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Notes from a Western Life at

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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!

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Linda M. Hasselstrom's Blog

Gaydell Collier: 1935 -- 2013

January 18, 2013

Tags: Writer: Gaydell Collier, Anthology: Crazy Woman Creek, Anthology: Woven on the Wind, Anthology: Leaning Into the Wind

Gaydell Collier, 2004.
This photo was taken at the publication party for Crazy Woman Creek held at the Mari Sandoz Center, Chadron, Nebraska. Gaydell and Maxie greeted contributors to the anthology as they arrived and checked in. Maxie is now living with a close friend of Gaydell's.

. . .
GAYDELL COLLIER was born on Long Island, New York and when she was co-editing the three Western women anthologies, lived in Sundance, Wyoming, with her husband Roy, who preceded her in death. She co-authored several books on horsemanship and horse care with Eleanor F. Prince, including Basic Horsemanship: English and Western. Her work has appeared in periodicals and anthologies, including The Christian Science Monitor and Flint-Edged Refrains. She was the consultant on "Horses and Horsemanship" for Encyclopedia Britannica in 2000. Her interests included ranching, reading, dogs, horses, grand opera and eating.

That’s the official biography we sent out for Crazy Woman Creek but it does not begin to describe the multi-faced woman Gaydell was.

Here is a bit more about her literary life: Gaydell was the Crook County Library Director for fourteen years, and a member of Bear Lodge Writers, Sundance, Wyoming. She was awarded the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award for Literature in 2004.

Gaydell’s published books--

Just Beyond Harmony (2011) High Plains Press. ISBN: 978-0931271984.
A memoir of dreams and family adjustment, challenge, community, and the power of landscape.

Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West (2004) Houghton Mifflin. ISBN: 0618249338.
Co-editors Nancy Curtis and Linda M Hasselstrom.

Woven on the Wind: Women Write about Friendship in the Sagebrush West (2001) Houghton Mifflin. ISBN: 0395977088.
Co-editors Nancy Curtis and Linda M Hasselstrom.

Leaning into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West (1997) Houghton Mifflin. ISBN: 0395837383.
Co-editors Nancy Curtis and Linda M Hasselstrom.

Basic Horsemanship: English and Western (1993) Doubleday. ISBN: 0385422644.
Co-author Eleanor F Prince.

Basic Horse Care (1986) Doubleday. ISBN: 038517229X.
Co-author Eleanor F Prince.

Basic Training for Horses: English and Western (1979) Doubleday. ISBN: 0385032447.
Co-author Eleanor F Prince.

Gaydell also had poems, essays, reviews, and articles published in magazines including Owen Wister Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Smithsonian, Farm & Ranch Living, and others; and in the anthologies Open Range: Poetry of the Reimagined West (Ghost Road Press, 2007); Wyoming Fence Lines: an Anthology of Prose and Poetry (Wyoming Humanities Council and Wyoming Arts Council, 2007); In the Shadow of the Bear Lodge (Many Kites Press, 2006); Western Horse Tales (Republic of Texas Press, 1994); and Wyoming Writers poetry chapbooks.

A few email comments about Gaydell’s death show how deeply she will be missed. Her good humor enhanced every situation and her intelligence and memory helped so many writers. For years she attended Bear Lodge Writers meetings in Sundance, WY, where many writers benefitted from her suggestions for their writing and found her an example for both the writing life and the rest of life.

Oh, how we will miss our sweet Gaydell. I remember she was one of the first people outside my family I ever shared my writing with. She never ceased to be encouraging and full of love (and laughter).

I was deeply saddened to hear the news about Gaydell. I will miss her steady presence, and cherish the memories I have of her.

Someone overheard her on the telephone the day before she died, speaking with her son, say, "I’m ready for my next big adventure." Gaydell began that next part of her journey on January 18, 2013.

Every day was a new chance for enjoyment for Gaydell and I hope that she’s enjoying this one. For now, in memory of her, I urge you to enjoy every single opportunity you have for adventure.

# # #

To sign the guest book and learn about funeral services, see Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapel website

For more information about Gaydell:

Please see the Wind Anthology Page on this website.

Wyoming Authors wiki website

website for the Bear Lodge Writers

Watch Gaydell tell the story of “Custah” on YouTube
– from her book Just Beyond Harmony, published by High Plains Press, 2011.

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