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<<August 2014>>
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Results 51 - 75 of 140,782
51. A cup of tea

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52. Lego Mecha Suit – Lego with Elijah

Whenever I play lego with Elijah, I sometimes feel that I have more fun than him, but that might be just my perception.  Mecha Suit built with lego.

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53. Draw your Breakfast

Sometimes in the morning, you are only half awake and just took your first sip of coffee, but then there's that moment that you realize you have something really pretty in front of you. So: sketch it!

Need some help with that? Not the breakfast, but the drawing of it, I mean. Check out my online class on drawing food and illustrating recipes. It's $69 for 4 weeks and it starts tomorrow!

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54. Comment on Tag! I’m it… by mollyidle

My pleasure Zach! I use Canson vellum finish Bristol.

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55. ‘Charles Bukowski Uncensored’ by Drew Christie

Candid conversations between counterculture icon Charles Bukowski, his wife, and his producer that took place in Bukowski’s home during the recording session for his classic "Run With the Hunted" in 1993.

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56. How to develop your own style?


Whether you’re an inky illustrator, a passionate painter, daring doodler, pro photographer or more finding that one of a kind style to be known for can sometimes seem a tad tricky to find. No doubt I’m not alone when I say that we can sometimes find ourselves gazing in amazement at the many other creative people in our field and think to ourselves “how am I going to get where they are”.  There may be a creative in particular whom you find yourself admiring both for their style and success acquired because they’re so individual, niche and unique at what they do. So your next head scratching question maybe “how can I develop my own style?” and develop it in a way that is going to make you different to all the other talented creative people in the world, because you yourself are one of a kind and have your own creative imagination to share. Well to answer your question here’s a few points I came up with to think about that may just help you creatively along the way;

  • Know that your style is forever developing and changing along the way


  • Your style will have characteristics, textures and a uniqueness of its own so don’t be to concern that it’s nothing like the next guy’s because originality is important


  • Discovering your own taste and stick to those tastes this can be anything from techniques to materials or the subject’s you draw, but don’t be afraid to explore beyond that ( don’t get scared to go out of your comfort zone).


  • Your style will reflect the kind of work you may want to be commission for, for example do you have a love for the human form, creating portraits of little characters or maybe alternatively you prefer to create sophisticated patterns with lots of colour.

Deep down your style is there you just need to create more to see it and then you can share it with others. Image by designer Lindsay Letters you can find out more about their work here.

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57. comics jamming at london world con

Last Friday I went to the huge international Science Fiction convention that is World Con, this year hosted right in my hometown! (And somewhat confusingly, also called < ahref="http://www.loncon3.org/">LonCon3</a>.) And I saw some familiar faces right away! Spot the family who were in my Nine Worlds convention blog post from the previous weekend... (The lady in the excellent Vivien of Holloway dress is Adela Terrell.)

And since I was going to lead a Comics Jam session, I wore my best Jampires dress! And brought along my beautiful new Jampire friend, knitted as a surprise by Ann Lam. Poor little Jampire; World Con was a BIG PLACE and he couldn't find jam anywhere, just post-apocalyptic landscape.

First photo tweeted by @ExLibrisNora

Meanwhile, I was schmoozing it up in the Green Room with writer Emma Newman in her amazing red frock coat. Wait, check it out, the Green Room at the Excel Centre was in this crazy pod on stilts. Funnily enough, I also sat right by George RR Martin in there, but since I don't watch or read Game of Thrones;, the experience was a bit wasted on me and I chatted with fab Hannah Berry instead. Cons are like that for me, I don't know any of the people I'm supposed to know, because I never get a chance to WATCH TELLY.

So for the Comics Jam session, I brought along a range of indie/self-published comics, a mix of work by adults and kids, to show to the group. And I talked about how writing and drawing are one thing, but making their own books is even better, because they can learn how a whole book is put together, practice the form, and play around a bit with marketing it, designing covers, etc.

Here we are, in the midst of the Comics Jam, everyone working on panel number three at the same time.

And a couple of the comics we came up with, each panel drawn by a different person:

One of the dads in particular was very interested in helping his son find out more about making comics, and I was hugely pleased to be able to recommend Neill Cameron's brand-new book, How to Make Awesome Comics. In the past, I've recommended Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, but I find Scott's book has a bit too much advanced technical theory for younger kids, say, under 10 or 12. Neill's book is a wonderful gap-filler and I know I will be recommending it often. (You can buy it here from The Phoenix Comic online shop, among lots of other great kid-appropriate comics.)

