Writing Process Blog Hop: My Writing Process

Today I’m part of ‘The Writing Process’ Blog Hop! This post was supposed to be written and go live this morning, but when you’re little sister has a wedding happening in two weeks, things tend to slip (i.e: my blogging schedule *grin*). Nevertheless, I made it and here’s both the info on the blog hop and my writing process. 🙂

Author Kristin Nador graciously invited me to join. Kristin is a writer and a genealogy geek who loves cats. She can be found on her site, Kristin Nador Writes Anywhere, blogging about writing/creativity.

The blog hop asks 4 questions to each author about their writing process. Here are the questions and my answers:

1) What are you working on?

Right now I’m working on the first entry into a new paranormal romance series. The series’ working title is The Seven Kingdoms, and the title for this first book is not yet known, lol. We’re just going with “Book One” for right now. 😉

2) How does your work differ from others of this genre?

I believe it differs in that I’ve taken paranormal romance and shifted it a bit into the realm/setting of a high fantasy. So we get the feel of a pure paranormal romance while spending time in a new realm with beautiful landscapes infused with magical elements (think Laura Kaye’s Hearts of the Anemoi series meets Lord of the Rings).

3) Why do you want to write what you write?

Because I honestly can’t imagine not writing stories with a twist of the paranormal. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the “what if” in life… What if vampires and werewolves really exist? What if an angel came down from heaven and sat on my couch for a chat? What if, what if, what if? The strange and unusual and possible are an intricate part of my being, and as such, I have to infuse these elements into my writing.

Plus, who doesn’t like some hot and steamy romance? 😉

4) How does your writing process work?

Ugh… LOL. This is something I’m still discovering, but I can definitely say, with confidence, that I am a reformed pantser. Every time I pantsed a story, the structure and plot were so loose that revising and rewriting turned into such a wickedly difficult job in and of itself.

So as of today, my process stands as this: Take idea and flesh out the characters (write out GMC’s and find what makes them tick, their goals in life–both internal and external, and complete a romance conflict chart for the hero/heroine). Write out the major plot points for these characters’ story. Peruse Pinterest for character and setting inspiration. Plot out each and every scene using Scene and Sequel while creating a story-driven playlist. Write said scenes from beginning to end following the scene outlines. Go back and infuse setting and character descriptions. Prep to send to crit group and prepare for those suckers to bleed (in an awesome way, trust me). 🙂


Now that I’ve answered the questions about my writing process, I’m supposed to tag three fellow authors to share their process. But as you can see, I’m a bit of a spaz/forgetful lady/totally crazy-busy person these days, lol. With that said, I invite you to please take part in this blog hop. Copy the questions and post your answers. Just don’t forget to tag me in your post so I can visit and say hey. 😉

What is your writing process like? What are your answers to the four questions? Please share in the comments. Happy Writing!

Getting Armed and Ready for a New Author Site & Blog

Usually when writers set out to start a blog, we get so excited over the idea of getting out there and sharing our journeys that we make the mistake of not truly researching all the options out there for an author site and/or blog.

Who has two thumbs and made that mistake three years ago? *whistles and looks away* 😉

When we’re finally ready to put ourselves out there, we can sometimes go with the first blogging platform we’ve discovered. If we have an overly zealous type personality, we may also find that we’re chained to our computer whenever a new story or character crosses our paths with no idea of where the story’s going (I’ve done that one, too. It was a total, nonsensical mess).

So the question out there for many new authors can range from “Where do I start?” to “What should I blog about?” Those were my main questions, and I failed to do my research. The results ended up being okay, but not great. In almost 3 years, my stats on Blogger were: 26,000 page views, 175 posts, and 60 followers. Those stats aren’t bad, but they’re not great. They’re not where I would’ve pictured myself three years into blogging.

When results aren’t what we’d hoped for, that means it’s time to rethink, re-attack, and re-boot.

Where Do I Start?

There are many, many, many resources out there with advice on the pros and cons of the different blogging platforms. We just have to know how to find them. We can either Google search blogger vs. wordpress (which is what I just did to find the previous link), or we can turn to other author-bloggers that we’ve come to know and trust (A suggested place to start would be with Jami Gold, Paranormal Author. Here’s a link to her posts on author websites).

