Friday, September 28, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature: Ashley Clark

Today I welcome my kindred friend who is sparky, supportive, encouraging, future authoress, and funny: Ashley.  

Enter to win a copy of Dani Pettrey's book Submerged, see below.

I met Ashley as a writing partner (alley cat) on the Writers Alley. We have prayed together, written posts, encouraged and blessed each other through an online friendship. This year I met her lovely smile and felt her hug at the ACFW conference. I heard her laugh and tell her goals for writing.

I asked her to share her writing journey with you:

Heart Writing

First I want to thank Mary for having me on her blog today! I feel so blessed to know her as a fellow Alley Cat and as a friend.

I guess you could say I have always been a writer. I can remember watching through the windows of my parents’ car when I was young, dreaming up stories about the people who passed by.  I’ve always loved language, thoughts, and ideas. And who can forget library story time?

But fiction writing? For a long while, I never thought that was something I could do. Academic writing? Sure. Article writing? You bet. But creative writing? Heart writing? That was another thing entirely.

Then one day, out of the blue, God put this story on my heart. It was similar in tone to a couple of my own favorite books… Miss Invisible and My Life As a Doormat. I took it to my very liberal-minded creative writing class, expecting them to hate it. I was shocked when that was far from their reaction.

That was three years ago. Every time since that I have begun to doubt myself, God has faithfully pulled me deeper into His plan, reaffirming His purposes in my life.

I can’t explain what happens when you know you’re living the life you’re supposed to be living, only that it’s the best kind of freedom imaginable. I am so verythankful to be called to such an extraordinary ministry.

After attending the ACFW conference last year, I signed with my agent, Karen Solem, and have already learned so much from her. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would someday share the same agent with Denise Hunter and many of my other author heroes. To this day, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it sometimes.

But something different happened to me this year at ACFW. I sensed God moving in my heart in a whole new way. And that’s exactly what He was doing: moving. Those of you who are writers are familiar with this feeling:  you sit at your couch, day in and day out, your only company a couple dogs, a vanilla soy candle, and a handful of Peppermint Patties. You think your story is good, and then you think it is awful. You think it will be a bestseller, and then you doubt it will ever sell at all. Before long, your spirit begins to grow weary, and you feel like you have stalled.

I want to encourage you that if that is the place you find yourself right now, keep keeping on. Just because we don’t see the next step in our lives doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I love the ACFW Conference because I feel like every time I attend, I step out into thin air. It’s terrifying. But each year, and this year more than any year before, God meets me right there. It’s the most incredible thing. He puts the next step underneath me when all I could see was nothingness.

Sometimes we have to move before the next step appears. Have faith in the calling God has placed on your heart. He has put it there for a reason. I don’t know which publishing house I’ll end up with or when I’ll finally sign a contract, but I know this. God is faithful. To you, and to me. And isn’t that really the most exciting thing? 

I would love to connect with you! Find me at or Facebook and Pinterest.

Romantic Comedy with Southern Grace

Thank you Ashley for sharing your heart writing journey with us today. 

Her journey has been inspirational. 
How has God lead you on a heart journey? Or maybe you are at a Y in the road, searching for His direction and would like prayer for direction.

To enter the contest for the book Submerged by Dani Pettrey, become a follower if you aren't already (see the upper right corner of this blog to join). And leave a comment. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party,, and will be announced on Monday. U.S. residents only. 


Janice said...

Thank you for letting your readers get to know Ashley. I checked out her website and got to enjoy her personality even more.

I have a copy of Submerged so don't enter me unless you need me to make up a quota. Any extra books I have I will send to Christian Library International which sends books to prison chaplains for placement.

Congratulations on your success at the writing conference. I tried to post congrats before and do not know if that got through since I have been having some computer problems.

Blessings, Janice

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks, Janice.
Ashley is a wonderful as she seems.

Ashley Clark said...

Thank you, Janice! So nice to meet you! :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Ashley, that was encouraging! You have a beautiful voice and I can't wait to read your stories some day - and hopefully meet you in person, too :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

We are working on a Writers Alley retreat this summer!
It will be a great time to share our works and our friendship.

Lindsay Harrel said...

I love Ashley! She was one of the brightest spots in my first conference. :D

I loved meeting you too, Mary. In fact, all of the Alley Cats are just fab.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I agree with you, Lindsay. Meeting Ashley and her love for God and writing gave a sparkle to the day.
Thanks for joining us today.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

I love this girl! So organically sweet and encouraging! Thanks for sharing your story, Ash!

Ashley Clark said...

Linds, Mary, Amy-- you all are too sweet! I'm smiling right now from your kind words. Meeting you all was so much fun!

Cindy, I can't wait to meet you! Your kind heart is always such an encouragement. Love you, girl! You are special!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Amy, so true.
Thanks for stopping by today!