Archive for December, 2011

Romance and Other Stories

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

by Samantha Prust


My book Romance and Other Stories is now available at The Write Deal online bookstore.

From The Write Deal website: "Two young women decide to become prostitutes. A wife can no longer hide a secret from her husband. A daughter confronts her father’s manic depression. A pregnant teenager struggles to leave her reservation. An aspiring romance novelist meets a handsome stranger. In Samantha Prust’s ballsy, finely-crafted collection, characters often feel as if they have “dropped out of the clear blue sky and onto the flat prairie.” The worlds Prust creates are, like the northern hinterlands in which they are set, deceptively empty. Here, vulnerable young women on the edge of maturity walk a razor’s edge. We walk with them, drawn in by Prust’s sensuous and simple language, and by a mysterious, unresolved tension usually the purview of dreams. Samantha Prust was raised in South Dakota. She has an MFA in creative writing from Colorado State University. For over 15 years she has worked as an editor and writer in book and magazine publishing, and is the author of A Sentence a Day: Short, Playful Proofreading Exercises (Prufrock Press, 2007). She lives with her husband in Colorado, where she works as a freelance editor and writer."

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Association on American Indian Affairs Native Language Program, (From their website: "AAIA’s Dakota Language Preservation project takes place on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation. The reservation is located in Northeast South Dakota and a portion of Southeast North Dakota and is home of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate ('the tribe').")



Benny's Love

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Benny pushed away his kibble bowl with his paw.

Uncharacteristic of a dog his age, but this was not a good day for him.

In fact this was the worst day of his sad life.

Can a canine have a sad life?

Just ask Benny. He’ll be glad to invite you into it.


He lives down the street from me and I know how it must be for him. In freezing weather, scalding hot summer days and rainy ones, he barks and cries from his yard all day long. Benny is out there. No wonder his life is in the dumps.


As I pass him tied up with a long rope around his neck, attached to a clothesline pole I stop for a few minutes stand behind the fence, then reach over to rub his head. His howling and barking ceases and I smile and I know he’s smiling too. Each time I feel a connection with Benny. I can tell when his paws are aching, because I feel it in my feet.

I also know when he’s thirsty, because my mouth gets dry. On these occasions I’ll pour some water from the small bottle I carry with me into my hand and watch the pleasure he gets from lapping it up.


You probably wonder how I know his name is Benny. Well I could say I heard his owner call out to him, or I can confess the truth. Without words, he told me.

He also told me of having never been inside the walls of his owner’s home for more than ten minutes at a time. My heart hurt for him.


Benny is a beautiful blackLabradorwho doesn’t look more than a year old.

What could have caused this abuse I wondered, sitting in my back yard? Then I sensed his presence again, and it asked for my help, because he was now inside of his house for a few minutes and did not want to go back out. I could hear the sound of strap come down on Benny’s back and eventually a door open and close.


After what I’d just experienced I was compelled to run down to the little brown house, with its giant yard, where Benny lived and kick some butt. At least that’s what I intended to do, until I heard from him again. No please don’t come over. I know what you’re thinking and I must tell you not to come. It isn’t safe. He has a riffle and he’s mad at me.

I tried to heed his warning but my emotions ran deep for Benny. I loved him and needed to save him, no matter what the risk.


In two minutes I had on my sneakers laced and a grabbed a baseball bat for protection, then raced down the street and up the honeysuckled pathway where he lived.

Noticing that Benny was still safe on his leash in back I felt, that in some way I’d be able to help him. If I could just warn his owner that if I ever saw him mistreating his dog again I will call the police, because after all it was a crime to abuse an animal. I’d almost forgotten that Benny was more than that to me.

Then a feeling overpowered me before I reached for the door bell. I see you. Come get me. Untie me. I was compelled to sneak around to the back yard and crawl over the fence to where he was tied up. Right here, I’m here, do you see me?

“Yes my friend. I’ll be right there.


I noticed that he was starting to bark while edging his way closer to the fence. This time I had to verbally warn him of my hopeful rescue. “This way boy, I’ll get you out of here.” After he heard my voice he quieted down and wagged his tail. I carefully followed the long rope to the pole where I untied it. Now let’s get you out of hear.

No please Dolin he’s coming. Save yourself.


I turned my head around and noticed the man with the rifle running around from the front of the door to the back yard, when I scooped up Benny in my arms and found a gate in the back leading to the ally. I unlatched it and ran. I could hear the shouting from the man behind us, and also heard someone else, running behind him; which both Benny and I hoped would be the law.


I took refuge for us on the side of a dumpster and eventually made my way back to my own yard gate .Out of breath I released the latch and set Benny down into my own yard and eventually into my home where he lived with me for as long as I can remember.

And as far as know there was never any notice of a missing dog anywhere; and as far as Benny and I commutating as before. It never happened again. Our connection was that of love for one being towards another and that was enough for us.

The End

Celebrate the Light

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

In honor of Winter Solstice, I invite you to



















Re-Finding the American Dream

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

If we could all live out our passions without greed and taking from others, the nation would not need Occupy Wall Street. I grit my teeth when I think about the hedge funds and stockholders that want to take their swipe from the corporate employees (not the CEOs, of course, who now earn rock star salaries).

But enough about politics.

I visited the Be You House earlier this month. Be You is the moniker for the Innovation Lab, an alternative program in Loveland, Colorado, that educates public school students by allowing them to identify, explore and follow their passions as opposed to prescribing their learning according to subject matter and state standards.

The Be You house is a 1910 Victorian home redesigned to fit the program with study, meeting and exploration spaces. I sat in the detox room, which is the starting point for students to let go of what is clogging their inner self, so that they can begin to be who they are.

I think too many of us are not living out who we are. Just drive somewhere and notice the angry, impatient drivers. Or listen to the public conversation about the shrinking middle class and the using up of the working class for fast profits.

Artists already know that they have to have some connection to their Be You-ness. Before creating something, colors, motions, sound and touch have to break the barrier of the skin and be internalized. They have to know what they want and love doing in order to create.

Too many people don’t know who they are, I think, because they are too busy surviving, be it to get the paycheck or to work corporate-demanded Energizer-rabbit hours. I find that when I try to fit into the corporate culture so that I can earn a paycheck, my Be You gets ignored or pushed aside and only peeks out when I start to notice nature or try to deep breathe.

In an offbeat sort of way, I think the protesters, or at least some of them, are tired of working or not working so that they can barely live. They are not living if there is no passion. They are just doing. They are not being. Being Free. Be You. That’s what I would define as the American Dream.