Something Something DOCTOR WHO!

Sick sucks. I’ve spent the last few days waiting for a cold to run its course. The fever is finally gone–I’m not nearly as sick as I was three days ago–but I’ve got the left-overs to deal with still. So, the last few days I’ve spent in bed with a craft book and a new series to watch on Amazon Prime.

The series is Extant, which has one season for a total of 13 episodes. I looked, but there’s no news yet on whether there will be a second season. To be honest, even if there is a second season, I’ll probably wait until it’s over and watch it on Amazon if I watch it at all. It was fun, but not something I get excited over, like The Walking Dead or Doctor Who. Halle Berry was, of course, phenomenal, and the ending tore me to bits, but that’s about it.

The craft book, which I’m still reading, is The Plot Whisperer by Martha Anderson. I’ve read the book before, but I didn’t take notes or use a high lighter, so I decided I would read it again. It’s all a part of my plan to outline my WIP over the next couple of weeks. I have K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success queued up on my Kindle for reference as well. The great thing about that book is, it comes with parts high lighted already. :-) With those books, and the various other craft books I’ve read and have on hand, I should be able to get my story outlined with little trouble.

I had a great response to my IWSG post last Wednesday, and I want to thank everyone who took a moment to offer some ideas on how to move past these walls. I can’t say enough how much I love this community! You guys are awesome!

And since I HAD to bring The Doctor into this, how about a little discussion about the new one? Warning! There will be:

To be honest, it took me a couple of episodes before I decided I like the new Doctor. I finally started liking him once I realized he’s The Grumpy Doctor. And I don’t mean an “old man” kind of grumpy, I mean woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-TARDIS-in-a-never-ending-Monday-morning-time-loop kind of grumpy. I like it. I like this Doctor. I like the way Peter Capaldi plays him. It works.

Now, allow me a moment to scream about something:

WHAT THE HELL WITH CLARA’S FINGER SNAP?!?!

Most of the time, when something happens on Doctor Who that is very obviously Moffat attempting to be clever, I’ll just roll my eyes. I’m not even going to get into the whole “companion as a sexual object” discussion, because I think I might explode (watch this because it’s all my feels on the subject). But this little stunt… No. Just no. NononononononononoNO! The TARDIS doesn’t like Clara! The Doctor even brought that point up in Saturday’s episode! So why the HELL is Clara able to snap her fingers and the freaking TARDIS doors obey her? I actually paused the show to rant about it as soon as it happened. I’ve never been anti-Clara. I didn’t like her, but I didn’t dislike her either… Until that finger snap. Now, I can’t wait for a new companion. And I know it’s not Clara’s fault. It’s Moffat’s, but still. Just… No!

There are rumors going around that Clara’s on her way out as a companion (this is the only article I could find on the subject), and the latest episode may have been the door to that actually happening. Clara got pissed at the doctor for forcing her to make a decision instead of telling her what to do. I could go on about what I think of that, but I’m still exhausted from the snap fiasco. All I know is that now, when 2049 comes along, I’m going to be staring up at the moon waiting for it to hatch. Also, this is a direct result of watching Doctor Who:

 

 

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It’s already started! #CrackInTheMoon #DoctorWho #WRL #DailyDiary

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 Anyway, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode and the episodes to come. It will be interesting to see how they take Clara out of the show and who the new Companion will be. For now, I’m going to go eat because I haven’t had breakfast yet.

Until next time!

Are you a fan of Doctor Who? Which Companion is your favorite?

(Mine’s Donna. ;-) )

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Division Zero: Lex De Mortuis by Matthew Cox

Division Zero: Lex De Mortuis, by Matthew Cox

Genre: Cyberpunk, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Science Fiction

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: September 8, 2014

Cover Artist: Alexandria Thompson at Gothic Fate (http://gothicfate.com/)

Description:

Some soldiers don’t let anything sway them from their mission, not even death from high explosives.

