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1. This Snow White has no appetite for apples


The Evil Queen better watch out because Zombie Snow White wants something a little tastier than an apple.

I discovered this photographer while browsing Google+ and immediately had the urge to check out more images from this talented photographer. In addition to creating awesome zombie images like the one above, there's plenty of photos that will appeal to people that aren't into horror, like the image below of Snow White before she becomes a victim of the zombie apocalypse.


Check out more of Zombie Snow and the rest of the lovely ladies that have been in front of this photographer's camera at the Bryt Photography Facebook page. Awesome stuff.

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2. Little Demons has been sent to Purgatory

If you're familiar with my writing, you might have noticed that one particular title is no longer available. I decided to pull Little Demons but the story that takes place in the little town of Hale (pop.666) will be back.

I had decided to try something new with the story, which could best be described as erotic horror. Needless to say, it didn't exactly fly off the virtual shelves.

The story is still a favorite of mine so it will return, but without the erotic part. There will still be sex because I feel certain scenes are important but they will be dialed down a notch or two, with most of the graphic stuff banished from the pages.

Since I'll be making changes, I'm sure there will be a few more tweaks that happen; possibly even a new title so those that did read Little Demons (bless you) won't get the old and new ebooks confused with one another.

Will I ever tackle the erotica route again? Possibly, but it will probably happen under a different name to keep the styles separated so readers won't unexpectedly stumble into something they have no interest in.

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3. When the Story Changes From Page to Screen


It's almost inevitable that a story you see on the TV or at the movies won't be the same story you read in a book. Is this a good thing or bad?

I used to think it was bad. I saw it as movie and television producers screwing up an author's vision, but I recently changed my mind when Stephen King brought up something I hadn't considered.

The adaptation of King's Under the Dome recently arrived on CBS, and although we're only a handful of episodes in, many people are apparently upset about some of the differences they've noticed. Upset enough that Stephen King himself decided to address the issue.

You can read the entire letter at King's website but the part that got my attention was when the author said,
"If the solution to the mystery were the same on TV as in the book, everyone would know it in short order, which would spoil a lot of the fun (besides, plenty of readers didn’t like my solution, anyway). By the same token, it would spoil things if you guys knew the arcs of the characters in advance."

I honestly hadn't looked at it from that point of view but it does make sense. It's a brand-new story and I'm just as clueless as those who haven't read the book... and that makes it interesting.

The sentiment recently hit home when I started watching True Blood. Yes, I'm a little late to the rodeo but a little binge-watching has got me up to speed with the adventures of Sookie Stackhouse. The show has veered way off the path created by Charlaine Harris, and I actually enjoy many of the changes that have taken place, especially the fact that Lafayette is still alive. After seeing the show, I think the author threw away what could've been a great character, but then the character works on the small screen because of the actor that brings him to life so maybe Lafayette wouldn't have been so vibrant in the book.

HBO's Game of Thrones is another series that doesn't follow the books completely, and I have no problem with that at all because the story is still great.

So, thank you, Mr. King, for opening my eyes to the new alternate realities created when a story travels from the page to the screen. I see those changes now for what they are; not an attempt to improve or rewrite an author's story, but merely a new vision of how that story could play out.

What's your opinion on changes within film and TV adaptations? For or against?

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4. Happy Fourth of July


I hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July.

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5. Does Reality TV Confuse You?


Sooo... I just recently stumbled across a story that made me feel a whole lot smarter and I wanted to share the joy with you, just in case you're having a bad day and need a pick-me-up.

A couple of weeks ago, a brand-new show started called Whodunnit. It's basically the board-game, Clue, as a reality show. The object of the game is to solve the murder and not get killed. Unfortunately, it's hard to do that last bit if you suck at the first bit because, if your crime-solving skills lead you astray, you end up nominated for death.

To get the ball rolling, one of the contestants was electrocuted during the first episode, and the dastardly deeds continued when the second episode showed another contestant burning to death.

Okay, so far I've mentioned two people dying. Are you worried for the safety of these contestants? Probably not, because you know I'm talking about a television show.

Unfortunately, a few viewers forgot (or didn't realize) there isn't complete reality in reality TV and freaked out, thinking two people off the street had just been killed in the name of entertainment.

Seriously?!?!?

According to Reality Blurred, yes. The site is set-up to where you have to answer a question before reading the whole article but it's pretty a straight-forward process, with no extra questions or spam popping up.

