Black Hair Magic

[This story is taken from a book I’m self-publishing called ‘Impossible Things.’ The genre is magical realism. Thanks for reading! Full book coming soon. ❤ ]

A short story

By: Ashley Tiara Lilly

Black Hair Magic

It was a hot summer day but the air conditioning was cool. Abigail sat on her bed, flipping through a copy of her favorite magazine while eating from a pack of peach-flavored mints. She was wearing a new pair of denim shorts with her favorite white top that was decorated with lace.

She paused when she saw a picture of her favorite popstar, Daphne Moon, and circled it with a blue pen. Daphne wore red lipstick, a golden, glittery dress, and her smile was bright. What really stood out, though, was her hair, slicked back but still showing off her beautiful curls. Abigail snapped a picture with her smart phone and sent it to her best friend, Jayla, typing,

“Ugh she’s so perfect. Why can’t my hair look like that????”

There was a knock on the door and her mother walked in, carrying a brown box. She shook the box to get her attention, its contents rattling inside. As soon as Abigail heard it, she knew exactly what it was. She hopped out of bed and took the box in her hands, holding it to her chest like a long lost treasure.

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Like this story? Read the rest of it here 🙂

A couple of short stories I wrote are published on The Haunting of Sunshine Girl website :)

Check out the stories here:

http://thehauntingofsunshinegirl.com/scary-stories.php

And if you’re not familiar with The Haunting of Sunshine Girl YouTube channel or book series, be sure to check those out as well!! ❤ 🙂

15 Product-Based Small Businesses You Can Start From Home

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Pixabay.com

There’s a lot of articles out there about service-oriented small businesses you can start from home, such as pet sitting or landscaping. But not everyone who starts a business is service-oriented. Some of us like to make things! So, I wanted to compile a list of product-based small businesses.

Before I dive into it, I just want to offer a full disclaimer to say that I’m not an expert in any of this. If you’re going to start a business of any kind, it’s always a good idea to consult a lawyer and an accountant to make sure you’re protected, prepared and certified in all your practices.

Without further ado, here is my list:

A Cookie Company

Got a passion for baking? You may enjoy turning it into a business. I had a friend in high school who used to sell his yummy foods to fellow classmates. He eventually became a professional chef. You never know where a small biz can take you.

Books

Self publishing is easier than ever before. If you have a passion for telling stories, sharing poems, or educating others through nonfiction, publishing books may be just the thing for you. You can use a self-publishing service, or you can make hand-made chapbooks. The self-pubbed world can also extend to music and audio books.

Toys

Maybe you have an idea for a paper airplane that actually flies, or maybe you have an adorable design for a stuffed bear. This is an especially neat option for people who know how to crochet. Embrace your inner child and the possibilities are endless.

Greeting Cards

When it comes to greeting cards, I think there will always be room in the marketplace for things that are hand-made with a personal touch. In this digital age, people have an appreciation for things that feel authentic. If you have a flair for design and can create heart-warming messages, buy yourself some card stock and ribbons and get creating.

Organic Soap

Admittedly I don’t know much about this industry. But there are people who are interested in finding more organic, vegan, or ethical products. If you know anything about making organic soaps or moisturizers, this could be a fun little business to start.

Reselling books, vinyls, cassettes, sheet music and more

Okay, this doesn’t qualify as making something. But there are a lot of people out there who are into vinyls and of course print books. Does anyone still buy or collect cassette tapes? Who knows. Get thee on Etsy and find out. (Fun fact: my high school chorus teacher used to give us cassette tapes with our piano accompaniments on them.)

Scarves, Sweaters, and Hats

If you enjoy knitting or crocheting, this is a charming way to make money. Not only do these things make you feel warm and cozy, but something about a crocheted scarf makes me feel like it was made with love.

Jewelry

This is a big one. I follow so many creative jewelry makers on Instagram. Whether someone is making beaded bracelets or wire wrapping crystals, I’m always impressed by the fun, quirky, and awesome things people can come up with.

Art

From art prints, to sculptures, to unique found art pieces, selling your art online or in person is a good idea for any artist who wants to get their work out there. You can sell your designs on merch through sites such as Redbubble. Or you can sell hand-made items.

Blogs, Web Shows, and Apps

Ah, good old technology. I think we’re still at a point where it’s difficult to define the monetary value of a blog or YouTube channel. Even though it’s not a tangible product that consumers can own, I still see it as being a thing that’s being created and offered to the world. An app feels more tangible since it can actually be purchased or downloaded. If you have a knack for technology and creativity, what are you waiting for? Get off my blog and get back to your own 😉  (Kidding, you’re more than welcome here).

Crystals, Candles, and Herbs

Another good reselling business, this could be a lovely option for someone who’s into contemporary witchcraft, meditation, or spirituality. This is an especially good option for someone who has knowledge of spells or crystal healing, because people may look to you for knowledge and guidance.

Garden Fresh Vegetables

If you enjoy growing your own vegetables in your backyard, you may consider selling them on occasion. You could also sell recipe books or how-to guides for anyone interested in starting their own garden. This can be a good way to share your passion with others.

