzard filled Winter we had. Sure, I could go on and on about the smell of rotten garbage and livestock sweat, but I’ll spare you from that cruel and unusual punishment. 

Welcome to Brooklyn. More specifically, Coney Island. Even more specifically, Mermaid avenue. You will find the irony in this street name later on. Trust me. 

You know, some fools out there think that the streets here are paved with gold. That opportunity is dripping out of leaky faucets. Some will even cross oceans just to touch their nose to the sidewalk. What a bunch of suckers.

Forget about those glossy postcards, dispensing pictures of an unspoiled city. Of course, you’ve got those classic landmarks swarmed by tourists, like Central park, Empire State building, that place on Houston street that sells the best bagels. Don’t be too impressed. Let me tell you about the real monuments, the kind I strolled through every morning. We got monuments not found in brochures.  Those are the ones you should be looking at. 

Like the guy who digs through garbage cans named Mister Thumbs.  No one knows his real name. Everyone calls him Mister Thumbs. Each day, he smiles at passers by and jabs his thumb to the sky, happy as a clam. Rumor has it that he lives in a mansion.

Off Neptune street, a dewdropper fished for spare change. An exhausted mother, with raccoon eyes pushed a wailing bundle of colic in a carriage. And let’s not forget the string of Mrs. Popov’s unmentionables being hung in an alleyway. Those are the real genuine landmarks.  

My usual trek through the jungle wasn’t too complicated. Any fool with half a brain could follow the route. Cross Mermaid Avenue, pass the church, walk all the way to the hardware store. Jazz music  poured out of the windows overhead. Church bells clashed with a rebellious trumpet. I weaved through the bustle. You can’t help but find yourself marching to a beat. It’s an insistent, impatient cluster of bees settled under your rib cage. And if you stop, you get trampled over without a second thought. 

They call New York the great melting pot. And it is, really. But they never tell you what’s in the pot. What’s cooking for dinner? Ma called it a big stew, use whatever leftovers from last night’s supper that you’ve got. It will all taste fine, just the same. Gravy is gravy. 

You know, this may be the biggest city in the world, but there are these tight knit pockets no one ever hears about. Makeshift families of neighbors that relied on each other. Where everybody knows you, your mother, and those distant relatives. I always liked that about the city.  Every borough, every street is a home town. The patchwork of this quilt is top notch.


Hope you enjoyed this snippet from chapter one. That was my narrator, Oscar Fitzgerald, showing off his side of Brooklyn, 1924.

I’m opening the floor to you guys. What do you want to see more of on the blog? More on my personal experience as a writer? More creative writing tips? More short stories? Let me know in the comments. I’m really interested in what you all have to say.

Once again, thank you all for the support. Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky