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Mya Wilder


I so enjoy reading your stories, looking at your anime pics,
and vicariously enjoying your deviled eggs.
  -- Nilufar Tofighi

Before anything else, I wish you health & safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Take good care of yourself!

Normally, blogs are added to from the top, with older entries moving farther down the page over time. But I'm going to do this page of my blog the opposite way, adding each new entry at the bottom, because I don't want newer entries to include spoilers if or when people come to the top of this page for the first time and start reading there. You can email me about this page at [email protected] with MYA as the first word of the Subject line. I would love to hear from you.

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Entries During

Lion's Tooth,
Lion's Mane

2021-01-15 Intro

2021-02-16 Fan

2021-03-12 Contest

2021-04-12 Entries

2021-05-14 One

2021-06-16 Interview

2021-07-23 Change

2021-08-20 Error

2021-09-19 Questions

2021-10-21 Upset

2021-11-23 Apology

2021-12-13 Winner


Go to Older Entries

Switch to Mya's Page

A Twelve-Part True Story
Lion's Tooth, Lion's Mane


Before you start reading this blog page for the first time, please look at the descriptive paragraph up above. It explains how and why you will read this blog differently than usual.

Mya wearing the first COVID mask she ever madeAs you know if you've been following my blog for the past two years, I love anime, cosplay, K-pop, and glam makeup. So back toward the end of 2018, my Grams asked me did I want to do a new page, in addition to my home page, sharing photos of me and some of my favorite memories over these past seven years now.

Did I? Of course I did! So I posted a set of pictures every month in 2019 and 2020, covering from my first-ever anime con in 2014 through the end of 2019. I hope you enjoyed them; or if you haven't seen them yet, I hope you will. As Grams sometimes says in her blog to be silly, you go ahead and look at my 2019 and 2020 pages and I'll wait here until you get back (using the back arrow).

Hi back! So that's pix of all the stuff I enjoyed from 2014 to 2019, with every expectation of continuing to do so. And then, like Jimmy Fallon sang in that video Grams decided to send you for January: Suddenly COVID!

Well, that obviously meant no more conventions, concerts, parades, glammy parties, or any other big, in-person events. Plus, I earned a scholarship and started college this past Fall, which I'm thoroughly enjoying and which is keeping me very busy, meaning it doesn't leave time for lots of cosplay and glam events even if there were any to attend.

So I've decided to do something different this year. I'm telling a true story that takes you with me on an "interesting" journey I had a few years ago. (I've asked Grams to help, because she never throws anything away.) I hope you will enjoy it.

This deep purple COVID mask is
the 1st one I ever made for myself.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



My true story starts with being a fan. Not me, all that much, at first; but my Mom and Grams. See, Mom got to be a big fan of the DC Arrowverse on the CW, so much that she DVR'd them all and watched faithfully every week. First Arrow; then also Flash when it spun off; and eventually the spinoff-spinoff Legends of Tomorrow, too.

It turned out my Grams watched Arrow and Flash too, very occasionally, but they weren't what she called "appointment viewing" for her. When LoT started, though, she decided to watch the pilot because of a sort of Doctor Who connection, which you can read about here. And, to put it bluntly, she got hooked. Not because of the Doctor Who connection, but because of the casting of Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell as Captain Cold and Heatwave. She'd seen an episode or two of Prison Break, thought the "stunt casting" of the PB brothers in LoT might be fun to watch, and (as I said) was almost instantly hooked.

So she started watching LoT every week, too. In fact, she and I would watch it together on the phone (just like she used to do with Uncle Mead when the classic-era Doctor Who was aired on PBS Sunday nights). After a while, we also started watching Flash rerun episodes that had Captain Cold and Heatwave in them; then watching all the Flash episodes; then eventually watching all the Arrow episodes, too. So we kind of did it all backwards, but we got it done.

Based on the excellent #Wentnic dynamic in Flash and especially LoT - that #WentnicIsScreenGold thing - Grams decided to go back and watch PB too, especially when she found out there was going to be a PB Season 5 made during the normal LoT hiatus. (After binge watching the first four seasons, she told me if she'd known there was going to be science fictional macguffin in it, she might've watched it from the gitgo.) She didn't have me watch it with her, though, because she felt I was too young at that point. Mom agreed. (I have binge watched it since, and did enjoy it.)
Wentworth Miller as David Scott riding a parasaurolophus dinosaur in Dinotopia
But she had run across something that Wentworth Miller had done when he was younger that was age-appropriate for me. So when I was staying with her one weekend, we watched it together. It was the miniseries Dinotopia.

And I loved it! I loved (after an initial dislike) Wentworth Miller's David Scott character; I loved Wentworth Miller's acting, including the hard stunt work he did himself; and then I loved Wentworth Miller's writing on his FB page. (Grams wrote a lot about my reaction to him - and lots of other fun and serious stuff we shared - in Twigs of a Family Tree, so you can read up on it there if you want.)

That's what laid the groundwork for my "interesting" journey, which I'll take you to the starting line of next month. Till then, be safe!

That's David Scott riding a (I think)
parasaurolophus dinosaur in Dinotopia.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



So my Grams was very aware of how I fell in admiration with Wentworth Miller. And over the years she told me about news related to him, because she had a friend who pretty much always told her, like for example when he had a Facebook page I could follow (I'm on FB; she's not) and when he got cast throughout the final season of Madam Secretary (all except the final episode, which I think was almost as messed up as his not being in the credits for the final episode of the first season of Legends of Tomorrow).

And one thing I was especially excited about, way back when I was 14, was when she told me about a student mental-health organization that he had previously volunteered to be a spokesperson for. Specifically, it was running a T-shirt design contest, the winner of which would be sold as a fundraiser. We gathered from what the organization was saying that this would be the first of such an annual event. Would I be interested in entering, Grams asked, since I was at that time quite interested in clothing design?

Well, how could I resist? With her encouragement, I thought of two slogans, and sketched a rough design for each of them.

