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

Ken Steinken’s MyTown Blog
and Remembering Carl Sanson

July 9, 2012

Tags: Friend: Ken Steinken, Blogger: Ken Steinken, MyTown blog, Carl Sanson, Wind Cave National Park, Horse Riding

Field trip on the old Sanson Ranch, 2012
The Sanson family owned this property from 1882 to 1987. It then passed to the Casey family, and now is part of Wind Cave National Park.
Photo by Ken Steinken

. . .
Ken Steinken, who has worked on his writing at Windbreak House Retreat, has been getting paid to write (and take pictures) for KOTA's MyTown website. He chooses his topics and is able to, as he says "drive around the Hills looking for ideas." The site is set up so that all Ken’s articles are archived by author and readers can subscribe to his posts– almost like having his own blog.

Ken Steinken's KOTA TV MyTown blog

Ken says:
Anybody can write for the MyTown website as long as it has connections to the Black Hills area or to Gillette and Sheridan, Wyoming. And writers who contribute regularly may even become eligible to receive concert tickets and occasional cash incentives in appreciation for their participation. Potential new writers should send an email expressing their interest to

The editors are open to any kind of writing including poetry and would consider starting a specific section for poetry if they got enough people submitting. The site may eventually expand into the Nebraska Panhandle as well.

A few years ago I encouraged Ken to join the Great Plains Native Plant Society. He admits he should have heeded my advice sooner (!) But now that he’s a member, he enjoys field trips. The most recent was participating as an inventory volunteer on the Sanson Ranch property which has just become part of Wind Cave National Park. I am delighted to present this link:

Ken's blog “Up-close Look at Wind Cave's Sanson Ranch”

I’m especially happy to know about this land acquisition since Carl Sanson was a great influence on my life as a horsewoman. He helped advise a horse club that a friend, Mikkey Murphy, and I organized when we were teenagers. Patiently, Carl worked with a dozen horse-crazy kids, teaching us how to respect our horses as well as to get the best performance from them. He also hauled our horses around when we were short of qualified drivers and stock trailers. We devised a number of intricate maneuvers to execute at a gallop in the arena. When we had horse wrecks, Carl was there to pick us up, dust us off and tell us to get back on those horses. I recall that he sat up several nights nursing his own horse when it was gored by a buffalo during the annual roundup in Custer State Park.

I find it fitting that the ranch on which he lived a bachelor life has become part of our national and state heritage.

Take a look at some of Ken’s other pieces while you’re exploring. Steinken: The Next Generation, is about becoming a grandfather. Follow the Shootingstars resulted from a gathering of the Prairie Winds writing group (for which I also once taught workshops) in June of this year.

After you've read Ken's great pieces, consider writing your own.

# # #

back to top