Let me Streeeeeeeetch Your Imagination a Little:

As a writer, I like to stretch my imagination. For me, this sometimes means looking at life from both sides of the coin. I like to analyze people’s behavior, determine what motivates them. I like to step inside their shoes, try them on for size, and be that person for a brief moment in time. I like to forget my opinions on subjects and think about how someone else might view the exact scenario. We all see life though a different set of eyes. Writers often speak about wiggling inside the skin of their characters, becoming them, breathing and laughing, feeling their emotions, understanding what their reactions to life’s circumstances are. One of the most important qualities a writer can posses is the ability to become that other person, to view them as people( take them or leave them) without passing judgment. Our characters can not always be the people we’d like them to be. Not if we want to write stories that keep our readers turning the page. Characters who are too good, too perfect are good for little more than putting the reader to sleep. We all have faults, some of them big, some little, but they are there nonetheless. And these faults that we seem to despise in other people, we love to read about. It’s interesting, what can I say?

Remember when you were a child and played make-believe?  Perhaps you took on a specific role to play. Were you a character who was looked up to? A villain perhaps? Did you act out scenes? Did you become angry and upset over some of the perils your character faced? Did you feel those emotions for yourself? Were they real?

I can vividly recall those feelings of anger, frustration, hurt, happiness as the character I was portraying in my games went through a series of life altering events. Who knew imagination could be so strong or evoke such emotions?  But our characters can not always chime out our own preferences or opinions, they can not view the world the same way that we do, or else we’re simply creating characters that mimic ourselves. Little mini-mes, if you will. I tend to think that would get a bit boring after awhile. I’ve got news for you all; I’m just not that interesting, seriously. So quite often I like to take a reverse role and try to imagine life through the eyes of someone totally opposite from myself.

This was partly the reason why I asked the questions I did in last week’s post, Cast Out the Writing Sob. I was hoping to have you reverse roles and view this subject from someone else’s point of view. Just because I don’t believe myself to be a writing snob, I was curious as to whether or not someone else might see me as one. Is it possible, I wondered? I have a awful lot of non-writing friends who maybe don’t understand why I have a blog or why self-promotion is pretty much a given once you’re a published writer. Maybe they see all these things as simply bragging on my part. Hey, you never know! Then again, I was also thinking (I  tend to do a lot of that sometimes) that perhaps the non-writing community can relate to what we writers go through just a bit more than we writers give them credit for. I received some great replies. Thanks! You’re all awesome and so very articulate. I love throwing out tough questions to you all, challenging you and asking you to stretch your imaginations.

So, I hope you don’t mind if I ask you to stretch your imaginations a bit by asking some tricky questions from time to time. I really like what you all have to say.  While I won’t admit to being nosey, I’m always curious as to what your thoughts are, not just my own.

Do you enjoy a good challenge and the chance to streeeeeetch your imagination? Or do you just enjoy life the way it is?


Taking it Easy

“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.” Elizabeth Lawerence

This quote by Elizabeth Lawerence inspired me to write a post about the need to slow down and enjoy life.

I’m over at A Hopeful Sign today, a web magazine dedicated to spreading hope. Here’s the link..It’s a pretty cool concept. In this day and age we can all use a little more hope in our lives.  Don’t you think?

I’m hopeful that you will pop on over and say hello. Who knows, I might get lonely over there by myself.

Just so you know, I’ll be back here for a regular post on Thursday. Have a wonderful day.. Hope to see you then.

Cast Out the Writing Snob!

As writers, are we too quick to make the assumption that people who are non-writers simply don’t “get us”; that somehow they have absolutely no concept of what a writer’s life is about? We blog about it, maybe even whine about it, acting like the elite group we believe we’re a part of—-the poor misunderstood writer. I’m sometimes moved to wonder, does this line of thinking make us writing snobs?

Have you, dear writer, ever pondered the question: Do non-writers see this as snobbish behaviour on our part? Do non-writers look at us and wonder if we think we’re somehow better?–And do we? Be honest. Are we secretly a bit smug over the fact that were are writers/authors?

