Thursday, July 30, 2015

When the world turns upside down, you don’t really fall off

Lately my world has been a little wobbly.  Lots going on, busy with a new book, writing for another publication, building friendships and dealing with some personal issues.  Then…the bane of women over 30 everywhere.  My birthday is one month away.  For me this is a really tough birthday, some say it is a reason to celebrate.  No, it isn’t a 0, but it does mean I’ve lived longer than nearly all of my family.  Genetics, geography, bad luck…my Father’s side of the family fell to all kinds of things, mostly cancer.  Not just one kind of cancer, lots of different ones.  We used to joke that if nothing happed by the time you were 35, Cancer would get you before 55.  That was pretty much true.  I’m the last of the line from two generations worth. 


Birthdays always make me reflect on my life and what I’ve accomplished, or have yet to accomplish.  This one especially.  I feel like I owe it to my passed family members to leave a mark.  Writing is one way, I get enough comments to know that occasionally something will resonate and make someone think.  Teaching is another, there is so much meaning in seeing a student develop confidence and find the joy in shooting. 


My bucket list is pretty short.  I’ve managed to do a lot of things in my years here.  Some ordinary to others but special to me, some pretty cool, actually.  Thanks to the jobs I’ve had, I’ve seen all but 6 states in the U.S. and been on 4 continents.  I’m horrible with languages but know how to bow in 4 different countries (yep, all different), and a smile goes a long way no matter where you are.  I was moved at being able to touch a piece of history that I didn’t think I would ever get to see, the Great Pyramid at Giza, over 3,000 years old.  I was in awe at the structure, the meaning and the age.  I’ve touched the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, back when they let you.  That was pretty overwhelming on its own.  I’ve met true heroes, shaking hands with John Glenn was a highlight in my life, barely remembering listening to the Mercury space mission coverage. 


Reflecting on what is past, dreaming of what may come, somehow makes today seem better.  I know I’ve had the honor to touch a few hearts and others have touched mine.  I only hope I can continue to do so.  Making a difference is about the little things more than the big ones.  For touching the life of one person makes it worthwhile. 


Thank you for following along with me on this journey.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Practice makes...Perfect?

By guest blogger Jim Bogle

We are all familiar with the adage “Practice Makes Perfect”, but what if you are practicing something with poor technique?  You are reinforcing that poor technique by repeating it and building the muscle memory.  It is a lot more difficult to modify a learned behavior than to do it correctly from the beginning.


Depending on the source, it can take from 50 to 2000 repetitions to form a habit.  The one thing all the sites agreed on was it takes 2-3 times that many to break the habit.  What does this mean for a shooter?  Ammo and time are precious.  So we need to make the best use of our practice time.  This includes the serious drills, focused on a particular skill, and the days when you just want to plink or make holes in paper.  If you are using poor technique, even when just having fun, you are reinforcing that habit.  Everyone has a bad day from time to time.  If you're at the range & find that you are having a "bad day". Pack up your gear & go home or some other happy place, but don't keep "practicing" bad technique & reinforcing or creating bad habits. Your future performance will be the better for it!


Next time you are at a range, glance around you at other shooters.  I’m not advocating staring or even offering “friendly advice”.  Just a quick glance and you will see a multitude of poor practices on any average day.  People leaning backward instead of forward, someone who is so tensed and hunched up their shoulders are almost touching their muffs, the tea-cupper, the person who fires and adjusts their grip…repeat.  These are habits and many people, unless they are working with a competent instructor, don’t even realize they have formed these habits. 


If you aren’t sure, go back to your fundamentals and work from your feet up.  I was shooting with a friend who is usually a pretty good shot.  She was consistently shooting low.  We talked, she went back to her fundamentals.  She knew shooting low usually means anticipating recoil.  Talking it through we recognized she was recovering from tendonitis and was skittish about aggravating it.  Once she realized what she was doing, she was able to correct and start getting better shot placement.  But had she not stopped and talked it through, the anticipation could quickly become habit and be very challenging to break.


Enjoy your shooting time, don’t over think, but remember, you will do what you practice, so if you practice poor technique, you will have poor technique.  If you aren’t sure what you are doing, an hour with a good instructor can be a great investment.  Small changes can be worked in improving your technique, your shooting and often your physical comfort.


Shooting is fun, practice smart and enjoy it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Old Dog - New Tricks!

By Guest Blogger Jim Bogle

I’ve been shooting for years, long guns and pistols, even competing in steel plate matches.  My focus has always been accuracy at distance.  On a recent trip to the range my shooting partner demonstrated her defensive tactic practice and I was intrigued.  Then she really got my attention by sending the target carrier out to 25 feet, hitting the “home” button so it started to travel back, drawing and unloading 16 rounds into the high center chest before the target made it all the way back.  This was something I had never seen before and was intrigued.  I had to try it.  Fresh target, out to 25 feet, “home” and I started shooting.  At that speed you are point shooting but I was pleased to find I had a fairly tight group in the center.  More than that, it was FUN! 


It reminded me that we should always be learning and trying new techniques.  Even if you’ve been shooting for years, there is something new to try, and you might even enjoy it.  I’m looking forward to the next trip to the range so I can do it again!



Monday, June 22, 2015

Gun Bunnies Redux - Your Measurements Have Nothing to do With Your Caliber

There has been some debate lately about what a female shooter looks like.  My question is why does she have to look a certain way?  There is the uber-sexy Gun Bunny, all big breasts, tiny waist, skimpy outfit, hair blowing in the wind…and a grip that would probably cause her to bruise if not break something if she actually fired the gun.

Then there are the real shooters.  Some of them are gorgeous, slim, properly attired and showing safe handling.  I’m thinking of some recent photos of Julie Golob, Annette Watcher, Julianna Crowder, Becky Lou Lacock… to name just a few.  Then there are the rest of us.  We can be tall, short, slim, chubby, physically impaired, young, old.  We are your neighbors, your Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend.  We are real women, as are the ladies mentioned above.  We are a lot of things, but most of all we are smart, sassy, genuine, and safe.

I believe there is a type of woman who shoots.  She is smart, empowered, and aware.  She knows (forgive me L’Oreal) she is “Worth It”.  We are shooters, and we enjoy the sport, the fun, the empowerment and camaraderie.

Personally, could I stand to be in better shape?  Absolutely.  Could I rattle off the major life issues, physical and emotional, from the last couple years that contribute to my measurements?  Yes, but it doesn’t matter.  I shoot for the joy of shooting.  I teach to share that joy.  I practice defensive shooting because that is my chosen focus.  I write to share my passion.  You don’t have to like it, but if you are going to critique me, critique the facts, not the hips.

Remember, your measurements have nothing to do with your caliber! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015



How hard is it to read the reviews people post on your books?  BRUTAL!  I had no idea.  But now, 3 books out, and I’m finding that it can be brutal.  Most of them are great, but every once in a while you get someone who was looking for something else, and they blast your book because it wasn’t what they were looking for. 

People can be brutal.  I’ve asked other authors, they experienced the same thing.  The great reviews are the highs, the trash reviews are the lows.  Many don’t read their reviews, I have not gotten to that point yet.

What have I learned?  The people who write the books you review have feelings.  Reminds me of Thumper’s Mother; “If you can’t say something nice…”
Thank you to those who left positive and encouraging comments.  For those who were looking for something else…I’m sorry that you didn’t get what you were looking for.  Perhaps you can read the descriptions and reviews more carefully and find the right fit for you, or you can contact me and ask for a recommendation.

Thank you, stepping off the soap box now