Archive for the ‘Musings/Reminiscences’ Category

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

My Key West

February 7th, 2014 | Blog, Key West, Musings/Reminiscences | 19 Comments

Key West Sunrise Photo by Marsh Muirhead

Key West Sunrise  Photo by Marsh Muirhead 


Well, I’m back in Minnesota after a two-plus month sojourn in Key West, and I’m not a bit happy about it. Right now, as I’m writing this, it’s minus one, “bitterly cold,” with an overnight low of minus seventeen and dangerous wind chills as low as minus thirty-five. But hey, let’s not talk about the weather! Let’s go (at least in our minds) to Key West! I want to take you there!

We’ll get up every morning around sunrise. It won’t be hard to wake up, because we’ll have been awake since … Read More

The Loooong and Not Very Winding Road from Minneapolis to Key West

December 3rd, 2013 | Blog, Key West, Musings/Reminiscences | 23 Comments

That was a long trip!

That was a long trip!

I don’t know what Willie Nelson is talking about when he says he just can’t wait to get on the road again. If I never get on the road again, it will be too soon.  That’s what driving from Minneapolis to Key West, Florida, will do to you.  But I’m glad I did it.  I wanted to get the dawg and car down here for the next two plus months, and I wanted to see what it would be like to drive 1900 miles by myself.

What it is is looooong.  It’s five days and … Read More

Road Trip: Minneapolis to Key West

November 15th, 2013 | Blog, Key West, Musings/Reminiscences | 23 Comments

KW cropped MurfI’m about to join the ranks of Lewis and Clark, Amelia Earhart and Edmund Hillary. I’m about to become the overland equivalent of Diana Nyad.

I’m about to drive from Minneapolis to Key West.  By myself.  It’s never been done before.  By me, that is.

Correction: I’m not driving by myself.  Murphy is going with me.  Though I don’t expect him to do much of the driving.

Murf!  Always up for a road trip.  As long as it’s only to the grocery store.

I hope he doesn’t whine the whole way.  Or maybe that’s me.

I hope he’ll get back … Read More

A Vacation, a Reading, a Giveaway, a Finalist, a T-Shirt, a New Book . . .

September 16th, 2013 | Blog, Musings/Reminiscences, Self Publishing | 8 Comments

Hi, everybody,

Outer Banks: I could walk for miles and miles

Outer Banks: I could walk for miles and miles

I’ve been running around on the East coast the last couple of weeks, visiting the Atlantic south and north.  First was the Outer Banks, which I’d always wanted to visit, and loved, and then on to Maine, for Miles and Alan’s wonderful wedding in Belfast, and then to two islands, Isle au Haut and Vinalhaven, to visit friends.  Lots of lobster; in fact, I’m lobstered out for a while.  This trip required four layovers in the Newark airport–oof-da.  It was good to get home, although the house was hot, … Read More

The TODAY Show starts a Book Club and I miss Oprah!

August 23rd, 2013 | Blog, Musings/Reminiscences, New York City | 15 Comments

samantha shannon

Samantha Shannon

I don’t know about you, but I was initially mildly interested that the Today Show is instigating a monthly book club.  I remember the good ol’ days of Oprah’s book club.  Month by month it was exciting to see which book she’d choose next.  Almost invariably, they were worthy candidates: classics like Light in August or The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; challenging books like The Road or Night, well-known books like Love in the Time of Cholera, books by popular authors such as Barbara Kingsolver, Anita Shreve, Alice Hoffman, Toni Morrison, and sometimes even … Read More

Bob Dylan on a Summer Night in St. Paul

July 17th, 2013 | Blog, Musings/Reminiscences | 19 Comments

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, 1963 March on Washington, USIA (NARA) public domain from the National Archives

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, 1963 March on Washington, USIA (NARA) public domain from the National Archives

My friend Miles emailed to ask how the Bob Dylan Concert was.

“Croak, croak, croak,” I responded.  “You couldn’t tell one song from another.  No one even recognized “Tangled Up in Blue.”  He was about the size of a peanut from where we sat.  And it was a GREAT NIGHT!  Just the whole damn thing. Open air (small) stadium, beautiful summer night, mellow crowd of about 14,000.  Two really GREAT warm-up bands — My Morning Jacket and Wilco  — couldn’t have enjoyed it … Read More

Paulette (Tries to) Thin Out Her Books: Part I

July 2nd, 2013 | Blog, Gender Issues, Musings/Reminiscences | 16 Comments

IMG_1580I now have behind me the arduous task of self-publishing and promoting my novel The Answer to Your Question, and I finished teaching my on-line course on June 14th.  I set myself the deadline of July 1 to start working on my Willie Earle novel again.  I’ve signed up for Freedom, the software that blocks you from the Internet for whatever period you choose, and I’m going to try to work every morning for a few hours, without fail.  I know how important that is, and how hard it can be to do.

But in the two-week … Read More

The Reluctant Self-Publisher Reluctant No More

February 22nd, 2013 | Blog, Musings/Reminiscences, Self Publishing, The Reluctant Self-Publisher | 12 Comments

Reluctant No More

Reluctant No More

Last Wednesday night at Subtext Bookstore in St. Paul, on a cold winter night (13 degrees), I had the publication reading for THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION, the novel I recently published.  I had done a series of blog posts called “The Reluctant Self-Publisher,” noting my reservations about self-publishing.  But now I’m reluctant no more. I’m so glad the novel is published, even if I had to do it myself.  I’m even happy about that.  The reading confirmed for me that it was the right thing to do.

I was so pleased with the … Read More