October 1, 2020

Harbinger is with the editor. If all goes well, the ebook and paperback will in out by the end of the month. Podium, Inc. will be doing the audio, as with other books, and is projecting Feb/March release.

 

While waiting for the editor, I’ve been working on Book 7 (working title: The Abyss) and looking forward to working on it full-bore.

 

A first taste of Harbinger follows:

 

PROLOGUE

 

The Object waited. Plant life cycled around it, but not too close. The planet endlessly circled its sun, which in turn kept its place in the galaxy’s rotation. Glaciers came and went. Forests grew and disappeared. The Object watched animal life walk, crawl, slither, and fly. Their forms slowly changed, some lines disappearing, others enduring, news ones emerging. The Object waited and watched for evolution to produce curiosity, self-awareness, and more complex problem solving. Early in its vigil, a small creature with grasping appendages foreshadowed why the Object waited. Although it witnessed only the surroundings of where it rested, it knew its patience would eventually be rewarded. Finally, a creature approached wearing coverings not of its own body and carrying fashioned implements to extend its capabilities—signs of technology but still not sufficient to trigger the next level of the Object’s awareness. It waited until a being approached that passed a required threshold. Long dormant capabilities wakened. The Object reached out and waited for a response. Then, when first probed with artificial means, it reached out again, but this time it shouted, and the Object’s full potential awoke.

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September 16, 2020

I’ve noticed something interesting about the sales of books in the Destiny’s Crucible series. From book 1 to 2 there is a drop off . . . which is not unexpected. People will try the first book in series, find it’s not their thing and not move on the subsequent books. In contrast, sales of books 2 to 4 are consistent, meaning committed fans of the series. However, I was a little surprise with the significant sales drop off in books 5 and 6 (Tales of Anyar and Passages). I suspect the cause is that these books do not deal entirely with Yozef Kolsko. I can understand wanting to focus on Yozef, but I feel it’s unfortunate since both books contain information, clues, background that will be assumed in future books, including book 7 (tentative title: The Abyss) where Yozef makes a major reappearance.

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Monthly Update: September 2, 2020

Lot’s happening! A new web site has been contracted. Should have more features and easier for both me and viewers. Also working with the company Contact for better mail service – more features and capabilities.

 

The new book has a name change. This should be the last time, since the audio company forced me to decide. :>)  It’s entitled “Harbinger,” The title gives hints about the story.

 

The image on the Facebook page shows all the characters of "Harbinger." I’m visually oriented and like to “see” characters. I search the Internet for faces that roughly match how I imagine a specific character. Before you look at the image and say, “What a minute, that’s WAY too many characters,” I’ll reassure that most are only mentioned in passing or have minor roles. About a dozen are major characters and another dozen or so significant supporting roles.

 

Harbinger has been through two revisions and I’m looking at one more careful examination before sending for editing. At least, I hope it’s only one more. The audio company is also on board.

 

As for the novella I’ve mentioned before, it’s been edited and is waiting my final tweeks. I’ve puzzled quite a bit on what to do with it. At first, I thought to only send it to the mail list, then complicating issues/considerations arose related to making it eventually generally available. I originally thought to accumulate short stories and novellas for an anthology like Tales of Anyar. However, that’s realistically some years away. Then there’s the XMAS short stories only the mail group has gotten. I had thought to include them in a future anthology, but now I’m thinking of making them available on the new web site. That would leave what to do with the current novella and several more I have ideas about, but not currently scheduled. Subject to change of mind (always one of my favorite options), I’m thinking of publishing the novella as an “Amazon Short Fiction.” Kindle Unlimited readers would get it free, and others interested would pay the extravagant $0.99. The title is “An Ancient Enemy,” and is similar to “An Unexpected Danger” in Tales of Anyar. In that case, it was a snapshot from the middle of Mark Caldwell’s story that was developed into “Passages.” In this case, it’s a snapshot of Dan and Liza Oglethorpe, a married couple survivors of flight UA 4385. They also have a fascinating story to tell (from my unbiased point of view), but there’s no timetable for when that story might be told.

