A Friday Fiesta of Close Encounters: Maps, Murano, Mississippi and Designing Vietnam

dog with suitcaseAs a fiction and mystery author I draw on my own world travels and experiences living in Mexico and Central America. But every week there is something new to encounter–who knows where I’ll find myself next as long as every Friday is a fiesta! Subscribe to this blog and come along for the ride.

How to Make a Map of Yourself

Skillshare.com is a website that offers tutorials on a wide range of quirky subjects ( average price for an online class $20.) This upcoming class is a series of video lessons that teach you how to make a variety of maps from photo-based maps to “you are here” graphics. Learn a unique skill and have some fun at the same time! A good mental exercise as well, for anyone who loves travel or simply wants to know where they are in life.

Shards of Murano

I’ve been reading Donna Leon’s mystery series set in Venice and one of the books takes Commisario Guido Brunetti to the island of Murano (won’t give it away but bad things happen) which is known around the world for its glassmaking. But as cheaper Chinese glass floods the souvenir market in Italy, are skilled Murano glassmakers going to lose their livelihood? The answer lies in fighting volume with quality and true artistry. A fascinating read from online magazine The Cultureist.

Believe it or Not in Mississippi

Right on the heels of the movie Lincoln, which focused on the passage of the US 13th Amendment banning slavery, Mississippi has ratified the amendment!  Only 148 years after it became law, Mississippi has corrected a clerical error which prevented the state from officially ratifying the amendment, according to the Politico website. Better late than never. Oh, and the movie was great. Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor for sure

Designing Vietnam

We don’t usually think of Vietnam as a spark for creative design; India, China, and Japan generally get top honors for Asian motifs and inspiration. But the folks at fav website creativeroots.org have gathered together a passel of design ideas related to the small country; iconic photos to the packaging for Mekong Red Dragon rice to the results of a collaboration between Swedish designers and Vietnamese craftsmen. It’s a thought-provoking visual menu of design ideas, rather than war images (although some are there.) Maybe times really are a-changing.

I hope you were intrigued by this week’s close encounters. I’m always looking for new ideas to encounter for my mystery and thriller books. Share yours with a comment!

Cover of Cliff DiverGrab a margarita, think hot nights on the beach and come on down to Acapulco . . . If you can take the heat.

 Encounter CLIFF DIVER on amazon.com today

So what do YOU think?