Once we’ve compiled all the information on our site possibilities, it’s time to get serious, sit down, and make a decision. These decisions range from super simple to oh-my-god-my-brain’s-on-decision-overload. Here’s an example of the decision-making process I undertook about three years too late:

  • Am I going to stay with Blogger or go to WordPress
  • Will I purchase a domain name (ex: yourname.com)?
  • Who will I host my domain name with?
  • What’s my vision for this new site?
  • Am I going to learn coding (HTML, CSS, PHP) so I can design the site on my own? Or will I just use a template from my chosen platform? OR should I hire a designer?
  • How soon do I want this new site up and running?

Once all these decisions are made, it’s time to get started on creating our site. And once our site’s created–look how shiny and purdy it is!–it’s time to start blogging and connecting with our audience.

What Should I Blog About?

Yet another mistake many beginning bloggers make is that we get out there and start blogging without really know how to connect with the audience. Some of us don’t even ponder on those all-too-important questions of: What types of posts will roll out the welcome mat to readers? What kinds of topics will help forge a connection? Why in the world would someone want to read my damn site in the first place?

For my journey, I, once again, started asking these questions way too late. *headpalm* But once I started asking, I turned to Social Media Jedi, Kristen Lamb. I picked up her Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer three months ago. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you give it a read. Even a seasoned blogger will find many golden nuggets within her book’s pages. And after you’ve read the book, check out the posts on her site with many, many more blogging tips.

Within the pages of her book and the posts on her blog, we’ll find the answers to all our questions … and more!

The best part of reading Kristen’s book, for me, was the realization that she has made these mistakes too, and she was there to help me rectify them. Which is a huge reason why I’m here on a new site and new platform with new lessons and a new approach to sharing and welcoming insights, lessons and information. 🙂

If we now take all the information we’ve absorbed (well, after we’ve survived the head spinning–sorta 😉 ), we can now set sail into the world of social media, author sites, and blogging because we’ll be armed and ready with information, insights and confidence. *wields shiny new sword*

I’d love to hear from you!

Do you currently have an author site and/or blog? What steps did you follow regarding your site/blog’s set-up and design? Do you have any advice for authors who are new to the world of author site/blog creation? Do you have any best practices or tips you’d like share?

WANACon: The Worldwide Writing Conference

Last weekend I attended the first-ever WANACon – an interactive global conference for writers based solely online. Yup, you heard me right. The conference was fully online with a virtual classroom complete with audio, video, and chat capabilities – all that were used to maximum capacity. There was even a lobby where attendees could hang out in between seminars and chat.

WANA founder Kristen Lamb, her team at WANA International, and TechSurgeons (the genius behind all the technology) led the charge in this new and innovative approach at writing conference where you could simply log in from the comfort of your home and listen to top-notch presenters such as New York Times Bestselling author Allison Brennan, bestselling author Candace Havens, and the social media Jedi herself, Kristen Lamb.

You could even pitch to an agent while dressed in your pajamas, wearing a leopard-print slippers, and listening to “Eye of the Tiger” at your desk (and yes that’s exactly what I did, music and all).

There were no plane tickets to purchase, no convention centers to drive to, no hotel room costs. No downfalls whatsoever, and the only cost involved was the conference fee itself, which, let me just say was completely affordable and was well worth spending on the first day alone – much less the next day and half’s worth of seminars. 🙂

I ended up getting very sick on the 2nd night thanks to the dinner we ordered (for the record, food poisoning sucks!), but it was okay because I was still able to listen via conference phone. If that had happened at any other conference, I would’ve a) been totally embarrassed if the illness had happened in front of the attendees vs. the privacy of my own office, and b) wouldn’t have even been able to stick around and listen to the last presenter of the night <-- Which was publishing attorney Susan Spann, and she was incredible!

Still though, as sick as I was I couldn’t really take notes. So what did the fantastic moderator, Jami Gold, do? She put the word out to the other attendees requesting they share their notes from the presentation I missed – along with any other notes they’d like to share from the entire conference. How kind and thoughtful is that?

I haven’t been as involved in the WANA Tribe/Community as I’d like to be lately, and that’s mostly due to the revision hole I’ve dug myself into lately. But this conference, all of the amazing attendees, Kristen Lamb, the act of kindness by Jami and the attendees willingness to help another writer out when she was ill – all of it served as a reminder as to why I love the writing community as much as I do, why I love, love, love being on Twitter to connect with fellow artists, and why I absolutely should take the time out to continue to put myself out into the digital world more

WANACon is innovative, informative, exciting, fun, one-of-a-kind, and something I’d gladly do again and again. 🙂

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out the Storify stories Jami Gold put together that captures what WANACon attendees and WANACon presenters thought of the conference. And here’s another with quotes about WANACon from the blogosphere. If you’re up for it, go to the WANA Int’l site and register to receive updates on the next conference. Kristen’s looking at scheduling another soon – possibly in June – due to the ever-changing publishing industry and the need to keep writers informed and educated.

