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August Interviews

8/5 Lucy Burdette, The Key Lime Crime

8/12 Maggie Toussaint, All Done With It

8/19 Julie Mulhern, Killer Queen

8/26 Debra Goldstein, Three Treats Too Many

August Guest Bloggers

8/8 Leslie Wheeler

8/15 Jean Rabe

August Interviews

8/22 Kait Carson

8/29 WWK Authors--What We're Reading Now


Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Thursday, February 13, 2014


A shoe that's also a CD player

Last month Burton Cole, a humor columnist with our local paper, The Tribune Chronicle, wrote a column about finding single shoes along the road when he went for a walk. He wondered who would get rid of just one shoe and what about the other one. As always his columns are funny and when he mentioned a blog about single lost shoes, I had to check it out. Who could imagine there’s a blog about such a thing as lost shoes?

Unusual, but could you imagine wearing this?
So I used Google to find the site and I was amazed at what an active blog it is. (Look for Lost Soles and Randall Louis Hamilton’s One Shoe Diaries.) Amazing! Not only are there comments from people all over the United States and Canada relating the single shoes they found and where it was found, etc. but there’s also a map of all the places these lost shoes were found. There seem to be more of these shoes in the southern states and up the west coast until there aren’t as many
when the map gets closer to San Francisco. I imagine people in the colder regions don’t lose just one shoe as often. Someone recently told me if you see a pair of sneakers tied together and dangling over a phone wire, it’s to mark the place where drugs are sold. Hmmm. I’d never heard that before. I just thought it was a teenage prankster picking on someone.

If these were mine, I'd pitch them, too.
Like Cole, I wondered how someone could lose just one shoe. I remember on a vacation in Canada with my family years ago before cars were air-conditioned, my two year old sister tossed one shoe out the window. None of us in the car noticed, but fortunately my aunt and uncle with my cousins following noticed and picked the shoe up.

Even more strange was what I saw on my morning walk ten or twelve years ago. It was before I had dogs so I walked down my rather busy road  until I got to a side road. That morning I came upon a pair of what looked to be army boots neatly lined up beside the road as if the owner of the boots had slipped them off and walked on whether in his stocking feet or bare feet I have no idea. I left them there thinking he might come back, but they were still there the following day. So as I returned from my walk, I picked them up and took them home. Later I gave them to Good Will.

My boots - not the boots I found
I still wonder about the person who left his boots behind and why he did; single shoes not so much. Those could be tossed out by siblings, teenagers fooling around or someone having had too much to drink. But in the mind of a writer, there are many ways to use that pair of boots in a story or book. It’s fodder for the imagination, and I have some ideas for it.

Why do you think the boots were left by the side of the road?
What out-of-the-ordinary thing have you observed that makes you wonder?


Jim Jackson said...

When something nice is abandoned, my immediate reaction is that someone has too much money that they can throw it away like that. I’m sure I’m channeling my depression-surviving parents, and as your story about your sister points out, sometimes it a mistake by an unknowing individual. Nonetheless I need to own my own thinking since I am somewhat north of legal age.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

When I see shoes on the road, I think mean people threw them. It takes me a while to find shoes that I like and that fit well--and like Jim said--it's expensive. I think I'd punch someone if they threw my shoes out of the car. Mean people throw shoes!

When we were finally burying my parents' ashes in a Philadelphia cemetery, I saw a pair of Nikes on a grave. They were so realistic that I went closer. It was the grave of a young basketball player, and yes, they weren't real--but very realistic.

Unlike Bill Cosby's mom--I never threw shoes at my kids. I did hurl logic at times, which really made them mad.

Gloria Alden said...

James, I have trouble throwing anything away because I was born at the end of the depression. I have trouble not eating everything on my plate, too, because of those starving kids in China my parents always talked about when I didn't want to eat my lima beans or something else. To this day, I'm not sure what benefit the kids in China got from me forcing those beans down.

E.B. when I eventually get rid of a pair of shoes, it's always to a thrift shop like Goodwill or a local one run by a church. Throw usable things in the trash can? Never! I feel there's always someone who can use what I no longer need or want.

That pair of imitation Nikes on a grave is quite touching. I put a beautiful epitaph along with his picture on my son's gravestone.

I never threw shoes at my kids, either. Maybe because I never thought of it. :-) Four in less than five years can be very trying on any mother's patience.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Gloria,
About the sneakers hanging over phone wires--here in the big city, generations of kids have tied their gym sneakers together and tossed them on wires to signal the end of the school year. A few years ago I wrote a story called The Sneaker Tree about two girls who hung their sneakers from a tree in a park when they graduated from high school and how and why they visited the tree every year. Never heard of the drug dealer relationship--but times change.

Warren Bull said...

When I was in elementary school with a friend we challenged a famous (to us anyway) mud hole. He made it through. He had to pull me out. I made it but one shoe did not. I walked home one shoe off and one shoe on.

Kaye George said...

OK, I admit that I threw a pair of sneakers over the wires when we lived in Dallas. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Am I the only one who thinks they fell off a load of stuff? Like someone who is moving? Or a little kid threw them out the window?

Shari Randall said...

The single shoe by the side of the road makes me think of people who put things on the roof of their car before they get in, and then they drive away with the bag/shoes/six pack/briefcase on top of the car.
The boots standing sentinel by the side of the road - that gave me a chill. Seems so intentional. Someone saying goodbye, maybe.

KM Rockwood said...

When my kids were young, one of my aunts took my daughter for a walk "around the block" at my parents' house. When they came back, the child only had one shoe. Despite looking for it, and dispatching my brothers on bicycles, we never did find it. My aunt felt terrible and bought a new pair of shoes.

When I was a kid, for unknown reasons, it was imperative for parents to buy expensive, stiff, awkward high top white shoes for their young children, regardless of what else needed to be sacrificed in the family budget. And new ones--no handing down shoes! At any rate, one of my young brothers came up short a shoe one morning as we were getting ready for church. Months later, when my father was getting ready to go on a business trip, the shoe was found in a suitcase, which had been left open while being unpacked. Undoubtedly one of us hide the shoe from my brother.

Sometimes soldiers leaving a site (especially where they were encamped for a while) will leave a worn pair of combat boots, tied by the laces, flung over an electrical wire if there is one, or something else high. Often the boots are painted orange if they have paint.

Kara Cerise said...

Sometimes I see a stray flip-flop or tennis shoe on the side of the road especially in the summer. It’s usually kiddie sized so I assume a child tossed it out the window or it fell off the roof of the car. But I don't recall seeing two shoes or army boots looking like they were purposely lined up beside the road. That makes me wonder, too. I hope you write a story about this, Gloria.

Gloria Alden said...

Terri, they may do that around here, too, but I haven't heard of that. It certainly wasn't something that happened when I was young. I'd like to read your story sometime.

Warren, that sounds like something we'd do when we were kids, but it was more like swimming in a farm pond that was rather murky.

Kaye, I'm sure most of us have done things that seemed like a good idea at the time when we were young, but don't think so anymore.

Shari, I thought that, too. Maybe saying good-bye to the army life?
Whatever, I waited a few days before picking them up in case whoever left them changed their mind.

KM, I can't tell you how many times I've searched and searched for something only to find it much later in some strange place. Gremlins perhaps?

Yes, Kara, single shoes are much easier to explain than boots neatly lined up beside the road. It's been years now, but it's still vivid in my memory so someday I will write a story about that.