Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Morning Post

Do you remember Saturday morning cartoons? I do! Sugary cereal, mussed hair, wrapping yourself in a super fluffy blanket, and vegging it out in front of the telly. I used to eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch and watch Animal Planet. Best ever.

Of course, I'd always go outside in the spring and summer first, very early (I used to be a child who woke up at 6:30 am on the dot every morning, no matter what...of course, I also couldn't stay awake past 10 pm. Made New Year's Eve my least favorite holiday). I wanted to see what had come up in the garden overnight, and take a quiet moment to wander around barefoot in the grass and take in my share of sunlight and green for the day. I thrive on green-- when I don't get enough of it, like visiting New Mexico or something (no offense New Mexico!) I get literally depressed and weary.

And yes, I'd be barefoot. My mother used to despair of keeping me in shoes. She still scolds me when I try to go outside barefoot in the winter. Ah well. Some things don't change. I did tell you the story of when I feel asleep reading outdoors tucked in a wheelbarrow, yes? I swear I'm part gnome. Or hobbit.

But I do like shoes. I don't own fifty million pairs of them, mostly because, when I buy a pair of shoes, I expect them to last a long time. I'm also pretty thrifty. I won't spend a lot of money (like, more than $10) on shoes unless I think they're really and truly worth it. My hand-made leather boots that I wear when I'm working at Renaissance Festivals (do you know what a Renaissance Festival is? If you've never been, you have to visit one! All my Atlantians here are within 40 minutes of the Georgia Faire, fondly known as GARF, which opens in mid-April) were nearly $200 (which is a steal for hand-made leather boots!). They've got a 20 year guarantee on them, if you take care of them. And they're invaluable to me as working shoes. These things are stylish and epic and comfortable for staying on your feet for 10 hours at a time. They're also heavy duty-- once you've got them on your feet, they're not coming off until you take them off!

Another brand of leather moccasin that I dream of in the Ren-Faire circuit would cost me $1,200 to get my custom designed dream pair. I'll wait till I win the lottery for those.

But I recently discovered a type of leather boot-moccasin that wouldn't cost me both legs to purchase a pair (which would rather defeat the purpose, wouldn't it?). This maker, Gipsy Dharma, creates hand-crafted leather shoes with hand-dyed leather, should you care for leopard print or 'galaxy' designed boots. And they are beautiful! I fell in love just by seeing an add for them on Facebook and have been pouring through the catalog ever since. Tons of laces and leather, ankle, knee-high, over-the-knee (which is my favorite, personally). Colors from staid tan and black to hot pink and mauve! And they're all priced between $200 and $400. For hand-made leather boots, as I said-- that's really not unreasonable. My twin sister has worked selling hand-crafted leather shoes at the Georgia Renaissance Festival for many years, so I've seen styles and quality come and go. Besides, some designer boots come with a fourth of this material and cost twice as much. Enough said.

I must have a pair of these shoes. I mean, look at these things!! (The Black Over-the-Knee is my personal favorite...I bet they'd look epic with a set of teal or maroon laces!!) But what's really cool about these boots is that you don't have to do those laces every time you put them on. They have a cleverly hidden zipper. Functional and epic! 

You should check out her website or her Facebook Page. She's always got something new going on, whether it be giveaways or new designs or reviews. Me, I'm sold already. I don't need any more advertising or persuasion. You've got  me!

In a pair of these, I will gladly let my wild feet be shod!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Creative Stoppers

What do you do when you want to write but you can't?

And I don't mean writer's block. Hello everyone. You may remember in my last post how I told you I was crunched under deadlines, and how, as a result, I had to give you a shortened post. Well, deadlines remain, and so here it is in the evening of Wednesday and you're getting a sleep-deprived, cold-fingered message from your favorite barefoot blogger (though I am wearing socks right now. It is winter after all, and I can be taught sense. I only tried to wash the car barefoot in winter after dark once).

If you've been following, you'll also know that I recently self-published my book "Shifted":

available here and here for purchase-- how cool is that!? I have a book on and also in the Barnes & Noble online store!!!

Having completed that task, I am also now starting on a new book. I'm really excited about it and want to have it finished before the summer hits in full. I'd even like to have it done by mid-April, as that is when the Georgia Renaissance Festival opens, and I will become 7-day a week, 60 hour work week zombie girl. Which will leave very little time for writing.

Unfortunately, working a lot of overtime is also not very conducive for writing. I don't mind-- it's awesome to see your work projects come together, and the confetti that will be thrown when it is finished will put New Years Eve in Times Square to shame.

