#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Back in my office chair

And mighty glad to be here, thank you very much.  :)

Jeanne Wagner, you are so right on (see Comments)–I CANNOT bear any of the Animal Cop shows, either, even though I have the highest respect for the work those people do.  Thank God for them, because they provide a truly noble service.   I also cannot endure the bleak commercials run by the animal protection groups (I once loved Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind”, but no more, and Sarah McLaughlin’s music is spoiled for me, too), and have been known to run from the room, hands over my ears and humming loudly, if one comes on TV—the remote isn’t always handy and it happens suddenly, a sort of emotional ambush–and then I hide out until I know it’s over.  Yes, of course, I understand the point of those commercials, but I think the groups involved would be better off showing POSITIVE things–show me an adopted pet leaving the shelter with its new family, for instance.  Show me what GOOD my donations can do, for pity’s sake.  After all, people who are callous and indifferent to animals aren’t likely to be moved to kindness and generosity by those scenarios anyway, because they are–wait for it–callous and indifferent.  No, it’s those of us who adore critters, and want the best possible homes and lives for every single one of them, who are most affected by such images.  The whole experience usually leaves me feeling hi-jacked, and when I feel that way, I dig in my Lael-Bleecker heels.  At that point, I am done.

Don’t get me wrong–I DO contribute, but my contributions go mainly to two of our local shelters–Spokanimal and Paws.  I’m a great believer in supporting good causes in my own community before giving to national charities.  Seems to me that we ought to sweep our own doorsteps first, look after our own homeless, be they two or four-legged, right here in our own cities and towns.  If everybody did that, this would be a kinder and much better world.

And there you have my admittedly unsolicited two-cents worth.

I should have said it sooner–don’t get me started.  :)

The weekend was peaceful and quiet–I read, made some artist trading cards*, downloaded and then watched an art video featuring a wonderful Aussie artist named Jane Davenport, (“Fanciful Faces”, Interweave.com) and learned a lot.  I love this website, because I can either order the physical DVD or simply download the program onto my mini iPad–guess which I prefer, impatient as I am.  I’m working on an atc* swap now based on “Horton Hears a Who”, the Dr. Seuss classic.  After a lot of practice, I managed to draw a passable Horton.  :)  I’d forgotten how clever and entertaining the story was, and the poignancy of the message: everybody matters, ‘no matter how small’.

My personal favorite Dr. Seuss quote is from “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”, a book my mother gave me only a few years ago:

“Oh, the places you’ll go, and the people you’ll meet, with your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet!”

Thanks, Mom, for that book and about a million others.

So, here I am, in my office chair, ready to write.  The sky is overcast and the weather is cool–just makes things cozy, a split-pea soup kind of day.  Bernice is back from her barn adventures with Jenni and curled up in her little bed near my desk to rest up for the next round, this afternoon.  I can see a passing horse once in a while, out there in the pasture, and I have a story to tell. 

A cowgirl can’t ask for more than that.

32 comments to “Back in my office chair”

  1. Teresa
      · September 30th, 2013 at 1:07 pm · Link

    Oh YES, I completely agree on those awful commercial and with the fact of donating locally!! My mom once sent me a webpage that showed how much money (salary) those people (at the top) make (at supposed charities) and it made me so MAD, I SPIT!! I rescue and rehome what I can – I have just rescued 2 Aussie!! Keep up the good work and BLESS you as well today!!

  2. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2013 at 1:10 pm · Link

    I agree with the the animal commericals on TV, they make me sad everytime I see them, they should show what the donations do, etc., that would be a more watchable commerical. Well I am halfways thru the Big Sky Wedding book, so back to reading.

  3. Becky Strobaugh
      · September 30th, 2013 at 1:15 pm · Link

    The animal abuse commercials are just like our news programs. Personally, I believe that if more good is “reported” we’d see more good behavior in people. I love the commercial with the kid running through town to the next bus stop to return a purse.