 

“An Ancient Enemy” is not part of Yozef Kolsko’s story, though some readers might detect another connection. In constrast, several other potential novellas are definitely related to Anyar, but would not necessarily fit into a novel.

 

An anxious to finish up both “Harbinger” and “An Ancient Enemy” so I can get back to book 7 of Destiny’s Crucible.

August 2, 2020

Once again, plodding along. Novella almost finished. Next revisions "Fulcrum" novel ongoing. Fleshing out next Destiny book and writing scenes. Aim to send novella to the mail list members about September 1. Have started revising the web pages. About to settle on a developer to work with. Still time for ideas if anyone has suggestions.

Rotating Anyar courtesy of Trevor Doolin.

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July 2, 2020

 

Wow! Almost July 4th and summer moving on. Got back comments for “Fulcrum” from 2 beta-readers. While was waiting I worked on Book 7 and a novella. However, now it’s back to Fulcrum for another revision. So . . . Book 7 will have to wait until I finish Fulcrum. The novella will serve as a change of pace when I need to switch for an hour or so.

 

However, I give you a teaser about book 7 with the map on the first page. Now . . . what/where is it? Shouldn’t be hard to find out. It plays a prominent role. Map thanks to Sam Lewis.

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June 3, 2020

Writing update similar to last month – plugging away. Finishing 2nd revision of new book (non-Destiny), writing scenes for book 7 of Destiny, collecting ideas for a side-story novella, and adjusting to sharing our house with two new additions (see photo on first page).

Several readers have volunteered making maps. One is already on the Facebook page among photos. Today I’m adding another one of Caedellium, made by Trevor Doolin. Another cool one coming next month. Both give clues to book 7.

Speaking of maps and photos, it looks like both Facebook and the web page allow copying images – which they didn’t originally do. Printing out the maps is highly recommended.

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May 3, 2020

 

Plugging along writing. First draft of Book 7 of Destiny’s Crucible is coming along, but I’ll have to put it aside for a while . . . soon . . . to returned to another book, one not directly in the Destiny line. The title of that one is still in flux, meaning I haven’t settled on a title I like. Before, it was “The Janus Dilemna” but now it’s “Abyss” – final title is anyone’s guess. I had finished a complete draft and one editing pass, but I let it rest for most of a month so I’d get a fresher look. I fantasize getting it to my editor by the end of June. Looks like Book 7 figures to be fall sometime.

 

Also had an interesting comment from a reader. They like “A Tangled Road to Justice” but found they didn’t connect with the main character like they did with Yozef. I got to thinking about it and the reader may have put a finger on a problem. “Tangled” was written in first person, compared to third person for my other books. It was something I wanted to try out. I now suspect that I unconsciously didn’t spend more effect on developing the character because, after all, he was the one talking to the reader. Naturally, people don’t always reveal themselves to others, which is an advantage of third person. Anyway, my reading before sleep is now going through Tangled and marking up where the reader/listener could learn more. Don’t know when/if I’ll get to a new edition, but it was an interesting comment from a reader.

 

A final note. When I started writing and set up a mail list, I had no idea how any of it would work out. For the mail list, I thought that if I got a certain number of members I’d do something special for them. That was 2 or more years ago. Well . . . low and behold the targeted number is about to be hit. Don’t what the surprise will be, but I’m thinking on it.

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April 7, 2020

 

Okay, monthly update a little late. Sorry. Nothing substantial to report. Working on several different manuscripts. And no gnashing of teeth, please, that all my time isn’t on Destiny’s Crucible. As try as I might, I have a hard time putting in hours on a single project. It was that way when I wrote scientific papers. I’m more productive when if I have trouble focusing on one project I can switch to another at least for a while. Right now I’ve finished one round of editing on a stand-alone novel, writing scenes for Destiny book 7, and outlining a couple more books.

