Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Postcard Poetry

Dear Mom,

As you hold this postcard in your palm,

Here I am in Germany

Wishing you were here with me.

The weather has gotten cold.

The leaves have turned red, orange, and gold.

Right now Oktoberfest is the place to go,

But alas, this year we must say no.

Instead we'll enjoy the Frankenstein Castle

Where ghosts and vampires will be a hassle.

Every room will be a fright.

I'm sure I'll scream with all my might.

I still can't wait to go to Italy,

So many places I want to see.

I hope you visit soon.



Monday, September 26, 2011

One-Minute Writings (9/18/11 to 9/24/11)


One Word - "concern"

I am concerned for you, little child. I hold your life, the size of a poppy seed, in my body close to my heart. How can I not already love you?


One Word - "celebrate"

Let’s celebrate new life! Let’s celebrate old life! Let’s celebrate the miracle that we exist. Let’s be happy with the short time we have on Earth.


One Word - "crouch"

I crouch behind the couch, hiding and waiting for the right moment to appear. The room is dark. I can hear breathing from my nearby friends and family. I hear a door open and the light switches on. Footsteps come closer to the living room, then stop.

“Surprise!” I yell with everyone as we jump from our crouched hidden places. My sister’s hand flies to her mouth and she gasps. Then she starts laughing as we swarm towards her to wish her a happy birthday.

The One-Minute Writer - What takes too long?

When my husband is deployed, it takes too long for him to come home.


One Word - "couch"

I have a couch.
It is blue.
But I prefer the rocker.

The One-Minute Writer - Rewrite the following sentence in a way that is more interesting and less cliched: And they lived happily ever after.

He took her hand and lifted her onto his white horse. Then, with his arms around her, they rode into the sunset, their hearts beating as one.


One Word - "port"

I sip from the port wine in my hand as I lie in the tub filled with warm, sudsy water.


One Word - "convinced"

“I’m convinced she’s trying to kill me!” Jonathon complained to his closest friend, Albert.

“But why? She’s just so charming.” Albert replied.

“Then why does she keep tripping me and spilling hot liquids on me and making my horses throw me to the ground?” Jonathon sputtered angrily.
“Well, I think she likes you,” Albert said.


One Word - "preoccupied"

She twirled a tendril of hair around her index finger, her brows furrowed as she thought about the test questions before her. Her mind preoccupied, she didn’t notice her classmate peaking at her paper to steal some answers.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

100 words a day (September 15 - 23, 2011)

This week reads like a diary. Next week I'll have to get back to writing fiction.


Four hours here. Four hours there. Never eight hours straight, at least not for the last month. My husband works the midnight shift, so we don't go to sleep until the morning when he comes home. On my birthday, in mid August, we went on a Rhine River cruise during the day. We slept for four hours at home, then went on the cruise, and then came home and slept for four more hours. Michael readjusted quickly to his work schedule again, but I still sleep the same way I did as on my birthday: four hours at a time.


Today marks a momentous occasion for me! I'm pregnant! I took a home pregnancy test that said "pregnant." I was so excited that I couldn't wait to tell Michael. He was at work, and he had just sent me an email with an image about coffee, so I replied saying I had a picture for him as well. I sent him the picture of my positive pregnancy test. He sent an email back saying I was supposed to wait and that he loves me. We confirmed the pregnancy with a urine test at the doctor's office. I'm due in May!


I went to Bad D├╝rkheim today for the wine festival. I took a few small sips of a very sweet wine. It was delicious! I didn't want to drink more than that though. Michael and our friend Marie went on a few of the rides while I took pictures. I ate some Annette pizza with onions, garlic, peppers, salami, cheese, and pepperoni on it. It was delicious. I drank a slushi that I had thought to be watermelon, but actually tasted like coconut mixed with the watermelon. By nightfall, we could barely walk through the large crowd of people.


My cat meows at me from the floor. I think she wants attention. Either that or she wants food. I know I already fed her, so she must want me to pet her. She'll tap me with her little white paws until I let her on my lap. Or she'll rub against my legs while meowing. She jumps on my lap and lies down, waiting for me to pet her. Whatever cats want, cats get. She purrs. Receiving enough attention, she jumps down to the floor, meows at me, walks away, and lies on the floor next to the door.


