The Unbelievable Circus Show: a free PDF ebook

Circus dog

I recently wrote a chapbook called The Unbelievable Circus Show. It’s a chapbook of poems that tell stories of magical, mysterious characters. It’s written for young adults and it’s mostly intended to put a smile on your face 🙂

You can find the book on my Free Ebooks page.

If you like this project, please consider buying me a coffee. Your support would mean a lot ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

In the meantime, here’s a sample poem from the book:

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Circus Peanuts

Get your world famous circus peanuts!

Two bags for a dollar and fifty cents

Come get our world famous circus peanuts!

You’ll love munching on them beneath our tent

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Hey you, yes you!

We have other snacks as well

We’ve got buttery, hot pretzels

And ice-cold soda pop we sell

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We’ve got gold-wrapped chocolate candy

And bags of caramels and gummy bears

Salty, popped pop corn

So let go of all your cares

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Enjoy some fresh potato chips

And cotton candy is a must

Our pumpkin seeds are the very best

From the Peanut Man you trust

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There’s water, wine, and beer

And for the kids, there’s juice in boxes

Get your crackers, soup, and hotdogs

And your cookies shaped like foxes

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Get your world famous circus peanuts

Two bags for a dollar and fifty cents

Come get our world famous circus peanuts

No one can resist the tasty scents!

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Thanks for reading 🙂

Read the rest of the book at my Free Ebooks page.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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Your Gender Won’t Stop Me From Loving You

If you’re a woman

Then I stand with you in solidarity

You’re free to embrace your feminine

And masculine energy

You can express yourself how you choose

Only you own your body

No one else can tell you

The kind of woman you should be.

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If you’re a man

You can be strong and together

Or you can fall apart in a puddle of tears

There’s feelings that flow through us

For all these years

So of course let them go

Without holding onto social fears.

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If you’re nonbinary

I respect you

And I want you to always live your truth

And if you think the world sees you

As a little too much “he”

Or a little too much “she”

Give it time, I know you’ll make them see

Who it is you really want to be.

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If you don’t know what your gender is

Or if you’re confused or lost

Or afraid to find the truth

Because you’re worried about the cost

Don’t worry, I’m here

And many others are, too

You don’t have to have it figured out

Either way, I’ll support you.

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Your gender is a part of you

It won’t stop me from loving you.

Train Car Full Of Clowns

In the center of the stage

There was a train car

With blue and pink polka dots

And a big, red horn

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That people young and old

Always wanted to squeeze

Soft layers of smoke

Drifted along the floor

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And everyone sipped their soda

Or munched on cotton candy

As they waited for the first clown

They waited, and waited, and waited

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But nothing happened

People wondered if there were any clowns

In the train at all

Or perhaps they’d fallen asleep

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When there was the soft, cheerful sound

Of a bicycle bell

It sounded twice, and then one clown

Peaked out from behind the window

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“Uh oh ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in between

It looks like our first clown is shy

How about making her feel welcome?”

The ringmaster said, stroking his mustache

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One person in the crowd started clapping

And then several others followed

Until the sound filled the tent like falling rain

With a few people whistling and cheering

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Maybelle the clown peaked her head

Out from behind the train car door

She let her rainbow hair cover half her face

But brushed it aside when everyone continued to clap

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Putting one foot in front of the other

She made her way into the spotlight

And as the crowd cheered more and more

She took a bow

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She picked up a unicycle

That was lying on the ground

Then rode around the tent

To give people flowers

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That had pink and blue polka dots on them

After that, more clowns came out of the train car

Tall ones, short ones, and ones with pink hair

One carried a sandwich as high as the ceiling

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And another played the saxophone

Two of them danced with ribbons

And one was just a baby

Who threw candy wrappers into the air

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And giggled as they fell around him

More and more clowns came out of the train car

Far more than should have been able to fit

One was a large clown who opened a wooden box

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And set a rainbow of butterflies free

As quickly as the clowns began

They made their way back into the train car

One by one

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Until the only one left was Maybelle

She stood in the spotlight

With her last pink and blue polka dotted flower

And tossed it into the audience

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With her eyes closed

After someone caught it

She took her final bow

And made her way back into the train car.

