#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
Almost Out of the Woods

I think the c-diff is under control, and I am feeling much stronger, though I’m not quite there yet.  The trip to Atlanta was a marvelous experience, and I’m so glad I went.  I’m also glad I kept a low profile and returned home in fairly good shape.  Due to crowds and the general stress of travel (much as I love it!), I’m often under the weather when I return home.  What I’ve learned from this: that it’s okay to take things easy, lounge around in the hotel room when my presence is not required.  :)

Some of you have asked for more information on the Vimala Alphabet, which I discovered quite by accident, while looking online for something else, and have come to love.  I realize, however, that the title of Vimala Rodgers’ easily understood book is not the one I gave you before.  If you’re interested, look for “Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life”.  In short, the book is not about analyzing handwriting, but using this particular alphabet to make deep and lasting changes in the way your brain operates.  Practicing the letters actually alters the wiring and, furthermore, I can feel the sparks flying as my busy brain responds.  I look forward to practicing every day, and consider it a form of meditation.

Ms. Rodgers presents the alphabet she personally designed, many years ago, utilizing a comprehensive knowledge of graphology as a foundation.  Each letter is presented in its ideal form, in order to wire the best possible personal traits into the three pounds of gray matter between our ears.  She holds a Phd, so she knows her stuff, but her book and the accompanying diagrams are simple to understand.  She suggests a 40 day commitment to practicing the letters, and there are a few rules.  One writes in ballpoint pen (never with a pencil or a felt-tip), on plain, unlined paper, turned sideways into the ‘landscape’ position.  Why ballpoint?  Because the pressure the writer exerts matters.  Unlined paper is necessary because the ruled type makes it difficult to ‘think outside the box’, and the landscape position sends a message to the brain: “this is something different, so pay attention.”

At first, the practice was difficult, rather like writing with the non-dominant hand, so one must persist.  As instructed, I fill two pages on both sides, and mark the accomplishment on my calendar in descending numbers, starting with 40.  I have 14 days left on the trial period, but I have been convinced of the value of changing handwriting from the first week or so.  Once I have completed this first round, I will start a new one, focusing on certain letters and ligatures, which are the attachment of two letters, as in ‘th’, ‘be’, etc.  Each letter has a particular meaning and instills valuable qualities.  The letter T, for instance, is always crossed at the very top of the stem, with no gaps or loops.  (There are very few loops in the Vimala Alphabet, which presented a challenge to this loopy ole cowgirl.)  Among other benefits, writing T’s this way affects self-discipline and aspects of creative thinking–Nicolo Tesla, along with other visionaries, crossed his T’s in this way.  O’s are written in a clockwise direction, and that was tough, too–I’m still working on getting it right, in fact.

Have I noticed changes since beginning the challenge?  Yes, though they are quite subtle–I am more tolerant and open to the ideas of others, and I am not nearly so stress-prone as before.  I certainly plan to continue the practice indefinitely.  For more information, check out the website, iihs.com.  Jennifer Crebbin has authored at least two books on the subject of the Vimala Alphabet, and I can recommend them, too.

As I recover, I’ve been listening to TONS of audiobooks.  More on that next week.  

A new contest begins on Monday.  Get those comments in, and have yourself a marvelous, healthy weekend.

My (Modified) Atlanta Adventure

Well, cowgirls, I managed, with a lot of help from my friends, to make it to the Romantic Times Conference after all.  Not bad for a woman virtually climbing out of a sick bed to board a plane!  I had originally intended to attend the entire conference, but that wasn’t in the cards.  Fortunately, with modifications, I managed to attend the Rhinestone Cowgirl party, a little shindig intended to honor my readers, chat a little, and say thank you.  The party, orchestrated by the amazing Nancy Berland, was a real success; everywhere you looked, there was a cowgirl wearing a blinking Western hat.  We did a lot of laughing, shared hugs, and even cried a few tears together.

Saturday evening, I hosted a dinner, with lots of help from Nancy and Mike Berland and Super Jen, and several readers were invited to join us.  We ate at a great restaurant called Cuts, swapped stories, and generally got to know each other.  It was, along with the party earlier in the day, one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  Although the picture above, courtesy of Super Jen, is a little dark, I hope you can make out our happy faces!

Since I’m conserving my strength, I returned to this hotel room right after dinner and I have essentially been here ever since.  Super Jen kindly fetched sandwiches and Smartwater, while I lounged and slept.  Then lounged and slept some more.  I want to be ready to WRITE when I get home!  We fly back to Spokane this evening, and I will be so glad to see my puppies and Mr. Wickle Pickle, my love-guru of a cat.  (His real name is Wiki.)  

This being Monday, there are winners to announce.  Congratulations to Betsy and to Beverly Sivacek.  You will each receive a signed copy of my latest books, with my best regards and sincere gratitude.  A new contest begins, with the usual rules, i.e., if you comment, you’re entered.  Two winners will be chosen at random, notified by Super Jen, and announced on the blog next Monday.  (Give or take a day. :)  Each will receive an autographed book.

Be well.  And if you are well, be grateful.  If this illness has taught me anything, it has been appreciation for my normal good health.

From the end of the Civil War until 1890, some 10 million head of cattle were driven from Texas to Kansas.

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