Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
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disgruntledpeony
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:00 pm

Plugging away at my Q1 entry, slowly but surely. The bones are all in place; now it's just a matter of making sure the pacing is right and getting the prose where I'm happy with it. I might actually be done a couple of weeks before the deadline (but don't hold me to that, I'm just guessing).
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:17 pm

disgruntledpeony wrote:Plugging away at my Q1 entry, slowly but surely. The bones are all in place; now it's just a matter of making sure the pacing is right and getting the prose where I'm happy with it. I might actually be done a couple of weeks before the deadline (but don't hold me to that, I'm just guessing).


Nice work! And with the babes in the hospital as well. You're sounding a lot like Brittany when she did her Q4 in the delivery room. And look where that took her, to the next level! wotf001
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:15 am

Wulf Moon wrote:
disgruntledpeony wrote:Plugging away at my Q1 entry, slowly but surely. The bones are all in place; now it's just a matter of making sure the pacing is right and getting the prose where I'm happy with it. I might actually be done a couple of weeks before the deadline (but don't hold me to that, I'm just guessing).


Nice work! And with the babes in the hospital as well. You're sounding a lot like Brittany when she did her Q4 in the delivery room. And look where that took her, to the next level! wotf001

The babes being in hospital is part of what's making this happen, at the moment. I've been staying at the Ronald McDonald House nearby, and it's left me with a fairly large amount of free time. A fair bit of said 'free time' is taken up by things like visiting the babies, sleeping, eating, and pumping to make sure they get their meals. On the other hand, the dragons are still sleeping most of the time, which means that when I have the energy to focus there's also time to write. It helps keep me from worrying unnecessarily (and unnecessary worrying isn't something I need to do, because the babies are growing and developing at a good rate--they're just not yet ready to come home).
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:16 am

Happy they are doing so well, and that you can occupy your mind with writing instead of worries. Success to your family, to your writing, and to winning WotF!

Good health to you!

~Moon~
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby DoctorJest » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:24 am

I just looked over my draft, and realised that I have some major conceptual issues that are going to mean I'm about to do some massive rewrites of this story. I'll not get to keep a significant chunk of what I've done, but hey ho -- better than sticking with something that doesn't feel like it's nailing what I'm going for.

Three weeks left, give or take, so not much room left for me to feel relaxed about making it by the deadline.
WotF: R:0 / HM:6 / sHM:2 / SF:0 / F:0
Currently working on entry for Q1.v37...

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:55 am

DoctorJest wrote:I just looked over my draft, and realised that I have some major conceptual issues that are going to mean I'm about to do some massive rewrites of this story. I'll not get to keep a significant chunk of what I've done, but hey ho -- better than sticking with something that doesn't feel like it's nailing what I'm going for.

Three weeks left, give or take, so not much room left for me to feel relaxed about making it by the deadline.

I totally get where you're coming from. I've been wrestling with some of those for about a week now. I think I'm at a point where I can smooth things out by the end of the day and maybe get in a few story trades before Christmas, but the twins make very good distractions so we'll see. wotf019

I understand about the stress of the deadline, but I think you can do it. I'm also willing to bet that your rewrites will be better than the previous draft, because that is how these things tend to go in my experience. If you get to a point where you're interested in and/or willing to trade critiques, send me a PM. No worries either way. wotf007
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby DoctorJest » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:51 pm

disgruntledpeony wrote:I understand about the stress of the deadline, but I think you can do it. I'm also willing to bet that your rewrites will be better than the previous draft, because that is how these things tend to go in my experience. If you get to a point where you're interested in and/or willing to trade critiques, send me a PM. No worries either way. wotf007


I think I may well decide to take you up on that one... wotf008 At least once I have something more worthy of a critique!
WotF: R:0 / HM:6 / sHM:2 / SF:0 / F:0
Currently working on entry for Q1.v37...