Patches, Pins, or Stickers

I’ve seen people sell some pretty cool embroidery designs or pins made with different fabrics. This seems especially effective if your work has social messages, like things supporting feminism, Black Lives Matters, or the LGBTQ+ community. People like wearing things that help share their message, tell their stories, or simply to express themselves.

Coins, Trading Cards, and Other Collectibles

I imagine there’s a pretty interesting community around coin collecting, and anything else people enjoy trading. Get involved in buying and selling something neat. Who knows, you may learn something new, make new friends, and discover something that may be worth something someday.

Duct Tape Wallets

If you know a unique yet functional way to make an everyday item, other people might find it cool, too. You may enjoy selling them or even giving them as gifts.

Well, there you go. Fifteen product-based businesses for my creative darlings out there. Even if these businesses don’t make a ton of money, they’re worth starting if you want to. You can sell things in person, at events, or on sites like Etsy, Big Cartel, or your own website. It teaches you a lot, and more importantly, it allows you to share your gifts with the world.

I posted a poetry book on my website that can be read for free 😄

I finally got around to making an author website! I worked on it for several hours, so I’m quite proud of it haha. I also posted a poetry chapbook that can be read for free. Check it out here:

http://ashleylillybooks.weebly.com/read.html

The book is available as a PDF and it can also be read on Figment. Thanks for your support 💗 Hope you’re all having a super wonderful day. xo

In My Dreams_cover photo.png

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#poetry

 

Affection

Lana held her girlfriend’s hand, their fingers intertwining together as they sat on the edge of a picnic table, their feet resting on the wooden bench. She rested her head on her partner’s shoulder as the wind blew strands of her curly, red hair into her face. Her girlfriend gave her hand a squeeze and she could smell the peppermint on her breath that came from her chewing gum.

“You okay, Lan?” her girlfriend asked. Lana nodded without looking up.

“I’m good,” she said.

Scooter sat on the bench a few feet away from them. He smoothed out his black hair that was already shaped with gel. He stared at his phone and the heel of his foot moved up and down like a lever. A soft sigh escaped his lips and he muttered something to himself that no one else could hear.

Lana brushed the loose strands of hair behind her ear with her fingers and glanced over at him.

“You seem troubled, Scoot. What’s goin’ on?”

He looked at her, startled, as though he forgot she was there, and then shrugged.

“It’s Skyler. When we first met, we hooked up and drank wine at her apartment. We had fun, no strings attached. But she was funny and adventurous. I wanted to take her out for real, so I did. We went to dinner and drank beer beneath the stars, and then slow danced, not well by the way, while music played on the radio. She said she really liked me,” he said.

“Sounds like you had a nice time. Why are you upset?”

He slumped his shoulders and looked down at the grass. The air smelled like fresh earth and the clouds provided partial shade from the warm sun in the mostly blue sky. The park was mostly empty with the exception of one or two families who were at the playground, on the other side of the field. Two small birds landed in the grass several feet away and started pecking at the ground.

“She hasn’t texted me back all week. I haven’t heard from her since that night,” he said. He placed his phone on the table with a soft thump.

Lana’s girlfriend slid over to Scooter’s side and sat next to him on the bench. Her short, brown hair was shaved on one side and she wore a leather jacket even though it was summer. She popped her gum and gave him a playful punch on the shoulder.

“Hey. Don’t worry about this. Maybe she lost her phone, maybe she had a family emergency, and maybe she doesn’t want a relationship after all and is too scared to tell you the fuckin’ truth. You can sit here on this beautiful day with friends, driving yourself crazy with maybes, or you can accept the fact that you had an amazing time with this girl, which might lead to something more. Or it might not. But you can’t let one person blind you from all the affection you already have in your life. Keep your door open to all forms of love and the right person will find their way in. This is one girl. Let her come to you. And if she doesn’t, then move on. But for now, spend this day with us. Don’t spend your day with maybes,” she said.

Lana hopped down from the table and smoothed out her skirt before sitting next to her girlfriend. She reached over and held Scooter’s hand.

“Court’s right. We can go out. We can have fun. And we can make new friends, new memories, and new stories. You don’t have to stay stuck in this chapter,” she said.

He nodded and smiled a bit, revealing his dimples.

“You’re right. I guess I just wanted to have someone by my side who could help me forget to be sad.”

Courtney gave him a playful nudge in the ribs.

“That’s what the night is for,” she said.

Behind them, Scooter’s phone vibrated and rang. He picked it up off the table and looked at the caller ID. A picture of a girl with brown hair appeared on the screen along with her name. It was Skyler. He looked at his friends as if wondering if he should answer it, and Courtney gestured with her hands to say that he should.

“Tell her that the three of us are going out for milkshakes,” Lana said.

“Yeah,” Courtney agreed, “she should come.”

Scooter took a breath and answered the phone. He walked away from the bench and the two birds who were in the field flew off into the sky together. When he walked far enough to get some privacy, he cleared his throat. Lana rested her head again on Courtney’s shoulder, the two of them were barely able to hear Scooter’s soft hello.

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#fiction, short stories