Today, I finished the first draft of CLODDY with about 70,000 words written. This is the length I had envisioned since the beginning of this book project. I must say it is a rough draft as I have much left to do. However, it feels good to have the basic structure of the story down on paper.

I have more additions and some deletions to make. I have to complete the many endnotes used in telling the story. Rewriting and more rewriting. Copy editing and story editing – along with a myriad of other details to complete the work.

I intend to self-publish for a variety of reasons including having creative control and the ability to release the book at an optimal time – which I plan to do in the fall.

I have so many to thank in this journey. Thank you for your encouragement and your interest!

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I have written 45,000 words of the first draft of “Cloddy.” I’m just finishing Chapter 10 which covers the 1958 championship season. I anticipate there will be 17 chapters in all and 70-75,000 words.

The next chapter will cover Dad’s summer in Peurto Rico coaching the Ponce team in the Peurto Rican Summer League. The family went to this Caribbean island as well. I was three and a half years old at the time and have limited recollection. I will rely on my siblings recollections as well as some research materials I have accumulated. One thing I do remember is the size of the mosquitoes descending upon the beach toward sunset.

A Beach in Puerto Rico

A Beach in Puerto Rico

I will also have to rely on a Spanish translator as some of my materials are written in Spanish and I know little to none of the language. This project is taking longer than I thought, but I like how it’s shaping up. It will need a lot of polishing as well as I am presently just trying to get the story on paper. Then I can start the first re-write.

Thanks for your interest! So many have been a great source of encouragement to me!


Last week, I spent a couple of days at Huron’s daily newspaper the “PLAINSMAN.” Editor Sean Kelley and the kind staff of the PLAINSMAN allowed me access to the newspaper’s archives – affectionately referred to by the staff as the “MORGUE.”

This large binder of PLAINSMAN newspapers from the early 1950's holds three months of newspapers.

This large binder of PLAINSMAN newspapers from the early 1950’s holds three months of newspapers.

Dad coached and taught at Huron High School from 1950-53 after a successful one year stint at Yankton High School. I researched to answer questions such as why he left Yankton and how the position in Huron came open and his experiences and accomplishments in Huron.


I learned Kansas Coach Phog Allen spoke at the Huron High School/Huron College Athletic banquet in 1951 and that Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp spoke in the spring of 1952. About 700 people attended these two events honoring the athletic teams.

My time at the PLAINSMAN was very productive and I learned some useful information which will be important in writing the chapter about dad’s three years in Huron. I was just a “twinkle in my daddy’s eye” in 1953, but would arrive a year later in the fall of 1954.



Last night at 9 p.m., the day before my birthday, I was devouring a few chicken wings at a local sports bar and washing them down with a tall, cold beer. Suddenly I blurted out to my friend, “I only have three more hours to be under 60!”


Other major birthdays haven’t affected me much. This one is a little different. I don’t feel any older, but I am feeling a sense of urgency. I have a few things I’d like to do in the latter third of my life – at least I hope I have a third left. I ought to be able to accomplish something in the next 30 years!

My present major project is the biography of my father “CLODDY.” I’m aiming for the fall of 2015. The pressure is on…

Anyway, getting back to my birthday, I’m thinking that “60 is the new 40.” Am I right?

I’d like to hear from some of my fellow forty-somethings!


A “TO STAY” MUG “TO GO.” Why I appreciate small town South Dakota.


In late July I was back in South Dakota to finish up my research and interviews for the first two chapters of CLODDY. I have written these chapters, but had some holes to fill. One hole to fill was dad’s time at Southern Teacher’s College from 1936 to 1938 when he earned a two year teaching degree.

“Southern” is located in Springfield, SD (pop. 792). The college was converted into a medium security prison in 1984 by then Governor Bill Janklow – to the chagrin of most of the town’s people and former Southern alums. Since the college no longer exists, a “Southern Teacher’s College Museum” was established. The museum is located on Springfield’s main street.

Upon arriving, I stopped at the community center and was given the name of a gentleman who sat on the museum’s board and had a key to the place. I called him and he met me there, showed me around for a few minutes and then let me have free run of the place. I wanted a cup of coffee so I ventured across the street to Player’s Sports Grill & Casino.

Player's Sports Grill & Casino in Springfield SD

Player’s Sports Grill & Casino in Springfield SD

I asked the woman behind the counter if they had coffee.

“Yes,” she said and pointed me to the coffee pot.

I went over to pour my coffee and asked her, “Do you have any ‘To go’ cups?”

“No,” she responded.

I had wanted to bring my coffee back to the museum while I did my research.

I poured myself a cup of coffee and asked the lady if I could bring the mug of coffee over to the museum where I was doing some research.

She kindly said, “Yes – but make sure to bring it back!”

I assured her I would and that I’d be back for lunch.

This is one of the reasons why I appreciate small towns in the state I’m proud to call my native state – South Dakota.

Why do you appreciate South Dakota?


In researching for the biography “CLODDY,” I have conducted roughly 50 taped interviews. Early on in the process, it was suggested that I one day donate this collection of audio interviews to the USD Oral History Department. I attended a class at USD on how to conduct an oral interview. The instructor recommended taking photos of the person being interviewed along with several other pointers on how to conduct a good interview.


