Archive for June, 2016

Tag Thursday

Came across this on Captivated~By~Fantasy’s blog! (Copied that from Fallon’s Blog, who nominated me).

It’s Tag Thursday! So I thought I would do something fun for this one!




A Book you found interesting but would like to rewrite:



So, I’m actually not going to pick anything for this. If I found a book interesting, I wouldn’t want to rewrite it. And if I wanted to rewrite it, I would want to take the general concept and make it something entirely my own – I only do this with things you are allowed to rewrite, like fairy tales, or… oh, oh, oh! Okay, wait! I lied. I have an answer. I would like to rewrite:

And not because it wasn’t a phenomenal book, but because the world could always use more Erik (and it is public domain).

Honestly though, I have always loved the Phantom and everything about it, so to have the opportunity to dive in and rewrite it (or maybe just expand upon what was already written?) would be a real pleasure to me, and it’s a project that I’ve thought about tackling before.



The first book in a series that got you hooked:





Oh, what a hard question! There are so many first books in a series that have gotten me hooked! I would have to say Guilty Pleasure by Laurell K. Hamilton. And yes, I used the very old cover, because that’s what the books look liked when I first got ahold of them. I was young (way too young to be reading those books, but shh), and I found the strong lead of Anita Blake to be so entertaining and enthralling. I absolutely devoured those books – I enjoyed them to the point that, even though I have some problems with the content that the author is writing now, I still faithfully and loyally purchase the books.





A book you wish you could have right now:



Okay, so this might sound a little silly, but I really wish that I had this book again – all three of them, actually. When I was younger, I used to always swipe romance novels from my Mom’s bookshelf… and this trilogy was the one that I swiped the most. I loved it – it was a strong female lead, really handsome warrior men… everything that I could have asked for.

One year for Christmas, my Mom gave me her copies of these books. She was as big of a book fan as I was, so I know what it meant to her. Recently, while trying to get my books mailed to me across the country, the box that contained most of my most treasured books was improperly handled and when it arrived on my porch, it was completely empty. I’ve since replaced most of them, but there are some things that you can’t replace, and memories are one of those. Meaning is one of those – so, I haven’t even bought these books again, even though I’ve wanted to. My mother recently passed away, and I’ve been thinking about these books a lot, and about what they meant to me. So yeah, if I could accio any book to my side, I think it would be this one.



A killer book:





So, I’m only cheating a little with this. A killer book series is the Hannibal Lecter Quarter, by Tomas Harris. I absolutely love the character of Hannibal, and I think that an author has done a terrific job when people who read the novels can sympathize and even root for the crazed (Cultured, intelligent, fantastic) serial killer cannibal.






A book you find confusing:




I am actually reading this particular novel right now, and I have to say that it is confusing. I feel like it’s going to be one of those books that I understand once I come to the end, but I’m going to go back to and learn so many new things on my second read through. The formatting is honestly a book within a book within a book. Trust me, it’s as confusing as it sounds. It’s also completely worth reading.





Your spirit animal book:



Every now and then, a book comes along and it changes your life. This was the first book that I read where I cried in school, and then instantly flipped back to the front cover and read it again. It inspired me to write – it inspired me to want to make stories that were just as compelling and amazing as it was. It inspired quite a few of my first novels that I wrote – the supernatural romance genre had me added to it because of this book, to begin with. Honestly, this is my favorite book in the entire world, so of course it had to be my spirit animal. Even though it’s for young adults, and even though L.J. Smith hasn’t been writing so much lately, I will always and forever since her praises as the woman who truly helped to shape me into the writer that I am.




A dark, twisted book:




Guys, sorry to be using the same book… but seriously. Cannibal, serial killer. Not only that, but Hannibal Rising gives us what shaped the good doctor into the man that he is in the other three novels. I would say as far as dark and twisted (And oh, there are some twists), it really takes the… uh, cake.





