Vampire Diary

Dear Diary,

I am plagued by the attentions of silly teenaged girls. How can I explain to them that I only look young?

They tell me I’m cute and hot. I don’t understand.

How do they know I’m a Vampire?

 

 

Dear Diary,

A cat has moved into my house. It expects things from me. I’m not sure what to do.

If the cat is cute and I am cute…I’m confused.

 

 

 

Dear Diary,

After a night of debauchery and blood I arrived home to find the cat waiting for me. It demanded food. I don’t understand modern cats.

 

 

 

Dear Diary,

After 500 years I found my wife. She no longer acknowledges our union. She thinks I’m dead. At 650 years she is still beautiful. I saw her with another Vampire. He wore plaid. I think he might be a Scott but maybe not. Everyone wears plaid. Everything is cute or hot.

I don’t understand.

 

 

 

Dear Diary,

I went for a walk in the woods tonight, followed by a band of giggling young girls. I don’t understand how they can know what I am. It must be a genetic mutation on their part. They should fear me. Now they want to date me. For God’s sake I’m almost 700 years old. What would we talk about?

My decision to come out into the light and into the world has been difficult. I was once a Vampire Prince. I am still a Vampire Prince.

Why is everyone wearing plaid?

My cat is hungry again. Then she will want to go outside, and inside, and outside, and inside, and outside, and inside. I don’t understand.

Until tomorrow…

Vlad

My Wish to You, Parenting, Faith and Christmas Memories (a post in 4 parts with my famous bulleted lists)

Please Santa bring me some fangs...

Please Santa bring me some fangs…

Part 1: My Wish To You

Some wish for peace on Earth. For years I wished for peace in my own family but I’ve given up. Enough of that least I get a headache that will last until after the end of the year.

I’ve wished for peace and quiet. But I have other wishes for all of my friends, especially my dear blogging friend who have provided me with so much good fun, thoughtful words and smart posts of all kinds.

  • I wish you never suffer with Trolls – those horrible negative creatures who stalk bloggers and other folks online.
  • I wish you no SPAM.
  • I wish you a creative flow that can’t be stopped.
  • I wish you good humor.
  • I wish you never be caught in a dead end alley with a pissed off Vampire.
  • I wish you success – whatever YOUR idea of success is (not somebody elses’ idea of success.)
  • I wish you good chocolate.
  • I wish you sweet dreams.
  • I wish you all the joy that you can stand.
  • I wish you good friends, cats who behave and dogs who don’t sniff in private places.
  • I wish that you will be bitten by the creative bug and not fleas or Werewolves (Unless you’re writing about Werewolves. I’m not going to even address the issue of writing about fleas.)
  • I wish you peace.
  • I wish you peace.
  • I wish you peace.

 

Part 2: Rules for Parenting (this is important)

  • Talk to your child. Engage with your child. Even if your child isn’t talking yet – TALK to and with your children.
  • Small children are loud and active. It doesn’t mean they need drugs or spankings. They need space to be themselves. They’ll grow out of the loudness and learn to sit still. It is your job to guide them and let them know when it is ok to be loud and ok to be frisky.
  • Teach your kid manners. Manners are a must. Insist on it. Your children are not the center of the universe and they should not think that. Period. Then need to learn that there are consequences to rude and bad behavior.
  • Encourage your child to laugh.
  • Encourage imagination.
  • Encourage active play and exploration.
  • Encourage independence.
  • Encourage your child to see the big picture. There is a big world outside of your front door and the sooner your child knows the better.
  • Did I say laugh? Yes, laugh a lot.
  • All of this works also works on your husbands, dogs and cats.
  • Love your child.
  • Listen to your child.
  • Don’t show favorites.
  • Learn from your child.  Yes, you can learn a lot from someone who is under 18 years old. Keep and open mind and an open heart.

 

Part 3: Faith

My brother Val and I used to like to creep into churches and sit in the back so we could listen to the music. We were not welcome, but we were not completely unwelcome.

