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Now available from WordFire Press, my first novel! KoboNookAmazonSmashwords
Watch this space for more news!
My first original short story, Illegal Beagles
, is available right here on this LJ as a freebie. Read, enjoy, feedback is adored. There is a completely optional "donate" button at the bottom if you feel like tossing a couple of bucks my way. ;)Summary:
Russell Fisk, the captain of the tramp freighter Inquisitive Tamandua
, hates transporting live cargo, but a creditor has him over a barrel. So now he has to get a pack of hunting Beagles to the client, while dodging Feds and dealing with an alien passenger who's more than slightly odd. And, oh, hey, one of the dogs is in labor.
I've had seventeen short stories published in various venues. My Amazon Author Page (still a work in progress) is here
I also wrote a pair of villain origin stories--the Demon-Prince and the Vampire--for Lord of the Dead
, a tabletop hex-and-counter horror game from Pocket Options.
was published by World Weaver Press
in the "Far Orbit" anthology. Julie Czerneda says: "Daring adventure, protagonists who think on their feet, and out of this world excitement! Welcome to FAR ORBIT, a fine collection of stories in the best SF tradition. Strap in and enjoy!" It's also available as a standalone on Amazon
, published by Digital Science Fiction, or as part of the Infinity Cluster 6
anthology put out by the same outfit.Summary:
The intrepid crew of the Inquisitive Tamandua
is hired to transport a "grizzly bear" to a monastery. But neither the bear nor the monastery are what they seem, and their routine (ha) job is complicated by a reporter who's all too eager for a scoop to bolster her flagging career.
Daddy's Little Girl
was published in the "Putrefying Stories
" anthology by Stupefying Stories
A father will do anything
to save his teenage daughter in a zombie apocalypse...
Guardians of Public Safety
was published in the "1st and Starlight
" anthology, available on Amazon, put together by a bunch of Writers of the Future Finalists.Summary:
Keniesha Washington lives in a rough neighborhood filled with gangs, pimps, and drug dealers. But the supernatural cure for what ails it may be worse than the disease...
That Which is Hidden
was published in the "Chronology
" anthology by Curiosity Quills
. This was my prizewinning story for the Salty Dog writing contest at Salt City Steam.Summary:
Gideon Bassett needs to solve the triple mystery of his sweetheart’s murder, a train robbery, and a bank heist. Problem is, he’s been outed as a werewolf and is a fugitive himself...
was serialized by Stupefying Stories Showcase
in three parts:Part OnePart TwoPart ThreeSummary:
Daniella and her friends Gris and Mac must leave a talking cat in a dragon's cave for its annual tribute without being eaten by the grumpy dragon or murdered by goblins and mountain trolls. And they have to do it before a rival team beats them to the punch.
The Road to Hell
was published by Domain SF
. It's a free read, but it requires registration. Summary:
Oceanic algae farms have dumped extra oxygen into our atmosphere, with catastrophic results. Insects are now prehistoric size and we use baseball bats to swat mosquitoes. But the cure might be worse than the disease, as a grief-stricken woman learns to her detriment. And the planet's.
Servile Spirits to Invent
was published in "The Death God's Chosen" by Deepwood Publishing
A village decimated by plague uses corpses to till the fields so they don't starve. However, the entities animating the bodies have their own agenda.
War of the Were-Mice
was published by Unlikely Story
for their April Fool's issue. Be thou warned:
This was written on purpose
to be terrible
. The challenge was to "write the worst piece of fiction you can stand to see under your byline." So... I did. It's a flash piece, so you won't lose too many brain cells by reading it. They also interviewed me
The house vermin battle for supremacy.
Of Were-Critters, Widow Women, and Water Rights
was published in the "Ways of Magic" anthology by Deepwood Publishing
Mike Vaughn, a werewolf who works security for a rail line in Reconstruction Texas, is embroiled in a feud between a family of brothers and his ex-sweetheart. Throw in a professor with a water-sucking contraption, a preacher with a dark past, and a hunter, and Mike is having a truly rotten day.
Different in Blood
was published in Plasma Frequency
Ben Lockwood, werewolf private investigator, finds himself embroiled in the weirdest cheating spouse case ever
. What the hell is a squonk? He's about to find out.
