50 thoughts on “Training for the Hunger Games

  1. I had a bow like that when I was her age… never had an apocalypse to put it to use, however.

    She might want to drop her bow grip a few millimeters, otherwise the arrow fletchings can brush the top of her left hand at the side of the knuckle. I got a few cuts there when I first started out, until I changed the grip slightly.

  2. With two adults on different shifts and two kids with the coparent, that means a serial holiday instead of parallel, but we’re used to it. We got ourselves a family set of nice watches, exchanging a couple of months of ramen for a lifetime of happy tick-ticks. The cats are killing twist-ties and the cockatiel is giving us all the stink-eye. I have blueberry-ale ham in the oven and a plate of pannetone on my desk. I’d have to say my holiday is good.

  3. Just setting out to family visiting – I hope you and your whole family, cats and dog included, have a Merry Christmas!

  4. In the future: compound bow for zombie squirrel/beaver/badger/snail slaying. ;-)

    Merry Christmas/Scintilating Solctice/Bright Blessings/(add in happy-joyous-merry regional holiday here) to you all.

  5. A quibble: I’m more concerned about her right elbow, it should be higher and back. Forearm parallel to a line through the arrow. It’s great to see a youngster interested in doing rather than watching others.

  6. Do they still teach archery to girls in gym class? While I had to climb that damn rope the girls were learning the fine art of the bow.

  7. Yeah Athena!

    We’re having a wonderful Christmas, thank you. Teenagers slept til 9–the latest they’ve ever gotten up on Christmas. My husband has the day off this year (yippee) and we are all healthy.

    Happy Holidays to all at the Scalzi compound.

  8. Of COURSE she will get better! She is a member of house Scalzi under the protection of an overlord from the the kingdom of K-9. My snark about a compound bow was just that she can get more power to slay those that need slaying, while not having to hold as much power when fully drawn. Less holding equals more shooting equals more dead zombie snails! Priorities man, PRIORITIES! ;-) (just goofing)

  9. My recommendation: Get serious. Get a crossbow.

    Meanwhile, as a non-religious person, I find Christmas to be a kind of funny, potentially meaningful, but mostly irritating holiday. Don’t call me a Scrooge – I’m a hermit by nature!

  10. Yesterday my son did not wake up until about noon, then went to a party with college buddies, before coming over for Xmas eve with his parental units.

    So he’s still catching zzzzzs, while I got up at 5:50, brought in the paper, made a pot of coffee, and fed the dog. Then ate the last leftover slice of Scottish Mincemeat pie. Which, dear North Americans, has no meat.

    Then wrote a chapter of I AM HAMLET’S GHOST that does double duty as part of a solicited paper being co-authored by me, my wife, and a professor/cousin on “Time’s Arrow” for a nonfiction tome of the same name.

    Then wrote a short chapter of the Multiverse/Planetary Science/Electroweak novel LUTETIA. Now my wife is doing something with a hopefully defrosted Turkey.

    In most SFWA households, “The Big One” means the Best Novel Nebula or Hugo. I recall that Norman Mailer (who wrote some great genre fiction) once corrected a reporter who thought the phrase meant the Pulitzer. Norman meant the Nobel Prize in Literature.

    In my household, The Big One is the Nobel Prize in Physics. Yeah, like that’s going to happen from my putting characters in mortal danger and waving my authorial hands…

  11. This is my second Christmas on my own and I’m celebrating exactly how I’ve always wanted. Sitting on the couch, eating Chinese (food not people, cannibalism isn’t very nice you know) and watching movies. It’s wonderful, and I’ll be seeing my family in a few days. Happy Holidays to you (and your lovely ladies, and your crazy pets!)

  12. We’ll be heading over to my inlaws shortly. The Maternal Unit tried to guilt us into spending time with my so called “family”, either yesterday or today, then she let slip that the bird wouldn’t be big enough to feed an extra two people. Scratch that idea (thank god)!

    I prefer white meat, and I’ve never actually cooked a whole turkey on my own, so for the first coupla xmases after I was married we had my inlaws over for a turkey breast with the traditional trimmings. Turns out nobody in hubby’s family, himself included, is a big fan of turkey, so in a little while we’ll be heading over to my inlaws for a chicken casserole. I’d rather have a chicken casserole with people I love, and who love me back, than a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, plus the usual family crap. Been there, done that, never again.

    Happy holidays, everyone!

  13. I’m alive and I’ll be with my large, extended family of cousins for dinner, playing with the kidlings.

    What could be a greater gift?

    Pacem in Terris,
    JJB

  14. There’s a ham & turkey in the oven coming out in an hour or so. New ereader is charging. Bed is reading for first download of free literature classics and a food coma.

    Tell Athena if she really wants to get good with that bow she needs to start lifting weights to build up shoulders and biceps. As the little brother of a former professional teen horsewoman I cannot convey how useful a girl will find boy sized(or bigger) biceps during her teens for sports, horses, putting snarky boys in their place etc.

  15. My Christmas has been really great. Thank you for asking. I, however, am waiting for my two signed books that my friend got me :) So I’m special and get more Christmas after Christmas. YAY!

    Much love to you and yours.. :)

  16. “Cut the girl a break, it’s her first time with a bow. She’ll get better.”

    I think the comments have been supportive, not critical. One shot. One kill. Have you gotten her a Hattori Hanzo sword yet?

