Thurs. Dec. 29, 2022: First Draft of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH is Done!

image courtesy of Dom J via

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Waxing Moon

Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Partly sunny and mild

Finally, there’s a new post up over on Gratitude and Growth!

To say I am unhappy about a FOURTH Mercury Retrograde this year is an understatement. I need a full year with NO Mercury Retrogrades (yeah, I know that won’t happen).

I did some work on some of the websites yesterday morning. The Devon Ellington Work website is missing a bunch of material I’d uploaded over the past months, which is disturbing. I managed to add the Serials page and rearrange a few things that weren’t working. I need to take down and re-upload the slide show on the landing page. I did some fixes on other pages, but also have to add in more buy links, since additional markets opened for some of the releases. I did some work on the Legerdemain website, but not enough. I wrote the blurb for ANGEL HUNT, and came up with the logline, which I will add today.

When all that was done, I sat down and worked on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. By the end of the first 2K, I knew I was only a couple of chapters away from the end. So I kept going (thank you, Paula, for the encouragement along the way). I wrote a total of three chapters, around 6K, and finished this first draft. Phew! I made my goal of finishing the draft by the end of the year.

It came in just over 68K,which is a little low for this genre, but it leaves me room to layer in more period detail, integrate it better into the story, and maybe put in another red herring or two as I revise.

Now it can sit for two months, before I start working on revisions. Before I revise, I also have to spend some quality time in the library archives with newspapers from the months the book covers, for more color and detail. I’ll have to see, on the schedule, if I need to book library time the prior week, or if that’s part of the “start of revisions.” It will depend how the rest of the schedule shakes out.

I noodled with some ideas I’m playing with. There are a couple that seem viable, but until I write my way in for a few chapters, I can’t be sure.

I should have worked on downloading the rest of the software and getting the other Gmail accounts up and running again, but I didn’t. No doubt, with Mercury Retrograde again, they will be a PITA. I shouldn’t be forced into 2-factor authentications for email. It has nothing to do with “security” and everything about collecting and selling my information.

I received the next two books for review; I hope to get them done over this holiday weekend, so I can submit the reviews and invoice for this last bunch. Since I took the time off from script coverage (not that anything was even coming in), I want to be able to invoice for at least a little bit at the top of the month. I have bills, plus things like another Chewy order coming up.

Brainstormed a bunch of ideas for The Process Muse, Ink-Dipped Advice, and the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions blog, so now it’s about sitting down and doing some batch writing this week and next week. I’d like to get a little ahead, in case of more technical difficulties.

I read THE FORTUNE TELLER by Gwendolyn Womack last night. Wow. That was an intense book. If you like tarot, old manuscripts, and adventure, it’s a good read. I’m going to track down and read her other books, too.

Up early this morning, to the glorious smell of freshly brewed coffee. It’s amazing how much that small indulgence improves the start of my day. Charlotte kept waking me up all night, wanting attention, so I don’t feel particularly well-rested.

I wrote early, a few pages in longhand, playing with one of my ideas. It’s going well (in spite of the pages written at the busy laundromat last week, which don’t really make sense). It was difficult to stop and switch my focus over to meditation group, but I did, and I’m glad I did. Charlotte was thrilled to be back up on Zoom again.

This morning, I’ll probably do a little more work in longhand, before doing some more work on LEGERDEMAIN and ANGEL HUNT. I also want to work on ahead on some posts for next week, typing up the answers to the GDR Questions for 2023, and posts for Ink-Dipped Advice and The Process Muse.

I also hope to have time to make some specific notes on another project I’m noodling. Basically, I’m noodling three (or is it four?) different projects to see which is viable and can be fitted into the schedule, as I work on the writing schedule for this year. There’s a lot I want to finish and get out the door, and I also have to leave room for new work, work that’s coming out of stasis, and new opportunities. As I get an idea of how everything is earning its keep, I can make decisions on how much and what kind of freelance work to take on month-to-month.

Instead of being a roadmap, this year’s plan is more like a big lake of writing, and then I need to see which rivers of words are the most viable on creative and financial levels, and put my energy there.

Mercury just went retrograde, and I’m already over it. I dread putting up the new printer, but I need it.

And I’m finished a bunch of admin work and clearing file space, so I can put AWAY the old year, and make room for the new, with all its opportunities. I dreaded the turn of the last year, much as I wanted 2021 to be over. I feel like the internal work I’ve done this year is getting ready to affect the external portions of my life in 2023, and for that, I am grateful. I’m still a little afraid to be hopeful, but I’m grateful.

Have a good one, my friends.