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:34 pm

Wulf's SUPER SECRET challenge group is poppin' right now, if anyone needs the motivation to finish. Check out the tips he's posting and get in before the castle door shuts ;) There be a party there!!! ;)
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby morganb » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:58 am

Michael Kingswood wrote:At the risk of going into religion...

For the love of God, why in the hell would you ever consider going to an agent?

I can kind of understand...sort of...going with a trad pub deal. Maybe. If you're desperate for validation and don't care to make money.

But an agent??? Are you trying to have your IP stolen and what little money you make from the deal embezzled away?


These people are already committing criminal acts by practicing law without a license. But even were that not the case, read up on the history of the profession, and of the biggest, most reputable names in it. They are charlatans and crooks. Stay away.



This comment really caught my attention. There are some very valid reasons for getting an agent to represent you. First, they have a lot more contacts than we do as writers. Rather then using The Grinder, like I do, and just throwing a story out there for someone to wade through in their slush pile, an agent can read your story and marry it up with an editor who is actually looking for that kind of story. Kind of like the difference between hitting random bars hoping to meet someone and signing up with a matching service to whittle out the ones who are definitely not interested.

Second, a submission to an editor through a reputable agent has a lot more credibility than an unsolicited submission from some author the editor has never heard of before. If you're lucky, you might be able to bypass the slush altogether.

Third, a good agent can also act as a first reader and editor for your story and provide you with valuable feedback on changes you might want to consider before submitting.

All that being said, agents aren't free. They make 15% of whatever you receive. But the agent might actually pay for himself if he can negotiate higher pay rates you might not get otherwise. On the other hand, if you're not currently selling anything, 15% of zero is zero, so good luck finding an agent to represent you if you don't yet have anything to show for it, unless of course he falls in love with a novel you just wrote and thinks it has great promise.

There are excellent resources out there for finding good agents, and you definitely have to perform your own due diligence by asking questions, interviewing them, and speaking with other authors they represent.

That's how I see the world anyway. Then again, I haven't published anything professionally yet, so I might be completely off base here.

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby storysinger » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:34 am

I'm always happy to read about things I know very little about. I do appreciate anything that expands my educational awareness.

On the writing I'm doing, in an earlier post I talked about abandoning a story to write something from a prompt. Everything was fast-paced from the start. After I addressed the opening scenes a surprise event sent the story on a surprise arc. As the story played out I became aware of a somewhat satisfactory ending and pursued that angle.

With the first draft written I let it rest for a couple of days. When I got back to it I gave it a good read before I let the CES (compulsive-editing-syndrome) kick in. The way it looks now it's like a baker with his donut waiting to have the filling inserted. I can leave it be but it'll be much more fun to experiment with different flavorful fillings.
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby LDWriter2 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:20 pm

Sigh. I had to rearrange my story somewhat. I redid some of the opening, putting in some hints about what comes later, and including fixing a location problem I hadn't realized I put in. I mean where my MC was standing-which is all I will say about that. Still not completely sure about the the part that leads up to the ending, but in my mind I made it less complicated so that part will be easier.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby vjalrik » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:53 pm

I'm in.
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:08 am

storysinger wrote:I'm always happy to read about things I know very little about. I do appreciate anything that expands my educational awareness.

On the writing I'm doing, in an earlier post I talked about abandoning a story to write something from a prompt. Everything was fast-paced from the start. After I addressed the opening scenes a surprise event sent the story on a surprise arc. As the story played out I became aware of a somewhat satisfactory ending and pursued that angle.

With the first draft written I let it rest for a couple of days. When I got back to it I gave it a good read before I let the CES (compulsive-editing-syndrome) kick in. The way it looks now it's like a baker with his donut waiting to have the filling inserted. I can leave it be but it'll be much more fun to experiment with different flavorful fillings.


DANGER, WIL ROBINSON! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!

