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Leika II

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Old 08-24-2006, 10:49 AM
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Leika -- Chapt. 1 con't.


Then, down the hall, came the six men Donnelly had sent away, each pair guarding and supporting one of the three in their midst. After them hurried a white-coated, harried-looking man with the blue medical emblem above his left breast pocket.

Her group shifted restlessly as Zach and the twins came into view, Tria stepping forward before being stopped by a firm, but gentle, hand on her arm from one of their guards. He gestured her back as the little group came up and merged with them. The doctor began to look a little nervous as Tantania and Arron sent him angry looks, and Leika frowned at the aggressive stance her group had begun to take toward him. She shifted her feet uneasily, then stepped decisively toward the man. His shoulders twitched, and she slowed, meeting his eyes.

"I need to speak with them."

She took another step, changing her grip on the assault rifle and half-extending her hand toward him. He started to meet her halfway, then hesitated, showing worry for the first time. She shrugged a little, edgily. "Need to keep your doctor safe." She met his eyes again, waiting, hand still extended.

Devoir paused a moment longer, regarding the woman carefully. He slowly took one step, then another. With one last step, he was in reach, and he wavered for a moment before hesitantly putting his wrist into her hand. This is too dangerous! His mind screamed the words at him. You're putting yourself in a position to be taken by her group! Your victory turned to the ashes of defeat! Cliche, he thought wryly, but true...
He met her eyes, knowing his worry was apparent to her, and struggling to return to his formerly calm mask. To his shock, her eyes held only sympathy, and she lightly gripped his wrist, turning it to speak while he watched with a sort of horrified fascination.

"Donnelly. Make this available to the prisoners. Now."

In the screens, Donnelly stiffened abruptly, then almost angrily took off the earbud and held it out toward Tria, who took it quickly.

"Tria, this is Le--, ...this is me. I've negotiated free passage for all of you, and the doctor's going to go with you to keep our wounded alive. Don't hurt him."

On-screen, Tria nodded. "Ok. What's..."

Leika cut her off swiftly. "Let him go when you're safe. No questions. He won't know."

"Ok... I...I'll take care of it." Tria handed the earbud back to Donnelly and drew back into the group, who clustered around her.

Donnelly watched sourly, but told them, with reasonable civility, "You'll have to go now. You are guaranteed safe passage and untraced transport. Come this way." He led the way down the hall.

Leika waited a moment longer, relaxing slowly as she saw them get outside the building and started safely on their way, and then realized that she was still holding the man's wrist. She looked up into faintly worried dark eyes that were regarding her warily. She had unconsciously drawn him closer as she spoke with Tria, and now they stood less than a foot apart, her hand gripping one wrist while his other arm hung almost helplessly at his side.
Flushing, she let go abruptly and stepped back. He held perfectly still for an instant, poised on the brink of movement, their eyes still locked together. Confused, she took another quick step back, feeling her shoulders brush the wall, and broke eye contact, letting the increasingly heavy weight of the gun droop toward the floor. The man seemed to recover then, swiveling away from her to cut the screens off with a wave of his hand before turning back to her, one eyebrow raised in question. She met his eyes and nodded, pointing the muzzle of the assault rifle down and away from the men at the table.

Devoir sighed with relief as she lowered her gun, then paused for a moment, a sudden, uncomfortable indecision warring with his need for information. He sighed softly, then asked her quietly, "What is your name, please?"

She looked back at him, her lips parting, and she started to reply, then stopped. "Your name?" she asked hesitantly.

"Devoir."

She hesitated a moment longer, then, "Leika."

"Leika, you might have worded your terms a bit less precisely. And kept up your guard." He paused an instant, lowering his voice, and adding softly, "I'm sorry." He watched closely as she blinked, seeing that little worried line appear between her eyebrows again. He needed the information he could get from her. He couldn't let an archaic sense of honor prevent him from obtaining it. His people needed protection. It was a simple thing to note that she had only asked for safe passage and no re-capture for prisoners.

"What...?" Leika started to ask, worried, then stopped, a sharp twitch of her arms confirming that there was no way she could get the muzzle of her gun up in time. Her wound tore a little more at the sudden movement, freezing her in place for an instant longer. Too late...the men around the table stood, half of them producing automatics from inside their coats and training them on her.

Wording. It would have to be the wording of the terms. She wasn't a prisoner, so she didn't have safe passage, and since she hadn't been captured--yet--she didn't have immunity from being captured.
She let her anger flare into her eyes as she looked deliberately from one face to the next, the men flinching back from the silver fire her gaze had become. One or two of them men seemed to be a little ashamed, but most were not-quite-openly gleeful. But she was still dangerous, and as each man in turn received the impact of her eyes, they were suddenly very, very glad indeed that Devoir had orchestrated the contact. The impression remained that she might have just started shooting.

Leika returned her silver stare to the dark flint of Devoir's eyes, bracing herself a little. She worked to control her breathing to an even in-and-out, to slow her frantic heart as each double-quick pulse sent more blood seeping down her side, restaining her camouflage. She waited quietly as two men stepped forward to grip her arms, another taking the assault rifle from her unresisting hands, and a fourth taking her wrists and lashing them together before her with the silky tie he had stripped from his neck and knotted.

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More than one,
less than none,
Worthless?

Gain some time,
but lose the rhyme,
Useless?

Last edited by Cold Twilight; 10-03-2006 at 09:21 AM..
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2006, 02:23 PM
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After them hurried a white-coated, harried-looking man with the blue medical emblem above his left breast pocket.
Harried? how about a "harry-looking"?

Her group shifted restlessly as Zach and the twins came into view
this is the beginning of the second chapter. some people, like me, will start reading the book in the middle to get a feel for it before they start at the beignning. What you have done is confussed me (the reading skipper) by not saying who "she" is. Give her name, give everyone's name, the first time she/they appear in a chapter.

relaxing slowly as she saw them get outside the building and starte safely on their way
Simple mistake... add the 'd' on "started".

Again, you left me in the lurch! But it's really good! I'm really getting into Leika. For some reason, Devoir seems to have changed personallity between the chapters. I could have been remember him wrong, but you might want to go back and just double check all your named characters again and make sure they are staying and will stay consistant. Oh, and me being lazy and all, can you explain the bit of the "wording of the agreement"? It may turn out that you talk about it later on in the story, but I'm curoius and too lazy to look back.

another thing, I hope you're not planning on stopping this chapter here. Now, I'm the kind of reader who likes short chapters, but not this short. You have a lot packed in there, but you didn't describe the surroundings too much. You could go back and add a paragraph or two by talking about where Leika's people went to get out of the place. Or you could've frozen time for a moment and let Leika take a good look at each person's face when they pulled out their guns. Let her realize that she wasn't careful enough.

All in all, I'm going to keep up with this story!! It's getting really good!
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:33 AM
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Ah! Sorry Jabatt! I should have explained that this is still the first chapter! I haven't posted any of the second chapter yet...um...I'll have to go back and make that clear on the story by-line...

Harry-looking? What does that mean? I'm sorry, I'm a bit confused. I meant harried, which should mean something along the lines of appearing anxious, worried, flustered, and majorly over-worked.

Thanks for catching that typo! And could you explain what you mean by Devoir changing personalities? I've looked it over, and I don't get what you mean....

I'm glad you like Leika. Thanks very much for your suggestions. I'll see if I can add some impact to the moment she understands what Devoir's done.
And I'll explain that better too! Thanks again!
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More than one,
less than none,
Worthless?

Gain some time,
but lose the rhyme,
Useless?

Last edited by Cold Twilight; 08-28-2006 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:33 AM
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Oops. Faulty comp...sorry.
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:36 AM
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about the "harry-looking" comment, I'm just not a good dictionary, so I didn't know that word. lol my mistake.

and the Devoir stuff... like I said, I was lazy and didn't want to check back on the other part. So it was a faulty memory that caused me to think he changed character.

