Ssshhh… Secret Passion Project |Following Dark Story-Squirrel Trails #CampNanowrimo

So, it’s been a while since I’ve taken part in a Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) event. I had intentions of doing the official Nanowrimo in November last year but my schedule just didn’t allow for it. But this year I am taking part in Nanowrimo events. The first event, Camp Nanowrimo, starts 1 April. I have signed up. To make things even more fun, I’ve corralled my CP, Darcy, (Writing Critique Partner aka Story Sister aka Keeper of My Manuscript when I want to trash it) into joining in the writing madness with me this year. Actually we’ve decided to make the April Camp Nanowrimo (Camp Nanowrimo runs in April, July, September and Nanowrimo runs in November) an annual tradition for us. Our birthdays fall in the last week of March, they’re one day apart from each other, a few days before Camp Nanowrimo begins. So we thought it would actually be a lovely annual tradition to do the April Camp Nanowrimo together annually…

2019 April Camp Nanowrimo Project

This year I’m finally going to start drafting Book #1 of my new Secret WIP Series. I’m really excited to get started with this draft. This is a passion project. It is very different to my main WIP series The Tattooist. But it is still very much a ME project. It is deep, dark and deliciously twisted. But it is not a thriller nor is it crime. It fits into quite a few literary genres. But if I had to sum it up, it is a grimdark mythological dystopian fantasy. I did warm you, it’s not an easy story to peg into just one genre.

It is full of dark gods, monsters, creatures and humans. My main characters are all anti-heroes and villains. It is hard to tell the protagonists from the antagonists because in this story everyone is touched with a vein of darkness, only the degrees of darkness separate the characters.

I wanted to write a huge epic world-building story that just allows me to play on the page/screen. My favourite tv series, The Originals, ended its run and I wanted more of the same. I wanted to immerse myself in a world of ruthlessness and deep story threads set in a fantastical setting. In fact, my beloved Niklaus aka Klaus Mikaelson (main big bad in The Originals) and his ruthless siblings is very much an inspiration for many of my characters.

I wanted to have a project that I escape into, in breaks from rewrites/edits of The Tattooist. I had an epiphany that I work better when I am at work on two projects simultaneously. It is the way I read as well, I never have fewer than 4 books on the go simultaneously. Part of this is because I enjoy switching genres, whether it be in writing or in reading, often two or three completely different genres to match differing moods I might be in. I also find that in my writing, working on two wholly different projects set in two completely different genres feed off each other in inspiration and motivation.

This Passion Project has actually been germinating quietly for the last three years, ever since I got back from Europe. A seed was planted and I have been slowly watering it, waiting for the right time to work on it. I feel it is ready to be written now.

The working title for this series: The Dark Fairytales

That is not the real title, I’m keeping the actual title secret for now. This is a deliciously dark, decadent tale that I want to keep to myself for a while.

I’m going to blogging throughout April giving you snippets of my inspiration behind this series. So keep your eye posted for new posts.

Certain dark things are only meant to be loved in secret…..

I leave you with some visual aesthetics from my series inspiration board (it’s a private board) I’ve set up on Pinterest.

Writers: Tell me, are you taking part in Camp Nanowrimo?

Non-Writers: Tell me, what stories are you reading or watching that has you in their grip?

Related
Camp Nanowrimo
Nanowrimo
The Originals (Netflix)
What is GrimDark?

Skin | Blood & Ink

Imagine being one small part, a word, of a story…Now imagine your skin being part of a global story.

This is what SKIN is.

…while thinking about how much I liked forms that reflected their content, I thought of my unfinished story “Skin,” and suddenly it suddenly occurred to me that there is a kind of “publishing” we already do on skin: tattooing. The idea of publishing a story on volunteers, one word at a time, was only a few mental leaps away. The whole concept of the Skin project leapt into my mind in that moment. I put out a call for participants in summer of 2003…
– Shelley Jackson

2003 – Shelley Jackson came up with this idea to craft a new medium for story. She would write the 2095 word story and then request volunteers to have one word of the story tattooed on their bodies.