My views on faith and my own faith have changed over the years. I’ve always been fascinated by different religions and faiths – which is different from the faith I speak of. Anyway, I was always an outsider. Yet, I feel a kindred spirit with the artists and the music. It is the trappings that give comfort, the repetition, the traditions – the good traditions 0 the positive traditions.

When I walk in the woods or walk through the rooms of an art museum I feel faith. Something is there that is wonderful and real and magic. Something is there that is good. It is a goodness that anyone can let in. It is something that makes one believe that peace and goodness is possible.

Today is Christmas Eve. I believe that the message of Christ is about love and hope and giving. It is about trying to understand others. It is about beauty and joy. You can throw the rest of the stuff out. It is not a comfort. It is not faith. Faith is good. If it isn’t good then it is just a horror story written to scare people into submission – not written by Jesus. He knew better.

That is what I believe.

I respect the faiths of others. I can see good things in religions I don’t believe in. I can say “That is fun, but I’d never believe it.” Sure there are religions, if you can call them that, that horrify me, but that is something I will keep to myself for now.

Find faith in the love you feel. Find it in the sound of birds. Find it in friendship with those who are different. Find it in things you can’t understand. Find it in the words of poetry, the sound of a child laughing, the feel of the cold damp fog on your face, the music of frogs, and in your own heart.

Even those who don’t believe in a god or higher power or world beyond have to have faith. Faith in love and beauty and compassion.

Tomorrow we will celebrate. I hope it is a celebration for all, even if that celebration is a walk in the winter air or the lighting of a candle or the steady purring of a small furry cat.

 

Part 4: Memories from my Modern Vampire Family and Friends

This was first posted last December (2013) but I’m posting it again.

From Andrew: One of my fondest memories is walking with her in the snow at night. Her hands were hot, and as hard as she tried, she could never warm up my hands.

From Matthew: We looked at the stars in the night sky and didn’t feel dead anymore.

From Verity: A nip of brandy and a nip on the neck of my husband under the mistletoe.

From Lola: A lovely young man all tied up in red ribbons and bows. That isn’t figuratively either. He was all tied up.

From Tellias: We saw a great light in the sky and I knew something had happened that would change the world. That was a long time ago. I was very young.

From Eleora: We never did much for people we took blood from until we started to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Then we started to leave them presents. That is where the Santa Clause tradition came from. And this year I’m going to wear my red dress with the white fur trim and red boots and snowflake earrings.

From Val: My sister Juliette and I would sneak into churches and sing along to the carols. Everyone said it would kill us but we knew nobody who is damned could be so inspired by the music as we were.

From Cody: I used to be afraid of Vampires before I became one and found out how much fun they are, especially around the holidays. Well, except for the men in black and the zombies, but hey, you have to respect them for what they are.

From Adam (a Werewolf): Running in the mountain snow until we were so tired we couldn’t go another inch. My mother would be waiting with fresh meat, fruit cake and hot chocolate. We’d turn from wolves to boys and run naked all over the cabin as my parents laughed. It was crazy but, you know, we’re Werewolves.

From Aaron: We used to act out the Christmas Carol except someone would always tear out Scrooge’s neck before my mom could finish the narration. Oh man, we would laugh so hard.

From Max: Candle light and the long cool kiss of another Vampire.

From Teddy: I’ll never forgot the Christmas I pried my mother’s necklace off of the rotting corpse of the woman who stole it. I knew at that moment that Juliette was the Vampire I would one day marry and would proudly wear the necklace. It was also the night I learned I hadn’t lost my soul, or at least not completely.

From Jayne: I wore a red velvet dress trimmed with flowers and holly. The room was filled with candles and garland. Everyone tasted like cinnamon and whiskey.

From Ione: I was so excited about seeing Santa that I bit the cat.

From Elizabeth: Going for angel walks in the cemetery at midnight with Jayne and Mehitabel. The stone angels inspire the singing of the dead. It is quiet lovely and moving if you know what tombs to visit.

From Nathaniel: After years of spending Christmas protecting my kind from Vampire Hunters, I look forward to spending a quiet Christmas with my wife and child. I think I earned it.