Published in: on December 29, 2022 at 10:07 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 29, 2022: First Draft of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH is Done!  
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Tues. Feb. 20, 2018: Day By Day

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Waxing Moon

Tuesdays have become a difficult day on which to post, for some reason. Hopefully, I can work out the difficulties in the coming weeks. So forgive me when they don’t always make it up.

Busy weekend.

The Devon Ellington Work site is moving; so that site and the sites for each of the series are dark. The DE site will go live again first, and there will be a Series Page with information and links for each series. Then, one by one, each subdomain will go back live as I rebuild it, over the coming weeks. Hopefully, I’m not shooting myself in the foot with this. But I feel like I can’t do effective promotions until the sites are up and good. It’s pointless to try to promote when I can’t even post book covers on the old site.

I’ve got some ideas for some fun promotions coming up; let’s hope I can do them.

Dug in to both THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and MYTH & INTERPRETATION this weekend, so I feel better about where I am with those. Got a little bit of work done on FIX-IT GIRL, so I don’t feel as though I’ve completely abandoned that.

POWER OF WORDS is pulling at me again, which is always worrying, as is DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’ve found a couple of places to which I want to submit the latter, but I want to do one more pass on it and make some cuts. There are three small publishers I think would be interested. I don’t like putting everything with one publisher. Much as I loved Amber Quill, when they closed their doors, I was in trouble. Much as I love working with Bluestockings and Gentlemen Press, they are small and just starting out, and I don’t want to get into the same predicament.

Day by day, right? That’s all I can do, is work day by day. Do the best work I can, make the most informed decisions I can, and hope for the best.


Published in: on February 20, 2018 at 7:50 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 20, 2018: Day By Day  
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Fri. Jan. 19, 2018: Frustration and Illness

Friday, January 19, 2018
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was long and frustrating. I spent most of the morning working on the websites, and upset because the person who was working with me kept telling me I couldn’t do what I need to do — even though I was specific in asking if that was possible before I ever signed with this host and was told that it was. I’m hoping we can sort it all out today.

After four hours, I was so sick and so disgusted that I stopped. But the Fearless Ink site is in decent enough shape so that I can take care of a few things on my old host this morning, and then start the transfer. Even once it goes live, I’ll have to go in and customize the perma-links and then change some other linking. But it looks good, although it’s simple and clean, and it does what I need it to do. I just wish the links could be a different color!

Fortunately, I had rewritten and submitted my review and also done some other client work before I started the website work.

Came home and felt awful, so settled in to rest. Which, of course, meant I read. I read one book for pleasure — just came out by an author whose work I often read. It was not taxing at all — perfect for being sick and wrapped up in blankets on the couch. Everything was a little too easy for the characters, but it also meant I didn’t have to work too hard, which was good since I wasn’t up to it.

Then, I got serious and read the next novel for review. This one was very good, although too long (over 500 pages). Well-done and heart-breaking. The review goes out today.

I started another book, a cozy mystery where the protagonist is supposedly Wiccan. I disagree with the portrayal and the way this person practices. Neo-pagan, maybe. But Wicca has structures and redes, and this chick doesn’t follow them; in fact, she deliberately casts manipulative spells. Which, in traditional Wiccan practice, is breaking the Oath one takes at initiation. Perhaps the point is that they backlash with consequences, but so far, I don’t see it. There are certain things I like in the book, but I don’t trust the author. I’m not sure if she merely did surface research and doesn’t know, or if she’s deliberately trying to cast a negative light on Wiccan practice. There are many ways to practice on the path, but what I’m reading makes me distrust the author and her motives. Perhaps that will change as I read more (I’m only about a quarter of a way into the book). But that’s my initial, gut response. Still, I’m willing to read it all the way through to see where she’s going with it. At least her protag has a brain and a heart, although I find her lacking in courage. But perhaps gaining courage is part of her journey.

Had trouble getting to sleep, but once I did, I slept through the night, which I haven’t done for quite awhile.

Woke up still feeling awful.

Unfortunately, I have a review and client work to get out today, pull the final material from the old host so I can start the Fearless Ink host transfer, and get to work on the other sites. I’m feeling the pressure of getting everything done by the 31st.

I also have errands to run, medication to pick up for my mom, bills to pay, and cat food and litter to buy.

When all I really want to do is stay in bed.

All I can do is the best I can do. Have a great weekend!


Published in: on January 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm  Comments (3)  
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Tues. June 13, 2017: When They Don’t Want To Pay You (But Want the Work)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Yesterday wound up being hot. My poor grass!

I got out a few pitches in the morning, and ran some errands. Got some research done around lunchtime. Worked on an essay, and a couple more pitches in the afternoon. Tried to work on the teleplay, but couldn’t concentrate.

