#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 06 April, 2016

First of all, thank you to those who stopped by on Saturday and helped me celebrate the release of A More Complicated Fairytale! I’ve put a link to the GoodReads and Amazon pages in the sidebar there so you won’t have to hear me banging on about it all the time in the future.

wednesdaybannerNow it’s Wednesday, and that means a WIPpet. Where we left off last week, Ginny was being threatened by a scary man who spoke a different language. She’s now been carted off by him and discovered that he and his cronies have a whole bunch of Nardowyn folk that they’ve taken prisoner for seemingly no reason whatsoever. Now I have ten sentences (6th of the month plus 4th month) following on from there:

They walked for a long time, before emerging out of the forest. Ginny looked around. It was like they had left the city all together. There were buildings around, but they were all single-storey, and not crammed side-by-side the way the ones Ginny and her family lived in.

A wagon with two horses hitched up was waiting between the edge of the forest and the closest path. Three other horses were tethered nearby. The captives were rounded up the stairs and inside the wagon, and then the door was slammed and locked from the outside. Heavy footsteps could be heard crunching away from the wagon. Ginny wasn’t sure but she had wondered if the building they were behind was some sort of inn. Were they to be left here in the cramped space while their captors went drinking?

If you’re unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday and are curious, it’s a blog hop we writer types do each week, in which we share snippets from our WIP that somehow relate to the date. I shared six sentences by adding the two and the four of 24 together. You can find our linky by clicking the blue link to the right. This might be my last WIPpet Wednesday for a while. I have three WIPs all in various states of completion, and I have decided for the next little while I’m going to focus on ironing out the kinks, figuring out how they end, and just generally planning in more detail.

Next up is WWW Wednesday, a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog.

  • What are you currently reading?

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I’ve started Air Awakens, which I think Kay mentioned on a couple of WWW posts. The main character is a library apprentice, which I figure is close enough to librarian for me to use it for the “a book where the main character has the same profession as you” prompt on my 2016 reading challenge. So far it’s not too bad, though the MC does read a bit more like a 15/16-year-old than an 18-year-old. That’s okay though.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

Captive Prince: Volume 1 by C. S. Pacat. Yeaaaaahnope. I was not a fan. This is my (ranty and spoilery and triggery) review.

After that, I read The Black Orchid by Celine Jeanjean, with which I had a much better experience. This is the second in the Viper and the Urchin series. I maybe didn’t love it quiiiiiiiiiiite as much as the first one, but I think it would be an impossible task for an author to write two books in a row that I loved as much as I loved the first one. My review of The Black Orchid goes up this Friday; in the meantime you can read my review of Book 1 here.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I keep saying The Bloodshade Encounters/The Songspinner by K. C. Finn but I think at the moment I’m more in the mood for something like A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating, which I got from NetGalley and which sounds nice and lighthearted. But we’ll see what the week brings.

That’s it from me for this week.

~ Emily

#WIPpet and #WWW Wednesday – 23 March, 2016

smileyI didn’t actually intend to participate in WIPpet Wednesday this week, as I was not really sure I knew what I was writing at the moment. Over the past several weeks (for most of this year, actually), I’ve been really struggling with my writing. My weekday goal is 200 words (I give myself weekends off unless I’m feeling inspired) and that was often a struggle. I don’t like trying to force the words out, so I was sort of rolling with it, but after a while, non-writing also gets to me, because I have a lot of words in my head, and if I’m not doing something to channel them out, it starts getting cramped in there. But with the release of A More Complicated Fairytale looming, I thought I would look over my 2013 NaNoWriMo project, the sequel, An Eventual Happily Ever After. And on seeing that there was some good stuff in there, I thought perhaps I should revisit that, rather than stressing about Worlds Apart. Tonight I met with my writing group, and figured I would try rejigging the opening. Two hours and 1100 words later…! So I’m feeling pretty good and wanted to share some.

I’m sharing five sentences today, as it’s the 23rd and 2+3=5. These are the very first sentences of the new opening.

“You look morose.”

“I am morose.”