From Thomas Kent: Christmas is a time for us to make frozen hearts warm and inspire peace among all creatures, even those of the night and cold.

To learn more about the individuals above click on their names.

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Wishing you all dear readers sweet memories.

A Happy Christmas to all!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: Christmas Orphans (a short random tale)

“Why do I have eyes of different colors? The brown eye is my own. The blue eye is a different story. I plucked it from the freshly dead body of a young Irish nun. She’d killed herself because she had a vision that the child she was carrying, the child of the handsome young priest, was the Antichrist.”

“Why were you there Uncle Jeff?” A young voice in a hushed whisper asked.

“Because, my dear, I was the handsome young priest. That was before the life I live now. But I still see visions of angels and of a family in a warm embrace of love, then the fires of Hell with dancing devils and…”

“JEFF. STOP IT,” I yelled. “You’re going to give them nightmares.”

I know better than to ask my crazy brother to tell Christmas stories to my children and their young cousins.

“But, Simon, the stories are true,” my brother said as if he believed what he was saying.

“Kids, don’t listen to him. He’s blowing stories out of his…out of his ears.”

“Did I tell you about the time I met Santa Clause?”

“Jeff, no more storytelling.”

“It was the winter of 1969.”

“Jeff you were a toddler in 1969.”

“You have no idea how old I really am. Brother I have secrets that will make your head explode. Now children, the rest of the researchers on the Arctic research station had died of a mysterious illness. Then the giant polar two ton bears came. I’ll never forget the sound of them crunching on the bones of my friends.”

“Giant two ton polar bears?”

My brother and the children ignored me as he continued his tale. “I wouldn’t let them eat the dogs so we took off with the sled north, following the stars. Frozen and hungry, my body could take no more. Out of my blue eye I could see my angel Bernadette, the nun I’d loved. Her visions…”

“Jeff!”

“Then I heard bells. Not big bells like the Liberty Bell, but small happy bells. A lot of bells. I thought I was in a dream. My dogs huddled close. Then we saw them. The Zombies…”

I went to the kitchen for a beer. My wife and Jeff’s weird Goth girlfriend were talking about how to make the perfect prime rib.

Spotting my sister Libby out on the deck I went out to join her.

“It’s cold out.”

“Cold but not as weird as it is inside.”

“Do you think there is any truth to his stories.”

“I don’t know. He has memories of before we were found. All the records still say we were abandoned at the rest stop outside of Barstow. Nobody came forward to claim us. We’re related for sure, the DNA tests prove that, and we look like each other  but…”

My sister shrugged. “I did more research but didn’t find anything. Nothing. It is like we were dropped by aliens.”

“Or Santa Clause.” I said.

We were found on Christmas Day, three toddlers. Our dad was the highway patrolman who found us. Jeff was the oldest, then Libby and I was just a baby. The doctors figured Jeff was around three, Libby maybe two and I was a newborn. We were all wearing hand knitted Christmas sweaters and red Santa hats.

Our life was happy and normal with our new parents. They loved us unconditionally. They still do.

I never thought about who might have left us at the rest stop with typed notes saying “Merry Christmas. Please keep us together,” pinned on our sweaters.

Libby and I went back inside to catch the end of Jeff’s story.

“In the morning Santa and I sat on the beach listening to the crashing waves. I passed him the bottle of whiskey we were sharing and he put his hand on back and said “Good job son, good job.”

 

tree and snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Concert

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“I was there. I saw the star. I knew something was happening,” said Tellias who is over 2,000 years old. He was right in my face almost yelling.

He tells us that every single year but he never gives us any details. We’ve stopped trying to get information out of him.

I am the one who watches the elders, the ancient Vampires.

They speak in riddles and metaphors, not because they are wise but because they are tottering and annoying. They are confused and trying to get control over their lives that seem so out of control.

Today I took them out to a sing-a-long and a bell concert under the rotunda in State Capitol building in Sacramento. It is a beautiful building restored to how it was in 1880. A good size crowd showed up too.

