Author: ashleycrookham

Anthology Signing 2016- Save the Date

Author Ashley Crookham, writer's cat
life of a writer’s cat

Save the date!

When: April 20th, 2016 at 5:30PM.

Where: Washington County Library in Hagerstown

On this Wednesday night, the authors and editor of the “Western Maryland Anthology 2015” will do readings and answer questions about their latest collection of short stories. There will be a raffle for a free copy of the book. They hope you come, and bring a friend.

 

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2016 Goals: January update

Editing is tiring. Half of my brain is dedicated to the theater of my story. The other half is jealous because it has to perform daily tasks. I feel like I’m on autopilot, but the autopilot isn’t set for a conscious destination.

2015 Author Ashley Crookham writing with white headphones

My writer’s group met yesterday and we discussed goals for our group for the year. The following is a list of my own goals for the year. I’ll be re-posting this every month or so to keep myself on track.

November goal: write 50,000 words
December goal: finish writing book to The End
January goal: go back to each chapter and add setting, change a bit of story line I want to add post-writing, and fill in gaps where I wrote “Fix”
February goal: polish words choices, make lists of character descriptions to make sure they are cohesive/ not overused
March goal: ready for publishing. send to first publisher outline fairy tale short story project for anthology
April goal: Camp Nano. write fairy tale short story
May goal: edit fairy tale short story
June goal: outline short story for contest of choice. send novel to second publisher if have not yet heard back from first
July: Camp Nano. write contest short story
August: edit contest short story
Sept: prep short story for publish
Oct: outline my next novel. self publish first novel if have not heard back from two attempts at publishers
November: Nanowrimo write 50,000 words of novel
December: finish novel to The End. market first Novel

Love, Ashley (Crookham)

 

Goodreads Reviews: Why I changed my ratings

My real job is to help people learn about good nutrition.

I teach adults how to create balanced meals while sticking to their budgets. I teach older people how to adjust to making food for only one person. I teach busy parents how to find ways to add activities they like into their lives so they get enough exercise.

I teach young children to open their minds to new foods. I’ve fed kids quinoa, artichokes, and prunes.

What I’ve learned from kids is that there is often an optimal time to like something. Little Jimmy will eat a mushroom if it’s on his pizza. Little Sally will eat a raw tomato if she gets to pick it out of the garden. Little Kaden will drink skim milk if he gets to dunk a graham cracker into it first. Little Ryleigh will take a bite, but only if I take one with her.

All the time I tell kids they may need to try things over and over, in different ways, and with different people before they like a new food. I remind them that trying new foods is an act of bravery. I ask them for an instance of a time they tried a food for the first time, and they didn’t think they’d like it, but then they did. They can usually think of at least one example.

 

I used to be a harsh critic on Goodreads. Perhaps I wanted to prove myself as a serious reader. Perhaps I thought it was the job of the author to get my attention and admiration with their book, no matter what else was going on in my life when I chose to read their work.

Many of my friends are on Goodreads, and we have books in common. We don’t always give the book the same rating, and it occurred to me that perhaps the books I gave less than 4 stars to were just not read at the optimal time.

For example, I once didn’t like a book set in New York because I had just read a string of books with the setting. I was tired of it. If I’d have read it before a trip to NYC I was looking forward to, I might have loved it. This is how it is with books. Sometimes we’re in the mood for a serious book, sometimes we’d like something light to read. Sometimes we want to learn, sometimes we want to step away from reality.

Authors rely on book ratings to gain followers. Promotion of a book allows them to keep writing, to improve, to create stories the world is better off for hearing. A negative rating might influence a new reader’s perception of the book. They might not take a bite.

 

I spent one night deleting medium to bad ratings of books. I don’t think they were ever more than a representation of my mindset when I read them. I won’t go back and give 4 or 5 stars to books I read in the past, but I think in the future I will try to remember that every book must be judged not only on its merit, but also in relation to my reading needs at that time.

Love, Ashley (Crookham)

 

Dr. Dale Grove’s book signing

Ashley Crookham author with Dale Grove book signing

“On Dec. 5th from 1pm to 4pm author Dale Grove was at The Fine Arts Company signing copies of his book Loose Strings, a romantic science fantasy novel. Dr. Dale A. Grove is a product developer by day and a writer by night. He has a vivid imagination in creating new products and stories, and he has worked at such firms as Owens Corning, Johns Manville, LNP Engineering Plastic, and US Silica. Dr. Grove holds over ten US patents.”- quoted from https://whatsnxt.com/event/science-fiction-author-dr-dale-grove-book-signing

Ashley picked up a signed copy of Dale’s latest book to add to her collection by the author. Check out this prolific writer, a member of the Western Maryland Writers Group, at:

http://www.newdrofscifi.com/

NaNoWriMo 2015: Update #4

NaNo-2015-Winner-Certificate-Ashley-Crookham

I wrote over 50,000 words between November 1st and November 30th!

What I learned:

Don’t stop no matter what. Keep going until it’s done.

Fear, time constraints, lack of inspiration. None of them are as important to me as my writing is.

Rough drafts are a perfectly natural part of the writing process. They are not set in stone; they can be refined. They should be refined. There is a magical place where you feel “done” that is worth the effort it takes to get there.Love, Ashley (Crookham)

NaNoWriMo 2015: Update #3

NaNoWriMo breakfast: chocolate croissant frittata
NaNoWriMo breakfast: chocolate croissant frittata

Imagine your book is a painting you’d like to complete.

Painting is difficult! Few people make a well done, interesting, painting with depth.

Sometimes people only seem to like paintings of already-famous painters so it can seem pointless to try to break-in.

 

NaNoWriMo is a time limit to make the pencil outline of your “painting”. At the end of the month, you’ll have 50,000 words (I currently have 32,702). Due to the time limit, there aren’t many spare minutes to use your eraser. Instead, you focus on completing the outline, knowing nothing is permanent. Then you take a step back and look. You might be pleasantly surprised. In December, you can make changes you think are necessary, then you begin to fill in the painting with color.

In the end, you may not recognize the original work you did during NaNoWriMo. However, you never would have finished the lovely painting in front of you if not for challenging yourself to complete your daily goals. Love, Ashley (Crookham)