#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Better Late Than Never (I guess)

First, here are the contest winners who should have been announced on Monday.  (Bad Linda!  Bad!)  Or not.  :)

Congratulations to Garen L. Herd and Jessie R, who will both receive autographed copies of my most recent release.  For obvious reasons (see above), I didn’t formally announce a contest for this week, but guess what!  We’re going to choose random winners from the week’s comments anyway, because that’s how we roll, Ms. Jenni and I.  Winners will be named on Monday (please God) and a new round will begin.  Rules are always the same: comment, and you’re entered.  Two winners will be chosen and notified, and they too will received autographed books.  

What a week this has been!  I’ve been writing like a crazy woman–I’m really rolling with NORTH OF EDEN–and have to tear myself away from the computer every day.  I have to watch my tendency toward perfectionism; because this book will be published in hardcover initially, with considerable splash, I catch myself thinking, “This has to be really, really good.”  That, of course, is a recipe for creative paralysis.  My hardcover editor, Kathy Sagan, who is wonderful, by the way, keeps telling me to Just Write.  I can revise later, after all.  Still, I love, love, LOVE to play with words, and I can get pretty carried away describing things and people and places–and to a certain degree, that’s good, because I’m out to give you the best story I possibly can.  On the paperback side, my long-time friend and editor, Paula Ekelhof, recently retired, and now I’m with Margo Lipschultz, whom I also love.  Margo and I worked together briefly some time ago, and we’re simpatico.  

Mom, now 87, went in for an eye exam on Wednesday.  You can bet I was worried when the doctor called me in for a conference after her checkup.  Turns out, Mom has macular degeneration, which, of course, is not the best news.  She has the “dry” kind, as I understand it, which means there is no effective treatment (yet), but the condition isn’t likely to get any worse, so she can still read and watch HGTV, two of her favorite things to do.  Mom is still sharp as can be, but she can be a little foggy sometimes (hey, so can I), so I had to explain that she’s among the fortunate; she won’t go blind.  The “wet” version of macular degeneration is, evidently, somewhat treatable, but it still results in vision loss.  So, convoluted as it sounds, there’s an entry for my gratitude journal.  (I’m up to day 208 now, well into volume 4.)

Yesterday, I had a mammogram; nobody’s favorite thing to do, but just think about the number of lives this test saves every year!  Now, they even have a 3-D version–God bless those geeky types who wear their baseball caps backwards and keep coming up with amazing new technology.  I’m reminded of something Bill Gates once told a bunch of high school students: be nice to the geeks, because you’ll probably end up working for them.  :)  Love it.

All this and writing, too.  Plus keeping up with Mowgli and Tule, my pound puppies, who are a constant delight, the little outlaws.  I think, like babies, God made small animals cute so we wouldn’t kill them.  (No inflammatory emails, please.  I’m just kidding!)

I’m happy to say that I’m finally back on track with my Weight Watchers plan and exercise.  It was dicey for a while there, and I gained back some of the 50 pounds I lost, but now I’m back on track and, as always, that feels great.  When Jenni and I signed up again, a couple of years ago, we promised each other that we wouldn’t quit going to meetings, no matter what the scale said.  Listen to the long-time members in WW, the ones who’ve reached and maintained their goals, and you will hear that advice again and again.  Keep coming back.  Eventually, things will click, whether for the first time, or the seventy-seventh.  The lifers also have lots of good ideas, like boiling up a bunch of vegetables and then using a stick mixer to puree them.  Freeze, add soup stock and spices later, and voila.  Soup, satisfying and healthy.  I’m having a lot of fun with that one–I love vegetables, and I love soup, so it’s a winner.  Since I tend to be one of those obnoxious people who buy a lot of fresh produce, stare at it until it wilts, and then dump it into the compost pile, this is an excellent solution for me.  And holy delicious, Batman, sugar-free peanut butter is a power food!  Who knew??

As always, I’m reading/listening a lot.  I’m listening to TRIALS OF THE EARTH, by Mary Mann Hamilton, a true story of a pioneer woman and her courage in the face of adversities that would buckle most of us under.  I’m reading MINDSET, a really excellent book about the importance of choosing our attitudes.  Fascinating stuff.  I’m a great fan of TED talks (I’d love to give one someday), and I recently discovered another treasure, 1000lifehacks.com.  GREAT stuff!

