101 Ways to Love Yourself by Ashlee Craft

101 Ways to Love Yourself - Coverby Ashlee Craft

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Happiness is hard. Authenticity is hard. I know this very, very well.

I’m not going to give you some fluffy sermon about how if you just take a bubble bath, smile three times a day at yourself in the mirror, & think happy thoughts constantly that your life will magically be better. These things might help you, but they also might not.

But the thing is, you have all the power in the world to change your life.

Hating yourself is boring. Feeling ugly & unloved is boring. Living someone else’s plans for you is boring. Being depressed & feeling hopeless about your future is boring.

You deserve better than that. You were born to live an awesome life. It’s your duty to yourself to pursue that, as vibrantly & lovingly as you can.

What do you have to lose in learning to love yourself? Or in trying to be happy, & starting to live a life that genuinely makes you feel good? There is nothing to lose.

Change is hard. But the ability to adapt is the thing which separates the winners from the losers. You are trying to make your life better. That puts you in the category of the winners, right now. You’re strong enough, & smart enough, & determined enough to win.

Think about this. You have made it through everything that’s happened to you in your life so far. You have made it. If you can do that, you can do this. You can do anything.

You can love yourself. You can feel better. You can be happy.

You can start living any super-awesome amazing life of your choosing.

And you can start today. Right now.

The key to having all this starts when you start loving yourself. Self-love is the backbone to everything else available to you. It’s the ship that you’re sailing on, & the wind that fills your sails & your lungs. It’s the star you see up ahead in the dark of night. It’s the start of everything else. The first brick on the yellow brick road.

When you start loving yourself, everything else falls into place. You become stronger & more resilient. You start respecting yourself & knowing your worth & only accepting the things you deserve. You start realizing that you can create whatever life you want for yourself, & start empowering yourself to go out there, & go get it.

Happiness is hard. Authenticity is hard.

But when you start loving yourself, that’s when these things become easy.

Here’s how…

Publish Date : November 25, 2016
Paperback 172 Pages
Genre : Non-Fiction – Self-Help/Motivation

NEW: Strange Occurrences by Ashlee Craft

Strange Occurrences by Ashlee Craft Cover

by Ashlee Craft

There are people in the world that seem to have everything – a perfect life, a perfect family, and perfect friends. Cathy wasn’t one of those people.

Cathy’s life had rapidly gone down hill in a year. Her best friend moved away, never to contact her again, her mother and younger brother constantly argue, her younger sister gives her the cold shoulder, her grandmother is dying, and her father spends more time at work because of their home environment. Cathy’s sole confidant becomes her dog, and she falls into despair.

One night, the time comes for Cathy to say her last good byes to her grandmother. As Cathy is about to leave her grandmother’s room, she is summoned back over, where Cathy is told of her grandmother’s experiences with something she calls the “Strange Occurrences.”

When Cathy returns home that night and sets out to walk her dog, she is thrown into the past by the Strange Occurrences, forced to relieve old memories of her life and see things from other people’s points of view. Through the knowledge she learns on her journey of self discovery, will she be able to overcome the darkness in her life and change it for the better?

Publish Date : April 4, 2011
Paperback : 170 Pages
Genre : Juvenile Fiction – Drama/Fantasy
Age Range : 12 – 15
Themes : Coming of Age, Friendship
Loneliness, Time Travel, Family

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NEW: Four Seasons – The Complete Series by Ashlee Craft

Four Seasons - The Complete Series by Ashlee CraftFour Seasons

the magic of fall & the falling of leaves

the changing of seasons & the changing of trees
cozy & beautiful autumn
with images of the seasons yet to come
dancing with the fall leaves & the cool air
the warmth surrounding you everywhere
thanksgiving cornucopias, trick-or-treat
before sitting down for a family feast

the first snowflake gently falling
warmth, magic, & joy of the season calling
hot cocoa & a blanket by the fireplace
winter decorations filling each space
holiday memories, walking thru the snows
believing in Santa, watching caroling shows
the aroma of pine trees & cookies around
a season for giving & love & hope abound

the air is full of new life’s sound
snow melting & unblanketing the ground
flowers in bloom, butterflies soar
birds sing, the day waits, so open the door
bright flashes of flowers by the artist’s brush
grasses grow towards the sun, green & lush
sitting in the sun, watching baby animals play
rejoicing in the beauty of each spring day

summer is here, you dance with sunflowers
sitting on the hillside into evening hours
hear crickets, taste watermelon in the sun
& you laugh & play & dance & run
running on the beach & finding seashells
if they could tell stories, what would they tell?
the luminous moon & twinkling stars
& I know in my heart that this freedom is ours

four seasons four seasons
four different colors
bring out the best in us
show us the warmth of family
the gift of giving
the new birth of change
& the freedom of happiness
four seasons four seasons
& as they change
we change too
& with each change, discovering beauty
that we never knew

Four Seasons is a collection of all four poetry books in the Four Seasons series, gathered into one book, with nine new poems added.

