#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


As many of you know, I love few things better than making new discoveries, however small.  I enjoy experimenting with fresh ideas, recipes, art techniques, etc., whether I fail or succeed.  Today, on Day 39 of my first 40 day round of practicing the amazing Vimala Alphabet, I am as thrilled by the process as I was at the very beginning; I will continue my morning pen-to-paper meditation indefinitely, and I am so excited to see what happens.  :)  I guess that falls into the ‘success’ category, and there is a reason for that, beyond my love of the technique–I do well with a concrete goal, as in, ‘do this for 40 (or some other number) days’, because I need structure.  Sticking with a project gives the brain time enough to build new pathways, and I take a lot of satisfaction in working through the early challenges, hanging in there, and just generally showing up.  And so much of life is about showing up, suiting up and playing the game.

Clearly, I have benefited from the alphabet process in ways that go beyond the gifts of each letter (and trust me, they are significant); I have been reminded of the value of good old-fashioned practice, and that will serve me well in every area of my life.  Committing to doing something every day, no matter what, is a profound discipline in its own right, and I plan to use it to reach other goals, such as losing weight, learning to speak Italian fluently and to play the banjo.  Thanks to modern technology, it is much easier to master such skills–just about everything can be found on YouTube.  :)  Facebook and other social media sites offer wonderful opportunities to join groups of like-minded people, ask questions, and learn new and better approaches to reaching specific goals.

Will I succeed?  Who knows?  I’ll give it 40 days, and see what happens.  In my experience, no sincere effort is wasted, because something will be learned–even if it is ‘this is not for me’–and that’s good, because what really matters here is not so much the end result (I will never be appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, nor will I be a featured artist on the Grand Ole Opry), but the act of learning itself.  Statistics prove unequivocally that lifelong learners are happier, healthier and much more likely to remain mentally sharp as they age.

A few good books: 

FLUENT FOREVER, by Gabriel Wyner

FLUENT IN 3 MONTHS, by Benny Lewis

BRAIN-POWERED WEIGHT LOSS, by Eliza Kingsford (I am SUPER excited about this one.)

BUDDHA’S DIET, by Tara Cottrell and Dan Zigmond.  (Non religious, and very sensible advice.)

Novels I’ve enjoyed while recovering: GOOD-BYE FOR NOW, by Laurie Frankel.  (This book would make a great movie.  It’s highly original, with likable characters.)

I FOUND YOU, by Lisa Jewell.  

THE BOOK OF SUMMER, by Michelle Gable

WINDFALL, by Jennifer E. Smith

GINNY MOON, by Benjamin Ludwig (This story is REALLY special.)


JACKIE’S GIRL, by Kathy McKeon

MRS. KENNEDY AND ME, by Clint Hill.  (In case you haven’t noticed, I am an admirer of this particular Kennedy)

DRIVING MISS NORMA, by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle (An amazing account of living–and dying–well)

PRIESTDADDY, by Patricia Lockwood (Quite irreverent, so not for everyone, but I enjoyed every word.)

LOVE LIFE, by Rob Lowe (The man is not only ridiculously good-looking, he’s smart as hell.  There’s a lot of wisdom here.)

LA BELLA LINGUA: My Love Affair with Italian, by Dianne Hales.  (I have spent quite a bit of time in Italy, and, after London, it is my favorite place in Europe.  I speak what I call boat-person Italian, as in “Not hot water my apartment”,  and have just enough high school Spanish to confuse myself, but I dearly love the language, and the way words are not only spoken, but caressed.  Whether I return to Italy or not, I want to reach a level of competency.)

That’s my reading/listening list for now, though it is far from complete.  As I’ve said in previous blogs, I have virtually gorged on books since I got sick.  Some went unmentioned because of my policy of never dissing another author’s work; I know full well what is involved in writing a book and, besides, opinions are subjective.  We all have certain biases, often unconscious.  Other readers may love the very same book–after all, as my dear (and witty) friend Robyn Carr says, “It blew up somebody’s skirt, or it wouldn’t have been published.”

Be well, be happy and, most of all, be kind.  It’s a challenging world out there and, to paraphrase Ben Franklin, if we don’t all learn to hang together, we shall almost certainly hang separately.


16 comments to “Discoveries”

  1. Susan Craig
      · May 25th, 2017 at 5:02 pm · Link

    Be kind is a bit of a challenge today but thanks for the reminder.

  2. Lois Rotella
      · May 25th, 2017 at 5:04 pm · Link

    I always liked Benjamin Franklin’s sayings. It makes you think. Society in general today seems to have forgotten to think before saying something or doing something. I think that is why enjoy reading and doing family trees. I think of what they went through and how we got hear.

  3. Virginia Horton
      · May 25th, 2017 at 5:16 pm · Link

    I love that be kind. I try to be that way most of the time, but there are times in life that make it hard. Hang in there.

  4. Diana E.
      · May 25th, 2017 at 6:37 pm · Link

    Enjoyed hearing from you again today, Linda. I’m always amazed at the amount and different types of books you “read”, guess I should say listen to. Have a wonderful weekend and stay well. Blessings.

  5. Elaine Key
      · May 25th, 2017 at 8:54 pm · Link

    Glad to finally hear from you and to know you are feeling better. I agree about learning new things to stimulate your brain as you age. Good luck with all your new endeavors. I’m going to check into some of the books you recommended. Anxious to hear from you next week. I enjoy your e-mails.

  6. midge watkins
      · May 25th, 2017 at 9:23 pm · Link

    If it were not for a good word or thought along the way, we
    would all find ourselves in a blue funk on many an occasion.
    And you are one of the very best sources of these epiphanies.
    Thank you Linda and take care.

  7. Debbie Bleege
      · May 25th, 2017 at 10:35 pm · Link

    I am glad you are doing better. I am in total awe of you. You are proof you can do anything you put your mind to. Keep getting better. Plus I too do enjoy your emails. Thank you!

  8. Ruby Norwood
      · May 26th, 2017 at 6:56 am · Link

    I really enjoyed your blog Linda, I actually read it twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend. Hope everyone that is planning a big cookout with family and friends, please take a moment to remember the real reason that it’s a holiday.

  9. Eriko
      · May 26th, 2017 at 9:48 am · Link

    Thank you for your wise words of wisdom!

  10. Teresa Fordice
      · May 26th, 2017 at 10:23 am · Link

    Happy Memorial Day weekend to all!!

  11. Rita Crofoot
      · May 26th, 2017 at 3:33 pm · Link

    Thanks Linda, I really need this blog today, I badly need motivation and encouragment right now, and this seems to be it.
    Soory you have been ill for such a long time, and hope you will continue to heal.

  12. Jo Ann Holcomb
      · May 27th, 2017 at 1:29 pm · Link

    Along with yours, i love Robyn Carr’s books. Just finished with Debbie Macomber’s new one also. best, Jo Ann

  13. Debra Wright
      · May 27th, 2017 at 1:49 pm · Link

    Ah Italian! The language of love Linda! We’re kindred spirits!

  14. Leanna
      · May 27th, 2017 at 10:20 pm · Link

    Great list of books! I would love to go to Italy, I’ve been to France which I loved but I would love to explore more of Europe.

  15. Melaine
      · June 1st, 2017 at 12:25 pm · Link

    Whew, how do you do it all???

  16. Carol Luciano
      · June 1st, 2017 at 5:50 pm · Link

    Caress is the bright word for the Italian language. I think it’s such a beautiful language. Be kind is so true. It doesn’t require very much effort to be kind and offer a smile. We don’t know what trials others are enduring.
    Carol L

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