In closing, there’s good news about my stepmother, Edith Lael.  You may remember that she broke some bones in her neck several months ago, and she’s been in rehab ever since.  Guess what?  She got to go home!  She’s an inspiring lady, full of pioneer spirit.  Thank you for your prayers and good wishes along the trail, my friends.  Finally, I’m attending a retirement party Saturday evening, for my dear friend Gail Mackie, who has done such a spectacular job running Spokanimal all these years.  It was Gail who brought three of my beloved house pets into my life, Button, aka Buttingo, aka Tingo, who is a 21 year old cat and still peppy, plus Mowgli and Tule (aka Tim the Toolman Taylor).  

I warned you.  I just can’t resist playing with words! 



53 comments to “Better Late Than Never (I guess)”

  1. Clarita Goodspeed
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:32 pm · Link

    Just had a mammogram this morning. I’m with you 100%. The very 1st one I had many, many years ago was excruciatingly painful. What a difference now. Keep writing your books and I’ll just keep on reading!

  2. Diane McCarthy
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:34 pm · Link

    Good afternoon From the east coast Linda. In glad to hear your mom and step-mom are doing well. My mom is in rehab and has been there for a month and a half all because a uti. We have had some financial issues and lost our home because of them, but my daughter and son-in-law have taken me in. They are in the process of selling their house and looking for another with an unlawful apartment so I can bring mom home. I so look forward to your messages each week. Thank you for all you do.
    I love your books so please keep them coming.

  3. Donna Brant
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:35 pm · Link

    Your boundless energy inspires me and I am sure it does others, also. Glad you and your Mom are doing well. Keep up the great writing. Love it.

  4. donna white
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:36 pm · Link

    Love hearing about your adventures and waiting for your next book

  5. Lucy Brewer
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:37 pm · Link

    Love hearing about your Mom’s and your fur babies

  6. pat
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:40 pm · Link

    Really miss having a house pet – now I “make do” watching the wild turkey, deer, etc. around our house.

  7. pat
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:40 pm · Link

    Really miss having a house pet – now I “make do” watching the wild turkey, deer, etc. around our house.

  8. DONNA
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:43 pm · Link

    Love reading your posts as much as your books! keep your books coming.

  9. Nancy Mawhinney
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:46 pm · Link

    Great read, Linda. Keep up the good work.

  10. Joanne Bitts
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:50 pm · Link

    Linda so glad you mother & stepmother are doing well. As for your mothers macular degeneration “dry” is the best. I’ve had the dry version for about 20 years now & it has interfered with nothing in my life. I’ve watched grandchildren play & grow. I love to read & my passion is needlepoint which I love doing over an 18 count canvas (meaning 18 squares to an inch) or a larger count which is more stitches to an inch. Tell mom all is possible because the good Lord doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.

    Love & best wishes for you & both of your mothers,

  11. Melaine Langi
      · August 12th, 2016 at 12:51 pm · Link

    The diagnosis of the “dry” macular degeneration is bad/good news about your mom. I wish her well.

    Sugar-free peanut butter??? What’s the brand name and where did you find it? I love peanut butter, but don’t allow myself to have it too often. Now, if I could find sugar-free PB I would feel that I could have it a bit more often.

  12. Evelyn Baldwin
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:02 pm · Link

    Glad to hear from you! Glad everyone are doing pretty well! My daughter has lost 40 pounds since January! She’s juicing and now I’m into it! I don’t need to lose weight! So i eat my regular food! How i love fresh tomatoe sandwiches, mayo, salt and pepper! I didn’t like the juices at first, now I’m addicted to them! God Bless you and looking forward to a new book! I don’t believe you mess any words up! Your books. I’ve read all of yours so far and i can’t hardly put them down! Evelyn