Have we really reached the point where people have been trained to believe everything they see and hear on TV? It's a scary thought because that means they might also be trained to believe everything they see online. Have you seen some of the stuff the Interwebz has to offer????

It's becoming a scary world when people can't tell the difference between fact and fiction.

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6. Oh look! Something new and shiny

I am obviously my own worst enemy and I didn't even realize it until lately. Some of you might be wondering if I've given up on the writing because it's been a little while since releasing a new title.

Fear not because I am still writing. I've just been a little.... ummm.... haphazard about it. It turns out I have a lot of ideas in my head, and I do mean A LOT. This is not a surprise to me. For most of my life, the oddest things would make part of my brain go, "What if....," and another idea would be born.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize what I was doing with those ideas until recently. I'd be writing a story and then a new shiny idea would present itself. The current story would be set aside so I could pay attention to the new pretty in my head. And then, another idea would pop up, and I'd set aside the "old" story so I could pick up the new idea while it was still fresh.

Consequently, I have tons of unfinished stories tucked neatly on my hard drive with no new releases in the recent past. OMG!!!!

Here's the really sad thing. I didn't realize I was doing that. I mean it wasn't like I was blacking out or anything; taking a mental vacation while the body kept trucking along, but I wasn't really aware of all the stories piling up while nothing actually got completed.

Fortunately, I am aware of it now and back on track with actually completing the stories I start. Of course, the new ideas keep showing up and I don't want to be rude and turn them away so I welcome them, offer them a drink, and then tell them to make themselves comfortable while I go back to the "guests" that I'm already entertaining. It turns out that they are very understanding and patient, and don't mind waiting their turn to get my full attention.

New titles coming soon. I promise.

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7. Celebrate the death of Doctor Who today


Wow! That's an attention-getting headline isn't it? However, it's also totally accurate. After all, today is the day that Doctor Who fans put tally-marks on their arms to celebrate Impossible Astronaut Day, and the thing that makes the astronaut such a riveting character is the fact that she appears to kill the Doctor.

Of course, there's tons of timey-wimey stuff involved and things aren't as they initially appear, but the moment was iconic enough to launch the trend that has all non-Whovians wondering if they should make a few phone calls and have you committed.


I will admit that my arms are free of tally-marks... but it has nothing to do with lack of dedication. It's just that I worry about the Silence seeing this as the perfect time to make a major move against us. After all, if a mark appears on your arm is it because you saw the enemy or just that you're celebrating the day? It's built-in confusion the Silence can use against us.

Therefore, I do not participate in this custom so that I can remain forever vigilant.

Crap. A tally-mark just appeared on my arm. I think I'm being wa

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8. Zombie short film Cargo is simply awesome


Imagine that you're a dad with a baby that's stuck in the middle of nowhere while a zombie apocalypse is going on. Now, imagine that you've been bitten by a zombie and only have a short time before you'll be looking at your darling angel as a light snack.

That's the situation encountered in Cargo, a 2013 TropFest finalist. The short film was created by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke, and it gives a very unique look at a situation that tugs at the heart.

What would you do in this situation? You might want to keep this film in mind, just in case the zombies do come and you find yourself in a similar predicament.

Cargo is only about 8 minutes long so give it a try and see why it climbed the ranks at TropFest.


Stranded in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, a man sets in motion an unlikely plan to protect the precious cargo he carries: his infant daughter.

Directed by Ben Howling & Yolanda Ramke
Produced by Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke, Marcus Newman, Daniel Foeldes

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9. Honey!!!! I'm home

Nope! Your eyes do not deceive you. I'm still alive and you're reading an honest-to-goodness new post from me. I know; try not to faint from the shock of it all.

My life has been really wonky lately, resulting in an almost dead-stop on blogging and writing... again. However, I'm back at it, and new stories should be coming your way soon.

If you followed my other blog (ItsJustMarty), you can go ahead and forget about that. It never stopped misbehaving; not letting me make any changes other than make new posts, so I decided to do the merciful thing and killed it. The death was painless; I promise.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some major catching up to do in the world of writing. There are a lot of made-up characters in my head that are screaming to get out so I need to give them room to stretch their legs.

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10. Lots of geel love in The Knights of Badassdom trailer


From what I've read around the web, this "new" trailer really isn't that new since the movie was originally supposed to be released last year. However, I've never seen this clip before so it's 100% new to me.

The Knights of Badassdom almost appears to be the geek answer to Evil Dead, with a small group of people into LARP (Live Action Role Play) accidentally unleashing some supernatural badness into the world after reading from a book.