    Big Sky Wedding is on my shopping list :wink:

  4. Jennifer Zorko-Legan
      · September 30th, 2013 at 1:21 pm · Link

    Glad that you are back! I agree, animal abuse commercials I have to change the channel. I donate every year as part of my sister-in-laws xmas gift to the animal shelter, in her name. It is something that we started years ago, so we just do it every year now.

    Big Sky Wedding is on my TBR list.

  5. Maryjane Hoffman
      · September 30th, 2013 at 1:25 pm · Link

    I too agree with these commercials on tv, in the papers and magazines being way over the edge. Show how the money really is spent, show the love and care for them, not beautiful buildings and such. We donate to the two shelters here in our town as they do awesome work! Of our three dogs that we raised from pup’s til the day the Good Lord called them home two we got from friends litters and one we rescused as she would have been put down if the fellow who had her couldn’t find a good home. They all lived nice long lives with lots of love and care from our family of five(Mom, Dad and 3 kids!).

  6. Norma Stanforth
      · September 30th, 2013 at 1:45 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    Glad you have a nice cool day and that you got a lot of things done over the weekend.So you are thinking about having some pea soup sounds good, Hope everyone has a great week. God blessings. :wink:
    As always your friend,

  7. zola udell
      · September 30th, 2013 at 1:50 pm · Link


    Glad to see that you are feisty and ready to go. Have a great week of creating a writing!

  8. Debbie Koziel
      · September 30th, 2013 at 2:12 pm · Link

    I too can not handle those animal commercials…they can wake me up from a dead sleep just hearing the music they play !!! I always have my remote control within reach so I can turn the channel! Have a great day!

  9. Diana E
      · September 30th, 2013 at 2:20 pm · Link

    Its not just the commercials, I have a friend on facebook that is almost over-the-top about adopting abused animals, I guess its her thing but just heartbreaking to see some of them. Guess I need to un-friend her but hate to do that.
    Hope you have a very productive writing day today, Linda. Blessings.

  10. Patricia M Hann
      · September 30th, 2013 at 2:24 pm · Link

    I also agree. I cant watch or listen to them. I once went to a church and all the pastor could say was all the bad stuff that is happening all across the world. I don’t put a mask over my face I do watch the news. but I need uplifting stories of the good people do. A therapist once told to make 2 positives comments about yourself and positions comments about your love ones every day. Start thinking and doing positive things. I think we are train to look negatively at stuff.

  11. Juanita Rice
      · September 30th, 2013 at 2:49 pm · Link

    Oh, Linda! I am so glad to hear how you feel about those abominable commercials showing abused animals!! I sometimes write in the office late at night, the tv going in the other room. I used to hear music that surely depicted a bad Bella Lugosi movie, ignored it for several nights before I investigated. Sure enough…pictures of abused and neglected dogs scrolled across the screen. It is disturbing in so many ways and I make sure the television is on a “safer” channel now.

    Thank you so much for your spot-on comments. :)

  12. Ruby Norwood
      · September 30th, 2013 at 3:08 pm · Link

    Well Linda ,I feel the same as you about those commercials on TV and also I believe in giving my money to local charities,and sometimes I just give to a local family that needs it. Hope you have a great evening Linda..

  13. Lois Rotella
      · September 30th, 2013 at 3:20 pm · Link

    I agree about the commericals. I can’t handle them. I like to watch animal planet. the shows like Too Cute and The Truleman or wild man. Not sure the name. He captures animals that get on peoples properties and releases them in the wild.
    I gave all my nieces and nephews when they graduated high school the book “Oh all the places you will go”. They all loved it.

  14. Jennifer Damone
      · September 30th, 2013 at 3:20 pm · Link

    Oh I know what you mean about those commercials Linda! They break my heart every time! I have to turn the channel. My family has done a lot of adopting from the local animal shelters over the years.

    I am with you on helping here at home first. We have plenty we can do local to help people. There are two organizations I will donate to: the local shelter and the volunteer fire fighters because without them we would have no one to help us.

