Tues. April 15, 2014: The Life of 5:30 AM – Midnight

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Full Moon
Lunar Eclipse
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Tax day and the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Rain is appropriate.

Busy day. It was hard not to hustle for jobs — that’s become such a reflexive part of my day. But I really can’t take anything new on until late June, so anything that’s quick turnaround just can’t fit in.

Caught up on some stuff for the library, worked on client projects, wrote a review, wrote an article going live later this week, got the contest entries for the next contest, checked them in, read the series bible for the scripting job, took notes, had a meeting on that job, interviewed potential stage managers, worked on a prop I need to be able to put onto another prop and remove after each show. Still not where I want it. Took care of some correspondence. Hunted down a couple of stories I have to read for Thursday’s short story group. Got my instructions for Thursday, when I’m in charge — a little intimidating, but I plan to step up.

Today, I need to finish a draft of a client project, run some errands in Falmouth and Sandwich (preferably before the torrential rain begins), get some groceries and cat food into the house, continue the search for a stage manager, research my two articles due at the end of the month, finish another book for review, read two short stories for an event at the library on Thursday, and work on the storyboard for the scriptwriting job.

In other words — I better get going!

If you can’t come and see Seal Tides in person, I hope you’ll support it by donating to our indiegogo campaign here. Even $10 makes a huge difference (and you get a program mention, a signed program, etc.).

Devon

Mon. April 14, 2014: Cover Reveal, Play Information, and Tight Organizational Skills

med_TrackingMedusa

Monday, April 14, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Above is the cover for TRACKING MEDUSA, set to release soon. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m thrilled with it.

Busy, busy weekend.

Friday, I was back at the new job at the library, learning new stuff. Learned how to check in books, do the holds, pull from the shelves for requests, etc., etc. Went over some of the ordering protocols. Got my professional email set up, and dived into the administrative part. Learning how to make spines and add bar codes and make records as new books, CDs, and videos come in and go on the shelf. Getting an idea of the current programs, since new programs for adults will be my jurisdiction moving forward. Lots to learn, but I’m eager to learn it all. My co-workers are lovely, and eager to help me settle in.

It was pleasant enough to eat lunch outside — something I hope to do on most nice days there.

Came home, checked email and discovered that I landed an educational scriptwriting job I really, really wanted. Fifteen episodes by the end of June. I’m looking forward to it — I had a blast with the paid test episode, so I’m eager to get to work on the project as a whole.

Packed up the car and headed for rehearsal. Loaded in the newly edited slides for the play (we’re using some of the real slides from the presentation in the play). I had one actor out sick and one not feeling well but there, so we worked as much as we could, and spent time on certain bits of business and tech. I had someone to sit on book, so I could actually concentrate on directing, for once.

Started the next book sent for review. The next contest entries are scheduled to arrive today.

Saturday morning, it was nice enough to get some yard work done.

I had a client meeting in the early afternoon about the new scriptwriting job, and they sent me more materials, with even more this morning in preparation for this afternoon’s meeting.

Worked on taxes and the new book for review after that.

Sunday, I had a slow, leisurely start out on the deck to the morning, went over some research materials that need to be returned, did some work marketing the play, and then finished up the taxes. They’re ready to go.

I also finished the first round of edits on “Lake Justice” and got them back to my editor.

I did some work on my materials for the workshop I’m teaching at NECRWA in two weeks, and prepared some notes for my lecture at the Community College earlier that week.

I have letters to write today, and quite a bit of material to go over before this afternoon’s client meeting. I also need to wind up two client projects today and tomorrow and get out some requested samples. Then, I’m not taking on any new freelance projects until early July, although I’ll still be pitching regularly in May, and ramping it up in June.