Managed to get some more pitches ready to go out this morning. I want to get work set up for the rest of the summer.

Thinking of freshening up a website and some of the names I haven’t used recently. Will play with some ideas. Freshening up is always a good thing!

I pitched to do some corporate video scripting for a new fragrance company. They want to shoot by the 25th of June, so it would be a quick-turnaround, but the scripts would be short. I sent them my credentials, writing samples, price. They responded by telling me, at 10 PM last night, that they want me to send them two spec scripts, either by midnight last night or by afternoon today.

Uh, no. That’s not how it works, bubbelah. I don’t write corporate scripts without a contract and a deposit in place. If you can’t tell if my style and tone match what you want from my previously-produced samples, you shouldn’t be in the position you’re in.

Far more likely, you’re trying to get the scripts for free. We’ve seen all these fake gigs – they want project/product-specific samples, tell the writers who apply they didn’t get the gig, change the company name, and use the material without paying. It’s called theft and/or fraud.

Not only is that a way to get on Whispers & Warnings and keep professional writers away, it’s a good way to make sure none of the writers or anyone in their circle ever buys your product. You lose customers. Buh-bye.

Sent a polite, but still to-the-point letter withdrawing from consideration for a local position. As is usual here on Cape, they want you to work without pay in the hope of “maybe someday” money. Sorry, I am paid for hours work, as is NOW THE LAW.

So, Delta now sees itself in the business of censorship? Pulling its support of the Public Theatre Shakespeare-in-the-Park production of JULIUS CAESAR because some moron thought it makes fun of the Narcissistic Sociopath is ridiculous. First of all, the reason JC’s been done for well over 400 years is that it’s politically relevant to EVERY time period. That’s the point of the play. I bet you no one at Delta saw the production or even read the play.

Second, how come the Narcissistic Sociopath and his followers can attack, degrade, and incite violence against anything and anyone they wish, but anyone who criticizes them is threatened? Authoritarianism much? First Amendment, people. If he and those who drank his Kool-Aid can say and do whatever they want, so can everyone else.

That means Delta joins United on the I’m Not Flying Them Anymore list. Pretty soon, there won’t be any US carriers getting my money.

Makes me think my article, which will post soon on A Biblio Paradise, should be about JULIUS CAESAR instead of THE TEMPEST, but too bad! 😉

It’s too hot to mow this morning (that’s my excuse, anyway), so I’m going to work on the teleplay, the essay, the short story, and some more pitches.

Several incidents mentioned above made me cranky, but, at the same time, standing true to my boundaries only serves both me and the work well in the long run. In the end, it’s all about serving the work, with as much creativity and integrity as possible.

Back to the page.

Published in: on June 13, 2017 at 9:57 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 13, 2017: When They Don’t Want To Pay You (But Want the Work)  
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Mon. May 14: Busy, Productive Days

The Stewartsonian Azalea

Monday, May 14, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Partly sunny and pleasant

Busy weekend, but a good one. Friday was all about all kinds of work, catching up with students, and finishing the prep for the workshop. And working on revisions. I got out the newsletter (yay, rah, rah) and did some work on the Fearless Ink website. I’d like to change the template, but I’m not sure to what. Basically, I just want to fill the background a bit, but it’s not working.

Worked on my article. Worked on the assignments for Confidential Job #1. Looked at some listings, and will send out pitches this week, some of which are in Boston. It would be good to get into Boston on a regular basis! Ran some errands, got in some stuff for Mother’s Day.

I also started mowing the meadow, and I had an idea about an additional bed I want to put in.

Saturday, I was up early, checked on the conference forum, then went out and mowed the rest of the meadow. It looks REALLY good. I’m pleased as punch about it, and the mower and I seem to have reached detente.

The Amazing Antagonists workshop went really well. It was lively, interactive, those who participated got a lot of information and individual attention. I had a great time (I even stayed live for nearly an extra hour). It was fun. I’m adding some extra resources into the resource guide in the next day or two, and then out it goes.

And, of course, I’m prepping for this weekend’s Tomorrow’s Writers Today at the high school, and for the Submissions Workshop for June 2. I’ve got to confirm some other dates and then put up the next round of Fast and Fun workshops, and I’ve got some in-person meetings this week on other projects.

Mother’s Day was good. I wound up the Antagonists workshop, finished two projects for Confidential Job #1, and discovered that I’m back battling ants on the front lawn!

This morning, we were up early to take a walk on Sandy Neck Beach. Tons of fun.