    Have a great week Linda and Jenni! :-D

  15. Darlene Tomel Sigala
      · September 30th, 2013 at 3:24 pm · Link

    I agree with you Linda, I don’t like all the commercials and shows that have to do with animals. I will not just hand someone or send a donation to anyone, they can at least do a car wash or bake sale not just always have a tin can or a hand out. I work hard for my money as do many other people. I do support certain foundations that I know are truly helping. I am back east visiting and I have donated to help the horses that are getting a second chance at life after being abused. I love my horses as I know you do too. I love all my animals and we need to protect those that cannot protect themselves. :(

  16. Patti
      · September 30th, 2013 at 3:31 pm · Link

    I feel blessed to be one of your blog readers.

  17. Leisa Sellers
      · September 30th, 2013 at 3:34 pm · Link

    Hi Linda! So glad I am not the only one that doesn’t like those commercials! Like you say, they never show the animals going home with lucky families! I have a Great Pyrenees dog that I adopted a couple of years ago and he is one of the best dogs I have ever had!!! Would adopt lots more but since we are on a limited budget because of husbands disability, I have to be content with one at a time. I do donate and drop off things I know they need at the local shelters. We have to take care of home first then when we are able we can expand to help others! Stretching too thin doesn’t accomplish much!
    Love all your books especially the Big Sky ones! Live in Southern MS. but have traveled through your area when husband was a truck driver! Such a beautiful country we live in!

  18. Roberta Giordano
      · September 30th, 2013 at 3:53 pm · Link

    I have to say I am relief to know it is not just me that turns the channel or runs out if the room when those commercials come on. They make me so sad. And I am always saying why can’t they show what happens after their adopted. I use to love those songs they play now every time I hear them I cry because of all the bad things I saw in the commercials . Maybe it’s time to start writing these organizations and letting them know how their commercials are not helping?? Have a nice week everyone.

  19. marilyn hurst
      · September 30th, 2013 at 4:26 pm · Link

    Sounds like the perfect afternoon to me!

  20. Becky Johnson
      · September 30th, 2013 at 9:05 pm · Link

    My youngest son Kris found “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” at a thrift store and bought it for my 4 yr. old granddaughter Paige. She loves it and I love reading it to her! :-P

  21. Pat
      · September 30th, 2013 at 9:17 pm · Link

    Just about cried when you were discussing animals. My daughters have always adopted animals from shelters. Some of the best pets they have had were the “ugliest”. As a matter of fact, our latest “granddog” is an AKC beagle named Luke that was surrendered due to size. He is a doll.

  22. Gloria
      · September 30th, 2013 at 9:21 pm · Link

    I agree with you, Linda…charity should begin at home and stay local. I’ve gotten to the point that the only place I give money, when I have it, is to a Christian Radio Station who uses the money to spread the gospel all over the world. They give a public accounting of every penny they receive.

    Or, I just help someone directly.

    On the other subject, my friend in NV had to have a dog put down today, and she is very, very sad. One, she is sad for the dog, and two, she is sad because she can’t be there with her dog because the vet is 3 hours away. Say a prayer for her, please.

    She had to go a looooong ways for the birth of a granddaughter and left her animals in the care of a friend. When she came back, the dog was sick, so she turned around the next morning and took it to the vet, and after doing all they could, they said it wasn’t going to get better. It is just so sad for her.

    This was a dog her mom adopted from an animal shelter just last December, after the death of her husband, and around the time of the fires in AZ, which destroyed a lot of the town her mom lived in. Then, her mom had to go in an assisted living home, and had to give up the dog, which my friend then took the dog home with her to NV

    This is a long comment, but as I said, it is so sad that all of that was done to give the dog a home, and then, to have to lose the pet.

