8
Jun

Me and Buddy George R.R. Martin

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III   in Weird

We’ve decided to write our next series together, but we have to finish our current series first …

Moses Siregar III with his good buddy George R.R. Martin

Me and my buddy George.

Btw, my next novel THE NINTH WIND is coming along very nicely (David Farland has already sent me his edits on the book), and I hope to have it out to all the good readers of the world by January of 2015. More updates to follow soon.

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Last night, I saw that Michael J. Sullivan’s Theft of Swords is today’s Kindle Daily Deal, on sale for $1.99.  I wrote up a personal story about it over at reddit/r/fantasy:

I rarely read physical books anymore, but one year ago our Barnes and Noble in Prescott, AZ closed down for good. Michael’s novel had just come out, and I really wanted to own a physical copy, for more than one reason. Not to toot me ‘umble horn, but I knew this guy was destined for great things back in 2010 when he was one of the very first fantasy authors to have tremendous success as a self-published author. So I interviewed him on my blog in August of 2010, and then again for our Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast in early 2011.

Of course I was bummed about our B&N closing. I stayed in the store until the end, on the last night of the year in 2011. I hung around and asked if I could buy the final book ever sold at the store. I chose Theft of Swords, because I thought that would be a well-deserved honor for Michael. It’s hard to see the story from this pic, but I didn’t have a camera with me so I asked a guy to take a picture of the book just before the B&N folks kicked me out for good. And there it is through the glass:

I wanted to support Michael by buying his book, but this paperback also symbolizes something for me. It’s proof that in this new age of digital publishing, a hardworking independent author can succeed in a really big way—even if you write good old traditional fantasy books.

As for his book, it’s a lot of fun. His series builds in complexity from one book to the next, but IMO it’s always compulsive reading. He’s not trying to be grittier than Martin, more epic than Erikson, to write better prose than Rothfuss, or to build a more magical world than Sanderson. He just tells you one hell of a story full of outstanding twists and turns, and he writes for anyone who can still enjoy a classic fantasy tale.

If you’ve got a couple of bucks burning a hole in your pocket, I say treat yourself for the holidays and vote with your wallet to support a fantastic new voice in fantasy.

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23
Dec

A New Release! With my Name on it …

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III   in Ebooks, My Work, Recommendations

I’ll have more on this soon, but here’s a quick announcement about my new release: THE CHILDREN OF WIND AND WOOD, published on December 21st, 2012 just in time for the end of the world! It’s going to be exclusive to Amazon for its first three months, so if you’re an Amazon Prime customer you can check it out from the Kindle Lending Library (I actually earn quite a bit more that way) or you can pick it up for 99 cents. If you read on another device (Nook, Kobo, Sony, etc.), I’d love to send you a free ePub file. Please let me know your email address and I’ll get that right out to you.

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Description

A girl wanders the ancient forests of Andars, peering through misty groves swelling with nature spirits. Idonea hopes to hear whispers from the final resting places of the grandfathers and grandmothers, from the wind and from the trees. The Ancestors lead her to the wand she seeks, but not without great cost–and only after a bargain.

Rezzia’s legions occupy the hills of Andars for the next seven years, even as Rezzia’s war with Pawelon rages on. Yearning to send the Rezzians back to the desert, Idonea’s brother Skye grabs his axe and joins their father at the Hall of the Ancestors. Skye’s father channels his own father’s spirit for guidance, and a Rezzian atrocity is revealed.

A reluctant drummer begins sounding the end of the world.

The primordial Orns, Fidelity, Angst, and Wrath, have seen all of this before. Driven by Andaran suffering, Wrath searches for an instrument … a woman of the wood, a woman of power.

The Children of Wind and Wood by Moses Siregar III

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you’ll enjoy this one.

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The Rat Catcher

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30
Oct

Popular Highlights on The Black God’s War

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III   in Ebooks, My Work, Passion for Writing

So I bought a new Kindle Paperwhite, and it’s almost an amazing e-reader (Mostly, I love it, but there are some issues with the “white” part when using the built-in lights–namely, the background isn’t a uniform color). One nice new feature (okay, I lied. It’s actually an older feature even on my trusty kindle2, but I hadn’t realized that until today) is that if you click to “View Notes & Marks” on a book, you’ll sometimes get to see the top ten most popular highlights on the book. Some books show these highlights and some books don’t. And you’ll probably see more highlights on your device than you’ll see on a book’s page at Amazon.

I’m one of the lucky ones, because my first novel does show the top ten highlights. Because I haven’t had any big news in awhile–semi-kidding, although if you want to follow my author news, my Facebook Author page is the best way, or on Twitter @MosesSiregar–I’m going to paste the top ten highlights (selected by the readers) from The Black God’s War here. I’ll list them in order with the most popular highlight at the bottom of the list.

