Jun
4
2018
Thoughts on Silence

There comes a point in everyone’s life, even though at different ages or stages, in which they need to stop. Put down the phone. Close the laptop. Turn off the TV. And just exist in silence.

Some may need to do this for a weekend or year or, in my case, several years now. I had to slow down, which might send you for a loop. I am in a wheelchair after all. How slow do I have to be?

Well, my brain had to slow down to where my body was. It was in pain. I had no idea how much. I don’t quite feel pain the way that everyone else does, according to pain scales at the doctors. Instead of Oww, it really hurts, I tend to say things like I just can’t move this way anymore. I can’t twist. I can’t turn my head far enough.

So, in 2014 I had my gallbladder removed,. In 2017, a complete hysterectomy, the discovery and removal of endometriosis and ovarian cancer.

Health scare after health scare combined with daily pain and a complete loss of motivation, drive, positivity, productivity and a healthy dose of depression for good measure.

Just how far does God have to go to get my attention? LOL

I would have thought it wouldn’t have to be too far. I thought I paid attention. I thought I listened. I believed. I read the Bible. I studied. I thought I was doing good.

It’s really interesting how far off track we can become even when we think we’re following the path were supposed to. I set out to write about love and God and how God IS love and how we need to bring more love into the world. More God. More faith.

And yet I did not want to be secluded off into Christian bookstores, following approved Christian guidelines because I felt they produced stories that were not exactly true to Human Experience. Unrealistic? Or a little bit holier-than-thou? Sanctimonious? Off-putting? Self-righteous? They have held a standard that most people couldn’t even try to reach. Like they were better than, but maybe the truth was that I was worse than. So low I was almost irredeemable.

I apologize for any pain those words might have caused. I’m not sure exactly how to express the opinion that I used to have. I’m not even sure where I got that opinion. Why did I have it?

Whatever the reason, I chose not to write Christian books with that label. I stuck with mainstream novels, feeling that I could still put God in my books. Not quite realizing that God puts Himself where He needs to be. Creativity and writing is a gift that I was given. It is not something that I gave to myself

How did I get so far off track? Where did all these thoughts come from that don’t even line up with what I truly believe? When did I start letting them take over my worldview?

As much as I had studied and read the Bible, I had never read the entire Bible straight through. I didn’t know exactly what all the books were about or in what order they were. I’d made it through most of the New Testament, beginning towards end, comparing it to several different versions of Bibles, but I was pretty clueless overall.

Easter of 2014, I visited a nearby church. Liferoads has been wonderful in encouraging me to read the Bible. They give sermons in series so we can explore a subject fully in-depth and I can get an idea, an overview of what I’m going to be studying. Like last summer was entirely studying the book of Galatians verse by verse. I was able to get an insight into what it really said and how to apply it to my life. They just did a sermon series on meals with Jesus. They looked at different stories in the Bible in which Jesus was at a meal and what he taught during that meal.

I’ve been to many churches before, across many denominations, in which they have done a different sermon every Sunday based on whatever has occurred to the pastor during that week. And then they will jump scripture to scripture, book to book throughout that sermon to hit whatever point they’re trying to make. I would find myself flipping through the Bible so much trying to keep up that I lost everything that was being said. That style works for some people. Just not me.

Last year I read through the entire Bible and I learned one very important thing:

“Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads.”
Deuteronomy 11:18 HCSB
https://bible.com/bible/72/deu.11.18.HCSB

Ahhh. I finally understand the purpose of having a Christian book store, Christian music, and Christian clothes. They’re not staying separate because they’re superior or because they are inferior. They are separate because they are trying to keep God’s word up front and foremost in books, and games, and clothes, scripture on cups, and cards.

Why is that so important? Because Christians are human. We are sinful, fallen beings, imperfect and full of mistakes and we need help. We believe we have someone to apologize to who will forgive us and help us be better in this life and the one to come.

We believe that someone, God, has given us the blueprint for life in the Holy Bible. And if we know what it says and if we have reminders, then we can stay on track. We can protect against the thoughts and worldviews and doubts that suddenly appear in our head and in our work without any conscious thought.

