12 Ways Get Your Book Started

12 Ways to Get Your Book Started - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com

Writing a book means being inspired by something and then transferring that inspiration into words, sentences, and chapters. There is something that sparks our imagination and urges us to begin writing in fury, typing down the story that we so much want to tell. However, what happens when you’ve no idea how to begin your story and have no inspiration to get started?

Now, I’ve never had trouble starting a book, but instead my dilemma is with finishing them. I write out the plot, get more than half way complete, and suddenly a new story pops into my head. It seems as though there will never be enough time to write down all the stories I want to tell! Nevertheless, I do get stuck in my writing sometimes which calls for inspiration. So here is a list of twelve ways to find inspiration when you want to begin writing a book (or finish one!).

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Go on a spontaneous walk or plan out a long adventurous trek. Either one is sure to spark your inspiration. Let your feet take you to an unknown destination and enjoy your time venturing.

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Sometimes, reading a classic work of fiction can help pull us into the world of writing. It inspires us to mold our own stories and put together a plot of our own. Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and The Secret Garden are some great classics to read.

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Yes, I’m sure we can all go back into our distant memories to recollect a time when to find someone’s phone number, you had to look it up in a book that was mailed to you once a year, called a telephone book. If you still have one laying around today, you may not be able to use it as it was originally intended, however it is very possible to extract some inspiring ideas from it. Open it to a random page and point to any last name. Turn to another page to find a first name to go with it. Do this over and over, and soon you’ll have a whole book’s worth of characters to write about!

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Playing a musical instrument can be so inspiring; whether it be a piano, violin, guitar, flute, ukulele, or yes, even a harmonica or recorder. Go outside and play; see if the birds sing along. Listen to nature and hear what it says! You’re bound to have something to write about when you come back inside.

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Create a story-inspiration board and pin any photo you come across that looks interesting. The pictures that urge us to know the stories behind them are the ones that give us inspiration for writing, so be on the look out for those. Also, you can always make those boards private if you don’t want to share them with your followers.

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Get onto Spotify and play your favorite instrumental track. Listen to your favorite movie scores or find something new! I’ve found it helpful to create a separate playlist for each of your stories; it definitely helps to get you into the world you’re writing about.

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It doesn’t matter if you aren’t an artist. The point isn’t to create a masterpiece, but to create something that will get your mind flowing and open to new ideas. Draw a mountain, a dog, a person; it really doesn’t matter!

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Pack snacks, pens, and a notebook, and take a trip into the nearest bustling city. Roam the streets, people watch, or find a little café to write in, and just take in everything that you see, and use it to propel you into your writing.

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I’m not kidding about this one. Not only are you doing something profitable but cleaning out your closet or work space can also provide you with tons of inspiration. You could come across old letters or memorabilia hidden away that spark ideas for writing. If not, the cleaning will bore you so much that you begin daydreaming about anything other than cleaning, giving you ideas for a book!

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Visit any thrift shop and look around. I’m sure you’ll find something inspiring. Go with a list of things to find, like a book dated before 1900, a vintage jewelry box, or old ice skates. Anything you find that interests you can be the starting point for a book.

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For me, some of the most inspiring moments happen when watching a really good movie. If you want to write a story set in the 1810s, watch Sense and Sensibility; not so you can copy it, but to draw ideas from it; how they spoke, dressed, and acted. There’s something so motivating in seeing a movie set in the era in which you intend to write!

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Talk with other writers and aspiring authors in person or through blogs. Sometimes just reading about what others are writing, will get you thinking about forming a plot of your own! It’s always fun to know what others are doing in their writing. Below you can find a list of writing blogs to visit for more writing tips and stories!

Reveries // Ruffles and Grace // Once Upon an Ordinary // Charis Rae // Invisible World // Claire Rachel // Liv K. Fisher // The Writing Writers // Forever and Everly // Peeking Beneath

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Do you enjoy writing?

What are you working on right now?

Do you think any of these 12 ways would be helpful?

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Megan Joy

Poems of Old // Afton Water

This poem by the Scottish writer, Robert Burns, was composed in 1791, and later put to music as Flow Gently, Sweet Afton in 1837, by Jonathan Spilman. By what I’ve been recently told, I may be in some way related to Robert Burns the poet, so I feel a special connection to the words I’ve been singing for years. I love the words Burns chose to rhythm together; it’s such a lovely piece to read.

