Nov 042014

Just ReleasedCat Naps & Doggie Snorts – the Joy of Sleeping with Critters

Why are Rover and Kitty sleeping in your bed?
Taboo or must do – you decide!

San Francisco, CA…In the newly released book, Cat Naps & Doggie Snorts – the Joy of Sleeping with Critters, Author and Book Coach Francine Brevetti shares heartwarming real life stories of people sleeping with their pets – dogs and cats, rabbits, rats, birds, horses, pigs and a snake. Yes, a snake.

You’ll see why the persistent little critters depicted in these stories have won the hearts of their human companions. Touching and laugh-out-loud funny, these tales may move the reader to  to make room for Rover at the foot of their bed. Or under the covers.

Found to be comforting and therapeutic for both owner and pets alike, sleeping with pets is no longer considered unhealthy or taboo. So often, pets are considered to be members of the family and are treated as such with an honored place in the master’s bed. Their presence is soothing and beneficial.

But there are some bumps in the night as well, for instance, the occasional eviction of a 60-pound dog or little ankle-biter from the bed not to mention spats between spouses about who should sleep where.

One of the highlights of the book is a story told by Grace from South Carolina. She and her husband own two cats, three dogs and a bird. The runt of the menagerie is little Brooklyn, a rescued Toy poodle with only three legs. Brooklyn has no idea he’s missing a leg and runs circles around the other dogs and cats and constantly teases Chewy the Love bird. When it comes time to go to sleep Brooklyn gets his choice of coveted spots on the bed nestled between Grace and her husband. No one argues with feisty little Brooklyn!

This book will make a wonderful holiday gift for any pet owner, young or old. Now available on for $14.95 and on Kindle.

Author Francine Brevetti is a journalist and book coach who teaches people how to write books about their families or companies. For more information about the author visit

To purchase, log on to

 Posted by at 8:27 pm
Oct 222014

If you think you’ve done all you can to promote your business – through your website, advertising and social media – think again.

Your name as author on the cover of your book will boost your credibility sky high. And you will join the ranks of those whom the media pursue for interviews.

Think you could never do it? Don’t have the time or the writing skills? Or don’t know whether to find a ghostwriter or a book coach?

Business Journalist, Author, Ghostwriter and Book Coach, Francine Brevetti will share usable tips on how to begin writing a book about your business that will add the instant credibility and clout that wins new prospects and clients. Ms. Brevetti will be speaking on Wednesday, November 5 at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
In this presentation you will learn:

  • How to create content for your book
  • How to get started writing and keep writing
  • How to use your book to market your business**
  • How to choose and work with a ghostwriter or book coach.

Why not get one step ahead of your competition and attend this enlightening and entertaining presentation? Reserve your seat now by contacting the Commonwealth Club at

Where: The Commonwealth Club
595 Market Street, San Francisco
When: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

Who knows? There just might be a book in your future!

**Fifty-six percent of business owners who have written a book about their business have experienced an increase in queries from prospects.
For more information or to make a reservation, call 415-397-7830 or e-mail

 Posted by at 8:31 am
Oct 112014

I am befuddled.

I see lots of people marketing courses on how to write a book in 30 days or 2 weeks or whatever.
The latest edition of the esteemed Writers Journal touts the headline: “Write a Book in a Month”.

What’s the rush to write your book? I must admit even I am offering a two-month a three-month course which you can see on the home page on my website,
Do I have to justify this? It’s where the market is heading.

I’m not sure a book need be attempted in such a short time. The only reason I can see is for marketing purposes – you, the writer, are an entrepreneur and feel you need to keep up with the competition and expose your product or service. And of course. in these days of digital publishing, it’s easier to write a book; so more people are doing it. Another case of technology leading us by the nose.

Another understandable reason for throwing yourself headlong into a book project is to get it over with because you have so many other things to do. Now this is a far sight better than what most people do – put off the book project because they think they don’t have the time.So it never gets written, does it? Of course this mindset merely means that the book is not a priority.

My recent book, Cat Naps and Doggie Snorts, took me 2 ½ years to write. That’s a respectable period of time. Not too long and not too short. It’s the Goldilocks span of time.

If you are aiming to write a book in 30 days, are you really savoring the experience? Are you truly enjoying the research, the interviewing, the structuring, looking for the right word, shaping your thoughts and attending to their flow? Having the exquisite experience of articulating something that had been subconscious for so long?

Author, only you can decide.

For a complimentary consultation on  how to start and strategize your book,  merely ask me.

 Posted by at 4:14 am
Oct 032014

Recently I gave a talk to a community group that offers events and lectures to its members. About 14 people had come to learn how to write their life story. An enthusiastic group, they seemed quite motivated to continue their manuscripts on their own.