AAM I NOT ENOUGHT? There are scars you can SEE. Then there are scars you'll never see... - Girl crying as she remembers all the hurtful names she's been calledI'm afraid to tell...that I feel like I am dying inside? - Tragedy-mask-like face with overflowing tears and sewn-shut lips

These were my very first two idea sketches. They were VERY rough, but I felt they were also very sympathetic.
(I TOLD you Grams never throws anything away! LOL)

I compared my first-try ideas to all the organization's design guidelines and official rules (which Grams and I studied together, which there were PAGES of) and things on their website. Then I went back to the drawing board and started reworking my ideas to make them more meaningful and more punchy. I also thought that, in addition to expressing sympathy with teenagers who experience depression and suicidalness, there needed to be hopefulness, too. That spurred my creativity even more, and I ended up with four slogans and designs that felt right. I'm not the greatest sketch artist, so it wasn't easy, but it was fun.

When I was satisfied with the results, Grams checked for me and, yes, I had met all of the applicable requirements as published. She was proud of me, especially that I was so enthused and productive that I developed not just one but four very different slogans and designs. To be honest, I was proud of me, too.

The next step was to use some software on Grams's computer to turn my rough sketches into clean, uncomplicated, sharp-edged, printable picture files. That was hard work, too, but Grams pitched in and helped. She helped a lot, and I appreciated it.

Next month, I'll show you how my final designs turned out.

Fri, Mar 05, 2021 at 4:00 PM, Nilufar wrote:
Hi, Lucki!
  I so enjoy your stories about Mya, as you know I'm one of her biggest blog fans -- love her makeup and writing talent, and love your relationship together! Your rapport is inspiring and exemplary!
  Happy almost Naw-Ruz!
  Lucki responds to Nilufar:
  Thank you, Nilu. Yep, Mya certainly inspires me. Happy almost Baha'i New Year to you, too. And keep checking back monthly for the rest of Mya's story.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



As I said last month, Grams helped me turn my final sketches into picture files with software on her computer. If you look at my first sketch on the left last month, you'll see here how it was eventually built in the computerized version (Grams never throws ANYTHING away):



Steps 1 & 2: Use simple templates to create a blue tragedy mask & a pink comedy mask.
Steps 3 & 4: Divide the comedy mask in half & move the pieces to almost hide the tragedy mask behind it. Steps 5 & 6: Add a comedy mask speech balloon & text, tragedy mask thought balloon & text, & title.

So that's how I built Hear The Tears and also two other ideas: Not Enough and The World Disagrees. Plus a fourth one that was a little different. I'll get back to that plus-one later. I don't want to distract you from the process flow right now.

Because I was underage, I needed adult permission to enter the contest; so Grams took care of that, too. Being careful again to review and correctly follow all the
official rules for submitting entries, we submitted all four files with clear white backgrounds like the one above (right). But just to help the contest judges envision my whole plans, I also submitted mock-up files (shown below) with suggestions for the best T-shirt color as background. Also, as requested, I sent a cover email with each entry that included "a few words about what your design means to you" (quoted below):

"When you put on a mask, no one can see your true self. When you don't want to burden anyone else, your burden gets bigger and bigger. If you don't cry for help, how can anyone know to help you? And if you do cry for help, people need to pay attention."
"They say that 'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.' But that's a lie. Bullying hurts. Disrespect haunts. Words cause scars that no one sees. And when your soul starts to die, how do you kill your demons without killing yourself?" "There's nobody on the planet that somebody doesn't care about, or pray for, or need. When someone feels that they're totally alone in the world, no one understands, no one can help, and absolutely no one will care if they leave it, they're wrong. We need to tell them so…often."

More about the oddball plus-one next month. Meanwhile, stay safe and well, keep wearing your mask (two is even better) and doing social distancing, and get vaccinated as soon as you're eligible. As Grams keeps saying, we can all see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we must not let that blind us into thinking we're OUT yet.

Mon, Apr 12, 2021 at 11:53 PM, Nancy B. wrote:
  I really like this story, Mya describing her process. I really like Mya's stories, her poetry, the way she writes. You've been teaching her about things and encouraging her caring about people since she was little, and it shows. Since there haven't been any conventions for her to go to now, I'm enjoying how she's doing this story this year. I look forward to the next piece.
  Lucki responds to Nancy B.:
  Thank you, Nancy. I dunno, though, I think most of that intelligence and caring didn't come from anything I did. I think she was born with it.
    Tue, Apr 13, 2021 at 02:50 PM, Nancy wrote:
  You've been teaching her from even her infancy. Rey has been teaching her, too (and of course her mother). They both got a lot from you.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



I forget to mention that I also created an extra version of one of the entries I showed you last month. I wanted to see what the globe would look like on a black T-shirt if they were able to use three colors instead of just two. Especially with those glaciers at the poles, it would really feel like looking at the earth in space. The orbiting words could've been in white, too, or simply reflected the blue and green of the earth, those also being the hues of the organization's logo. Once I knew the contest limits for sure, though, I didn't expect them to want it, but you never know. And when your creative juices are flowing, you don't want to bury them; you want to let them flare with flair.

And about that oddball plus-one: It's the only one of the four that I didn't create from scratch out of my own head. Instead, I used a quotation by someone else, and a two-tone picture Grams had created for something else (and then offered to let me use, too). So I didn't have to make a hand sketch first. We just went straight to the computer and experimented with placement and fonts and how to enhance Grams's graphic for my use.

[ASIDE] By the way, you can see what she offered me if you have (or get) Twigs of a Family Tree. This is a plug. I want you to know that when the book came out, I went to the release party and tried (though I didn't quite succeed) to be the first person in line to buy a copy with my own saved-up money. When I paid the cashier, got the book, and went to her signing table, Grams said I hadn't needed to buy one as she'd already set one aside for a gift. But I insisted. I even paid the "Angel" price with its donation to help people who couldn't afford a copy all on their own.

Front Cover of Twigs of a Family Tree

It turned out I'm in the book a lot! So if you like my stories here, I bet you'll like a lot of the book, too, even the parts that aren't about me. LOL [/ASIDE]

Anyway, my plus-one work went pretty quickly. I titled it I Persist, and I said in the cover email, "I was inspired by something Wentworth Miller said on the Internet; and since he is your Ambassador, I thought he might be willing to let you use a quotation of his, a message of hope. Everyone—especially someone who thinks they can't keep on living—needs to know that they can. They can endure. They can persist. They can survive. They can be alive."