I posted on Facebook that I will be working a minimum of 18 hours per day, seven days a week, between now and May 8. That is not an exaggeration. I am grateful, and these are opportunities that could not be shifted and would not come again. I’m not going to whine about the time put in or how tired I’ll be. I know I’ll be both exhausted, and I’ll have to be very, very organized. However, anyone who whines AT me about how busy THEY are will be stabbed in the eye with a fork. A monogrammed one. Because let’s face it, those who WHINE about being busy aren’t actually busy — they waste a lot of time. Those of us who ARE keeping busy schedules during the feast cycle are way too busy getting things done to whine! For the next three weeks, I have an even more zero tolerance policy on whining than I usually do.

SEAL TIDES flyer - 2nd version-1

I hope you’ll come and see SEAL TIDES. If you can’t, I hope you’ll consider throwing even $10 to its indiegogo campaign to support the show and the Marine Life Center’s mission to educate the next generation of conservationists. Link here.

Onward!

Devon

Fri. April 11, 2014: New Paths and Busy Transitions

Friday, April 11, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Yesterday was exciting and mind-boggling. I started a new job as a . . . wait for it . . .librarian! I’m now a full-time writer and a part-time librarian at one of our local libraries. It’s a lot of information and systems management to learn all at once. This particular library has a wonderful theatre collection, which will be my special baby.

I put in a good starting workday yesterday, have pages and pages of notes to integrate, and came up with quite a few questions. I’m sure there will be many more.

When I got home, I worked on client projects and stuff for the play. The next three weeks — starting a new job, putting on a play, and teaching at two different events — is going to test my tenacity and mental focus. Somehow, it will all get done — I’m just not really sure how.

Oh, yeah, and taxes need to get done, too.

But I’m very excited about this new career addition (because it is a career path I’ve wanted since childhood and it’s an addition to the full schedule of writing that will not diminish). I’ll be getting certifications and going back to grad school and all that good stuff.

I slept like a rock last night, and woke up at 5:30 — thinking it was 6:30. But getting up that early allows me a good yoga/meditation session and good first writing session of the day.

It will be an interesting few weeks. Stay tuned!

Devon

Published in: on April 11, 2014 at 6:07 am  Comments (4)  
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Thurs. April 10, 2014: Prepping for a New Chapter (Physically and Metaphorically)

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Work was very stop-and-go yesterday. I’m back to trying to find a new SM to replace the fired one. Worked on some client projects. It was the first day in probably six months where I didn’t send out any client pitches or LOIs.

I’d been up the night before far past the point of diminishing return working on some client projects. One is done and out slightly before deadline. I feel good about it. They were excited to receive it and have already cut the check. It has to travel across the country to reach me, but this experience has been wonderful. Another project — let’s just say it has an interesting set of unnecessary challenges when it should be very straightforward and leave it at that.

Worked on contest entries. I’m in good shape on the first one, and ready to handle the entries on the other two contests as soon as they arrive.

The weather was lovely, so Tessa and I went outside with the script and spent some quality time preparing for rehearsal.

I edited the Powerpoint presentation we’re using in the play — suddenly, PowerPoint makes sense.

Early dinner and a Writers Center Executive Committee Meeting, then dashed home for rehearsal at the house. We focused on lines and beats and motivations and had a good giggle session.

I drank coffee during rehearsal, so I was wired.

I prepped for today, which opens a new chapter in my life — will fill you in tomorrow. I woke up at 5, because I’m so excited. Yoga, meditation, a little writing, but I’m unfocused on the writing, and focusing my energy on today.

I still have to finish my taxes this weekend. I want to get them out the door late Monday or early Tuesday and not have to think about them.

Lots to catch up on tomorrow, I am sure.

Devon

Published in: on April 10, 2014 at 6:23 am  Comments (2)  
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Wed. April 9, 2014: Head down, Working

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Worked flat out all day on client projects, stuff for the play, the quick-turnaround script, and contest entries. The next batch of books arrived from my editor and look good — I’m excited to dive into them. Finalized the details for tomorrow, which is a big day for me.

