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Know Thine Enemy, Part 1

Overwhelm is brutal. Resistance loves to whip it out every now and then. It spins it as writer’s block, because that’s a much easier pill to swallow than admitting we’re in over our heads (even temporarily).

Writer’s block has such a lovely ring to it, doesn’t it? It’s romantic. It absolves us of responsibility.

Too bad it’s utter nonsense.

If we take the time to figure out what’s keeping us from writing, we can come up with a strategy. When overwhelm is the problem, the solution is to break the project down into the smallest possible tasks. Focus on writing just one scene. If that’s still to much, focus on the inciting incident or a scene outline.

Whatever it takes to do the work.

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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