Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday's Minute Challenge {+Giveaway winner!}

A quick writing challenge (and contest) to help get your creative juices flowing for the new week.

  1. The entry must be between 150 - 300 words. Otherwise, your entry will not be accepted. (In order to see how many words your entry is, write it in Microsoft Word, or you can copy and paste it here.)
  2. The deadline for the contest will be the following Friday. 
  3. You do not have to be a teen to enter the contest.
  4. The same person cannot win first place two weeks in a row. (Some exceptions may apply.)
  5. If there is at least 5 entries, the panel of judges will select a 2nd and 1st place. If there is at least 10 entries, the judges will select a 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place. However, if there is under 5 entries, the panel of judges will only select one winner.
  6. If there are at least 10 entries, there will be a few Honorable Recognitions, which are the next highest winners. They will receive a badge, as well as 3 points.
  7. The winners will receive a badge for their blog, as well as extra points (see the point system below).
  8. The winner will be chosen based on the judges's preferences, as well as the following questions: Does this entry capture my attention immediately? Does it make me want to continue reading? Is the writing clear? They will also take into consideration the writer's voice and style--not necessarily technical issues, such as grammar, punctuation, etc. 
  9. If you have entered at least 3 contests and have yet to place, send me an email and I will be happy to give you a critique of your last entry, which will include tips and suggestions.
  10. This is only for fun and to stretch your writing muscles--not necessarily to be taken too seriously. =)


More prizes to come!
  • 30 points: You will be able to create your own prompt that will be used in Monday's Minute Challenge!
  • 40 points: You will receive a critique based on your current week's entry.
  • 50 points: You will receive a free blog critique and helpful suggestions.
  • 70 points: You will receive an 700 word critique on your novel, short story, article, etc.
  • 80 points: You can help judge one of the contests!
  • 90 points: You will receive two weeks free in my Write Now Mentoring Program!
  • 100 points: You will receive a free ebook of PURPLE MOON. =)
  • 150 points: You will receive a personalized handmade notepad. 
Earning Points:
  • 20 points: If you sign up for a month of my Write Now Mentoring Program!
  • 5 points: If you post a review of Purple Moon on Amazon and/or Goodreads. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 5 points: If you join the Purple Moon Publicity Group on Facebook. (You will have the chance to participate in monthly giveaways!)
  • 3 points: If you cast your vote! (See the end of this post.)
  • 3 points: If you post your entry on your blog, linking back to this post
  • 3 points: If your writing prompt is selected for Monday's Minute Challenge.
  • 2 points: If you post a tweet about Monday's Minute Challenge, with hashtag #MondaysMinute (You may tweet more than once in a week, however the points will only count for one tweet.)
  • 2 points: If you follow this blog via Google Friend Connect. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: If you "like" my Facebook page. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: If you follow my Twitter account(Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: Become a "fan" of me on Goodreads. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 2 points: Follow me on Pinterest. (Let me know in the comments if you do!)
  • 10 points: If you win 1st place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 7 points: If you win 2nd place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 5 points: If you win 3rd place in the writing prompt contest.
  • 3 points: You receive an Honorable Recognition. 
Points Tracker:
  • Angela: 13
  • Anna: 44
  • Armina: 34
  • Benj. Evans: 40
  • Brittney: 3
  • Brooke: 15
  • CeCe: 28
  • Elisabeth: 72
  • Emily F: 25
  • Evan: 10
  • FlyGirl: 24
  • Funto: 9
  • His Princess: 100
  • Jacqueline: 59
  • Jillian: 10
  • Kaira Anne: 45
  • Kaley: 2
  • Karina: 23
  • Katheline: 16
  • Kaity: 3
  • Katie: 67
  • Kendra: 53
  • Lottie Le: 29
  • Maddie J: 5
  • Mary B: 115
  • Marsh: 20
  • Rcubed: 72
  • Rebekah B: 53
  • Russian Pianist: 38
  • Sarah: 111
  • S. Brightly: 97
  • Sofia Marie: 11
  • Tara T: 98
  • TW Wright: 160
*Points are updated every Monday.
*When you request to use your points for a prize, the points you use will be taken away from your total. In other words, when you reach 30 points, you can claim the prize for 30 points--but it will cost you all of your points. Or you can continue to try and earn points so you can claim a bigger prize.