Still, I've written the intro, the first few pages of the first chapter, and outlined the book. I wish the first chapter (and the second for that matter) was finished. But I just haven't had the time?

What to do?

At this point, friends, you have to just give in to the fact that one is not a full-time writer and has other obligations to fulfill, like a full-time job, like exercising the holiday off, like sleeping and seeing your friends once in a while. Those things do exist too.

You can also 'make' the time, if you have the chance. Get up super early, or spend less time on Facebook or Tumblr, whatever your vice is. Sometimes there isn't any way to mince the work. You need to sleep and you need to get fresh air out of your brain. Ok then. At that point you just need to remember:

Deadlines are important. But don't flatline over one, especially one you've instilled upon your own schedule. I want to be done with my book by spring, but if that doesn't happen, summer is just as good. I'm not in any real hurry, other than my own impatience to get another piece of work out. I'm making up for lost time during my college years. But I'm going to wait until the craziness of this month is done and then I'll settle back into it.

Breathe, friends. The first month of the year is halfway through, so don't waste it with stress or frenzy!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Well, as happens now and again, you, my Dear Readers (you even get capitalized letters-- that's how much I love you), will have to put up with an abbreviated post. Deadlines have hit and I must nose-to-the-wall edit my little eyeballs off to get things done. I am sure you will forgive me.

Look forward to hearing all about it next week during our usual hour. I will most dramatically faint on the floor, surrounded by drafting papers and completed manuscripts (for work, not for me-- just to clarify). I will also update you on writing news: I have finished a book, and I am in the throes of beginning a new one, a stand-alone 'companion' to the last one-- which is now available for purchase. See flagrant advertising below.

Yes. My book is AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM!! How cool is that. You can even read a summary, a short excerpt, and a review of it.

You should totally buy it. Read it. Enjoy it. Review it. And let me know what you think.

So I bid you farewell, my dear readers, and wish me best of luck.

Until next week, enjoy this picture of a sassy llama.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Finally Made the Switch

Hey everyone! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and welcome to Maudlin's Shoes in 2014! I hope you enjoy your first official dabble of shoeless madness of the next 365 days.

So my most recent publishing news is that I finally took the plunge. After finishing my latest book, "Shifted," I have made good use of the counsel of fellow-author and self-published, award-winning Amanda DeWees and uploaded my book onto Create Space.

For those of you who don't know Create Space, it's a self-publishing platform that is so easy to use it's not even funny. You'll be sitting there thinking, wow, this is so easy, I can't believe how much I am not laughing at it.

Or you'll think it's hysterical. One of the two. I guess that doesn't leave you very many reaction options. I will also allow you amazement. You may also be allowed to show your pleasure.

I've been hesitant about self-publishing for a while, just because I still want to go the traditional publishing route. But hey, I just finished a book I'm really proud of, and I want my friends, family, loved ones, and complete strangers to read it. They can't exactly do that if I only print 10 copies from a local printer and book binding company. There's no distribution involved that way.

So I made an account and uploaded my book. Now, there are some hurdles you have to figure out as you go. Like being sure that all of your images are more than 300 dpi, which is standard quality for printing. If you don't have a program of design that will let you do that, you can use a lower resolution but it may make things a little blurry. Not necessarily the end of the world if it's not really bad, but you may also want to invest in either a good program that will let you save high-res, or invest in someone to design for you. My next book will be getting a professionally-designed cover by one of my good friends, who is a very talented artist. Now, I like doing all my own art, but I also like things looking clear. And she has Photoshop. 'Nuff said.

Making an account will take you like two seconds. Then you need a few things-- one, a full PDF of your manuscripts, and two, a back-spine-front PDF of your book cover. That gets a little tricky just because it's so hard to measure accurately, but here's the cool thing-- your files will get checked by Create Space before you can print a proof (which you want to do so you can double check it for quality before you release it on the market), so they make sure that if there's a little wonkyness, you get an alert or they just fix it automatically, or both.

So the whole process will likely take you about a week and a half to two weeks. Then your book will be available on Create Space website. You set a price, you get royalties, you have an official ISBN number-- it's really neat. You can pick the platforms that the book will be available on. For example, mine will be available on in a week or so. It'll also be available through various other platforms, like Barnes & Noble, etc.

Because really-- if you get an answer from an agency or a publisher, you can just take the book off the platform. But people can still get it and see it while it's up. And if you do really well on your own, well-- I guess that means you don't need a publisher, eh?

By the way, you can look at my book here. I'd love to hear what you think about it.

I'll be posting more when it's available on Please, buy a copy, support local (or not so local, as the case may be) authors, and leave a review either here or on