Tag Archive: Kim Strickland

It is Reading Challenge time again and I am really excited this month.

My choice for this month features a writer who is a friend, we have worked together in the past, and she has guest posted on my blog. I am talking about Kim Strickland. I love her writing because it makes me laugh on a regular basis.

Now that I have the full disclosure done, let me say that Kim has a new novel coming out called Down at the Golden Coin – her second – and she sent me a review copy. I read it fairly quickly despite the fact I was seriously distracted by the Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs bio (which I will write about later). At first I was not too keen on the location – until we get hit with the sucker punch of …”Maybe I am the answer to your prayer.”

Cover Image from Eckhartz Press

The story starts and ends in a laundromat – The Golden Coin to be exact. It is not a yuppie laundromat with ferns and a bar next door. This one is hot and humid with a limited selection of drinks in the pop machine. Our protagonist, Annie, is going through a rough time and wishing to find a way to go. That is when she meets Violet, a cobalt blue-haired punker chick who is not as tough as she may appear, and states she is a messiah. Specifically, she is Annie’s messiah. She is here to help Annie get her life back on track even if things end badly. Which they tend to do for her.

As I and other patrons of the Golden Coin listen to their conversation, I can’t tell you how much I found myself agreeing with the conversation – from both sides. I understood where Annie was coming from and understood what Violet was teaching her.

I loved this book because I related to Annie. I know what it is like to get fired from a job, to lose that income and prestige, to feel like you are spinning your wheels but are helpless to do anything else. That is where our personal similarities end, but trust me, I know Annie.

I also enjoyed the writing. It was bright, introspective, unfailingly honest. Sarcasm is spoken well here. I am the type of person who reads for beautiful descriptive sentences. There is this one… “Like no other man I’ve known, Jake reeks of success.” It tells me everything I need to know about this guy, at least what he looks like – his confidence, his swagger.

I also look for characters to remain true to their basic personality traits. When a messiah comes along to give you a message, I wonder how any of us would act but I knew Annie was being real. She was scared but intrigued, as much as she said she wanted real answers the truth of her life frightened her. More importantly, I never felt that Annie, Violet or the other characters acted unlike themselves. They stayed true to themselves, stayed true to their codes which can be really hard when the writer is fighting for a happy ending.

The book was worth my time, a worthwhile read. If Kim tells me she has another book coming out, you can bet I am in line waiting for my copy.

Down at the Golden Coin is being released on March 20th. You can order your copy at Eckhartz Press.

Walking the Pain Away

Product Thursday

One product that I have been quite curious about is the shape-up sneaker promising wonderful things for your foot health. So when my friend Kim was discussing it on her facebook page I was curious. Then I forgot about it (typical) and went back to check with her about it.

Kim had already written a review in her typical fashion on her blog, A City Mom, at Chicago Now. So today I am featuring this wonderfully wry commentary about the shoes that are sweeping the nation with Kim’s full permission. She even gave me a pic of the shoes.

So give a warm Rumbly welcome to our guest today. 


Skecher Shape-Ups help my Plantars Faciiitis. Unfortunately.

A runner who can’t run is a person whom no one else wants to be around. Take it from me, a recently sidelined runner. It’s been 35 days (3 hours and thirteen minutes) since my last run. But my brand new pair of Skecher Shape-ups seems to be changing all that.

Skecher Shape-ups, picture from Kim Strickland

I’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, an evil debilitating affliction that eats away at the tendons on the bottom of your foot like hydrochloric acid on speed. Okay, I just made that up. But that’s what it feels like. And it hurts. A lot. My particular case is strange (natch) in that stretching doesn’t make it feel better and the pain gets worse as the day wears on. Of course rest, you know, spending a day with my feet up, is the impossible dream at my house, so I had to find a way to be on my feet. Fortunately, a friend of mine who also has plantar fasciitis told me about the Skecher Shape-ups. “The way the arches are padded,” he told me, “you never put much weight on your heels,” which is where, for me anyway, my pain is located.

I went out right away and bought a pair. Thankfully, my friend also told me to try DSW, where I found a pair for 70% off. With my ten-dollar savings certificate, that brought the total to $20. Is acitymom a smart shopper, or what? But when I took my first steps in the store, I would have paid any price for them. I almost burst into tears. They were the first pain-free steps I’d taken on my right foot in three weeks.

The thing about these shoes, though. I mean, have you seen them? They’re just not that good-looking and acitymom has her standards. My husband hasn’t stopped making fun of me when I wear them and then, when my mom told me how much she liked the looks of them, that’s when I knew I couldn’t be seen in them outside of the house, at least not without my house dress on.

Apparently these shoes are also supposed to, according to their website: 1. Tone your muscles 2. Promote healthy weight loss 3. Make it easy to get in shape!, which would be an added side benefit, right?  But to someone who considers herself an athlete, I find the whole concept of “fitness shoes” ridiculous. After several days of wearing them around (the house. Only the house) my son, Ethan, asked me if I noticed any difference, you know, like the muscle burn you feel after a particularly tough work-out. “No,” I told him. “Nothing.”

“If you walk thirty miles in our shoes every day,” he said, ” you’ll end up in fantastic shape.”

One of my favorite things in all of life is having one of my children say something so viciously dry it gives me a belly laugh.

Between finally being able to walk pain-free in my Skecher Shape-ups, my new orthopedist and the physical therapy I just started, I’m hoping I can get back to my running soon, and therefore have some semblance of a social life again. As I said, I’ve been a little cranky lately. (A whole lot cranky, says the husband.) When I do become social again, I look forward to showing-off my toned muscles and the healthy weight loss I’ll surely have after walking 30 miles every day in my brand-new pair of fitness shoes.