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Alistair S

Collaboration Contest Discussion

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Kick Off

 

OK, I think we can make a start! Kind of :)

 

I'm going to run this in stages, as follows:

 

Stage 1 - Setup DONE

I have announced the "challenge" (see below in this thread) and I will PM everyone who has entered to ask them for responses that will help me to make up the teams and set the timescales (and to confirm their participation). Please respond to this PM by the weekend (i.e. before 4th March at the latest). If you don't respond, I will have to assume you won't participate.

 

Stage 2 - Teams DONE

I will let you know who you will be paired with and the deadline for completion (now set as 14 April). See below for the teams.

 

Stage 3 - Collaborate!

You will work on your songs, ready to publish them on the "entries thread" that I will open a week before the deadline. That thread will also provide scoring instructions, when to start scoring and the date you need to get your scores to me by.

 

Stage 4 - Scoring

Scoring will be kept very simple.  The sole scoring criterion will be the quality of the song. We won't score separately for lyrics and music or "how well the challenge was met". I don't want this to become a straitjacket. I want you to be able to take your collaboration in whatever direction the needs of the song take you. Each contributor will need to vote (or there will be a small scoring penalty for non-voters). For the curious, I expect the scoring method to be very similar to the one used in the 2017 Song of the Year contests.

 

Stage 5 - Results and discussion

I'll post the results and congratulations and discussion will follow, I'm sure :)

 

While all this is running, feel free to use this thread for questions, discussions, banter, whatever.

 

 

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The Challenge

 

OK - so what is the challenge? Before I get into that, let's consider why we have a challenge at all. In my view (and for this contest) it is to make it easier to get started rather than looking at a completely blank sheet of paper. Often, the hardest part of creating a song is getting the initial idea and - oddly - sometimes, having a constraint makes that easier.

 

So, please view the challenge as a way of getting started. It shouldn't constrain you. If you find the song takes you somewhere else and that new place works better, by all means go with it! It would be interesting, however, if you could share your thinking and why that happened (once the dust has settled). 

 

The key challenge is to get the best song via collaboration that you can! 

 

So, that said, there are two aspects to the challenge. One is around structure and the other is around theme.

 

Structure

 

I'd like you to create a song with an AABA structure. If you're not sure what that is, check this description. To be clear, it has nothing to do with rhyme schemes - it is about the structure of the song.

 

You don't need to stick to a 32-bar form (but you may) and you can, if you wish, extend it to AABABA (as the Beatles often did). Variations on this structure exist all over the place - examples - Yesterday, Over the Rainbow, Paranoid, Crazy. There is plenty of room to riff on the structure and apply it to your genre. Take this as a start point and see where it leads you.

 

Lyrically, there will often be a repeating line at either the start of each verse or the end of each verse (or both) - but there doesn't have to be. 

 

You won't find a chorus, as such.

 

Theme

 

I'd like to suggest that there is some link to footwear in the song. Be as imaginative as you want with this. "These boots are made for walking", "Blue suede shoes", Put on your red shoes and dance the blues", "Rocking your 'fuck me' pumps". 

 

It doesn't have to be about shoes. It could reference socks, skis, snow shoes, sneakers, stilletoes, slippers, goloshes or even references to pulling yourself up by your bootlaces or needing a little polish. You can be as tenuous as you like.

 

As I said at the top, this is to get you started. There are no hard and fast rules and no points awarded or deducted for being more or less "on theme" than anyone else. The song is king.

 

Incidental stuff

 

Some of you can create music as well as write lyrics. Don't feel that, within your partnership, you can't take advantage of that if it suits you. The lyricist may be a good singer, for example. Or you may want to involve someone else from outside the contest to add a part to the song. If that's what your team wants, that's all fine.

 

Please do make every effort to collaborate, though. That means discussion and negotiation and taking on board each other's ideas. It normally requires some flexibility too! However, do bear in mind that the musician normally has much more to do than the lyricist and, if you want to remain friends, suggestions should be reasonable and due consideration needs to be given to the time the musician will need (if the lyricist needs a week, the musician may need 3 weeks)! :)

 

How you collaborate is entirely down to you. I've sometimes found Skype to be invaluable, or phone calls. Sometimes, PMs or emails work fine. But do keep talking. It's a team sport!