So I sent them all off, and that was that. Grams praised me for having such caring ideas and for following through, even to the point of multiple entries. But she was honest with me about what the competition would probably be like. I understood. I was young, not stupid. I knew how long the odds were. I was more looking forward to learning whose design did win, as I planned to support them by buying one of the winning T-shirts.

Time passed. And then Grams got an unexpected phone call. Could they schedule me and (because I was underage) her in a follow-up phone call to do an interview about the contest for a blog article? Yes, of course they could ... for the next weekend I'd be spending with her.

Well, that sounded exciting. I wondered how many people would be mentioned in their article, and why me. I suspected they wanted to include me because maybe I was the youngest person to enter. Grams said that made sense, or maybe because I'd entered so many times and they liked my enthusiasm.

My weekend with Grams finally came. So did the phone call. They started by, indeed, telling me why they wanted to talk specifically to me. Which makes the title for this month a pun ... because one of my four designs had WON!! In fact, the one that won was my plus-one. Wow!

I'll invite you into the interview next month.

Sun, Jun 06, 2021 at 9:44 PM, Kim B wrote:
Hi Lucki,
  Finally had time to give your blog[s] a look this month.  So much stuff.
  LOVED the declaration story from your spiritual daughter - the hungry one.
  Was interested in the Moderna pun, but didn't get your title.  ("Modernaty" - what??)
  Was suitably saddened, grossed-out and all by the recycle rant - I feel the same way, but can live lower on the food chain here [Fiji].
  Star of the month was Mya's post.  I don't always go for Mya's stuff because I'm not into comic con and the like, but decided I had the time to take a look.  WOWSERS!  Tell her I said congrats!
  Read the adding insult posts - and just felt sad.  I don't get tv.  I don't see the ads - so for the most part this is just a misery.  But then the one about the HONEST ad - that was so funny.  Oy lei.
  Thanks for keeping up with it all.  See you in July  :)
  Lucki responds to Kim B:
  Yeah, Kimit was a very prolific and meaty month. So's your comment!
  Helena's story is a good one, isn't it? It amazes me, sometimes, the paths people took to arrive at their chosen faith. As your own can attest.
  Just another pun ... on modernity.
  What can I say? I just hope my rant inspires someone(s) else to also start contacting companies about lowering their plastic-packaging profile.
  Glad you found the time, especially as this year's AniME is all one true-life story that has nothing to do with cosplay or cons. I'll be sure to let Mya know what you said. And hang in there, 'cuz her story ain't over yet. Not by a long shot.
  I'm glad you were able, sans TV, to appreciate the "honest ad" article. I do get notes from people just saying they recognized which ad a rant was about. Sometimes proving their point by IDing the product or company. It's rarer that someone can appreciate a rant when they've never seen the commercial it's about, just from my description. Must be writing something right.
  My plesaure. Out of curiosity, did you not have time to look at May's Aphorisms & Memes? Or don't you ever? Or did you forget to mention them? Or was there just not any you liked? Inquiring authors want to know. ;-)

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



OK, let's recap a little, back when I was 14:  In May, Grams told me about the contest, and asked would I be interested. I replied "This looks awesome! I would be interested in doing this! I have some ideas as well now!" So we worked on four entries, three based on my own thoughts and a plus-one based on a quotation. In June, I sent my entries to the organization, along with the info requested and a statement that I had (with Grams) read, understood, and agreed to the official rules (this is important!). At month end, an organization staff member contacted me, thanked me for entering, mentioned how their Ambassador's quote had inspired them, and asked to talk on the phone. In July, me and Grams had that chat with the Communications Manager, which is when I learned that one of my designs had won.

To continue, now, with that call:  It turned out the organization had, like, 50 people enter its contest. That number seemed low to me, and I doubt everyone did like me and entered four designs; though really some people may have entered more than four, because you could enter as often as you wanted. In any case, though there might not have been the hundreds of entries I expected, it was still an honor being told that one of mine was the best. I was so excited I could hardly think straight.

Luckily, the manager said that for their blog article (not about various entrants, as I had assumed, but just about my plus-one) she would email me the list of questions to answer. That was nice. It's always better to have time to think. She also asked for a photograph; and having time to answer the questions in writing also gave me time to decide on which of three favorite photos I wanted to send.

BTW, she kept her promise and sent the list to me that very day, along with a media release for "photographs, videos, comments, and audio recordings". There were five questions:

While I was answering them. Grams contacted Dad for permission. Then, when he responded, she signed the release for me, and emailed it on July 8. Instead of "Parent/Guardian", she had to edit the form to say "Lucki M. Wilder (grandmother), at the instruction of" Dad; but that apparently proved OK with the organization.

The manager also told me something else that really surprised me. She said that no one in the organization had been aware of the quotation I used and that they had to research it to find out if it was real. Well, of course I could understand wanting to be sure it was real, but I couldn't understand how the whole staff had missed it, when it was part of an article he publicly posted on FB dealing with his own depression an article that in a mere six months from the day he posted it, according to FB administrator stats, it had reached 77,981,992 people. Yep, you read that right. Nearly 78 million people! I even remember the article making our local evening news channels after he posted it, it was that special.

But no one in the organization had ever heard of it? Their own Ambassador's words ... that reached, depending on how you look at it, one in four people in the U.S. or one in ninety people in the whole world! But they never heard of it?! How strange!!

Oh well. On July 7, I sent the manager my interview responses, as well as a picture of me that they requested. I also re-sent one of the graphic files for my winning entry, which was alluded to in the interview, and a list of concerns I had.

Concerns? Yes! Why? Because of one other thing they told me in the phone call. Something that was maybe even more surprising. Stay tuned.

Thu, Jun 17, 2021 at 4:00 PM, Nancy B. wrote:
  Oh, you little stinker! You get me all interested in what's happening like that, Mya, and then you make me wait for another month.
  Lucki responds to Nancy B.:
  Yep, what with all that cosplay and glam and whatnot, she definitely has developed a flair for the dramatic, hasn't she? That's my #grandMya!
Fri, Jul 02, 2021 at 8:57 PM, Kim B. wrote:
  I popped over to see Mya's bit. Fantastic! (But please tell her when continuing a story to put in a note clarifying what the story is.... "to continue about the contest" [Which contest?]
  Lucki responds to Kim B.:
  Under normal circumstances, I'd agree and ask her to do so. But this whole year's blog is all about just the one contest, and she's been talking about it in depth for four months now (and will continue to do so). I hope most readers are able to pick up the thread each month ... or have a minute or two to scan back through the previous entries to refresh their memory. I'm glad you're curious and finding it fun to read, though. She does have some interesting stories to tell ... and tell well.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



I left you wondering last month what final great surprise - and believe me, it was a SURPRISE - I heard from the organization's Communications Manager. I guess that cliffhanger worked, because here you are again, reading to find out, LOL.

