March 14, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 31st Pitch, More Awards... And A Surprise!!!

Golly!  I'm so excited my fingers are literally tripping over the key board, so please forgive me if I make a lot of typos!  And no, it is not because I am over caffeinated.  Or over chocolated.  Yet.  (Although I do have a cup of coffee and a chocolate croissant near to hand lest I become faint whilst typing :))

First, I have been honored with more awards!  The lovely Clar has give me The Sunshine Award and The Kreativ Blogger Award.  Thank you so much Clar!  As I responded to awards just a week ago, I will refrain from boring you all again, but I did place the awards in my left sidebar with thanks to everyone who gave them to me.  And you know my policy with passing awards on - I think you all deserve them, so help yourselves! :) (You can lift them from the sidebar.)

And, this just in, the wonderful Christie at Write Wild has awarded me the Pot 'O Gold Blogger Award - such a prestigious honor!  There are rules about accepting which I'm not going to manage just now because this post is already long and I added this in after I wrote it, but I wanted to acknowledge and thank her for the award and all her kind words!  Thank you, Christie!  (I'm going to pop the award in the sidebar for now because I'm not posting on it properly but do take a look! - so pretty!)

Next, I want to update you on Phyllis's World Tour.

WOW is she having a blast!  She has already been to The Golden State With Kirsten, The Sunshine State With Kelly, and The Lone Star State With Natalie, and has arrived at Pam Courtney's young literacy programs in The Peach Tree State!  Last I heard she was headed for The Show Me State as well as back to The Golden State.  (Bonus points to anyone who can identify the states by their nicknames.  There will be a quiz on April 1st :))

You can follow all her travels with photos and weather reports on her new special tab above:  Phyllis's World Tour.  But for your extra convenience here's a little sneak peek:
Here she is, lounging in what the locals refer to as "some sort of palm tree"
- I believe that is a botanical term :)
And here she is modeling her sombrero, which I have a
sneaking suspicion she plans never to take off!  Ever!
Thanks to everyone who has hosted her so far.  I hope she has been behaving herself!

Now, before we get to Would You Read It, I have a surprise for you!  Actually, it was a surprise for me, too!  Yesterday afternoon, I opened an email from the lovely Donna Farrell (you all remember her from her interview, right?  My multi-talented web designer?)  Well!

LOOK WHAT SHE MADE US!!!

illustrations copyright Jeff Ebbeler
badge designed by Donna Farrell
Is this a thing of complete beauty and awesomeness or what???!!!  And I didn't even ask her (although I had been thinking about making a badge and who I should ask to design it.)  Apparently, in addition to her creative talents, she is also a mind reader :)  I love this so much I want to make stickers... and bookmarks... and car magnets... maybe a billboard in Times Square :)

Anyway, I will be plastering it anywhere I can possibly get away with it, including but not limited to my blog sidebar and the Phyllis World Tour page and FB and maybe a huge one for my living room and perhaps a flag on Blueberry Hill, and you are all welcome to share it too!  But would you kindly do me a favor if you use it and mention that the illustrations copyright is to Jeff Ebbeler and the badge was designed by Donna Farrell?  Because they deserve the credit!

You have NO IDEA how hard it was for me not to post this on FB the second I got it.  I hope you're all admiring my self-restraint :)  I think it's so incredibly perfect!  (The badge, I mean, not my self-restraint!) (You probably couldn't tell that from the amount of gushing :))

Okay.  Now we have to get down to business.  Sorry, Miranda for keeping you waiting!  It's time for Would You Read It, and this week's post is from the wonderful Miranda who has just returned from The Gambia!  Miranda Paul is an author who began her career studying aquatic biology and other oddities.  Now a mother, picture book writer, and editor, she splits her time between getting splashed by her kids, wading through revision, and drowning in submissions at Rate Your Story.  Read more at: Miranda's Website and Miranda's Blog.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title:  Reef Stew
Age/Genre:  Rhyming Picture Book ages 4-8
The Pitch:  When a shipwreck destroys their reef, the shellfish grow selfish and every creature’s a crab.  Can Whale stir up happiness with a single piece of stony coral?  Filled with slurps, burps, and spicy sargassum, this quirky version of a classic tale will send ripples of laughter through any school of young guppies.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Miranda improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  Go ahead and send your pitch for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Miranda is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!

