Greetings all,

I’m happy to report I’ve finished the first draft of The Worth of Words! Technically speaking, this is actually the second draft, but this is the first draft I actually let other human beings look at.

That means I’m looking for alpha readers.

Worth of Words is essentially a science fiction heist story.

Power of Words Cover_FRONTHere’s a blurb for the story:

In the year 3753 on the planet of Leznova, all forms of communication are extremely regulated. Drones patrol the skies, seeking out gestures and expressions, executing punishments to any who violate the Communication Act of 3748. Every person over the age of 7 is fitted with Communications Monitor Collars, which send progressively stronger jolts of electricity into any who speak without permission. Should any wish to speak, they must purchase words at increasingly higher fees.

Ardelia Sabine wants it all to stop. She’s simply a mother who doesn’t want her daughter to be forced to stay silent. Formerly a monitor, a police investigator, she’s developed a plan to corrupt the server that regulates the policy and keeps the world silent. She leads a team of brilliant criminals, one of whom is the man she married after capturing him ten years ago. This band of thieves, led by one who used to chase them, must get into the most guarded server room on the planet. They do so knowing it isn’t likely they’ll all survive the effort. To make matters worse, a rival from Ardelia’s past seeks to make an example of her and her betrayal of the monitors. He’s fixated on stopping her, and he’s confident he’s already derailed the most critical part of her scheme.


As with all alpha drafts, what I’m looking for most are people who will point out plot holes and inconsistencies. I’d be very grateful for anyone with experience in writing heist stories. I’d also appreciate anyone who understands hacking to any degree, as one of the characters in the story is supposed to be a renown hacker, and I’d like to avoid looking foolish.

I’d like about 10 alpha readers. If you’re interested, please email me. I’d like to receive feedback by Jan. 5. I’ll be working on a new draft of Repressed by then, but I’d like to jump right back into Worth of Words once I finish those revisions.

I’m honestly very proud of this story. I’ve been talking about this as well as The Power of Words, the anthology this story inspired, for about two months now. I honestly believe the Holy Spirit filled me as I crafted this story. I had the idea, and once I did, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t think about anything else until I started writing it. Then, once I started, I finished this project (20,000 words) in a very short period of time (I think it might have been less than a week).

150922-N-PJ310-002I teach journalism. I believe in speech and the protection of the people’s right to speak freely. This story was inspired by the fear of what would happen if people in power began to think the answer to problems is limiting speech.

So what’s next for me? Well, the editorial comments on Repressed aren’t due for a few more weeks. My next priority will be reading the other contributions for The Power of Words. I’ll be making my own editorial comments on those four stories and working with other authors who volunteer to be part of the anthology.

As always, I’m thrilled to know there are so many people who are interested in my work. Each story I finish feels like its own reward, but knowing there are people who are as excited about these stories as I am is a whole new level of euphoria. Thank you.

Thanks for reading,


3 thoughts on “Writing Update: The First Draft of The Worth of Words is finished! A Call for Alpha Readers

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