the micro-fiction contest - ft. ivie brooks

August 18, 2018

I'll bet you all feel like just one more week passed but I feel like I've been away for a few years, spending time at summer camp for the first time ever XD I had a blast and kinda wish I was still there but at the same time I'm glad to be back at home and back in the blogosphere!!

TODAY I'm really happy to feature my great fren, Ivie Brooks, and her micro-fiction story based on Julia Ryan's poem "We Hold On Too Long".

I remember the time when both Ivie and I, newbie bloggers at the time, entered a short story contest and were both featured at the end. Boy, it was great fun. XD The This time it's me posting hers, and I gotta say, this one will make you FEEL things.

i wonder if perhaps some dreams are given but are meant to be given up.
as if the dream was only meant to carry us so far, instead of us holding onto it forever.

- julia ryan @ twilight to dawn

My heart twisted. My breath came in sharp inhales and shuddering exhales. Salty tears trailed down my face as I face the reality, the truth, the revelation I had been avoiding for quite some time. 

Everything I had been holding onto, every hope I had crumbled like sawdust between my fingers. It was my own fault. I had chosen this. 

Follow your heart, they said. A dream is something the heart wishes for. 

As the teardrops fell into my lap, as my mind sped through every mention I had ever made of my plans, my goals, what my life would be like, I fell deeper into this bittersweet sense of calm and frustration. 

I had planned my life out from the moment the fateful question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” came out of the mouths of older kids and teachers who were curious what their students daydreamed about. 

My dreams had been shattered, crumpled to the ground like bits of broken glass. 

It wasn’t anyone’s fault that my dreams had fallen through. I let my heart lead the way. I knew better than that. 

I stared up at the pools of moonlight on my ceiling, my curtains swaying in the breeze of the ceiling fan, letting in the glowly white light. 

Why did it hurt to let go of something I knew wasn’t meant for me? Was it because this whole time I was fooling myself into thinking it could be for me, that it could work out? 

I fell back, my head landing on my pillow, the remaining tears running down the sides of my head, into my dark hair. I no longer shook with sobs or cried out that it wasn’t fair. The heart doesn’t play fair, something I learned long ago.

let's all applaud julia and ivie for these lovely pieces.
do you think ivie captured emotion very well?
cos i do. ^.^

smiles + sunshine,


How to Find a Quality Reading Accountability Partner [guest post by Abi]

August 11, 2018

AS I HINTED LAST WEEK today we have a guest post from one very good friend of mine - Abigayle Claire. I think you all know her as the blogger behind The Left-Handed Typist and the author of Martin Hospitality and Andora's Folly. We are also reading accountability partners, and decided to collaborate on that subject.


^^ But in case you need to be convinced first as to WHY YOU NEED ONE, why don't you hop over to Abi's blog and read my post there

Hey, followers of Lisa! I'm Abi from The Left-Handed Typist and the wonderful Lisa is my reading accountability partner (RAP). She had the great idea that we swap posts on RAPs so here I am.

I first met Lisa when she found my blog around the time I was getting ready to release my second book. She signed up to help out, and we've been friends ever since! (Not just because she was super helpful and enthusiastic, but, you know . . . it helps.)

Not everyone needs a reading accountability partner. Lisa touches on this in her post on my blog as well. She certainly doesn't need one as badly as I do. But we all have that one thing we don't get to as often as we'd like and accountability is simply the best thing to solve that problem.

That's why I decided that having one would benefit me personally. But of course, accountability partners are only as helpful as the person you choose.

So here's what I looked for last year:

  • have similar taste on Goodreads
  • generally a responsible and friendly person
  • willing to chat frequently about books (something like Google Hangouts works great!)
  • constantly threaten one another to read more (Lisa does this to me; I'm bad at reciprocating xD)
  • encourage each other to branch out in our tastes 
  • discuss deeper elements of books
  • recommend books (hint: this is why similar initial taste is nice)
  • meet reading deadlines/goals alongside me

Your list could look different than mine, especially if you want an accountability partner for something else. But I think the pattern of starting in a similar place and challenging each other to progress remains the same. You don't have to be exact, though, because having something to offer is part of the point.

For example, I need Lisa more than she needs me from the accountability side. But we both have the same general objective: don't stop reading. So I give her recommendations and my thoughts on what I've read way more than I make sure she's reading. She sends me all-caps messages asking if I've read a single word in the last three weeks and pictures of her latest purchases. So to each her own. ^.^

Now for how to actually find such a mythical being. Again, this is pretty much up to you. You may have a good friend you see all the time that meets the above criteria. My only problem with that is most of my close friends who read don't have time either, so I'm not sure we'd do much besides mutually decide we don't have enough time. xP

That's why I found my RAP through my blog. Though that poses a greater need for "background checks," I was really happy with how it worked out. You can read my post asking for a RAP here. But I basically provided a checklist like above and asked if anyone was interested. Several ladies volunteered themselves but weren't dying to be one (it was a new thing, after all).

