|Beta Bio: general description as a beta reader
As a reader, I strive to treat writers like I would want to be treated. I read for all aspects of the work, including but not necessarily limited to, the following: grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and literary elements such as plot, dialogue and characterization, as well as how well the story flows from beginning to end.
I graduated in 1983 with a B.S.Ed.in English from Shippensburg University in Shippensburg,PA. After I discovered that classroom teaching was not my cup of tea, I worked for 10 years in the hotel industry in my hometown of Hershey, PA. However, I never lost my love of the English language and soon found an outlet for my writing as a stringer for a local daily newspaper. A year or so later, I was hired as a full-time reporter for a weekly paper and a year after that moved back to the daily paper where I started. I did the daily reporter gig for about four years and then moved with my future husband to Virginia where I took a job as a copy editor on a sister publication to the one I had left in PA. Personality issues arose with the managing editor (she didn't have one) and I left the newspaper business to pursue a career in corporate publishing, writing and editing all manner of documents within the corporation. I moved to Texas when my husband took a job here with a company that did pharmacy claims processing. Initially, I took a job with the same company doing data entry in the paper claims department, but the CEO learned that I had an English degree and a newspaper background, decided that I was wasting my skills entering paper claims and created a new position for me that involved proofreading and/or editing every piece of correspondence, internal or external, created within the company. In short, if it was written down and was going to be seen by someone other than the writer, it had to pass before my eyes before it could be sent out. Six months later, I found out I was pregnant with my first child and my husband and I decided to move back to Virginia where we would be closer to our families, all of whom live back East. He continued to work remotely for the Texas company and I tried to maintain my duties there as well, but once my son was born, it became impossible for me to work around both my husband's schedule and the baby's. I haven't held a job outside my home since 1997 and have spent the last 11 years raising my son, Sean, and his sister, Haley, who is about to turn 6. Now that Haley is in kindergarten, I have large blocks of time to myself during the day and would like nothing more than to assist other writers in making their stories all that they can be, as well as continuing to write more of my own. I'm afraid that now that I have turned the tap back on, I may never get it shut off again.
|My Strengths: beta, writing, or reading strengths
Solid editorial skills, extensive knowledge of grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, as well as an ear for dialogue. I have a real heart for people who love to write and who have the courage to let others read what they write, so any criticism I offer will be phrased in a positive tone. When something is wrong, it's wrong, but there are ways to say so without stomping all over a person's soul.
|My Weaknesses: beta, writing, or reading weaknesses
Never having done actual beta reading before, I don't know what weaknesses I might have, other than the pure lack of direct experience.
|Preferred: types of stories I prefer over others
I prefer to read stories based on TV shows or movies, and while my favorite shows include "Crossing Jordan", "Walker, Texas Ranger", all the "Law & Order" permutations, "CSI:Miami", and anything with a Western theme, I will read just about anything.
|Would Rather Not: I do not beta for these stories
I know nothing about Anime and prefer not to learn. Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and the rest are, I'm sure, fascinating to many, but Japanese mysticism in the guise of overly angular cartoons does not do it for me.