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message from a reader

Alyssa H. - 3/31/2016

Ms Lela Barrett, my name is alyssa and i am 15 years old. i came across "dried ink" in i books and could not help but buy the book after reading the preview. i found the words so relatable and became devoured in them. i aspire to write as well as you someday; you are so gifted. The poems "SERPENTS", "LOVE", and "BLANK STARES" were some of the greatest designs of words put together. i hope you publish more writings and cannot wait to see what you have in store. i would love to talk to you more. thank you for your time :)

about my writing

I began my writing career with poetry. I was published twice under my former pen name Lela Barrett.

My first publication was a short poetry collection called Dried Ink that was published with a company called Pronoun. Unfortunately that company did not stay in business for very long and shortly after my book was published it vanished from the shelves along with them. 

I had mixed feelings about the book no longer being available as it received positive reviews and I even had a reader reach out to me personally to talk about her experience with the book. (hover over image to the left to read)

After giving it some thought I decided to let that project go and appreciate it for what it had been. I took that opportunity to refine my style and writing voice. I took a break from poetry and drafted several short stories and a novel. I am currently working on editing these for publication.



My second collection came about as I was in the process of applying for another degree program and moving across the country. I found myself at rock bottom with new perspectives about life and letting go.

Thus sweatpants & sweaters was born.  (hover over image to the right to read book description) This collection was more genuine, more raw than my first and I felt as though I had discovered gold and had to share it. I was too impatient to query with a literary agent for traditional publication and so made the decision to self publish. 

I knew that it wouldn't be widely found or sell enough to make the bestseller lists but all I wanted was for it to be found by the people who needed it. I feel that it has as it currently has a five star rating and people have gone out of their way to say they appreciate what's written inside.

It will continue to exist as is for the time being but a new version with an added post script will be released under my                 name. The time has come to say goodbye to Lela and                      publish as myself...

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originally published June 2018

Spend an afternoon with yourself. This is a poetry collection that you can revisit again and again. In it is a place to cultivate mindfulness and self love and care. This is for you. If you have been searching for a sign this is it. Remember, nothing lights up a mirror quite like your smile. with love and literature, lela


information on current publications coming soon

selected works

previews and selected works

attention whore
wake up
why not me

This is an excerpt of a play I wrote for my senior thesis as a University Honors student at ETSU

full site
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entrance to full writing site coming soon


     You hear the sound of cows mooing in the distance. Followed by a few hearty oinks and the whinny of a pony.

The woods thin out as you find yourself walking on a cobblestone path rather than the worn dirt one you were on moments ago.

You're not sure how you ended up in these woods but you don't feel any fear.

Rather, curiosity.

     At the edge of the clearing is an iron gate guarding the path to a great mansion. The gate has been left open, for you, and you step inside.

     Off to the left of the house is a garden with hedges twisting and turning, this way and that. You guess correctly that they lead to small maze and hidden door. This place has that feeling. The feeling you get reading an old familiar book. 

To the right of the house is a path leading to a beautiful barn and the fields behind it. There are no fences apart from the iron one encircling the entire property.


     You approach the door and look up at the mansion before you. It is old but still so alive. The door is a deep soft purple with a dragonfly door knocker but there is no need to knock. Somehow you know you are welcome here. That here is a home away from home.

     As you open the door the smell of old books and freshly baked cookies greets you. I come around the corner and say hello. 

"I hope you like stories, I've made a fresh batch."

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