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Heloise Jones

Heloise Jones

Heloise Jones is an author, coach, editor, and facilitator. With her signature process, Alchemical Insight, she specializes in assisting writers, artists, and creatives getting to the heart of what they need to move forward & complete their projects.

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Success! The Writer's Block Myth sold 16 pre-orders by March 3, 2017, was pitched to 2 publishers, and will be published by Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press.
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The Writer's Block Myth

A Guide to Get Past Stuck & Experience Lasting Creative Freedom

A practical and inspirational guide to uplevel your creative life. Created for people living in the real world. Whether you're a seasoned writer or new to the page, The Writer's Block Myth holds the keys to get past stuck, complete your goals, feed your creative Soul, and help you experience lasting creative freedom.

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Self-Help Writing
Santa Fe, New Mexico
45,000 words
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1 publisher interested

Synopsis

A guide for what every writer and creative person wants - to live their joy in the process and to create. It’s easier than we think. 

The Writer’s Block Myth - A Guide to Get Past Stuck & Experience Lasting Creative Freedom. . .created for people living in the real world.

Imagine your writing life and your everyday life are linked. That there’s things to remember and have in place to keep you on your feet through the snarlies of life to live, work, and create at your best. And you have a guide to help you.

Like a conversation with a good friend, The Writer's Block Myth offers a grounded approach and framework to shift your thinking and integrate writing as part of your life living in the real world, whatever your circumstances. It's like no other book on writer's block or the creative life out there. 

You’ll learn how you’re still a writer even when you’re not putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. How stuck on the page is not about writing so you can move forward. You'll understand the many ways to define your process and why it matters. 

Included are the voices and stories of other writers for inspiration and examples on how to apply the principles, plus short, easy exercises & tools to support your process. You’ll have your greenlights––your permission slips––for doing it your way. 

Put it on your desk, kitchen counter, or bedside table. Carry it in your bag. Refer to it often. Whether you're a seasoned writer or new to the page, The Writer's Block Myth holds the keys to get past stuck, complete your goals, feed your creative Soul, and help you experience lasting creative freedom.

Why I wrote this book:

I'm foremost a novelist, poet, and essayist who loves the weave of stories, the rhythm of language, and everything creative. One of my favorite things to do is to talk with writers, whether in casual sharing or in my work as a coach and mentor.

The book is an outgrowth of hundreds of conversations and hours working with writers, artists, and other creatives. It encapsulates what I know about the creative life, and is an extension of the message that immediately emerged in my blog (Getting to Wise. A Writer's Life) : 

- Every day is a small journey. Every moment part of that journey.

- Everyone gets stuck. We all need support.

- Change is the result of a series of shifts within us. 

I learned a small touch of the right kind is often all that's needed to get moving again. That change doesn't come from any strategy or formula, but from our mindset and approach to the challenge, the work, and life. Lasting creative freedom is possible for everyone.

---

Most writers, whether professional or aspiring, share the same core challenges – clarity, skill, validation, or support for safe passage through the frustrations of life.

Every journey and destination must include You at the heart of it. That’s the core message of this book. 

Get past stuck with clarity and engage with your superpower, your Writer’s Voice. Connect to the creative source inside you and feel validated. Complete your projects and reach your goals experiencing lasting creative freedom. 

---

"Heloise truly knows her stuff. She gets down to it, finds the holes and insights to make your story its best. There were many times in our editing process together in which she picked up on a simple line, stopped me and said, "right there, there is the spine of your story." Then she would crack it all open and give me ideas to bring it home. She really has genius at insight and is fun to work with." ~ Chloe Rachel Galloway, author & coach

“Heloise is the writer’s editor. She brings the emotion and color of the soulful writer she is to her reading and analysis of your work. She gave me spot-on feedback. . . and her fresh perspectives allowed me to dive back in with renewed enthusiasm and inspiration.” ~ Lauri Maerov, author and branding expert

“Heloise is a Writer’s Therapist! After a short session, I wrote two essays and submitted them to contests. After two years of not submitting anything!” ~ Robin Jankiewicz, teacher and educator