We're told to drink eight 8 oz glasses of water each day. Most people probably don't, but I've definitely tried. I went on a diet to lose 40 pounds about two years ago. I decided to drink a lot of water to help me not feel hungry all the time, since I had cut my calorie intake and started exercising. I didn't reach that goal every day. When I managed to drink 64 ounces in a day, the bathroom became my best friend since I couldn't stop peeing. Luckily, other foods and drinks have water content to fill the gap.


I keep thinking about my sister's Christmas story she wrote when we were kids. The details are a bit fuzzy, but I remember the door knocker being the shape of Santa's head. And people kept dying. Every time someone died, the Santa head dripped blood, so somehow the two were connected. She also wrote a story about how everyone loved this pizza shop's sauce, but the secret ingredient was human blood. The more popular the pizza sauce became, the more that people died. I'm thinking about these stories because I'll be writing a Halloween story soon, and I need ideas.


I'd really love to skip writing today, but a promise is a promise, even to myself. Some days I have no problem writing, but other days, like today, my brain draws a blank, so I stare at the screen for a while until I gnash my teeth in frustration and watch anime or read a book for distraction. Today's one of those days that I just don't feel like doing anything. It seems that I've fallen into a routine of laziness. I need to set goals and stick to them, and I need to get out of the house more.


Coffee doesn't have its appeal anymore. I crave it, but when I drink it, I take two sips and want to stop. The taste isn't as wonderful as I remember. Perhaps I will have Michael make it next time. He often makes food and drinks taste delicious. Either that, or everything just tastes better when I'm not the one making it.

On the other hand, I've been drinking a lot more milk. Usually when I drink milk, I add chocolate syrup or powder because chocolate milk tastes yummy. Now I drink milk three or four times a day.


My ears hurt! I've just been on the phone for probably four hours, maybe even more, announcing to my husband's and my family that I'm pregnant. Holding the phone to my ear that long has caused my earlobes to hurt. And I still have one more phone call to make. It'd be so much easier if we lived closer because then I could have everyone over for dinner and announce it all at once. We're happy, though, to be having our first child, so the painful earlobes are worth it, and they will be the least of my physical symptoms.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One-Minute Writings (9/11/11 to 9/17/11)


One Word - "hover"

The aircraft hovered in the air before zooming into the sky, its lights twirling and twinkling red, white, and blue. I looked up, hardly believing what my eyes could see. Secretly, I had known we couldn’t be the only beings in the universe.

The One-Minute Writer - I skipped this prompt.


One Word - "trade"

I wouldn’t trade you for the world. Maybe for a bite of chocolate. No! I’m just kidding! Can I have some chocolate anyway? You know I love chocolate. I love chocolate, yes I do, but I don’t love chocolate more than you.

The One-Minute Writer - I skipped this prompt.


One Word - "rally"

I never liked pep rallies. I never liked football either. I used to sit in the bleachers wishing I could go home instead of wasting my time, though I’m sure others were just happy to get out of class.

The One-Minute Writer - I skipped this prompt.


One Word - "account"

Can you account for your whereabouts yesterday at 5:15 pm?

Why? What happened?

Just answer the question.
I was sleeping.

The One-Minute Writer - Write about someone who depends on you, or someone on whom you depend.

I depend on my husband as he depends on me, though sometimes in different ways.

I depend on God.


One Word - "average"

Someone has to be average for comparison purposes. How else will you know you are smarter or more athletic or better at any number of things? How will you know if you are doing better or worse? By setting an average, we can strive to become better than the average and thus improve ourselves.

The One-Minute Writer - Write about something in your life that you put up with.

I put up with my cat. Just this morning when I was still trying to sleep, I could hear her cleaning herself. Lick, lick, lick. When you've only had three hours of sleep and that's all you can hear, you just want to throw a pillow at the source of the sound. I decided to pick her up instead and cuddle with her in bed, but she escaped and went back to licking.


One Word - "pouch"

The idea of a kangaroo baby in its mother’s pouch is cute, but I saw a video of a joey popping out and it just looked so weird.