Had to stop by another client and withdraw from a job, because I couldn’t juggle everything, and I had to make the choice that was career-oriented. Fortunately, they were understanding and supportive.

Did some research for the articles due on May 1.

This morning, I received the edits on “Lake Justice”, which I’ll have to turn around in the next couple of days. It’s definitely do-able, but a challenge.

That’s all she wrote — I have to just keep my head down and get things done, because everything’s about to change — and all for the better.

Published in: on April 9, 2014 at 7:20 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. April 8, 2014:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Worked on the short turnaround script yesterday, wrote two reviews, sent them to my editor, invoiced. Worked on client projects. Pitched for a couple of quick turnaround projects — since my schedule is changing, if these clients don’t book in the next couple of weeks, it’s not going to happen.

Got an absolutely ridiculous demand from a potential client — wanted me to line edit a 300 page novel in less than 24 hours, but he felt he shouldn’t have to pay for it because he’s “an undiscovered genius.” Go find yourself a disciple, pal, because I’m not doing it.

Had a question on the short turnaround script on a passing reference that didn’t quite make sense. Glad I asked, because the information was needed to set up a major plot point. So that will be integrated into the next set of revisions.

Headed to the Marine Life Center. Had to get the room re-set for rehearsal. We got the computer/Power point prop set up. I realized I have to edit down the slides from the real presentation to the five or six we need for the show.

Rehearsal went well, although we didn’t get in all the tech we’d hoped, and the person who was supposed to start as the SM flaked out, and is now on my list of those to never deal with again. It is not acceptable to string me along for a week, not communicate, and then flake out. I don’t what the excuse is. You are not someone I want to deal with. So I’m still looking for a stage manager. But the actors are doing really well! ;)

Looks like the good news will be ready to share by the end of the week. It means I have to pull out of a different gig that was supposed to start next Monday, too. I will go in person to withdraw — they were kind enough to take a chance on me.

Today will be flat out busy, and I’ll be working well into the night. I have to miss Volunteer Appreciation Day at the Marine Life Center in order to meet my deadlines.

I better get to work!

Devon

Mon. April 7, 2014: Exciting New Paths

Monday, April 7, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Wow, what a weekend. Worked flat out on client projects, winding up the class, and on script revisions. In negotiations for another short script project that might happen between now and June, and which sounds kind of fun. Also worked on material for my editor.

I’m guest-lecturing at a local college later this month (they’re teaching one of my plays) and teaching a workshop at NECRWA at the beginning of May. That’s it for teaching for me for awhile. I’m glad, because I’m burned out on it, and my life is taking exciting new paths to which I want to give my full attention.

Went to NMLC mid-afternoon to work on the program and other show-related stuff. Set up the room, trying to get it warm enough so we could concentrate to work. We had a good rehearsal, got a lot done.

Landed a quick-turnaround script job (yes, paid, of course, or I wouldn’t do it), that could lead to a two or three month longer script job.

Saturday, I got some wonderful news, which I can’t share publicly until all the contracts are signed at the end of the week. But then, believe me, we’ll all be celebrating together. Also had the first interaction with my new editor at Amber Quill Press — I think we’ll get along just fine!

Did some work in the yard, raking out the terraced bed. It looks much better, and things are coming up. Hopefully, we are moving into spring. Did some work for one of my other editors, and did my pacing and muttering on the script job.

Sunday morning, I did some more pacing and muttering, and then wrote the first draft. I feel pretty good about it, which means I’ll feel even better after some revisions.

Then, I headed in to the NMLC to meet the light/sound designer for the show and we did the light hang. It went pretty well and we were done by 8:30.

Came home, had a late dinner, watched a little TV. GAME OF THRONES started again; much as I like the quality of it, I’m also tired of the unrelenting cruelty the characters have towards each other.

I have a busy day and a busy week coming up — somehow, with all this work coming in, I still have to find time to finish my taxes.

