It's about adventure! Life, Scouting, Family, writing what else is there?
UPDATED INTRO 4 JULY 2019:
Just a little about me. I've been married for 27 years and currently live in Southern California, but I grew up in New Hampshire.
I've got 2 kids, a 17 yrs old and a 12 yr old. Both are boys. Nuff said.
I work as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. I enjoy my job a lot.
I love to write, but since I've been so involved with the Boy Scouts program since 2015 (now Scouts BSA since girls were invited to come on board) I haven't written much. I hope to get back to more writing soon, as I'm scaling back my BSA commitment.
I like to get out in nature, take walks around Castaic Lake, drink coffee and watch football.
Here's a little bi about my zodiac.
GEMINI: Gemini, the sign of the Twins, is dual-natured, elusive, complex and contradictory. On the one hand it produces the virtue of versatility, and on the other the vices of two-facedness and flightiness. The sign is linked with Mercury, the planet of childhood and youth, and its subjects tend to have the graces and faults of the young. When they are good, they are very attractive; when they are bad they are more the worse for being the charmers they are. Like children they are lively, and happy, if circumstances are right for them, or egocentric, imaginative and restless.
Their good qualities are attractive and come easily to them. They are affectionate, courteous, kind, generous, and thoughtful towards the poor and suffering - provided none of the activities resulting from expressing these traits interferes too greatly with their own lives and comforts.
Geminians can be successful in many walks of life though their general characteristics tend to make them unreliable. They are often skilled manipulators of language, in speech and writing, and may be: debaters, diplomats (though in politics they are more interested in theory than practice), orators, preachers (brilliant rather than profound), teachers, authors, poets, journalists, or lawyers.
This is me. I am a Gemini. Pure, Raw, passionate.
The NEW focus of this blog is to share my adventures, scouting adventures, book reviews, thoughts, opinions, and writing adventures from actual writing, writing/editing tips, marketing, research. I'll get there.
Find me at:
YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
Previous GRATITIOUS Warning, that I decided to keep in case I post about something that might offend.
I intend to be open, honest, and forthright. No topic is off limits from religion to you name it, I'm going there. If you think you might be offended...back up now - this blog isn't for you. For those who "dare" check out the "Gemini Rising..."
I've always been a firm believer in giving back to others and Oklahoma holds a special place in my heart as my publisher, 4RV is located in Edmond. I'm very grateful to Vivian Zabel at 4RV for publishing my stories.
My heart goes out to all the citizens of Oklahoma affected by the recent tornados so I've come up with a way to give back.
Starting 8 JUN and lasting through 22 JUN, if you buy a copy of one of my books, "The Giving Meadow," or "First Flag of New Hampshire," I'll be donating my royalties to the Salvation Army in support of the Oklahoma Tornado victims. Joining me is fellow 4RV author, Karen Cioffi, along with her book, "Walking Through Walls." We recommend that you consider using the Publisher's Website to buy the books in support of the effort.
I have another favor to ask. Help us share the message. If you could use word of mouth or send out a Tweet, Facebook, Google +, Linked In, etc. that would be so helpful in getting the word out on this great opportunity to give to Oklahoma and America.
Our donations will be given to the Salvation Army in Oklahoma City to help with Tornado Relief. You can find their website at:
This is for a good cause and it's something we all believe in. Share this post with other WDC members and help to get the word out. You can find out more on my website at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com
Thank you so much
Steph, Karen, and Vivian.
BUY LINKS: Walking through Walls
Barnes & Noble:
BUY LINKS: The Giving Meadow
Barnes & Noble:
BUY LINK for: First Flag of New Hampshire
Barnes & Noble:
About Karen Cioffi:
Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter/freelance writer, and author-writer online platform instructor. Join The Writing World (http://thewritingworld.com) today for free and get "How to Create an Optimized Website" plus weekly writing and marketing tips and updates on free webinars.
About Stephanie Burkhart:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She's loves chocolate and coffee. When she's not "Mom's Taxi Service" she writes romance and childrens books.
|Hi all, it's time for my bi-monthly Coffee & Chocolate Contest.
