Tuesday, November 17, 2015

So Much to Be Thankful For

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and here at the Alley, we're celebrating early! Some of us will be doing thanks-themed posts the next couple weeks, and I hope you'll join with us in being intentional about thankfulness.

I know it may seem like the obvious thing to say, but I get the first thanksgiving-related post, so I'm going to say it anyway! I can't put into words how much I appreciate each of my fellow Alley Cats, each of you reader friends, and in particular, my critique partner Angie Dicken, who was a literal answer to prayer and has become one of my dearest friends.

This writing journey is unlike anything I'd ever expected. When I started writing Christian fiction, I was almost done with my master's degree in creative writing, and yet, I soon realized I had noooooooo idea what I was doing. There have been times of joy and times of deep disappointment. These girls have gone from being fellow bloggers and friends to sisters to me, and I can't imagine my life without them.

I still remember the day Angie first told me they wanted me to be an Alley Cat. I literally jumped and screamed. I thought they were the coolest group of women in the world.

Turns out, I was right.

In the years since I said, "ARE YOU KIDDING! OF COURSE I'll BE AN ALLEY CAT!" I have come to appreciate all this blog means, both in the relationships I've built with these women as well as the relationships I've discovered with all of you. Thank you, truly-- thank you, for letting us be part of your journey.

And thank you, Angie, Pepper, Amy, Julia, Mary, Karen, Krista, Casey, Laurie, and Cara.

I can't imagine this writing journey without you all. I don't know who would've picked me up in all those moments of discouragement, who would've listened to my late-night rambling at ACFW, who would've brainstormed with me, and who would've reminded me of God's purpose in these stories.

But I do know this. I wouldn't be the writer I am today if it weren't for you all.


Ashley Clark writes romance 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 blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. She is represented by Karen Solem.


Jeanne Takenaka said...

I love that God has placed such precious women in your life, Ashley. :) For what it's worth, I'm thankful for you ladies too! You've been an encouragement to me on my writing journey. In so many ways. :)

Ashley Clark said...

Jeanne, we feel the same way about you! :)

Pepper Basham said...

Love you so much, Ash!! This is such a sweet post and it brings tears to my eyes. SOOOO thankful for you guys!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

So thankful for each of you!!! Love this!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Best group of women ever! Love you all! (((hugs)))

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Thanks for all your great posts! And inspiring us all!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I just read this today and am glad I waited. It's cloudy and I'm home alone. And. Well, this reflection of Pensacola and other awesome times with Alley cats brought an inner sunshine. Thanks!!

Alongside...where would we be without our Alley Pals!! So glad to see Jeanne and Elizabeth here today!! Miss yo Sherrinda.