Fragmented World

I have always wanted to be a Charlotte. And I have always wanted to tell a story. I don’t particularly want to tell this story, but it is the only one I have.

So I have been working – or rather dabbling – on a little side project I like to call Fragments of Charlotte

Writing and working and obsessing and trying to get published has taken its toll on me – emotionally, mentally, and even physically – to the point where I needed to take break from all the seriousness I had imposed on myself.

So I decided to have a bit of fun. Writing for the sake of writing, and nothing more.

I have always had a vampire story tucked away in the fertile soil of my brain, and it grew bigger and more lush as stories like that often do when left in the dark. But I knew that the time for a vampire story wasn’t exactly right, and that the time for a story like this might never be right. The industry might never be right. I might never come across the right agent or the right publisher or the right anything for this story to ever see the light of day. 

And it was exactly this worry that I was trying to avoid. I wanted to just write. I wanted to word-vomit and forget about it. I wanted to not edit and obsess and bite my fingers to shreds trying to create a perfect project that other people would want to buy and sell. I wanted to remove the stress and self-doubt from the creative process. 

And that is how Fragments of Charlotte was born. 

On the surface it is just an obscure little blog with only a handful of posts. On a deeper level … nope, there is no deeper level. It is exactly what it looks like. It is what it is: 

A few words at a time. 

I am aiming to write posts that are no more than bite-sized. About 500 words or so. Nothing that is an investment to write or to read. 

There is no schedule.

This endeavour is entirely deadline-free, responsibility-free and guilt-free. If I feel like doing it, I will. If I don’t, well, then I won’t. 

First drafts forever. 

There is no rule that says I can’t revisit and regurgitate this in the future, but for now the writing is raw and unpolished. I write and I post. There is no editing and obsessing and beta-reading and rereading. There is just writing, and then it is done. 

I will be re-posting Fragments of Charlotte entries here, but you can also visit the blog at – you guessed it – Fragments of Charlotte.

the anti journal

I got this awesome Anti Journal from a friend for Christmas.  So what is anti journaling? Apparently it is “a route to creative discovery, a way of seeing things differently — it’s journaling outside the box”.  Whatever. That’s enough philosophy for today. It’s not as if I need an excuse or encouragement to a) journal, b) get my creative juices on, and c) completely and utterly destroy a journal in the process. So without further ado, I will dive into my new anti journal and see where the journey takes. 

anti journal front cover

I have started this journal with a golden sticker dot flower. It speaks of a certain laziness in me, since those stickers were the first thing I managed to lay my hands on when starting the journal. Or maybe it means I am a thrifty problem solver? Yes, I think that must be it…

golden dot sticker flower

And also this, because some people always have to be told:

anti journal disclaimer

resolutions reviewed

lightbox 2017 let's do this

Happy 2017!

So….it’s that time of the year again. You know, that time when we are all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and not yet worn down by the drudge of an entire year. Right now everything is still fresh and hopeful and we are all certain that we will finally, once and for all, be good people who make the most of our lives. The gyms are filling up and people are suddenly nicer than is natural. Everyone is dead set on being  better. Or being perceived as better, for whatever value of ‘better’ they think is important.

Last year I did a few ‘changes’ instead of new year’s resolutions, so this year I would like to build on that concept. First I would like to assess the success of these changes I resolved to make.

1. I wanted to manage my time better.

This actually worked out somewhat. The 24 hours in a day that we were given always seem a little miserly to me, but that’s the way we are forced to live, so I had to find to work around that. All in all I managed to get a few things done that I wouldn’t normally have. I learned new skills, improved some old ones, and even found ways to expand my social circle. I noticed that there was a period during the dead of winter when time seemed to bunch up and become concentrated, so that a day had all the exhaustion of 24 hours,  but none of the actual time. I fell into a relentless cycle of eat, sleep, work, and Facebook, punctuated by some yoga and horn playing that was near impossible to break. In summer, on the other hand, I can feel the days stretching long and empty, like an endless sheet of paper unrolling ahead of me. There is time, there is space, and there is the motivation to get some shit done.

In 2017

I want to continue on this trend of very carefully balancing work and play, relaxation and meaningful industry, my happiness in the moment  and the thankless slog of working towards achieving lifelong dreams.