Then there was Lisa. Waving her arms and jumping up and down in the comments section. That alone made me predisposed to pick her, but she was also simply more up my alley after looking her up on Goodreads and her blog bio. Never mind that she's in Canada and I'm in Texas.

So that's how I chose Lisa. I announced her as the chosen one in my next blog post, thanking everyone who volunteered. It's not a failproof method by any means, but it's worked out really well for us.

And she's not my one and only person I talk to about by books by any stretch of the imagination. But, the main reason I decided I needed a RAP was because I wanted a friend specifically for checking in and slapping me. As a result, she hasn't failed me yet. ;)

For more 5 more reasons on why you should have a reading accountability partner, go check out Lisa's post over on my blog!

Have you ever considered having an accountability partner for something?
Are you the kind of person who could use a RAP like me?

^^ p.s. from Lisa: It's likely that I'm gonna be away from wifi for the next five days so I won't be replying to comments for a while. And I'll be absent from the the blogosphere/internet world too ;D See you after!!


the micro-fiction contest [story by Bri]

August 04, 2018

Here we are at another edition of my micro-fiction contest entries! As I said two posts ago, I will be publishing all the stories on my blog over the next month or two. 

^^planning on every other week, if possible

Today's story was written by Bri from Forget Not His Benefits (you should all go check her out). She was my first entrant so I owe her a big hug for giving me the confidence that my contest might just be a success!!

Here are the two poems that inspired Bri's story: 

i didn't even say goodbye. i just now realized that. why did it take me so long, to finally see this - that you were always there, bright in my life.
but then, you had to leave. and, i didn't even stop long enough to say goodbye
is there something wrong with me / is there something wrong with us / or you /
i don't know. but maybe, i'll remember to say goodbye more - and hello.
because what if its the last time i ever get to say it?

he just isn't the type

you can forget
you see
his beard
was much too white
he's eyes
much too kind
he tried to seem gruff
but to me
he wasn't
he always looked the same
except he changed
when his wife
became sick
he seemed to be sad
more tired
a little
and before i knew it
he was gone
his wife joined him
months later
the countless days
the many many decades
that they had spent together
and one had to wait
he's the blueberry man
you see
his pipe smelled of sweet smoke
the blueberries tasted of his care
blueberries aren't the same anymore
because the blueberry man
is gone
and the tale:

"Excuse me," Megan asked as she was handed her coffee at the family-owned coffee shop, "Can you tell me where Mrs. Ruthford is?" 

"Oh," the girl replied, "Mr. Ruthford passed away two years ago and Martha Ruthford went to live with her son. I'm sorry." 

Megan blinked and thanked her. She sat at the corner table and slid her purse to the floor. She didn't drink her coffee, just wrapped her hands around the cup and stared into it as her mind went back to that last time she'd been at the Bold Bean with her bible study group before the move. 

Mrs. Ruthford hadn't taken their order; she'd been talking to a customer who looked as if she'd been crying. And the girls had talked to Mr. Ruthford, but not for long. She'd never even thought to tell the Ruthfords they were leaving, Mrs. Ruthford, with her soft wrinkled face gentle and caring, who served souls while she poured coffee, and Mr. Ruthford, gruff on the outside, but witty and kind within, who always gave a life lesson wrapped in a story when he would bring the tray of coffee to the table. 

She'd never said goodbye, and her heart ached as she realized now that she'd never get to. 

She wished she could let Mrs. Ruthford know she was thinking of her. Megan bowed her head and asked God to bless her, wherever she was, and realized the charm of the little shop was broken. She'd taken for granted the kind people who made this spot feel like home, when without them it wasn't home at all. 

It was just a coffee shop. 

Megan got up wistfully to leave. She couldn't turn back time, but she could grow wiser. She purposefully said goodbye to the barista.

^^ also, fyi, Bri says that she cut this from a longer version. And that the longer version was better ;D

Ah, this story really resonates, doesn't it? I think we can all relate to the sudden realization that you missed an important opportunity. I hope you all enjoyed, and once more a huge thanks to Bri for submitting this lovely little piece. And let's not forget Julia Ryan, the inspiration behind it all <3

Hope you all enjoyed. Keep your eyes open for next week - there's a cool collab-style post coming from a great friend of ours ;D


s p e a k   u p ,  m y   d u d e s  -
can you relate to this story the way I do??

© Lisa Elis 2017-2019. All text mine unless otherwise credited. Please do not steal. Thank you.