#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
A Greta Garbo Day

Apologies to those of you who are too young to know who Ms. Garbo was.  :)  Suffice it to say, she was an old-time movie star, a cool blond with a throaty voice and a European accent.  Among other things, she was famous for saying, “I want to alone.”  (Although it came out as, “I vant to be alone.”)

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love people, I truly do.  But I am essentially an introvert, like many writers, and occasionally I need solitude, time to think, time to pray deeply, time to doodle on one of my artist trading cards–anything to rest my ADD-plagued brain for a while.  I’ve learned over the years that taking an I-vant-to-be-alone day now and then is vital to my mental health and general well-being; this is when my deeper mind gets a (too rare) opportunity to call the shots, without the constant interference of the surface mind.

I took one of these days recently, and it was a powerful experience.  I received some insights into my own life and thought processes, as I do when I journal.  It was delicious, this day.  When I sat in my meditation chair, all four pets joined me, and we all enjoyed the peace of just being who we are, where we are, what we are.  Animals are naturals at Just Being, especially cats.  They don’t prowl the past or try to explore and subdue the future; they are smack dab in the middle of NOW.  Of course our furry friends don’t have think about mortgage payments, political upheaval or the many other challenges (human) flesh is heir to, but we can still take a lesson from them.  

In the tech community, this kind of mini-retreat is called ‘unplugging’, an undeniably good thing.  We are constantly bombarded by all manner of input, from sales pitches to political rhetoric (God help us) to violence and, well, you get the idea.  It is impossible for any mere mortal to absorb and assimilate so many stimuli, wouldn’t even want to, but the onslaught continues, ceaselessly, 24/7.  Yeesh!  At this point, I’m not even sure this blog makes sense.

Maybe I need a Greta Garbo weekend….

Winners, My Adventures in the Civil War, etc.

This week’s winners are: Jackie Curt and Theresa Hagman.  Congratulations, blog-buddies!

A new contest begins today.  As usual, you only need to comment, and you’re entered.  Two winners will be chosen at random, notified, and announced on the blog a week from today.  Winners receive an autographed copy of my latest.  :)

I’m really into the current project, NORTH OF EDEN, and every morning when I sit down at my computer, I become a time-traveler.  This can be unnerving, when you find yourself bleeding out on the battlefield outside Chancellorsville, VA.  Fortunately, I was rescued, but only after considerable suffering.  I was absolutely exhausted by the time I finished this prologue–and today’s journey, with another character, was less painful but still traumatic.  I rode a crowded troop train to Washington City (what DC used to be called) and nearly got myself killed just trying to disembark.  Since I know I’ve still got a lot of adventures ahead of me, as I see the world through the eyes of several major characters, so I’m definitely taking my vitamins and getting as much rest as I can.  :)

This weekend, I’ll be heading to Salem, Oregon to attend my nephew’s wedding.  It will be wonderful to see so much of my family gathered in one place.  

My dogs, cats and horses are a constant delight; those dogs are real comedians.  Button, my 21 year old adopted cat, has finally decided to sleep upstairs again, which is a big thing.  He’s never been afraid of the dogs, but once they came, he found another place to sleep.  Now that he’s used to them, he’s claiming his favorite spot–my chest–once again.  

On the reading/listening front, I was delighted to find a new book–or one I’d somehow managed to miss–by Denise Grover Swank.  It’s called THIRTY-SEVEN-AND-A-HALF MOTIVES, and stars a beloved trouble-magnet named Rose Gardner.  I devoured that one.  I also enjoyed YOU’RE NEXT, by Gregg Hurwitz; he’s a new author, at least to me, and writes non-stop action.  (I did have to skip one part, due to graphic violence, but I understood the story just fine without it.  If the bad guys catch the hero, it isn’t good.  I didn’t need to know more than that.)  And tomorrow is new book day on Audible.com and in all the stores, so I just renewed my yearly membership–again.  

That’s the news for this fine Monday, my friends.  See you tomorrow.

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