If you have entered at least 3 contests and have yet to win, please send me an email and I will be happy to give you a critique of your last entry and offer suggestions.

The judge panel chooses these winners based on a point system (not to be confused with the point system mentioned above!) 

Thanks so much to everyone who voted! It helps the judge panel tremendously.

Please don't discouraged if you have yet to place (or haven't in a few weeks). The competition becomes more and more tough each week, but the judges still think every one of your entries are impressive. 

Remember: The more times you enter, the more chances you have of winning. So keep it up!

Also: A blog post will soon be posted on how to strengthen your writing and increase your chances of winning. =)

(Keep in mind that the judges are not aware of which entry belongs to which participant until after the judging is complete.)

The entries that the judges thought was the most intriguing (based on rule #4) is ... 

Third place winner: 

Devin walked through the woods, careful not to make a sound. He had always been afraid of dark, cramped, spaces because he always felt like someone was watching him from the shadows. Now he could think of nowhere else that would give him more anxiety than this place. Devin was in a forest in the middle of the night. He could hear night creatures all around him, wolves howling in the distance, owls hunting their prey, and a badger snuffling in the underbrush. But what made the chills run up his spine was the fact that this particular forest was a common place for criminals to hide, and a murder had recently been committed in a village nearby.Now it was Devin’s job to find out if this assassin had chosen to use this forest as his hiding spot, and if he had any accomplices. Devin could think of a whole list of people who would be better suited for his job, but he had been chosen. ‘Why did I accept?’ Devin wondered. ‘I could’ve said no!’ But something inside him told Devin that if he could go back in time he would still accept the offer. There was an annoying curiosity that bubbled up inside of him whenever the smallest mystery or adventure occurred.A branch cracked behind him. He whirled around but there was nothing there. Or was there? Devin caught a glimpse of something moving in the shadows. He turned in that direction, but before he could examine the area; something hit the back of his head and he knew no more. 

Congratulations, Armina! Click here for your badge. =)

Second place winner: 

He glanced at the water, which served as a mirror as it darkly reflected his face. It was growing light out and it would be impossible to hide his identity forever.
But, first, he had to get to the regiment, unless Ansel had already been killed. That would be nice. Convenient. But it wouldn’t be right. Certainly, Ansel had to be killed one way or another. He wouldn’t complain how it was done. But if he could choose, he’d do it himself. He should be the one.
That whole year, he had been waiting for the moment. It didn’t feel like it was really happening. It was surreal. It was too good to be true. It was too easy. He was so, so close to his goal. His cousin, dead or alive, was somewhere within a mile from him.
He must have overlooked something. There must be a catch. But the only thing he could think of was the crowd of soldiers between them.
He took a deep breath. There was no use waiting any longer. Sound or not, it was the best plan he had and he didn’t want to get trapped here.
He drew the key out of his pocket and turned the lock. The little door opened easily.
He squeezed through the entrance and stared. Ten soldiers stared back at him.
Congratulations, TaraClick here for your badge. =)

First place winner: 

A branch cracked behind me. I whirled around but there was nothing there. I frowned, it would have to be something big to make such a loud crack-a rabbit or squirrel wasn't big enough. A bear was too big. It could've been a wolf. Or a human. A hand shot out of the bushes and grabbed me by the arm, twisting it painfully. Definitely a human then. I cried out in pain and heard a dry laugh that sent shivers down my spine, not one of genuine amusement. I bit my lip to keep from crying out again. A wave of nausea made my knees buckle and the last thing I knew was a thud as fell, facedown in the earth.