A book that surprised you in a huge way:


Did you think that I was going to do a Harry Potter book tag and not include Harry Potter? It was nearly my spirit animal, but I thought that it would fit here just as well. J.K. Rowling did a fantastic job in always shocking, surprising, and astounding me with her writing. Whether it was a twist that she revealed, or a character death that left me devastated forever after, I think that Rowling should certainly be acknowledged as a writer that shocked the entire world… not just with her stories, but with her story, and her climb to success. So, yes, surprised me in a huge way? I think that I know what to put into that particular box for this tag, don’t you?

Harry Potter – check.




I once more encourage everyone in my blog to go ahead and do this! I love getting to know you, what you like, what you dislike, and I think that the things that we enjoy reading say just as much about as as people as it does writers! So! Do the tag, link me back! I would love to see your answers!


I hope that you guys enjoyed this installment of Tag Thursday! If you have any tags that you want to see me do, just link me to them in your blog! I’ll make sure to link back to you, and I’ll get to them on a Thursday! Until then!

Keep reading and writing guys, and keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Hey guys! I am moving on up in the number of affirmations that I’ve done, and I really do think that each and every one of them is helping me to improve my self esteem and ability to have confidence in myself as a writer. I had a pretty busy day yesterday, as far as everything was concerned… and that is what led me to today’s affirmation! So! Creativity Affirmation #13:

Even on days when I find myself busy or tired, I can always find a few minutes to sit down and get my daily writing done.

I’ve talked about this so much, but I’ve never really taken it as an affirmation, as a point of pride. Even on days when I feel like I’m falling apart completely, I somehow find the time to sit down at my computer and get my minimum word count out. Even on days when I’m so busy that it feels like I don’t have a second to breath, I sit down and get my minimum word count done. Even when I feel like I can’t, I sit down and get my word count done. I feel good after I do it, and like a strong and accomplished person. Managing to get my daily word count is something that I am proud of – something that I should be proud of – because I know that it isn’t always easy.

Writing isn’t always easy, but it is always rewarding after we’re done. Dorthy Parker says, “I hate writing. I love having written.” I don’t hate writing, but sometimes it is harder than others… but I always love the feeling of finishing, of getting my words, of knowing that I accomplished my goal and I am nurturing my art each and every day. So, never besmirch the effort that your words took – always tell yourself that you are an amazing, strong person for having done your writing.

Because you are.

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Oh, Goodness, it’s nearly that time! Pack up your belongings and make sure that you have plenty of snacks and caffeine, because July Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! Friday is the first day of Camp NaNo, and I have to say that I’m extremely excited for it!

So, what are you doing to prepare for camp?

Personally, I’ve done a few things to prepare for Camp, so consider this a little list of tips from me to you:

  • Get your story figured out. (I’ve mostly done this. I have it narrowed down between two things, depending on if I finish one up enough this month.)
  • Tell everyone about it. That’s right. Tell them – let them know. Let them know why you’re in your camp gear and you may not answer your phone. Let them know that you’re going to be writing.
  • Get your playlist ready! I always find this so important – you still have two days. Get your playlist ready. Make sure you have your mood music and you’re set for writing.
  • Make sure you have your cabin assignments and say hello to your new roomies! Socialization is such an important process in writing, at least in my opinion. Your cabin mates are there for a reason – you are each other’s support!
  • And my last little tip before I run off for the morning is this: Make sure you are stocked up on snacks and caffeine. Seriously. Most. Important. Tip. Ever.

Honestly though, check around – get the schedule of the live write-ins, and tune in here! I’m going to be posting a blog every day for Camp NaNo, and maybe I’ll even host some sprints and stuff, if you guys are interested!

Just let me know if there’s anything that you wanna see! Also, comment below with that you are doing to prepare for Camp!


Until next time, keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Ah! We had our D&D session yesterday, and it was a ton of fun. So many things happened that it was actually a little hard for me to pick what scene I wanted to write. Let me give you the setting – our group is heading into the meeting room of the goblins. Durn is the goblin leader, and Grendel is the former leader who still holds a lot of respect amongst their people.