I also started with a brief recap last month. But we're halfway through the year and the story now, so let me just offer an easy-to-follow timeline to date:

= 5/01:  Grams told me about the contest, I liked it, and we started working.
= 6/18:  I sent in my four entries.
= 6/30:  The organization contacted me to schedule a phone call.
= 7/05:  The phone call happened.
= 7/07:  I sent my interview responses and picture.
= 7/08:  Grams emailed the Media Release.
= 7/10:  The sales campaign had been started and blog article posted.

Anyway, here's a copy of the interview as it was printed.

The T-shirt campaign announcement & contest-winner interview

By now, BTW, I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't actually named the organization who ran this contest (though you can easily find it). For good reason, as you'll soon see. Remember, they had me (Grams) sign that media release so they would own and could use (or, of course, choose not to use) all my material: entries, interview, picture, etc. And notice how quickly they pushed everything into action from that phone call on. Figures. Because...

"BUT..." the manager told me, they had to change my design. Because they had to change their rules. Because, she said, they couldn't afford to print two colors. And apparently, I thought later though she didn't say so, they couldn't afford the dense, non-cheesy, background-color of T-shirt I designed my two-color graphic for, either? Or at least they didn't want to spend up-front money on those things. Come on, have you ever heard of "you got to spend money to make money"?

Really? AFTER the contest is over?! That's when you change the rules? WTF? (Now I'm saying that last thing. I don't think I thought it back then. I don't know what Grams thought.)

And what they changed it to was, once I really had time to think about it later, dumb and ugly. Really dumb and really ugly. And just plain wrong. You'll see.

Thu, Jul 24, 2021 at 10:55 PM, Nancy B. wrote:
  How interesting. What did they change? And that was funny, when she said exactly what she thought now but did not think when she was years younger. I should hope not, LOL.
  Lucki responds to Nancy B.:
  Yeah, I appreciated that. If you contact me offline, Nancy, I'll tell you the story of something similar, but even funnier, that happened with her dad when he was a kid. He didn't remember it, but he thinks it's funny now, too.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



Like I started to tell you last month, in retrospect the change the organization made to my "winning" T-shirt design was uncalled for, unfair, ugly and, I feel, detrimental to their campaign. But I'd been so excited about winning that I said okay to their change without really thinking about it carefully. After all, I really did want to help their work however I could. And Grams was so excited for me that she let me choose for myself and was willing to support me either way.

I think we both made an error there. And I know Grams agrees.

So quick as can be, they offered the T-shirt for sale. Their T-shirt, not mine. Nothing like mine. Plus, they left in the interview something I said about my design that would no longer even make any sense to readers, who only had the organization's (re)design to look at. That's right. they didn't even bother to review the wording in the interview for continuity. It was like the blog article and the T-shirt being sold weren't hardly connected to each other at all. And I'm sure readers thought it was my fault, that I'd been nonsensical when I responded to the interview questions.

In the long run (or even the medium run), I was not - as Grams says - a happy camper. And for my sake, neither was she. (Well, not only for my sake, I think. You'll see.)

And like I've repeatedly said, I think their design was ugly. Perhaps you'll disagree, though; and it's okay if you do. Still, I think that's why they ended up selling only 132 T-shirts, even with all my family and friends who bought some. Yeah, that's right, only a measly...

A measly 132! - blue/purple frowny face

And why, with that paltry showing, to the best of my knowledge the organization never ran another contest like that. (Though admittedly, I - and Grams - haven't haunted that website much since, so I don't really know for sure ... or care.)

I think my design would've sold a lot more. Maybe 1,320. Or even 13,200?! And led to similar contests/campaigns on an annual basis. I don't know. I'll let you be the judge soon. I'll show you their design after I ask my Top Ten Questions next month. And I'll show you my design by year's end. And I'll ask you to tell me what YOU think of them. 'Cuz I really want to know.

Until then, be safe as the cooler weather starts coming in next month, which will make things even more risky, COVID-19-ily speaking.

Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 11:01 PM, Nancy B. wrote:
  132. That's not a lot. How big are they?
  I don't think I've ever seen Mya's T-shirt, or I guess it'd be the organization's that I might have seen on someone. This happened years ago, when I wasn't personally aware of her. So I'm looking forward to seeing them both and comparing. Will we see the organization's at the bottom of her 10 questions in September, or have to wait until October?
  Lucki responds to Nancy B.:
  The organization purports to have thousands of student members all over the country. On many college campuses and even, I believe, chapters in a few high schools. Given what I knew about them from their adverts and such, I thought Mya's guesstimate that they could've sold 1,320 - to members and other students, their families and friends, possibly even professors and campus staff - wasn't all that out of whack.
  Inquiring minds want to know when, huh? Well, I have a copy of the plan and I help ensure things are covered in order, completely, and when planned for. OTOH, it has been modified once or twice, so I guess we'll have to wait and see for sure.
Wed, Sep 01, 2021 at 5:10 PM, Kim B. wrote:
  I had a bit of time and looked through everything.
  LOVED the declaration story - and LOVED the photo of Mead (I finally see his face!) and Marielle and Shoghi - what a beautiful family. And really loved what her father said and how that all played out.
  Customer service????  I would worry about inputting the SSN to a bank number even on the back of the card.  That sounds so hacked. But congrats on staying free of cell phones!
  Adding insult - "politico posturing while people perish" reminds me very much of a political cartoon in the Greenville NC newspaper when I was a college student - it was of poppy fields on the left (id'd "Turkey") and emaciated people with their hands out on the right. The caption was "They grow opium while people are starving." The hypocrisy of running that in the heart of tobacco country really got to me.
  I looked at that Hall of Claims site - what a hoot.  And yeah, I love JK and yeah, that sounds like a serious script misstep.
  Malcolm Gladwell did a chapter in one of his books (maybe Blink or Outliers) on ketchup. There's a lot of good reasons that the top two ketchup brands are the top two. But - yeah, the ad sounds stupid.
  Reading Mya's bit every month because I find her so likeable. Sorry about that with the design .... but really feel sorry for me as a reader because I wanted to see a photo of her design and of the one they went with so that I could see what she was talking about - and see if I agree.
  Life is challenging here. Your stuff makes me smile and takes me on a mini-vacation. Thanks!
  Lucki responds to Kim B.:
Hi yourself, faithful reader,
  Glad you had time for it all. Kim.
  Yes, I hadn't really heard Marielle's declaration story quite like that. Her perspective was interesting.
  I had a cell phone account once. Rey got it for me. Drove me crazy … hated having so many people think they had a right to my IMMEDIATE response to their calls. I finally dumped it. The convenience in an occasional emergency wasn't worth the 24/7 hassle.
  Yeah. If you remember, I opted for the Moderna vaccine, even though I had to wait for months, partly because of their being the only company of the three that was never complicit in the opioid epidemic (which, of course, is still raging, too). And of course, quitting smoking, like, 40 years ago was one of the best things I and God ever did for myself.
  As far as I can tell, they're going to keep adding stuff to that Hall of Claims site. Worth checking back every year or so.
  Doesn't it, though. What was Dad thinking?!
  You will. She has it all planned out to crescendo over the next 3 months. Stick with it and you'll get that chance to agree (or not).
  Smiles and mini-vacays do help with challenges, don't they? That and provoking thought means we're doing our bloggy jobs.
So stay safe and smiling,

