Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In Transit

I will be in transit today--here to the airport, airport to Seattle, Seattle to Spokane--a journey with a stopover. I'm sorry to leave my daughter and soon son-in-law; due to distance and our separate schedules, it's harder and harder to get together. (Ditto with friends, far-flung these days.) I'm equally glad to go home, though. I feel renewed and ready to really roll, with the writing and my plan for a Fit Linda in 2010. :)

I must have been a lot more tired than I thought I was. I forgot a few strategic things when I packed for the trip, for example. I've napped every day--yesterday was basically one looooong nap, although we went out to dinner at our favorite Santa Monica restaurant, The Galley around 8 in the evening. The clams there are delicious and the atmosphere is so cheerful, festooned with strands of colored lights, year around. It has become a tradition to go there when I visit.

Except for a trip to Pearl to check out art supplies and a foray to the Promenade on Christmas Eve morning (principally for those items I forgot to pack), we have kept the shopping to a minimum. Decided just to be lazy and spend as much quiet, together time as possible.

All in all, the trip has been a wonder and a joy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lazy Day

I have been lounging around all day long, still in my pajamas.

Last night Wendy and I drove to the beautiful home of a very dear friend, in a swanky part of L.A.--what a lovely evening! Old friends, lots of talk, good food, photos taken on delay so the photographer could rush over and join the pose, decorations sparkling, a funny dog serving as resident charmer and commedienne. My friend's husband, a prudent man, hid out somewhere upstairs in his office--too much estrogen, I'm sure, and even the dog is a girl.

Today, I've just been resting, and then resting a little more. :)

Tomorrow, I'll be traveling back to Spokane, and although I will hate leaving Wendy and Jeremy, it will be good to see Sadie and the Bear, the kitties, and the horses. OK, and the people, too.

I'm eager to start writing "Austin"--that man is just bustin' to get his story told--try out some art ideas in my studio, perhaps even play a few slot machines over at Northern Quest. :)

More later. I think it's time for another nap.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Morning After

It is so restful! Once again, Christmas has come and gone, although most of us are probably still surrounded by lovely wreckage, to one degree or another.

I received excellent gifts, chosen with such love and care that I get choked up just thinking about them. A Year of Wishes candle set--a special book for compiling a memoir, journal style--a pen that records what I write and transfers it into a computer...(!!!)and many other goodies as well.

Jeremy cooked a nice turkey dinner, and we all feasted and made merry. Everyone agreed that it was nice not to have to go anywhere, although I will always remember Christmas Eve day, when we visited the Promenade, a nearby mall, and watched street performers and listened to musicians and enjoyed a fabulous lunch at a restaurant lit with millions of little colored bulbs.

We did some art work, talked, and generally relaxed. It has been heavenly.

Today, I plan to keep a very low profile.

I might even take a winter's nap.

Be merry.

Friday, December 25, 2009

For Unto You is Born

this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

My deepest love and appreciation to all of you, on this holy day and always.

I wish you:

A very Merry Christmas,
A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year

And may all the fresh hope that Christ brings be yours.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My sweeties
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Wendy and Jeremy at the Magic Kingdom, December 23, 2009
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Survivng the Magic Kingdom

Tis the day before Christmas
And all through the house
There are signs of yesterday's
Bout with the Mouse...

Ok, ok, I shouldn't give up my day job (as if I would ever be fool enough to do THAT) and write poetry. It was the best I could do on short notice. I might even add to it, as things occur to me--which they have an alarming tendency to do. Disneyland was beyond crowded, but everybody pretty much minded their manners and a very good time was had by all, in our party at least.

I chuckled while waiting in line to go through It's A Small World--one little boy, probably having had all the fun he could stand, as my dad used to say, punched his brother. Exasperated, the mom said, "Santa saw that!"


And Sister Sally, this is for you..

It's a small world after all
repeat again
It's a small, small world!
repeat endlessly

Seriously, our world IS small, and getting smaller every day. May it also be a more peaceful world, a more gracious world, where people make allowances for each other and at least try to get along--like they do at Disneyland.

