#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

It’s probably true that….

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  For right now, I figure I’m strong enough, thank you very much.  I’m hoping I get to coast a while before I have to undertake any more heavy-duty learning experiences, but since I’m not in charge of the universe (thank heaven), I’ll just have to wait and see.

Before I mention some of the gifts my time in the dark night of the soul gave me, I want to answer a few questions I’ve seen in the comments.

Are there more books to follow THE YANKEE WIDOW?  Absolutely.  WIDOW is the first in a series of 3 novels, covering the lives, fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Winslows and McBrides, with plenty of stage time for Enoch and Jubie and their children.  Together, the stories constitute a family saga spanning two generations.

At present, I’m writing the book I call WEST OF YESTERDAY, the story of Rogan McBride and Amelie Winslow, and the continuing adventures of Bridger and Caroline, with old characters returning and new ones turning up as well.  The book is set in the South, immediately after the war, amid the ruins of the only world Amelie has ever known.  Little wonder she has her reservations about a certain Yankee major.  Rosebud, an ex-slave and formidably intelligent woman, is a real force of nature, and I am enjoying writing about her.

The third book, still untitled, features Caroline’s daughter, Rachel, all grown up and facing challenges of her own–big ones.

The paperback version of THE YANKEE WIDOW will be released in June of 2020.  COUNTRY STRONG, a contemporary western romance and the first in a new trilogy, is scheduled for October.

Another question I receive often is, how are the animals on the Triple L these days?

The dogs, Tule and Mowgli, my little LA street pups, are thriving.  My elderly cat, Wiki, is still with me, and though he had seizures connected to renal failure, he’s on strong meds now and, so far, he’s been seizure-free.  Due to cuts in staff–my wrangler moved back to Canada–I had to give up the horses, as I couldn’t take care of them on my own.  My nephew, Andy Wiley, and his lovely wife, Angie, re-homed them for me, making sure they all ended up with good homes.  Andy and Angie are not only horse lovers, but they’re practically whisperers, too.  Although it broke my heart to see my 5 remaining cayuses go, it was a real comfort to know the Wileys would make sure they were well taken care of.

And, yes, I still miss those critters.

Now, for the gifts that came out of those dark, dark days.  Some of them, anyway–I keep finding new ones.

#1 I found out what good, loyal friends I had, and what a blessing it is to have a family who loves you.

#2 I discovered art, and the power of vibrant color to ease sorrow.  I’ve been painting for several years now and, while I’ll never be a fine artist, I’m pretty good at acrylic pouring–I’ve even sold a few pieces here and there.

#3 Although I did my share of bitching and moaning, I have–and had–so much to be grateful for.  I’m closer to God than ever before.

#4 I did some container gardening this past summer and learned–at the age of 70–to can fruits, vegetables, meats and soups.  My mother and all my aunts canned, of course, but I never really took an interest until I watched people on YouTube putting up tomatoes and other delicious things.  Whammo.  Looked like fun to me, so I started sealing things in Mason jars and I love seeing my pantry shelves packed with bottled love.

#5 (This one will surprise you.)  As my interest in gardening grew, I naturally got interested in composting, too.  Now, I have an entire worm farm in my basement, and the little critters are busy creating truly excellent fertilizer for next year’s raised beds and containers.  I fuss with those worms practically every day, and feed them well on the pulp from my juicer, vegetable scraps, even toilet paper rolls.  

#6 I’ve become an orchid whisperer of sorts, if I do say so myself.  Again, via YouTube, I’ve learned to love these exotic and somewhat temperamental plants and I take real pride in caring for them.  Last count, I had 24 of them. 

#7 Dustin–Jenni’s husband–and I have begun to experiment with raising vegetables hydroponically, again, in my basement.  (It’s a large space, housing my art room as well.)  We hope to raise kale, tomatoes, green beans and carrots, among other things, indoors over the winter, and I’ve planted garlic for next year.  (I put garlic in practically everything I cook, besides dessert.  Onions, too.)  I’ve made and preserved Sweet Onion Jam (yum), cranberry sauce, split pea soup, pork and beans, and just about every kind of stock there is.

