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Posts tagged “christine estima writer

Other-Worldly and Vaguely Threatening: Part 2

It seems like at least once a year, I do a photoshoot. A couple of times, it’s been for magazines, but mostly it’s for photog friends who think I give good face, as it were. My friend Graham Isador, who’s a fellow in many ways (we both do the thee-ahh-tah, we both do Live Storytelling, we both freelance the snot out of VICE), has taken up the fine art of photog’ing and we met up earlier this week on the West Toronto Rail Path to werrrrk, shashay, chantez.

Last year I said that, you know, since I’m a professional writer, I’m not interested in looking “pretty.” I want to look “other-worldly and vaguely threatening.” This shoot is kind of an extension of that idea.

But then Graham said I was “ridiculously photogenic” so of course I had to A) giggle like a twee dickhead, and B) tell all of you people.

Ah yes, one of my typewriters made an appearance. ‘Natch. Those things are my babies.

I like doing these fun little activities every once in a while considering that my daily life is super unglamorous. I spend eight hours a day banging away at my laptop, whilst still wearing yesterday’s yoga pants and rocking a mad case of boob sweat. So when this opportunity came up, I was like, “an excuse to pluck my unibrow and wear deodorant!”

But before you comment to say I look like a rain cloud of doom…..

 

Many thanks to Graham for these wonderful shots!

Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for more from my previous photoshoots and press coverage!

 

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Check out my latest #shortstory published in @PrismLitMag !

Discussion Questions for Your Book Club,” my most recent short story, has been published in the new summer issue of Prism International, a literary magazine based out of B.C., and you can find it on the bookshelves nationwide now. I found a copy at Type Books! You can also order your copy online if you don’t live in Canada or near a book seller!

Plotless fiction! Why I never! Type Books, I resent that!

There’s a funny story behind this. So I’ve been a huge fan of Prism for years and have been trying to crack into their pages for over a decade. EASILY over a decade. Over the past year, I noticed that when I submitted a piece to their fiction editor (who recently left the mag….sad face!), he would reply with awfully kind  and encouraging rejections. He was like, “I like this a lot. I can’t use it though. Submit to me again!”

So I kept submitting every time I had something new. And his replies were like, “Okay I laughed out loud at this, it’s hella-funny! Still can’t use it, but submit again!”

Personalized rejections are rare in this business, so I didn’t take his encouragement for granted. I kept trying and trying and trying. But, when you submit to magazines online using Submittable, you have to pay a small fee (which is standard across the board), so because I was submitting so much, he was like, “Your next submission is on me, just email it to me, and I’ll plug it into Submittable manually for you.”

Which was super duper kind of him, he didn’t have to do that at all. Anyway, it was that very free submission that turned out to be the winner. He got back to me and was like, “YAAS QUEEN.”

I’m paraphrasing of course.

But you get the idea.

TL;DR – Sure, talent is your most important asset, but you also need drive, ambition, patience, and persistence. If you don’t have those qualities, you won’t last. HUSTLE YOUR ASSES OFF, MY LITTLE CREATIVE MUNCHKINS.

One last thing I’ll say about this story — before I submitted it to Prism, I submitted it to Granta, a huuuuuuge literary magazine based out of the UK. They’re a big deal. They were doing a themed issue on Canada and were looking for Canadian writers and Canadian stories. The issue was edited by Canadian literary superstars Madeleine Thien and Catherine Leroux. Anyway, I got a rejection letter. Which is pretty standard in this industry, I get rejection letters all the time, and they’ve never bothered me. I’ve been lucky with some of the kind rejections I’ve received (like Prism!), but getting a personalized rejection is RARE. Like, it almost never happens. Boilerplate rejections are par for the course. So imagine my surprise when superstar Madeleine Thien added a personalized note at the bottom of the rejection letter!!

Sometimes, for a writer, all it takes is a little bit of encouragement and some nice words from a stranger to put you right again.

And almost directly following this, Prism was like, GURRRRRRL, this is dope. Done. Sold. Sign here.

Again. Paraphrasing.

Anyway, if you’ve read the story, I’d love your thoughts, comments, and feedback.

And as always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published stories, essays, interviews, plays, and more!