Tellias was wearing a vest embroidered with snowmen and snowflakes, a large black top coat and a top hat. Eleora wore a red plaid skirt down to her knees, red flats with white lace tights, a sweater with a felt reindeer on it, complete with bells on the antlers and a red cap that hung down her back with a white pom pom. Had it been anyone else I would have told them to change, but since they look like they’re teens it was sweet. Had they looked like the really old people they are it would have been super sweet. Anyone else it would have been just tacky.

It was just Tellias, Eleora, my teenage daughter Clara, my brother Val and me. Garrett, off from college on break, was at my parents in San Francisco for a few days. My husband Teddy was working and everyone else was busy too, or just not to be found.

On the front steps of the Capitol building a photographer was taking photos of a happy wedding party. The bride was beautiful in a strapless dress of pure elegance and fluff. Clara and Eleora discussed the dresses in detail. Val and Tellias walked together discussing architectural details of downtown buildings and what the new arena would do to the character of the area. I took in the view of the park and Capitol Building under the cold overcast sky.

Eleora was in a good mood today. She has been grouchy and temperamental lately and overly critical of everything and everyone. A sweet thing by nature the turn to a grouch hasn’t been good.  With that has come hoarding  – something that another family member, Grandmama Lola has said NO to. I hope Lola has put a stop to the clutter and papers and obsessions that Eleora has started to take on.

Tellias just sighs and gets depressed, going on walks around his orchard and visiting with his neighbors way too much.

When we entered the concert area in the rotunda the two elders lit up like Christmas candles. Eleora put her arm around my waist and kissed my cheek. Tellias looked pleased and happy to see Eleora laughing in delight.

They listened to the bell concert with great patience. Behind us sat a mother and her little boy. They were delightful. It reminded me of when my own children were small and we’d go to all sorts of concerts and events.

When I was small Tellias and Eleora would take Val and I to concerts and events. We were active and unruly but we’d calm for music and poetry. We’d sit still by the river bank while our dear Ancients told us about the calls of the birds and of giant fish who swam in the waters.

They’d hold our small hands and guide us through the night and teach us that with love there was no fear.

I glanced at them walking by the front of the State Library making a joke about how cold the couple sitting out in front (two statues) must be on this December day.

Things change. People change. Time passes.

But the love we have, even when it pains us, is there. We love and remember and share those memories. But most important – we need to keep making memories.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

California State Capitol Building and State Christmas Tree, December 20, 2014

California State Capitol Building and State Christmas Tree, December 20, 2014

As pretty as a birthday cake inside of the California State Capitol Building

As pretty as a birthday cake inside of the California State Capitol Building

A beautiful place for a concert

A beautiful place for a concert

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Under the rotunda

 

Downtown Sacramento from the Capitol Building

Downtown Sacramento from the Capitol Building

 

 

 

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This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. No matter how many profoundly unwise and stupid things happen in this building, there is a peace under this dome.

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Roses at the California State Capitol

Christmas Roses at the California State Capitol

Baby it's cold outside!

Baby it’s cold outside!

A Man of Wisdom at the State Library

A Man of Wisdom at the State Library

View of the Tower Bridge from the State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA

View of the Tower Bridge from the State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA

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View from Capitol Park, Sacramento

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Why moms swear more than anyone, stupid romance stories, what inspires my writing, and other unrelated thoughts.

If you want you can scroll down to the bottom to some links to something not so random. Or just go back to the All Hallows Eve post and read it again.

All Hollows Eve

All Hollows Eve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do mom’s swear so much?

I was driving down the road in the rain and I thought about moms and swearing. Moms swear a lot.

We don’t swear so much when our kids are small because they repeat everything we say. My daughter went to a lovely preschool we called “The Holy Roller Preschool.” It was at a large church that we did not attend. Only about half of the kids were members of the church. But it was the best preschool around. So one day when I picked up my little darling the school director said told me my daughter was saying “What the Hell.” and “God damn it,” all day long. I lied and said Grandma was in town and the kids picked up bad language from her. Of course I knew Grandma never swears and hasn’t said a swear word in 400 years.

