Information about our most recent meetings is available via a link on the “Welcome” page.  (To the left)

Visit the “Programs” page (to the left) to learn about our next meeting and other writer related events.


W now post current and most recent columns from our President, our Editor/Web-master, and any member or guest who wishes to contribute to ensure everyone sees them.

(Newest is at the top)




          Looks like, once again, we ain’t gonna meet.  But someday…


          During this break in the action, I got to thinking:  At my age I’ve seen a thing or two (Sounds like a Farmers Insurance commercial?) so I’ve been jotting down experiences as they float through my brain.  The list consists of interesting (read: weird) events in which I have been involved over the years, hoping that, in this way, the grandkids would know a little more about their Grandy – sort of another memoir, a follow-up to my celebrated Book All the Teachers.

          Long chapters are currently being written regarding these incidents, but those are for another time.  This newsletter has room for only a few events with a brief description of each.  So, for your entertainment pleasure since there’s not much else to do during this pandemic, here they are! (in no particular order – well, sorta chronological order):

          When in fourth grade, my best friend and I noticed that we had left a Hula Hoop in his backyard.  That led to an epiphany (which I later traded for an accordion):  I ran home to retrieve my set of darts, ran back, and we began to lob the darts at the Hula Hoop.  We had just invented Lawn Darts! - but were too inexperienced and/or dumb to apply for a patent. 

          In 1966 our college garage band was invited to play at the famous Coulee City Friday Night Dance.  (We got the gig only because our audition tape was actually a copy of the Yardbirds’ For Your Love album.) This occasion saw our drummer (me) tumble off a six-foot riser, our lead guitarist break several strings, a few audio problems – and our bassist never did show.  The mayor paid us, but asked us never to return.

          While driving down Division Street one day, I noticed a young man in a striped referee shirt wrestling with another young man in the parking lot of the old Footlocker (which is now Fred’s Ding and Dent Center.)  I pulled into the lot, jumped out, and was told by the referee that the young man he was hanging onto had stolen some shoes.  While the referee ran back inside to phone the police I was left holding onto the perp.  He eventually was able to free himself from my grasp, but another Good Samaritan helped me chase and tackle the shoplifter a half-block away.  After we did all the hard work, the cops finally showed up.

          Well, Dave has informed me, “That’s enough of a space-filler.  They aren’t that bored.” So, I’ll end it here.

Stay well and keep writing (memoirs, maybe?),






          Hello, SASP members. Finding speakers in the current COVID-19 world has been out of the realm of reality.  Since that’s not an option, and since trying to get someone in the area to submit a video has been without success so far, I’ve decided to share some of the information that’s out there on the internet. I have attended web-based free sessions put on by the ALLi folks and found them to be useful.  As with any speaker, podcast, or other resource, I would advise you to take what information you find useful and leave the rest.

          There are a lot of people of questionable character out there who prey on self-published authors.  There are even more people who want to help us succeed.  The two ladies involved in this podcast have donated a lot of time to help fellow independent authors.  They also offer books and services which cost money, as most business people do.

          I hope you enjoy the information presented here.  The link will take you to the ALLi website, which also contains additional free information.

          In this month's #AskALLi Advanced Salon, Orna Ross and Joanna Penn talk about the tools, software, and services they use that are the most advantageous for independent authors—from writing to formatting to planning, sales tracking, accounting, and more.

          The post The Most Useful Tools, Software, and Services for Independent Authors, with Orna Ross and Joanna Penn: Advanced Self-Publishing Podcast appeared first on Alliance of Independent Authors: Self-Publishing Advice Center.


About the Hosts:

        Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author, as well as writing non-fiction for authors. She is also a professional speaker and entrepreneur, voted as one of The Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals 2013.  She spent 13 years as a business IT consultant in large corporations across the globe before becoming a full-time author-entrepreneur in September 2011.  For more information about Joanna, visit her website at:



        Orna Ross launched the Alliance of Independent Authors at the London Book Fair in 2012. Her work for ALLi has seen her named as one of The Bookseller’s “100 top people in publishing”. She also publishes poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and is greatly excited by the democratising, empowering potential of author-publishing. For more information about Orna, visit her website at: http://www.ornaross.com

Sue Eller




     As bad as this pandemic is, there are a few positive things I’ve noticed. One is that with fewer people running around in their cars, our air has gotten cleaner. And being an animal lover, I’m happy to see wild animals are more free and have more space to roam around. These are good things and I hope we take these lessons to heart after things return to normal.

     Wearing masks, it seems, has become a political issue. To me, it’s a health issue. Since I can’t get my seasonal allergy shots right now, because the clinic where I go is shut down until further notice, I’ve discovered that when I wear a mask outdoors, I don’t have any hay fever  or asthma. Usually, this is the worst time of year for me. One mask that has been helpful to me is the one I purchased right after Mount St. Helen’s erupted 40 years ago! The other mask that I use was made and sent to me by fellow SASP author Joyce Caudel. She also made one for Bob. Thanks, Joyce!

     Another positive thing is that my mini thumb piano finally arrived after six weeks. It traveled by mail for almost one month through China. Finally it arrived in California. Then for some reason it was sent to Indiana, then to Nevada, then Spokane. The outer packaging was quite tattered, but the piano inside was okay. So now I’m learning how to play it by looking at tutorials online.

Will sign off for now. Miss our meetings and I miss you all! Stay healthy!