How Men Can Stop Street Harassment: my latest article in @VICE

Earlier this week I endured yet again an incident of street harassment. It happens almost every day. So much so, that it’s almost normalized as part of my daily routine. Get up, take a shower, grab a cuppa from Timmies, and tell some douchenozzle to go fuck himself.

This incident was different because a nice young couple came to my aid. I started thinking about all the ways men can be an ally to women to women when they observe street harassment. So many men, supposedly “nice guys,” will just ignore it and pretend it isn’t happening. BUT IT IS HAPPENING, and we need your support and solidarity.

Do you nice guys call out harassment when you see it? Or do you just stand there and watch whilst thinking about how nice you are?

So, with some encouragement from my editor, I wrote about it for VICE. Read it in full here. Enjoy!

And as always, you can visit the official Christine Estima dot com to read more of my published essays, op-eds, columns, short stories, travel writing, and much much more.



Listen to “Spray It, Don’t Say It” – my latest Spoken Word performance

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A couple weeks ago I performed a Spoken Word piece at The Spoke, a live storytelling event here in Toronto, which I blogged about here. The organizers recorded the audio of my piece for their podcast, and you can now listen to it here below! It deals with street art, graffiti, heartbeats, heartbreak, mourning, healing, hope…all the good stuff. Enjoy!

My Soundcloud also has other audio clips from some of my previous Spoken Word performances, so please check it out!

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Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more on my Spoken Word performances, my published articles, essays, short stories, and more!

 


“I’m On My Knees But I’m Not Praying”: my latest short story published in Matrix Magazine

FAIR WARNING this is a rather racy story that deal with some full-on topics. For the record, I’m not trying to say anything about the political issues associated with the themes in this story, I’m just exploring an idea and seeing where it goes. This piece is more about complicated emotions and feelings that are in direct conflict with each other, rather than the politicizing of bodies.

Also, creative writing is rarely sensical haha.

You can read this piece in full online right now and it will also appear in print soon, and I will of course update you when that happens! Enjoy at your own discretion, my munchkins.

 

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A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to perform some of my Spoken Word/Live Storytelling at The Spoke.*

The theme of this night was Heartbeats, so I figured I could speak for 5-10 minutes about that!

I was the first storyteller of the night and it went very well. People came up to me afterwards to hold my hand and tell me they enjoyed my lovely little story. It’s so great connecting with people by just telling some of the fubar stories from my clusterfuck life, haha.


It was such a great night and I’m grateful to the organizers for asking me to participate. They recorded audio of the night so as soon as I have that, I will share it with you. It may also appear on their curated podcast soon.

Speaking of which, if you visit my Soundcloud, you can hear in their entirety some of the audio from my previous Spoken Word performances. I also have on there an Ambient Playlist that I’ve specially curated that is becoming quite popular on there. It’s a great playlist for writing and doing creative endeavours.

Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works that you can read in full, and also all of the media attention and press my work has garnered!

*fanks to Caron for the pics!


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You Will Lose All Your Friends in your 30s: my latest @VICE essay

I’ve had an absolute bonkers week (more on that in a sec) so I’m slow to report that earlier this week, my latest misanthropic, bitchy essay was published in VICE. Once you get on the wrong side of 30, it’s like a plague of locusts descends upon your friendships. You better lock up your besties and buddies in your basement now and make sure they can’t chisel their way out, because your 30s are a barren wasteland.

So, uh, enjoy?

Enjoy!

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The reason this week has been absolutely bonkers is because I took part in an indie theatre fest called Operation 24! Run by Parkdale theatre darlings Unit 102, Operation 24 is a 24-hour theatre challenge where plays are written, rehearsed and performed professionally all within 24 hours! “Each writer stays up until the wee hours of the morning to craft a ten-minute play. The actors and directors take that play and rehearse it all day, preparing to show it to you, our audience at 8pm the next night. 24 hours from beginning to end resulting in a dynamite night of theatre.” As you may have guessed, I was one of the writers!

At 8pm on Tuesday night, each playwright started writing a 10 minute play on our own. After LOTS of coffee and pizza, I finished my play around 3am. I sent it to my director and two actors around 3:30am and was absolutely wrecked.


Some of the other playwrights finished around 5am (and one completely rewrote his play at 7am!). At 10am, the director and actors began to rehearse. Then at 8pm and 10pm, the actors nailed 2 performances of it, memorized, staged, blocked, cued, costumed, and lit!!