Devon

Fri. April 4, 2014: Work and Plays

Friday, April 4, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Please toss a few bucks to the indiegogo campaign for SEAL TIDES, a comic mystery play educating the public on local marine life. Even a small contribution makes a huge difference.

Worked on client projects and pitches all day. Did some work on the script, but not enough, so that’s first on the agenda this morning.

Tessa was a happy cat because we went out three times yesterday — morning coffee, lunch, and evening glass of wine/reading next book for my editor.

The book I’m reviewing is another very good one — I’m pleased.

Worked on promotion and admin for the play. One of our props should be here today, so I hope it arrives before I have to leave for NMLC.

Working my way through some frustrations. Saturn is seriously kicking my ass and making me reassess certain choices. Because last year had so much reassessment in it, I hoped I was done, but no such luck.

Editing intensive winds up today. They put in an intense three months. Let’s hope they have taken enough tools from it to apply moving forward. I think so — this batch is more motivated than some other classes I’ve taught. I’ve noticed, over the past couple of years, in classes, students only look at the note in the sentence itself, not in the context of their work, and one winds up giving the same notes over and over, because they look at it, fix it in the moment, and forget. That’s not learning. That’s expecting free editing.
The point of working on your pieces in a class or workshop situation is to learn beyond those specific words on that specific page and apply what you learn moving forward.

Took the recycling and leaves to the dump, and did some yard work, mostly on the front. Raked out beds, made room for what’s coming up. Will try to get in another hour or so today before the rain starts.

Busy weekend, including rehearsals, loading in lights and sound, and, hopefully, finalizing our SM/understudy.

To work.

Devon

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 7:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thurs. April 3, 2014: Plays and Contests and Clients

Thursday, April 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and milder

If you can’t come to Cape Cod to see SEAL TIDES in person, I hope you’ll support the play anyway through our Indiegogo campaign here. You can help us for as little as $10, and each tier has specific benefits attached. The more we raise, the better for local marine life!

Tessa was a happy cat yesterday. We went out in the morning, with our coffee (well, my coffee; cats don’t drink coffee), and then again in the afternoon with a glass of wine (again, my wine; I don’t give alcohol to my animals). There’s a lot of work to be done in the yard in the upcoming weeks, and I’m just going to have to break it down and do a finite amount on each nice day.

Worked flat out on client projects all day. Am in good shape with the contest entries, and I think I can wind up one contest before the entries for the next two come in. Worked with one of my editors. Negotiated some new project contracts, one of which will be amazing if we get past the trial stage. Got out a bunch of press, calendar listings, and PSAs for SEAL TIDES.

Did the quarterly follow-ups from the January pitches/LOIs. Always nice to remind people one is still interested in working with them, especially when it’s true. (The LOIs about which I had second thoughts were not followed up).

Difference of opinion with a potential client who said I was too expensive, so I booked other client work, and then this one tried to dump an “emergency” project on me at the end of the workday that would have meant working well into the night. Um, no.

Updated my website to clarify the rare instances in which I accept same-day or on-call assignments.

Today, I need to focus on client projects and my own work. I hope I can do an hour or so in the yard as well.

Time to get to work!

Devon

Published in: on April 3, 2014 at 7:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. April 2, 2014: Cover Reveal and a Busy Month

tnLakeJustice

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and milder

You know what that is, above? My cover for the ghost story, “Lake Justice”, which will be released soon from Amber Quill Press. Isn’t it cool? The cover artist totally got what the story’s about. I’m a happy camper.

Well, yesterday was a challenge. Lots of good, hard work. Not a lot of pitches. Worked on client projects, am in negotiations for a big project that would be both fun and lucrative. Shook my head in dismay when someone wanted to hire me for a gig “immediately”, demanded an hourly (rather than a per-page) rate, and when I gave it, said it was too high (it was already under market rate for the technical type of work demanded). When I said sorry it didn’t work out and wished him well, I got an email screaming at me for not lowering the rate. Um, no. My rate is my rate, and I am not obligated to work for less because someone has a complicated project and doesn’t want to pay. If you don’t want to pay someone else fairly to do it for you, for their skills, then do it your damn self and shut the fuck up. Don’t yell at someone for not lowering their rate to suit you.

