Sunday, September 30, 2007

Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other

Today is good and bad news day.

Good news - I'm about three scenes from finishing the first draft of Love Runes. I was on a roll yesterday and moved through a significant portion of the story.

Bad news - Writing, meaning typing the story into the computer, almost every day for three weeks has aggravated my arthritis to the point where my hands are weak and achy. I'm afraid to pick anything up, because I don't have the ability to grasp firmly and I drop things. Further bad news - pain pills and anti-inflammatories are murder on my stomach.

Good news - I'll be working a booth at the West Hollywood Book Fair today, so I'll have to give my hands a rest.

Bad news - I think any writer would agree with me on this one. When you're in the writing groove and it's flowing well, nothing is worse than having to stop. Having to eat, sleep, or take part in real life is annoying as hell. With the end of the novel so close that I can taste it, I'm crazy disappointed that I can't write. Lord knows that's all I'll think about today.

Good news - more and more friends have been sending emails saying that they'll be at the book fair, so I have at least twelve people I get to talk to who I don't see often. And I can pick up more books for my already teetering reading pile. Wait - is that good news or bad news?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Each Novel is Novel in Its Own Way

At Saints and Sinners one year, Poppy Z Brite made the comment that you don't learn how to write a novel, you learn how to write this novel (meaning the one you're working on). At the time I understood what she meant, but every novel I write, her words come back to me and I'm amazed again at how true that statement is.

Every novel is different - and I don't mean the story. I'm talking about habits. It used to be that my first draft was finding the story. That meant that I wrote a lot that I couldn't use. While terribly inefficient, it was okay, because all writing is practice. On the second draft, I'd have to get rid of abandoned secondary plots, (My rule now - if it doesn't loop back to the main plot, don't bother to write it in the first place.) dead ends, character inconsistencies, scenes that didn't advance the plot, etc. Third draft was where the polishing began. Now I either have a lot more discipline, or I'm learning my craft, because when I sit down to write, I have a better idea of the story. I know the beginning. I know the end. The path I take between those two points is still negotiable, but I have a direction in mind and I try to stick to it. If I create a scene that's very cool, but redundant, or doesn't help the story move, I delete it right away. Maybe I'm just getting better at recognizing those.

I used to work on whatever scene grabbed my attention instead of working from page one to the end. Jumping around is called a non-linear style. It works very well for some people. I've learned that it doesn't work for me. If I jump ahead, I nearly always end up completely rewriting a scene. Trying to save what I already have is actually more work than starting from scratch. So now I work in a linear fashion.

Part of the linear versus non-linear debate is the idea that if you write non-linear, you can skip the dull parts of the story and move on to the part that's fun to write. Here's my crazy idea - skip the dull parts, but then never go back and write them. If it's dull for the writer, it's going to bore the reader. So unless you can make those transition scenes or slow parts interesting, find a way to avoid them completely.

Yet another thing that's changed is my sense of how much story I can tell. My plots are getting less intricate because I realize that I can't manage a huge cast of characters and secondary plots, etc. in the space that I have. Strangely enough, the more I strip away, the less I seem to lose. Everything that remains is distilled and intensified. That works for the types of stories I write.

I'm coming into the home stretch with this sequel to Chaos Magic. It's flowing well. I don't have a lot of excess to cut on the rewrite. I've headed off the path a few times, but recognized it fairly soon and was able to get back where I needed to be. The story is leading to the ending I wanted. In all, an amazingly efficient and good experience. All of which makes me wonder - what will I learn about writing a novel when I go to write the next one?

Monday, September 24, 2007

So, I did lunch with Superman today.

Not really Superman. His alter ego. Clark Kent.

Oh god, did I say, "Do lunch?" This is what happens when you work on the Westside too long. You stop, like, totally talking like someone real and start talking like one of Them. (To get the intonation right, you have to read the sentence above as if it were a question.) And by Them, I mean industry folk. If you have no idea what industry I'm talking about, count yourself lucky. The Westside is infested with them.

