Tag Archives: Tom Murphy

Alfheim: Movement and Light 2/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

10 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Tom Murphy and Eleanor Perry

 

Alfheim

by Tom Murphy

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inside the fence
I know you as I walk towards me
seeing everything through your eye
I see it on my face
as you step into the firelight
we smile the same smile
as you look at me
and see the toll you’ve still to pay
you see the sons we will sire
the daughter we lost
the eye you have yet to lose

in my pocket
I have the apple I will offer you
before you offer yourself
the ninth knot

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washrag nouns

by Eleanor Perry

Snipped washrag

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Find out more about Tom and Eleanor here:

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

 

Eleanor Perry

https://twitter.com/nellperry

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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Midgard: Survival and Destruction 3/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

24 Jun

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Midgard

(the realm of the people)

Featuring:

Nat Hall, Tom Murphy and Joanna Lee

 

Tun & Scattald

by Nat Hall

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Garth,
fae da Old Norse,
an arrangement of long houses with 
smoky stacks,
where farmers grind their
daily grain,
man’s wheel of life around
fire, sun and
seasons,
Voar-Simmer-Hairst [1]
to tame the land,
plant-grow-harvest
before black
leanness
of
winter. 
Around
this lush realm for mortals,
they build their ting [2]
and chamber 
cairns, [3]
harvest from the sea & the land –
scrutinise waves & horizon from
basalt edges of
old rocks,
share
their home with
wandering dead in between
stars & Northern lights.
On either side of
dry stone wall,
tun and scattald [4]
feel a safe 
world:
a
place to be born & to die,
raise your offspring with each harvest,
write your story on
every stone –
that perfect realm
you can call
“home”.

© Nat Hall 2015

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Notes:
[1] voar-simmer-hairst: [Shetland dialect] spring-summer-autumn
[2] ting: Viking field of parliament 
[3] chamber cairn: old funeral chamber 
[4] tun & scattald: the inner & outer side of an enclosed human settlement, traditionally with a stone wall.

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Midgard

by Tom Murphy

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ripe garden
shallow pool
wet grass
branch
root
peach
plum

sweet nectar dripping on the floor

as the straps tighten
as the moan escapes
as if uttered by someone else

into the melt
the cotton sticks to your back
soft and slubbed
under her fingers

 

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The realm of men

by Joanna Lee

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They laid the body of the firstborn
into the void of the Universe:
his flesh became land;
his blood, oceans;
his bones, mountains;
his hair, trees.

His skull they held still:
the four points
of the compass, empty.
They shook out his brains
and flung them wide to become
the cottony stuff of clouds.

Perhaps this is why
we, shaped from the dead
hewn hunks of elm and ash,
our home girded by the eyebrows
of giants, hold
such preoccupation

with our own skins.
A world encircled
by a serpent has no need
for creation myths
of temptation and flood,
no; we pluck at our bodies,

pick at imperfections,
dream of shedding
and of rainbow bridges; cut
ourselves, re-shape our-
selves, mold, curb, color, smoothe,
tug, press, hack, squeeze

out our skulls and fling
our brains over the edge
of believability, looking only
to look in the mirror
with satisfaction, looking
only to live forever.

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Find out more about Nat, Tom and Joanna here:

Nat Hall

nordicblackbird.weebly.com

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

Joanna Lee

the-tenth-muse.com

https://twitter.com/la_poetessa

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As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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Muspelheim: Sparks and Flames 1/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

13 May

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 23 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

.

 Muspelheim

(the realm of fire)

Featuring:

Lenka Monk, Tom Murphy

and Rebecca Audra Smith

 

 

Flammable

by Lenka Monk

Inspired by story of Surt and Sinmara

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……Everything is ablaze
with you in my realm.
Even the stars seared themselves into the black vast canvas above.
They can never go out. Not while your afterglow ignites
the very last inch of me.
My Twin flame you have become.
I am a firefly, drawn to your inferno
in an eternity of firestorms.
Our power combined, forged by the fiercest heat
inside a furnace consumed and spent on all levels.
The embers aglow.
You are my beacon to guide me
through darkness.
You are my lighthouse inside a storm’s eye.
I burn in you.
I burn with you,
while everything around us still smoulders…..