Cervantes is Jo’s lover, and our healer… and a bit of a charming drunk. He is, however, our diplomacy man… and we went into the situation thinking that maybe he could talk us out of an all out war; we wanted the goblins to give us the people that we were looking for and leave peaceful…

What follows is a slice of how that particular scenario played out.

I loved Cervantes, but sometimes I wanted to strangle him. We’d gone into the room knowing that we needed to be diplomatic, knowing that we needed to at least try to talk them into standing down. We didn’t want to fight them – we didn’t want some all out war. We just wanted our people back, and to get out with a little bodily harm as possible.

(Okay, maybe Waffles and I were conspiring to have a dragon, but that was completely beside the point.)

The point was, my lover burst into a room full of goblins, and the first word out of his mouth was one long, drawn out, and very high pitched, “Hellllooooooooooooooooo!”

I knew then that things weren’t going to go as well as I’d hoped.

Durn, the ruler of the goblins, had been just as annoyed as I’d feared. He’d quickly asked who in the hell we were, and I hadn’t even gotten his name out in a low breath before Cervantes spoke.

“I’m the man here to change your life for the better.” I questioned then as to exactly how much alcohol he had left in his flask, and if it was the reason that he was talking so jovially in what could turn into a very dire situation.

When he dove into an explanation about the Goblin Relocation Foundation Project, and how they all deserved to live in safe caves, I knew I’d gotten my answer…

“Oh, God.”

And damn the halfling if he wasn’t giggling in excitement for the fight that we all knew was about to ensue.

A quick arrow went flying into one of the goblin guards as Durn stood up and roared at us, and I knew that there was only once chance to salvage the situation – one chance, one thing.

There was still Grendel, the old leader of the goblins – the short female stood beside Durn, and her eyes were just as incensed as the leader… but if she chose to stand down and we slaughtered Durn, I knew that we could still get out of this without an all out war on the goblins.

There were only five of us – I knew there would be more of them. I didn’t like those odds. I didn’t like the thought of Cervantes being strung up somewhere and murdered, just because his charisma sometimes spun in the way of humor.

With that image in my mind, I took a deep breath and shifted my sword before charging forward.

I felt my face school into a snarl, and I jumped over the dead body of one of the people that we had been sent to save, coming to Durn in a flurry of motion that sent my dual-blade slicing forward.

It bit into his shoulder, dragging a long line of crimson and pain across his chest. I felt the blood spatter out – felt it sprinkle across my chin, my cheek. My green eyes narrowed, and I left the sharp edge of the blade pressing to his gut as I spoke.

My eyes were focused on him, but my words were for Grendel who stood trembling beside me, arced with the blood of her leader.

“We don’t have to play this game,” my voice was intimidating, icy, and full of a lack of mercy. My blade twisted slightly, my eyes narrowed and flicking to the figure beside us for a moment – I didn’t have to finish the sentence. My apathetic expression, sprinkled with blood, said it all:

If we play this game, you are going to lose.


It was a lot of fun, this session. I got to intimidate the goblins (and then there was some messy business with a very frisky dog summon >_>). I hope that you enjoyed the story, and I hope that you’re enjoying this particular blog segment. It’s a lot of fun to give a slice of what we went through, and it’s going to be fun memories for me to look back on as well!

So, until next Tuesday. Remember to keep your groups healer sober when negotiating with Goblins!

Author Amanda McCormick

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So, I wanted to go ahead and get my affirmation out before I started working on my D&D story to post later on today. I had to sit back for a while and contemplate what I wanted to say about myself today… but I think, sometimes, we have to take it back to the simple, basic core of why we need Creativity Affirmations to begin with. Sometimes, it’s easy to have self doubt, and it’s easy to forget why we’re on this journey. So, Creativity Affirmation #12:

The path that I have chosen in life is to be of service through my creativity and writing. It brings me joy, and I bring joy to other people.

