Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cross Your Fingers

My friend Josanne Lovick, who produced my book, "The Last Chance Cafe" for Lifetime a few years ago, is pitching several of my projects to the Hallmark Channel tomorrow--"The Man from Stone Creek" is among them, along with "A Stone Creek Christmas"--Olivia O'Ballivan's story.  It would be wonderful to see these stories made into movies.

On the writing front, I'm making progress, but it's slow going.  All I can say is, I'm going deep with these characters and their story.

"The Creed Legacy" came out yesterday--too early to tell how it's doing, but after "A Creed in Stone Creek" and "Creed's Honor", anything could happen.  I try to stay Zen about these things but, since I'm a Gemini, this often proves to be a challenge.  :)

Our weather has been great, if somewhat temperamental.  I guess that's life on Planet Earth.  :) 

I'm reading "The Memory Palace" on my Nook--still fascinated.  Since I love memoirs, I've downloaded several new ones just recently, both on the Nook and the iPod.  My old iPod finally bit the dust, so I sprung (sprang?) for a new one, an iTouch.  It's all synced and works like a charm.  And it is very interesting to compare it to my last two iPod classics, which I saved to use for storage.  The device is progressively slimmer with each new incarnation--oh to be progressively slimmer myself--barely thicker than a credit card.  I finished the Churchill history--I never get tired of those people.  Like Lincoln, Winston Churchill was a tower of strength and determination, even though he suffered terribly from chronic depression.  Last night, I broke in the new gadget with a comedic memoir, the name of which escapes me.  I'll fill you in later.  :)   

It's time to make more coffee, journal a little, and get on with the day.  Sadie beagle is sleeping soundly nearby, as is usual for her in the mornings.  (And the afternoons, evenings, and nights.)

I hope you have a great day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's Brody Day!!

Yeehaw!  "The Creed Legacy", Brody's story and the final book in the Creed Cowboys trilogy, comes out today!  I am SO excited--this one really touches my heart. 

There are bright red peonies popping with color right outside my window as I write this, and the irises are lushly purple.  Nothing more beautiful than flowers blooming in the sunrise.

I had a great writing day yesterday and hope for another one just like it today.  It's slow-going with this story--"Big Sky Country"--but that's because it involves some very deep emotions.  A framed cover of "Vanity Fair", showing Rob Lowe without a shirt, sits on my desk and serves as constant inspiration.  :)  I have Mary Ann to thank for the frame--before that, the cover was taped to the my office wall.  Only problem is, I keep wanting my hero, Slade Barlow, to take off his shirt.

And speaking of Mary Ann--yesterday, she cleared away all the craft supplies that had accumulated here in the kitchen, and the lack of clutter is a positive luxury.  I am determined to contain my artistic experiments to the craft room/studio downstairs.  (Or at least put things away when I'm through painting or cutting papers for collage.)  My new thing is making paper dolls--I am my mother's daughter--presently, I swap them on Art42, and that's LOTS of fun.  I'm in a Traveling Paper Doll round robin at the moment--we each made a basic paper doll, with the theme of travel, and sent it on to the next person in the group, who will add something and then pass it on.  When the dolls find their way home in September, they will have been transformed.  My doll, not surprisingly, is a time traveler.  :)  I wish I'd taken a picture or scanned her before sending her out, so I could post before and after pictures, but it didn't happen.  Next time.

That, my friends, is the news from my kitchen table.

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Still Summer

I guess our alotted week of summer isn't up after all.  :)

The weekend was quiet; I mostly puttered, watering plants, reading, listening to "The Churchills in Love and War"--and watching art videos.  I finished the cards for a very challenging artist trading card swap--I came to wish that I hadn't signed up in the first place--but in the end I was pleased with the cards, so there you go.

I will be writing today, of course.

On the 25th, this past Saturday, I did a chat on Facebook's Linda Lael Miller Fan Club (blush) page--it was a lovely discussion and I had lots of fun.  Then, ten minutes before the chat was supposed to end, the cyber-gods turned against me and Facebook blocked any further posts, claiming that I might be 'engaging in abusive behavior'.  Right.  Anyway, I can see why they'd make a rule like that--I was posting fast and furious to keep up with the questions, so it might have looked (to a computer program) like an argument or any angry diabtribe.  :)  Fortunately, I was able to alert both Nicki Boyle, who runs the club (thank you, Nicki) and Nancy Berland, my friend and PR person, via private email.  They made my apologies for me.  I can't wait for the next Facebook chat--hopefully, we'll be able to square things with the powers that be at Facebook ahead of time.

