#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

This Time I Wasn’t Sick :)

I was just tired–beyond tired, really, after (finally) finishing THE MARRIAGE PACT (also known, around the Triple L, as ‘The Other Neverending Story’).  What an irony.  I don’t think I’ve ever written a book that was more challenging–and yet, I truly believe it is among my best. 

Just be glad you weren’t here on Monday.  :)  I started the revisions, as requested by my new and much-loved editor, Paula Eykelhoff, (Paula, I hope I spelled that correctly), at–wait for it–4:30 am.  By 10 am, I was pretty sure I’d done what needed doing–only to lose the entire morning’s work into the mysterious realm of cyberspace.  ERRG!!  I came downstairs, where Mary Ann and the rest of the crew were gathered, having the usual plan-the-day meeting, and I sobbed.  Hugs and words of comfort were administered, and I remembered to eat breakfast.  :)  All of which helped.  Those who were better versed in computer-eze (that would be just about anybody) tried to retrieve the lost efforts, but to no avail.  So I had to–sniffle–start over.  I can only assume there was some good reason for this, but I may never know what that reason was–as I often say, God operates on a need-to-know basis where His children are concerned, and there are a heck of a lot of things He evidently doesn’t think we need to know.  :)  I spent another 5 or 6 hours redoing what I’d already done, and when I was finished, I had something to eat and fell right back into bed until morning.

Since then, I’ve pretty much been in recovery mode.  I visited some of my favorite Spokane haunts on Tuesday–Wonders of the World, where I was befriended by a number of beautiful new crystals and gemstones (more on that later), the Kitchen Engine, where I bought more of these marvelous little spikes used to bake restaurant-style potatoes–more on that, too–plus the bead shop, which is part of W of the W, but across the hall.  I even visited a jeweler, who will set a beautiful Ametrine I bought on eBay into a ring.  :)  All these places, conveniently, are housed in the Flour Mill, so it was pretty much a one-stop-shop.  I even indulged in a single, absolutely delicious confection called a Mayan Truffle–yowzer.  Now that, my friends, is the way to eat chocolate. 

On Wednesday, which, of course, was yesterday, I went to Weight Watchers–weight stayed the same, which happens, especially following a big loss (3.6 pounds) like the one I registered last week.  (And, no, it wasn’t the truffle.  :)  That luscious morsel was the size of a regular piece of boxed chocolate, but oh so much richer–rich enough, in fact, that I might not need chocolate again for months.)  This was a real paradigm shift for me, I realize now.  If you’re going to have something like that, have the best possible–not the low-fat, sugar-free, no-taste version.  :) 

Found something new at JoAnn’s after WW–have I mentioned how much I LOVE new things??–blank (darn computer ate the first version of this paragraph!) artist trading cards, made of sheet metal.  Can’t wait to run them through a dry-embossing machine and see what happens.

Now for the stuff I promised to say more about:  the new gemstones and crystals, to start.  I’m reading a book called STEPS ON THE STONE PATH by Robert Sardello, and I must say it’s giving me a whole new slant on the properties of my beloved minerals.  I have respected stones from the beginning,  and deeply, but Sardello takes this to a new level–the basic premise is, rather than expecting a stone merely to, well, perform for us–bring love, relief from aches and pains, etc.–these wondrous creations are not, it’s true, meant to be trick ponies–but to meditate with and get to know that particular stone, allowing it to reveal its qualities to us at its own pace, if you will.  The attributes listed in the reference books are indeed accurate, but they are only the merest glimpse of the real meaning the stone can convey over time. And that makes a whole lot of sense to this cowgirl–which is not to say there’s anything wrong with collecting stones because of their traditional qualities.  It’s just that there’s more.

The second thing I promised to say more about: potato spikes.  These are essentially large nails (please don’t use the kind from the hardware store or your husband’s wood shop, however, because they can contain some VERY harmful things, such as L.E.A.D.)–purchased at the kitchen store.  They are coated with something–probably silicone–and cost a mere $2.99 for a package of 6.  In any case, you spear them length-wise through a raw potato, prior to baking (NEVER microwaving, obviously), and stick them into the oven.  Not only do they cook more evenly, and perhaps a little more rapidly, but they develop that wonderful, leathery “skin” that one usually only finds in restaurants.  Now, this might not be any big revelation to you, but I have been trying to get that effect for years.  None of the prior methods worked for me.  This works like the proverbial charm, though, and I like to share my discoveries with you.