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Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,

Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise;

My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream,

Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

 

Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds thro’ the glen,

Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,

Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,

I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.

 

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,

Far mark’d with the courses of clear winding rills;

There daily I wander as noon rises high,

My flocks and my Mary’s sweet cot in my eye.

 

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,

Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;

There oft, as mild Ev’ning sweeps over the lea,

The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

 

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,

And winds by the cot where my Mary resides,

How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,

As gathering sweet flowrets she stems thy clear wave.

 

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,

Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays;

My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream,

Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Robert Burns, 1791

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Do you know this as a song or a poem?

Did you ever find out that one of your ancestors is well-known?

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Megan Joy

7 Free Bible Verse Posters to Hang on Your Wall

Seven Free Bible Verse Posters to Hang on Your Wall - simplymeganjoy.wordpress

What’s a better place to hang some inspiring and uplifting verses other than your bedroom wall?  I’ve created 7 verse designs for you to print out and place where you will see them every day!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3 5-6

Joshua 1:9

Joshua 1-9

Matthew 11:28

Matthew 11-28

1st Peter 5:7

floral 5

Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4-13

Matthew 6:21

Matthew 6-21

Romans 8:28

Romans 8-28 2nd

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You can save these photos to your computer, print, and cut them out, and hang them wherever you like. You could give one to a friend who needs encouragement or fold one up and slip it into your sibling’s backpack with a note on the back saying how much you appreciate them! Be creative by printing them out on cardstock and give them as Valentine’s Day gifts (or save them for Easter)!

P.S. All verses above were taken from the King James Version Bible.

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Which verse speaks to you the most?

Shout out to “The Hungry JPEG” for the use of their free graphic designs!

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Megan Joy

Poems of Old // Weep You No More

Have you ever seen the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thomson and Kate Winslet? Do you remember the song that Marianne sings in the movie (the scene where Colonel Brandon sees her for the first time)? Well, this is it! It was originally a poem supposedly written by an anonymous poet in the 1800s, although there are rumors that it was written by the English musician John Dowland in 1603 to an alternate tune. Whether either be true, it is a beautiful work of poetry and I wanted to share it!

Poems of Old - Weep You No More Sad Fountians simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com.JPGWeep you no more, sad fountains;

What need you flow so fast?

Look how the snowy mountains

Heaven’s sun doth gently waste.

But my sun’s heavenly eyes

View not your weeping,

That now lie sleeping

Softly, now softly lies

Sleeping.

 

Sleep is a reconciling,

A rest that peace begets.

Doth not the sun rise smiling

When fair at even he sets?

Rest you then, rest, sad eyes,

Melt not in weeping

While she lies sleeping

Softly, now softly lies

Sleeping.

Anonymous

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Have you ever seen the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility?

Do you remember Marianne singing this song?

To watch a clip of this scene from Sense and Sensibility, click HERE!

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Megan Joy

Seven Vintage Fashion Bloggers You Need to Follow

Seven Vintage Fashion Bloggers You Need to Follow

Hello, one and all! I’d love to share a collection of vintage fashion bloggers that are so very inspiring and deserve recognition.

7 Vintage Fashion Bloggers You need to Follow simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com

Many of them listed below are ones that I followed even before I began Simply Megan Joy, and were the main inspirations to have my own blog! So check them out and give them some love!

disclaimer: the photos shown below do not belong to me and I do not take credit for them. They are the properties of the awesome bloggers featured below! I hope you go follow them!

Minnie Muse

Minnie Muse Blog

Madison from Minnie Muse has an amazing blog about fashion, life, and all things beautiful! She recently got back from a trip to New York City and is sharing all her wonderful adventures on her site!

Minnie Muse Blog 2

Miss Hero Holliday

Miss Hero Holliday

Miss Hero Holliday has the most gorgeous collection of vintage dresses! Each week she shares her lovely outfits and I just adore every one!

Miss Hero Holliday 2

The Boyer Sisters

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The Boyer Sisters blog was the first vintage fashion blog I ever followed, and it was the main inspiration for me to start my own! Recently, they branched out with a second website and started following their own personal dreams. It’s always fun to scroll down and read their old posts full of so many inspirational outfits!