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Part 7

Muspelheim

by Tom Murphy

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there is this thing like a memory
a bridge between the living and the dead
between past and future

this thing is in the grove
this thing is in us
a bond even when we’re apart

it is a thick iron chain
it is a thin filament of web
it is a bridge of ice
melting in the fire
it is a waterfall
very high
and very thin

this beam of sun and moon
shining from the eyes
holds the gaze
holds everything in it’s lattice

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Baltimore Fires

by Rebecca Audra Smith

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the stars slip out of the way to show the unending tale
of what is done in their names, it’s Baltimore
Rocks thrown by men thrown by children thrown by police
Arson is their attempt to lick the sky with flame
Headlines tomorrow read, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray

In the midst of all that noise
Comes the sense the fight’s still hot, quell the flames
They cut the hose, when the store started burning
the protestors for peace, held up their hands, said don’t shoot,
but still sons are being shot, mother slaps her boy hard,
you’re not Freddie Gray, Walter Scott

earth swallows the sun, the flames are burning fire,
vapour and rage have made the air both crisp and dry
you don’t want to be famous, known for the hands by which you died
someone says it like a litany, Walter Scott, Eric Garner

I heard strange fruits being sung upon these police lined streets
As she spoke of her neighbours death, body swinging, heavy tree
Your name is a future hashtag when you were born dark skinned
In the midst of all this noise it seems no one has had their say
Protestors hold their signs up, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray.

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Find out more about Lenka, Tom and Rebecca here:

Lenka Monk

Contact ArtiPeeps

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

Rebecca Audra Smith

https://twitter.com/BeccaAudra

beccaaudra.wordpress.com

 

 

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As always, thank you for your interest.

 

The Nine Realms Indiegogo Campaign:

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

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Helheim: ‘Death & Hollows’ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

23 Apr

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 23 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Helheim (The Realm through which men must pass to reach Nifelheim)

Featuring:

Eleanor Perry, James Knight and Tom Murphy

 

6.

whip shrug figurations

by Eleanor Perry

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we dig grisly at the slagheap ridge | where stark
proteins broke in the ash | there are high-voltage
moths and tumours in the masonry | brash ga-ga-
ganglia lolling in twists and graphs | and that tweed
squirm in the kitchen, darting and novelizing, all
sleaze and gravel shudder | we need to wake up
next to the aluminium industry | pull hungry and
hip reckless | our hardboard tetrahedral gods –
bright and shining with their clerical safeguards |
this is rock-n-surf | there are no other meat splinters
in the fissuring hour of the liver | and I have put the
whole galaxy into spilth and multicode | these back-
lands full of weird mimiviruses frothing in the gaps |
high-balling in the green of telemarketing | where I
quietly slang viridians

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Hel

by James Knight

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Switch on
Switch off

Silvered faces
Inside the mirror

Do come in
Make yourself at home

WTF! I can’t see a thing
Only my face
I look like a fucking weirdo
What’s going on with my eyes?

Switch on
Switch off

Fold yourself up, put yourself in my hand
Wait

Switch on
Switch off

It’s simply not true to claim that we’re the party of privilege
We stand for honest, decent, hard-working

Switch on
Switch off

Drive more website traffic
In fact, our data shows that using a
Drives 43% more engagement

Silvered faces
At home

My eyes

Put yourself in my hand

Switch on
Switch off
Switch on
Switch

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Part 6

Helheim

by Tom Murphy

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the creepy motherfucker never unchancy
reeled and hollered
as I removed the breath from his throat

snow crunched and swirled
I crunched and swirled
he grew cooler

there was a boast
an insult or two
breaths he should have kept to himself

blood was spilled of course
coursing unbound
feezing on the ground

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Find out more about Eleanor, James and Tom here:

Eleanor Perry

https://twitter.com/nellperry

James Knight

thebirdking.com

https://twitter.com/badbadpoet

 Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

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As always, thank you for your interest.