All we have to do is behave ourselves. We should be able to do that, right?

Merry Christmas, one and all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Have you been to to watch the Texas McKettricks video and enter the contest--your chance to win $10,000 or a stay at the glamorous Paris Las Vegas Hotel? There is even a little quiz to take, though you'll want to read "Tate", book 1, before you tackle that. And keep an eye out for updates, as a new film segment will be posted on January 15, a behind-the-scenes kind of thing. I haven't seen that one yet, and I'm as eager as anybody!

Yesterday, while we were out shopping, we were parked in the lot on top of the Best Buy store. Jeremy, finishing his shopping long before Wendy and I did, in typical guy fashion, was playing the radio while he waited for us. Well, guess what. The battery ran down, and the car wouldn't start. What happened? Well, the cutest cowboy-type I've seen since the trip to Vegas for the rodeo finals stopped and asked if we needed a hand. I mean, this one could have been a McKettrick or a Creed, he was so good-looking and so, well, cowboy. Out came the jumper cables and in a trice, we were back on the road.

Cowboy courtesy, at its finest, folks, and right in Santa Monica, CA. :)

Today's agenda includes Disneyland, and I am super excited because I haven't been there in so long--all sorts of new things have been added and updated and of course the place will be beautifully decorated for Christmas. Nobody does magic like Disney, though I've got to say, I saw some truly spectacular things in Las Vegas earlier this month. I told you about Switch, the restaurant where the walls change every twenty minutes, and the ceiling does this Phantom of the Opera thing. Amazing.

I'll be tweeting right along, knowing me, so check us out on

I will also post pictures to this blog at the first opportunity--probably tomorrow.

And tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I think I hear the faintest jingle of sleigh bells....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

NOT Dreaming of a White Christmas :)

Here I am in "sunny" California--bunking in my daughter's guest room and already having a wonderful time!

Today's schedule includes a trip to Pearl--a favorite art supply store here in Santa Monica. I'm reading a manuscript of "Garrett" and falling in love with my McKettrick men all over again. I can't wait for you to read it.

The Christmas tree is all decorated and the box of presents I sent ahead has arrived. All systems go.

Have fun and be blessed.

I will update you later.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Travel Day

I'm off to California in a few hours, and I can hardly wait to see Wendy and Jeremy, waiting for me at LAX, with big smiles on their faces. Big change over last year, when Spokane received 5 feet of snow in the second two weeks of December and Christmas was less than festive. Wendy and Jeremy had planned to come here for the holiday, but the roads made that impossible.

This year, things look a lot better, although 2009 was not without its worries and sorrows. Mary Ann was so very sick in June that we feared we'd lose her, and we did lose a beloved cousin, Kathy Bannon. Kathy loved books and animals and world travel. She was a fantastic cook, had a delightfully wry sense of humor and an extensive knowledge of wines. I miss her very much.

Life is bitter, as well as sweet, and I suspect that in the grand scheme of things, it's ALL good, though that's hard to see sometimes.

I should be able to blog and post pictures from California, so check in once in a while, won't you please?

Meanwhile, stop rushing around. Take a deep breath. Pace yourself. The important things will get done, and those that don't won't matter.

Be kind. Start with yourself.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Other artwork

This was done with a woodburner and acrylic paints. Gave it to my mom for Christmas.
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Angel Painting

This is the angel I mentioned...
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Miscellaneous Chatter

I'm glad you can't see my kitchen right now. It looks as though a bomb went off. :)

Yesterday, my mom and I went out for lunch at one of our favorite places in Spokane, the Onion. We also love Tomato Street, but, hey, we had to make a choice. So it was the Onion--partly because the food is so good and partly because it's across the parking lot from Michael's. You know if you read this blog that I'm into folk art, and mixed-media is my passion--color, texture, sparkle! I love it all. (Life would be so much simpler if I had one of those hobbies that involve a single set of supplies, like needlepoint or even painting in oils. But NO, I've gotta be into mixed media, which means I am forever finding and trying a wide variety of supplies, new and old.)

