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Preditors and Editors Reader’s Awards of 2013

While you’re here, don’t forget to sign up for the new monthly newsletter! It will include new release news, tasty tidbits, and probably some shenanigans. Because that’s how I roll.

So the results of the Preditor and Editors Readers Poll of 2013 are in. Congratulations to all the participants and to the winners!

As you may be able to tell from the nifty new badges on the sidebar, Allegories of the Tarot placed in the top ten, and I also placed in the top ten. What those badges don’t tell you is Allegories placed at number five out of a field of sixty fabulous anthologies, and I placed at number two.

I AM SO JAZZED!

BOOYAH!

I’m thrilled because each and every one of the contributors to the anthology worked their asses off, and every single one brought their A game. I’m so incredibly proud of the volume we put together I can hardly stand it. I know I might be biased, but I really feel this is the best group of stories I’ve ever read. Working on the anthology with this group of writers was AMAZING. It was fun, wild, crazy, and one of the best experiences of my life, not just my editing career. Just…man. Thank you, guys. You are wonderful to work with, and I am honored you came along with me on this ride. MAD LOVE.

I’d also like to thank all the backers from the Indiegogo campaign who helped make this happen. We couldn’t have done it without you, so this is your victory as much as it is ours. THANK YOU, for believing in this project and helping us realize our vision.

As for the editor award–I’m gobsmacked and yes, very happy. An editor’s job is to make the work the best it can be, and for it to look like an editor was never there. We’re the shadow people So to be honored with an award like this is really validating, although if I’m to be completely honest, it feels a little weird, too. The editor/writer relationship is between two people, and it’s special. I’d like to thank my absolutely stellar clients who keep me on my toes, total involvement in the editing process, and most of all, for the trust they have in me. I’m grateful and feel so honored.

HOORAY!

 

Vote For Your Favorite Editor and Anthology!

Yes, it’s that time of year–the Annual Preditors and Editors Reading Poll. I’m really thrilled and honored to be nominated for the Best Editor award this year–and today is the last day to vote.

THE LAST DAY!

I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate being nominated in the first place. I work with some amazing authors and I absolutely love what I do. Allegories of the Tarot was a major project in 2013, and I’m beyond proud at the teamwork producing an outstanding collection.

If you feel the same way and would like to show your support, you can vote for the anthology here and if you happen to have a favorite editor *cough cough* you can vote for Best Editor here.

While you’re at it, take a look at the categories–you may find some favorite authors, books, and artists you can support. The site loads a little slow at times, but this kind of endorsement and affirmation means a lot to the indies who work hard to publish quality books for your reading pleasure.

Please take a minute to cast your vote for your favorites. We all appreciate it so much!

Good luck to all the nominees!

<3

 

RELEASING TODAY: THE ALLEGORIES OF THE TAROT ANTHOLOGY!

allegoriesblogtourbannerGet the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology in on Amazon and Smashwords.
Add the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

Swing by the Allegories of the Tarot Facebook page and enter the release-day giveaway of a custom Tarot box–complete with Tarot deck!

allegoriestarotcover(1)Who hasn’t been fascinated by the mysterious Tarot, writer and reader alike? For centuries, fortune-telling by the Tarot has caught many an imagination, but nothing like what will be presented here.

22 cards… each an individual splinter of the human psyche.

22 writers… honing each splinter into a story of triumph and decay, arrogance and humility.

Stories of the brightest lights and the darkest corners of the weirdest minds.

22 cross-genre worlds.

22 portals into the Universal.

Only one way to get there.

Come with us. Cross the portals. The Universal awaits.

About the book

Once upon a time, there was an editor with a fascination for the Tarot. She was struck one day by a crazy idea. “Hey,” she said. “What if twenty-two writers each wrote a story about the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot and these stories were fashioned into an anthology?”

The idea would not leave her alone.

And thus, the Allegories of the Tarot was born.

Crowdfunded by a campaign on Indiegogo with the help and support of an amazing group of writers, twenty-two stories were crafted around the mysteries of the Tarot. The group includes a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Pulp Ark nominee, a former Bigfoot researcher, a journalist, an award-winning YA author, and a Rhysling Award winner. Professional writers, new talent, and a range of genres boggling the mind: Horror, Speculative Fiction, Bizarro Fiction, Erotica, Mystery, Humor, Paranormal, Epic Fantasy, Literary, Romance, and Historical Fantasy.

