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

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:

NaNoWriMo 2015: Update #4


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)

NaNoWriMo 2015: Update #2

It’s cold in the sun room where I write. I also find it difficult to turn off my brain at night while thinking of my story- I’m not getting much sleep.

author Ashley Crookham writes in sunroom

One morning I thought, my hands are cold. I should go warm them up in the microwave.

Luckily it’s not possible to microwave just yours hands. My fingers are still functioning.

Back to NaNoWriMo I go.

Love, Ashley (Crookham)





NaNoWriPro tip: Use your computer’s photo booth to practice the feelings of your characters so you can describe their facial expressions. This would work with a mirror too, if you’re willing to leave your chair.

NaNoWriMo 2015: Update #1

Author Ashley Crookham coffee stationI am officially in my second week of NaNoWriMo. There are four weeks in November, so that means I am over 25% done with the endeavor. My word count is a little behind. Still, I’m feeling positive and looking forward to seeing what my first draft contains. There is no time for editing while I’m cranking out 1,667 words a day.

Every morning I wake up three hours before work and make coffee. And write. After work, I turn off my office laptop, open my personal one, and write some more.

The nice thing about writing this way is there is no pressure to write well. My goal is just to flesh out the outline. It’s a totally new experience and I bet a natural part of most “real” authors’ processes.

Love, Ashley (Crookham)

Gender Chasm Blurb

NaNoWriMo 2015 begins tomorrow. I will be busy writing 1,666 words a day, so I thought I’d give you my first novel’s blurb to think about in the meantime:

Ashley Flanders two chicks“In a small nation, Women and Men have decided they are better off ruling themselves.

Freida grew up in a village of love and fairness. When her brother is captured Freida’s loyalty is tested. On her quest through the divided nation she sees what the future may hold if neither side is able to save itself.

Until then, there is a GENDER CHASM.”

Love, Ashley (Crookham)

NaNoWriMo 2015


Keep Calm and Write On
Keep Calm and Write On




NaNoWriMo is a movement for writers to set a goal to write 50,000 words in the 30-day month of November. An online community of thousands of others doing the same offers support in the process.

I will be attempting my first NaNoWriMo this year. Wish me luck, and add me as a buddy if you are participating.

Look out for our Anthology on December 1st, 2015

The Western Maryland Writers Group 2015 Anthology will be available on December 1st, 2015. The theme is Western Maryland. This will include Ashley Crookham’s short story “Born to Stub”.

Check out the Western Maryland Writers Group’s other themed Anthologies: