Beta reading takes up much of my time lately. It’s a wonderful gift, being trusted to read someone else’s work and give them feedback to help shape it. Like all feedback, they don’t have to accept the suggestions, but the opportunity is there to do my best to help them.
This month I am reading for a local writing contest. I’m not judging for the contest. I’m giving feedback to authors on the story they submitted. It’s awesome seeing all the amazing work people are creating and how authors present their work.
Beta reading always teaches me about different approaches to presentation and what I like to read. Analyzing why I like what I’m reading helps me hone in on my own craft and what kind of story I want to write. I see what moves me as a reader, what keeps me engaged, and that helps me focus my writing. On top of that, I get to help another author with feedback. It’s a win-win.
Recently, I also discovered why my lazy gardening at the end of last year has set up the proliferation of plants I have this year.
According to the garden expert I spoke to, heirloom and heritage tomato seeds need a little rot to hang out in before they’re dried and set aside for next year. They need the bacteria to properly germinate. Which explains why my leaving the last of the tomatoes to rot on the vine last year and reseed themselves was effective.
So if you are interested in using your heirloom or heritage plants from this year to make seeds for next year, you can try the lazy gardening technique which may or may not work (depending on mother nature), or you can let the seeds sit in some rotten bit of tomato, rinse the seeds after they’ve had a chance to have a good wallow in bacteria, and then dry them as you would other tomato seeds.
I always view making my own seeds as rolling dice. Fingers crossed you get the results you want. Good luck!