  13. Marjorie Martin
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:09 pm · Link

    I am so grateful for your love of words as it really makes all your characters come alive and are so relatable!! I enjoy so much getting involved in your story lines and being able to follow the people I have met in one of your books in another sequence. Keep up the good work just stay inspired by the love of your devoted fans.
    God Bless you,

  14. Marjorie Hawkins
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:12 pm · Link

    I’m happy to hear that you aren’t giving up on Weight Watchers. It is a great organization. I have been going to a gym for almost three years…3 times a week and I try very hard not to miss. I have a personal trainer every Weds. and he keeps me motivated. I’m 72 years old and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I hope your Mom’s vision stays the same. I blind in one eye and don’t know what I’d do if I lost my vision. Take care and keep writing. I love your books!! I’m re-reading “Yankee Wife” right now.

  15. Lynn Hill
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:24 pm · Link

    Well Linda you just continue playing with them words because we love them. I am sorry about your mom but like you said it could have been worse and great news on your stepmom! Please keep writing us awesome stories!! Thank you!

  16. Jo Ann Baker
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:29 pm · Link

    Sounds like a good week. Busy as you are always. Good for your Mom. I just ordered new glasses. Thank God I can read without them. Just order your new book. Have a great weekend.

  17. Leanna
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:31 pm · Link

    Looking forward to your new book at te end of the month.

  18. Patricia Taylor
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:38 pm · Link

    Thanks for the tip about fresh veggies. I, too, think need to eat healthy, and buy a lot and then it goes to waste before I eat it. Will try the soup idea. Love soup, too.

  19. Teresa G
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:45 pm · Link

    Love your posts. Have a good weekend.

  20. Teresa G
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:46 pm · Link

    Love your posts. Looking forward to your new book. Have a good weekend.

  21. Pamela Devereux
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:47 pm · Link

    As long as Mom can read and watch her favorite shows, she is all good. My husband has lost sight in one eye and he takes care of the other seriously. That is a big fear. Glad to hear Ethel has left rehab and gone home. There really is no place better.

  22. LaVerne Ray
      · August 12th, 2016 at 1:49 pm · Link

    Love reading anything written by you.Glad your mother in law is doing good.I just finished reading ” Sierra’s Homecoming “.There is also a bonus book by B J Daniels at the back of your book.Just started on it. I also just bought ” Arizona Wild”.As soon as I have some more money I will buy some more of your books.As I
    said in one comment before I had a baby sister
    named Shirley & forgot to mention that I also had a sister in law named Shirley.They are both
    deceased.They were both named Shirley Jean.
    Anyway glad all is good in your life.Keep writing
    these awesome books.LOVE em

  23. Marcia White
      · August 12th, 2016 at 2:21 pm · Link

    Good afternoon from hot and humid New England-90s+and 70+humidity. We are not used to it so it is a bit of a struggle, but nothing like out west or down south I guess. “And this too shall pass.” I enjoy reading about what is going on in your life. Happy to hear your Mom and stepmother are doing pretty well. I am looking forward to “North of Eden”. I am not usually much into historicals except for westerns (especially yours) and Civil War era. My gr-grandfather served in the 112th NY for the duration.
    Health and Happiness to all, furs included.

  24. Norma Frink
      · August 12th, 2016 at 3:02 pm · Link

    I have two rescue dogs. They started out kind of rough; they ate a few remote controls. They are doing great now. Rescues are the best kind.

  25. Diana E.
      · August 12th, 2016 at 3:07 pm · Link

    Good blog today Linda, really enjoyed. So glad the writing is moving along so well. Look forward to North of Eden. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings.

  26. Cindy Zint
      · August 12th, 2016 at 3:32 pm · Link

    Always love reading your newsletter. My grandma had macular degeneration, I did not know there were 2 different types. She did not go completely blind but did lose some of her sight. Glad that your mom and step mom are doing well. Think pink and always get your mammogram…breast cancer survivor here. Thank God! Thanks for all your wonderful books. ❤

  27. Marge Dominic
      · August 12th, 2016 at 4:04 pm · Link

    God bless you. I just don’t know how you have the time to do all you do: write, read, WW, keep up with Mom and everything else you do. Continue to take care of yourself and stay healthy but especially keep writing. I love all your books as does my 100 yr old mother. It takes her a little longer to read a book these days, because she forgets where she left off and rereads the last chapter over. You are one of her most favorite writers.

