#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Almost at the finish line…

Well, I’ve been working like a maniac, seven days a week, to wrap up “Big Sky Secrets”–the final book in the Parable/Three Trees saga.  Is it because I want to get shut of the characters and the story?  Heavens, NO.  I love these people, they’re very real to me, and ending a book means letting go of them–it’s like sending all of your children away to college at once, and that’s hard.  Still, there’s a whole new crew waiting in the wings to tell their stories so I’ll be over this particular variety of the empty-nest syndrome pretty fast.  :)

Scanning the comments, I see that someone asked if I always work weekends, and the answer is an adamant, “Absolutely not!”  I need my time off to putter in my art room, read or listen to books, and generally recharge my batteries–especially the spiritual ones.

For various reasons, I was behind schedule with this book, and I needed to catch up, so, as my dad would have put it, I buckled down and stuck with it till I got ‘er done–or, almost done.    I’ll be drafting the last chapter today, and polishing it tomorrow.  And while I hate saying good-bye to these communities and characters, I’m as proud of them as any mama could be.  The story runs deep for me, and I hope it will for you, too.  “Big Sky Secrets” will be out the last week in December, but you don’t have to wait that long for a new story–“Big Sky Summer” is in stores now, and “Big Sky Wedding” will be released at the end of August.

Each time I write a new book, I learn something from the experience.  In this case, it was a lesson on priorities.  With all the renovations, etc., things get pretty crazy around here, once the day gets rolling.  So I get up at four and spend two hours waking up, preparing for the day ahead, and recharging those spiritual batteries I mentioned before.  I pray, listen to the Daily Audio Bible podcast, which is wonderful, and meditate for 15 minutes or so.  (I’m working up to 20 minutes, twice a day.)  My friends, I cannot recommend meditation highly enough–you needn’t go to expensive classes, change your religion or contemplate your navel–or anything like that.  Simply sit or lie still, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breath.  My mantra is a very easy one–“in”, when I inhale, “out”, when I exhale.  While meditation is primarily a spiritual practice, like prayer, it has a very positive physical effect, too.  Research shows that the brain builds new pathways as we pray or meditate–see the book “How God Changes Your Brain” for more information.  In terms of brain-change, meditation seems to be more effective than prayer–but ONLY because it is usually sustained for longer periods of time.  Looping back to priorities, I find that I get more writing done if follow this plan.

I intend to continue following this routine for as long as it works, though I’ll be writing 5 days a week rather than 7, and I’ll be getting back to riding my exercise bike, too–probably while I’m listening to the Daily Audio Bible.  I might even show up at the computer at 7 instead of 6.  :)  Call me a renegade.  :)

Now, on to other things: the winners of this week’s contest will be notified today, and announced tomorrow. 

Next week’s topic of discussion: What inspires you?  Two winners will receive a signed copy of one of my books and a surprise.  :)

Accupuncture: my first session is tomorrow.  Somebody asked why I’m doing this.  It’s a way to release tension, ease the old aches and pains, and take better care of myself.  I’ll be blogging about it when I have something more to say.

Gotta get back to work now–big things are happening in Parable County.  :)

God bless each and every one of you.

24 comments to “Almost at the finish line…”

  1. Darlene Tomel Sigala
      · July 1st, 2013 at 9:46 am · Link

    Hi Linda, I am going to miss the Parable Stories. I am about to finish today Big Sky Summer, and waiting for Big Sky Wedding. I reread your books over and over I love them. Thank you for great stories.

  2. Leanna
      · July 1st, 2013 at 10:06 am · Link

    My family inspires me to do my best. I do not want to disappoint anyone in my life.

  3. lisa hicks
      · July 1st, 2013 at 12:40 pm · Link

    is bs secrets and weddings two books or are they the same and why put a end to a good thing and yes you always need a you time i agree thank you for the wonderful stories i feel the same about my books each one gets a 5 star in my world , god bless lisa hicks

    • linda
        · July 2nd, 2013 at 8:57 am · Link

      Two books–“Big Sky Wedding” is about Brylee Parrish (Walker’s younger sister) and Zane Sutton. “Big Sky Secrets” is about Landry Sutton (Zane’s brother) and Ria Manning.

