#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

There was a distinct, crisp chill in the air when Sadie and I took the elevator down to the first floor and went outside. Fall is definitely coming.

Fall has always been my favorite season, at least here in the Northwest. In Arizona, I could hardly tell the difference between seasons, except, of course, for summer. Yikes. I remember hiking back from the barn one day, when my horse-head pool was still just a big hole in the dirt, the temperature at 114, thinking, “Why did I ever leave Washington state?” Not that Arizona doesn’t have its singular charms, because it does. I’ve never seen the like of the sunsets, for instance, and I have many close and cherished friends there.

I won’t be taking this weekend off to go to the lake, but please don’t feel sorry for me on that account. Things are happening too fast in Stone Creek–I don’t dare let the reins slacken. I expect to have the book finished the middle of next week. There will be a short vacation–picture me lounging at the lakehouse, with somebody else’s book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. There’ll be some polymer clay work, and I’ll be cutting and glueing for my vision boards, too.

Have a lovely weekend. Somebody in Spokane, Washington, thinks a lot of you.

Stone Creek, 1907

Well, I get to be travel-free for a few months, anyhow. The older I get, the more I’m like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. There’s just no place like home–or, in my case, homes.

I’ll be working straight through the weekend on “The Rustler”—it’s practically writing itself. I just show up in Stone Creek and record the action as it unfolds around me. I get so caught up in the story that I forget I’m really in Spokane, and it’s 2007, not 1907.

Glimmers of later travels begin to shine in the distance, though. I’m going on two (count ’em) TWO Civil War tours next year, one in June and one in September. The June tour is 6 days long and hits all the major battlefields, the September one follows in the illustrious footsteps of Stonewall Jackson. I can hardly wait!

It looks as though I’ll be going to New York in early December for some meetings, then I’ll head straight for Las Vegas and this year’s National Finals Rodeo. (Truth: I hang out at the western trade shows instead of the rodeo, but I might take in one event this year.)

Meanwhile, though, it’s Stone Creek, 1907.

A “ten gallon hat” can’t hold ten gallons of anything.