…The existence of the author is a necessary flaw in this (every?) story. But this project makes me keenly aware that I am not the only, or even always the dominant voice in it. I recently took great pleasure in watching three “words” coach a fourth, nascent word through her first tattoo: “Have you eaten anything? Here, have this apple. Do you want us to hold your hand?” My presence was a comfortable irrelevancy to them at that moment. Furthermore, my story is being rewritten, one word at a time, by my participants. As my words enter the specific contexts of their lives, they change forever. In the end, 2095 other people will have signed their names to my story…
– Shelley Jackson

Each person would be given a word by Shelley and would then need to tattoo this word on their body. Once accepted as a WORD each volunteer would then receive the complete story. The provision being that they would keep this story forever confidential.

…I was quite serious when I called this a Mortal Work of Art. As words die, the story gradually changes; it’s possible that the first word will die before the last one has been published, meaning that no complete version will ever appear. But I consider each version of the story legitimate; each successively shorter version of the story that will be created by these deaths is the story too, right down to the one-word story that will be its final printed form. If all my words hold to their promise not to share the story, that will truly be the end. The work includes its own disappearance in its aesthetic project, so it is not complete until it is gone. However, like all living things, each “word” has a complex destiny of his or her own, affecting many other lives, and I consider that part of my project too. When I die, the destiny of the project will fall into the hands of the remaining words, who might decide, who knows, to do something different with it than I intended! Some people have asked if they could will their words to their children, creating a second-generation story…
– Shelley Jackson

I love the idea of this project on so many levels. I love the exclusivity of the story only being made available to 2095 people. I love the secrecy and the intimacy of tattooing a story one word at a time on different people around the world. I love the idea of being a WORD in a story in both a figurative and a literal sense.

Tattooing is an ancient art form. I have always been fascinated by the whole process of tattooing.

Who gets a tattoo?
Why they get a tattoo?
Where they choose to be tattooed?

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“There is something wonderfully melancholic about a piece of writing that’s living flesh and finally dies and is grieved over.”
– Shelley Jackson

Tattooing is one of the most intimate experiences.
I have long been fascinated with tattoos and I have been designing my “dream” tattoos for years now. I have not yet found the perfect tattoo that I would want inked on me permanently yet so the search continues. But a tattoo is so much more than a symbol or a fashion accessory, in many cultures it is an integral part of the culture’s history and spiritual practices. Tattooing is a bizarrely intimate ritual: a ritual where a person literally carves a symbol, words or an image into your skin with permanent ink.

…the body interests me most as something to write about, not to touch (not in a professional capacity, anyway). I am fascinated above all with using it as a object of fantastical transformations, because we care about the body and we know it intimately, and I think that makes it possible to invest bizarre scenarios with very strong, creepy, personal feelings…
– Shelley Jackson

As a writer alone this bizarre ritual where blood and ink are fused together into a permanent “stain” sparks my imagination.

This long-held personal fascination with tattoos and the desire to seek out their history in different cultures sparked the idea behind The Tattooist my current WIP.

Would you get/Do you gave a tattoo?
Do you prefer Literary (words/quotes/mantras) tattoos or image tattoos?
Would you be a WORD for Shelley Jackson’s SKIN project?

Skin: A Mortal Work of Art

All Quotes courtesy of
Written on The Body: Interview with Shelley Jackson

Related Posts

Why this new brand of Fiction is a Life Sentence

My Life as a Word: How I became part of The “Skin” Short Story Project

Shelley Jackson Writes on Snow for a New Story

Images courtesy of Shelley Jackson’s Ineradicable Stain

Last Words | Who Are You?

Image shared courtesy of The Dead Game by Susanne Leist

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This gravestone brings up so many thoughts:

Who was this woman?
Who chose her inscription?
Was it a last act of revenge from a spurned lover/spouse?
Were they the last words she wanted to be remembered by?

What comes to your mind when you look at it?
What would you like to be put on your gravestone when you die?

This gravestone had me contemplating what I would want inscribed to mark my place in this world.
Death is inevitable for every one of us but something that few of us like to contemplate. We are mortal beings but we fear our mortality. We focus on living in the here and now. But I wonder sometimes if we focused on how people would remember us after we die, if that would impact our choices and decisions.

