Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Here's Hoping...

That you're seeing this blog.  :)  The transition from old to new has been a little bumpy, but things are smoothing out.  I'm so grateful to all of you who are trying to stay on the bull till the buzzer sounds, to use rodeo vernacular.  It's been quite a ride and I hearby award you all a virtual belt buckle.

Yesterday was an excellent writing day, and I hope today will be, too.  I am So Close to finishing "Big Sky Mountain"--just three chapters to go after this one.  

I've received an exciting invitation to attend the rodeo in Reno, Nevada this June--very excited about that.  I'll fill you in on all the details as we go along.

In the evenings, I've been working on *artist trading cards.  It just seems to unwind my busy brain, and I like trying out different mediums--this time, it's Adirondack Ink, the kind used by the inimitable Tim Holtz.  I've made some interesting backgrounds just by dropping different colors of this ink (wear gloves if you use it.  I had to do some serious scrubbing to get the colors off my fingers last night) onto plain white *ATC blanks and letting the colors spread into each other.  Cool!  Some of them were too dark--I'll paint or gesso over those because I can't bear to waste good paper.  And these cards are illustration board, so they hold up well to transition.

:)  I sure hope I'll be able to say the same about myself.

Much love and enjoy your day.  The sky over Spokane hasn't made up it's mind yet, it seems--sunshine or rain?

Either way, it's all good.

Be blessed.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rain/Snow Mix

This is the craziest spring weather.  Yesterday, it was so sunny and beautiful, it looked like June.  Today, we're back to the lion aspects of March. 

I worked on Saturday, but Sunday was quieter.  I watched "Oprah's Master Class"--Jon Bon Jovi has certainly held up well, hasn't he?--and several episodes of "Long Island Medium."  I get a big kick out of Theresa Caputo's personality--I'd love to meet her some day.

I'm so close to finishing this book--it should be done by the end of the week, Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise.  :)

We're still going back and forth with the big switch to the new website, but I think the dust is finally beginning to settle.  Like most trying things, it will be well worth the effort in the end.

So, I'm off to spend the day in Parable with Hutch and Kendra and a host of fun characters I'm looking forward to introducing you to. 

Be safe, be well, and be kind.

We're all in the same boat.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Sure Hope You're Seeing This

Confusion reigns, but I think we're almost over the rough spots, website-wise.  Some of you are finding this blog--God bless you--and others are out there asking where the heck Linda went.  I'd be among the latter, since I'm not computer savvy.

All I can say is, please hang in.

Very soon, my first ever vampire book, "Forever and the Night", will be available on Nook at a bargain price.  After a month, it will also be on Amazon.  The other three books in the series will eventually be offered as e-books, too.  What an exciting time we live in--so many options!

I love my e-reader, especially on airplanes, but I've got to tell you, I still love, love, LOVE book stores--an electronic device cannot replace the tactile joys, like touching a book, feeling its heft in your hands, and even the scent of the paper.  Browsing is more fun in a book store, too--all those colorful covers, all those rows and rows of delicious possibility, not to mention human contact with a friendly staff and other book lovers.  I can't imagine a world without book stores, can you?

We have snow on the ground today, here in Spokane, and the sky is overcast.  Oh, well.  I can make the sun shine in Parable.  :)

God bless you all, and have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Snow Again!

A beautiful snowfall happened in the night--it's especially lovely out here in the country, with all the trees draped in delicate lace.  I'm as eager for spring as anybody, but I'm bound and determined to enjoy and appreciate what's happening Right Now.

Work on the book continues--I'm so near the end, and that's always a bittersweet feeling, wonderful, but also a parting of sorts, from these story people I have come to love.  My characters always become intimate friends and somehow, when they go off into the world, like children starting college, it's never the same as when they lived at home, so to speak.

Alas, a new batch of characters are waiting in the works, and I know I'll fall madly in love with them, too.  And there's the bright side--after every ending, there is a new beginning, in writing and in life.  I'm a Square-one girl for sure; I love new beginnings--I've been reinventing myself on a regular basis all my life.

I hope you've all checked out the new web and Facebook pages.  They present a much more accurate view of who I am now, today, and that matters to me.  They've been working out some bugs with the website, and I hope you'll all be patient while they smooth down the rough edges.

That's the place to get information about this year's round of scholarships for women, and there will be lots of videos, photos and contests, too.

That's the news from my writing desk--time to turn on the happy lamp and head for Parable.  :)

May God bless you, now and always.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lost Blogger Found

What a crazy, wonderful week this has been. 

The new website has been a bumpy road, but it's just beautiful and so much more "me".  (How I wish I were as young and skinny as I am in those pictures on the old one.  :))

Things are hopping over on the new Facebook page, too.  Soon, we'll be giving away signed books and other goodies.  Stay tuned.  :)

The first two days of this week were taken up by doctor appointments--don't worry, all the news is good--so I'm running a little behind on just about everything else in my life.  It seems, as the old saying goes, the hurrier I go, the behinder I get. 

Still, I am filled with hope. 

The weather continues to be unpredictable--that's spring for you, I guess.  Sunshine one minute, rain and/or snow the next.  At least it isn't boring.

That's the news for today, folks.  Thanks for sticking with me while we jump a few hurdles with the new website, Facebook page, and this blog.

You're the best.

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Big Sky Country" Cover Reveal

For a look at the cover of my new book, "Big Sky Country", a June release from Harlequin's HQN imprint, click on:

I'd love to know what you think.

