#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
I’m back from my travels!

Where have I been?  Well, dear blog following friends, it feels like everywhere.  :)

We’ll start with my visit to Dodge City, Kansas, at the end of September, where I attended the 60th anniversary of “Gunsmoke”, that iconic television Western that I, for one, well remember.  (I’m aware that many of you are much younger, and may not recall the show, but for the sake of simiplicity, I will write about the experience as if you do.)

I gotta tell you, I’m REALLY just a country girl.  I graduated from Northport High School a long (LONG) time ago, and never really went to college, though I have taken a few extension courses and read like a crazy woman, thereby, to some extent, educating myself.  In other words, I’m a smart cookie, but I’m certainly not sophisticated.  I am blessed, and I live well–but I’m no jet-setter, believe me.

Imagine my delight when I learned that the wonderful perpetrators of the big event, the folks from Boot Hill Casino in historic Dodge City, were picking up their guests in Kansas City and transporting us to and from Dodge via private jet.  Now, a ride in a jet has been on my bucket list for quite a while now, but I thought it would happen somewhere down the line, not almost immediately after I wrote it on the list.  :)

The jet seated six, and was flown by one of the owners of Boot Hill Casino, with an able co-pilot beside him.  It was a wild experience, and, to my surprise, not the least bit scary.  I loved every one of the 40-some minutes of both flights, to and from.

You can see pictures of the whole wonderful visit on my official Facebook page.  I spent time with the remaining members of the “Gunsmoke” cast, including my long-time friend, Buck Taylor, his lovely wife, Goldie, Burt Reynolds–yes, THE Burt Reynolds–Bruce Boxleitner (I had a major crush on him when he played Scarecrow on “Scarecrow and Mrs. King”, actress Jess Walton, of “The Young and the Restless” and many other programs, her husband, John, and others I’ll be telling you about in days to come.

I attended a rodeo, signed 150 books at the rodeo grounds, and got to put my foot and handprints in cement on the casino’s Walk of Fame, right along with Buck and Bruce and Burt and Jess and Lane, whose last name escapes me at the moment.  Lane brought her sweet little dog, Kiki, along on the trip, and, dog-lover that I am, I enjoyed Kiki’s presence enormously.

There’s more, of course, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with verbiage, here.  :)

I still want to tell you all about the trip to Gettysburg, too.  That one was a whirlwind deal, and I didn’t get to contact some of the folks I planned to see, but I’ll be going back in June.  More on that later.

The contest is back in action, as of today.  As before, all you need to do to enter is make a comment.  Two winners will be chosen at random, notified by Jenni, and announced on this blog next Monday.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

Monday Stuff

Winners: Maxine Luckie and Socorro Smith–congratulations! 

Normally, I would announce a new contest today, but because both Jenni and I will be traveling a lot over the next few weeks, we’re taking a temporary hiatus.  Have no fear, though–the drawings will be back soon.

I had a fairly quiet weekend, mostly reading and listening to audiobooks and podcasts.  Here are some new ones I’ve tried and like very much (podcasts, that is): Inner Effort, Progress Not Perfection, Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert, the Calm Living Blueprint, and Fearless Rebelle Radio.  Recent audiobooks were: The Night Sister, by Jennifer McMahon, which is spooky, well-written and, okay, a little far-fetched.  I enjoyed it a lot, far-fetched or not.  After all, it’s fiction!  Ivan Doig’s The Bartender’s Tale is another great read–like all his books.  The man is a master wordsmith, no doubt about it.  I’ve read all the late Kent Haruf’s books, so it’s great to find novels in a similar vein.

My to be read/listened to pile: How I Rescued My Brain, by David Roland, Church of Marvels, by Leslie Parry, The Other Child by Lucy Atkins, Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay (I love his books!), We Never Asked For Wings, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Don’t Breathe A Word, by Jennifer MMahon, and Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

What are you reading? :)

Texas was the most active gunfighting state, with some 160 shoot-outs from the 1850’s through the 1890’s.