Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Surely that's WORTH a giant cookie!

by guest blogger Janet Bolin

Blue suede shoeMy mystery-writing career began when someone lost a shoe.

I found it.

To the consternation of the woman walking with me, I shoved the shoe into my briefcase and took it home.

The next morning, I took the shoe to work and called my doctor.

Are you still with me? Oh, sorry, that was rather a large . . . um . . . step.

Okay, here’s how the conversation went, sort of.

Me: “Have any of your patients reported losing an orthotic?”
Receptionist: “No.”

Me: “Because I found one. It matches my orthotic.”

Receptionist: “Is it yours?”

Me: “No. The sticker on the bottom of mine says Bolin. The sticker on the bottom of hers is torn, but these are the letters I can read. T-E-N-A.”

Receptionist: “First or last name?”

Me: “I don’t know.”


Me: (getting desperate—as anyone who has ever purchased orthotics knows, they are hideously expensive.) “It’s in a blue suede woman’s shoe, size 8M.”

More silence. Then, with a great deal of doubt, “I’ll see if we have any patients matching that.” Click. Dial tone.

My sense of triumph lasted at least an hour. But day after day passed, and I didn’t hear from the doctor’s office. Some poor woman had lost an expensive item, and could be hobbling around on very sore feet. On one very sore foot.

What could have possibly happened to her? Maybe something terrible.  
Typing-at-a-keyboard1I started to write about a woman setting out to find the owner of a lost shoe.  I scribbled and scribbled (actually, I keyed the words, but scribbling sounds much more dramatic) and couldn’t stop.

Finally, I received a call. “I hear you found my shoe.”

Tena showed up at my office to collect her shoe and her expensive orthotic. She brought me a HUGE chocolate chip cookie in the shape of a high-heeled shoe. “The people in my office are calling you the Shoe Goddess,” she said.

Shoe cookie cutterBreaking off and gobbling chunks of cookie, the people in my office probably started thinking of me as the Chocolate Chip Cookie Goddess.

We all lived happily ever after.

All of us, that is, except for the woman in my story who lost a shoe . . .

That was my first manuscript, the one that lives in the proverbial drawer. But I was hooked on writing mysteries.

What about you? Did you ever do something strange that propelled you into accomplishing something you’d always wanted to try?
Dire ThreadsThe first book in Janet Bolin’s Threadville Mystery series is Dire Threads. Visit her website or talk to her on Facebook and/or Twitter.  The second book in the series is Threaded for Trouble, arriving in stores June 5, 2012, and is now available for pre-order.
Dire Threads:  Amazon ~ Kindle   ~ Barnes & Noble / Nook   ~  Indigo   ~  Books A Million   ~  The Book Depository    ~  Independent (US) Bookstores
Threaded For Trouble:  Amazon   ~  Barnes & Noble   ~  The Book Depository   ~   Books A Million  ~ Independent (US) Bookstores


  1. Ack... my comment got lost in cyberspace. It was a little wacky and rambling, so maybe it's for the best.

    Great story, Janet! Thanks for sharing. Love the fact that this experience helped you make the leap (heh) into mystery. We're all the luckier for it!

  2. Thanks, Julie! Oooh, I'm sorry to hear that your wacky and rambling comment got lost in cyberspace. I tend to like wacky and rambling...

  3. You're a kind person to take the time and effort to help someone find her orthotic. But seriously, was this in a HIGH HEEL SHOE? Doesn't that sort of negate the use of orthotics?

    who has insanely expensive orthotics, too

  4. Wonderful story, Janet. I love the idea of a lost shoe sparking an idea for a story. I hope we all get to read that story someday!

    ~ Krista

  5. You're right, Leanne, the shoe wasn't a high heel! But the cookie was.

  6. Krista, the main character in that story often nags me about not having ever quite finished its rewrites.

  7. I really want to know how she lost the shoe in the first place. There's a story there!

    Love your detecting skills and hope to see that story, too!

  8. Heather, I wondered that, too. I mean, if you walk out of your shoe, you're sure to notice, right? In real life, the shoe fell out of a bag the woman was carrying.

    The real-life detecting was hilarious. Luck and coincidence played a huge part.

    In stories that we write, however, nothing can ever be that simple, can it?