Trip Tip #2 - "Pack your Ruby Slippers" or; "You Left Home for a Reason"

If pragmatic Paige (see: key characters in the Mata Morrow mystery series) were offering packing advice, it would undoubtedly be that you have to pack around your shoes. They are the foundational aspect of preparation for any travel endeavor. So - go ahead and think about packing your ruby slippers, then consider the possibility that they are one of the very good reasons to leave home.

Check out Fashion Girl's excellent post (with a wealth of links!) about shoe selection, domestic or international, logging miles urban or outdoors. IGNORE the image with those ruby-red stilettos, bringing to mind the folly of showy shoes when on the road.

These carried Dorothy down the yellow brick road, but will they hold up on Hadrian's Wall?

These carried Dorothy down the yellow brick road, but will they hold up on Hadrian's Wall?

As always, comfort and versatility are key. You'll thank yourself for stowing those shoes in a separate waterproof bag. My dream travel footwear includes Naot boots for winter, Bjorn loafers for spring, Ecco sandals for summer, Dansko ankle boots for fall and Crocs (really - they come in so many different styles and colors now) for every trip and season.

What's your go-to footgear for the season ahead?

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.