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



Be patient. You'll see their design next month, and mine before year's end. Then you'll have the opportunity to compare and comment, as you'll be totally in the know. But if there's anything I ever learned from Uncle Mead, it's not to step on someone's lines. That includes my own. Have to keep you in suspense, don't I, or you may not come back to read the rest.

So there I was, my interview posted for all to see the incongruity of, the not-my-design offered up for sale, and my mind recovering from the excitement enough to have some (lots of) very serious questions cropping up ... or more like jumping up and down, waving their arms, and screaming their way into my head.

Generic figure leaning against a big red qeustion mark

These were sort of my top ten:

1, If they suddenly realized they couldn't afford two colors, why didn't they just ask ME to change MY design to one color (the hotter one), which would've still worked?

2. If they had other background colors like blue and gray and white, why didn't they even offer a black T-shirt (my background suggestion) at all?

3. Why did they call ME the winner, steal my idea, have someone else make a totally different design, and pretend it was anything like my "winner"?

4. Whom did they get to totally trash my design, and why didn't they just give THAT person credit?

5. Why didn't they read the interview for preservation of continuity, and edit it before they published it in their blog?

6. They said they got Wentworth Miller's permission to use his quote, but how can I trust that they really did?

7. Even if they did, did he really say they could use what he wrote without attribution, or did they just plagiarize him (which I didn't; I included credit in my design itself)?

8. Why did he stop mentioning them on his FB page?

9. Is it because they treated him shabbily, too, in this and/or other ways?

10. Is that the kind of people they really are; and if so, why would I ever want to associate with them any more either?

As Grams always says: Inquiring minds want to know.

Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 10:23 PM, Nancy B. wrote:
  I really liked this entry. I like the format that asked those real good questions, and I like the picture. It's amazing how just two little lines can make the question mark jump and scream and scare the little figure.
  Mya responds to Nancy B.:
  I like the format of it all, too. It looks good. I think the questions were the best way to show what was in my mind then. Grams gets credit for the graphic, though. It was a stock picture, but she tweaked it, and I like how she put it in the middle again, too, like she did last month.
  Lucki responds to Nancy B. & Mya:
  I concur about how well the questions worked. Yeah, I took the stock graphic apart, manipulated it a little to emphasize the intimidation factor, and added the jittery lines for motion and noise. But remember, Mya is, as always, the inspiration.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject




For everyone who, like reader Nancy, called me some version of a "little stinker" for making her wait from month to month or who, like reader Kim, just wanted to SEE the T-shirt designs now so she could decide if she agrees with me, you're getting part of your wish this month. Thank you for your patience...and enthusiasm. Appreciative readers are appreciated.

Despite all those screaming questions I had, I was as gracious as I felt I ought to be. And when I finally received my prize package, I did keep a promise to make a small donation back to them out of it.

Card from the organization What someone wrote inside    My memo back to them

But after rethinking, and with all those unanswered questions, I realized how upset I was about:

When they said their (changing-the-rules-after-the-contest) design was "inspired" by my design, I guess they meant it like movies do. Because Grams and I have talked about how movies tell you: This movie is...

  = a documentary (we're showing you real life, though not necessarily complete or unbiased),
  = a docudrama (we mostly documented real-life stuff, but we dramatized it for effect),
  = based on (we saw an idea we liked and wrote a reasonably true-to-life but not factual script about it), or
  = inspired by (we saw an idea we liked, filed off the serial numbers, and fictionalized it almost beyond recognition; so don't you believe a word of it).

Advertisement/sales page for "winning" T-shirt
See larger image with background color Grams chose to get

You'll notice that in the advertisement/sales page for the "winning" T-shirt, the organization offered two styles, three background colors (none of which is the black I suggested), and seven sizes. What it didn't offer is anything even vaguely like my design. And what it did offer, I don't feel it offered honestly.

For starters, even when you look at the way larger image, do you see any dandelions in that design? Even though my mention of dandelion art got left in the blog interview transcript? Because I sure don't. Even those tree-ishy letters on the last line don't make me think of dandelions, or any kind of flower. Plus, I think the text is ridiculously complicated to the point of being unreadable. I mean, come on, three different type styles? One of them cursive, one of them block print, and one of them all caps? With virtually no space between the lines? And the crazy slanting? And the muted, undramatic colors of both the type and all its backgrounds?

It was obviously designed by a rank amateur. One whose taste sure doesn't echo, or even mimic, mine. The idea that the organization used that instead of my design - which, remember, I could've easily and willingly re-rendered in one graphic color for them and they could've used on only one background color (it has to be cheaper to print them all on just one color of T-shirt, right?) - that, as Grams says, just boggled my mind. (I don't know, maybe whoever-it-was's grams worked for the organization and was trying to encourage and support her/him, like Grams did for me. If so, she could've done a better job of helping her grandkid polish stuff a little, like Grams did for me. Again, so people seeing someone wearing it could read it.)