What has emerged is an outstanding collection of fiction, unique and mysterious. Stories that will make you cry, make you laugh, and make you think. Stories that make you feel the touch of the Universe.

Dare to step through the portal to shadowy realms and emotional journeys.

Early readers have fallen in love with the Allegories of the Tarot

“Allegories of the Tarot Anthology is a magical book. Magic that will keep you turning the pages. There are muses, demons,  psychics, evil,and more! I shivered, I laughed and I even cried. Magic, I tell you. Magic.“-Julie Affleck

“Reviewing an anthology is slightly more difficult than discussing a book or comic because the tone varies from author to author. However, Allegories somehow flowed together as a well-matched whole. The project ended up feeling like several beads strung together to form a beautiful necklace that were more amazing for being paired together.” -Jodi Scaife

“All twenty-two stories in this volume are, in a word, superb. I found myself scouring the Internet as I read it; every story made me want to go find more work by its author. The ultimate compliment I can give Allegories is to say that when I finished it, I thought how I envy those who haven’t read it yet.” -Lisa Millraney

Get the book!

Allegories of the Tarot is available in e-book and paperback format on Amazon, and in multiple e-book formats on Smashwords. Buy the print version on Amazon and get the e-version for FREE!

Don’t forget to add Allegories of the Tarot to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.

Connect with the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology on its websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

AND ONE MONTH LATER…

Honestly, I have good intentions regarding blogging but something is eating my weeks when I’m not looking. I can’t believe this is the middle of August already. This summer has FLOWN.

July was as insane as a Juggalo. And believe me, I know. This particular band and their groupies used to stay at a hotel where I was employed. Boy, do I have stories. But I digress.

Suffice to say July was stuffed to the gills, and the first week of August was no different. Now, I have a small window until the madness of September, but first I will be visiting the lovely community of PEI to spend quality time with a dear friend, sit on a panel of The New Face of Publishing sponsored by Fierce Ink Press, and teach a class on editing. I’M SO EXCITED! And nervous, I’ll admit it. But mostly EXCITED!

Yay Canada!

YAY, CANADA!

I’m going international, baby. Heh.

I did take some time to update the Editing Work page for new releases, and I’m pumped about the new ones to come. Kris Austen Radcliffe is getting ready to launch FLUX OF SKIN on September 3, and Jordan L. Hawk will also be releasing the next in the SPECTR series, EATER OF LIVES on the same day. SQUEE!

In the meantime, I am feverishly editing the amazing collection of stories for theAllegories of the Tarot anthology to be released October 31. I am just blown away by the talent of these writers. Blown. Away. Badass Marketing has been engaged for the launch, and boy, do we have some great things planned. I COULD PEE!

Can you even stand it?

CAN YOU EVEN STAND IT?

I can’t WAIT.

And that’s what I’ve been up to. What kind of trouble are you stirring up? :D

Busy Netta Is Busy

But it’s been a fun busy. If there is such a thing.

Of course, I’ve been rolling full steam on Allegories of the Tarot (you can find the official website here), and I have to say it has been one hell of an experience. I’m learning a lot, but the best part of the whole thing is this group of writers are just…well, FABULOUS. They’re funny, and supportive, and seem to want to see this anthology come to light almost as much as I do. It’s a great group, and I love seeing how some of these writers who have never met before are forging new connections and friendships. It’s been a totally team effort, for which I’m really grateful and touched. SO. Much. Fun. You’ll see a taste of what I mean Monday, May 13th when I post a very interesting story about the Tarot cards which have taken over my house on the official website. Too hilarious.

I’ve never put an anthology together before, so I didn’t know what to expect. All I can say from what I see this is what being an indie is all about. Supporting each other, helping out, reaching out. It’s been a blast.

