Tag Archive for: red shoes

Red Shoe Musings

Here’s a  truth—if you’re
born and raised in Kansas City, red shoes are glittery and have the power, when
clicked, to take you home.


When I was in college, I dressed up as Dorothy for
Halloween. The dress was easy. The shoes less so. Simple red shoes wouldn’t do;
I needed ruby slippers. I bought a pair of red shoes, covered them in rubber
cement, and dunked them in glitter. I left a trail of sparkle behind me all

As I write this blog, I’m taking a mental inventory of my
closet. There are no red shoes. There have never been any red shoes (I threw
away the glitter shoes the morning after).
For my daughters, it’s a different story. One of them has a
pair that makes the Stiletto Gang’s new logo look like flats.
What is it about red shoes? Do they connote power, a woman
owning her sexuality, or do they simply add a pop of color to a black ensemble?

Ellison, the 1970s heroine of the Country Club Murders, has
a closet like mine. No red shoes. There are navy and black and beige pumps.
There are boots (so many boots). There are sandals in delicate spring shades.
There are white espadrilles for summer. There are gold stilettos. No red.
Poppy—the heroine of Fields’ Guide to Abduction and Fields’ Guide to Assassins—she might have red shoes. Although, she wouldn’t wear them because
they make her feel powerful or sexy. She’d wear them because they look good
with her dress.
As for my daughters, this mother doesn’t want to examine the
meaning of the red shoes in their closets. Who am I kidding? Their red shoes
are tossed under their beds…but that’s another blog.

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures. 

She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Her latest Country Club Murder, Back Stabbers, will release October 23rd.

The Red Shoes

by Shari Randall

You may have noticed that the Stiletto Gang has an updated look. We’re celebrating our new logo with a giveaway! Readers who comment on one of the Red Shoes blogs in September and October are entered to win either an Amazon or Starbucks $10 gift card. Join in the fun! The winner will be announced on our November Clicking Our Heels blog.

As a dance lover with a former ballerina as a main character, for me there is only one pair of red shoes that matters – The Red Shoes, a classic British film starring Moira Shearer.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about the film but a recent viewing revealed how well the film has aged. The Red Shoes has even more to say now than when it was first released to great acclaim, two Oscar wins, and several nominations in 1948. Directors as different as Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma have named the film one of their favorites. If these directors of some of the grittiest, hardest hitting films of all time declare a ballet movie one of their favorites, there must be something more to it than a simple backstage drama.
The film is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fable about a girl who yearns for dazzling red shoes she sees in a shop window. The shopkeeper gives them to her, but they are no ordinary shoes. She begins to dance, but discovers that she cannot stop dancing. The girl dances across fields, across cities, for days, exhausted, bruised, terrified by what’s happening because no matter how she tries, she cannot take off the enchanted shoes, cannot stop dancing. She begs a woodcutter to cut off her feet. He complies and she’s finally freed of the cursed shoes but at a terrible cost.
The directors of The Red Shoes used the fable as a springboard to an emotionally sophisticated and rich story. By setting the fable in the world of theater, the film’s central motif, the shoes, become a symbol for the artist’s gift.
The film centers around Vicky Page, a gifted young dancer. When she meets charismatic Boris Lermontov, a dictatorial ballet impresario, he asks her why she dances.
“Why do you live?” she responds.
We meet Julian, a young musician whose music has been plagiarized by his music professor. Boris asks Julian to compose music for a ballet version of The Red Shoes. With Vicky in the starring role the ballet is a sensation and Vicky is hailed as a great new talent at each stop on a glamorous European tour.
Two beautiful young people, each gifted artists, each passionate about their art – you can guess what happens next. Vicky and Julian fall in love. 
Against the pleadings of Lermontov, Vicky marries Julian and returns to England, leaving her career behind while Julian’s star rises.
But the pull of dance is too great. Vicky goes to visit her aunt in Monte Carlo, just as the ballet pulls into town. Lermontov begs her to return to the stage. She does. Did Vicky really simply wish to visit her aunt or did she intend to meet Lermontov? The film suggests but does not tell.
Just as she is preparing to take the stage for a revival of The Red Shoes, Julian storms in, begging her to return to England with him. Lermontov offers a counter argument, begging her to see that she is an artist, that she is born to dance. Vicky, forced to choose  between the man she loves and the art that keeps her alive, is torn from reality. As if her own red shoes are enchanted, she begins to dance, and….
I don’t want to give away the ending, because this film is so enjoyable on so many levels. The directors hired a painter to be in charge of art direction – it’s one of the most gorgeous, color drenched, Technicolor films ever. The costumes by French house of Fath are spectacular. But most importantly, the film has surprisingly modern things to say about art, artists, and relationships. 
Do yourself a favor and rent it. The Red Shoes raises so many issues about the nature of art and the sacrifices artists must make to honor their gift. It’s the perfect film, and the perfect shoes, for a group of writers who understand Vicky’s answer to Lermontov’s question.
Why do you write?
Why do you live?
Have you seen The Red Shoes? What do you think of Vicky’s situation? And what about those costumes?
Remember, if you comment, you are entered to win a gift card.

