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Dogs Are Smarter Than People via Anchor

Author: Carrie Jones

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Welcome to Dogs are Smarter Than People with NYT and internationally bestselling quirky human author Carrie Jones, her slightly more normal husband, Shaun, and their dogs. Life tips. Writing tips. Dog noises. It's all here. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
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We all want to be creative. We all want to be amazing at relationships. This guy, Benjamin Hardy, PHD, wrote an article on Medium exactly about that. It’s called “21 Behaviors that will make you brilliant at creativity and relationships.”Basically, his article is saying that people limit themselves by defining who they are, what they can do, and what resources they have. This article is wildly popular with 31,000 likes, which means he’s made a ton of money off this point of view. And with over 19,000 Twitter followers, Mr. Hardy is pretty popular, too.  He has posts that link to his articles like “10 Steps to Being a Millionaire in 5 Years (or Less).”If you look at his twitter posts, you’ll find a lot of encouraging things about success and motivation and morning routines that guarantee success.But we’re talking about just the first point in his article., which is that a goal must be wild and huge. It must be urgent with a time component. It must motivate you and he quotes Napolean Hill who wrote in the book, Think and Grow Rich, “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”This is lovely.He also quotes Marcus Aurelias, a Roman emperor. And also Canadian author Justine Musk, who he introduces as only, “Elon Musk’s wife.”There are a lot of white men talking and quoting and thinking going on in the first few paragraphs of Dr. Hardy’s piece. It’s all about going after what you want and making no excuses about your situation or self because those things will make you fail.There are twenty more points in Dr. Hardy’s article, but we’re only going to talk to the first one because it relates to writing and why so much writing falls flat.He writes:Hardy, per Medium article cited aboveAs with all things in life, you get what you want. If you prefer to make excuses and justifications for a lack of progress, then just admit you prefer your current station in life. Self-acceptance can be a beautiful thing.However, once you desire progress more than convenience, obstacles no longer stop but propel you. As the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius is famous for saying,“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”You have to have your main character have a desire and they need to pulsate with it. Your main character needs to be passionate about something. They need to go after those passions. There needs to be a bit of urgency about them. The obstacles that happen are the ones that your character needs to smash through in order to get to what she wants.What is it your character wants more than any damn thing in the world?Who does your character have to be to get that?Now, how about you?What do you want more than any damn thing in the world?Who do you have to be to get that?Dog Tip for LifeDon’t be afraid to remember you aren’t a solo show. Think about who can help you become who you want to be and achieve what you want to do.SHOUT OUTHere’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
Shaun: A week or so ago, someone told Carrie that she’d be better served if she didn’t present as insecure on her social media.Carrie: For the record, I am just open about when I’m scared about things. I’m not sure insecurity is the same as fear. I mean, I guess it is to a certain extent. But I’m not insecure about who I am. I like who I am, an occasionally anxious, goofy, smart, creative, quirky, open-book kind of  person. Does that sound like who I am?Shaun: Pretty much.Carrie: Anyways, here’s the thing. You can pretend to be someone you aren’t. You can present any damn way you choose. But that’s it – it’s your choice. Nobody else’s.Shaun: And Carrie? She has no problem being vulnerable. In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene Brown writes that the biggest myth about vulnerability is that it is weakness. And that’s possibly what happened with that person’s comment to Carrie last week.Carrie: To be fair, about once a year a woman writer, usually older than I am, will tell me to present as more confident because I am strong and talented. They are trying to help me, personally, and the cause of all women, too. I think? But I don’t see the dichotomy between strength and vulnerability. They shouldn’t be on opposite ends of a line.Shaun: Brene Brown writes, “We’ve come to the point where, rather than respecting and appreciating the courage and daring behind vulnerability, we let our fear and discomfort become judgement and criticism.”Carrie: And she also says this, which I think is how it pertains to writers and artists and this podcast, “Vulnerability isn’t good or bad: It’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it always a light, positive experience. Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness.”Shaun: So vulnerability is writing. Because vulnerability is risk and emotional exposure. And even the act of writing is vulnerable because almost the first thing someone asks you is, “Oh? Have I read you?” It’s like they determine your worth just by whether or not you’ve been on a bestseller list or not.Carrie: Exactly, but just writing and deciding to create is a risk because it’s not the most financially secure thing in the world, but it also is because once you put your creation out there – unlike the accountant – you are vulnerable via ratings and bad reviews and internet trolls, which is massive emotional exposure. But it’s more than that. Writers have to incorporate emotion and vulnerability on the page. They create characters who are meant to tweak the readers’ emotions. Writers are like the tsars of vulnerability.WRITING TIP OF THE PODYou are a writer. You are a human. Embrace your ability to take risks, to be vulnerable. Emotions are not weakness.DOG TIP FOR LIFEAllow yourself to lick the kitten in public, adopt those who you love. Be open. Be vulnerable. Love.Random Thoughts Included:Carrie's anxiety about dental surgeryBangor (Maine) City Council SignsCarrie not being dead. We think.SHOUT OUTThe music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
Why Do People Suck So Much?One of the biggest things you hear in the world of writing is to make your character likeable, which is great and all but gives you two questions:How. How do you make your characters likable?How do you make your characters likable when in real life people suck so much? There’s an entire Reddit threadcalled “Am I the A-Hole?”We talk about the second question in our RANDOM THOUGHT in the podcast, so the writer-helpful stuff is here, now. Ready?What Do the Bad Guys Care About?Usually they are propelled by greed or power. In our society those things are usually indicative of a bad guy. Although, some segments of our society seem to laud those traits now.What Do We Have to Do to Make Our Characters (or our selves) Not the Bad Guy?People want to care about the character. You automatically think that means the character is nice, right? No.Think about those Marvel movies. Iron Man’s kind of a jerk. Sherlock Holmes? Jerk. But we still like and care about them. Why?Here is What You Need To Do To Make Your Character Not an Butt FaceThe character has a big want and/or need.Iron Man wants to save the world.Sherlock Holmes needs to catch a murderer.We connect with that because we all have wants or needs.I want to make $5,000 a month. This possibly make me a bad guy because that seems to be about money BUT if I want to make $5,000 a month so that I can pay for my child with autism’s medicines? Not quite so awful, right? It’s all in the presentation and the reason.Conflicting Wants are What Really Makes It PopWhen our character wants to save the world, but saving the world mean that he must sacrifice his entire business that he’s worked so hard to build up? That’s when our interest is super EXCITED. We’re all – Oh. Snap. What will he choose? What would I choose?Caring About Others Who Are More VulnerableThis is the big one, really.In the Star Wars movies, Rey is super snarky with the little droid when we first meet her, but then she refuses to sell that little droid baby for scrap money and protects it. Bing. We love this resilient go-getter named Rey who now has conflicting wants of her own survival (needs money) and protecting the droid (probably going to cost her money and her life).So, we care about Rey because she cares. She has empathy.What are the characteristics people admire in others?AuthenticityCaringKindnessEmpathyBraveryCharismaLoyaltyGive your character one of those if you can.The rest of this is over at my website because it was too long to fit here! SO MANY TIPS! SHOUT OUTThe music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
So, if you check out the link to this article on the Huffington Post by Leslie Kean, you'll have some good background on what we're talking about.But Kean writes about the  To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, which is meant to "advance research into unexplained phenomena and develop related technology."One of the players in that is Luis Eiizondo who worked for the United States' Department of Defense.Leslie KeanIn short, less that two weeks after leaving the Pentagon, Luis Elizondo confirmed that UFOs are a real; they exist, and they have been officially documented. Can anyone argue with this fact now, given where this man comes from and what he knows?And he kind of sort of pretty much said UFOs are real and that's a big deal.Because if UFOs might be real, what else is? As writers, we're always trying to make sure that our