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Writing Workout

My personal trainer, Dawn, is one of my beta-readers for Counteract, and we’ve grown accustomed to discussing plot, characters, and revisions.

It’s gratifying to watch someone enjoy something I’ve created—whether it’s a pot of chili, a quilt, or in this case, an engaging story.  My personal trainer, Dawn, is one of my beta-readers for Counteract, and we’ve grown accustomed to discussing plot, characters, and revisions while she makes me do pushups and other awful exercise things I would never do on my own.

Last week, Dawn asked if she could bring another client’s granddaughter to the gym to meet me, and of course I agreed. Sweet 13-year-old Cameron is visiting from Arizona. She’s a dancer, an artist, an avid reader, and a very engaging young lady.

It was definitely one of my all-time favorite training sessions. I worked up a sweat while they sat on the floor, each reading from different sections of the manuscript. There was no one to talk to. Consequently, I took very few breaks and I was very, very sore the next day.

But oh, how I loved watching their faces as they read. From time to time, Dawn would chuckle or nod. Occasionally she would mutter, “I hate that guy! He’s so evil!” and I would wipe the sweat out of my eyes and gasp, “You’re supposed to!” Cameron barely seemed to breathe, moving only to turn the pages.

I wish all of us, as authors, could watch our readers enjoy what we’ve written. It is important, yet difficult, to get such personal and meaningful validation.

Cameron kept the manuscript over the weekend, and I understand she turned down a movie date with her grandpa, preferring to read instead. She told Dawn, “I can’t believe I’m getting a chance to read this book before it’s published!”

So I could never, ever quit. I’m ready to work until I deliver the finished Counteract to Cameron and readers like her.

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