“And why’s that?”

Ginny looked up at the knight who had made his way to stand next to her. “Because, Sir Aidan, I am being courted.”

For a bit of context, Ginny is the sister of Cait, the heroine in A More Complicated Fairytale. Sir Aidan is the Captain of Prince Felipe’s guard. He fought in the war with Prince Felipe, though he doesn’t actually feature in that story. He’s a fair bit older than Ginny, but they’re bros. His character is ever-so-slightly based on Ewan McGregor’s character in Jack the Giant Slayer, whom I firmly believe deserved the princess more than Jack. Not that I actually ever changed the situation with Sir Aidan.

I am rambling now. Enough of that. If you are interested in joining us for WIPpet Wednesday, just post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then link up with us by clicking on the little blue guy to the right.

Onto WWW Wednesday, another blog hop in which we answer three questions relating to what we’re reading. This one is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. To join in, go to today’s post on her blog and leave a comment with your link.
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  • What are you currently reading?

    Still reading A Chameleon in a Mirror by Ruth Nestvold. I’m really enjoying learning about Aphra Behn and the Restoration, as I have to admit that I knew very little about either. I expect to finish this over the Easter weekend.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I finished two Doctor Who audios, The Blood Cell by James Goss and Apollo 23 by Justin Richards. I wasn’t terribly impressed by either of them. The Blood Cell’s plot was a bit meh, as was the Apollo 23 narrator.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Still planning on The Bloodshade Encounters/The Songspinner by K. C. Finn.

Anyhow, as I mentioned, I was out with my writing group tonight, so this post is going up later than usual. It’s time I hit the hay. Have a great Easter and I’ll see you all back here soon!

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday – Daddy Issues

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The five leads in ABCTV’s “ANZAC Girls”

Psst! This post got rather lengthy (like over 1000 words, lengthy!) so if you’re just here for the WIPpet, scroll down about halfway and you’ll find it! 🙂

So as part of the commemoration of the beginning of the First World War, the ABC has started showing a series called “ANZAC Girls” (that’s Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), which follows the stories of five women who enlist as nurses and operate in Cairo in 1915. A lot of the scenes in the wartime hospital in A More Complicated Fairytale are based on what I picked up when I was working at the Australian War Memorial, but I didn’t do a huge amount of secondary research, other than what I gleaned from reading the letters and papers that crossed my desk. What I have realised from watching the first episode of ANZAC Girls is that the hospital Cait works in, and that Felipe is admitted to, in AMCF is about the most sanitised wartime hospital in the history of ever. I’m pretty sure Cait never gets a drop of blood on her. So that’s something I plan on working in the near future.

In the meantime, though, I’ve been continuing on completing an outline for An Eventual Happily Ever After. Somehow I have managed this in spite of Superman being on TV on Saturday night and me realising that I am a fool to have never watched the Superman movies before and thusly downloading them and watching one a night (though I took a break last night, and I’m out tonight and tomorrow, so IV and the two newer ones will have to wait until the weekend). There are bits in my outline that aren’t great, and are sort of temporary “get-from-A-to-B”s, but at the moment I want to know how to get from A – Z and then I’ll figure out the nitty-gritty later. I’ll probably have to cut out one scene I really liked in the original NaNo draft, because I can’t see a way for them to logically get to the necessary location…

Actually! I take that back, I just took a break from writing this post, drew a rough map of the country in which most of the story takes place and the route Ginny and Peter will take through it, and it might still work. Which makes me happy. And drawing a map was a good idea, anyway.

