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FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY: Novelist: Sharon St. George

Hello Friends,

A while back I put out the word that I wanted to add a summer feature to my blog called “Focus on Creative Energy.” I stated that I would like some guest blog posts that focus on other bloggers, writers, and artists.  I listed three questions you could pick from which are:

  • How long have you been a writer and/or artist 
  • What do you like to write about and/or create? 
  • Who has been the greatest influence in your creativity?  (This could be someone you know or someone you admire but have never met.)                

If you are interested, there is still time.  I will have this feature every other Monday beginning today.  I have since found a few people who expressed interest in being featured here.  My first guest is a writer named Sharon St. George.   You can find her online here::http://www.sharonstgeorge.com/

My husband and I met Sharon in our town in Northern California, at a local writing group called The Writer’s Forum.  She is the Program Director of the group.  She contacts guest speakers and schedules them to present at their monthly meetings from September through June each year.

In 2015 my husband bought her first book that was published that year called “Due for Discard.”  He has since bought all of her other books pictured below. Here is Sharon’s story. Enjoy!

Many years ago, when my children were old enough that they no longer required my constant attention, I decided it was time to do two things I’d been wanting to do for a decade. First, I got myself a cat. Second, I signed up for a fiction-writing course. I’ve been writing ever since, and I’ve always had a cat.

From childhood, animals have played a significant role in my life. I had my own horse and dog as a youngster. And there were always multiple cats on the little farm where I grew up. So it’s no surprise they’ve been part of the cast of characters in all my novels. My first fiction attempt was inspired by a race that pitted a young man in post-Civil War California against the father of his sweetheart in a race from a town similar to Redding to the town of Eureka and back. The catch was that the young suitor was on foot, and the father of the girl was on horseback. Needless to say, the horse came in second and true love won the day.

In my current Aimee Machado Mystery series under contract with Camel Press of Seattle, I chose to write from a hospital-based perspective, because that is where my professional background lies. Having worked in medical offices, hospitals and libraries before I began writing the series, the field of medicine, and particularly the behind-the-scenes intrigues involving the hospital’s administration and medical staff organization provided me with enough inspiration to write an endless number of books. My background in library work gave me the experience to make my protagonist a forensic librarian.

But how to combine medicine with my love for animals? That combination led me to create a setting where my hospital’s forensic librarian protagonist lives in a converted bunkhouse apartment over her grandparents’ llama barn. Aimee’s corporate pilot boyfriend has a drug-sniffing dog, her grandmother has a temperamental cat, her grandfather raises turkeys and keeps a pet king snake, and, of course, there are llamas.

Could any of the mysteries in the first four books in the series have been solved without the help of the animals? Of course. (Well, with one minor exception involving the dog.) However, none of the animals communicate with Aimee telepathically, nor can Aimee talk to the animals à la Dr. Doolittle. (My books are sometimes described as cozy, but they’re not that cozy.) Animals may not be essential to the plot, but because of the rural Northern California setting, it seemed they would add texture and realism to the world Aimee inhabits.

The result is that each of my Aimee Machado Mysteries combines animals, a hospital, a librarian, a mystery, and an evolving romance. And I should mention that I had immigrant grandparents on both the maternal and paternal sides of my family, so I’ve always been fascinated by people with a multi-ethnic or multi-cultural background. Even better, my grandkids are part Asian, so the icing on the cake for me is that my protagonist is half Chinese and half Portuguese. Oh, and she just happens to be a black belt in jujitsu. But that’s another story.

Thank you, Sharon, for being my first guest blogger!  I enjoyed reading your story, and I am sure others will as well.  

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

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Larry the Lonely Leatherback…Finished Paintings!!

Hello Friends,

I have finished the paintings for my picture book, so today, I am posting the story in its entirety.  The paintings are still in rough draft form, but I wanted to share it.  Also, I think I want to darken some of the last few paintings.  Well, enjoy it! (Feel free to tell me what you think!)   Thank you!  😉

 

Larry the Lonely Leatherback

© Patsy H. Parker

Larry is lonely.

