Writer Wednesday


15K last week and I reached 450K… 🀩 still 50K to reach my year’s goal, but this year I’m going to make it, yay! 😁 Going steady on Post-Apocalypse Chronicles book 3, stopping to research and re-reading Into the Wild since they’re now headed for Alaska! I’m having fun writing something set on Earth with the help of Wikipedia and Google Maps, but I’m much slower than when I can make up stuff, including geography, LOL!

This coming weekend I’m going to try an experiment with large print, since I’ve learned the specifics. As well as publishing a new title, just in case you miss new releases… although… did you hear about KDP books unavailable to international readers? If you’re American, it probably doesn’t affect you – except if you’re an author, of course.

But to all my international readers out there, if Mighty Zon fails you without even informing you, I shall remind you to go to the publisher’s page, where all the books currently available are listed. And if you don’t see it on Amazon.com, write them!

Or, better still, head for Smashwords, they will provide you with a very nice mobi file for your Kindle. Don’t be afraid to shop outside of that ecosystem! πŸ™‚ Look, Smashwords even unveiled a new book discovery interface! πŸ˜€

And if you’re an author running Amazon Ads, stop them until the problem is solved… your international readers won’t be able to buy your book anyway!

Me? I’m not ready to dive back into Amazon Ads. Or to try Facebook Ads. I’ve been following a boosted post, it had many likes, but not one sale, so I guess that’s another waste of money. If I wanted to try it, I know I won’t now. And I’m also spending my last 5$ on Bookbub Ads.

If you really want to know about sales, I guess this blog is the best place to go! So Rajveer the Vampire is now at 99c for the time being, since it’s the first book of Vampires Through the Centuries. There are box sets of Silvery Earth if you feel overwhelmed by the quantity of books available in that world. And we got paperbacks for all the Star Minds Lone Wolves, yay!

I made a sorta/kinda priority list of what to implement of what I learned at the Business Masterclass, but it’s probably for next year. Mostly, audio books and BookFunnel (although the large print experiment also comes out from the masterclass).

We talked about the Also Bought and Amazon algorithms, and then those were screwed too. I have too many books out to keep track to all of them and none of them appears on Yasiv.com anyway, so I’m just going to ignore that. I’m kinda tired of fighting Mighty Zon.

Well, I better go back to writing if I want to reach my wordcount! Next week I’m going back to DayJob after 5 weeks… meh! I was quite disorganized this time because of the two trips, so next time I’ll plan it better! Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

UPDATE on the Amazoncalypse: They seem to be aware of the problem. I still think Kindle users should move over to Smashwords! πŸ˜‰

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Writer Wednesday


Another non-writerly week with a little over 3K before I was off again. I knew it would be like that. Now I need to catch up. I do NaNoWriMo all year round, unless I know I have travels! πŸ˜‰ I added another scene to Wanderlust, now I’m off with the next book.

Still going through the Business Masterclass notes as well, trying to prioritize things. But I won’t do anything before the new year starts. I have enough expenses this year already! But next year I should have no cover expenses (I have ready covers for 6 books that I still have to write), so I might try an audio book or two. And I’ll probably join Book Funnel too, to integrate it with Patreon and other stuff.

Anyhow, it’s november, so here’s how you NaNoWriMo according to Chuck Wendig. Like I said, I do it all year round, so I’m already in the habit of writing daily. If you want to start the habit, though, go for it! πŸ™‚

And if you’re already an indie author, here’s an article on crisis management for authors, we’ve all been through those, right? Amazon requesting proof of copyright and threatening to close the account or stuff like that. I don’t particularly care about reviews, although apparently they sell books.

Personally, whenever I check them on Goodreads, I read both the 5 stars and the 1 stars to decide if I want to read that book. That’s Reader Barb. Writer Barb doesn’t read her reviews most of the time (and even if she does, she never ever comments on them or “rewrite” anything just because some reader somewhere hated it).

Now I shall get back to writing and typing my notes… I am a typist, so pretty fast, if I applied more butt-in-chair, I’d be as prolific as Dean who is a slow typist! πŸ™‚ But this 500K/year goal kinda made me write more this year… I’ll have to stick with it! πŸ˜€

Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Last week I got my 10K down… in the next couple of weeks I’ll only have three days to write as much, but it was all in the yearly planning! October is busy with non-writerly things, but surely between November and December I can make my goal of half pulp-speed (500K).

