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Laser Focus

Inability to focus is a common problem. For writers, it’s almost a work hazard. Our job is to let our minds wander, to follow a train of thought in the hope that it will lead to innovation.

There’s a very fine line between opening the psyche to allow The Muse to enter, and being blindly led by the latest shiny object.

The way to perfect the former and avoid the latter is through deliberate practice. One strategy that has worked wonders for me is daily meditation using the programs developed by Andy Puddicombe and the team at headspace.com.

Do your work, then check it out.

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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