Showing Faeries for Fun and Profit
was published in Stupefying Stories
Faerie shows are cooperative enterprises between humans and faeries. When a faerie is kidnapped, it's a race against time -- and against faerie rights activists, the larger Fae, and an unscrupulous fellow competitor -- to find her before something terrible happens.
The Cow and the Beanstalk
was published in Azure Valley
, an imprint of TM Publishing
We all know the story of Jack the Giant Killer. How he traded a cow for some magic beans, killed a giant, avenged his father, and lived happily ever after. Now, everyone assumes the bean man was out to cheat Jack -- but, you know, the beans really were magic. He delivered on his promise and then disappeared, never to be seen again. So, what was so special about a cow, that a fellow would be willing to trade beans like that for her?
was published in Plasma Frequency
A security guard with electronic sensory enhancements accompanies a group of art students down to the home planet of a new alien species. While there, he sees things he shouldn't--but he's not sure if he's really seeing them, or if the enhancements have finally made him crack.
"Affairs of Dragons
" was published in Renard's Menagerie
, which is sadly defunct. It's also available through Anthology Builder
, which is where the link to the story will take you. And it was reprinted in the "Far Orbit: Apogee
" anthology by World Weaver Press. You can read the beginning of it here
. It's the sequel to "Illegal Beagles."Summary:
The crew of the Inquisitive Tamandua
is hired by a mother dragon to move her eggs from one planet to another. She's in the middle of an ugly divorce and an uglier clan war. The eggs aren't supposed
" was published in AfterburnSF
but can no longer be read online. It's available through Anthology Builder here
, and it also appears in the "Fight On! Weird Enclaves and Black Pits
" anthology. The link in the title will take you to a short preview, and it's available through Amazon here
Desperate faeries raid a beehive for the honey they need to make it through a deadly winter. But at what cost to both faeries and bees?
"Fortunes of Soldiers
" was published by Cosmos
magazine, with a fabulous illustration by Emrah Elmasli
. You can also buy it through Anthology Builder
(link takes you to a preview of it), and it's in the You're Not Alone
anthology edited by Damien Broderick.Summary:
Two week's pay for one night's work, babysitting a spoiled asteroid heiress? Mercenary Jake O'Dell thinks all his jobs should be this easy. Until, of course, everything goes disastrously wrong.
"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf
" was published by Darwin's Evolutions
, with a fabulous illustration by Karl Nordman
. It's available as a trade paperback for $9.99 (along with several other stories by several other awesome writers), or a high-quality .pdf download for $2.73. It's also available through Anthology Builder
. You can read the beginning of it here
, and purchase it here
Mark Newman loves being a werewolf. But when his wife finds out she's pregnant, she attempts to cure him against his will, in his sleep. Naturally, it goes horribly wrong--and it goes even wronger when she gets a well-meaning priest involved, poor fellow.
My author page on Amazon is here
. My author page at Anthology Builder is here
. You can read more of my fiction right here on this LJ. I have a "DVD extra" from my first novel that introduces a couple of characters to each other under less-than-optimal circumstances, and you can read that here
. This is one of my very favorite scenes. I post occasional snippets of my stories, and those can be accessed via my snippets tag
Most of this LJ is me whining about writing, with some Real Life and Fannish Squee and a scosh of Politics thrown in on occasion. I have more information on my User Info
page, or you can peruse my tags
and see if anything in there looks interesting. You can also follow me on Twitter
or friend me on Facebook
. I don't always follow back on Twitter, especially if I don't know you, but I do friend back on FB.
So. Come in, kick back, have fun. If you feel like commenting, please do.
Read and rate Weekend Warrior stories. Edit my own WW story with the ending the Hubby suggested, because it is awesome.
Ha. I like this much better.
Check to see if anyone besides Digital Horror opened for subs today, because I have three novelettes still looking for homes.
After a giant pain-in-the-ass process because gmail is a butthole, I managed to sub one of those novelettes. Yay. Now I have 30 subs out.
Write 1000 new words (or get to an END, whichever comes first) in one of my WIPs.
At least stare in befuddlement at this damned novel outline.