Busy week — in addition to writing up the assignments for Confidential Job #1, getting out the workshop handbook, writing an article and working with my students, I’ve got a project meeting tomorrow night, Writer’s Night Out Wednesday night, and an art opening on Friday night. Plus, a slew of proposals to get out and my own writing. Busy, busy!

I plan to do some work in the garden today, in the vegetable bed, and then put in the morning glories and moonflowers. We’re supposed to get rain, so I better get out in the garden sooner rather than later!

Billy Root and I had an epiphany — check it out on his blog.

And Writers Worth Week starts this week over on Lori Widmer’s blog. Today’s entry is from Ashley Festa on “How To Use Your Time Wisely.” Check it out!


February 2, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am so insulted and enraged that the Republican senators call funding for the arts “pork”. It is a direct slap in the face not only to me, but to all artists, writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, dancers, musicians, fiber artists, potters, those who teach the arts (many of whom are working artists) and everyone who works hard to create a better world. We are not self-indulgent celebrities. We work our butts off, usually seven days a week, on weekends, on holidays, to make people experience the world differently and create positive change. Of course, anything that smacks of education or stimulating independent thought is discouraged by the Republican Party. There are plenty of individual Republicans with good ideas who actually have values – unfortunately, none of them are currently in leadership positions.

Some of the best photography, writing, plays, and paintings were created during the WPA days. Look in your local libraries or on the internet if you don’t believe me. It was astonishing. One of the most important historical contributions was sending writers out to talk to people, especially the elderly, about their daily lives growing up – part of which makes it possible for many of us (no matter how we vote) to write historical fiction,. not to mention a way for school children to learn their own country’s history.

It’s appalling to me that the Republicans wholeheartedly voted to let Hank Paulson stand on street corners handing out billions of our dollars to his buddies, 18 BILLION of which went into paying executive bonuses, 10 MILLION of which Bank of America used for its Super Bowl Party last night, NONE of which came back into the economy to stimulate it. And yet artists are considered “pork”.

Oh, yeah, I know that Democrats voted for TARP, too, and believe me, I have made my displeasure known to those who represent me! I don’t care what party they belong to – if I pay their salaries, they are going to know what I think! And if I think what they’ve done is stupid and irresponsible, I let them know!

I’m going to use a Broadway show as an example. Broadway shows are not eligible for funding, although some shows that move to Broadway are developed in the wonderful regional theatres throughout the country. (I am someone who firmly believes there’s good theatre EVERYWHERE, if you give it a chance). It takes 150 people to run a show on an eight-show/week basis, between cast, crew, front of house, etc. That’s 150 jobs. Those paychecks are spent on food, clothing, cars, mortgage payments, sometimes even vacations, gifts for family and friends’ birthdays, etc. In addition, the people working in theatres have to eat and spend some of their paychecks in restaurants, delis, coffee shops, bakeries, etc. in the neighborhoods in which they work. Plus, it’s often easier to do errands on one’s way in to work or between shows — so retail benefits. Add to that the money spent by people coming to see the shows on restaurants, parking, mass transit, souvenirs, nearby stores that have nothing to do with the show — and the whole neighborhood benefits. A single Broadway show affects positively between 750-1000 jobs on any given day.

Many shows are now developed by regional theatres, who are eligible for financing. They might not need 150 people to run a show, but most of the regionals in which I’ve worked had a seasonal staff of between 20-60. That’s 20-60 full time jobs in a small town. Again, these paychecks go back into the economy in groceries, restaurants, retail, cars, gas, mortgage, etc. And the people who come to see the shows (paying significantly less than they would on Broadway) have the same purchase needs in and around the show for food, drink, parking, etc. So every regional theatre probably positively affects between 60-250 jobs on a daily basis.

This is not pork.

Devon’s Random Newsletter went out yesterday. If you didn’t get your copy, please let me know. If you haven’t yet signed up and would like to, you can do so here.

If you haven’t had a chance to wrap up January and list your goals for February, you can do so here.

My online presence will be hit and miss in February. I’ll try to blog as regularly as I can, but if I miss a day here and there, don’t fret. I’m teaching at the Catholic Writers Conference Online this week, and I’m juggling a multitude of site jobs throughout the month. I’m supposed to have internet access during that time, but one never really knows what’s going on until one arrives.

February requires focus and extraordinary time management.

I’ve got two plays on deadline and a third restless in the wings; I have to get back to the Big Project and keep pace on the Billy Root story. And take on some immediate turn around jobs to pay the bills. It will be an adventure.