How would you like to be remembered?

If I could choose one mantra to be remembered by it would be:

She lived and loved fearlessly.

The poem I would have as my last words would be:

~ the uncaged bird is set free ~

I can no more cage this poeme`
to trap my soul in earthly realms hollows my flesh
Poeme` is life fleshed into my Bones
A place where the intangible is material
A window through which the tears of God
break open the unseen cracks in a heart
A Love divine and Light surreal
is my heart free, my soul uncaged
the Bird of Poeme` soaring into the heavenly realms.

– Excerpted from my poem “Soul Wings”
© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

Don’t fear her, get away from her.

There is something about this post that resonates with me…sometimes the thing we should fear lies within…madness would scare me and make me run more than any other monster…what about you?

Futzing About

Many fear that Madness’ presence breaks things we take for granted. Things like the meaning of ‘Up’.

Broken Seams

Can the walls crawl on the floor
and the ceiling ride their backs?
Can the peeling paint
slowly taint
the food you lovingly bring back?
Can the world turn topsy-turvy
and drip bile from your mouth?
The swirling sickness,
flowing thickness,
that threatens to climb back out.

Would you fear a doorway
that hadn’t any door?
Would you fear that doorway
if it hadn’t any floor?
Would you fear that doorway
if it opened on the sky?
And if you stepped through,
let’s just hope
that you had said ‘good bye’.

Can you smell the fear, now?
The sights and sounds around?
The confusing illusions
dripping up
when Madness touches down.

Fear the smell with no scent
and the sight that blinds the mole
the longer you remain near
the deeper…

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Neil Gaiman’s All Hallows’ Read, A New Halloween Tradition?

I am completely up for this idea… Love it! More book giving holidays please! Nothing like a scary book to read under the duvet, where you are hiding from your own imagination, holding a torchlight and barely daring to breathe in case whatever you are hiding from hears just that one too-loud exhale…

Halloween Culture

.

Leave it to Neil Gaiman to try and make Halloween an even cooler holiday than it already is.

All Hallows’ Read is a new tradition of horror/scary book giving that Mr. Gaiman is hoping catches on.

“I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy. I propose that stories by authors like John Bellairs and Stephen King and Arthur Machen and Ramsey Campbell and M R James and Lisa Tuttle and Peter Straub and Daphne Du Maurier and Clive Barker and a hundred hundred others change hands — new books or old or second-hand, beloved books or unknown. Give someone a scary book for Hallowe’en. Make their flesh creep…” Neil Gaiman

In my humble opinion, it’s a great idea. In this age of ipads and electronic media it’s important not…

View original post 271 more words

#CoffinHop – Day 1| The Abandoned & The Disappeared…Tell me what happened to these ghost towns.

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Dust Devils dance a macabre dervish

Tumbleweed twists in torment

Ghosts of the Disappeared stalk the streets of Death

Screams of silence fill the graveyard of the Abandoned

Gates creak open with unearthly screams

Come down to the Graveyard

Coffins spill their bone chilling secrets

~ The Abandoned and the Disappeared ~

Tell me what happened to these Ghost Towns…

Twist a tale of terror,

Send shivers of horror down my spine with a story,

Flay the flesh from my skin as you open my veins and bleed me out with your poetry…

Rules

Submit your daily entry (1 per person per day) in the comments.

Submit either a Flash Fiction Piece/Prose

or

Short Story

or

Poetry

Prizes

There can be only 1 ultimate winner for this contest.

You will win

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo

1 * Ebook – Death by Drivein (CoffinHop Anthology)

1 * Mystery Trick or Treat

Contest runs 24th – 31st October 2013

Winner to be announced – 5th November 2013

xxxxx

Kolmanskop / Kolmanskuppe, Namibia, Africa

Image Courtesy of  Damien du Toit from Cape Town, South Africa
Image Courtesy of Damien du Toit from Cape Town, South Africa

Where: Namib Desert, Namibia, Africa

Facts: Founded by a transport driver called Johnny Coleman. Trapped by a sand storm, he abandoned his ox wagon in the desert which became the settlement of Kolmanskop / Kolmanskuppe.

