Herkimer & The Bully

Herkimer & The Bully - Herkimer the Mouse by Roger Miller, Dr. Patricia Miller, & Ashlee Craft

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I am so excited to announce my newest book, Herkimer & the Bully!

Now, here’s the special thing about this book. Out of all the books I’ve published, this is the first one where I only contributed, & wasn’t actually the one to come up with the content!

When I was growing up, my grandfather on my mom’s side would always tell me these stories when he’d come over. The stories were about a brave, kind, heroic mouse named Herkimer. Herkimer was just a regular mouse, but yet because he was so devoted to being kind & so pure of heart, he ended up doing a lot of really good things in his community. I remember several of the stories he told me about Herkimer.

Fast-forward to a year or so ago. I found this brown construction-paper-covered handmade, hand-sewn bound book in my garage. When I opened it, I saw it was a Herkimer story, written down. The book also had some sketches my grandma had done to go along with the story.

The archivist inside me got excited. As I looked through the book, it became apparent to me that this was something people should see. This was the kind of book kids nowadays should read. Something about how kindness made an ordinary mouse a hero in his community.

I got involved with a variety of other projects, & although I frequently thought about the Herkimer story, I never did anything with it. Finally, this summer I decided it was time to make it happen. My grandma’s 91st birthday was at the end of August, & I had a great idea for a gift for her.

I was going to surprise her by taking the book her & my grandfather had worked on together, compiling it into a book, & publishing that book.

Herkimer the Mouse by Ashlee Craft

I began working on it as soon as I could. After deciding how I wanted the illustrations to look, I decided to preserve the style & art she’d done. I re-did the illustrations from her sketches by tracing over them. In the original, they’d been outlined in Crayola-looking thin-point markers, so that’s what I did. I added a few additional illustrations that I thought the book would benefit from, copying the style & feel of my grandma’s illustrations in my own.

Then, I transcribed the story, scanned the illustrations, & compiled the book. I even copied the essence of my grandma’s cover with the art on it, & purposely designed it to look kind of vintage. I was vaguely inspired by the look of the old Word Bird series of covers.

The book was done. I hit publish, & when it was available, bought a copy.

My family & I went to visit my grandma on the weekend before her birthday. When it was time for presents, my sister gave her a beautiful hand-made card, & my mom presented her with the purple (my grandma’s favorite color) macrame hanging plant holder my mom had made.

My grandma was thrilled when I gave her the Herkimer book, compiled & published & brought into the present. She was so excited & happy & grateful. She couldn’t believe I’d actually made it into a book & published it, & she got her name on the front. I felt really good about giving her that gift. I know it meant a lot to her, especially for her to be credited for Art Design when her whole life has always revolved around art.

Herkimer & the Bully is the first book in the Herkimer series! I plan on writing more books in the series based on the concept & stories my grandfather told me & the art my grandmother did for the original.

It is so exciting to me to have published something like this, & to contribute to & bring to life/light someone else’s book. Also exciting is the fact that this is the first time at my company Freedom Meadow Media that we’ve published something written by someone other than myself.

Here’s to many more!

Herkimer & The Bully - Herkimer the Mouse by Ashlee Craft

by Roger Miller, Art Concept by Dr. Patricia Miller, Illustrated by Ashlee Craft

Herkimer lives in Mouseville. He is a well-mannered, friendly little mouse. He helps his parents out around the house and also does what he can to help the other mice in Mouseville. One day on the way to school, he sees a bully being mean to one of his friends, & he comes up with a plan to teach the bully to be nicer.

Release Date // August 20, 2017
Paperback 28 Pages
Genre // Children’s Fiction
Themes // Mice, Virtues

Kindle eBook

Sun in the Night: The Poems of Art Poems & Assemblage

Sun in the Night by Ashlee Craft - CoverSun in the Night is a collection containing all the poems from the first three volumes of Art Poems & the first 13 issues of the zine Ashlee Craft / Assemblage. By compiling a book of the poems alone without the artwork which accompanies them in their original volumes, it allows the words to shine on their own. Sun in the Night contains 140 of Ashlee Craft’s poems.