Alas, that’s the blog for today.  Tomorrow, this week’s contest winners will get the good news, and so will the rest of you.  New round on Monday, so stay tuned.

Stay well and warm, too.



50 comments to “This Time I Wasn’t Sick :)”

  1. Pamela Black
      · March 6th, 2014 at 12:34 pm · Link

    Linda thank you so much for the wonderful potato tip.
    I have been trying to do that same thing for years as well. My husband just loves his potatoes that way.
    This is diffently a MUST try.

    Thanks again, from Missouri.

  2. Lea Williams
      · March 6th, 2014 at 12:35 pm · Link

    I want to find those potatoe spikes. That sounded wonderful. I am so thankful for the sunshine this morning. I woke up to sun shining in our bedroom and I lay there enjoying it. It was just awesome. I know the weather will change probably before the day is over but I really enjoyed that. I hate when I lose things into cyperspace. I am not very computer handy and it is most frustrating. I can feel for you. Do you have to believe they will work for you before they will. Have been wondering. Blessings, Lea

    • linda
        · March 7th, 2014 at 10:20 pm · Link

      No, you don’t have to believe. But it helps. :)

  3. Lea Williams
      · March 6th, 2014 at 12:36 pm · Link

    I was talking about stones incase you are not a mind reader.

  4. Rosemary
      · March 6th, 2014 at 12:40 pm · Link

    All is well that ends well! Thank you for the fun news and sorry for the loss of your work…been there and done that so I know how deflated it makes you feel. You’re a tough cowgirl and I’m happy you pull through it all. I’m glad you’re better, keep up the great work. Love from Texas.

  5. Judy Eagle
      · March 6th, 2014 at 12:45 pm · Link

    It sounds like you had some wonderful retail therapy. I had some nails about 50 years ago but somehow they got lost in a move. I had forgotten about them until today. Are you already going on your next book. I know when I finish a project (not a book obviously but something out of yarn) I start looking around for another thing to fill the hole it left.

  6. Patricia Taylor
      · March 6th, 2014 at 12:45 pm · Link

    I am a genealogist and in the world of genealogy one of the mantras is backup, backup, backup! Seriously don’t rely on just one mode of backup. Backup on your hard drive, on a flash drive, an external hard drive or any other means you can think of like a cloud service. Dropbox is one of them and there are others. I’ve loss information too and although you can recreate it, it just doesn’t seem the same.

  7. Diana E.
      · March 6th, 2014 at 12:55 pm · Link

    So glad you were able to get the book finished, Linda. I can see why you got so upset after losing all your revision work. Sounds like you had fun the days after that. Nothing like shopping and finding new things. I hope the rest of your week goes smoothly. I for one have entered the holy, sacred time of Lent, always a time of more inward searching and reflection. Blessings.

  8. Marilyn Fish
      · March 6th, 2014 at 12:55 pm · Link

    I remember my mother using potato spikes in the 50’s. They made delicious baked potatoes. Stay well!

  9. Leanna
      · March 6th, 2014 at 12:58 pm · Link

    I cannot wait to read The Marriage Pact!

  10. Juanita Rice
      · March 6th, 2014 at 1:14 pm · Link

    Reading that you lost your rewrites nearly stopped my heart!! Horrors!!! So sorry you had to go through that…and happy to hear you are back on track. Hugs!

  11. judy
      · March 6th, 2014 at 1:26 pm · Link

    Sorry you last everything. Are snow is about gone, but we are not out of the woods yet. Have a good day.

  12. Anita C
      · March 6th, 2014 at 1:28 pm · Link

    I was happy to hear you weren’t ill again. When the blog didn’t appear, I thought uh-oh! That snarky bug strikes again! Glad to be wrong in this case, but sorry about the revisions and the glitch. However, I firmly believe that the second revisions were way better than the lost ones and as you said, everything happens for a reason. Still, frustrating with a capitol F! I have been fascinated by stones and crystals since I was a little tot – I was forever bringing ‘those darn rocks’ (quoting my mother) into the house and displaying them on my window sills or around my room. Well, nothing much has changed over the years. I will be getting that book by Mr. Sardello. I am so fascinated by them all and have quite a few, but there is always room for another three, four, or ten gems in the old collection that are still lining my window sills! :wink:

  13. Cindi Williams
      · March 6th, 2014 at 1:28 pm · Link

    So sorry for your computer issues. Sometimes I think computers are more trouble than they are worth. I had an idea (a bright one to me :idea:). When you are working on a book on your computer, talk while you are typing and have on a recorder, that way if you loose everything you typed on the computer, you will still have it on the recorder! :) Not sure if you or someone else had a idea like this, but it might work. I am excited that you have another book coming out.