Now that you explained that bit about the chapter not being over, it makes more sense! lol Good job. I'm looking forward to reading more!
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:00 PM
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Ok! I'm glad to hear that! I was getting worried. Thanks again!
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:57 PM
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Cold Twilight, let me warn you before you post anything else. I have started school and found out that my english teacher (for once) is going to be a real stickler on grammar, punctuation, and spelling. This means I will try to tear yours and everyone elses' work that I read apart. I hope to hone in my skills at this. If you see an error in my critique, then please tell me! What I am doing is more for my gain than it is for you. lol Selfish, aren't I? ;-)
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:29 AM
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lol. I'll pm my answer. But for general knowledge, I have no problems with this whatsoever. Go for it! lol. I will return the favor.
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:52 AM
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I am now waiting upon any further additions to this story. Likewise, I will try to rewrite the correct preface for my story and attempt a first chapter for it sometime this weekend.
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Last edited by Dragon Master; 08-29-2006 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:58 AM
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*cough* currect = correct lol. And, ah, Leika --Ch. 1 con't and Leika IV are already out. lol.
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Old 08-29-2006, 11:03 AM
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funny guy you are, Cold Twilight. I shall correct and look hence forth!
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Old 08-29-2006, 11:11 AM
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*Sigh* Girl.
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:48 PM
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yes yes... i will not forget you are a girl. but still, calling you a guy is so much funnier! (and yeah, I know it's supposed to be "more funny")
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Old 08-29-2006, 01:45 PM
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Is it now? lol. I prefer funnier. Besides, it is also proper English. lol
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:51 PM
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are you kidding? sheesh... I really need to change nationalities!
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Old 08-30-2006, 02:40 PM
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?? Confused. No, not kidding. lol.
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:21 AM
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Hmm. Bump?
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:03 AM
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lol. I was saying that since I don't use Proper English, maybe I should change nationality so I don't have to. And about your pm... I'll get to it. Really, I will! ;-)
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:05 AM
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lol. NP! That is all stuff you read except for the last part... lol. You haven't read Part II of ch. 2 is all.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:29 PM
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yeah... I will make time for it... sooner or later. I may just have to print it out and take it to school. in fact... I'll do that right now!
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Old 10-04-2006, 08:44 AM
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lol. Have fun!
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:24 PM
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More comments to follow, in between text and marked in red - Important summary note at the end.
Crit, continues:

...snipped text....

Her group shifted restlessly as Zach and the twins came into view, Tria stepping forward before being stopped by a firm, but gentle, hand on her arm from one of their guards. He gestured her back as the little group came up and merged with them. The doctor began to look a little nervous as Tantania and Arron sent him angry looks, and Leika frowned at the aggressive stance her group had begun to take toward him. She shifted her feet uneasily, then stepped decisively toward the man. His shoulders twitched, and she slowed, meeting his eyes.
Lots of new characters here. Maybe brief descriptions of who they are and what they mean to Leika would help me get to know them. Right now, they're simply a list of names in my head.

"I need to speak with them."

She took another step, changing her grip on the assault rifle and half-extending her hand toward him. He started to meet her halfway, then hesitated, showing worry for the first time. She shrugged a little, edgily. "Need to keep your doctor safe." She met his eyes again, waiting, hand still extended.
Again, this is a little too wordy. You're describing small things here that could be covered with a shorter sentence, allowing the reader to visualize some of it on their own. Adverb 'edgily' and others like it could go. Her actions already show she is edgy. I'll talk more about this at the end of this crit, in the final summary.

Devoir paused a moment longer, regarding the woman carefully. He slowly took one step, then another. With one last step, he was in reach, and he wavered for a moment before hesitantly putting his wrist into her hand. This is too dangerous! His mind screamed the words at him. You're putting yourself in a position to be taken by her group! Your victory turned to the ashes of defeat! Cliche, he thought wryly, but true...
He met her eyes, knowing his worry was apparent to her, and struggling to return to his formerly calm mask. To his shock, her eyes held only sympathy, and she lightly gripped his wrist, turning it to speak while he watched with a sort of horrified fascination.
[head-hopping between Devoir and Leika too often and it's hard for me to keep up with who is thinking what. Suggest sticking to one character per scene. When the scene changes, jump to the other character.]