We're undergoing some major transitions here, switching over to the new website--still  If you're having problems accessing it, please hang in--there have been some 'technical difficulties'.  I personally love the site--it's so much more up-to-date, the Real Me, as of 2012, for better or for worse.  :)

I've been working like crazy on the new book and have therefore neglected the blog in recent days.  I will do better, I promise.

The weather can't seem to make up its mind today--storm or sunshine?  At the moment, we're definitely enjoying the latter--I won't even need to switch on my happy lamp if this keeps up.  :)

The flu is behind me at last--boy was that wicked.  Hate to think what it would have been like if I hadn't had the shot.

Sister Sal has a new shop on Etsy, and she's doing some great things with recycled sweaters.  Check out ThankfulRose at  Both my sisters are artists--Pam does polymer clay and mosaic--I'll find out the name of her shop.

Monday is always a crazy day around here.  We've got one horse with foot trouble, and my CPAP machine needs to go in for repairs.  Alas.  It's all good.

That's the news.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Writing and Writing!

I'm feeling so much better, and I'm really into the book, so this will be short. 

Bernice and I went for a walk this morning--the sky is overcast, and we've had a few flurries of snow.  I can't figure out if March came in like a lion or a lamb.  :)

Mary Ann brought me a shamrock this morning--what fun.  I have some orchids on the kitchen windowsill, and a plant my brother and his wife gave me several years ago is now so big that we had to move it from my room to the living room, where the ceiling is higher.  It's thriving in the new place, so happy to be able to stand up straight.

That's the news, my friends, such as it is.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Definitely On the UpSwing

I rested all weekend, resisting the urge to dash all over Spokane doing this and that, in order to conserve my energy and strength.  Now I'm pretty tired of resting.  :)

We've had very typical spring weather of late--rain alternating with brilliant sunshine--and the robins are back, so that's a good sign.  The horses are probably looking forward to their summer schedule, when they  can stay in the pasture all night or step into a stall, as they choose. 

I'm listening to a Nicci French novel on my iPod--it's called "Blue Monday" and it is certainly intriguing.  The setting is London, and there's a lot of suspense--I like those qualities in a book.  :)

It's back to the book today, and I am SO excited.

That's the news, friends.  Be well, and if you're sick--stay home.  :)

Friday, March 09, 2012

Better--REALLY ;)

It's been a long week, friends.  I'm feeling LOTS better today, but I plan to lay low because if I get over ambitious, as I am known to do, I might lose the ground I've gained.  So, much as I would love to go out and enjoy this lovely sunshine, I'm staying close to home.

I'll be back on Monday.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Wicked Sick Yesterday

Just when I bragged about feeling better, I got slammed by this crazy flu bug.  I was slathered with Vicks, dosed up on Advil, and flat on my back for most of the day. 

I managed one brief walk with Bernicie because the weather was so fine and she was so hopeful, but I wasn't entirely sure I'd make it back to the house, I felt so weak. 

Mostly, I caught up on Oprah's Master Class--episodes on Reba McIntire (a favorite of mine) and Morgan Freeman (ditto--and I once saw Mr. Freeman in person in Atlanta.  He was getting out of the same elevator I was entering.)  Very tall, very handsome, very dignified.  His story, like Ms. McIntire's, is truly an inspiration.  I also watched Oprah's visit with Paula Deen--that lady is a kick, angling for catfish in her nightgown.  Thank heaven for TIVO, because without it, the TV pickin's are rather slim, to say the least.

Sam, I'm taking your recommendation and looking for "Call the Midwife".  Love that English stuff.  :)  (Especially high tea at the Park Lane Hotel, the big red buses and the food hall at Harrod's.)

Maybe I'm due for another trip to London.  :)

Once I get well, of course.  And finish the books on my docket.

Today, I plan to write.  We'll see if God has the same plan.  :) (He often overrules my 'great ideas'.)

That's the news, folks.  Thank you so much for your kind comments and get well wishes.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Feeling Better

But probably still contagious.  Yikes.  I was so determined to finish my Photoshop class, but I'd hate to make any of the others sick.

The weather is gloriously beautiful today.  Bernice and I will definitely get in our walks--I'll just be moving a little more slowly than usual.  :)  I'm a great believer in fresh air and exercise being good for what ails me, so off I go.

I fully intended to write yesterday, but I just wasn't well enough when push came to shove.  So I did the only reasonable thing--I watched the entire first season of "Downton Abbey" on my iPad, via Netflix.  I am officially addicted to that show!  Maggie Smith's performance alone is worth the time investment and the costumes are absolutely wonderful.  The story is intelligent and makes you really care about the characters---I actually cried a couple of times, I was so moved.  If there were more TV shows like this, I'd watch something besides "Who the Bleep Did I Marry?" and "Forensic Files"--the last series on a par with D.A. was "John Adams."

I am back to work today, but moving slowly.  :)

And that's the kitchen table news for today.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Back Tomorrow

I have a bad case of the flu and I wouldn't want you to catch it.  :)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Spring is Coming

Officially, the greening-and-blooming season arrives on March 20 this year--19 days from now.  Looking out over fields of admittedly beautiful (sigh) snow, I find that hard to fathom.  I'm ready to walk confidently around the pasture, instead of looking out for icy patches and mud puddles.  :)

I had another excellent writing day yesterday--I'm sure loving this book, and sure eager to share it with you.