Clark Kent isn't his real name, but when you meet people online, you get used to their handles. So I call him Clark. It's pure coincidence that another friend is the alter ego of yet another superhero. Last time we were all out for a bite in Hollywood (Not North Hollywood, not West Hollywood, just plain old Hollywood - which really means Los Feliz. Got it?) I complained to Clark and Peter Parker that I was the only one at the table without superpowers. (Super powers in this case being catching the eye of every WeHo 'mo slumming outside his 'hood. So it wasn't as if I really cared. I just liked complaining.)

Anyway, Clark, as you suspected, really lives in Metropolis New York, but he's out here for a five week stint, so I have him to myself. (Unless I convince the SF guys to come down for a pub crawl. Alas, my hooker boots are no more, so if the boys do a road trip, I will have to go shopping for suitably unsuitable footwear for the evening. I always wear inappropriate shoes.) We negotiated lunch down to burgers. I gave him a choice - Tommys (chili cheeseburgers and all the heartburn you can cart away. But where else but Pinks can you see limos and Ferraris parked next to the body of a luckless tweaker?) or The Counter . We went to the Counter. My burger was $12. Clark must have order a kryptonite chaser, because his set him back nearly $20.

This is why I don't do lunch on the Westside. This is why I flee it as soon as the sun sets. Okay- it's not the only reason, but it'll do. I think I'll be brown bagging my lunch for a month to make up for that one.

On the other hand - the company was worth it. Clark really is a super man. (I feel like pimping him - cute, single, successful, fit... single)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Today is National Celebrate Bisexuality Day!

I didn't even know there was such a day until recently.

Despite all the jokes about how to celebrate it, I think I'll spend the day writing and preparing for the West Hollywood Book Fair. If you're going to be in WeHo next Sunday, email me and I'll tell you where to find me. Here's a hint - it won't be sitting on a fence.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The P'Town Murders

I went to Jeffrey Round's reading for his mystery novel The P'Town Murders last night at A Different Light. The little taste of his book - a blue haired psychic healer and a secret agent - put me in the mood for murder (a murder mystery) so I'm really looking forward to curling up with this book.

Max Pierce (The Master of Seacliff) introduced Jeff. It's always great to see Max. And I recognized Jeff's bf Shane from Saints and Sinners. This is one of the nice things about going to readings and to Saints and Sinners - being a writer can seem very isolating, but if you get out there, you realize that you do have a community. And the best part of that community is that it's filled with vibrant, creative people.

After the reading, Jeff, Shane (there, now I feel much better that I have his name right) and I walked down to the Abbey for drinks. I asked Jeff the question I always ask mystery writers - Did you know 'who done it' when you started. They always tell me, "No." I don't' know why I keep asking. But I'm so amazed that mysteries aren't plotted out down to the Nth degree before the writer starts. I love mysteries, but I can't write them. Maybe I should listen to what these professional have to say and just dive in. But.....

Jeff is one of the last writers to get his book out of Haworth's Harrington Park Press fiction line before the shut-down. Unfortunately, that means he's got no support for promotion. (not that Haworth ever really promoted anyone) Also tied up in this Haworth mess his his second book in this series. Like all the other Haworth writers with contract, Jeff has no idea where things stand. I really feel for all the Haworth writers and hope that soon someone at that company has the decency to let them know what the future holds.

BTW - yes, I was in WeHo again, and yes, I parked at the same lot I always do, and yes, out of pure orneriness, I stood in the exact same spot I did Monday night and smoked a cig. This time, in peace. (of course, there's a world of difference between WeHo on a Monday night and a Thursday night. The town was hopping last night.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So... The Other Thing That Happened Last Night

Last night, I had one of those weird moments in life where I'm not sure exactly what happened, if anything did happen, but I have my theories. I always have a theory.

After I took Nan Andrews and her sister on a quick tour of the Abbey in WeHo, we said our goodbyes. We went in opposite directions. Dylynn DeSaint, her partner, and friends were outside the Abbey talking to someone who worked there. I waved goodnight and crossed Robertson. Near the valet parking lot that I've used in WeHo ever since the narrowly avoided towing-and-police-impound incident, I decided to have one last smoke before I drove home. So I stopped and lit up. Across the street was the park. Behind me was a tall cinderblock wall. I was about ten feet from the end of the wall where it led into the parking lot. The street was well lit, but empty, and quiet. It was after eleven, but I was in WeHo. Beverly Hills adjunct. So the deserted street and late hour didn't worry me. Besides, if I walked around the corner to the parking lot, I knew that a couple attendants would be hanging out on the other side of the wall.