Me? I adore chocolate and love coffee. This month's giveaway will focus on my novel, "The Wolf's Torment." The Wolf's Torment is a paranormal romance that takes place in Romania in the mid-1800's. Prince Mihai is a witch, but can he save his family being haunted by an evil werewolf? "The Wolf's Torment" won GOLD in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Contest in the Fiction: Supernatural category.
GRAND PRIZE: Win a GC to Starbucks, a coffee mug, a bag of chocolate, magnets, and Lori Powell original book bag. All you have to do to enter is visit my Facebook Fan Page between 26-31 MAY and leave a comment on any one of the Coffee & Chocolate Posts. Everytime you comment, you'll be entered in the "hat" for the grand prize drawing.
ALSO: Everyday I'll be putting up a post giving away a "free" read. (I send PDF via email) all you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on the post.
Winner will be announced on my Facebook Fan Page and here on 1 JUN. Previous Winners listed on the bottom of of my website at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com
My Facebook Fan Page:
No purchase necessary
I will ship internationally
If you have a moment, stop on by, comment, and enjoy the fun.
|Traditionally set as 30 May, Memorial Day is celebrated on the 4th Monday of May. It's a day intended to remember the people who died while serving in the US Armed Forces.
In 1986, I joined the US Army. After electing to become an MP (military police) I went to Ft. McClellan, Alabama for my basic and advanced training. Alabama in the summer was muggy, humid, and warm, but the stuff I learned instilled a sense of pride in me that still resonates today.
Memorial Day was born out of the ashes of the American Civil war, to honor those who died on both the Union and Confederate sides. (Veterans Day is intended to honor all the US military veterans, living and dead.)
I served 7 years overseas in the German cities of Muenster, Fulda, Bad Hersfeld, and Hanau. On several occasions my squad raised and lowered the US Flag on military installations. There's nothing more inspiring than raising the flag.
In May 1868, Union General, John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for "Decoration Day" to be observed on 30 May. He picked this day not to honor a battle or a heroic action, but because he knew it was a good time for the flowers to be in bloom.
Remember the context of the times – there was no Internet, TV, or Radio. Simply placing a flag or flowers over the graves of the war dead was the best way to honor those who gave their lives in the military for others. This most solemn tradition continues today.
Me, at the Taszur Air Base, 1997
I served in the Army for 11 years during the last years of the Cold War and before the War on Terror. Several people from my PLDC (Primary Leadership Development Course, needed to pin on Sergeant stripes) served in Gulf War I. It's not easy sometimes to give up your own personal sense of freedom, but those I knew, and myself included, did so because we all shared an unspoken pride in serving our country. That was the glue that held us together. We may have said "I’m here to earn the G.I. Bill," or "I wanted to see the world," or "I was looking for an adventure," but it was the unspoken pride in our nation that inspired us to be all we could be. It's that unspoken pride soldiers from the Civil War, Calvary from World War I, airmen, seamen, and marines embraced in World War II, and then men and women in today's Armed Forces share. It's our common denominator.
Decoration Day was initially used as a term in 1882. It wasn't changed officially to "Memorial Day," until 1967 by an act of congress.
All I ask is for you today is to take a few minutes out to share your unspoken pride with others. If you have a loved one or know a friend who died in service, place a flag or some flowers next to their resting place. If, perhaps, it's not practical, fly a flag today or stop around noon and say a prayer. In the afternoon, enjoy a start of summer BBQ. I intend to.
Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She served in the US Army from 1986-1997. She achieved the rank of E-6, Staff Sergeant. Her highest military award is the Army Commendation Medal (3x). From JUL-OCT 1997, she was deployed to the Taszur Air Base in Taszur, Hungary in support of Operation Joint Guard.
Her story, "Journey of the Heart," is a vintage romance that takes place in California in 1946. Her hero, James DiMera, served in World War II. When he returns home, he learns he has no home to return to. Can he find a new purpose and sense of worth on Rachel's winery?
|It's APRIL and in the U.S., it's National Poetry Month so I thought I'd share one of my favorite poets with you, Emily Dickinson. Enjoy!