Turns out, I’m a fair hand at cooking.



30 comments to “It’s probably true that….”

  1. Virginia Gail Hurt
      · November 12th, 2019 at 4:09 pm · Link

    It would be nice to have fresh garden veggies through the winter months. Love fresh tomatoes and green beans and so many others. Looking forward to your books.

  2. Brenda Miller
      · November 12th, 2019 at 4:18 pm · Link

    Since you are already a “back-to-the-lander”, I would suggest considering a subscription to “Mother Earth” magazine. It is celebrating 50 years in publication. You also can get all back issues digitally. Contact at 800.234.3368; customerservice@ogdenpubs.com.

    So happy that you are back for whatever you feel like sharing!!

    • linda
        · November 13th, 2019 at 12:50 pm · Link

      I used to get MOTHER EARTH a long time ago. I’ll pick up a copy next time I’m at the store and see what I’ve been missing.

  3. Josephine Termini
      · November 12th, 2019 at 4:25 pm · Link

    I loved reading this and your first book. I can’t wait to read anything else coming out. I especially miss the cowboy romance series and am glad you have one coming soon. I am so happy to read about all of your upcoming books, animals, and new hobbies.
    Glad things are going so good for you.

  4. Alison B.
      · November 12th, 2019 at 4:31 pm · Link

    Thanks for the updates!

      · November 12th, 2019 at 4:50 pm · Link

    I have missed your writing so much. I am so glad you are going to keep on writing.
    I also love to can veggies out of the garden. I have been making green tomato relish for the past 50 years. The only relish I will eat, I love to spoil myself. Great gifts too.
    Hope to be reading your new books soon.
    Sandy Fincel

  6. C.C. Harrison
      · November 12th, 2019 at 4:51 pm · Link

    Miss you, Linda. Think of you often. Be well. Stay well.

  7. Willa Easley
      · November 12th, 2019 at 4:58 pm · Link

    So good to hear you’ve found the ‘soul place’ in your life.
    At 74, it took me many years to find mine.
    Keep on keeping on.

  8. Jackie Cosgrove
      · November 12th, 2019 at 5:52 pm · Link

    Glad to hear that you have new books in the works. Have missed your posts so much! May you continue to find new interests and enjoy life to the fullest.

  9. Laura Ann
      · November 12th, 2019 at 6:41 pm · Link

    So glad you’re back to your blog Linda! I missed reading them.

  10. marie
      · November 12th, 2019 at 6:53 pm · Link

    good to have you back. God Bless You

  11. Dina Eagen
      · November 12th, 2019 at 7:46 pm · Link

    So glad to hear from you again, Linda. I’ve really missed your blog, hearing about the things you do. Always so interesting. Sending blessings.

  12. Marge Dominic
      · November 12th, 2019 at 7:53 pm · Link

    Linda, really missed you. Glad you are back to writing but good to hear from you in any format. Take care.

  13. midge watkins
      · November 12th, 2019 at 9:22 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry you have been down in the black hole. Good place
    to be out of. I have been waiting for your blog so I could tell
    you how much I enjoyed “The Yankee Widow”. It sure was
    worth waiting for, indeed! So glad you’re the midst of writing
    the next story. I read it as soon as the pre-ordered book hit my Kindle.
    I’m also very sorry about your horses. I’m sure they are doing
    fine but, I’m sad for you. I have just one left, Pearl, and we
    are doing ok without Cheyenne. Boy, do I miss him tho.
    Take care and if I can do anything helpful, send me an email.

  14. Ida Cunningham
      · November 12th, 2019 at 10:22 pm · Link

    So nice to see you back in my email. Missed you and glad you’re posting again.

  15. Linda Holmes
      · November 12th, 2019 at 10:23 pm · Link

    I was just looking at your web site today. I was missing your blog too. I noticed that you have a new book coming out “Country Strong”.

    Glad to hear you are back to writing. Can’t way to see what you have coming out.