   Sometimes, we forget about why we’re writing to begin with – we write because we have worlds existing inside of us. We write because we wouldn’t know what to do if we didn’t. I write, personally, because I can’t go a day without writing without feeling the impact of it; I get grouchy, I get moody, I feel like something is wrong. Writing is my therapy, writing is my drug, and I’m happy with it. I’m happy because I know that my writing makes other people happy – I know that I am making an impact on the world, even if its just one post, one story, one sentence at a time.

I know my purpose, even if I sometimes doubt myself – when I look into my heart, I know that I’m doing what I was meant to do.

If writing is your chosen path, if it’s what you think about constantly, and what you need to do to make yourself happy… then you’re meant to do it, too. Never doubt that.

Until next time, keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Weekly Writing Update

So! Writing has been going pretty amazing thus far! Last week, I told you all how I wanted to get a new chapter of a fanfiction posted up – I managed to do that, and I’ve gotten a pretty positive response for it thus far. (It’s a Borderlands Rhys/Jack fanfic. I’m guilty. I don’t even care.) I’ve also gotten into a pretty decent habit of blogging every day, and that’s going to be reflected in next week’s Weekly Update – I’m going to actually have a list of the blogs that I’ve put out throughout the week, so that you can have an overview of what I’ve done. On top of that, I’ll list how much I’ve written every day through the week, and take you through a real overview of what I’ve spent my time on.

For this week, however, I haven’t recorded that information exactly as I wanted to, so I won’t go full out. I will go ahead and link you to this week’s Writing Prompt! I encourage you to do it, so that you can get featured on my blog come Saturday when I post my response! I’ve been getting a pretty positive response to those as well, so it’s been enjoyable!

As far as the overall writing update goes, I have written 47,046 words this month, and 11,444 of those words have been on my novel! I’m extremely happy with the amount that I’ve written, though I’m hoping to get up to 60k if I can – I’m going to have to really up my output over the next few days if I want to reach that goal.

Writing has been going fairly smoothly for me – as smooth as it can with the fact that the temperature is up over 100 degrees and we don’t use air. It’s a bit of a deterrent to sitting aat my desktop, but I’m not letting the heat (or being busy, for that matter) ruin my writing 1,000 words a day. As I said before, I think that you should always have a minimum of what you know you can do, and a maximum of what you want to push yourself to do. I will always hit that minimum, but I’m going to push myself for that maximum.

Speaking of what I want to do – Camp NaNo is coming up soon. I’ll be doing daily blogs about that, and I’m so excited for it. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do for my project, whether it’s Limbo or more edits for Cerulean Darkness… I suppose that time will tell.

I’m planning on getting a blog out sometime this week about my bullet journal, so that will also be exciting!

Other than that, this is the last kind of willy nilly update you’ll get. Expect next weeks to be really official and nice! I can’t wait!

Until then guys, keep reading and writing, and stay awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

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My Birthday is July 24th, and for some reason, I decided that I wanted to go and see a horror film for the occasion. Lights Out comes out on the 22nd, so it should be easy enough to go and see it on the 24th. Now, I watched the trailer for this, and one of my traits that makes me a writer sprang to life – my very, very fertile imagination. I’m not saying that I got scared, but I did have a moment of keeping my lights on.

The point is, sometimes our very overactive imaginations like to run away with us – and sometimes I’ve found myself actually cursing my ability to imagine things so vividly, so clearly – it’s the reason that when I wake up from dreams, I will lay there for another two hours, finishing the dream out… because I needed to know how it ended.

It can be a real downfall, at times. With scary movies, for example – I have no problem imagining that type of thing. But, it’s not something that I’m going to curse. It’s something that I am going to embrace this morning, and you should all do the same! Creativity Affirmation #11:

My imagination is overactive and an endless playground for fertile ideas… and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

That’s right – it’s the reason that we space out, that we scribble on napkins and write on our arms if we’re out of space. It’s the reason that we sometimes get fussed at for not paying attention (I’m sorry, I was building a world in my head… I didn’t hear what you said). It’s the reason that we can be seen as a bit out of it at times, and it’s the thing that makes us so special and unique. We are writers, we’re creators. We shape entire universes in our minds while the weather is being told. Never feel guilty for your vast imagination, even when it gives you nightmares – never curse it. Because someone has to have those nightmares to tell such fascinating tales.