SO why do we swear so much?

Any child will tell you “my mom swears in the car ALL THE TIME.” We all do it. We swear at our husbands too, especially when they aren’t around. The older our kids get the more we swear and the more F bombs we drop.

I don’t have an answer for you on this one. It is what it is. Every teenager will tell you “MY MOM SWEARS A LOT.”

All moms would like to yell SHUT THE FUCK UP a lot more. Oh well.

_______________________________

Don’t show your kids pictures or video of hairless chimps or gorillas. They’ll freak out (your kids, not the apes). Trust me on this one.

________________________________

Now for random romance…you can pass this part over. In fact I don’t blame you if you pass the entire post over today… just skip to the next joy and cheer filled Vampire post… I’ll have it up later.

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse… but it is so much fun…

I overheard my brother Max a few months back talking to his “friend.” Or she was talking to him quietly and calmly, neither one of them knowing I was out on his deck enjoying the view, frozen still as I strained to listen to their very private conversation.

He asked her, “Why didn’t you tell me how you felt about me?”

Then she told him, “You said you’d never love me. You said we could never have anything emotional. So I got involved with a string of losers who didn’t deserve me pretending, fooling myself into believing they were good enough for me. It was embarrassing. I sold myself cheap because I didn’t think I was good enough for you, so I settled. I was too young and stupid to know the difference. Either way, it didn’t matter because after you told me you were in love with someone else I gave up. Then I just got angry because I realized…I realized you would never love me and you thought I was an idiot, no matter how strong our connection. We were meant to be… but we can’t be. We’re perfect for each other but… I won’t let you take the lead again.”

“I never knew.” The tone in his voice was half real and half bull shit (yes, moms swear.)

Her voice was calm and low. “You always knew. Don’t talk about it again. I lied so you’d leave. I lied to protect myself.”

“That was 90 years ago.”

“Don’t. Just pretend I never said anything. Just pretend that the nights are ours and when we’re together it is our time alone. But don’t expect anything else Max. I can’t…”

I heard nothing. Was she crying? I didn’t hear a sob. I didn’t hear anything. They’re Vampires so they wouldn’t make any noise when they move, or hardly anything. So I stood against the wall and watched the lights of the boats on the San Francisco Bay. After what seemed like forever I heard Teddy call up. Max and his friend Mehitabel said a few uncomfortable words and went downstairs.

From the rest of the evening one would never know what had gone on between the two. Not that night, not any night. Why the Hell didn’t they talk about this stuff decades ago? Why now all the sudden? I roll my eyes. I do it again.

I followed down a few minutes later. Nobody asked me where I was. I don’t think anyone missed me. There was a house full of Vampires. Unlike my brother Andrew’s parties, Max rarely had non-Vampires at his home.

I was feeling like I’d just dropped into a bad romance novel.

My son Garrett who is now living in the dorms in a college south of here is experiencing the same thing. He hears a lot of drama in the dorm rooms and at parties on and off campus. He takes it all in then slips bits of wisdom and advice innocently into his conversations. Or so he tells me.

He is a flirt but he keeps the girls from falling in love with him. It is an important skill for a Vampire to have. But heaven forbid he get tangled with a Vampire girl. I’m just saying that as a mom. You know, this is Vampire Maman, and those of us who are Vampire parents have complicated lessons to teach our young adult Vampire children.

None of us are perfect and heaven knows I made my share of mistakes. That said, I talk to my kids about these things so they’ll be smart. Drama isn’t always that great and it can last a long time. Be smart. Think twice before getting into bed with someone. Know where her heart is. Know where your heart is.

Our brother Aaron, who was also downstairs with his wife Verity has been married 134 years. I can’t ever remember them having any drama. They’re still darling together.

vm pair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m revisiting some work of mine that needs to be finished – writing work. On my computer is a 250,000 + word epic adventure of romance, magic, technology and friendship. I’m 90% done but not quite sure what to do with it. It was one of the first pieces I started when I got back into writing after years of, well, not writing.