And please stay tuned for more exciting updates from Phyllis! :)
Reactions:

79 comments:

  1. I love the new Phyllis's World Tour logo. The photos are great!
    Miranda's pitch is pitch perfect. It grabbed me. Lots of action. And yes, I'd want to read it!

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  2. I love the badge!!!!!

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  3. Love the new badge! Adorable!

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  4. Isn't it amazing? Isn't Donna amazing? I couldn't have dreamed up anything better!

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  5. Isn't it just absolutely perfect???!!! :)

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  6. Thanks, Pat! I'm so glad you like it! And thank you for your comment for Miranda!

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  7. I think the badge is absolutely adorable! Maybe Phyllis should use it as her photo on her passport before she leaves the states on her world tour? ;0)

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  8. Sorry...I thought I added my name...Donna Martin...;0)

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  9. What a great idea, Donna! (And don't worry - I know who you are, Tai Kwon Do Lady :))

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  10. (In order told) Congrats to you, Ms. Hill! Congrats Phyllis! I'll check out your travel page! Congrats to everyone for the brillsome (combination of brilliant and awesome - word made up by author Bryan Dearsley) badge!!!!
    And last but (totally) not least, I'd read the book! It sounds adorable! I love "selfish shellfish"....try saying THAT 10 times fast! ;)
    Erik

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  11. Cool badge. Yes, I would read it. Is this story a twist on Stone Soup? I'm intrigued and I love the play on words.

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  12. Perfect pitch Miranda! :) I love the idea of the book and think the pitch is very well written. It really lets the reader hear your voice which I think is very hard to do in so few lines. Well done, Ms. Miranda! :)

    Susanna--The badge is beautiful. How exciting for you and Ms. Phyllis! I must say that we are all a little worn out today from yesterday's festivities, but we do miss the little groundhog girl already! :)

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  13. Happy Post! I love the new badge. If ever I have a book published, I'm going to Donna to design my website-that's what she does!
    Love the pitch. Would definitely compel me to read the book.
    Mona

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  14. You bet I would read it...."the shellfish grow selfish" and "every creature's a crab"...how perfect is that?

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  15. Congratulations on your well-served awards, Susanna! The badge is beautiful- so appealing! And the pitch? Well anything with clever wordplay is right down my alley. You bet I'd read it- especially if I was in a crabby mood!

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  16. Blistering Barnacles, but yes, I would most certainly read Miranda's PB. What a great example for us all of an excellent pitch.

    I am (almost) speechless with delight at Phylli's Badge. How sweet and wonderful of Donna! Can we all post it? (once Phyllis has crossed our humble thresholds, that is).

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  17. Yes, Miranda, I'd love to read this book! From the pitch, I can tell this is a book full of puns and laughs! I really like the "every creature's a crab" part!

    And Susanna, I love the darling badge!!

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  18. oops- I meant well-deserved (but maybe well served too!)

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  19. Great pitch Miranda - spunky and silly! Definitely a book I would read and my kids would want over and over!

    Susanna, the roundness of that sweet badge is as cute as chubby baby cheeks! Love it!

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  20. Oh a passport! Phyllis could carry it on all her school visits and show the children her stamps. I love the idea Donna!!

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  21. Yes, Miranda, I do want to read the manuscript that goes with this pitch! It sounds fun and silly, but with a solid story underneath to hold it up. The pitch does a nice job expressing the personality of the book.

    Susanna, the badge is gorgeous! We're hoping some snow sticks around for Phyllis' visit, but it's disappearing fast. Don't worry, we have lots to do here, even without that nice white stuff :)

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  22. Crabby creatures? I'm in! The pitch is great and the book sounds delightful. Well done, Miranda!

    Susanna, the badge is adorable! Let me know if you want it on your FB page. :)

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  23. Flipper whipper!!!!!!!!!!!! I would definitely read it! Great pitch. Yay for Miranda, yay for Reef Stew!

    Beautiful badge. Great job, Jeff and Donna!

    Can I post the Phyllis badge?? Do I wait until she comes to THE NC with THE Carolina blue sky?? Look up. Do you see it, oh Susanna? :-) Huge hugs, pal!

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  24. Fabuloso!!!

    I'll come back about the pitch.

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  25. What a beautiful badge, Susanna! And Miranda...yes, yes, yes! I would love to read your book, because I love the sea...and adventure. Sounds like a winner!

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  26. I absobloominglutely LOVE the World Tour logo! What a wonderful surprise. And I am impressed thoroughly by your restraint.

