The team of alpha readers in this household is exhausted. I have completed my final draft review. Now a copy of the manuscript is on its way via USPS to six heroic beta readers scattered across the country. When each of them committed to be the next set of eyes reading my story, I was under the gun to get the product out the door. That amounted to ten days of intense editing, reading, rewriting, more editing, etc. Meanwhile, my husband was absorbed in activities that brought back his eighteen years working at a major computer company as manager of a publication team which produced technical manuals. Having a former editor onsight gave me an ace in the hole over other novice writers because he knows the ropes on securing a copyright, adjusting formats, adding a coversheet, dashing through my fresh edits looking for errors. And it doesn’t hurt for him to know that this is the fictionalized story of his real life mother. At last we agreed we could no longer look at one more page and were happy to send the story on its way to twelve fresh eyes and six alert brains. They now take over the task of looking for changes and making recommendations to enhance the plot, characters, settings, story flow. Each of the six has unique talents that I know will show me where the weak spots lurk. How does one thank volunteers for this valuable service? The best I can do is a promise they will see their names listed in my acknowledgements when Patsy and Virgie hits the mean streets. I can only hope they see that as a positive inducement to carry on. Now I have time to update my working synopsis, tally up POVs used, and continue researching how to find an agent. The plot thickens.