Publish Date : October 17, 2012
Paperback 184 Pages
Genre : Poetry

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NEW: Winter (Four Seasons #2) by Ashlee Craft

Winter (Four Seasons #2) by Ashlee Craftby Ashlee Craft

The first snowflake of the season falls gently from the sky, bringing with it the warmth, magic, and joy of the season. When the aroma of pine trees and warm cookies fills the air, you know that the season of giving has returned. Cuddle up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and a warm blanket as you enjoy this collection of twenty-five poems.

Publish Date : January 21, 2012
Paperback 56 pages
Genre : Poetry

Kindle Edition
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NEW: Spring (Four Seasons #3) by Ashlee Craft

Spring (Four Season, #3) by Ashlee Craftby Ashlee Craft

The air is filled with the sweet aroma of fresh flowers and the sound of new life. The snow is melting, leaving behind puddles of cool water and making way for the joys of spring. Everywhere you look, bright patches of flowers sway in the breeze, seemingly placed there by the paintbrush of an artist. Embrace the new beginning of spring with this collection of 17 poems.

Publish Date : March 9, 2012
Paperback 42 Pages
Genre : Poetry

Kindle Edition
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NEW: Feel the Hidden Flowers – Novel by Ashlee Craft

by Ashlee Craft

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 DateFebruary 25, 2017
Paperback : 396 Pages
Genre : Fiction

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Paperback

NEW: Ashlee Craft / Assemblage, Issue 13

Ashlee Craft / Assemblage - Issue 13 Coverby Ashlee Craft

Issue 13 of Ashlee Craft’s life-is-a-playground art & poetry zine, Ashlee Craft / Assemblage.

Table of Contents

if it were that way 4 / the art of living 5 / respected, at last, at once 6 / I am quickly getting good at it too 7 / they can breathe 8 / product on the shelves 9 / add me, pick me 10 / I will be enthusiastic 11 / make everything beautiful 12 / 5 million ideas 13 / relations will be awkward 14 / lifestyle 15 / I have to start being an adult? 16 / sea salt 17 / a compliment 18 / I really want to welcome him 19 / on my agenda 20 / damn anxiety 21 / offer value to people 22 / destroy what destroys you 23 / a cute octopus 24 / money $$$ 25 / sometimes I am the alien 26 / hi, unprompted 27 / coconut water 28 / movie rentals 29 / little eyes 30 / lunchroom experience 31 / sweet thing 32 / something wonderful is about to happen 33 / get excited about everything 34 / plants on my arm 35 / fun fun fun 36 / make time for yourself 37 / snails 38 / pseudonyms 39 / energetic & inspired (but the fear remains) 40 / so hungry, & DOUGHNUTS 41 / goals to make happen very soon 42 / smooth jazz 43 / hug everything 44 / I want to buy a rabbit & change my name & buy a skateboard & get my ears pierced 45 / traffic lights 46 / just do the damn thing 47 / change up your routine 48 / they have abandoned me, now which of us is freer? 49

Publish Date : December 24, 2016
Paperback : 50 pages
Genre : Zines

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101 Ways to Love Yourself: How to Feel Better, Be Happier, & Start Living a Super-Awesome Life Now

a new motivational book by ashlee craft

Cover for self-help book 101 Ways to Love Yourself: How to Feel Better, Be Happier, & Start Living a Super-Awesome Life Now by Ashlee Craft

Happiness is hard. Authenticity is hard. I know this very, very well.

I’m not going to give you some fluffy sermon about how if you just take a bubble bath, smile three times a day at yourself in the mirror, & think happy thoughts constantly that your life will magically be better. These things might help you, but they also might not.

But the thing is, you have all the power in the world to change your life.

Hating yourself is boring. Feeling ugly & unloved is boring. Living someone else’s plans for you is boring. Being depressed & feeling hopeless about your future is boring.

You deserve better than that. You were born to live an awesome life. It’s your duty to yourself to pursue that, as vibrantly & lovingly as you can.

What do you have to lose in learning to love yourself? Or in trying to be happy, & starting to live a life that genuinely makes you feel good? There is nothing to lose.

Change is hard. But the ability to adapt is the thing which separates the winners from the losers. You are trying to make your life better. That puts you in the category of the winners, right now. You’re strong enough, & smart enough, & determined enough to win.

Think about this. You have made it through everything that’s happened to you in your life so far. You have made it. If you can do that, you can do this. You can do anything.

You can love yourself. You can feel better. You can be happy.

You can start living any super-awesome amazing life of your choosing.

And you can start today. Right now.