I woke with a throbbing headache. My eyes felt dry and sandy and I tried to rub them a futile action since my arms and legs were tied. It was dark out and the men were sleeping-all with warm blankets to wrap themselves in, I thought bitterly. The ropes were tight enough to completely cut off circulation and I certainly couldn't get free of my bonds, I looked up and saw one of the faerie folk. She didn't say anything, just loosened my bonds and dropped a silver key into my lap. I nodded my thanks and opened my mouth to thank her, but she put her finger to her lips and disappeared in a flash. The key caught the light and I saw that there was an engraving on it. "Key of Hope" I turned it over, "Key of Death" the next words made me gasp in horror, "Hail Queen Ivory Moonstone, Mirror of destruction." my own name, Queen Ivory Moonstone. With a small cry I ran to the forest, unfallen tears blinding me.
Congratulations, Kendra! Click here for your badge. =)

Honorable Recognitions

These winners will receive a badge, as well as 3 extra points:
  1. Rcubed
  2. Flygirl
  3. Sofia
Congratulations! Click here for your badge. =)

Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

  • Submit your response in the comments below. 
  • Your response should range between 150 - 300 words. 
  • The deadline for the contest will be this Friday. 
  • Let me know which prompt you have chosen.
  • If you'd rather not submit your post in the comments, you may email it to me instead.

Important Update
{+Giveaway Winner!}

I am so sorry to say this, but due to my schedule this summer, I am having to change the schedule of Monday's Minute Challenge to every other week. But as a thank you, I held a giveaway two weeks ago for the participants of Monday's Minute Challenge. 

Pin this!
The winner of this giveaway will receive:
  • A signed copy of my YA novel, Purple Moon
  • Girl Talk by Nicole O'Dell
  • A writing craft book, Firsts in Fiction by Aaron Gansky 

And the winner is . . . 

Congratulations, Armina! =)
Thanks to everyone who entered!


1) Your response should range between 150 - 300 words, otherwise it will not be accepted. (Copy and paste your entry here to count the words, or you could write it on Microsoft Word.)
2) The deadline for the contest is this Friday.

Choose at least one:

Note: You can always combine the prompts into one entry.
  • (Optional) Write a passage continuing your entry from last week week (or whichever week you'd prefer). If you can, try to continue it using one of the following prompts.
  • Write a passage using these items: satchel, boots, rock (submitted by S. Brightly)
  • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Kendra)
  • Write a passage incorporating this phrase: He knew if he looked back it would only make it worse, but he couldn't help himself. He looked back. (submitted by Armina)

Submit your prompt idea!:

The prompts that are used for Monday's Minute Challenge are submitted by the participants. Here's how this works:
  • You will be able to submit 3 prompts each week in the same format as above: three objects, one picture, and a piece of dialogue or phrase.
  • On Mondays, I will choose 3 prompts that have been submitted by 3 different people.
  • If your prompt is selected, you will receive 3 points!
  • You may submit in the comments below, Monday through Sunday.

Cast Your Vote!

Here's how it works:
  • You can vote for 3 entries per week, but you may not vote for yourself.
  • You can only click "submit" once per week, so be sure to wait until you have selected your top 3 entries before casting your vote.
  • Please do not vote until at least 7 entries have been submitted. (If you do before then, your vote will not count.)
  • Only the participants of Monday's Minute Challenge may vote.
  • Voting will only take place from Monday - Thursday.
  • We will choose the 3 people with the highest amount of votes, then select another 3 or 4 that we think deserve to win as well.
  • From those 6 or 7 entries, we will then select the winners (including the Honorable Recognitions.)

You will also receive 3 points for voting. So when you are done, please post a comment below saying that you have casted your vote.  

To vote, please enter the names of the 1 - 3 writers you are voting for below (or click here instead):

Current Judge Panel:

  • Tessa Emily Hall (me)
  • Kate Petty
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  1. Congratulations to all the winners! And congrats Armina on winning the giveaway! I used the sentence prompt. I am also continuing one that I did a few weeks ago.

    My word count is 212.

    I knew if I looked back it would only make it worse, but I couldn't help myself. I looked back, watching the flames lick through the windows of my beloved palace. I bent down, hugging my horse. It felt like time had stopped as I watched the stone char and the surrounding buildings being engulfed in flames. The wind picked up and sparks started to fly to the surrounding trees. I clicked to Moon and she took off at a gallop. We crested a ridge and I stopped. It was far enough from the flames but not too far as I could watch Ky and Lissie ride in the opposite direction. I felt a drop of water hit my hand and I wiped my eyes. I hadn't even known I was crying. To the east was the castle, an inferno no one could stop. To the left was the wharf, a breezy seashore village. According to Ky, his cousin Jayne should be there. And so, against my better judgement, I turned from my sister, from Ky, from my home, and started towards the village of Hinder. It would be a few days until I got there, but I had to go. I had to live. I had to see my sister again.