2. I wanted to write more.

This one was also partially successful. As declared in my Write a Little bit Every Day post, I started a chart and decided — as the title suggests — to write a little bit every day. The most amazing thing about this approach is that it divides and conquers. Writing a book is daunting, but writing 3 pages is a piece of piss (as my one colleague would say). So this helped me to get of my ass and get some writing done. Not as much as I wanted to, but still more than I would have done otherwise, so that is something to be happy about.

In 2017

I want to write even more. I have a notion that I want to finish what I started (the Sequel to Spadille) and trying out new things (a few short stories) and starting a new and extremely ambitious project (a young adult feminist fantasy saga of at least 5 books). There is no way in hell that I will manage much more than one of these in 2017, but  coming up with absurd ideas and goals is, apparently, all part of being a writer.  

lightbox query like it's hot

3. I wanted to get Spadille published.

Alas, I did not. But I do not consider this a loss or even a setback. Trying to get published is (I have learned) one of the most solitary, thankless, mind-numbing, depressing, soul-destroying, doubt-inflicting, masochistic things that a writer could engage in. And I did it. I jumped into that cesspit of indifference and rejection and emerged on the other side with my self-respect and brainless tenacity mostly intact. I will admit that there was a time when I thought I would drown. That I would sink so deep that there would never be daylight for me again. But I have surfaced and will continue to rise. I will continue to write, and I will continue to try and get Spadille published. If nothing else, a writer needs to be pig-headed in the belief in their own art.

In 2017

I want to get Spadille published.

4. I wanted to blog more.

Haha! How I laugh. I think I managed to squeeze out about 4 posts during the entire year. It was a miserable fail. But it also taught me what I am inclined to and what I have time for. It’s absolutely pointless to waste precious time writing inanities on a blog that no one but my mum ever reads…

In 2017

I will write as many blog posts as I want, and not a single one more. I DO want to redesign the site, though, so maybe I’ll spend some time on that.

5. I wanted to read 50 books.

I read 52. That’s a book per week, so yay me! On the other hand, towards the end, when things were getting a bit tight, my decision of what to read next was seriously influenced by the length of a book, which seems pointless. Reading Anna Karenina earlier in the year put me so far behind schedule that I found myself turning to shorter and shorter books just to keep up.

In 2017

I want to read 24 books. That is 2 books a month – totally doable, and will give me enough time to take on the mammoth project I have been planning for this year: reading War and Peace.

6. I wanted to save some money.

Hmm. This one is hard to tell. I did save some money, but I also spent some money. I did get a clearer grip on where my money goes and where I can cut down on spending, but I feel that I can still improve a lot in this regard. My sister and her other chartered accountant / auditor buddies have the whole budgeting thing down pat, and frequently over-save so much that they end up treating themselves to overseas trips and overpriced phones. To be fair, their salaries are a lot bigger than mine, but still, I think I should try to learn from them.

In 2017

I want to learn how to budget properly.

7. I wanted to improve my horn playing.

Whether or not my teacher would agree, I think I did reasonably well in this respect. I set up a schedule where I practised more often than ever before, and did some public performances that would have been beyond me even a year ago. So, as a person who have no deadlines in this area (I mean, I can improve until I’m dead) and almost no aspirations (apart from improving), and has issues with finding time for all her hobbies, I think I fared very well.

In 2017

I want to continue improving my horn playing.

yoga pants prints blue purple pink

8. I did NOT want to lose any weight or obsess about the imperfections of my body.

Oh God. Where do I even begin? So. What happened was this: I was unhappy with the hours at my old gym, and so, after doing some research, found out that I can get better rates and better hours if I changed gyms. The fact that the new gym offered a bunch of classes didn’t factor into my decision-making process, but turned out to be a life-changing event for me. I have always been keen to do yoga, so jumped at the chance. Then I also tried some Les Mills Body Pump, and was instantly hooked. 

All of these new experiences almost immediately began to have its effects on my body: I could feel myself becoming stronger, leaner, and more flexible.  This new, capable body, grown from outside influences, got me worrying about what I put into it. And so I started paying attention to eating and drinking better things.  Not all the right things, and certainly not all of the time, but enough that it made a difference. It was a slow, steady process. Over the course of 10 months I have lost a total of 8kg. I have built some serious muscle that really redefined my silhouette, and I have gained some great balance and flexibility.