It might as well be you. It might as well be me.

Until the next affirmation! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Writing Prompt

So, I want to say first that everyone did fantastic on last weeks writing prompt. I had three different responses that I got to post at the end of my blog, and I’m hoping to get just as many, if not more, for this week. You guys do such an amazing job, and it’s so fun to see how different people create so many different stories from the same given situations. The human mind, and how completely and utterly creative it is, makes me so excited and happy!

So, for this weeks prompt, I was browsing Google under the search of Creative Writing Prompts, and I found one that really struck me as something that could be fun to write.

You decide to spend the day enjoying the sunny weather. And that’s great, until you see him (or her)—but who? The person looks exactly like you, but you know that you don’t have a twin. And what’s this, he (or she) is approaching you—angrily. Who is this, and why are is this person so mad?

This prompt came from the Writer’s Digest Page, and I think that it could be an extremely fun situation to put yourself in, as far as trying to create something out of it. I knew, as soon as I read it, that there was a story brewing inside of me, just waiting for a chance to be released… and I know that the same potential is brewing in each and every one of you! So please, check out the writing prompt! If you respond to it, link me back, whether you’re on facebook, twitter, tumblr, or wordpress! Just make sure that I know that you did the prompt, and I will feature your writing on my blog on Saturday when I post my response!

With Camp NaNoWriMo approaching, if you haven’t come up with an idea, maybe this will help to inspire you!

Until then, I will anxious be waiting to see what you guys produce, and I’ll be working on my own response as well!

Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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I woke up this morning and decided that it was time for another Creativity Affirmation to get me out of bed. I sat and thought for a while – I’ve been reading a lot of really great posts on here lately, and I thought about using the things that I’ve learned from those as my topic for my affirmation… but then I continued to think.

I’ve been reading about how it’s okay to think you’re a good writer, how it’s okay to be proud of your work… but I think that something we don’t touch on enough is the fact that it’s okay to not like your work. And thus, my Creativity Affirmation #10 was born:

Being aware that my work isn’t my best doesn’t mean I’m not a good writer. It means that I can identify my weakness and grow from them.

That’s right – it’s okay not to like your writing. I have an entire novel that I wrote, and I love the premise, but looking back over it? I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t edit it, because I didn’t like it. I’d get a few chapters in on editing and put it aside, telling myself that clearly I wasn’t meant for this fantasy novel writing business.

And for a long time, I left it at that – people tell you all of the time that you’re your own worst critic, that you can’t take what you say about your own writing seriously, because you’re just being hard on yourself. While I believe that is true, I also think that we need to respect our instincts. We need to realize that we are allowed to see what is wrong in our work, and if we can admit that there is something wrong, and that we aren’t just being hard on ourselves… we can grow from it.

Take that fantasy novel, in example. It is something that I want to write – something that I might even imagine as my debut novel. But if I’d just continued to listen to the Don’t be so hard on yourself and not to my gut… I wouldn’t be where I am with it.

I’m rewriting it – in first person. I’m eliminating what made me feel so odd about it (it took me admitting that it simply was not something that was my best work to even get there), and I am loving it a thousand times more than I did before. It’s better, and it might even be good now, and that’s because I could admit that something was wrong. So, never feel bad in admitting that your work has flaws – embrace them, in fact. A lot of people have trouble admitting that they are wrong in anything, especially something that they’re so prideful of… but in the end, it’s only through being able to admit our flaws that we can build a stronger foundation and improve. I am a firm believer in the fact that the moment you stop trying to improve yourself, the moment that you say “I am the best that I can be” is the moment that you stop learning, and stop growing. Keep striving to grow – keep striving to be a better writer than you were yesterday, because you can always learn something new. ❤ So, embrace the flaws, improve upon them, and know that even though you do make mistakes, you are still an amazing individual and a creative human being.

I think I might actually touch on this subject for a full on writing tip blog, because I feel like it’s something that we don’t discuss enough. ❤ So, until then!

Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Life and Writing

So, I mentioned that I would do a blog about my downstairs writing space soon – I haven’t done one about here, though I have written about my upstairs writing space. The fact is, I have been using my downstairs writing space more and more lately, because of my dual monitors. I talk about the difference in my writing venues in THIS BLOG in a discussion of Laptop vs. Desktop if you’re interested. The particular space that we will be looking at right now is my desktop area.

Now, I use this space for more than just writing. You can bet your pretty eyes that I’ve played just as many hours of games at this desk as I have done writing. Fallout, League of Legends, Far Cry, the list goes on and on… but, I’ve recently found myself extremely attached to writing from this particular area. The blog that I mentioned earlier says why, but I’ll highlight some of it for you to see here:

If I had a choice, I would always write on my desktop. I have a mechanical keyboard on there that makes writing extremely smooth and fluid, I have all of my writing programs, and a huge screen, so that the split screen function of Scrivener is still completely visible. Each half of my screen is larger than my laptop screen, so splitting it in half is completely easy to use. I can use my secondary screen for other research options – I also have desk space and a ton of it. I am capable of doing any type of research, note taking, and writing that I need at my desktop. My Kraken headset is hooked up here, and it gives me fantastic music… but, the simple fact of the matter is… unless I’m writing when everyone else is going (which is a rare thing) or I get up at 2 am to write (and my husband misses me upstairs)… I’m never alone. I don’t get any type of solitary writing time at my desktop. While that’s fine for things like this blog, and even sometimes for my novels and stories, it can be extremely distracting to try to write at my desktop when people are really into their gaming.

When I can write alone at my desktop, I feel wonderful. I feel like a very official writer, and it’s extremely efficient. All of the visual space for me makes my job much easier. But… I’m stuck in one room – if I need to get outside, I can’t take my desktop outside with me for some fresh air. I constantly have people over my shoulder, seeing my words, seeing my research, and generally making me feel like I’m being watched. Even when I move, my desktop is never going to be in a solitary writing room, because it’s my gaming machine – it will always be beside my husbands desktop. So… there’s never going to be privacy and isolation for my desktop writing. Though I find myself the most concentrated writing on my desktop (when I’m alone), that happens so rarely that it’s hard for me to say that it’s the best machine for writing. There is also the side note that my husband is a lot happier when I’m writing in the same room as him – because at least we get to spend time together, and I’ll occasionally turn around and say a few words to him xD

So, that’s the basic gist of why I enjoy writing at my desktop. The dual screens make it amazing, and I have some photos to highlight exactly why it’s such a lovely space to work from, when I’m given the chance.

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As you can see from the slideshow, I have everything a girl could need. 2 Notebooks, my bullet journal, my monthly planner that I write on – dual screens. (A Handsome Jack and Vegeta mascot), panda bears, pens, colored pencils, a metal calendar, iced coffee… just an altogether awesome setup. And honestly, I’d generally love to stay here, because it truly is a fantastic place to write from – the double screens make editing so easy.

But… there’s so much noise. What I didn’t take a photo of was the 4 other desks in this room. That’s a lot of people, that’s a lot of distractions. I need distraction free writing, whether I am happy about it or not.

Really though, this blog isn’t to discuss my writing space, as I did it in the one mentioned above. It was to give you a little tour of my desk – this is my space! This is where I write the majority of my blogs, and where I’ve done a lot of my personal writing lately. What I would really love is to see some pictures of your writing spaces! Show them to me! Tell me about them! Let me feature them on an upcoming blog! I love getting to know you guys, and being able to share our writing secrets with one another… and I think that the place that we write is one of our most personal writing secrets and one of our most cherished things that we can share!

So, pictures ❤ I’d love to see some pictures!

If you guys like blogs like this, I’ll do more, by the way – bookshelves, maybe even some video tours of my writing areas and whatnot. Just let me know! I love to put out content that you guys can enjoy and benefit from, as well as content that lets me interact with you!


Until next time, guys!

Author Amanda McCormick

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