  17. Heh… my nephew (10yo) just showed off his Hunger Games T-shirt. Not actually celebrating Christmas here (Jewish), but have a happy one!

  18. Well, in Melbourne, Australia we had a White Christmas of sorts … hailstones the size of golf-balls, lightning, thunder and a tornado, but a top temperature of over 30 deg C (so, a round 80ish F) before that. That’s Melbourne in Summer. We spent the day with friends, eating a fabulous meal with venison as the main course.

  19. Heh, *my* daughter (almost done being 13) got a bow for Christmas too – she had long since outgrown the “kids’ bow” her brothers still use, but wasn’t quite ready for the adult ones we have. She was quite pleased (though she figured it out ahead of time, alas ;)).

  20. Just wait. She’ll take a cue from the cats and drag a fresh-killed deer to your front porch for your approval. :P

  21. vian: Ouch!

    Christmas was good here. I got everything I wanted: time with all 3 kids, good dinner at my sister’s house, and the singing of some Bach chorales and some carols. We also celebrated the only tradition I have ever invented: the Ceremonial Reading of the Snotty Footnote that accompanies ‘Good King Wenceslas’ in the Oxford Book of Carols.

  22. I was surprised to learn several years ago that Geena Davis is (was?) a highly skilled archer. She missed making the US Olympic team, bit still, that’s bad-ass. Super motivated people can be good at most anything. Most talent is acquired through effort and discipline.

  23. We’ve had a great Christmas. Here in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, the snow is mostly gone, and the car’s exterior thermometer said 52ºF this afternoon.

  24. My wife listened to the first book of The Hunger Game on audio, and liked it very much. Is it one that Athena and you have enjoyed?

    Some Science Fiction folks disregarded this, thinking it a mere YA sales fluke. My wife thinks otherwise, appreciating that many details have been thought through, and the language is clear. I have not read nor heard it, as my stack of books grew more today, with several NY Times bestsellers in Mystery and Thriller categories.

    I thank you again for your great recommendations, and author interviews, and film analyses in the past. Your good taste is intelligent and trustworthy.

  25. My first reaction was to warn Athena to turn her elbow out, too; I’m a female who first picked up a bow at about her age, and the string burns from my first lessons only faded in the past few years. This year, my family spoiled me with a Collectors Edition Skyrim, a lovely handmade lap quilt, and a sub-professional stand mixer that I killed with the first batch of bread. Two outta three ain’t bad!

  26. I took archery for P.E. when I was in high school. Knew a kid who shot an intruder going up his staircase. Shot the burglar right in the ass! I bet that taught him a lesson. We had a white Christmas here in Midland, Texas. It was wonderful!

  27. Much like any other weekend, thanks for asking; although, since it was a holiday, we both had it off, which is slightly unusual. Otherwise, we cat-sat for our neighbor, so she could get out of Dodge, and celebrate with her peeps.Yet another reason that Christians should be pro-Atheist: we will feed and water your pets while you are doing your Judeo-Christian-Colonialist-Pagan holiday thang. ;-)

    (That’s a general, semantic “you,” not a specific, pointy-fingered, “you, yes, you, right there, in the red shirt…” A vague disclaimer, etc.)

  28. Christmas included you! I read OLD MAN’S WAR for the first time, and enjoyed it probably as much as you’d hope I would. Because of an uncle accidentally re-buying a bunch of books he’d already bought, I’d gotten copies of GHOST BRIGADES and ZOE’S TALE, but I like beginning at the beginning, so I borrowed the first book.

    Drama this weekend, I’m glad to say, mainly came from the book and from football games (and yay for a couple games this weekend actually being funny!).

    So. Good times. And I feel I have the right to comment here now. *grins*

  29. Lovely, thanks. Blew out of the Holiday Market with a van full of pottery by 5 pm Christmas eve, spent Christmas day with friends, cats, a spiral-sliced ham and fresh apple pie.

    Today we went back to dismantle our sales booth, so I am now officially on vacation until the spring craft sales start. Looking at a big pile of books…

  30. I just got my younger son (12) a Genesis compound bow for Christmas. It’s what his school club uses and it’s the regulation bow for their competitions. He really seems to enjoy it! Hope Athena has fun with her bow. Joining an archery club or school team with a person to coach can really help to develop the proper technique from the beginning.
    My wife, my sons and I have been spending lots of time enjoying the company of friends and family over the last few days. All in all a wonderful way to spend the holidays.

  31. It’s kinda hard to see clearly on the photo, but it looks like she’s pulling with her right arm and the arrow is resting on the right-side arrow rest. If so, you need to switch it up. If you pull with your right, the arrow should rest on the left-hand side of the bow (and vis a vis). She’ll start shooting straighter after she does that (as you release the arrow, it will actually bend back toward the center of the bow this way, keeping the arrow on the same side as your draw will cause the arrow to bend the wrong way). Keep up the good work, Athena.

  32. Athena, I am so jealous of you right now. My mom took archery in college, and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at it. Have never had the chance to…. One of those opportunities I need to create. Have fun! : )

  33. I had bows n arrows growing up; extended family had 10+ acres in the country which did great duty as a safe archery range. Hopefully the Scalzi compound is equally safe for exercises, sounds so from the descriptions.

    It’s self-moderating, in having to go to the bales of hay and retrieve the arrows, walk back to shooting point, and a bunch of arm strength / endurance. But fun and physical.

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