So Ms Kings what inspires your writing? You might ask this if you run into me in a dark alley sometime…

Real life, news stories, interesting random stuff that flies past my brain and reading what others write.

I find that authors who inspire me don’t write the way I do. I don’t want to copy anyone or emulate their style. But reading the stories of others get me thinking. It make my mind active. And active mind is a creative mind.

Speaking of creative minds, Matthew Pearl, one of my favorite authors is coming out with a new book in April.

I was fortunate to find his Facebook page a few years ago, when I started to get serious about writing again. His thoughts on research and writing inspired me to write more. I need to do a post on his work and that of other favorite authors of mine but tonight I’ll just post a clip from an email he sent (and his are infrequent because he is not a spammer):

From Author Matthew Pearl:

On to news of the next novel! It’s called THE LAST BOOKANEER. It will be
published in the US by Penguin Press on April 28, 2015, and around the
same time in the UK by Harvill Secker. It’s about literary thieves in
the 19th century (fuller tease at the end of this email). Because I like
to keep my emailing to an average of 1-2 emails a year for those who
prefer slim inboxes, please make sure to check back in on my site
(www.matthewpearl.com) for further news, the cover, and also stay up to
date by choosing to “like” my Facebook author page,
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Matthew-Pearl-author/29977879540 …and
follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/#!/MatthewPearl

Want to be the first to get the book? Pre-order now! Here or your
favorite book selling site:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Bookaneer-Matthew-Pearl/dp/1594204926

As always, I’m honored to have you as readers.

THE LAST BOOKANEER

Mystery, celebrity, theft – and a thrilling adventure set at the ends of
the earth…

On the island of Samoa, in a house perched on a cliff beneath a
smoldering volcano, a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labours over a new
novel. It is rumored that this may be the author of Treasure Island’s
greatest masterpiece.

On the other side of the world this news fires the imaginations of the
bookaneers, literary pirates who steal the latest manuscripts by famous
writers to smuggle them to a hungry public. But a changing world means
the bookaneers will soon become extinct.

Two adversaries set out for the south Pacific: Pen Davenport, a tortured
criminal genius haunted by his past and Belial, his nemesis. Both dream
of fortune and immortality with this last and most incredible heist.

THE LAST BOOKANEER thrillingly depicts the lost world of these doomed
outlaws, a tropical island with a violent destiny, a brewing colonial
war and a reclusive genius directing events from high in his mountain
compound.

____________________________________

Thank you Matthew Pearl for the inspiration and research tips. Thank you for your wonderful well researched and well written books. Forgive me for my rambling on your behalf.

___________________________________

Other important news:

For the first time ever my dog and my cat slept together on the same bed. It is the dog’s bed but the cats took it over a while back. Cute stuff.

Jasmine is somewhat uneasy that Oscar the cat is sleeping on her bed.

Jasmine is somewhat uneasy that Oscar the cat is sleeping on her bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For something you might want to read click on the links below:

Ode to a Greek God

Vampire House Warming

Dancing on the Beach

A Night at the Crest

Mysterious Meeting on Cold Dark Nights

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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vm_rick

Yes Virginia – Santa is a Vampire!

I’m re-blogging this from last year because A) I like this post a lot, B) it is full of Christmas Spirit and Fun, C) I can’t think of anything today, or at least not now, maybe later, D) it is all true – every single word. Cheers!

Vampire Maman

All Animals Love Santa All Animals Love Santa

Winter is here with enough bite to freeze the slow beating heart of almost any Vampire.

My mom used to say to us “Don’t stop your heart or your blood will freeze.”

It is one of those things we have to think about, sometimes. I don’t recall ever telling my own children that, or any other “new” Vampires. 

Funny how one thinks of those sayings.

The first bat of the night is a wish. The next is a kiss. 

Bad blood is only in the soul.

Dance from dusk to dawn then sleep as if there is no sun.

As a mother (in the 1850’s and 60’s) with a rather large brood of young vampires (4 boys and 1 girl) my mom took advantage of the holidays in a big way. It was her time to celebrate and bring out the cheer. She was glad to…

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