The first of the new series, "Big Sky Country", will be available in June--the last Tuesday in May, actually--and I can't wait to introduce you to my Parable people--and the ones who live thirty miles away, in Three Trees, Montana. 

I watched "Sliding Doors" on my iPad last night, using Netflix.  I really enjoyed the innovative plot--a woman living two separate lives, simultaneously--it's the kind of story, along with time travel, that excites my imagination.  Being on a Netflix roll, I watched a documentary after the Gweneth Paltrow film, followed by a biography of Jordan's Queen Noor.  And then I slept--Bernice and the kitties had long since conked out--and woke refreshed and rested and very ready to write.

Which is what I'm going to do right now.  :)

Make it a good day.  Remember, it's a choice.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Soft Blanket of Snow

The snow is lovely this morning, as I look out my kitchen windows--not too deep, and marked only by the occasional set of deer or coyote tracks.  Since the stuff probably reaches the middle of Bernicie's chest, we'll have to wait for either a thaw or a pass of the plow before we can take our walks.

I had an excellent writing day yesterday, even with a dash to Walmart for in-case-of-snow things, and attended my second Photoshop class in the evening.  Photoshop is, alas, still pretty much of a mystery to me, but I'm determined to stick with it.  I'm certainly not looking to become an expert in four lessons; I just want to be able to navigate the program well enough to continue learning in my usual bumbling, trial-and-error fashion. (I'm not quite as thick as that statement makes me sound, but my firefly brain seems to have difficulty with complicated technical concepts--forget Soduku.  I've tried.)

I'll be writing again today, and happily, in the light of my happy lamp.  Of course when the sun is shining, I don't need it.

I'm waiting for "The Artist" to come to pay-per-view, and downloading the first season of "Downton Abbey" as we speak.  For a cowgirl, I sure do love stories set in merry old England.

As for listening to books, I've just finished Ali Wentworth's "Ali in Wonderland".  It was funny and fascinating.  Now I think I'm in the mood for a big, complicated novel.  The question is, which one?  Any suggestions?

That's the news from my kitchen table, at least for this morning.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter Wonderland--Or Not :)

Short blog today--I'm really into the book and I don't want to break my momentum.  :)

The new website is coming soon, so please watch for it.  Special thanks to all of you who 'liked' my new Facebook page.

We've been living in a smooth, white, sparkly world for the last few days--it's lovely out here in the country; acres of diamonds glitter in the horse pasture and one memorable morning the fallen needles from the tall pines that stand all around us were laced with a fragile dusting of snow--an exquisite sight.  Now, there's been a thaw and the sky is overcast again--more snow on its way.  More beauty.  (Hope I'm not snowed in before my Photoshop class tonight, though, and I MUST get to Walmart at some point.)

Photoshop.  What a challenge--but I'm determined to show up for all four classes, if I have to go by dog sled.  (Bernicie is not up to the job of pulling, but we could round up some Huskies somewhere.)  I'm not a person who learns technical processes easily, much as I love electronic gadgets and gizmos, so this effort requires some discipline.  Failing discipline, I can fall back on my streak of good old-fashioned stubborn Lael-ness.  (It's there to be done, so do it, that's our credo.)

And, of course, the book is there to be done, so I'm going to do it.

Stay well. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Like Me Facebook--Please :)

You can find my new Facebook page at:



I've been trying to blog for several days, with no success.  I was really getting worried that you'd all think I just up and vanished, and I'm right here.  We're making some changes, with the new website coming up soon, and I sure hope you'll all stick with us until we iron out the rough spots. 

Right now, you can find me on Facebook by going to the "Official Linda Lael Miller" page--pics of the animals are posted there, and we'll be adding fun stuff right along, so I hope you'll stay tuned.

You'll always be able to find my blog by going to, but there'll be a short transition period between the old website and the new, and I don't want to lose a single one of you along the way.

What I've been doing while I was invisible:
Walking Bernice and myself.
Writing the new book--which I LOVE.
Not much else.  :)

Thanks for hanging in.  More tomorrow, if Blogger doesn't go all weird on me again.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Within a very short time, I'll have a new website and a new blog.  My Facebook page has been altered, too--lots of pix of the pets there, and more to come.  As I understand it, you won't have trouble making the transition--all very exciting.  There will be contests and lots of fun things.

My main focus these days is the book--I'm loving it, though I did take the weekend off to restore my energies.  I had the house Feng Shui-ed on Saturday--very interesting process--and I'll keep you updated on that.  I start a Photoshop class tomorrow night--long term goal, about to be fulfilled.  I'm excited--I've tried repeatedly to get into one of these classes and I finally made it.  YEEHAW!  Again, I'll fill you in on the experience--I imagine it will be a challenge.  Photoshop is not something I've been able to learn via books or internet stuff--I need a real person to point things out to me.  :)  Such is my learning style that I'll have some trouble mastering the process, but then I'll know it, solid. 

Art, on the other hand, seems to lend itself well to online learning, at least for me.  I watched a new video from, called "All About Faces".  Julie F.F. Balzer, a very talented mixed media artist, is an excellent teacher.  Love it.

Bernicie and I took our walks over the weekend, as we will on this President's Day--we saw four white-tail deer dashing through the woods at one point, and that was so great.  The horses sometimes put on a little show, too--especially my bad boys, Banjo and Traveler. 

I'm writing today, going for 10,000 more steps, walking my dog, and generally being grateful to--and for--all of you.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Snow and Steps

I continue to work toward my 10,000 steps a day goal, and so far, I'm doing great!