Your Turn: Would you attend an entirely digital writer’s conference? Does the thought of attending a writer’s conference in your pajamas interest you? What about the idea of learning from bestselling authors and industry professionals from the comfort of your own home? Do you think you may be interested in attended WANACon in the future?

This Week in Favs – 1.11.2013

Playing on the Zune: Gasoline by The Living Daylights

Social Media, Blogging, and Author Websites

How to Think of Blog Post Ideas by Ava Jae on Writability



On Writing Craft

What Writers Can Learn From Classic Television on Left-Brain Business for Write-Brained People

Inspired Openings by Kay Honeyman on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing


The Paradox by Donald Maass


The Finishing Touches by Jael McHenry
Series of Events or Plot? on the Behler Blog


When Do You Start the Story? by Shannon Donnelly on Writers In the Storm blog
Inspiration for Writers/New Year’s Resolutions for Writers 

Reassuring Facts for the Creatively Compulsive by August McLaughlin

Carrie Arcos on The Discipline of Dream Making on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing

Resolutions for Writers on W.I.P. It: An Author’s Journey
What Will You Write in 2013? Ten Mini-Resolutions to Get You Started on Aliventures

On Editing, Critiquing, and Querying
Fifty Shades of Editing by Stina Lindenblatt on the QueryTracker.net blog
The Industry and More…

Interview with an Editor and Giveaway on Dear Author (Interview’s with Shauna Summers)
Don’t Feed Your Discount by Rachelle Gardner



Other Weekly Round-Ups

 The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This Week on Muse, Rant, Rave

Happy Reading & Writing, Everyone!

This Week in Favs…

Playing on the Zune:  Follow Me by Muse

Social Media and Author Websites

9 Amazing Blogs for Writers on Mythic Scribes

On the Craft

How to Keep Your Audience Interested by Writing Long-Term Story Arcs on Copyblogger

What Does It Really Take to Be a Die-Hard Writer? by Jody Hedlund

The Writing Toolbox on Thinking Through Our Fingers

5 Things a Writer Can Do to Evolve by Angela Ackerman on W.I.P. It

My Favorite Writing Advice – Write Like a Mother****er by Shelli Johnson

Choosing a Story Idea: 4 Questions Every Romance Writer Should Ask Themselves by Courtney Carpenter

When It’s Time to Let Go: Abandoning a Novel by Jordon McCollum

Writerly Inspiration

Inspiration and Costs by Scott Tracey

Ten Tips for Taking Time Off by Wendy Lawson

Living on the Edge of Confidence and Self-Doubt by Nathan Bransford

5 Ways to Deal With Failure by Rachelle Gardner

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

10 Crazy Things People Say to Writers on Fiction Notes

The More You Learn, The More You Realize You Have a Long Way to Go by Scott Eagan

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers by Keith Cronin

How Do We Handle Rejection and Keep on Pressing? by Kristen Lamb

Can Writers Reuse Their Own Work? by Jami Gold

What Genre Will be Red Hot in 2013? on Smexy Books Romance Reviews

10 Writing (and Life) Lessons I Learned From My Dog by Jenny Hansen

Perfecting the Query Letter Part 4 by Lynette Labelle

Are Ebooks Changing How We Write? by Kevin McLaughlin

How Do You Find a Literary Agent? by Rachelle Gardner

Gifts for Writers by Nephele Temptest

Five Tips to Determine If Your Manuscript is Ready to Send Out or “But My Mother Loves My Book…” on Where Writers Win

Fan Fiction to Published Book: A Case Study by Jami Gold

Tips for Greater Productivity, Part 2 by Annie Neugebauer

How to Ignore an Editor’s Suggestions and Still Fix Your Novel by Roz Morris

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

Just For Laughs:
Here’s one of the latest Simon’s Cat cartoons
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Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


This Week in Favs…

Playing on the Zune: Had Enough by Breaking Benjamin

Social Media and Author Websites

The Forest Gump Guide to Attracting Readers and Becoming a Legend by Stanford on Pushing Social

Hashtags to Connect With Readers on Fiction Notes

On the Craft

Knowledge is Power But Story is King by Mooderino

Creativity Advice from CRACKED.com by Mike Mullin

Could You Write the Next ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? on Write to Done