stories are believable, but what if the unbelievable is no longer unbelievable? What happens then?And how do we make the unbelievable believable? The biggest trick is that we have to make the person that the unbelievable things happen to have real reactions, emotions, belief systems and feelings?We can believe that someone saw a UFO hovering over the Maine Turnpike if we see them before it happens, see them react to it in a way that's consistent with their character, and see them deal with the after effects.WRITING TIP OF THE POD -To make the unbelievable believable focus on details.DOG TIP FOR LIFE -Your life can become unbelievable in a good way. Embrace that.RANDOM THOUGHT RUNDOWNIf you listen to the podcast, you’ll hear:Talk about the underwear in Road House and Sam ElliottTips about making a bestselling. Hint: It's about fear for the character and pity for the character.UFOsSHOUT OUTThe music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.WRITING NEWSTHE NETHERLANDS IS AWESOMESteve Wedel and I wrote a super creepy book a few years back called After Obsession and it’s making a big freaking splash in the amazing Netherlands thanks to Dutch Venture Publishing and its leader Jen Minkman.IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!Gasp!It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!You can order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
There are a lot of different ways to write a best seller, but the three of the most common features are these:THREE MAIN HINTS TO MAKE A BEST SELLERYou have to engage the reader.You have to keep them hooked.Make them loyal.Easier said than done, right?Maybe not.Think of what your story is about. Can you pitch the idea in less than fifty words? Less than twenty-five? Can you gel its essence down into a quick pitch? That's the high concept.High Concept is a Really a big QuestionWhat's your big dramatic question?Will the kid survive the evil wizard?Will the young reporter fall in love with Mr. Bondage?Will a resourceful young adult survive a pixie apocalypse?Let the reader know from the very beginning what your story is about. Will Harry Potter survive the dark wizard Voldemort? Will Eleanor and Park fall in love? Who will die in this John Green novel?Keeping the reader hookedThis is where the obstacles and complications come in.How do we keep our heroine challenged? What is in his or her way? Will her big dramatic question change into a new dramatic question.MAKING EMOTIONThe other element is that we have to have a character who responds to things emotionally. That's what makes the story resonate. Our character already has a want. There are complications to the want. But more than that, the hero has to have intense emotions and reactions to those complications.When Harry Potter has to dig deep and be brave, when he has to look in the Mirror of Desire and confront his deepest longings, when he has to face the wizard, know his friends might die (and on and on), he reacts emotionally and intensely and the stakes of his decisions have emotional consequences that elevate the reader and incite empathy.Because we feel so connected to that character, we become loyal to that character. When we have that connection and loyalty? That book? It becomes something magical.Writing Tip of the PodThe best books hook the readers early, elevate the stakes, and make us connected to the character.Dog Tip for Life.Do not stay still. Go after your dreams.Random Thought RundownIf you listen to the podcast, you'll hear:Carrie scream in the car and take the Lord's name in vain as she sees bear cubs run across the road.Shaun cranky about border patrol agentsBig foot talkMore beautiful weirdness.SHOUT OUTThe music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.WRITING NEWSIN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!Gasp!It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!You can order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?THE NETHERLANDS IS AWESOMEAfter Obsession is making a big freaking splash in the amazing Netherlands. I love them.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
Jared Leto is a somewhat polarizing guy for who-knows-what reason. He’s model-pretty, a vegan, an award-winning actor and a musician. And there’s this quote I (Carrie) read that struck a chord.