Oh, and as a side-note, Scott McCloud will be a special guest this October at the Lakes Internation Comic Art Festival in Kendal, which I'll be attending. Neill does lots of workshops at the Story Museum in Oxford and elsewhere, so keep an eye on his website events page.

If anyone from the Comics Jam is looking for guidance specifically on running more Comics Jams, I've created a guide with my Jampires picture book co-author David O'Connell on our Jampires.com website.

Click here to read more

I also spoke on another panel on art, and then went to see Audrey Niffenegger give the English PEN H.G. Wells talk. I sat next to Sophie Lyons, who'd studied on Audrey's novel writing course in Chicago. Audrey talked about Wells' short story The Door in the Wall, which I managed to find and read online late that night. It's like a dark inversion of one of my childhood favourites, The Secret Garden, about a man who once finds a wonderous door to a garden and then spends the rest of his life yearning for that garden; he's unable to find the door, except at the most inopportune times, when he feels he can't take time to walk through it. Good stuff.

And here are some of the LonCon team! There's Maura McHugh, Erin Horáková, James Bacon and Esther MacCalum-Stewart, and they all looked after me very well. Thanks so much!

I knew Maura from trips to Ireland, where she had hosted me when I spoke to the Dublin chapter of Laydeez Do Comics. Maura does loads of things, but you might know her for the famous list she made of currently practicing female comic artists in the UK and Ireland... Ah, and I see she's widened it to Wome in Comics in Europe! You can follow her on Twitter as @splinister.

I made a quick foray into the Dealers Hall and saw the art exhbition, and was particularly pleased to see my ol' studio mate Ellen Lindner's books on display at the Soaring Penguin table, manned by John Anderson and Nora Goldberg.

So my experience doesn't even begin to encompass the vast scale of the con, and it ran for five days. But I was glad to have a little window into it, for the day I was there. Thanks, Maura and James, for inviting me to be a part of it!

I'll leave you with a few more of the Comics Jams.

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58. Sketch Song Project: Burning CDs

So I went to the store and picked up some CD-R's so I could burn a song on each for the 100 Sketch Song Project

I was thinking I should pick up some printable labels but then I thought, why not just spray paint right on the CD? So I picked up some spray paint instead.

When I got home I created this little Zonkey stencil out of a cereal box. Isn't it cute!

Then I spray painted the stencil on CD #1. The song is "Use To Be A Wombat" just in case you wanted to know.

This is the CD on top and the stencil once removed below.

Here is the CD in the case. It's almost a complete package. This little project has a lot of parts!

Stay tuned!!

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59. No Entry Fee: The Payton James Freeman Essay Prize

The Payton James Freeman Essay Prize – “The Payton Prize”

$500, Publication, and a public reading and talk at Drake University

The Freeman Family and the Drake University Department of English invite you to submit outstanding unpublished non-fiction essays of up to 3500 words on the subject [[AFTER THE UNHAPPY ENDING]].

Students and faculty of Drake University will read all entries and choose the finalists. The winner will be selected by final judge Cheryl Strayed.

The winner will be awarded $500, published in The Rumpus, and brought to Drake University in February 2015 to read from the winning essay and speak at a public event. There is no fee.

Payton James Freeman was a bright, loving child whose ability to move — even to smile — was stolen by a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Diagnosed as an infant, Payton was expected to live perhaps six months. Instead he fought for five and a half years as his parents worked with doctors and scientists, fundraising in hopes of a cure. SMA ultimately took his life, but his story lives on in all those who continue striving against uncountable odds, and who struggle to put life’s most complex and trying events into words.

SMA is the #1 genetic killer of children under age two. The Freeman Family would like you to learn about SMA and remember Payton as you submit your essays and as we read and celebrate the winning essay.

Submit one essay of up to 3500 words via Submittable. Deadline September 30, 2014. Winner and finalists will be announced in December of 2014.

Authors must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must agree to attend and participate in the reading at Drake University in February 2015 to receive the award. Current students and employees of Drake University, The Rumpus, and/or Cheryl Strayed are ineligible for the award.

Filed under: opportunity, Places to sumit, Writer's Prompt Tagged: $500 prize and publication, After the Happy Ending, Drake University, Non-fiction, Submit your essays, The Payton Prize

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60. Book Review: ‘Gustave Doré: Master of Imagination’

Although I haven’t seen the exhibit “Gustave Doré (1832-1883): Master of Imagination,” currently at the National Gallery of Canada, I can say that the catalog is beautiful, informative, and opened up Doré’s career in ways I had not anticipated.