 

The Nine Realms Indiegogo Campaign:

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

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Nifelheim: ‘Spaces and Pain 1/4’ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

26 Mar

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Nifelheim (The Realm of the Dead

Featuring:

Jim C Mackintosh, Eleanor Perry

and Tom Murphy

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The Signal Keeps Breaking

by Jim C. Mackintosh

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I am trying to phone you from
the most hellish place there’s ever been
with the worst phone signal ever.

It has taken nine days to get here
but all the things I gave up to get here
will not buy me a fare for the nine days back.

There are so many things wrong
with this place, I am not sure what
to describe, or whether I should even try.

I will try texting you, that way, you will
have a record of this vile land but
it is no land I have dreamt of

or woken in the cold sweat of night
fearing my destiny. And should I not
return, I pray you will read my words.

There are so many people, dead people
some dying, or not but still wandering
stumbling in the sludge of putrid pools

pools that lap the edge of a cauldron
its crusted rim catching the unaware
pulling them into a depth I can only fear.

I tried to save an old man, grabbing his coat
but he was beyond the depths my shallow
cowardice would allow me to wade.

There is no sun, yet there is light enough
to pick out the pain, the shadows of scars
and marks across the strands of shore

where the keel marks of the dead, dragged
by their souls, lead to a dragon’s bowl
nestled on the bleach of suppers past.

There is no time, but there is order
in this terrible chaos. Despite the mists
that catch your throat like heated flints

tossed into the air by the sadness
of children, seemingly lost, wandering
with their blankets of belongings.

I have tried speaking to them but
they stare through me except one
attracted by the light of the phone

grabbed at it but when I pushed him
away, he dissolved into a puddle
leaving only rags and a scatter of baubles.

The other children, at least I imagine
them to be children, did nothing but pick up
the dissolved one’s rags and walk away

towards the dark mass of a tower,
ice-cold like a frozen heart, an island
of infinity drawing me towards its gate.

Down an impossible path, beaten
like a flattened vein, exhausted
under the burden of its purpose.

I can’t see beyond the gate but
I must go beyond the daubed sign ‘Hel’
I must not falter in my step, my courage.

Through the briar, and soft ash
of unspoken voices caught, discarded
in the unsettled mounds by the path

to an uncertain fate. I am weak yet
my resolve is strong, to face the dark
beyond the buttressed edge of Hel.

I will leave these words, this dying
signal with a child, to keep safe
from the poisoned mists that force me –

the signal keeps breaking –

I am entering Hel, alone –

breaking –

me

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5.
whorf hypothesis

insect noon, and this, the wishing element | we softly
saw ruin | the other wolf moon in the mouth | and it
seemed a lot of hurt | star meat sunk deep in neon sock-
ets | spoon-tapped atoms like those sea lilies which
drag themselves | in polished glass | since water is a
human learning | and the road hums so thick | we
would lung this tired space | even in obscene echoes |
and the words went light like bones | blue robot vague.

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Part 5

Nifelheim

by Tom Murphy

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galloping up the hill

knuckles knotted in the mane

Draumur leaping through the waves of grass

as if surging through salt foam sea

each of these a spell

a telling of path

the three moments

embracing under the waterfall

sitting in the dark cave of mist

floating on the milk blue pond

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the idea of north

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You can read the overview of Nifelheim  here , and see some Nidavellir poems here

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Find out more about Jim, Eleanor and Tom here:

Jim C. Mackintosh

bigbaffy.com

https://twitter.com/JimCMackintosh

Eleanor Perry

 https://twitter.com/nellperry

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

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Vikings Ahoy! The Nine Realms Update: March

5 Mar

 

nine realms8

19 poets, 22 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking boat

Vikings Ahoy!