This week I did manage almost 6800words to the end of Draft Zero… And I added some meat to make it look more like a short novel! Hopefully taking this back on the road so I can give the final touches when I get back and send it off to the proofreader the first week of November, on schedule! πŸ™‚

Are you gearing up for NaNoWriMo? I never needed it (I started writing long before NaNoWriMo was even invented and now I’m addicted, LOL) but if you want some inspiration and a great collection of non-fiction to kickstart your writing career, don’t miss the NaNo Writing Tools bundle!

Looky look! Curated by Kevin J. Anderson! And look at those guests! My own writing guru, even more prolific than me, Dean Wesley Smith! Craig Martelle of 50BooksTo50K that I hope to meet in Edinburgh next year! Joanna Penn! Kris Rusch (my other writing guru)! Blaze Ward – I met him last year! πŸ™‚

And some day I’ll meet also Jamie Ferguson, I did a small contribution to her book on bundles! πŸ™‚ It’s a StoryBundle exclusive and you should grab it now along with the other books! πŸ™‚ Whooppee!

If you’re still on the fence about trad or indie, this post by D2D gives a pretty fair view on both. Of course it’s up to you and what you want to do with your writing career, but don’t forget your writing is IP. Might feel it has no value, but that’s not true. The sky might not be falling, but there are big earthquakes in traditional publishing.

Elsa’s story is now live and the pre-order for Kristine is up! πŸ™‚ Don’t miss the closing book of the Vampires Through the Centuries and the mighty battle of Chittor! πŸ™‚ Okay, it’s no longer historical fantasy, since it’s in the decade 2005-2015… tagged it contemporary fantasy, is that correct? Anyhow, meet Kristine Van der Aas, the Dutch girl who moved to Mumbai for love and became a vampire…

And while Da Muse is in Italy to shoot his latest movie, I shall head out of the country for a few days… Did I mention both Da Muses tend to come to Italy when I head out of the country? But then, even when they don’t (John Wick Chapter 2), I don’t go looking for them on the sets, so… I’m not a fan, they’re Da Muses, LOL!

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Even though I wrote only 7K last week, I have reached 400K! 100K more to go to reach my yearly goal! πŸ™‚

I’m slowly diving back into the Post-Apocalypse Chronicles. It’s slower because it’s not an established universe like Star Minds or Silvery Earth and I need to stop and research as I move the characters around. I’m tackling the US in this book, then they’ll move on, but at the moment they’re still in places I haven’t visited. I’ll probably be faster when they get to Montana and Wyoming, LOL!

I am grateful for Google maps that even gives me cycling distances. My characters hiked out of Mount Mitchell in book 1 (Brainwaves), but they have a pedal car for the first leg of the journey that they have built themselves in Roanoke, VA. It’s been six years since book 1, so I have leeway to improvise some more, haha!

I’m still gathering the casting for this book and have a fairly good idea of their journey, but I don’t know what obstacles they’ll meet and if someone will die or simply drift away. I know more or less what’s left in the former U.S. of A. in 2450CE (that’s four centuries after the apocalypse), but I still need to write it down.

I will probably write the whole journey between now and the end of the year (I do need 100K more, right?) and then publish them closer to each other than book 1 that came out last December, more or less like I did with the Star Minds Lone Wolves (stay tuned for more of those, two more books coming out soon!).

Last weekend I didn’t write much because I did a couple more paperbacks. Allow me to briefly mourn the demise of CreateSpace once again. KDP Team is so un-helpful! They rejected one of the paperbacks as:

Cover

  • The author name you entered during title setup is misspelled. Please update your book details with the correct spelling.