And do you see Wentworth Miller given credit anywhere on the T-shirt? (Trust me, it wasn't on the back with the logo, either.) Or even on the advertisement/sales page? Do you see any indication at all that the quotation actually came from someone? Or does it come across - at least to anyone who didn't read the blog entry - as if the organization staff came up with an interesting idea all on their own? There's not even any punctuation to indicate it's a quotation. Okay, maybe those extraneous little "petals" could've been perceived as quotation marks...except they only enclose the first of the three lines.

I don't care if Wentworth Miller gave them permission to use his words. Stripping away his well-deserved credit (which you can be sure I included) like that? Even if they didn't technically plagiarize (which I'm not convinced of), that's still shabby treatment regardless.

Of course, it was way too late for me to do anything about it. Only I did do something. Tell you what next month.

Thu, Oct 22, 2021 at 12:12 AM, Nancy B. wrote:
  You little stinker...again. Oh well, at least it's just 2 months to go. So they owned everything of yours, but didn't use it. But what was the use of them having a contest if they weren't going to use what won? It doesn't make sense. I can see why you were upset.
  Lucki responds to Nancy B.:
  So could I. It took a while for Mya to see all this, as she gradually controlled her excitement, and her thinking matured. I think it was a valuable lesson. She's gonna be a lot harder to railroad into unthinking action, hopefully even preaction, in future. Some people never learn that lesson, or it costs them dearly before they finally do.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



Looking back at the questions I listed back in September, you'll notice that Wentworth Miller had stopped speaking on behalf of the organization, and my wondering was it because they had done something shoddy or unethical that angered or discouraged him, too. In any case, I felt I owed him an explanation, apology, and possibly some token restitution for any of my part in that. So I wrote him a letter and emailed it to Grams, who had access to a color printer.

Unfortunately, though, I didn't want to just mail it to some fan-mail address. I hated the odds. I knew he had around 1,800,000 followers just on his FB page. That's never mind the nearly 78,000,000 FBers (and probably countless others who heard about it via print and broadcast news stories) reached by his March 28, 2016 response* to a fat-shaming meme attacking him on FB. So I had to assume that he gets hundreds or thousands of fan letters every week. Enough that they mostly just sit in a fan-mail cabinet somewhere until they get old enough to throw away. I wanted a better chance than that of getting my apology to him.

Fortunately, a chance eventually presented itself. The morning I was heading off for C2E2 in 2018, I discovered who was (unexpectedly to me) going to be on a Legends of Tomorrow panel. Unfortunately, Wentworth Miller was not. As Grams says, DRATS! Fortunately, Dominic Purcell was. And he would also be doing photo ops with fans. The price for that was hefty, but it seemed worth it if, instead of worrying about getting a photo with him, I could use the brief time to do an "elevator pitch" explaining what my letter was about and asking him if he could get it directly to Wentworth Miller for me. The worst that could happen would be him saying "no"; but it was worth a try. And since they came to consider themselves "brothers", he might really be willing.

Caity Lotz, Dominic Purcell, & Brandon Routh at C2E2 2018
Legends of Tomorrow panel: Caity Lotz, Dominic Purcell, & Brandon Routh

Unfortunately, I didn't have a copy of the letter at hand (or even a black-&-white printer to print one on). Grams had it. I asked my ride to the con to please take me to Grams' place first to get it. But they didn't want to spend their time going out of their way. DOUBLE DRATS! There was nothing I could do. My best chance ever, gone. I felt disappointed enough, I didn't even go to the panel.

I learned from Grams later that (a) she would've gladly gifted me the cost of the photo op and (b) I could have called her from the con and asked her to email me her formatted file, and probably gotten it printed by the hotel office or someone. Oh, well. Time for Plan B. Snailmail again, but a cut above a common fan-mail address.

Despite finding a 2nd-best way to update and send the letter about two months later, which way I won't describe because it involves Grams personally knowing someone with strong familial connections to Hollywood, I never heard back. Maybe Wentworth Miller still never saw it. Maybe it unfortunately got to him during a bout of isolative depression. Maybe he was still so angry, he just didn't want to deal with any of it. I guess I'll never know. I can only wish him well.

And who knows, maybe someday someone will tell him about my blog and he'll see my letter here for himself (just like you can now). Even ask for an unredacted, 2-sided original. Who knows?

*That FB-meme response is where I got the quote from, so it boggles my mind that the organization had never heard of it. If you want to see that response and the apology it garnered, just email my Grams and she'll send you a copy. And if you want to read why Grams and Uncle Mead also sent a letter about his helping a friend, check out the story in Twigs of a Family Tree. Sadly, they didn't hear back, either.

Thu, Nov 25, 2021 at 10:30 AM, Nancy B. wrote:
  That was a very thoughtful letter. I am going to see HER design next month, right? Happy Thanksgiving.
  Lucki responds to Nancy B.:
  I concur. Yes, you are. Thank you, you too, remember whom you are thankful for...and tell them so.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject



And here we are, come to the end of my story. Thank you for sticking with me all year. (I sure wish I could have taken down the pandemic-driven wishes before we ended this journey together, but no such luck. Please continue to be safe!)

I hope whatever good work the organization is doing is bearing fruit. I haven't kept up with it since late 2017, though. Still, that does hurt in a way, because people's mental health is very important to me. In fact, that's why I'm studying to become a clinical psychologist myself, so I can directly help people with their mental health.

BTW, that's the main reason why this blog is going on hiatus for the foreseeable future...probably at least while I pursue my Psychology studies and get my Bachelor and Master of Science degrees. The minor reason is that, with the pandemic, there just haven't been conventions for me to cosplay -- and take photos -- at. Still. I don't want to say goodbye. I'd rather say:

Selfie of Mya at college "today"


nyway, my original design "belongs" to the organization. But as far as I can tell, they have never used it and never will, and it's been years now. Plus, they gave me written permission to use it for my personal self.

Given that, I may make my design into posters or T-shirts or something for me, my family, and interested friends (and, of course, Wentworth Miller)...maybe for its 5-year anniversary LOL. So if you want to join in on that at cost as, like, my personal guest, just email my Grams and let her know.