Thoughts like:

I’m so stupid.

No one cares what I think.

The world doesn’t work the way I think it should and I need to just accept that.

No one wants to hear about God. They’ll think it’s just my opinion anyway. My opinion has no more value than anyone else’s.

It’s offensive to discuss religion or politics in public or at family gatherings.

But I’m now beginning to realize how oppressive and silencing these thoughts are. The self-doubt. If anyone else in my life tried to shut me up I would fight to the death to keep that from happening. I am a woman, hear me roar! So why am I silencing myself?

Christians used to be burned, hung, crucified, banished, imprisoned. Oh yeah, I would totally face that and refuse to lie about my religion. Right?

But now I am silenced by what? A scowl? A poli-sci class I took over 20 years ago that taught me my thoughts and feelings and opinions don’t matter because I was just one of billions? A standard of behavior dictated by… Who exactly?

Mental strongholds
Core beliefs
Self-defeating beliefs
Self-defeating behaviors
Bad habits

Whatever you want to call them they are still just as damaging.

I was pulled down to the rock bottom. Overwhelmed by pain and exhaustion because I could not sleep more than an hour or two every night due to pain. I was depressed and binge watched about 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy so I could cry all the tears I have ever needed to cry in my life but had held in. I couldn’t write, couldn’t focus, quit dreaming. Lost any and all sex drive.

Now, at the beginning of this post I asked the question:

Just how far does God have to go to get my attention?

I think the more accurate question is just how bad does life have to get before I ask for God’s help? Before I quit trying to handle it all on my own according to whatever is best in my own eyes? I don’t blame God for everything that has happened to me, if anything else I think He was tapping me on the shoulder for years, trying to get me to turn around and see Him there.

When I was a teenager in high school I learned about the Shield of Faith and the Helmet of Salvation and the Belt of Truth. I kept those very close, near and dear to my heart. But I somehow missed the rest of the scripture. I was trying to go through life with only half my armor on and that just does not work. Ask any soldier in the trenches.

What did I forget?

“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.”
Ephesians 6:10‭-‬20 HCSB
https://bible.com/bible/72/eph.6.10-20.HCSB

God is my strength – I pretty much know that one! I’m in a wheelchair and incredibly weak. I can barely make it through a day, so for me to have made it 43 years, it’s all because of Him!

The rulers and powers and authorities and the spiritual forces of evil in this Darkness – there are many books and blogs and counselors that will talk about demons, be they spiritual or personal or inner or just negativity and bad thoughts. I am really beginning to learn how that kind of misery spreads throughout every area of life and it is something that I have to fight against because, if I don’t, then at some point, it will overwhelm me.

Belt of Truth – mental, physical, emotional, vocal, literary truth. It has always been very important to me. Pretty much a point of pride. And therein is one of my deepest sins.

Righteous armor on my chest – wait, you mean that doesn’t say self-righteous? Cuz I was really trying to do all the right things! But the difference between righteous and self-righteous is who is justifying my actions, me or God? Who says I am doing the right thing, me or God?

Feet sandaled for readiness – you mean I have to put on my shoes? That was one of the biggest moments of whining I had when I started doing FlyLady years ago. And now God is telling me I have to put them on again. Do you know how long it has been since I’ve put on my own tennis shoes? LOL I will never be ready to go unless someone puts my shoes on. (Although, funny story, I now have to wear my sandals all day for everything. Every transfer, in order to make it safe.) And in this case that someone putting on my shoes is me. And this post is my readiness.

The shield of faith – My husband and I loved role playing video games. That’s how we spent a lot of our bonding time for years. We would take a person out for battle and collect all the loot we could and find out the whole story. And the whole way through we would have to upgrade armor. When we played Diablo, we would have to go and get armor repaired. My shield of faith was pretty dented. All the slings and arrows of the world telling me how all the religions were the same, they all pointed to the same God, the Bible was just an allegory full of myths and science had proven they were not true… I’ve had to repair my shield. It was long overdue.