The typo was ON THE COVER SPINE!! Not in the metadata (imported from the Kindle version), not on the cover (identical to the Kindle version), on the spine of the paperback. And they tell me to change the metadata?! No comment…

Now I’m going to change my pen name and put “Barbarea G.Tarn” on all my books because of one spelling mistake… on the spine! Not helpful, KDP Team, not helpful at all! 😦

Still waiting for my author copies, so sorry if I don’t give the paperback links yet. I do want to check they came out all right before sharing. Maybe I’ll just give them all next week on the publisher’s page (unless there’s a dead-tree lover among you guys, in that case, leave a comment and I’ll contact you when whatever you’re looking for is ready)! πŸ™‚

Instafreebie is rebranding, but you’ll still be able to access your downloads. If you want freebies, that’s where you find mine. Or by subscribing to my bimonthly newsletter. I took down everything that was still on retailers as permafree. There are cheap versions in ebook format of many of my books – like the Star Minds Starter (99cent) and the Silvery Earth Box Sets (4.99$).

Now I better go back to my writing cave… have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


I’ll have to admit September took me by surprise. In spite of celebrating Da Muse’s birthday last Sunday, the whole weekend didn’t feel like a new month. I almost missed the Happiness is post last Monday… maybe I need a vacation? I was off only four days last summer… well, the summer is not officially over yet, so this summer!

Anyhow! Another 10K written and books sent to the proofreader. I’ll have to finish the last novella before the end of the week or possibly the start of the next, then I’ll probably have two weekends busy with editing… and paperbacks. I actually even managed to link D2D and Findaway, but I can’t find the courage to start on audio books yet. Cause I hate them so much and can’t be bothered to listen to them. Maybe next year…

For sudden changes in DayJob schedule, I also started the translation of Brainwaves, so that as soon as I finish with the Star Minds Lone Wolves, I can get back to the Post-Apocalypse Chronicles and write book 2. And then the other books coming after that, probably. Writing the mini-series at the same time is actually better, especially if they’re either closely intertwined like Star Minds Lone Wolves or squential like Post-Apocalypse Chronicles.

Besides the online workshop, even Chuck Wendig says so!

Write all the books first. Write the series first. If it’s a trilogy, write the trilogy before trying to publish. If it’s a longer series, write the first three books, at least. Or, bare minimum,Β plot the books robustly, so that when the contract comes in you’re not rushing to figure out the story beats on a longer series.

And since the Silvery Earth Heroines are standalone, I can write them next year, even though I already have the covers by wonderful Federica Manfredi (she still has to draw the last one, but there is really no rush!). I’m also having fun doing covers with stock photos and rendering, so I might redo some of mine (meaning the ones I drew myself). I did an attempt for Firebird (one of the books I wanted to try in audio), but I still have to work on my skills, LOL!

In case you missed the announcement or are not subscribed to my newsletter, Otherside is out! Although D2D initially rejected it for Apple for links to competitors. I have no idea where they saw links to competitors, since I don’t put them anywhere in the books anymore. Only the publisher page, this blog and the newsletter subscription link. What will they do when I mention the competition in the text (with no links whatsoever) in Kristine the Youngest? Maybe Apple doesn’t want my books. Shame on them.

I downloaded all the reports from CreateSpace (50 paperbacks and the payments of the past four years) just in case they get lost in the move. Then I’ll probably just wait until they do it. My last paperback sale was a few months ago anyway. Not going to do it myself (it didn’t prompt me when I logged in, so I assume they’re already overworked by people moving before the closing).

Now I better go back to writing! The newsletter went out, the new title is up, I better get back to work! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

 

 

Writer Wednesday


Last week I didn’t write much both because I was traveling and because I was revising (I did mention August would beΒ  revision month, right?) but this week I’m slowly getting back on track. I’m still ahead of my prospected wordcount and should be able to relax also in October when I’ll be traveling again.

I’m very happy that I’ll reach that milestone of 500K I’ve been aiming at for three years already! πŸ™‚ Like I said on a post, I don’t mind the writing, I’d happily do it for a living, but unfortunately I’m not selling enough to quit DayJob.

And even if I will quit it, I’ll probably keep other jobs on the side, because I noticed I need a break anyway between scenes/chapters/whatever, if only to brainstorm and imagine what comes next.

I’ll see what it’s like when I’ll have my 5 weeks off – if I can organize myself or fall apart! πŸ™‚ No new titles until mid-September coz I need to send them to the proofreader so in the meantime you can take advantage of this Kobo Promo. During the course of the sale customers will be able to use an author-supported 40% off promotional code to purchase my eBook.