.

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Thanks for reading lovelies ❤ To see more of my work, check out my books at http://ashleylillybooks.weebly.com/

 

 

 

 

A Moment In Time

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I remember sitting on the back porch

Scribbling poetry in my notebook

This was before the yard had turned into a jungle

When I still had a small bike with very thick tires

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There’s no helmet to protect you from adult problems

No knee pads that can keep you from getting your heart broken

I had no concept of time back then

No concept that all of these things would change

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But in that moment, I had everything I had ever known

This house, this family, this life

It’s not just loss that changed things

It was the growing up

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I had no concept of time

And no knowledge of who I would become

I still don’t know who I’ll become

But I still have that notebook

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It preserves a moment in time for me

A moment where I had everything I could think of having

At a time where I didn’t know that life

Also means letting go.

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Thanks for reading! ❤ If you like my blog, please consider supporting me by checking out my books 🙂

http://ashleylillybooks.weebly.com/

 

Growing as a Writer – Believe in Yourself – Vlog

In this video, I talk about my journey as a writer. And how you should always believe in yourself, even when you’re working on a new passion or skill. I’ve been making videos with my phone because unfortunately my web cam isn’t the best quality 😂 One of these days I’ll have a proper video camera 😄

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Thanks for watching! ❤ I self published a book of short stories titled Impossible Things. It’s a book of magical realism stories that includes magic, werewolves, and mermaids! There’s also some LGBT and Black girl representation. 🙂

It’s available on Amazon for $20, and it’s available on Kindle and the Kindle App for half price. If you like short stories, check it out here:

https://www.amazon.com/Impossible-Things-Ashley-Tiara-Lilly/dp/1547077476/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Self Publishing vs Traditional Publishing: Which is Better?

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Most writers have one goal–to get their work out into the world. Okay, maybe some writers have a few more fancy goals: like getting published by a “Big 5” publishing house, getting rich by writing a best selling novel, or seeing their books on shelves alongside the works of JK Rowling, John Green, Stephen King, and Nora Roberts. Or maybe the indie authors out there hope to sell millions of books like E.L. James.

Regardless of what your ambitions are as a writer, many people probably ask themselves at one point or another, which is better? Traditional publishing or self publishing? I think the answer is…it depends.

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The pros of traditional publishing:

When people think of traditional publishing, they probably imagine a novel being published by Penguin Random House, or a memoir being published by Simon and Schuster. They imagine authors getting a three book deal, complete with a side of New York City glamour. But traditional publishing can also mean getting published in a literary, consumer, or trade magazine, getting a chapbook published by a small press, or getting an article published in a reputable blog. Some benefits of traditional publishing include:

Money – This doesn’t just include money you might make from your work, like $150 for a magazine article, or a $5,000 advance you might get from a book deal. This also includes the money the company has to invest in your book, which they can use to hire editors, designers, marketing managers, accountants, lawyers, etc… Alone, you might have little or no money to invest in turning your book into a great product. Publishing companies can help you get additional resources through their budget.

Connections – Publishing companies, especially the larger, more successful ones, will have connections to all kinds of people in the industry. This means they can get your book into stores. They can reach out to well known authors to see if they’d read your book, and share their thoughts so you have a nice quote on your book jacket. I believe Nora Roberts has a book where there’s a quote from exactly one person–Stephen King. On it, it says, “Nora Roberts is cool.” Who wouldn’t want that?

An Established Brand – If a company has an established brand, it means consumers are familiar with them, and they trust the books to be good. If a book is published by Simon and Schuster, I expect to like it. A well known company will also have an established social media presence, so even if you don’t write a bestseller, you at least know your book is reaching some people.

Books as a Business – Publishing companies have one main goal– to make books that sell. Many writers may only want to think about the creative side of their art. They want to do what they love, while not necessarily thinking about business or money. Most writers today can’t avoid the responsibility of doing at least a little marketing, but they’re doing it with the guidance of their publisher. Publishing companies see your book as a product, and they’ll know how to make decisions that will sell it.