Red Tash graciously gave me some Internet love, and I also appeared on the blog of Pushcart Prize nominee Loren Kleinman. In the meantime, the lovely Eden Baylee interviewed me on her blog. She asked some interesting questions and it was an honor to appear. Then today, the incorrigible Laura Eno invited me to Tuesday Tea With Mistress Snark. I’m still hearing orange yammering in my ear (you’ll have to read the article to understand…) and I earned this beautiful badge, which I display with a big BOOYAH:

 

Except for the orange thing. Heh.
Except for the orange thing. Heh.

We’re working on the cover concept, thanks to the brilliance of Kris Austen Radcliffe, who has also contributed some other stunning images to the campaign. Like my very own Chariot teaser card:

 

How cool is this?
How cool is this?

There are a lot more things in the works, and everything will be updated on the on the official website as they happen. I can say I’ve received six stories so far, and every single one of them has blown off my socks. So happy!

In the meantime, I’m trying to get Sally Mae to cooperate (lawd, that girl is a handful!) and get Pallas out of the sticky wicket in which she now resides. All while keeping up with the editing, which is going really well. I love my job :) I know not many people can say that, and I feel pretty blessed.

Check out the Allegories campaign (widget in the sidebar) because there are some amazing perks up for grabs for donating, including signed pendants/magnets of the cards. Limited run. Oh, and books, mysterious swag, editing services…something for everyone. If you can’t donate, please consider sharing. The more the word gets out, the closer we get to achieving our goal. A huge thanks to the supporters, the shouters, and the writers for getting behind this and all their help. You people rock and I heart you.

 

You guys ROCK!
You guys ROCK!

Changes and Updates

HOLY MOLY WHAT A WEEK.

And it’s only Wednesday.

The biggest change is the Allegories of the Tarot project now has its very own website. O/

You can find it right here, and from this day forward you will find all information and updates on this site. This means I can hopefully get back to posting here on a regular basis and keep on with the editing series which usually appears on Thursdays (which will resume next week). Many thanks to the mysterious Mr. Twinkles who donated his Mad Skillz to help me put this together.

In addition, you will find the project has a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter all its own. You can even find us onG+.

Yes, people, I am serious about this project. As serious as a heart attack. Please share, donate, share, and maybe you can share. I would really appreciate it! Such epicness has GOT TO HAPPEN.

Right now, I feel like THIS.

I’m sure all I need is a good night’s sleep. Or maybe a lobotomy of some kind. Possibly chocolate would help. I’ll have to experiment.

In the meantime, I am working on outlining the rest of the adventures of Sally Mae; finishing up Athena’s Chainswhile I have a hot minute, and working on some editing projects.

AND…watch here because a couple of my authors are getting ready to release some new work…and I’m always excited about that.

Right now, though, I need a nap, a shower, and food. Not necessarily in that order. Maybe I can accomplish all three at the same time. I’ll let you know how that works out.

:)

Spike Marlowe – The Empress

Today we’re going to meet the writer behind the next card in the deck of the Allegories of the Tarot project, Spike Marlowe. So far you’ve been introduced to The FoolThe Magician, and The High Priestess.

I’ve known Spike for a long time, and she is one of those special people who walk the paths of my heart. She tends to have that effect on people. Her work is haunting, weird, and bizarre, and once you read one of her stories, you’re hooked. Spike can take the most unusual elements and weave them into a story you never forget. Just check out the sample of Placenta of Love and you’ll see what I mean.

The card she’s chosen is The Empress–a perfect fit, in my opinion. I can’t wait to see her story.

From Wikipedia: “The Empress is mother, a creator and nurturer. In many decks she can be shown as pregnant. She can represent the creation of life, of romance, of art or business. The Empress can represent the germination of an idea before it is ready to be fully born. The Empress is often associated with Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love, and indeed the Rider-Waite deck brandishes her symbol upon a heart-shaped bolster. The Empress is also often interpreted to be Demeter, goddess of abundance. She is the giver of earthly gifts, although at the same time, she can be overprotective and possessive. In anger she can withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped: Due to her fury and grief, Demeter keeps the Earth cold and barren until Spring when her child is returned to her.”

Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe
Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe

What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card?

Amongst other themes, the Empress represents feminine energy and creativity. My fiction tends to be filled with this feminine energy and elements the Empress represents. And, of course, as a writer, how could I not be interested in a card that represents creativity and the act of creation?