    Now. The Pitch. YES! I would read it. As soon as I read the part about the selfish shellfish, (I can't even type that correctly, I don't know how I'd ever read it out loud! ;) ) and finished chortling, I knew I'd read the book. The pitch is perhaps a little long. Would it be possible to cut out the sentence about Whale? That part may be integral to the story itself, but I think you have a strong pitch without it. The rest is perfect.

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  27. I hope you'll take the badge if you want it! And now that your part of the tour is done, you can sit back and enjoy the rest :)

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  28. Thanks, Mona! And I'm sure Donna is glad to know she has a future client :)

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  29. Thanks, Rena! Glad you like the badge :)

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  30. Ok...so back from Africa but can't find chocolate! Does chocolate pudding count? LOL. Lots of great things going on here for you, Susanna! Congrats! I'm about to sift through any and all responses to the pitch...stomach in knots! Thanks!

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  31. Thank you, Iza - I'm glad you like it :)

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  32. Of course you may! Anyone who is hosting Phyllis, or following her tour, or who just loves her can post it :)

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  33. Feel free to put it on your blog, Tina - Phyllis will be along to you eventually!

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  34. So glad you like the travel page and the badge, Erik! I love the word brillsome!

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  35. I am not worried, Heather, not even the teensiest little bit. I have been completely bowled over by how creative everyone has been so far! Glad you like the badge - feel free to sport it on your blog :)

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  36. I'm glad you like it! And I will email you!

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  37. Very nice, Miranda...when did you say I could order that book? So...yes! I would read it. I love the wordplay. I have to say I learned a new word from your pitch. I didn't know what sargassum was. So, I looked it up and have seen it many times, but was using the much more boring term...seaweed :-)

    As far as the badge...Oh my! I'm in love with that badge! I just want to print it up and hug it. I think I will :-)

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  38. So glad you like it Robyn! And yes! By all means flaunt it whenever you like :) You don't have to wait for her arrival :)

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  39. T-shirts, mugs, tote bags, pajamas... I can think of endless places where that badge would look terrific!!!

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  40. Graci! (That's my best guess for thank you in Italian :))

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  41. I'm so glad you like the badge, Jarm! In case you couldn't tell, I LOVE IT! :)

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  42. Yes, chocolate pudding counts! And no knots needed! Everyone loves it so far! There haven't even been any maybes yet!

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  43. I knew you would like it, Beth! I almost showed it to you yesterday, but I managed to hang onto my self-discipline :)

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  44. Love the badge--it's awesome! Congrats Susanna :) And yes I would read because I have always had a fascination for happenings under the sea!

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  45. What a pretty Pot-O-Gold award, congrats on all of them! Your Phyllis world Tour badge looks adorable.
    As for Miranda's pitch, I would read no question. It sounds so interesting especially the selfish shellfish - love it!

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  46. Margaret GreaniasMarch 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Gorgeous badge! I'm looking forward to hosting Phyllis -- just have to decide what to do.

    As for the pitch, sounds like the story will be a blast to read. So, yes, I would read it. I love all the wordplay and puns. My only comment is I want to know more about what the whale does with the coral. Or, what the classic tale is (stone soup?). I think it would help me understand what the story is about.

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  47. YES - I would definitely read it. The language goes along nicely with the theme. I loved sargassum! Great creativity. How could one NOT want to read it!

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  48. Wow! First, for Miranda, your pitch is dynamite. I would definitely read your book. I'm hoping to use your pitch as something to aspire to in the future. And I LOVE the Phyllis badge. I'm jumping around just like she is.

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  49. Phyllis says if you put her badge in your sidebar it will be like a little piece of her is still with you and your boys :)

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  50. The pitch had me at spicy sargassum! And can I get a PWT badge to post when she gets here?

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  51. The pitch had me at spicy sargassum! And can I get a PWT badge to post when she gets to the Centennial State?

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  52. Julie, you are a stop on the tour! Of course you may have the badge whenever you'd like it!

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  53. That's a fun sounding pitch. A great punctuation mark to a fun post. I've been reading about Phyllis' adventures. And, I love the idea of a passport mentioned in other comments. A cool idea.

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  54. Wow, everyone - thanks for the awesome motivation about my pitch! Let's hope agents and editors like it (and the story) as much as you all did since this story is definitely one that I'm planning to shop around soon. And yes, to answer your question Margaret - you got it - a saltwater spin on stone soup. :) :)

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  55. I love the badge and I think the idea of sending Phyllis on a world tour is genius. As for the pitch, I'm sorry to disagree with most of your followers and I do like the idea of the picture book but I can't help wondering if the pitch is a bit too gimmicky. It's very clever use of language but is it accurately conveying the content of the story?

