#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
News from Spokane

I’m off to Florida early Wednesday morning, for a whirlwind tour to promote the McKettrick books, and to speak at a wonderful Book Festival.

On the homefront, my cousin Sherri just had a very serious operation, and came through like the trouper she is. She’s one of my all-time favorite people, funny and sweet and a lover of animals. I’ll be visiting her this afternoon.

I spent the weekend experimenting with polymer clay beads–and the process reminds me a lot of learning to write. You have to throw a lot of stuff away–in short, be willing to write (or bead) badly, perhaps for a long time, until you can do it well. I think, actually, that we must earn the right to do anything well. The question is not ‘is it possible’, but are we willing to pay the price? In my experience, success is built not on instant skill (which doesn’t exist), but on a series of failures, large and small. Success is a process.

New Baby in the Family–and a Moose

As soon as I’m through with today’s pages, I’m off to Babies R Us to shop like a mad woman. My cousin, Mary Ann, just became the very proud grandmother of a baby boy. Haven’t heard what his name is yet–he lives in Canada and is the son of Derek and Courtney Readman. Congratulations to the Mom and Dad and all the other delighted relatives!

Life around here is nothing if not interesting–very early this morning, my neighbor called to tell me there were two mooses in my front yard, eating the shrubbery. I rushed to look–and wished I’d had a camera handy. They were a pair of elderly ladies, gray across the shoulders, as though they were wearing shawls. They regarded me with only mild interest, then went on munching. Sights like this always leave me awestruck.

There are fence posts in the ground where the pasture will be, leaning now at drunken angles. Later, of course, they’ll be set in concrete. It’s fun to imagine my four rascals trotting alongside that fence as I come up the driveway. Like my dogs, they’re always looking for a treat.

I plan to have a wonderful weekend, and I hope you will, too. If you haven’t read “McKettrick’s Pride” yet, it’s out there, and for you Orphan Train fans, the re-release of “Caroline and the Raider”, the third story in that trilogy, is available, too.

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