#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
My Glamorous Life

This morning, before the sun was up, I was out feeding my horses–in my pajamas. This is a pretty fancy set-up–10 acre pasture fenced Kentucky style, with white rail fences, big main house and brand new barn. But there ain’t nothin’ glamorous about hauling hay. And you know what? I love it, though I admit I could do without the stall shoveling!

I promised to tell you about the two luncheons at the NFR–the first one I attended was The Heart of the West Awards, meant to honor those for-real cowboys and cowgirls, some celebrities, some champions, and many regular folks, who support the Western Wishes program. (www.westernwishes.org) WW is like Make a Wish, except it’s western–they send seriously ill children to rodeos, etc., where they get to hang out with their favorite cowboys, like Ty Murray, and singers like Reba McIntyre. It’s a terrific cause. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place as we watched film clips of children in cowboy hats and wheelchairs, meeting their heros and heroines.

The second big charity event was the Justin Crisis Luncheon, sponsored by the folks who make Justin boots. It should be noted that the Michael Gaughn family, owners of the South Point Hotel, donate not only the huge space required for this glam affair, but the food, too. All the profits go to help injured or ill rodeo cowboys and cowgirls. The Wrangler people, and a lot of others, helped out, too. There was a fashion show and lots–like over 200–of drawing prizes. Next year, I’ll not only attend these wonderful luncheons, but participate.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about my behind-the-scenes tour at the Thomas and Mack Arena, where the rodeo is held. Since I’m concerned about the welfare of animals in all situations, this was a highpoint for me.

Are you ready for Christmas? I’m not, but, hey. It’s all good. After I’d seen those kids who were granted Western Wishes, I had to say, as the Horse Whisperer, Monty Roberts did, at the same event, I don’t have any problems. Never had, never will.

Rodeo Report 2

The 10th was a very big day. I met Steve Miller, my gracious host, for breakfast, and he brought along two female rodeo champions, Mary Ann and Kim. Mary Ann is a fourth generation buckle winner in the roping event, and Kim has been world champion–catch your breath–EIGHT TIMES. These two women opened up a whole new vista for me–professional women’s rodeo. It doesn’t get near the play in the press–and I think that’s a shame. I intend to see the championships next year, and don’t be surprised if a few rodeo gals turn up as heroines in my books.

After breakfast, we all went over to Cowboy Christmas, where I was a guest on the Flint Rasmussen Show. Flint is a former rodeo clown–talk about dangerous work–and one of the most engaging talk show hosts I’ve ever met. We had a load of fun up there on that stage, and was it ever fun to share the Tonight-Show style setup with Stran, a handsome and good-hearted rodeo champ, singer Tracy Byrd, and an up and coming young singer named Luke Bryan. This cowgirl had WAY too much fun, and the view, of course, was superlative. :)

My wonderful publisher, Harlequin, sent copies of the McKettrick books, and after the show, we gave them away, signed, at the Montana Silversmiths booth. That drew quite a crowd–I so enjoyed talking to veteran readers of my books and a whole new bunch as well.

I’m skipping around a little here, but I’ll get it all in, I promise. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the Justine Crisis Luncheon–an event to raise money for cowboys who are hurt or sick–and the equally wonderful Western Wishes foundation. Western folks do a lot of good work–there’s a great deal of truth in the image of cowboys and cowgirls pushing up their sleeves and wading in to help in times of trouble.

Gotta go feed the horses. I’m sure they’re listening for the truck to drive up.

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