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Mrs. Lincoln

I heard a quote recently that was attributed to Abraham Lincoln’s mother.

“The beginning of Wisdom is not imposed by discipline, but the beginning of Wisdom is first the desire for discipline, the love of it, the voluntary choice of it.”

I can’t say I’ve ever thought about discipline in quite this way before. I hear lots of talk in the writing community about writer’s block, procrastination, lack of time to write and so on. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a writer say he has a desire for discipline.

What would happen if we had a burning desire for a disciplined writing practice? If we loved sitting down at the same time every day to write, how might our productivity improve? If we voluntarily chose to be disciplined writers, how would our mastery of the craft improve?

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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