"Donnelly. Make this available to the prisoners. Now."[<--who said this?]

In the screens, Donnelly stiffened abruptly [<--cut 'abruptly'], then almost angrily took off the earbud and held it out toward Tria, who took it quickly. [<--too many adverbs in one sentence. If you must have them, keep it to one or less per sentence]

"Tria, this is Le--, ...this is me. I've negotiated free passage for all of you, and the doctor's going to go with you to keep our wounded alive. Don't hurt him."

....snipped text.....

Leika waited a moment longer, relaxing slowly [<---cut 'slowly' - way overused throughout your story] as she saw them get outside the building and started safely on their way, and then realized that she was still holding the man's wrist. She looked up into faintly worried dark eyes that were regarding her warily. She had unconsciously drawn him closer as she spoke with Tria, and now they stood less than a foot apart, her hand gripping one wrist while his other arm hung almost helplessly at his side.
Lots of adverbs here. You can safely cut all of them and your description will still be clear.

Flushing, she let go abruptly and stepped back. He held perfectly still for an instant, poised on the brink of movement, their eyes still locked together. Confused, she took another quick step back, feeling her shoulders brush the wall, and broke eye contact, letting the increasingly heavy weight of the gun droop toward the floor. The man seemed to recover then, swiveling away from her to cut the screens off with a wave of his hand before turning back to her, one eyebrow raised in question. She met his eyes and nodded, pointing the muzzle of the assault rifle down and away from the men at the table.

Devoir sighed with relief as she lowered her gun, then paused for a moment, a sudden, uncomfortable indecision warring with his need for information. He sighed softly, then asked her quietly, "What is your name, please?"
Wordy. Cut all the adverbs, use firm, active verbs and keep your sentences in varying lengths with an eye for pacing. You can condense all of above down to this:

Her face flushed. She let go and stepped back. Devoir held still. Their eyes locked. Leika stepped back once more, her shoulders brushing the wall. The gun was heavy and the muzzle dropped toward the floor. The man sensed her confusion and took advantage of it. He swiveled and turned the screens off with a wave of his hand. He raised an eyebrow at her, waiting. Finally she nodded and lowered the weapon. Everyone, including Devoir, sighed with relief. Indecision warred with his desire for information. He decided to risk it. "What is your name?" He asked.


...snipped text.....

"What...?" Leika started to ask, worried, then stopped, a sharp twitch of her arms confirming that there was no way she could get the muzzle of her gun up in time. Her wound tore a little more at the sudden movement, freezing her in place for an instant longer. Too late...the men around the table stood, half of them producing automatics from inside their coats and training them on her.

Wording. It would have to be the wording of the terms. She wasn't a prisoner, so she didn't have safe passage, and since she hadn't been captured--yet--she didn't have immunity from being captured.
I'm not sure I understand what just happened here. Lots of repetition of certain words like 'captured' have only confused me further. There appears to be a 'game' of sort being played out here, one that I don't know the rules for and even more - I don't understand the 'point' of capture.

She let her anger flare into her eyes as she looked deliberately from one face to the next, the men flinching back from the silver fire her gaze had become. One or two of them men seemed to be a little ashamed, but most were not-quite-openly gleeful. But she was still dangerous, and as each man in turn received the impact of her eyes, they were suddenly very, very glad indeed that Devoir had orchestrated the contact. The impression remained that she might have just started shooting.
Point of view is unclear. I'm not sure if I'm in Leika's head or Devoir's.
Leika returned her silver stare to the dark flint of Devoir's eyes, bracing herself a little. She worked to control her breathing to an even in-and-out, to slow her frantic heart as each double-quick pulse sent more blood seeping down her side, restaining her camouflage. She waited quietly as two men stepped forward to grip her arms, another taking the assault rifle from her unresisting hands, and a fourth taking her wrists and lashing them together before her with the silky tie he had stripped from his neck and knotted.
Odd, I'd have thought once she realized she was going to be captured, why didn't she just open fire on the men?

Summary:

Lots of adverbs throughout - and the description is pretty heavy in places. I illustrated above how it can be condensed down, but let me explain why I'm pointing this out.

