Fiction Pictures

The Archer (2020) by Paulo Coelho & The Way of the Bow

“You were the one who chose the target and you are responsible for it.”

The Archer (2020) by Paulo Coelho is a short-thin motivational-Zen book (also translated as The Way of the Bow) with mostly one paragraph per page, and can be read in one or two short afternoons, but the over-arching metaphors found within are going to be deliberated for years to come.  

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The primary focus of the book is that forward-moving Action (combined with the Soul) compels an individual into a life worth living — an unafraid life free of restrictions; a brave life which is capable of taking risks and overcoming challenges.

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Paulo Coelho de Souza, Brazilian Lyricist & Novelist (born 1947)

The Zen-esque advice is taught by a narrator who is a mysterious Master Archer named Tetsuya, who reached a famed & legendary status long ago only to be found now working as a lowly-unknown carpenter in his old age.

Between chapters (more like quick sectional topic breaks) & spread throughout the pages are simple yet beautiful illustrations by Christoph Niemann.

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The Prologue (pgs 1-11) and the Epilogue (pgs 125-130) are primarily told as a straight forward story with Tetsuya imparting his wisdom to a young boy who wishes to learn the secrets of what it takes to be successful in life and to be a master archer. The Epilogue dives deeper into Tetsuya’s backstory relating how he first became acquainted with the skills of archery.

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“The Way of the Bow” (p 7), almost prayer-like, is frequently referred to as the guiding principle of the Master Archer broken down into thirteen detailed categories as Tetsuya and the young boy descend a mountain.

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The sections (which can be read as literal advice for archery or as larger metaphors with far-reaching implications) are — Allies — The Bow — The Arrow — The Target — Posture — How to Hold the Arrow — How to Hold the Bow — How to Draw the Bowstring — How to Look at the Target — The Moment of Release — Repetition — How to Observe the Flight of the Arrow — and, The Archer Without Bow, Without Arrow, Without Target.

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What is a Master?

Early on, the Master Archer Tetsuya defines what a “Master” is to a young boy who has just watch Tetsuya defeat another archer in a challenge of skills.

Tetsuya explains what he thinks a “master” is: “I would say that he is not someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to do his best to discover a knowledge he already has in his soul” (p 11).

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Tetsuya then explains which Allies to seek out and what the true nature of an Ally can be defined as:

“They are the people who are not afraid of making mistakes and who do, therefore, make mistakes, which is why their work often goes unrecognized. Yet they are just the kind of people who transform the world and, after many mistakes, manage to do something that can make a real difference in their community…

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“They are people who can’t bear to sit around waiting for things to happen in order to decide which attitude to adopt; they decide as they act, well aware that this could prove highly dangerous” (p 18).

“They are people who do not hesitate to change direction when they encounter some insuperable barrier, or when they see a better opportunity. They have the qualities of water: flowing around rocks, adapting to the course of the river, sometimes forming into a lake until the hollow fills to overflowing, and they can continue on their way, because water never forgets that the sea is its destiny and that sooner or later it must be reached” (p 25).

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The Target

Continuing down the mountain, Tetsuya explains to the young boy what the Target really is and what it truly means:

“The target is the objective to be reached.

“It was chosen by the archer and though it is a long way off, we cannot blame it when we fail to hit it. In this lies the beauty of the way of the bow: you can never excuse yourself by saying that your opponent was stronger than you.

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“You were the one who chose the target and you are responsible for it” (p 43).

“That is why you must choose your target, do your best to hit it, and always regard it with respect and dignity; you need to know what it means and how much effort, training, and intuition were required on your part” (p 45).

“Just as the arrow seeks the target, so the target also seeks the arrow, because it is the arrow that gives meaning to its existence; it is no longer just a piece of paper; for an archer, it is the center of the world” (p 47).

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How to Hold the Arrow

Here, Tetsuya likens the “arrow” as being a person’s “intention” to achieve a specific act.

“A man’s intention should be perfect, straight, sharp, firm, precise. No one can stop it as it crosses the space separating it from its destiny” (p 65).

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How to Draw the Bowstring

“The bow is a musical instrument, and its sound is made manifest in the string.

“The bowstring is a big thing, but the arrow touches only one point on it, and all the archer’s knowledge and experience should be concentrated on that one small point” (p 75).

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The Moment of Release

“There are two types of shot.

“The first is the shot made with great precision, but without any soul…

“The second type of shot is the one made with soul. When the intention of the archer is transformed into the flight of the arrow, his hand opens at the right moment, the sound of the string makes the birds sing, and the gesture of shooting something over a distance provokes — paradoxically enough — a return to and an encounter with oneself” (p 91).

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“And then comes the moment when he no longer has to think about what he is doing. From then on, the archer becomes his bow, his arrow, and his target” (p 104).

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How to Observe the Flight of the Arrow

“If he has practiced enough, if he has managed to develop his instinct, if he has maintained elegance and concentration throughout the whole process of shooting the arrow, he will, at that moment, feel the presence of the universe and will see that his action was just and deserved” (p 112).

