I’ve enjoyed the lockdown. Got the thing I most want, and a lot of it, time. Time to do stuff. Time to reflect. Time to read. Time to write. I’m still working as a tutor, it pays the rent and doesn’t take up much space as I do it all online now. Being solvent via tutoring allows me to write cryptic novels about people who are astonished at the world, and it allows me to not focus on a single genre, which is great.

Also I’ve had time to do other things.

Archery for one.

Always fancied learning how to use a bow. I learned how to use guns a couple years back, but I didn’t chase it up, didn’t get a licence or anything, though I might go back to it at some point. But archery, I’ve only been a few times and I’m still learning, but I enjoy it very much. It’s like meditating. You focus and you switch off, and then you have a good shot. If you think about it, it’s no good.

You have to get the form correct, otherwise you have no control. The best shot is the one you barely feel. If the arrow wobbles or the bow judders or the string kicks back too much, you got it wrong. If you’ve ever watched Olympic divers, when they hit the water and leave the barest of ripples, it’s like that. A good shot is effortless. But mostly I’m making bad shots, so I have a lot more practice before I can achieve any sort of consistency.

I was chatting to Danno about it and he said, if he took up archery, he’d want to use a bare-bow, no sights, no counterweights, just learn to shoot instinctively. That’s pretty much my idea too, but last night I one of the instructors was using his compound bow, which is pure machine, all wheels and pulleys. It’s a thing of ugly beauty and it looses arrows at about 300 feet per second.

So, as I’m learning how to shoot, I’m gathering information for the second and third book of the Jago series. Jester is an archer, amongst his many other skills and now that I understand how a compound bow works it’s going to be in the novel, somewhere towards the end of both the second and third books.