“A thorough critique of your work by a writer with experience and knowledge of what makes writing work is invaluable. Heloise has a keen eye and a clear way of communicating that is encouraging and inspiring, and helped me make my writing stronger.  ~ Mark Stewart, author

“Heloise Jones is an incredible resource for writers. I received expert advice and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I highly recommend her for help with your writing goals, whether process, craft, or career.” ~ Bria Burton, award winning author

“When you feel like you're free falling, imagine yourself being lifted up. . .totally supported. Thanks for sharing your gifts and creating a safe space for me to share mine, Heloise.” ~ Jane Norton, educator and founder of Earthheal

Outline

The Writer's Block Myth - An Introduction

The Inner Game–7 Keys to Set You Free to Write

  • #1 Pay Attention to the Evidence Journal
  • #2 Let Go of Dead-End Distractions, & Do What Answers Yes
  • #3 Trust the Permeable Boundaries of the Creative Process
    • Get Curious
    • Let Go of Expectations

  • #4 Connection is Alchemical. Writing is Connection
  • #5 Rejection Happens, so Cheer the Triumphs. 
    • The Inner Critic, A Twisted Friend
    • Perfectionism, the Inner Critic’s Buddy
    • Change the Word Sacrifice to Choice

  • #6 You Define Success
    • Comparison is Deadly
  • #7 We’re Works in Progress

The Magic Word that Will Set You Free to Write

The Outer Game –  Greenlights for Success: The Writer’s Permission Slips

  • #1 Permission to Do What Writer’s Do
    • Engage with Your Imagination and Daydream
    • Observe with Awareness
    • Learn Craft
    • Research
    • Read
    • Doodle with Words for as Long As It Takes

The Secret Path to Calling Your Written Work Done

  • #2 Permission to Do It Your Way.
    • The Value of Pauses
    • Change the Scenery
    • Time is Arbitrary and On Your Side
  • #3 Permission to Create and Have a Writing Space
  • #4 Permission to Choose What You Writer
  • #5 Permission to Own Your Superpower, Your Writer’s Voice
  • #6 Permission to Make Writing a Priority
  • #7 Permission to Succeed by Your Definition of Success

The Truth About Stories

Your Best Creative Life - Living with Lasting Creative Freedom

  • Lasting Creative Freedom, What is It?
  • Envision Your Best Creative Life
  • What Your Writing Means to You
  • It’s Never Too Late
  • Your Ideal Writer’s Life
  • Your Perfect Day
  • Other Writers, You Need Them
  • Rituals for Writing
  • Re-Imagine Your Creative Life
  • Claim Your Dreams

Audience

100 pages show up on Amazon when one searches ‘Writer’s Block.’

In interview-conversations with writers that included best-selling authors, school teachers, ghost writers, college professors, authors who’ve never published a thing, solo-preneurs, and business professionals, what emerged is every writer and creative knows what stuck means and craves the experience of  lasting creative freedom. Writers want support with a grounded, holistic approach to stay on their feet to create at our best in the midst of their everyday life. 

Lives may look different on the outside and the reasons why they write may vary, but creatives share the same frustrations. And the patterns may look different, but the labels we put on those frustrations vary little and line up into categories—Validation and Acceptance; Expectations that lead to focusing on product, feeling lost to the process that satisfies them; Time and space to write; Distractions; Feeling split between writing and meeting the needs and obligations in everyday life; Having permission to write. They want tools that fit who they are as a writer, that will work in their world, and be carried with them as circumstances, relationships, and they change. 

This book is for every writer, artist, and creative who’s experienced being stuck, and knows what feeling blocked looks like. It's for those who feel a split in their creative life and life in the real world, who want to be seen as writers and have validation to do what they love to do - write and create. Who desire a way to think of themselves as a writer when they haven’t put pen to paper or finger to keyboard in days, weeks, or months. 

This book is for every creative person who wants to stay on their feet to live, work, and create at their best with a feeling of lasting creative freedom. For every creative person who wants support that they can refer to again and again for inspiration and recalibration when life trips them up. 

*

Now scroll up, click BONUSES. 

Author

Writing and all things creative are Heloise’s passion.