In 1908 a diamond was found here by an employee of the German railway inspector. Germany declared the area a Sperrgebiet (translated – Prohibited Area) and started exploiting the desert as a diamond field.

Driven by the wealth of diamonds and adventure, a town was formed that included modern amenities like a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, bowling alley, theatre, casino, ice factory as well as the first x-ray station in the southern hemisphere and the first tram in Africa.

World War 1 put the town into a sharp decline.

In 1954 the once diamond-rich town was suddenly abandoned and became a ghost town.

Tell me what happened to this ghost town…

x

CoffinHop2013skelly1200x1800poster

Dig up those coffin-hopping boots,

dance down to the graveyard for more

bone-chilling CoffinHop tricks & treats.

53.

#Coffinhop – The Graveyard is Open, Come in if you dare…

InsideHauntedHouseCoffinHop13

Dust Devils dance a macabre dervish

Tumbleweed twists in torment

Ghosts of the Disappeared stalk the streets of Death

Screams of silence fill the graveyard of the Abandoned

Gates creak open with unearthly screams

Come down to the Graveyard

Coffins spill their bone chilling secrets

~ The Abandoned and the Disappeared ~

Welcome to Coffin Hop 2013

x

This year I am hosting

a CoffinHop Contest of

Terror, Tricks & Treats

in the Ghost Towns

of

The Abandoned & The Disappeared

My task ~ Each day I will be posting images and known histories

of infamous ghost towns

Your task ~ Tell me a terrible tale of what happened to

turn these ghost towns into empty and deserted graveyards

of

The Abandoned & The Disappeared

Your entry can be in the form of a tale told, flash fiction or a poem.

Enter your submission into the comments of the daily CoffinHop “The Abandoned & The Disappeared” posts here on this site for your entry to be counted.

The Contest is from 24th – 31st October.

Contest Winners will be judged by me on creativity & horror.

You are playing for

The Prizes

The One Ultimate Winner will receive

1 * Copy of Death by Drive-In (The CoffinHop Anthology)

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo

+

1 x Mystery “Terror Trick or Treat” Prize

Return later today for the first Ghost Town…

CoffinHop13thFloorFaceYourFears_Full714x1064
Take the 13th floor to Coffin Hop 2013

Get those coffinhoppin’ boots on,

Dance a dervish in the boneyard…

Grab yourself a copy of Death by Drive-In

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo
COFFIN HOP: DEATH BY DRIVE-IN is a collection of some of the best and brightest of the Coffin Hop crew, with 21 amazing B-movie inspired stories from some of the best Indie authors around

AVAILABLE NOW

KINDLE

SMASHWORDS

PAPERBACK

CoffinHop Store is open – Grab your coffinhop swag

100% of All Proceeds of the Anthology sales + CoffinHop Swag go to LitWorld.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting child literacy and social improvement the world over.

Help COFFINHOP support Child Literacy and BUY a Copy and Grab some Swag.

Unhinge the coffins to reveal terrors, tricks & treats

CoffinHop 2013 begins today

24th – 31st October

These are the coffinhoppers…

Open their coffins by clicking on each link below

for more terror, horror and

coffinhopping contests and prizes galore.

53.

#CoffinHop 2013 Count Down

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CoffinHop 2013

CountDown begins this month.

There are only 3 weeks left until the annual Horror BlogHop that is CoffinHop launches.

Clock
Clock (Photo credit: Images_of_Money)

This is my favourite blogging time of the year because not only is it dripping in chills, terror and horror but it is the time of year when I get to hang out in the blogosphere with my favourite people: the Bone-Chilling CoffinHop Crew. The best thing is because it is a hop – You my readers get to hang out with these Masters and Mistresses of the Horror genre too.

So people, mark your calendars and kill off the next 21 days as we wait with baited breath and chills running up and down our spine for the Annual CoffinHop.