I wrote today--it's challenging, but I'm loving it.

Bernice and I walked--she's not as committed to the Fitbit as I am :) so we stop a lot, so she can smell out the situation.  :)  Skiffs of snow were coming down all day--very pretty.

Yesterday, I had my hair cut and colored.  I like to say, at this point, I needed emergency care.  :)

Back tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Journey of 10,000 Steps

You know how I love gadgets.  Well, so does my friend, Debbie Macomber, and she just recommended a really fun--and healthy--one.  It's called the Fitbit, and it's basically a wireless pedometer.  Besides how many steps the wearer takes, it will also record how well that person sleeps, and a few other things as well.  (I have yet to find one that records how many Randy Travis songs I listen to.  :) )  It's tiny and plugs into the computer to charge, where it also records the data.  Mary Ann, my practical cousin and the Trail Boss here on the Triple L, wanted to know what made it different from ordinary pedometers.  She cracked up when I answered that this one sends me an congratulatory e-mail and awards virtual badges.

Hey, motivation is motivation.  Whatever works.

It looks a little slick out today, and I have a much-needed hairdresser's appointment, but I'm determined to go for 10,000 more steps, though it may be done mostly on my treadmill.  You guessed it--I was one of those kids who work hard for gold stars.  :)

Bernicie is back from the vet--she had a dental cleaning and six extractions, so she's got to stay in out of the cold for a day or two, eat soft food and take anti-biotics.  Still, she's herself, and Yorkie energy is important to well-being, at least around here.  Chacha, the kitty, who is Bernice's biggest fan, would certainly agree.  She was waiting for me when I came in from one of my strolls around the pasture yesterday, and clearly disappointed to find me Bernice-less.

So, the journey continues.  It will be a partial writing day--appointments throw me off and I can't avoid this one.  :)  I'm feeling terrific and I hope you are, too.

God bless you, my friends.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


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Hearts and Flowers

A very happy Valentine's Day to one and all.  Tell somebody you love them--you can't say it too often.  :)

The book is just FLYING along--once I've finished blogging, I'll be sitting down at my other computer, the one with the magic happy-lamp beside it, to take up where I left off.  This story really pulls me in--I'm feeling it very deeply, which sometimes makes me want to shy away a little.  Instead, I just crank up the Randy Travis tunes and go for it.  :)

Bernicie is getting her teeth cleaned today, so I went on the morning walk alone--she'll be with me for this afternoon's rounds.  The walk is my time to talk with God--and listen to Him, too--and I treasure that.  Plus, exercise helps keep the blues at bay, as does the happy-lamp.  Also, I try to be at least as nice to myself as I am to my pets.  :)

Sally and I are still texting each other in Randyese--in other words, lines from his songs.  :)  What a good time we had, whooping it up.

And I'm off to Parable.

See you tomorrow, pardners.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What a Weekend!!!

Here I sit at my writing computer, with my happy light shining down on me, fixing to write a new chapter and bursting at the seams to tell you about my weekend.

My sister Sally flew up from Oregon on Friday night, and on Saturday we did a lot of catching up, and a little shopping.  Saturday NIGHT, now, that was the biggie--we went to the Randy Travis concert over at Northern Quest Casino.  What a show, that's all I'm saying.  What a singer!  We just had more fun than the proverbial barrel of monkeys, tapping our feet, singing along, cheering every song.  There wasn't an empty seat in the place, and Randy and his band put on an unforgetable performance.  We left, exhausted, with music in our heads and our hearts, matching sounvenir T-shirts, and promises to do things like this together more often.

Sal went back on Sunday, and I missed her as soon as I drove away from the airport's departure lane.  It was definitely a flying trip, all too brief, but these days, with all of us living such busy lives, we have to grab our chances to get together and hold on tight.

Bernice and I had our walk this morning--good for both of us.  I do the praying, and she does the sniffing and turkey tracking.  :)

I'm off to Parable, where things are definitely popping.

Be well, be happy, and be kind.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Early Start

Bernicie and I have already been out for our morning walk--in fact, it's early enough that the horses are still in the barn, waiting for the Canadian Wrangler to bring them room service.  :)  It's very cold out here in Spokaloo, and the sky is gray, as it was yesterday.  Still, the quiet and the peace were lovely, and God and I had a great talk.  :)

Yesterday, on the afternoon round, all the hayburners were out in the pasture, and Banjo and Traveler, my boys, were showing off big time.  It takes my breath away, watching them run. 

The writing is going very, very well--I turned on my sunshine lamp and sat down at my computer and presto, I was in Parable, with Hutch and Kendra and Slade and Joslyn, sharing in their adventures.  I forgot all about the murky weather, I was so absorbed in the story. 

I just started reading Ken Keyes' "Handbook to Higher Consciousness."  Isn't it strange how a book might as well be written in Greek if you're not ready for it?  I've tried to read this classic many times in my life, but it just plain didn't make sense, until now.

Off to the Randy Travis concert this Saturday night, over at Northern Quest Casino.  If you happen to see me there--I'll be the one tapping both feet and grinning like a fool--come over and say howdy.  After Saturday, I'll be clearly identifiable by my souvenir T-shirt.  :)

That's the chat for today, my friends.  Thanks for riding the same trail--I do enjoy your company.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Gray Skies, Happy Heart

It's a writing day, and I'm thrilled about that, so I'm making the blog short this morning.

Bernice and I are taking our prayer walk in a few minutes, and then I'll be at the computer again.  Yesterday's chapter practically wrote itself--I love it when that happens.