Anyone who had ever seen my art-room/studio (never mind my kitchen on the weekend when Mary Ann isn't here to whip the place into shape), would quite understandably ask themselves, "What else could this woman POSSIBLY need?"

Well, here's a for-instance. That darned Martha Stewart is at it again--her company sells the best glitter, and now those stinkers have added tiny little beads in about a million-jillion colors and something called 'tinsel glitter', which is like teeny tiny itsy bitsy sparkly confetti. Then there are the iridescent sprinkles that will look so nice in angels' wings...

You get the idea. Between the Michael's bags and the grocery store bags and the rest of it, I have some surface-clearing to do. I also have a manuscript to read through, a lunch date with my sister-in-law, Karen, and her delightful grandchildren, Karmen and Jeff, and an outline to flesh out for my angelic editor, Joan Marlow Golan. (I say 'angelic' because she's never tried to kill me, even with extreme provocation. :))

Oh, yes. And I probably should pack for tomorrow's flight to sunny California!!!!

This time last year, we were buried under five feet of snow and I was seriously bummed out because that meant my daughter and someday-son-in-law couldn't get here for Christmas. What a difference a year--and the proper medication--can make. :)

Told you it was misellaneous chatter. If you read this far, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Foggy Friday

The winter fog has rolled in, filling the draw behind my house and the valley beyond that. It's beautiful. There may be snow on Christmas Eve--but not for me, unless it snows in Santa Monica. :) I leave for a long-anticipated visit with my daughter and Someday Son-in-Law on Monday. We always have a fantastic time together.

Sadie is off to her exercise program--Bernice is getting a bath--we lead a glamorous life around here. :)

Yesterday I had appointments with both the dentist and the hairdresser, but today I can tinker with the working outline of "Austin" for a while. That will be a pleasure.

Have a good, safe weekend, and don't overdo it. Trust me, it will be Christmas again in about five minutes.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Would you believe--I set up a SEWING MACHINE? It's true. I can prove it, if necessary. It took me a lot of instruction-book study just to figure out how to wind the bobbin (I haven't used a sewing machine, for the most part, since Home Ec class, back in 1966!) Mary Ann helped me thread the needle, and I was off and running. Am I planning to start making my own clothes?

Perish the thought. :)

(I may be in danger of quilting, though. The colors and textures of today's fabrics are SO tempting.)

I'm experimenting with various mixed-media backgrounds for art projects, and one of them involves applying tissue and other lovely thin things to fabric, with matte medium. Random stitching on top, preferably with metallic thread, fills me with joy. I love metallic things--for example, the stunning bracelet I received from my wonderful, fabulous publishers, Harlequin books)--threads and foils and glitters. If it shines, I like it!

Most of my Christmas stuff is done. I'm off to California soon, to see Wendy and Jeremy. We're going to Disneyland to enjoy the lights and create even more special memories together. Lunching with my mom on Saturday--I don't see her nearly often enough, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Today? Planning "Austin", for sure. Doing a little art work. Maybe even playing a few slot machines.

With a wild cowgirl like me, you just never know.

Which is why you ought to keep reading this blog. :) You don't want to miss anything, do you???

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Skiff of Snow

We got a couple of inches of snow during the night--it is lovely. Yes, I am actually enjoying it. I can even say I appreciate it. (I appreciate, for instance, that it is not a blizzard. Last year, we had five FEET of snow in the month of December alone.) Alas, the rain is already beginning, so it will melt away.

I have decided that "appreciation" will be my watchword for 2010 and beyond. Of course it's easy to appreciate the obvious blessings--personal freedom, family and friends, critters and books (writing them AND reading them) and good health--or it it? I don't know about you, but I have a tendency to take a lot of things for granted. It's something I want to change about myself.

Anyway, I am challenging myself to be thankful for the annoyances and the delays and the frustrations as well as the stuff that makes a cowgirl say "Yeehaw!"