1) “I know know how to fight him. His gods are a projection. They are just as false as this world. I know that. I will win.”

2) “You are a master in a tiny field. The ultimate truth still lies far beyond you. There is no end to evolution, to the unshackling of chains.”

3) [this is one a bit spoilerish] “his domain also includes the dark processes of life, including the balancing of what you might call sin. Our concept is karma. It suggests that whatever we do returns to us because in truth there is no separation between us all. So when we act upon another, we act upon ourselves. Evil acts come back to us, while good deeds bring good karma. As I understand your Lord Danato, it’s as if he is a god of karma.”

4) “The mind is the master of the physical world. The physical isn’t observed by the mind–it’s actually dependent on the mind.”

5) “Introspection, clarity, and creative imagination must come before action.”

6) “It’s the most recent worst day of my life,” she said. “Thank you for asking.”

7) “The descent to Hades is the same from every place.” -Anaxagoras [this is a quote, not my words]

8 ) “A man must act on his conscience. I would rather die than live by no greater principle than my own survival.”

9) “This is why our desires must be questioned before we undertake any great endeavor. If our values are flawed, our actions can only produce imperfections.”

10) “I believe it is not important how long you live, but that you give yourself to living. Live as only you can, with every part of you fully engaged.”

It was definitely cool for me to see what readers have highlighted in the book.

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25
Aug

8 Award-Winning eBooks On Sale for 99 Cents

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III   in Ebooks, Indie Publishing, Recommendations

Readers! Eight award winners in the 2012 eFestival of Words “Best of the Independent eBook Awards” have grouped together to offer you an amazing opportunity. They’ve reduced the prices of their award-winning novels to 99 cents for August 27 and 28th!

Whether you like to read mysteries, romance, horror, young adult, women’s fiction, or fantasy, this group has it. Are you a writer yourself? Do you want to learn all about digitally publishing your next masterpiece? They’ve got you covered there too.

Get all eight award-winning ebooks for the price of one single paperback!

 

Award Winners

Best Mystery/Suspense: Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice

Best Non-Fiction: DIY/Self-Help: Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran

Best Horror: 61 A.D. by David McAfee

Best Romance: Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne

Best Young Adult: The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto

Best Fantasy/Urban Fantasy and Best NovelThe Black God’s War by Moses Siregar III

Best Chick Lit/Women’s LitCarpe Bead’em by Tonya Kappes

Award for Best Twist (“I’ve Been Shyamalaned”): The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Here’s a one-stop shopping link for your convenience: http://amzn.to/MO7qBY

Book Blurbs

Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice

Laura Carnegie gave up on the man of her dreams a long time ago. He’s fashion designer Jeremy St. James, and not only is he her boss, everyone knows he’s gay.

When the woman who holds the company purse strings is found dead in the office, and Jeremy’s arrested for the murder, everything changes. If Laura can just solve this crime, keep the cops off her tail, break up a counterfeiting ring, and get the show on the runway by Friday, she might stop being Seventh Avenue’s perpetual loser.

If you love Project Runway, or enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada, try Dead Is the New Black.

 

Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran

This guide contains over 60,000 words of essays, articles, and how-to guides, as well as contributions from 33 bestselling indie authors including J Carson Black, Bob Mayer, Victorine Lieske, Mark Edwards, and many more.

It covers everything from how the disruptive power of the internet has changed the publishing business forever to the opportunities this has created for writers. It gives you practical advice on editing, cover design, formatting, and pricing. And it reveals marketing tips from blogging and social networking right through to competitions, discounts, reviews, and giveaways.

If you are considering self-publishing, if you need to breathe life into your flagging sales, or if you want to understand why it’s a great time to be a writer, Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should will explain it all.

 

61 A.D. by David McAfee

61 A.D. For ten years, Taras has lived in the young city of Londinium, feeding off the city’s underbelly. But now Theron, his old enemy, has come looking for revenge, and Taras’ nights of living in relative peace are about to end.

Yet not even Theron can slip into town unnoticed, and the Council of Thirteen sends Ramah to deal with the two renegades once and for all. But unknown to the Council, a much older enemy is also in Londinium, and this time even the great Ramah might not be safe.

Set against the backdrop of the Iceni uprising in Roman-era Britannia, 61 A.D. continues the story of Taras, Theron, and Ramah, as they fight their way through history.

 

Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne

Nic Lamoureux’s perfect movie star life is shattered by a stalker who threatens any woman close to him. When he meets photographer Lauren James, the attraction is instant–and mutual. She’s exactly the sort of woman he craves, but the stalker makes deadly clear Lauren is the competition.