He does not have any friends to play with.  Last week he had to say goodbye to his best friend, Alicia, because she wanted to go explore a different part of the ocean.

Now Larry is sad.  He feels like crying.  

So he does.

When Larry feels lonely, he swims…

and swims.  He is hoping to find a new friend.

Then suddenly he is surprised when his tummy starts growling.  

He is missing Alicia so much, he forgets to eat!  So Larry decides to look for his favorite food.

Jellyfish!

 

Larry dives…

deeper,

deeper,

and deeper.  Diving is Larry’s favorite part of swimming.

He dives all the way down to the bottom of the ocean to rest.  When he looks up to see the sun shining through the water, 

 he sees a swarm of jellyfish!  Then they see him, too!

They swim fast to get away…

and when Larry almost catches one,

he sees another Leatherback sea turtle swimming in his direction, but she does not see him!

Suddenly they are face to face.  They bump noses.

 

Larry smiles widely.  He thinks to himself, maybe she will be my friend.

 She smiles shyly.

 

“Hi.  I’m lonely…I mean…Larry.”  He feels embarrassed.

“Hi.  I’m Lucy.”  She giggles.  Then she winks at him.  “Do you want to go catch jellyfish with me?”  she asks. 

“Yes, I do!  I almost caught earlier today!”  Larry answers happily.

So Larry and Lucy swim away to catch jellyfish together.  Then Larry, the lonely Leatherback sea turtle isn’t lonely anymore. 

THE END

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug (or hold fins like Larry and Lucy!)  🙂

 

How does the creative process work?

This is too beautiful to pass up sharing! I believe Janet captures the spirit of hummingbirds in her paintings as well as their physical beauty! 🙂

My Life as an Artist (2)

Like a flying jewel, the hummingbird darts lightly through the world, teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of every day existence……….

watercolour/gouache

20-11-15 - 1 (1082)How does the creative process work?

Initially the seed of an idea is sewn.

The seed then enters into an incubation period which can be short lived, or take years to come to fruition.

The seed of an idea 20-11-15 - 1 (1076)As we go about our daily lives, just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle being revealed, the seed sprouts ideas that give us more information…..This can happen at any time.

It’s vital to record these ideas, because even when we think we couldn’t possibly forget a moment of inspiration……we can, and do, which is why it’s important to always have a sketch/notebook at hand.

20-11-15 - 1 (1079)

Like a ghostly apparition sometimes the answer seems almost within reach – but then it disappears and returns to incubation….it was just a…

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The imaginary friend

Some lovely thoughts from my lovely friend, Julia, whom I met through blogging a long time ago. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Defeat Despair

Imagination to reality: meeting (again) in person, the smiles say it all.
Laurie, Matt, me, Kelly and Alys at Rustico’s in Old Town Alexandria, April 2017

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” ― Ann Patchett

I think most everyone who writes can identify with this quote. But for those of us who blog, the line takes on a magnificent blur as the imaginary friend we reach through our writing may, from time to time, step through the mist and become real to us. And for many of us, this might happen again and again, with several different people who read our words, and whose words we read, leaving us with an entire family of friends we might never meet face to face.

Just last week I was exchanging…

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Picture Book…Still in Progress

Hello Friends.

I know I have been working on this first picture book for a long time now, but it is coming about slowly.  Here are the paintings I have done of my illustrations so far.  They are really watercolor sketches on low-quality paper right now.   I plan to keep working on the colors; I’m not quite satisfied with the shades of grays or with how the yellows came out.  To me they look too washed out.  I have not finished all of the paintings of the illustrations yet either.  Also, I skipped painting some of the illustrations so I could do the jellyfish.  I am planning to do backgrounds for the title pages and do something for the cover, the back, and the end pages inside the book as well.

So here is my first picture book so far….

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

LARRY THE LONELY LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE

WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED

BY

 PATSY H. PARKER

Larry is lonely.   He does not have any friends to play with.  Last week he had to say goodbye to his best friend, Alicia, because she wanted to go explore a different part of the ocean.  