More tomorrow, or later today.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Still Walkin' On Sunshine

What an excellent writing day I had today!  All four thousand words, my quota, just seemed to spill out onto the computer screen--I watched the action unfold in my imagination and then simply wrote down what I saw.

Bernicie and I had two walks, one in the morning and one this afternoon, when I'd finished my pages.  The weather is cold but otherwise completely glorious, and the walks have turned into my prayer time. 

I plan to spend at least some of the evening downstairs, in my craft room, which no longer looks like a blurb for "Hoarding: Buried Alive", thanks to Debbie Korrell, Nicole Clark and Chris, who tries his best to keep chaos in check.  :)

Mom and I enjoyed a birthday lunch on Saturday, at Red Lobster, which is one of our very faves.  I set aside the D.I.E.T. and had some of those amazing cheese biscuits.  Yum.  Mom looked mighty snazzy, all dressed up in her red coat and red shoes, and the wait staff gathered around to sing a round of Happy Birthday.  I conducted, instead of singing.  :)

Wendy had a nice birthday yesterday--she and Jeremy were planning to whip up a special sea food dinner at home.  What a lucky woman I am, to have her for a daughter.

And that's the news.

More tomorrow, though whether I'll blog in the morning or the afternoon is anybody's guess.  Either way, I hope you'll stop by.

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Best Day of My Life

February 6 is the anniversary of the very best day of my life--the day I gave birth to my (okay, 'our', but her dad and I have been divorced for years)--daughter, Wendy Diane.

Wendy is: smart, funny, beautiful and amazingly talented as both a writer and a singer.  Her screenplay, "Truth Below", was shown on MTV last year and of course that makes me proud, but there are many more "ordinary" reasons to be proud of Wens, too.  Her deeply gentle love for animals, for instance, goes back to earliest childhood--how well I remember how she sobbed at her hamster's funeral.  (He was buried in a Ziploc.)  

I hear tell that adult children don't like to have stories told about them on blogs, so I will desist.  :)

Suffice it to say, I won the daughter lottery on February 6, 19--, and I won in a big way.

I love you, Weniki.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Another Good Writing Day!

YES!  I'm rollin', ladies and gentlemen.  "Big Sky Mountain" is flowing like a river.

Looks like I won't be going to France for that art workshop in September, though.  It was cancelled, and I figure this must be one of those times when God has a better idea.  :)  (This happens a lot, obviously.)

This weekend, I'll be taking Mom out to lunch, as I've already mentioned, and doing some art work.  No matter how tight the deadline, I seem to need those two days to let the engines idle. 

Bernice and I will probably be going out for our walk in a few minutes--I washed my hair this morning we all know what awful things can happen if we got out into the cold with wet heads.  :)  So, lest I wind up with a rose in my teeth, murmuring my last words in the pnuemonia ward, I'll wait.  (See, Mom, I did listen.  Mostly.)

I'm thinking of having my house Feng Shui-ed.  Have any of you ever done that?  What were your results?

Hope you have a good weekend, my friends.

I'll see you on Monday.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Intermittent Sunshine

And I'll take any sunshine I can get!  :)

Yesterday was SUCH a good writing day--I can hardly wait to get back to the book.  I won't pretend it's been easy to get this one rolling, but the story touches me very deeply, and I hope it will touch you as well.  It's called "Big Sky Mountain" and it's the second book in my Parable, Montana series, following "Big Sky Country."

Mom and I are going out to lunch on Saturday--a belated celebration for her birthday.  We always have a good time together, and I'm looking forward to the visit.

The gardening catalogs are starting to arrive, and I'm getting the itch to raise another container garden on my deck.  I skipped it last year, but it's time to try again.

I'm listening to a great book recommended by my friend Debbie Macomber--it's called "The Circle Maker", by Mark Batterson, and the subject is the power of prayer.  Very good material.

Not much time for art these days, but I've got some backgrounds ready for two new batches of artist trading cards. 

Lastly, my new website will be up soon.  Very cool.

And that, for today, is the news from the Triple L.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Happy Birthday, Edith

Your card is in the mail.  No, really.  :)

It's a rainy Wednesday morning here in old Spokaloo, as we locals affectionately refer to the place.  Just the right kind of day for writing.

I had a great writing day yesterday, and Bernicie and I managed a good walk.  We spotted moose tracks in the snow, huge ones, but fortunately did not encounter Bullwinkle 'in person'.  :)  What am I thinking?  I had a fierce Yorkie along to defend me--just ask her.  She's always chasing off wild turkeys, lest they storm the house and take us all captive.

Still listening to the Daily Audio Bible on iTunes.  Brian reads from a different translation of the Bible each week, and I enjoy his messages and powerful prayers after the reading.  The app is free, if you think you might be interested.  If you're not interested :), that's okay, too.  I like to pass on things I enjoy.

On the art front, I found something cool, Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plates.  You smear them with acrylic paint and then press paper onto them and lift, so the color stays behind, the idea being to use layers, different paints and textures, etc.  I haven't had time to try them out yet, but you can bet I will soon.  Art is my therapy--I use it to decompress.

At the end of May I'll be attending the CREATE Retreat, in Irvine, California, and I'm so excited.  Finally, I get to take classes from Laurie Mika, polymer clay artist extraordinaire.  I simply LOVE her work.  Looking forward to that and hustling to get plenty of writing done beforehand, so I can concentrate in the workshops.  September will find me in Durfort, France, studying with Lynne Perrella and Lisa Renning.  If I've already regaled you with all this, forgive me, please.  I'm just YEEHAW excited!

