Why Can’t We Use Our Ruby Red Slippers?

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Met with my writer support group on Saturday. Wonderful bunch of folks. We don’t critique, we talk about our works in progress and writing challenges. This time everyone had personal issues which were messing up our writing lives. Or the other way around.

My very own ruby red slippers. Dreams do come true.

My very own ruby red slippers. Dreams do come true.

Afterwards it dawned on me that no matter what happens in anyone’s life, mine included, we still have to do the work. Writers have to write. The elves are not writing for us and no one else can perform a Vulcan mind meld to get it out of my gray matter.

Since I am currently on knitting sabbatical, it reminded me that sometime no matter how much you want to write your muse is tired or fried and it’s just not time. We have to acknowledge that we are mere mortals and sometimes we need to pace ourselves and rest.

Which made me think about my ruby red slippers. Many years ago when I was at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., I made a point of seeing Judy Garland’s ruby red slippers from the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Yes, the same movie that is being re-released in 3D in theaters Friday for one week and on a 75th Anniversary collectors DVD edition Oct. 1; how’s that for story staying power?

I told a friend many years later that one day I wanted to have my very own ruby red slippers. When you ask the universe……be careful. Several months later she gave me a bag. Inside were my ruby red slippers, complete with sequins, and in my size. OMG.

She found them at Goodwill for $5. They were the only ruby red slippers in the store. Now, I had no idea that’s where you buy ruby red slippers, but I love them. Not the same as Judy’s, but close enough for me. Tried them on last night just to make sure they still fit. They do. Clicked my heels together to see if they would write for me. Nope.

Writing might be easier if that had worked but the journey is part of the creative process, even when you wish magic would do your work for you. If we build the words, the magic will come; to borrow loosely from “The Field of Dreams” movie.

I know my writing time is getting closer, I can feel my muse flexing its muscles ready to spill out again. And that is how the ruby red slippers came to be in the first place, from the imagination of an author who made them silver to a movie costume designer who changed them to ruby red. All the artists did their work and we ended up with ruby red slippers.

Judy Garland’s ruby red slippers are one of the most asked about items the Smithsonian has in its collection.  But of course! Do you have ruby red slippers?

Read more about the slippers here: http://americanhistory.si.edu/press/fact-sheets/ruby-slippers


Filed under Writing Muse

3 responses to “Why Can’t We Use Our Ruby Red Slippers?

  1. Love this story…and your new red shoes! I also like the idea of your group getting together to discuss works in progress. Do you ever critique each other’s work?

    • Hi MarlaJayne,
      Thanks. I can tell a fellow shoeaholic! We don’t critique each other’s work. I started the group specifically for writer support. We’ve all belonged to critique groups or have professional editors edit our work, so this is more like writer group therapy combined with coaching and support. We talk out issues and brainstorm only. Really helps!

  2. Fabulous ruby slippers! Don’t discount their power too hastily. If it took several months for them to come to you, perhaps it will take several months for their power to be revealed? (:

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