Did the media kit for “Lake Justice”, added it to my website, to the blog page “The Stories”, and created a new Facebook page for short fiction. I’m waiting for the edits and the release date, and then I can get going on promotion.

Worked on the media kit for my client; will do more of that today. The information I asked for is coming in, and I’m doing a rough layout, so I can then pop in the material.

Worked on contest entries; got the information on another contest I’m judging; heard from my editor about the next batch of books on the way; one of the props I need for the show shipped and I’m hoping it arrives before Friday’s rehearsal.

Will have a post up on the garden journal later today, and have to get to work on the gardening articles due by the end of the month, and the next post for the wine blog. Also, need to get some of my own writing done.

The editing intensive winds up this week, and I’m glad. April is a crazy busy month!

Devon

Published in: on April 2, 2014 at 8:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014: No Time For Fools

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing and cold
April Fool’s Day

It is snowing. Again. Flurries, but still. Yesterday, we had hail.

I am not a fan of April Fool’s Day, because far too many “pranks” have an undercurrent of nastiness about them. Of course, that undercurrent does reveal a great deal about the person pulling the prank.

Worked flat out during the day yesterday. On the upside, I wrote 11 pages of a new piece, the one where I had the “aha!” moment on Sunday. It needs, of course, the layering that happens over multiple drafts, but the bones are there, and they’re solid. It’s a new direction for me, although the genre itself is one I like working in, and goes a lot farther emotionally than much of my previous work. I love working on it.

Worked on client projects. Worked with students. Pitched for jobs. Prepped for rehearsal. Went in to the Marine Life Center early via errands in Falmouth to get ready. I have a front-of-house person for all but two shows, and I’m meeting with several potential stage managers this week. Got a review out to my editor, and he’s sending me the next batch of books to review. Carried around some contest entries, but didn’t get a chance to start on them.

Our light/sound designer was at rehearsal, which was good. The space was so cold, we had to end rehearsal a little early — it was too uncomfortable to work, and there was no way to get the temperature up. But, overall, it was a good rehearsal. I still have some work to do on the script.

Could not get warm when I came home — it was a challenge.

April and May are, in general, I think, going to be challenging.

On the upside, I got the cover for “Lake Justice” and it’s beautiful. I’m going to do a cover reveal later today.

Devon

Published in: on April 1, 2014 at 7:31 am  Comments (1)  
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Mon. March 31, 2014: Inspiration and Directions

Monday, March 31, 2014
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Can’t believe this is the last day of March. I’ll have a wrap up on the GDR site later today.

Busy weekend. Worked flat out on Friday, with students, on a client project, on stuff for the NMLC, on contest entries, on a proposal that’s in negotiation that would be both exciting and lucrative, met with a client and that gig will start in two weeks, and then headed to the Marine Life Center about mid-afternoon.

Worked in the office there for a few hours, set up, and we had a good rehearsal. A cold one — the heat’s not working in the building — but a good one. I am going to have to cut a beat out of the play, though — it belongs in a different play.

Exhausted by the time I got home, and feeling like I was coming down with something. Woke up on Saturday feeling AWFUL, although it was a beautiful day out. I think the stress of the week caught up with me and started manifesting physically.

Deeply, deeply disappointed and hurt that I didn’t hear back on a long-term gig who promised me an answer last Thursday. I’m assuming I didn’t get it. I’m sure six months or a year from now, it will make sense and I’ll understand the WHY of it, and why I wound up somewhere else I was supposed to be, but it’s still bitter right now.