It's not overly bloody or gory (although there is a bit of red stuff flowing), and the film actually looks a little dumb... in a goofy, lovable sort of way. Still, I can't imagine why Hollywood hasn't rushed this baby to the theater, or at least straight to DVD because it stars Summer Glau, a big draw for Firefly fans, and Peter Dinklage.

Yes, that's right. It has Tyrion Lannister in it, which is reason enough for me to keep an eye on this because I'm a huge fan of HBO's Game of Thrones and 'The Imp.'

What do you think? Is this epic coolness or what?


Many thanks to the ladies at The Mary Sue for sharing this.

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11. Yep! Still alive

Nope! Your eyes do not deceive you. I'm still alive and you're reading an honest-to-goodness new post from me. I know; try not to faint from the shock of it all.

My schedule has been really wonky lately, resulting in an almost dead-stop on blogging and writing... again. However, I'm back at it, and new stories should be coming your way soon.

If you followed my other blog (ItsJustMarty), you can go ahead and forget about that. It never stopped misbehaving; not letting me make any changes other than make new posts, so I decided to do the merciful thing and killed it. The death was painless; I promise.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some major catching up to do in the world of writing. There are a lot of made-up characters in my head that are screaming to get out so I need to give them room to stretch their legs.

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12. Free short stories

Everyone loves free stuff and it always adds a little confidence when people can give something (or someone) a test drive before forking over some of their hard-earned money, so I thought I'd share a couple of my short stories with you so you can get an idea about the type of stories I write.


Please feel free to leave comments to let me know what you thought. Your opinions are always appreciated.

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13. Free short stories

Everyone loves free stuff and it always adds a little confidence when people can give something (or someone) a test drive before forking over some of their hard-earned money, so I thought I'd share a couple of my short stories with you so you can get an idea about the type of stories I write.


Please feel free to leave comments to let me know what you thought. Your opinions are always appreciated.

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14. Teddy Bears - Defenders Against the Night


I stumbled across this excellent image while wandering the web (i.e. wasting time instead of writing) and it reminded me how much I wish I really had any type of drawing ability at all.

The concept is great. It's the type of image that tells a whole story with just that one scene.

Think about the real reason for teddy bears next time you send your son or daughter off to bed. They're not just cuddle buddies ;)

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15. Teddy Bears - Defenders Against the Night


I stumbled across this excellent image while wandering the web (i.e. wasting time instead of writing) and it reminded me how much I wish I really had any type of drawing ability at all.

The concept is great. It's the type of image that tells a whole story with just that one scene.

Think about the real reason for teddy bears next time you send your son or daughter off to bed. They're not just cuddle buddies ;)

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16. Shameless self-promotion

The biggest hurdle I've had to face since entering the world of self-publishing is actually getting the word out about the stories I've written, and it's a sad, cruel fact of life that eBooks will not sell if people don't know about them.

With that thought in mind, I wanted to take a minute and let you know where you can find my work. Below are links grouped by booksellers' websites, with available formats listed under each site's logo. Below the logos are my eBooks that are available for purchase there. You can click the logo for my author page on those sites or click the cover to go directly to the page for that eBook.

Kindle eBook format

   



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Nook eBook format

   



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Multiple eBook formats

   

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17. Shameless self-promotion

The biggest hurdle I've had to face since entering the world of self-publishing is actually getting the word out about the stories I've written, and it's a sad, cruel fact of life that eBooks will not sell if people don't know about them.

With that thought in mind, I wanted to take a minute and let you know where you can find my work. Below are links grouped by booksellers' websites, with available formats listed under each site's logo. Below the logos are my eBooks that are available for purchase there. You can click the logo for my author page on those sites or click the cover to go directly to the page for that eBook.

Kindle eBook format

   



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nook eBook format

   



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Multiple eBook formats

   

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18. I'm back


Yes, it's true. I'm back in the saddle again, although I never really left; it was more along the lines of changing lanes rather than getting off the highway altogether.

I'm still writing away, providing online content for others, but I also got bit by the self-publishing bug and decided to drag my writing out into the light.

I had another site that followed my early adventures as an author but Blogger doesn't like it for some reason because it's almost impossible to mess with. I can post but that's about it. Everything else is a major pain, and life's too short for nonsensical fights like that... especially when I have a perfectly good blog right here.