Tangent: the pen I used to sketch said map is a LiveScribe Wifi Smartpen which not only writes what I tell it to, but also takes photos of it and converts it to a file it can sync to my Evernote account, and also records everything I say while I’m writing. Edy got it for me for my birthday because I’d been going on about it, and when I first got it, I was thinking, “Oh god, I just made my boyfriend spend an exorbitant amount of money on something that is really better suited to someone who’s going to lectures or meetings all the time and can make proper use of it!” and I was feeling rather guilty. But I just listened back to the audio of what I was saying while I was mapping and I actually think this might be a valuable plotting tool. Also I literally said “… and stowaway shenanigans can happen here” and then promptly forgot I said it until I heard it again, so there will probably be more amusing things like that. So basically have a pen and Dictaphone all rolled into one (the only real downside is it requires special paper printed at 600 dpi on a laser printer, so at the moment I’m being very conservative with the 50 page starter booklet).

wednesdaybannerSo! After all that, I suppose you are expecting a WIPpet. I am going to cheat slightly with my WIPpet math week, because I was typing this up on Tuesday night, which was the 12th of August, so I’m giving you 12 paragraphs. 😛 They’re kind of lengthy (though under 500 words all together), feel free to skim. This is the scene I was going to share last week. Tension between Prince Felipe and his father is hinted at towards the end of AMCF, but I expanded on it here. Felipe and Cait are supposed to be dining with the guests who attended their youngest daughter’s Naming Day ceremony. However, having just learned that Ginny has gone missing, they’re somewhat preoccupied.

It was when his friend reached the door that he noticed his father standing in the doorway. The King’s arms were crossed and he was frowning.

“Father,” Prince Felipe said, suddenly becoming less confident. Cait took his hand under the table. While he was known to argue with the King on many occasions, sometimes he still came across as a little boy in trouble when his father frowned at him.

“I have a roomful of guests wondering why their hosts are not at lunch. Would you care to explain?”

“Father, Cait’s sister has gone missing. No one has seen her since the end of the Naming Ceremony. Surely finding her is more important than a lunch held so that some nobles and diplomats can fuss over a baby who would much rather be left alone to sleep?”

King Gilles pressed his lips together tightly. “I would have thought that perhaps the prince would make an appearance, if not his wife.”

Felipe looked like he was about to keep arguing, so Cait intervened. “Perhaps you should discuss the issue with your father outside, rather than in front of everyone?” The last thing she wanted was for the King and Prince to have one of their many arguments in front of a roomful of the prince’s knights.

Prince Felipe nodded, and stood up. As he moved out of the room, King Gilles joined him.

“You can’t just decide you’re not going to turn up to an important function, Felipe!” the King admonished him in a low voice. “You have certain obligations!”

“My obligations are to my family, first and foremost!”

“That’s very noble of you, but as the Crown Prince, you have just as much duty to your position as to your family. You are expected out there.”

“I will go and meet those guests once I am certain that I have done all I can to ensure that Ginny is found. Once my men are out combing the city, then I will make my appearance.”

For a moment, the King and the Prince just stared at each other in the hallway, before Prince Felipe turned on his heel and made his way back into the meeting room. King Gilles was left to angrily make his way back to the banquet hall and try and placate his son’s guests until Felipe hopefully turned up.

Please join us for WIPpet Wednesday! All you need to do is post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then join up with us here. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. 🙂 I’m going to head off now to continue working. See you all soon! 🙂

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#WIPpet Wednesday – Royal Life

I’m slowly getting my writing mojo back! After two weeks of not writing at all, I wrote a 1011-word scene yesterday, and then started going through it An Eventual Happily Ever After from the beginning today, as well as slowly nutting out a plan. I’ve also been reading over what I wrote of it in last year’s NaNo. There are some parts I’ll be able to keep, though changes I’m making in the early part of it will mean that some later parts will have to be changed. So yay! My plan is to work on AEHEA for a while, since that’s what I’ve already got a decent chunk of material on, and also where the inspiration seems to be lying at the moment. I’ll return to Unicorn Love at a later date.

One thing I have noticed while working on AEHEA is that it’s really obvious that I’ve spent a lot of time with Cait and Felipe before, but that Ginny and Peter are new. So I’m going to try doing some exercises with them, character interviews and the like, to get into their brains properly.

There was this other bit that I really wanted to share for WIPpet Wednesday, but I couldn’t for the life of me make the math work (next week is the 13th, though, and I think I can make it work for the 13th). Instead, I have this little piece, which is six lines long in my Word document. Ginny has been missing for about a week now, and Cait is getting more and more worried (yes, this is AMCF Cait; Ginny is her sister).

