Hello from Big Sky Country

Friday, Jan 30

I’m in Billings, Montana, and got up EARLY this morning to appear on two different TV news shows. I’m enough of a ham that I really love appearing on TV–even when it’s still dark outside!

I only got a few hours of sleep last night, because I was so charged up after seeing Steve and Terry Miller, two very dear friends of mine. Steve is a sort of shirt-tail-relation-by-ex-marriage; he works for Montana Silversmiths as their marketing guy and is also a gifted Western sculptor–I’ve given away several of his pieces on the monthly website contest, and there will be more. Anyhow, Steve took me out to MSS in Columbus, and the incomparable Judy Wagner gave me the tour. I was blown away by what it takes to make those fantastic buckles that are awarded to the champions every year at numerous rodeos, including the National Finals in Vegas every December, not to mention the jewelry. The skill of these artisans is something to behold, and this cowgirl was mighty impressed. The Yellowstone River runs right past the offices, and it was frozen over–a breathtaking sight. I took several pictures. Later, we met up with Terry at a local steakhouse and enjoyed a fabulous meal and lots of good old-fashioned jaw-flappin’.

Anyhow, back to today. After the TV appearances, Lorrie Niles, of the Barnes and Noble where I’ll be signing tonight from 7 pm to whenever we’re through, took me to a local hangout with a great name. We had breakfast at the Muzzle-Loader!! Do you love it??? An excellent meal and excellent company. When I got back to the hotel, I got back into my pajamas and crashed for several hours.

Serendipity is a wonderful thing. I was having trouble getting online with this laptop earlier today, after lunch, and so was using one of the public computers in the lobby. A cow-hand walked over and said howdy, and we got to talking. Turns out, he’s here for a big convention of–here comes the serendipity–old-time rodeo cowboys!!! Their big do is tomorrow night, and I’m going to attend. And it gets better! Wilford Brimley, the actor, is their keynote speaker. I’ve been a fan for years, and I actually got to shake his hand.

A funny thing happens when you let go and let God, and just decide to enjoy whatever comes down the trail. You don’t miss all the things you would have missed, if you’d been focused on your own outline of how things ought to go. God, it seems, always has a better idea!

More tomorrow. Hang tough, pardners. We’re travelin’ this road together, and that’s what counts.

About Linda

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West.

Raised in Northport, Washington, Linda pursued her wanderlust, living in London and Arizona and traveling the world before returning to the state of her birth to settle down on a horse property outside Spokane.

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