Shoes Archives

May 1, 2008

The Shoe Off - And Next Contest! (My creativity apparently has its limits.)

So, the fabulous Polly Kahl has goaded the equally fabulous Robin Altman (aka Dr. Shoes) and (fabulousness not to be declared, that would be rude) royal-with-200-shoes me into having a shoe-off on our blogs. Although Polly cannot wear stylish shoes anymore due to her back problems, she nonetheless graciously got us started off on her blog. I think she gets extra points for creativity with the gold swirls, don't you? However, I don't want to be too generous here, and fortunately for them both, they can do psychotherapy (Polly's an M.A. and Robin a kiddie shrink) on one another, as I plan to win this thing! So check Polly's blog and Robin's blog and let us know whatcha think!

Now, for the this month's contest (and since I'm being lazy, you can too!): For a signed copy of QUEEN OF THE ROAD (and the moose poop thingy), simply comment on any of my blog posts during the entire month that relate to the shoe-off. If you mention the shoe-off on your blog, drop me an email (doreen at to let me know and I'll also enter you. Have a blog and a comment? You get two chances to win! (For those of you without blogs who think this is unfair - duh... this is a monarchy.) On May 31st, I shall randomly pick one commenter as the winner. (April's winner to be announced shortly. Actually, I have no idea if she's short.)

Let the shoe-off begin! (And, if any of you think, after seeing our offerings, that you can compete, by all means... BRING IT ON!)

And, oh yeah, yeah, YEAH: Check out Chris Eldin's blog May 3-9 for Author's Week,
"a week of contests, prizes, fun! And don't forget, hobnobbing with famous authors!"
(I'll be one of the, ahem, "famous authors" for her Author's Week at the end of June.)

So, since Polly posted 5 shoes, I figured I would, too (but, realize, as my subtitle says, I have 40 more to offer up) starting with:
Since I wrote about this pretty Prada pair on Polly's blog, I thought I should post the actual picture. Note the silver kitten heel. These were purchased on Ebay, some years ago for something like $20.

Shoes deux: this fine suede pair of Via Spigas. I bought these years ago as well, don't remember where and really don't care. Aren't they sweet?

Richard Tyler actually does my favorite pairs (and I have a few). These are navy and purchased on Ebay for a song.

I thought I would include some (near) flats: Donald Pilner. Very comfortable (and affordable, when purchased at one's local used clothing shop).

Last but not least: My ringer. My ace in the hole. Read 'em and weep, Robin. These beauties were purchased in Italy 20 years ago. Mercifully, I don't remember how much they cost. But, I got 3 other pairs bought on the same trip - so ante up!

May 5, 2008

April Winner and Shoes, The Musical

The April contest to win a galley copy of QUEEN OF THE ROAD (and moose poop) came out on April 1st, so I figured the theme should be A Royal Expose, in honor of April Fools' Day.You were charged to write about the "truth" behind Your Sovereign, Sir Tim, Our Bus, The Pets or really, whatever struck your fancy - anything at all in the QUEEN OF THE ROAD universe.

The theme seems to have been a stumper, but a ringer of sorts, WriterKat, came through. (Ringer because she's a writer with a fabulous writing blog to boot. She also works in the mental health field, but we won't hold that against her.)

Herewith, WriterKat's winning entry:

It wasn't what Judge Judy had in mind when she sentenced Dr. Queen and Dr. Queen to house arrest for the heinous unspeakable crime (think moose poop for cash ). But who is to say a bus is not a house. Chains strapped to their legs, the Drs. Queen peeled away from the courthouse ready for a new beginning. For sure they were kicked out of the Alaskan wild, but there's lots more adventures to be found on the open road than just that winter wonderland.

It's not to say being strapped down is all that fun, but bungie-jumping the Grand Canyon (they had to scale back up the cliffs since the chains had no bunge) wasn t exactly like the pain of digging holes in a field. (Don't go there: reminder, moose poop for cash). Certainly, it was more breathtaking than passing meds at the shrink joint (ignore the rumors, their meds are made from straight meds).