My peonies are finally blooming!  There aren't as many as usual, give the late spring, but I'll take what I can get.  :)

Getting Sadie-beagle to take her pills pracitcally calls for a sumo wrestler, but we get it done.  Nowhere does the term 'get it done' apply more than in the country life.

That, my friends, is the news, written on my new laptop, at my old kitchen table.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

This Week's Sketchy Blog

Have you ever had one of those weeks?  :)  I'm not saying this past week was bad, because it certainly wasn't.  It was just crazy-busy.

On Sunday, niece Angela and her beau, Taylor, prepared a wonderful family feast out at the lake house.  We had SO much fun.

On Monday, my laptop died--meet my new one--and though I managed a few blogs on another computer, I'm essentially a creature of habit and I had a hard time concentrating.  I wrote in my office, but that computer isn't online, for obvious reasons. 

Tuesday we said good-bye to Debbie and Steven, close friends visiting from Colorado Springs, and Wednesday was full of drama, and yesterday we celebrated a family birthday with lunch at Boston Pizza.

Phew.  Back to work for me, big-time.  As my old daddy used to say, I've had about all the fun I can stand.  :)

Enjoying my Nook: I just read "Orange is the New Black", a memoir about a woman who goes to prison for a year for a ten-year-old (and undeniably stupid) mistake.  It was fascinating, and enlightening.  Now I'm into "The Memory Palace", another memoir, this one about growing up with a mother suffering from a severe mental illness--really tugs at the heart.  Human resilience is a truly amazing thing.  (Thanks for being so normal, Mom. Books like this always make me grateful for the parents, siblings and childhood I was blessed with.)

That's the news from my kitchen table.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer is Upon Us!

At long last, summer has arrived in Spokane.  They say it'll last at least a week.  (Just kidding.)

The new laptop, to be reserved for blogging, has yet to show up, but I'm expecting it today.  Once it gets here, I'll fire it up and load it for action, and continue my tradition of blogging at the kitchen table while sipping coffee and listening to the dogs snore.  :)

The company has gone--miss them very much, but also glad to have the place quiet again, for writing.

The lilies I planted for Dad are taking hold, and the peonies are still coming on, as are the roses.  The lilacs, with their heavenly scent, have been and gone.

My friend and agent, Irene Goodman, brought me souvenirs from my beloved London, one of which is a fridge magnet showing Winston Churchill (one of my heroes), with the motto: "Let us go forward together."

Sounds good to me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Have Company

Today, I'm enjoying my company, Debbie and Steve Korrell.

Also, the laptop I use to blog at the kitchen table died a grisley death, which means some shifting around.  :)  I've already ordered a new laptop.

I'll blog more extensively tomorrow.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Proud Mama

I am a proud mama every morning, but especially this morning.  Last night, Wendy's first ever produced script, "The Truth Below", aired on MTV.  As an insider, I know how long and how hard she worked on this screenplay, and what a long road it was to production.  Yes, Wendy can write, and she was born with a certain degree of natural talent, BUT--and I've seen this over and over--talent isn't worth the proverbial hill of beans without WORK, without dedication and persistence in the face of adversity.  She's been hard at it for years, my friends.  That's what makes me the proudest--that she never gave up.

Now there will be more mountains to climb, just as there are for all of us.  But my girl is on her way, for sure.

I've been tweeting more lately--putting up pictures of present art efforts (talk about persisting--this time, it's in the face of relative incompetence :) )

If you'd like to follow me, my address on Twitter is: @lindalaelmiller

It's Friday.  Again.  Where do the days go?

Have a good weekend, my friends. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Does the Turtle Ever Win??

I sure hope so, because that's about how fast I seem to be moving these days.  :) 

Today's big news is Wendy's movie: "The Truth Below" will be on MTV tonight, at 10 pm Eastern.  It's a good suspense story, but if you're not into graphic, don't go there.  :)  I'm just sayin'. 

Angie and Taylor were delayed, but due in today.  Eager to meet Taylor for the first time and, of course, his beagle, Gus.

The weather can't seem to make up its mind between sunshine and rain--today, it looks like rain.  The horses always enjoy an impromptu bath.  :)

Making today's entry short--I have work to do.  Fortunately, interacting with the folks in Parable, Montana, is just plain fun, disguised as work.

More tomorrow.