Free from her troubled past, Agent Kirsten Wren finds happiness mentoring Evan, a boy with similar talents with whom she soon forms a strong bond. Her efforts to help Dorian settle his past become complicated when a team of corporate “issue resolution consultants” continue their mission to kill a man in the afterlife.

Kirsten gets involved when their postmortem grudge match spills into the realm of the living. At the scene of a surgical explosion that gutted only one floor of a residential tower, she discovers a strange arcane circle drawn in silver. There, she senses energy darker than any wraith she has yet encountered; a force that questions everything she believes about the world.

Vikram Medhi, the hacker targeted by Lyris Corporation for elimination, begs her to protect him from undead out to destroy him. With no way to track these spirits, she seeks help from an enigmatic billionaire who offers her more than a simple translation of ancient Sumerian pictographs.

Chasing down a dangerous psionic criminal in the oldest lawless zone in the city, trying to protect a man on a corporate death list, and trying to keep both of them from hurting the one person in the world she loves, Kirsten must reach deep within herself to accept her destiny.

Find Online:

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

About Matthew Cox:

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests: Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats.

Find Matthew Cox Online:

Website  | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

REVIEW

I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. For the first time ever, I’m forced to give a book I’ve asked to review two stars.

The only reason I’m giving it two stars is because I loved the premise (the reason I wanted to review it in the first place) and the basic plot was interesting.

The reason I can’t give it any more than that is because I wanted to throw my kindle across the room as soon as I hopped into chapter two. Kristen, the main character, is a cardboard cut-out. She’s more interested in impressing men than she is anything else. She takes disparaging remarks from men as compliments. She relies on her dead father to make her feel better when she’s turned down by some guy.

Dorian was the only character I liked and only barely.

I wish I could have liked this book more, but I just couldn’t find it within me.

As with every review, this is subjective, so I do encourage people to try a book that they think sounds interesting, no matter what I say here. These thoughts are my own, and you might enjoy the book more than I did.

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#IWSG: Breaking Through Walls and Building Doors

InsecureWritersSupportGroupIt’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG). The brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, it’s a monthly blog hop where you can share your insecurities or provide inspiration. Check out the blog and the Facebook Group.

 

I’ve hit a wall. I seem to be hitting a lot of walls lately. Walls are a normal part of writing, but this is ridiculous. I can’t get past this one part in my WIP, I’m barely reading anything right now (except what I’m reviewing for blog tours), and the last time I dove into edits for Orchids and Ash I stared at the same line for an hour.  I’m surrounded by walls and there are no doors in sight.

So, it’s time to break down parts of the walls and build some doors. My goals for the Bootcamp are changing for the moment because of the walls, and in order to get through them.

Wall 1 – The WIP

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of pantsing. I wrote Orchids and Ash that way, never really knowing what was going to happen next until I’d written it down. That worked out well since it was for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Then I tried it with the sci-fi I was going to write. After a while, it became clear that the idea was great, but not ready to be written. I thought maybe an outline would work, but it needed to marinate a bit more, so I set it aside.

For my new WIP, I had most of the main plot points figured out in a couple of days and thought that I would be able to find my way to them by just sitting down and writing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s marinated fully though, so an outline became my new goal. I got on Scrivener, clicked to the outline format, and proceeded to stare at the screen for several hours. I’d type something, then delete it. I’d type something else, then delete it. Again and again I tried to outline on Scrivener and again and again it didn’t work.

The last time I outlined something completely (as is needed in this case) was the first book I ever completed a first draft for. And I realized why I was able to outline for that one with no problem because I outlined by hand then transferred with a bit more detail to note cards. It took me about three weeks of brainstorming, reworking the outline, and filling in the note cards before I was able to start writing the book.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. The next three weeks will be dedicated to writing an outline by hand and transferring it to note cards. With my first book, it was easier for me to keep with the word count goal than it has been for the ones I’ve pantsed. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that with the new WIP too.