Why change the fruit-filled filling? Your subconscious already picked the *perfect* filling for that doughnut, and you want to go and change it? There is a real danger in writing. It's called over editing. On good stories, our subconscious takes over, and it gives us a wondrous creation when it's flowing and we capture it. And then we look it over with our analytical mind and say, "Nope, I need to perfect this thing STAT!" And we pull out our scalpels and sutures and we spend hours in surgery and viola! Now it's PERFECT! And in our quest for perfection, we took Michael Jackson's god given face and turned it into something FREAKY. People look at it and sense on a deeply primal level something is terribly wrong, even though it may pass on the surface as right.

A pro editor recently told me, perfection is the enemy of good.

Too often, we destroy what's good in our stories seeking perfection through rewrites.

Perfection is the enemy of good.

As always, just another person's opinion, and as another friend always told me: "Opinions are like noses. Everybody has one."

Yeah, I say, but some of those opinions look like Michael Jackson's nose! : )

Fortune favor the brave,

~Moon~
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:11 am

Wulf Moon wrote:There is a real danger in writing. It's called over editing. On good stories, our subconscious takes over, and it gives us a wondrous creation when it's flowing and we capture it. And then we look it over with our analytical mind and say, "Nope, I need to perfect this thing STAT!" And we pull out our scalpels and sutures and we spend hours in surgery and viola! Now it's PERFECT! And in our quest for perfection, we took Michael Jackson's god given face and turned it into something FREAKY. People look at it and sense on a deeply primal level something is terribly wrong, even though it may pass on the surface as right.=


What about the inverse of this, though? No matter how hard I try to correct it, my first (and even second) drafts are terrible for not including setting description/sensory details or insights into character mindsets. Dave wrote a whole series of articles on why sensory details are important, and a big part of prose's uniqueness as a medium is the capability to give detailed insight into a character's thoughts and perspective.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby RSchibler » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:01 pm

I'm a terrible over-editor. I don't know how to NOT edit my stories. I'm always poking at them, seeing if I can make them live. Like the good doctor, though, I tend to create monsters instead of paragons.

On the topic of editing, I've cleared my reading queue (I believe, poke me if I haven't gotten back to you) and am available for reading. I can do first 450, or fulls. I have a story, but I've found that sending them to too many readers results in the above problem; too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the batch. But I don't care about swapping, I'm available for reads for any forumite.

Best of luck as we approach the finish line all.
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:05 pm

RSchibler wrote:I have a story, but I've found that sending them to too many readers results in the above problem; too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the batch.

I generally find about five critiques per story is a solid number to point out major issues, for me. I don't take every suggestion from from every critiquer, but if three or more people point out the same issue I make sure to take the time to consider a solution for the problem.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby RSchibler » Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:08 pm

I agree, five or so solid critiques is enough to know if the same issue is bugging multiple readers. I don't take every piece of advice from every reader, but I do consider it all. I've been lucky to find really excellent swap partners through this forum.
V34: R, HM, R
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V36: R, HM, HM, SHM

ALWAYS available for critiques. PM me.

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:32 am

disgruntledpeony wrote: "What about the inverse of this, though? No matter how hard I try to correct it, my first (and even second) drafts are terrible for not including setting description/sensory details or insights into character mindsets. Dave wrote a whole series of articles on why sensory details are important, and a big part of prose's uniqueness as a medium is the capability to give detailed insight into a character's thoughts and perspective."

Sensory details *are* important. They make it real for the reader. They add richness. It's just a cautionary comment. Many over edit their stories, and kill the freshness that was in the first draft trying to "perfect" it. What was wild and free can find itself in its final wrappings constrained and stilted.

One thing I've discovered. The more I write, the more I get it all in there the first time. You sense what the story needs, what those little unique details are, as you're doing your first draft. You don't have to go back and put them in. You got to a level in your writing where you're doing it naturally. Doesn't mean I don't go back and touch up spots, and there's always typos to fix. But the more you write, the less you need to go back. Because you're leveling up. :)

And this is just my learning curve. Everyone's is different. But I was told this very thing by Dean Wesley Smith, a contest judge now, many years ago back in the 90s. And I am just understanding what he was trying to tell me now...

