Story Starter: Shoe Tree

Shoe tree with a difference!

I’ve heard of a shoe tree but never one like this! When I first saw it I thought the branches were full of birds, but look more closely and you’ll see that they’re actually pairs of shoes – trainers, actually – flung up and dangling by their laces. Who on earth….? And why?

For once the pic wasn’t taken by me but by Marion, one of my colleagues on the features team, who sent it to me with the message: “South Inch, Perth, on New Year’s eve. Goodness knows what it’s all about, but it intrigued me!”

Me, too. And you, too, I hope.

It proves the point I think I’ve mentioned before: that it’s just as useful to look up as well as down.

There’s something about the turn of the year and that sense of starting fresh that encourages ambition and aspiration. Have you made any New Year Resolutions?

Mine is to read more. Yes, I know – ironic! But to read different material. Novels that I see fantastic reviews about but never quite get round to. Novels that I’d normally dismiss as not being my thing; how do I know if I don’t try them? New writers and classic writers.

I’ve also resolved to learn to speed read. Well, I’ll need to with all the books I want to get through!

So how about you? Have you made a reading or writing resolution? Simply to write more? To write every day? To write more for The People’s Friend? To write something different – a serial if you’ve only ever tackled short stories, or 3000 words if you’ve tended to concentrate on 1200 words? Period if you lean more towards contemporary? Or how about a pocket novel?

What is it they say: aim high. Like whoever flung those trainers into our shoe tree, I’m aiming high with my reading ambition, and I hope you are with your writing aspirations.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.