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<<May 2015>>
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1. Herman Wouk Pens Book to Celebrate 100th Birthday

Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Herman Wouk is turning 100 next week. To celebrate, he is writing a book.

His book “Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author” will come out from Simon & Schuster this December. The memoir will cover Wouk’s years in the Navy during World War II, the inspiration for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Caine Mutiny.” The new book is already available for presale on Amazon.

The Associated Press has more: “In a statement issued through Simon & Schuster, Wouk calls his new work a “light-hearted memoir” and thanks readers who have stayed with him “for the long pull.””

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2. Jeff VanderMeer Inks Deal With Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Jeff VandeMeer (GalleyCat)Author Jeff VanderMeer has inked with Macmillan for a new novel.

Borne is slated to be released in 2016. Sean McDonald, an executive editor and vice president at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, negotiated the deal with Sally Harding, a literary agent at The Cooke Agency.

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Borne is set in the future, where a woman named Rachel, scavenging for usable detritus, stumbles upon a creature she calls the Borne, whose origins and composition are mysterious. Is it an animal or plant? A deity, or a cruel experiment?” (Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy)

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3. Historian Claims to Have Uncovered a Portrait of William Shakespeare

A historian named Mark Griffiths claims to have uncovered “the true face of” William Shakespeare. According to Country Life magazine, this likeness of the Bard can be found on the title page of John Gerard‘s 1597 botany book, The Herball.

The video embedded features Griffiths recounting how he made this discovery. Below, we’ve posted the cover from the May 2015 issue of Country Life magazine which showcases Shakespeare’s portrait.

The world’s greatest English playwright lived from 1564 to 1616. Given the publication date of Gerard’s plant tome, this means that the image was created during Shakespeare’s lifetime. The Guardian reports that “the only known authentic likenesses of Shakespeare are in the First Folio and the effigy on his monument at Holy Trinity church in Stratford-upon-Avon. Both of these were made posthumously.” (via CNN.com)

Country-Life-Cover-May-20-2015 (GalleyCat)

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4. Margaret Atwood Adds Manuscript to Future Library

Margaret Atwood is the first author invited to participate in the Future Library, a time capsule of culture built in Norway last year that won’t been seen until 2114.

The Canadian author is adding her manuscript to the time capsule next week and to mark the occasion, she published some thoughts on Wattpad about the who experience. Check it out:

As a child, I was one of those who buried treasures in jars, with the idea that someone, some day, might come along and dig them up. I found similar things while digging in the various gardens I have made: old nails, old medicine bottles, fragments of china plates. Once in the Canadian arctic, I found a tiny doll carved of wood – rare wood, for no trees grow there and such a piece of wood must have been driftwood. That is what the Future Library is like, in part: it will contain fragments of lives that were once lived, and that are now past. But all writing is a method of preserving and transmitting the human voice.

The novel is part of The Future Library project, spearheaded by Scottish artist Katie Paterson. The project organizers planted 1,000 trees in Norway to supply the paper to print a collection of books in 2114. They plan to invite one writer a year to contribute a new text and print all of the books in 100 years.

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5. Stan Lee Inks Deal for Graphic Memoir

Stan LeeThe legendary Stan Lee plans to write a graphic memoir. Lee himself designated comics artist Colleen Doran to create the illustrations for this project.

The Touchstone imprint will publish Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir on October 6th. The publisher also plans to produce a deluxe slipcase ‎edition; Lee will sign a limited number of these particular books. Senior editor Matthew Benjamin negotiated the deal with the team at the Susan Crawford literary agency.

Lee had this statement in the press release: “As Marvel just celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary, I thought maybe it’s time for a look at my life in the one form it has never been depicted, as a comicbook…or if you prefer, a graphic memoir. It strikes me as a horrendous oversight that I haven’t done it before! If I didn’t know everything about my life already, I’d envy your voyage of discovery!”

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6. Bob Woodward On Bin Laden Reading Obama’s Wars

Journalist & author Bob Woodward thinks that Osama Bin Laden didn’t read his book closely enough. If he did, he might not have lived in the Pakistan hideout.

