FOG : A Zine

FOG: A Zine by Ashlee CraftMy camera lens fogged up one evening when I went to take a photograph of wild mushrooms that sprouted up in my yard. When I saw how the photo came out, I started taking pictures that night of a variety of things, just to see how they looked with a fogged lens. After the lens adjusted to the outdoor temperature, I breathed on it to keep it foggy & kept taking photographs. I was enthusiastically running back inside over the span of half an hour or so to gather more props, to do more experiments in how things looked in the fog. The fogginess made everything look fantastic & otherworldly & surreal & aesthetically marvelous.

The results of my photograph experiments are all contained in this book. There are four poems interspersed among the photos. The photos follow a progressive from the warm lightness of the beginning of sunset to the cool blue darkness of early twilight. The photos have not been altered in any way. How they came out is how they were taken.

The magic you see is real.

Publication Date // October 30, 2017
Paperback 63 Pages
Genre // Zines, Photography
Poetry

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 021 – Music

The first episode in the music segment! In Episode 021, I play my from my first album Fields of Destiny called “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”.

Get the Fields of Destiny Album HERE

 

LYRICS

I saw you in the street with tears on your face
You falsely thought you were behind in life’s race
But how do you expect that you can even face yourself
If you don’t think you have the strength to pull your dreams down from that shelf?

I’ll stand beside, I’ll always lend you my hand
I’ll do whatever it takes to help you understand

That everything’s gonna be alright
Everything’s gonna work out fine
Everything’s gonna be alright
You just gotta let things happen in their own time

You had been fooled into believing it wasn’t you
Who controls your destiny, who controlled what you had to do
‘Cause only you can decide what path is right to take
If you choose what you know is right, no choice is a mistake

I’ll stand beside you, you can always count on me
I want to guide you down that road, I want to help you see

That everything’s gonna be alright
Everything’s gonna work out fine
Everything’s gonna be alright
You just gotta let things happen in their own time

You were looking for hope, you didn’t know where it could be found
You’ll find that hope you seek when you realize what is profound
Whatever you want life to be, it will all work out
It’s not your job to understand what life’s about

I’ll stand beside when the going gets tough
For I too have been on the seas when they seemed so rough

And everything’s gonna be alright
Everything’s gonna work out fine
Everything’s gonna be alright
You just gotta let things happen in their own time

Oh, everything’s gonna be alright
Everything’s gonna work out fine
Everything’s gonna be alright
You just gotta let things happen in their own time

(Everything’s gonna be alright)
Everything’s gonna be alright
(Everything’s gonna work out fine)
You can do this
(Everything’s gonna be alright)
Someday, thing’ll be easier
(You just gotta let things happen in their own time)
Happen in their own time
(Everything’s gonna be alright)
Everything’s gonna be alright

FOG: A ZINE, Poem 1 – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 020 – Poetry

Episode 020: First off, I’m excited that doing Episode 020 means 20 weeks of doing an episode EACH WEEK! In Episode 020, I read the first poem from my new photography zine, “FOG: A ZINE” which I am super in-love with (both the photos & the poems). Also, I really love + relate to this poem so I really enjoyed reading it.

CHECK OUT THE ZINE HERE

LIFE IS MY PLAYGROUND T-SHIRT

Adorable Fall Stickers

GUYS!!! My first-ever app is out & I am SO EXCITED. It’s called Adorable Fall Stickers & it’s available on the App Store for iMessage. You know you want to add adorable little owls, spiders, turkeys, pumpkins, & more to your iMessage texts & now you can!

Adorable Fall Stickers App Ad 2

Fill your texts with adorable autumn cheer with these awesome iMessage stickers perfect for Halloween, autumn, & Thanksgiving!

Includes 20 adorable stickers: trick-or-treating pumpkin, cheerful candy corn, happy ghost, witch owls, dancing bow tie bat, pirate owl, cute fall leaf, black cat, hopeful spider, candles with fall leaves, colorful turkey, cute turkey, apple slices, outdoor fall scene, vegetarian Thanksgiving food, turkey dinner, pumpkin spice coffee, Thanksgiving owls, & cornucopia.