Why did you decide to get roped into this project?

There are four reasons why I decided to do this project:

1) It’s different than the other fiction projects I’ve been working on.
2) An amazing group of people are involved.
3) The tarot is a fascinating topic, and a ripe resource for artists.
4) I adore working with Annetta Ribken.

Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before?

I have. I’ve had friends who read Tarot, some professionally. Having them read my Tarot has always been a fascinating and illuminating experience.

What other projects do you have planned?

I just turned a draft of a new book titled Little Miss Battle Queen to my editor at Eraserhead Press. It’s basically Battle Royale with pint-sized beauty queens. I’m also looking forward to reworking a book I wrote last fall calledHowl. It’s a fantastical YA that’s part Watership Down, The Shining, Donnie Darko and Allen Ginsberg.

So much beauty, inside and out.

So much beauty, inside and out!

Bio:

Spike Marlowe is a San Francisco writer who has been known to make busking appearances wherever she travels. Though she has held a variety of odd jobs, including performer in a Wild West show, detective, Bigfoot researcher and writer for an internet content farm, she now focuses on writing bizarro and weird fiction. Her first book, Placenta of Love, is now available.

You can find Spike at her websiteBizzaro Central, on Amazon, on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter @spikemarlowe.

Check out the Allegories of the Tarot Campaign and a listing of the perks currently available on the Perks Page. Donate if you can, and share if you would. Your support is much appreciated!

Billie Sue Mosiman – The High Priestess

So, you have met The Fool and you’ve met The Magician, so now it’s time to meet The High Priestess. This is the third card and will be the third story in the Allegories of the Tarot anthology.

I know Billie Sue through Facebook, and have come to know her as a generous, supportive person. She is a gem–as busy as she is writing and converting her impressive backlist to accommodate the e-book revolution, she always has time for her fans and fellow writers. I’m so happy she decided to join this project!

Her chosen card–The High Priestess.

From Wikipedia: “Commonly this card is associated with the card reader or the querant, because it is also focused on ‘secrets’. It also interpreted when a secret is kept or revealed, when you are holding on to the truth or revealing it. The card is associated with mystery, when powerful feminine influences and support are currently in force for the querant. It can also represent the perfect woman in a man’s life, and to a woman it can represent being independently solo, perhaps without a man.”

Beauty and mystery, which suits Billie Sue to a ‘T’. Photo by Kris Austen Radcliffe

What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card?

The High Priestess is involved with intuition, higher powers, mystery, and subconscious mind. I’ve always thought the card was very intriguing with the priestess sitting before an elegant veil and she sits between darkness and light, represented by the pillars of Solomon’s temple. It made me wonder—did she advise Solomon? Did he listen?

Why did you decide to get roped into this project?

I trust the editor and although I’ve written one short story years ago for an anthology on the Tarot, I wanted another crack at it.

Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before?

I have a few decks and have played with them before because they’re beautiful works of art and they’re mysterious.

What other projects do you have planned?

I have a few short stories that have been bought for other anthologies and I’m always writing new stories while trying to finish a new novel.

Mysterious her own self. :)

Bio: Billie Sue Mosiman sold her first novel in 1983 and since then has published more than a dozen novels and hundreds of short stories. She was nominated for the Edgar and was a finalist for the Stoker.

You can find Billie Sue on her blogon Facebook, at her YouTube Channel, her Amazon Author page, or follow her on Twitter @billiemosiman.

Billie Sue has generously donated a copy of her book, BANISHED for the Allegories of the Tarot Campaign, along with other cool swag which you can find on the Perks Page.

Behind the Scenes of Allegories of the Tarot Anthology

Once upon a time, there was an editor who became obsessed with an idea…
Portrait of an obsessed editor.

Portrait of an obsessed editor.

That would be me.

The Tarot has always been a fascination of mine. As a writer, the images of the Rider-Waite deck contain much inspiration for fantastical stories; the meaning behind each and every one of them equally as interesting. While most people equate the Tarot with the occult, possibly imagining a mysterious gypsy telling fortunes, in reality the Tarot is less related to the “otherworld” and actually deeply rooted in the human experience.

