Welcome to Windbreak House.
Celebrating 20+ Years of Writing Retreats! (founded 1996)
In the center of the nation, deep in the grasslands of western South Dakota, essayist and poet Linda M. Hasselstrom grew up as an only child on a family cattle ranch homesteaded by a Swedish cobbler in 1899.
Today she invites you to benefit from a writing retreat on that same ranch. Come to the house where she discovered the Great Plains outside her windows, where she began to write the poetry and non-fiction books that have established her as one of the strongest voices on behalf of the prairie.
Linda holds a BA in English and Journalism, an MA in American Literature, and has been a teacher of writing for more than 45 years. She has hosted writing retreats at her ranch since 1996.
Not a writer but a reader? Enjoy Linda's vivid descriptions of her life and work on the ranch, as a writer, and as an advocate for the preservation of the prairies and the people and wildlife who inhabit them.
Meet Linda on Youtube
For a brief introduction to Linda, her ranching life, her books, and the writing retreats, watch this Two-Minute Summary on Youtube
. You've read her words-- now hear her voice and see her ranch and writing retreat.
The News from Windbreak House -- July, 2017
New Books Coming in 2017
I have two new books in the works this year and will make formal announcements as I get closer to publication.
Here's a teaser: One book is a new, expanded edition of an existing title. The other book is all new, and will revisit many of my favorite themes, such as my life on the ranch and the western South Dakota grasslands.
Stay tuned to this website and to my Windbreak House Facebook page
for future bulletins.
Interview on KEVN TV
In March I was interviewed by Taylar Perez of Rapid City's KEVN Black Hills Fox TV station. Taylar came to Windbreak House, filmed my responses to her thoughtful questions, and captured shots of the Writing Retreat house, the books I spoke about, and early spring at the ranch. Then she zoomed back to Rapid City, filmed another interview elsewhere, edited the stories in the afternoon, and presented them that evening while she also anchored the news. Wow!
You can watch my interview and read the transcript here at KEVN Black Hills Fox.
In honor of National Poetry Month, and specifically National Cowboy Poetry Week (April 16th through the 22nd), I recorded some stories and readings as a tribute to Badger Clark, South Dakota's first Poet Laureate. I was inspired by a number of writers and poets during my childhood-- notably Mari Sandoz and Badger Clark, who each wrote about the west that I knew from my life on the ranch.
New in 2017 --- See my tribute to Badger Clark, his cabin in nearby Custer State Park, and his humorous Last Verse of poetry here on Youtube
See my video about Badger Clark's poem "The Legend of Boastful Bill" here on Youtube
My Most Recent Book
Write Around Nature's Calendar
The Wheel of the Year: A Writer's Workbook
nonfiction, 2015, Red Dashboard Press
$22.95 -- paper
The Wheel of the Year
is structured with sixteen essays, one for each of the eight seasons through two years, with an intermission essay, “Respect Writing By Not Writing,” which discusses taking time off. Extensive writing suggestions are included, as well as additional resources. The workbook is intended as a guide and teacher as a writer sets up her own schedule of writing and develops a relationship with the natural and mundane worlds in which we live. If the reader came to a retreat at my Windbreak House Retreats, this might be a series of conversations we would have about writing.
All About the Book
--- Read some behind-the-scenes details about this book: Q&A with Linda, notes about content, information on the book jacket photo, and more.
Click here to go to The Wheel of the Year webpage.
If you would like to purchase an autographed copy from me, please send a check or money order for $28 to:
Linda M. Hasselstrom
PO Box 169
Hermosa SD 57744
Let me know if you would like me to personalize a message along with my signature.
The $28 covers media mail shipping & handling within the USA and any applicable sales tax.
Now, What About Your Writing?
Windbreak House Writing Retreats and online Writing Conversations by eMail.
If you would like to spend some time writing at Windbreak House see the Writing Retreats Page
for the list of available retreat dates in 2017 and all the details you need to know about applying for a writing retreat (working with me) or a solitary retreat (recharge your creativity and enjoy uninterrupted writing time).
If you can't take a retreat holiday because your time or your budget is tight, we can still have some productive writing fun together online. See the Online Writing Help Page
for complete details on how to sign up for a Writing Conversation by eMail.
Stories About Writing Retreats
Susan wrote a blog about her January, 2016 writing retreat-- you'll get a few writing tips while you enjoy reading about her experience.
And I have a blog series about writing retreats.
Six Steps to a Successful Retreat at Windbreak House
Create Your Own Writing Retreat at Home
The Windbreak House Blog
Notes from a Western Life
My WordPress blog "Notes from a Western Life."
Come on over and sign up for a subscription.
My WordPress blog allows me to include multiple photos, link with social media across the web, and offer you a free subscription that sends a dandy version of the blog directly to your email inbox, photos and all. To subscribe click on any of these links to go to the blog, then scroll down and look for the subscription box in the right-hand column.
Some Recent Blogs
"Book Remarks: Wilderness Fever
" -- posted June 26, 2017
High Plains Press recently published Wilderness Fever: A Family’s Adventures Homesteading in Early Jackson Hole, 1914-1924
, a book created from journal entries and letters written to relatives. Hang on to those family writings, folks!
Read the book review here.
"The Internet: Connecting to the World from Rural South Dakota" -- posted June 7, 2017
One of the reasons I write is to understand a problem and therefore move towards a solution. As my internet connection grew worse until I lost connection completely, I still kept doing research and continued to write.
Read of my woes and my solution here.
"Resting in Peace. Or Not." -- posted June 1, 2017
As I help tidy the local cemetery before Memorial Day, I am reminded of the people of our community. How I wish I had written down the oral history my father heard as a child and then passed along to me as we worked together on the ranch. This is what I remember.
Enjoy stories (and photos) of the Hermosa community here.
"Windbreak House Writing Retreats 20th Anniversary" series -- posted in December 2016 and January 2017
2016 was the 20th year I conducted writing retreats at my ranch home. Read this ongoing series of blogs for stories, photos, and many quotes by writers taken from the Retreat House journals. I have written 8 chapters and expect to write a few more later this year.
Part 1 -- Beginnings
Part 2 -- Evolution
Part 3 -- Guidelines
Part 4 -- The People
Part 5 -- The Writing
"Deadline Met: Report on a Solitary Writing Retreat" -- posted December 16th
Mystery writer MK Coker came to Windbreak House for a solitary retreat in October, hoping to finish the final revisions on the most-recent book in the Dakota Mystery series in time for its November publisher deadline. Read the report on MK's time at the retreat and my notes about this great mystery series.
Read about MK's retreat and books here.
Because it is time-consuming to update two blogs, I have phased out the blog on this website to concentrate on my WordPress site. However, many older blogs are available on the Blog Page of this website which you will find by clicking here
Connect with Windbreak House on Facebook and with my WordPress Blog.
If you "Like" me on this Facebook page you'll get notifications of my newly-posted blogs as well as announcements about my books, writing retreats, and other events to do with Windbreak House.
No kitten videos, but I post Stories from the Writing Retreat and various other writing-related photos, announcements, book reviews, and the occasional joke. You can ask questions and exchange comments with me and other readers of the postings.
You can sign up to follow my WordPress Blog "Notes from a Western Life" here:
Once you've subscribed you will receive the blog in your email, complete with photos. The WordPress blog has the exact same content as the blog on this website, but WordPress allows me to post more photos throughout each entry.
And as a bonus, WordPress does not require you to decipher some squiggly words in order to post a comment. The first time you post a comment you must be approved by me (I know you won't deluge me with annoying spam about sunglasses and other products), but after that you are allowed to comment freely.
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