She knows writing and the creative process, and why it matters. She draws on years of study in craft, process, & the publishing industry + fields of wisdom & experience from a background of supportive holistic tools.

Her recognitions as a novelist, poet, and essayist include: a Pushcart Prize nomination for her poem, The Altar of Birds; semi-finalist for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize; and a contributing essay in the bestselling book, “What I Wish for You,” by Patti Digh. Her sculpture and mixed media visual art hangs in several collectors’ homes.

Most importantly, Heloise knows what getting past stuck and lasting creative freedom mean, and all the ways writers and creatives get waylaid. Her first memory of ‘writer’s block’ is from third grade, writing a poem prompted by one she saw in her elementary school newsletter. At 18, she turned in a blank sheet of paper to her college professor every Friday in response to the assignment to simply write. In 2001, she learned how to become the writer she wanted to be, completing a novel that attracted a literary agent in three weeks of her first queries. And as life threw big events at her - house on fire, husband run down by a car, losing a business - she knew she was a writer despite losing the writer’s life she created.

The Writer’s Block Myth is a culmination of Heloise’s experience in hundreds of hours of conversations and work with writers, artists, and creatives. As well as interview-conversations conducted with writers of all levels, interests, and experience.

For more about the book, click the PROPOSAL tab.

Promotion

Follow my weekly blog - Getting to Wise. A Writer's Life.

www.heloisejones.com/writerslife-blog/

Each a small journey navigating thru life to stay on my feet to live, work, & create at my best.


Competition

Samples

GREENLIGHT #1 excerpt

You have permission to do with writer’s do:
Engage with your imagination and daydream.
Observe with awareness.
Learn your craft.
Research.
Read.
Doodle with words for as long as it takes.


Every one of the activities in the list above equals Writing. Writing is not only pen and pencil to paper, or fingers to laptop. The list may seem obvious, but it’s forgotten under layers of expectations, desires, shoulds, and oughts. We often don’t give ourselves credit for doing things that seem as much a part of who we are as our writing. The secret, though, is remembering there really is no separation for a writer, except in our heads. Thinking about it this way gives new meaning to the word daydream, doesn’t it?

So, I repeat. . . everything in the list—Engage with your imagination and daydream; Observe with awareness; Learn your craft; Research; Read; Doodle with words for as long as it takes—equals writing, as well as pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. These activities prime the pump of your writer’s life, and are necessary to engage in if one wants to stay on his feet, navigate everyday life, and feel centered and satisfied to write well. Writer’s block is life block, after all. And you want your process fed, so move toward your goals.

Each one of these activities takes on different meaning and import, and occupies different space in your life once you embrace writing is a way of being in the world. The things writers do are the foundation of that way of being.


“At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain,
and then — and only then — it is handed to you.”
~ Annie Dillard, author
*

Writers engage with their imaginations, and daydream.

Writers let their minds drift until thinking stops. Until pictures, characters, ideas, a question, or story enters. And they wonder about things, allowing curiosity to take them where it leads. Sometimes that wonder leads to a short reflection. Sometimes it leads to an examination of life, or poems, an essay, or a book. Sometimes it leads to the answer to a question, or an unexpected passion like author Elizabeth Gilbert found.

Conversely, some writers let their minds wander until thinking starts. I’m one of those sorts. I wake daydreaming. My early morning daydreams are not an extension of my nighttime dreams, but are an easy glide into whatever drifts through my mind until the tasks and needs of the day or another person intrude. I’ve called this time before rising my meditation time.

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.”
~ William Faulkner, author


We also engage with our imagination when we let go of expectations while writing. When we follow the characters as William Faulkner and screenwriter-filmmaker Quentin Tarantino do, allowing the unimagined to step forward, or not make sense. We allow space for creativity’s full dance.

When you approach writing as a grand discovery or experiment, the process encourages you writer’s Voice to emerge. You explore your rhythm and the energy behind how you write best, and make space for the patterns in your way of expression to take hold and mature.

Writers engage with their imaginations while grocery shopping, walking the dog, making the bed, washing the dishes, and playing with kids and friends. Think about how that’s true for you. Give yourself permission to be open to your imagination every moment you have.