Emily Dickinson is considered a major American poet alongside Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, and Walt Whitman. Schools have been named after and her poetry is taught in American Middle Schools through college. She's been placed on stamps and was the topic of a Broadway play, "The Belle of Amherst," in 1976. While Dickinson's legacy retains a vitality that refuses to die, during her lifetime she was a recluse, often refusing to leave her home. She harbored a fascination with death and dying and embraced poetry techniques that were frowned upon in the 19th Century. Now her poetry has been acknowledged as innovative and modern.
So what makes her poetry stand out?
Dickinson wrote close to 1800 poems, but less than a dozen were published during her life. She employed the extensive use of dashes and unconventional capitalization along with an idiosyncratic vocabulary and imagery. Her meter is often irregular and she prefers trimeter to iambic pentameter. She also prefers slant rhymes (words that sound the same, but don't exactly rhyme like lover and brother) and the best way to sum up her poetry is that it is consistently nontraditional.
Dickinson mainly wrote from 1858 until her death. Only 5 poems can be traced earlier than 1858. She employed humor, puns, irony, and satire in her writing. (she wasn't all about 'death')
Flowers and Gardens
Nature allowed Dickinson's imagination and emotions to flourish. These poems evoke youth, humility, prudence, and insight.
Several poems are addressed to "the Master," human, yet godlike, possibly a Christian muse.
Many people Dickinson came to care for – friends, family, and influential writers died early in life, leaving Dickinson with a sad heart. She's not afraid to explore death and morbidity and several poems talk about death by crucifixion, drowning, hanging, suffocation, freezing, premature burial, shooting, and stabbing. These are her most psychologically complex poems.
Dickinson considered herself a Christian and explored many of Jesus' teaching in her gospel-themed poems. Many of these poems are addressed to Jesus.
For Dickinson, the undiscovered continent is a tangible landscape where one can visit with the mind and spirit. It's a dwelling place for ones' self. Some of these poems invoke a nature landscape and some invoke darkness, like in a castle or a long hall.
Dickinson's younger sister, Lavinia, found the poems after Emily died, and they were published in 1890. Unfortunately, at that time they were edited, primarily for punctuation to fit the expectations of 19th Century poetry. This editing changed many meanings. In 1955, her poems were released again unedited in the original form she'd composed them. She's been in print since 1890.
About Emily Dickinson
She was born in 1830 and raised in Amherst, Massachusetts. She had an older brother and a younger sister. As a young woman, she attended Amherst Academy and Mt. Holyoke College. Her literary influences include Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Emily sought seclusion as a choice after the deaths of several friends. Though she took a trip with her family to Washington, DC and Philadelphia, she preferred to stay at home.
Emily Dickinson appeals to me because of her word play, her themes, and her unusual choices. I first read her poem, "I heard a fly buzz when I died," as a teenager in high school and while morbid, it challenged me on so many levels – the odd punctuation, the word play, but ultimately I thought how lonely one must be that a fly buzzing is the last thing one hears before one dies.
I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –
The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –
I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portions of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –
With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –
Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She's published paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance. She's also a published children's author. She adores chocolate and two cups of coffee to start off the day. You can find her at:
YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
You can find a list of my poetry at writing.com here: http://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/item_id/958683-The-Poetry-Shelf
|The Titanic's story is one of the most romantic and tragic in modern history. April 14th, 2012 was the 100 Anniversary of the Titanic sinking. How many of you broke down and went to see the 1997 in the theatres in IMAX 3D? I confess I did. And it was just as good if not better this time around.
So what was it about the Titanic that has held us captive throughout the years? I thought I'd explore the history of the Titanic.
RMS (Royal Mail Ship) Titanic was built between 1909-1911 by the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast, Ireland. Harland and Wolff were "the" shipbuilders of the day. At the time the ship was constructed, it could hold over 3,000 people. What made the ship special? It had an onboard gymnasium, swimming pool, library, opulent cabins and high class restaurants. The telegraph was one of the most high powered ones of the day.
