Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Moving Forward on a Retreat by Zoe M. McCarthy

Zoe M. McCarthy
Back in March, Gabrielle Meyer posted “The Importance of a Writing Retreat” on Seriously Write. It spoke to me because my husband and I had started to look for a cabin getaway. Besides a space for personal and family renewal, my dream was to find a place where I could invite church and writer friends for retreats.

After a seven-month search, we have a cabin on a lake. It’s big enough that after we get it in shape, I can host small retreats.

Now, as we work to freshen up the cabin and clear the woods down to the lake to open a view, I already feel revitalized. As I stroke on paint in the master bath, I forget about deadlines. I enjoy how the green wall color brings out the log walls and redwood pine on the ceiling and wainscoting. While I update the globes on the fan lights throughout the cabin, blog posts that need to be written never enter my mind. And snipping tree branches leaves no room for thinking about edits.

I pat myself on the back for the exercise I accomplish in climbing ladders, stacking cut branches, and walking through Lowes in search of pine planks, paint, and towel bars. The exercise is so good for me compared to sitting in front of a laptop for hours.

And then, I have fellowship with my husband. At home, he’s my marketing manager, CFO, and computer tech, but at the cabin it’s different. We work side by side in the basement workshop. He cuts pine planks, and I stain them. We shop for bedcovers, lamps, and stoneware dishes to “bearify” the cabin d├ęcor, laughing, discussing, and dreaming.

Don’t get me wrong. I love our home on a hill surrounded by mountains and overlooking a valley sporting sheep, cows, and corn and Christmas tree fields. And I love creating love stories. But sometimes a writer, or any worker, needs a retreat with husbands, family, and friends. I hope someday to provide that for a few.

Are we doing the right thing?

Yesterday, I drove forty minutes to have blood drawn for my annual checkup next week. I was sad that too many writing obligations might prevent us from making the ninety-minute drive to the cabin this week. As the lab technician prepared to insert the needle, I turned my head to look away. On the wall was this painting. I didn’t feel the needle.

A Cabin in the Mountains
Retreats don’t have to be a cabin. What are places you retreat to?

Click to Tweet: Have you ever wanted to go on a writing retreat? @ZoeMMcCarthy talks about the benefits of a "cabin in the woods" for #writers on #SeriouslyWrite. https://bit.ly/2EpAxO6
About the Author
A full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy, author of The Putting Green Whisperer, The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress, Gift of the Magpie, and Calculated Risk, writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. When she’s not writing, Zoe enjoys her five grandchildren, teaching Bible studies, leading workshops on writing, knitting and crocheting shawls for a prayer shawl ministry, and canoeing. She lives with her husband in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Zoe blogs regularly at www.zoemmccarthy.com.

The Putting Green Whisperer
The Putting Green Whisperer
by Zoe M. McCarthy
Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for the father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie's reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sports science degree to become his trainer...and then she falls for him.

Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn't ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he's content to be her fist-bumping buddy...but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she's become a distraction to Shoo's career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?