Cait, for her part, had interviewed some of people they thought might be able to give them information, but she spent a lot of time trying to carry on with her usual royal duties. She was growing increasingly worried that Ginny had gotten herself into some sort of trouble and that they weren’t going to see her again, and she couldn’t even remember the last occasion when she’d spent time with Ginny just as her sister. She didn’t like to think that royal life had affected her that much, but there wasn’t much evidence against it.

This is about the shortest WIPpet Wednesday post I’ve written in a long time, but it’s now early Thursday morning (I was trying to post just before I went to bed and then my Internet wasn’t being co-operative) so I should finish this off quickly. To join in, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and link up with us here. Goodnight all!

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#ROW80 and #WIPpet Wednesday

Click the picture to go the ROW80 blog

Click the picture to go the ROW80 blog

[please insert your own witty subject line in the header above]

It’s nearly half-past nine here and it’s been kind of a long day, so I’ll try to keep this brief. On the writing front, there hasn’t been too much obvious action this past week, but I have been thinking about my WIPs. It occurred to me that since I pulled out of Camp NaNo, I might as well bring my August goals forward, so the other night I started re-reading what I wrote on the AMCF sequel, An Eventual Happily Ever After, during NaNo last November.

Shan mentioned in a comment on my WIPpet post last week a book called Rock Your Plot, which I decided to make the $3 investment in, and it’s given me a fair bit to think about in terms of both my WIPs (AEHEA and Unicorn Love). I think the thing that really stuck out to me is that I need to really up the stakes in the middle third and into the last third of both stories. So that’s what I’m trying to work out with both of them at the moment. I could probably have made more progress with this if I hadn’t been so lazy (and/or distracted by reading) the last couple of days (actually, last night, I was just plain exhausted; I fell asleep at 7:30, and apart from a couple of short periods of wakefulness, pretty much slept through the night).

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure when I’ll really be able to properly sit down with it again. Choir starts back tomorrow (it’s been a long two months since The Crucible finished; I’m really looking forward to working towards a performance again, even if I don’t have any kind of speaking role in this one) and on Friday I’ll be making my own birthday cake and organising other things for my birthday party, which is on Saturday. Yay birthday! I’ll be celebrating the end of my first quarter of a century. Anyway, so maybe with the new week will come some more steady writing time.
wednesdaybannerAnyways, in the interests of moving this post along, onto WIPpet Wednesday. For those not in the know, WIPpet Wednesday is when a bunch of us share an excerpt from our WIPs that somehow relate to the date and link up here. Our ranks are beginning to swell to the point where I can no longer really get around to everyone and feel a bit bad about it, but I think between us all we manage to give everyone lots of support.

Since I haven’t actually written anything this week, I’msharing 45 words from AEHEA today. My math is 45/2 =… almost 23? Basically I re-read this line the other day and liked it and so I’m sharing it so ner. You may remember a couple of months ago, I posted an excerpt in which Ginny was bemoaning the fact that everyone’s expecting her to get married and that the Royal Family had picked out an ideal guy for her. This it is from the opening scene when she’s whining to Sir Aidan, the Captain of Prince Felipe’s Guard, and also one of her good friends.

Sir Aidan sat down on the bench next to Ginny and gave her shoulder a friendly nudge with his own. “Meet with him tonight. I promise to be here to commiserate in the morning if he turns out to be as awful as you fear.”

And with that, I am off to bed. I’ll try to get around to your posts on the weekend, but as I said, it’s a bit hectic, so we’ll see! Cheers!

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#WIPpet Wednesday and some pondering

Psst! The WIPpet is in the second half of this post. Feel free to scroll past my ramblings about other things.

wattpadlogoSo I’ve been thinking about Wattpad recently. One my friends, Sam, has achieved great popularity with his story Darkness Girl: Trickster God on there (I know it was at the top of, or quite close to, the Teen Fiction section at one point, and he has secured an agent to publish the book traditionally as well) and K. L. Schwengel has just recently announced that she’s going to post her first novel First of Her Kind on there a chapter a week as well.

