#13 Beta Readers = Fresh Eyes

03/08/2017

A beta reader is someone who reads an unpublished manuscript at an early development stage and gives feedback to the writer. Beta readers provide a second perspective (or third, or fourth) which can often spot fixable flaws or shortfalls in the manuscript that the writers didn’t see, because we are too close to it.

How does the process work? Choose the way that’ easiest for you:

1. Read the chapters on the web and give feedback on the Beta Readers Comments page.
2. Download chapters as PDFs to read later, then email me your response in a note.
3. PDFs can also be exported as Word.docs and marked-up using the “Review” system.
4. Can be sent to you by Email, you read at your leisure and return your notes.=
5. The old-fashioned way (that most editors like) Chapters can be sent to you by snail-mail, as hard-copy print-outs , to be read, ”marked-up” and sent back with your comments scribbled right on the actual pages. Organic!
On the web, the works and the comments are both  password-protected; they can’t be seen by search engines or anyone else except you and me.

I’m seeking two or three readers who might be:
(1) fellow-writers, but don’t know me personally, and
(2) non-writers, people with life-experiences who like to read.
(3) people with backgrounds in EMS, Fire Service would be especially helpful.

The book is Victory Is My Name, A Memoir. If you are interested in reading and being a contributor to my creative nonfiction book, please go to this page, request a password, and tell me about yourself. http://w2w.victoriachames.com/workslogin.html

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#9 Seeing

11/05/2016

This morning when I looked out my window at the huge old oak tree that I see every morning, again I marveled at the loveliness of it in the glittering morning sun, and a thought came to me:

I am grateful that I have eyes that see beauty. So many of us here on earth at this time don’t notice. Don’t see what I see. The beauty I have seen always, since I was a child, sustains me. Beauty has brought solace to me even in my darkest hours. The beauty of the Mississippi Riverbank in snow, the winter sky at night, ink-black and gleaming with tiny stars, each one securely set in that vast silent infinity.

Beauty brings a little bit of joy into anything. There is some kind of beauty almost everywhere if you look for it. And even when I’m surrounded by everything else that’s not beautiful, there is still an immense supply of remembered beauty inside of me, that never leaves me; I carry it with me. Autumn days, beautiful songs I have heard and felt, the thrill of the first warm day of spring, when the fine green needles of first-grass are pushing up through an ocean of mud. I have seen beauty in 10 million ways, and all of it is still mine, soaked into my soul.

That my eyes can see what only they see, has made me an artist and a poet. I didn’t choose these things, they chose me, because this soul could see. And this morning, more than ever, I am grateful.

The book: Unintentionally I am writing the last chapter. Even though the Hunger Years and the Fire Years chapters are not finished yet, the last chapter is pushing to get out. More parts of it are coming forward, and I’m willing to let them, happy to receive them. There is more to the ending now, and it is more complete. It closes the far-reaching wandering circle of the story, and quietly speaks the keywords to it all. This is a wonderful book.

I continue to be astonished that I am the one to whom this book is given, amazed that I am the one somehow chosen to make the marks on paper. I am humbled, and grateful, and scared. It’s an assignment that’s bigger than I am. But I’ve been scared before, and so, hoping that somehow that I can be enough, I’m committed to giving it the best I have.


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