Also, today is payday, and that means a trip to the bank and also Best Buy, because BB is having a sale on "The Man from UNCLE" on bluray for $9.99.
Thu, Jan. 21st, 2016, 12:00 pm
- Wed, 21:19: My guinea pigs are weirdos. They all have issues. Why oh why do RODENTS have ISSUES.
Wed, Jan. 13th, 2016, 04:34 am
- Tue, 17:21: It is telling that I would rather watch a movie about guinea pigs that work for the FBI than tonight's State of the Union Harangue.
Sit down with the stories I haven't completed and figure out where they're going and why I haven't finished them. I have at least three on the front burner and Lord knows how many on the back burner. If I can finish most--or just some--of them this year, it'll be a very good year indeed. I need to stick them all in one folder and see just how many there are. I can think of six altogether off the top of my head that are relatively recent.
I should also at least stare at the novel sequel outline.
I actually finished today's project, a flash piece for a contest on a board I'm a member of. I'm pretty pleased with it, as it proves a couple of things to me:
1. I am not broken. I can
still finish things.
2. I can whack words like nobody's business. It started at 915 words, and ended at 749. I may expand it later, but at this point I'm pretty happy with it. The limit for the contest was 750 words. Go, me!
However, right now my eyeballs are doing the sandpaper thing, which tells me it's bedtime.
14 form Rs
11 Honorable Mentions
I entered the contest with my first "original" story in December 2007. It garnered a plain form R. To be fair, it's an actual Firefly knockoff which I scraped the serial numbers from--as in, it was fanfic first before I rejiggered it. That being said, that story has spawned four others in the same series, three of which have found homes, two of which have found two
homes. Publisher's Freaking Weekly even said something nice about one of them!
My next entry (March 2007) also garnered a form R. However it was also my first pro-rate sale, to Cosmos.
My next three entries all garnered Honorable Mentions, though they weren't calling them that yet for the very next one. I'm not going to go through them one by one. That would be ridiculous. However, for your elucidation:
2007: 4 entries (3 HMs)
2008: 4 entries (3 HMs)
2008: 2 entries (no placement)
2010: 4 entries (1 HM)
2011: 0 entries (The Year Roleplay Ate My Brain. Whoops.)
2012: 3 entries (1 HM)
2013: 4 entries (1 HM, 1 Finalist)
2014: 4 entries (1 HM, 2 SFs)
2015: 4 entries (1 HM, 1 WINNER)
The moral of the story? NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.
Also, find your niche and play it to the hilt
. My last six placements were all werewolf stories, except one, but it had werewolves in prominent secondary roles. Two of those were Finalists, and two were Semi-Finalists. Dave Farland (famously) hates werewolf stories--he said so in the blurb for my novel! You can make someone look at something they don't like twice if you just do it well enough
Fun story which I would have posted last night, except I didn't get home until 10pm and Hubby had to get up at Stupid Early AM, so Bed was a Thing:
As you know, Bob, one of my werewolf stories made Finalist for Q4 at Writers of the Future. I've been waiting for four weeks to find out the results. I knew the call had to come soon...
The handsome and hard-working Eric James Stone had his "Unforgettable" book launch last night, which I attended. Scott Parkin saw me and asked "Did you get the call yet?" I answered in the negative, and he commiserated with me for a moment before going back to where he'd been.
Ten seconds later (like, literally), my phone rings.
"Hi, Julie." I've spoken with Joni all of three times in my entire life. I still recognized her voice. She sounded happy.
Therefore I refrained from saying "Hi, Joni, just tell me I didn't win." Instead I said "Hi, Joni." I'm pretty sure I already started bouncing, though I tried to contain myself.
"You won. Third place."
I have often described characters feeling "like a marionette with cut strings." I've
never actually felt like that... until last night. I, uh, held myself up on a handy shelf. I told her how shocked I was to win with this story, because of Dave's famous werewolf hate, and she said "I guess he liked this one!"
And so did the rest of the judges.