The One-Minute Writer - Write a brief bit of fiction using the prompt, "Pop."

"Good morning, Pop," Mary said as she entered his bedroom. She walked by an old dresser to a nearby window and opened the dark green curtains, letting the sun shine into the room. The light streaked across the huge bed, showing a sleeping figure burrowed in heavy black blankets.

"Wake up," Mary said in a lilting voice. She walked to the bed and looked at her grandfather. "You've slept in late enough." Mary shook her grandfather's shoulder gently.

"Pop?" Mary shook his shoulder again. When he didn't stir, she pressed two fingers to his neck. After a minute, she let her hand fall.

"Pop...no," she whispered as tears spilled onto her cheeks.


One Word - "shootout"

I’m lucky I’m not in a shootout. I’d lose if I were on my own, mostly because I don’t know how to use a gun and the pain currently etched on my forehead would distract me. I hope I’d be on the winning side (the good side) though.

The One-Minute Writer - What day is it? (Be creative in how you respond!)

Today is whatever you make of it. You can wake up in the morning with a smile on your face and optimism in your heart or you can grumble in misery as you force yourself to get up. I choose to have a happy day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

100 words a day (September 8 - 14, 2011)

Here are my posts for 100 words a day from September 8th to the 14th. I feel proud that I've continued to write every day even if only a little bit. You must start small to eventually create something big.


We watched Binx, the cat whose diary took up the last six days, for about a week in August. It made me rethink owning two cats at once. My husband, Michael, asked if we could get a miniature pig instead. I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen, especially since we live in an apartment.

I'm so hungry right now that there'd be no scraps left to give to a pig. We've needed to go grocery shopping for several days now, but with my husband's horrible work schedule and my lack of driver's license, my stomach has grumbled all week.


I dreamed that I was a student in high school and that my teacher Irene was being targeted by some unknown, yet dangerous person with a lot of men at his/her disposal to use to assassinate Irene. One of the men fiddled with the lockers, including mine, that we assumed they had bombs in them. Irene, a male teacher I assume is her boyfriend or husband, and I escaped in his car and went to one of my relative's places. A man arrived with a package for Irene that's empty, but he attacked with a deadly spray. I ran.


I'm not very creative today. Actually, I'm feeling sick. I hope my stomachache goes away. I finally slept for a full 8 hours (I woke up a few times but went back to bed), but now I have to deal with stomach issues. I blame it on the beef jerky my husband made, but he thinks it's all in my head. He had the meat sitting in the fridge for almost a week before he finally dehydrated it for five hours to make it into jerky. Maybe I am paranoid, but I'm not imagining the uncomfortable feeling in my stomach.


My sister-in-law gave me a writing prompt to help me out with my writer's block. She gave me the prompt back in March. I've only now begun to really think about it, about how I would write the story of Liz, a day-time book reviewer but night-time stalker. Well, the prompt doesn't say she stalks at night, but I like the sound of it. Her goal is to find true love, but the barista at Starbucks has become her obstacle. I think I want to make the story silly and romantic instead of heavy and tragic.


We wait in the airport. I try not to cry by keeping myself busy, talking nonsense with a smile that doesn't reach my eyes. I try not to think about tonight or tomorrow or the next day, but inevitably my heart aches at the thought of missing his voice, his touch, his presence. I miss him even though he still sits next to me playing on his DS. Turning to him, I bury my head in his chest as I stifle the urge to bawl. He kisses my cheek, wipes away my tears, then tightly wraps his arms around me.


A gentle breeze glides through the open window. The curtains look as though they breathe as they billow out with the wind and get sucked back into the window a moment later. The breeze softly lifts my hair and caresses my neck, sending chills down my spine. I shiver. Goosebumps form on my arms. I rub my hands against my arms for some warmth; then I walk to the window and close it. The wind wafts through the room a final time, then relieves my skin of its cold touch. The curtains billow once more before settling, breathing no more.