Wall 2 – Reading

I can’t get into the books I’ve picked up lately. It’s not the books. I know it’s not the books. It’s me. I just have no motivation to read. It doesn’t matter what genre I pick up, I just can’t find that will within to go more than a few pages. I know I’ve picked up books I will absolutely love. I fell in love with the blurbs or the premise already, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten them. So, what’s going on?

I think I need to take a step back and remember why I love reading so much. I’ve been under some stress lately and I know that can affect my writing and my reading. So, I have to find a way to destress long enough to pick up a book and read it. It’s strange though. Reading helps me to destress, but if I’m already stressed, it’s hard to get into a good book.

The solution I’ve come up with is to go through some of my favorite books and re-read them. Take five minutes before I pick the book up, take some calming breaths, and know there aren’t any expectations with the book in hand because I’ve already read it and loved it. The first book I plan on re-reading is Harry Potter. Because, obviously.

Wall 3 – Edits

I think this is a combination of one and two, really. I’ve read through it so many times that I’ve pretty much memorized every word. Also, I’ve set myself up to demand perfection from it and I think I’ve pushed myself too hard on this. Instead of focusing on making one thing work, I’ve zoomed out to see if the entire thing works, and I’m not ready for that yet. Because there’s still quite a bit of work to do on it.

I’ve decided to step back and let it sit for a while. I’ve got outlining to do on my WIP and a few beloved books to read again. I’m going to focus on those things and let Orchids and Ash be for the next three weeks at least.

A Twist of the Knob

The thing about walls is, once you figure out how to break through them, you have the ability to build a door to make it easier on yourself the next time. You may have to break down other walls as you go along, but you’ll have the tools available to make more doors. The more walls you break through, the bigger your toolbox.

I’ve broken through plenty of walls in my time as a writer, so I’m lucky to be able to identify what tools I have that will work to break through the walls that I’m facing right now.

And now that I’ve used “walls” so many times, I think it’s time to step away from the keyboard and pick up a pencil and paper. I’ve got some outlining to do, and a boy wizard to read about=)

I hope you all have a wonderful October!

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Main Character Blog Hop

Main Character Blog HopI’ve been tagged in the Main Character Blog Hop! Wahoo!

I love blog hops. They’re fun! You get to learn all sorts of interesting things about other people and their books.

Kay Kauffman at Suddenly they all died. The end. tagged me, so let’s learn a little about her first:

Kay Kauffman

As a girl, I dreamed of being swept off my feet by my one true love.  And at the age of 24, it finally happened…and he’s never let me forget it.  A mild-mannered secretary by day and a determined word-wrangler by night, I battle the twin evils of distraction and procrastination in order to write fantastical tales of wuv…twue wuv…with a few bad haiku thrown in for good measure.

I’ve been spinning yarns for more years than I care to admit and I’ve got the calluses and paper cuts to prove it.  My first novel, The Lokana Chronicles, is currently undergoing a major rewrite in advance of another round of queries.

I reside in the midst of an Iowa corn field with my hopelessly devoted husband and his mighty red pen; four crazy, cute kids; and an assortment of adorable kitties, chicks, and bunnies.

And about her book:

As the Crown Prince of Lokana, nineteen-year-old Vegin is expected to follow in his father’s corrupt footsteps: marry a wealthy noblewoman and fill the royal coffers to the brim by whatever means necessary. But the prince has other ideas, and when he falls in love with a peasant named Lipei, his father threatens to deny him the crown and live forever. Though Vegin knows his father is serious, he remains firm in his decision: he will marry for love or not at all.

But there are bigger problems facing the kingdom than succession.

When the king executes an entire village, a long-simmering rebellion threatens to burst into all-out war. Led by Lipei’s brother, Ghrelin, Lokana’s malcontents want revenge on the royal family, and they don’t care which member pays the price. Vegin must find a way to protect his family and atone for his father’s actions, or he could lose everything he’s ever cared about…forever.