Boyer Sisters 2

Gracefully Vintage

Gracefully Vintage1

Kayla from Gracefully Vintage lives on the Central Coast of Australia and loves dressing from the 1920s to 1970s! She has so many cute posts up on her blog that you should go read!

Gracefully Vintage 2

Brijee

Brijee 1

Brigid Everson, (formally one of the Boyer Sisters) has started her own blog where she shares her fashion and sewing adventures! I can’t wait for her next post as they’re always fun to read!

Brijee 2

Ruffles and Grace

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Victoria from Ruffles and Grace has a love for fashion, sewing and writing. She has her own seamstress business and even has a book published! She loves writing and sharing her many passions on her blog, so go check it out.

Ruffles and Grace 2

A Clothes Horse

A Clothes Horse 2

Rebecca from A Clothes Horse is probably the most inspiring vintage fashion blogger I’ve ever found. The outfits she creates and the amazing photography to go with them make her blog such a splendid place to visit. Anyone who loves vintage fashion will love A Clothes Horse!

A Clothes Horse 1

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Have you already checked out some of these amazing blogs?

What are some of the vintage fashion blogs you follow?

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Megan Joy

Poems of Old // Hope is the Thing with Feathers

This week’s poem is by the inspiring Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). It is believed to have been written during the first year of the Civil War and published three decades later. Below you can read her clever way with words in “Hope is the Thing with Feathers.”

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Hope is the things with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without words,

And never stops at all,

 

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson, 1861

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What do you think of this poem?

Don’t you just love Dickinson’s pleasant phrasing?

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Megan Joy

 

 

Top Polyvore Styles // Winter 2018

Polyvore Winter Styles - Featured Image - simplymeganjoy.wordpresscom

If you’ve ever tried Polyvore, it’s quite possible that you’ve spent hours upon hours creating the most fun and fashionable outfits and charming accessories to match! If you have never used Polyvore, I am here to tell you how useful it is for any fellow fashionistas, whether vintage loving or not! With Polyvore, you can search thousands of photos of dresses, shirts, pants, shoes, coats, bags, jewelry, and accessories, mix and match them, and create countless outfits full of fun possibilities! It’s free and you can download all your oufits to your Pinterest page quite easily! I’ve found it to be very inspirational when you somehow discover yourself in a fashioning lull! At the bottom of this post, you can find my Polyvore link, which will take you to a list of all the items featured in this post and where to buy them!

Now enough jibber-jabber; let’s get to some outfits!

One // Waiting for the Train

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Shop This Look!

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Two // Highland Roses

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Shop This Look!

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Three // Quick Call

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Shop This Look!

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Four // London Librarian

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Shop This Look!

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Five // Valentine’s Brunch

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Shop This Look!

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Six // Look Who’s Here

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Shop This Look!

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Seven // Winter Walk

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Shop This Look!

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Eight // Snow DaysPolyvore Winter Styles - Snow Days - simplymeganjoy.wordpresscom

Shop This Look!

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Go check out Polyvore to create some amazing styles both vintage and modern!

Hint: If you make 25 different designs, your account gets upgraded to “Style Setter!”

You can find me on:

 Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/SimplyMeganJoy/

Polyvore: https://simplymeganjoyblog.polyvore.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/simplymeganjoy/

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Have you ever tried Polyvore before?

What clothing pieces have you been styling for your “winter fashion?”

Follow me on the accounts listed above so I can follow you back!

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Megan Joy/

Poems of Old // The Lady of Shallot

This is the first post of the new 2018 weekly series: Poems of Old! Each week, I’ll share a poem or excerpt dated 1950 or older. This poem, written by Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1842, is my favorite work by Tennyson, mostly for the reason that it plays a part in the Anne of Green Gables book and movie! Wanting to be like Anne, I’ve memorized the first paragraph of part two, which you can read below! I do not necessarily find the entire story of the Lady of Shallot appealing, though I like the flow and rhythm of this famous Tennyson work.Poems of Old -  The Lady of Shallot - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 1.JPG

Part II

(first paragraph) 

“There she weaves by night and day

A magic web with colors gay.

