Friday Five: Beta Bliss

1. I’m beta-reading a book that I like so much, I’m cranky I have to take time out to write this blog post at all. Seriously, the beta reads I’ve done in the past year? Really enjoyable. Friends, keep writing fab books, because you’re making the “work” part of critiquing, well, less like work!

2. The Mentalist – Homes and I are addicted. Or wait. Were addicted. Because we breezed through the DVDs of Season 5 in, like, a week. And I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and wondering what is it about annoying detective-types? Columbo, Patrick Jane, Richard Castle, the guy in Lie to Me, the guy in The Finder, the doctor in Bones. Sherlock Holmes! Gone are the hard-boiled detectives with the checkered pasts…actually, this isn’t a new thing at all. Take a quirky person, give him or her a mystery to solve, and watch how those quirks put a new spin on solving the same question over and over: who killed the dead person?

3. I’ve been feeling super lucky this week – a shiny new idea for a novel (see more below), the way-fun beta read, and an awesome contact to talk about 1950s Hawaii with. It’s incredible how kind and generous this woman is, exchanging emails with a total stranger about random personal facts. Now if I can just find someone to tell me the exact dates of the Makaha International Surfing Championship in the winter of 1956/57, I’ll be good to go. (That’s a lie. I need about twenty or thirty other questions answered. But one thing at a time. One thing at a time.)

4. The Shiny New Idea! And National Novel Writing Month! They happen to very nearly coincide, which is a first. I never thought I’d do NaNoWriMo, because what are the chances that I’ll be in a place where I can start a new project right at the beginning of November? It has finally happened, so I’m going to join the insanity next month. I’m nervous, because it sounds like a recipe for frustration. I get most of my writing done during Maverick’s naps, while Z is in school. But in November she has seven days off (five for Thanksgiving, one for Veteran’s Day, and then an inservice day). Worst-case scenario is I don’t “win” NaNoWriMo, so I don’t have 50,000 words. But I bet I come close, which is better than nothing, n’est-ce pas?

curiosities5. For awhile I was on a short-story kick, and that seems to have passed. This makes me a little sad, almost nostalgic for that month of short stories. This last time I was inspired by reading The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff. Whenever I put the book down, it seemed I had a new idea to write about – it was incredibly energizing. Maybe after I finish my NaNo novel, I can read through The Curiosities again.


  1. Natalia Sylvester (@NataliaSylv) · October 25, 2013

    Good luck with NaNo! I’ve personally never been able to do it, because of timing with new works and also because I just don’t know if I’m hardcore enough to take it, but I did once create my own National Rewrite My Novel Month in like, October or something. And that was invigorating and exhausting to the point I needed a break from the WIP when I was done. I love your attitude about how even if you don’t reach 50k, getting close is better than staying at zero. So, so true.

    • Beth Hull · October 26, 2013

      I did a revision thing last year, too (or the year before). Great minds! I think I called it National Novel Whatever Month. Had a gigantic list of things I wanted to tackle in the WIP, and yeah, much like your experience, I needed a break at the end!

  2. Vicki Tremper · October 28, 2013

    That’s awesome that you’re enjoying what you’re beta-ing, and good luck with NaNo! I’ve done it the past 2 years and need to take a break this year, because I have more that needs revising than needs drafting. But if I catch you on Twitter, I’ll happily cheer you on!

    I love quirky detectives. Patrick Jane and Richard Castle are up there with Monk for me.

    Good luck next month!

    • Beth Hull · October 29, 2013

      Oh, Monk, how could I forget about him?
      Thanks for the good NaNo thoughts, and good luck with the revising!

  3. jamieweilhealthcoach · October 28, 2013

    Go, QS, go! You Nan-no girl! May you be blessed with long naps and play dates for Z (that you don’t have to go to and that aren’t at your house!) And let’s hear it for shiny new ideas. Woot!

    • Beth Hull · October 29, 2013

      Thanks, QS! I’ll be looking for those long naps & play dates. Also the grandmas have both volunteered to help out, so I’m looking forward to that!

  4. PB Rippey · October 29, 2013

    That’s great you’re doing Nano! Will look forward to the updates throughout November. I love that wallpaper/backdrop you’ve got going on here. And how wonderful that your beta reads are so fab. I hope it means there is much good, fresh literature on the (near) horizon.

    • Beth Hull · October 29, 2013

      I hope so, too! And yes, will definitely check in with word count progress for NaNo. I’m getting my Scrivener document set up tonight! So excited!

  5. Clyde Williams · October 30, 2013

    Good luck with Nano. I’m doing it as well (Not starting anything new… just trying to finish what I”m already working on. Wanted to say thank for reading my story and I’m glad you liked. it. Also, idea. Try and front-load your writing in November….That way you enjoy Thanksgiving. Also, Google does not tell you wen the surfing championship was? *Google fail*

    • Beth Hull · November 1, 2013

      Yup, Google has failed. I know who won, but not when it took place!
      Thanks for the tip about front-loading the writing. I wish I’d done some blog posts ahead of time, but too late! The fun has begun! Good luck to you as well, Clyde!

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