As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve recently finished my latest novel. I’ve read through it, tested the timeline and fixed all the copy editing errors I could find. The next step, at least for me, is to pry the manuscript from my trembling hands and give it to a couple of “beta readers.”
|Beta readers Scooter and Riley|
As you scholarly types already know, beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. Definitions of beta include: (1) “a measure of the risk potential of a stock or an investment portfolio [or book] expressed as a ratio of the stock’s or portfolio’s [or book’s] volatility to the volatility of the market [or other book’s] as a whole.” (2) “A nearly complete prototype of a product [or published novel].” (3) A dear friend who is both brilliant and slightly masochistic who will read your manuscript and expose overwriting, plot holes and cheesy metaphors without worrying about hurting your feelings because he/she knows that’s exactly what you need at this moment.
While waiting for the beta reader’s critique, I am reading the manuscript again and thinking: OMG! I should have waited before sending this steaming heap of crap!!!!
Of course, real writers don’t wait; they immediately begin the next book. I, of course, have spent my time researching why limes are so bloody expensive these days. Forty-nine cents each at Trader Joes, more in other parts of the country! The permanent residents of Margaritaville wonder why.
Blame it on Mexican drug cartels. The state of Michoacán, which is one of the world’s largest producers of limes and avocados, has been controlled by drug cartels for years. Sinaloa, as well. As the U.S. consumption of cocaine declines and marijuana becomes legal in more states, the cartels are expanding their criminal enterprises…to limes? According to an article in The New Yorker titled "The Hunt for El Chapo"
Perhaps this lime issue will end up as fodder for my next novel. One never knows. Does that mean I'm writing?“…the price of limes in U.S grocery stores has doubled in the past few years because cartels are taxing Mexico’s citrus farmers.”
Cheers and Happy Monday!