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61. There are strange things afoot in the brambly woods

via ArtGhost http://ift.tt/1sOpnVL

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62. Sunday Morning Running Motivation: Turtle Training

It’s no lie…sometimes you just gotta take a cue from the Turtles.
teenage mutant ninja turtles running

Fancy that, another train of familiar characters getting their run on…sorta reminds me of THESE LADIES!!

More Morning Running Motivation Posts And Art

1) Who here is also a real runnerd and Turtles fan too? ;)
2) What were you chasing this weekend?

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Avast!  Here is Part 2 of "King Bronty and the Pirate's Treasure", just in time for some Sunday reading enjoyment! Dinosaurs, Knights and Pirates, can it get any better than that?


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64. i am still right here

For everyone feeling like shit today.
A new range of products, lotions and potions that I may, or may not, be bringing out in the future.
Probably not coming to my Etsy shop very soon.

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65. dancerinnas

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66. Rumble Seat

"It's time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I'd much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure." - Ernie Harwell

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67. ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ ‘Mickey Mouse,’ Harry Shearer Win Primetime Emmys

Last night was a night of cartoon firsts at the 2014 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards as "Bob's Burgers," "Disney's Mickey Mouse" shorts, and "Simpsons" voice actor Harry Shearer each won an Emmy Award for the first time.

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68. The Orchestra Pit

It's nearly here! My new book, The Orchestra Pit, will be released into the wild on August 19th! If you're in the Portland, Oregon area, come celebrate with us on the 19th at Green Bean Books at 11am. It's a free event and everyone is welcome! 

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69. Illustration Friday : Journey

It's been forever since I've posted. I'm going to try to show up once a week via IllustrationFriday and get back into the groove!

This painting lives with my dear friend in the Netherlands and it's my choice to represent this week's word:Journey.

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70. The Six People Who Shaped My Life

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

My life might have been entirely different had I not befriended seven people along life’s journey. It has been said that to understand the path of our life we have to review it in reverse, starting with the early years.

Beyond parents and siblings, throughout my life I have had six people leave deep footprints on my heart: a landscape architect (Dave), a family practitioner (John/Dr. Jensen), an English teacher (Miss Starr Hacker), a professor (Dr. Ralph H. Hunkins), my wife, (Marilyn), and a poet (Shel Silverstein.) Whom and what we love seems to shape the person we become.

I grew up next door to Dave in Queens, New York, until he turned five. Then his family moved 30 miles away. Our parents were great friends. The friendship survived the move because on Thursdays the men met to play cards in the kitchen and the women met to sew sweaters and chat in the living room. They took turns visiting one another with a small group of lifelong friends.

During the summer Dave and I would always spend a week or two at each other’s home. We shared several important interests: chasing girls for dates, blue ribbons on the track team, and a Regents diploma. In our teens, it was frequently more satisfying to write volumes to one another about girls, sports, school, and our domineering fathers than to do anything else. Our moms faithfully exchanged our letters every Thursday. We called it the “Pocketbook Mail Express.” No stamps needed.

Our dads asked a lot from themselves and those they loved. And our generation was the one where kids were seen but not heard. Sometimes our letters were a forum for complaints against the universe. Sometimes they were simply tales of teen triumphs and defeats.

I admired Dave and his family because they took summer vacation trips together. Dave was a Boy Scout, had cute girlfriends, and attended church with his family. He always wore shiny black shoes, a pressed white shirt, and a tie to church. Dave was the first person who taught me how to make a presentable knot. Now whenever I put on a tie, I think of Dave and how I kept my vow to be like his Dad by vacationing with my kids during their formative years. Thanks to Dave and his vacation stories I became a better father than I might have been.

John, the doctor-to-be, was very analytical and loved baseball. As a youngster, I hated playing “Go Fish!” with him because had a photographic mind.  I was better at playing stoop ball, stickball, or sandlot baseball. Because he lived a bike ride away, we played ball all of the time. We grew up loving baseball and rooting for two different New York teams. We had baseball and family in common—Christmas dinners, birthdays, confirmation, and more.

John taught me to stand up for myself, enjoy family gatherings, and cherish our moments outdoors or indoors together. Some of the best laughs we had were watching the “Jackie Gleason Show” and rolling with laugher on the living room floor. We even earned money together by sharing a big paper route. At the age of 12, we sometimes took the train into the city by ourselves with our earnings and attended a Yankee day game. John encouraged me to go after whatever I wanted, but never to lose my sense of humor in the process.