As writers, nothing pleases us more than to have another writer to talk to about our craft. That’s only natural. I’ve experienced this myself with my “gab sessions” with a few local author friends. When we get together, we always know the purpose for our meetings. We talk about our current Work in Progress (WIP), we discuss the various publishers we’ve submitted to, and what’s happening in the publishing industry, and then we whine. Yes, we sometimes commiserate, lament, grumble, and then vow to keep on going. And while all this is happening, it’s as if the rest of the world does not exist because no one understands what we writers go through except another writer. Right?

But perhaps we writers are simply kidding ourselves. Perhaps this thinking is only true on one level—the writing level, that is. Perhaps we don’t give non-writers enough credit. Perhaps they do understand part of our plight as writers, perhaps more than even they realise.

So let’s look at a few of the myths we writers tell ourselves about non-writers.

*Non-writers do not understand rejection:

Come on—-Who are we trying to kid? If you live in the world, interact with people on a regular basis and have never experience rejection than YOU’RE quite possibly in an elite group yourself. To be human is to experience rejection at one time or another, and in one form or another. It started out on the playground when we were in elementary. Maybe someone didn’t like us or didn’t want to play with us.  BUT…but.. a writing rejection is different, we writers might argue. Someone didn’t like the story I put my heart and soul into. It’s so, so personal. Well, what’s more personal than, Get away from me I don’t like you and I don’t want to play with you?  How’s that for personal? And just think, it’s said to a kid who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word rejection, let alone can figure out the reason for the rejection. Rejection is all around us, in one form or another. It is not specific only to writers. We writers need to face up to it.

*Non-writers do not understand the long wait times we writers must endure:

Really? Do we really believe that non-writers have never had to wait an excruciating long time for anything? Wow! Aren’t they special? Life is also about waiting. We wait for appointments, wait in line, we wait for a lucky break, we wait in traffic, we wait for months to hear the results of some test, we wait for our ship to come in, we wait, and wait and then wait some more…I could go on. Everyone must wait unless you have a magical lamp or a genie to grant you your every command. If you do happen to have one of those, please send me a private message, would ya? I’d be interested in hearing all about it.

*But…. we writers have a special talent:

Hello, I see many talented people around me every day. Perhaps they don’t exhibit their talent through words, but the written word is not the only way to exhibit our talents. I have friends who are musicians, crafters, artists, scrap-bookers, card-makers, gardeners, cooks, who have just as much talent, or even more, than I. My talent is no more *special* than the next person’s; my talent just happens to be writing. Being a writer is not the epitome of talent in this world. It’s just one form.

*Non-writers do not have to constantly provide the self-motivation/self discipline to get things done.

Well, that’s just silly. We all need to be our own cheering section from time to time. If we didn’t exhibit some kind of self-motivation we’d spend our days doing absolutely nothing. We’d be zombies, mindless creatures going through the motions. Maybe we’d sit and stare out the window all day. Sure it takes motivation and discipline to be a writer, but that is true for any job we undertake, especially when it is something we have to do all on our own with help from no one. Nobody can do the studying for that English exam that’s coming up but you, and I don’t know anyone who’s going to arrive at my house with a mop and broom just to help me with my housework. What will make you finish that new scarf you’re working on, or get that Christmas baking done, if you possess no motivation or self-discipline. And if you want to change jobs because you’re under-appreciated and over-worked? You got it! Motivation and discipline, is what keeps us sending out resumes in search of that perfect job.

*Non-writers do not really care about what we are writing:

I have several people in my life, non-writers that they are, who ask me what I’m working on. Sometimes, if they see something they think I might be interested in they bring it to my attention, because you just never know what might end up as fiction one day. When a writer is coming to the area to speak or sign books, some of my friends will mention it. While a non-writer might not be interested in the research I’m doing, or even how many times I’ve revised a story, they are usually anxious to hear what’s new on the publishing horizon for me. “Are you writing another book?” I get asked that one a lot. Non-writers do care. Why wouldn’t they? We are all human, all with the ability to empathize with one another, to hope for one another, and to share in our joys and triumphant.

As a writer, I’m attempting to stop thinking in terms that separates the non-writers from the writers in my life. Instead, I am willing to think in terms of what connects us together as people, what parts of our lives that we universally share. We have far more similarities than we do differences. I’m attempting to stop thinking like a writing snob and start thinking like an ordinary person who just happens to write. This does not mean that I will stop enjoying my “gab-sessions” with my writer friends, or the wonderful connections I’ve made with writers in the blogging community. It will simply make me more mindful of all the areas that my non-writing friends can relate.