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  56. Thanks so much for your kind enthusiasm about the tour and the badge, Rosalind! I can't remember where in the UK you live? Would you like a visitor? I may be sending a book that way and would LOVE someone in Scotland, Ireland or Wales to host my marmot friend! And thanks for your comment for Miranda!

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  57. Stina LindenblattMarch 14, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I love the badge. You could have it painted on the outside of your house. It would make a great mural. :D

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  58. Susanna - I love the badge, it is adorable. Can't wait to use it when Phyllis comes to visit Silicon Valley. She is going to be getting an educational high-tech tour. ;-)

    Miranda- Yes, I would read this. I like your use of alliteration it gives a great sense of your writing style. The pitch seems a little long. I am bit stumped as what to say about the last line. I like that you mention that it is a quirky version of a classic tale (though I must admit I am not sure what story you are referring to, but that could just be me). However, the part where you say "will send ripples ... " is cute but it feels a bit presumptuous. I haven't reviewed that many pitches, I could very well be wrong. That was just the feeling it left me with. I am sure your story has a lot of heart, would like to see that come through in the pitch, with your fun writing style. Good luck. I look forward to reading it.

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  59. Excellent idea, Stina! I know just the spot :)

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  60. You may take the badge whenever you like, Darshana :) And that sounds like a fun and different time for Phyllis!!

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  61. LOVE the badge! Wow, Donna is talented. :)

    And yes, I would read Reef Stew. I'll be honest, the title might make me think twice, but her clever plays on words in the pitch would make me want to read it. I did like that you mentioned the classic tale because it made me want to find out which one. I don't recognize it from the pitch (which may be a turn off to some). I also might suggest changing the question to a statement. I've heard may editors/agents share words on that subject, but there you have to go with your gut.

    Best of luck with this!

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  62. Isn't she just? I couldn't have imagined anything more perfect! And thanks for your comments for Miranda :)

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  63. I didn't want to get lost in your ever multiplying sea of Phyllis fans...;0)

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  64. First, Miranda's pitch - Yes, I would read it. The pitch is witty and just too cute. When it comes to the pitch, I'm not sure, so please don't hold me to this, but I'm not sure if possible reader reaction should be included, though I must admit the way you include it is done swimmingly (sorry, couldn't help myself)

    Susanna - I'm sure Phyllis is behaving just fine as she travels from state to state. And you may be quite right, the sombrero may never come off now. I also love that badge. How blessedly wonderful of her to do it.

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  65. I certainly like books with funny sounds because my kids love to hear those stories over and over. But I do tire so much of rhyming books. So I'm torn about would I read it or not. If the funny words are fun enough, then yes.

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  66. I could never lose you :)














    tkd2lady wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    I didn't want to get lost in your ever multiplying sea of Phyllis fans...;0)

    Link to comment

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  67. The boots are pretty awesome too! Did you see those? And yes, Donna is the best!!!

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  68. Thanks so much for your comments, Laura!

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  69. Oh, goodness. I missed the boots. Gonna check it out :-)

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  70. You will LOVE them and want some of your own :)














    Angela Brown wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Oh, goodness. I missed the boots. Gonna check it out :-)


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  71. hi miss susanna and miss miranda! i love anything thats about the sea so for sure id read this book. i gotta tell you before i read the pitch the title scared me some cause it made me think yikes someones gonna cook up my friends in the sea. ack! but the pitch was real cool and it make me laugh so i knew my friends are safe. and its cool that whales gonna make them go from crabby to happy. :) i love love love miss phyliss badge! its the coolest badge ever. wow shes been doing lots of traveling. i got that badge up already on my side bar even before im doing this comment. maybe shes gonna come visit me and my coonies and squirrels. :)
    ...smiles from lenny

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  72. Hi Lenny - I think Phyllis would like a visit with the coons and squirrels! I'm glad you like the badge - I LOVE it!!! :)

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  73. Miranda, yes, I recognized the Stone Soup connection. And translating this into a sea story is cool. All things ocean I love and would read this based on the pitch.
    It seems a little long, but I am NOT the person to criticize wordiness. I fight it constantly. Don't know how you could trim it down, but it did make me want to read the tale.

    Great tour badge for Phyllis, Susanna. What talented art and design, Jeff and Donna!

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