Stop over and read all about Prince Vegin (once you’re done here, of course;-) ).

Now for the questions:

What is your name? Are you fictional/historical?

My name is Mackayla Greyson, but what are you talking about fictional or historical? I’m from now, right here. The same as you.

When and where is your story set?

Well, I live in New York City, but I travel a lot. Most recently I went to Central America to visit the Mayan Temple where everything started. It was a birthday gift from Uncle Walter.

What should we know about you?

I’m one of the few people in the world without magic.

What is screwing up your life?

Magic (my lack of it anyway), Uncle Walter won’t get me a car or let me drive, this guy Iike doesn’t like me back, Kyndra is acting kind of strange lately (okay, so stranger than normal anyway), and the heel on my favorite boots broke.

What is your goal?

I want to figure out what Uncle Walter is hiding. I mean, those books he leant to the Smithsonian weren’t the complete set. I’ve seen them all together, so why is he lying about that?

What is the title of your book?

Magic is Back is the tentative title. It will probably change, but for now it works.

So, when will the book be published?

I have no idea. I have to finish writing it first, lol=)

Now, it’s time to tag three people.

Amy McBay

I’m a proud wife, a devoted mother of a beautiful daughter and adorable son, pack Alpha to two loving dog companions, and servant to an amorous cat. I was raised in a creative family, and excelled in art and graphics until my High School Graduation. Afterwards, I joined the Air force and served for four years until getting out to better care for my children.

I have always been a vivid dreamer and during the pregnancy of my son I started turning my dreams into a book. My world is full of werewolves, pixies, dragons, angels, demons, ghosts, and vampires. I’m a daydreamer, and a bit of a hermit, an artist, a bookworm, and a writer.  I’m opinionated, and honest. People have said I’m silly, odd, weird, a dork, a geek, and even a little crazy. They are right on all accounts. I am all of this and more.

Check out her blog!

Sarah Chafin

Sarah Chafin is a homeschooling, coffee fueled writer of YA fantasy and anything else that inspires her imagination. When she isn’t writing or raising the next generation of book worms she is wandering around near the beach or reading. Find her on Twitter and Facebook. Sarah blogs at Simply Sarah.

 

I hope you enjoyed this small look into my new WIP. It’s a long way from finished, but I’m extremely excited about it.

What are you working on right now?

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PS – I know I’m supposed to have three people tagged, but I suck at tagging. Amy and Sarah are awesome people though, so just having two is fine with me=)

EPIC APPENDAGES (aka Silly Fingers)

Last night I learned something new. This isn’t the usual small something new that people experience every day (“Huh. I didn’t know that. Moving on.”). This is a something new that you immediately forget how to pronounce and so you make up a name for it that sounds similar.

CTScanI learned about epiploic appendagitis–or, as I like to call it, EPIC APPENDAGES* (aka Silly Fingers).

My husband has had pain in his right abdomen for a few days. It got bad enough at work yesterday that he called me and asked me to be ready to go to the ER. This is a big deal because my husband has a degenerative disc disease that causes constant pain and he NEVER complains and avoids going to the doctor as much as possible. I usually have to nag convince him to go.  So, when he got home we dropped the kids at Dad’s house and drove 20 minutes to the ER.

The doctor ordered a CT scan, saying the symptoms all presented as appendicitis and that he expected to see a big squishy and enflamed appendix on the images. So, Hubs went to radiology then we waited for the results.

“Most often, in cases of abdominal pain like this, it is appendicitis,” the doctor said when he came back into the room. “In your case, it’s something else really weird.”

It’s not life threatening and he doesn’t need surgery. He’ll just be in pain for a few days then get better.

According to Wikipedia:

Epiploic appendagitis (EA) is an uncommon, benign, non-surgical, self-limiting inflammatory process of the epiploic appendices. Other, older terms for the process include appendicitis epiploica and appendagitis, but these terms are used less now in order to avoid confusion with acute appendicitis.