 

And - lyricists - it can be very helpful for musicians (and you) if you maybe write 2 or 3 lyrics initially, with different rhythms/styles, to see what suits the musician best. You could get started now!

 

Feel free to ask below if anything is unclear - and watch out for an incoming Private Message (and get back to me by the end of Saturday, please!)

 

 

 

 

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Team Details

 

Everyone has now got back to me and I can announce the teams (please don't be offended by the team names or feel you have to use them!): 

 

Team Mostly Lyrics Mostly Music
Kuster Kuya Murphster
Spider SpanishBuddha Dinorider
TriffidWolfe Songwolfe Triffid
IronAndy Ironknee AndyLeF
Mobody Tracy Somebody Moso
Duck DonnaMarilyn PaulCanuck
Jotto Jonie Scotto
1 4 Rock 14Music Onewholovesrock
Cluda Clemo Dan Barracuda
Peek Peko

Oswlek

Quart

Iglow

Tymed

Lyres

Barron

ART1108

Iggy

Ty Cobb

Lyrical

Barneyboy

Quintin Penola

Bruce.Callow

syl_a_med

The S

Neuroron

 

As you can see, we now have 15 teams! Wow.

 

I suggest that you get in touch with your team mate and start discussing your approach as soon as possible. Are you going music-first? Lyrics first? How are you going to collaborate and communicate? Get to know each other :)

 

If you haven't had any communication by the end of next week, let me know! If we can adjust, we will.

 

Lyricists, please bear in mind that your music-maker will need a whole bunch of time to record, mix and generally "spruce up" the final entry. Overall, the musician has a lot more to do, so do try to get something to them early. The sooner you can both agree on the basics of the song you are working on, the longer you have for tweaks and improvements (on which subject, be prepared to adjust your lyric to fit the music if needed - for rhythm, "singability" or for any other reason).

 

Musicians, please try to keep your lyricist in the loop. It can be difficult for a lyricist to send a lyric and then hear nothing until the final product (and they lose the opportunity to improve the lyric so that it fits the music better too!). If you can share any "rough sketches" early on it really does help! They can also offer musical feedback (and, in some cases, musical input). Also, if you want to involve other people, that's fine - but please give them credit too!

 

Timescales:

 

I will open a new thread at the end of the month so you can share your entry if it is ready.

 

The deadline for posting up your entry is the end of Wednesday 18 April.

 

Scoring will start on 19 April

 

Scores back to me by the end of 27 April - results to be announced on 28 April

 

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Hi Alistair 

yes, yes, and yes.

im very interested in getting involved with a collaboration 

please include me in 

All the best

Mike

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4 minutes ago, Clemo said:

Hi Alistair 

yes, yes, and yes.

im very interested in getting involved with a collaboration 

please include me in 

All the best

Mike

You are in - check your PMs (Private Messages).

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Just saw this.  I'd like to give it a try!  Hope I don't disappoint the musician!

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OK, Peko. I have you on the list - but we may not be able to find lyricist a partner, depending on who else shows up. I should know in a few days. If we can't make it, I may ask whether you would be willing to step in should anyone drop out (it happens!). 

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Just to elaborate a little on AABA form, here's a worked example - I'll Follow the Sun (a LOT of Beatles songs are AABA)

 

If you prefer, think of it as VVBV (or in this case, VVBVBV)

 

Verse:

One day, you'll look
To see I've gone
But tomorrow may rain, so
I'll follow the sun

 

Verse:

One day, you'll know
I was the one
But tomorrow may rain, so
I'll follow the sun

 

Bridge:

And now the time has come
And so, my love, I must go
And though I lose a friend
In the end you will know
Oh-oh-oh

 

Verse:

One day, you'll find
That I have gone
But tomorrow may rain, so
I'll follow the sun

 

That would be the end of the AABA part, but they extend it with another BA ...

 

Bridge:

And now the time has come
And so, my love, I must go
And though I lose a friend
In the end you will know
Oh-oh-oh

 

Verse:
One day, you'll find
That I have gone
But tomorrow may rain, so
I'll follow the sun

 

 

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On 2/26/2018 at 16:28, Alistair S said:

 

 

Structure

 

I'd like you to create a song with an AABA structure. If you're not sure what that is, check this description. To be clear, it has nothing to do with rhyme schemes - it is about the structure of the song.

