Yep, it’s me.
We are at the brink of winter with cooler temperatures.
(Photo Curtesy of Kevin Schaer)
Time to get out the sweaters, hot cocoa, scarfs, parkas and boots people. (Yay!). It’s exciting. Especially here in the Sonoran Desert since this means we’ve made it through another hot, scorching summer.
Let’s hear another big “Yay” for that one!
I. Am. Thrilled.
Meanwhile, what have I been up to?
Well, that’s a good question.
It seems this girl finally got her act together and polished up the manuscript enough to send it out to beta readers. Now, considering I’m a beta virgin, I took every precaution necessary so the reader would not be thrown out of the story.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect! I do realize things could get a bit ugly around here. I don’t expect it to come back to me without being tattered and bruised.
Yet, I did hear from my first beta reader earlier this week. (Yay!) It made my day. My whole day actually since the message came on my 40th wedding anniversary. It was a cause for celebration all on its own.
I thought I’d share the highlights from my first response. What do you think? Would you like to know what was said?
I thought so.
Okay, here it goes…
“I really wanted to read your story, because I always enjoy your voice on your blog, etc.”
As a writer, you always hope that your words come across in the manner in which they are intended. Of course, there is this small matter known as “subjective.” Everyone has their own likes and dislikes where entertainment is concerned. So to find someone who actually likes my voice is remarkable. (Yay!)
Here’s the rest of what was said…
“You have a lovely story here. I have to agree with Marcy (the editor), the tone does remind me of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ And I also got the Debbie Macomber vibe as well. Your writing really evokes your setting and the time period, I especially got a beach vibe. I can “see” the entire story. I read in three nights, probably would have finished sooner had my Kindle cooperated!! Congrats, Karen! I know this has been a labor of love, I really like what you’ve done here.”
I. Am. Thrilled.
Let’s hear another big Yay for that one!
So the very next night, hubby and I watched the Adele concert on TV. We happened to like Adele. Maybe not everything Adele. But for the most part, we like her voice and style of music.
Here’s the kicker: It had been four years since Adele had been in concert here in the U.S. Lots of things have happened since her last performance. She had a baby and has a new boyfriend. But she also had surgery on her vocal cords.
I think we all remember how well that turned out for Julie Andrews, right?
So this made Adele beyond terrified. She mentioned the surgery had influenced her range of pitch. She could now sing higher highs and lower lows. Which in her case worked to her advantage. So (yay), things came out better than anticipated. Still, she expressed relief that she had made it through her concert without breaking down.
Oh, there were a few tears, mind you. I cannot conceive the pressure that woman must have felt while she grappled for any measure of composure during each song. Yet, at the end, when she walked off stage, she threw herself into her boyfriend’s arms as she entered the elevator and cried.
I just know I’ll react the same way.
At this point, I am not expecting the rest of my betas to come back with the same result. No, that would be just a little too perfect. IYKWIM. *wink*
And that makes me nervous. Though I’m determined to keep pressing forward no matter the outcome, tears and all that goes with it.
Yep, it’s me.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to start singing. But you may enjoy watching this.
So what do you think? Are you ready for Old Man Winter? How do you feel about Adele and her music? What is your writing process? Do you participate in a critique group? How does the Beta process work for you and what’s been the response from your feedback?
You have my sympathies my friends! This is all quite stressful. I’m taking lots of deep breaths.
Cheers everyone! I hope that life is treating you well. And, as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Wow Karen, you can see how long I’ve been away from the blogs–yikes! Anyway, lots of congrats are on order for you–finishing your book! And a 40th anniversary is a huge accomplishment for anyone. And those cute baby granddaughters!
Hope the beta readers come back with lots of helpful feedback. If they do get pulled out of the story–well, that’s what they’re for! So you can fix it before that happens to an editor or reader! But whoever said that about your blogging voice is right–your posts are always so positive and uplifting, I can’t see how your book would be otherwise. Best to you this New Year!
No worries Jennette. It’s always a bit crazy this time of year. And thank you, thank you, thank you! Since you’ve been married for a while, you know 40 ain’t easy. Lots of work there. But lots of L.O.V.E. too! And yep, lovin’ those grandbabies! And…I love that you like my blogging voice. Now, if only that transferred into my novel. One can only hope that’s the case. But I appreciate your words of wisdom my dear friend. I am trying to keep an open mind while entertaining positive thoughts! All the best go you Jennette! ((Hugs)) 🙂
Yay, Karen! How exciting for you to be at the beta stage. Yes, it can be scary – just remember this… If someone doesn’t like your story, your style, or anything else, maybe it’s just not their cup o’ tea. You have an audience. Those that are in it will love whatever you write. Those that are not- Well, they won’t. Eventually, you’ll get to the place where you just accept the negative – as long as you keep reminding yourself that they’re not the people you’re writing for. So congratulations – and here’s hoping the rest of your betas DO love it too. 🙂
Am I ready for winter? If it ever gets here, yeah. We’ve had 40s, 50s, and low 60s for daytime highs this month. A few were colder, but it hasn’t lasted. Every little bit of snow we’ve gotten has melted quickly. So not happy with that. :/
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Wow Kristy, you’re a doll! That is some really great advice. And so needed at the moment. I can’t thank you enough for the pep talk girlfriend. Truly these are words of wisdom from someone who is well seasoned. Talk about seasoned. Or season. What is happening in your neck of the woods? No snow? 60 degree daytime temps? That is downright strange. Well, enjoy it now because I can’t imagine it will last. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! ((Hugs)) 🙂
P.S. Love Adele.