The best part is that some things that have previously bothered me, like restless legs and icky joints and lower back pain, have all but disappeared.   

So I had absolutely no intention of doing anything about my body in 2016, but through series of unforeseen circumstances basically changed my entire life. I have no become the kind of person who loves going to the gym, and who rejoices at a new bulging muscle. Who knew, right? Surely stranger things have never happened.

In 2017

I want to continue this amazing journey of seeing my body grow stronger, while reaping all the benefits that come with increased fitness.

9. I did NOT want to make any corsets.

Succeed! I did not make a single corset. I did make other stuff though, like a winter cape for my sister and some really awesome party costumes. I also had to adjust a fuck-load of my old clothes, as I have lost so much weight during the year, and didn’t want to throw out everything I owned.

In 2017

I want to finish some halfway-done sewing projects, but don’t want to put any more pressure on myself. There are other things going on.

New stuff:

sewing room salmon fabric

10. I want to turn my studio into a creative space.

Right now it’s a dud. It’s a storage room. A place where I hide my creative projects, a place where I retrieve them from so that I can work on them elsewhere.  I want to turn this room into a place that has its own creative energy as a studio and an office, rather than just a spare room that is full of stuff I am not doing right now.

11. I want to learn conversational Xhosa.

This is a toughie. I don’t really have time to make insane commitments like learning a new language, but I do want to give this one a shot. I have a lot free brain-time during my commute, and since I won’t be spending all of it on another 52 books a year challenge, I will be putting some of that time towards learning some new words. I’m excited.

Stuff I really, REALLY shouldn’t be doing, but will probably do anyway:

12. I want to learn (against all logic and reason) how to play the recorder.

Again. I mean, I can’t even with this one. I found my old recorder in a closet and now feel like playing it. There are tons of free apps to help me, and it was easy the first time around, so how hard can it be? It is in complete violation of everything my mind knows and needs to be able to play the horn, and it is going to be a spectacular waste of time, but I think it might be fun. Hopefully it will only be fun for the first few days or so, and then I can tire of it and put this whim to rest before any of my other resolutions suffer. Hopefully.

And that’s all, folks. Here’s to having a great 2017!

the write a little bit every day writing chart

I can’t write 50 000 words in a month. This bugs me, since a lot of people can and do so regularly. Or at least once a year in November during  NaNoWriMo. I sign up for NaNoWriMo most years, but invariable end up writing exactly ZERO words. This is partially because of my very good friends: inertia, self-doubt, procrastination and stuff-that-need-to-be-done-before-writing. But mostly, if I’m completely honest, it’s because I can’t manage 1 667 words a day. 

So I don’t write any words at all. I’m going to fail NaNo, I’m going to have to admit defeat in the dark, late hours of 30 November and confess that I cannot, will not, did not write 50 000 words. So I don’t write any at all. Some years I try, but once I fall behind – which I will begin to do pretty much immediately – the rapidly receding goal posts just serve to discourage me to the point where I close the Word document and walk away from the laptop. 

This is not helping. This is not contributing. The people out there who can write 50 000 words a month and the platforms that encourage them to do so, is not supporting me. The very idea designed to get writers to put words on paper is actually causing me to not write. 

The other problem is that I spent so long revising and editing and learning how to write my first novel, that I have completely fallen out of the habit of writing new material. I have gotten very good at perfecting existing words, but a growing part of me was beginning to worry that I had completely forgotten how to write anything in the first place.

So I came up with a nifty device that will help me write. Not a lot, not for a finite period of time, and not anything in particular. Just words on paper. A few words a day. A few words every single day for the rest of my life. 

I present to you the Write a little bit every day writing chart!

chart for writing word counts, chart for writing everyday, excel writing word count spreadhseet

how it works:

So there is a date column (only half of May of present, since I began in the middle of the month). {Side note to procrastinators everywhere: You don’t have to wait until any point in time to begin something. You do not have to begin any new endeavour tomorrow, or on Mondy, or the first of the month, or next year. You can being right now. I know this concept deeply disturbs the procrastinating mind, but punch through it. Start RIGHT NOW.} (This pep-talk is more for myself than  for anyone else, FIY.)

So there is a date column.

There is a daily word count column for noting the daily word count achieved. 