Publish Date // July 13, 2017
Paperback 224 Pages
Genres // Poetry

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Feel the Hidden Flowers – New Novel Released!

I guess I’m telling you this because I trust you. You make me feel safe, & you’ve always seen me when I felt invisible. I wanted you to know the story of how I got to be the way I am now. It started with my family; the verbal abuse & lack of love from them finally took its toll, the night I packed my belongings & drove off to anywhere but where I was, & moved in with a bohemian artist named Sara.

Another thing? We haven’t even gotten started yet. Him. He keeps swirling around in my head. The ghosts of his kisses on my lips. The ghosts of his arms around me. The ghosts of his hands caressing my skin. The ghosts of the way it felt when I had my hand on his chest & felt his heart beating, that time when he pressed his forehead into mine & closed his eyes, & we sat there breathing each other’s air, our chests pressed together, & he whispered to me that he loved me, & I pressed my lips against his & kissed him fervently, & for the first time in my life, I felt like everything was going to be okay someday. But it wasn’t. Not even close.

“You’re too sad.” He told me two months later. “I just can’t deal with it. I can’t handle it, because it hurts me too much. It hurts too much to see you like this, but I’ve tried everything, & it seems to me like you don’t even want to get better.”

Maybe I didn’t. I don’t know. It didn’t feel like it, all the days I lied in bed drinking & smoking & wishing it would all go away, days spent remembering him & the way he felt. Sometimes though, I would struggle like a bird, beating my wings against the bars uselessly trying to pull myself out of the pit.

Then someone new moved in across the street, his name was James, & strangely, he became the ladder I needed.

Publish Date // February 25, 2017
Paperback 396 Pages
Genre // Fiction
Themes // Alcoholism, Breakups
Depression, Relationships

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So Long, Lonesome Place – New Poetry Book Available!

So Long, Lonesome by Ashlee Craft Book CoverSo Long, Lonesome Place is a collection of 63 poems about leaving behind that which does not serve you, & the search for the place that you’ve been seeking.


it seems radical to me, all of this / & I’m so afraid I won’t be able to handle it (was any of it real anyways?) / but I do have to keep in mind, in all my moments of doubt & self-questioning, is how many countless others before me have done the same thing that I am doing now, & succeeded in doing so / how many others before me went off & forged their own pathways rather than following in the footsteps others had carved out before them & blindly listening to the instructions mumbled to them in poor faith / how many of them not only survived the falling out, but thrived because of it?

Publish Date // October 2, 2016
Paperback 110 Pages
Genre // Poetry

Kindle Edition

Issue 12 of Ashlee Craft / Assemblage Now Available!

Issue 12 - Ashlee Craft / Assemblage - Zines

Issue 12 of Ashlee Craft’s life-is-a-playground art & poetry zine, Ashlee Craft / Assemblage.


good riddance to you too 4 / wake up (my eyes are open) 5 / neon erasers 6 / like a butterfly 7 / that actually is a good question 8 / impressing, okay? 9 / drawn into a corner 10 / Standard’s story 11 / coffee beans 12 / peace, love, & fortified cereal 13 / ironing is rebellion 14 / am I genuine? 15 / rewritten personality 16 / R-E-S-P-E-C-T 17 / maybe that will be my specialty! (looking back) 18 / being gentle 19 / questioning is always good 20 / fighting for my chair 21 / floors & sleep 22 / how many of them will leave? 23 / deal with all problems as they arrive 24 / I heart learning 25 / tip for organizing your to-do list 26 / dear W. 27 / finally real again? 28 / I never felt that way (I thought I was supposed to) 29 / bye-bye 30 / confused by how we think living is supposed to feel 31 / changed me for the better 32 / good job 33 / a loner – you will not perish without them 34 / don’t gain the world & lose your soul 35 / 19:09 36 / to do soon 37 / fun 38 / an analysis of my desired personality, two years ago 39 / today will be a perfect day 40 / mistakes are okay 41 / a dream about saving the day 42 / obsessed with the aesthetics of everything 43 / exercise wall 44 / to have that control again 45 / be the dawn 46 / felt like a badass in the morning 47 / this time I am the Phoenix 48 / rainbow boas 49

Publish Date // June 26, 2016
Paperback 50 pages
Genre // Magazines

Kindle Edition

Owls (Wonderful Wildlife, #7) is Now Available!

