Saturday, March 31, 2012

Movie Madness

Facebook is at it again. All of the "likes" have been dumped with the new timeline swap. Sorry guys!
Please "relike" if you wish. Not making anyone, but there's a free pony in it if you do. ;-)

The NFAA Indoor Nationals are going on right this minute without me. Kinda sad about it, it's a really fun shoot and we always have a great time there. Ya know, with all the baby goats in the hotel, good restaurants, bourbon flights and fun company. It was Vegas or Kentucky and obviously we went way West this time. If you are there, give the Creekwood shirts some applause and cheering for me, will ya? And make it LOUD. Ricky Smith is in the Pro division this year. He's seriously ready to bring it, so look out Jesse. His fiance, Chrissy just got her own lovely bow just a few weeks ago and has no idea how well she is doing already. Next year will be great fun with both of them competing. Last year, I shot next to Brandi Mantha, who was fun to meet and is also an author. Here's a great article by her on  how she feels about this sport.

Entirely switching gears here. Spotlight, long dress, killer shoes, "I want to thank the Hunger Games for bringing archery mainstream and making it look so cool onscreen." Seriously though, between the movie hype and interviews of Khatuna Lorig, archery is hopefully heading back into a revival and I love love love that the girls are coming to ranges everywhere wanting to be Katniss.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Drum Roll Please...

Time is up. Put down your pencils. Got some really good names in the hat from you all, but the winner of the Lancaster Gift Card is...

Scott Greig, Huntley, IL  - "Kat"

And I loved the reason he gave. "You could go all Shakesperean like Katherine (Taming of the Shrew) call it Kat for short. She was wild, bad tempered and drove the boys nuts."  Hello!

Some of the best submitted names were (in no particular order)
Iris (cause it's the same color as the flower)
Queen Bee
Magnum (that just made me laugh so hard)
Flexi Lexi

Thanks to all who entered, it was fun! My bows always have had a name and it's been almost a year now with this one and no name.

On another happy note, since it has been SO crazy nice and warm here, we've been able to shoot outside all week. Except last night when I met up with a new friend Sydney and her dad who came out to shoot for a bit. So happy to see another girl rock her bow! If she decides to get serious about this, look out everyone.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend Post

It's been a week of non-archery guys, sorry!  The spring mud is on it's way out so the house projects are taking back over and I'm heading out to de-yak my favorite horse. He grows enough winter coat for three, and is too old to be that sweaty this early in the year. I will be nice and muddy, dusty, and hair covered by the time I get home. Ahh!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend <3

Don't forget to enter your bow names for the contest! $25 Lancaster Card if yours is picked!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's the Name My Bow Contest!

Some of you know of Cricket bow, my lovely Hoyt compound that got me into this awesome sport.Thanks to Nick Viau, one of the columnists at BowAmerica, I am posting a "Name My Bow" contest. Nick, your entry is duly noted! 

What's innit for you? Bragging rights of course, and a $25 gift card to Lancaster Archery to the person who submits the winning name.

Gotta have a few rules.  Enter as much as you like by email. Your information will not be posted or used to spam you, so don't be shy. The winner will be contacted for their mailing address. Contest ends March 24th (2 weeks from today).  I'll post the top ten entries along with the winning name.

What are you naming?  The she-who-must-be-named bow is a Win&Win Inno with white, blue and yellow stripes. Red string and sight. Fierce, gorgeous and classy.

Very excited to see what ya'll come up with!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The myth of talent and the muse in the corner

This morning’s musings are a bit of a mashup on creative juices and what that has to do with archery are brought to you by Amy Winehouse, Ella Fitzgerald and Madeleine Peyroux.  Creative people, I want your input here on whether this rambling makes sense to you. Let ‘er rip.

I have been lately enjoying some of the older TED Talks on creativity. If you have still not checked them out, make it your Sunday morning webby destination with a big cup of coffee.  Totally worthwhile.  After watching Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love and Adam Savage from Mythbusters, talk about how they deal with what the modern idea of what a muse is and keeping the engine running , it got me thinking about the parallels between the creative process (also a big part of my life) and the learning process for perfecting your shot.  I know a lot of archery friends and family that are compelled to make stuff just to get it out of your head. You know who you are. 

Finding the Zen zone in practice and execution. That addictive place you want more of, when the shot comes off easy and hits the X, or the idea that strikes you when you have paper and pen in reach. You know you want it. It feels amazing. Eventually, it lasts longer and longer and is easier to get there in the first place.  It applies to the physical as well as the mental side of things. When the words pour out of the keyboard or the painting materializes in record time, it’s a combination of everything coming together. Perfection.  I know, I know, I used the P-word. Naughty.