  14. Deborah Nelson
      · March 6th, 2014 at 1:30 pm · Link

    So sorry about your lost efforts. Making interim backups while a work is in progress is a good idea.

    I am soooo looking forward to your new book.

  15. Linda Chilson
      · March 6th, 2014 at 1:36 pm · Link

    You have a right to be really tired once in awhile. I’m glad you took some time for yourself.
    I did not realize you are from Spokane, we are practically neighbors I live about 120 miles from there. I know where The Flour Mill is but never actually gone there, I’m usually up there on business or to visit family. I was wondering where the other places you mentioned are.
    Thanks by the way for the potato information I am going to have to check Bed, Bath and Beyond for the spikes.

  16. Emily
      · March 6th, 2014 at 1:43 pm · Link

    So glad you are back on-line. I was afraid it was our computer (we have a new one coming tomorrow). Sorry you had to lose the time you spent re-working your book, to the devil in cyberspace! :twisted: I hate that when that happens.

    Can’t wait for you new book. As always, I read your books too fast, but I can’t help it. Then when I am finished, I am sad as I become part of the story! (Goofy I know.)

    Thanks for all of your wonderful tips.

    Have a great week-end……………..

  17. Rita Crofoot
      · March 6th, 2014 at 1:49 pm · Link

    Oh Linda, I am so sorry that you were the victim of that horrible black hole of cyberspace, I swear we lose so much of our lives tying to save time with computers, it usually happens to me when I have procrastinated and have a deadline to meet. (and I used to do computer consulting).
    the other comment I wanted to make is to agree with your analysis of having food that satisfies , and is real. My AHAA moment was when Oprah was talking to the lady that wrote ” french women don’t get fat” Oprah told about how her time in France and she was amazed at how good the croisants were, she said she used will power all week and waited til the end then ate 3. the author then told her that if she had really savored and enjoyed each bite, one would have been sufficient. So be in the moment and savor everything , its not about volume it about quality and enjoyment. Rita on Mt Spokane

  18. Patrice
      · March 6th, 2014 at 1:55 pm · Link

    Sorry you lost so much work. How frustrating. Ugh! But as you say, there must be some reason for it even if it’s very unclear. Maybe you needed to be home at that point, or get that good long sleep when exhausted…only God knows. :)

    Very cool about the potato spikes and your excursion to WoW sounded like a lot of fun. They sound like an updated version of a potato baker stick my Mama had years ago. Those were aluminum I think and had a bit of a twist to them where it went through the potato then the top part was sort of bent over in a hook. I think the idea was you could hang them from the top rack of the oven so could fit more in the oven while the potatoes baked with the other dishes. I don’t think my mom used them that way but I guess I remember her explaining it to me. Ha! I need to dig through my misc kitchen box and see if one may have survived. :)
    Have a great day!

  19. Lois Rotella
      · March 6th, 2014 at 2:26 pm · Link

    I am glad all worked out for you. It is horrible when you lose your words on the computer. I have had that happen to me because I research family history. I feel for you. It sounds like you did well when you went shopping. Rest restores us when we have had a bad day. Sometimes things work out for mysterious ways. :-D Stay well and enjoy your weekend.

  20. Patty C
      · March 6th, 2014 at 2:36 pm · Link

    Congrats Linda, in completing The Marraige Pack. Sorry to hear that you lost your revisions. May I ask why you need to revise your work? What is your editor looking, that needs to be revised? Thanks for the potato tip. Will definitely try it. Stay well and happy.

    • linda
        · March 7th, 2014 at 10:25 pm · Link

      My editor catches things I missed, mistakes, etc. Or she will ask me to add some kind of explanation, so the passage will be clear to the readers. Editing is SO important to the process.

  21. Debbie C
      · March 6th, 2014 at 2:36 pm · Link

    Other than the computer issue it all sounds wonderful. I agree with the “God has us on a need to know basis”. lol I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, thank you for sharing info on the stones and gems. I truly find it fascinating and now want some stones of my own. Looking forward to reading the Marriage Pact.

  22. Laura Davidson
      · March 6th, 2014 at 2:44 pm · Link

    I cannot WAIT to read the Marriage Pact! Mine is already pre-ordered. :) Yeah!!