In my senior year in high school, I realized that I wasn’t going to be a professional baseball player. My English teacher, Miss Starr Hacker, thought that I was a promising writer. She believed in me. For her, I wrote my heart out. My weekly essays always had a large red “A” scribbled on them. I actively participated in her class. My mind was growing with possibilities. I started believing that I could be an English teacher or a writer, thanks to her.

 I longed to make a difference in the lives of others, just like Miss Hacker. I even considered being a sixth grade teacher because mine was so dull that I thought that I could do better!

My first education course was taught by Dr. Ralph H. Hunkins. He was a kind, intelligent, and enthusiastic. We immediately hit it right off in class. I loved studying about teaching, especially theories of education and men like John Dewey. Two pet projects of Dr. Hunkins were defining what education really is and fostering World Peace. In his classroom I was politely outspoken. After doing an Independent Study with him, we became friends, and I wrote him often after I graduated. He once told me that my letters about school were better than John Holt’s writings about education. Sometimes I even had the pleasure of his wife’s delicious cooking and friendly company. Thanks to them, my confidence as a future educator or writer was growing.

Around the time I met Ralph, I also met my bride-to-be, Marilyn Dufford. We fell madly in love. I thought she was perfect, beautiful on the inside and the outside. And she loved kids. She wanted to be an early childhood teacher. We studied a lot in the college dorm. She taught me how to really study, love long walks, chick flicks, and pizza at “Arnies.”

We married two weeks after our June graduation. In September she was teaching kindergarten, and I was teaching sixth grade in the same school district. I felt the happiest I ever felt in my life. I taught elementary school for thirty-three years.  She taught public school for fifteen years, became a religious director, and raised two lovely daughters. She finished her teaching career as a Special Education teacher. The two of us always loved teaching kids, books, stories, and words.

Thanks to Ralph’s inspiring words about writing, I published a number of articles for parents and teachers in national magazines, and I fell in love with the works of Shel Silverstein, especially A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Poets like the late Shel Silverstein made the ordinary different and exciting. I read and enjoyed his poetry so much that I internalized it. I never met the man, but he became my mentor and friend. Whenever there was a break from the regular school schedule, I read his poetry to my delighted students. They loved the joy and craziness in his poems. And sometimes his poetry even gave them thoughts to ponder. They treasured the book of poems they created in June. If as a teacher you can make kids laugh, think and create for themselves, they are more apt to become self-actualized students, encouraging the best from themselves and their teachers.

My students encouraged me to be to write and perform poetry for our class and other classes. Now I am the luckiest man alive helping kids to laugh, think, and write, whenever I am invited into school as a poet. Each school is my stadium. Each stage is my diamond. And Coach Sottile enjoys his players and our moments in the limelight, thanks to Shel and six others.   

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71. A Summer Frozen Party!

Ever since Frozen hit the big screen, it's been a favorite "everything" with
my daughter.  The songs, books, dolls, clothes - you get the picture.  
It was no surprise she asked for a Frozen birthday celebration, and after a long 
winter this year, snowflakes were the last thing I wanted to think about.

Voila!  A Frozen party without a single snowflake!
Instead of a snow garnished cake, I went with magical wintry breeze cupcakes.

I melted and piped white chocolate swirls and embellished them
with clear sugar sprinkles for an icy effect.  

Making these treats was fun!  
The girls loved the Frozen ring that topped the blue frosting.

The party wand favors were a hit, and easy to make.
  I hot-glued tulle pom-poms to the bottom of clear plastic tubes with a white 
fluffy pom in the center.  Fill the wands with blue and white Sixlets candies 
and attach a Frozen ring to each of them; they snap on perfectly.  
The cap of the wand should be on the bottom for easy access to the candy.  

To make the pom-poms, wrap two shades of tulle around your hand
about 7 - 9 times, and tie the center.  Cut the loops and fluff them. 
You can find great tulle pom-pom tutorials on youtube.

I couldn't resist including summer fun party favors too, 
perfect for boys.  Fill small beach buckets with colorful chalk, 
bubbles, and shovels.  I printed and attached this Olaf picture from
the Disney website.  My daughter loved her summer Frozen birthday, 
and we are looking forward to catch Frozen on Broadway!

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72. 3 Waterfalls – Drawing A Day

Drawing of something that may occur in nature. Jungle scene with 3 waterfalls. Practicing color blocking and texturing. Drawn with Photoshop on Wacom Intuos

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73. Open Submissions: Pelican Book Group for Easter Lilies

Pelicanlogo2I know some of my children’s writer friends have written historical or contemporary romance adult novellas. If you have and it has  a 25 -35 year old main character, then this might be a good opportunity for you.