Trickier still when you add in the notion of a muse. Not sure it applies equally to archery, but people that you train and shoot with on a regular basis definitely apply as motivation. As in the kick in the ass when you need it most, or just a helpful observation when things are wonky and you can’t sort it out.  I have to admit I love the notion  of the dead-sexy (male) Greek muse hanging out in my studio and bringing me chocolate cake and great ideas. Alas, hubby does not. ;-)  Ideas come from everywhere if you are paying attention.  The light at a certain time of day or the funky gourd lamp you saw online. Can you make a quiver out of a gourd? I’ll probably try it at some point.  In the good old days, the muse got the blame if the experiment didn’t fly.  If the gourd flops, it’ll just gather dust until I toss it on the bonfire pile out back.

The myth of talent. This is a highly debated area.  My personal view is that those who work the hardest, usually overcome. Look at all of the para-archers who figured out how to shoot without an arm, leg or a set of eyes and then set records. Proof that there is no crying in baseball.  You still have to show up and do the work. You need to be willing to fail when the experiment doesn’t work, too. That part is the hardest for me.  Same for the creative stuff.  The kid who spends his recess (Do kids still have recess?) drawing is going to be the rock star art director, but maybe without the jump shot. You have to learn to see before it can go on paper. Practice and experimentation, the process is different, but if you are an artist, your brain is there 24/7, looking for pattern, color, keeping your filter open and always looking for the missing magic. 

My personal experience tends to run hot. I learn best under pressure and my friends confirm by laughing loudly that I am a “jump in with both feet first” kinda gal. Start a blog with not much writing experience, hold nose and jump in.  It’s helped me find my own voice.  There’s no testing temperature with a toe first. Swim, dammit.  

Whatever feeds your head, do whatever you can to keep it happy and productive. Korean food with a creative friend, or get some tune up lessons from a local pro. If you are into other sports or activities, there are likely useful parallels you can pull in on balance or timing.  Hang out more where your ideas seem to find you. Except maybe in the shower. That just makes you late for work.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What really happened in Vegas

I waited to post this as the new BowAmerica issue comes out today. Check out the whole issue, some really great articles in there. Lions and tigers and BEARS, oh my!

So you may have seen the teaser, but here is the real story...

What do you get when you put all the current major archers in the world, archery manufacturers, gambling, prime rib and beer under one roof for a week in Vegas? A great time, that’s what! Held back-to-back with the World Archery Indoor Championships, the NFAA Vegas Shoot offered the opportunity to watch and compete against almost 2,000 archers from the USA, Mexico, and Europe and shoot next to accents from as far away as South Africa and Australia. Most of the teams stayed on to compete at the NFAA shoot and mixed up the action in both the Championship and non-championship flights.

Bows, bows and more bows. It was a bit unreal to see bows moving through the casino, on the elevator, escalator, arena, and generally everywhere except maybe in the pool. The folks that were not there for the shoot had lots of wide eyed questions when riding up on the elevator along with strung bows with monster stabilizers attached. The elevator was the place to be. We ran into almost every “name” and their spouses, parents, coaches and kids on the elevator.  I did my share of elbowing Matt while mouthing, “OMG, do you know who that is?!”  Yeah, I’m secretly still ten.  My favorite elevator moment however, was when a West coast guy sporting cigarette jeans, seriously pointy shoes and giant Elvis pompadour along with his equally stylish gal stepped on after a camo’d Midwestern teenager and his mom.  I so wish I could have whipped out my camera to capture the expression on that kid’s face. Classic!

On the floor, it was a fantastic culture clash with the typical American traditional barebow guy sharing a bale next to a Russian Olympic recurve archer. Ladies and men competed against each other, no separation in the flights. There were no points for style given, but maybe there should have been. Texas sized bling with head-to-toe pink accessories were spotted along with 3 inch heels on the ladies compound line. Hey, when you look good, you shoot good, right? Shooting styles varied tremendously. Everything from flamboyant French releases with the continental double kiss for good arrows, to the quiet, ultra-controlled USA team machine style that continued to win medals. I spent an unforgettable hour watching Miranda Leek, Holly Stover and Jennifer Nichols before going to shoot my final day.  Having those correct mental impressions actually helped my release later on.

Para archers were out in numbers, including an exceptional blind woman whose guide dog napped patiently off the line between ends. Yes, I said blind. To see these guys and gals shoot, and shoot well mind you, is amazing to watch. Plus, they were lumped in with everyone else for scores, no special treatment there.

Impressive final shootouts beginning the night we arrived under spotlights, rock music and live online coverage that set the tone for the week.  (World Cup finals photo) I have no idea how you prepare for shooting under those crazy conditions.  It’s critical to have nerves of steel to have the announcer holler, “NINE!” and keep it together for the next shot for a ten. I tend to turn fire engine red while shooting anonymously in a crowd without the benefit of an announcer when I hit a bad shot. Most of the guys and gals at that level are used to it, but getting to that point is pretty extraordinary. YouTube posted these live all day and a great overview of the venue and all the team and individual finals can be found here. 

We had a great time and would definitely go back again. If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend it.