#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
Yeehaw! Let’s Rodeo!

I’m off to Las Vegas this afternoon–much restored after a few badly needed days at home.

I’ve learned some lessons about pacing myself–learned them the hard way, as Laels are wont to do–and one of them was that I can’t carry my mammoth laptop without a serious energy drain. So here’s Plan A about blogging from Vegas: use the business center. Plan B is simply to write in my journal, as I do every day, and then catch you up on all the excitement when I get back home.

I return the sixteenth, and I’ll hit the ground running, between last-minute Christmas doings and all, but I’m really chomping at the bit to get started on Logan Creed’s book, first in the new contemporary western trilogy, to be published in early 2009. Did I tell you the Creeds are distant (kissin’) cousins to the McKettricks? Wait till I tell you all about these wild Montana cowboys!

Vegas ought to be quite an inspiration, with all those cowboys walking around in their goin’-to-the-rodeo Wranglers, pressed white shirts, and Sunday best hats. For some reason, when a cowboy dresses up, he likes to wear a white shirt, and if it’s real important, there might just be a crease ironed into those jeans.

Speaking of bits, we don’t use them on the Triple L. Bitless bridles, all the way.

Right now, I’d better get off this blog and switch out my New York suitcases for my Las Vegas suitcases.

I’ll be thinking about you. If no blogs show up, you can count on one the morning of December 17.

Cousin Steve

My “cousin”, Steve Wiley, and his wife Debi, are off to Las Vegas for the rodeo finals today–they spent the night and just left to catch their plane. Steve is a rodeo fanatic, so it’s a sure thing he’ll have a great time. I get in on Friday night, and I’m sure looking forward to hearing about their adventures in the meantime. My brother, Jerry, gets in on the 9th.
Now, I put the word cousin in quotation marks above because Steve and I aren’t really blood relations. But we grew up together, a whole flock of us, riding horses on the Wiley ranch outside of Northport and we think of each other as related, period. The Laels and the Wileys go back four generations, counting the current one. It was Steve’s grandmother, Florence Wiley, who told me all those wonderful stories about the wild west–the day the Dalton brothers tried to rob the bank in Coffeyville, Kansas, the time Jesse James bedded down in the family barn. Gramma was an angel, with sparkling, warm brown eyes and a tender heart. No matter how many people showed up at the ranch table, she managed to feed them all supper. Since money wasn’t plentiful, I often wonder how she did that.
Gramma’s own parents had a very romantic story. Her father fought in the Civil War, Union side, and his best friend went with him. The friend died in battle, and made Gramma’s father promise to take care of his wife and child if he got home safe. Great-Grampa Heritage did get home, and he married the young widow, raised her child as his own, and together, they built a family. The old rifle he carried into battle is still in the family.
Hmmmm. There could be a story in that….

In the old times sometimes cowboys referred to beans as “Deceitful Beans” because they talked behind your back.