More tomorrow.  Be well and, as always, be kind.  Folks are having a tough time out there, and a smile and a warm word can make all the difference.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom and Jerry

My mom and brother share a January 31 birthday, just as my dad and I shared June 10. 

Here's wishing you both lots of love and many more birthdays.

Blogging in the afternoon seemed like a good idea at the time, but it apparently doesn't work for me.  By three p.m., my brain has switched from writer mode to wall-staring mode, since I'm basically a morning person.

I'm well and I'm hard at work on the new book, and I just wanted to let you know that we're plugging along here on the Triple L.  Bernicie and I even got a walk in yesterday--the air was so wonderfully fresh--stepping around mud puddles and the occasional stubborn patch of ice.  She doesn't even slow down from the moment she sees me put on my boots--it's Hallelujah Day for her.  Lots of yapping follows, and I have to remind her to stand still so I can hook on her collar and leash, and then we're off, out the door, into the big, wide world.

It's wicked slick around the barn, so the Canadian Wrangler made trails leading from the outside doors of the stalls with old shavings, making sure the old Buckaroo wouldn't slip on the ice.  Traveler, the little pinto, doesn't step sedately out of his stall of a morning, like the gentleman he isn't.  :)  He thinks he's the Wabash Cannonball.  Banjo has a Seabiscuit complex, and only the ladies, Coco, Skye and April, use any common sense at all.  Coco, as the eldest mare, is the leader of the band, but everybody defers to Buck, out there in his muddy green coat.

The weather was sunny when I got up, but now it's mildly overcast.

The jury's still out on whether or not Bernicie and I will get our walk, but I'm thinking probably.

See you tomorrow.    

Friday, January 27, 2012

Still Iced In

Bernicie and I took a short walk yesterday--she was barreling along, on the trails of passing turkeys and coyotes and deer, while I picked my way cautiously from dry patch to dry patch.  :)  The fresh air was good for both of us and the weather, as I mentioned, was beautiful.  More sunshine today--I can't get enough of it.

I'm working on the new book, and making some real progress, so I'll be switching the blog-writing from the mornings to the afternoons, when I have my pages done.

See you then.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Take Cover, I May Sing

One of the songs from the musical, "Oklahoma", is running through my mind this morning--"Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh, what a beautiful day..."

The sun is brilliant in a blue sky--this despite the fact that there is more snow on the way--and the driveway looks treacherous.  We are "iced in", I think, the kitties, Bernice and I.  And that's okay, because all I want to do today is write.  :)

A happy-birthday shout out to the Canadian Wrangler, Larry.  (I won't say how old he is.)  January is a heavy birthday month in our outfit--my sister Pam, cousin and trail boss Mary Ann, her husband Larry, my mother and my brother all celebrate within a few days of each other. 

The wild turkeys have been passing through, and I've spotted coyote tracks on my walks with Bernice, but our moose visitor has not been back.  (I like seeing him from a disance.)

Off to write.  Have a good day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Feeling Considerably Better

We even have sunshine today, though it's very cold and the roads are too slick for Bernicie and I to go for our walk.  Maybe later--we took a short one yesterday, and she was practically bounding along, while I picked my cautious way between patches of ice.  There were four turkeys in the neighbors' driveway, but I don't think she even noticed them.  :)  She's old, and doesn't see that well, methinks.  We met another dog at the top of the driveway--a portly and elderly gray-muzzled black lab.  He was quite benign, and gave a half-hearted woof at the sight of us--translation: 'this is my part of the road so watch it'.  I smiled and we turned and went the other way.  Bernice had her nose to the ground and was either unfazed by the old gentleman or never knew he was there. 

I'm especially eager to get into the book, but I'm not very speedy.  :)  Not sick anymore, just a little flimsy and fragile.  (OK, whiny.)

Now for the comments:  Thanks, all of you, for the kind words.  And Jessica, in response to your post--I would LOVE to see the McKettricks in a TV movie or better yet, a series.  Wouldn't that be great????  There was some interest in such a project at one point, but nothing more was said.  The movie/TV business is like that--I think my friend Josanne spent something like five years getting "Last Chance Cafe" on Lifetime.  Nothing happens and nothing happens and then one fine day, the phone call comes in and it's Nellie-bar-the-door.

Hope springs eternal.

And now, to work.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Let it snow, let it snow, let it, oh-for-Pete's sake, SNOW

I guess with a heading like that, you don't need a weather report.  (As if you did in the first place.)  The stuff is actually very beautiful, and I'll post a picture later today.

I loved your responses to the Valentine question--Margaret, I DO remember making those Valentine boxes with crepe paper and glue, and waiting in anticipation to open them on the day.  It was very exciting--a lot of things about attending grade school in Northport, WA were major events--like the last day before Christmas vacation, when we always had cookies, punch, a movie and a very modest gift exchange in the afternoon, followed by dismissal.  Hard to know who was happier when the bell sounded--us, or our teachers.  :)  Those of you familiar with small towns will note that movies were a very big deal in those days--our local movie house closed sometime in the early fifties, I think--I recall being enthralled by Disney's "Toby Tyler".  That kid would have had me sold on running off to join the circus if it hadn't meant leaving home.  :)

I mentioned my big plan, right?  The one where I get up at 4 a.m., etc.?  Well, it finally occurred to me that God's plan for me might just be a little different from mine. 