And I have 2 titles that have been accepted for this promo, so if you’re a Kobo user, hop to Kobo right now! Well, tomorrow! πŸ™‚ And now you even know how many were declined and that there are 3 more still pending, LOL! That’s all the promotion and marketing I’m doing these days.

So again, if you want to gift me for my birthday, either take advantage of the Kobo sale or pick your book of choice on the publisher’s page or grab a bundle or a curated anthology. There. Don’t say I didn’t give you options! πŸ™‚

Hilarious post on how to pronounce GIF (wich for me reads jif because the i makes the g soft in Italian, haha!) and other acronyms. English pronounciation is really random for us poor non-natives! πŸ˜‰

As you should know by now, I’m a lot like Dean Wesley Smith – a one-draft, prolific writer who doesn’t believe in rewriting hell, er, myth. I might have started this adventure rewriting old stories, but now I started new (sub)series and I know I’ll never run out of “ideas” – maybe I’ll take a writing prompt or an adventure generator or whatever and just pop out a story. And I’ve quit my writers group since they weren’t helpful at all.

I’m not in the hamster wheel of doom since I write what I want to read but I dread the day I’ll have to work on moving my paperbacks from Createspace to KDPprint, hoping I don’t get any email requesting to prove copyright or permission from publisher (me). Probably before the Master Class. Sigh.

And I have new paperbacks to make in September. Double sigh. I still love writing and will keep doing it forever, but this publishing business is killing all the fun of putting the writing out! 😦

One last link – the branding masterclass for creatives by Dean Samed of NeoStock! And that’s all for today! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And the new Silvery Earth Heroine is out to celebrate my forty years of writing. To write Angelica’s story, I gleaned my old diaries (not necessarily of the age she has). I’m not an ambassador’s daughter, but my father was a diplomat. I don’t have a literary salon (it’s based on the French salons of the 1600s), I’m not a scholar, but I do know quite a lot about the History of Silvery Earth, LOL!

Anyhow, not sure I’ll manage another title this month, but since this is longer than usual, has a nice appendix with the history of Silvery Earth and the stories chronology, I think it could last you a whole month. The awesome cover art is again by Federica Manfredi who gets better with every cover she does for me (as if she weren’t a professional already, LOL!).

The ambassador’s daughter has gone back to Noavaria. She’s fifteen, experiencing her first kisses and dreaming of her future as a writer. She has set her eyes on mysterious Rohan Tallisman.

The novelist has a literary salon in Konigtown, where she married Alexander de Fors. She’s twenty-five and still in touch with handsome professor Rohan Tallisman, slowly uncovering his true nature.

The scholar has gone to Agharek to translate an ancient diary. At thirty-five she sees the fall of the last kingdom of Varia and escapes with the deposed king, Kareem.

The Magical Races are all but gone and Angelica is determined to write down the full history of Silvery Earth without revealing the secret of Rohan Tallisman, her first love.

If you’re still looking for an agent, get off this blog immediately! πŸ˜‰ Here’s another cautionary tale for you. Just don’t. Period.

If you were confused by Kris Rusch’s post on over capitalization and hamster wheels, here you have another take on how cash flow can work for a writer. Or you can come to the Business Master Class in Las Vegas where I’m sure this will be discussed. If only I didn’t live in a third world country where it’s impossible to “do business as”… *sigh*

And I got world from Worldcon! Happy to share their email below:

Dear Barbara G.Tarn,

Thank you so much for filling out our Programme Participant Query form. We will be sending Programme Surveys to everyone who would like to be considered for a place on the Dublin 2019 programme, with the first set of surveys being sent in October or November, at which time you will be receiving your survey.

Later this year, we will begin sending programme participant acceptances. In the meantime, please take a few moments to review the Dublin 2019 Programme Q&A. In addition, we also have a Code of Conduct that we are asking all of our potential programme participants to review as well. Finally, given our challenges with the European Union’s GDPR requirements, we would deeply appreciate your sharing the Programme Participant Query Form with others since this is the only way we are able to contact people, and we would like to include as wide a selection of participants as possible in the Dublin 2019’s programme.

Should you have any questions about programming, please don’t hesitate to contact us at programme@dublin2019.com.