  23. Dawn Roberts
      · March 6th, 2014 at 2:46 pm · Link

    Are you talking about JoAnn Fabric and crafts? I actually work at one, I run the education department, I’m in charge of all price changes in the store, and I work the cash registers. It’s an amazing place to work, and so much fun to shop at. When the signs went up that one was coming to my neck of the woods, my husband insisted I get a job there, which in hind sight was a good thing as a quilter I shop there a lot. I’m in the throws of make all the items for my first grand daughter nursery and having been doing quite a bit of shopping there. I recommend that you get your coupons from all sources! Email, Phone app, newspaper, in the mailer, and any you pick up in store. As we take them all on one transaction as long as the bar codes are different and they match your purchases. I saved over $100 on one sale!.

    thanks for your amazing books, and I love the app on the Ipad. :lol: :-P

  24. Laura Ann Harris
      · March 6th, 2014 at 3:06 pm · Link

    Linda, Just wanted to let you know that you have inspired me to join Weight Watchers. I’m on fourth day and I really feel like this will be a lifelong change for me. Thank you!

    Can’t wait for the Marriage Pact!!!!

  25. Roberts Giordano
      · March 6th, 2014 at 3:08 pm · Link

    Sounds like you are full recovered from flu ! Those potato spikes sound great will have to ask at Bed and bath beyond about them. Can’t wIt for new book. Have a nice weekend !

  26. Jan Buckles
      · March 6th, 2014 at 3:15 pm · Link

    I’ll have to pick up some of the potato spikes you mentioned, they sound interesting! My new favorite way to make baked potatoes….after washing and blotting dry, rub with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on, then wrap in foil and bake. Makes for a very tasty tater! I also bake them like that when I turn them into twice-baked potatoes. :)

  27. marilyn hurst
      · March 6th, 2014 at 3:20 pm · Link

    feel better soon, get some rest! and if you don’t want to use potato spikes, wash the potato, rub with cooking oil and wrap in foil and you get the really nice restaurant skin as well. If you eat potatoes you should eat the skin because that is where the nutrients and fiber are located.

    Have a great week.

    • linda
        · March 7th, 2014 at 10:27 pm · Link

      I’ll try that again. When I did it before, it didn’t work.

  28. zola udell
      · March 6th, 2014 at 3:29 pm · Link

    Congrats on the completion of your latest novel. Can hardly wait to read it. Continued blessings, health and happiness to you!

  29. Virginia Horton
      · March 6th, 2014 at 3:37 pm · Link

    Congrats on completing The Marriage Pact. I am so sorry you had computer problems and lost your work. That must be hard to deal with. My husband always puts a second hard drive in our computers to save things on and it makes it nice. I finally found the paper on my stone and it says it is amethyst stone. Will have to check into it more.

  30. Ruby Norwood
      · March 6th, 2014 at 4:09 pm · Link

    Linda sounds like your week has been as bad as mine, when you lost your work. Thanks for the potato tip. I will certainly
    go to the Kitchen store and get me some potato spikes. Hope the rest of your week will be a good one. Can’t wait until the
    new book comes out.

  31. LynneW
      · March 6th, 2014 at 4:12 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear you lost an entire day’s work!

    “Save early, save often” is what I tell my students. As a rule of thumb, every 5 minutes – if it’s critical, every minute.

    And I save to multiple places – my computer, a flash drive, and cloud storage spot (usually I just email my file to myself, but sometimes I upload it to a second location like Google Drive if it’s extremely important but not confidential).

  32. Jessica W
      · March 6th, 2014 at 4:20 pm · Link

    I think we don’t realize how much time we spend on the computer/phone/gadgets. I know I can sit down to check social media and watch some Youtube videos and before I know it, it’s been 3 or 4 hours. I had to have a massage recently due to sitting in the desk chair too much and tightening up my nerves. He recommends getting up every hour and stretching and moving around. This is the only body we have, we need to take care of it :) I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day!! :)


  33. Jane D
      · March 6th, 2014 at 4:21 pm · Link

    I, too, love the potato spikes and have used them for years. They really cut down on baking time.

    I also dry the potatoes after scrubbing and then rub the potato with canola ( or whatever oil you use) before you put the spike in and them in the oven. It really helps with the more crunchy skin I like.

  34. Bridget
      · March 6th, 2014 at 4:24 pm · Link

    Looking forward to reading the Marriage Pact, when it comes out!


  35. Ann Bartholomew
      · March 6th, 2014 at 4:36 pm · Link

    Just finished Wild About Harry and loved it. I love the way Tyler appeared to both Harry and Amy in times of need. We each need an angel every now and then.