I swear I wrote this as part of a Codex prompt; I finished it in February 2015, and I remember the idea being something about abysses (Weekend Warrior? Anyway, it ended up being too long to actually enter, and I'm not sure I finished it in time in any case), but I cannot for the life of me remember anything else. I actually ended up revising it for the Contest with Dave's sensibilities in mind, expanding it and changing the ending to something a little less-- okay, a lot
less depressing. Especially in light of what he said about about my last Finalist, which was "is it a story about a werewolf, or is it a story about belonging?" Well, that first one wasn't, particularly, at least not in my mind, but this one definitely is.
There were a bunch of people I knew at the book launch, of course, because the Utah writing community is vast, and they were all super happy for me. Utah has a ridiculous proportion of winners, as well--four of us were there. We took a picture. It was awesome.
SO. ANYWAY. I'M GOING TO HOLLYWOOD. DO THE DANCE OF JOY WITH ME.
You know what they say about the road to Hell? That being said, at this point, I don't even think I can credit you with good intentions
. You once again touted the "2 million people who shouldn't have had guns were stopped with background checks, huzzah!" statistic, but when you drill down into the actual numbers
, you get this for the first two years of your administration:
2009: Total denials: 67,324. Referred for prosecution: 140. Guilty Plea or Conviction: 32.
2010: Total denials: 76,142. Referred for prosecution: 62. Guilty Plea or Conviction: 13.
That's right. 143,466 denied. 202 prosecuted. 43 either pled out or convicted. .0014%.
Notice that the raw number of denials in 2010 was nearly 9,000 higher than in 2009, but the number referred for prosecution was less than half.
Are you seriously positing that your justice department--the same justice department that "masterminded" an international gun-walking scheme for which no one has received so much as a slap on the wrist--is going to suddenly start enforcing NICS violations because you've got a bug up your ass and issued an executive order about it?
WHY? Shouldn't they already
be enforcing the fucking law? Oh, wait, I forgot. Your administration would rather flout our laws (See: the border) than enforce them.
I'm not going to take this point by point because it's tiresome and I'm sure other people will address it better than I can. But I'm going to get a few salient things off my chest.
1. Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks.
Well, no shit, Sherlock. We already have that in place.
I've purchased guns at gunbroker.com. They had to go through an FFL before they got into my hands. I had to fill out your four-page form. We don't need you to lecture us about it.
Quantity and frequency of sales are relevant indicators. There is no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement. But it is important to note that even a few transactions, when combined with other evidence, can be sufficient to establish that a person is “engaged in the business.” For example, courts have upheld convictions for dealing without a license when as few as two firearms were sold or when only one or two transactions took place, when other factors also were present. (bolding mine)
What other factors? Are you kidding me with this? If I buy a gun, keep the packaging, and then a month later decide that I found one I like better and thus sell it (perhaps at a profit because I'm not stupid, and, hey, you're creating demand, so thanks for that!) with the packaging and instructions (because I do tend to keep stuff like that even for my electronics), this makes me an ex post facto "dealer" who's "engaged in business"? What?
And, no, I do not trust you
to differentiate between a drug dealer thug who runs guns to his friends, and me
, when you have shown absolutely no inclination to differentiate between a violent thug and a cop doing his duty--and, in fact, treated the cop far worse than you would have the thug. You haven't earned that much trust, and never will at this point.
Ensure smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws. In a call earlier today, the Attorney General discussed the importance of today’s announcements and directed the Nation’s 93 U.S. Attorneys across the country to continue to focus their resources—as they have for the past several years under the Department’s Smart on Crime initiative—on the most impactful cases, including those targeting violent offenders, illegal firearms traffickers, and dangerous individuals who bypass the background check system to acquire weapons illegally.
Oh, puh-lease. See above. Show me some more recent numbers to prove this is actually true. Until then, I call bullshit. Start enforcing the laws we already have (which might actually prove effective) before you throw up a bunch of new laws that you will then proceed not to enforce--and then bray about how we need yet more laws... which you will then also not enforce. Then you will use the lack of enforcement to "prove" that we should just ban guns altogether. You think we don't know how this works?
In the event of an emergency, victims of domestic violence should call 911 or otherwise contact state or local law enforcement officials, who have a broader range of options for responding to these crimes.
Right. Because when seconds count, law enforcement is minutes away, and will arrive in time to bag my dead body. But, hey, at least I didn't shoot
anyone while they were beating me to death!