“Bye, Larry.”

“Bye, Alicia.  I’ll miss you!”

 

Now Larry is sad.  He feels like crying.

So he does.

When Larry feels lonely,

he swims

 

and swims.  He is hoping to find a new friend.

Then suddenly he is surprised when his tummy starts growling.  He was missing Alicia so much, he forgot to eat!

Growl, growl!

So Larry decides to look for his favorite food.

Jellyfish!

Larry dives…

deeper,

deeper,

and deeper.

Diving is Larry’s favorite part of swimming.

He dives all the way down to the bottom of the ocean to rest.

When he looks up to see the sun shining through the water,

He sees a swarm of jellyfish!  Then they see him, too!

They swim fast to get away…

and when Larry almost catches one,

he sees another Leatherback sea turtle swimming in his direction, but she does not see

him!  Suddenly they are face to face.

They bump noses.

Larry smiles widely.  He thinks to himself, maybe she will be my friend.

She smiles shyly.

“Hi.  I’m lonely…I mean…Larry.”  He feels embarrassed.

“Hi.  I’m Lucy.”  She giggles.  Then she winks at him.  “Do you want to go catch jellyfish with me?”

“Yes, I do!  Larry answered happily.  “I almost caught earlier today!”

So Larry and Lucy swam away to catch jellyfish together.

Then Larry, the lonely Leatherback sea turtle wasn’t lonely anymore.

The End

Lenny, the Leatherback – A Poem

Hello friends,

Yesterday after I wrote about writing being tough at times, I came up with this poem, which is weird since I don’t really write poetry anymore!  Ha, ha.  And of course, it is about a sea turtle! (This is not the same “Lenny” as in my other story.  I just love this name!)  Enjoy.  🙂

Lenny, the Leatherback

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle was as large as he could be.

He loved his home,

But he was all alone

In the salty waters of the sea.

 

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle tried every day to make friends.

But jellyfish swam away fast,

Whenever he was about to pass,

They were so afraid he might eat them.

 

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle felt as lonely as he could be.

He dove down deeper…down, down,

And when he saw a clown –

Fish, he smiled and was friendly.

 

The clownfish smiled back at Lenny,

She didn’t seem to feel afraid of him.

She swam up to his side instead of trying to hide,

And asked, “Will you be my friend?”

 

By,

Patsy H. Parker

4/21/17

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Writing…Sometimes It’s…toUGH!!!

Courtesy of Google

Hello friends.

I found this quote and picture on Google today, and it encouraged me.  I have not been posting much lately, but because of some personal struggles, I have been doing the best I can.  Struggling has pushed me back into tackling some writing projects again.  I am not sure if the writing is therapeutic or not at this point, though.  It feels a bit stressful at the moment…thus, the UGH!!! in my title.

One story I began a very long time ago is “Gracie, the Green Sea Turtle.” After re-reading it, I decided to remove it from my blog for now, because I realized how many mistakes were in it so I am doing a re-write and will hopefully actually finish it.  I may post it again someday, but I think posting it before was premature and showed that at the time I did not proofread it enough!  And I am usually a stickler about proofreading.  I must have been off my meds that day…

Lately I have been working on other turtle stories and a poem this week, too.  I just jotted a short poem down this morning which still needs work.  I haven’t really written poetry in years.  I already posted “The Most Ticklish Turtle in Town” this week.  It’s a good thing, too, because somehow it has disappeared off of my laptop. I have a printed copy, but I sure didn’t want to have to type it all over again!

My daughter and I did get some good news yesterday, though.  She does NOT have classes next week due to other students doing testing.  She is a senior, so she doesn’t have any testing this year.  I don’t think she is planning on doing college classes in the fall at this point.  She is planning to join the California Conservation Corps. soon, though, which is something she has been looking forward to for the last couple of years.

This has really been a trying week; to add stress upon stress, we have been having upgrades to our hatchery done in the past few weeks, so there have been lots of planned power outages so the people can work on our power poles.  It has been very frustrating to say the least.  In addition to this, we had to have our personal (not the whole hatchery’s) internet system upgraded, because our old one was having too many problems.  All I can say at this point is TGIF!!

