#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Snow? What snow? (And other stuff)

Oh, THAT snow!  It’s everywhere I look, deep and glittering in today’s welcome gift of sunshine.  Born in Spokane and raised 120 miles north, in–well–Northport, you’d think I’d be used to the white stuff.  However, after living in Arizona for 8 years, and on the coast for 20, I’m still adjusting to the weather.  What the heck.  It’s only been 11 years since I moved back!

Heartfelt thanks to all of you who sent condolences regarding the loss of my bossy kitty, Button.  Your words help a lot, and I know many of you have been down this road yourselves.  For such a small critter, he sure left a big hole in all our lives, but, as with other dogs, cats and horses that have gone on, there are plenty of smiles mixed in with the tears.  I wouldn’t have missed my year with that little guy for anything, nor would I call him back if that were possible; he’s in a much better place, as good as he had it here on the Triple L.

I’ve been writing up a–ahem–storm, enjoying my time in 1863, with my beloved characters.  It’s strange how attached I get to these story people; it would be easy to forget they’re fictional.  :)  Since “North of Eden” takes place around the battle of Gettysburg, and I basically experience the events I’m writing about, it can be tough.  No getting around it–the Civil War was brutal and bloody and, after writing one particular battle scene, I actually had to go and lie down for a while, just to recover.  Why not skip the parts that upset me?  Because it wouldn’t be honest or authentic, nor would it be fair to the good people on both sides of the conflict who fought, suffered and died, even though many years have passed.

Modern-day Gettysburg is one of my favorite places to visit, and I find it to be a peaceful place, paradoxically.  I am, like most creative people, VERY sensitive to energy, and I can feel the spirit of a location, in an intuitive way.  Certain places, like the Tower of London, Antietam Creek in Maryland and Ground Zero in New York, bring up difficult emotions; I believe it can take centuries, if not longer, for the energies of very tragic events to disperse.  Does this mean I avoid them?  No, but I really need to be up on my prayers when I visit them.  Also, given my deep interest in American history, especially the Civil War, visiting battlefields is part of doing a good job when I sit down to write.

I’ve been listening to Michael Korda’s excellent biography of Robert E. Lee, “Clouds of Glory”, for many weeks now, marking off each chapter in a special section of my bullet journal, and now I’m near the end.  Next up in the big-fat-mega-biography playlist is “American Ulysses”, by Ronald C. White, the life of Ulysses S. Grant, who, like General Lee, is one of my favorite historical figures–along with #1, Jesus of Nazareth, #2, Abraham Lincoln, #3 George Washington–well, you get the idea.  :)  Although I enjoy these hefty tomes enormously, I also regard them as research, which means they get special treatment in the bullet journal, with a square for each chapter, to be filled in with colored marker when completed, I also listen to a LOT of other kinds of books, as some of you will have already noticed reading this blog.  I love the Great Courses, which are recorded lectures by authorities on a whole kit and caboodle of subjects, the current subject being, “Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths”, featuring Yale professor, Steven Novella, as a sort of counterbalance to my fascination with alternative medicine.  :)  I think it’s important to read or listen to books or courses that will challenge my ideas and views.  Novels, memoirs, and philosophy are listed as well, mainly because it gives me a satisfying sense of accomplishment to look back on my reading/listening history.  Last night, I finished “How Will I Know You?”, a thriller by Jessica Treadway, and I enjoyed it very much.

Sometimes people ask me how I can get through so many books and still write, and the answer is, I’m probably pathological in this regard.  Most writers read widely, and they’d darned well better, if they don’t want the creative well to run dry.  Words in, words out.

Just sayin’.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


32 comments to “Snow? What snow? (And other stuff)”

  1. Theresa
      · January 12th, 2017 at 2:41 pm · Link

    Stay warm & keep writing!

  2. Marilyn Fish
      · January 12th, 2017 at 2:48 pm · Link

    So sad about Button but he was lucky to have lived with you his last year of his life. We have friends who purposely adopt senior cats to make sure their last years are their best years ever. They feel so good about this.

  3. Lois Rotella
      · January 12th, 2017 at 3:06 pm · Link

    Stay safe in all that snow. We have 60 degree weather in the east. Kinda miss the snow.

  4. Barb O'Neill
      · January 12th, 2017 at 3:48 pm · Link

    I wished we had snow!! Woke up to sleet that lasted for three hrs! Yuck!!!

  5. Sue McCormick
      · January 12th, 2017 at 3:52 pm · Link

    I agree with you, most writer read. I am a science fiction fan, and I attend a yearly SF convention. At every panel with authors, the lists of books they have collectively read. I also follow the Word Wenches blog. Almost every month the panelists blog on what they’ve been reading. I get SO many suggestions for good reading there (as I do here from you). I don’t follow the other genre much, nor do I go after the main stream books, but I am willing to believe that those authors are like the ones I have mentioned.