And the competition must be eliminated.

“Stock up on ice cubes because this is definitely one sizzling debut. Readers will be hooked from the first sentence- on the book and on Nic! As rich as a white chocolate cheesecake, Cayne’s entrance into the suspense genre is invigorating, explosive and simply intoxicating.” ~ RT Book Reviews Top Pick

 

The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto

When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Worse, someone has used an evil spell book to bring back two of history’s most nefarious killers.

Ivy’s got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But first, she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits: the school’s hotter-than-brimstone demon bad boy, Nick Marcelli. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and Ivy soon discovers it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end

The Black God’s War by Moses Siregar III

Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.

Her father-king wants war.

Her messianic brother wants peace.

The black god wants his due.

She suffers all the consequences.

“Moses is a fine writer deserving of success, and I think that it will follow … I really enjoyed Moses’s work.” – David Farland, NYT Bestselling Author of The Runelords

 

Carpe Bead’em by Tonya Kappes

Hallie Mediate was raised by her (slightly) crazy Great Aunt Grace on the wrong side of the tracks in Cincinnati. Hallie escapes her hometown and never looks back.

That is, until she’s transferred back to the hometown. Not wanting her past to cross paths with her future, Hallie puts her life on hold.

Aunt Grace is still up to her old tricks, but Hallie finds some sanity at a local jewelry-making class where she uncovers a hidden talent for beading.

Will she keep searching for the happiness she may already have found?

 

The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Thomas Ford is the only survivor of the car crash which killed his wife. He is also the only witness who would be willing to identify the young, reckless driver who caused the crash. But the driver would sooner see Thomas Ford dead than ever let that happen.
Happy Reading!

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On a rainy Saturday in Arizona (not a typo), I started reading a certain hoary book to my son. And so it began …

The Hobbit appears in Prescott, AZ

The Hobbit appears in Prescott, AZ

To honor this inauguration, I produced my most sinister eyebrow yet. Come, see for yourself.

The Indoctrinator

The Indoctrinator

This copy of the book was given to me by James Powell, back in Athens, GA in the mid-90s. Reading it to my son (also named Athens) before the release of the movie was recently suggested by my friend James Coleman. And it is always possible that the inspiration of James A. Owen was in some way responsible for all of this. All of these men are kings, and so, I say, three King Jameses conspired to make this happen. There is a message in here for the perceptive … somewhere.

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12
Jul

This is Why We Write, or, Awesome Email from Readers

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III   in Better Writing, Inspiration, My Work

At the risk of seeming cheeky (don’t mind me, I have a burning secret desire to reside in the UK and drink lots of black tea with the locals), I’m going to post an email that I got from a reader last night. But before I do, allow me to dissect myself and let you know what the different parts of me are thinking right now.

The first part of me is probably just chuffed (there I go again with the UK bit!).

Another part of me hopes to inspire other writers, especially aspiring writers who haven’t yet polished and put their stories out there. Because I’m just a big kid writing stories from his basement, posting stuff on the internet. You can definitely do this too. Believe me, it feels great. This is absolutely so much fun.

Another part of me thinks this is a perfect example of how to send an email to a writer. 1) She blows much more praise in my direction than I deserve (and I love her for that). 2) There’s helpful feedback, which I requested in my author’s note at the end of my book (and I love her for that). Seriously, if you enjoy a writer’s work, you can give back so much to them by writing a review and/or sending an email like this. It makes our days (weeks? months? years?) and gives us wind gusts at our backs to help us put out the next story faster. I can’t overstate that.

The last part of me loves that she recognized two things I worked very hard on (heh, he said hard on): 1) formatting and proofreading, and 2) a lack of major plot holes, continuity errors, and inconsistent/contradictory information. I also love that she is dead on accurate about where I can improve on my characterization. In fact, I’ve already been working on the very thing she mentioned as I’m writing book 2.

Another part of me loves that this reader offered to be a beta reader, and I want to let you know that you too can volunteer to “beta read” my future books; that means you can be an early reader who lets me know where I’ve really screwed up (something I’ve been known to do a lot) so I can fix those issues before publishing it. And if you’d like to beta read, I intend to have a book 2 for you by the end of the year. Know that all good beta readers surely go straight to Heaven.

Alena granted me permission to post her email, so here it is, without further ado …

Subject: Tiny Gods, That Was Delicious!

Hello Moses,

I just finished reading “The Black God’s War” and I’d just like to tell you, “Bravo!” I truly enjoyed reading your book, and will probably enjoy reading it at least 3 or 4 more times. Since you said that you welcome critique, I figured I would shoot you an email (also, I’m REALLY curious about your pantheon, but more on that later).