Download The App →

Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

HALLOWEEN! – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 019 – Poetry

I wear an owl hat & read a Halloween poem.

Episode 019, the Halloween edition of The Ashlee Craft Show. In this episode, I discuss my adorable owl Halloween costume & then read a poem from my Autumn poetry book (from the Four Seasons series) titled “Halloween”.

Autumn Poetry Book

Link to the owl hat in case you want to buy one too (not an affiliate link, FYI)

 

HALLOWEEN

halloween night…ghosts & pumpkins & candy & witches & fall leaves blowing as wolves howl in the distance / I stand on the sidewalk & parading around me, robots & ghosts & witches & characters from books & movies surround me & run by, rambling past & free to pretend / strength of imagination granted by the fabrics & ideas run freely / pretending to be something else, if only for a day costumes galore, rampaging thru the streets & pounding on doors, asking for candy in brightly colored wrappers & racing off down the streets, bags bulging with candy & smiles filling the street lamps to the brim / harvest moon – full moon – in the magical warmth of the harvest moon in the sky & a sudden closeness to the moon crosses over me / close to the golden glow of the moon leaves rustle against the sidewalk & past the doors of the haunted house, where few dare to enter / but I see a light shining in the window & out into the street & I see that it’s not so haunted at all you can see jack-o-lanterns shining in windows & on the steps of porches / their faces, kind or frightening, mirroring & mimicking the faces in the mirror / the dim orange of their skin briefly illuminated by the flickering glow of the candles inside I walk up towards the inviting warmth of a porch & hold my bag open wide / filling it with everything good, then walking off into the golden moonlight / fulfilled & free / on this stunning October evening / Halloween night

“Simple / Dance on the Triangle” — The Ashlee Craft Show — Episode 018 — Poetry

The words sound nice together.

Episode 018: I read a poem from my 2012 poetry book, “Dancing in the Sunlight”. “Simple / Dance on the Triangle” is the name of the poem. I like how the words sound together. & I talk about my red & orange “fall leaf hair” briefly at the beginning.