Helmet of salvation -When I accepted Christ, as a teenager, I received my helmet of salvation. It’s not something I can lose. It is not something that can be taken from me. It cannot be knocked off. But people do always have the choice of taking it off themselves. I think somewhere along the lines I did and didn’t even realize it. So, I read the entire Bible and watched video sermon after video sermon and learned all kinds of things about apologetics. I have done the work to get many of my questions answered and at the end of March I got re-baptized.

Sword of the spirit – The word of God. I’ve always been good at many different memory games but I thought that scripture was one of the things I was just unable to memorize. I have come to realize lately that I remember a lot more than what I ever thought. I remember enough words to use the search feature on my Bible app.

I’ve heard since I was little that no one has a manual. We don’t have a manual for parenting. We aren’t born with a manual for how to take care of our bodies. But the real truth is that there is a manual. The Holy Bible. I have gotten enough experience as an author To Know that when you come across a book that is so completely contested, torn apart and studied word by word there are going to be people who do not hesitate with the criticism. We might just be recently able to read books like the Quran but the Holy Bible has been read and commented on and evaluated for centuries. If it did not have anything of value to offer, it would be glaringly obvious by now.

But I have also learned the lack of people reading the Bible is not the Bible’s fault. It is a beautifully written piece of literature. And has something to offer for everybody whether they are into romance, poetry, history, genealogy, astrology or more.

In my case, I think part of the problem was I did not want to take the easy road. I wanted to do my part and do my work and not constantly pray to God to take care of it for me. Little did I understand He doesn’t take away the obstacles I see. He takes away the obstacles I don’t have a clue exist. The ones that really stop me.

And on the heels of that one is my stubbornness to not want to be told what to do.

The best thing anyone can do in their lives is spend some time in silence, understanding their questions. And then do the work to find the answers. In my opinion.

I tried to do it the easy way and just ask other people more “in the know” than I was what the answer was. But that didn’t work. I was too stubborn to accept the answer. The answer created more questions because I didn’t understand why the answer was the answer. Or I just plain didn’t like what I was being told because either it was opposite what I wanted or was opposite what I had already learned in school or out in the world.

That is what I have been doing and will continue to do. And I wanted to share my journey in case anyone else finds it helpful. And because life is often lonely enough. Facebook just does not fulfill all of our social needs. LOL

Dec
13
2014
Interviews in International Languages

Thanks to BabelFAmily and these translators, my interview with Michell Spoden and the Recovering Self is in multiple languages!

English:
Interviewer – Michell Spoden

http://www.recoveringself.com/author-interviews/authors-on-friedreichs-ataxia-jamie-leigh-hansen

Spanish:
Translator – Miguel-A Cibrián Dehesa

http://ataxia-y-ataxicos.blogspot.com.es/2014/12/entrevista-jamie-leigh-hansen-paciente.html?m=1

Italian:
Translator – Barbara Carrara

http://www.babelfamily.org/it/index.php/88-news/latest-news/429-a-tu-per-tu-con-gli-autori-di-the-legacy-of-marie-schlau-l-eredita-di-marie-schlau-jamie-leigh-hansen

Portuguese:
Translator – Fátima d’ Oliveira

http://www.babelfamily.org/pt/index.php/88-news/latest-news/311-conheca-os-autores-de-o-legado-de-marie-schlau-jamie-leigh-hansen

German:
http://www.babelfamily.org/de/index.php/88-news/latest-news/211-eine-der-autoren-von-the-legacy-of-marie-schlau-jamie-leigh-hansen

Stay tuned for updates!

Dec
7
2014
Interviews: Rebecca Stant and Sarah Allen!

The following two links are the interviews of Rebecca Stant and Sarah Allen now also on BabelFAmily where they will each be translated into 8 languages by BabelFAmily’s amazing team of translators. :)

Rebecca Stant –

http://www.babelfamily.org/en/index.php/89-news/latest-news/697-meet-the-authors-of-the-legacy-of-marie-schlau-rebecca-stant

Sarah Allen –

http://www.babelfamily.org/en/index.php/89-news/latest-news/698-meet-the-authors-of-the-legacy-of-marie-schlau-sarah-allen

I will post links to each new interview as more of our authors join the discussion on The Legacy of Marie Schlau and Friedreich’s Ataxia in this inspirational series thanks to Michell Spoden and The Recovering Self blog.