I will never, God willing, be the victim of domestic violence. My husband is one of the Good Guys. But if I were in danger of such, the last thing I would need is some fatuous prick in the White House who is surrounded by armed guards 24/7 telling me to "just call 911."
We must continue to remove the stigma around mental illness and its treatment...
Sounds good, until you drop down and see:
Although States generally report criminal history information to NICS, many continue to report little information about individuals who are prohibited by Federal law from possessing or receiving a gun for specific mental health reasons. Some State officials raised concerns about whether such reporting would be precluded by the Privacy Rule issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Today, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule expressly permitting certain HIPAA covered entities to provide to the NICS limited demographic and other necessary information about these individuals.
Oh, so we can violate HIPAA on your whim. Got it.
Look, if someone is actually adjudicated
mentally ill and a danger to themselves or others, they should not have a firearm. I am wholly behind that, because Due Process has been met. But if I talk to a therapist while I'm going through some shit and idly bring up suicidal ideation, that is between me and my therapist. You are not going to get people to seek the help they need if they think they're going to be reported to law enforcement over it. So, congrats, you've just made it so that people look at this and go "ha, no, not going to therapy." Awesome.
I will give you this: At least there's nothing in this press release about your stupid, stupid statement about people on no-fly lists being able to buy guns. Considering the fact that a person can be placed the no-fly list without even knowing it until they show up at the airport
, and having violated no law, I don't see how it's in your or Congress's power to deny those people a Constitutional right. I mean, you wouldn't tell them they couldn't, say, write a blog post, or go to church... would you? Would you break into their house without a warrant?
Well, maybe you would. Because, after all, this is an administration that has weaponized the IRS against its perceived political enemies, lied repeatedly to the American people about all manner of things, sucked up to our enemies and shat on our friends, and can't seem to keep its big fat Federal nose out of things that should by all rights be local law enforcement issues.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
Let's get the worst out of the way first. I only managed to pen six complete stories this year. Two of them were flash. One was a collaboration starring dogeat_underdog
. The wordcount total was a pathetic 28,800 words. I vow to do better this year, because Meh.
That being said.
Of stories written this year: the two flash pieces sold to these guys
at far more than pro rates. The collaboration is being held for further consideration at a market I desperately want to crack. Another one has garnered a Finalist nod at Writers of the Future. It won't win
, but, dude. And a different one made Honorable Mention at WotF.
As for other stats? I submitted short fiction 310 times. I ended up with 199 form rejections, 92 personal rejections, 1 non-response, and 12 acceptances
, which is nearly twice as many as I got last year, and fills the "10 acceptances in a year" Career Bingo Square. I still have 25 stories out on sub right now. Yes, some of those sales were reprints. Shut up. They count. I also got my first audio acceptance from StarShipSofa, which filled another Bingo Square.
Stories published this year, in no particular order:"The Affairs of Dragons"
: A reprint in the Far Orbit: Apogee
: A reprint published as both a standalone
and part of an anthology
by Digital Science Fiction."That Which Is Hidden"
: Published in the Chronology
antho by Curiosity Quills, winner of the 2013 Salty Dog Contest at Salt City Steam."Guardians of Public Safety"
: Published in the 1st and Starlight
antho with a bunch of other Writers of the Future Finalists."Daddy's Little Girl"
: published in the Putrefying Stories
anthology put out by Stupefying Stories."Soul Harvest"
and "Blood Rite"
: A pair of villain origin stories for Lord of the Dead
by Pocket Option Games. I did the demon and the vampire and am well pleased with both.
The big news, the giant news, the colossal news, of course, was that my novel Pack Dynamics
was accepted and published by WordFire Press. The editing process completely ate my brain (I'm blaming that for the fact that I got so little actually written
this year). It was scary
, taking out an entire character, especially in the time frame I had to do it for the production schedule to work out how we wanted.
But we managed it, and it was released at Salt Lake ComicCon--and we sold out of copies in the booth. Then the handsome and hard-working Larry Correia
did the book bomb, and it hit #26 in the most competitive category on Amazon. It's garnered 24 4- and 5-star reviews, so far.
I am thrilled and humbled and very, very
What lies ahead for this year? With any luck, a sequel to the novel and twelve shorts. Anyone should be able to write a short story a month, right? RIGHT???
