Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Join Our Retreat!

Most of you faithful readers know that a couple weeks ago, seven of the Alley Cats gathered at Angie's house for fun, chocolate, and writing shindigs. 

I can't tell you how much this retreat meant to me. While there, I had such an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for each one of these women and for what they mean to me. We are all so different, and yet there are no divisions in the group--definitely a God thing!

But I got to thinking, if only there were a way to share the fun with all of you readers and friends. We learned so much about each other over the couple days we shared together, it seemed a shame to keep all this fun to ourselves.

That's when this idea hit me. What if there was a way to include all of you after all?

So, I've compiled a list of random facts about the women on the Alley, many of which I learned over the weekend. 

I want you to guess who you think each Alley Cat is, and leave your answers in a comment. The first person to get all 10 correct will WIN a copy of Becky Wade's newest book, UNDENIABLY YOURS!

(Side note: I'm going to list the answers at the bottom of the blog so you can learn who is who. Everyone's on the honor system for the contest!)

Without further ado...

  1. This Alley Cat used to be an art and drama teacher and does her grocery shopping online. 
  2. This Alley Cat loves cheesecake almost as much as she loves Iowa.
  3. This Alley Cat married her high school sweetheart when she was 18 and was crowned Homecoming Queen twice.
  4. This Alley Cat has a beautiful singing voice and writes gripping suspense even though she doesn't like scary movies.
  5. This Alley Cat stays awake by drinking Dr. Pepper, and she married her online sweetheart.
  6. This Alley Cat got engaged in Italy and loves Jane Eyre.
  7. This Alley Cat wrote letters to her boyfriend when he was stationed in Germany for five years. He bought her an engagement ring in Belgium, and when he returned for good, they got married.
  8. This Alley Cat writes with a signed picture of Longfellow looking down on her and is an avid fan of Duck Dynasty (though she is no fan of hunting or shooting).
  9. This Alley Cat once wanted to be a dragonfly in Disney's Spectromagic parade, and had "Happy Birthday" sung to her by Jars of Clay. 
  10. This Alley Cat is a master at DIY projects like refinishing furniture, and has a daughter who is getting married.

If you're in a situation where you feel alone in this writing journey, I want to encourage you to pray for a writing mentor and critique partner. God knows how our hearts crave understanding and companionship, and He will lead you to the right group. It can be SO hard to chip away at a novel day by day all by your lonesome self while you sip tea at your kitchen table. Consider joining groups like ACFW or RWA if you haven't already, and get plugged in with a group you can really trust. I can remember feeling like the publishing industry was so very vast and overwhelming whenever I first started writing, and some of you may feel that way even now. You would be amazed how much smaller and easier to navigate the writing world becomes with the help of the friend.

Love you, Alley Cats, and you too, faithful readers! :)

Answers: 1) Karen 2) Casey 3) Pepper 4) Amy 5) Krista 6) Angie 7) Mary 8) Julia 9) Ashley  10) Sherrinda 

Ashley Clark writes romantic comedy with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses at her local university. She's an active member of ACFW and runs their newcomer's loop. When she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns. You can find Ashley on her personal blogFacebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. She is represented by Karen Solem.


Julia M. Reffner said...

Fun post, Ash! I can't wait to see guesses on this ;). Love my Alley gals! Believe me I am counting the days until September.

Jill Weatherholt said...

I love this post and the pictures are terrific! Thanks for sharing. Only a few clues popped out at me, the rest, I was clueless. :)

1. Karen
2. Casey
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?
6. Angie
7. ?
8. ?
9. ?
10. Sherrinda

Casey said...

LOL! I think #2 is going to be too easy. ;-) Love your post, Ash. Makes my heart smile. :)

Angie Dicken said...

So, so fun!! Love this post, Ashley!

Keli Gwyn said...

I'm glad you had such a fun-filled retreat. When I heard about it, I figured that was pretty much a given.

It was fun learning a little more about each of you.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Fun quiz. Unfortunately I only got 4 right! Epic fail - as my son would say!


Good luck to all who dare enter!!

I like what you said about praying for critique partners and mentors. I have some wonderful cp's, but no mentor. But maybe I'm meant to become a mentor to someone else. I have learned a few things along the way, that's for sure.

I would so appreciate prayers for me for the conference. I am going solo this year and am praying for someone to share the experience with - maybe someone who needs a hand to hold as well! I so envy you ladies your wonderful connections!

Can't wait to see some of you at the conference!


Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Fun post Ash, and YEAH JILL for playing! :-)

This is actually really hard - most of them are such obscure clues. Susan, four is pretty impressive!

I wanted to say too, Susan - you are part of our Alley family, and I know the Alleycats who are going will look out for you at conference! Praying you'll make the connections your heart desires.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

I love love love this!! Great idea, Ash! Even I learned a few interesting tidbits about my fellow cats!

Missing you all!

Julia M. Reffner said...


I know just how you feel. Last year was my first time, and I was terrified. Would love to have coffee with you. And yes, us ACs will take care of you, just like they did for me last year :).

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Loved learning a little more about you all! I only got four right, and no, I'm not saying which four. :) I was pretty sure on Amy's, because I know she's on the worship team for the ACFW conferences. :) I'm glad you all had such a fabulous time, and that you are knitted together. What a gift that is!

SUSAN, I'll be at ACFW too. I'll have to look out for you. Maybe we can share a meal? :)

Becky Wade said...

I've loved seeing all the facebook photos of your retreat. Writers friends make the journey so much sweeter, don't they? Thanks for giving away a copy of Undeniably Yours!!

No need to enter me in the contest for it. ;)

Jill Weatherholt said...

Don't enter me either...I have Becky's book and plan to start it this weekend. I can't wait! :)I loved My Stubborn Heart!

Ashley Clark said...

I have loved reading all of your responses so far! :) Sue, I completely understand how you feel-- my first conference, I remember feeling so overwhelmed by the vastness of it all and so unconnected. But I wanted to tell you how much I respect your attitude of seeking out ways you can help others. I think that shows such strength on your part, that you are looking for ways to invest in other people. You have such a kind, servant's heart, and I just know God is going to multiply that in great ways.

Keep the guesses coming, friends! :)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Aw, I'm part of the family??? Thanks guys! I'll hold you to your promises!

Sue :)