Shari Randall is the author of the Lobster Shack Mysteries from St. Martin’s Press. Book One, Curses, Boiled Again, has been called “Delightful! A fun whodunit full of New England coastal charm and characters who feel like friends. Warm humor, a delectable plot, and clever sleuthing will keep you turning the pages.”

Dancing in Red Shoes

by Bethany Maines

We are celebrating our new logo this month and discussing
what our red stiletto means to us.  As I
have been recently taking a trip through the Grimm’s Fairy Tales and the
stories of Hans Christian Anderson, I was immediately reminded of the story of
the Red Shoes. In the
story an orphan girl gets a pair of red shoes and makes the mistake of wearing
them to church. She’s very pleased with her red shoes and give a little dance
step and from that moment on is cursed to dance whether she wants to or not.  Eventually, she gets a woodcarver and
occasional town executioner to chop off her feet.  He carves her a pair of wooden feet, she begs
forgiveness and eventually is allowed to return to church and presumably her
life of appropriate poverty and boring clothes. 
The story is a very obvious warning about dressing above ones station,
acting without proper humility and of course having the audacity to be a pretty
girl.  To which I say… bring on the red
shoes, let’s go dancing.
Red stilettos are sexy, daring, and commanding, all of which
are dangerous things for women to be whether it’s 18th century
Germany or 21st century America. The Stiletto Gang doesn’t require
our members to wear stilettos, but we do embrace the idea that there isn’t a
particular way women ought to be.  Our members are diverse in ethnicity, ages,
and outlook , but we all share the idea that women can be (and write) what they
want.  To me that’s what the red shoe
stands for—boldly embracing women’s right to be powerful.
Many thanks to my Stiletto sisters for their continued
support and now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a little dancing to do.
Want to know more about upcoming releases from Bethany Maines?  Join the Blue Zephyr Press Readers Group.  You’ll receive a free e-short from Bethany Maines and get updates about new releases and sales from the Blue Zephyr Press authors.    WWW.BLUEZEPHYRPRESS.COM
Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found
chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You
can also catch up with her on
YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Red Shoes and Magic

Serendipitous—something occurring by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

But what does serendipity have to do with this month’s blog “theme” of red shoes?

For me … a lot since I’ve never owned a pair of red shoes. The closest I’ve come is shocking pink athletic kicks. I’ve worn these neon babies on airplanes, cruise ships, buses, trains, and aerobic dance floors. An amazing number of people have stopped and commented on the color. One woman wanted to know where I bought them.
But. Pink is not red. Ergo, what to write this month?
Well, imagine my jig for joy when serendipity bit me hard. Why?
Because, on August 31, I published BIg MAGiC, a paranormal romance that reveals a new twist on the magical red shoes, love, and a sexy warlock.
A miniature pair of red shoes appears on the cover. The same shoes appear on my website and Facebook pages. In addition, red shoes play a big role in the book. Huge. They belong to Thea Gale, great-great-granddaughter of Dorothy (she of The Wizard of Oz).
In BIg MAGiC, Thea’s shoes are four-inch stilettos—not unlike our former logo. The heels bring her height to just below the chin of the smokin’ hot warlock. He covets those shoes, and she obsesses over him.
Who wouldn’t covet red shoes? Maybe not the stilettos if, like me, your back aches thinking about even slipping them on. But I am now on a search for a pair I can wear whenever I want to feel powerful, in charge, and mesmerizing.

Barbara Plum, aka AB Plum, writes light and dark novels about families that can bring us together or tear us apart. BIg MAGiC is Book 1 in The WEIRd MAGiC Trilogy.

The Kick Off: An Ode to High Heels

by J.M. Phillippe

This month we at the Stiletto Gang are celebrating the return of our (new and improved) red stiletto shoe by sharing our thoughts and feelings about shoes, stilettos, and what it’s been like to be part of this particular gang.