The reason I’ve been thinking about it is that I have a new writing project in mind, and I’m wondering if Wattpad might be the place for it. Basically, ever since doing the Crucible, I’ve wanted to tell Abigail’s side of the story. Any girl who saw her parents violently killed in front of her at a young age (“I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the pillow next to mine…”) is going to be more than a bit messed up, and while I’m sure Arthur Miller was going for “Abigail seduced John Proctor with her evil feminine wiles”, I feel like Proctor is presented as more blameless than he should be (not to say Abigail is entirely blameless, just saying it takes two, y’know?). 

The reasons I’m thinking of maybe using Wattpad for this are:

a) this actually probably counts as fanfiction, since the play is not in the public domain yet and while part of my brain goes, “Yeah, but the characters are all totally historical figures, you could totally argue your way out of it”, it would be following the events of the play, and Arthur Miller definitely made some of the important bits up himself.

b) I’m not 100% sure I’d be willing to put in the effort to make this the kind of work I would be willing to ask money for, either from a research/accuracy standpoint, or a “write a million drafts until it’s as good as it possibly can be” standpoint. I’m thinking of it as more of a personal post-show project, like how I’m reading lots of books about the Salem Witch Trials as well, rather than something I’d be likely to pursue in the long term. But because I live for the validation of strangers on the Internet, I’d probably want to share it anyway.

I considered Archive of Our Own as another possible location, what with the whole fanfiction vibe, and maybe I’d post it both places, but AO3 seems to be where people who know things about fandom go for their fandom needs, while Wattpad seems to be where people go if they just want something to read. It used to be fictionpress.com, the sister-site for fanfiction.net, but I think it’s pretty quiet on there these days. I do still get the odd review for a story I put up there when I was 13 or something. The two most recent ones were to tell me that it’s spelt “realize”, not “realise” and to request I use a spell checker in future. Whatever, dude.

I have a sort of an outline for it, and I’ve been pondering things like style and voice and tense (annoyingly, the pen I was trying to use at work was useless and kept slowing me down), but I’ll probably not start it seriously until the weekend. (Related: how is it only Wednesday? This week’s been dragging on forever!). Has anyone else used Wattpad, either to post or read? How did you find it? I haven’t seen Sam in ages, but I’m possibly seeing him on the weekend, so I’m probably going to grill him about everything.

wednesdaybannerAnyways, this post is apparently already 600 words long, so I’d best get onto WIPpet Wednesday. I’m going to share another snippet from An Eventual Happily Ever After. While this is probably going to change, in the NaNoWriMo version, Ginny deliberately ran away from home because she was so sick of all the constraints being put upon her. Not to mention, Sir Kieran, the suitor mentioned in last week’s WIPpet, did not make a good first impression. It’s the early hours of the morning, she’s ended up in the woods on the edge of town and suddenly she’s remembering all the stories she and her friends used to tell each other about these woods when they were young. WIPpet maths is nice and simple: 4 sentences for the 4th of June.

According to the story, one day an employee had been killed in an accident at a mill that had been on the edge of the town. Rather than inform their superiors and possibly get in trouble, the other workers just roughly buried the miller who had died somewhere on the edge of the woods. His ghost now supposedly roamed the space between his shallow grave and the old mill site, waiting for someone to lay him to rest properly. As she found a tree to lie underneath, and tried to settle her mind down, Ginny wondered if the Miller’s Ghost had his eyes on her.

The story of the Miller’s Ghost was originally intended for A More Complicated Fairytale, but then the whole section of plot where it featured ended up getting replaced with something far better. I was pleased to be able to recycle it in the sequel. 😀 Speaking of AMCF, I got the third draft printed the other day so proofreading can begin. Now to just entice Edy to embark on that adventure. Maybe I need to figure out how to make a vegan version of the berry cheesecake cupcakes he made for the Crucible after-party, and he can have two per chapter. (He has recently started doing freelance copy writing [as opposed to copyrighting; I only learned the difference when he started doing the former] from home and is busy with that, but he did promise he would put that Editing and Proofreading diploma to some use for me).