As I was smoking, enjoying the peace, and thinking that it was a successful evening, I noticed a man walking towards me on Robertson. He was about 6'2", muscled, mid-forties, dressed casual but nice. I decided he was no problem. Just a bear headed out for a late night drink. But of course I kept him in my sights, because I'm not an idiot.

He slowed down on the far side of the driveway into the parking lot and lingered. Even though I wasn't looking at him, he was in my peripheral vision, and he had my full attention. There was no reason for him to stop there. A few moments later, he started walking again. He passed me, but stopped within arm's reach of where I was standing.

I took a few steps towards the street, because I didn't want the wall too close behind me. But I didn't feel as if I was in any danger. Just being proactive.

What I expected at that point was for him to ask for a light. I debated being prudently rude and simply walking away if he spoke. Because when a large, muscled, strange man is standing within arm's reach of you on a deserted street late at night, no matter how nice the neighborhood, your mind kicks into high gear with what-if scenerios. But I still wasn't scared. Mostly I was pissed off, because I felt he was in my space, so I held my ground. In LA, a city of millions,benignly ignoring people is considered polite. It keeps you sane. You pretend people aren't there, and they pretend you don't exist, and you create your little mental space of solitude. But he was intruding on mine.

He hovered nearby for a bit, wandered not more than ten feet away, and hovered again. I didn't look directly at him, but he was looking at me. Thoroughly pissed off by then, I put out my cig (if I'd felt threatened instead of pissed off, I would have kept it in hand as a weapon), walked to the parking lot, exchanged nods with the attendants, and got into my car. When I pulled out onto Robertson, the guy was still standing there, watching me.

Okay - so perception is everything here. On the drive home, I wondered if he was a cop. In which case, I'm hugely insulted. Not that he thought I was dressed slutty (I went right from work, so I was in my slightly Domme suit -which is meant to intimidate the hell out of people I work with, but not to turn them on), but insulted because if he was a cop, and he thought I was working the street, then he also thought that I was the stupidest hooker on the face of the planet. A female hooker. In WeHo. Think about it.

My other theory is that he was world most inept cruiser. A straight man in WeHo looking for female companionship. Hmmm. Talk about someone not clear on the concept.

I've been trying to figure out a logical explanation for his actions that doesn't include him mistaking me for a hooker, but for some reason, my imagination fails me. The thing is, I see street walkers all the time in other parts of the city, and I in no way fit the description. I wasn't even wearing my hooker boots!

So you tell me - what do you think happened, or didn't happen, last night?

Iridescence Reading

I had a wonderful time last night at the reading for Iridescence.

A Different Light is a great host for readings and I'd like to thank them for offering space for so many of my friends when they have books out.

As always, it's a great pleasure to spend time with with Jolie du Pre. She's working her butt off to make this anthology a success and get the word out. She put together a great group of stories.

There's something extra that comes out in a story when the author reads it. Passages take on extra depth. Fiona Zedde's Night Music charmed, as it did when I read it, but the intimacy of the scene she'd written really shone. Princess Jolene Hui was darling. Dylynn De Saint's hot story of dressing room sex kicked up a notch. It was her first reading, but you'd never know. She performed like a pro and made the audience smile. And last but not least - dear friend Nan Andrews - (I think this was also her first reading) gave us just enough to pique our appetites for more.

After the reading, we walked over to a restaurant for a relaxed dinner and great conversation. I was in the center and had a hard time picking which way to turn to listen as all sorts of fascinating things were being talked about. As usual, we chatted about writers, editors, and publishers, but there were a lot of non-writers along, so the conversation ranged all over the place. Not a dull moment. I love spending an evening in the company of smart women (and a few men too).

Fiona Zedde will be a panelist at the West Hollywood book fair again this year, so I'll try to drop by and at least wave hello.

Monday, September 17, 2007

So Much Going On

Tonight, the lovely Jolie du Pre, wonderful friend Nan Andrews, and other writers will be reading from Iridescence at A Different Light in West Hollywood.