  36. Terri Shortell
      · March 6th, 2014 at 6:12 pm · Link

    Sorry you had to redo your work. You must have been worn out and I’m happy you took a much needed break. Looking forward to the book. I’m definitely going to buy potato spikes. I also love the skin and have been unable to duplication it. Keep sharing the info. :-o

  37. Gloria
      · March 6th, 2014 at 6:35 pm · Link

    Linda, unless you could remember, word for word, exactly what you wrote in the first revision, maybe God had a reason for that happening, and you wrote it even better the next time.

    I have been guilty of writing a bunch of ugly negative stuff to my friend, not about her, but complaining to her about someone, or something, else. I’d try to send it and it wouldn’t send, or it would just disappear while I was writing it, and I couldn’t find it.

    After doing this several times in a row, I’d just write something better, and then…it would go when I hit send. I figure that was God’s way of keeping me from saying negative things about others, even if I did think they deserved it.

    So, the revisions you had to make twice are going to be the best part of the book. Just you wait and see. As you said…sort of…God knows what He’s doing, even when we don’t.

    I’m glad you had a day out doing fun things.

    • linda
        · March 7th, 2014 at 10:29 pm · Link

      I agree!

  38. Jean M.
      · March 6th, 2014 at 7:41 pm · Link

    I agree with Gloria, it seems so frustrating when you lose something to the “computer dragon” who munches it without even a burp when it does!! :) GRRR is right. But like Gloria, sometimes it’s as if God does want me to re-write whatever I was writing & LOST (sobbing/angry/screaming) not once, but twice. And, when I’d calmed down, having the words flow in a better, clearer way. It is a bit humbling. Just remember that old Danish saying..”Man plans & God laughs!” It makes me feel a bit better. ;)

  39. Jean M.
      · March 6th, 2014 at 8:04 pm · Link

    Oh, Linda, I meant to congratulate you on finishing that new book! You always make me smile & sigh at the end each one. :) Glad,too that you are feeling better. I think it has been quite a winter for a lot of us. Could have used some of your minerals to help with the health. In fact, I’ve loved “rocks” all my life because they were pretty or had character when I collected them (to my husband’s dismay)! ;) I need to get out a few of ” my minerals” to see what they have to tell me! I do love them & am teaching my grandkids to find joy in them too! Finally…that MAYAN truffle…OH MY…I’d love that for my chocolate craving FIX!! YUMM!! :) :)

  40. Norma Stanforth
      · March 6th, 2014 at 9:18 pm · Link

    Linda, i am so sorry that the computer eat your hard work and that you had to do it all over again. It is terrible when that happens. You try everything but for some reason, you just can’t get it back.I am glad that you are feeling better. I am still in tremendous pain. Take care and blessings to you.
    As always your friend,

    • linda
        · March 7th, 2014 at 10:31 pm · Link

      I’m so sorry you’re in pain. Praying for you!

  41. Diane Sallans
      · March 6th, 2014 at 9:41 pm · Link

    I love a good baked potato! I usually microwave them & then put them in the toaster oven to get a crispy skin, but I’m going to keep my eye out for these spikes.

  42. Tracy
      · March 6th, 2014 at 10:38 pm · Link

    Love the sound of the potato spikes, going to have to find a pack.

  43. Linda (Lindy) Park
      · March 7th, 2014 at 2:20 am · Link

    I so know tired! I spent the weekend with my eldest daughter and twin teen grandkids at a gymnastics meet. Being that I have health issues, it really dragged me down and I’m just now getting back to normal (for me). I’m very sorry you lost your rewrites but glad you were able to finish your book anyway. Keep up the good writing. I really enjoy your work.

  44. Ida C
      · March 7th, 2014 at 10:49 am · Link

    Sorry the computer was so mean to you Linda! These things are sent to try us and sometimes, try us they do. I’m always interested to read about your wonderful stones, and am interested as well in the potato spikes. Must try them, looovvee some restaurant baked potatoes! Have a wonderful weekend. We’re supposed to have almost normal temps over the weekend. Hooray!! 2 above instead of -15 celsius. Whooppee!!!

  45. Kelley Morrow
      · March 7th, 2014 at 6:31 pm · Link

    Sorry about your problems but you seem like your keeping your spirit up. That’s great! I love beautiful stones, one of these days I would love to find myself some watermelon Ametrine! Stay warm :-D

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