Fortune favor the brave,

~Moon~
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:16 pm

If I may add something to this latest discussion.

I agree with Wulf. I have been working on getting the human senses in the setting for a couple of years. I like think I am getting that down in the first writing but sometimes I forget a couple, sometimes I find that before I finish the story. I go back and try to add just that while leaving everything else the same. A couple of times that didn't work so well so I rewrote the opening from scratch. Some people like those openings and I think they read better, sometimes even smoother.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:29 pm

Hmm, need to finish it tomorrow so I can revise it. But if not I do have another story or two that have been revised I could use. I was going to say two but one is kinda of short. So it's one new story but there are a couple of notes old tales and one or two other new stories I haven't done anything with.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby amoskalik » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:06 am

I'm in.

As for the earlier discussion about editing, I agree with Wulf, less is more, but with the caveat when we are first starting out, it takes a few extra passes to get all the necessary ingredients into the story.

I also have found that I've become more and more a pantser rather than a plotter. When I started, I would plan out each and every scene in detail before I started to write. I had to, or I would just end up staring at a blank page. But now, I just determine who the characters are, a few key aspects of the world, and a basic premise and see where it takes me. I get a lot more depth that way, but it only works because I've internalized what makes a good story and don't need to think it through ahead of time.

So the point is, if you need extra scaffolding to construct your story and extra editing passes to whip it into shape, there's no shame in it, but to horribly mix my metaphors,don't be afraid to cast aside the training wheels as soon as you are comfortable.
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby MiloMinderbinder » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:18 pm

I'm in.
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby SCAFontaine » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:16 pm

I'm almost in. I decided to change submission stories during the beginning of December because the first one still needed a lot of work. I'll probably have to do a major rewrite on it next quarter. For now though I'm correcting typos and working on a few revisions on this much shorter story. Just sent it out to a couple readers and I'm just waiting on their feedback before submitting.
On another note, almost the holidays. The kids are soon out of school so Happy Holidays to all!
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:03 pm

Hmm, I lied in my last post. I decided that I wanted to finish that story and I just did. It's longer than I had anticipated. I had problems with the ending. All of the ways of doing it sounded too cliche or well used. I wanted a twist but couldn't quite come up with one. I ended up going sideways a bit. Wonder what Dave will think of it-if he gets that far. From past experience so far there is only a small chance he will. If so he may think I was being lazy with it. We shall see.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:27 pm

I'm in.
WotF Results:
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  • Last: HM, Q4 v36

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:29 pm

michaeljwyantjr wrote:I'm in.

Awesome! I hope to be in by the end of the day. If not today, I should be able to get in tomorrow.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby SCAFontaine » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:00 pm

I'm in. Reworked my ending and sent it in. Now onto the next story.
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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:22 pm

As they say: Done is beautiful.

When you've done all your safety checks, like spellcheck and name removal (especially in HEADERS), there's a wonderful feeling in pushing "Submit." But it's nice when you're done ahead of schedule and can do it carefully, instead of like on the cooking show Chopped, where the judge calls "One minute" and some chef is flailing madly, still hoping his risotto will finish (it won't), still has to plate, and still has to realize the squid ink mystery ingredient is unused, hiding under a fresh grouper.
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Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby RSchibler » Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:09 pm

I'm in.
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM

ALWAYS available for critiques. PM me.

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/A-Dying-Planet-Short-Stories-ISBN-9781787557819.html

2020 Writers of the Future Superstars Scholarship recipient

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Re: Discussion: Q1 Volume 36

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:27 pm

My story is finished and revised. As I said before it is significantly longer than I expected. Maybe I can get my wife to look it over after I spell check it. Even though we are busy cleaning our house getting it ready to sell.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html


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