Friday, May 22, 2015

Davalynn Spencer: On Writing and Control

Everyone's Story welcomes author Davalynn Spencer. I've had the privilege to get to know Davalynn the past couple of years and she has been a blessing and role model of inner strength. While you check out her excerpt for her upcoming novella and read her special message, and I hope will be uplifted by her words, would you please offer a little prayer for this very special woman? Consider sharing this post with others in hope of encouraging a friend, relative, or special someone. Davalynn and I look forward to hearing from you!

Davalynn's novella, The Columbine Bride, will be out in a Walmart's exclusive, Old West Summer Brides in stores July 15th, and in the ebook collection 12 Brides of Summer releasing September 1st. Enjoy this excerpt:

Excerpt from The Columbine Bride by Davalynn Spencer

Lucy lay awake between her children, their shallow breath rising together as one. She rubbed calloused hands over her face, her muscles aching from the unaccus­tomed work. But these moments of predawn peace were priceless, for in them she heard the Lord’s soft whisper again: “Trust me.”
The storms made it difficult.
Every afternoon for a week they had rolled in over the mountains, each thunder clap and lightning strike reminding her of what she’d lost and how. She could bear the hard work, her dried and cracked hands, even the pain in her neck. But the storms mocked her, delivering again the blow of losing William.
Slipping from the bed, she checked each angelic face before padding to the stove and stoking the fire for coffee. Water flowed freely into the pot, and Buck came to mind, his bulk filling the kitchen corner as he primed the pump. As he sat at the table’s head. As he chucked Elmore under the chin and tugged Cecilia’s braids. If a body were to judge by outward appearances, one would think Buck Reiter liked being around her family. If a body were to judge by hidden feelings, one would think Lucy liked having him around. Somehow his presence lessened the drudgery.
Thin light seeped above the eastern ridge, and she quickly dressed and pulled on her boots. As she tied off the end of her braid, a wagon rolled into the yard and stopped at the barn. Elmore would be thrilled.
After returning the second and third day as Elmore had requested, Buck had since been gone for four. Each morning the child hung from the porch railing, dangling his feet off the edge, waiting for the familiar wagon to drive up the road. And each morning it did not come he’d gone about his chores like a lost pup. Yes, Elmore would be happy. So would Cecilia.
Lucy’s insides fluttered as she ground the coffee and added it to the pot. Glancing at her sleeping children, she slipped out the back door, surprised that she hadn’t yet adjusted to the altitude. She couldn’t quite get her wind.

Control Freak or Freaking Out of Control By Davalynn Spencer

“If things would just go my way, I’d be fine!”

Years ago, my mother didn’t realize what she’d said, but I did. And I never forgot the overtones.

For the past five months, circumstances have gone anything but my way. I’ve been dealing with ramifications of a serious fall by a family member. Hospitalization, paralysis, confusion. Rehab, bills, the day job. Writing.


“Isn’t it stressful for you to keep writing?” a well-meaning friend asked.

“No, it isn’t. I have to write.”

She didn’t get it, so I explained. I have to write for the same reason I have to breathe, eat bacon, and sleep on flannel sheets in the winter. Writing is therapeutic. I can self-medicate with words.

You see, about the only thing in my day-to-day life over which I truly have control is my response to God, people, and situations. However, when I write, I am in complete control of everything. Every single detail can “go my way.”

That’s what we want, isn’t it. Just like Mom, we want everything to go our way. Yet as an author, I must remember that no one wants to read a story where everything goes the hero or heroine’s way. B.O.R.I.N.G.

As I’ve told my writing students, if there’s no conflict, there’s no story.

When I write—whether therapeutically or not—I get to decide what goes wrong and right in my characters’ lives. It doesn’t matter if what I’ve written wouldn’t make good shoe-box liner. I can edit later and I always do. What matters is that I’m getting a break from my life and all the necessary things that need to be done—things over which I have no control. I am escaping for a minute or two or ten, the same way readers escape when they pick up a book in their favorite genre.