Even if that doesn't interest you, though, I really hope you'll email me via Grams and answer this one burning question. Look at their redesign again. Then look at my original design. And don't worry about hurting my feelings. Tell me honestly: If they'd both been offered...

Which one do YOU think would've sold more T-shirts?

Tue, Dec 14, 2021 at 10:30 PM, Nancy B. wrote:
  That was quite a story. I finally got to see it. There's no comparison. Theirs is hard to read and not exciting. Mya's would have sold more than 132. If I had been here then and known, Mya's is the one I would have bought. I feel for her. They did not do right by her and they did not put Miller's name on his words.
Fri, Dec 17, 2021 at 3:04 PM, Kim wrote:
Hi Lucki,
  Tell Mya I think her design is only a gazillion and a half times better than their pallid knock-off.
Grimacing emoji
Fri, Dec 17, 2021 at 7:21 PM, Greg wrote:
  Your t-shirt would have sold a lot more. The design is stronger and name recognition (and people who, unlike the staff, recognized the post you took it from) could have attracted buyers interested not only in mental health but also the recovery community, LGBTQ community, and others of his millions of fans and followers. I'm sorry they treated you like that. You deserved better. Let me know if you decide to print some.

Sat, Dec 18, 2021 at 8:47 AM, Savva wrote:
Hey Lucki!
  Thank you for reaching out and sharing Mya's posts (and thank you for your efforts to document Danika's journey and my own spiritual journey btw!).
  I looked through Mya's blog entry this morning - the story about the t-shirt designs hooked me at first and I was like...what me the two do they compare!
  I know Mya asked for feedback at the end and I spent the morning looking at both designs and thinking which one would I pick...which one would I go with. I think in the end I would go with the organization's "reworked" design...but not for the best reason. The design typographically looks more consistent and elegant. It has a clear flow in how you read it and the overall aesthetic is consistent. In short, it looks nice. However, I don't see how it relates to the organization's vision/mission or to the original idea of what was called for. I think Mya's design boldly captures the "intent" of the whole thing. It's much clearer in Mya's design what the organization and the context are all about. At the same time, Mya's design does lack a clear aesthetic and is almost too bold in its presentation. It seems to leave aesthetic considerations behind in favor of a clear, bold, hard-to-miss message. So in the end, I guess I'd pick the organization's t-shirt just because it "looks nice" but I would have no idea why I was wearing it. But if I wanted to actually make a statement that was clear and recognizable, Mya's is the clear winner. Feel free to pass along my feedback! It was a fun read this morning!
  Lucki responds to Savva:
  Interesting perspective. Thanx. I'm sure she'll appreciate it; she did ask for honesty. Out of curiosity, would your tho'ts have gone in a different direction based on the fact that the organization's target service recipients are high school & college students, & the target donor audience is probably their friends & families? 'Cuz, of course, Mya knew that.
    Sat, Dec 18, 2021 at 2:27 PM, Savva wrote: Mya was targeting her designs at the parents/family of the students? She imagined that, primarily, the parents/family would wear the shirts? Or the students themselves?
      Lucki responds to Savva:
  Maybe not so much depth of conscious tho't. But she was a student, & I think her designs naturally came together the way kids that age think/react. What SHE would be apt to wear. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think teens gravitate towards that kind of in-your-face design. And of course, it would tend to be org's student members on their high school & college campuses who'd know about the campaign & get their families, friends, profs, etc., involved if they were enthused. When I saw the dismal sales, I kind of chalked it up to it not being a (re)design students would be enthused about buying. But that's just me. Nevertheless, the org trashed their own rules after the contest, & I don't think that was fair to Mya at all. Remember, too, part of her motivation/enthusiasm was about being interested in clothing design then, which they essentially unceremoniously trashed. And after which, BTW, she pretty much stopped being interested in, which may or may not be related to that experience. And even if their design were better, would YOU really want to be falsely touted/praised/rewarded for something someone else did? 'Cuz I don't think anyone in my family thinks that way. Again, that's just me.
        Sat, Dec 18, 2021 at 5:03 PM, Savva wrote:
  Totally agree with you on the points regarding both trashing and appropriating her design and her eagerness to participate in the contest. And really bummed to hear that the experience really was a buzz kill for her desire to keep exploring clothing design. That's a real bummer!
Sat, Dec 18, 2021 at 11:46 AM, Nilufar wrote:
Hi Lucki and Mya!!
  Thank you, Lucki, for the nudge to catch up on the blog. So glad I did because I love Mya's writing and enjoyed her story. Not only would her design sell more shirts, but I would definitely buy one. Kudos to Mya for pursuing her career goal of psychology. I know she will be very successful! You've got one talented granddaughter, dear Lucki!
  Huge hugs to you and yours, Lucki, but especially dear Mya whom I adore. Sending loving and positive energy towards her as she preps for her career!
Sat, Dec 18, 2021 at 8:23 PM, Danika wrote:
Dear Lucki,
  Thank you so much for including our stories, it was indeed so fun.
  Wow, I had heard you mention the whole issue with the switched design way back when the t-shirt first came out - I actually bought one and have it!
  Well, I sorta hate to say it, but I do like the organization's design of the quote better than Mya's - but that may be just because I'm used to it, having seen it in my wardrobe for the past two years or so! But I 100% agree with her that they shouldn't have changed it so drastically (completely) and still attributed it to her as being the contest winner, nor should they have left off the attribution. A learning experience for Mya for sure. I love how your nurturing love of her ideas and constant accompaniment shines through. She's a lucky woman to have YOU as her grandmother.
With love,
Tue, Dec 21, 2021 at 1:07 PM, Bri wrote:
  Mya's was just plain best and I would have bought it. I still would if it ever goes on sale.