Ok, so first things first: I think this might be the first e-book I have read to date that does not contain ANY formatting, spelling, punctuation or typographical errors, indie or not. At least I’m pretty sure of that. You see, I read a lot of e-books nowadays (I think I now have ~110 titles), and almost every one has those errors. It’s extremely irritating to be reading and have your groove thrown off by a misspelled word or an error in the format. I’m sure you can understand my frustration.

Now, onto the story: I honestly don’t know where to start. Ok, the pantheon. Wow. I loved the blend of gods, and the world building you did, just in the Rezzian religion, and would liked to have seen a bit more about the Pawelon spiritual beliefs. Also, I don’t believe you ever fully explained the meaning of Lux Lucis, though I gathered a bit from context. Maybe this will come in a later volume?

The characters were very believable, and I liked the way you developed them, but I think you probably could have done a little bit more  By this, I don’t mean to say that you didn’t go an amazing job with character development or on building each individual story line; you did. What I mean is this: Have you ever read a story that was in first person narrative and felt after a while that you were inside their head and could feel their emotions? I feel that, even though your story is primarily in third person, there are tiny glimpses into the protagonists beings. I think you have the skill to make us, the readers, feel like we’re inhabiting that person’s body while we are reading, and thus bring us into the story line, as well.

I loved the rich descriptions you gave about all the settings, clothing, the way men and women appeared and acted, the types of weapons they chose to use. I liked the cultural differences you gave to the two races in battle, and their differing strategies, along with cultural reasons for these strategies.

I would also like to congratulate you on something. When I read, I often look for plot holes or clues or undeveloped threads in the story, and I did not see any. It didn’t seem that you had any contradictory information in your story, nor were there any undeveloped thoughts or places the characters could have grown that just got forgotten.  And that’s kinda rare in a debut, indie novel.  So, good job there, buddy!

There are probably some other things I’d like to talk about, and ask you questions about, but it’s 1:30 in the frickin’ morning, and I have to wake up in a few hours. (OOOH!  The pantheon.  Really curious about how you developed it.) So, I should go to sleep.  It was lovely reading your book, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Cheers,

Alena Markins

P.S. I know you don’t know me yet, but I’m planting this seed in your head now. I would really like to become a beta reader at some point in the future. This is something we could talk about, if you’re open to it. I know that many authors are very nervous about this, so I will understand some hesitancy on your part. However, I do know that many authors like reader feedback from someone who is not just trying to make money off of them and genuinely enjoys a good product. Hopefully, I can convince you to be amenable to this idea in the future. I think you’ve got some great ideas and would like to read more of your work. Plus, I just like knowing secrets, especially if I know I’m the only one who knows them. :)

*****

And that, my friends, is why we write.

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Setting a new world record, Bryan Thomas Schmidt is now the first person to have written two guest blog posts here. His first was about creating relatable characters. I’m honored that he wrote another significant post for me and Dionysus in the bar, this time on a perennial question in fantasy and science fiction circles: what is epic? Btw, the second book in Bryan’s Saga of Davi Rhii was released just yesterday. The man writes epic-fun space opera, his work ethic is epic-inspiring, and he is an epic-awesome friend. We hope to see you in the comments!

Before I turn this over to Bryan, here are some other great posts on this subject from the fantasy side. N.K. Jemisin wrote one of the most interesting things I’ve read on What is Epic Fantasy? Chloe Smith at Fantasy-Faction covered good ground in “What Makes Epic Fantasy ‘Epic’?” And Clarkesworld featured what is indeed an epic discussion of epic fantasy (and because there’s always a sequel, part 2) featuring 26 popular authors, one agent, and an editor discussing the heart of Epic Fantasy. I’ll add some quick thoughts to the comments on this post.

*****

The Returning by Bryan Thomas SchmidtWhat does it mean when a story is described as epic? Epic fantasy comes to mind as do historical epics, and epic romances. These are common associations in which people use the term “epic” to describe stories or genres. But in science fiction, space operas are the typical subgenre with which the term “epic” is most associated. Per the dictionary, epic means “long story; long poems about legendary heroes; sagas or prose epics about famous men and women, especially of medieval times; synonyms: heroic poem, legend, narrative, saga, tale; antonym: short story.

Okay, so now that we’ve clarified that. Yeah, right, doesn’t help much.