Thank you all for coming on this ride with me. May your 2016 be filled with wild success.
I've been sitting on this since December 7th
, y'all. I was actually on an airplane when Joni tried to call me (and left messages on both my phones), and I had to call her back. But I finally got the go-ahead to tell everyone
, and so I am:I am a Finalist for Writers of the Future, v32, Q4!
Understand that I fully expected a form rejection for this story. I have no doubt that it would have garnered a form had I sent it in as I originally wrote it. But this is a new and expanded version, with more immersion and world-building, and a (somewhat) happier ending. Final judging is not complete yet, so I'm still being coy about which story it was to preserve anonymity.
This is my second Finalist. The first one didn't win, and I was super bummed because it was a Ben story and I love him. I will laugh so hard if this one does, not because I think it's a bad story (quite the contrary, I love it to pieces), but because I went in with such low expectations. I basically threw it at the wall to see if it would stick. Apparently it hit Dave in the feels, so go, me!
Do the Dance of Joy!
I won't even call you scam artists
because you're just not that good. But here's a newsflash for you: I've been on to you since way before the first time you called me. So when I get a call that hangs up on me, and google the number, and see via the helpful folks at 800notes that it's one of you? I figure you'll probably call back because you know you've got a live one. And I prepared for that, oh yes I did.
Sure enough, you did. After the usual "your computer has been sending errors to us" spiel, you asked me to turn it on. I informed you that it was on, and I was in front of it right now. And that's when it got funny.
"What's on your screen right now?" you asked.
I answered sweetly, "An article from Wired.com titled 'What happens if you play along with a Microsoft tech support scam
Hilarity ensued from my husband and son. But you, my friend, got off lightly. Because I kept the last scammer on the phone for nearly 13 minutes, wasting his time and letting him think I was falling for it. I do this for entertainment
. So you might as well stop calling me.
I know you won't, though. So I'll continue to string you along every time you call, keeping you from calling some poor schlub who might actually fall for your dumb scheme.
In other news, I got word the other day that they're starting audiobook production for my novel! So that is spiffy and awesome. I'm thrilled.And
I got an acceptance from Far Fetched Fables
for the cow story, which will be going into audio production soon.
In other other
news, the White Cat passed away a couple of weeks ago. She was nearly 16 and had chronic feline rhinotracheitis her entire life, and managed to outlive both the dog and the other cat, but it's still never easy, especially so soon after the dog passed. Before you ask, yes, we're going to get a pair of kittens, but after
the holidays and all the travel that entails.
And in yet other critter news, if you haven't been following along, we went to the pet store for a guinea pig hammock and, uh, came home with another guinea pig. All three of them are still figuring out exactly what this is, and we haven't left the new one alone overnight in the cage with the other two, who are more than twice his size. But they're getting along okay, as good as guinea pigs get along, I guess, and Gandalf is little and cute and I'm pretty sure that he is also a Silky rather than an American breed. He's got the same sort of hair that Killian had when we got him. But we shall see. He's super cuddly. <3
Also, mad props to Kurt Russell, who laid a beautiful smackdown
on a clueless reporter vis a vis
guns. I have many thoughts about the issue myself, but that will require an entry of its own.
Thu, Nov. 19th, 2015, 12:00 pm
- Wed, 20:34: Finished both my upstairs book and my downstairs book today. Up next: Son of the Black Sword, and Her Brother's Keeper.
Sat, Nov. 14th, 2015, 12:00 pm
- Fri, 18:30: Attempting to learn to fold origami dollar bill rabbits to give out as change tomorrow. IT'S CHALLENGING, YO.
- Sat, 09:44: Come see me at the Orem Library, 56. N. Main, from 3-5pm. Reading & signing! Flying weasels! Bunny origami! "Pack Dynamics." @WordFirePress
Thu, Nov. 12th, 2015, 12:00 pm
- Wed, 15:33: If you'll be in Happy Valley on Saturday, come by the Orem Library (58 N State St), where I'll be doing a reading & signing from 3-5pm!
- Thu, 10:01: My short story, "Bear Essentials," reprinted by Digital Science Fiction, is up! https://t.co/aKWGg2qBER