  6. Virginia Horton
      · January 12th, 2017 at 4:12 pm · Link

    You can keep your snow I don’t want it. We had about 3 inches about a week and half and it was very cold. Now today it is about 60 here and has been raining for about a week. I think I would rather have the rain but it want last and the next thing you know we will be snowed in with about 12 inches, it happened last year in Feburary.

  7. Diane McCarthy
      · January 12th, 2017 at 4:22 pm · Link

    I so look forward to your new book when you finish. I visited Gettysburg just before you did in 2015 and enjoyed it immensely. We took a bus tour of the battlefield and our guide was so knowledgeable. When she was younger I thought history was boring, now I can’t get enough. Thank you for your blog as I can keep up with your progress on the book.

    Sorry for the loss of Button.


  8. Gloria Herring
      · January 12th, 2017 at 4:34 pm · Link

    I know that feeling you’re talking about, Linda. I remember walking up some outside steps at the Capital Building in Washington, DC, decades ago, and the strangest feeling came over me, as if all the ones before were still there, walking with me. I actually looked over the balustrade to see if they were down on the ground.

  9. mary hutton
      · January 12th, 2017 at 4:41 pm · Link

    Living in Iowa our winter weather is pretty unpredictable. This morning we had just a dusting. Enough to make a foot print. noticed you are going to be reading about Ulysses S. Grant.
    About a 35 min drive from my house in Iowa you can arrive at one of the historic homes that Ulysses lived in. Beautiful grounds some of the original furnishings in the home .It is located in a small town in Galena, Il Should you ever get to visit the midwest put it on your list of things to see and do. Galena is a very quaint little town with lots and lots of history in it. My husband’s great grandfather marched to the sea with general Sherman and was one of the Drummers. THere’s nothing greater than our american history. Anxiously waiting for your book Just found Princess Annie at used book store near here and so enjoyed it.
    Thank you for giving me many hours of pleasure reading.its a great hobby when you retire.

  10. Donamae Kutska
      · January 12th, 2017 at 4:46 pm · Link

    Snow and icy in Wisconsin really cold. Can’t wait for your book.

  11. Roberta Giordano
      · January 12th, 2017 at 5:30 pm · Link

    Can you send some of the snow this way. We got 6 inches last weekend and now it’s 50 degrees and raining so all gone.

  12. Janie
      · January 12th, 2017 at 6:05 pm · Link

    So looking forward to this book. Have you watched Heroines of Mercy Street on PBS? The new season starts the 22nd. I have the book but haven’t read it yet. We are to have a major ice storm this weekend, would rather have snow. Sorry about your kitty.

  13. Elaine Key
      · January 12th, 2017 at 6:06 pm · Link

    We received some snow last week here in Tennessee. It just covered the ground and then melted the next day. It’s been raining all of this week.

    Sorry to hear about your cat. I’m basically a dog person. I have had cats and I love them and it hurts when they die, but not as bad as when my dogs die.

    I also love the history of the Civil War and will love to read your books when they come out. You are an excellent author and I have read most of your books. The only ones I haven’t read are the last two that came out. I’m hoping to win at least one of them.

  14. Leanna
      · January 12th, 2017 at 6:27 pm · Link

    I love hearing about the books you are reading, listening to and writing.

  15. Teresa G
      · January 12th, 2017 at 7:09 pm · Link

    No snow in NM. We reached 60 yesterday. So looking forward to your new book.

  16. Marilyn
      · January 12th, 2017 at 8:30 pm · Link

    I truly understand the feelings of places, there are favorite stops along life’d journey that I have to revisit, some for the serenity some for the memories and others to just remember what took place there as a lodestone to the future

  17. Marilyn
      · January 12th, 2017 at 8:30 pm · Link

    Snow in Des Moines this weekend.

  18. Pam
      · January 12th, 2017 at 8:41 pm · Link

    We had snow in Dallas for about 1 hr then gone!:) I am so glad, I really don’t like snow or ice since my knee surgery. Enjoy the snow for me! Lol I love all your books, great way to escape for awhile!:)

  19. Ann Bartholomew
      · January 12th, 2017 at 10:48 pm · Link

    How interesting that you find Gettysburg a peaceful place now. We used to live near the Shiloh battlefield in TN. Shiloh means place of peace. What a contradiction.

  20. Peggy E Casey
      · January 12th, 2017 at 11:31 pm · Link

    I left Northport in 82, but there is a piece of that town that will always live in my heart. It is very different to go visit since my mom passed away… But having my daughter move up there a couple of years ago to be closer to her in-laws, the Murphy’s, I can now go back and feel more of a connection. It is fun to go back to sporting events at the school… same court, different faces!