DANCING IN THE SUNLIGHT BOOK

23: A MANIFESTO

Girl With Neon

  1. I am much better-equipped to handle life now than I was a year ago. I remind myself of all the ways I am different now, & how this year, I think I can make it.
  2. A year ago I was terrified to even be in the play. I desperately wanted to break out but I was also desperately scared to. I kept deliberating over whether I should or shouldn’t. The whole process terrified me. Now look at me. Going on road trips around the entire state of Florida all by myself. Traveling around the country to go to meaningful concerts. Taking actual strides – big, massive actions – towards those goals I have so desperately loved.
  3. When the Universe speaks to you, you should listen.
  4. I refuse to let others make me feel small. For too long I have shrunk in their presence, packaging myself for them as something easily understood & easily pigeonholed. For much too long I have let them make me feel like I am inferior, in a variety of ways. But I am not easily packaged up, not easily defined, not easily categorized or classified or described. The world wants me to be just like them. THEY want me to be just like them. Therefore, my greatest rebellion is to be  authentically myself & to reinvent myself continually.
  5. “The strong give up & move on, while the weak, the weak give up & stay…”
  6. What do they have that you don’t have? What separates the successful from the unsuccessful? You are made of the same stuff as they are; you have the potential to stand beside them as their equal, just as they did when they were starting to stand next to their heroes as equals. Run to it. You have just as much right to be there as they do. You have just as much right to be there as they do.
  7. Theme of this year :: make life my playground, & love every minute of it. Create that which I know is mine. It is mine.
  8. The sublime moment when you were driving home in the gorgeous afternoon with the perfect lighting & that song was playing. You had never heard it before, but it struck you as being the most beautiful song you had ever heard. When you heard it on the stage, you knew it was.
  9. You listened to the same album three times in the same week. Twice in the same day (funny of him to mention that song). Each time, it became more beautiful. This is where it’s at. You whispered the very first time, & you were right.
  10. “I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them.”It doesn’t matter what they think of me. I do not have to answer to them. A number of them will never understand me, & this is something wear proudly every day. I am glad that I am not like them. I am glad that I am not so simplistic & easily understood that they are able to falsely believe I am the same as they are. Alien. Different. Beautiful & strange. Alive. I am completely myself. I will know when I have found my people, because they will understand me without trying to categorize me.
  11. MASSIVE ACTION.
  12. I am the same age now as you were when you first started. This is incredibly inspiring.
  13. I think of all the things that I am creating for myself. All that I have accomplished in a year & all that I will accomplish. How I not only survived, but thrived. Even when I could have I did not break down & I did not give up. How I fought, tooth & nail, for what was mine. Even when it was unpleasant. I did it. All the projects I am working on are exciting to me. The books I have a deep need to write. I am going to be on that show. The music that flows from me. The art that I see in my mind. Training for that race, & the things I will learn there. Investing, in all aspects. Branching out & connecting with people instead of continuing to hide. Finally getting my shit together. All the places I will go. I know now I have the power to make all of this happen for myself. I am determined as hell, & I will make this happen.
  14. I am wealthier now than those who try to bring me down will ever be.
  15. It didn’t have as much value to me as everyone told me it was going to have. This wasn’t to say it lacked value – the value remained in knowing, & in being able to put a name to experiences. It also contained value in the simple subtraction of being able to tell the difference between the things I really liked & wanted, & the things I felt like I was supposed to enjoy but found unnecessary. The value was in knowing myself a little more.
  16. the difference between what I want to do & should be doing / weekends, weekends spent playing / the breeze & sunlight reminded me of when I was a child / I remembered lying under the umbrella on the deck, recording my own radio show with a tape recorder / it was an illusion, the way they told me being grown up had to hurt / they told me happiness was all a scam / all around me I saw adults falling into the depths of the rat race, the rat race they’d created, thought it was the way it had to be / but they were just trying to sell escapes & they were jealous of your dreams / the sign on the wall read happiness was a journey, happiness is an adventure / I thought about how the magic had been missing for quite some time / I needed to carve out a safe space for it to live & make sure I cherished it & welcomed it / whatever it takes, I’ll keep that magic aliveStop Waiting for the Other Shoe to DropThere is No Other Shoe
