Linda Hasselstrom and Windbreak House

One of the things I enjoy most about being a ranch woman is learning from other women who share the same lifestyle, exchanging ranch stories, and finding similarities with them. It makes me feel connected with a culture, so-to-speak of other women that understand my lifestyle, its frustrations, problems, and the stresses that it doesn’t hesitate to provide.

I think because most women need to socialize, those of us who are hindered by distance tend to seek out those who understand us. For me, one woman whom I feel a connection with through a ranching lifestyle as well as a writing life is Linda Hasselstrom.

I first learned about Linda through all the books she’s written or co-edited that our library had available. The first time I met her was when I’d taken a weekend writing workshop she put on for the Badger Clark Society. I caught up with her another time at the 2009 South Dakota Festival of Books in Deadwood and this past fall I had the pleasure of attending a presentation she put on at the Women in Ag conference about one of my favorite interests: journaling!

Linda is one of my favorite female authors. I developed an admiration for her writing because she wrote about ranch life and the land from a woman’s perspective. I take great pride in being able to tell people that Linda’s ranch is located in the same county as ours (just at the opposite end).

Through her books and our brief visits, she has always been an inspiration to me as a ranch woman and writer. I often recommend her books to others; especially to women who are interested in ranch life, South Dakota, and the land in Western South Dakota.

Linda also hosts writing retreats at her ranch. She offers her help and her resources to help writers improve their craft but the location of her retreats alone, is an inspiration to any writer.

If you are looking for some good reading material I highly recommend burying your nose in one of the books written or co-edited by Linda. She also has a wonderful website, which is full of information about herself and all of her books and awards; upcoming appearances, her writing retreats, and her blog. She also has some of her poems, pictures some of some of the dogs and cows she’s known. There’s enough to read on her website that you’ll want to visit it more than once because what she shares is very interesting and informative.

I am always delighted when Linda is featured in a publication I enjoy, like South Dakota Magazine and Black Hills Faces. It makes me feel good that a woman whom I admire as a writer, land steward and ranch woman, is recognized in publications that I enjoy reading.

Linda is one of those women you can easily sit down and have a pleasant conversation over a cup of coffee and walk away with happiness in your heart for having met her and new inspiration from listening to her. If you haven’t met Linda, get to know her: read her books and peruse her website.

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