Woodward shared his opinion with The Washington Post after news came out that his book was among 38 other English language titles on Bin Laden’s book shelf during the raid on his compound in Pakistan. This information was published along with a number of documents that were declassified by the government this week. Here is what Woodward had to say to The Post:

\"If he read ‘Obama’s Wars,’ bin Laden’s takeaway should have been Obama does not like war but is willing to use lethal force,\" Woodward said in an e-mail. \"The American commander-in-chief in fact prefers covert Special Forces raids targeted and aimed at capturing or killing known high-value terrorist in their hideouts. A close reading might have sent him back to a mountain cave. Follow-on reading about Nixon (\"All the President’s Men\" and \"The Final Days\") could have shown him the destructive power of hate. As Nixon said, ‘When you hate your enemies, you destroy yourself.’ \"

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7. John Green Responds to Casting Requests

JohnGreen304Throughout his lifetime, John Green has juggled many roles including young adult author, video blogger, and entrepreneur. Thanks to the Paper Towns film adaptation, he adds the title of “executive producer” to his résumé.

One job that Green has never tackled is “casting director.” Despite this fact, many of his fans have been hounding him about possible actors and actresses to star in the Looking for Alaska movie.

Green has responded to these rabid requests through his social media channels with this retort: “I. Do. Not. Cast. Movie. Adaptations. Of. My. Books. I am not a casting director. Please stop threatening to kill me.” Below, we’ve collected Green’s Twitter messages in a Storify post.

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8. Patricia Park on Becoming a Writer After Life in the Publishing Biz

patriciaparkAuthor Patricia Park has learned the hard way that not anyone can write a good book. While she dealt with her share of tough writers working as a book publicist, Park has written her own book and learned the hardship of being a novelist.

The former publishing professional has penned a column for The Daily Beast which details what she learned when leaving the publishing business to work on her own novel. Here is an excerpt from the piece:

Having worked in the business made me think I knew how the sausage factory was run, but in continuing with this oft-used publishing metaphor, I knew nothing about raising the pig from which the sausage was made. As difficult as it was to publish and promote books in a shrinking market, I soon learned it was that much harder to write one in the first place.

Park’s first novel Re Jane came out earlier this month. The book is a Korean-American retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë set in NYC and Seoul.

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9. Judy Blume on Writing Her New Book

In the Unlikely Event Cover (GalleyCat)In June, Alfred A. Knopf will release Judy Blume’s new adult fiction book In the Unlikely Event. The story came to Blume from an event back in the 1950’s where three plane crashes descended on her hometown of Elizabeth, N.J. within a two-month period.

Usually, Blume relies much more on life experiences to inspire her storytelling. For this project, she elected to try a different creative process and conducted extensive research to inform her writing.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “She spent hours at the Key West library, going through Microfilm in a room so dusty she wore a surgical mask, until her husband bought her a Microfilm machine on eBay to use at home. As she started writing, she lavishly layered in the historical details that define the small, specific universe of the book: the names of the department stores in Elizabeth where each person would have shopped, the songs and jingles that ran through their minds, the way young women stored their angora sweaters in the freezer to keep them from shedding. Her characters’ lives, and how the crashes changed them, started to take shape in her mind.”

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10. Bill Gates Shares Summer Reading List

 Bill Gates has released his latest reading list: Beach Reads 2015.

The list includes: “Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosh; “The Magic of Reality” by Richard Dawkins; and “What If?” by Randall Munroe.

“Last year, there was only one book on my summer reading list that you could reasonably call a beach read,” Gates explained on his site. “This year I tried to pick a few more things that are on the lighter side. Each of these books made me think or laugh or, in some cases, do both. I hope you find something to your liking here. And if it’s not summer where you live, this list will still be here six months from now…”

Follow this link to read the entire list.

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11. Cover Unveiled For New Jennifer Weiner Novel

Who Do You Love Cover (GalleyCat)

The cover for Jennifer Weiner’s forthcoming novel has been unveiled. We’ve embedded the full image for Who Do You Love above—what do you think?

US Weekly reports that this project marks the first time Weiner wrote a love story. Atria Books has set the publication date for August 11th.

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12. Annie Dillard Lands Deal With Ecco

Annie Dillard (GalleyCat)Author Annie Dillard has inked a deal with HarperCollins.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the Ecco imprint will publish an new essay collection curated by the Pulitzer Prize winner. Some of the pieces featured in The Abundance include “Total Eclipse,” “Expedition to the Pole,” and “This is the Life.”