Do you agree that we writers can sometimes exhibit a bit of an attitude when it comes to the non-writing population because we believe ourselves to be misunderstood by them? If you consider yourself a non-writer have you ever felt a bit inferior while in the company of a writer? 

There She Goes the Book-writing Man

Nope, I didn’t pull that title out of thin air, it was actually said to me at an anniversary party I went to last year for some friends of ours. Okay, so the guy wasn’t feeling any pain at the time, but even so— this from someone who isn’t your typical book buyer, or reader, for that matter. He seemed to be impressed that I had written a book. As a matter of fact, he mentioned earlier in the evening that his sister was reading my book to him since he couldn’t read.

It surprised me to discover that someone whom I wouldn’t think of as being interested in the fact that I am a writer actually was. It goes to show that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover… I know, that’s such a cliché, but still….

Seems as though, whenever I go out, I’m constantly being asked, “ Aren’t you the one who wrote the book?”  followed closely with a “When’s your next book coming out?” I usually smile and say I’m working on one, which seems to get them off my back please most people. Immediately their eyes light up and they produce a satisfied grin. I don’t bother to tell them that it might be years until they see anything tangible… It’s difficult to explain to people with little understanding of the publishing industry about wait times, and just the fact that you’ve written a book doesn’t necessarily mean someone will want to publish it. Still, it is nice to know that people are interested.

It’s like that when you live in a small place. Even people in neighbouring communities either know you personally, or recognize you as being so-and-so’s daughter, wife, sister, niece, cousin, friend, your co-worker’s mother, Sunday school teacher, etc. Sometimes, they want to support you for no other reason than that. It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.

I keep reading again and again that most books are sold by word of mouth, and while advertising helps, as do book trailers, having an online presence, etc, most of the books we buy/read are recommended to us by friends or family. It’s an interesting notion. When I stop to think of why I have read certain books quite often it is because they came with a glowing recommendation either from someone I know or from a review I’ve read. Perhaps there is something to that.

Last week I received a royalty cheque in the mail and, I was both surprised and delighted to think that copies of my book are still selling despite it not being promoted.  A book really only gets a few months of promotion until new titles come in to take their place. Seems unfair, but it also makes a lot of sense.

From the very beginning of this journey, I said I didn’t want it to be just about the money. I wanted it to be something so much more, and it is. The copies that have sold means that my words are reaching more and more people. Hopefully, it gives them something to reflect upon. One young girl wrote to tell me that my book taught her the importance of family, and to be strong. Can you imagine how wonderful that felt?

And so “the book-writing man,” will just keep writing away with the hope that someone will discover something worthwhile in her words. I’ve never felt that our worth should be measured only in a monetary sense (for money will come and go) but in our way of  touching the hearts and minds of others. Isn’t that what really counts?

That’s Me—Writer Groupie!

My name is Laura Best and I am a writer groupie.

I never knew this before, but apparently there IS a word for what’s ailing me( if you call it ailing) —- “writer groupie.” And doesn’t that sound totally lame? I mean anything with the word groupie attached to it. Makes you sound so…so… I don’t know…desperate.

I discovered this tidbit over at Fitch Happens. Sheree wrote that even though she’s a writer, she’s a reader first. She spoke about how precious her signed copies of books are. She openly admitted to sniffing the ink on the page. She was not ashamed.

Let me be straight about this: I have NEVER sniffed ink.(Not that I believe that ink sniffing is wrong , mind you, or even beneath me. If you’re an ink-sniffer that’s perfectly fine by me.) I’m not even sure that ink gives off an odor, not from your regular run-of-the-mill ballpoint at any rate, but who am I to argue?

The truth is, the thought never crossed my mind….. I’m just not a sniffer by nature unless it’s something that is sniffable– flowers, skin products, perfume, spices—you get my drift. My daughter is a sniffer. Whenever she opens a gift she smells it regardless of what it is. Got it from her grandmother on her father’s side. It’s a family joke or, quite possibly, a tradition. We sit around and watch each Christmas, and yes, she does it every time. Does this mean we’re strange?