Owls (Wonderful Wildlife, #7) by Ashlee CraftOwls are one of the most recognizable types of birds. They have brown feathers, large eyes, sharp beaks, talons (claws on their feet), and are known for making “hoot, hoot” sounds. Most owls are nocturnal, meaning that they are awake at night and asleep during the day, but some species of owls are awake during the day. In many cultures, owls symbolize learning and wisdom. August 4th is celebrated as Owl Appreciation Day. Learn all about owls in this educational book.

Publish Date // June 3, 2016
Paperback 27 Pages
Genre // Juvenile Non-Fiction – Birds
Age Range // 7+

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Issue 11 of Ashlee Craft / Assemblage Now Available!

Ashlee Craft / Assemblage Issue 11 - Cover

Issue 11 of Ashlee Craft’s life-is-a-playground art & poetry zine, Ashlee Craft / Assemblage.


a conversation, like friends 4 / your words were the fall (& my response was the Safety) 5 / movie-making books 6 / friend 7 / again, again 8 / go to sleep 9 / earlier than last time 10 & 11 / it was vaguely raining 12 / in the beginning 13 / learn your monologue 14 / over & over 15 / this is my therapy (or at least it used to be) 16 / paper money 17 / this is ridiculous 18 / they really should be glad, that you’re there 19 / sunny jungle 20 / pissed off 21 / promise I will be free 22 / free to do anything 23 / DON’T MESS WITH ME 24 / crying, in caves 25 / maybe there is freedom in this 26 / rather replaceable 27 / your number of friends does not define you 28 / what I’m made of 29 / your job does not define you either 30 / fully intend on being there 31 / chocolate oatmeal 32 / purchase 33 / fruit color swatches one 34 / the lighting aisle 35 / video a week ago 36 / I freaking love this place 37 / look happier 38 / caffeine 39 / I deserve respect 40 / stickers blank page (or somewhat poetic ode) 41 / STICKERS! 42 / sometimes life doesn’t seem real 43 / more jazz : a few recommendations 44 / walk through a hallway of balloons 45 / extricate you from my life 46 / royalty 47 / be better than what they think you should be 48 / unapologetic 49 / my eyes are open 50 /

Publish Date // May 29, 2016
Paperback 50 pages
Genre // Magazines

Kindle Edition

Shipwrecked – Second Edition Released!

I am proud to announce the release of the second edition of my 2013 book Shipwrecked under my publishing company Freedom Meadow Media! Out of all the books I’ve written so far, it is definitely my best-selling one, which is why it is one of the first ones I have republished with my new company.

A little history on the book itself : in 2012, I was very very bored, so I was looking for some sort of writing challenge to keep myself busy with. I heard about the 3 Day Novel contest. It wasn’t around the time that the competition actually happens, but all the same, I was psyched by the idea of it. Writing 50,000 words in three days? Could I do that? With a very vague story idea in mind – a teenage girl goes on a boat, the boat sinks, & she has to survive on some random island – was all the plot I had when I began writing it.

Over the next three days, things were pretty crazy, to say the least. The first day, I think I only ended up writing about 11,000 words. I can’t remember exactly how many I did on the second day, but on the third day, I believe I wrote about 20,000+ words. By midnight on the third day, I’d written about 47,000 words and decided just to consider my novel done. It’s crazy even now, looking back on it, & thinking “Damn, I really did write a WHOLE NOVEL of about 50,000 words in THREE DAYS.” But I did, & Shipwrecked was the result of it.