Giving yourself permission to use your imagination in a story you’re drawn to tell can sometimes take a circuitous path. Kim Church, award winning author of the novel Byrd, had a character she wanted to know––an independent, capable woman who surrenders her newborn for adoption. Kim searched and found no stories in literature that explored this scenario, so she backed away from the book, feeling she had no authority to write it because she’s never had a child. Even so, her curiosity wouldn’t let go. She turned to research and interviewed a number of birth parents who had reunited with children they gave up. When she found no universal elemental thread that applied to all of them, she gave herself permission to use her imagination for the character and story.

Every moment spent daydreaming, wondering, pondering, and engaging with your imagination feeds your writing. You are doing what writers do.


~ Something easy_____________________________________________________

Take 5 minutes.
Daydream with pen and paper. Write what comes to mind first. Follow the image or character or idea without judging or guiding. See where it leads, and what fleshes out from there, thought into next thought. Release all expectations and intentions, follow the pen without editing or stopping. Let figuring out what you wrote come after you stop writing.

Do not use a keyboard. We’ll discuss the reasons why later. For now, write with a pen or pencil.
______________________________________________________________________

When you’re stuck, remember if something feels difficult to do, it links to an intended task or expectation. While something that feels hard to do refers to energy spent. Difficult and hard are sometimes part of the process. Know which one you’re experiencing so you can identify how to correct yourself back into balance. See triumphs as you move through the hard spots, and cheer yourself.


“Art lets us see the world as beautiful, thrilling, and mysterious.”
~ David Hockney, artist



Writers observe, with awareness.

Read this lovely passage by poet Rachel Ballentine in Albuquerque, NM:

“. . . on my walk this morning I saw: the light through baby jackrabbit's ears and the long shadows they cast, pebbles with shadows like minnows, a blue lens on a bridge, a dead tiny yellow bird, a beautiful turquoise door, two large poodles, a datura blooming, the pink suffusion of the sun just before it burst over the sandia [mountains], I heard metal lanyards against flag poles sounding like windchimes, pretty much everyone was still asleep. . .”

There’s nothing of what we call ‘writerly’ in this passage. The beauty is in the simple details and the way she expressed what she observed so you feel the light and the tender small places—long shadows of baby jackrabbit’s ears, pebbles with shadows like minnows. You hear things in a new way—windchimes instead of a flag pole clanking. She inserts an image that momentarily stops us with dissonance, the image of a tiny yellow bird, dead. Then she places you with her, sets you in time. Alone, everyone else still asleep. It’s early, not bright morning. This is no ordinary description, but a journey she brought you along with simple sensory experience. Her skill lies in her awareness, not simply observation.

I don’t know if she spent long on her choices. We can be sure there are many other details she could’ve included. But I suspect her gaze lingered a second or two longer on the things she shared, and her thoughts hung on the sound of the lanyards on the flagpole a tad longer as she walked. She chose these specific details—color, number, size, state of being, light—because they touched her senses and imagination. Small things that became very special to her that she shared so they touched the reader’s senses, as well.

The key is awareness that reaches inside you. What’s sparked doesn’t have to be a great exploration, but a feeling, thought, memory, or connection you notice. You’re affected by the awareness more than the observation. And like Rachel did in her passage, you help the reader feel that awareness, too.

“The world reveals itself when you’re on foot.”
~ Werner Herzog, author


Everything observed informs our writing. Overheard conversations, behavioral nuances, the changes of seasons and light and color, the mood of the sky or water. You’re brought to presence that allows you to expand and be creative. You stretch beyond your current borders. Gain a new pleasure from looking, and observing.


~ Something easy________________________________________________________

Sit for 5 minutes. Anywhere is fine––your kitchen, a garden, your office. It doesn’t matter. Look around. Notice each thing that captures your attention for even a micro-second beyond your first glance. Color, object, form, shadow, anything. Notice what each of those things that caught your attention evokes inside you.
________________________________________________________________________


“Outside the wind is brutal. The sea a sort of brown color, the whitecaps not white but muddy looking. It’s supposed to rain today. Even if it doesn’t I can’t imagine fighting that wind for a walk. But it doesn’t matter. I am wondering what it would be like for
my character to see the ocean for the first time.”
~ Nancy Peacock, author


Writers learn their craft.