For instance, I gained a lot of weight after quitting smoking last June. How do I embrace being too fat with appreciation (zounds)??? Well, to start with, it's been almost 6 months and I'm smoke-free. I don't cough and choke and constantly wonder when I can have my next cigarette. As for the food issues, well, in most of the world, getting ENOUGH to eat is the main consideration. How much snivel-room is there, really, for living in a part of the world where so many of us have TOO MUCH?

Yes, I plan to take off the weight. I've done it before, and I can do it again. Only this time, I'll be BOTH slender AND a nonsmoker. :)

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just Call Me Lindarella

Check out the trio of Prince Charmings, western style.
(I actually intended to put this at the bottom of the blog, but there you go. It's a miracle I managed to post it at all.)
Would you believe in 60 years of life, the above play on my name (Lindarella) has never occurred to me before this morning??? (Or if it did, I've forgotten. :))

Not much gets by me!

I needed a fairy-tale name to describe a fairy-tale experience--my recent visit to Las Vegas as a guest of Harrah's and the world's greatest publisher, Harlequin. Working together, they came up with a promotion I probably couldn't have dreamed up on my own--and I have a pretty darn good imagination! The first event was a VIP affair in one of the lounges at the beautiful Paris Las Vegas--I couldn't believe how many people came! It was so much fun to sign books and chat with readers. A high-point (not that there were any low ones!) was meeting Susan and Bruce Harrell, winners of the all expenses paid trip to Vegas and a pair of rodeo tickets. Susan wrote a wonderful entry about why she wanted to bring her husband to the National Finals, the biggest event in rodeo. They were so sweet together--love is lovelier, whichever-time around. I did my heart good to see the way Susan and Bruce looked at each other.

The second event was an autographing in the lobby at the Paris. Readers received a free t-shirt and signed book, and they could have their picture taken with the three sexy cowboys playing the parts of my Texas McKettricks. (See above. As if you could have missed them.)
I'm all reinspired, after my trip. Ready to push up my sleeves, wade in and draft "Austin", the third and final story in this series. Writing is such isolated work, and meeting the readers really helps me to feel connected.
Be blessed.
See you tomorrow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Under the Weather

But only temporarily!

I have some kind of bug, but I'll blog over the weekend, I promise. I still have a lot to tell you about Linda's Las Vegas Adventure.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

She's Baaaack!

Home from Las Vegas late last night--I swear, I slept like a dead woman.

Over the next few days, I'll tell you all about my wonderful experience down in Glitter Gulch--there is a LOT to say! Before I go any further, though, I have folks to thank. The wonderworkers at Paris Las Vegas did everything they could to make this old cowgirl feel like a queen. I had a beautiful suite and many other perks, and truly excellent meals. So my heartiest thanks to Christie and your fabulous crew for an experience I will NEVER forget. For heaven's sake, I even had my name up on the Bally's sign out on Las Vegas Blvd! Yes, there will be pictures, here and on Twitter. (And I will be telling you more about the two events I did at this gorgeous hotel.)

Michelle Renaud and Diana Mosher from my merely magnificent publishers, Harlequin, hit the ground running, like storm troopers. There was no need they didn't anticipate, and just being in their company was a lot of fun. They squired me around in limos, along with my niece/assistant, Jen, who was super efficient as always, and took us to some terrfic restaurants. The first was called Switch, and it's in the new Encore Hotel. Well, let me just tell you. I'm a country girl, and I was impressed! Every twenty minutes, the walls and even the ceilings change. Had me gaping, and thinking, as country girls will, "Well, golleeeeeee!" We visited Carnevino the next night, at the Palazzo. Again, an unforgetable experience.

We managed to hit Cowboy Christmas yesterday, for a couple of hours. Just long enough to put the usual dent in my bank account. :)

It was a flying trip, with practically zero free time, and I didn't go to the rodeo, as I usually do, nor did I see Steve Miller, Flint Rassmussen, and most of my other NFR buddies. It was just one of those crazy years.