The Titanic was constructed with a series of watertight containers. These containers were originally designed to go to the "B" desk, but were cut back to the "E" deck. There were 11 decks total on the ship.
The Titanic had 3 engines. It used 600 tons of coal a day. It had an electrical plant and brass propellers. The ship was capable of delivering heated water using pumps to all parts. It could even distil seawater if it had to. With a ship as "high tech" as this (for 1912) no one really thought it would sink.
Of course, with all places, there's a human story behind the events and Titanic is no different. The White Star Line's chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, conceived the Olympic class liners including Titanic. He worked with naval architect Thomas Andrews and many others to design and then build the ship. Ismay wanted to compete on size, not speed. Unfortunately, Ismay made poor design decisions when it came to the ship.
#1 – He ordered the watertight containers lowered to the "E" deck from the "B" deck.
#2 – He substituted #3 Iron rivets instead of steel rivets or #4 iron rivets. #3 iron rivets are of poorer quality and break easily.
#3 – He cut back on the number of lifeboats because the full compliment of lifeboats made the desk look too cluttered.
None of these decisions directly pertain to an iceberg, but they made the Titanic less sturdy and less capable of handling a hit from an iceberg.
Another key event which occurred prior to the Titanic sailing would have major repercussions. Prior to sailing, Titanic was assigned a new captain – Edward J. Smith of the Olympic. He was the most senior captain of the White Star Line. Smith brought Henry Wilde over to be his chief mate. This bumped down the officers assigned to Titanic, Murdoch and Lightoller. Titanic's original 2nd Officer, David Blair was dropped from the maiden voyage.
When David Blair left, he accidently took the keys to the binoculars storage box in the crow's nest.
Two lookouts were in the crow's nest on the forward mast and could only their eyes to see icebergs. If they had access to the binoculars they probably could have spotted the iceberg sooner. On a moonless night with little wind, they didn't stand a chance of spotting the iceberg in time to avoid it.
Several prominent people of the time were onboard including John Jacob Aster IV and millionaire Molly Brown, played to perfection by Kathy Bates in the 1997 movie. Also sailing on the boat: J. Bruce Ismay and Thomas Andrews. They were to assess the ship's performance and trouble shoot any problems it might have.
As the Titanic sank, J. Bruce Ismay dressed a woman to secure a place in one of the lifeboats. For the rest of his life he was known as a coward.
The USS Californian was less than two hours away from the Titanic. The ship had been warning Titanic all day of the icebergs. Titanic's wireless operators took the messages, but these warnings didn't pay the bills. To earn money, they had to send out the wireless messages from the people on board.
At approx. 7pm a USS Californian wireless operator overrode Titanic's operator, Jack Phillips. Phillips was sending a personal message. The Californian's message warned Titanic of more icebergs in the area. The override forced a lot of noise into Phillip's ear. Phillips, mad, sent the California's operator a scathing message.
The Californian's message further advised it was stopping for the night because of the icebergs. After this message from the Californian at 7 pm, their radio operator went to bed.
When Titanic hit the iceberg, the Californian crew was ill prepared to help. They saw Titanic's lights flicker and tried to signal Titanic using morse light signals between 1130 pm and 1 am. They weren't answered. Several crew members saw Titanic launch rockets/flares and told the Californian captain, but since the flares were white and didn't identify the company of the ship, he didn't respond.
The Carpathia, a ship from Austria-Hungary responded but arrived at 4 am, 2 hours after the boat sank.
The Titanic's wreck wasn't found until 1985, partially because the wreck wasn't at the last known coordinates. It was located over 13.2 miles away at a depth of 12,000 feet.
In the US, a permanent exhibit at the Luxur, Las Vegas is dedicated to the Titanic. There are also museums in Belfast, Liverpool, and Branson, Missouri. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, many of the bodies from the ship were buried.
|Lime Point, believe it or not, is under the Golden Gate Bridge. A rocky spur located on the northern side of the Golden Gate Bridge roughly extends 100 feet into the bay and is only 20 feet wide. Since San Francisco Bay is often engulfed in fog. An audible fog signal was built on Lime Point in 1883. The signal consisted of 2 12" steam whistles.
