Tag Archive | education

Life As a Classroom, Compassion As the Teacher: It Takes a Fool by Sasha Dreams


The bell rings

Class is in session

The chalkboard is wiped clean,

ready for today’s lesson

One student is late and not seated at the table

She’s diving in and out of currents of circumstances,

trying to steady herself toward the shore

She arrives late with the weight of the world as her backpack,

ready to give her pain away to part with her problem

But Compassion, her teacher, offers a better solution

~By A.C.

Book Blurb

Life couldn’t be sweeter for ten-year-old Sasha…
She’s the darling of her fifth grade class and her best friend always has her back… just like a sister. But simmering beneath the beautiful life are the dark secrets her parents harbor, secrets that slowly wind their way around the heart of the family, choking the life from Sasha. Helpless, afraid and alone, she fights the only way she can, but her desperate quest for survival could lead to her own destruction!

It Takes a Fool explores the darkest depths of poverty, addiction and bullying, and how even the innocence of a child can be twisted into something monstrous. Sasha will do all she can to survive a nightmare she can’t wake up from, but in protecting herself, she might just destroy everyone around her.

biopic-1Meet Author Sasha Dreams


Sasha Dreams is a no one from nowhere pregnant with dreams. She dreams of hope, ambition, fulfillment and success. Sasha has learned from the mistakes of her childhood and transformed her weaknesses into strengths.

Sasha believes wholeheartedly that writing is healing. At times throughout her writing process it was painful, but now that the tears have dried and the past forgiven a horribly beautiful story has emerged. Follow Sasha on her journey as a writer, business woman, wife, daughter, sister, mother, and friend. Watch as her dreams come true. 

Q & A with Sasha Dreams

What did you do before becoming a writer? How has your career path led to or shaped your writing career?

I currently work in serving my community. I am sure that my career path has shaped my writing by allowing me to stay connected with our youth. I feel I was able to connect with my inner child more because I am surrounded by our youth daily. It Takes A Fool is told from my ten year old self but is appropriate for middle school aged children starting in the eighth grade.

Why did you write It Takes a Fool?

I wrote It Takes A Fool to heal from my past. This story has been brewing inside of me for over 25 years. It was ready to be heard. Even though I was not necessarily ready to share my pain with the world. I become more and more ready everyday.

How has social media and technology affected bullying?

Social media and technology have affected bullying positively and negatively in my opinion. On one hand an individual or a group may choose to abuse social media. They may choose to harass, embarrass or oust a person unfairly. On the other hand because of technology a person who has been bullied or who is a bully can find resources to stop what is happening.

What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied?

Bullying is a major problem throughout the world. We see it everywhere, from schools, work, sports, online and in homes. If you are a victim of being bullied or you are a bully please visit www.ittakesafool.com/resources.

Why did you become a writer?

I became a writer to share my story with others. It is my hope that by sharing my story others will choose to make better choices. Remember, every new day is an opportunity to make better choices.

What tips would you give other aspiring writers on how to complete and submit a novel, and survive the publication process?

My advice for new and aspiring writers is to do as much research as possible on traditional vs. self publishing and decide which option is best for you. Once you have decided, keep pressing forward.

What impact do you want to leave on the literary world?

The impact I want to make on the literary world is to have written a story that is told from a place of genuine pain but the reader is able to feel the wounds heal page after page.

Describe your writing process or ritual.

My writing ritual was to clean my room top to bottom. Climb in bed with my note pad and a freshly sharpened pencil, some music and an open heart.

What are you most passionate about in your life?

I am most passionate about being the best person I can be. I want to lead by example for my childrens sake. Sometimes I make mistakes, but each new day, I try harder to be a better me.

If you could include a character from any teen movie or movie dealing with middle school students, who would you choose to be in your book?  How would he or she fit in at the school?  Who would she or he befriend:  Sasha or her best friend?

 If I could include a character from any teen movie or movie dealing with middle school students, I would choose, Skai Jackson. She is a very talented actress. We also share some similar features. I think she would portray Sasha in a light that viewers could relate to. She would have definitely befriended Sadie. (My best friend in It Takes A Fool) Everyone loved Sadie.

