Sharing our unique stories . . . bridging past and present

We all have stories to tell. Some of us write them, others relate them orally. Some folks do both. Our stories help define who we are, connect us with our ancestors (and perhaps with our descendants), and the world at large.

Stories can entertain, enlighten, educate, and inspire. They can soothe, terrify, support, tear down, unite, or divide us. We are transitory, but our stories can endure.

The purpose of this website and blog is to explore the world of sharing stories and perhaps inspire you to share some stories of your own.

For me, it all started with the sudden realization that I’ve led an amazingly interesting life. Upon introspection, three major categories shook out:

  • Short stories
  • Nature nuggets
  • Books

The short stories are easy. As I recall memorable—often funny—events, I jot them down. When time allows, I return to the list, choose an idea, and flesh out the story. More often than not, this triggers additional memories to add to the idea list. When I have enough of these stories written, I hope to put the collection into book form. Meanwhile, I’ve put a couple of samples on the Short Stories tab of this website.

Nature nuggets are easy, too. Most of my short stories share personal experiences in the great outdoors. Some of them nudge me to dig a little deeper into some aspect of nature that appears in the tale. What I learn by doing this is invariably fascinating and worthy of passing along. Maybe someday I’ll have enough of these collected for a book, too. For now, though, I’m working on adding a Nature Nuggets tab to this website.

Books? This one isn’t quite so easy, other than publishing collections of shorter tales. I’ve started a dozen full-length books in my head, but that’s as far as it gets, in most cases, although I’m currently making significant progress. I published my first book in late 2021, My Mother’s Keeper: One Family’s Journey Through Dementia. I haven’t yet figured out how to market it, though!

S. G. (Sandy) Benson writes from her home in the mountains of western North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Barry, and two bossy dachshunds.

Why Out on a Limb? A forester by training, she worked in the woods most of her life. Along the way, she published a real estate magazine and wrote many outdoors articles for newspapers and magazines. Recently, she’s begun ‘branching out’—sharing tales at local storyteller gatherings and working on several book ideas. She just published her first book—See the tab My Mother’s Keeper: One Family’s Journey Through Dementia for details and a link to order it.

Blog Archive

April 2024

Oklahoma City Elm Tree

Today's blog is a guest post from my friend, Pam Bergstrom, National Technical Assistance Agroforester who works for the Nebraska Forest Service  and the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Lincoln, Nebraska. She shared these thoughts in one of her newsletters, and granted me permission to share it.

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Gold and Silver!

Lucky me! Two of my three entries in the Cherokee/Clay Senior Games Literary Arts competition medaled. Mad Max won gold in the short story category, and Honoring and Honored at the Rosebud Wacipi took silver. My third entry, Alone, Invisible, and Forgotten, didn’t medal, but placed fourth in the essay category. Thanks to my fellow Ridgeline Writers members for your constructive critiques!

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Happy 100th Birthday to Dad!

Today would have been my dad's one-hundredth birthday. In his honor, later this month I will launch his book: Dear Folks—Letters Home 1943-1946, World War II.

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National Library Week was “Eclipsed” today

Clouds rolled in just as the partial eclipse began in North Carolina. But they held a silver lining. I sat in the yard, felt the temperature drop, and listened to the birds (and a few crickets) as they reacted to the diminished daylight. The cloud cover waxed and waned, obscuring the sun to varying degrees. At a certain point between blinding and invisible, I stole a few quick glances and observed the phenomenon without safety glasses. Foolish, I know, but at my age I take a few risks. It was amazing. Still, I’m glad I witnessed totality during the 2017 eclipse, shown here in my picture as it passed over Nebraska.

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Epic Poetry Isn’t My Bag . . .

I’ve been trying to round out my reading list with several of the “classics” that I somehow passed over during my school years. Most of the books have been wonderful reads, but this one was tough. I checked out Homer’s Iliad from the library, and it took me two full weeks to wade through it.

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