I’m selling my short story, Black Hair Magic, as a PDF on Etsy

Hello all 🙂 Like so many creatives out there, I have decided to start an Etsy shop. It’s titled AshleysPoetryShop. For my first listing, I’m selling one of my short stories with cover art as a PDF for $3.

I only have one download listed, so any support on my first listing would be much appreciated. Check out my shop here.

Thanks for reading my blog ❤ Be sure to follow if you like poetry and art! ❤

Etsy BHM 1


Writer Things

Dream writing1

Hello lovelies 🙂

I’ll be spending today editing my new poetry book. It’s going to be called Winter Lights ❤ I’ve realized that I want to get more serious in turning writing into my full time job, and for me, that starts with getting more serious about my book sales. My dream is to be a full time writer and to work for myself. I want to make my own opportunities, not just wait for someone to give them to me or hire me. More than that, I just want to have freedom in my career, to connect with others, and to make my mark on the world.

If you would like to support me, check out my books.

Thanks for your support ❤ Have a great day!

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:


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


Hey you, yes you!

We have other snacks as well

We’ve got buttery, hot pretzels

And ice-cold soda pop we sell


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


Enjoy some fresh potato chips

And cotton candy is a must

Our pumpkin seeds are the very best

From the Peanut Man you trust


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


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!


Thanks for reading 🙂

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

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Cozy Morning


Bonnie sat in her warm, cozy bed. She sipped tea from her favorite mug, watching her girlfriend, Rya, sleep in the sun’s gentle light. Marble, their black and white cat, hopped onto the bed, curled up on a spare pillow and purred in preparation for a mid-morning nap. A vanilla candle burned on the nightstand, filling the room with its sweet scents. The only sounds were birds chirping outside and the occasional soft swoosh of cars going by on the road. Bonnie brushed her ginger hair out of her eyes, and pulled out her journal so she could get some reflections done. Still lost in her dreams, Rya smiled and hugged her pillow. So far, today was a good day.

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


That people young and old

Always wanted to squeeze

Soft layers of smoke

Drifted along the floor


And everyone sipped their soda

Or munched on cotton candy

As they waited for the first clown

They waited, and waited, and waited


But nothing happened

People wondered if there were any clowns

In the train at all

Or perhaps they’d fallen asleep


When there was the soft, cheerful sound

Of a bicycle bell

It sounded twice, and then one clown

Peaked out from behind the window


“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


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


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


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


She picked up a unicycle

That was lying on the ground

Then rode around the tent

To give people flowers


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


And another played the saxophone

Two of them danced with ribbons

And one was just a baby

Who threw candy wrappers into the air


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


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


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


With her eyes closed

After someone caught it

She took her final bow

And made her way back into the train car.



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





Heather’s Gift – Short Story Excerpt – Vlog

Listen to me read an excerpt from my book of short stories ❤


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



April Showers


Jeremy ran a hand through his dark brown hair. He drummed his fingers along the polished, wooden table and sighed. The diner was mostly empty this late at night. The light hanging above the table seemed extra bright, especially in contrast to the pitch black darkness outside the window. When he looked out, all he saw was his sleepy reflection staring back at him.

He tapped two fingers against the old fashioned Jukebox that rested in front of the window. The musical devices adorned every table, but they were rarely used. Each one had a selection of songs from a variety of musicians, including Elvis, Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald. Most patrons at this fine establishment preferred to listen to their iPods, if they listened to music at all, and it was often a way that people, young and old, chose to kill time while they waited for their food. It was easier than trying to make conversation with friends and family. It was easier than trying to pretend one’s day was interesting.

At least, that’s what Jeremy assumed. He’d never owned an iPod, or any similar device. He’d barely owned a cell phone. He had a laptop, though. It was sitting beside him in the dark, orange booth. He always had a laptop.

Across the diner, there was an elderly man reading a newspaper, sipping coffee, with headphones over his ears, bobbing his head to a beat that Jeremy couldn’t hear. The man was listening to his iPod.

Someone cleared her throat. Jeremy looked up to see April. Her wavy, dark hair and her pea coat were wet from the rain. Her lipstick was the color of red rose petals, and her dark mascara was smeared, just a bit. Whether it was from the rain or from tears, he didn’t know, and he wasn’t sure if he should bother to care. She said nothing, but her eyes were pleading, her sincerity almost believable. He nodded his head, gesturing that it was okay for her to join him.

She sat across from him, folding her hands over the table. She looked at his hair, his neck, his wrists, anywhere but his eyes. Her lips parted as though she were about to speak, but was interrupted when a waitress placed a stack of hot pancakes on the table, along with a small container of maple syrup. Jeremy smiled and thanked the waitress, wondering, as he often did, if she’d been working here since this place opened in the 60s.

The waitress’s name was Jenny. She flipped open a notepad, turned to April and asked, “What can I get for you, Dear?”

“Uh, just coffee. Thanks,” she answered. Jenny walked away and Jeremy poured syrup all over his plate of pancakes. He cut a triangle with his knife and grabbed three layers of pancake, dripping syrup, with his fork.

April smirked and nodded toward the plate. “Breakfast for dinner. You’re certainly set in your ways.”

He took a bite of the sweet pancakes and chased it with some nice, cold milk. “Yes, well, one of us has to be.” A silence hung in the air after that. He had nothing to say to her. Nothing.

Jenny came back with a cup of coffee and a bowl of coffee creamers. When she walked away, April opened a sugar packet and poured it into the cup.