The key to having all this starts when you start loving yourself. Self-love is the backbone to everything else available to you. It’s the ship that you’re sailing on, & the wind that fills your sails & your lungs. It’s the star you see up ahead in the dark of night. It’s the start of everything else. The first brick on the yellow brick road.

When you start loving yourself, everything else falls into place. You become stronger & more resilient. You start respecting yourself & knowing your worth & only accepting the things you deserve. You start realizing that you can create whatever life you want for yourself, & start empowering yourself to go out there, & go get it.

Happiness is hard. Authenticity is hard.

But when you start loving yourself, that’s when these things become easy.

Here’s how…

Check it out on Kindle

So Long, Lonesome Place by Ashlee Craft – Poetry Book Sample

So Long, Lonesome by Ashlee Craft Book Cover

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& I Won’t Have to Forge My Own Dark Road

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?

I think about that lady I used to know, with the curly brown hair, & how she used to always go to the little cafe I went to / I think about how when I saw her, months after she left him, how they asked her, “don’t you miss him?” / & I remember how she tossed her head happily & with defiance, & said, “not at all” / she laughed, explaining she didn’t miss being a slave to him, how she would never go back to living that way / & I didn’t feel that I’d miss it either, & didn’t fear it

I think about all those who left, even those who left & then came back – how even then they came back because they wanted to, because it was the right thing for them now & not because they were forced & obligated to be anything different than what they were / they came back to it, because even after all the thundering discouragement, they still felt that longing on both lonely nights & happy days that there was something else they should be doing

I think about the other girl I knew, who told me that it could be great, but how too much would be expected of me being in that condemned union, & how it wasn’t fair to me to stay in with him / “get out while you still can” she told me – “before you’re broken by them.”

& I think about him, who told me that it wasn’t worth it, it wasn’t worth destroying myself over something so trivial : someone who would never love me as much as I had loved him / “don’t kill yourself over it” / it made no sense to me to be a slave to someone I could not treasure any longer

I am new to this pathway but it is not new to those I have known

& certainly not new to the world –

they have all done it; so can I,

& I will do the same thing that all before me have done,

& it will all turn out fine, as it has for those brave path-forgers before me.

I will be okay

I will be okay; I will be more than okay

& there is nothing wrong with taking this first step, & claiming back my freedom / there is nothing radical about it & nothing shocking & nothing wrong in standing on the edge of the wall & declaring to the sea wind that I DESERVE something BETTER / it is my freedom I am seeking, & it is my freedom I will face

you missed your chance

I am tired of wasting my love
on someone who could never love me back

I would have done anything for you;
don’t you know that?
walked a thousand miles
on the burning sands of hell
if you would have asked me to,
cut open my skin & bled on the ground –
touched the surface of the sun –
burnt myself out until I was hollow & dead inside –
if you would have only asked

I gave you all of my passion; you gave me an empty gaze not returned in mirrors
I gave you all of my thoughts; you couldn’t even tell me what day of the week it was
I gave you all of my loyalty; you turned your cheek & kissed her instead
I gave you all of my devotion; you forgot about me as soon as I left your house
I gave you all of my time; the minute it would have taken you to call was too much
I gave you all of my dreams; you told me they were ridiculous & outlandish fables
I gave you all of my love; you watched me bleeding alone & walked the other way

I became you : I became all that you wanted me to be
& what did I get in return?
a dirty note scrawled on a torn piece of paper,
saying that despite all the intimate things you’d told me
& the tenderness you’d touched me with,
you would never be able to embrace me the way you did her

I burnt myself for you.
I beat myself down for you.
I bruised myself for you.
I sweat an entire ocean of salt
so that you would have somewhere to swim.
I cut myself for you;
I bled for you.
I cried endless pools of tears for you.
I overwhelmed myself for you.
I hurt myself for you.
I lied to myself & others for you.
I let myself believe I didn’t deserve better for you.
I died a thousand deaths for you.

& what did I get in return?
you laughed in my face when I asked to be treated better
& told me I would die without you :
but I will not

you never deserved anything I gave you
& I am taking my power back away from you
to reclaim everything rightfully mine

I am tired of wasting my love
on someone who could never love me back

no use

maybe there’s no use in trying to bring back what we once had / maybe it is dead & long buried & long gone & long hidden away, & maybe I am long hidden & long shrouded & have walked too far away from the sacred spot where I first saw sunlight / & maybe that it the way it is supposed to be; maybe this is the way that feels the best, in the end, & will provide the most light, or at least the most fuel for relighting the fire

the break of day the break of day break of / there are no rules; so what am I talking about? / I tried to make a short film about the way it felt to love you but all that came out was a muddled puddle of broken tears mingling with euphoric joy & the sight of that was somehow more beautiful than any perfect thing could be; it prismed

a rainbow is built from scattered droplets of light

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