“When you commit to something that’s seemingly impossible,” he says, referring to ascents both metaphorical and literal, “and you’re pushing through things that are seemingly hostile, and then you’re like, ‘Oh, wow, we did that,’ that’s a great feeling. And a little bit of pain isn’t a bad thing.”Jared Leto to Rolling Stone’s Brian HiattA lot of us writers whine a lot about writing. I’m not sure why that is. Is it because we’re plumbing the deep emotional recesses in our brain? Is it because we are creating an entire pretend world?I used to get super cranky about this because compared to being a firefighter or an emergency dispatcher or juggling eighteen jobs as a single parent, it felt to me like everyone was a little bit whiny.Then I realized that It’s because being committed to something, to a craft, to something when you are never going to be perfect, where you’ll always have room to grow? It can play a bit of havoc on your emotional wellbeing. But that’s okay. It’s like Leto says, you want to commit to that impossible thing to get the payoff. You want to be all in. Not a dabbler in writing or in life.HOW TO COMMITEmalie Jacobs has some nice hints on her blog about how to do that, to be committed. They are basically:Plan to write every day.Stay committed.Aim for a word count.Plan early.Find your people.And all of this is so much of what the Write! Submit! Support! class that I teach at the Writing Barn is all about.Back to Leto. Leto doesn’t dabble. He’s a method actor, a method singer, method artist and probably a method human. He commits wholeheartedly or he doesn’t commit at all. That’s true when he’s on stage singing or when he’s on the screen acting. He becomes.BECOMES.Dabbling is the opposite of commitment. It’s an exploration. That can be good. But you don’t want to get so caught up in the explorations that you never focus.“I don’t dabble,” he said in that Rolling Stone interview. “I dive in. 1,000 percent.”WRITING TIP OF THE PODDon’t dabble. Commit fully to living the writing life. Don’t let other things take priority over your dreams.DOG TIP FOR LIFEProofread your poop.RANDOM THOUGHTSIn our random thought portion of the podcast this week, we talk about:Carrie giving up dabblingEmcee duties at the MDI YWCA’s Women of Distinction eventHyphens. Semicolons. Politicians of all sides failing to have copyeditors.How do we trust reporters and politicians with big decisions when they can’t proofread things.SHOUT OUTThe music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.MORE ABOUT USIt's on Carrie's website. Have a great day! Play with dogs! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
This week's podcast is not our normal format. We drove 27 hours or so this week. Our brains became a bit unglued - Okay. Even more unglued.But we talk about:WritingDivorceWhy People Get DivorcedHow By Using Those Metrics We Will Probably Get DivorcedPaying Attention to Other People's StoriesRotariansThe Common Ground FairSHOUT OUTThe music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!Gasp!It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!You can order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
Hey baby, what’s your back story?It should be a pick-up line at a bar, yet it somehow is not a pick-up line at any bar that I know of except maybe in a New Yorkercartoon or a bar in a town where there’s one of those MFA programs in writing literature for literary people doing literary things.Anyway, it’s a term writers throw around all the time and it is basically just how we imagine our characters’ lives went before they are in the actual story that we’re writing.I know! How can you imagine that your character had a life before your story? It’s like imagining your spouse had a life before you that wasn’t totally centered around you. Us narcissists have a hard time with that.Do you know, in nine hundred years of time and space, I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important… Stephen Moffat, Dr. Who, A Christmas CarolAccording to a post on Now Novelthere are three uses of back story.Developing the understanding of the characters. Like if your dad died of a heart attack in front of you and you couldn’t save him, then your character might have a savior complex. It helps the reader understand your characters’ motivations.It can heighten the stakes and the suspense. You were once addicted to dating cops. Cops were always bad for you. Will you date this one? NO! YOU MUST NOT.It makes it real damn it. By the time, you make it into a book, you’re not going to be a blank slate, born out of Zeus’ head or a clamshell fully formed on page 1. We all have prologues.Standout asks how much back story does a story need and answers its own question pretty simply:If judged solely on complexity, the answer to ‘how much back story should I include?’ would be ‘enough to pay for the reader’s efforts,’ however you also need to consider immersion. - StandoutAh. Okay?Here is our advice:Don’t be fake. Don’t be pretend. We all know people who show up at a party, engage in small talk about absolutely nothing other than the weather, the traffic, where they work. There is no underlayment. It’s like they are a rug thrown on the floor, but if you touch that rug it will just slip away because there’s nothing holding it there.Do not let your characters be rugs.Ground those suckers with nails and staples if you have to. ModPodge them to the floor, give them a life before you.Don’t tell us everything about them. We do not know that they prefer Aquafina to Poland Spring water or that they had an ingrown toenail when they were twenty-four any more than you want to know about the guy at the party’s hemorrhoid treatment unless it’s really good. Be sparing.Stephen King: The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.Writing Tip of the PodFind the balance in your backstory and your life.Dog Tip for LifeRun through adversity. Don’t give up.SHOUT OUTThe music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