Nope. I’m definitely not an ink sniffer….Yet now the thought is there, isn’t it? I do have signed books, you know.

I could deny the word— writer groupie, and yet I think the signs are there…..I show up at book signing, have my picture snapped with various authors all in hopes of creating this scrapbook for Miss Charlotte. I love meeting other authors and chatting with them. I flock to where authors are hanging out. AND I have photos to go along with my signed books from: Syr Ruus, Jan Coates, JoAnn Yhard, Helene Boudreau, Margaret Atwood, Budge Wilson, Steve Vernon, Jill MacLean, Sheree Fitch, Star Dobson, … I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting at the moment of writing this, and there will be more in the future.

I remember when I was off signing copies of my novel. A few people came prepared to get photos so I guess I’m not the only one. It was actually kind of cool to think that someone wanted their photo snapped with me. I mean me, really. I wonder at this moment how Margaret Atwood feels, she’s probably in more scrapbooks and photo albums than any other Canadian writer.

Still, there are worse things in life I suspect. I won’t bother naming them at the moment.. I’ll just curl up on the sofa with my photos and books and resists the urge to sniff ink.

Be honest, are you a writer groupie? Do you have signed copies of books from authors that you would never part with? Have you ever sniffed the ink on a page?

Playing the Name Game

Do you ever play the name game?

Sitting here with my current WIP, I’m shuffling around for character names. I’m terrible when it comes to choosing names, last names in particular. I’m not sure why. I didn’t really have any problems naming my kids, although to be honest, I hadn’t decided upon a name for my second daughter until right after she was born

Some characters seem to find their own name, something that fits them right from the start. You give them a name and it fits like a glove, and that’s a good thing. To be honest, I find it difficult to change a character’s name once I’m very far into a story, so I’m usually hoping I get it right from the very beginning.

There have been a few times when I’ve stubbornly wanted to use a particular name and yet it didn’t seem to fit the story at all. Kind of like trying to shove a square peg in a round hole. No matter how much you want it to fit, it just doesn’t.

I have a book of baby names that I like to check from time to time. Checking the meaning of the names is helpful too, as sometimes that will help determine what name I end up with. Often, something on the unusual side will appeal to me as I feel it makes the character more memorable. The names I choose are not always ones that I particularly like, or wish I’d named my own kids. I’ve always secretly felt that people with unusual names seem to be recognized in the world in a way that maybe those with very common names are not. That probably sounds silly, but sometimes secret thoughts have no real basis. That’s why we keep them secret.

There are some great sites with names as well that I have bookmarked and like to check out from time to time. A quick Google search will help you track some of these sites down. Gah, what did we do before Google?

One thing I have learned from another writer is to make sure not to give your characters names that begin with the same letter as it can be confusing to the reader. I think it’s a good tip, one I like to stick to.

For last names I usually check the telephone directory or the obituary column in the Halifax paper. While at a book signing for Bitter, Sweet, one lady bought my book because I’d used the last name Burbidge for the family in the story. She wondered where I’d found the name as she said it was her last name and not very common in these parts. Got that name from gleaning the telephone book, I told her.

After I make a list of possible names I begin to narrow the list down. Deciding what would sound appropriate for a particular character and which names I can immediately mark off the list. I like to get a feel for the name, get used to in my own mind, decide if it fits in with the setting and plot before I start using it. It kind of sounds a bit more complicated than it is. Still, if it’s a main character, I want to end up loving that name as much as I do the character I’m writing about.

How do you come up with character names? Do you have any special tips about naming your characters that you’d like to share?

Starr Dobson Struck

Every Maritimer should recognize the name Starr Dobson. If you don’t you must be living in complete isolation. For those of you not from the Maritime area, Starr is the co-host of Live at Five, a suppertime news show which highlights people and stories from the Maritime region.

In case any of you are wondering about the title of this post, I wasn’t actually struck by Starr Dobson when we met last Sunday, of course not, silly! In fact, she couldn’t have been any more gracious when I caught up with her at Dempsey Corner Orchard Farm  near Aylesford, Nova Scotia.

We were greeted at the door by two rather rambunctious goats. Quite fitting since  Starr was there to sign copies of her picture book, newly published by Nimbus Publishing, titled My Goat Gertrude.

