At the Battle of Yashima in 1185, the defeated Heike took to their boats to escape the Genji, who had pursued them on horseback but were halted by the sea.
On their rocking ships, the Heike mounted a single fan atop a mast, taunting any Genji warrior to shoot down the minuscule target.
One of the Genji samurai, Nasu no Yoichi, strode forth into the crashing waves. On top of his stead, he notched his arrow, fully aware that the honour of his entire clan now rested on him.
The sea spray blowing wildly in his face, he took a single breath and shot the fan cleanly through.
I've always liked that story. To me, it illustrates how much power there is in skill funnelled through focus.
I tend to the opposite, chasing after a million and one new interests moment by moment. But one dream which has stayed consistent is the wish to write a novel.
As I started on the latest attempt to do so, I realised just how much ground I need to cover on the mountain laying in front of me, and how I'll need to shed as much weight as I can in order to move ahead. As much as I enjoy writing here, 21 Dragons will need to take a backseat as I work on something even bigger.
Wish me luck as I notch this arrow.