24th – 31st October
7 days of bone-paralysing terror
7 days of spine-tingling fear
7 days of blood-chilling horror
+100 Masters and Mistresses of Horror

Tick, tock, tick, tock…the time is almost near. Don’t close your eyes. You don’t know who is waiting around the dark corners…

CoffinHop 2013

Come to the Dark Side | Grand Launch #Poetry #BlogHop Starts Midnight 21stJuly

Welcome to the Grand Launch of The Kintsugi Poets Society

KintsugiBloghopButton

BlogHop ~ 21st July – 28th July

Theme – The Darkness

Broken Words Whispered in The Dark

To celebrate the launch of this new society of Dark Poets,

we are kicking off with a BlogHop Tour of Poetry

Poetry in its darkest and most terribly beautiful forms

Find the whisperings of broken words and dark spaces below.

Kim Koning

Jack Varnell

Kavita Rao

Amy Marshall

Andrew Drage

Anita Stewart

Ash Krafton

Caroline Adele O’Brien

Ellie Rose McKee

Irina Dimitric-Stojic

************************

Follow the Website

Tweet us on Twitter

Like the Facebook Page

Join the BlogHop event on FB

Add The Kintsugi Poets to your G+ Circles

kintsugiwelcome
Enter here to let the dark words of The Kintsugi Poets seep into your soul….

Calling all Poets with a Dark Side

Attention: Poets with a Dark Side

I am starting a website community of Poets with a dark side.

***

Turning dark cracks & broken fragments into golden seams of poetry ~ A Society of Poets who can turn the dark edges, the cracked pieces and the broken fragments of their experience into the golden seams of poetry.
The poets I am looking for write their poetry with a dark slant, twist. The poetry can be metaphysically/literally/figuratively/emotionally dark. It can be themed to a genre – ie paranormal/horror/suspense or it can be personal struggles/pain.
***
This will be a community of shared poetry and eventually I would like to publish some poetry anthologies of the poetry shared.
I am recruiting members here.
If you are interested, please let me know in the comments on this post.
Expansion by Paige Bradley
Expansion by Paige Bradley
Sign up here...
Sign up here…

Book Spotlight

AshBloodRush

My good friend, and fellow coffinhopper, Ash Krafton has a new release out

in her best-selling Demimonde Series. Book Two is now out for your enjoyment. 

*This book is on its way to me now and I for one cannot wait to dive into this story.*

Blood Rush 

The Books of the Demimonde, Book 2

Ash Krafton

Genre: urban fantasy
Publisher: Pink Narcissus
Date of Publication: May 14, 2103
ISBN: 9781939056016
Number of pages: 353 
Word Count: 94000
Cover Artist: Duncan Eagleson

Book Description:

 

Sophie doesn’t believe in happily ever after. 

These days, she’d settle for alive after sunrise. 

Advice columnist and newly-appointed oracle to the demivampire, Sophie Galen 

has more issues than a Cosmo collection: a new mentor with a mean streak, a 

werewolf stalker she can’t shake, and a relationship with her ex’s family that 

redefines the term complicated. And then there’s her ex himself, who is more

interested in playing leader of the vampire pack than in his own salvation. 

Becoming a better oracle is tough enough, but when Sophie encounters a deadly 

enemy – one she never dreamed of facing – it will take everything she’s ever 

learned in order to survive.

 

Excerpt: 

I don’t believe in happily ever after. These days, I’d settle for alive until sunrise.

I never thought I’d become a nine-to-fiver. Certainly never thought I’d be too pre-occupied to 

make fun of myself for being one. Sometimes the irony was too great to appreciate. 

While I waited for the elevator to arrive at The Mag’s foyer, I smoothed my scarf along the back

of my neck and hefted my tote bag a little higher on my shoulder. Every chime increased my

trepidation, tightening the fist of anxiety in my chest and the sensation of bees swarming in the

top of my stomach. I hated quitting time.

More underappreciated irony. Why not?

People chatted around me but I fidgeted with my zipper, keeping my gaze lowered and my 

mouth closed. Leaving at five in the afternoon meant more than crammed elevators and crowded

buses; it meant the light would fade soon and with it my peace of mind. The autumn wasn’t a 

happy golden foliage time of year for me anymore.

Although it was only early October, already the longer nights and shorter days made me

feel nervous and brittle. Bad enough I didn’t have a sweetheart to share the long nights but even

worse now that I knew what came out when the sun went down. Although I hadn’t had any 

problems with vampires over the last year, the threat never left my mind.