Novelist Geoff Dyer will contribute the foreword. According to Dillard’s website, the book will be released either later this year or in 2016. (Photo CreditPhyllis Rose)

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13. Classroom Connections: FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt


age range: 10 and up
genre: contemporary middle grade
educator’s guide
author’s website

Filled with a delightful range of quirky characters and told with heart, the story also explores themes of family, friendship, and courage in its many forms. . . . It has something to offer for a wide-ranging audience. . . . Offering hope to those who struggle academically and demonstrating that a disability does not equal stupidity, this is as unique as its heroine.

Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control. . . . Ally’s raw pain and depression are vividly rendered, while the diverse supporting cast feels fully developed. . . . Mr. Daniels is an inspirational educator whose warmth radiates off the page. Best of all, Mullaly Hunt eschews the unrealistic feel-good ending for one with hard work and small changes. Ally’s journey is heartwarming but refreshingly devoid of schmaltz.
— School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Please tell us about your book.

Fish in a Tree is about sixth-grader, Ally Nickerson, who misbehaves in school to hide the fact that she struggles with reading and writing. Since her dad is in the military, she has moved from school to school; this has helped her keep her secret. Having moved so often, she has not had to opportunity to forge strong friendships as well – until she meets Kesiha and Albert. 

It is also very much a school story with eight different student personalities interacting with (sometimes crashing into) each other and their teacher Mr. Daniels.

What inspired you to write this story?

Well, my own life inspired the story. Although I’ve never been tested for dyslexia, I have been suspicious that I have at least a touch of it. I was in the lowest reading group in grades one through six. Mr. Daniels is based on my sixth grade teacher Mr. Christy. I realized about halfway through writing it that Fish in a Tree is a love letter to him and all teachers like him.

I have no doubt that Mr. Christy saved me. I came into sixth grade wondering what would be come of me and left sixth grade with a laser focus on becoming a teacher and helping kids like he helped me. He set a high expectations. Even as a child I knew this was a high compliment and I tried very hard to reach every bar he set for me. He completely changed my perception of myself in on year – a powerful transformation. The man was amazing.

Could you share with readers how you conducted your research or share a few interesting tidbits you learned while researching? 

This book required a lot of research, actually. I had the opportunity to speak with some people who have dyslexia and were not helped until they were older. Unfortunately, even with all the screening in the early grades, kids still slip through the cracks until sixth grade or higher. Being a teacher I know that it is a very difficult job. When a child is very bright, they can often compensate very well and mask their difficulties. Ally Nickerson is such a child. 

I also had to do a lot of research for Albert. He is a walking encyclopedia but that took hours of finding facts that were not only pertinent but interesting as well.

What are some special challenges associated with writing contemporary middle grade fiction?

I think one of the special challenges associated with writing contemporary middle grade are authenticity. At least for me. It takes courage to be honest but middle grade readers respond very well to it – in fact readers of all ages do.

 So, as the writer we have to crawl into our own basement sometimes in order to get it on the page. Both of the books that I have written make me feel very vulnerable in this regard. They’re honest. And they are me. The vulnerability was difficult at first but now I see it as a gift and I’m grateful to be able to share those aspects of myself with readers.

What topics does your book touch upon that would make it a perfect fit for the classroom?

The topics my book touches upon that make it a perfect fit for the classroom are family life, love of siblings, being different is a gift, bullying in the sense that we can’t control the bully’s behavior but we can control how we respond to it, a family struggling financially, and how learning disabilities are not necessarily disabilities – just a different way of learning.

The post Classroom Connections: FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Classroom Connections: FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt as of 1/1/1900
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14. Crafting Nonfiction: Conducting Research and Organizing Information

Melissa Stewart, award-winning author of more than 150 nonfiction books for children, steps into our Author's Spotlight today. In her post, she shares about the chunk and check process, which will help your students conduct research.

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15. Sabaa Tahir Inks Deal With Razorbill

An Ember in the Ashes (GalleyCat)Young adult writer Sabaa Tahir has landed a deal with Penguin Young Readers Group. The Razorbill imprint will publish Tahir’s sequel for An Ember in the Ashes.

The company executives have ordered a first printing of 250,000 copies for this book. The release date has been tentatively scheduled for April 2016.

