Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Your Current Adversity: Is It Facing Giants or Something Closer to Home? by Zoe M. McCarthy

Zoe M. McCarthy
difficulties; misfortune
ORGIN:  Middle English: from Old French adversite, from Latin adversitas, from advetere, ‘turn toward.’

Well, huh. Who’d have thought adversity originally meant, “turn toward.” Most of us writers want to turn away from losing 2000 manuscript words. To flee from submitting a manuscript with the word just occurring ten times in the first scene.

We’ve heard our tribulations grow us. A great truth. Maybe creators of Latin thought “turn toward” meant “to face your giants and grow.” So what was my recent Saturday all about?

Adversity at the University

Saturday morning, I settled into my writing space. The Internet was as slow as an editor getting back to my agent about my manuscript. I’d accomplish little. And, I forgot I’d promised to go with my husband to the Wake Forest basketball game, to depart in two hours.

As soon as my iPhone Personal Hotspot located service, I hoped I could work in the car during breaks from reading a biography to John. During our two-hour trip, I clung to a sole comfort. The vendors at the game sell the best Butter Pecan ice cream around.

The salad I consumed at lunch, made my stomach queasy. I spent much of the game in a women’s restroom stall, beginning to believe the graffiti. Wishing I had an out-of-order sign to hang on my end stall to keep it available, I ventured out to the half-time crowd.

My husband walked toward me. He thought I’d gotten lost. I confessed I’d gone up the wrong ramp just before he found me. With a sympathetic look on his face, he offered to stand in line and buy me ice cream. I imagined what one bite of anything would do to my stomach, and I turned down BUTTER PECAN ICE CREAM!

True story. With a bit of writers’ license concerning the graffiti. Had I experienced a day of adversities? Difficulties? Misfortunes?

Facing Giants Instead of Demon Deacons

Sometimes adversities call us to stand up to giants, as Joshua and Caleb did in Numbers 13, even though the Israelites refused to. But sometimes we create giants that cause our suffering. Saturday, I generated giants.
  • I work full days five days a week. I’d vowed weekends would be reserved for time with John. A slow Internet should’ve been a small deal on a Saturday.
  • I enter everything into my weekly schedule. Everything. Why’d I fail to record the basketball game? Did I hope it’d go away? I created a giant that had nothing to do with adversity and much to do with my attitude and poor planning.
  • Knowing I’d eat sugar-heavy ice cream at the game, ordering salad and water was a good idea. Queasiness was my only true adversity.
  • I faced that queasy giant by turning down my favorite ice cream. On the way home, I felt good physically and learned a lesson about priorities and scheduling.

PS. John made calls and took care of the slow Internet. Go John! Go Wake Forest!

What have you called adversity that was a giant you created?
About the Author
Zoe M. McCarthy believes the little known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is: Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Now retired actuaries, Zoe and her husband evaluated the financial risks for insurance companies. Nick, in Zoe’s debut novel, Calculated Risk, is an actuary. Christian Fiction Online Magazine published two of her short stories. Zoe self-published two books of contemporary Christian short stories. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops at JoyWriters on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John.
Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website: http://zoemmccarthy.com

Calculated Risk
Calculated Risk
by Zoe M. McCarthy

What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Purchase links for Calculated Risk: http://zoemmccarthy.com/books  


  1. Oh my goodness, I hear ya, Zoe! As a writer, it's definitely a challenge to guard weekends and special times. My biggest adversity stems from continual disruptions of my routine, but that's mostly just a mountain of my own making. I'm determined to face down that demon deacon next week! :)

    I needed this reminder, Zoe. Thanks!

  2. Dora, I'm guilty of sneaking up to my office on weekends when John turns on the TV to watch a sports event. I should sit next to him, crocheting and trying to ignore the squeaks of sneakers against basketball floors.

  3. Hi Zoe, great post. I am trying to find time to read, read, read. I manage to do it sitting next to hubs watching sports. Not that it's a giant thing, but I decided to renew and restore this year, and make reading a priority again. I so neglected it and I love visiting other "worlds" and unscrambling mysteries and just..having fun with other people's words and plots.

  4. Tanya, you've hit on something I want to do as well. Read more. John and I have a reading time where we sit in chairs in front of the fireplace and read for an hour. It's more like a half hour now, which is fine, but we too often skip it. He reads while I work, so not a big deal to him. But I'm killing our solution. You make me want to do better.

  5. I resonated with the giant created by poor planning, and with me, I think sometimes it is passively hoping it will go away if it is something i don't care to do, and would rather do something else. in the end, the mess I make is a worse giant!


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