There is a word goal column. This is as simple as it sounds, and displays my word count goal for every day. I have gotten into the habit of adding a red or a green fill to illustrate whether I have achieved my goal or not. You can see I decided beforehand to write 600 words on weekdays and 1800 per day on weekends. It is a fun feature of this chart that I can actually decide on a different word count for weekends, since I can obviously manage a bit more on those days.

With me so far? Because here is where things get a bit more interesting. Right next to the word goal column there is another little column that seem to feature 1’s and 0’s.  This is the one that really gets to the problem at hand: did I or did I not write today? A 1 for ‘yes’ and a 0 for ‘no’, and this little column tells me if I am, in fact, succeeding in my plan. 

So yes, the daily word goal is somewhat arbitrary. For the purposes of this exercise I don’t necessarily need to achieve the minimum. I just need to open the laptop, open a word doc and get the latest bout of thoughts (and there are ALWAYS thoughts) out of me. So while the word count VS word goal comparison is certainly interesting, the main issue right now is to just write a few words every day

There is also a column for contents, because it’s fun. 

And then at the bottom there are all the totals to give me a very clear snapshot of what I my writing habits were like for the pas month. 

so why 600 words?

You probably noticed that I decided to write 600 words per weekday and thrice that over the weekend. There three main reasons for this:

I can write 600 quality words per day.

This is part of the reason why I struggle with NaNoWriMo’s exorbitant word count. When I feel pressured to write a certain amount of words per day, I find the quality of the writing goes way down while the quantity only vaguely increases. So I have decided to remove the stress from the situation. I will write a small, very manageable amount every day, and so ensure that I make that small amount a good piece of writing.

I have a notion that this can actually save time in the long run as I’ll have less drivel to edit out. And the original words may actually be ones that I can use, instead of having to rewrite everything.

I can do it on the fly.

It takes me about 30 minutes to write 600 words…given that I have the rough idea of what I want to say. So if I split that into two 10 minute sessions, that 600 words turn into something I can actually do during a small break at work. Yes, you heard me, I based my daily minimum on something that I can do on the sly at work.

It’s an appetiser.

600 words is a small enough amount that it’s over before I run out of steam. By the time I reach 600 words I am nicely warmend up and feel like I want to write a few more. This actually has me wanting to write more, rather than leaving me chewing a pencil, desperate to force more words out in the name of a word count.

This is good. No. this is GREAT, since it gives my brain time to plot and plan and make sure the jigsaw puzzle fits together nicely before I write things that are as full of holes as a Swiss cheese.

what I’ve learned

Some interesting things have come to light during the few weeks of May that I have been attempting this new plan.  

I love to write.

I mean, who knew, right? This may seem like a no-brainer, but most of the time I actually feel like this George Orwell quote:

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

So the biggest thing that I seem to have forgotten is that I love writing. And now that I have been doing a few brand new words a day, I am beginning to remember the fun of it. I have spent so long editing and rewriting and struggling and fighting and bludgeoning Spadille into shape, that I had forgotten the unbridled joy of the first draft.

In fact, I have discovered that I love it so much, that after I have written my 600 words for the day, I am desperate to continue. So desperate that it drives me to distraction and interferes with my work/sleep/life. It may seem horrific, but in terms of creativity, that’s really where you want to be.

So if nothing else, this exercise has reminded me of the that fact that I do love to write. Which is priceless in itself.

Things don’t get lost.

I have many small scenes in my head that deserve to come out. I keep thinking them over and over until they are polished and perfect. Some of these are so polished by now that they are ready to be written down. So what if the filler isn’t there yet? So what if this one scene is at the end of a that I haven’t even started yet? These scenes are ready and I am going to start writing them. Every writer knows the horror of coming up with that perfect scene in the shower/car/store/gym and then losing it again because they didn’t write it down.   

Writing causes more writing.

I remember from the long and painful process of writing Spadille that a lot of the plot fell into place as I was writing. I am a sort of plotter-pantser who likes to have a vague idea of where the story is going, where it will end, but the why and the how of it often only comes once my characters are in the thick of it. For a long time I have been waiting for Ace to crystallise and reveal itself to me, but I remember now that it will only ever be smoke and mirrors, but once I start writing it will start to coagulate into a picture that stands still and make sense. And the clearer the picture becomes, the better I understand where we are going and how to get everyone there: more writing.

