Posts Tagged ‘The Hunger Games’

So suddenly archery is getting really hot and popular, thanks of course to The Hunger Games.  Maybe that’s why I feel a little cool for having already done archery when I was a kid.  True, I wasn’t exactly a phenom shot like Katniss, but I never accidentally hit any of my siblings or the family dog, hence I wasn’t a totally rotten shot.

Sometimes ago I also mentioned here that I bought a Groupon deal for a few archery classes.   Well, I’m embarrassed to admit that only last week did I FINALLY take my first class.  And you know what?

I think I’ve got a new addiction.

I mean, compared to so much Layla stuff I’ve done in the near or more distant past (fencing, parkour, Taekwondo, trapeze, jumping out of a plane, target shooting with a shotgun), archery proved to be so…  peaceful.   So quiet.   So very Zen.

The classes are in a big ol’ converted warehouse with elk head trophies lining one wall and the scent of hunting testosterone hanging in the air.  We six or seven newbies stood to one side with our rented simple bows while to our right stood the Serious Archers with their expensive fancy weapons and national competitive-level skills.   And we all just had a quiet good time.  We concentrated on the target.  We became one with our bow, our arrows, our targets.

And you know what?  I was a pretty good shot, which surprised the hell out of me.

I’m really looking forward to the other classes and then dropping by for some shooting on my own.  The price for that will be cheap – $11 for the equipment rental and a couple hours of target practice.  And maybe if I’m a good girl and my finances don’t go to hell in a handbasket again any time soon, I’ll even buy myself some relatively inexpensive archery equipment.

Now…  As for the computers I mentioned in the title…

I want to pass on some Alonzo advice about computers.  As you know, I had one hell of a crappy time recently with the server that hosts my blog and my techie friend Alonzo had to step in and save the day.  Trouble is, a couple friends are reporting that they STILL can’t access my blog.  Well, Alonzo checked the server’s monitor tests for a few cities and they reported that it was up 100% of the time except for two 20-minute down times last week.  So why is Becoming Layla still not coming up for a few people?

Here’s Alonzo’s advice that applies to ALL personal computers:

“Many people never ‘clean’ their computers of the hundreds of megs of crap that accumulate from web surfing, and that is a major cause of computer slowdowns.  (Your new computer I set up to automatically clean every time you reboot, and your browser Firefox self cleans every time it is closed. Don’t use Internet Explorer, it sucks and attracts viruses.)

“For people who have not cleaned or don’t know how to clean their systems, I recommend CCleaner, which can be set up to run automatically on your computer. They may download it here and it is free:”

So there you have it – advice from Alonzo, a man who’s as good with computers as he is with a pump action shotgun.  And that’s the truth and that’s why he’s kinda scary.

First off, I want to pause and make an announcement…

My friend and fellow writer Robert Read has an exciting new blog about an educational charity he’s started.  It’s called Public Invention for All Mankind, and it’s all about people coming together and supporting, encouraging, and coaching inventors who are trying to create things that will help other people.  I highly recommend checking it out.

Go Robert!

And now for the topic at hand…

This is one of those days when my brain is foggy and my concentration sucks like a Hoover and I swear that simply stringing a few entertaining sentences together is beyond my literary capability.

Hence  I’m kinda copping out by writing about a literary-slash-movie dust-up that seems to be taking shape over the upcoming release of the Hunger Games movie (which I am SO looking forward to!).  To whit:  how does Katniss of the Hunger Games trilogy compare to Bella of the Twilight series?

Here’s a article that appeared on about this topic:

As you can guess I’m fascinated by this because I created action heroine/scholar Layla Daltry, and yes she’s a grown-up in a thriller and not a teenager in a YA, but good and bad characters come in all shapes and ages and genres, and for me Katniss was a revelation of how superb and captivating a YA protagonist can be.  I mean, even the first chapter of Hunger Games blew me away.  Within a few pages author Suzanne Collins established Katniss’ character, her family, her situation, and her dark world and had me begging for more.  As for Bella in Twilight, I must confess, as I’ve done once before in these web pages…

I never read the Twilight books.

I tried.  I really did try.  I picked up a copy in a bookstore and read the first couple pages and skimmed a few scenes about Bella in her high school classes and her problems and feelings and…

OMG I just so didn’t care.

Then when the movie popped up on TV I tried to watch it.  But all I could think was… Why is Bella always in a funk and looks so depressed and why is that guy beating her up and oh good here comes her rescuer but I think I’ll change the channel and when I flip back to the movie she still looks so unhappy, and I remember that a couple friends who read and liked the series still complained that they sometimes wanted to whack Bella up the side of her head and tell her to snap out of it.  And I also remember how a couple guys in the office saw Twilight and they couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about and Bella so didn’t do anything for them.  Then there was the funny and snarky “Why I Hate Twilight” link I came across:

Then again, millions of sold copies means there’s something in the Twilight series that clearly speaks to a lot of young girls and grown women, and more power to them.  But as for me, I’m sticking with Katniss and Hunger Games.  Then again, the covers of the original Twilight books are brilliant and real works of art, while the covers of the HG trilogy are for me just serviceable.