What happens if I’m under a deadline? Contracts are signed and kept, regardless of what is going on in the real world. Unless I break all my fingers at once or fall over dead, I have to fulfill the agreement.

So during this season of heart-twisting grief and frustration, I’ve recommitted on that response thing I mentioned earlier, particularly where God is concerned.

Will I respond to Him with trust? Will I let Him do what He does? Will I spend time with Him, worship Him, and praise Him even especially when my real life isn’t so fun?

When it comes to problems, I doubt that Jesus would say, “I told you so,” though He could, you know. He told us we’d have trouble down here, yet he beat it. We can take heart.

He said He’d give us His peace—different from world peace.

He said He’d never desert us. Ever.

That’s where I am these days of writing-because-I-have-to and trusting God to take care of me. He’s the one in control.

How about you? What does God do for you when everything falls apart and nothing goes your way?

“The peace of God which surpasses our understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” –Apostle Paul

Davalynn's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Inspirational Western Romance author @davalynnspencer asks: control freak or freaking out of control? (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: @davalynnspencer Do authors self-medicate with writing? (Tweet This)

Author @davalynnspencer: how to keep writing when life gets tough. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Davalynn Spencer writes inspirational Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges, and their loves. Her work has finaled for the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the Selah, and the Holt Medallion. Davalynn teaches writing at Pueblo Community College and at various writing workshops. She and her handsome cowboy make their home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue.

Places to connect with Davalynn:

***I'll love for you to take a moment and take this month's short poll on the right-hand sidebar. Thanks so much.


  1. This encourages me to keep on writing even when things are rough. I needed this today. Thanks, Barb Waite

    1. Barb. I'm glad Davalynn's words gave you some cheer and I hope your days smooth out. Keep tapping away at the keyboard, but better yet, as you know, keep looking upward :)

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Barb. I'm so glad you were encouraged here. Don't quit. Keep your hand in His.

  2. Like Davalynn said, writer's write unless all our fingers are broken or we're dead. But writing is what saves our sanity sometimes. So sorry she is going through such a hard time. The excerpt was wonderful, and what an encouragement her words are.

    1. I appreciate your visit, Pat. I appreciate you! If our writing fingers were broken, I think us writers would start dictating or like the brilliant artists who are unable to use fingers for various reasons and hold a brush in their mouths, we too would find a way because if we don't write we die while alive.

    2. Patricia - I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for visiting.

  3. This is my first time to your site, Elaine. Love it. Wonderful post, terrific format, love Davalyn!

    1. A warm welcome, Linda, to my little but hopefully growing corner of this world. Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you appreciated Davalynn's motivating words.

      Hope to see you again!

    2. Linda - I appreciate you stopping by!

  4. Davalynn, I can truly relate. Know that I've been praying for you and your family. And, yes, writing is cathartic for all the reasons you mentioned. The most important being that we're doing what we believe that God has called us to do. May He bless you, even through these difficult times. Blessings to you too, Elaine.

    1. Sweet, powerful words, Kathy. Heartfelt thanks.

    2. Absolutely, Kathy. He never said it would be easy, just that He'd be with us. I'd so much rather have Him than 'easy.' Thank you!

  5. Davalynn, your honesty and that deep-down NECESSITY to write, regardless of circumstances, is a blessing to me today. Just because we NEED to…ahhh, how I relate! Hang in there, and I know you will. Thanks.

    1. Gail, thanks for visiting again. I always, always smile when I see that special connection between guest and viewer. Now, that's a blessing to me!

    2. Hey Gail, thanks for stopping in. Some things we just have to do. Blessings~

  6. It's been a truly uplifting, inspiring week on Everyone's Story and I have author Davalynn Spencer to thank for this! Davalynn, I hope these viewer comments and prayers from both commenters and those who have prayed in private for you has helped to encourage you. May you continue to be strong in faith that He is always right beside you.

    Blessings to all.

  7. Thank you, Elaine, for the opportunity to share on your blog. It is always a pleasure sharing with readers and giving them a little peek into the writer's life. And the prayers - they're priceless.

    1. I'm smiling for you, Davalynn.


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