He seems to want me to sleep in.  :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today's Snow Report

The white stuff is coming down pretty hard at the moment, though the flakes are tiny and it looks as though we've got less than an inch.  Hope those won't turn out to be Famous Last Words.  :) 

Today is my sister Pam's birthday--happy birthday, Sis.  She and husband Jon recently moved to Seattle from California--sure hope that snow doesn't come as too much of a shock.  I'm a little envious, to be frank--I'd love to be able to buy fresh fish and farm flowers at the incomparable Pike Place Market, eat at the New Orleans Cafe in Pioneer Square, and shop at Westlake Mall.  :) 

Sure, I could probably manage a condo in the Emerald City, but where would I keep my horses? :) 

Snow or no snow, I'll be writing today.  Under my special sunshine lamp.

In the meantime, let's talk about Valentines.  (I know, it's a little early, but hey.  It'll be fun!)  What was your most memorable Valentine, either given or received?  Mine was presented to me by a high school flame--it was six feet tall.  (The Valentine, not the flame.)

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Well, we've been lucky with the weather so far this winter, but it seems all our chickens are coming home to roost, beginning with light snow tonight and semi-blizzard levels tomorrow and the day after.  As long as the power stays on, my computer will work and I can concentrate on my story, which means I'm a happy and grateful camper.  (I'll still be happy and grateful if the lights go out, but it will take more effort.  :) )

I really enjoyed your answers to yesterday's question--those of you who haven't seen them can click on the 'comments' link under Monday's blog entry.  I certainly agree with all your choices--Robyn Carr's Jack, for instance, is a definite hunk.  Today, I'd add Francis Crawford, of Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles, and of course Rhett Butler deserves a spot in the Hero Hall of Fame.  Branching out into TV, I'm still crazy about Little Joe Cartwright, of "Bonanza" fame.  Even after all these years, that saucy grin of his inspires me.  :)

I mentioned my dawn simulator, basically an alarm clock with a blindingly bright light, a few entries back.  Gadget queen though I am, I couldn't figure out how to set the thing for about a week.  Finally, a tech-savvy friend solved the problem, and I've been using the widget for a couple of days now.  It definitely wakes me up, but I'm all too able to ignore it.  Maybe what I need is a radio/CD player that will boom out with something like, "76 Trombones" or Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" :)  My goal is to resume my old habit of getting up at 4 a.m. (I am a morning person, obviously.)  I like to read my devotionals and listen to the Daily Audio Bible, get a little exercise, and start writing immediately after that, so I can be all jazzed up when I sit down at my computer.

The best laid plans.  Today, the first thing I had to do was throw Bernicie into the sink and lather her up.  You're happier without the details, believe me.  Then the coffee pot--which I bought 2 months ago--went on the blink.

John Lennon was right.  Life IS what happens when you've made other plans.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Friday's Topic

Wow.  You sure responded to that one.  Fun to hear so many different viewpoints--we'll have to have more of these discussions.

The consensus seemed to be:

Full moons ARE different from other moons--I've always figured it was simple physics, ie, if the moon pulls at the tides, why wouldn't it pull at little ole water-filled us?  (This last one, according to my MoonPhase app, was the Wolf Moon.  Don't you love that name?)

Black cats, like all small furry folks, are wonderful.  :) 

Some of you told great stories about things your grandmothers believed.  (My mom could never stand to see us play with crutches, I recall, because we might wind up needing them sometime.)

And you brought to mind one superstition I do believe in, because I've seen it happen so many times, growing up in a small town the way I did.  Big events--especially deaths--happen in threes.

Or maybe we just segment them that way.  :)

If you could pick one hero, from one novel or from history or whatever, and marry him, who would you choose?

Dibs on Sam O'Ballivan, the Man from Stone Creek.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

I'm not superstitious--well, not very--but I do tend to watch my p's and q's on Friday the 13th.  :)  I'm also not wild about walking under ladders--that's probably just common sense--but I don't throw salt over my shoulder when I spill it or anything like that, and I have no issues with black cats.  My daughter has two.

On the other hand, the full moon always seems to affect me, as does Mercury Retrograde.  (Even when I deliberately ignore them.)

Are you superstitious about anything?  Let's talk about it.

Just click on the comment button below.  I'll send an autographed book to one of you.

Have a great weekend and, oh, yes, don't walk under any ladders.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sunny Skies in January

This is the Eastern Washington weather I remember from my childhood--it's very cold out, but the sun is shining and the sky is sugar-bowl blue.  As Bernicie and I walked around the pasture this morning, I felt my heart just swell with gratitude.  That's my prayer time, while I'm walking, and it's just such a gift to me to spend that time with God and my all-time favorite Yorkie.  :)

I mentioned losing my cell phone--odd how disconnected I felt, even though I'm not actually a phone person anyway.  I missed my Daily Audio Bible app most of all--listening regularly to the Word is so healing, even when the stories themselves are confusing.  By that I mean some of the stuff in the Old Testament--burnt offerings, for instance, or Lot, willing to toss his two virgin daughters to the angry crowd outside his house.  Yikes.  For a long time, things like that kept me at a distance from the Bible, even though I was raised on the King James Version and will forever be grateful to my mom for taking us to the Northport Presbyterian Church from infancy.  Still, as I'm rediscovering now, there is much more to the scriptures than the superficial meaning of the words themselves.  It definitely has a singular power, all it's own.  