“I know you hate me,” she said. She tour open another packet and poured. When she didn’t get an answer, she tried again. “You haven’t answered my messages all week. I got worried.” Seconds ticked by and the silence was palpable. She opened another packet, her final packet, and added it to her coffee before mixing it with a wooden stirrer. It was always three packets. After more silence filled the space between them, she added cream and then took a sip.

He just stared at her, looked her dead in the eyes, trying to be emotionless when all he wanted to do was cry. Or break things. Or both. Instead, he took another sip of milk. He leaned forward, holding her gaze, and spoke his words with intention, careful to pronounce every syllable.

“We had a good thing going, you and I. Picnics at the park, holding hands under the stars, sneaking out to come to this godforsaken diner, pancakes for me, a burger for you. But you had to go and ruin it,” he said. The tears were pooling in his eyes now and his hands were shaking.

She sighed and looked at her hands. “It doesn’t have to be ruined. I mean, it was just one kiss,” she said. It came out wrong, and she knew it. She sounded defensive and she shook her head, as if that could shake away the line that had been drawn between them. “What I mean is, I made a mistake. Gosh, Jer, it’s just, if the roles were reversed, this wouldn’t bother me the way it bothers you. Because you’re your own person and we’re not each other’s property.” She put her hair in a pony tail and placed her fingers on her temples, furrowing her brows. In a whisper, she said, “Things were never supposed to get this bad between us.”

He placed his fork on the table and laughed a bitter laugh. He knew she was telling the truth. That somewhere in the deep recesses of her brain, she actually believed that this was no big deal. Maybe if she dated someone, and that someone kissed an old flame–maybe if he himself had kissed another person, she really would just brush it off like a spec of rubble from her coat sleeve. But he couldn’t do it. It hurt too much.

She pointed to the seat beside him. “I see you brought your laptop. Is that all I am now? A fictionalized story for The West Wing? Another person in your life who has betrayed you in the worst way possible?” The West Wing was their high school’s literary magazine, and Jeremy often wrote stories loosely based on his real life experiences. It was how he coped with the betrayals, with his traumas, but those were stories for another day.

She reached across the table and took his hand. Hers felt warm, soft. It felt like home and he hated that. Tears were streaming down his cheeks now, and he was no longer hungry. He wanted to leave, but he was weak, and he held her hand tighter as if it were the only thing tethering him to this world. Maybe, maybe it was.

“I know I messed up,” she continued, “but please tell me I’m not being put in the same category as all of those people who hurt you. Please tell me I’m not going to get the silent treatment from you for the rest of my life. I…I couldn’t bare that. I couldn’t live with myself if I lost you. We’ve been through too much.”

They were both crying then. He pushed his plate of pancakes aside and grabbed her other hand, holding them both, looking at her chipped, dark blue nail polish. She stroked the back of his hand, and as much as he wanted to be mad at her, he just wasn’t. At least, not in this moment.

“You were all I had, April. I trusted you, and you know how hard it is for me to do that,” he said.

Tears streamed down her face and she nodded. “I know.”

“So why did you lie about the kiss for even a second? Why did you kiss him at all?”

She squeezed his hands tighter. In his peripheral vision, Jeremy could see that the old man with the newspaper took off his headphones and was calling Jenny over. He met April’s eyes, the diner’s lights glistening against her teary pupils like stars. She looked down at the table and shook her head.

“We’re graduating soon. Going to different colleges. I was having self doubts. I worried that once we were apart, our relationship would be over,” she said.

He squinted and studied her. “So your magical solution to this dilemma was to kiss another guy? To make me lie awake at night, imagining you being happy with someone else? You could be with anyone April! You’re beautiful, smart, more normal and more sane than I’ll ever be. You’ll have no problem finding someone new. But me? No, no one is going to want me.

“You and I being together has been nothing more than a glitch in the Matrix. I’ve thought it was too good to be true, and now you’ve just confirmed it.” He was shouting now, loud enough for Jenny to look over in concern, so he lowered his voice. “I’m not another one of your charity projects. If you didn’t want to be with me after graduation, you should have just said so.”

She let her hair loose, got up, and went over to his side of the booth. With gentle hands, she lifted his laptop, placed it on the cleanest section of the table, and sat beside him. She smelled like lilac soap. He thought he’d want to leave the booth and never look back, but he stayed, wanting to stay frozen in this moment forever. Because beyond this moment, there was nothing but uncertainty.

“I kissed Luke,” she started, “because I have a long history of self sabotage. And I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to ruin the one good thing in my life. You. I know I haven’t acted like it, but…I love you, Jer.” It was the first time she’d said it. A civil war raged inside his mind because he’d never wanted to hear those three words from anyone else so badly. But she also cheated on him. She withheld the kiss, only for 24 hours, but still, keeping it a secret for any length of time was enough to make him panic. It was enough to make him think she could do it again.

There were so many things he could say in this moment, so many choices he could make, so many feelings he could express. So, he just chose to say what was on his heart.

“And I love you April,” he said. “And you don’t have to worry. I haven’t written any stories about you. I couldn’t, because you’re right. You’re not like those people who hurt me. You’re better than them.” He leaned forward and kissed her, soft, sweet, urgent, then sweet again.

She pulled away, took his hand, and sighed. “Then why do I feel like I’m worse?”


Thanks for reading ❤ If you like my blog and would like to support me, please check out my books on Amazon 🙂