Here’s more from the press release: “In her next novel, Tahir takes readers into the heart of the ruthless Martial Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers and haunted by the events of An Ember in the Ashes, Laia and Elias must outwit their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.”

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16. Ian McEwan Delivers Commencement Address at Dickinson College

Atonement novelist Ian McEwan gave a commencement address at the graduation ceremony for Dickinson College’s class of 2015. McEwan spoke to the students about freedom of expression; he urged these newly minted graduates to do their part to preserve this important right. The video embedded above features McEwan delivering his speech.

Time.com has posted McEwan’s piece in its entirety. Here’s an excerpt: “It’s worth remembering this: freedom of expression sustains all the other freedoms we enjoy. Without free speech, democracy is a sham. Every freedom we possess or wish to possess (of habeas corpus and due process, of universal franchise, and of assembly , union representation, sexual equality, of sexual preference, of the rights of children, of animals—the list goes on) has to be freely thought and talked and written into existence.”

In the past, a great number of authors have delivered  moving commencement speeches. Coraline writer Neil Gaiman’s 2012 “Make Good Art” talk went viral. Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling’s 2008 “Very Good Lives” talk has drawn more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.

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17. Lydia Hess to Create Two New Coloring Books For Adults

Sacred SymbolsArtist Lydia Hess has inked a deal with the HarperElixir imprint to create two new coloring books for adults. The theme of these two books, Sacred Nature and Sacred Symbols, will focus on spirituality.

Each title will feature 50 illustrations. The release date has been set for October 6th.

Publisher Claudia Riemer Boutote had this statement in the press release: “Coloring Books for the Soul are a unique addition to the rapidly growing adult coloring book category. The sacred elements of nature and mystical symbols illustrated in Lydia Hess’s unique scratchboard-montage style provide a creative outlet for adults to replace stress and anxiety with imaginative, inspired expression and a soul nourishing experience.”

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18. Poet Franz Wright Has Died

Franz Wright (GalleyCat)Poet Franz Wright has died. He was 62 years old.

Wright (pictured, via) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for his book, Walking to Martha’s Vineyard. Click here to read some of Wright’s poems.

Here’s more from The Washington Post: “Sometimes, he said, poems appeared to him fully formed in his mind: All he had to was type them out. His 2001 collection ‘The Beforelife’ was a dark, candid look at his addictions and his experiences in a mental hospital. Mr. Wright continued to chronicle his journey of self-discovery with ‘Walking to Martha’s Vineyard,’ which touched his troubled memories of his father and examined questions of mortality.” (via The Huffington Post)

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19. Self-Published Author Shares Marketing Tips

johnmiltonBritish author Mark Dawson reportedly earns hundreds of thousands of dollars a year selling his self-published books.

The author of The John Milton series has revealed some of his marketing secrets in an interview with Forbes. For instance, he spends hours each day building relationships with readers online. He also spends $370 a day on Facebook advertising. Here is more from the Forbes interview:

The really cool thing about Facebook advertising is the targeting you can do. If you’re writing a romance book and you’re frequently compared to Nora Roberts – who’s a big romance writer – you can target your ads so they land in the news feeds of someone who like Roberts’ Facebook page. That’s quite broad, you can be even more broad than that. You can specify things like ‘I just want people in the US who have done this or that’ or ‘I just want people who use iOS.

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20. Buzz Books Offers Most Buzzed-About Fall/Winter Titles in Free Excerpts

The free digital Publishers Lunch Buzz Books have proven themselves accurate predictors of bestseller and best-of-the-year titles, before they are published. This season Publishers Lunch has gathered substantial excerpts from 54 of the most buzzed-about books scheduled for publication this fall and winter in two exclusive, free new ebooks, BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Fall/Winter and BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter, offered in consumer and trade editions.

Book lovers get an early first look at new books from New York Times bestselling authors Mitch Albom, Geraldine Brooks, Alice Hoffman, and Adriana Trigiani, and popular and critically acclaimed writers Lauren Groff, Janice Y.K. Lee, Elizabeth McKenzie, and Belinda McKeon; columnist and television host Jason Gay’s first book, the \"whip-smart\" fiction debut of Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg; an unprecedented look at feminist and legal pioneer Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik’s Notorious RBG; Dick Van Dyke’s memoir Keep Moving; Jesse Itzler on living with a Navy SEAL; and the first novels from essayist Sloane Crosley and award-winning short story writer Claire Vaye Watkins.