For those who were around during my book reviewing days, I hope the change isn't too bumpy for you as we transform the place from Dark Wyrm the reviewer to Marty Shaw the writer.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get busy dusting around here because the place has just been sitting since 2010.

Wow! Has that much time really passed? o_O

Hang on tight. Changes are coming.

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19. Review: Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petrucha

Summary
Man and monster are in his blood.

His name is Jeremiah Fall. A soldier of fortune, he has been fighting his own war for 150 years--ever since the beast in him was born.

Desperate to restore his lost humanity, Fall crosses the sands of Egypt, discovers a lost city off the coast of France, and finally arrives at the birthplace of all mankind. Shunning daylight and feeding only when he must, he battles the monster who transformed him forever. He can share his deepest secret with no one . . . not even the beautiful woman he starts to love, the only human who grasps the mysteries of an ebony stone as old as creation itself.

Across the world, across time, Fall seeks the stone's secret. But has he found a cure for himself or unleashed a final curse on all mankind?

Description
Release date: November 1, 2010
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition
# ISBN-13: 978-0446555999

My View
Petrucha takes the vampire back to it's beastly and blood-thirsty roots with Blood Prophecy.

In 1644, Jeremiah Fall is a hard-working, God-fearing man whose life consists of working the family farm with his father, Nathan, his mother, Mary Vincent, and his grandfather, Atticus. While plowing a field, an ancient evil is accidentally freed and the whole family, with the exception of Atticus, is claimed by the vampire curse.

Jeremiah is bound by Atticus before he has a chance to rise up as a vampire because his grandfather suspects that the man might still exist within the beast. The old man's suspicions prove correct, and Jeremiah learns to control the blood-thirst that is now a part of him. As time passes, Jeremiah learns that the power of redemption might exist within an ancient stone and he travels the globe to seek it out. However, there's more to the legend than Jeremiah first realizes and his efforts to reclaim his lost humanity could possibly destroy everything.

For the most part, Blood Prophecy moves at a steady pace but there are moments when the story gets a little bogged down with the history and politics of the period that Jeremiah is living in at that time.

I grew to care about Jeremiah because the vampire hunger within him taunts him endlessly, but he is determined that the man will rule the beast, instead of the other way around. Even as a creature with the potential for unspeakable evil, he clings to his humanity with fierce determination. This desire comes with a price because, without the power of human blood, Jeremiah isn't able to fully tap into his vampire strength. These limitations prove to be a problem when he encounters the vampire that turned him.

In addition to Jeremiah, I also liked the character of Atticus. Although he plays a relatively small role in the story, it's a vital one because he teaches his grandson an important lesson - you don't have to be a vampire to do evil things because desire and greed taunt everybody. If a human can control those dark passions (for the most part), then perhaps a vampire can, too.

The plot and characters are unique, taking a different path than most current vamp stories that are currently out there. Each twist and turn was interesting because there was no way to see how things would go.

If you enjoy vampire stories but want something a little different from the standard vampire/mortal love affai

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20. Review: The Night Season by Chelsea Cain

Summary
Chelsea Cain launches the next stage of her bestselling series as Archie Sheridan works to regain his life and Susan Ward steps in to share the spotlight in this electric thriller from one of today’s most talented suspense writers.

With Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Portland detective Archie Sheridan can finally rest. Meanwhile, the city of Portland is in crisis. Several people have drowned in heavy rains that have flooded the Willamette River. But the medical examiner discovers that in fact the latest victim was poisoned before she went into the water—she didn’t drown.

A little detective work shows that, so far, three of those previously thought to be accidental drownings have actually been murdered. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Meanwhile reporter Susan Ward is following up on an entirely separate mystery: the dramatic flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died during catastrophic flooding more than sixty years ago that washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least 15 people.

As Archie follows the bizarre trail of evidence and evil deeds to catch his killer, he has to battle the rising waters of the Willamette first.

Description
Release date: March 1, 2011
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition
# ISBN-13: 978-0312619763

My View
The Night Season is the fourth book in the Archie and Gretchen series, and Cain goes in a brand new direction with this one.

I wasn't sure if I'd like this book because my main draw to the series was the cat-and-mouse mind games played between Archie and Gretchen, and I had already heard that the beautiful serial killer didn't play a significant role in this one. Turns out that I didn't have anything to worry about.

There's a new serial killer on the loose, so good at using Mother Nature to cover his (or her) tracks that three people have been killed before the police realize there's a new murder spree taking place. The killer's weapon of choice? That would spoil the surprise, but I promise it's not something you'd normally think of using.