Adapting Story Structure for Any Project on The Bookshelf Muse

Writing the Heart of Your Story by Joanna Penn

Actions and Reactions: The End-All-Be-All of Storytelling by Jami Gold

The Secret To a Successful Concept by Larry Brooks

How to Write Smart, Not Fast on Write to Done

NaNo Wrap-up, Part 2: Can Slow Writers Win Too? by Jami Gold

Writerly Inspiration

NaNoWriMo Next Steps: Bringing Books to Life by Cate Russell-Cole

Healing Creative Injuries by Cate Russell-Cole

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

Procrastination: Don’t Put Off Dealing With It on The Writer’s Relief

21 Ways to Support Your Favorite Authors, Bloggers and Artists by Janet Boyer

The Fine Art of Conquering Impatience by C.S. Lakin

Why The End Isn’t The End by Tawna Fenske

Change is Not the Enemy on Writer Unboxed

The Victims of the Penguin & Random House Merger: Literary Agents by Ella Delany

From Debut to Multi-Published: What I’ve Learned In My 1st Year as a Published Author by Roni Loren

How to Survive a Critique by Marcy Kennedy

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This week on the blog:

 Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


This Week in Favs…

Playing on the Zune: The Kill (Bury Me) by Thirty Seconds to Mars

Social Media and Author Websites

Social Media and the Author by Lynda K. Scott

What Not to Blog About by Rachelle Gardner

What Does Your Online Activity Say About You? by Rachelle Gardner

How do I Balance Marketing and Writing by Chip MacGregor

Blogging – What’s the Point? by Marji Laine

10 Marketing Techniques That Annoy Potential Readers by Nathan Bransford

On the Craft

Writer’s Block – What Is It & How Can You Avoid It by Jim Denney

The Biggest Problem Facing the Beginning Novelist – And 6 Tips for Avoiding It by Anne R. Allen

Stay on Target: When is Subplot Leading You Astray? by Janice Hardy

Want to Be Read 100 Years From Now? Here’s How by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Series vs. Stand-Alone: What Should We Work on Next? by Jami Gold

Five Common First-Chapter Mistakes by Jody Hedlund

Writing Lessons Learned from JUST LISTEN by Julie Musil

Thesaurus Pros and Cons by Carolyn Kaufman

NaNo Check-In: Lessons from the Halfway Point by Jami Gold

Writerly Inspiration

Next Steps: How to ‘Do More’ with Your Writing by Sarah Baughman

9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier by Geoffrey James

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

How to Digitally Format Your Book on Where Writers Win

Love Your Book? Choose a Great Cover by August McLaughlin

ABC’s of Writing – (S)ubmissions Tell Us More than Simply About Your Book by Scott Eagan

Beware the Subtleties by Lynne Price

What to Do When Your Books Aren’t Anything by Jeffe Kennedy

Don’t Shrink from Synopses! by Laura Drake

Write Tip: Advice From the Slushpile – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Submitting Manuscripts by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Writerly Uses for Microsoft Excel – Part 1 by Jenny Hansen

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This week on the blog:


Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


This Week in Favs….

Playing on the Zune: You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing by Halestorm

Social Media and Author Websites

How to Use Google+ as an Author Platform on Write to Done

3 Social Media Myths that Can Cripple Our Author Platform by Kristen Lamb

Which is the Best Social Media for Connecting With Readers? by Jody Hedlund

Are Writers Too Insulated from Their Readers? guest post by Mike Duran on Rachelle Gardner’s blog

On the Craft

“When” Are You Telling? The Trouble with When Statements by Janice Hardy

In Storytelling, Emotion Trumps All by S.P. Sipal

Hiding in the Writing Closet: Good or Bad? by Jody Hedlund

Characters We Love to Write (and Read!) by Martina Boone

Who to Write Compelling Antagonists by K.M. Weiland

Three Commons Dialogue Challenges and How to Beat Them by Marcy Kennedy

Guest Author Paul Anthony Shortt: First Steps on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy

Writerly Inspiration

Why It’s Not the Critic Who Matters by Shelli Johnson

Life Lessons from the “Epic Road Trip” by Jami Gold

Losing Perspective on Your Writing: Does This Sing or Suck? by Roni Loren

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

Why I Signed With a Traditional Publisher by Livia Blackburne

Learning to Love the Pitch by Sara Pinneo

Manners Matter: 13 Etiquette Tips by Rachelle Gardner

Writer’s Roadmap – Using Excel to Keep Your Novel Organized by Laura Drake

Most New Authors Sell Fewer than 100 Books – But You Can Sell Much, Much More! on Write to Done