One positive piece of news is that the company hosting olanthorensen.com now allows downloading images. I’m not sure when that started, but I tried it out and “sort of” works. Two of three computers I tried in with worked okay, the third didn’t. No idea why the difference, but hopefully those interested can download the Anyar maps.

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MARCH 1, 2020

The audio of "Passages" is now up for pre-order at Amazon, with a March 24 release date.

 

Just finished the first draft of "The Janus Dilemma" - came in so far at 228,000 words. As I said before, it's not directly part of the Destiny's Crucible series. I'll be giving it a week or so rest before coming back to it fresher. I'll also shortly be posting an unidentified photo on Facebook that is where Janus takes place. A little thinking and Interneting should clue in where the location is.

 

Until getting back to Janus, it's more plotting out book 7 of Destiny's Crucible, maybe even some writing. I don't seem to do linear writing so well; i.e., writing sequential scenes. There are a bunch of scenes I'm anxious to work on.

 

Also an alert that the series will be showing new covers in the next week or so to coincide with the release of the Passages audio. Podium, the company producing the audio, has offered me the artwork from the audios along with art help to fit ebook/paperback. I thought to see if a different cover effects sales. I can always change back later.

 

The alert is so previous readers don't mistake the new covers for new books. Nevertheless, I'm braced for people that don't bother "reading" descriptions before they buy and then gripe. Read the descriptions, people!

 

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February 1, 2020

 

Audio of book 6, Passages, is due to be published March 24. It’s not up for pre-order yet; I’ll post a notice when it is.

 

The status of the most advanced new writing is it that I’m 200,000 words into The Janus Dilemma (working title sure to change). I’m not giving out details except that it can be read as a stand-alone novel and not a direct part of Destiny’s Crucible. I took a break today and played with Youtube to find clips that are similar to what’s happening a chapter I just finished. Here are the links to copy into a browser. Enjoy them but don’t work trying figure out what they mean for the story. :>)  P.S. I changed the text to match the vids.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hChFfR-z39c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgCo4v59KyQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VmltuMo_7o

 

No gnashing of teeth about book 7 of Destiny’s Crucible, please. Plot development is ongoing. The Iraquinik map is a sop to show the book is in progress.

 

The other new map of Caedellium is from a reader, Jaime MacDonald, a Canadian artist (jamiemacdonald.ca). I modified the legends. Consider it the map that opens Chapter 42 of Passages. I’ve also had requests for more detailed maps, but I believe I need to focus on writing. If there’s anyone interested in producing such maps, contact me and let’s talk.

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December 3, 2019

 

Couple of days late with monthly update. Blame the turkey.

 

Writing progressing . . . always slower than planned. Reorganized my large workroom. Folding tables everywhere . . . holding notes and chapters for different books. Two manuscripts being actively worked on, each with their own set of tables. Also tables with notes and space for Destiny’s Crucible book 7—still in ideas, plot lines, etc stage. Likely start writing in few months.

 

A Christmas special is planned for everyone on the mail list—last year was the short story “Saint Nikolas Day.” Hope to send out before Christmas.

 

Olan

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November 1, 2019

 

I finally got out book 6 of Destiny’s Crucible (Passages) this last month a ebook and paperback. The publisher of the audio tells me it will be out about March 2020-scheduling is out of my control.

 

In case you missed earlier updates, the current arc is projected at four books, with book 7 due out mid to late 2020. For now, I’m taking a couple of months diversion to finish another book and have time to plan the details of book 7. As with the first arc, the ending has been written.

 

One new wrinkle is that I’m trying the Dragon Naturally Speaking software for dictating in place of typing. All testimonials say it takes several weeks to a month to become accustomed to using it, but once you are the writing goes 2-3 times faster. Naturally we’ll see if that’s the case. My first few hours are encouraging. I hope it works out, both for more output and because I’m getting a minor case of carpal tunnel. Several well-known authors use this software, including David Weber.