Following its highly successful introduction last year, Publishers Lunch again is presenting a stand-alone volume previewing exciting and outstanding material from publishing’s powerhouse sector, young adult and middle-grade novels, in BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter. This edition holds a taste of eagerly awaited books like new work from bestselling and award-winning leaders in the field including James Dashner (The Maze Runner series), Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light and Revolution), Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking trilogy), and Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall, Panic); authors best-known for their adult books (Eleanor Herman and Cammie McGovern); and a good number of exciting debuts (Tessa Elwood’s Inherit the Stars, Moïra Fowley-Doyle’s The Accident Season, and Estelle Laure’s This Raging Light, among others). Aaron Hartzler, author of the critically acclaimed YA memoir Rapture Practice, makes his fiction debut with What We Saw. In what appears to becoming a YA trend, four Buzz Books entries are highly graphic or archival-looking in form via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations and more. These include Hannah Moskowitz’s History of Glitter and Blood, a lyrical fantasy with an unusual graphic format.

Of the 24 adult books previewed and published to date in the 2015 Spring/Summer edition, 19 have made \"best of the month/year\" lists and five are New York Times bestsellers.

BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Fall/Winter and BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter are available for free download now on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple’s iBookstore, the Google Play Books store, and Kobo.

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21. William Zinsser Has Died

William Zinsser (GalleyCat)Author William Zinsser (pictured, via) has died. He was 92 years old.

Throughout his career, Zinsser served as an educator and wrote 19 books. He was best-known for the bestselling nonfiction book, On Writing Well.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “On Writing Well, first published by Harper & Row in 1976, has gone through repeated editions, at least four of which were substantially revised to include subjects like new technologies (the word processor) and new demographic trends (more writers from other cultural traditions)…His advice was straightforward: Write clearly. Guard the message with your life. Avoid jargon and big words. Use active verbs. Make the reader think you enjoyed writing the piece.” (via NPR.org)

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22. Covers Unveiled For Forthcoming Cassandra Clare Paperbacks

Clockwork Angel (GalleyCat)

The team at Simon & Schuster has ordered new covers for the paperback editions of two Cassandra Clare young adult series. These books will be published in September 2015.

The Tor.com blog unveiled all the designs for the Infernal Devices trilogy. Clare herself has shared the six Mortal Instruments covers on her Tumblr page. We’ve embedded the image for the Clockwork Angel jacket above—what do you think?

Illustrator Cliff Nielsen created the artwork for all nine jackets. For Nielsen, “reimagining these covers has been an exercise in trying to capture that emotion through iconography. It has been an attempt to personally connect with these beloved characters and their fictional lives, and share it as a visual parable to the throngs of Cassandra’s fans, past present and future.”

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23. Laini Taylor Lands Three Book Deal

Laini Taylor (GalleyCat)Young adult author Laini Taylor has inked a three-book deal with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Taylor (pictured, via) has become well-known for the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.

Editor-in-chief Alvina Ling negotiated the deal with Eyebait Management literary agent Jane Putch. For the first new book, Taylor will write a fantasy novel entitled The Muse of Nightmares. The publication date has been scheduled for Fall 2016.

In the press release, Taylor described the story as one where “there was a war between men and gods, and men won. The few surviving children of the gods have grown up in hiding, dreading the day they know must come: when humans find them, and end them. That day is at hand.”

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24. Lena Dunham Buys Kim Kardashian’s Book

Kim Kardashian‘s book of selfless called “Shelfies” has taken a lot of slack, but not from Lena Dunham.

The author of “Not That Kind of Girl” posted a photo of herself holding up a copy of Kardashian’s book on Instagram.

“selfie with selfish #yeahiboughtit (I support experiments in female identity exploration/am a student of pop culture/will not be shamed),” she wrote.

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25. James Patterson Gives Tips on How to Kill Off a Character

How do you kill of a character in your book? Make them so interesting that the reader can’t believe that they are dead says James Patterson.

The author posted a video with the tip on his Facebook page today as part of a promotion for his new master class. Here is more about the class:

James Patterson, the author of 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times Best Sellers, reveals his tricks of the trade for the very first time. In this course, he guides you through every part of the book writing process.

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