But I became conscious of a gap in my instruction that I intend to amend from now on.  Frequently I have instructed my workshop participants to write in class a scene from their lives. But as it happened Sunday, I received instead from some participants a compressed review of their life story, a kind of telescoped summary.

So I’m taking this opportunity to describe what a scene is and should consist of in a manuscript. Just as in a movie or in the theater, a scene in a manuscript is a narrative of a specific time and place with specific people interacting .

People  without writing experience or writing instruction who write their memoirs tend to write a summary of their life experience, avoiding whether consciously or not any dramatic interludes they may have experienced.

For instance: instead of telling me, the reader, that your parents were strict disciplinarians, describe to me the conversation you had with them about your dating behavior. Answering questions such as: Where did it take place? How old were you? What were you each doing at that time? Were you eating dinner or washing the car? Describe the surroundings and the weather if that’s pertinent.

What was your parent’s tone? How did you feel and express yourself to your mother or father? What limits did they insist you adhere to? How did you react? How did the activity that you were engaged in change because of the tone and content of your interactions? Did you throw the sponge down and walk away? Did you slam the door?  Did one of you give the other an ultimatum? How did the interaction end?

The permutations are infinite, limited by only your personal and particular life experience in this situation.

The people who read your memoir want more than a synopsis of your life. They want the drama of your life. They want the emotional life you and those around you experienced. And the best way to do this is by being really specific about key interactions and events in your life. Don’t forget the feelings! Don’t forget what it sounded like, smelled like, felt and tasted like.

 Posted by at 1:10 am
Sep 262014

Playing with Your Gray  Matter #2

In our last posting, we explained how to stimulate your brain to create new ideas and associations that are lying under the surface of your consciousness.

Here’s a link to our former discussion.

Suppose you are developing a project and/or book and you’ve drafted a mind map starting with the topic’s name as the central kernel. You’ve drawn branches and associations, added colors, cartoons and symbols. Right?

But to turn your idea cluster into prose, you don’t stop there. Each one of the little pods, symbols or tentacles in your mind map will be the basis for yet another illustration.

Say your mind map topic is about “landscaping.” Through your clustering and sketching new ideas on the map, that topic blossoms into many other subtopics. Each subtopic can be a new map. So for instance a landscaping subtopic might be “tree.”  This in turn can be the kernel of another mind map, under which you grow associations for deciduous or non-deciduous, flowering or not, height or color or position in your garden.

You may go on to create another map about shrubbery or night blooming flowers, each with its own subdivisions and branches of thought and content.

At some point with all of this drafting and cartooning, you get a gut feeling. You have created several clusters that illustrate all the content you’ve unearthed from your thoughts. Your insides say, “I’m done.”

No, this is not a scientific measurement; it’s an intuitive one. You know when you know.
There is no right way to do this. Only your way.

You stand back and peruse all of your illustrations. With your intuition and your wisdom, you make decisions about what comes first in your text. If you’ve been detailed enough and created enough content on the mind maps, your prose can flow.

Write quickly, write badly and write a lot.  Editing comes later; that’s when the left side of your brain goes to work and not before.

Here are some great books on mind mapping:

  • The Mind Map Book by Tony Buzan
  • Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico

Have fun and write your book.

 Posted by at 8:29 pm
Sep 112014

We’ve talked about research and brainstorming, basic steps for starting your book. Seems like we put those backwards, didn’t we? We’re going back again one more step. Hold on.
Before brainstorming with your colleagues or friends, discover the delight of brainstorming with yourself with only blank paper and colored pens or pencils.
Tony Buzan, a British psychologist and educator, developed the idea of diagramming our thoughts the way the brain creates them, that is, radially. Start with the core idea and let it explode and blossom on paper. For examples of expressive mindmaps, go to or


Buzan says: “A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which …harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.”

Sounds pretty heavy? Actually, it can be quite simple. Think of doodling on paper and letting your mind make all the associations it wants. Start in the center of the page with an image of the topic, using color(s). Or maybe just a word. I can’t draw even a crooked line so I use words and labels as my symbols.

Print key words or images that describe your idea, each symbol sitting on its own line. Most important – the lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The lines become thinner as they radiate out from the center.

Each image, symbol, label, or cartoon you add  stimulates the three pounds of whoopee cushion between your ears. Your brain is meanwhile  creating relationships visually and kinetically as you draw connections. In a relaxed way, you unearth ideas and associations that are lurking below your conscious level.

Give it a try. Have fun. Don’t judge yourself. Then proceed to brainstorming with others if you wish. And then do your research. That’s a good order for writing your book.

Alert: if you search online the word “mind mapping,” you will find many software companies that want to sell you their programs. Really, you can do this by yourself. But do visit these sites to see how they illustrate the process.