As you can see, there are many benefits to traditional publishing, but are there some cons? Maybe. Here are a few:

Time – Whether you’re submitting book proposals, articles, poems, or short stories, it can take months to here back from a publisher. Trying to get published takes an enormous amount of patience. If all you want to do is share you work with others, you may find there are faster ways to do it yourself.

Rejection – Every writer has rejection letters. Even Stephen King. Even JK Rowling. It’s unavoidable in this business that you will face rejection, often months after you have submitted something.

Books as a Business –  I mentioned this earlier as a pro, but it can also be a serious con. There’s a reason celebrities and famous YouTubers can get book deals fairly easily. It’s not necessarily because these people are amazing writers (though several of them are, i.e- Hannah Hart, Allison Raskin & Gaby Dunn).

It also doesn’t mean these book deals are the greatest offers. Some publishers will give the author a ridiculously short time to write the book, and they mention it will be “heavily edited.” All of this is because publishers want to make books that will sell. This can be discouraging to writers who have spent years honing their craft. Writers who eat, sleep, and breathe words. Is it fair? Nope. But it is business.

Those are some pros and cons of traditional publishing.

How about self publishing? Self publishing can mean many things. It can mean publishing your own ebooks on Kindle or iBooks, publishing print books through CreateSpace or Lulu, starting a blog, creating a chapbook or zine, or printing your stories or poems in a booklet and handing them out to people. Are there pros and cons? Let’s examine them below.

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Pros of self publishing:

Freedom – Self publishing allows you to make all creative and business decisions yourself. You get to choose your own cover design, price, book layout, and you get to make all final editing decisions. You don’t necessarily have to think about “what will sell” if you don’t want to. You can do things your own way.

Running a Business – It can be very satisfying to create your own product and to run your own small business. Even if you only make a few bucks or a few hundred dollars, it can be a nice confidence boost and it gives you a side hustle.

Time – You don’t have to wait months to here back from a publisher. You can publish your book whenever you want, and if you have a blog, sharing your work with the world is just a click away.

Those are a few pros. Here are some cons:

Money and Resources – Without the help of a publisher, it may be more difficult to have outside help in editing, designing and promoting your book. It may also be more difficult to get your book into stores.

Running a Business – For some people, running a business is fun and empowering. However, other people might not enjoy this part because all they want to do is write. They don’t want to think about creating a product, they just want to follow their passion. Some people don’t want to do it all themselves, and that’s completely fine.

Finding Readers – All writers, especially these days, have to work to promote their books. But this is especially true for self published authors. You have to be creative and find ways to connect with people and share your work, whether it’s online or in person.

So, which is better?

Like I said earlier, it depends. I think if you’re trying to publish books that traditionally “don’t sell,” like poetry books or short stories, self publishing can be a great option because you get to share your work, run a business, and have fun. If you’re trying to publish a novel or nonfiction book, I think it’s up to you. If you want to self publish, awesome! If you want to submit your query to publishers, it could be worth the effort.

You spent months or years writing the manuscript, so waiting a few months for a rejection (or acceptance!) letter isn’t so bad in the grand scheme of things. If you want to publish articles, poems, or short stories, you can always try submitting to magazines, and if that doesn’t work, you can always share it on your blog and grow your brand.

Self publishing and traditional publishing offer different paths. Both require hard work and dedication. At the end of the day, I think it’s all about sharing your work with the world and connecting with others.

Which publishing method will you choose?

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Thanks for reading! ❤ I hope you enjoyed this article and found a few useful tips 🙂 I recently self published a book of short stories titled Impossible Things. It’s a book of magical realism stories that includes magic, werewolves, and mermaids! There’s also some LGBT and Black girl representation.

It’s available on Amazon for $20, and it’s available on Kindle and the Kindle App for half price. If you like short stories, check it out here:

https://www.amazon.com/Impossible-Things-Ashley-Tiara-Lilly/dp/1547077476/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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