It all adds up. 

If I achieve my goals every day it will accumulate a total monthly word count of 27 600 words. This is not impressive by NaNo standards, but it certainly is by mine. That is 27 600 words more than I had the month before, and in three months I will have a brand new first draft. That is not nothing. That is pretty sweet. I can do this. 

the next step

Seeing as this has been an informative, somewhat productive exercise, I will be keeping a Write a little bit every day writing chart every month from now on. I will keep to my 600 words a day ritual, as that seems like an attainable goal at this point. But for those of you doing BuNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo or anything in between, the chart can be easily adapted for your purposes.

If you want to avail yourself of this nifty writing device, you can get your hands on the Excel spreadsheet of the Write a little bit every day writing chart here. Feel free to add you own word count goals and colours. 

happy writings!

book review: the high couch of silistra

The High Couch of Silistra

I don’t write a book review for every book that I read. Sometimes a book is just meh, and I don’t need to get my heart rate up writing and ranting about things that are just meh. It’s about balance, people! But every once in a while a book comes by that just pokes me in the eye wrong, and then I can’t stop myself from voicing all my bitter little opinions.

The High Couch of Silistra by Janet E. Morris is definitely such a book.

Long ago, the human colonists of Silistra waged a war so vicious that, centuries later, the planet has not recovered. Men and women alike suffer from infertility–the deadliest legacy of that deadly war. Because the birth rate is so low, the Silistrans value above all the ability to bear children, and their social order is based on fertility and sexual prowess. On a planet desperate for population, women hold the keys to power. These are the adventures of Estri, Well-Keepress of Astria and holder of the ultimate seat of control: The High Couch of Silistra.

Originally published in 1977, the book, along with its insufferably corny cover, was just about to get lost under four decades of library dust to never irk another human being again. Then, driven by some demonic force that no mere mortal would ever be able to understand, someone (and I’m too lazy to do the research as to who this incurable criminal is) resurrected it. Reprinted it. Brought it back from its timely and well-deserved death to serve as a banner for idiots who have no inkling of actual feminism  to rally under.

The High Couch of Silistra

To add insult to near-fatal injury, there were a considerable  amount of people who couldn’t shut up in the reviews about how this book is real feminism, and how all women should just please listen up and see how it’s done.  

Two of the views that caused me the most eye-twitching:

“What a remarkable feminist text. I found this book to be similar and far superior to the oft praised ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.”

“This is a novel that changed the game for women characters in science fiction, and the women who write science fiction.”

If you are confused as to why these opinions seem so outrageous to me, please read on:

Okay, so to be fair,  let’s start with the positive. The one star I gave to this book on is solely in honour of the excellent world building. And if anyone (no one?) has been following my reviews, you’ll know that shoddy world building is not a thing I easily excuse. In this case, however, I can’t fault it. Silistra is no place you’ve ever been or even thought of. Everything, from the plants and animals to the structure of society, is brand new, and is presented in a way that is evocative and immersive. I really enjoyed the slight confusion of trying to make sense of this utterly unknown culture that I had just been dropped into. 

But the rest of it is…not so great.

gripe 1:

Feminism, and how this book is NOT that.

One of the reasons reviewers called this book ‘feminist’ is because it ‘explores the idea of female dominance through sexuality’. But isn’t that exactly the opposite of feminism? Feminism mostly tries to put forward the idea that women can do and be anything men can be if they put their minds to it. There is no ‘feminine way’ to do things and there is a definite backlash to the idea that women should be exerting power over their circumstances only through their vaginas. Women can (and do all the time, thank you very much) run their lives by using their brains. 

Estri, on the other hand, barely tries to do this. She makes some cognitive decisions in the beginning of the book, to which I thought, Yay! A woman with a sex drive and a brain! Because, yes, that IS feminist, but Estri soon deteriorates into a woman who simply lies back and takes whatever comes her way right between the legs. She doesn’t exert dominance over anyone. She has no power, and can seem to do nothing or go nowhere without submitting to the rape and abuse of various men. 