 

Once piece of information I haven’t shared before is that some of the planned future books will take place in the same universe as Destiny’s Crucible, though they MAY not be directly connected. That’s the case of "The Tangled Road to Justice" and the book I’m working on now (working title: "The Janus Dilemma"). For such future books, the possibilities are: 1) the book could have a direct connection to Destiny’s Crucible; 2) No direct connection to the Yozef/Mark, but related to the plane collision; 3) No connection to the collision but in the same human culture (past, present, or future with respect to the collision). Besides novels, there may be short stories and novellas-depending on the tale. Any stories that might have no connection to the Destiny's Crucible universe I’ll indicate with book listings after the title page and on Amazon.

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September 4, 2019

 

I see when I added the cover of book 6 and the news about release on the front page I forgot to say the same here. As it says, I'm looking at an October release in ebook and paperback for book 6. Audio likely not earlier than December.

 

August 3, 2019

Finishing final revision prior to editing. No other news. A snippet from somewhere in the story is under "More" then "Snippets."

July 2, 2019

 

Plugging away on book 6 of Destiny’s Crucible. Second round of revisions finished. There will be at least one more round before it goes to an editor, hopefully by August 1. If that happens, it would be a September release – but no promises. The working title has settled, for the moment, to “On the Far Side of the World.” Runs about 200,000 words.

 

Yozef Kolsko doesn’t know know it, but he wasn’t the only survivor to be cast onto Anyar. If you read Tales of Anyar, you know that Mark Caldwell landed in Frangel, on the Drilmar continent. He also awakens to a new future, but their two experiences will be quite different after similar arrivals. The first chapter is available under More/Snippets.

 

Well, June wasn’t much of a productive writing month—reasons planned and unplanned. A major two-week vacation had been reserved before my accident. It was good, though I still had movement and energy limitations. Then I picked up a nasty virus, probably on the plane home. There went ten days. On the positive side, things seem settling out, healthwise. A vascular scan looks like the major clot resulting from the operation has dissolved and I should be coming off blood-thinners. Flexibility and strength of the leg/hip improving, slowly. Progress is counted in small milestones—today I managed to bend enough to put on socks by myself for the first time since the operation. See, I said small milestones. :>)

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May 29, 2019

 

Work on Book 6 of Destiny’s Crucible is progressing, even if slower than I’d like. By the next update I’ll give more details of the story and maybe start a few snippets. As some readers/listeners have suspected, the next book is about Mark Caldwell (see “An Unforeseen Danger” in Tales of Anyar). Yozef wasn’t the only castaway on Anyar, and Mark’s path to adjusting to his new life goes much different than Yozef’s. I’ll only say that Book 6 makes me anticipate Book 7 and beyond.

 

Recovery from the accident continues to progress well—according to docs and physical therapists. It’s only been 3.5 months since the fall, and they say full recovery is usually 6-12 months. I’m optimistic I’m headed for the short end of that range.

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May 1, 2019

Progress on several fronts, though naturally not as fast as I’d like. Two and a half months since the hip surgery and doctors and physical therapists insist I’m recovering better than most. Work on book six of Destiny’s Crucible is slowly increasing. As an indicator of the struggle, a short anecdote. I’m usually an active reader, but I couldn’t concentrate on reading a novel for almost two months after the accident. You can imagine if I couldn’t read fiction, writing wasn’t happening. Now back to reading before sleeping (lastest read is the last book in David Weber’s Honor Harrington series).

Several people contacted me about the News and Comments section of the web page having text lost off to the left—especially on tablets. It should be fixed now, and I’m embarrassed to admit what the problem was. Mea culpa.

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April 1, 2019

Still recovering from the broken hip and complication of a blot clot requiring me to take blood thinners until clot dissolves. Physical therapy for the hip has me walking without cane. More relevant to writing is that I’ve been able to start serious revisions of Anyar book 6—although fewer hours than normal per day. That should change and I hope to be back to normal writing within a few weeks.