  17. STOP WAITING FOR THE OTHER SHOE TO DROP. THERE IS NO OTHER SHOE.
  18. The first time, as they were leaving, I whispered into the deep encompassing warm noise, “thank you, thank you, thank you.” I thanked them specifically. I thanked them for what they had given me. I thanked them for being there. A few days later, I knew I had to go there, if only to thank them. To thank them for helping me through one of the toughest periods of my life. Their art saved me, & it was only right that I had the chance to thank them. To show them I am no longer what I was. To love them, & to feel the love. That type of gratitude can be life-changing. Thank you thank you thank you. I made this happen by myself, for myself.
  19. The real value of it wasn’t even in doing it, but rather in the type of person I would become by doing it. In knowing beyond any shadow of doubt that I am capable.
  20. The things that stress out other people will energize me. Being busy energizes me. Working on my art energizes me. Everything I do energizes me.
  21. Without speaking about it, without having to, I was quietly moving myself towards the sunlight & freedom that belonged to me. The Magician. Strength. 
  22. I think about how good it will feel when I am there. We will be playing music together & I will know then completely free of doubt that I am exactly where I am meant to be. It will feel so damn good. It will be one of the best things I have ever done in my entire life.
  23. What you see here is what contains an infinity of multitudes. It contains all the art, all the ideas, all the energy, all the love. I am made of stardust. I love you so much. I have never been more proud of who I have become than I am right now. You are doing amazingly. You have come such a long way. I cannot even begin to describe my absolute love for you. I love you I love you I love you.
  24. I found the magazines in the closet. I hadn’t gotten rid of them like I had intended to, three years ago. I laughed. It felt like coming home. They were still there. This was the first time in five years that I was finally obsessed with the music again. The knowledge & love that I thought I had lost was still there. I saw things & the names of them popped back into my head & I suddenly knew them again. I finally had something to do again. A mission. A dream. No longer dormant. This time it was for real. It had always been my favorite. It wasn’t something I suddenly developed a longing for even though I hadn’t known if it a month previously. I had always loved it, it had always been a part of me. I reveled in it. It was real, it was transformative, & it was mine. It felt like coming home.
  25. “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.” “Be obsessed or be average”. 
  26. On the road I found myself quietly in between the nurturing trees & the radiant city streets at night. Lights on the water. The immensely beautiful coral reef ocean floating quietly. I could see for miles. I touched what had come before me & what was yet to come. When I had to fight for the only thing I had. I have myself & myself has me. Holding that close. I faced what terrified me & emerged the warrior.
  27. It was the kind of change I felt deep in the very center of me. It shook me to my core, & laughed to myself. I finally bought the album & listened to the first two songs off of it. Then I put on the most beautiful song I could think of & danced. I felt the energy shifting as I orchestrated & sculpted the year before my, my fingertips brushing softly past all the beautiful things I am creating. The beautiful things I am creating. It is all mine. All mine. Then it turned to midnight : I hugged myself & put on a different song. My new anthem. Authenticity feels so amazing. You can change, you can change. You can make it.
  28. You are capable of immense happiness. Remember the feeling you had as you drove on the quiet highway with yellow streetlamps & the jazz was playing & you found yourself spontaneously laughing even though you didn’t know why. Remember how fucking powerful that was. Remember the incomprehensibly beautiful transformation where you literally felt the shift inside, literally felt the Phoenix being reborn from the ashes, metamorphosis. Remember how it felt at the end, better than anything else you could have imagined, you were trembling with joy, as the cocoon slowly slipped away & was left behind as you emerged & drank deeply from the rich deep night. Remember the exact color of moonlight on your arm as you drove across the quiet darkened countryside, how the moon vibrated radiantly in the sky & you laughed freely. Remember how free you felt as the chains were finally left behind in a darkened seat by the stage & you were not the same person that had walked in there. Remember how it felt to finally, mysteriously, beautifully heal. You are capable of immense happiness. That is your “RISE”. That is your flame. That is everything you ever needed. Now you know what to do.
  29. “When you realize you lack nothing, the whole world is yours.” “Everything I need is inside me right now.” Remember these. YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED.
  30. What an amazing way to beginThis is going to be my best year yet.
  31. “Now it’s up to me, ooh, what will be…”
  32. I am finally becoming the master of my own fate. I am finally HERE. I am fucking unstoppable. I am fucking unstoppable.