She has heard a whisper say,

A curse is on her if she stay

To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be

And so she weaveth steadily,

And little other care hath she,

The Lady of Shalott.”

Afred Lord Tennyson, 1842

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Have you ever memorized a poem just for fun?

What do you think of the new series?

What’s your favorite poem written before 1950? I always need more poem to feature!

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Megan Joy

My Crimson Christmas // Ft. Lindy Bop

Quick disclaimer: This is not a paid sponsorship nor am I in affiliation with Lindy Bop at this time.

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This wonderfully beautiful 1950s inspired dress called the “Marianne Red Swing Dress and Jacket Twin Set” came from Lindy Bop! It was the first time ordering from them and I can’t wait to order another dress in the future! I also bought the crinoline there which I’ve already wore this my last fashion post!

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The crimson color, the fullness of the skirt, the style of the jacket, and its perfect fit made this the best Christmas dress. I just love it! Incidentally, it also comes in dark blue, light blue, pink, burgundy, black, gray, and white, all of which I would love to have. Coming from London, it is of high quality and of wonderful craftsmanship. Unfortunately, the price matches the high quality, so I shall be content with this red one for a while. (P.S. I bought this particular dress on sale. Three cheers for Christmas sales!)

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If you love vintage fashion and classy clothes, you must head over to Lindy Bop! They have so many great finds, and coincidentally, they’re having a 60% off end of year sale, which includes the “Marianne Burgundy Swing Dress and Jacket Twin Set!” Go check it out and come back and tell me if you like it!

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The New Year will soon be upon us, so this will be the last fashion post of the year! Do you have any specific goals for 2018? Any fashion goals?

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dress and jacket // lindy bop

shoes // payless

crinoline // lindy bop

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Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 51st Week

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Luke, the author of the third gospel in the Bible and one of the twelve disciples, is well known for recording the birth of Jesus, which can be found in Luke 2:1-20. Originally a physician, Luke researched and gathered Jesus’ past history and reported it in his book, which was later selected to be part of our Bibles today. It is said that Luke died at age 84, supposedly of being killed for his religious beliefs. Over 2,000 years later we can read his works of Jesus’ birth.

In the passage above, an angel is speaking to a group of shepherds in a field in Bethlehem, around 4 A. D. Here are those two verses in context:

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Luke 2:1-20, King James Version

Did you happened to notice that between those twenty verses, fourteen of them involved the shepherds? Do you find it strange that the angels appeared in a field to tell a group of lowly sheep keepers of the King of the Universe’s birth? If this baby is so important, why didn’t the angels appear before the governors and priests of the town, or the richest of residents so they could see this baby? Why did God choose poor shepherds?

Shepherds of that day were considered the lower class of the city. They spent all their time out in fields, no matter what the weather or time of day. (Fun fact: each night before a shepherd would doze off each night in the fields, he would count his sheep to make sure they were all together, which is possibly where we get the idea that counting sheep will help us go to sleep!)

Shepherds certainly weren’t the most accepted group in Bethlehem, but to God, the shepherds were the prefect people to tell about Jesus’ birth! It shows us that clearly God loved the shepherds just as much as the priests, governors, and scribes. God didn’t choose from the top of the wealth list, but from the list of those who were less fortunate, those who were looked down upon, and those who knew how to spread the word! Verse 18 says that the shepherds went about to declare Christ’s birth, and that their listeners were curious of the news. I doubt that a governor would go about the streets at night telling news of this baby born in a stable!

It was God’s plan for the angels to appear to the shepherds. Their wealth, social status, and class didn’t matter. God doesn’t look at those things when He chooses people for important tasks or jobs. Instead He looks at the heart. So we must be well prepared and ready for any task that we are given, whether it be traveling to see a newborn king (which is sort of unlikely nowadays), telling a friend about the birth of Christ, or even just simply smiling at a grumpy person you happen to cross paths with. Whether you’re a shepherd or a governor, you never know what God will ask you to do, so be ready and willing for anything, because I know that He has something very special in store for you!

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Do you have any other thoughts of why God choose the shepherds to see Jesus?

Did you know that counting sheep may have come from the Bible?

Are you ready and willing for anything God has in store for you?

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Megan Joy