  4. Betty Hamilton
      · July 1st, 2013 at 12:50 pm · Link

    Many things have inspired me. When I returned to school at the age of 32, I was convinced that I was not smart enough for college classes. When I received my first “A”… I was truly inspired. For work, I used to take days off every once in a while and attend seminars. They are amazing inspiration.
    To inspire my soul… I take a walk in nature with a young child. Seeing the world through their eyes is getting a good look at God’s world.

  5. Crystal
      · July 1st, 2013 at 2:03 pm · Link

    Hello to All!!! Linda I’m always anticipating the next book and the announcement to this weeks winners!!! Although I have an autographed book I still act like a child and keep my fingers crossed!!!! :lol: My family and I all went to the lake this weekend and had a wonderful time and got some sun. My husband got a little TOO much!!! He looks like a lobster!!! Poor Kevin!!! What inspires me…….. My mother inspires me. She is so strong and has faith in God as big as Texas. When we were kids she would do without so much and work 2-3 jobs just to keep our family going. I just pray I can be 1/8 of what my Mama is.. She inspires me to be a better person and strive to be a little more like her everyday. I Love You Mama!!!!

  6. Sarah Stanley
      · July 1st, 2013 at 2:05 pm · Link

    My husband’s experience with accupuncture was very positiv an and affective. He fell down the stairs in our house, and he not only suffered from the physical stress but also from the mental stress of needing to continue working (construction) while in pain. After much pushing from me, he finally decided to try acupuncture and said it was like emptying a container about over running with emotion and stress that he had grown so accustomed to he hardly realized it. I’m glad he tried it.
    It can only help your state of being. Enjoy!!!

  7. Connie Collins
      · July 1st, 2013 at 2:09 pm · Link

    I love your spiritual messages. It is so nice to have a Christian author that I extremely love to read. My question is how do you pick your winners? Does someone scan your comments and that narrows them down for you to make the final choice.
    Also, I would like to know how you can keep so many irons in the fire and not burn yourself out?
    My husband and I are 30 years into caregiving for our 53 year old son. He lives in a nursing home, but we see him alternating every night of the week, except for Saturday. I see him twice on Sunday, taking him to church and again in the evening. We near burnout and then it seems that God breathes new life into us. We are celebrating 55 years of marriage this year. I love reading your books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :wink:

    • linda
        · July 2nd, 2013 at 8:54 am · Link

      The winners are chosen at random, from among those who offer a comment on the topic at hand.
      Unfortunately, I DO burn myself out sometimes, when I forget to take care of myself with prayer and proper rest. Meditation is making a world of difference in this area, at least for me.

  8. JUDY
      · July 1st, 2013 at 2:57 pm · Link

    I also have your movie Last chance cafe’ (along with the book). I know at one point you said talks were in the works for another movie and was wondering which one. I love the Tate, Garrett and Austin. Also the other three brothers, Logan, Dylan and Tyler. Any chance of these brothers becoming a movie?

  9. Carol Miller White
      · July 1st, 2013 at 3:59 pm · Link

    Linda, I have been meaning to write to you that I just love the Parable/Three Trees series as I have so many of your books. Thank you so much for giving us this wonderful county and so many great characters. I have many favorites, but one really stands out: Opal. She is a wonder and I smile every time she enters the story :) I am lucky to know people like her in “real life.” There cannot be enough of them . . .

  10. Robin
      · July 1st, 2013 at 4:11 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    Glad to hear that you are trying something new, I heard that acupuncture is supposed to be really help. I do have a question that I am in the hopes you will be to answer for me; if an aspiring writer wanted to try their hand at getting a book published what direction would you recommend?
    Thank you in advance for any advise your able to provide have a great day and always BELIEVE.
    Robbielyne :-P

    • linda
        · July 2nd, 2013 at 8:51 am · Link

      That question takes a lot of answering. :) Is the book already written, or in progress?