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“When the archer draws the bowstring, he can see the whole world in his bow…

“Each arrow flies differently. You can shoot a thousand arrows and each one will follow a different trajectory: that is the way of the bow” (p 115).

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Paulo Coelho is the famed author of The Alchemist (1988).

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He’s also the author of The Pilgrimage (1987), By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (1994), Warrior of the Light: A Manual (2002), Eleven Minutes (2003), Aleph (2011), Manuscript Found in Accra (2012), Adultery (2014), The Spy (2016), and Hippie (2018), among many other wonderful books. 

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cg fewston

The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a been member of the Hemingway Society, Americans for the Arts, PEN America, Club Med, & the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a been Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London. He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Fathers Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystics Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America (2020); A Time to Forget in East Berlin (2022), and Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being (2023).

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He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.

cg fewston
cg fewston

Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being is a captivating new dystopian science fiction novel by CG Fewston, an author already making a name for himself with his thought-provoking work. Set in the year 2183, Conquergood is set in a world where one company, Korporation, reigns supreme and has obtained world peace, through oppression... The world-building in the novel is remarkable. Fewston has created a believable and authentic post-apocalyptic society with technological wonders and thought-provoking societal issues. The relevance of the themes to the state of the world today adds an extra wrinkle and makes the story even more compelling.”

cg fewston
cg fewston

“A spellbinding tale of love and espionage set under the looming shadow of the Berlin Wall in 1975… A mesmerising read full of charged eroticism.”

Ian Skewis, Associate Editor for Bloodhound Books, & author of best-selling novel A Murder of Crows (2017)  

“An engrossing story of clandestine espionage… a testament to the lifestyle encountered in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.”

“There is no better way for readers interested in Germany’s history and the dilemma and cultures of the two Berlins to absorb this information than in a novel such as this, which captures the microcosm of two individuals’ love, relationship, and options and expands them against the blossoming dilemmas of a nation divided.”

~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

A Time to Forget in East Berlin is a dream-like interlude of love and passion in the paranoid and violent life of a Cold War spy. The meticulous research is evident on every page, and Fewston’s elegant prose, reminiscent of novels from a bygone era, enhances the sensation that this is a book firmly rooted in another time.”

~ Matthew Harffy, prolific writer & best-selling historical fiction author of the “Bernicia Chronicles” series

“Vivid, nuanced, and poetic…” “Fewston avoids familiar plot elements of espionage fiction, and he is excellent when it comes to emotional precision and form while crafting his varied cast of characters.” “There’s a lot to absorb in this book of hefty psychological and philosophical observations and insights, but the reader who stays committed will be greatly rewarded.”

cg fewston

GOLD Winner in the 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards for Contemporary Realistic Fiction

FINALIST in the SOUTHWEST REGIONAL FICTION category of the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence 2020 Awards (NIEA)

“Readers of The Catcher in the Rye and similar stories will relish the astute, critical inspection of life that makes Little Hometown, America a compelling snapshot of contemporary American life and culture.”

“Fewston employs a literary device called a ‘frame narrative’ which may be less familiar to some, but allows for a picture-in-picture result (to use a photographic term). Snapshots of stories appear as parts of other stories, with the introductory story serving as a backdrop for a series of shorter stories that lead readers into each, dovetailing and connecting in intricate ways.”

~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“The American novelist CG FEWSTON tells a satisfying tale, bolstered by psychology and far-ranging philosophy, calling upon Joseph Campbell, J. D. Salinger, the King James Bible, and Othello.”

“In this way, the author lends intellectual heft to a family story, exploring the ‘purity’ of art, the ‘corrupting’ influences of publishing, the solitary artist, and the messy interconnectedness of human relationships.”

“Fewston’s lyrical, nostalgia-steeped story is told from the perspective of a 40-year-old man gazing back on events from his 1980s Texas childhood…. the narrator movingly conveys and interprets the greater meanings behind childhood memories.”

“The novel’s focus on formative childhood moments is familiar… the narrator’s lived experiences come across as wholly personal, deeply felt, and visceral.”

cg fewston
cg fewston

American Novelist CG FEWSTON


cg fewston

This is my good friend, Nicolasa (Nico) Murillo, CRC, who is a professional chef & a wellness mentor. I’ve known her since childhood & I’m honored to share her story with you. In life, we all have ups & downs, some far more extreme than others. Much like in Canada, in America, the legalization of marijuana has become a national movement, which includes safe & legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use & research for all.

“This is a wellness movement,” Nico explains. The wellness movement is focused on three specific areas: information, encouragement, & accountability.

In these stressful & unprecedented times, it makes good sense to promote & encourage the state or condition of being in good physical & mental health.

To learn more you can visit: Americans For Safe Access & Texans for Safe Access, ASA (if you are in Texas).

The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.


TEXANS FOR SAFE ACCESS ~ share the mission of their national organization, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research, for all Texans.


Stay safe & stay happy. God bless.


Nico Murillo Bio ~ Americans & Texans for Safe Access ~ Medical Cannabis



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