Dec
6
2014
Language Isn’t A Boundary!

The interview I did for The Recovering Self is now on . I will be so excited to see this interview translated to several other languages. Anything to raise awareness of Friedreich’s Ataxia and The Legacy of Marie Schlau!
BabelFAmily. Org
http://www.babelfamily.org/en/index.php/89-news/latest-news/696-meet-the-authors-of-the-legacy-of-marie-schlau-jamie-leigh-hansen

Nov
1
2014
Meet the Authors of The Legacy of Marie Schlau!

The wonderfully dedicated and persistent Michell Spoden of The Recovering Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing blog, is releasing a series of interviews with the authors of The Legacy of Marie Schlau. This book has been written by 17 writers from around the globe, diagnosed with or otherwise affected by Friedreich’s Ataxia, across several languages and is destined to be translated into many more.

The International Project to Fight Friedreich’s Ataxia is supported and produced with the invaluable aid of BabelFAmily.org.

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Our project is currently available in Spanish as El Legado De Marie Schlau. This can be bought at Amazon!

 

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The English version is currently being edited and formatted. The Legacy of Marie Schlau will be available by Christmas.

To read more about the story and its authors, check out these interviews:

Jamie Leigh Hansen
http://www.recoveringself.com/author-interviews/authors-on-friedreichs-ataxia-jamie-leigh-hansen

Rebecca Stant
http://www.recoveringself.com/author-interviews/authors-on-friedreichs-ataxia-rebecca-stant

And stay in tune for several more in the series! Remember, Friedreich’s Ataxia is a progressive, debilitating, and often fatal disease with no treatment or cure. All proceeds go directly to raising funds for research.

Anything you do to share, +, tweet, like, blog or simply talk about this project will raise awareness and be incredibly helpful.

Thank you for your support!

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Nov
1
2014
Spam Email – Absolutely Hilarious

Spam is not always a time suck. Checking it is something I realized was important when I nearly missed an email inviting me to write a story for an anthology. The invitation was direct from an editor and was miraculously legit.

And today provided a great reason to laugh. I received this from “PayPal”. I know, it’s boring to read the small print, but that’s totally where the joke is.

Dear Member Please read the updates to the PayPal User Agreement View Online
PayPal
Notice of changes to the PayPal User AgreementHello Dear,

We’re constantly working to make PayPal safer, simpler and more convenient for our customers.
This means that we have to make changes to the terms of our User Agreement.
To make sure you are always informed we already posted recent updates on our website.

What should I do ?

  • Click here  ,and sing in to your paypal account , update your account informations
  • Please read the Policy Update carefully. It contains important legal informations about when and how the changes to our User Agreement will become effective.
  • If you agree to the changes, you don’t need to do anything as any updates will automatically come into effect. If you do not wish to accept the changes, we’ve also provided you with the steps you can take on the Policy Update page.

Please note that the current User Agreement will apply until these changes take effect.

Yours sincerely,
PayPal

Help Contact Security
How do I know this is not a fake email? An email really coming from PayPal will address you by your first and last names or your business name. It will not ask you for sensitive information like your password, bank account or credit card details. Most fake emails threaten that your account will be in jeopardy if you do not take action immediately. An email that urgently requests you to supply sensitive personal information is usually an attempt at fraud. Also, fake emails often contain misspellings and grammatical errors or are written in a language which you did not set as preferred for your PayPal account. Remember not to click any links in suspicious looking emails.

Click here to learn how to defend yourself against phishing and spoofing.

Copyright © 1999-2014 PayPal. All rights reserved. PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A., Société en Commandite par Actions. Registered office: 22-24 Boulevard Royal, L-2449, Luxembourg, R.C.S. Luxembourg B 118 349.
Mar
12
2014
Death Is Becoming is #32 & #78 on Amazon’s Top 100 Free Kindle Books!