It wasn’t until 2013 when I actually got around to publishing it. This was due to several factors. (1) Some parts of the story were poorly written or incomplete scenes. (2) The ending of the book involved, for some reason, criminals who wanted to kill the main character (why did there need to be criminals???). (3) The book was absolutely CHOCK FULL of spelling & grammatical errors. This took forever to straighten out. (4) This was back in the good-old days where I had to make my dad read & edit my books before I published them. Because he had a full-time job, he didn’t always have much time to edit my books. He would write the edits down on an index card & hand them to me. Now, I use much more efficient methods so there’s less delay between when I finish writing a book & when I get to publish it.

Fast forward to now, when I started my company & wanted to republish Shipwrecked. When I set out to republish it, I assumed that editing it would be relatively straight-forward. My current editing method involves making my computer read my book out loud to be, which makes it easier to hear where the errors are. Things had gone smoothly editing & republishing A Thousand Cranes, Volume 1 this way.

With Shipwrecked, it was an entirely different story. The book was sadly filled with many, many errors – grammatical errors, spelling errors, missing punctuation, continuity errors, as well as sentences & things which, upon reading them three years later, just sound lame. I probably changed or fixed an estimated two to three hundred such things throughout the course of the book (some of these were adding a sentence here or there to improve things, but still). I honestly wasn’t aware that there were so many things wrong with it, so I’m sorry if any of you read it & these errors took away from the story. Let me tell you this now : all the errors I could find in the book have been fixed, and this is an entirely new edition. I’ve never released a second edition of any of my books before, but I felt like the changes I made to this book warranted a clean slate & a new edition.

Here is the brand-new edition, with a brand-new (& much improved) description. I hope that if you read the book, you let me know what you think of it, preferably on either Amazon or Twitter.

Shipwrecked by Ashlee Craft - CoverThe imaginative 16-year-old Tami Franks is thrilled to finally be going on her dream adventure of a three-day boat trip. She read Treasure Island several years ago, and ever since then, she’s spent her time reading survival guides, climbing trees, and swimming in the neighborhood pool in preparation for the adventures she might go on one day. When her parents finally agree to let her go on a trip with their charter captain friend, she is expecting the adventure of a lifetime. Tami gets much more than she bargains for when the boat sinks in the middle of the night, killing the captain and leaving her stranded in the middle of the ocean. She manages to swim to a nearby but uncharted island, where she must put her survival skills to use in order to have a chance at seeing her family again and saving her own life. Unsure of when, or if, she will be rescued, she must use her imagination, courage, and belief in herself in order to triumph.

Second Edition
Publish Date //
March 11, 2016
Paperback 246 pages
Genre // YA Survival – Adventure

Kindle Edition
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Issue 10 (Ashlee Craft / Assemblage) – New Zine Available!

Ashlee Craft / Assemblage - Issue 10 - Cover Issue 10 of Ashlee Craft’s life-is-a-playground art & poetry zine, Ashlee Craft / Assemblage.


the door 4 / work smarter not harder, my friend 5 / things I love when people say to me 6 / belong + be awesome 7 / souvenirs 8 / you held me down & hindered me 9 / fledglings 10 / angry stars 11 / let him go if he causes you so much pain (& makes you feel so sad) 12 / to hell with you 13 / more than you know 14 / conduct yourself like you are the queen 15 / he still didn’t text me back 16 / do better 17 / let it go 18 / what I’m made of 19 / not force & not fear 20 / cantaloupe 21 / you deserve better than this 22 / no reply 23 / the dark knight rises 24 / I was chasing you 25 / therapeutic music 26 / better things to do 27 / garland 28 / the strangely beautiful feeling of afternoon 29 / do my very best 30 / define mini-bitch 31 / you thought you could eradicate everything weaker 32 / what matters 33 / they don’t deserve my anger 34 / happiness is the best revenge 35 / not worth the tears 36 / wow bro 37 / damn you for making me think this was real 38 / surprise party 39 / all a loan 40 / another to-do list 41 / poems to write 42 / fight (fight) 43 / icelandic water 44 /

Kindle Edition

Publish Date // March 1, 2016
Paperback 44 Pages
Genre // Zines