If you could create a soundtrack for your book, what songs would you choose?

The soundtrack for It Takes A Fool would include so many popular hits from the Spinners.

Rubberband Man

Love Don’t Love Nobody(It Takes A Fool)

Could It Be I’m Falling In Love




Press Release



Much Anticipated Memoir on Bullying Finally Here

Washington, DC (December 5, 2014) – The highly anticipated book by Sasha Dreams, It Takes a Fool: A Lesson Learned on Bullying, is finally available on Amazon.

It Takes a Fool is a short “creative memoir” about a 10 year old girl, named Sasha. Sasha is the darling of her fifth grade class and her best friend always has her back…just like a sister. But simmering beneath the beautiful life are the dark secrets her parents harbor, secrets that slowly wind their way around the heart of the family, choking the life from Sasha. Helpless, afraid and alone, she fights the only way she can but her desperate quest for survival could lead to her own destruction.

Excerpts from the book have already been making an impression on, the largest community of readers and writers, Wattpad. One Wattpad reviewer said: “Powerful writing. Quiet, soft-spoken but speaks straight into readers’ hearts. A place of vulnerability.”

“I am excited about the release of the book,” said Sasha. “I hope valuable lessons will be learned through the sharing of my story.”

It takes a fool is available in both kindle and paperback format on Amazon.com for $4.95 and $7.95 respectively. For further information about the book and the author, visit: http://www.ittakesafool.com.



If you want to read a moving story that will leave you changed, pick up your copy of It Takes a Fool today!
Connect with Sasha Dreams!

Website:  www.ittakesafool.com

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/It-Takes-Fool-Learned-Bullying-ebook/dp/B00O4LTNRM

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/sashasmemoir

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sashasmemoir

Email:  sashasmemoir (at) gmail (dot) com


As the Pages of Sheet Music & YA Romance Turn: Cliffhanger Press Presents Ashley Maker’s Under the Trees

The love I feel for him

is buried between the sheets,

each note strikes a chord

between my heartbeats.



UNDER THE TREES is a new YA historical romance being published by Cliffhanger Press in fall 2014.  As writers, we sometimes can hear a certain song playing in our heads as our characters go through a pivotal scene in their lives.  Ashley Maker has taken it a step further.  Her connection with her characters and the mood of the story has inspired her to write music to go along with her novel. Part Medieval, Part Regency Era, all adolescent angst and first love, UNDER THE TREES is a YA masterpiece that will usher in new dimensions and dynamics of what it is to fight for the freedom to be and to love.

Image taken from Google Images

Image taken from Google Images




Love can’t stay hidden forever.

Book Blurb

Fleeing from an abusive arranged marriage, Princess Araya lands at the mercy of the impulsive Crown Prince Thoredmund, who shelters and teachers her survival skills in a secluded forest. As the fragile alliance between their kingdoms deteriorates, Thor and Araya must decide if staying together is worth starting a war.



Meet Ashley Maker

Armed with a keyboard, microphone, and an energetic imagination, Ashley Maker is a combination author/songwriter from Oklahoma with a passion for all things creative. UNDER THE TREES, a Young Adult blended historical romance, is her debut novel, releasing from Cliffhanger Press, LLC in the fall of 2014. Songs inspired by the book can be heard from Seeking Never, the recording band she sings in with her guitar-playing husband Corey. A newbie vlogger and former editor, Ashley spends much of her time writing, procrastinating on social media, and waging a revision war against pronouns. The rest of her time is spent doting on her daughter and cuddling with a myriad of family pets, most notably Johnny Cash, cat writing buddy extraordinaire.



Connect with Ashley Maker!



Author Website (still under construction): ashleymaker.com

Author Facebook: facebook.com/authorashley

Twitter:     twitter.com/ashleymaker

Youtube:    youtube.com/ashleydmaker

Wattpad:     Ashley Maker

Instagram:  ashleymakerwrites


Check out Cliffhanger Press’ blog post, “Deep Within the Staffs, Between the Notes, Inside the Written Lines Lies a YA Story That Only Ashley Maker Can Tell,” which delves deeper into the life and work of Ashley Maker:  http://www.cliffhangerpress.com/blog



How many of you remember your first love? Would you risk kingdoms falling apart or rebel against anyone or anything to keep it?