Simply writing every day does not necessarily make you a better writer. What it does is keep your writer’s mind and muscles active, which is indeed important for a writing practice. Writing is like any other thing we do that improves with more skill and practice. But without interest in reading and learning your craft, listening to others’ feedback, and studying what makes good writing work, writing alone won’t give you the tools to improve.

You start by writing. Then you learn how to improve:

You take classes and lessons, go to conferences and seminars, get critiqued. You listen, and read like a writer, meaning you study how other authors do what you want to accomplish. You learn how they tell the story, make transitions, switch point of view, illuminate characters, and incorporate details. You observe how they bring you in and engage you so you suspend judgement, believe them.

You talk to other writers, take note of tips. You get attitude adjustments and realistic perspectives, and apply what we’ve learned. You practice, because simply writing like we’ve always written means you write like you’ve always written.

You understand it may take a thousand words laid down for the one hundred gems. You know that good writing is 10 percent first words on the page, 90 percent revision and editing, and you learn to love that 90 percent. You find the zen in the process, and experience the joy of feeling the work take shape in a more refined way. You know editing and revision are just as creative as writing the first draft because you’re still in that space of ‘listening and feeling’ the work as much as ‘doing’ the work. You’re in the process. You find satisfaction in being the author who’s done her best work.

The best gift in learning your craft is it helps get you get past stuck. You have the tools to say what you want to say the way you want to say it. You know which lines you can cross, and how to break the rules. And if you don’t, you know where to find advice and answers. Even know how to answer for yourself if a scene or passage works with the whole, or needs to be shot down because it distracts, sidetracks, or confuses the reader. Learning your craft allows you to write the way you intended.



 I’ll tell you a story. I’m now known for my skill with vivid description. But that wasn’t always the case. I taught myself. Remember I told you about the circle of writers I wrote with every week where I received little feedback to what I shared for over a year? I finally asked the right question to carry me forward––how can I reach others with my words? I learned I wrote too densely, with too many layers. The listeners and readers couldn’t process what I said fast enough to respond in the time allowed. “Give them something to hold on to,” I was told. “Ground them in the world with physical description.” From that day on, I practiced description. I learned to tie them to physical experience in the body and give meaning through similes and metaphors. I learned to choose details well enough to select the right dozen out of the seventy pages I read about Appalachian guns for my novel. When my New York agent signed me on, he asked if I was a naturalist. I feared I’d been too descriptive, but he told me that wasn’t why he asked. He felt present in the natural world my characters inhabited, he said. A place he’d never been.

I still a practice description as part of honing my craft. I compose phrases and sentences in my head to describe what I see when I walk or experience something that feels special to me. I share on Facebook, edit as if they’re poetic stanzas. I do what writers do.


~ Something easy______________________________________________________

This exercise is for experienced as well as new writers.

When you come up against challenges in your work, don’t plug forward. Share with a writer who you trust and can ask what they see that’s not working. And read others’ work for answers. Ask, how did this author accomplish what I want to do?

Go back, reread the passage by Rachel Ballentine. Notice what it is in that passage that helped you see what she saw.

~

Find one person as a writing partner. A person whose work you respect, and who respects yours. Practice giving critique to each other on your raw writing. It’s important you do this with raw writing, as it puts both of you on the same footing and helps limit comparison.

Be sure to focus on what works as much as what doesn’t work.

You’ll find some days you feel brilliant, and some days you feel like your mind is nowhere to be found. Which is a great way to get past the things pulling you under as a writer because you’re forced to flow with the process, knowing it’s all okay. It’s rough, by definition!
_______________________________________________________________________


Writers research.

Author Jodi Picoult says she immerses in the world her book’s characters inhabit as research. She follows doctors at hospitals, police on raids, ghostbusters in the field. Author Elmore Leonard gained special permission by judges to spend hours in courtrooms. Elizabeth Gilbert researched the mosses and science that informed her novel, The Signature of All Things, for years, traveling to other countries in the process. This sort of research is probably difficult for many of us. But knowing the details of the world you write about, down to the call letters on a radio station, is necessary. A slipped detail can shatter your credibility with a reader. I’ve been on both sides.