Last month, Mickeys (ah, the glimpses of go-go boys through their windows!) suffered from a huge fire. Knowing that A Different Light was only a few doors down from the popular bar, I was worried about that it might have had a lot of damage too, but they apparently only had minor smoke damage on the second floor. (To which I said, "The bookstore has a second story? Who knew?)

Next week in WeHo:
(I make plans to go to this every year, and something always comes up - and no, not in the giggly kind of way. Just sucky real life stuff. This year I'm not even going to try.)

Erotic Art Fair Weekend

TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION presents the:13th Annual West Hollywood — Los Angeles EROTIC ART FAIR WEEKEND SEPTEMBER 21st through 23rd

Artists Reception on Friday Sept. 21st: Cocktail party open to the general public at the Tom of Finland House $10.00 cover.Come see over 200 homo erotic works on exhibition at the foundation. 1421 Laveta Terrace Los Angeles CA 90026

Art Fair on Saturday & Sunday Sept. 22nd and 23rd:West Hollywood Park on San Vincente. 1:00pm to 7:00pm. Come meet artists from Around the World: Sculpture, Photography, Paintings, Sketches, Digital Renderings and more. Most major credit cards will be accepted. $12.00 admission good for both days of the fair.Life Drawing and Photography all afternoon. Different models both days! Bring your art materials or just enjoy viewing the human form.


September 30th is the West Hollywood Book Fair. I'll be there. Contact me through e-mail if you want to know how to find me.

And finally

Pop over to my Jay Lygon blog and read about the latest fantastic review for Chaos Magic.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I Get My Gold Star For The Day

Admittedly, I didn't drag my butt out of bed until nearly noon today, but I spent the rest of my day writing. Yay!

I'm finally getting serious about the sequel to Chaos Magic. I knew the beginning, I knew the end, but the middle part? Ugh. I've been muddling through that for months now. It got to the point where I was making everything hopelessly complicated and convoluted. Maybe I need to do that until I finally get frustrated with the Rocco embellishments and pare it down to something with clean, minimalist lines. After all, what does a story need? It doesn't need side plots and more characters. All it needs is conflict and resolution. Oh yeah - and sex. Hot, steamy, dirty, raunchy, sweaty sex. This is erotica, after all.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Good Writing Habits

On one of my writer's lists, people are discussing good writing habits, and I'm afraid that I seem to have few of them. I can't write while music is playing. I don't keep a stack of post-it notes nearby with bits of info, draw flow charts, interview my characters, write an outline, do copious amounts of research, etc.

As with any creative process, I think that whatever works is the right way. If you can listen to Metallica while you're typing away - do it. If it inspires you, even better. If you believe in muses and set out offerings to yours, do it. (But don't expect me to kept a straight face while you tell me about it). If you write historical fiction then you better do your homework, or prepare to be mocked.

Most of my non-typing writing work is done in the car as I sit in traffic. I think about the story arc, I puzzle out sequences, I imagine scenes. However, if I come up with some really great turn of phrase while I'm mulling a story, I don't lunge for a pen and the back of an envelope, because no matter how great it sounds in my head, I know that on the page it will come of as too twee (to borrow a lovely English expression). Besides, once I have this incredibly great phrase, I have to find a way to work it into my scene, which usually means some heavy-handed manipulation of dialog. So then I have all this clunky mess working up to one great phrase that only I adore. To avoid that, I murder that darling before it hits the page. All I try to remember is the emotional impact of the scene. That's what the reader is going to take away. If they notice the writing, then I'm trying too hard.

My research methods would shock most people. I shouldn't even admit to it here. What I do is get lucky after the fact. It's terrible to rely on it, but it seems to work for me. For example - in one story, I based my civilization loosely on the Inca Empire. A small plot point was that everyone in the civilization owed the government physical labor as part of their taxes. If you served in the military, you were exempt for life. Otherwise, one month a year you were out paving roads or building city walls. After I wrote that, I was researching the Inca religion and found out that the Incas had a system called mita that was a tax every citizen paid the government in the form of labor. Do I live a charmed life or what? Similarly, when I was writing Chaos Magic (as Jay Lygon), I had this concept of godhood as simply another state of being. In my fantasy world, gods weren't immortal. Then I was reading one of my Buddhists texts, and it showed a wheel with the various states of being. Human was one, hungry ghost another, and insect, and... God. And since these are stages of being on a karmic cycle, that means that gods aren't immortal. Aha! I won't even go into how well Wiccan beliefs dovetailed with what I'd already envisioned. Now, if I were trying to write a historical - even alternate timeline, or setting it somewhere I didn't know, I'd research everything down to the cracks in the sidewalks before I wrote word one. With fantasy, I don't have to, but I always feel better when I can find a real life example of what I envision. After all, even in fantasy worlds, the laws of physics apply.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

*Bangs Head On Desk*

You know how I always go on about how important it is to hang around other writers and talk to them? I always point out the positives. I forget to mention the negatives.