 

 

Is this written in stone? It's fine with me, as I often use AABA(BA), but in the chat box it was implied that the structure need not be AABA. I've already begun toying with some ideas, so it would be good to know whether there are in fact constraints. ;) 

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On 2/26/2018 at 15:28, Alistair S said:

Take this as a start point and see where it leads you.

This is what I said in the post above. What matters is where you finish and, if the structure is getting in the way, toss it :) 

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Super! Thanks for clarifying.;)

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21 hours ago, Alistair S said:

OK, Peko. I have you on the list - but we may not be able to find lyricist a partner, depending on who else shows up. I should know in a few days. If we can't make it, I may ask whether you would be willing to step in should anyone drop out (it happens!). 

Alistair,

 

I am happy to do whatever works for the group.  If there's room, great.  If not, I'll try next time.  

Thanks for taking on this project and trying to get us organized!

 

Patty

P.S.  So it sounds like we do NOT need to do an AABA structure after all?  Anything goes?  Choruses, etc?

 

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David, did you want to join the contest? If so, it would be helpful to know because I have been gathering people's preferences on pairing up.

 

Peko - it looks as if we do have the numbers in any case (but more is always good, David! :))

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David,

 

Just saw these posts and wanted to say thank you for offering to help me out.  You're probably fortunate that Alistair found enough matches, because I don't know if I could do justice to your EDM arrangement.  It's not a genre I know that much about--like maybe ZERO--,:D and I'd hate to handicap your chances! But thanks for the gracious offer.

 

Patty

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6 minutes ago, HoboSage said:

I don't really want to participate.  But, I was willing to help Patty out if you need another musician for her.  It doesn't sound like you do.   :)

Understood - I thought I'd try :)

 

It was kind of you to offer.

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It's really odd, and while a part of me thinks I should just keep quiet about things while we partner up and start collaborating, I am ignoring that.

 

I have half a song that I have been kicking around for a while, it has a catchy instrumental part and is AABA. All I have lyrics wise is the hook which has the word "Feet" in it! No lie. The hook gives me a strong theme or idea for the song but I have struggled to write anything more. 

 

So would love to finish that, but obviously also aware that it would be nice to collaborate properly and come up with something jointly from scratch.

 

So a warning to whoever ends up with the misfortune to be my partner, I think we are gonna do two songs! ;-) 

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On 2/26/2018 at 16:28, Alistair S said:

And - lyricists - it can be very helpful for musicians (and you) if you maybe write 2 or 3 lyrics initially, with different rhythms/styles, to see what suits the musician best. You could get started now!

Good that we lyricists can make a start already. ;) I hope to have two to four lyrics to present to my collab partner.

 

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It sounds like some are doing AABA with footwear theme, and some are not. It doesn’t really matter to me, but seems like we would all have the same constraints, or no constraints.

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On 2/26/2018 at 15:28, Alistair S said:

So, please view the challenge as a way of getting started. It shouldn't constrain you. If you find the song takes you somewhere else and that new place works better, by all means go with it!

Also, I think I have been clear that the only criteria for judging the songs will be the quality of the song itself.

 

The rest is down to you :)

 

I think most people who have started already are working on the AABA footwear theme - but who knows where they will end up once the music comes into play? New ideas arise and the song starts to take wing - and I don't want to clip those wings!

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Sorry, Alistair. I'm such a slow learner. :ph34r: 

 

So as I now understand it, on this level playing field there are no constraints at all, either structure- or footwear-wise? In other words, if a shoe or a boot turn up in an AABA lyric, that can be viewed as purely incidental? 

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Nothing has changed since I wrote the original guidance. It's all in there and I really can't add to it. Basically, I've provided a structure and a theme to get people started. The real challenge is simple - collaborate and write a song. The best song wins.

 

I don't know how I can be clearer :(

 

Maybe I'll put the intro in bold.

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Al,

 

I think people are getting confused due to this in the "interest" thread:

 

3. I set a challenge - something that provides some constraints but allows for flexibility too - and we agree deadlines.

 

saying there will be constraint, then saying there aren't really any constraints.