      • Robin
          · July 2nd, 2013 at 8:24 pm · Link

        I have been working on this book for years and years, I guess I am too close to the project. I also get scared to have others read my rough draft(s).
        The book itself probably needs to go back to the infant stages lol… Any idea(s) is better than the ones running through my head right now.
        Thank you for anyone’s assistance…
        XO XO

  11. Debra
      · July 1st, 2013 at 4:22 pm · Link

    You’ve inspired me to download the Daily Audio Bible on my
    I- Pod. I have some of my favorite inspirational podcasts but thought this would be a great thing to include in my day. Thanks!

    • linda
        · July 2nd, 2013 at 8:50 am · Link

      I love this podcast. Brian Hardin’s voice is excellent for reading the Scriptures, and his commentaries and prayers are SO powerful.

  12. Pat Burleson
      · July 1st, 2013 at 4:39 pm · Link

    I am so waiting for “Big Sky Wedding.”

  13. Carol Malone
      · July 1st, 2013 at 4:43 pm · Link

    I just finished Big Sky Summer. I loved Walker and Casey, although they were two onry, stubborn cusses. I couldn’t help but be sucked into Montana, to the town there and into their lives. I wish, like Casey’s kids, they’d grown up with their dad. But people aren’t always as intelligent about things as we’d like.

    Thanks for giving us another great round of Parable/Three Trees. Waiting rather impatiently, for the next two.

    Thank you,

    Carol M

  14. Norma Stanforth
      · July 1st, 2013 at 5:18 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, God words has inspire me more here lately to speak out about Him on face book or any time i get a chance to, before i was to shy to speak out about God! Now not only it is a joy to speak out about God, but still shy about doing, but it is also my duty to tell people about God and Jesus our Savior!

    Hope your accupuncture tomorrow goes well, let us know how it turns out. God bless you and each and everyone.
    As always your friend,

  15. Lois Rotella
      · July 1st, 2013 at 8:10 pm · Link

    Hi Linda it sounds like you are one busy lady. I love the currents you are writing. I enjoy them very much. As to what inspires me, well lets see: Waking up every day and being healthy. Nature all around me and my family and friends. I thanks God for all of that.

    Enjoy your writing and and let loose having fun.

  16. Jodie Mejia
      · July 1st, 2013 at 8:41 pm · Link

    Hi Linda, I’m so glad there are more Big Sky books coming out. I love them and the people are like family. I am still hoping for another Mojo Sheepshanks book. You are my favorite author.

  17. Debbie Lilly
      · July 1st, 2013 at 11:34 pm · Link

    Just wanted you to know that I decided to re-read the first three books again before I read “Big Sky Summer.” Each time I re-read a book I discover new things about the characters.

    I can totally relate to becoming attached to the characters. Karen Kingsbury’s stories about the Baxter Family was one where I was totally wrapped up in the story. I read the last book in the series and was so totally upset that one of the characters and all but one of her family were killed in a car accident, I put the book away and did not finish it. I was in mourning for the family. It took me six months before I could finish reading the story.

    • linda
        · July 2nd, 2013 at 8:48 am · Link

      I’ll never do that to you. :)
      And, like Dean Koontz, I’ll never let the dog, cat or horse die, either.

  18. Debbie Lilly
      · July 1st, 2013 at 11:58 pm · Link

    My inspiration to write a story or poetry was my grandmother. I have a desire to leave behind a legacy for my future family members.

    My grandmother kept a diary of sorts until she died at the age of 98 years and 6 months. Each month she would keep track of significant events of the family, the nation and the obituaries for local people, actors and national figures. At the end of the year she would list the births, marriages and deaths of the family.

    I have been doing the same thing with my family. We adopted three young brothers ( 3, 4 and 5 years old) after our biological children were grown and out of the house. I thank God every day for being at my side as my husband and I raised these three. We fostered them for four years before we were able to adopt them. I was constantly writing reports for the county social worker who handled their case. The calendar became my best friend for the storing of information about our whole family. When I look back at the calendar for the 14 years the boys have been with us, I just thank my lord and savior for his strength and for his constant support. It has been a roller coaster ride of faith, emotions, patience, laughter and love. Someday, I hope to write about this experience. These three don’t remember some the things they have done and I hope I can enlighten them.

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