About an hour into the book signing, Starr read her book to a group of children who sat listening to her every word. She captivated them all, and no wonder. Nothing like having a local celebrity in your midst with a great book. I’ve never seen so many children quite that quiet.  The moment I heard about Starr’s book, and that she was going to be handy my neck of the woods, I knew I had to get a copy for Miss Charlotte. It was no surprise to learn that Starr is just as friendly in person as what we see on Live at Five every evening. In fact, she is so down to earth you almost feel as though she’s a member of the family.

The lovely illustrations for the book were created by Dayle Dodwell who lives in Bedford, Nova Scotia. You can visit her at dayledodwellsillustration.blogspot.com. This is the very first children’s book that Dayle has illustrated. I’d say she did a number one job! There are more illustrations on her site. I encourage you to pop over and have a peek.

Have I mentioned the scrapbook I’m going to put together for Miss Charlotte with pictures of her Nanny Bee with children’s writers from the area? (I’m hoping she’ll think it’s pretty cool when she’s old enough to read these authors’ books for herself.) Well I mentioned it to Starr who immediately told me I didn’t look old enough to be a grandmother.  I’m thinking now I should have bought a few more books for that remark!! I mentioned to my daughter how tall Starr is to which she quickly came back with, “No, you’re just short.” So here’s a photo of Starr scrunching down to make me look taller. I actually think it was just so my husband could fit us both into the same shot. By the look on my face, I’d say I’m the one who looks a little star struck!

Guest Blogger–Joylene Nowell Butler

Today, I am excited to have Joylene Nowell Butler as a guest on my blog. I met Joylene through blogger, Carol Garvin. Joylene is a terrific writer.( I’ve been told I’m allowed to pay her as many compliments as I’d like.) The thing is, our reputation in life speaks for itself. If you have read any of Joylene’s work I don’t need to tell you what a great writer she is, you’ve already figured that out for yourself.

Joylene Nowell Butler wrote her first book after her father died 1983. Though the book wasn’t worthy of publishing, Joylene was hooked on the process. Today she lives with her husband and their cats on Cluculz Lake in central B.C and is working on her sixth book. She is the author of suspense thrillers Dead Witness and Broken but not Dead. 


By Joylene Nowell Butler

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words doesn’t fit with this photo taken in June 2011. Words are needed to explain who these women are and why they’re standing together in a grocery store with stacks of novels in front of them.

So why share the photo?

I’m the one in the middle with gratitude seeping from every pour. Lorna, on my right runs the Save-On bookstore in Kelowna, B.C.. Nancy, standing behind Dead Witness owns Sandhill Book Marketing, a company specializing in the distribution of independently published novels acrossCanada.

In 2008, after I self-published my first novel Dead Witness, these two women were instrumental in jump-kicking my career. Because of their initiative, Canada’s oldest Aboriginal publisher, Theytus Books published my second novel Broken but not Dead a few days before this photo was taken.

Thank goodness attitudes about self-publishing have changed. However, it doesn’t alter the fact that self-publishing is hard work. Though the community is learning to look at all published authors on the merits of their work, a lot of sweat and tears is still needed to make your dream come true.

I spent money I didn’t have publishing Dead Witness. I paid for the book to be printed, distributed and promoted. I made myself known online, started a blog, made contacts in every bookstore near me. I approached libraries, newspapers, radio stations, and anyone else willing to listen. I spent 18 hours a day marketing when all I really wanted to do was write.

After I signed with Theytus for Broken but not Dead, they took on the financial expensive of publishing my novel. I still had to pay for my travel expenses during my book tour, for bookmarks, long-distance calls where I arranged for book signings and readings. But Theytus paid for the line-editor, the copy-editor and the book cover illustrator. They created the oversize posters. They also placed my book in their brochure and distributed a copy to every bookstore in Canada. I can’t imagine how much that would have cost.

In the way Lorna and Nancy were my support system after the release of Dead Witness, Theytus believed in my work and did everything possible to bring Broken but not Dead to the reading public. How can you beat that?

So, yes, in my case, to become a published author, I had to first self-publish.