Had to run one errand, and also took Tessa out in her enclosure for awhile, because the weather was mild enough. Then, I bundled up and spent the rest of the weekend resting, and working on contest entries. Some were really good; others didn’t quite make the mark. Some of them were so poorly constructed that one couldn’t even get to the story through all the mess.

Finished an interesting book for my reviews editor. Will write that up and send it off today.

Had a big aha! moment on a story idea I’ve been playing with for years. It’s been probably over ten years since I first came up with this character, but I couldn’t quite find the way in. Now, I’ve found it. I’ve done a solid 1K on the piece this morning — even though it’s not either of the pieces I SHOULD be working on. It’s a difficult, emotional opening, but it’s what this piece wants and needs. It’s starting down in Florida, but the bulk of the book –and the series — will take place in New Bedford. Guess I’ll be spending some quality time there when the weather gets better.

So much on my plate today, I better get to it!

Devon

Published in: on March 31, 2014 at 7:53 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. March 28: The Mid-Cape Cultural Council ROCKS!

Friday, March 28, 2014
Day Before Dark Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and milder

Wednesday was intense, due to the storm, and yesterday was intense for other reasons. In fact, yesterday was so wild, I didn’t blog, and didn’t realize it until the end of the day; my apologies.

The blizzard was, truly, a blizzard here on the Cape, whereas Boston barely got a few flakes of snow. Unfortunately, there was a nine-alarm fire in Boston, driven by the winds, and two firefighters died, which is always heart-breaking.

I stayed tucked in, trying to get work done, reading the materials for the press kit I’ve been hired to do, going over contest entries, getting some writing done, starting the next book for my editor, and pitching for jobs.

By noon, when the blizzard warning was extended, I cancelled rehearsal. On Broadway, they always pulled us out in dangerous conditions. Less “the show must go on” than “we don’t want to refund tickets by cancelling the show”. I promised myself that when I was in a position to make decisions, I wouldn’t do to others what I resented so much done to me. So I walked my talk and cancelled rehearsal, trusting I had good actors with common sense who could do it.

That meant we went into last night with one rehearsal.

Yesterday, I had an early morning board meeting with the Marine Life Center, which was a little difficult.

Then, my new publisher needed materials turned around ASAP — there’d been some sort of communication breakdown, and the production people hadn’t realized the contracts were finalized, so cover art/author information was behind. I spent the rest of the morning turning around the materials for all four books, so both the most pressing and the ones for later this summer are done. We had good communication and got it all figured out, so it was all good. I like working with them, because we can figure things out and get it done. They communicate, and don’t make excuses, or dump blame/punish me when something happens. They let me know something’s up, and then we solve it in a positive way, which is the type of relationship I like.

Did some work on the press kit. Got hired by a magazine out of Canada to write some gardening articles, so I’ll get to work on those — first deadline on May 1 — I like the editor, the pay’s decent.

Waiting to hear on a long-term job that told me I’d hear by yesterday, but haven’t. I don’t know whether to be hopeful or discouraged. Have another client meeting this morning, which would be in a totally different direction, but also fun. Had to move another meeting tentatively scheduled for this afternoon to next week.

Headed to the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis for the Mid-Cape Cultural Council’s Grantee Reception. It was so much fun! The Council itself is an amazing group — energetic, committed to creating a community between the artists and the rest of the community. They communicate beautifully, and are very inclusive. They’re excited and energized by the work of the artists.

It was also exciting to see the work of other artists who received grants, and makes me want to support what they do even more.

Our little section went well — I was very proud of my actors. We got laughs where I hoped, and people were excited and energized by the mix of art and science. NMLC was represented by the Executive Director (who’s also a friend), and she was pleased, too.

Came home, cooked a late dinner, and prepped for today’s work.

Client meetings, work on the press kit, work with students, starting on the articles, and prepping for rehearsal. I’m also meeting with potential stage manager/understudies over the next few days. Fingers crossed.

This should be an exciting spring!

Devon

Published in: on March 28, 2014 at 6:16 am  Comments (2)  
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