#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


Home Sweet Home

After a wonderfully relaxing and fun weekend at the lake–Sister Sally and husband Jim came through on Saturday night, along with five friends who had accompanied them to Sturgis. (I am now the proud owner of a Sturgis shirt and beer glass.) We had a brief but delightful visit, as they were all ready to fire up the Harleys and head south to Salem, Oregon on Sunday morning. Linnea, Darrell and their son, Tony, all live in Fort Bragg, California, so they had farther to go. I’m not sure where Mike and Jerry live. When Sally called to confirm that they’d be passing through Spokane, I threw a turkey in the oven and filled the cooler with beer. It was great to hear those big bikes rolling into the driveway!

On Sunday, after the crew was gone, I worked on a vision board for my projected Civil War series. The center shows the haunting face and frightened eyes of a young Confederate soldier. I put him in the middle, because I want to remember as I’m constructing these books that it was the boys, then as now, who did the real fighting. I suspect the generals on both sides, many of whom had gone to West Point together, saw the war as a big chess game. Most were friends during and after the conflict as well, and even exchanged gifts between battles.

Naively, I had thought I would only need one vision board for the whole project. (I’ll explain vision boards in a moment, for those of you who have questions.) It soon became apparent that this was a Confederate board, and focusing mainly on ONE general—Thomas Jonathon Jackson, better known as Stonewall. (During the first battle of the war, First Manassas if you were Confederate, Bull Run if you were Union, the Confederates were taking a beating. A Union victory at this point probably would have ended the war. Jackson and his men alone held the line, and someone remarked, “There stands Jackson, like a stone wall.” Well, the name stuck, of course.)

Now for a brief explanation of vision boards. They are like the treasure maps used as an aid in visualizing some goal. Basically, they’re a big collage. I use large pieces of black poster board from Michael’s and glue on pictures and words from magazines, etc. It really stimulates the imagination on a very deep level, and keeps the person in perspective.

I entitled this blog “Home Sweet Home” and then talked about bikers and the Civil War. :)
I’m glad to be back at the main house, as much as I enjoyed the lake, and all geared up to head for Stone Creek right after breakfast.

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Cattle drives rarely went more than ten or twelve miles a day, as the cattle had to be given time to rest and graze. A drive from Texas to Montana could take up to five months.

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