Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

A Writing Residency at Rensing Center in Pickens, South Carolina

September 25th, 2015 | Blog | 9 Comments

This morning I woke to a voice in my head:

“They were the best and the brightest, you might say, and I looked up to them. They were seniors and I was only a sophomore but a couple of us were in the NAACP Youth group together at Sterling. One day in March–this was in 1960–when we were having burgers at the Huddle across the street from school, Ben Downs told how he’d gone to Greenville Senior High to take the college entrance exam. He was a brain for sure, and later we’d learn that he had scored in the Read More


September 11th, 2014 | Blog | 0 Comments

unforgettablecover153Stories of aging, loss, grief, death and Alzheimer’s — Hey, what’s not to like!

Click here to get your free ebook of UNFORGETTABLE: SHORT STORIES–through September 15 on Amazon.


It put me to sleep . . .

It put me to sleep . . .













Here’s hoping it won’t put YOU to sleep!… Read More

Amazon, Hachette, The New York Times, and Me

August 14th, 2014 | Blog, Self Publishing, The Reluctant Self-Publisher | 10 Comments

I wish she'd stop writing all those stupid emails and play bally with me

I wish she’d stop writing all those stupid emails and play bally with me

I’ve been following the power struggle between Amazon and Hachette with great interest. It’s so complex, with so many issues, and involves so many positions, voices, opinions and high stakes that I can’t take sides nor do I want to. I don’t have a dog in that fight. But I did have a thought about it. I sent my two bits to the New York Times, and my letter to the editor appeared in the August 14th paper:

To the Editor:

I’m one of the

Read More

My Apologies for Shooting a Blank Yesterday!

July 22nd, 2014 | Blog, Musings/Reminiscences, Willie Earle novel | 6 Comments

Dear Blog subscribers:

I apologize for the errant email that Mailchimp sent you yesterday. I’m having my website transferred to GoDaddy, and a new version of WordPress installed. According to my guy Cory, an old plug-in (don’t ask me–I don’t know a plug-in from a bathtub stopper) triggered Mailchimp to post the notice that the new WordPress sent–not just to me, but to all of you. Hello World indeed! Sorry!

Cory is Cory Laux at and he’s swell. If you need a website or help with WordPress, I recommend him. He knows a widget from a washer and communicates … Read More

Unplugged: A Writing Retreat at Clare’s Well

June 16th, 2014 | Blog, Musings/Reminiscences, Process, Willie Earle novel | 24 Comments

Clare's Well

Clare’s Well 

I just spent four nights at Clare’s Well, a Franciscan Sisters’ Spirituality Farm in Annandale, MN, about sixty miles from the Twin Cities. For the time I was there, I was unplugged, in more ways than one. There was no Internet in my “hermitage,” though there is in the main farmhouse, where the nuns who run the place live. I went to get away from email and Internet, from TV, newspapers, news, music, airplanes passing overhead, traffic, city life, cooking and cleaning, my husband and dog, and most of all my distracted, busy self. I went there … Read More

Unforgettable Gets a Thumbs Up in St. Paul Pioneer Press

May 25th, 2014 | Blog, Short Stories, Unforgettable: Short Stories | 7 Comments

unforgettablecover153Mary Ann Grossmann, Books Editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, gave Unforgettable: Short Stories a nice boost in her “Readers and Writers” column in the Sunday, May 25, 2014 issue of the newspaper:

“Unforgettable” by Paulette Alden (Radiator Press, $4.99 ebook, $13.99 paperback, free at Amazon Prime)

Minnesotan Alden jokes that she went from “The Reluctant Self-Publisher” to “The Obnoxious Self-Promoter” when she self-published her book “The Answer to Your Question.” Now she’s hoping readers will look for her new — and wonderful — story collection.

These nine stories feature Miriam Batson, the author’s persona from her collection “Feeding Read More

A Writer Learns about Creative Process from Two Artists: Hopper and O’Keeffe

May 5th, 2014 | Blog, Process | 7 Comments

“So much of every art is an expression of the subconscious, that it seems to me most of all the important qualities are put there unconsciously, and little of importance by the conscious intellect. But these are things for the psychologist to untangle.” —Edward Hopper

hopper night office sketch

Hopper study for Office at Night

Whenever I’m trying to write something, it helps to remember that most works go through stages of a creative process.  Even something like this blog post—and I’m not saying I’m penning War and Peace here—follows a somewhat predictable series of steps. I never get what I’m after the … Read More

Would You Like a Free Copy of Unforgettable: Short Stories?

April 22nd, 2014 | Blog, Self Publishing, Short Stories, The Reluctant Self-Publisher, Unforgettable: Short Stories | 2 Comments

unforgettablecover153I’d like to send you a copy of my new book of short stories–either the paperback or a Mobi or epub file which you can “sideload” to your Kindle or Ipad.  Free. No strings attached.

Well, there is one small string.

I’m looking for readers and reviews.  So the catch is if you like the stories, you give me a review on Amazon, and maybe Goodreads. Why reviews? Because reviews–good ones, that is–bring more readers, who write more reviews, which bring more readers . . .

I published Unforgettable: Short Stories in February. Unlike The Answer to Your Read More

Writers, ARISE! Sitting is the New Smoking!

April 2nd, 2014 | Blog | 11 Comments

Desk from Ikea parts (dog not included)

Desk from Ikea parts (dog not included)

I’m writing you standing up.  My husband Jeff constructed a new stand-up desk for me with $38.58 (including tax!) worth of Ikea parts.  This because—in case you haven’t heard—sitting is the new smoking. No kidding. The more you sit, the poorer your health and the earlier you die.  And if anyone has sat on her derriere forever, c’est moi. It’s an occupational hazard for writers, not to mention just about everyone else who works in an office and/or at a computer.

I read a couple of articles about “the new smoking” … Read More

Examining a Passage from The Goldfinch

March 26th, 2014 | Blog, Craft, Novel Authors, Novel Reviews, Process | 8 Comments

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch 

I posted earlier on the brilliant, beautiful novel The Goldfinch.  I had to do so in broad swaths, given how dense in character and plot the novel is, just to give you a taste of it. But now I want to go back and drill down on just one passage, to analyze what makes the writing—to me, at least—so marvelous. There are so many paragraphs I could choose, but I was particularly taken with the following description of how Hobie, the furniture restorer who takes in the young, homeless Theo, trains him in the art and craft … Read More