There is an excellent Kickstarter project running intended to launch the first in a series of illustrated children’s books around the subject of archery, dreams, determination and self-reliance. The full book is going to be 17 chapters and 14,000 words. Have a full read about it right here (and if you’d like to donate, get on it soon):
Erik was kind enough to share a few chapters with me, and here’s a short extract where Addy goes to her first tournament:
Dad and I head to check-in. “What’s your name?” The lady at the desk asks me. She doesn’t smile.
“Addy,” I whisper. Being at the tournament doesn’t make me nervous but all the adults do.
“Female Bowman Compound Freestyle?” she asks. She wants to know what category I’m in. I know the answer but look up at Dad anyway. Sometimes looking at Dad makes things better. He nods to me that it’s correct.
“Yes,” I say. The no smiling lady looks at me again.
“Go get your equipment checked for safety.” She points her pen into the next room full of people and bows.
I look up at Dad again. He nods at me and toward the equipment check. Dad walks in front of me but at the door he steps aside to let me go first. I stop….I hear Dad behind me. “Addy, this is your tournament. You have to do things yourself.”
This is one of the things about archery. In archery, you have to do things yourself. The adults help you but they don’t do anything for you. It’s not like real life where your parents wake you up, make you breakfast, drive you where you want to go, carry your stuff.
In archery they always say, “We’re not teaching you archery. We’re teaching you about life.” I don’t get it. I never see anyone walking around in real life, with a bow and arrow. What does shooting a target have to do with teaching me about life?
I’m generally a bit wary of the kind of generic ‘inspirational’ platitudes that attach themselves to a lot of archery culture; not because they are wrong or too ‘hippyish’ but because they often remain just that: platitudes. Words. I personally think the things that actually change your life for the better are usually delivered as narratives, as stories, whether taught to you by someone else or brought to life in your own head. So I can get behind this book. I’ve pledged a little something. Maybe you could too.