Sincerely,

Erin Underwood & Ian Stockdale
Co-Division Heads
Dublin 2019 Programme
Email: programme@dublin2019.com
Website: https://dublin2019.com/programming/

So if you plan on attending, join the program now! See you there! πŸ˜‰ I’m sure I’ll have all the Star Minds Lone Wolves books out by then! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote only 7K but I spent most of Sunday afternoon in blind procrastination (I should take Bubble Witch Saga 3 off the writing netbookw, LOL!). Maybe I was tired and needed a break, but I couldn’t come up with the next Lone Wolves Team story. So by the end of the day, I decided to start on the next project.

Except Monday afternoon, when I went to actually do the translations, I ran into another bump. I wrote those stories 20 years ago and I didn’t remember much of them. I re-read some, and 5 out of 6 had either rape or a tragic ending. So I’m definitely not recycling them at this point.

One is already included in the appendix of the next Silvery Earth Heroine (a relatively clean one, with no rape and no tragic ending) but the others… I can’t even stomach to reread them, LOL!

Doesn’t help that I keep thinking about a reader’s comment of them being “not so good” (we’re talking of Italian readers of a photocopied fanzine of the late 1990s – loooong before the indie publishing revolution, but it still stings).

So yeah. Not so good. Forget them. Chapter closed. Still wrote 316K by the end of July, so still on track. I’m going to improvise this month, but then, everybody takes August off, right? Right? πŸ˜€

I’m doing a last pass on a couple of stories (that I wrote this or last year, not 20 years ago) to decide if I want to publish them or not, and then I’m moving on. I’ll probably go back to the Lone Wolves and start writing Elsa’s story, or maybe Cherry’s story. And when I have my 3-hours train ride I’ll go through Hariel’s story and all the Team’s stories I have so far.

And we got paperbacks! Thank you to all of you who bought the Sci-Fi Stories anthologies and hope you are enjoying them! πŸ™‚ The success of the second two makes me want to work on the fifth right now, but I shall wait until September! πŸ˜‰

When I’ll also do the paperbacks for my own books – the anthologies are via BundleRabbit – although it’s not clear for how much longer Createspace will be available. Maybe I should start moving everything to KDP Print. Sigh.

Have you read the Bad Romance article I posted last week? See Kris Rusch’s reaction to it and the comments she got. I know some writers who write to market, but I don’t see them having a long career. I know writers who write to market because they want to make fast bucks. I’m sure they don’t enjoy it. And the ghost writers who sell their manuscripts? If I could do it, I could quit DayJob right now, LOL! I’m prolific, but only writing what I want to read! πŸ™‚

There’s also a free Reedsy course on how to hack Kobo – or how to take advantage of Kobo Writing Life’s promotion tools. If you don’t go direct to Kobo, think about it. I have submitted a few titles to upcoming promos, we’ll see if I get accepted! πŸ˜‰

Oh, I almost forgot. Authors Earnings at 2018 SFWA Nebula Conference report. Unfortunately the post with slides is very visually-impaired un-friendly, but I’m sure there’s the recording of the whole talk somewhere… And if SFF doesn’t sell well in paper might be because we’re getting older and have trouble reading small print? πŸ˜‰ I love my Kindle for fiction – had to re-buy the ebook of The Silver Metal Lover cause the paperback was written too small…

And welcome to August, hoping the heat goes away a little, because it’s frying my brain and I can’t even write, sigh. Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


And the yearly wordcount is over 300K, but I’ll need to slow down in August to revise a couple of things. I should be able to catch up in September, though! πŸ™‚

I found another publisher open to novella submissions, and I’m sharing it here in case you have a festive-themed novella. I might send them something for the advance notice novella series. And I’ll soon send something to Tor as well. Oh, and since I’m on a submission-call sharing spree, see if you have anything for Quoth the Raven celebrating the works of Edgar Allan Poe! πŸ™‚

Now, if you’re just starting, you might have to confront the 8 fears that hold writers back from publishing their books. But when it comes to cover art, please follow the Indie Author’s guide to hiring a cover artist! πŸ™‚ I’m a hobbyist artist, I’ll try to look for a typograpy and graphics workshop in my area to get even better.

Maybe one day I’ll make covers for other people as well! πŸ˜‰ Learning with my own, though, since this year I started doing composite of stock photos (either from Depositphoto or Neostock)… and I’m currently having fun in spite of a Photoshop 7.0 and very limited skills, LOL!