I have never been a high-heels girl. I own a few pairs, but prefer the widest, steadiest heel I can get. A thick heeled boot was my go-to during my clubbing days, and for fancy occasions, I aimed for something in a kitten heel or spool heel, something that felt a little more stable. When wedges were in, I was very pleased (even if I thought they were kinda ugly).

I mostly wear high heels for weddings or other times when it is imperative that my footwear look appropriate. Inevitably, this means that as soon as the dancing gets going, my shoes will find their way to a corner or be shoved under a chair–I never have managed to master the art of dancing in heels. In fact, my favorite thing about high heels is how they give me an excuse to take them off, giving me the freedom to dance barefoot (but still on my toes).

It is well known that even the world’s most comfortable high heels will, eventually, hurt the feet they encase. There are countless studies that suggest that regularly wearing them are bad for your feet, but that wearing them can make you appear more attractive, more feminine, and be more persuasive. In the cost-benefit analysis, women often decide that wearing them is better than not wearing them. They have held an allure for women since they were girls trying to fit their feet into their mother’s shoes, and no make-over movie montage is ever complete without the requite “learn to walk in heels” scene, which some of lived out in our own, non-movie lives.

But if wearing your first pair of heels is a right of passage for girls and femmes, that right of passage isn’t complete until that same person has kicked said shoes off. If all pleasure is derived from the relief of tension, then the feeling of finally launching a pair of particularly painful heels across the room is indeed ecstasy.

I will never relate to anything more than when Emma Thompson, one of my favorite actresses of all time, took her high heels off at the 2014 Golden Globes. She then threw them over her shoulder and presented an award barefooted. In fact, many actresses have started pushing back against the expectation that women HAVE to wear shoes. Kirsten Stewart famously took her own heels off at the 2018 Cannes Festival despite strict dress guidelines.

If the high heel is the symbol of the Femme Fatale, taking that same high heel off is the symbol of the Every Woman. It is the woman who has completed a day of work, made it through a long event, or decided that even if the event isn’t done, her feet are. Her toes now have room to stretch and wiggle, and the ball of her feet can share her weight more evenly with her heel. The high-heel kick off is one of life’s great joys.

What I love about being part of The Stiletto Gang is that I don’t have to be a high-heels girl to fit in. This particular group is very inclusive, encompassing a wide variety of writers, making space for different styles and even genres. This group is filled with my kind of women–women who are bold enough to put themselves out there, and make their voices heard. They are the anti-Cannes Festival, letting participants show up in whatever footwear suits them. And I am very proud to be part of this gang.


J.M. Phillippe is the author of the novels Perfect Likeness and Aurora One and the short stories, The Sight and Plane Signals. She has lived in the deserts of California, the suburbs of Seattle, and the mad rush of New York City. She works as a clinical social worker in Brooklyn, New York and spends her free time binge-watching quality TV, drinking cider with amazing friends, and learning the art of radical self-acceptance, one day at a time.

Red Shoes! The Stiletto Gang’s New Look – an Open Clicking Our Heels Letter to Our Readers

Shoes! The Stiletto Gang’s New Look– an Open Clicking Our Heels Letter to Our Readers


adore you. It is a joy to know you habitually read our posts directly from our
blog page, through an e-mail subscription, or from our Facebook page. Your
comments telling us you appreciate the diversity of our writings, backgrounds,
and personalities gives us the incentive to write our next blogs. Because you
support us, it is our constant goal to provide you with the best experience possible.
That means not only the words we give you, but the visual experience, too.

years ago, our first logo featured a stiletto and a spiked red heel. A few
years ago, we updated our website to reflect the changes happening in fashion
and with our bloggers. The result was a new logo, featuring a gold platform
shoe. It was beautiful.

your comments and clicks, we know you are enjoying what we are doing, but we
are not willing to stand on the status quo. It is our pledge to continue to
produce diverse and edgy writings that let you into our inner thoughts as
people and writers. To support this promise and keeping ourselves in the height
of style, we are introducing an updated logo:

What do
you think?

September and October, each member of the Stiletto Gang will be writing a blog
that reflects our different thoughts on red shoes. Subscribe to the blog, leave a comment on today’s
post, comment on the various September and October red shoe blogs, and let your friends
know about our logo change and we’ll keep track of what you each do. Check the November Clicking Our
Heels to see how we recognize the person who earned the most points doing any and all of these four things the most. Oh, and one more thing – next month Clicking Our Heels will be back to its first Wednesday position and Judy Penz Sheluk’s October post will be on the first Monday.

We can’t
wait to hear from you. As we said, we adore you. 

The Stiletto Gang