I have a pack of Wrigley's Extra Sweet Watermelon gum on my desk next to my keyboard. Under the paper flap of the packet, it mentions hot dog gum in jest. That is just gross. I know that bacon has become a popular flavor to make into everything, like hot sauce and gum, but imagine if they made it all hot dog flavor. I don't mind eating hot dogs, and bacon is just delicious, but I wouldn't want their flavors made into gum. These are just my musings today as I sit at my computer after only four hours sleep.

The Beginning of My Shared Story Journal

On September 1st, I posted about my writing projects in the making. The last project I talked about was one from swap-bot where you start a story and someone continues it and sends it to another person to continue: a shared story. I joined that swap, and I'm sharing with you what I wrote for the beginning of the story. When I get the journal back (could be several months from now), I'll post the finished story. It doesn't have a title yet since I don't know where the story's going. Thanks for reading.

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Kayla stood by the open window. A gentle breeze flowed into the room and caressed her skin, sending shivers down her spine. Though goosebumps formed on her arms, she stayed by the window and endured the chill in the air.

The moon shone brightly in the dark sky, though Kayla did not see any twinkling stars. She looked beyond her bedroom window to the street below. Her parents' minivan sat in their driveway. The neighbors' cars waited quietly on the streets to be driven to work or school in the morning. A light here and there appeared in the neighboring houses as restless sleepers got up for a glass of water or decided to read a book until sleep overtakes them.

The wind suddenly picked up and sent whirling leaves into Kayla's bedroom from the tree by her window. She picked up an orange leaf from her hardwood floor and twirled it between her fingers. She opened her hand and then let it flit to her feet to join the other autumn leaves resting in her room.

Kalya then sat on her bed and grabbed her iphone from her pillow, where she had thrown it moments before looking out the window. She pressed a few buttons and sent a text: Where are you? She stared at the phone for a few minutes, willing it to ring. Then, she received a reply: I'm here. Suddenly, she heard a rustling of leaves, so she rushed to the window, her phone forgotten again on her messy bed, and she looked down at the figure climbing her tree.

Update (March 23, 2014): I never received my story back, so I'll need to take another look at this story and continue it on my own.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One-Minute Writings (9/8/11 to 9/10/11)

Here are some of my one-minute writings from One Word and The One-Minute Writer.


One Word - "bars"

My stomach is behind bars, yelling to be released or to at least get some food in the jail. Soon it will start chiseling at its imprisoning doors, slowly eating away my insides until there’s nothing left.


One Word - "clipped"

He yelled at me to clip my toenails. I must have cut him a thousand times, though the only fault of mine lay in not cutting my nails. I waited a few weeks until I finally took pity on him and clipped them. My fingernails will have to wait another few weeks until he yells at me some more.

The One-Minute Writer - Write a brief bit of fiction that involves laughter, but don't use the word "laugh" or any version of it. (Feel free to use synonyms!)

"You're so silly," Tiffany giggled.

"Oh yeah? Why's that?" Jason replied.

"Well..." Tiffany ticked off each answer by counting her fingers. "You walk in snaky lines instead of straight like everyone else. You sometimes Rawr and move like a T-Rex. And you just rubbed my foot against your stubby beard. Who else does that?" she asked.

Tiffany smiled then jerked her foot away when he began to tickle it. "No, stop!" She gasped for breath.

Jason pinned her to the couch and tickled her sides, though she wiggled to get free. "Now who's silly?" he asked. He kissed her lips and let her go, then he jumped up and ran from the room.

"I'll get you back!" she yelled and chased after him. She giggled, loving every minute of it and loving him.


One Word - "distinguished"

Can you distinguish between us? Am I Tom or am I Tim? Can’t tell? I didn’t think so. That’s the problem of being twins. You don’t get your own identity. People always confuse you with someone else.

The One-Minute Writer - Complete this thought: I'll consider this weekend a success if...

If I can write two posts for my blog, and if I can write the first two pages of a story, and if I can begin to edit my Christmas story for my friend Elaine, then I will consider this weekend a success.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Diary of a Cat Named Binx

Finally, http://100words.com/ released the link to let me start September's writing batch. My entry for September 1st is as follows:

Today begins my journey of writing 100 words per day on this site. I will write a little bit per day, via this site and others, until my mind is teeming with ideas that I just can't put my pen down. I want to create poetry and short stories, but my ultimate goal is to write a novel, a goal that I've had for ten years. It may take me another ten or twenty or even fifty years, but eventually I will print out each page of my novel while my heart bursts with happiness at a dream come true.