She also exhibits very little control over herself, much less her situation. She demands to continue on her quest, which is admirable, but not really enough to absolve her of her other sins: she has no power over her own urges. She falls in love with every single man who rapes and mistreats her, and rather than mustering an ounce of self-respect, she simply follows them around like a lost puppy. She thinks about it a handful of times, concluding that *insert name here* is so awful and terrible (and some of them are truly reprehensible), but she just continues to sleep with them and love them, because her ‘need is too great’. This perpetuates the dangerous stereotype that women are completely and utterly at the mercy of their bodies. In case anyone doesn’t know this: THEY ARE NOT. They have brains and are capable of complex thoughts and most notably, can resist their inappropriate sexual impulses if they know it’s either dangerous or not good for them. 

gripe 2:

Claims of a sex positive society, and how this book doesn’t quite follow through.

I was really hoping for a book that lives up to its reputation of featuring prostitution in a new light, but this book doesn’t. Sex is still a thing taken from women by men. It is still a method men use to control and shame women. The problem here is that it could have been SO much cooler. What if there was a society where sex, and even the purchasing of sex, was a perfectly normal and healthy thing? What if sex was seen as a major and respectable form of commerce? But not here. The selling of sex is a way to make sure women fulfil their most desperate need and highest purpose in life: conceive and have offspring. And here we have another sexist trope, the idea that the greatest joy a woman can experience is motherhood. 

gripe 3:

Estri is not an inspiring woman. 

I have some more gripes about Estri and how lame she is and how she frequently mentions her shortcomings, but do very little to try and overcome them. She just lies back, because, wait for it, here comes the next round of rapes.

gripe 4:

Rape. Rape. Rape. Oh, and did I mention the rape? 

This book has so much rape in it that I went from being uncomfortable to being outraged to just plain pulling an Estri and waiting for it to be over. I don’t know where this female ‘dominance’ and ‘control’ is that people speak of, because Estri gets raped by almost every single man she meets. A previous lover unceremoniously anally rapes her in the first few pages, and the experience passes over Estri like so much water. She doesn’t even bat an eye. More rapes follow. There is a gang rape. There are men raping other men. There are men beating two women and forcing them to have sex with each other against their will. AND NONE OF IT EVER GETS ADDRESSED. It’s just treated as normal. Par for the course. A thing that happens every day and no use even talking about. Estri barely gets it over her heart to admit that she didn’t consent to any of the acts. She just takes it lying down without a complaint. Which, gentlefolk, is NOT THE SAME AS BEING SEX POSITIVE!

I find this to be an enormous opportunity lost . These issues could have been discussed in light of this supposed ‘sex positive society’ of theirs, but it doesn’t happen. What could have been a very intense and thought-provoking look into an unfamiliar sexual society just falls flat without any payoff. 

gripe 5:

The story was not compelling. 

This is sad, because I would have forgiven this book most of its crimes if the story was amazing. But it’s not. I’’s just not that interesting. There are a lot of good world building exercises, but without a story to prop up the scenes, they just fall flat. Like I said before, she travels from point A to B, and that is basically it. No character development, no growth, no knowledge acquired, no new skills learned, no relationships built that aren’t immediately abandoned and forgotten. Just a lot of rape and abuse and then a ending that suggests enlightenment…but doesn’t actually show it. All of it is just meh. 

gripe 6:

There’s no actual sex. 

Not a single word to describe even a moment of intimacy between any of the characters. Most of it is just truncated into ‘he took me’ or ‘he used me’, or even more cryptically, ‘afterwards’. Sometimes it happens so quickly that I miss it completely and only notice the latest gang rape when I look back over the pages. Normally this is not really a gripe, but I think I would be willing to withhold many of my other gripes if this was just some run-of-the-mill erotica. I know dub-con is a highly enjoyed feature of a lot of erotica, and so maybe then I wouldn’t have found the blatant sexism and consent issues to be such a problem. If there was some description of the sex I could rest assured that this book was written towards getting people off, rather than opening their minds. I don’t know. Maybe. I just think that if you’re going to write a story that is almost exclusively about sex and features more rape than anyone ever can swing a non-consenting cat at, it should at least have *some* description of it somewhere. Otherwise half the book seems to not be happening at all.

So that is why I will not be continuing the Silistra series. This decision deeply distresses me, because I am an obsessive compulsive who likes finish the shit I start. But this torture is surely not worth it. Moving on.