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then join us at the linky over here.Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. 🙂 It’s taken me way too long to write this, and I really need to fold some of the clothes strewn across my bed before I can get into it. I shall take my leave, and probably see you on the weekend! 🙂

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#WIPpet Wednesday – I’m back!

Hello! It is I! I have returned to the real world from the depths of the Salem Witch Trials (though I will say that Abigail Williams is proving a difficult character to let go of). Our production of The Crucible went really well. Audiences on both days were very impressed (even though we were all really tired by Sunday and it was not as good as Saturday’s performance). We raised $2500 all together, $1500 of which will go to the charity we support and the other $1000 of which will pay for theatre hire for our next production in October. Our director is still forwarding us emails from people telling us how great the whole thing was. One of my co-stars has given me the details for her agent and told me I should get on her books, which is incredibly flattering, and I am thinking about it, but she also gave me the details for some people she’s done various acting classes with, and I think I might follow those up first. I have no desire to make a career out of acting, but there are some short film festivals in Canberra and that sort of thing, and it would be fun to have the contacts to participate in something like that.

Here are a couple of photos taken by our director’s daughter-in-law (whose daughter played my little cousin, Betty). The first one is from Act 3, when I’m claiming that Mary Warren is sending a cold wind on all of us because she’s clearly a witch (this is what happens when you decide to dob on Abigail Williams). The second is earlier on when I am arguing with John Proctor over whether or not he’s still into me (he totally is, at least a bit, and we both know it, hence the look on his face).  Also, check out those wigs. I have a pixie cut, only the bangs are mine.

"Oh, Heavenly Father, take away this shadow!"

“Oh, Heavenly Father, take away this shadow!”

 "I have a sense for heat, John, and yours draws me to my window, and I have seen you there, looking up and burning in your loneliness. Do you tell me you've never looked up at my window?"

“I have a sense for heat, John, and yours draws me to my window, and I have seen you there, looking up and burning in your loneliness. Do you tell me you’ve never looked up at my window, John?”

All right, you’ve now indulged me enough, so I shall give you what you came for. It’s Wednesday, and that means a WIPpet is in order. To be honest, I haven’t actually done any work at all on my writing in the past couple of weeks. Rehearsals are my main excuse, but I am basically up to give-it-to-a-proofreader stage, and I really need to find myself a new writing project, since AMCF really is in its final stages. As such, today I’m just going to pull five paragraphs (for the 5th month) from one of last year’s NaNoWriMo stories, An Eventual Happily Ever After, which is a sort-of-sequel/companion piece to AMCF, starring Cait’s younger sister, Ginny, in the lead role. Ginny is only 12-13 in AMCF, but she is 18 in this one, and certain people are thinking its time she got paired off with a nice gentleman somewhere.

“I hope you’re not going to meet Sir Kieran with that expression on your face.”

“I don’t know. It will depend on Sir Kieran.”

“Ginny.”

“I’m sorry.” Ginny turned on the dressing table stool to face her mother. “It’s just that you and Father and the King and Queen have decided that this man is a good match for me and I don’t know a single thing about him. Cait was a commoner and Prince Felipe convinced his parents to let him marry her because he loved her. I’m not a Crown Princess, why do I have to marry someone of a certain station?”

“Unfortunately that’s the way it works,” her mother said, and Ginny thought she sounded almost as glum as Ginny felt. “Cait’s a part of the Royal Family now, and by extension, we are, too. Sometimes we have to go along with these things.”

If you want to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, please do! It’s very easy. Just post an excerpt from your WIP with some correlation to the date. Then join us at the linky here. I’m going to dash away now, and continue to cross-reference this GoodReads list of novels set during the Salem Witch Trials with my public library’s catalogue. Since I have no rehearsals or performances this weekend (sadface!), I hope to be able to get back to visiting you all on a more regular basis. 😀 Laters!

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