  16. Pamela Wooten-Oram
      · November 12th, 2019 at 10:43 pm · Link

    It was so great to find an email from you today! I have missed you! I love to can veggies. Now that I live in a mobile home park, I can’t grow a garden so it doesn’t pay for me to can veggies. When you pay $36 for a bushel of tomatoes, it gets a little expensive! But you just can’t beat the taste in chili. I look forward to reading your new books! Take care!

    • linda
        · November 13th, 2019 at 12:56 pm · Link

      How about container gardening? That takes up a lot less room.

  17. Debbie Koziel
      · November 12th, 2019 at 11:47 pm · Link

    So glad you are back! Loved Yankee Wife and looking forward to the next 2 books!

  18. Gloria Herring
      · November 13th, 2019 at 12:05 am · Link

    You go girl. You are so blessed to be able to follow your dreams, and nightmares, if it is so willed.

  19. Linda Blenkiron
      · November 13th, 2019 at 12:26 am · Link

    Hi Linda. Good to see your blog. Just wanted to say…like mushrooms our greatest growth is through the dark times. Blessings

  20. Lois Rotella
      · November 13th, 2019 at 6:53 am · Link

    It is nice to see you have been canning, writing and painting. Sorry to hear that you had to re home your horses. I will be looking forward to reading your new books. Have a great day.

  21. Janie K
      · November 13th, 2019 at 10:43 am · Link

    So good to hear what you’ve been doing. You do so many interesting things! I thoroughly enjoyed The Yankee Widow and glad there will be 2 more. I wasn’t ready for the story to end. Also will enjoy reading the new western romance, stories set on a ranch are just the best! Blessings to you for strength to get through all the changes in your life. Just finished a Bible Study titled Overcomers. And isn’t that just what we all are?

  22. Gloria J Jenkins
      · November 13th, 2019 at 10:49 am · Link

    Linda, so happy to see you in my email. I missed reading about what’s happening on the Triple L. I pray you are well and keep getting stronger. Looking forward to reading your next book. At the moment I am reading Two Brothers. I love re-reading your books.
    Sounds like you have a lot of things going on. Be strong and know we all love you.
    God bless you
    Your friend in Fairfax Va
    Gloria Jenkins

  23. Ruby Norwood
      · November 13th, 2019 at 4:52 pm · Link

    It sure is good to see all the things you have going on. I wish I could do half of that stuff, and I know it is all better for you, than the stuff we buy out of the stores. Take care until next time.

  24. Sue S.
      · November 13th, 2019 at 8:15 pm · Link

    I’m glad you made it through your “dark night of the soul”. Thank you for description as I am still in my “dark night of the soul.” Am looking forward to your next novel in the “Widow” series. I so loved the first one. Your description of the battle during Civil War made it feel like I was there. Stay well. God bless.

  25. Melaine Langi
      · November 14th, 2019 at 4:22 pm · Link

    Linda, I’m so glad you are doing your blog again. I missed your comments on family, friends and pets.

    Wishing you the very best! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  26. Patricia Pelkey
      · November 15th, 2019 at 1:06 pm · Link

    It’s good to have you back Linda, doing your blog and working on new books. I loved Yankee Widow and can’t wait for the next books in the series, also January can’t come soon enough for Country Strong!

    Happy Holidays and take care of yourself, we have missed you!

  27. Nikki Hiatt
      · November 18th, 2019 at 1:03 am · Link

    SOooooo glad you’re doing better! I’ve missed the updates on your farm and the “critters”. I’m sure there were tears on both sides as your beloved horses had to leave. But, as you said, they are in good homes. I’ve read and reread “The Yankee Widow”. It was worth every minute of the wait. Thank you so much.

    Again, glad you’re better and in the midst of learning new things, i.e., canning and preserving. It’s wonderful.

  28. Evelyn Baldwin
      · November 21st, 2019 at 12:06 pm · Link

    I have really enjoyed listening to your audible book’s. Since reading is not my option anymore! Love Susan Bennett’s and the other Ladies narrating your book’s! Not putting the Men narrator’s down. Yet the ladies do such a good job of speaking for your characters, men and women. I never could get into canning. My Mom did when i was growing up! Have a nice Thanksgiving! Evelyn

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