 

I was under the impression like others that there would be more of a "challenge" than just write a song.

 

It is what it is I guess, I plan on following through with the as of now "suggested" challenge regardless.

 

Peace

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And I think most people will do exactly that.

 

However, there will be no separate voting on "how well you met the challenge". That always ends in confusion too (it has every time in the past) and I wanted to state that upfront. 

 

So yes, there are constraints but there is also flexibility if the constraints get in the way of the song. I guess voting will also allow you the flexibility to deduct points if you feel anyone didn't enter into the spirit of the thing - and that's also down to you guys! It's impossible to police in any case! I'd really like this to be about the spirit of the challenge rather than trying to manage it to the letter.

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I think that sounds good Alistair. I am sure it will work itself out in the voting.

 

 

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I'm ready! 

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We now have two more teams - 12 teams in all (could be a record)!

 

Team Quart - ART1108 and Quintin Penola

Team Iglow - Iggy and Bruce.Callow

 

Ty Cobb (who I inadvertently left out and I'm so sorry!) and Lyrical are our reserve lyricists.

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Really enjoying this collab contest. Hope all the teams are having great fun working on material. Will be exciting to see what each team comes up with!

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Me too. I can't speak on behalf of the other half of team Kuster, but I am enjoying the challenge. I actually think he might be crying at what I am doing to the beautiful lyrics he has sent me already, whatever was in hs head as he wrote them certainly were not what I am currently doing to them! Fingers crossed it will all work out. ;-)

 

Alistair, is there a restriction to only one entry per team? Just wondering as I have a feeling well might end up with two or three fruits of our collaboration. I am assuming other teams might end up like that??

 

 

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I think if you end up with more songs, that's wonderful!  I always feel that the "contest" element of these collabs is the least important.

 

However, for the scoring, I think we should keep it to one per team.

 

The others can always be shared in here, Songs Feedback or Artist's Showcase.

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Team Spider is weavin a lethal web, and chillin. :ph34r:

 

This challenge has helped break up the monotony in the creative process that I have been experiencing. 

 

Sometimes ya gotta just step outside and take a deep breath of fresh air.

 

Peace

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... and another team!

 

Welcome Team Tymed (Ty Cobb and syl_a_med)! Good luck, guys!

 

Lyrical is now the only reserve (unless we have a final musician, in which case there will be no "safety net").

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I was hesitant to enter because of a personal situation and the potential time constraints, but I'm glad I did.  Patty is a treat to work with, friendly, flexible, prompt... and, of course, capable:)  We're much further along at this point than I ever would have imagined.  

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Team Kuster?   Hmmm.   Well at least it's not Terkuy! 

 

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We now have what must surely be the final team ... The S has stepped in to save Lyrical from the loneliness of the bench. Team Lyres!

 

If everyone finishes, this is going to be a big contest! :)

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Holy crap - what a line-up of contestants!

Well Donna has set me some great lyrics - hope I, too, can up my game seeing what we're up against :)

Forum album in the making??

 

GO DUCKS!

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Same - Tracy sent me some really fun lines and we're having a blast with the song! I just hope my incredibly rusty musicianship holds up. I feel like I forgot how to use both my DAW and a piano. (That the DAW got a few major (but free) updates since I last used it isn't helping, haha.) But Tracy's great. I feel lucky! 

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I am really enjoying this contest so far.  SongWolfe has been a lyrical machine!  We are already done with one demo, I'm working on a second and he has 3 more songs waiting :o   

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1 hour ago, PaulCanuck said:

Holy crap - what a line-up of contestants!

Well Donna has set me some great lyrics - hope I, too, can up my game seeing what we're up against :)

Forum album in the making??

 

GO DUCKS!

We'll need a foot/footwear related album name. Highway to Heel? :)

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31 minutes ago, Triffid said:

I am really enjoying this contest so far.  SongWolfe has been a lyrical machine!  We are already done with one demo, I'm working on a second and he has 3 more songs waiting :o   

Ha ha - my 4 year old son asked me yesterday if I'd written another new song. Think he was disappointed when I said no so I better get back working - rest days obviously not allowed! :)

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4 hours ago, PaulCanuck said:

Holy crap - what a line-up of contestants!