Although I haven’t been able to concentrate well enough to do serious revisions, I’ve managed to do a run-through of book 6 for sprucing it up—typos, wording problems, format etc. When that was finished and I couldn’t do more on book 6 yet, I took the opportunity to work on a mystery/suspense book that had already been professionally edited but left hanging for several years while I worked on Destiny’s Crucible. All it really needed was my final 2-3 run-throughs and proofing. I finished that, and it will go up on Amazon in the next week. Naturally, “The Pink Flamingo” may not be of interest to fans of Destiny’s Crucible. It’s also to be out under a different author name. A notice of release will be posted for those interested.

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March 23, 2019

 

As you see from the first page, the first book of a new series is available for pre-order. This new series is contracted by Audible Originals, and by conditions of the contract, will only be available as audio for the first six months, which means the ebook will be out September 29.

 

A Tangled Road to Justice begins a new series, Paladins of Distant Suns, distinct from Destiny's Crucible. The new series also has a different format and tone. Destiny's Crucible has a strong overall arc (epic-like) while the new series is more episodic with the background arc less prominent.

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March 1, 2019

 

It’s the regular time for the monthly update. Nothing has changed as far as writing progress is concerned—I can confirm that a broken hip is not conducive to concentrating. On the positive side, docs removed the bandage and took out the sutures today. They say it all looks good, better than most at this stage. I’m optimistic about setting up a work area next week and getting back to writing. I expect the next update will describe real progress on several projects.

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February 18, 2019

It’s not time for the monthly update, but events mean there will be a delay of unknown length in writing projects. I fell coming down stair and suffered a broken hip. I had hip replacement surgery the same day and spend four days in the hospital before coming home yesterday. The docs say I’m strong and in good shape, so they project a good recovery – which in their lingo involves months. Once the pain subsides I’ll still be pretty immobile, so should have writing time, I just can’t say how it will play out. I’ll update again when I’m back to writing.

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February 12, 2019

Whoops. After three successful months of posting updates on the first of the month, I slipped up in February. Thanks to John in New York for his polite nudge—“Thank you very much for providing somewhat regular updates . . . “ (My italics).

 

My lame excuses are that I was busy working on books in addition to attending a writers conference in Colorado that gave me tons of things to think about including better web page and social media presence, arranging a forum for readers/listeners to interact, and telling a little more about myself. On the other hand, some of what I heard I’m less likely to take to heart. One such advice was writing to genre formats, i.e., follow “rules” for the genre to easily fit books into recognizable niches. I’m afraid I write the stories that occur to me, irrespective of rules or genre categories. I admit this causes problems in attracting readers and listeners. Depending on the web site, reviewers, or readers/listeners, I’ve seen the Destiny’s Crucible series be called alternative history, time travel, space opera, military science fiction, epic fantasy, and probably other labels. I give assurance I had no specific categorization in mind. The story is the story as far as I’m concerned. A problem is that if someone reads/hears a book is time travel, they then can be irritated if they read it and for them it’s military or space colonization, or whatever.

 

In addition . . . different genres present a problem for authors. The conference speakers (who included Jeffrey Deaver, Eric Flint, Kevin Anderson, and Jim Butcher) were clear that if an author writes in clearly different genres, then they must use difference names. I had to agree with their reasons, which means a mystery I’ve written, and will out in a month or so, will be under a different name than Olan Thorensen. The book is entitled The Pink Flamingo, and I will only say that it was written before I knew you were supposed to follow formats and rules of the mystery genre. Again, maybe if I’d known the “rules” I probably would have written the same story.

 

As for updates on science fiction, there’s two pieces of news. Book 6 of Destiny’s Crucible is under revision. The current working title is “To the Far Side of the World” and runs about 185,000 words. There’s no projected release date since I can’t say how many revisions I’ll be doing . . . and then it has to be edited.

