I hereby declare today as Beta Reader Day. Why? Well, because I’m a mom and it makes it easier for me to remember to celebrate Beta Readers on Mother’s Day. Weird, I know, but I’m weird.
Beta Readers are like moms in a lot of ways. They hold your hand and guide you. They wipe your tears away when you’re hurt. They are always encouraging you to step out and try something new. They comfort you when life lets you down. They help you see life through different eyes. They let you know when you’re way off base and when you’re right on the money. They are gentle in their approach, except when a firm hand is needed to push you in the right direction. They see situations objectively and are willing to offer suggestions to see your way out of sticky spots. A real beta reader is there 24/7. His/her job is never done. Through the ups and downs, the bruises and scrapes, the tears of sadness and the tears of joy, the beta reader is always with you. As a writer, I would be lost without my beta readers.
To Jennifer M. Eaton, I can’t say enough. Thank you for all the emails, the phone calls, the late nights, the back and forths with the same story over and over again. Thank you for the prods (some not so gentle), and thank you for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. There are no words to express what I feel for you, my dear friend. Thank you, Nathan Bransford, for bringing us together. 🙂
For Terri Rochenski, lady, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You were not afraid to tell me at exactly what place my writing fell apart or how bad it sucked. You gave me amazing advice and helped me see my way past my own roadblocks. You are amazing.
For Julie Reece, there are no words to thank you enough. You dropped everything to help me in my hour of need and your help came in a flash. You were a light in my darkest hour. You worked through my confusion and helped me to find my voice and direction. Can I say how happy I am you are in my life?
To Mark Wentmoor, man, you are a rock. You gave me wonderful male perspective and got me into the opening scene of the Amulet of Ormisez. I wish there was a way I could capture your Irish accent and throw it on Elton Fletcher. Elton is ‘you’ in many ways. Thank you for breathing life into him in a way no one else could do.
To Mike Dalton, thank you for being my grammar king. You found the most subtle things- misspelled words, misplaced commas, incomplete sentences. You’re amazing. You also taught me to stick to my guns and remain true to my voice. Thanks, Pops!
I also want to give a big shout out to Mark and Mike. They are so much more than beta readers. They are both single parents who have had to take on the roles of both mom and dad to their children. They both need to be applauded for their tenacity, love and courage to take on what life has thrown at them and be the incredible people they are. I am blessed to ‘know’ both of you and your children are blessed to have you as parents.
To all you moms out there, have a blessed Mother’s Day. To my closest friends and fellow moms of more than 20 years (Amy G and Diane E), I don’t know what I would do without you in my life. I thank God every day for your presence.
To my mom, I know you’re looking down on me and I can feel your smile. I wish I could feel your loving arms and hear your voice. I miss you more than you know.
To my daughter, Clarissa…you’re a great mommy. I loved spending time with you and Kizzie this weekend. There are no words to tell you how proud I am of you. Oh, the places you will go. Thank you so much for my grand-daughter. You’re an amazing mom and my own personal cheering section. I love you so much.
For my daughter, Heather…even when you have been busy with your own school stuff and working hard toward your Master’s, you always took a moment to read my stories and give me your honest opinions. You are an angel in so many ways. You hold my hand and make me smile. I love your hugs and your good nature. You are an inspiration to me. I love you more than I can say.
To all my mommy writer friends and blogger buddies (too many to name but you know who you are), thank you for being you and being in my life, even in its smallest measure. We were all brought together for a reason. You guys rock.
Big hugs to all and don’t forget to tell your moms and beta readers how much you love them and appreciate them.