NEXT POSTING: Now that I have a mind map, how do I proceed to write?

 Posted by at 9:50 pm
Sep 012014

Madam Brevetti Will Tell Your Future

                September 7, 2 PM to 5 PM, Fort Mason, San Francisco

Ghostwriter and book coach Francine Brevetti will help you chart the future of the book you want to write or are writing. Enjoy a 15-minute consultation with her on how to start and proceed with your manuscript – for the measly entrance fee of $20 at the Awakened Living Expo.

At the Awakened Living Expo you will have the opportunity to meet 15 spiritual and holistic practitioners for “mini sessions” and also connect with a community of people dedicated to awakening spiritual consciousness on our planet!

For only $20, you will also receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win gift certificates for FULL SESSIONS with our practitioners.


Sally Faubion, Numerologist:

Carsten Spencer, Energy Alignment Practitioner:

Emanuel, Sound Healer:

Dr. Kirsten Hill, Chiropractor:

Lenora Swan, Oneness Blessing Giver:

Francine Brevetti, Ghostwriter and Book Coach: That’s me!

Leslie Ye-Murata, Reiki Infused Jewelry Designer:

Odessa Perez, Theta Healing and Energy Work:

Sahina Grinczer, Soul Coach and Emotional Clearing Counselor:

Alison Williams, Reiki Practitioner:


Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd
Building C, Room C260
San Francisco, CA 94123

The Awakened Living Expo is a fundraiser for Awakened Living,, a community led by TJ Woodward, spiritual counselor, life coach, interfaith minister, registered addiction specialist intern.; 415.410.4800

Francine Brevetti also offers a free consultation at a time convenient to you. You learn How to start and proceed on the book you have envisioned for so long

 Posted by at 1:48 am
Aug 302014


Isn’t the word brainstorm an interesting one? You get the visual impression of ideas whirling about in your head and blasting out of it, yes?

Our last newsletter was about research. But now I want to go back one step in the process – how to generate ideas.

People often ask me how to start writing their books. Obviously the place to start is in your brain – even if your inspiration comes from without.

An advertising executive Alex F. Osborn developed the idea of brainstorming back in 1939. He was frustrated when his ad-writing employees could not stoke up their imaginations to write effective ad campaigns.

Essentially brainstorming is this: take the time to think and propose multiple solutions without criticism. Best if you do it with other people who are equally committed to coming up with ideas without judgment. Judgment inhibits your creativity – not to mention your self-esteem.

And when I say a lot of ideas – I mean the most ridiculous, unfeasible and ineffective ones as well. Let your imagination go. Who knows? There may be elements of those that you can use.

Here is another tip: record your idea-generating conversations. Listening back to the tape or MP3 file may  generate more ideas or give you new perspective. It’s not a waste of time! You have to generate ideas before you can focus on your vision. Expand first, narrow down later.

Get a pen and pencil and doodle. So what if you can’t draw a crooked line? Doodle about the book project or something completely different. Doodling may get your critical mind off the task enough for you to loosen up and deliver some pearls.

Far and away I always recommend mind mapping. More on that next time.

Wordfully yours, Francine

Francine Brevetti is an author, ghostwriter and book coach. She offers a complimentary consultation to anyone who is considering embarking on a book.

 Posted by at 9:33 pm
Aug 212014


When starting a writing project – or any project – confusion and blank stares are normal. We are often advised: break the task down into parts. No one says how many or which parts, however, do they?

Lately I’ve heard this new bit of advice: R&D. No, not research and development. Rather “rip off and distribute” – in other words, entrepreneurial plagiarism. Full disclosure: I do this too. I occasionally take someone else’s idea or information and reframe it according to my lights. Then it’s mine.

But I have two other suggestions for starting a project: brainstorm and research. (I’ll address brainstorming in another newsletter.)  Right now here are some suggestions on research. Since I deal with people’s manuscripts and books, I’ll use this task as an example of how to go forward with research, although you could easily use these guidelines for any project.

  • Determine the problem your book/project will solve. What is your intended reader’s pain that you are proposing to resolve? Answering these questions gives you the essential focus and direction to proceed.
  • Discover content from the Internet and bookstores; consult librarians. As you research other sources on the same subject you gather more ideas for your content.

You do this also for competitive advantage – in other words – you begin to see how will your book or project will be different from others.

  • Make a list of experts to interview on your subject. Interview these people; record their discussions and have the tape/MP3 recording transcribed. The document of the transcription is part of your research material.

Now what you do with all this material?
That’s a subject for another newsletter too.

Francine Brevetti is an author, ghostwriter and book coach. She offers a free consultation to anyone who is considering embarking on a book.

 Posted by at 9:32 pm