 

The first book (A Tangled Road to Justice) in the new Audible.com audio series is in production and looks like an April release. That would mean about an October ebook and paperback.

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January 2, 2019

 

Hope everyone had a great holiday season and the New Year will be wonderful for you all. Those of you on the mail list know what Yozef’s time was like. I’m a little surprised only one person seems to have caught the hints about book 6 of Destiny’s Crucible series in the Saint Nikolas short story and accompanying maps.

 

As for progress updates, the first draft of book 6 should be finished within a week. Looks like it will end up at about 180,000 words. Next will be a couple of months of revisions and editing. If forced to guess on release, I’d say April (?).

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December 2, 2018

 

First of the month, almost, and time for an update. A new science fiction series has been launched, at least by my criteria of it having been turned in for production. The title of the first book is “A Tangled Road to Justice” and will come out first in audio as part of the Audible Originals program. Release date will likely be spring 2019, with a further three books under contract. The ebook and paperback for the first book will follow six months later. I’m not supposed to give any details yet but will as soon as allowed by Audible.

This means I’m able to focus on other projects such as finishing Book 6 in Destiny’s Crucible (no title settled yet). The first draft is at 104,000 words with a projected final of 150,000. It’s plausible I’ll finish the draft by year’s end, but obviously it won’t be released for another 3-4 months. I’ll try to put up a few snippets when it’s near finished.

I’ll be adding some musings to the web site’s (olanthorensen.com) blog section in the next couple of days for those wanting to read some of my thoughts about current and future writing projects.

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November 1, 2018

 

Believe it or not, it’s the first of the month and I remembered I’d promised to post on the first of each month an update of what’s going on. Amazingly, I remembered this time. I know, a minor victory, but you take what you can get.

Anyway. As I updated before, Audible has contracted me to write four books in a new series. They will go audio for the first six months and then ebook and paperback. A draft of the first book has been sent to Audible for editing and I’m waiting to see what they might want changed. It will be my first experience with anyone but myself having an input on content, so I don’t what to expect.

As for a topic of more interest to fans of Destiny’s Crucible . . . yes, book 6 is being written. However, the unexpected Audible offer has inevitably slowed progress, so it’s unlikely to be out before early next year. Sorry.

One interesting new development is that for a month or so I was working on both book 6 and the first Audible book at the same time. I found that after some thousands of words on one book I’d slow down. Then I’d switch to the other book and words flowed faster. The switching seemed to make the total output better than focusing on one book at a time. It’s a little counter-intuitive. You’d think efficiency and logic would say to focus on one at a time. So much for efficiency and logic.

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September 28, 2018

I see I’ve failed my intention update News-and-Comments every month. I’ll try to be better.

Book 6 of DESTINY’S CRUCIBLE stands at 78,000 words, which is about half the story. As usual, it seems, the date to finish is pushed back. It’s highly unlikely to be out by the end of 2018—more like Feb 2019.

My excuse this time is that working on the first book of a new series is taking longer than I expected. I should have known better. First books in a series MUST take longer since you’re setting up the storyline and background.

On that front, the news is good. The first book is about to go for editing. The working title is A TANGLED ROAD TO JUSTICE. As for plot, if you’ve seen the movie APPLALOOSA (based on the Robert Parker book), think of transferring it to space (sort of). As I mentioned before, it’s under contract to Audible and will be out as audio for six months before the ebook and paperback. No release is set, but likely well into 2019.

I’ve had several requests for signed copies of one or more books. Anyone interested simply email me at olanthorensen@gmail.com.

Also, with the books I’ve sent out I included printouts of updated Anyar maps. Unfortunately, the web server I use (Wix) doesn’t allow downloadable files from the web pages. It occurs to me I could send those out to the mail list for readers/listeners to print out. What do you think? Hmmm . . . now that I think about it, Facebook might allow downloadable files, but not everyone on the mail list likely uses Facebook.

 

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