  28. Marilyn Fish
      · August 12th, 2016 at 4:08 pm · Link

    Good luck with Weight Watchers and thanks for the tip about steaming vegets, keeping handy, then adding to soup. My mother had macular degeneration like your mom. She always said the biggest disappointment of getting old was not being able to read. We got her books on tape which was a help but to her there was nothing like reading a book. To all of those nerds out there, please find a treatment or a cure for all types of macular degeneration. Thanks!

  29. Virginia Horton
      · August 12th, 2016 at 4:11 pm · Link

    My father in law had macular degeneration and he wasn’t seeing to well by the time he passed away at age 87. My sister loves to read but she has lost site in one of her eyes due to a stroke in the eye but she is still reading.I only have one pet a cat named little man that just turned a year old. He is not such a little man any more, he has become a good size cat that loves to eat. I am going to have to watch how much cat food I give him each day, because I don’t want him to get to fat. He is taking his afternoon catnap right now.

  30. Charlotte Litton
      · August 12th, 2016 at 4:36 pm · Link

    I just love your blog. I’m so happy for you stepmother. Sending prayers for your mom.

    I can’t say it enough, ladies get your mammogram!!!! Mine found cancer last October. I didn’t feel anything and the doctor didn’t either. I was stage 1, had surgery in November then again in December, they didn’t get it all the first time. I had no problems with the surgery, chemo and radiation went just fine. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I had waited.

  31. Billiesue Sanders
      · August 12th, 2016 at 5:37 pm · Link

    I would love to find sugar-free peanut butter. Having a hard time w/an eating program, and that would help I think.
    Anybody have a suggestion?


  32. Juanita Rice
      · August 12th, 2016 at 5:39 pm · Link

    Happy to hear things are okay at the ranch.
    Am so looking forward to seeing you again at the Davenport in September! It will be here before I know it! :)

  33. Teresa Fordice
      · August 12th, 2016 at 6:31 pm · Link

    So glad things are falling into place for you!!

  34. Dawn E Roberts
      · August 12th, 2016 at 6:36 pm · Link

    Kind of bummed, finish my last book from Vicki Lewis Thompson and So went to another favorite, Linda Howard, but still waiting for Drakes story

  35. Patricia Pelkey
      · August 12th, 2016 at 8:45 pm · Link

    So glad to hear both your Mother and Mother-in-law are doing well! Can’t wait for book 2-Always a Cowboy to finally be in book stores this month! Just read Two Brothers, what a great story, keep writing Linda, I will keep reading!

  36. Diane Sallans
      · August 12th, 2016 at 8:53 pm · Link

    It’s been really hot here in the east this week – if I was an author I’d stay in and write – since I’m a reader I stayed in and read!
    You’re inspiring me with Weight Watchers – there’s a family wedding next May and I’d love to loose some weight before then. The veggie soup sounds yummy, but that’s going to have to wait til cooler weather (I don’t have air conditioning). But I am enjoying Jersey tomatoes – yum! :-D

  37. Sharon Sovereign
      · August 12th, 2016 at 9:06 pm · Link

    Glad you got some good news. Hope your Mom does well.

  38. Lisa murray
      · August 12th, 2016 at 9:29 pm · Link

    Have a restful weekend and a great week!

  39. Jessie R.
      · August 12th, 2016 at 9:56 pm · Link

    Hello again!
    I am thrilled I am a contest winner. This is the first ever contest that I have actually won. Who knew one could be surprised anymore? Anyway, I am glad to hear your stepmother is doing well. I am all too familiar with family illness and injury and I know what a toll it can take on the family. I am thrilled to hear that she is feeling better. My congratulations to your friend and her great achievement of retiring. It was a long road with lots of hard work, I bet.
    All the best,

  40. Debbie Bleege
      · August 12th, 2016 at 10:02 pm · Link

    Congrats to both winners. Glad to hear mom is not as bad as it could be with her eyes and also for your step mother getting out of rehab. Congrats. Your gonna have a hard come out awesome. Keep doing good on your weight watchers you can do it. Enjoy your weekend.