P.S. "Creed's Honor" is still hanging in there on the NYT--#3, tied for #2!  Thanks so much, all of you, for making things like this possible.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Latest Discovery

Quite by accident--if there is such a thing--I discovered "Karrie on Canvas" on Youtube--and I love the loose, free way she paints, the bold colors, and the whimsical subjects.  I've got a piece underway following one of her demonstrations, and I'll post it at some point.  (The famous sunflower is still in limbo, if you're wondering, which you probably aren't.)  Anyway, I love to share my special finds with you, so I posted a link to one of Karrie's early videos.  Enjoy!

I'm writing today--and it's another perfect day for it, too.  It's going to rain.  :)

I'm listening to a promising new book--new to me, anyway--called "You Are Not Your Brain".  I've developed a fascination with brain science--go figure--and I'm always on the lookout for a better way to do things.  I've also begun Andrea Kane's new book, "The Girl Who Disappeared Twice".  It's off to a great start--go, Andrea!

So many books, so little time.  The new Johanna Lindsey is on top of my to-be-read stack--I love her dashing heroes and spirited heroines.

Expecting company today--niece Angie and beau, Taylor.  They'll be vegging at the lake house, along with their beagle, Gus.  Have I ever told you how wonderful my nieces and nephews are?  :)  Angie is not only beautiful, funny and smart--she's a terrifically talented first-grade teacher as well.  I'm so very proud of her.

That's the news for today, pretty much.

Have the best day ever. 

Karrie on Canvas (Full Episode!!!) "Women Love Shopping"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Yesterday WAS a perfect writing day, just as I predicted.  Therefore, I'm predicting that today will be perfect, too.  :)  I am loving this new book.

The sunshine is brilliantly beautiful, gilding the big pines and Douglas firs with light.  The peonies are just starting to pop, and that's good news to me.  I hope to get Dad's lilies planted today--I'm leaning toward putting them in pots, so I can keep them on the deck and admire them from Linda-central, my kitchen table.  :)

Wendy's movie, "Truth Below", will show on Thursday, on MTV, at 10 pm Eastern--I have it Tivoed, of course.  This is Wendy's first produced script, so she's mighty nervous, and I don't blame her.  This is a big deal, after all.

Niece Angie will be visiting soon, staying at the lake house with her boyfriend, Taylor, and Taylor's beagle, Gus.  (I like the guy already.  He has a beagle.)  Dear friends Debbie and Steven Korrell are due to arrive this weekend.  All this and a writing deadline, too--but fortunately, everybody understands.  My plan is to start earlier than I normally do so I can have the afternoons to visit and play.

As for reading/listening, I seem to be between books right now.  My Nook is charging, though--I like to keep it ready for action.  :)  I did listen to the most recent podcast of "The Prairie Home Companion" last night, just before sleep.  Those Lake Woebegone stories always make me laugh outloud, at least once.

And that's a good thing.

I'm off to Parable, Montana.  See you tomorrow. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Perfect Day to Write

It's raining, and I'm all rested up from a very relaxing (okay, vegetative) weekend.  I read, I slept, I made artist trading cards, and I feel restored.

Saturday was June 11, usually a difficult day for me, because it's the anniversary of my dad's death.  I was fully prepared to be sad--until something my first cousin and all-around right-hand woman, Mary Ann, said.  It was simple enough--Dad wouldn't want me to focus on one day out of the 81 years' worth he actually lived.  So I decided I'd be happy instead, and grateful for the wonderful father I'd been blessed with, and do something to honor him.  Since he loved flowers, it made sense to plant something.

I bought beautiful lilies, perennials, two yellow and one bright, tiger-lily orange.  I say bought--I still need to actually plant them.  :)  I'm deciding whether to put them in a flowerbed or a lovely pot.  Whatever I decide, I feel better for having done something positive in my dad's memory, however small.

Today is my nephew Mike Lael's birthday.  Have a happy one, Mikey--you know I love you.  :)

That's the news for today.

Tomorrow belongs to itself.  :)

The First Peony

Here it is! The long-awaited first peony of the season!
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today's my birthday, and what a gift I received this week, from all of you and from the good Lord--"Creed's Honor" debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list!  I gotta tell you, the word 'yeehaw' just isn't big enough to express this one.  I am, quite simply, amazed--yes, it happened last time, but I didn't expect it again so soon, especially not with all the other new books out there in the marketplace.

