Scene Stealer - Laurelhurst Park

Can you see Mata and her book group potlucking beside this path? I sure can. In Buttoned Up, the group's selection for the Middlemarch discussion takes place alongside a communal nosh in Laurelhurst Park, one of the city's finest outdoor destinations. Dog, kid, community and writer-friendly, it's also host to free Shakespeare in the Park on summer nights.

Photo Courtesy Instagrammer CuddleUpToMe

Photo Courtesy Instagrammer CuddleUpToMe

As Portland grows ever-larger and travelers to the Pacific Northwest visit and re-visit this diverse landscape, I'm reminded again to be grateful for the planners, bureaucrats, voters, and tax payers of the past and present who have had the foresight to carve these precious spaces out of the cityscape. I appreciate the "Friends of..." orgs who shoulder the additional responsibilities of stewardship that well-loved places require to thrive into the future. Whether you're a lone-walker a lit-loving woman who wants to parse Victorian and present-day pathways of love with friends, Laurelhurst Park's landscape welcomes you.

Scene Stealer - Cherry Picking Settings

I love this image of Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park. I see runners, cyclists, dog-walkers and book readers. I see myself and my friends in this frame, even though we were not there when the shot was taken. I know we have reveled in glorious days at this very spot, though, as have other Portlanders and visitors from around the world. If you're sitting on that bank, you're probably also taking in a good view of Mt. Hood in the distance. Nice, eh.

Writers are often asked where their inspiration originates. When I first saw this picture, I knew I wanted to capture in words this very vignette. When you read Button Up and meet the characters Eva and Seamus during their picnic with Mata, you'll know the exact inspiration for the scene. The ornamental cherries are out in full force. It is ridiculously, truly beautiful.

Photographer Namascar Shaktini has taken to traveling the state, recording many more ridiculously wonderful sights. Keep an eye out for her name on this and future photo postings. We love being able to share these settings of the Mata Morrow mystery series with you. Cheers to springtime, flowering trees and budding inspiration.

Moving on Monday

I mentioned this before - we're getting very close to publication date. In fact, my partner in crime is sitting across from the table from me as I write, securing our first Copyright. She's madly checking items off her project management list. Can you see her?! Yay! Cheers! Huzzah!

As Buckled Down is heading out for launch, however, her younger sib Button Up will begin the rounds of editorial review by this weekend. 

You will see a number of the core characters as you've met in Buckled...the book group (with a couple old members moving on to new pursuits and a couple of new members stepping into different roles), Mata of course, and Eliot, the youngest of the Remarkables. 

Button Up includes explorations from Portland's neighborhoods through Oregon Wine Country and along the winding roadways of one of Oregon's signature annual bike rides, the Pioneer Century. How do we feel about progress on all the #LulaFlann works, ongoing and upcoming?

Dahlia Farm, near the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway

Yup. Pretty #groovy.