The steam whistles were an audible warning to passing ships. They were fueled by a 20,000 gallon water tank and approximately 150,000 tons of coal a year. Coal, in 1902, was not cheap. It cost $25.44 to operate the signal for 1 day. Oil cost $6.91 for a day so making the switch was a no brainer.
In November 1900, lens lanterns were added to the signal station officially making Lime Point a lighthouse. The lights hung on the wall only 19 feet above the water.
Two men were assigned to keep Lime Point running smoothly. A 3rd story was added for a 3rd Keeper.
In 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was completed and built directly over Lime Point. Still, the fog was tricky despite the light and sound from the lighthouse. In June 1960, a freighter rammed into the station when it wandered off course. The station's repair bill? $7,500. The ship's? $60,000.
Just before Christmas 1959, the Coast Guardsmen manning the station were robbed. Hard to imagine since the signal house in on such a narrow path, but they got away. 18 months later the station was automated.
Now, the remains of the station are still there, abandoned and vandalized. The building mostly goes unnoticed by the tourists who can't help but admire the awe-inspiring bridge.
|Prior to the Renaissance, the courtesan did not have such a romantic reputation. The word had very simple origins – a woman who attends the court of a monarch. In the feudal society, the court of the monarch mixed the political and social life of the monarch and government. It was a courtesan's job to deliver information to visiting dignitaries.
During renaissance Europe, royal couples began leading separate lives. They married to secure bloodlines and for political gain – rarely did the couple love each other. The courtesan, with their easy wit, common sense, and companionship skills, offered something the "other" woman did not – genuine concern and care which often led to love.
It was often expected the courtesan would offer their benefactor sex. Courtesans might come from wealthy or non-wealthy backgrounds. They might be married even. In those cases, their husbands usually knew of the arrangements and approved; money being the mitigating factor involved. For many women, they saw their life as a courtesan as a job, and it was primarily expected of them that they would be the consummate companion.
Truly, the courtesan could be the force behind the man. Many lasted for as long as they proved witty and charming companions and good in bed. They've been romanticized throughout the years with much literature being written about them. What makes the courtesan a romantic historical figure is something we can all identify with – love. After all, it's very easy to fall in love with a warm hearted companion who is witty and charming, well educated, and talented in the finer arts.
One such story which I found interesting is that of Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau. (That's a mouthful.) He built Altenau Palace in 1606 as a token of love for his favored courtesan. Salome Alt bore him fifteen children. Sadly, in 1612, he was forced to abdicate. Altenau Palace was renamed Mirabell Gardens. The Mirabell Garden and its beauty were prominently featured in the movie "The Sound of Music."
Leave a comment and one lucky poster will win a PDF copy of my free read, Moonlight Sonata. Winner annouced here tomorrow on my blog so make sure you leave a good email.
|"The Hungarian," Book 1 in the Budapest Moon Series was inspired by my short story, "The Wolf's Kiss." Taking a dose of Victoria Holt, I infused her influence into the setting and the hero. "Matthias Duma" lives in a dark styled manor in Budapest overlooking the Danube. His young daughter, Emily, needs a governess so he sends to England for one. When Katherine Archibald arrives, Matthias can't help his attraction to her. Unfortunately, he has a secret – he's a werewolf. Dare he court the beautiful governess who makes him believe in love again? "The Wolf's Kiss" was an Honorable Mention Winner in the 2008 Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Contest. The narration was daring, switching between first person with Matthias and Katherine.
Why did I pick Budapest? In 1997, I visited the city on an USO tour and fell in love with it. The city captured an atmosphere of old world charm for me with its quaint buildings, majestic bridges, and haunting castles. Not only that, I'd like to think that Budapest is a place where you might believe that supernatural creatures like werewolves and witches exist.
My stories in the Budapest Moon series focus on the humanity of the man who is a wolf, and I enjoy exploring this aspect of characterization in the following books.