It was an absolutely thrilling and brilliant experience. Longtime readers of this blog know that in my past life I was a playwright with quite a few productions under my belt, but this was the first time something of mine had been staged since 2010. I had such a great (albeit sleep-deprived) time and I’d definitely do it again, and recommend it to all the playwrights, directors, and actors in Toronto who want a challenge!

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my theatrical productions, performances, and more!

 

 


Check me out on @CBC’s show Podcast Playlist!

Last year I performed at GRTTWaK, reading an entry from my 1996 diary which was hilarious and cringeworthy at the same time. It was a great experience where I ended up being included on GRTTWaK’s curated podcast. Well, the CBC show Podcast Playlist got wind of my performance and included it in this week’s edition, “As Seen On TV!”

 

If you want to give’r a listen, click here and fast forward to time index 48:00!

And if you want to watch this performance in full, including me trying to stifle a giggle as the audience laughs, you can watch it below!

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Last week I mentioned that I’d be reading at the Toronto launch of Room Magazine’s 40th Anniversary Anthology. Well it went great! A lot of people in the Canadian literary community showed up and I got to talk books, creativity, and the business with some incredibly talented and accomplished peers!

I’m so pleased that they included me in the anthology. There are more good things like this to come, things are happening and it’s all very exciting. I love being a writer, espesh a respected member of the Can. Lit. community!

As always, don’t forget to visit the official Christine Estima dot com to check out all of my published works, and all of the media attention I’ve garnered!



The #friendzone & dudebros: my latest essay in @Vice

So this is a funny story. Last week I got into a Twitter spat with some jabroni who was going on about the “friend zone.” I was frankly shocked to see it coming from a so-called “gentleman,” (he uses that word in his twitter handle like all gentlemen do, ‘natch) because in the circles I run in, using that term is a laughable offence. Forgot that there actually are people who think that’s a perfectly acceptable term (and the word for those people is ‘nimrod’).

In any case, one of the staff writers at VICE saw my tweets and told me I should definitely turn this into a piece.

See? NEVER SHY AWAY FROM HAVING FIGHTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

I WILL HAVE ALL THE FIGHTS WITH STRANGERS ON THE INTERNETZZZZZZZ.

Kidding! (Not kidding)

Click here to read the piece in full.

As always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published essays, stories, travel writing, interviews, and more.

 

 


Watch my super short documentary on Sweden!

As many subscribers to my YouTube channel already know, I like to make short documentaries about my travel adventures. I’ve made really popular short and snappy films about Peru, Thailand & Cambodia, Mexico, Guatemala & Belize, India, and even places closer to home like Montreal and New York.

In any case, seeing as how I just spent a few weeks in Sweden, I thought I might try to capture the essence of Swedish metropolitan culture and blend it with my personal journey there to find simple joys and pleasures in unlikely places.

This is the result! A very short and quick watch. Only 2  minutes and 45 seconds. It will take you longer to finish a cup of coffee.

It kinda plays like SWEDEN! THE MUSICAL haha. I guess I just like making creative, visual pieces out of things that happen in my life. Enjoy!

I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. Especially since it took me 12 straight hours to edit less than 3 minutes worth of film. How do professionals do this?

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my short documentaries, my published works, my TV interviews, and more!

 


Travelling While Woman: Check out my latest essay in @vicecanada

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Travel for women is never simple, espesh when you require reproductive health care on the road. That’s the topic of my latest essay for VICE. Solo women travelers always need to plan for incidentals that men need not – whether it’s what we can wear in any given country, to what kind of health care we can access – and many times these services are priced beyond our budget, not covered by insurance, and require extreme measures.

Click the above image or here to read.

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com to read all of my previous essays for VICE and many other magazines, newspapers, and journals. TO THE TYPEWRITERS!

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The Lovertine: Watch my TV interview on TFO!

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Life is strange and unpredictable. You never know what’s coming for ya. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. A few months ago, you’ll remember I was interviewed and photographed for a Toronto Life feature , which itself was a lot of fun. Well, more people saw that interview than I bargained for.

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I was contacted by the good folks over at TFO 24.7, the Franco-Ontarian TV station here in Canada.  They noticed that I speak French, and that many of my love letters are in French, and they asked if they could come over and film me for a Valentine’s Day segment.