For the next six days, September 2nd to September 7th, my entries revolve around Binx, a cat that I watched for a week for my friend Marie while she took a vacation to Italy with her boyfriend. I've decided to turn these six entries into a short story called "The Diary of a Cat Named Binx." For the 100words website, I had to omit "Day 1," "Day 2," and so on because it didn't fit the 100-word requirement, but each day in the diary in my short story corresponds to an entry in the 100words website.

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The Diary of a Cat Named Binx
By Candace Shultz

Day 1 

I had a rough day. Marie, my human familiar, told me she was going on vacation to Italy without me. Can you believe it? Without me! She took me to her friends' place. I do love exploring, but I smelled another cat there. I love meeting new felines, but Bean didn't like me. She hissed and growled and guarded the doors so I couldn't explore. The humans yelled and sprayed me with water when I went on the counters to escape Bean. I was so upset that I peed on my favorite blanket. How embarrassing. I want to go home.

Day 2

Today wasn't much better. Bean still hates me. The humans sprayed me with water again and they shut the door so I couldn't sharpen my nails on the couch or investigate the smells on the counters. But I showed them! I opened the door anyway. I jumped, turned the knob, and pushed the door open. Then I just sauntered in the room, but as soon as Bean saw me she chased me back to the bathroom. I've been sitting on the dryer since. At least the humans bought me a new litter box. No way am I sharing with Bean!

Day 3

I almost got my revenge today. Bean thought she'd drive me out of the bathroom, my only sanctuary so far, but I had enough of her bullying. She hissed at me, so I hissed right back. I swiped my paw at her to keep her away. I cornered her behind the washing machine, jumped up, and tried to attack from above, but the human girl stormed into the bathroom with the spray bottle and chased me away before I could show Bean what happens when you mess with me. At least they learned not to shut the doors on me.

Day 4

I had a good day. I think Bean's starting to like me. She only hissed at me a few times today. I explored the house at my leisure (no closed doors for me!) and even slept on the bed today. Bean lay on the floor. I think she's realized that I'm the boss now. I saw Bean eat my food, but I don't mind because I ate some of hers. Tasty! The humans love me now. I sat on their laps and lazed in the windows and let them pet me. Things are looking up. I still miss Marie though.

Day 5

I chased Bean around the house today. It's nice to play with other cats. At home, I only have a dog to keep me company, besides Marie of course. Maybe Bean could visit me at home! It's fun to chase and wrestle with her. We can even laze in the sun within five human feet of each other. I started using her litter box today to let her know we can be friends. I don't think she minds. Well, I'm going to go play with her catnip pillow. Maybe afterward I can convince the humans to give me my treats.

Day 6

Never again! Bean and I were getting along great, so I tried to show her some affection, but she attacked me! I'm missing tufts of fur from her claws and teeth. I fought back until the human woman sprayed us both with water and chased me into the bedroom, closing the door behind her. I opened the door once to escape, but she put me back in the room and locked it! She let me out later, but I'm still so mad! Luckily, Marie arrived and took me away from Bean, that vile creature. I'm so happy to be home.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One-Minute Writings 9/7/2011

I enjoyed the prompts for today's one-minute writings. I even created a very short poem based off the word "existence."

One Word - "existence"

Existence is nil
Everywhere a wasteland
No trees, no plants, no animals
Humans gone
Destruction and chaos led to death

One-Minute Writer - Rewrite this sentence in a way that is more interesting and less cliche: It was a dark and stormy night.

Rain pummeled the ground in angry torrents as lightning scorched the black-as-ink skies and thunder shook the heavens.

Next time I'm writing about a storm, I think I'm going to use that description. I hope The One-Minute Writer has more prompts like these.

One-Minute Writings 9/6/2011

The following are my one-minute writings from today from two websites: oneword.com and http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/. Whereas oneword posts a single word for you to write about, the one-minute writer gives you a prompt.