Esther J. Hildahl




          How many of you have seen the social media blurb that says, “I do my best editing right after I hit ‘send?’”  I ask because as I sit to write this month’s note, I see, “because off changes…” instead of “because of changes…”   That was the opening phrase of last month’s column.  I appreciate the fact that no one contacted me to complain or point it out, but then I wonder if anyone even noticed.  Mistakes slip by and we don’t notice, nor apparently does anyone else.  To me, it’s a great reason to have as many sets of eyes as possible go over our work.  The chances of catching a small error like that get better with each additional person that takes a look at it.

          I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone who has sent material to be included in both last month’s and this month’s issues of SASP NEWS.  It would be great if we continued this trend.  After all, we are writers!

          In regards to the current health and social situation, I’d say we are on the back stretch, about ready to enter the final turn.  Maybe we are already into the turn.  We have a ways to go, but we are getting closer to the finish line and a return to some semblance of normalcy.  I just hope that society as a whole doesn’t rush things and trip before reaching the finish line.  I don’t think any of us would want to go through all this again.  And honestly, I’m not speaking about the health implications, only the social distancing, “stay at home” aspects of it.  The sooner that ends, and ends for sure, the sooner we can resume meeting in person.

          I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m still measuring fuel economy “weeks per gallon?”  I last bought gas in February, and as we approach the end of May, I still haven’t needed to get gas. 





          I’ve now been around the sun 74 times, and I’ve never experienced anything like this latest turn of events!  The Great Depression of the 1930s was before my time, but I’m sure it was devastating for many families.  And the Spanish Flu of 1918 must have been horrendous.  (World War I and II weren’t so great either.)  But this corona virus is an odd and dreadful disease.

          What a strange world we are currently living in.  Some things are normal, some aren’t: I can see, talk to, and do things with my wife as if nothing had happened, but I can only talk to my kids, grandkids, and friends via phone, text, or email.  (I’m a troglodyte, as I don’t tweet or Instagram.)

          Some businesses are greatly affected, some aren’t:  Had a leaky outside faucet.  It just needed two washers, but it was not worth my life to go to Home Depot so a plumber was hired.  When he finished, he was handed a check – outside - by a masked me.  I asked him how his company was doing during the pandemic.  He replied that it was doing better than ever.  (Guess all the people now stuck at home are finally noticing repairs that had been neglected.)  Other businesses are all but wiped out – restaurants, hotels, airlines, independent book stores, and other small enterprises that were deemed nonessential.

          Hope it ends soon, but covid-19 seems to like to stick around. 

          We’ll all meet again one day.  Hang in there.


          On a brighter note:  I’m sure you’re all (except Bob M) missing my puns, so here are two fine examples from two of my most reliable sources.

1.     Cows have hooves because they lactose.

2.     I always buy my guns from a dude they call “T-Rex.”

He’s a small arms dealer.

Stay safe and keep writing,





          Because off changes to about every part of existence brought on by the Corona Virus and the Stay Home orders, a lot of what would be in SASP NEWS is non-existent.  So a few days ago I put out a call to our members for inputs.  I thought this might be a good time for us to share excerpts from our work, book reviews we written or reviews others have provided of our work.  Today, nearly a week before I plan to send out the May issue of SASP NEWS, I’ve received several items for inclusion in it.

          Depending upon how much material I get, I will, if necessary, expand the newsletter from its usual maximum length.  (I’ve always tried to limit newsletters to ten pages/five sheets of paper total, as I’ve found that’s the maximum that can be sent with one first class postage stamp.  In this day and age, the vast majority of copies go by way of e-mail.  If, in these extraordinary times it takes more postage to send a copy of our newsletter to those few who still get it that way, we will do that.)  If there is enough material that I cannot get it into the current (expanded) issue, I’ll put it in the next.  Very possibly that will be an expanded/extended issue as well.

          By the way, how many of you now measure fuel economy for your vehicles in “weeks per gallon?”  I last bought gas in February, and as we approach May I’m not at the point where I absolutely need to get gas. 




STAYING AT HOME (previous)


          Like most of you, I have been staying at home. I’ve only been out three times since the coronavirus pandemic started and everything was shut down. Bob and I have masks, but they are old and not in very good shape. So we have ordered more masks, but we don’t get them until May or June.  Then, of course, this is the time I came down with TMJ—jaw pain caused by clenching my teeth at night. So after going to the dentist, I’m doing exercises, eating soft foods, and putting ice or hot packs on my jaw twice a day.

          Bob had to replace our washing machine that broke and replace his coffee pot that went out, which was a tragedy for Bob since he can’t live without his twelve cups of coffee per day. Also, since out dog groomer is closed, he’s been trimming our poodle’s face. She looks pretty good, considering she is way overdue for a grooming.

          Other than that, I’m surprised how well we have adjusted to staying home.  However, I find that I get distracted more often and I have been ordering more stuff on line than I ever have, including a mini thumb piano, which is an old African instrument with 17 keys. It’s coming from China so I don’t know when it will arrive. Nevertheless, I am getting some writing and illustrating done on my current book of short stories.

          Here’s something I learned from an old Reader’s Digest (November 2019): Do you know what words are called that are their own opposites? They are called contronyms.  For example, left can mean departed or remaining; off can mean deactivated (to turn off) or activated (the alarm went off). There are many more that we use every day.

Will sign off for now. Miss our meetings and I miss you all!

Esther J. Hildahl





Spokane Authors & Self-Publishers

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