If you want to do it too, please read the Indie Author’s guide to stock photography! πŸ™‚

Our man David Gaughran is still on Amazon’s back. I haven’t managed to read Amazon Decoded yet, but here’s how to (ethically) hack Amazon categories. I’m not sure I tried to apply this to my historical novel, for example. Well, I did put the keywords but they don’t come out in the search, so… I guess next step should be writing to KDP support? Meh.

And in case you missed the cocky-gate, here’s a good summary. And there’s someone else trying to trademark Dragon Slayer as well… sigh. Glad there’s CockyBot to look after that mess! πŸ™‚

OH, SALES SALES SALES! On DriveThruFiction and DriveThruComics everything from Unicorn Productions is 25% off! πŸ˜€

Aaaand… we have a paperback for Sci-fi Stories Space Opera Mashup. So if you’re up for a dead tree book, it’s available too. For all four anthologies! πŸ™‚

That’s all for today… have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


And the third “youngster” is out! This is Jes-syd, Iso-bel’s ex-boyfriend, and he’s a hacker in the truer sense of the word (not a security cracker)! πŸ™‚ Star Minds Lone Wolves – Hacker is now available as ebook at the usual suspects… and no WiP of the cover, since he wasn’t on a cover before.

And he isn’t inspired from a drawing either. I debated between two models and ended up choosing the one that looked more like the description I gave of him in Iso-bel Aya Shermac. I had seen that guy first and wrote the story with him in mind, so this time no NeoStock model for our Sire hacker! πŸ™‚

One young man, two passions: computers and Iso-bel Aya Shermac.

Jes-syd lost his home planet at twenty, and with it his beloved girlfriend who survived but vanished on him without explanations. Five years later he works at the Serenaide Labs and has a new girlfriend, another survivor like him, but things don’t go smoothly between them.

The Tech Fair and a visit from Ypsilanti bring the news that there are more survivors on the dead planet, hidden underground in what’s left of the Vaurabi Labs. Jes-syd’s mother made it with a few more and Jes-syd hopes to get back with Iso-bel again – whenever he manages to find her and give her the good news.

A young Sire survivor who loves computers and his first and only love, a lone wolf hacker who is trying to fight his own grief. A Star Minds universe standalone story of hackers, crackers and survivors.

Bonus story: Wonder Man or how Hariel earned his Codename

And last week I wrote 11K of Hariel, our Wonder Man and the eldest of the future team. I hope to finish his story this week, so I can write a couple more team stories to submit to trad markets before the end of the month. I’m at 292K, so pretty much on schedule to reach my goal of half pulp speed before the end of the year! πŸ™‚

For those of you who arrived late and have no idea of what I’m talking about, here’s Dean’s post about pulp speed. I’ve been trying to reach 500K since 2015 and it seems that this year I’ll finally reach the goal. And I hope to sustain it for the coming years.

And for those of you who just joined, I shall remind you that some books are discounted at Smashwords only for the month of July, if you want a taste of how I write. Or you can subscribe to the bimonthly newsletter and get some free short stories as well as the news from this writer if you can’t be bothered to follow me on Social Media or this blog.

David Gaughran on Amazon Algorithm – whatever that means. I don’t bother with it anymore. Obsessing with sales just hurts my head, so I don’t care anymore. Although I’m happy when I see those spikes at some retailer! πŸ˜‰ Also, I certainly want to be a long term writer! πŸ˜‰

And being a writer who has dabbled in screenwriting, I can tell you this review of Save the Cat is spot on. I haven’t read the book itself, but if it’s for screenwriters, it’s NOT for fiction/prose writers. Trust me. I tried it. I have a cinematic prose, I thought I can easily turn it into a movie screenplay… not! So unless you’re trying to break into Hollywood, just ignore that book! πŸ˜‰

Now I would like to take your time to read the last instalment of Adventures of a first-time editor about the Anthology Workshop. What, you don’t want to join the Writer Club? Bad writer, you! I hope to see you in 2020 at the Anthology workshop. Unfortunately I can’t afford those offline workshops more often than every three years, sigh.

Now I better go back to writing… have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

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