Funding

I finally sent off our application to Arts Council England (ACE) last week, which was a great relief after 2 months of fiddling with words and figures.  You become so anxious about wanting to communicate the worth of your project and the quality of the creatives involved, and hoping you’ve done everything and everyone justice…. I’m pleased to say that the day before yesterday I heard that the application had passed through the first stage, which feels great. I shall keep everyone posted as to the application’s progress. We will hear in the middle of April.

It’s funny how life works: that on the same morning that I pressed the submit button to whiz the application off to ACE, I also heard from Norfolk County Council, saying that we have been offered a provisional grant from them- towards the cost of hiring ‘The Gallery’ space in Hanse House. This feels brilliant because it reconfirms that the Council thinks highly of the creatives involved, the projects we create, and the opportunities we offer. And in terms of Norfolk, it’s great that they are supporting Hanse House in its development as a cultural venue. So good news all round!

I have also finally sent off two trust letters to The Paul Bassham Trust (supporting events in Norfolk) and the Laura Elizabeth Stuart Memorial Trust (who support projects in Norfolk with a broad educational remit) for help towards the hire of Hanse House and our Schools’ Day costs on the Friday of our event. Decision dates on trust funding can be quite quick. The trusts meet in April, and we can  hear 2-3 weeks later,  so watch this space….

Crowdfunding

With the trust letters off I can now concentrate on preparations for our crowdfunding campaign. We have decided to go for Indiegogo this time because it has a firm not-for-profit remit and flexible funding. It’s a difficult call to make- Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but the only way to know is to have an experience of both.  So this year its Indiegogo’s turn…..At the moment I am aiming to begin our campaign on Monday 20th April for 30 days.  Last year we crowdfunded for entire project costs. This year we are funding for the commission fees of our oak-carved Viking boat, which will be live carved by woodcarver Mark Crowley across the 30 days. Live updates throughout. The boat will act as a focal point in ‘The Gallery’ space throughout our event. We are going to be donating the boat to Hanse House after the 5-days, so it can sit within a suitable hanseatic setting. We’ll have to nab the boat back though when we tour with The Nine Realms…..

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The month ahead will consist of me pulling the campaign together on Indiegogo and creating a project video and campaign page. I’m having a different approach this year with the video, and making it a lot less talky and more image based, which I think will work much better. I’m also planning to storyboard it carefully first as well. We are also presently confirming the backer rewards, and I’ll reveal all as soon as they’re 100% decided upon.

Other Progress:

Two pieces of artwork for the project have come in thus far. I will share them with the Viking participants first, and then post them out in my next update. All the artwork is due in on Thursday 30th April which will be in the middle of our campaign.  I think it will be exciting to reveal all the event art in the middle of our funding initiative.

 As some of the artwork has already come in I have been able to start creating the first greetings card in  our reward 3-pack.  The artwork and writing features Viking artist Robert Fitzmaurice and Viking poet Tom Murphy . The card went off yesterday to the printers, and as soon as it is ready, I’ll release it to the world. 

I think that’s about it for now.

Thank you, as ever, for your interest.

Viking Nicky

The Nine Realms HQ

Nidavellir: ‘ Darkness and Gold’ 2/4′ The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

4 Mar

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 musicians, 1 Viking boat : a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

 

Poems and Writing inspired by the Norse realm of Nidavellir (The Realm of the Dwarves)

Featuring:

Tom Murphy, Shirley Golden and Jim C. Mackintosh

 

Part 4

Niðavellir

by Tom Murphy

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the times when it’s darkest
bear the most precious things
they shine
wrought from stones
and jewels
and rarer minerals
each design unique
each with qualities, refined

guard them
don’t let them fade
reflect on them often
in case they’re forgot

 

MP3 to come

 

The Smile of Gold and Dust

by Shirley Golden

 

The first ray hits and he comprehends. It scatters the rich expressions that intoxicated and clouded his judgment. His skin, tightens, blackens and starts to flake like ash. Pain screams through skin and vein but Alvis can’t help smile at his opponent, even as his limbs crumble to dust. Cheshire-cat-like, it is the smile that remains when all else has collapsed.