Let me share what I mean. I once put down a novel by a bestselling author because he described spring in Santa Fe as if it was the southeastern United States. Flowers blooming and happy people everywhere. I knew spring in Santa Fe can be very windy and dry. Full of sniffling people suffering with allergies from the pinõn trees. I thought the author lazy. He’d put a clichéd image of spring on a place I knew well, and because of that, I didn’t think he took the work seriously. Which to me meant the work would not be good. And this was before I was a writer!

On the other side, as an author, the first short story I wrote as a serious writer was set in mid-century rural Appalachia. A culture and place far removed from the big cities I grew up in. One where a negative attitude about outsiders still exists among many. When I decided to follow the story, I had no idea I was writing a novel. Having visited and lived in Asheville, North Carolina for decades, I felt I knew the landscape. But like in Rachel Ballentine’s passage, I needed details that would let the reader stand beside the characters and enter their world. Knowing language illuminates a culture’s values and reveals patterns of thinking for groups of people, I decided to incorporate it as a tool. Peckerwoods instead of woodpeckers. Poke instead of sack. The double, even triple negatives that capture the rhythm of language and life in the place. Details that were part of everyday lives for the people I wrote about, but showed them unique from other places and times. I also chose details of how they used and interacted with nature, such as making berry baskets from large poplar leaves. When bestselling author Ron Rash who came from generations in Appalachia said that I know the people and place well, I knew I’d met my intention. I use this illustration to underline research is not just about putting characters in a place or lifting information from a book. It’s about getting to the place where you connect so well with your material you know what you’re writing about. An understanding so evident the reader believes you know more beyond what they’re reading. It’s one of the ways we write what we know.

Another aspect of research is knowing your expertise and owning it. This applies not only for those who write nonfiction, but for memoirists and fiction writers, as well. Those who write memoirs are experts in the issues at the center of their stories. Fiction writers become experts from research and personal experience. Tom Clancy’s heavily researched novels led him to being treated as a go-to expert the media called on during the Iraq war. He didn’t tell NBC, ‘I’m only a novelist.’ He owned his expertise.

Research also applies to knowing your industry if you want to be published.

Whether you seek an agent or query a small publisher for your book, pitch to libraries and bookstore people, or submit your poems and stories to journals, you’ll get further and have a better chance of being seen when you understand how the industry works, as well as how to pitch our work succinctly and give them what they want. You’ll have realistic expectations, which stops wheels spinning in your mind. Spinning wheels always ensures feeling stuck. You want reasoned responses to rejections, notes on a query, and critique so you write more, submit more, and do the other things writers do so you can take your written works where you desire to go. You did the work. . . .

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1 publisher interested
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  • Chloe Gallaway on Feb. 5, 2017, 3:37 a.m.

    Great work Heloise! Can't wait to read it!

  • Jacqueline Hill on Feb. 5, 2017, 2:08 p.m.

    Dear Heloise, you are on your way! Travel your journey well. Love and cheers Jacqueline Hill

  • Cynthia Lukas on Feb. 5, 2017, 4:45 p.m.

    Heartfelt congratulations on your new book, Heloise! Write on indeed!

  • Linda Durham on Feb. 8, 2017, 11 p.m.

    You are amazing. So pleased to be purchasing your latest book!

  • Kenneth Cameron-Bell on Feb. 10, 2017, 2:40 a.m.

    Congratulations! First of many.
    Ken

  • Wendy Davis on Feb. 13, 2017, 9:34 p.m.

    Can't wait to read it! Wendy

  • Nancy Peacock on Feb. 14, 2017, 3:37 p.m.

    Can't wait to see it! Nancy

  • Elizabeth Fletcher on Feb. 28, 2017, 4:09 p.m.

    Love and miss you! Holding you and the success of this book in the Light. Frankly, I wouldn't be able to resist the title if I saw it on the shelf in a bookstore!! xoxo, B

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