One of the hardest things about writing is knowing how much description to put in and whether you have enough - or not enough. You also need to know the difference between 'needed' description and that which is not needed. The easiest way to show what I mean is using the old 'One Potato, Two Potato' example.

For instance, say you have a character who is home alone for the evening and he's hungry, so he wants to boil some potatoes for dinner. Let's say this guy's name is Tom. In a regular novel, the author would probably describe Tom's actions as such:

Tom strode into the kitchen, opened all the cupboards and the refrigerator, finding them mostly bare. Why hadn't Gina gone shopping? Under the sink was a lone bag of potatoes. He pulled the bag out, slammed it on the counter and peeled about half of the spuds. Forty-five minutes later, Tom drained the potatoes, added milk and butter, then stirred them all together. A giant bowl of mashed potatoes wasn't the healthiest meal he'd ever eaten, but at least it was filling. Where was Gina, anyway?

Note that even though I didn't 'describe Tom peeling potatoes, you have enough description to know what he did and can easily picture it in your mind. Why? Because most people already know about how to peel them and cook them. What you are doing in your action sequences is the following (using Tom and his potatoes as an example):

Tom was extremely bored, totally angry and voraciously hungry. He walked quickly into the kitchen. He opened the first cupboard and found it completely empty, save for a can of condensed milk. Slightly miffed, he went to the next cupboard and found it empty, too. He snorted and his eyes flared with anger. The refrigerator was so empty that it had a slight echo when he cursed into it, finding only a half-rotted head of lettuce in the vegetable drawer. He pressed on, opening the rest of the cupboards until he finally located a small bag of shriveled potatoes under the kitchen sink.

Angry with Gina for not going shopping like he'd asked her to, he angrily slammed the bag on the counter and grabbed a potato. With a sharp paring knife, he carefully peeled it and dropped it into a pot. Then, he grabbed another potato and peeled that one, dropping it also carefully into the pot. He did the same with the third potato and the fourth. By the time he finished peeling, his pot was half full. He carried it quickly to the sink and filled it full of fresh, clear water. Then he set it on the stove and turned the knob. The blue gas flame danced merrily as the potatoes began to cook. Ten minutes went by and still the water hadn't even started to boil. Gina should be doing this, he thought, his fingers still aching with all the peeling he'd just done.

At thirty minutes past the hour, the pot of potatoes was bubbling nicely. He stirred them with a spoon, occasionally testing one to see if it had softened yet. At quarter of eight o'clock, the potatoes were now mostly soft enough to mash, so Tom shut off the burner, took the potatoes to the sink and poured them slowly into a colander. The hot water swirled down the sink hole. Now drained, the potato pot was put on the counter and Tom went to fetch the evaporated milk from the cupboard and the half stick of butter he saw in the fridge. He poured these into the mixture and stirred until the whole thing was nice and creamy. He hurriedly spooned the mixture into a large bowl, grabbed a fork and sat down to eat. Where was Gina? He thought angrily. It's eight o'clock...

Notice how a lot of attention is put on something that doesn't need so much attention - the potatoes, which makes it a real chore to read. Plus it took three paragraphs to describe it when one would do nicely. I threw in a bunch of adverbs for flavor. The reader at this point probably wants to know more about where Gina is and why Tom's angry with her. Though you can see the potato scene much more clearly in the second version, it's really a waste of time because Tom's act of boiling potatoes is not the focus of the story. Plus, when readers see something like this, they get bored and either skim on to more action or put it down altogether. The trouble between Tom and Gina IS the focus, so the description should be more concentrated on that rather than the potatoes.

Hope this illustrates what I'm trying to say. Your story is good, but if you condense it down and focus your description more on your plot rather than how exactly Leika is holding her gun, you can do away with a lot of description that doesn't matter and get right to the meat of the story - NOT the potatoes.

Reading on to the next chapter portion - will have to post that crit tomorrow, as it is getting late.

Keep writing,

Jillian
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:43 AM
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Again, thanks very much. I'll see what I can do with my 'potatoes'... lol.
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