For the past few weeks, this story I wrote to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness has zoomed up the charts at Amazon. Maintaining both a 30’s and 70’s ranking on Amazon’s Top 100 Free Bestsellers list! Today, me are at #32 and #78. :)

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This Halloween, college girl, Erin Kowalkski, battles cancer once again. But this time, she has questions and she’s dying to know the answers. What will her dreams and aspirations, all she’s learned, felt and experienced, amount to when she’s gone? What will she become? 

Guided by a hot new patient and chased by a menacing wraith, Erin learns more about life and death than she’d ever imagined. 

This story is so near and dear to my heart and I am incredibly happy to witness its success!

Dec
31
2013
How to Google Calendar

Happy New Year!

All families are busy. Sometimes, even just one person is so busy that keeping track of each project/class/appointment/event/holiday/birthday etc. gets incredibly overwhelming. For a few years, my husband (the only driver in our household) carried a planner and multiple colored pens to color code for each of us. In addition, we put a large desk pad/calendar on our living room wall and color coded the large squares every month.

As anyone who’s ever scheduled a doctor’s appointment knows, having only one month visible at a time is inconvenient. Then there’s the difficulty of coordinating multiple paper calendars and planners. We ended up double and triple booked quite often.

Now so many people have smartphones and tablets that carrying a paper planner is just one more thing to fill your hands with. Add in a family of four, each with events to track and everyone needs to know where the others have to be at any given time and waiting to update the paper calendar in the kitchen leaves far too much room for error.

The solution I have found for our family involves an Android device, a computer and a Google account. How this translates to Apple products, I can’t tell you.

Most android phones are linked to Google for backup on their apps and such, but not everyone uses this. For the purposes of this how-to, you need a Google account.

When we get a Samsung phone, the My Calendar app would not automatically coordinate with Google. It wants to use Samsung Kies. On my computer, I can see my calendar on a larger screen, but I didn’t want to have to sign in to Samsung to do so. I do not enjoy signing into multiple platforms for things. So I went to Google Play Store on my phone and downloaded the Google calendar app. The Google and default icons are similar, but different colors. Blue and Green. Make sure you use the Google one or your calendars won’t sync. On my phone, the Google map is green. On the computer, it’s blue. Confusing.

Link to Google Calendar:

https://lh5.ggpht.com/qgUPYBPSTb61cPrijI9YXV3BEy00t5bhoBugDpEXTdEsQEv9B9-j8_ZDs_ClQzPbskc=w300-rw

Our computer, tablet and phones are synced together. Out of the many schedule apps available, I’m not sure of any that syncs across devices for free and works this well. I see hubby’s work schedule, even if it’s changed in the last half hour, and he will see new appointments I’ve made and they sync almost immediately.

On your computer:

  1. Sign in to Gmail.
  2. Click on the app grid. It is a small, square icon of 9 tiny white squares, 3×3, at the very top of the page, next to your profile picture where you sign in and out.
  3. A menu drops down and you can choose maps, Google +, etc. Click on Calendar. A new window tab opens so you can click between email and calendar if you want.
  4. Looking at the calendar, I start with a Month view. To the right of the view options, there is a gear symbol for Settings. Click on the arrow of that icon and choose Settings.
  5. Under Calendar Settings, there are four tabs: General, Calendars, Mobile Setup, Labs. Click on Calendars.
  6. It might seem obvious to create a calendar that simply says “Hansen” family. If you don’t care about color-coding or keeping track of multiple people and projects, then maybe that’s good enough for you. For us, it would overwhelm our calendar with no way to separate and prioritize. So, I created multiple calendars. Hubby’s work schedule, my RWA meeting and writing events, a calendar for each of our medical appointments, etc. The same for the kids. Our daughter is now in college and only has herself to manage, but she has to keep medical appts and classes, field trips, extracurricular activities, paper due dates and holiday times all coordinated. So she uses multiple calendars also. The extra benefit is you can view all calendars together at once, each one a color, or you can simplify and eliminate the view of all but one and view only birthdays or work or doctors.
  7. On the Calendar page, click the Create New Calendar box. Fill out the title and other options, then click Create Calendar. You will return to the Month view of the calendar.
  8. On the left of the calendar, under My calendar, will be the list of calendars you’ve created. At the end of the title for each calendar is an arrow with a drop down menu. This is where you can choose a color, even customize it. The colors do not translate precisely from device to device, so instead of shades of one color, I suggest using vividly opposing colors where possible.
  9. Fill in a handful of events by clicking on a day. Add the time and specifics of the event: which job, which doctor, which paper is due. Then, key move, select the proper calendar for that event. It is now color coded.