Archie has gotten a lot better since we saw him last. He's not quite the 'damaged goods' that he previously has been, but he's still an interesting character. While it's nice to see Archie on the road to recovery, I hope he's not able to put all his demons away. Without the ghosts from his past, he risks becoming just another cop in a detective novel. It's the strength used to function normally, while battling against those emotional wounds, that makes him really stand out.

Susan has a much larger part this time out, and that was nice to see. Her drive and determination, combined with her rebellious attitude, injects some much needed humor into a story that could become overwhelmingly dark without her bubbling personality to occasionally lighten things up. I'll admit that part of the fun of reading the series is discovering what color Susan's hair will be this time around.

The book had a bumpy start for me because the story starts in 1948. What on Earth does a flood in 1948 have to do with anything? Apparently, quite a lot and Cain does a great job of linking the past and present together.

The plot moves at a fast pace and the sense of mystery is never lost. Even after the police discove

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21. Fare Thee Well

Well, ol' DWR has just been sitting here for some time while I thought things over, and I've finally decided it's time to say goodbye.

I enjoy blogging about books and chatting with my blogging friends but find there just isn't enough time in the day.

On the bright side, writing jobs have picked up and I find myself in the entertainment news niche, which is awesome. On the not-so-bright side, this doesn't leave time to dedicate the hours to DWR that it deserves.

I'm not leaving book-blogging behind completely. Like I said, I enjoy it... and still have some books that unfortunately won't be reviewed here. However, I'm joining my wife, Jennifer, over on her blog, Book Noise, and all future reviews and book news will be posted there.

Dark Wyrm Reads will stay up and I plan to transfer a lot of the content over to Book Noise so it will still be online for book-lovers to view.

In addition to visiting me on Jenn's site (guess I need to get in the habit of saying our site), I hope you stop by my other online homes to see what I'm up to. You can find me at BSCReview, BSCKids, and Latest Cinema News. Hope to see you there.

I'd like to thank all my friends and followers for visiting my little spot in the blogosphere, and I look forward to seeing you around the web.

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22. Fare Thee Well

Well, ol' DWR has just been sitting here for some time while I thought things over, and I've finally decided it's time to say goodbye. I enjoy blogging about books and chatting with my blogging...

Click here to read more



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23. Review: The Night Season by Chelsea Cain

Summary Chelsea Cain launches the next stage of her bestselling series as Archie Sheridan works to regain his life and Susan Ward steps in to share the spotlight in this electric thriller from one...

Click here to read more



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24. I'm back


Yes, it's true. I'm back in the saddle again, although I never really left; it was more along the lines of changing lanes rather than getting off the highway altogether.

I'm still writing away, providing online content for others, but I also got bit by the self-publishing bug and decided to drag my writing out into the light.

I had another site that followed my early adventures as an author but Blogger doesn't like it for some reason because it's almost impossible to mess with. I can post but that's about it. Everything else is a major pain, and life's too short for nonsensical fights like that... especially when I have a perfectly good blog right here.

For those who were around during my book reviewing days, I hope the change isn't too bumpy for you as we transform the place from Dark Wyrm the reviewer to Marty Shaw the writer.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get busy dusting around here because the place has just been sitting since 2010.

Wow! Has that much time really passed? o_O

Hang on tight. Changes are coming.

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25. Fare Thee Well

Well, ol' DWR has just been sitting here for some time while I thought things over, and I've finally decided it's time to say goodbye.

I enjoy blogging about books and chatting with my blogging friends but find there just isn't enough time in the day.

On the bright side, writing jobs have picked up and I find myself in the entertainment news niche, which is awesome. On the not-so-bright side, this doesn't leave time to dedicate the hours to DWR that it deserves.

I'm not leaving book-blogging behind completely. Like I said, I enjoy it... and still have some books that unfortunately won't be reviewed here. However, I'm joining my wife, Jennifer, over on her blog, Book Noise, and all future reviews and book news will be posted there.

Dark Wyrm Reads will stay up and I plan to transfer a lot of the content over to Book Noise so it will still be online for book-lovers to view.

In addition to visiting me on Jenn's site (guess I need to get in the habit of saying our site), I hope you stop by my other online homes to see what I'm up to. You can find me at BSCReview, BSCKids, and Latest Cinema News. Hope to see you there.

I'd like to thank all my friends and followers for visiting my little spot in the blogosphere, and I look forward to seeing you around the web.

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