Hopefully, the weekend will be brighter.  My husband and are planning to go to something called “Spoken Word Night” this evening.  We have never been to one, but I guess it is “an evening for serious poets, writers, playwrights, storytellers, comedians, actors of all genres.”

I may be the least “serious” of them all at this point, but perhaps we will meet some interesting people.  They meet once a month.  So we will see how it goes.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!

The Most Ticklish Turtle in Town

Thomas was a red-eared slider turtle.  He was called a red-eared slider, because he was able to slide off of rocks easily in the pond, and there were small red stripes around his ears.  Sometimes he put a claw in each ear hole and made faces at himself in the bathroom mirror.  He also liked to admire his red stripes.

One day when he had his eyes closed and was reaching for a towel to dry his face after washing it, his sister walked up behind him and grabbed his sides – the squishy part of his body underneath his hard shell.

Thomas let out a loud cry and jumped a foot off the floor.  His sister laughed, “Ha, ha!  Gotcha!”

He turned to her with angry eyes and yelled, “Don’t do that, Tamara!  I don’t like to be tickled by surprise!”  He finished wiping his face and hung up the towel.

“Why?”

“I don’t know.  It makes me feel funny.”

She snickered, “Well, it’s supposed to!  Tickling is supposed to make you laugh, and laughing is funny.  Besides, everyone knows you’re the most ticklish turtle in town.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t like being surprised like that.  I hate being grabbed in the sides.  So please don’t do it anymore, okay, Tamara?”

Tamara hung her head and slunk away muttering quietly, “Okay, Thomas.  I’m sorry.”  (But she thought to herself, “until next time!”)

Thomas went to his bedroom, put on his favorite baseball cap and jersey, picked up his mitt, and ran out the door without saying good-bye to Tamara.

He walked down to the baseball diamond at the park to look for Garrett.  They were supposed to meet there to toss the baseball around after lunch.  When he reached the dugout where they usually sat after playing, no one was there.  He still felt angry at Tamara, but he decided to look down in the dirt for money which he and Garrett sometimes found lying there.  Just as he spotted a shiny quarter and bent down to pick it up, someone grabbed his sides and tickled him.  Not only did it scare him, but he lost his balance and fell over on his back.  He wobbled around on the back of his shell and stretched his neck and front legs out so he could flip himself over when he heard a familiar laugh.  Then someone grabbed his front leg and pulled him up which brought him face-to-face with Garrett.

Garrett’s laughter was met with Thomas yelling, “Why did you do that?”

Garrett said, “Sorry, buddy.  I was just playing around.  Besides, everyone knows you’re the most ticklish turtle in town.”

“Yeah, yeah.  I’m so tired of being called that!  You would think by now everyone would realize how much I hate being sneaked up on and tickled!”

Garrett looked at the ground and said, “Sorry, Thomas.  I just came by to tell you I can’t play today.”

“What?  Why not?”  Thomas felt even more frustrated at the disappointing news.

“My mom has to take me to the shell doctor.”  He turned around and showed Thomas a big crack in the side of his shell.

“How’d you do that Garrett?”

“I fell off the wall in front of our house.”

“What?  How’d you get up there?  It has to be two feet off the ground!”

“There was a wide board leaning up against it so I walked up it towards the wall.  Then my back foot got caught in a big hole in the wood.  I sort of did a twist, and as I fell, I heard my shell crack against the edge of the board.”

Thomas hesitated, then asked, “Did it hurt?”

“Yeah.  When I fell…..”

Thomas interrupted and said, “Good!  I get hurt somehow almost every time someone tickles me by surprise!  You deserve it, Garrett!”

Garrett scowled.  “Hey!  I said I was sorry, Thomas.  I won’t tickle you anymore, okay?”

“Whatever.  I’m leaving.  I’m glad you can’t play.  I don’t feel like it now anyway!”  Thomas turned and ran away.

Garrett yelled, “Fine!  I don’t think I’ll meet you here tomorrow either then.”