Pelican Book Group has opened submissions to Easter Lilies, an annual book series published under the company’s Harbourlight Books imprint. The series consists of only three stories, based upon a specific scripture, released on each day of the Easter Triduum.

Writers are invited to submit stories, 15K-25K words, with elements of traditional or modern romance. The protagonists should be 25-35 years old.

Deadline for submissions is September 30, 2014.

Nicola Martinez serves as Editor-in-Chief. Payment: royalties.

See more at: http://writingcareer.com/post/94736262426/6-book-publishers-seeking-manuscript-submissions-from#sthash.vZvtREnw.dpuf

Special Series Guidelines

Please note: These series guidelines are in addition to the general guidelines that apply to whichever imprint your submission fits, so please also familiarize yourself with our general guidelines as well.

Easter Lilies

2014 Defining Scripture for Easter Lilies is: Solomon 2:14 “Let me see your face, let me hear your voice, For your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”

Easter Lilies is our annual special release. Each year, one Easter Lilies story will be released on each day of the Easter Triduum. (Yes, only three stories per year.)

Submission Guidelines:

  • Easter Lilies are historical or contemporary romances. In addition to adhering to the guidelines for the White Rose imprint, the following is also necessary:
  • The defining Scripture for the year must be used as a basis for the story. (This scripture will change each year on October 1st)
  • Stories should be between 15,000 and 25,000 words.
  • Both the hero’s and heroine’s points of view may be incorporated, however, we’d like these stories to be “hero-driven”, so ideally, stories should focus on the hero’s love developing for his heroine. These stories may be historical or contemporary, but they must be set around the Easter holiday.
  • Heroes and Heroines should be between the ages of 25 and 35.
  • In addition to using the current year Easter Lilies scripture as the reference, some symbol of the Easter Lily must also be incorporated. Easter lilies have long been a symbol of purity, motherhood, the trumpet herald of the Angel Gabriel as he visited the Virgin Mary, of resurrection, and more. (Feel free to research and use different symbols. These are listed as example only). How you incorporate any of the symbols is up to you. Whether it’s an actual flower that the hero gives to the heroine (or vice-versa), or a piece of jewelry, or a spiritual experience. The use is up to you. Perhaps your hero is a Christian musician who plays the trumpet. Perhaps your heroine has lily earrings that have been passed through her family. Perhaps your hero had a “resurrection” of his faith through some experience past or present, or maybe your heroine is a mother. How you incorporate the Easter lily symbolism is up to you. It can be subtle or overt, but it has to be there.

Submissions for Easter Lilies are accepted August 1st through September 30th each year. Submissions for Easter Lilies that are received outside this time frame will be discarded without response.

Easter Lilies Special Submission form.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: opportunity, Places to sumit, publishers, Royalties, submissions, writing Tagged: Easter Lilies Annual Book Series, Harbourlight Books, Pelican Book Group, Traditional and modern romance, White Rose Imprint

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74. Sirenetta

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75. Custom Watercolor Sketch Kits

In the 1830s, J.M.W. Turner carried a watercolor sketch kit in a wallet. "It's a simple leather case with gauze that Turner would have literally stuck the pigments onto," says Julia Beaumont-Jones, Collection Registrar for the Tate Britain.

Some of you have been sharing the amazing sketch kits you've made.

Joe Ongle says: "This is my custom Altoids mini palette, using self-hardening clay and tube watercolors. Half pans work as well."

Chuck Pell says: "My kits are compact for pockets, using custom leatherbound archival sketchbooks and repacked watercolor chips...."

Michelle Spalding made one from a mint tin, "with a retractable cosmetic brush - keychain size with half-pans"

Carlos Huante adapted a cosmetic style brush kit. "I bought this set for 40 bucks back in the day and use it all the time."

Carole Pivarnik made one from a Hello Kitty tin: "It has just three primaries: perm yellow, magenta, and cyan. It uses water bottle caps for pans. They are essentially free, hold a generous amount of paint and with less adjacent edges than rectangular pans, there tends to be less color pollution. A little blue tack holds them in place. I would like to add a dollop of neutral tint in one corner for faster mixing of darks but I can mix just about anything with these three colors. I carry this tin, a mini waterbrush, a mini black Sharpie, and a short HB pencil in a little pouch. Very portable!"

Have you made an unusual watercolor kit? We'd all love to see it. Please share yours with a link in the comments.

Plus: I'm honored that Marc Holmes of Urban Sketchers wrote a review of my DVD "Watercolor in the Wild."

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