From the forward of “The Key to the Tarot”, written by Liz Greene:
“Yet the images of the Tarot cards are neither inaccessible nor occult, however much any particular spiritual or esoteric school might seek to mystify them. These images are archetypal, which means that they describe essential human situations and patterns which all of us experience in life at one time or another.”

To me, this means a talented Tarot reader can bridge the inherent mysteries of being human with the archetypes depicted in the cards. That is not to say Fate, or Destiny, or whatever you want to call the forces of the Universe do not have a role in the cards which are revealed or their position in a reading—depending on your beliefs, this could very well be the case. Rather, a reading of the Tarot is less of an occult experience and more of an exploration of the human experience. Perhaps even a guide to understanding your current state of mind and a pointer in the direction you wish to travel.

With all that in mind, I have long had the desire to put together an anthology of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. I thought of how fascinating it would be to corral an author for each of the cards, and see what kind of story they’d write. Because although there are many universal human experiences, the truth is they are as diverse as the perspective of the individual.

I, myself, own two decks of Rider-Waite cards. I read them on occasion. I am fairly accurate in the readings, but I don’t do it often and only for special occasions. I know several people who are scary-good. Sometimes I just take out the deck and study the images, and I’ve read many, many books about the Tarot. And the idea of an anthology of stories about these images which fascinated me kept cropping up. But I was scared. Scared I wouldn’t be able to pull it off, scared people would say, “No, that’s a stupid idea,” you know. Just…scared.

But then I had a very vivid dream about jumping from one ledge to another. In the dream, it took me forever to decide, because I have a definite fear of heights. I mean, my palms were sweating, and I about wet my pants, but I finally did jump and I made it. The next day, I realized if I let fear stop me, I would never know if I could make that ledge or not. And the answer is always “No,” if you don’t ask.

And behold, the Allegories of the Tarot project was born.

Twenty-two cards. Twenty-two writers. Twenty-two amazing stories. WIN!

Twenty-two cards. Twenty-two writers. Twenty-two amazing stories. WIN!

The first step was to outline the project and decide how to raise the funds necessary. I knew I needed to pay the writers professional rates and cover the publishing costs. With a budget and a firm plan, I then constructed a list of writers covering a wide range of genres. I have the Most Enviable position in knowing a slew of mega-talented writers. As a matter of fact, I had too many writers on my list and not enough cards, but I figured some would have other obligations and others no interest. Plus, if this project goes well, I have a brain full of ideas for a second anthology. Maybe a third.

Evidently, I’m not the only one fascinated by the Tarot. Within 24 hours I had 21 writers on board—I round out the 22. Much to my surprise, there was no fighting over which card went to which writer. They all seemed to fall into place as if they were…fated. *cue spooky music*

The plan was to line up the writers and then with a firm TOC (Table of Contents) move on to launch an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds. All the writers involved in the project have thrown their considerable weight behind this effort, for which I am eternally grateful and honored. Many have donated services and products to tempt both readers and writers for the perk packages; all have been extremely supportive and generous, and quick to get back to me when I’m demanding photos, bios, and feedback.

You will meet this group of talented and fabulous people in the days to come on my blog and on the campaign. I will introduce each and every one of them and the card they’ve chosen to write about. You will get to know award-winners, new and outstanding talent, and established authors who run the gamut from fantasy to mystery to romance and everything in between.

Please donate if you can—every dollar helps. And if you can’t donate, I’d appreciate a shout-out on your favorite social media platform. Help me get the word out because this is a whole lot of epic just waiting to happen, and with the perks offered, you’ll get good value for your dollar.

It’s been a lot of work, and I’m loving every minute of it. I jumped, and I’m so glad I did.

Tomorrow you will meet The Fool and the writer associated with the card. Stay tuned for an introduction to all the writers involved with the project. I’M SO EXCITED!

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

I was in a lovely conversation with a fellow writer who asked me about marketing and promotion. When you work a regular job and put in more than 40 hours a week; when you have a family who needs, craves, and actually LIKES your company; when every spare moment is dedicated to either working for a living or re-acquainting yourself with the progeny to which you gave birth or the person with whom you share a home; when any time above and beyond that is spent with the creatures who live inside your head, how do you find time to market and promote your work?