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They came over and interviewed me for 5 hours. The finished TV segment is less than 4 minutes, it’s a lot of work that goes into making a mere 4 minutes!  They filmed me in my bedroom here in Toronto, which I have decorated with the letters, old photographs, antique furniture and typewriters, and then they filmed me at an antique shop and a café.

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I really like the way this came out. The music they use is super sweet and it makes my 9 x 15 bedroom look much larger than it actually is! I’m also a little embarrassed, just because this is my bedroom and I’m inviting all of you strangers into my tiny little corner of the world, but hey…. I WOULD DOOOOO ANYTHING FOR LOVVVVVVVE. Har har.

 

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I think this is my favourite shot in the entire segment.

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Anyway, watch the entire segment below! It’s in French, of course, but you will probably still get the gist of it even if you don’t speak French. Enjoy! Savourez-le!


Video: Watch me perform @RaconteursTO!

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Recently I performed at Raconteurs, a live storytelling event that happens monthly here in Toronto. I’ve performed at Raconteurs before, and as many of you know, lots of other Spoken Word events around the world like The Moth, Spark London, GRTTWaK, and Pressgang. I feel like these events bridge a nice gap between writing and performance. I don’t like to act much, I prefer to be vulnerable on the page, rather than on the stage, but Spoken Word and Live Storytelling are a nice way to meld the two.

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I told a story about trying to become the Canadian Amélie with a little help from the Bunz Trading Zone. It’s a crazy story of trying to connect with other people — complete strangers, really — and all the foibles and follies therein. You can watch it below! Enjoy!

In this new year, I have lots of things on my plate! So many upcoming publications, performances, and more! I can’t wait to share the news with you. Even though 2016 was a dumpster fire for everyone, I made some huge advances in my career and I’m so pleased with the direction in which everything is going. Small positive steps everyday lead to big things!

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Also, I have a new adventure on the horizon! On Valentine’s Day, I head to Helsingborg, Sweden for the first time! I’ve never been (even though I lived in Europe for years and years), so when a housesitting opportunity arose, so I had to take it. After Sweden, I’ll be swinging through London, Brussels, and Amsterdam to visit my friends (and celebrate my birfday! What a crazy 3 weeks this is going to be….), so if you’re in Helsingborg and want to show this wee Canadian lass around, hit me up!

As always, don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot CALM (har har) to read all of my published articles, watch my performances, and check out my media coverage.

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Check me out in Toronto Life!

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Recently, Toronto Life, an upmarket magazine here in the 6ix, asked if they could come over to my place and interview and photograph me for a series they’re doing on people who collect weird/wonderful things. So naturally my large collection of old love letters and photographs that I bought form European flea markets had to go into the fold. If you’re a longtime reader of ye olde’ blog, you know all about my flea-marketing-proclivities. This old post from 3 years ago details one of the very first love letters I ever bought at a European flea market. I’ve also sold an article to VICE about the things I collect from flea markets.

Anyway, I really like the write-up they’ve done here on me and the pictures turned out great! Click on the image above or click here to read the article in full!

And don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for all of the press coverage I have received over the years, I’ve been featured in everything from CBC Newsworld, The Toronto Star, BBC Radio, and more! Click this image!NewWEbSite!


Check out my @VICE interview with #TIFF16 film director Alice Lowe

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The Toronto International Film Festival was amazing this year, I saw so many films (as documented by this round-up I wrote for VICE last week), and the fest is always such an electric time to be on the streets of Toronto. Everything is alive.

Speaking of life, the film PREVENGE is about a pregnant woman whose fetus tells her to kill people. So OF COURSE I had to interview the director/writer/performer Alice Lowe. Check out what she had to tell me about women in the film industry and pregnancy stigmas over here on VICE.

Fun fact: I had first seen Alice Lowe in an episode of Sherlock (season 3 episode “Sign of Three“) and the whole time we were talking, her voice was just reminding me of one of her lines from Sherlock, “A GHOST, MR HOLMES!” and then a drunk Watson saying to her, “He’s clueing for looks.”

I am a gigantic nerd.

Check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my VICE essays and articles, and much more.