For me, the key was to stop trying to understand, and let up on wanting to argue every point.  Now, I don't worry about believing or disbelieving, I just listen.  And there is some kind of shift going on within.

Snow predicted for the end of the week.

Oh, well.  :) It IS January, after all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


It's hard to believe I've written 1600 entries on this blog, but I reckon the counter doesn't lie.  :)  Amazing.

Today's Q&A:

Hilda asked if sections of my books are ever cut out, and told me some authors post the missing chapters on the web so the reader can fill in the blanks.  I've never experienced this, really.  My editor and I work very closely together throughout the process, and that keeps me on track.  If Joan asks me to change something, I generally agree with her, and make the changes.  If--and this is rare because we are very like-minded--I don't agree, we negotiate a solution that suits both of us.

Lea didn't actually ask a question--she sent me a link to her blog, "Lea and Her Mustangs".  The pictures are great!

It's a beautiful, sunny day today.  This has to be the nicest January in my long and winding memory--not counting the 8 I spent in Arizona, of course.  :) 

And now back to the writing. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

One Question

A special hello to Jennifer, who emailed to say she's an aspiring writer.  Here's her quesion: do you define your characters before you write, physical and character details, or let them develop as you write?

A: Both.  Usually, I'm getting to know a character for weeks, if not months or years, before I write about them.  When I begin the story, I have a fairly comprehensive but also generalized vision of the characters, the situation, etc., but my characters invariably develop as the book unfolds and they often surprise me--and I love it when that happens.

That's my method, but I hasten to add that there is no one "right" way to plan characters--I work organically, with one thing growing out of another.  Something happens, a character responds to it, and so on.  Here's the most valuable advice I can give an aspiring writer (besides the obvious, which is write, and you wouldn't believe how often that particular step gets overlooked): Be willing to write badly until you learn to do it well.  Perfectionism is the enemy--and after all these years, it's still a struggle I face every day.

Only God is perfect.  The rest of us have to be satisfied with doing our best and letting that be okay.  When you get right down to it, after all, "good enough" is plenty in most cases--and it sure beats doing nothing at all.

Bernice and I took a nice walk today.  No snow.  (YES!) The Yorkster is downright perky these days, thanks to her medicine, and that lights up my heart.

Until tomorrow....

Monday, January 09, 2012

Leaner But Not Meaner

I did it.  I worked up the courage to step onto the scale this morning and--hallelujah--I am at my pre-rodeo, pre-Toronto trip, pre-Vegas weight!  YES.  Viva la D.I.E.T.

OK, so a dozen of you left comments, with questions, and I will address them here as best I can.
Thanks first, though, for all those kind words.

Q: Will I be writing more time travel books?
 A: If I get a really good idea for one, yes.  Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in sexy cowboy heroes and the view from here is great.  :)

Q: Is there a man in your life?  Romantically speaking, that is?
A: No.  But I believe he's out there somewhere and he's a lot like Sam O'Ballivan, the man from Stone Creek.  :)  I expect he'll turn up when the time is right.

Q: Are there audio versions of your books?
A: Most of them are available on or iTunes, methinks, but not all are on CD.

Q: How do you like your CPAP machine?  (This is a breathing device for those of us with sleep apnea.)
A: I rest ever so much better, now that I don't wake up fifty times a night to breathe.  The mask part is bulky, though, and I took a while to get used to the thing.

Q: Do you use events from your own life in your stories?
A: Well, I never put down an experience exactly as it happened to me, but of course I am influenced by life--mainly the stories I remember my cowboy dad and uncles telling and certainly Gramma Wiley's tales of her Kansas childhood.  My writing tends to be organic--I begin with a certain character in a situation that intrigues me, and build from there.

So that's the overview for the most recent crop of questions.  If I missed yours, never fear.  I'll get to it.  :) Keep them coming.

In other news, I have misplaced my cell phone and am awaiting a new one.  There was a delay.  Is Mercury in retrograde?  I'll have to check.  The moon has been full the last couple of nights, and that usually dials up the crazy-meter a little.  :)

Basically, it's all good.  Bernicie the Yorkie is doing very well on her new medicine.  (She'll be 12 in April.)  My old Buckaroo is still hanging in, wandering around the pasture during the day with the other horses, clad in his beloved green blanket, and keeping his mischievous fan club, Banjo and Traveler, in their places.  Both these ponies want to be like Buck when they grow up.  :)

And who can blame them? 

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Writing and Rambling

I'm writing today, and I'll like be at it for the next several hours, but I wanted to stop by the blog to let you know I'm thinking about you and to wish you a wonderful New Year.

2012.  I can hardly believe it.  I'm still setting goals--looking for ways to live up to this year's word, "Thrive"--and I think I mentioned the art journal I've begun.  I started off by signing up for a Photoshop class, starting in late February--something I've always wanted to do.  Randy Travis is appearing at Northern Quest casino in February as well, and I plan to be there.  I am a major Randy Travis fan.  :) Not that going to a concert is the same as achieving a goal, except that, for me, it's part of the process.  Part of my definition of thriving is having more fun.

As I write this blog entry, I'm awash in full-spectrum light--bought myself a special floor lamp for Christmas, to keep the winter blues at bay.  So far, so good.  I forge on with the D.I.E.T. and all I can say for sure is, my jeans still fit.  :) 

I'm opening the floor for questions, informally at least.  Click on the comment button and ask your question.  I will answer as many of them as I can, right here on the blog.

Time to get back to Parable, Montana.

See you tomorrow.