It’s difficult to see what this clever, gold minor could find so amusing at such a moment. You’d need to be as wise as a dwarf, or as all-knowing as a god. Or possess a time machine and travel back to hear the words Alvis crowed as he strutted into Thor’s hall and demanded the hand of his daughter.

‘…there’s nothing I do not know…’ Perhaps it was that. Or, ‘…I don’t mean to hang around here any longer than I have to.’ But that must have stung a tad. Could such a remark really be the source of his amusement?

How did Thor start each question? Ah, yes, that was it: ‘Tell me, Alvis! You’re the dwarf who knows everything about our fates and fortunes…’

Turns out he couldn’t guess at his own.

It’d be easy to suppose that Thor delayed Alvis with his strength or even with a trick. But Alvis understands exactly why he stayed and time passed without his knowing. He can feel the rhythms and the pauses, heartbeat and breath. He can sense the rise and fall of meanings, pulsing through his veins like a rush of blood to the head. And there’s the beauty of piecing it all together, and how it bound him, tighter than Fenrir’s binding. And how he was compelled to reply and sustain the narrative that spun its potent mix of lyrical knowledge. Because Thor, with all his command, could not have held him captive until the sun broke through the dripping hall.

So, yes, he smiles because the god of thunder will boast of this victory for aeons to come. But Alvis knows it was not a god’s might that undone him.

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The Mock of Alvis

by Jim C. Mackintosh

What sort of man are you? Your pallor
Of death’s disregard, your slumbered
Bend lifted from the mortal slab of Gods.

You creep from the depths below
The growing one’s burdened weight.

Your shoulders soaked under
The vaulted ceiling of the dripping hall.

You dare to follow the shiner
To seek my unbound promise.

You shun Dvalin’s Deluder,
Its nibbled edge at your grubby heels.

You seek the folded comfort of the concealing helmet
To stand before Thor with the trickery of your wisdom.

Your fear, I sense, pushed on stormer’s edge
Whipped by Mjollnir’s Thunder will set you.

You dare to stir the essence of day
With your vain plans of matrimony.

You defy the endless depths of oceans
To drown me with your words.

You will suffer the lick of the hurrier
Catching your eyes, boiling your brains.

You betray the kinship of the dream goddess
To uncork your bottled, hopeless greed.

You should quaff your mead slowly, All-Wise
The last amber beads picked out in the sun.

You will crack and groan and stiffen.
I will laugh and mock and listen –

As your pale bones gather moss,
Your wisdom spent.
The sea of words will score
its drag marks
across you forever.

All the fates of men
Know this to be true.

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This poem is based on the Lay of Alvis in which the dwarf Alvis (All-Wise) engages with Thor in a wisdom contest to claim what he feels is his right, the hand of Thor’s daughter, Thrud in marriage. This is my interpretation of Thor’s response at the end of the fated challenge.

Thor is deliberately mocking Alvis by using the Dwarf phrases that Alvis would know –

The Growing One is Earth
The Dripping Hall is Sky
The Hastener is the Moon
Dvalin’s Deluder* is the Sun
The Concealing Helmet are the Clouds
The Stormer is the Wind
The Deep Ocean* is the Sea
The Hurrier is Fire
The Dream Goddess is Night
The Mead is Ale, Beer

*Dvalin was a dwarf who suffered the same fate overtaking Alvis.
*also referred to as Lagasta

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 You can read the overview of Nidavellir hereand read some Vanaheim poems here

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Find out more about Tom, Shirley and Jim:

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

Shirley Golden

shirleygolden.net

https://twitter.com/shirl1001

Jim C. Mackintosh

bigbaffy.com

https://twitter.com/JimCMackintosh

 

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As always, thank you for your interest.

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