Letting More Than the Cat Out of Santa’s Bag–A Secret & Super Blogger Award

taken from Google Images

taken from Google Images

On August 5th a writer-friend who has made such an impact on me through her work and her life chose me as a recipient of the Super Blogger Award.  Months later, I am still honored that she thought of me.  I met Julie on SheWrites last year.  Around this period of time last year, I had just ventured out into the blogging world.  I didn’t know if I had anything to say that would appeal to anyone, but I knew I had to answer the muse’s call.  Julie reached out to me and we bonded in the writing ranks.

Not only do I admire her art of storytelling , but also the strength and tenacity she has shown during her personal trials, which she wrote about here.

I already knew the person that I was going to pick as the next recipient.  It just took me a while to come up with a secret.  I am the true epitome of an introvert.  I hoard books and snippets of words, but what writer doesn’t do that?

But I think the timing worked out well because this author has a book that is coming out this December.

I would like to say thank you again, Julie, for nominating me.  You can find out about her secret here.

The rules for the Super Blogger Award are as follows:

Take the award for yourself, then pass it along to someone who inspires you or you just think is “super” in one way or another. Tell us why you think that person is super and deserving. Now, all the recipient has to so is reveal (as in one) small secret about themselves (super people always tend to have a secret or two, right?) and pass the reward on to someone they think is deserving.

My Secret

It is no secret that I love to write, but it wasn’t the only talent in the fine arts arena that fascinated me as a little girl.  I loved dancing and choreographing. Unbeknownst to Debbie Allen, Paula Abdul, & the Soul Train dancers, I was their protégé. I made up dance routines all the time, studying Janet Jackson’s “Pleasure Principle” video moves until I had each one perfected (except for that devilish split! )

I had already mentioned this fact about me online before.

Only my family knows about the “other” me, the secret identity that hid behind library books, scrawny legs, and a soft whisper of a voice.  I loved acting.  My cousins from Georgia and I always had active imaginations.  We loved to dance and whenever we visited each other, we would show each other the latest dance moves and perform for the adults.  My late cousin had a large deck in her backyard.  I always corralled everyone to put on a show for everyone.  We would act out different scenes cooked up in my wired imagination.  When I acted, just like when I danced, I became a different person.  I wasn’t worried about what others thought about it.  I loved to entertain.

But as I entered middle school, adolescent angst got the best of me.  I became more comfortable with the characters inside of my head and writing their stories.  I remember when a childhood friend and I wrote a soap opera featuring five teens.  The 100 page+  work of art was a little too racy for my mom’s tastes.  She tossed it out and further dashed my hopes of it being included with the other artifacts of other writers.  🙂

Maybe it is not too late to become the next Shonda Rhimes or Keri Washington. Nahhh..that would be too much of a scandal in itself for my easily embarrassed preteen!

Taken from Google Images

Taken from Google Images

And the Super Blogger Award Goes To. . .

Sydney Avey writes a weekly blog in which she features a list of published short stories that center around a theme or topic.  Her blog has introduced me to different works that have impacted me as a reader and a writer. As a writer and a teacher of writing, I always felt that models of professional writing were the best teachers.  You learn so much about technique and other literary elements by reading.  Sydney also features short stories that are examples of literary devices such as point-of-view.

I also think that those who teach literature in secondary and postsecondary schools would find her weekly list of stories to be a wonderful resource.

Sidney has been published in several literary journals, and she has a novel, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter, coming out this month.

I hope Sydney continues to share these wonderful lists of stories with the writing community in 2014.

Taken from Amazon

Taken from Amazon

WRITING WHILE FORTY–Life as a Dress Rehearsal (Guest Blog)

A Thought Grows Blogger Extraordinaire Julie Luek graciously let me hang out on her site today. Check out her site and my guest post: http://athoughtgrows.blogspot.com/2013/02/alexandra-caselle-art-with-words.html?showComment=1360803050094&m=1#c4698915034593524893