On your phone:

  1. Click on the Google calendar app.
  2. Sign in with your Google account information.
  3. In Settings, choose the calendars you want to see.
  4. Click Save.
  5. All of your calendars should then be synced.

You may have to click refresh a few times or troubleshoot a few minor hiccups, but these steps should get you there. Now you can add an event from your phone, tablet or laptop and they will all sync to show the same information.

One particular hiccup to avoid involves double-checking the time zone on the calendar app. Hubby’s was set to Hong Kong and suddenly all of his work times changed. You can imagine the frustration. LOL

Happy New Year!

Dec
4
2013
30 Days of Christmas at Sunlight Sucks!

My dear friend Lex Valentine of Winterheart Design is hosting the 30 Days of Christmas at her blog, Sunlight Sucks. #FreeBooks from amazing authors every day until Christmas! Today, enter to win a copy of one of these great books!

ridethelightning-250 Shadows-Edge-Cover

cw_darkmoon_lg Betrayed ebook cover

Nov
2
2013
Betrayed (Nephilim Book One) Available as an ebook!

Betrayed

Betrayed is now available for 4.99 at the following ebook retailers:

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Smashwords

I am thrilled to announce Betrayed is available as an ebook and has an all new, eye-catching cover! I absolutely fell in love with this as soon as my designer, Gabrielle Prendergast of Cover Your Dreams, showed it to me. Every view of it has only gotten better.

As my debut novel, Betrayed holds a very special place in my heart. It has received some of the best author quotes ever, like:

“BETRAYED is a passionate debut by an author of remarkable talent and maturity of style. Lyrical prose spins a tale that is intelligent and unflinching, enthralling and richly imagined. I loved it! It’s a gorgeous, lush, and compelling novel. If you try just one debut this year, make it Jamie Leigh Hansen’s. You will be grateful to have ‘discovered’ her from the first.”
Sylvia Day, #1 New York Times & #1 International Bestselling Author

“Betrayed is an exciting escape into a fascinating worldCover) of fallen angels and an intense and timeless love story. Jamie Hansen is a fresh new voice in paranormal romance.”
Christine Feehan, # 1New York Times Bestselling Author

“Enter a world of magic, chance and love everlasting!”
Gena Showalter, New York Times Bestselling Author

“With intense emotion and thrilling action, Hansen grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the very end . . . and even then you want more!”
Caridad Piñeiro , New York Times Bestselling Author

And online reviews such as:

4 Stars HOT
“Undying love and the need for redemption fuel the characters’ fire in this star-crossed-lovers drama. The story moves between past events that led to this tragic scenario and the present. In this gripping novel, true love may be eternal, but it might take supernatural interference to get to a satisfactory conclusion.”
– Jill M. Smith, Reviewer for Romantic Times Book Reviews

“[Jamie Leigh Hansen’s] writing style and plot lines are extremely engaging and I want more of them. There are many characters deserving of their own books and I’m sure that Ms. Hansen has the perfect stories line up.”
– Stacy Cooper, Reviewer for ParanormalRomanceWriters.com

“Jamie Leigh Hansen is a bright new star in the world of paranormal romance!”
– Audrey Sharpe, Reviewer for FreshFiction.com

But don’t take their word for it. Go check it out for yourself! :)