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Check out my latest @VICE piece on #TIFF16 vs The Bechdel Test

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It’s TIFF time already and time for me to review a whole bunch of woman-hating films so you don’t have to. Last year I reviewed TIFF films that portray fierce women in leading roles, now it’s time to review the films that can’t even pass a simple test like The Bechdel Test. Read and enjoy! (or hate it, I don’t care, I’m just a blog).

Don’t forget to check out all my VICE articles, and all my many other publications, at the official Christine Estima dot com!

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Otherworldly and Vaguely-Threatening

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A couple months ago, I was asked by a longtime photographer collaborator friend of mine to pose for some thematic photographs. We had previously worked together in 2012 for a street art photo series, and last year for a typewriter-beach series, and it’s always nice to work with someone who you’re comfortable with and trust. I like to call this series, “I don’t want to look pretty, I want to look otherworldly and vaguely-threatening,” à la Sue Edworthy.

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I’m not much of a model, if I’m being honest. I can’t say I’m 100% comfortable being in front of a camera. Modelling, despite the hubris and vanity involved, also requires a large degree of vulnerability. I prefer to be vulnerable in my writing and leave everything I have out on the page, not on the stage. Even PP, whom I’m super comfortable with, noticed me squirming and scrunching up my face at the idea of revealing too much of myself. I didn’t have that many inhibitions in my 20s, but now that I’m mid-30s, I’m just not interested in giving all of myself away. You want to see all of me? You gotta earn it.

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I think these photographs are provocative, but also tasteful. That’s also a balance I try to strike in my writing, so as a writer, I can live with these shots 😉

Also, I did all my own hair and makeup. I even put on the fake eyelashes myself! I think I’m ready for my Ph.D. in astrophysics now. Yeesh.

 are you actually reading these things?

Make sure you follow Preacher_photography on Instagram. He has some super cool photo series in there where he works with actual models who know their shit, and not hacks like me, har har har.

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Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for all of my recent publications, performances…. annnnnnnd maybe a few photos.

 


Red Shoe Diaries: watch my @GRTTWaK live performance! #GRTTWaK

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Last week I was fortunate enough to perform at Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids, which is exactly what it sounds like. Diaries, letters, poems, stories, you name it… if it’s cringeworthy or bittersweet, they want it. And lemme tell ya, I GOTS IT. I read a diary entry from 20 years ago, written after I had just seen the soft-core film Red Shoe Diaries and it had blowwwwn my miiiiiind, maaaaaan. What followed can only be described as a brainjaculation.

You can watch my cringeworthy reading below. I hope you enjoy what a ding-dong I am.

Also, I just got word from the show’s producers that my reading has been included in their podcast! You can subscribe to their podcast on iTunes (like I have been for months!). But if not, you can listen to my specific episode here and fast forward to time index 20:30.

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As many of you know, I have performed at a lot of live storytelling/Spoken Word events, and I really love doing it. It blends my two favourite things in life: storytelling, and being a ham. I’ve performed at The Moth in NYC (watch my performance here), Spark London in the UK (watch here), and Raconteurs (watchy watch). Each time it’s different and new and ephemeral, so I highly recommend you come out to an event if you haven’t already. This GRTTWaK event was SOLD OUT and packed, which made for such a great atmosphere on stage!

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Shout out to Dan and Jenna for having me! And expect more live-storytelling performances in the future.

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my live performances and publications and more.

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Read my #TravelWriting piece in The Globe and Mail @tgamtravel #Travel section

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Two essays published in one week? I feel pretty spoiled. Head over to the Life-Travel section of The Globe and Mail (a national newspaper here in Canada) and read my piece about chasing the lost art of the Viennese Ex Libris! It’s online today, and will be published in the print edition tomorrow (Saturday, June 18, 2016). I will update this post once I have the actual thing in my painted-fingernail’d-hands.

Edit! Turn to page 5 of the Travel section!

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This has been in the works for a while and I’m super proud of how it all turned out. Working with the peeps over at G&M was really positive and I’m glad this went from pitch to published in a relatively short turnaround.  Read the piece by clicking here or the photographs!

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I’ve been really lucky over the past few years with how many editors and publications are willing to take me on, and who support my voice and writing style. Hopefully that can continue! Already, I have a few more publications that I’ve sold, slated for later this year, so when they come out, expect me to BLOG IT LIKE IT’S HOT.

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com. It’s got all my published works up there for you to read over a cuppa and a slice of cake. Enjoy!

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