Tick-tock, tick-tock...all I have to worry about is my Evil Cat Overlord but trust me, I wish there were 12 more hours to the day.

It’s difficult enough to find enough time to write, much less pimp yourself out. And how effective is it to be an Internet ho? I don’t have the answers — all I know is what I’ve experienced, what I’ve learned from those who have come before me (and you will find some very helpful links to some amazing blogs on my sidebar) and what I have observed all my years in the writing biz. The number one thing to keep in mind when you’re angsting about selling books is:

THIS IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT.

It's gonna take a while. And you'll need to drink a lot of fluids. Probably alcohol.

The best, most effective way to sell more books? Write more books. This is the secret most writers blow off, think it’s too simple or think it doesn’t matter. It does. You see, you hook someone on your book, and the first thing an avid reader is going to do is buy every single thing you have written. And they’re going to talk about it. Readers are very loyal and once they find an author they like, they would rather buy from them than someone new. It’s the truth and that’s what’s behind all the big name success stories you see in the news. Amanda Hocking? Has a shit-ton of work for sale. Joe Konrath? Barry Eisling? Same thing.

That’s not to say you don’t have to do ANY marketing. It just means without the material out there, it’s not going to be effective. You need books, short stories, novellas, on the market, more than one. The more you have, the more you sell, and the more you sell.

Not a hook like this. Using this kind of hook to get readers will lead to an arrest record. Don't ask me how I know.

Marketing can be a total time-suck, but there are things you can do that take very little maintenance. Here are some of my suggestions:

Your blog is a great start, but put links in your email signature. I like WiseStamp because you can link it to update automatically with your blog posts and Twitter feed. Don’t have a Twitter account? Get one. Use a service like Buffer (free) to capture pages you surf and to schedule automatic posts, but set aside a little bit of time to actually talk to people. Twitter takes time to establish, and it has evolved over the three years I’ve been on it. It’s social interaction and if you don’t interact, it won’t do you much good. But, it’s great for networking and support, even if it doesn’t sell a whole lot of books.

Support other writers. I am in an awkward position as an editor for some of the best books I’ve read this year. As an editor, it’s a conflict of interest for me to pimp my clients out, and that totally sucks. (Because really, what am I going to say? They suck? Of course not, plus if I don’t give every one the same amount of time, that will cause problems. PLUS, if I don’t like the story, what happens when I don’t pimp that one out? PLUS, I’m an editor, not a promoter and I barely have time to pimp myself out. I hate being in this position, I really do, but there it is. Other than a link on my site — I do that for all my clients, but that’s the most I can do. Although I do post guest posts. It’s a problem for me because I love all my clients and some of them are great friends, as well. *sigh*)

Yeah, we've been here before. I love you, but I can't pimp you. *sad face*

Goodreads — get yourself an author page on Goodreads, and hook it up to post your blog posts there, too. Same with an Amazon author page. Make it as easy on yourself as you can by taking advantage of the RSS feeds and that way, all you have to do is update your blog and it will update on Goodreads and Amazon. I’ll be updating Goodreads with a video trailer once it’s done for “Athena’s Promise”.

Here are mine:

Annetta’s Amazon Author Page

Annetta’s Goodreads Author Page

Shelfari is another good site to set up the same way.

Use as many “set it and forget it” options as you can.

Get your book in the hands of reviewers.

Put together a media kit. You only have to do it once, and you’ll use components of it over and over. Here’s how: How To Construct a Media Kit

Do you have a Facebook Fan page? I offer exclusive excerpts from my book — a couple of lines from every chapter, then some blurbs, then the cover…that’s the only place people can see them. I plan on offering the book trailer there first and then I’ll post two or three sample chapters on the blog when I get closer to launch, which will then update automatically to all the sites I just mentioned. Here’s my page so you can see what I’m talking about: Annetta’s Facebook Fan Page

Instead of devoting huge hunks of time to marketing, you’re much better served by setting up as much as you can that requires the least bit of attention and using the time to work on the next book, and the next, and the next. That is honestly my best advice.

WRITE THE NEXT BOOK.

Now, get going.

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