Halfway across Boonsville, they were at a loss for their next cash-crop. Fortunately, Dr. Mr. Queen excelled as the chain-footed driver, and Dr. Mrs. Queen chained herself to the computer, leaving us a year of memories in the Queenly novel, We Did It: A hypothetical Account of the Moose Poop Cash-Crop , [Editor's note: Change title ASAP to Queen of the Road: A True Tale of 47 States & NOT ALASKA, 22,000 Miles , 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, NO MOOSE, a husband and a House under Arrest that looks like a Bus. ]

Obvious why she won, no? (Although I'm not sure Tim will be pleased being called, "Dr. Queen." When my publisher first suggested the title, QUEEN OF THE ROAD, his only comment was, "People better not think that refers to me.")

And, please do head over to Robin Altman's (Kiddie Shrink extraordinaire - actually, I have no idea if she's a good shrink, but she's a hell of a funny broad) blog to see her response in our Shoe Off. I'd say she's thrown down the gauntlet with "Shoes, the Musical."

Now, I must retreat to the Royal dungeon to seek out my very best pairs of beauties, guarded all these years by the Imperial Dragon (hope he's not too pissed off).

May 26, 2008

Don't Put Off Your Dreams

In anticipation of QUEEN OF THE ROAD being published in one (GULP!) week, I thought I would post some excerpts with lessons learned.

When my long-dreaded thirtieth birthday arrived, I really wasn't as upset as I imagined I'd be, for I had achieved a much more important milestone: my sartorial centennial. I owned one hundred pairs of shoes. Then, at age forty-four, I found myself trying to cram a mere half that number into a living space of 340 square feet.

The whole thing was Tim's fault.

When he announced he wanted to travel around the country in a converted bus for a year, I gave this profound and potentially life-altering notion all the thoughtful consideration it deserved.

"Why can't you be like a normal husband with a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?" I demanded, adding, "I will never, ever, EVER, not in a million years, live on a bus."

Something less than a million years later, as we prepared to roll down the road in our fully outfitted, luxury bus, it occurred to me that Tim had already owned a Corvette, long ago when he was far too young for a midlife crisis. While I pondered who he might be seeing on the side (and whether his having an affair might prove less taxing than living in a metallic phallus on wheels), I wedged and stuffed – and, oh my GOD! bent – the cutest little Prada mules you've ever seen into my "closet," which was really not a closet at all, but much more resembled the cubbyhole I'd been assigned many pre-shoe-obsession years ago at Camp Cejwin. How had I let myself go from "never ever" to..this? Both Tim and I are shrinks, but he's obviously the better one. It took him five years, yet he whittled down my resolve, no doubt with some fancy, newfangled brainwashing technique ripped out of one of our medical journals before I could get to it.

So, here is the first and one of the most important lessons we learned from "the bus thing": Don't put off your dreams. Tim finally convinced me by explaining, "This is just something I really want to do – while we're young and can still enjoy it. I've done everything right all my life, the way I was supposed to do it. Now I want something for me. And I want it with you."

I realized even then that he had a point. Like many people, until we reached our late thirties, Tim and I had gone through life feeling rather invincible. Not only was it inconceivable that something bad could ever happen to us, even our very mortality seemed suspect. When we hit our forties, this changed, as our contemporaries experienced sudden, unexpected tragedies: A friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. A colleague died of a heart attack in his sleep. Both of us, for the first time, could feel creaks and aches in bones we hadn't thought about since anatomy class. Over the years, we each had treated people in our practices who had looked forward to all they planned to do in retirement, but when the time came, were too ill to travel or too devastated by the death of a spouse to live out their dreams.

Those lessons started hitting home as we officially breached middle age. We knew we were fortunate in that we would always have jobs; neurosis is a growth industry, after all. We could afford to do this now and go back to work later. For most people, it takes some terrible catalyst to change their lives. We're living proof that it doesn't have to be that way. We don't have to wait. We can change our lives NOW. And, it doesn't have to be something as drastic as taking an entire year off. That happened to work for us, but the bus is a really a metaphor; everyone can find their own "inner bus" whether it's taking an adult education class in something they've always wanted to learn about, volunteering in their communities, or rekindling an old interest that went by the wayside years ago.

What would your inner bus be?

Next, another important thing we learned: Don't let the spark die.

(This is from the first chapter of QUEEN OF THE ROAD: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus With a Will of Its Own, that's going to be published June 3rd by Broadway Books, an imprint of Random House. You can read the full chapter, see pictures from our trip, videos, podcasts and a lot of other fun stuff on my jam-packed website,

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About Shoes

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in the Shoes category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Royally Snarky is the previous category.

Shrinking is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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