Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 15, 2017)
S moke S ignals
NOVEMBER 15, 2017
Tribal Elder Sam Dala keeps writing away
By Danielle Frost
Smoke Signals staff writer
On any given day, Tribal Elder
Samantha “Sam” Dala will be
sitting at her computer, letting
her imagination flow through her
fingertips as she strikes the keys.
Dala, who lives in Elder housing,
has been writing in some form since
she was 7 years old.
“I started with poetry,” Dala
says at the Elders Activity Cen-
ter. “I like to mess around with
it and try out different kinds of
writing. But I won’t write bloody,
Dala, 68, says she enjoys writing
“true crime”-style books and start-
ed a series, “A Special Case,” a few
years ago. It follows Detective Sam
and her friends on adventures as
they solve crimes.
Dala has another book being
released in November titled “The
Heist,” where the perpetrators rob
Fort Knox and the reader follows
the characters on twists and turns
“It is going to be so good,” she
Dala says she is inspired by what
she sees and hears in everyday life,
but doesn’t research her topics.
Instead, she starts writing and lets
the words spring to life on the page.
If you read one of her books and
come upon a character who seems
familiar, it’s probably not an acci-
“Everyone I know is in my books,”
she says. “So am I. My name is Dea
in most of my books.”
Dala also writes children’s books,
inspired by her 6-year-old grand-
daughter. “When she was 4, she
asked me why I didn’t write a drag-
With the holidays fast
approaching, Dala says
When inspiration from the usual
she is redoing her “Hol-
sources of television and online
ly Tones 1 and 2” books
browsing isn’t sufficient, Dala says
and reselling them.
she resorts to the time-tested meth-
Dala says she loves
od of many authors: Stop working
the holidays and al-
and do something else.
ready has hung her
“I go out, ride around on my
wheelchair and think of new things
“I had them up be-
to write about,” she says. “It’s no
fore Halloween so the
problem to come up with ideas. I
kids could see as they
have thought about branching out
stopped by,” she says.
to new topics, but am waiting for
She encourages as-
someone to bring it up.”
piring writers to “just
Of all of her current books, Dala
start from the begin-
says she loves the dragon series the
ning and go for it. Just
most because it was inspired by her
And how does Dala
“I wrote those mainly for them,”
know when her books
have reached a conclu-
Future goals include writing 20
books in the next year. “If I can do
“I just stop writing
that, I will be happy,” she says.
it,” she says. “You can
Besides writing books, Dala says
continue on later if you
her other hobbies include making
don’t know where to
blankets, word-find puzzles, and
writing poetry and songs.
Photo by Michelle Alaimo stop.”
But you won’t find her reading.
Tribal Elder Samantha Dala has written eight
“I hate to read,” she jokes.
books and she has more to be published.
When asked if there was anything
books and also sells
else she wants people to know about
them on Amazon and Barnes &
on book, so I did.”
her, Dala’s answer was simple.
Noble websites. Her books also are
That was two years ago. Dala
“Buy my books,” she says.
available for checkout at the Tribal
has since written five of the dragon
books. One features artwork from
The plot involves three dragons:
WALK-IN DENTAL APPOI NTMENTS FOR KIDS <6
mother, Lissy, and two small drag-
ons, Liz and Tess, who are learning
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY FOR DENTAL CHECK-UPS FOR KIDS 5 AND
how to make children happy by
UNDER WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO BE SEEN AT THE TRIBAL CLINIC.
magic and the life they live. The
JUST COME ON IN!
baby dragons' wings change colors
during any of our clinic hours without an ap-
when they are helping others.
are recommended beginning with the first
“I get bored, so I write,” Dala
says. “I just sit down and start
working. Especially as you get old-
er, there is not a lot to do.”
Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Dental Clinic
Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri 8:00—5:00; Thur 9:30-5:30
Gift Making Workshop
All are welcome!!
Join us and help make giveaway gifts
for Tribal Events hosted throughout
This is a wonderful way to be a part
of our tradition of giving, creating
gifts filled with good thoughts and
blessings for our fellow Tribal Fami-
lies and guests.
Main events: Plank house Birthday
Celebration, Restoration Celebration,
Round Dance, Canoe Journey, Youth
Powwow’s, Elder’s Honor day and
(the workshop is a year round event, future events will
be advertised at a later date)
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
at the Tribal
Sponsored by the Cultural
Education and Youth Prevention