In order to donate the interviews to USD, I needed to get authorization forms signed by the interviewees. I started sending them out four weeks ago and have received about 25 of them back. I am still in the process of sending the remainder of the forms out.

Receiving these forms and encouraging notes from the interviewees was an exciting event for me. THE CLODFELTER COLLECTION is now becoming a reality and I believe it will be a very special collection. I have interviewed several of Cloddy’s former players, two former coaches who competed against him in the North Central Conference, a former basketball official, friends, neighbors, and several former students from his high school teaching/coaching stints in Forestburg, Fedora, Alpena, Centerville, Yankton and Huron. Many of these students are now in their eighties and nineties. These were interesting conversations!

I have another 50 or so interviews to conduct. It seems each interview provides some interesting anecdotes, information and insight which are of great help to me in putting together the life adventures of Dwane Clodfelter.

A special thanks to all who have taken the time to share their recollections and stories and experiences!


I have recently taken a break from the “CLODDY” project. I started this project Labor Day of 2012 with the interviews of former USD basketball players Roger Nelson and Ken Mizerney – both members of the 1958 National Championship team. I then spent a couple of days in the USD library researching from Volante (USD student newspaper) microfilm beginning in 1949 thru 1967.

I have worked on this biography for about 18 months now. My goal is to get the book to the printer by September of 2015 and published in October of 2015 as the college basketball season heats up. The timing will also coincide with the holiday season.

My "saddle" at a nearby library.

My “saddle” at a nearby library.

After a needed break, I am back in the saddle with renewed enthusiasm. The book will contain 15-18 chapters along with a preface and epilogue. I like the way it’s shaping up and excited to complete it. I have the substance which I believe will make for a good story. I will also need to add to it a readable style with a little help from my friends.

I will be returning to South Dakota in a couple of weeks to complete my interviews and research for chapters one to three. Looking forward to this as each interview adds some fresh material to the story.

As a note, my father’s birthday is July 17. I miss him, but it’s been a joy writing “CLODDY.”.

Thanks for your interest.



Started running again today. I’ve had an on again, off again, love affair with running – mostly off again.

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I haven’t run in several months. So today I decided to go to a nearby soccer field and run sprints. To call it sprinting might be an exaggeration – it was more like plodding.

The soccer field was freshly mowed with soft, cushiony grass – good for the joints of a 59 year old. Soccer fields are good running venues. Flat. I don’t like hills. Hills aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

I decided on sprints of about 100 yards. Not 100 meters. Meters are longer than yards. Not everyone knows about this.

I set might sights on running about 10 sprints.

“That shouldn’t be too hard,” I thought.

It wasn’t – for the first 50 yards. Then I started gasping for breath. I crossed the finish line like a last place marathoner.

I did, however, successfully complete 5 sprints. Then the chest pains set in. I thought it might be a good idea to stop then. Drove home in a frenzy and chugged a couple of aspirin. It’s all good now…

I’m wanting to lose about 30 pounds. I don’t want to look like Rush Limbauigh when I start my book signing tour.

One can hope.


A “New Book Proposal” is what an author sends to potential publishers/agents/editors in order to create interest and convince a publisher that this is a book worth publishing. I have written a New Book Proposal for a past book project, so I have a template to follow and a little bit of experience. I will include the following in the New Book Proposal:


Book Title and sub-title

The first three chapters of the book. (In polished form. In this case, I am writing a preface, the first chapter on dad’s Woonsocket days, and the second chapter which will cover his high school coaching years.)

Chapter titles and chapter summaries.

Book Synopsis. (The story in a nutshell)

Who the audience will be. (In detail)

What is the competition. (I.e. Other books out there in this specific genre)

Who will endorse it.

Who will promote it.

A Marketing Plan (A USD business prof gave me a template for this. This is going to take some time and input from experts)

About the author. (Education, experience and prior writing projects)

As I am unsure yet whether to go the traditional publishing route or whether to self – publish, I may not even send it to very many publishers. Yet, I believe it is a worthwhile exercise and will help – whichever route the book takes. I may need to use it for potential endorsements as well.

I enjoy the process of putting a New Book Proposal together and especially the polished end product. That being said, it’s still a daunting task and I find myself procrastinating. However, once I get on a roll, it’ll get done. And hopefully help me in getting “Cloddy” written and published and sold successfully.

The journey continues and thank you for your interest!

WRITER’S DIGEST MAGAZINE: A Good Resource for Writers

For those of you interested in writing, I would recommend taking a look at the magazine “Writer’s Digest.” The magazine covers all facets of writing and all genres: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Free-Lance Writing, Humor, Marketing, Getting Published, Agents and Editors, Tips on Writing, Etc.

The recent May/June edition has an article entitled “101 Best Websites for Writers.” This listing alone is a very helpful resource which will take a writer to websites which are further sources of help. My wife recently bought me a subscription which I am looking forward to receiving.

CAVEAT: If you subscribe to their email list, you will receive multiple emails daily trying to sell you something – a few of which may be of help, but mostly spam from my perspective.

Good writing!