One Word - "insect"

Ouch! It bit me! That annoying mosquito. I don't like insects. I don't like wasps or bees or ants or flies or any kind of insect. I'm sure they're useful somehow, so I don't squash them all. Only the ones that bug me. 

One-Minute Writer - Write about a memory you have that involves fire.

The first memory of fire that comes to my mind is too vague to even describe well. I was in elementary school, maybe first grade? And we (my mom, some neighbors, me, and my three siblings) were sitting in front of our townhouse in Coaldale, Pennsylvania. Come to think of it, we could have lived in Turkey Run, Pennsylvania. We moved around a lot, so my mind is fuzzy on the details. I do remember that my brother, one or both of my sisters, and a neighbor friend started a fire at the curbside. No one came to harm, but my mom was very angry. That's all I can remember of the fire now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Five Days of One-Minute Writings

These one-minute writings were inspired by oneword.com.

The word for September 1st was "sponge." Here's my entry:

I drop the sponge in the sink and turn on the faucet. My hands, red from cleaning chemicals, feel raw even as the cold water washes the dirt from them. I need moisturizer. I need a maid.

Some people can write a lot in one minute, but I don't write that much. My brain doesn't work fast enough. I edit as I write, which can be a problem. My goal is to just write and write and write without stopping to edit until the story is complete and needs to be edited.

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The word for September 2nd was "salt." This is what I wrote in a minute.

He licked her neck, then trailed kisses to her lips.

“Mmm. Salty,” he whispered. He lifted his hands to frame her face before delving his tongue deeper, entwining it with hers. She clung to him, her arms wrapped around his body.

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September 3rd = "pepper"

People tell me to put pepper on the counters so that when my cat Bean jumps on the counters, she’ll breathe in the pepper and violently sneeze and never want to go back on there. I know it works for dogs when you throw pepper in the garbage cans because my sister does it with her dog. However, I don’t really want a peppery mess on my counters. Michael wants to put mouse traps covered with paper plates on the counter instead, so that the sound of the snap will scare the heck out of her.

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September 4th = "division"

“My mind’s divided. Should I go with the blue shirt or the green shirt?” Maya asked Jane.

“Blue. Definitely blue,” Jane replied. “It brings out your eyes.”

Maya threw the green shirt on the bed and undressed in front of Jane. She’d become used to it, though she still didn’t like to change clothes in front of Maya.

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September 5th = "ant"

The ants, disturbed by my mother sitting on a log very close to their hill, crawled up her legs in fiery anger. She jumped up and brushed them off in a panic, already noticing red welts on her bared ankles.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Writing projects in the making

I logged on to oneword.com today. At this site, you write as much as you can in one minute based off of the one word they give you each day. Your post has to include that word. The word for the day (August 31) is "avenue." I didn't write much, but indeed I did write!

"I walked down Michigan Avenue towards my sister’s house. I hurried along the road, not looking left or right. I didn't like this town."

I just joined this site http://100words.com/ today. I heard about it mid-August, but I didn't want to join until September because they start the writing batches at the beginning of the month. At this site, the challenge is to write exactly 100 words per day each month. At the end of the month, if you wrote 100 words every day, the site publishes your writings on their site in a monthly batch. I have yet to write today on that site because they haven't begun the September batch. I'll share my 100 words a day here too.

I am in the editing process of a Christmas story for my friend Elaine. You can find a sneak peak into her project here: http://zaree-nilerabanwen.deviantart.com/#/d41ww3y. I won't be revealing any part of the story until December. My sister Cassandra helped me write the story. You can find her blog here: http://cassandralynnmiller.blogspot.com/. She also writes a lot of poetry and short stories.

I've joined several swaps at http://www.swap-bot.com that involve writing. I'm excited about these projects. In the one project, I will write a short story based off of a random list of words posted in the swap. In another swap, I will write a poem or short story (haven't decided yet) that is creepy or dark or Halloween themed. I may post that one on my blog closer to October. I'm also thinking about joining a swap (http://www.swap-bot.com/swap/show/98846) where I start a story, then mail it to the next person who continues the story who will then send it on to another person, so on and so forth, until the story is finished where it will finally be sent back to me. I think that's a cool project. If I do join it, I'll share the finished story when I receive it.