Garrett’s feelings were hurt.  He really hadn’t meant to make Thomas angry.  Then he thought about all the times Thomas had asked him not to walk up behind him and tickle him like that.  He felt badly, but when he looked up, Thomas was already gone.

Thomas decided to wander over to the pond.  He saw his friend, Maya, which already made him feel better.  She was the nicest friend he knew.  Maya was a painted turtle so her shell was flatter than Thomas’s, and a deep olive green color.  She had bright yellow stripes on her face.  Thomas thought she was beautiful.  He had known her since they were two years old.  They had both had their 12th birthdays that year.

She crawled out of the cool water just as Thomas ran down the hill and jumped off a rock making a huge splash.

Maya laughed and yelled, “Good one, Thomas!”

Maya ran up the hill, turned around, and yelled, “Watch out, here I come.”  Then she came barreling down the hill, but at the edge of the pond she spread out all her legs, went flying through the air, suddenly pulling all her legs in and did a cannonball and splashing Thomas.

When she came out of the water, Thomas was grinning widely, but she was coughing and sputtering water.   “Wow, Maya!  That was a great jump.   Are you okay?”

“Sure.  I never get hurt doing that, but I always get water up my nose and sometimes swallow some.  She smiled and said, “But it’s just so fun.”

She swam over to him giggling and asked, “So how’s the most ticklish turtle in town doing today?”

Thomas burst into tears and said, “Don’t call me that, Maya.”

She crawled out onto the bank of grass and sat beside him.  “Whoa, what’s the matter Thomas?  I didn’t think that nickname bothered you that much.  I’m sorry.”

He cried for a minute and then said, “Well, it does.  It isn’t the nickname so much.  I probably am the most ticklish turtle in town.  What I hate is when others come up behind me and tickle my sides by surprise.  I really don’t like it at all.  It scares me and then I feel embarrassed.  Both my sister and Garrett did it to me just this morning!  I was so mad, I yelled at both of them.”

“Oh, that’s too bad, but they need to stop doing that.  I know what you mean by it scaring and embarrassing you, too.  My brother tickles my feet all the time.  I don’t like it either.  Sometimes he gets a hold of me and won’t stop, and I accidentally pee myself!  That is really embarrassing.  Then I cry.  Tickling is only fun when I’m letting someone do it at the same time that I’m tickling them.  Then I have more fun, because I know what’s coming and laughing feels good then.”

“I know.  I keep trying to tell my sister and my friend, Garrett that, but they just won’t listen!”

“I try to tell my brother, too, but he just gets mad and calls me a baby.  That hurts my feelings.  I am not a baby just because I tell him to stop doing something I don’t like.”

“What are we going to do about it, Maya?  I am so tired of this.”

“I don’t know if there is anything we can do.  It’s really annoying when others won’t listen to us when we tell them to stop doing something that makes us feel uncomfortable.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes thinking about how to solve their problem.  Maya’s face brightened suddenly.

Thomas asked, “Did you think of something?”  She grinned, and he said, “You did think of something didn’t you?”

“Yeah.  I think I did.”  She smirked and nodded her head, then leaned over and began to tell Thomas her plan.

——————

        The next morning Thomas was in the kitchen getting his breakfast.  He didn’t hear his sister sneak up behind him, because he had his earbuds in listening to his music.  He felt little nudges on his sides and turned to see Tamara rubbing her front feet together.  She started to cry.  Thomas felt a little bad but he took one earbud out and asked, “What’s the matter, Tamara?”

She cried, “What is that under your shell?  I tried to tickle you, but my feet feel like I got stabbed by something!  It hurts!  What do you have under there?”

Thomas grinned and said, “You mean ‘who’ is under there?”

Tamara’s eye’s widened.  “What?”

Then Thomas bent over to one side and then the other.  Sitting underneath the sides of his shell were his baby twin porcupine friends, Patty and Paulie.  They pulled in their heads to hide when they saw Tamara’s angry and confused face.

She said to them, “Your quills are sharp!”

In unison they said, “Sorry!”

