An Index to the Website
may be found by clicking here.

New WordPress Blog!

I've set up a new WordPress blog (with the help of my web-wrangler) because it gives me more options than the blog on this website, including the ability to post more photos, the ability to link with social media across the web, and a subscription service that sends a dandy version of the blog directly to your email inbox. Try it out.

Notes from a Western Life at

You can continue to read the blogs here, however a few of the very long blogs under the category of "Writing: Where I've Been" will only appear on the WordPress blog.

An Index of Blog Topics
may be found lower down in this left-hand column so, for example, you can search for all blogs with "Writing Suggestions."

A dated archive of blogs is also available below the index.

Click here to jump to the index, or scroll down to see a selection of photos related to the blog posts.

Blacksmith or Wordsmith

Iron legs from yesteryear.

Smaller iron items inside.

The scrap-iron table.

Dust, Grass, and Writing

Like the native grasses, the roots of writing go deep and reach out in many directions.

Tough prairie grass roots splitting open a rock.

Green life may be found under dry debris.

Fringed Jacket Foofaraw

Turtle carved from bone.

Turtle made of silver.

Warrior Woman pin.

George's grizzly bear claw earring.

Powwow jingle cones made of tin.

Brass bell.

A tiny dream catcher.

Harley Owners' Group pin in honor of Jerry.

Wally McRae's cufflink and tooth.

South Dakota Poet Laureate? Not Right Now, Thanks.

"An older writer, conscious of his or her limited life span, may have specific projects in mind to complete. Thus, requiring that the Poet Laureate travel and teach extensively may exclude older writers regardless of their worthiness to hold the position."

Don't just click "like" about some political story you read.

Pick up the phone or write a letter and make a difference.

Ah! The Bathtub.

A brass hook on a nearby wall to hold my robe or a towel.

A removable wire basket stretches across the tub to hold my soap and sponges.

Windbreak House
Now on Facebook.

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.​WindbreakHouse

No kitten videos, but I post Tuesday Writing Tips, Wednesday Word Posts, and various other writing-related stories, announcements, book reviews, photos and the occasional joke.

More Stories and Essays by Linda
may be found on this website.

* Home Page Message archives
Many of these essays have writing advice. All have photos, some have recipes, a few have poems.

* Poetry Page essays
Read suggestions for writing and performing poetry and the stories behind some of Linda's poems.

* Critter Stories
Brief stories and photos of birds and wildlife seen on Linda's ranch may be found on this page.

* Gallimaufry Page
Stories and photos that don't fit anywhere else.

Linda on YouTube

Nancy Curtis, publisher and owner of High Plains Press, recorded a couple of videos of Linda reading her poetry and posted them on YouTube.

To see Linda read "Where the Stories Come From"
click here.

To see Linda read her poem "Make a Hand"
click here

Or go to and search for Linda Hasselstrom.

You may also want to visit the High Plains Press facebook page where you will find these two poetry videos and much more about the many great western books-- poetry and non-fiction-- published by High Plains Press.

Thanks, Nancy!

# # #

Index of Blog Topics

Quick Links

Find Authors

Notes from a Western Life
Ranging Far and Wide on the High Plains and Beyond
Linda M. Hasselstrom's Blog


February 5, 2015

Tags: Sunrise

Sunrise February 5th at Windbreak House.
Photo by Jerry Ellerman.

Sunrise this morning began while I was sitting in bed writing in my journal-- just a long stripe of light blue beneath a shield of heavy black, like a crack opening into another universe.

Iíd let the dogs out and logged into email to find a tangle of conflicting, angry messages from members of a group of which I am a member. Glancing through them sent my stomach roiling, so I shut down and climbed back into bed with todayís book.

The book, while it means well, concerns recovery from stroke, so while its message is upbeat, the general topic did not especially cheer me.

So I put it aside and pulled my journal out from under my pillow-- I like to keep it handy for late-night inspiration-- determined to write something positive to offset the email clamor Iíd have to face later.

As the light grew with the earthís slow rotation, I realized that this was going to be one of our especially gorgeous sunrise experiences. What looked like a flat, heavy layer of black clouds began to ripple as the light strengthened, the clouds heaving and shifting in shades of gold and peach. Swells of light like the oceanís waves rolled across the prairieís beach.

Below the clouds, the air was still at twenty degrees or so, the grass still dusted with snow. But the light promised that the day would improve.

As Jerry took the photograph, I realized that the very best sunrises are those with clouds in them. When the sky is clear, the sunís light simply flows like honey over a table, golden and lovely-- but flat.

Clouds ripple and heave and turn from black to blue. Clouds churn and lunge and wrap around each other. Their darkness should encourage us to appreciate sunís light and warmth.

The metaphor was so obvious I laughed out loud, startling the dogs out of their post-awakening, pre-breakfast nap.

When everything in our lives is streaming along as smoothly as a river in spring, we may not appreciate just how lucky we are. Clouds-- murky, roiling , threatening-- make us pay attention, and remind us that things could be considerably worse.

That barbed-wire tangle of emails waiting to snag my attention made me appreciate the complications of sunrise. How fortunate I was to have this quiet time to read and write before the dayís concerns began to rise over the edge of the horizon.

The troubles I encounter every day should remind me how fortunate I am for days when there are no complications, when my writing flows like honey.

Todayís clouds encouraged me to appreciate the light around their edges. When I return to the computer, Iíll answer those emails as quickly as possible so as to get back to the dayís bright promise.

Or perhaps Iíll put the emails off until sunset.

Linda M. Hasselstom
Windbreak House, Hermosa, South Dakota

# # #

back to top