What do I plan to do to celebrate?  Well, the ranch crew usually comes up with a cake and some presents, and there's an intriguing box from my daughter and her beau, hiding out in Jenni's office.  And I've got a yen to slap paint on some unsuspecting surface.  :)  Since the other gift I received this week was a case of the flu, I want to write.

Remember when I said, right here on this blog, that I wasn't setting any more goals?  Changed my mind.  It's not because I need anything, because I have the life I've always wanted, right here and now.  I'm setting new goals for the sake of having goals--because they help us move forward.  So, there you go.  I want to keep growing, as a person and as a writer, and to do that, one must have goals.  

I can't end today's blog without a nod to my late-great dad, Skip Lael.  Today would have been his birthday, too, and tomorrow is the anniverary of his death.  But that's life for you--the bitter and the sweet, the joy and the sorrow.  A human life is like a tapestry, it seems to me.  You have the shining threads of happiness and laughter, and the gossamer threads spun from tears.  It's a big blend of color and shadow and, as the old proverb goes, we see it from the back, where the knots and tangles are.

God sees it from the front, for the lovely picture it is.

 Be  blessed and enjoy your weekend.

I'm grateful for all of it. 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jerome!

A shout-out to my nephew, Jerome Lael--have a great birthday, dude.  I love the hair style!

We're enjoying some temporary sunshine this fine morning, and I'm soaking it up.  I've been a little under the weather all week, which has been downright frustrating, because I'm so excited about my new book and I want to work on it, darn it.

No movies last night, but I did read "Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children" on my Nook.  I enjoyed it, and was really impressed by the creepy vintage photographs the author and friends had scouted out for the project.  I also read a chapter of "The Necklace", which I finally figured out how to download properly, and that promises to be an excellent book. 

A pile of books arrived yesterday, via UPS--"Playing with Pictures: the Art of Victorian Photocollage" is an absolute feast of unique images and (to me) inspiration for altered art, artist trading cards, etc.  The author is Elizabeth Siegel. 

I'm tweeting again--for a while there, my technophobia got the best of me.  :)  Ironic, considering that I love electronic gadgets and usually can't resist them.  As in, my iPod, basically an extension of my ears, my iPad, on which I like to watch movies, my Nook, of course, and my beloved iPhone, with all its crazy apps--including the new Linda Lael Miller app, free on iTunes.  Check it out.  There will be more content as we go along.

I'm writing today.  There's big news about the new book, but I'm waiting until it's official to announce it here. 

That's how it is this morning, at my kitchen table.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Feeling Better!

I'm feeling so much better today--what a difference a day of real rest can make.  I curled up with an audio book--Iit put me to sleep :)--and snoozed until late afternoon.  I ate chicken noodle soup and the incomparable potato salad Mary Ann brought over, and the house was quiet.

It's back to work today and I'm eager to get back to Parable, because I left our heroine, Joslyn, in a difficult situation.  I hope she's still speaking to me.  :)

If I feel well enough to stay awake for a while, I'll be watching movies tonight--my most recent downloads are "True Grit", the Jeff Bridges version I LOVE, and "Tangled", which looks like fun.

I mentioned reading "The Paper Garden" on my Nook--I found it just fascinating.  So fascinating, in fact, that I ordered a book containing photos of all the flowers.  The woman made 985 collages--her goal was 1000, but her eyesight gave out and she had to quit.  Given that she was in her 80s by then, and this was the 18th century, that's pretty amazing.  I plan to read "The Necklace:Thirteen Women and the Experiment that Changed Their Lives" by Cheryl Jarvis next.  This is the true story of a group of friends who combined funds to purchase a fabulous diamond necklace, which they share.  (After saying that, I find that I've purchased the book but cannot access it.)  Oh, well.  I want to write anyway.

That's the news for today.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Flu Alert

I'm sick today, so not much of a blog.  Made myself a cup of mint tea--coffee is out of the question--and after feeding the pets, I plan to crawl back into bed.

Thanks for any prayers and good thoughts.

Hopefully, I'll be back in action tomorrow.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Bright and Shining New Week

It would seem that summer--make that spring?--has arrived at last.  The irises are open, bearded in purple, and I still have hope that the peonies will show up.  The roses, sturdy creatures that they are, are plugging along and I think the big dinner-plate dahlias will open soon.  I need to pick up some hanging planters for the deck just outside the kitchen door--I am starved for color, color and more color.