Other writers are the kids from the wrong side of the tracks, and they will lure you into doing things you KNOW you shouldn't do. For example, somehow I'm now committed to NaNoMo madness.

I first heard about National Novel Month five years ago from Amanda Earl. I thought I'd never heard of something so insane. 50,000 words in a month? Maybe if I had no job and had an entire novel outlined to the Nth degree before the first day, but seat-of-the-pants novel writing? No way. That's just madness. Now, in a classic game of writer chicken, several of the other Torquere writers double-dog-dared each other to commit to NaNoMo. And I'm one of them. Ack! I never would have done it if the other kids hadn't dared me. They're a bad influence.

This is what I get for musing aloud that I needed to take drastic measures to force myself to start writing again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And yet again

This time the employees of the Department of Justice are searching for pictures of historical smut. Note the search string: Pompei Penis. (Us Dept Of Justice) [Label IP Address]
District Of Columbia, Washington, United States, 0 returning visits
11th September 2007
12:59:58 penis

Monday, September 10, 2007


Oh yeah, oh yeah! Make that a 3
Brother of Dragons on Rocket Mania, and....

Oops. Guess I got caught goofing off again.

This last weekend I spent a ton of time working on stuff related to writing, but did little actual writing. I edited a promotional chapter snip, did a chat, volunteered myself for booth work at the West HollywoodBook fair, volunteered myself for prep work for the book fair (Just call me Ado Annie. You know - the girl who cain't say no.), took care of my EPPIE contest entry, sent my snippet to Torquere for their birthday cake (mine will show up on the 21st), read up on HTML coding for a new website for my other pen name, read some of an anthology I'm reviewing for next month at Erotica Revealed, committed myself to reviewing several novels from Chroma, worked on promo graphics..... And oh yeah, possibly committed myself to one HUGE headache that will end up being really cool if I can make it work (and did a little world building to lay the foundation for this mystery project, because it was too fun to resist.)

All of which is important for getting my name out there, but it doesn't get books written. Maybe I should submit a query for my unfinished novel. Nothing like the fear of god (actually, my publisher, but I'm sure they don't mind me thinking of them as such) and a deadline to light a fire under me.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Have Your Hugged A Judge Today?

As the rats advisers continue to flee resign from the sinking ship Bush Administration to sell their already mortgaged souls for private sector money *ahem* just ahead of indictments to pursue other career opportunities, the Bush theocracy Bush Adminstration has been handed its ass suffered a few blows from the Judiciary the past couple weeks.

The first sign that the Bill of Rights would survive (bloodied, but not bowed) the Bush Administration came with the resignation of Gonzales. That was cause enough to dance, but the good news just keeps rolling in:

A Judge in Iowa recognized blatant discrimination when he saw it, and said so. No matter how people phrase it, these laws are designed to punish people for being who they are born to be. I bet the religious right dreams of the days before civil rights - you know - when life was so "good.*"

*Unless you were a person of color, female, Jewish, Catholic, any religion except Baptist, or disabled in any way.

A Federal Judge struck down part of the "Patriot" Act*.

*wherein being a Patriot means shutting your eyes, and your mouth, and being obedient cattle while the Feds run roughshod over your rights. Never question, never think. War is Peace.
Here, have some more Soma before your brain starts working again.


A U.S. District Court Judge said NO to state sponsored religion. Shame on Congress for trying to pull this fast one.