  2. Wow! First place! Congratulations Armina and Tara! Here is my entry. I used the sentence prompt and the picture prompt.

    My eyes filled with tears. Tears of sympathy. Tears of anger. Tears of jealously. But most of all, tears of pent up grief. Grief that I had never let go of; that I was still hanging onto because it felt like my last connection to her. My mother, my closest friend, the one I told all my secrets. Gone. Why did my father have to leave too? He said he'd gone because of work, but I knew that it wasn't true. I knew he left because of me, I reminded him of her. He'd said it many times, "Sadie" he would say sorrowfully, "You look just like your mother, and act like her too." I'd thought that it was a good connection, evidently I was wrong. If I didn't look like her he would still be here. Father had left that morning, just his boots and a satchel. He had known if he looked back it would only make it worse, but he couldn't help himself. He'd looked back. Then he'd turned, and walked down the road stirring up the dust. I'd watched him pick up a rock and place it in a satchel. I couldn't see it clearly but I knew it was blue and white, my mother's favorite colors. Fitting, that she died in a river, I'd thought when I first heard the news that she'd died. But later I learned that the river had denied me even that one small comfort. The river was grey and brown. So was my life, grey, brown, smudged, dirty, just like the river. The river that had killed my mother and taken away my father. That was why the tears ran. Tears of what I felt was righteous anger. At the river. And at my father.

    1. These are my prompts:

      Sentence: Telling a lie and letting them live in blissful ignorance of what I'd done, or letting them hear the truth, terrible though it was, which should it be?

      Three Words: knitting needle, mailbox, paper hat

  3. Congrats winners!
    I did the three object prompt: satchel, boots, rock. It's 234 words.

    Sam and I step off the town road and he points into the distance. “There. That’s The Lonely Mountain. That’s where we need to go.” I squint to see bitter. “The dragon is there, eh?” “Smaug.” Sam nods and plays with the strap of his satchel. “And all the gold, eh?” He groans. “Stop asking questions. We’ll get to the gold when we need to. The dragon is more important.” I shrug. It is his story. Let him decide. “First we’ll go to Rivendell. That’s over there, see?” He points to the left. “But ain’t that the town’s creek?” “Oh, hush.” Sam looks me up and down. He is not only two years older but a foot taller as well. I cringe. “Couldn’t you get better boots?” he asks. “The trip is a long one.” I look at my ripped up boots. “I don’t have any.” “Oh, never mind then.” He fingers the satchel’s strap again. I wonder what he has in it. Everything we’ll need, I'm guessing. The lad’s far-looking enough. “So, let’s be off then.” Sam steps out into the field toward Rivendell. I look back for a moment. “We’ll be home for supper, I s’pose?” “Maybe” he kicks a rock out of his path and goes on. “I s’pose Ma won’t be about worrying” I mutter as I follow Sam. If only either of us knew what we were getting into.

    1. Nice! I really like the Lord Of The Rings/Hobbit aspect. :)


  4. My prompts:
    Sentence: If only he would have said "no" to that offer. It would all be so different. But he had said "yes".
    Objects: banana, ocean, friend

  5. Blarney! I missed the giveaway

  6. I used the picture prompt.
    “Kayla,” he screamed. I hated it when people called me the toned down Kayla. My name was Mikayla. I'd picked it on a whim, but many of my non rebel friends found it too wild. Of course, he was the only one of my non rebel friends that called me that and not Cora—my original name.

    But I should probably go find him. I strode leisurely down the countryside where and old brick building.

    I couldn't see Jaxon, and I quickened my pace. There he was, lying completely still in a stream. I couldn't sob, but feared the worst, running towards him. He didn't move. Matted hair covered his eyes—matted with blood.

    I knelt down beside him, and tried to feel a pulse, but there was nothing. He was dead. I turned around, just in time to see the navy jacket one that matched my own lying on the ground besides him. He wasn't just dead, it was my friends who killed him.

    I pushed my green hair, now matted with dirt, sweat, and blood out of my face and let out a long scream, not caring that I might be heard. Only then did I notice the paper boat, slowly traveling downstream.