2 Ways Your Brain is Wired to Undermine Your Story – And What To Do About It by Lisa Cron

Write Strong – Is Your Dialogue Doing Double Duty? by Shannon Donnelly

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This week on the blog:


Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


This Week in Favs…

Playing on the Zune: Peace of Mind by Boston

Social Media and Author Websites

Is Blogging Important for Novelists Considering Self-Publishing? by Jody Hedlund

Should All Authors Blog? by Rachelle Gardner

On the Craft

Why It’s More Important Than Ever to Master Your Craft by Rachelle Gardner

Technical Tuesday Writing Tips Presents Outlining: Characters, Creating the Protagonist, Hir or Her Character Sketch and Backstory by Kim Cox

Add a Pinch – or a Pound – of Poetry to Your Prose by Janice Hardy

ABC’s of Writing – (L)ayering Adds Depth by Scott Eagan

9 Tips for Creating a Compelling Novel by Jody Hedlund
Structure Part 8 – Balancing the Scenes that Make Up Your Novel by Kristen Lamb
My Favorite Points of View – Guest Post by Bill Hopkins on Mystery Writing is Murder
When Not to Use Your Antagonist’s POV by K.M. Weiland
Always Write Terrible First Drafts by Carolyn Kaufman
Write Romance? Get Your Beat Sheet Here! by Jami Gold
How to Write Dialogue Unique to Your Characters by Marcy Kennedy

Writerly Inspiration

If You Write What You Know, Where Do You Get Ideas? by Roz Morris
9 Reasons to Quit Writing by Rachelle Gardner
Beginning at the End by Biljana Likic
21 Unexpected Places to Find Your Writer’s Muse on Write to Done

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

Some Things I Didn’t Know About Self-Publishing by Mhairi Simpson

Getting Your Book Noticed in Today’s Changing Marketplace by Stina Lendenblatt

Field Report From the E-Book Revolution #2 by James Scott Bell

Reason Why Your Non-Writer Friends Think You’re Crazy by Veronica Roth

About Copywriting Ideas and Titles on The Behler Blog
Should Authors Stalk Review Sites? by Jody Hedlund
Adventures in Editing: A Tale of Wonderment by Lydia Sharp
Do Publishers Need to Offer More Value to Authors? by Jane Friedman

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This week on the blog:

Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


This Week in Favs….

Playing on the Zune: Nada. Catchin’ up on some TV shows…finally!  ;0)

Social Media and Author Websites

Would Hemingway Blog? by Kristen Lamb

5 Top Tips for a Great Author Platform by Rachel Thompson

5 Simple But Powerful Tips for Building Your Blog’s Brand on Pushing Social

Politics, Religion, Social Media & How Great Writers Change the World by Kristen Lamb

On the Craft

Anatomy of a Best-Selling Novel – Structure Part One by Kristen Lamb

Writing Craft: How the Spunky Heroine Fights by Nadine Tomlinson

What Do I Look Like, a Protagonist? Describing Your First Personal Narrator by Janice Hardy

Cliffhangers for Unscrupulous Writers on Moody Writing

Write Tighter, Write Smarter by Ash Krafton on the QueryTracker.net blog

Just Say No to Melodrama, guest post by Becca Puglisi on the Putting Words Down on Paper blog

Breakaway Body Parts: Are Your Characters’ Body Parts Acting on Their Own? by Janice Hardy

Building Deep Conflict into Novel Structure on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing

Writerly Inspiration

Take These Broken Wings and Learn to Fly by Becca Puglisi on The Bookshelf Muse blog

Guilt-Free Creativity: Stop Kicking Yourself & Start Producing by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

Meeting a Troll… by Leo Traynor

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Writing Career by Janet Kobobel Grant on the Books & Such Literary Agency Blog

How to Give a Fair Critique by Ava Jae on Writability

If Your Are a Published Author, You Are a Public Figure – Watch What You Say in Public by Scott Eagan

Working With Our Publicist, guest post by Justine Dell on Seeing Creative

The New Adult Genre: Here to Stay This Time? by Roni Loren

Tips N Tricks: A Checklist for Self-Publishing by Susan Kaye Quinn

How Fake Reviews Hurt Everyone by Jami Gold

7 Steps to Writing an Author Business Plan by Susan Spann on the Writers in the Storm blog

What Should Newbie Writers Focus On? by Jami Gold

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This week on the blog:

Picture by Chalkboard Manifesto

Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


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