...ditto that Paul.... :ph34r::P:blink:

 

2 hours ago, SongWolfe said:

We'll need a foot/footwear related album name. Highway to Heel? :)

Haha - wonder if it would get much - 'traction'? - you never know, it might become a runaway hit...!!  B)

 

On ‎26‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 15:28, Alistair S said:

Team Details

Way cool naming of the teams Alistair... :)

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On 3/6/2018 at 10:57, SongWolfe said:

We'll need a foot/footwear related album name. Highway to Heel? :)

Or:

 

InStep!

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I was a little nervous putting my name in, but I think I lucked out with Justin.  He has managed to put some really cool music together for my lyrics, and has already improved them.  I don't know how you musicians do it! 

 

And he's easy to work with and keeps me in the loop!  I think we will really get a kick out of the final song.  "Kick"  is that footwear-related?

 

Patty

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Sounds like you guys are really - 'pumped' up....

 

Maybe you should go for 'sole' music - or is that genre a load of old cobblers these days? :P

 

(that must be an end to all the foot ware related puns....or is it...?)

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Wow some folks are really running with this. Team Jotto is plodding along. Jonie gave me a great collection of lyrics and one jumped right off the page. I sent her a quick take and she agreed. Currently taking things step by step here but the shoe is on the other foot as Jonie is waiting for me to produce the music. So far I've built the drums and just need a session or 2 for the instruments. Then we'll walk back to the lyrics and get the vocals recorded after that. 

 

There's plenty of time so we've got a walk don't run approach... 

 

(sorry not sorry haha)

 

 

 

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However things go from here, I am so thrilled i got involved in this contest, thanks Alistair & syl_a_med !  It has forced me out of my comfort zone and helped me approach my writing process from a different POV.  So I am already considering myself a 'winner' for what I have gained by participating in this contest, however voting goes.

 

Now my shticky ideas for footwear 'album' name: 

 

Heel to D'oh

Foot Fetishes

Bridge over Troubled Arches 

Billion Dollar Bunions

Bunion Calling

Dig Your Own Sole

Rubber Sole  or maybe Rub Her Sole ?

 

and my personal favorite:

After the Gold Bond Rush                                    For those unfamiliar, Gold Bond is a pain relieving foot cream sold here in the sates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Ty Cobb said:

It has forced me out of my comfort zone and helped me approach my writing process from a different POV.  So I am already considering myself a 'winner' for what I have gained by participating in this contest, however voting goes.

 

 

It's wonderful when that happens, isn't it! :P

26 minutes ago, Ty Cobb said:

Now my shticky ideas for footwear 'album' name: 

 

Heel to D'oh

Foot Fetishes

Bridge over Troubled Arches 

Billion Dollar Bunions

Bunion Calling

Dig Your Own Sole

Rubber Sole  or maybe Rub Her Sole ?

 

and my personal favorite:

After the Gold Bond Rush                                    For those unfamiliar, Gold Bond is a pain relieving foot cream sold here in the sates.

 

 

 

Wow! Going for an album already? Good for you. ;) I like 'Bridge over Troubled Arches' or 'Dig Your Own Sole'.

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1 hour ago, Ty Cobb said:

However things go from here, I am so thrilled i got involved in this contest, thanks Alistair & syl_a_med !  It has forced me out of my comfort zone and helped me approach my writing process from a different POV.  So I am already considering myself a 'winner' for what I have gained by participating in this contest, however voting goes.

 

Now my shticky ideas for footwear 'album' name: 

 

Heel to D'oh

Foot Fetishes

Bridge over Troubled Arches 

Billion Dollar Bunions

Bunion Calling

Dig Your Own Sole

Rubber Sole  or maybe Rub Her Sole ?

 

and my personal favorite:

After the Gold Bond Rush                                    For those unfamiliar, Gold Bond is a pain relieving foot cream sold here in the sates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some good album names there. Here are some more that are word plays on rock albums/songs. 

 

On with the shoe

Pumps

Slippers when wet

 

And one that's not based on a famous album. With marketing strap-line 

 

Slippers and Flippers - the best from the Muse Big Hitters. You'd be toe-tally mad not to buy it! 

 

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"A Musing March"  ... works on so many levels!!! heh :lol:

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