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Starting Over

Friends of mine are visiting from out of town; one of whom is a talented young pianist. Prior to supper, she sat at my piano and (from memory) played several classical and jazz pieces. Listening to her inspired me to begin playing again.

I’ve studied off and on for years and have been meaning to get back at it, but starting over is hard. It means admitting failure (no matter how temporary). It requires taking several steps back and covering old ground. We can’t help but compare our current skill level to the one we once had and of course, we find ourselves lacking. Every time we start and stop, our self-confidence takes a beating.

Resistance loves this. Our egos hate it.

This scenario is as true of writing as it is of music. Picking up an abandoned manuscript is tough. The first few months of work will probably be no fun at all, but putting in those challenging hours is necessary. Berating ourselves for having lost momentum is a waste of time. The only thing that matters is that we start again. Start from wherever we are now with whatever we’ve got now.

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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Masquerade