  41. midge watkins
      · August 12th, 2016 at 10:17 pm · Link

    You made up for the week and I enjoyed it. I confess to going
    crazy in the produce(healthy eating binge aisle) and then
    realizing I really don’t like to cook(especially in the summer) so
    a lot of it goes in the compost pile, too. However, I have birds,
    deer, quail and squirrels who partake of the leavings, so I don’t
    feel so bad. I had five Mule deer bucks there this morning. So
    beautiful, especially the 6pt. Wish they would lay off the flowers, tho.

  42. Jo Ann Holcomb
      · August 13th, 2016 at 12:39 am · Link

    Had one of those mammogram’s back in June (I think) followed by another on right side followed by ultra sound followed now by a surgery (minor) on right side. this not till 12th of sept since changing apts in a couple of weeks. lose lifting power of right for a few days & makes it kind of hard to pick up boxes. can’t just direct. darn. my husband had that eye disease for a few years before he pasted away. no driving & a lot of books on tape. good days & bad days, but isn’t that the case with a lot of things. hang in there with the WW, keep writing & the best in other areas. Jo Ann

  43. Teresa W
      · August 13th, 2016 at 12:41 am · Link

    Yeah for Gayle! Blessings to all!!

  44. Margy Manear
      · August 13th, 2016 at 8:36 am · Link

    I had one of the 3D mammogram s this time and it didn’t seem as bad as the regular one. I thank God that it came back normal.

  45. Niki Davis
      · August 13th, 2016 at 10:28 am · Link

    Somehow you always know how to make me smile. :)

  46. Fran F
      · August 13th, 2016 at 11:01 am · Link

    So glad to hear that your step Mom is doing better. My Mom, who was 7 weeks shy of 100 when she passed, also suffered from the dry macular degeneration, which started in her 80’s. Unfortunately, she was unable to see well enough to read (which she loved to do, just as my sister and I do), but books on tape through the Office of the Blind Services was a life saver. These kept her occupied and happy. I even met the gentleman who “read” Arizona Highways, which she especially loved, and was able to let him know how much we appreciated what he and the other “readers” did for those who could no longer see well enough to read for themselves.

  47. Kelley Morrow
      · August 13th, 2016 at 1:14 pm · Link

    With so much bad going on in the world it’s so good to hear some of the good. Isn’t it bittersweet, when our mommas and daddys reach their golden years? Hope you’re having a blessed week!

  48. julie Watson
      · August 13th, 2016 at 6:15 pm · Link

    Ahhh Linda I do so enjoy your rambling posts. Thanks. My Mom is 96 with Macular Degeneration. She has some dementia and insists there is nothing wrong with her eyes. They just don’t have very good lights in her nursing home. We talk every day as I live 1000+ miles from her. Feel closer to her now than I ever did. We are fortunate to have the grand ladies still in our lives

  49. Lynn Hogan
      · August 14th, 2016 at 2:42 am · Link

    Keep up the great stuff! Man you are one busy lady! You rock!!
    Have a great week. Love your books!

  50. Linda
      · August 14th, 2016 at 7:55 am · Link

    I too have macular degeneration. I didn’t know there were two kinds however. I can tell the difference when I try one eye and then the other, but with glasses it is okay so far. Started taking Luetin everyday as soon as I found out. Really don’t know if it is making a difference though. Thanks for the updates.

  51. Donamae Kutska
      · August 14th, 2016 at 6:30 pm · Link

    My mom is 86 this month and she has that too plus Regina pignatosas it’s hereditary. She reads has no side vision but, sees alittle. That’s a good thing. You sound good!

  52. Lorelei Sawtelle
      · August 14th, 2016 at 8:31 pm · Link

    I used to read your blog and comment so I would have a chance to win a book. Now, I read your blog because you ALWAYS encourage me!

    God Bless You Always in all Things You Attempt!


  53. Lorraine Pitts
      · August 15th, 2016 at 3:44 pm · Link

    Love this post!!! Smiled while reading it, thanks!!!!

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