  23. Pam Brewer
      · September 30th, 2013 at 10:06 pm · Link

    My freshmen students are beginning a unit on persuasion and argument; today we learned about advertising propaganda and persuasion. When we talked about pathos, that same commercial was mentioned because of the emotional heartstrings it attempts to pull. Most of my students said they either turn the TV off, turn down the volume or leave the room. Must be universal! My 6 year old granddaughter, on the other hand, is always in tears when she sees the commercial. I try to change the channel when it comes on to spare her, but I’m not always there to do that. I just hope she keeps her feeling of empathy when dealing with all of God’s creatures, two and four legged!

  24. Jan Campbell
      · September 30th, 2013 at 11:27 pm · Link

    Linda, when I taught, my teaching partner and I would read Oh the Places You’ll Go to our 3rd and 4th graders at the beginning and end of the school year. It was such a great book. Many lessons were learned from it. I’m now waiting for my grandson (2 1/2) to get a bit older so I can read it to him.

  25. Stephanie
      · October 1st, 2013 at 12:57 am · Link

    I agree with the idea “Attention goes where energy flows” and would love for animal groups and orgs to focus on the positive and the “YES” part of their message. Instead of always showing the heart wrenching photos and video.

    However most people are addicted to the negative information and this is why violent movies, news channels, high drama “reality” shows all get so much attention and money to fund their message (s).

    I hope everyone above will write to the ASPCA, PETA and HSUS and let them know what you would LIKE to see and what you would more likely be interested in supporting. We can comment here on Linda’s wonderful site and that works. But taking it a step further and letting the orgs know what you will respond to with more enthusiasm and joy is KEY. :)

  26. Emily
      · October 1st, 2013 at 9:08 am · Link

    I was unable to access your blog until just now.

    I so agree about the animals and the commercials. I will not look at any TV show that shows the harm animals receive. I have a friend that is a Vet, and she has learned not to tell me anything that is bad when the pets arrive at her clinic. Growing up on a farm has taught me many things about life, love and pets. (I even loved the bull that chased me in the field!)

    Stay well.

  27. Debbie Lilly
      · October 1st, 2013 at 9:25 am · Link

    When you start to envision a new story line, do you do a lot of information gathering? :idea: I have being working on my ancestors through Ancestry.com. A few skeletons in the closet, :oops:, have been discovered. The information I have dug up would make some interesting stories. My problems is never being able to put all of this wonderful family information into a format that tells a story. :-| To be able to pass on the stories of these wonderful people would be a wonderful gift to future generations. But, alas the story writing be left to someone else to write it. :cry: I have had fun using the smiley faces to show how I feel my thoughts are expressed. Maybe, illustration of the written words is my expertise. :)

    It looks like another gloomy and dreary day in Northeast Ohio. My great aunt always said, “If you don’t like the weather in Northeast Ohio, wait a half an hour. It will change.” Have a wonderful day and good luck with the writing. :-P

  28. judy
      · October 1st, 2013 at 11:56 am · Link

    Could not get on your site last night. I think it was my provider.
    I am thinking of changing. I go along with what you are talking about here.

  29. Deborah Rae Nelson
      · October 1st, 2013 at 4:37 pm · Link

    Such a cozy time of year. It always bring to mind coming home from school in the fall. If it was one of my mom’s days off, she would have cookies or bread baking in the oven and the aroma still lingers with me to this day. Love the weather. And I love the light spectrum here in Santa Fe.

    Be well, be blessed~

  30. Joyce M.
      · October 1st, 2013 at 5:17 pm · Link

    I keep the remote near so I can switch away from those commercials.

  31. Sandra S
      · October 3rd, 2013 at 11:51 pm · Link

    Glad that I’m not the only one changing the channel when those abused animal commercials come on. What gets me is the fact that they are giving away t-shirts and other things for making a donation. I always think why are they wasting the donated money for these items. Makes me think that very little of the money goes toward the animals, after advertising, salaries and promotional items.

    • linda
        · October 7th, 2013 at 11:27 am · Link

      An excellent point, Sandra. What does it cost to make and run those commercials? How many animals could be saved or helped by the money?

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