So, on my “day off”, I updated the Devon Ellington website, the Hex Breaker website, and the Cerridwen’s Cottage website. I started building the Jenny Storm page. I took photos for both the Jenny Storm icon and the Ava Dunne icon (the Ava Dunne name will reactivate this year). I think I got some decent shots for the Jenny one, but I’m not happy with anything for the Ava one. I also followed up on a patch I made a few months ago.

I finished TWICE OVER LIGHTLY. The chapters on Christmas in New York, The UN, the Bronx Zoo, and the Public Theatre were actually quite good. Their tone was far more 30’s and 40’s style than early 1970’s, and many of their anecdotes go back to those days. This book will remain a good reference book for the time – even in its negative aspects.

I started reading Anita Loos’s autobiography KISS HOLLYWOOD GOODBYE about her time as a scenario writer and script writer in Hollywood in the 1930’s. This is great background for when I go back to fix THE FIX IT GIRL.

I enjoyed watching the Super Bowl. I think I enjoyed watching it more because I had no emotional connection to either team and could just watch the game. Plus, I always prefer it when it’s a close game.

I thought most of the commercials sucked, though. The Clydesdale emigrating to the US from Scotland had its moments, but come on, that was NOT a Scottish accent. Maybe a fake Irish one, but NOT Scottish. They could spend the millions on the spot but not spend a hundred dollars on a dialect coach? GE had some clever stuff, but most of them were just boring. Definitely nothing as creative as “Herding Cats”!.

Speaking of which, the Puppy Bowl and Kitty Half-Time was pretty funny. They don’t seem to get that the kittens they use are so small that they overwhelm them with the moving lights and confetti and all the moving bits and scare them rather than encourage them to play.

I have to attack my To-Do List for February today. It’s not going to accomplish itself.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Thanks for the suggestions regarding MySpace and Facebook. I don’t think Facebook will work for me – I can’t use the pseudonyms on it, I don’t do photographs, it will wind up being more frustrating than helpful.

I take plenty of photos of locales for my work, inspirations for my work, but I don’t think Facebook is right for me. I’m glad it’s a useful tool for people, but I think it’s counterproductive to what I do.

So I did a MySpace page for the Jain Lazarus adventures. Please stop by, leave a comment, and “friend” me! 😉

I also updated the Devon Ellington, Cerridwen’s Cottage, and Hex Breaker websites. Still have to do something on Fearless Ink.

Another brainstorming question: Which of my sets of characters would you like to see in a Christmas/Yule/holiday story?

–Those from the Jain Lazarus adventures (Jain, Wyatt, Billy, etc.)?

–Those from the pirate fantasy “The Merry’s Dalliance”?

–Characters from any of the serials (THE WIDOW’S CHAMBER – Nora Cavanaugh and her family in pre-Civil War times – when Christmas was NOT a big celebration; TAPESTRY – the wacky, impulsive Nina Bell; ANGEL HUNT – Lianna, the staff of Moon Journeys, Lachlan, Gaston – and perhaps, even Zeke, although Zeke was not a known quantity when the serial ran? CUTTHROAT CHARLOTTE – Charlotte and her pirate crew – again, it’s set in a time period where the Yuletide holidays were not prominent?)?

— Clea, Toby, and their dogs Clarence and Lucky from the cycle of stories which began with “Dogs on Beach”?

–Cilla Martin, Jared Chase, and the cats, dogs, and other beasts from “Impressions”?

–Liza O’Brien, Fern Cooper Jones, Paula Fawkes, Aunt Doris and her much younger Italian boyfriend Cassio, stranded sportswriter Peter Brine, the just-discovered lost young relation Lucifer Tempest, and the residents of Congress Corners (“Driven To Change”, “Dream Layers”, “Giving and Thanks”)?

Um, do any of you even remember those stories? 😉

Of course, many of you didn’t even “know” me when they were published. So go read them already! 😉

Or would you like to see something funny/scary/romantic/poignant with completely new characters?

Yeah, I should have thought of this back in July; but I’m thinking of it now. I got a very interesting email in my box yesterday . . .and it got the wheels turning.

Can’t promise I’ll do what you say, but I’m willing to listen!

Most of yesterday was spent working on articles and working on web site stuff. I wanted to work on the new ebook and the ghost story, as well as doing more work on ANGEL HUNT, but it simply did not happen until later at night. I’m at the point where, as of today, it is ALL new material.

I’m still on the fence about Nano this year. I’m not sure if I should do it or not.

Back to the page. No show again tonight, although I have to take care of mundane chores like laundry and grocery shopping. But I should be able to get a good bit done.


Angel Hunt – 99,297 words out of est. 125,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
99 / 125

Devon’s Bookstore:

Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on September 17, 2008 at 8:04 am  Comments (3)  
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