When I interview authors and ask them to describe epic fantasy, terms like “high stakes,” “good versus evil,” and “save the world quests” are commonly thrown out. George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice and Fire, the basis of HBO’s popular Game Of Thrones TV spectacle is epic fantasy. So is The Lord Of The Rings and stories like Wheel Of Time, Terry Goodkind’s Sword Of Truth, Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, Weis and Hickman’s Dragonlance. The list could get quite long, but you probably get the idea. So let’s look at what’s epic on the science fiction side: Star Wars is considered an epic saga, along with Frank Herbert’s Dune series, TV series like Babylon 5FarscapeBattlestar GalacticaStar Trek, and Firefly, even Arthur C. Clarke’s famous Space Odyssey novels.

What makes these stories epic?

Epic stories take place on a large scale. They typically occur on more than one planet or across an entire continent or planet (in epic fantasy and historicals) with large casts of characters and complicated storylines. Political maneuvering tends to play a big role as do romance and battles against incredible odds and very ruthless antagonists. Heroes may work in groups, typically just a few in number, or they may work alone. Usually there is a mentor character of some sort and a sense of coming of age for the protagonist in some way, although exceptions do exist.

Epic stories tend to have large set pieces: scenes with large armies or many ships or vehicles or people involved, most often in battles. They tend to have lots of action and melodrama, although this doesn’t have to be of the exaggerated community theatre-type. Often differences in ideologies play a part such as the Dark and Light sides of the force in Star Wars or the different parties chasing the One Ring in Middle Earth. Quite often large families are involved or at least several generations of a family such as the Skywalkers, the Baggins, the Rahls, etc. Many times a member of the family has betrayed the rest or the family has split into factions. Sometimes there’s a lost prodigal. And sometimes there’s romantic competition.

The Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Last but not least, epic stories tend to have many creatures. This can take the form of mystical beings like dwarves, elves, trolls, etc. or aliens from other planets. Usually they are sentient beings and can communicate with each other somehow. Often they conflict over culture, needs and goals. But they all tend to be players in the larger drama in some way. Whether historical or fantastical,  epic stories always project a sense of history, a largeness, as if the world and its populace have existed long before the immediate story and will exist long after. There’s a historical stage on which events take place, whether real or make believe and its implications for the larger world and its inhabitants tend to be high stakes. Overall, the story tends to involve a quest or journey the outcome of which has bearing on a lot more than just one individual’s life.  In adventure fantasy, like sword and sorcery, you might have a lone hero saving damsels or fighting bad guys to win glory or prove his honor, but the outcome is much more about his personal journey than the entire history of the world or planet itself. Epic stories tend to involve earthshaking consequences for the whole world itself.

All of these are common themes one can find in epic stories as we tend to encounter them today. I’m sure you’ll recognize many of the elements from the stories mentioned but I’ll bet you can think of other stories with these elements. Moses’ The Black God’s War and my own Saga of Davi Rhii are epic stories, for example. What are some other elements I didn’t mention which you think should be on the list?  What are some of your favorite epic stories and why do you like them? I look forward to dialoguing with you about that below.

In Bryan’s second novel, The Returning, new challenges arise as Davi Rhii’s rival Bordox and his uncle, Xalivar, seek revenge for his actions in The Worker Prince, putting his life and those of his friends and family in constant danger. Meanwhile, politics as usual has the Borali Alliance split apart over questions of citizenship and freedom for the former slaves. Someone’s even killing them off. Davi’s involvement in the investigation turns his life upside down, including his relationship with his fiancée, Tela. The answers are not easy with his whole world at stake.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the author of the space opera novels The Worker Prince, a Barnes & Noble Book Clubs Year’s Best SF Releases of 2011 Honorable Mention, and The Returning, the collection The North Star Serial, Part 1, and several short stories featured  in anthologies and magazines.  He edited the anthology Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 for Flying Pen Press, headlined by Mike Resnick. As a freelance editor, he’s edited novels and nonfiction.  He’s also the host of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat every Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter under the hashtag #sffwrtcht. A frequent contributor to Adventures In SF PublishingGrasping For The Wind and SFSignal, he can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website. Bryan is an affiliate member of the SFWA.

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My good buddy and editor Joshua Essoe has succeeded in pulling me out of guest blog hibernation. The result is this incredibly strange post I wrote over at The Fictorians for those considering going indie. It features some good resources, and even a little advice (warning: the advice comes from me).

I need to add a lot of new bloggers’ reviews of The Black God’s War to my ‘book’ page above, but here’s one I have to share today. This one felt like a soul kiss. Thank you, Nina Post! It’s all good. We’re both married.

p.s. the email notifications haven’t been working on my blog recently. If you got an email about this one, there are three recent posts you may have missed, including a post about where the heck I’ve been for the last five months. EDIT: Those darn notifications still aren’t working. Hmph.

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