Sun, Dec 26, 2021 at 11:00 PM, Lann wrote:
  It smelled like plagiarism to me. You had a picture that related to the words and you gave credit. You win! (But maybe my actual or other favorite was the one with "The world disagrees!")
  Lucki responds to Lann:
  Thank you. Out of curiosity, what made  you like "The World Disagrees" as much or more?
    Sat, Feb 5, 2022, at 10:00 AM, Lann wrote:
  Sorry, I thought I answered you, but it looks like I didn't. Lucky I saw it now.
  I'm not sure. I guess maybe it's because "I persist" is like a suicidal person telling everyone he survived, which is nice, but "The world disagrees" is like everyone telling a suicidal person we want him to survive. If a suicidal person happens to see someone wearing that, you never know if that little thing might help him decide not to commit suicide. Maybe both of them would.
      Lucki responds to Lann:
  What an interesting perspective. I didn't think of that. Thank you for bringing that up.
Tue, Dec 28, 2021 at 12:56 PM, Claire wrote:
Thoughts on the T-Shirt Saga:
Hi, Mya!
  I just finished reading your blog about the whole Active Minds debacle. I'm one of the 132. :-) You see, your Grams and I worked together many years ago, and when it first happened, she told me the great (or so it seemed at the time) news about your winning the design contest. So I bought a shirt to support you and mental health. You are correct. I would much rather have a black shirt with your bright, eye-catching, legible design. I might actually wear that one, unlike the untouched flimsy grey thing lurking in my drawer.
  Thanks for sharing the full saga. Your monthly installments were artfully crafted and fun to read. Your writing style is lively and engaging. Your Grams is unabashed in her love and praise for you. Some might think she is more than a little biased in her assessment of your talents; however, I know her well enough to know that she rarely exaggerates. You do, indeed, appear to be the real deal, and the kind of young person who gives old folks like me hope for a more humane and gracious future. THANKS!
Good luck with all your endeavors,
Wed, Dec 29, 2021 at 6:20 PM, Marielle wrote:
Hello Lucki
  I have read it. I wish I could have seen Mya's original art contribution, the one that "won". There was a link to it on the last message, but that link was not active in the e-mail I received.
  Beyond that, I just want to acknowledge Mya's sincerity and maturity, as her real goal was to be of service, and she remained supportive of this group's efforts to serve, even though she had to experience their lack of respect and transparency.
  There's a lot of learning in this story. Thank you for sharing!
  Lucki responds to Marielle:
  Easy peasy. Go to <[link to this entry]> and click on the my original design link (it's the last one in the story, right above the big question).
    Sat, Jan 01, 2022 at 9:30 PM, Marielle wrote:
  Yes, it is powerful. I would have suggested a bit of tweaking, but in essence, it is by far superior to that one they ended up using!
Mon, Jan 3, 2022 at 2:15 PM, Milton wrote:
Hello Mya
  I think your design would have sold more, because having the author of the quote would have aided the wearer in providing its origin and added weight if they recognized him.
Milton Lucy
Wed, Jan 12, 2022 at 11:00 PM, Brit wrote:
Hello, Mya,
  132 was ridiculous. Did they even bother or know how to market it? I think both designs could have sold more. Their design would work for people who want something subdued and yours would work for people who like things bold.
  I also remembered something about your interview and looked back, and you were right. They didn't use your picture or any kind of dandelion, but they left you talking about it in the interview. It made you sound weird, and that's just mean.
  Good luck with your studies. I like that you are still dedicated to a career in helping people with mental health.
Thu, Jan 27, 2022 at 9:05 AM, Lucki wrote:
  Obviously, I wouldn't normally reply to one of your posts, Mya; but this time I'm making an exception. Telling other people how proud I am of you and telling you directly "to your face" are two different things, and I want to cover them both this time. I'm proud of the work you did back during the contest. I'm proud of how, despite what they did, you kept your contribution promise to them. I'm proud that you did the best you could to apologize to Miller. I'm proud that you were willing to share the story now, even the parts where you (and I) seemed to get it wrong.
  You are, indeed, the one and only and absolutely #grandMyaPurple heart emoji U 4FR!
Thu, Jan 27, 2022 at 9:06 PM, Marianne wrote:
  Mya, your design would have sold more T-shirts! It's far more readable, interesting, and ethically sound by attributing the quote to its rightful source.
  Thank you for sharing your story, Mya! It's a delightful rendering of creativity, perseverance, disappointment, and onward into new possibilities. You deserve great praise as well because there are many things you accomplished here: you demonstrated action steps to promote awareness of an important mental health issue; you detailed the joys of an inter-generational collaboration with your Grams; and you learned valuable business lessons during a questionable transaction of intellectual property, continuing to move forward by responding to the outcome in a detached, mature and graceful manner. Bravo, Mya. Bravo!
-Marianne G
  Lucki responds to Marianne:
  Thanx for your kind words to Mya. Of course I concur with you. Plus, you brought up some salient points we haven't seen others exactly mention. (Loved that "questionable transaction of intellectual property" bit ... classic legalese, yes?)
    Sat, Jan 29, 2022 at 9:32 AM, Marianne wrote:
  Thanks, Lucki!  Sorry about the legalese - sometimes I just can't help myself...
Tue, Feb 1, 2022 at 9:25 PM, Mead wrote:
Hey Mya!
  I just wanted to let you know that I finally read your story on [this] site.
  I really enjoyed it. I like how you broke it up into a number of "chapters" over the course of a year. It gave it a lot more feel as I was reading it.
  So, where are you going next with your writing?
  And how's life down in Champaign? (Is the Flying Tomato still around?)
Wed, Feb 2, 2022 at 1:07 PM, Brandy wrote:
  I definitely like her design better. It jumped out at me; and when I read it, it inspired me.
  It's true. Dandelions find their way through rocks and everything to get to the sun; and if dandelions can do that, God's given us the strength to do that, too.
  I feel her anger. I don't think they were fair. From an organization that calls themselves helping people, it doesn't seem to be doing that all that good.
  What she's doing for her career, that sounds awesome. How proud to be of her.
Fri, Feb 4, 2022 at 12:27 PM, Roya wrote:
Dear Lucki,
  I am not  a T-shirt person so not the right person to make a comment. I know that people study graphic design to understand how to communicate an idea to the public effectively. I am sorry that I feel incompetent to give a vote or suggestion...I congratulate Mya for her first achievement. Also, I wish you and Mya all the best and love to hear more of her great work in the future.
With love,
LMW NOTE: The above replies do not include any where readers responded basically with one word: either just "Yours" or just "Theirs"; that would've made things too repetitive and/or boring. However, every reader who responded did get a "Thank you" reply because every reader's honest feedback was appreciated...both those who agreed with Mya and those who didn't.

email your feedback with AniME and the entry date as the subject




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