  7. And here are my prompts.

    Write a passage based on this picture:

    Write a passage using these items: Time machine, lamp, purse.

    Write a passage incorporating this phrase: Today seemed eerily similar to the day that had changed her life forever.

    1. You'd better continue this or else! :)

  8. I'm using the sentence prompt this week and it's 248 words long.

    He knew if he looked back it would only make it worse, but he couldn't help himself. He looked back. Anger and pain coming back like a bitter friend. He stared blankly at what looked like an empty field now. He walked towards the remains of what had been a little town in the middle of nowhere, where his mother and father had raised him, his two brothers, and his sister. He walked through what had once been Main street, rounding the corner to where his small farmhouse had been.

    He looked through the remains for anything that might have survived. As he walked over the planks of wood that would have been a small staircase to the loft, something fell. He spun around to see his sister's diary lying beside one of the planks. He picked it up, brushing off the ashes and opening it to the last pages. It read:

    "May 15th, 1849

    "Dear diary,

    "Today will be one of the most difficult days of my life. But I know I have to do what I'm going to do, and that someday people will understand it was for the good. And-"

    He flipped frantically through the remaining pages, hoping that the rest of the torn page would be somewhere among them. He sighed, for the rest of the page was nowhere to be found. He placed the diary in his bag and hopped onto his horse, looking back one more time before he galloped away.

    Sentence prompt: It was worse than anything she could have imagined he would do. So why had he done it?

    Object prompt: Brush, mirror, pan

    Picture prompt:

  9. Congrats winners (this week and giveaway!)!! You're entries were fantastic! :)
    Here is the link to this week's entry:

    Picture Prompt:
    Quote Prompt:
    Object Prompt: Scissors, city, water

    TW Wright

    1. Fascinating! My character for Monday Minutes this week will probably become a character in my story.

  10. Here's my entry:
    In Christ,

  11. I'm using the objects prompt! 191 words long.

    I walked happily down the path, knowing that nothing could possibly ruin this perfect day. My thoughts were interrupted by someone calling my name.


    I turned around. There was a young man standing there that looked to be about my age, but I had never seen him before. He stopped by a rock and put some sort of bag on it. He looked behind him and then started running. "Laura, the satchel!" he called.

    I grabbed the satchel off the rock and put it over my shoulder, wondering how he knew my name. I had never met him before. I heard some sort of noise behind me and turned around, seeing men on horses galloping towards me. I dove into the woods to hide, spying from behind some bushes. I spied until they were out of sight. I was so confused. As far as I knew, nobody in my family knew the strange man. I turned around to make my getaway and gasped. A man stood there. I stared down at his boots for a minute before looking up. He wore an evil grin and reached for his sword.

    Objects prompt: Castle, friend, diary

    Sentence prompt: I didn't want to tell her, but I knew I had to. So what was I supposed to do now?

    Picture prompt:

  12. Great job everyone! My entry is 283 words and I used the picture prompt.

    The thrum of voices buzzed around me as I lifted the yellow tape and walked under. The heavy clouds threatened a downpour and the already wet grass was slippery under my feet. I looked down at the victim dead in the creak and turned away. As many times as I had been on a case I had never gotten used to looking death in the face. It was always worst when it was a child and this kid couldn’t be more than fifteen.

    The Detective Sergeant stepped up next to me. “Well, give me the details.” I said.
    “Kevin Troy, fifteen years old, found like this by a couple of girls.”
    “Time of death?”
    “Less than 24 hours. We haven’t got an exact time yet.”
    “Any idea what connection he had to this place?”
    “He was one of the students here.”
    I turned to look at the stately building on top of the hill. It was one of those posh schools where the rich folks sent their kids so they wouldn’t have to bother with them.

    My eye caught the movement of a small paper boat bobbing on the water. Donning my rubber gloves I picked it up to investigate and the wet paper fell away to expose a vile with a slip of paper inside.

    Beware of the small things that become great
    The seed of bitterness that turns to hate
    Beware the thorn the pricks the flesh
    The smallest things can end in death

    I let out a low whistle. “Sergeant, take a look at this.” He came over and read the dark prediction.
    “What does it mean?”
    I looked at the cold figure lying in the water. “It’s a warning.”