I bought some great stuff at Cowboy Christmas. Watch for pix on this blog and on Twitter, and I'm working on getting some prizes from Maverick Rose up on the website soon. I go straight to their booth every year (okay, right after I stop by Montana Silversmiths to say hi to my pals there), to see what's new.

Today, I'm mostly planning to recover and do some Christmasy stuff.

There is only one thing that could have been better than being in on the celebrations down in the desert, and that's being home.

More tomorrow.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Pinch Me

I think I'm actually finished with the new book. :)

"Tate" and "Garrett", the first two stories in the Texas McKettricks trilogy, are strong books, and I'm so proud of them. I won't pretend writing them was easy--for some reason, they were harder than most of their predecessors have been. I hope it means I'm growing as a writer--even though I've been publishing books since 1983 (yikes) and writing them for much longer than that--I think it's important to polish old skills and master new ones and I really try.

You deserve the best story I can possibly deliver.

During the writing of these stories, my art went to a new level. It was as if a dam broke or something; all this color and texture just appeared. I learned some great new techniques--favorite website in this regard is Suzi Blu's wonderful Les Petit Academy. She's funny, she's fun, and she's a great teacher. I'm in her Angels class, which is offered online, and I'm loving it. I will be sure to post my angels as I paint them--there are three paintings in the course.

Podcast of the day:
Stuff you missed in history class, on iTunes.

How will I spend my weekend?

Well, I'll be getting ready to head down to Vegas on Monday for an exciting visit, so be sure to either watch the blog or tune in on December 10, when I will be back home, with a lot of stories to tell. In my experience, Las Vegas hotels aren't the easiest ones to blog from--they do not want you staying in your room, tapping away at your computer, so the wireless set-up isn't always that great. :) (No, siree, they'd rather you were downstairs, tapping away on a slot machine!)

I need to buy some clothes--this is a Fat Year, darn it, because I quit smoking on June 23--because nothing fits. :(

I hope to do some art work, too. That's my personal therapy.

More later.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I Keep Saying This, But...

I really, really think I'm going to finish "Garrett" today! I did some polishing yesterday, making changes my editor asked for, etc. I'm so excited!

After "Garrett", I'll be taking a short (but glamorous) break to head down to Las Vegas, for some National Finals Rodeo festivities. I'll be appearing at Paris with a lot of Hunky Cowboys. (Yes, Linda plays Las Vegas.) I would love to see each and every one of you there, but if you can't make it, not to worry. I will be tweeting. I will be Facebooking. I will be blogging and posting pictures. You will probably all stand up and shout in unison, "Enough already!!!!"

I will tell you that I got to see the video book trailer HQN made for the Texas McKettricks, and all I've got to say about that (right now) is WOW!!! It will be up on the website soon, so you can see my good-lookin' boys.

The weather is cold today, but the sky is clear, so I'm thinkin' sunshine.

Sadie has the day off from exercise, and she's sleeping away. My kitchen (where I'm writing this) is being taken over by art supplies. Somehow, they sneak up from my studio/craft room downstairs and before I know it, I'm surrounded. I am indeed my mother's daughter.

Love you, Mom.

Keep on keeping on. After all, what else can we do?

(Podcast of the day: The News from Lake Woebegone, Garrison Keillor. I love this guy.)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

December Again

It's lovely out today--frost shimmering on everything, but the sun is shining. The pines in the draw stand tall and green and sparkly. Today, I'm celebrating what is instead of resisting what isn't. :)

I've been writing--I'm putting the finishing touches on "Garrett", and making lots of wonderful discoveries in the art realm.

I've really gotten into podcasts, too. I mean, there is some FASCINATING stuff out there. What are my favorites? Craftcast, with Alison Lee. Craftypod, with Sister Diane. Stuff You Missed in History Class. (Wow. This last one is terrific!) All are available on iTunes, and probably on their websites. I'm checking out some others that are very promising, but I don't want to recommend them until I'm sure.

Make it a happy day.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Some of my art

This is a 12x12 beeswax collage I call "Veiled". It's a Christmas gift for a good friend.
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