“How come they aren’t hurting your sides, Thomas?”

“I stuck some padding to my sides before I let them sit there.”

Patty snickered and said, “Thomas gave us some yummy pineapple and said he would give us more if we hid under his shell.  He didn’t tell us why, and we didn’t ask.  We just wanted the pineapple!”

Tamara laughed, “Well, it did hurt, but…”  Then peering at Thomas with a look of shame she said, “I deserved it.  I guess I wasn’t listening all the times you told me to stop tickling you.  I’m sorry, Thomas.  I will never do it again.  I promise.”

The baby porcupines smiled as Thomas bent down so they could crawl out of his shell.  He handed them a big pineapple and opened the kitchen door for them.  The pineapple was so large that they had to carry it together.  They waddled away yelling, “Thank you, Thomas!”

He laughed and hollered back, “You’re welcome!”  Then he asked Tamara if she wanted to go play a game.  She happily said yes.

Later that day his friend Garrett came over. He had called Thomas the night before to apologize again so Thomas forgave him.  Garrett hadn’t promised not to tickle Thomas anymore, though, but Thomas wasn’t worried.

After Garrett arrived, Thomas reached up to get his baseball mitt off the shelf and expected Garrett to try and tickle him.  He waited a moment, but nothing happened.  He turned around and said, “Hey, why didn’t you try to tickle the most ticklish turtle in town, Garrett?”

Garrett shook his head and exclaimed, “Are you kidding?  Tamara told me about the little prickly friends you have hiding under there.”

Thomas laughed and showed his sides to Garrett.  He said, “Nope!  No one’s under there now.  But I hope you guys learned your lesson.  I hate being tickled by surprise!”

Garrett held up both his front feet and backed up a little saying, “Buddy, you got it!  I promise I will never tickle you again.  I’m really sorry, too.”

“Thanks, Garrett.  I’m sorry I said you deserved to get hurt.  I didn’t really mean that.  Let’s go play some baseball now, okay?”

“Okay!”

When they walked by the pond on their way to the park, Maya was sitting on a rock sunning herself.  She and Thomas winked at each other as he and Garrett walked by.

Then Thomas became known as the trickiest turtle in town.”

The End

© Patsy H. Parker

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Jane Yolen, Picture Book Author

Hello Friends,

I have not posted in a while because I honestly have not had the energy!  My daughter left to go visit a friend in Missouri for Spring Break!  I hope she has a wonderful time.

In the meantime, I am doing a lot of reading.  I began reading “Animal Farm” which is pretty great. Both of my kids read it for school, and my husband read it years ago.  I think it is amazing and insightful already, and I am only 28 pages in!

I also began painting my drawings for my picture book, Larry the Lonely Leatherback Sea Turtle.  I am going to try to take pictures of them and put the text with them, then upload it on WordPress and try to make a “book” that can be looked through like it would appear if it was printed on paper.

In the meantime, here are some encouraging words from Jane Yolen.  I have yet to check out any of her books from the library, though, because I just learned about her the other day.  Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

http://www.juliehedlund.com/jane-yolens-20-rules-of-writing

New friends

Another writer’s food for thought! 🙂

Trudi Murray Art and Illustration

a skipping chip

It’s always been my intention to write and illustrate children’s books. I’ve been banging on about it for what feels like the whole of my life. It doesn’t matter how long, really – I do think everything happens in its own good time, when all the factors are right. I don’t know exactly what’s been holding me back though – perhaps a fear of not being good enough, or a worry that I’ve got nothing new to say, or that I can’t draw the pictures very well. Or maybe not as well as so and so, that famous person, or such and such that acclaimed artist.

Of course I can’t! And nor should I want to. They are them, and I am me. I must do it in my own way, as only I can, respecting my own self, and waiting to see what happens. And I have stories coming out of my ears. And so I’ve made a solid…

View original post 136 more words

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Groovy craft projects, crafty recipes and other artsy stuff.

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Costa Rica Immersion and Adventure

Annika Perry's Writing Blog

Join me as I edit my first novel and aim for publication

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