    1. That is AWESOME!!! I especially like the warning. Very cool.

    2. Oh my gosh this is amazing! I really like crime novels and shows, and this has a Psych-like feel, and this is AMAZING!


    3. Yay! Thank you! That was what I was going for so I'm glad I was able to portray it. :)


  13. My entry:

    My prompts:
    These three words: Book, Drama, and Rain
    This picture:
    This Dialog. "I trusted you! How could you let me down like this?"

  14. Hey guys! It’s Kaity again. I have 255 words and this week the three objects inspired my story. So without further ado, here is my called ‘A Midnight Raid.’

    The sound of running feet brought Morning Light out of a deep sleep in an instant. Within a matter of seconds she had grabbed her satchel and tied the raw hide thong around her waist. Then, in the same motion, pushed her feet into moccasin boots and raced out. Woman’s shouts, horse shrieks, and war cries filled the air. The first thing that came to mind was Raiders! Lights from torches cast shadows all around her, illuminating her silvery blond hair and blue eyes, “Oh, no. This can’t be happening!” The tepee beside her burst into flames. She stumbled to the other side of the tepee, arms upraised in an effort to protect her face from the intensity of the flames. Coughing uncontrollably as the wind blew smoke into her face; she tripped on a small rock and fell into someone’s arms. After another second of coughing, Morning Light cleared her eyes of the smoke. All at once she realized that the man who had caught her wore a blue uniform. She jerked backward. “You don’t need to be afraid.” The man in blue said as he kept her from falling into the fire. “I’m not going to…” Shouts cut off his sentence. Morning Light looked from him to the flicker of torch lights that were coming closer then darted for the woods. She could hear angry shouts coming from behind her. “Just get to the caves. Get to the caves!” Morning Light kept telling herself, “Nothing will happen to you. Nothing has in all of your fifteen years.” Just then, a hand came out of the shadows and clamped over her mouth.

  15. Hey Tessa, sorry I but I put my story where we are supposed to enter our votes, so if you see that when you are counting votes just know it was an accident.

  16. My three prompts are: cell phone, cancer, stairs
    My saying is "You said you wouldn't hurt me. do you honestly think this doesn't hurt? This may not be a physical wound but that doesn't mean it isn't a mental one."

  17. I voted! :)


  18. Sentence prompt: Why had I come back to the very place I hated? Maybe because my past was etched into the very dirt I stood on.

    Picture prompt:

    Object prompt: ivy, telephone, Aerosol can


  19. Here's mine! I'm confused if I can still enter, because this is now going on every other week, I hope this counts.
    I used the picture prompt and the phrase prompt.
    Derik was a wanted teenager for a crime he didn’t do. The FBI would be here at any moment. There was only one thing left to do, run. Derik drew a deep breath, and headed for the door.
    He was just about to open it when he heard the barking of hounds and swift, determined footsteps quickly approaching.
    Derik looked around, hoping for another way to escape. His eyes landed upon a window in the back room. Perfect! He leaped out the window just before the FBI charged into the room.
    Derik knew he couldn’t stop there; the hounds would be onto him any minute, so he ran. He ran with all his might down the creek flowing through his backyard. He stopped before entering the forest. He had hoped that this time he had found a place he could call home, that he could stay here and maybe someday get adopted! But no, this incident had ruined everything. He knew if he looked back it would only make it worse, but he couldn’t help himself. He looked back.
    His eyes flooded with tears. He had become a Christian at this house. He had friends that actually cared about him.
    ‘You’re acting like a sissy Derik, grow up. You should’ve known better, nothing this perfect would ever happen to you. You can’t stay here; it’s time to move on.’ Derik forced himself to turn back to the woods. He looked behind him one last time when something caught his eye. He bent down to pick up what he saw was an origami boat.
    Suddenly he found himself hurled into the creek, facedown. Derik tried to get up, but pain crawled through his left arm. A shadow appeared over him.
    Derik never knew what hit him.

  20. Here are my prompts~
    objects~ cloak, bandage, dagger.
    phrase~ She knew he was coming back. He must come back. Their very lives depended on it.

  21. My prompts:
    Objects: Broken glass, tree house, sign
    Phrase: What was this place?



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