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I popped over to say hello. My son inspired Kissed by an Angel. I wanted to tell you to say hello to your friend’s daughter for me. May her wedding be blessed. (((hugs)))
Thank you Robyn for popping over to say “hello”. I was very inspired by your son’s story. You and your family have been through so much. And yet, you keep going with tremendous strength and dignity. You give inspiration to many and so will the book. I will pass your hello on to Autumn for sure. She married an amazing man. She deserved no less than the best, she’s that special. ((Hugs)) right back atcha my new friend! 🙂
Big hugs, Karen! 🙂
Big hugs right back atcha Coleen! Thanks my dear friend. 🙂
I’m thrilled that you’re making so much progress with your novel, Karen! Keep us posted. I love Adele. She has a beautiful voice.
Hi Lynn! Truly, Adele has a fabulous voice, doesn’t she. I’m glad your thrilled. Me? I’m not so sure. We will see what the outcome is. I’m hanging by a thread my friend. Thanks for your encouragement! ((Hugs)) 🙂
Old Man Winter hasn’t really hit Wisconsin until recently. And I admit it makes me kind of crotchety. LOL But I read this article about people in Norway and how they don’t suffer as much from seasonal affective disorder because their outlook on winter is to enjoy the things about it that only happen in winter. For example, participating in winter sports, gathering friends around the house and cozying up with blankets and chatting by candlelight. I thought it was a good lesson to practice this winter so I’m looking for the positives to focus on (you know, until hibernation becomes a viable option).
Major congrats on the accomplishment of your book and the feedback you’re getting!!!!!
Jess, I cannot believe winter has not really started for y’all just yet. Now, now, no hibernation for you my friend. Get out and enjoy all that winter has to offer girl. But since I live in the desert, I am loving every single moment of the fresh, cool temperatures. Yay, thank you so much! 🙂
Getting feedback on your work is a nerve-wracking process at the best of times, Karen. I know what you’re going through. Painful at times, but necessary!
Yvette, I am biting my nails girlfriend. Talk about nerve-wracking. Yes, it is painful. But alas, if I’m ever going to get anywhere, I have to shove that baby out of the nest, right? Love that you dropped by. Thanks for the encouragement. And best wishes for the success of your new book! 🙂
HURRAY! So exciting, Karen. This writing business, it is a labor of love, isn’t it? We were just listening to a cover of this Adele song, sung in Swahili. Amazing.
Enjoy your snuggle-in, and congratulations.
Hurray Julia! It is excruciating and exciting all at the same time. You are listening to Adele sing in Swahili? I’m sure that was quite a beautiful experience. Amazing indeed! Thank you so much! 🙂
Hi Karen … I love that comparison to It’s a Wonderful Life and Debbie Macomber. Although I haven’t been around much, so haven’t a clue what your story is about, that comparison alone will keep me anxiously awaiting the release of your book. Can’t wait!
It has finally turned snowy and cold in my part of the world, but in three days time, the days will begin to get longer which means we’re on the upward stretch to spring. 🙂
From my house to yours, happy holidays to you and your family!
Sheila Seabrook. Love your new gravatar! You look fabulous my friend. And I also love that you love how my book compares to others in my genre. Can’t wait for you to read it too! Although you haven’t missed much. So worry not. I will be sharing the premise of the story with y’all real soon. 🙂
Thank you Susie! I hope you have a great time with your family, no doubt squeezing in a little skiing too! 🙂
Karen! What a great and thing, I have let people read works in progress–like it’s bitstream parts of them, but betas? Never been at that point. Brava!
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Hey there Amy! Well you are brave my friend. I’ve never shared my work unless with an editor. So you’re way ahead of me. We’ll have to see how this beta thing works out. Be afraid, be very afraid. Lol. 🙂
Karen, what an exciting post! We can taste the intensity of your words as you share the thrill you’re feeling. You’ve taken that first important, intimidating, white-knuckle step of sharing your work with “a reader”. The first time I went through that I truly felt like I was taking my clothes off in public! Not a particularly great visual at my age, let me tell you! But I did it, years ago and now you’ve done it. I know there are a lot of people who are going to be very happy for you and I’m one of them. Write on!
Hi Patricia! Yes, “white-knuckle” it right. I just hope I’ll have fingernails by the time this is done. Lol. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I really appreciate all your support. Bonsoir my friend! 🙂
Yays all over the place! Huge congrats on your writing progress, Karen. I’m so happy for you!
Yay! Thank you August. It’s getting there. I really appreciate your support girl. Have a great weekend! 🙂