Epiploic appendices are small, fat-filled sacs or finger-like projections along the surface of the upper and lower colon and rectum. They may become acutely inflamed as a result of torsion (twisting) or venous thrombosis.

The names I’ve given it (because pronunciation of medical terms is not my strong suite) are quite accurate if you ask me.

The thing is, it’s not just uncommon, it’s rare. I read one study that looked at the cases of EPIC APPENDAGES (EA) for a period of two years in an urban hospital. In those two years, there were only 10 cases of EA. Of those ten cases, only 2 presented with pain on the right side, which is where my husband’s is (the other eight presented pain on the left).

Basically, my husband gets some of the weirdest medical issues.

For now, I’m exhausted from the ER trip and an early morning getting the kidlets to school, so I’m going to go take a nap.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, and watch out for those EPIC APPENDAGES!

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PS – If you want to learn more about Silly Fingers (EA), here are a couple more links:

*This title is absolutely deserving of all caps!

 

Fall Writing Bootcamp Check-In

It’s time for my weekly check-in for the Fall Writing Bootcamp. Let’s see how I did:

  • Write 8000 words – I’ve got to buckle down and get to it.
  • Work on ONE aspect of revisions/edits – I got the plot holes taken care of on Orchids and Ash, now it’s time to work on characterization.
  • Send two queries – This goal speaks for itself.
  • Write three blog posts – This still counts as one

Only one goal out of four completed, and that one’s on a very loose translation of “completed” too. I got through eight thousand words this week, but it’s not all written down. I did so much running this week, that I didn’t have much of a chance to sit down at a computer to actually type anything out. So, I used the recorder function on my phone. I’m guestimating, of course, but with what I was able to transcribe yesterday and the amount I still have to go, I think I can safely say that I hit my 8K goal. YAY!

As for the other goals, well…

I got some revisions done, but not all. I’m about halfway through with checking my characterization. There are some things that I’ve changed in the beginning pages that require alterations in later pages. Also, something might change in later pages that will require changes in the beginning. So far, not a single character is the same as they were in the previous draft. I anticipate a lot of work ahead. (BRING IT ON!)

I didn’t send any queries. I just didn’t. I could have, but I didn’t. This wasn’t just a fail, it was an EPIC FAIL. *blows raspberries*

I wrote two blog posts, which is one less than my goal. I even cheated with the two I did post. The first was last week’s check-in and the other was a random gif of my kids playing with bubbles that I had stashed in my media library. I didn’t touch a computer at all on Tuesday. I posted from my freaking Kindle while using the WiFi at Starbucks in another town.  I could have used another gif yesterday, but the time I did have on the computer I dedicated to trying to complete the first goal (which is a bit more important than a random cat/kid/celebrity gif).

So this week basically came down to which goals I HAD TO complete and which goals were just secondary. I knew missing one blog post wouldn’t hurt anyone (physically I mean–I’m sure you all missed me terribly though ;-) ) and I can always send four queries next week to make up for the two I missed this week. The revisions on characterization were just a wee bit tougher than I thought they would be, but getting some done is better than getting none done so I’ll still put that in the WIN category.

Now, let’s move on to this week’s goals:

  • Write 8000 words – This in addition to transcribing last week’s words.
  • Work on ONE aspect of revisions/edits – How about I try to finish getting the characterization worked out?
  • Send two queries – This goal speaks for itself.
  • Write three blog posts – I’m going to continue counting check-ins as one ;-)

What are your writing goals for the week?

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Busy Busy Busy

I’ve been super busy the last two days. Both my kids had doctor appointments out of town and I couldn’t get them scheduled on the same day. So, I’ve barely had time to write, let alone write up a blog post. Which is why I leave you with this gif of Princess and Little Man. I hope you all are having a fabulous day!

image

BUBBLES!!!