  21. Evelyn Baldwin
      · January 13th, 2017 at 8:33 am · Link

    I was born in Asheville, N.C.. My dad was part Cherokee, sad story of those people,” Trail Of Tears”! My mom Irish decent! My dad was a stone mason in the 50s! Built many Beautiful homes in Blowing Rock, N.C.. Moved to Virginia in the late 50s, due to not much work for a stone mason at that time! Moved Sorry County, Va.. My dad worked for the State ferry System, the ferry that crosses from Scotland to Jamestown and Williamsburg, Va.. Lot’s of History there! Very interesting growing up in a school system where you visited these places every year! Then my dad would tell us very interesting stories handed down about his Cherokee inheritance! I loved living in that particular place going up! As a teen I enjoyed going and staying on the ferry rides and all night fishing from the docks! Then when I became a nurse and moved back to N.C.. I loved geriatrics! Worked in a Wonderful nursing home down in Eastover, N.C.. Had one resident that was 102 years old, alert and did everything on her own, except put on that dreaded corset everyday! I loved her dearly! Visited her after my shift frequently! She had a memoir book she wrote of her experiences of World Wars! It was published and she gave me a signed copy, added ” to my little nurse friend, Evelyn! I enjoyed and cherish that book! Can hardly wait for your new book, North Of Eden! I know a lot of Southern History, much less Northern History! God Bless, Evelyn

  22. Eriko
      · January 13th, 2017 at 9:50 am · Link

    You are truly an amazing woman!!! You inspire us all!

  23. Eugenia Riddick
      · January 13th, 2017 at 10:17 am · Link

    I’m fascinated by the creative process of writers. I still feel the sting of that day in 11th grade, the day my brother found me in class, to tell me he found our cat Thomasina, on the side of the road. God rest her mousing soul, and his too. I hope you will give one more story about Mojo.

    • Lorelei Sawtelle
        · January 13th, 2017 at 6:04 pm · Link

      Oh, my gosh, yes! I love Mojo and Tucker! A dozen more books about them would be nice! I’ve read the two I have at least ten times each.

  24. Linda Beaudoin
      · January 13th, 2017 at 12:31 pm · Link

    Can’t wait for North of Eden to come out.

    Last July we had to put the last of our three kitties to sleep. Haven’t been ready yet for new ones.

  25. Lorelei Sawtelle
      · January 13th, 2017 at 6:09 pm · Link

    I’m not much of a history buff. I do love all the McKettrick books–even the ones from ‘way back when.’ I also confess to loving the Creeds and the O’Ballivans.

    Here’s hoping I’ll fall in love with your East of Eden characters as well. If you’ve given us any “trailers” or snippets on what the story is like, I’ve missed them.


  26. Ruby Norwood
      · January 13th, 2017 at 8:07 pm · Link

    You are such an amazing lady Linda Lael Miller!! I don’t believe there is anything that you can’t do. I am so looking forward to reading ” North Of Eden”. Hope everyone has a great weekend..

  27. midge watkins
      · January 13th, 2017 at 9:32 pm · Link

    I red a nice, cute little novel last week and didn’t realize how
    spoiled I am regarding the excellent character studies you and, ahem, a couple other authors offer. In your books, the reader
    can visualize the appearance, mannerisms, voice, etc. within
    the first mention of them. This book wasn’t that way. Keep up
    the great work! Watch out for all that melting snow we’re
    going to have next week. My horse, Cheyenne, will be on a diet,
    because he refuses to go into his stall when anything is falling off the barn roof. My house is on a slab, so I may need sand-
    bags to keep water out of my living room. Good luck!

  28. Melaine
      · January 14th, 2017 at 1:29 pm · Link

    You amaze me Linda! Enjoy the snow. As a native of Seattle, I moved to a small town near Tucson, AZ eleven years ago and absolutely love it here! I will always love Seattle and the whole state of WA, but I will not move back. The desert, the wildlife, cacti and wildflowers, and the sun, sun, sun, are just too good.

  29. Diane Sallans
      · January 14th, 2017 at 9:01 pm · Link

    while you’re spending the cold & snowy days reading & writing, I’m doing a lot of reading & looking forward to the return of warmer weather

  30. Bridget
      · January 16th, 2017 at 9:15 pm · Link

    I’m looking forward to your new book North of Eden. I enjoy books from that era.

  31. Billie
      · January 19th, 2017 at 5:09 pm · Link

    I. Know when I get one of you books, I am going. To love it. Have loved everyone I have read. Keep writing and I will keep reading. :-x

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