Vampires were out there. It was just a matter of time until I had to deal with them again.

Halfway during our descent, I felt a vibe. It was a mild one but, over the past year, my empathy 

had become sensitive to the point of being squirrely. The thin thread of power wound its way 

around each of the passengers as the DV who owned it checked out who else was in the car. 

When it reached me, it felt like a poke on the arm. I glanced over my shoulder, catching the eyes 

of an older dark-eyed woman near the back. She sent a tiny pulse of apology-ladened power and 

lowered her eyes. 

I smiled politely and concentrated on tugging my scarf loose. The DV didn’t approach me in 

public where any old human could see. We kept our dealings distant and private. That was the

way I preferred.

The door opened and I flowed out with the crowd, sunglasses on and scarf over my hair. I hoped 

everyone would more or less continue on together today so I could hide in the crowd a bit longer.

Without turning my head, I saw a rail-thin guy, his scruffy head and jeans out of place amongst

the exiting office employees. He leaned against the wall, scanning the people emerging from the 

other elevators. Seemed to have missed me—good. Taking shelter behind a taller woman and her 

chatty companion, I hustled out the front doors.

Outside, my luck ran out. My camouflaging crowd of co-workers suddenly scattered like roaches 

when the kitchen light is turned on. I hesitated, taking too long to pick a direction.

It was all he needed to spot me. I looked back through the glass into the foyer of The Mag’s 

building. He was on the move, eyes locked onto me.

I bolted.

Startled faces blurred past as I hurried through the five o’clock exodus, bumping into one man,

dodging another, and rounding the corner at a speed unfitting for heeled pumps. Steve Madden

would be horrified if he knew what I did in his shoes.

Well, Steve could kill me later. Right now, I was facing a much more immediate threat.

At the corner, a bus was loading and at this point I didn’t care if it was mine or not. An elderly lady

with a big shopping bag struggled on the steps and I danced behind her like a first grader 

with a full bladder. Once she cleared the last step I leapt up, slamming my token into the fare box.

The door closed behind me just as my pursuer caught up. For once I was glad for the driver’s

rude efficiency. The bus leveled and lurched forward. I grabbed the bar, almost swinging into the

laps of the front seat passengers. As we pulled away from the curb, I met the man’s stare through

the grimy glass of the door.

Rusted-orange eyes with wide pupils. 

Non-people eyes.

Werewolf eyes.

I sank onto an empty seat, heart thumping, gradually slowing. Glancing up at the sign over the 

driver’s seat, I realized I’d ended up on the round-about route. Close enough for me. I tugged my

necklace out of my shirt and kissed the pendant, my good luck charm, and offered a silent 

thankful thought to whatever divine powers had saved my behind, yet again.

Reaching into my bag, I pulled out a book of poetry and readied for a long ride home. Ironically, 

when I’d flipped to a random page, I opened to one of Dylan Thomas’s poems.

Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I had no energy left for rage. All I could muster was a thankful thought because at least today’s 

escape had gone better than most.

About the Author:

Ash Krafton writes from the heart…of the Pennsylvania coal region, that is. 

She is the author of the Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press). 

BLEEDING HEARTS (Demimonde #1) is a six-time RWA finalist and was voted 

“Reviewer Top Pick” by Gravetells.com. Ash continues the story of Sophie and 

her Demivampires in her latest release BLOOD RUSH (Demimonde #2). 

She’s hard at work (when she isn’t watching Doctor Who) writing the third book, 

WOLF’S BANE.

Ash Krafton’s poetry and short fiction has appeared in several journals, including 

Niteblade, Bete Noire, Abandoned Towers, and Silver Blade. She’s a member of 

Pennwriters, RWA, and Maryland Writers Association. She lurks near her blog 

and contributes to the QueryTracker blog.

Ash lives with her family and their German Shepherd dog deep in the Pennsylvania 

wilds, awaiting the day the TARDIS appears in the driveway (the dog most likely 

keeps the Doctor away. What a beast.) 

Until then, she writes.

Find Ash at:

The Demimonde blog

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