Bootcamp Check-In

It’s week two of the Fall Writing Bootcamp, which means it’s time to check in. These were the goals for last week:

  • Write 8000 words - This is a large number, but it’s what must be in order to finish that 90K goal in twelve weeks. I know I can do it. It only takes 2000 words a day, four days a week for me to reach this goal, and that is a goal I know I can accomplish.
  • Work on ONE aspect of revisions/edits - It’s not a large book. It’s only about 23,000 words total right now. I can limit myself to one bit of revisions and edits per week and be just fine in finishing it by November 30. For this week (until next Thursday), I’ll focus on plot holes.
  • Send two queries – …So, yeah. That’s… That’s pretty much it for this one.
  • Write three blog posts – This counts as one. Because I say so.

As you can see from the strike-throughs, I got three out of four goals done. The 8K wasn’t as successful, but the first bits are always harder for me to get through. All I can do is keep going.

This week’s goals are:

  • Write 8000 words – I’ve got to buckle down and get to it.
  • Work on ONE aspect of revisions/edits – I got the plot holes taken care of on Orchids and Ash, now it’s time to work on characterization.
  • Send two queries – This goal speaks for itself.
  • Write three blog posts – This still counts as one ;-)

Same goals, different week. See you next Thursday=)

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Net Neutrality

 

Seriously. Don’t let the FCC take net neutrality away from us.

I have no interest in paying more money (than I already do) to internet providers just so I have a fast enough connection to stream Magic Schoolbus for my kids. I have no interest in watching online businesses die out because they can’t afford to pay internet providers money just to make sure traffic doesn’t die out because of slow connections. I know people with businesses that depend on the internet to be successful. As a writer, I too have a stake in this. How long before I have to pay internet providers to keep my blog up so when I’m published, the fans of my work can click through to see my tour schedule or when my next book comes out?

Don’t sit by and let the FCC take away net neutrality just because some internet providers want to increase their bottom line.

Links to read:

Random Monday

Today feels like a Star Trek day. Which should be easy, except that I’ll have to dive into a basket full of our DVDs and Blu Rays in search of the first one.  We’ve been trying to catalogue our movies and get them put away, but it’s taken us well over a month. Mainly because we aren’t actually doing it. Also, because my books take up all the shelf space in the house, so there’s no where to put them.

I enjoy the new iterations. I grew up on The Next Generation, and thanks to my older brother’s extensive collection of movies and full series when I was in high school, I was able to main line the original series and Deep Space 9 in one summer. Netflix provided more opportunity with Voyager a few years later.

***

I’m enjoying the update on WordPress. Before, I’d always have to scroll up or down with my mouse to add a link or change the font or style while I’m typing. With the update, the menu bar stays with the text, so there’s no scrolling up required.

***

I found the first Star Trek movie and put it in the Blu Ray player. Poor Thor. Poor doctor from House. Poor baby Kirk. Yep. I need a Kleenex. Every time.

I know a lot of people were upset over various aspects of the new movies, but I never got it. I never actually cared what people were upset about, honestly. I (and a lot of other people) enjoy the movies, and that’s all that matters in the end.

***

I’ve started trying something new with my coffee. Nothing major. I just add a couple of teaspoons of Nesquik to my Starbucks vanilla medium roast. It’s not bad. I recently bought a latte kit, too. Just K-cups for my Keurig, but it was fun to watch the froth form. It was delicious too. I went through it in a week. I will most definitely buy more.

***

My brother’s girlfriend is coming over in a couple of hours. I’ve agreed to help her one day this fall at a camp she does for teenagers. It focuses on living through loss and grief as a teen. I had just become a teenager when my mother passed away from cancer, so I hope I can help in some way. It’s rough. It will never be easy. But their shoulders will get stronger with time, until the grief isn’t so crushing. 

***

I have a lot of writing to do today. I have to write at least 2000 words to meet my weekly goal. All I have to do is drop the inner editor and enter some sort of zen writing mode. We’ll see how that goes. I better get started.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Monday. =)

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