Over on the random thought part of the podcast, we hear about Carrie being passive-aggressive at the campground bathroom, Shaun sing, and random people at Smokey's Barbecue and Lobster.But here is the more intellectual stuff. Um. Slightly more intellectual stuff?This guy Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book Outliersand in it he outlines his belief that if you practice something for 10,000 hours and do that in a deliberate way, then you’ll become a top performer.Who are the outliers? They are the best and the brightest.We don’t want you to freak out over that 10,000 hours bit because that’s like saying, “Hey Shaun, I know you can’t run more than 60 seconds right now, but this Friday you’re going to run for 93 minutes.”Spoiler alert: Shaun ran for 93-minutes straight on Friday. Carrie did too.Anyway, this guy named Danny Forest who writes on Mediumbreaks it down to something that feels a bit more doable. He says that he can learn soft skills in about eight hours and breaks it into working 30 minutes each day on those skills.That seems a lot better than 10,000 hours, right?There’s a difference between competence and brilliance, but that half-hour concentrated focus is how so many of us build our skills. Even dogs.So, inspired by Mr. Forest, the Farrar has three things he wants to learn:Stained glass with lead suaterMake movies on Adobe PremiereSpanishHow to be a better parentAnd Carrie also made a list:Make movies on Adobe PremiereMake felted paintingsHow to self publishHow to drawHow to write travel storiesHow to be Anthony BoudrainSpanishHow to cook in the French style, but also to make kick-butt saltanas and samosas and all things in pockets, basically.What do you want to learn? To do?For writing, focusing on writing or reading about writing for a half hour a day is really an essential tip to becoming a better storyteller. You see that advice everywhere and you see other people countering that advice saying to ‘ignore all advice,’ which is also actually advice.Yes, do your own thing and do what works for you. That should be obvious. But don’t forget that you can’t become a brilliant guitar player if you’ve never picked up a guitar. You have to put in the time.Writing Tip of the PodPractice what you want to be good at. Do it in small bites. You've got this.Dog Tip for LifeDogs are good at sleeping and practicing that. Be like a dog.SHOUT OUTThe music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!Gasp!It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
As you heard in our random thought, this week we went to see some early 1990s bands in concert. They were – well, they were old. The concert hall wasn’t even half full.That sounds depressing, right?It wasn’t. One of the lead singers has had cancer three times. His wife has had it once. They were both on the stage giving it everything they had.And the lead singer?He was smiling the entire damn time.The Alarm at Portland's AuraHere’s the thing. In life and in story, we have to face crap, deal with it, and sometimes we are lucky enough to survive. And sometimes we are lucky enough to choose to survive joyously.A story is no good if there’s no conflict, no obstacles to overcome. It’s hard to root for the characters or care for the characters if nothing happens. You don’t want to turn the page.Obstacles make us stronger.Overcoming obstacles gives us courage.Courage and strength gives us freedom.It’s not enough in our lives or in our stories to be incensed, to shake our fists at the sky, to rage about circumstance, we have to do the next step – action.Without the action, we are just shouting for no reason, inciting without purpose.Don’t be afraid to go to that next step in your life or in your story and if you can? Do it with joy and with kindness.In the random thought, we talk about trust (Should you? How we establish it) and connections and how people kept introducing themselves to Carrie whenever Shaun left during the concert.Those links are here: Writing Tip of the PodObstacles make the story worth it. Actions keep the story moving. We want to root for someone. Make someone for us to root for.Dog Tip for LifeJoy. Embrace it. Wag your tail for everyone to see. Don’t be ashamed of it.SHOUT OUTThe music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.WRITING NEWSIN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!Gasp!It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!You can order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?In the Woods--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support
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