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

Circling Back Home: a new book by Darcy Lipp-Acord

. . .
Here's information on Darcy Lipp-Acord's first book, which she worked on during a couple of retreats at Windbreak House. Disclaimer-- I wrote the foreword for this book . . . and was pleased and proud to do so.

Look for her at the South Dakota Book Festival in Deadwood, SD which will take place September 20-22.

Congratulations, Darcy!

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Circling Back Home: a Plainswoman's Journey
By Darcy Lipp-Acord
Foreword By Linda M. Hasselstrom

Circling Back Home is the story of one woman, at a time when values of home, family, and care of the land seem increasingly absent, looking to her past to create a life of significance for her family. Her search takes her back to the prairie of her grandmothers, who survived personal hardships and lived off what the land provided. Lipp-Acord mourns the loss of one child and celebrates the birth of others, all while balancing her own desire to put down roots with her husband’s life as an itinerant ranch hand. Written over ten years, these essays compose a picture of endurance and grace as the author addresses her history and finds her way home.

The granddaughter of immigrants, Darcy Lipp-Acord grew up in Timber Lake, South Dakota, on a farm where three generations of her family have lived. She now resides on a ranch near the Montana-Wyoming border with her husband, Shawn, and their six children. Her memoir, Circling Back Home: A Plainswoman’s Journey, comes out in September 2013. Darcy graduated from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, and taught high school in Montana and Wyoming. She works as a youth services librarian for the Campbell County Public Library system in Gillette, Wyoming, and continues to write. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies, including Woven on the Wind, Crazy Woman Creek, and My Heart’s First Steps. She won Wyoming Arts Council’s Neltje Blanchan Doubleday Award for women writers.

An Interview with Darcy Lipp-Acord

Q. When did you begin writing?

A. I began writing as a teenager, working for our local newspaper, the Timber Lake Topic, as a feature writer. I measured the column inches of anything I wrote, kept track in my own ledger, and received my compensation twice a month. I eventually “graduated” from being a freelance feature writer to being the paper’s student employee. I still wrote stories, but I also took photos and learned to set type. It’s both ironic and rewarding to me that, recently, that same newspaper ran a feature article about me, my writing, and my work since leaving Timber Lake.

Q. When and where did Circling Back Home begin?

A. I spent an intensive four-day weekend with Linda Hasselstrom and other writers in Hermosa, South Dakota, during the summer of 1998, and some of the essays in Circling Back Home began incubating during that time. Linda encouraged me to work with the essays I’d written to find my writer’s voice. It was during that struggle that I realized that the storyteller’s voice in my head sounded a lot like the people around whom I’d grown up. As I listened, wrote, and honed that voice, the stories of those people began flowing from my black ink pen. I went back to Linda’s during the summer of 2011, as I was preparing the complete manuscript for publication, and hers is the voice of the book’s introduction-- another circle.

Q. How did you bring those essays together into a book?

A. Another writer friend, Page Lambert, introduced me to the idea of a story spiral-- the way good fiction, and nonfiction, spirals around and touches certain themes over and over. As I read the seemingly disjointed essays I’d been composing for writers’ groups and contests, I realized that my spirals kept touching on home, on family, on my agricultural roots. As I looked at those spirals, gradually a book took shape within their coils. Although I had started writing for myself, to understand my own life experiences, eventually I was writing out of great respect for my ancestors, for the prairies, and for the heritage that came from growing up in South Dakota.

Q. Being a first-time author, what have you learned from writing Circling Back Home?

A. In the process of writing, submitting, being rejected, and rewriting this work, I have learned much about my ancestors, my chosen lifestyle, and myself. I wrote the actual essays in Circling Back Home over a period of a few years, working on the book when I could-- during my kids' naptimes, when I had breaks from my teaching job, on occasional writing retreats. Although my busy life seemed to impede my writing career, in truth the rich experiences of motherhood, teaching, and ranching gave me something to write about when I returned to my desk.

Q. Do you continue to find time to write?

A. I am still writing, though I am not involved in any book-length projects at the moment! I write two blogs: “The Back Forty” continues to explore the connections between humanity and the natural world; it can be found at the-back-forty.blogspot.com. My other blog, “Teen Lit Talk,” is written as part of my current career as a youth-services librarian; it’s at TeenLitMom.blogspot.com. Whatever writing I’m doing these days, I've finally found that my writer’s voice is less an expression of my unique individuality and more a blend of the enduring influences of my family, my heritage, and my South Dakota culture. This foundation has taught me a deep reverence for the land and for traditional values.

Interview questions are from the SD State Historical Society Press blog post:
“Finding a Voice: The Newest SDSHS Press Author, Darcy Lipp-Acord—Circling Back Home—Shares Her Writing Experience.”
Visit the SDSHS Press blog at sdshspress.wordpress.com.

For more information:

South Dakota State Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 773-6009
email: info@sdshspress.com
website: www.sdshspress.com

Circling Back Home: a Plainswoman's Journey by Darcy Lipp-Acord
$16.95 --- plus $5.00 shipping & handling --- plus sales tax
20% Discount for Libraries & Schools --- 40% Discount for Retailers
For orders of 3+ or for international shipping, please contact the SDSHS Press at orders@sdshspress.com

Information about Darcy's appearance at the South Dakota Book Festival in September may be found at the Book Festival website www.sdBookFestival.com.

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