Sadie-beagle continues to fight me on the pill-taking front.  :)  I just have to remember who is the mistress and who is the dog.  Sometimes, that's hard.  She's trained me a little too well over the nearly twelve years of our association.  She won't even fetch--I'm supposed to throw the frisbee, go after it, and then throw it again, while she watches.  Silly dog.  She's getting mail nowdays, too--a get-well card arrived on Saturday, from her gramma  :), along with instructions to take her medicine like a good girl.  I don't think she read the card.

I've been under the weather just a bit, so spent much of the weekend snuggled up with my Nook.  Just finished "The Heroine's Bookshelf" by Erin Blakemore--each chapter features as mini-bio of a famous literary heroine, such as Jo March, and illustrates what we modern heroines might learn from her--and her creator.  Lovely book.  I was up late reading "The Paper Garden", by Molly Peacock--this is the true story of an 18th century woman named Mary Delany--she started making art at 72 years of age, cutting out flowers from pre-painted papers and gluing every tiny piece down on paper.  They are absolutely exquisite--and on display in a special room at the British Museum.  Next time I visit London, I'm going to try to get in to see them but of course that might not be possible.  They look incredibly real in the illustrations and the colors are still vibrant, after more than two centuries.

I think the cold or flu or whatever this bug is is relenting a little, at long last.  I'll be moving slowly but surely, through my own personal parallel universe, (the new book, "Big Sky Country) and enjoying all the sunshine and fresh air I can soak up.

Daughter Wendy's movie, "Truth Below", will debut on MTV on June 16 and I'm so proud of her.  If you enjoy gritty suspense, this is the flick for you.  I think it's excellent, but consider yourself warned.  I do not use the word 'gritty' lightly.  :)

And that's the news from my kitchen table on this sunny, blue-skied Monday morning.

Be well.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Sunshine and Sadie

Finally--the sun is shining!  For a while there, I was thinking I'd better start building an ark.  :)

Sadie-beagle is on some new meds--she has Cushing's, which is treatable and non-life-threatening--and let me tell you, she doesn't like to take them, especially since she was already on several other ones.  For a long time, I could fool her by hiding pills in pieces of liverwurst, but she's wise to that (or tired of liverwurst) so now we're at the wrestling stage.  She's a 29 pound dog, and I'm a --- pound woman, but that doesn't mean I win easily.  :)  Beagles can be unbelievably stubborn.  I give her the pill, she spits it out.  I give her the pill again, she spits it out.  You get the picture.  Me on the floor in my bathrobe, Sadie doing her best not to swallow.

What some people won't do for the love of a dog. 

I'm working today, and I can't wait to get started.  A new book is always challenging--but it's bound to  be easier than getting medicine down Sadie's throat.

Wherever you are, I hope the weather is fine and your spirits are high.

Have a wonderful, restorative weekend.   

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Assorted Chatter

I didn't get to do much shopping on my recent trip to the Big Apple, but I always try to get to my favorites--McKenzie-Childs and Kate's Paperie.  This time, I ran into a few snags--Kate's had moved from their old location on 57th Street, and I was too busy to track them down.  (Next time.)  At M.C., nothing really spoke to me--a rare occurence, since I LOVE this stuff.  Alas, there's always Lee's Art Supply, another great store, rumored to be frequented by Brad and Angelina and family, and I made an exciting discovery (for me) there--no, not Brad, but a line of paper called Decopatch.  The colorful tissue is absolutely beautiful, perfect for mixed media backgrounds and artist trading cards.  I've been searching the internet for more ever since I got home--and it was harder to find than I would have expected.  Find it I did, though--there's quite a bit on eBay.

Our weather is just plain crazy.  The peonies haven't popped, though the lilacs are lovely, scenting the air.  I haven't even planted my usual deck garden this year--too much rain.

Sadie-beagle has exercise today.  At the moment, she's snoozing in the corner of the kitchen.  

It's a writing day--and since spinning yarns is my favorite thing to do, that's a big blessing.  I'd make soup, but I'm on another diet.  Frankly, I'm not sure I can go through that again.  What if I just stopped fighting my weight and accepted that I'm not 18 anymore?  I wouldn't mind being this size from now on, but I sure as heck don't want to get any bigger.  :)  That's the dilemma.  Also, I miss my nightly glass or two of wine.  Sigh.

Conner's book, "Creed's Honor", is out there in the marketplace.  Yeehaw!  That's always exciting.  And I'm having a fabulous time with the characters in "Big Sky Country", the work in progress.

That's the news from my kitchen table.  Be well.