After receiving my honorable mention, I wrote a full-length novel in the first person from Katherine's perspective. Gail Delaney, editor-in-chief at Desert Breeze, expressed interest in it, but wanted it in the 3rd person. I rewrote the novel and "The Hungarian" (mind you, it has a different plot from "The Wolf's Kiss") found a home with Desert Breeze Publishing.
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow
5 Stars, Diane Craver, author of "Whitney in Charge"
THE HUNGARIAN is an exciting story of love and hope.
5 Stars, Maggie Young, reader, Amazon Review
This is a must-read for anyone who loves a good love-story with a twist. You won't be disappointed.
5 Cups, Happily Ever After Reviews
This is an excellent book and I think fans of both the paranormal and historical romances will really, really enjoy it."
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Budapest-Moon-Book-One-ebook/dp/B003K15NG2/ref=sr_1_1?s=di...
Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/budapest-moon-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/102978...
All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-budapestmoonbookonethehungarian-427260-1...
The door squeaked open and Katherine peeked over the top of her book. A tall, muscular man walked in wearing a white button-down shirt and holding his blazer. He paused, as if surprised to find her, and then walked toward the window, his stride easy. He moved with wolf-like prowess, his long legs taking cool, calculated steps as his unusual eyes surveyed her. Katherine bit the inside of her lip, returning his measured perusal with one of her own. His silence was unnerving, yet intriguing.
His eyes drew her to him -- malachite green with a gold ring around the iris. Dynamic. Expressive. Even now, as he looked at her, they softened and grew translucent. He stopped in front of the window and casually threw his blazer onto a nearby chair as if he owned the room.
"Hello," he said.
"I am? I thought you were staring at me."
He chuckled. "Perhaps I was admiring you."
"Who else is here?"
Katherine pursed her lips as her insides warmed from the deep silkiness of his voice. He smiled and walked to her chair, slowly gliding around it, tracing his finger over the leather headrest, skirting her curly hair.
"What's your name?" he asked.
"And who is inquiring?" She tried to sound cool and composed, but she had to fight the nervous temptation to play with her hands.
"Then my name is Juliet."
A teasing smile graced his lips as he walked out from behind her chair and glanced at a bookshelf before turning to look at her again.
"Would you fall for Tristan?"
"Only if my name were Isolde."
He walked over to a wooden table near the window and ran his long finger over a clay mock-up of Excalibur lodged in a stone. "What do you think of Arthur? Do you think it suits me?"
"Only Guinevere would believe your name was Arthur."
He crossed his arms, his eyes sparkling in the sunlight. "Would you believe my name was Matthias?"
"I might, if--"
"If I knew more about you."
Find me at:
Facebook Fan Page:
You can find The Wolf's Kiss in my port at:
The Hungarian's folder:
|I love books. As a young girl in the 1970's, I loved going to the city library. They had a wonderful selection of books from dinosaurs to the Hardy Boys. In the 1980's as a teenager and young adult, I grew to love spending time in a bookstore. There's nothing like the feel and scent of a new book. So it's with a heavy heart I say goodbye to Borders.
Borders was the #3 bookseller for books in the US, but it was losing money long before it declared bankruptcy. In my opinion, Borders failed because it didn't keep up with the times. While I think publishing models are currently in flux (with ebook and self-publishing taking off as viable publishing options) clinging to a traditional publishing model now will make it hard for authors and those houses to survive. You've got to change with the times.
In the 1990's bookstores consolidated and added "ambience" to their appeal. They offered DVDs, CDs and in house coffee shops along with a spot to plug in your laptop.
In the 2000's, technology took off. Amazon became a successful online retailer by offering a wide variety of products. With the introduction of Amazon's Kindle, ebook readers made ebooks fun to read.
Borders didn't jump on the ebook bandwagon soon enough. According to stats, print sales are dropping and ebook sales continually show high returns; the most popular genres being romance and mainstream.
What I'll miss is the ambience of hanging out with my friends and I'll miss the scent of new books.
What will you miss about Borders?