Every writer, at one time or another, decides whether to go the traditionally route or to self-publish. But it’s a decision you don’t have to make alone. Do your research. Read every self-published author bio you can find. Know what’s expected and what shortcuts you’re best not to take. More importantly, write the finest novel you can write. And that means hook up with experienced critique partners and a great editor. Because in the end, it’s all about numbers. Or as I like to sum it up: You’re only as good as your last novel.

Joylene wanted me to mention that she will give away a free e-book version of her novel, Dead Witness, to anyone who leaves a comment below with their email address included.

The Three Hundred Club

“May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow. May the soft winds freshen your spirit. May the sunshine brighten your heart. May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you, and may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.” ~~Irish Blessings

Don’t you just love that Irish Blessing?

WordPress tells me this is post number 300.  Set off the fireworks! Am I remarkable or what? (That’s a bit of sarcasm in case you missed it.)

Well, technically the post before was number 300, but you’ll have to excuse me, I was off dreaming you see. But all you dreamers out there understand. Sometimes our dreams get in the way of reality, but we do eventually come back down to earth.

On Monday, author Joylene Nowell Butler, will be guest blogging here at Laura Best, Author. Having self published her first novel,  Dead Witness, Joylene’s latest novel, Broken but not Dead, is with a traditional publisher this time around. Read what advice Joylene gives to aspiring authors who are seeking publication. Hope to see you back on Monday.

Happy Friday, and enjoy your weekend to the fullest!

So You Want to be the Prime Minister of Canada?

We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.

– Louisa May Alcott

Okay, I’ll admit to being a dreamer. I’ve no doubt admitted it right here on this blog before. Now, some of you might think that’s a bit of a lame way to go through life (and it’s okay if you do think that, it really is. You’re entitled to your own opinions) but I’m willing to bet that at least some of you are one my side here.

I’m under the impression that some people think that all dreamers are delusional, and no doubt some of us are. I’ve known people who set unrealistic goals for themselves and then did absolutely nothing to work toward making their dreams reality. (You can’t be a published author if you don’t write that book. And then, then, you actually have to get that manuscript printed off and into a publisher’s or agent’s hands. Sounds like a no brainer to me.)

Dreaming alone won’t get you where you want to go. You’ve got to actually do something. You know, put one foot in front of the other, that sort of thing. Set down one sentence, one paragraph and keep building from there. It may take many months, or even years, to get where we want to be. We might not make any huge strides in the beginning, but those baby steps add up after awhile. BTW, learning to have patience fits in nicely about now.  Just saying.

Being a dreamer doesn’t mean I go through life with unrealistic expectations, nor does it mean that I believe I can conjure up some far-fetched goal to achieve and spend the rest of my days hoping that it will magically materialize. I’ve never tried to convince myself that I’m going to be the next Prime Minister of Canada or anything else so bizarre, cause I can tell you right now folks, I know it just ain’t happening.


Big deal. So, you don’t want to be Canada’s next Prime Minister does this prove you’re not delusional? you might ask. Maybe. Maybe not. I’m smiling now because I’m thinking that dreaming for the sake of dreaming is harmless and sometimes fun. I still don’t want to be Prime Minister though.

Aren’t dreams the very things that keep us going especially those times when we’re feeling kind of low? If I’d never dreamed if being a published author would I have continued to spend twenty years writing? Would I have continued to revise and edit my work (making it the best that I could) and send it out one more time if I didn’t hold fast to my dream? If I hadn’t worked toward my dream I’d still be me, but I’d be an unpublished me, and I’m pretty sure there would be days when I’d start to think that pretty much sucks.

You know what? My dream came true, but I worked darn hard to get here. I didn’t give in even those times when I thought I was being delusional, tricking myself into hoping for something that was simply out of my reach. But you know what else? Every day we wake up in the morning for a reason. A brand new day is waiting for us to enter. We can go though the motions of living, not really giving a darn so long as we come to the end of the day, or we can aspire to becoming something more than we were the day before. We can let our dreams, big or small, help us to put one foot in front of the other because, aren’t dreams the very things that keep us going?

I don’t care who you are, you’ve got to have a dream even if that dream is something small. Not all of us will want to be Prime Minister of Canada. (You can rest easy Stephen Harper!)

No dreams = no fun in life, no accomplishments

Some might think that all dreamers are delusional, but I guess maybe I’d rather be thought delusional than to have no dreams at all.

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