I'm just so pleased with our courts right now. You know, the more I pay attention to what's going on with the government, the more respect I have for the Founding Fathers. They foresaw that the Executive Branch would try a power grab and wrote checks and balances into the system to stop it. Sure, a lot of this is the courts protecting their turf from the other two branches, but if they don't fight to keep the other two from seizing power they were never meant to have, who will?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Attack of the Killer Himbos

I have a MySpace page for each of my pen names. The male name gets hit with friend requests from what I affectionately refer to as The Bimbo Whores several times a day. The same pictures come up a lot, always with a name like Fawn, Candi, or Jasmine. The girls all have the same stupid blurb about themselves. I could probably recite it verbatim by now, but I'll spare you the breathless literary style of a 50-something marketing mobster trying to sound like a 20-something hooker in heat. Part of the blurb is always this pitch: They all have sexy pictures that puritanical, mean old MySpace won't let them share with their special "friends," but if I just click on the link, I can view them. Oh Yay! May I? I know my idea of female beauty is far off the male view, but do guys really like such sleazy, plastic creatures? SPAM dude, if you want to lure me to a pay site, at least use better bait.

Until this week, my female pen name has been spared from that SPAM, but it couldn't last. Suddenly, every himbo on the face of the planet wants to be my friend. First off, Spammers, change the sales pitch. It's just weird for a guy to sound like a 20-something hooker in heat - a female 20-something hooker in heat. And second, my gaydar is pretty damn good, and it's pinging loud and clear with those pix. Even if I wanted to see sexy pictures of men, I like adult men, not boys. And while I love my gay friends dearly, they don't turn me on. So use pictures of bisexual men or straight guys, please. Last, but not least, you might want to check your name generator, because your boy pix are coming up with names like Fawn and Candi. Although come to think of it, those are probably perfect stage names for Himbo Whores.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Another Long Weekend, Gone

Here it is, Monday afternoon, and I don't feel a bit rested. I'm not complaining, much, because I had the most fantastic time. (Here is the part where I piss off a few friends) I went to San Francisco for a couple days. (I know, you live there, and I didn't tell you I'd be in town. Shame on me. But my schedule was so booked that I wouldn't have had time to meet you anyway. Next time. I swear. It will be all about spending time with YOU.)

Saturday afternoon - caught flight to San Francisco.

Saturday night - if you were near the Castro and you saw a woman in black hooker boots and a borderline Dominatrix outfit staggering around with the most gorgeous, fun group of men on the planet, then you should have yoo-hoo'd, because it was me.
Oh lord. When will I learn not to pub crawl in hooker boots? On the other hand, as Glitter Pig (not his real name, obviously) pointed out, they looked fantastic, and that's what really matters, isn't it? (bonus fun points- watching me trying to climb up on a bar stool while wearing a pencil skirt.)

Sunday morning - brunch with Sage Vivant and M. Christian. Not only are they fantastically nice, but smart too. I adore smart people. They give such good conversation. We commiserated over the current state of the print publishing world. Shared warnings and awful publishing experiences, gossiped, and chatted a bit about Sage's unique and successful Custom Erotica Source. Last time she put out a call for writers, I was tempted to apply, but as I told her at brunch, I recognize the ability to write another person's customized fantasy is a talent - a talent I don't possess. Lucky for people who are looking for a personalized erotic story to share with a lover or to enjoy alone, Sage, and her select pool of writers, do. Take her fun erotic personality quiz here. (I'm a top. Not news to me, although I think I'm a bit of a student too.)
Fans of erotica no doubt recognize M. Christian's name. I've reviewed several of his non-erotic books on this blog and for Erotica Revealed and Chroma. As a fan of his, it was a thrill to talk to him. There's something about eating a leisurely Sunday brunch while discussing fisting stories that appeals to my inner deviant.

Sunday night - My friend from England was visiting mutual friends in SF. We all met up for dinner. We were at a long table, so we played musical chairs through the dinner, which no doubt endeared us to the waitress. Every time she came by, half of us were in completely different positions. Don't worry. Every martini was matched with it's owner. Eventually. Maybe a few sips short, but how many people want to drink an entire key lime martini anyway?
Next week this group plus a few more are heading out on a couple boats to sail the Bay. I won't be there, which is probably just as well because I'm notoriously bad with motion sickness, but it sounds like fun.

This AM - caught flight back home. Everyone was talking about how hot it was in SF. That was nothing. It's 90 plus in my house right now. SF was mid-70s. I already wish I was back there.