“Revelations” – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 017 – Poetry

I read “Revelations”, a poem from my book, A Thousand Cranes, Volume 10 & I discuss how the poem relates to when you’re changing your life & becoming more yourself.

READ MORE – A THOUSAND CRANES, VOLUME 10

GET THE LIFE IS MY PLAYGROUND T-SHIRT HERE (it’s unisex & comes in 14 colors!)

“The End of Summer” – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 016 – Poetry

A poem about the new autumn days.

Episode 016 of The Ashlee Craft Show: It’s fall & it’s cozy-time, which means the smell of apple cider & cozy sweaters & pumpkin pie is coming back. The poem, “The End of Summer” from Ashlee’s poetry book “Autumn (Four Seasons #1)” captures the space between summer & fall perfectly.

READ THE BOOK (YOU’LL LOVE IT!)

Remembering Tom Petty

Tom Petty’s songs made special moments better & ordinary moments feel significant.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers 1977
1.
I first heard Tom Petty’s music when I was fifteen & just getting into classic rock. His songs would come on my classic rock & Beatles-themed Pandora radio stations. I realized that Tom Petty’s Learning to Fly was different than Pink Floyd’s. The Traveling Wilburys bridged my love of the Beatles with my newfound love of Bob Dylan. As my musical interests continued to change, his songs kept finding their way into my Pandora stations. In that way, I became familiar with some of them.
2.
My father & I walked into Guitar Center. Mary Jane’s Last Dance was playing distinctly over their speakers as a guy crouched down cradling a black guitar tuned it. The combination of the two sounds mingled with the sounds of what everyone else in the store was playing. The memory, the aesthetic, of the way it sounded is what I always think about when I hear that song now.
3.
The first time I heard American Girl, I was leaving my neighborhood. The song was playing quiet over the car stereo. My dad was trying to make a phone call so I strained my ears to hear the lyrics. I immediately fell in love with it. There was something about the jangling guitars & the continuous pedal tones & the slightly bittersweet optimism that made me love it. When I got home, I looked up the lyrics & saw it was a Tom Petty song. Months later, I stayed in the car longer in the parking lot at the dollar store just so I could hear it.
4.
A year ago, everything in my life felt stressful. I was overwhelmed. But I always sang along to I Won’t Back Down. Listening to it made me feel better. It became my anthem. I wanted to give up, I wanted to give in, but then I was always reminded of this declaration of strength. & I knew I was going to keep fighting for what was right for me & the kind of life I wanted to live until I got there. No matter what.
5.
My sister & I drove on through the cold dark December night. We were going to watch the play Proof at the theater. The classic rock station was playing. A Tom Petty song came on. My sister turned up the volume. “I love his music.” She declared. I was surprised learning this, because I loved his music & yet I never knew she did. We talked about this. I told her there was a Tom Petty concert happening in a few months, if we saved money maybe we could go to it. We made plans to do this, but by the time we had the money, all the cheaper tickets were sold out.
6.
I was driving across the Overseas Highway on the forth day of my road trip. I’d driven from Key Largo to Key West & now I was driving more than two hours back to Key Largo in the same day. It was late afternoon, the space between the beginning of sunset & the beginning of twilight. I came upon the Tom Petty section of my playlist. All my favorite songs of his. The likes of Free Fallin’American Girl, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Breakdown, Refugee, & I Won’t Back Down were my soundtrack. His music sounded like a road trip, like the open road. The songs felt special, hearing them halfway through the road trip, in the purity of freedom, on a very long highway when the sun was setting over the ocean.
7.
I heard it on the radio when I was sitting at a stoplight. A few Tom Petty songs had played consecutively; I wasn’t sure why. “Remembering Tom Petty.” The announcer said. It felt like a slap to the face. The second of the day; the first was hearing about what happened in Las Vegas. They said he’d passed away earlier. More songs played, but now they all sounded bittersweet. I wanted to hear them & turn them off at the same time. He couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t. I thought about Mary Jane’s Last Dance in Guitar Center & American Girl in the parking lot & I Won’t Back Down on my stereo & Overseas highway. I thought about how my sister & I never did get to go to that concert. That we’d missed our chance. It hurt like when David Bowie died. I couldn’t believe it.
8.
A few hours later on the way home, Don’t Do Me Like That finished playing. The announcer said, “Despite earlier reports that Tom Petty had passed away, apparently he isn’t actually dead. He’s in critical condition, but he’s alive.” I grinned & slapped my steering wheel. “YOU BASTARDS! You bastards! He’s alive! He’s alive!” I laughed. I came home. “Did you hear Tom Petty died earlier?” My sister asked. “Yes, but he’s not actually dead! Not yet!” I explained. No one online was sure now whether or not he was dead. Please be alive. Please, please pull through, I prayed. When I woke up the next day, I learned he really was gone.
9.
How many people have been inspired to pick up a guitar because of him? How many of us have listened to I Won’t Back Down & decided, once more, to keep moving forward? How many moment of specific, perfect aesthetic moments have his songs soundtracked? Those are the things he has left behind for us. Those are the things we can keep close. Music, & the memories surrounding it, are something that cannot be lost. & what an amazing catalog of music he has left behind. But what’s perhaps an equally important legacy to me as his music is the reminder that even in a world that would rather we be what it wants us to be, we can still be ourselves if we choose to.