Saturday, November 27, 2010

Spring Girl: Sarah Sumpolec

Author Sarah Sumpolec
Going back to the color issues, I have a poster girl for spring, I think. What do you think? That strawberry blonde hair and youthful outlook is so Sarah. She has this great series for teens and was a wonderful Kid interview on my blog, When I Was Just a Kid.

Even her web sites go with her "spring" vibe. She's a writer with a dark past who came to the true light of Christ. Do check out her Becoming Beka books and blog and various other hang outs like Twitter and Facebook and her blog, Girls, God and the Good Life.

It's hard to find springs but they are clear, light and warm. If you think you're a spring, try looking at Lora Alexander's Pretty Your World.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Break 'Em All

You know that old saying if you don't aim at anything, you won't hit anything? (Something like that.) I really understand this as I used to compete in trapshooting. Making analogies between shooting and writing became so easy for me.


Let me tell you just a little about trapshooting. In trapshooting it is tricky because a clay target is thrown out of a traphouse by this machine that only has so many angles, but you never know which way it will come out. You stand on one of five stations, and each time you change stations, the picture changes. There are things like wind, heat (that gun can get hot!) and distance to contend with your shot.

A shooter looks down the sight of her shotgun, and even the recoil can mess with your shot. (Especially if it hits you in the face and you begin to "flinch" when you shoot. Kind of like getting bad reviews or rejections.)You get someone beside you or even behind you saying or doing something annoying, and that can also play with your shot (and play with your mind.)

So many things. You pull the gun in tight, place your face against the stock, and look into an area above your gun. You call for the target, and expect to see it rise up above your gun. Once it comes into your sight ("touching" the end of your gun in the sight) you pull the trigger. If you are behind the target, it's a miss. ("Loss!") If it has gotten out too far before you pull the trigger, you miss. Sometimes you shoot too quick. Sometimes you shoot too slow. (Just like reading the market!)

Over the years everything I do seems to come down to what I learned in shooting. I found I could apply the lessons I learned from my coach, Kay Ohye (an amazing mens' champion) to most of my life. I could hear his voice in my head as I would shoot. ("Don't get too quick! Patience!"--My biggest problem was shooting too fast.) No matter how I shot on one trap, I had hope when I moved to the next station. The point was to move on. You didn't quit just because you missed every target on the first station. (Five shots, but if you hit the rest of them, you get a 95!)You didn't let down and relax just because you hit 99 straight shots and just had "one more." (There are a 100 shots/targets total--4 traps/25 shots per trap/5 shots per station.)

So over the course of writing this blog, I'll probably refer to trapshooting now. If you just "throw" the end of your gun toward the target, you will not hit your target. Focus. Focus on the target. This is the word I wrote down in my "goals" folder I started.

Think about what kinds of goals you have. Here's a template I use. You might want to try it.

Words for the Year: Crystal: Look/Focus/Act


Spiritual Goals:

* Read the English Standard Version of the Bible
* Continue study with the Messianic Jews on the Torah
* Pray specifically for someone other than my immediate family or self each day.

Personal Goals:
(I've actually met some of these so far this year, so I'm adjusting these.)

Overall Professional Goals:



Professional Goals for the Year:




(This is me in Savannah, GA competing in a Southern regional shoot.)


Those of us in shooting have a saying to encourage our fellow shooters--"Break 'em all!"

Let me know some of your goals and I'd love to hear what your current "word" is that will help you with your goals. 

~Crystal Laine Miller